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CNN SPECIAL REPORTS
The Great Prison Escape. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired November 10, 2015 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANNOUNCER: The following is a CNN Special Report.
RANDI KAYE, CNN SPECIAL REPORT HOST: A brazen escape.
ANTHONY ANNUCCI, NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS ACTING COMMISSIONER: There was a hole cut out at the back of the cell to which these inmates escaped.
KAYE: Two convicted killers cutting their way to freedom emerging from a manhole outside the prison walls.
ANNUCCI: We estimate they climbed down and had power tools and were able to get out to this facility.
KAYE: Two dangerous murderers, now free.
JOHN WALSH, CNN THE HUNT HOST: They kill anybody they feel like killing anytime.
KAYE: How'd they get the tools? Who helped them? And what was their plan?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're leaving no stone unturned.
KAYE: A scent in the woods, fall sightings, all part of a desperate search through the Adirondack and along the Canadian border from the ground and from the air.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They could've gone on to the north up here to all this vast woods towards Canada pretty easy to get lost up in there.
KAYE: Law enforcement on hunt, two dangerous fugitives on the loops and a dramatic ending nobody sees coming. Tonight a CNN Special Report, "The Great Prison Escape".
Hello, I'm Randi Kaye in Dannemora, New York. I'm standing just yards away from Clinton Correctional Facility where inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat broke out off. It's the first time anyone has escape from this maximum security facility since it opened back in the mid 1800's. That bold escape was just the beginning of a story that's almost too twisted to believe involving murder, manipulation, and sex. Before the sun even began to rise over the small town of Dannemora, New York, they were gone. An escape plan worthy of a screenplay carried out by two very dangerous men.
WALSH: On a scale of 1 to 10 they're 10 dangerous wild animals.
KAYE: Prisoners Richard Matt and David Sweat had adjoining cell here at Clinton Correctional Facility. The two were last seen Friday night, June 5th, around 10:30 p.m. during what's called a standing count where both Matt and Sweat showed themselves standing inside their cells. But just hours later, a shocking discovery that would leave prison guards shaking their heads, law enforcement on high alert, and this small upstate New York community terrified.
ANNUCCI: This is a very elaborate plan but we are only at the very preliminary stages of determining exactly what happened.
KAYE: What happened, would take time to piece together. All authorities knew at this point was that at 5:30 A.M. on Saturday, June 6, routine bed checks turned up only lumps of clothing under the sheets. The two prisoners were missing.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO, (D) NEW YORK: They weren't actual dummies but they were -- they had clothing on and it looked like people sleeping in the bunks with this sweatshirt hoodie on.
KAYE: How could they have disappeared? After all, this is a maximum security prison. There are visual bed checks every 2 hours throughout the night and guard towers high above the prison walls. But as authorities began to take a closer look, details soon emerged of a stunning escape not over the prison wall but underneath it.
ANNUCCI: Search reveals, there was a hole cut out at the back of the cell to which these inmates escaped.
KAYE: A hole in the back of the cell. This is what it looked like. The men cut their way right through the cell wall and steel that was a quarter inch thick. The escapees then negotiated a maze of underground tunnels and pipes.
The prisoners got their first taste of freedom in years when they popped out of that man hole right there at that yellow tape. This is actually the closest that we're allowed to get to it. And it was a pretty bold exit plan because right over there, is a health club and it's surrounded by homes in this quiet neighborhood. So anyone who might've been outside and might've seen them could've quickly called police.
The manhole is just a block and half from the prison where New York Governor Andrew Cuomo retraced the mens steps hours after they disappeared.
CUOMO: Must've kept you awake with all that cutting.
KAYE: Pictures from the governor's tour of the prison are proof of the elaborate escape. [21:05:00] And escape that turns out they'd actually practice the night before. Here's how they figure Matt and Sweat made it out. Once they slipped out of their cell it's believed they maneuvered across this six story high catwalk eventually dropping down to a series of tunnels. From there, they broke through a double brick wall then incredibly cut through it 24 inch steam pipe, shimmying their way through it.
