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Escape from Dannemora
Richard Matt, David Sweat, and the Great Adirondack Manhunt
Michael Benson

2017 • 256 pp. 28 illus. 6 x 9"
True Crime

$19.95 Paperback, 978-1-61168-976-1
$14.99 Ebook, 978-1-5126-0044-5

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

"A solid read and informative text about prison management, this book will be of interest to students and staff involved in correctional facilities and general readers of true crime.”—Library Journal

The complete story of the prison break and manhunt that kept America spellbound

It was one of the biggest crime stories of the decade—two deadly killers, desperate and on the run. After months of planning, Ricky Matt and David Sweat cut, chopped, coerced, and connived their way out of a maximum-security prison in the wilderness of upstate New York and managed to elude police for three weeks, sending the region into lockdown and keeping the entire country on edge. The media called it “a bold escape for the ages,” and veteran true-crime writer Michael Benson leads us along the story’s every wild path to dig out a tale of adventure, psychology, sex, and brutality. Escape from Dannemora examines the strange case of Joyce Mitchell, the long-time prison employee who had a sexual relationship with at least one of the killers, and who smuggled them tools and aided in the escape, while they cooked up a plan to kill her husband. In the end, Benson looks closely at conditions at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY, a crumbling Gothic pile now under investigation for charges of drug trafficking and brutality.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

"While Benson easily achieves the two goals of compiling information and writing a captivating story, he achieves something more difficult. He illuminates the relationship between the Dannemora prison and the community it resides in, with all the complexities inherent between them.”—Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Escape from Dannemora is not just an epic history of a notorious prison and its staggering security lapses. It’s also a riveting tale of how lust, seduction, and egregious negligence allowed two unabashed killers to escape—prompting a three-week manhunt that ended in bullets and bloodshed. . . . A phenomenal read.”—Michele R. McPhee, bestselling author of Maximum Harm and A Mob Story

“What we want is true crime with depth, flare, and journalistic principles, leaving the pomp and circumstance to the amateurs. Escape from Dannemora delivers on those levels, but also brings us deep into the psychological tones of a story we think we know. . . . The book is all at once engaging, historical, and thrilling. Michael Benson brings us behind the scenes of this dangerous, violent and riveting high-profile manhunt. Perfectly paced, finely drawn . . . fascinating.“—M. William Phelps, New York Times bestselling author of Dangerous Ground: My Friendship with a Serial Killer

Escape from Dannemora is a captivating story with everything a reader could want: breathtaking detail, historical context, well-developed characters, and a pace that leaves you wanting more.” —Paula Reed Ward, author of Death By Cyanide

“Riveting. . . . A story of adventure, sex, depravity, sociopathy, and brutality. . . . Escape from Dannemora takes you to the corners and heartland of New York State, and will have you turning its pages. . . . A thriller.”—Donald A. Tubman, former New York State medicological investigator

“Meticulously researched and thrilling. . . . Benson’s account is not only intense and captivating, but distressingly enlightening.  Richard Matt and David Sweat leave us with an awkward appreciation of their escape while at the same time frightened by the possibility of history repeating itself.”—Kim A. Collins, MD, forensic pathologist

MICHAEL BENSON has written on music, sports, crime, film, the military, and politics for a range of national publications. He is the author of Why the Grateful Dead Matter, and of numerous books of true crime, including The Devil at Genesee Junction and Evil Season. He lives in Brooklyn.

Thu, 14 Mar 2019 13:08:04 -0500