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The Story Of The ‘Shawshank’ Prison Break Just Got A Whole Lot Juicier

Last weekend, Richard Matt and David Sweat broke through steel and brick, crawled through a metal pipe, and came out on the other side free men in the ‘Shawshank’ style breakout that has sparked a massive manhunt.

As if that wasn’t interesting enough, it seems like they might have had inside help, allegedly from a female employee of the prison.

Here’s everything we know so far:

  • Police have questioned 51-year-old Joyce Mitchell, a prison supervisor at the Clinton Correctional Facility, who may have helped the pair escape. The New York Post has reported that the woman may have been wooed by Matt. “When [Matt’s] cleaned up, he’s very handsome and, in all frankness, very well endowed. He gets girlfriends any place he goes,” retired Detective David Bentley, who helped catch Matt for murder, told The New York Post.
  • Police believe Mitchell was going to meet the pair of men and drive them to hiding but at the last minute headed to the hospital for panic attacks. Her phone was reportedly used to call Matt’s associates, which could have been used to plan for after the escape.
  • Matt was convicted of three counts of murder, two counts of robbery, and three counts of kidnapping.
  • Sweat was serving a life sentence with no chance of parole for killing sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Tarsia in 2002.
  • The two men may have used a hacksaw to saw through the wall of their cell around the air vent, working slowly in the night for weeks to avoid detection. The men would remove the grate to cut and then put it back to cover their work.
  • They likely got their tools because contractors were doing construction work on site, and the prison might not have thoroughly the number of tools onsite.
  • The inmates likely charged the powertools by running a wire to the construction site and secretly stealing electricity.
  • Matt and Sweat had adjacent cells, and Matt has had a history of jail breaks. He escaped the Erie County Jail in 1986 by climbing the fence.
  • A fellow inmate at that jail reportedly tried to hire Matt to kill multiple people, including the husband of a Warner Bros. founder’s granddaughter.
  • Sources told The New York Daily News that the whole plot was hatched up in the tailor shop while the prisoners were sewing uniforms.
  • The two men were reportedly spotted carrying a guitar case, likely to carry their tools, five hours before they were reported missing. The witness claims one of them said, We’re just lost. We don’t know where we are. We’re on the wrong street.”
  • The men are extremely dangerous, and authorities have said they “could be literally anywhere.”
  • There is a reward of $50,000 per man for information leading to an arrest.
  • The two men used tools to cut a hole through a steel wall. Authorities suspect they climbed out of that hole and crawled down a catwalk six stories before using slicing through a large metal pipe, the same one they would crawl down for more than a city block.
  • That pipe led to a manhole in a residential neighborhood. The neighborhood has been thoroughly searched and guarded.
  • To avoid detection from guards in the middle of the night, the inmates put clothes in their beds to make it look like they were asleep. They were reported as last seen at 10:30 p.m. Friday during a guard inspection and discovered missing at 5:30 a.m.
  • The two men left behind a note reading “Have A Nice Day!” on the pipe they cut as a potentially final farewell.

Handout photo shows a note with a caption "Have a nice day" left on an opening in the pipe, where two inmates are suspected to have cut open as part of their escape from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York

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