On the other end about a block away form the prison by then, they cut yet another hole this time, to get out of the pipe. After that, they cut right through the chain and lock holding down the manhole cover.
WALSH: If there was a rabid tiger running around the neighborhood or a rabid lion or something that could kill anybody, well this are those animals. These two guys are those kind animals like rabid animals they could kill anybody at the drop of a hat.
KAYE: A closer look reveals the men had likely been using some type of metal grate to conceal the hole they where cutting in their cell. Investigators believed they also may have used a hack saw to keep the noise down.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: The New York State Police Department of Correctional Services and all our state local and federal law enforcement partners are conducting a full investigation of the escape of these two inmates.
KAYE: The escapees left a message for those coming for them that yellow post it note is found on one of the pipes they cut through dripping this sarcasm it reads, "Have a nice day", with a smiley face on it.
WALSH: Sure they are taunting. They're being arrogant they're going, "Hey, you stupid idiots you weren't watching us close enough when we got out."
KAYE: Not only did they get out but they got away vanishing in the shadows of the prison walls.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A variety of tactical units like SWAT units, a number of K9 to include blood hounds even three aerial support aircraft, two state police helicopters and one from Home Land Security have been here since this event occurred this morning.
KAYE: The urgency is clear 35 year old David Sweat and 48 year old Richard Matt had killed before.
ERIK JENSEN, FMR INMATE, CLINTON CORRECTIONAL FACITLITY: I was worried they were going to kill somebody again. I was worried they would any kill somebody, they're both killers.
KAYE: Killers with a criminal path so terrifying, those who fear them worried they nature and violent again.
KAYE: When David Sweat and Richard Matt first meet at Clinton Correctional Facility, they had one thing in common -- murder.
Sweat had been convicted of killing a sheriff's deputy back in 2002 and is serving a life sentence without parole. Matt had been found guilty of three counts of murder, three counts of kidnapping, and two counts of robbery. He is supposed to be behind bars for 25 years to life.
Back in 1997, Matt had kidnaped his former boss, William Rickerson. After torturing him for a bout 24 hours, he killed him and hen did the unimaginable. He dismembered him.
Lee Bates served time after acting as Richard Matt's accomplice in that 1997 murder. He testified against it and in a phone interview with Anderson Cooper, called Matt, evil.
LEE BATES: If you wanted to take a picture of the devil, that's the face that you would see.
KAYE: Bates remembers Matt shoving a knife sharpener in his victim's ear and breaking his fingers before killing him.
BATES: I have seen him kill. He did kill Mr. Rickerson, his old boss, in my presence and a fit of rage he reached into the car, grabbed Mr. Rickerson by his head and snapped his neck in front of me.
KAYE: Matt works for Rickerson and was fired for poor performance just weeks before Rickerson's murder according to testimony at trial.
JENSEN: I don't understand that either.
Eric Jensen knew both Richard Matt and David Sweat. He served nine months in Clinton Correctional Facility backing 2011 for possession of stolen property. He worked in the tailor shop with both fugitives and described Matt, as crazy.
JENSEN: To chop somebody up into pieces and you know, put them into plastic bags and then throw them in different parts of a river is in my book, you know, it does kind of crazy. This is weird like the -- or you get from taking to somebody like, when you look at somebody there was like there was like you can look at Richard's eyes and you won't see anything behind them. They would...
KAYE: Some blank stare?
JENSEN: It would be like a blank stare.
KAYE: And that was creepy, I would say.
JENSEN: It w as creepy. It was very creepy.
KAYE: Given Richard Matt's ugly past, Jensen says, he never turned his back on him. JENSEN: He has a weirdo crime. Weirdo crimes are child molesters,
serial killers, dismemberers, people who do weird crimes and do weird things. KAYE: A weirdo crime means you're not stable?
JENSEN: Correct. Correct.
