Manhunt On for 'Shawshank' Inmates Who Left Taunting Note

Escapees left Post-It saying, "Have a Nice Day!"
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2015 12:36 PM CDT
Manhunt On for 'Shawshank' Inmates Who Left Taunting Note
Gov. Andrew Cuomo looks at the area where two convicted murderers used power tools to cut through steel pipes at a maximum-security prison in Dannemora, NY.   (Darren McGee/New York State Governor's Office, via AP)

"This was the first breakout since 1865 and I want to make sure that it's the last," says NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo of two inmates' escape from a maximum security prison yesterday in Dannemora in a turn of events he tells ABC News "could have been from the plot of a movie." The movie comparison being bandied about is The Shawshank Redemption, and Sky News notes that escapees David Sweat and Richard Matt added a particularly dramatic touch: They left behind a taunting note bearing a smiley face and "Have a Nice Day!" But Cuomo, who ditched plans to attend yesterday's history-making Belmont Stakes, is quick to underscore that these are murderers who are "nothing to be trifled with."

Officials still don't know how the duo got their hands on power tools to cut through the wall, though Cuomo notes there are "a number of contractors working" on the Clinton Correctional Facility, which sits about 20 miles from the Canadian border. And apparently nobody is talking: "I chatted with a couple of the inmates myself and said, 'You must be a very heavy sleeper,' " Cuomo said. "They were heard, they had to be heard." It's not Matt's first breakout, adds the New York Times: He escaped an Erie County jail in 1986. "The whole town’s locked down," a local resident tells the Times. "You can’t drive anywhere. You can’t come into town. They’ve got detours all over the place. They’re checking trunks. It’s just something I’ve never seen before." Says Cuomo: "I’m sure they knew that since it was the first escape it was going to be a big deal. But we'll get them back and we'll give them the note back." (Read more Andrew Cuomo stories.)

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