Two Escaped Killers, Three Weeks of Terror, and the Largest Manhunt Ever in New York State
by Charles A. Gardner
Pub Date 26 Feb 2019
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In June 2015, two vicious convicted murderers broke out of the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, in New York’s North Country, launching the most extensive manhunt in state history. Aided by prison employee Joyce Mitchell, double murderer Richard Matt and cop-killer David Sweat slipped out of their cells, followed a network of tunnels and pipes under the thirty-foot prison wall, and climbed out of a manhole to freedom.
For three weeks, the residents of local communities were virtual prisoners in their own homes as law enforcement from across the nation swept the rural wilderness near the Canadian border. The manhunt made front-page headlines—as did the prison sex scandal involving both inmates and Joyce Mitchell—and culminated in a dramatic and bloody standoff.
Now Charles A. Gardner—a lifelong resident of the community and a former correction officer who began his training at Clinton and ultimately oversaw the training of staff in twelve prisons, including Clinton—tells the whole story from an insider's point of view.
From the lax ethics and sexual hunger that drove Joyce Mitchell to fraternize with Matt and Sweat, smuggle them tools, and offer to be their getaway driver, to the state budget cuts that paved the way for prison corruption, to the brave and tireless efforts to bring the escaped killers to justice, Dannemora is a gripping account of the circumstances that led to the bold breakout and the twenty-three-day search that culminated in one man dead, and one man back in custody—and lingering questions about those who set the deadly drama in motion.
“Gripping… Gardner’s own background as a former corrections officer in the New York state prison system enables him to focus on root causes that made the escape possible…True crime fans will be more than satisfied.” - Publishers Weekly
“Dramatic…. A true community insider’s perspective on a legendary manhunt.” - Booklist
EVENTS WITH CHARLES GARDNER:
SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY * Northshire Books * Friday, March 1st at 7pm
PLATTSBURGH, NY * Bookburgh Books * Saturday, March 9 at 3pm
ALBANY, NY * Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza * March 17 at 3pm
STAMFORD, CT * Ferguson Library * March 18 at 6pm
MAMARONECK, NY * Mamaroneck Library * March 19 at 6:30pm
CHAPPAQUA, NY * Chappaqua Library at New Castle Town Hall* March 20 at 7pm
LAKE PLACID, NY * The Bookstore Plus * May 25 at 3pm