KAYE: After Matt killed his former boss, his half brother testified in court that Matt told him he used a hacksaw to dismember Rickerson. The half brother also said, Matt threatened to kill both him and his wife unless he gave Matt his van to run away.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He told me Mr. Rickerson -- he thought Mr. Rickerson owed him back pay.
KAYE: Matt took the van to Texas where he abandoned it and then, crossed into Mexico. It wasn't long before he ran into trouble in that country killing a man outside of a bar and then serving nine years in a Mexican jail. When he was finally extradited to the U.S. to stand trial on Rickerson's murder, the court reportedly installed snipers outside just in case he made a run for it.
Matt also wore electrodes under his electrodes under his suit in court so guards cold shock him if he became unruly. His former girlfriend likely sealed his fate testifying that he confessed to her he broke in Rickerson's neck. She says he told her it was an accident.
[21:15:00] Perhaps, just as cunning and dangerous was David Sweat. At 35, he is supposed to spend the rest of his life behind bars here for killing sheriff's deputy, Kevin Tarsia. After Sweat and two other men had robbed the fireworks and gun store, deputy Tarsia confronted them. Tarsia's sister spoke by phone with Anderson Cooper:
SHARON TARSIA, KEVIN TARSIA'S SISTER: I never put him on my mind because I always think about what he did and how awful this guy is.
KAYE: It was July fourth 2002. Deputy Tarsia pulled into the parking lot where the men were parked. In court the three suspects shared what happened next. Sweat, who was hiding under a truck said the deputy opened fire first then Sweat got to his feet and started firing. One of Sweat's bullet hit Tarsia in the stomach reportedly, striking his small intestine and a kidney.
As the deputy struggled for his gun, Sweat jumps into another vehicle and ran over the deputy dragging him with the car across the parking lot. He was still alive when one of the other suspects then charged out of the woods, picked up the deputy's gun which he had dropped and shot him point-blank twice in the face.
Sweat was charged after police found a hand drawn map and sketch of the fireworks store with Sweat's fingerprint on it. Now, Sweat was also heading to prison where he would meet Richard Matt for the first time and other inmates say, quickly become friends.
The relationship made closer by the fact that both aren't housed in what's called the honor block at Clinton Correctional Facility -- a prison block reserved for inmates who have gone years without significant disciplinary problems. The honor block has its privileges like hot plates and refrigerators in cells. Here, prisoners are allowed to congregate for hours with fellow inmates which may have given Matt and Sweat the time they needed to plot their escape.
JENSEN: And then you have one person that you completely trust and that you'll do everything with is called go toe-to-toe with go back- to-back with knife-to-knife in the yard is that one person that is something pops off, you'll hold them down and I believe that's the relationship they had after their cells got moved together.
KAYE: Prisoners housed in the honor block are also allowed to wear civilian clothing instead of the traditional prison garb which also may have allowed them to blend in easier once in the outside. Their good behavior lands Richard Matt and David Sweat jobs in the prison tailor shop. Could that be where they accessed those tools needed to cut their way to freedom?
CUOMO: It was truly extraordinary and unusual and almost impossible to duplicate but we want to find out exactly what happened and one of the big questions is, where did the tools come from?
KAYE: To answer that question, investigators begin to zero in on tailor shop one where the escapee's worked along side a prison seamstress named, Joyce Mitchell. And the more they looked into Joyce Mitchell, the plot starts to unravel complete with sex, betrayal, and a plan to murder.
KAYE: On the surface this woman seems the most unlikely accomplice to a crime. 51 years old, she is a wife and a mother married to the same man for 14 years. But Joyce Mitchell has secrets -- secrets that have landed her in jail accused of helping two dangerous felons break free.
WALSH: I did many escapees on "Americans Most Wanted" that would have never gotten out if it wasn't for the woman who helped him.
KAYE: In this case authority say Joyce Mitchell is the woman who helped Richard Matt and David Sweat with their plan just how did this wife and mother become involved with two convicted murderers?
