Dannemora: Two Escaped Killers, Three Weeks of Terror, and the Largest Manhunt Ever in New York State

Dannemora: Two Escaped Killers, Three Weeks of Terror, and the Largest Manhunt Ever in New York State

by Charles A. Gardner

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The Prison Break, the Manhunt, the Inside Story
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780806539263
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 28,643
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Charles A. Gardner is a municipal court judge and retired correction training lieutenant in Malone, New York, the far-upstate town where he was born and raised. His twenty-five-year career in New York State Department of Corrections included working as a correction officer, sergeant, and lieutenant. He had experience working in medium- and maximum-security facilities including stints at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora and the maximum-security prisons of Sing Sing, Bedford Hills, Great Meadow, and Upstate. Gardner served on the Department of Corrections' emergency response team (CERT), which played a critical role in the search for the 2015 prison escapees. He lives with his wife, Penny, and their Samoyeds, in the North Country. Visit him at www.charlesagardner.com.

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Dannemora: Two Escaped Killers, Three Weeks of Terror, and the Largest Manhunt Ever in New York State 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Very informative.....learned a lot about how the prison system works.
Anonymous 3 months ago
ody 6 months ago
This is my second book on this breakout, so I’m fairly familiar with the subject. The author retired from 25 years in corrections and was born and raised in that area. He is currently a municipal court judge. I was interested in the subject so I thought I’d go for another viewpoint. This book is a good mix of background on the escapees, and the lead up to the escape, the two employees that were involved, and then the story of the escape itself. The writing is fine and moves along well, making this a good book for those interested in the topic.
HollyLovesBooks4 7 months ago
This book attracted my attention because I work in a state system as well that is similarly structured in a way to a prison, a mental health facility. When I began working in this field it was at a time after the states were being held accountable by the Department of Justice for poor conditions within state hospitals or institutions. As I researched the legal side of this issue, I came upon the Willowbrook Hospital in New York state, as a "ground zero" for deinstitutionalization of people. This was because of all the cost-cutting that had been done, over-crowding, under-staffing, poor conditions and zero accountability. The conditions in the prison system are very similar, and now since the writing of this book, another NY prison was without power for several days during the most severe cold weather of the year. I think that this book did a great job, a frightening job of showing what is wrong in the prison system, in this particular case and going forward. It feels focused on NY but it is a more widespread problem than that. Very interesting reading to follow this story from this perspective. #Dannemora ##NetGalley
SheTreadsSoftly 7 months ago
Dannemora: Two Escaped Killers, Three Weeks of Terror, and the Largest Manhunt Ever in New York State by Charles A. Gardner is a very highly recommended examination of the events that lead to the 2015 breakout and the aftermath of the manhunt. The Clinton Correctional Facility is located in Dannemora, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains, near the Canadian border. In June of 2015 two convicted murderers, Richard Matt and David Sweat, were able to escape the maximum-security facility. The two were aided in their escape by prison employee, Joyce Mitchell. She provided them with the tools they needed to cut through the steel walls in their cells. From there they had access to the catwalk behind the cells that led to a series of tunnels and underground pipes that allowed them to escape outside the prison walls through a manhole. For twenty-three days news reports followed the escape and the manhunt while residents in the area "were virtual prisoners in their own homes as law enforcement from across the nation swept the rural wilderness near the Canadian border." Gardner, a municipal court judge, a lifelong resident of the community, and a retired correction officer does an excellent job presenting the background, complete story, and timeline of the murderers, and the terrifying manhunt after their escape. The escape was essentially the perfect storm of bureaucratic incompetence and cost-cutting measures, combined with Mitchell's lack of morals, ethics and stupidity. Gardener has professional insight into the corrections systems history and training, and can pin point state actions and budget cuts that resulted in an environment that helped facilitate the escape. Dannemora is an excellent true crime drama, well-written and skillfully organized. For those, like myself, who were not familiar with the escape at Dannemora, Gardner, provides all the information I needed to understand the background and circumstances of the escape. He shares his personal history and credentials which allow extra insight into the correctional system. He furnishes the biographical background of convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat. There is succinct information on Mitchell's fraternization with both men, smuggling in contraband for them, and other, inconceivable and just plain stupid actions on her part that assisted in their escape. (She was also supposed to be their get-away driver, but suffered a panic attack at the last minute and didn't show up.) He explains some of the lax actions of a few the guards, why some security measures are no longer followed, and how everything combined with Mitchell's actions to result in the escape. The timeline leading up to the end result of the manhunt is clearly laid out and easy to follow. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Kensington.