In the summer of 2015, while driving my beat-up Toyota truck through the back roads of northern Clinton and Franklin counties documenting the Great Dannemora Prison Break, I kept thinking that I had been swallowed whole by a tabloid news story, or maybe a trashy pulp novel, that refused to end. The setting was the rainy, gloomy Gothic woods of the northern Adirondack foothills. The characters all seemed to come straight from central casting.
There were the two brutal killers, David Sweat and Richard Matt, who had pulled off an escape that instantly drew comparisons with the film The Shawshank Redemption, digging and cutting their way out of one of the toughest prisons in the world. There was a brash, swaggering Governor Andrew Cuomo, who barnstormed through an active crime scene with a film crew in tow. There was the sad-sack, defeated-looking prison warden Steve Racette, the poor bastard on whose watch the impossible had occurred. » Continue Reading.