Hunt Underway for Two Murderers Who Escaped NY Prison And Left Cheeky Note

Hunt Underway for Two Murderers Who Escaped New York Prison and Left Cheeky Note

Hunt Underway for Two Murderers Who Escaped New York Prison and Left Cheeky Note

The Slatest
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June 7 2015 12:55 PM

Hunt Underway for Two Murderers Who Escaped New York Prison and Left Cheeky Note

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David Sweat, 34, is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained on June 6, 2015.

Reuters/New York State Police

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is convinced someone must have heard something. Considering the two convicted murderers used power tools to carry out an elaborate escape from a maximum-security prison in upstate New York, “they were heard, they had to be heard,” Gov. Cuomo told ABC News. It marked the first time someone had managed to escape the Clinton Correctional Facility since it was built in 1865. “Since it’s an old facility, there are a number of contractors working,” Cuomo said. “It could have been a plot from a movie.”

The escaped prisoners were well-aware that they were pulling off an extraordinary feat, leaving behind a message written on a yellow Post-it note with a smiley face and the words “have a nice day.” It was posted on a pipe the inmates had to cut open in order to escape. “I’m sure they knew that since it was the first escape it was going to be a big deal,” Cuomo said. “But we’ll get them back and we’ll give them the note back.”

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Richard Matt, 48, is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained on June 6, 2015.

Reuters/New York State Police

It’s still unclear how the inmates got hold of the power tools with Cuomo insisting that prison officials had accounted for all their equipment. As part of the ruse, the two convicted murderers filled their beds with clothes to make it seem like they were sleeping.

 “The daring escape, in which the men used power tools to drill through the prison’s steel walls and pipes, brought to mind the infamous escape from Alcatraz by three inmates in 1962,” notes the Washington Post. More than 200 law enforcement officers are searching for Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 34, both of whom are described as dangerous. “These are dangerous people, and they are nothing to be trifled with,” Cuomo said.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.