It all started with David Sweat who in 2013 was working in the prison tailor shop. There he befriended Mitchell the prison seamstress. Eric Jensen also worked in the tailor shop with the fugitives and Joyce Mitchell.
David Sweat was Jensen's supervisor. Jensen said many believed Sweat was having a sexual relationship with Mitchell.
JENSEN: She keeping back him from the mess hall when we go to the mess hall for lunch and we come back at work, he'd be there eating all types of fried chicken, barbecue chicken. That was specifically after Labor Day. I remember that she brought it in the Styrofoam tray.
KAYE: For him?
JENSEN: Yes. KAYE: For David Sweat?
JENSEN: Yes. It was like, you know, the handsome Jack on the football team asking the chubby fat girl out on the -- to the prom.
KAYE: Did people sort of joke? Did people sort of go back their relationship?
JENSEN: No, yeah. Yeah. We all joke. We all joke. We used to call her his Beau.
KAYE: His Beau?
JENSEN: His Beau as in girlfriend, you know, slang. We used to joke and laugh with him.
KAYE: Did you even asked him, are you having a relationship with her?
JENSEN: Yeah and he never confirmed it or denied it.
KAYE: Mitchell's attorney denied she ever had a sexual relationship with Sweat but whatever it was raise eyebrows and led to Sweat be moved out of the tailor shop in 2013. And with Sweat out of there, Richard Matt could make his move. Matt is known as the ladies man, a charmer who befriends Mitchell.
In 2013, the two started sexual relationship according to a source close to the investigation. They have sex in the tailor shop when no one else was around.
All this time, Joyce Mitchell keeps it a secret from her husband Lyle. According to his attorney, even though Lye Mitchell also worked in the prison tailor shop and knew both Richard Matt and David Sweat.
MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, FORMER FBI PROFILER: Joyce has established the pattern of deception.
KAYE: Former FBI Profiler Mary Ellen O'Toole says inmates can be like predators on the lookout for vulnerable prey which are often women who work inside the prisons.
O'TOOLE: It starts small asking for her to bring in a candy bar or asking her to bring in a stamp. There's wording that goes along with something like this, "If only I'd met a woman like you 20 years ago, I'd never be in this situation." So, she would be very gullible in believing that and that's really called something we referred to in the FBI as magical thinking that an inmate who's with that kind of criminal background would tell you that and you would believe that. And then it goes even further to the point where they engage in sex together and she becomes almost 100 compromised.
KAYE: Compromised enough that Joyce Mitchell tell investigators Richard Matt made her feel special and other reports say she thinks it could have been love. But was she in so deep she was willing to risk everything for it?
WALSH: I don't know why anybody is surprised. I think all Americans know that crazy, lonely, low self-esteem type of women like prisoners in prison. A woman tried to marry Charles Manson, women married the Menendez Brothers, a woman married the Hillside Strangler who murdered 17 plus women in L.A. and tortured them with coat hangers. It never ceased to amaze me how women are seduced by these guys.
KAYE: Mitchell wasn't just risking her marriage, she's risking her freedom. All the while, she was having this relationship with Matt. Investigators say she is also aware of their escape plot even giving them tools.
A law enforcement official says she admitted smuggling in hacksaw blades by hiding them inside frozen hamburger meat and having the meat delivered to Richard Matt. Investigator says she also secretly brought in chisels, drill bits and other items and it didn't stop there. Authorities say Mitchell admitted she was actually going to drive the getaway car.
This is where they were supposed to meet. This power plant is just a few hundred yards away from the manhole where the man emerged from. The power plant smokestack I'm told is visible from the tailor shop at the prison where the two men worked with Joyce Mitchell. The D.A. says that smokestack was likely a marker for their meeting place.
But on the day of the plan to getaway, she panicked saying she had chest pains and instead of picking up her lover and his fellow fugitive, she goes to the hospital with her husband, Lyle.
WALSH: Prisoners have all the time in the world, they're con men to begin with. These guys are sociopath, they manipulate women, they got to those women's low self-esteem and they got her which I think is really pretty sad.
Now, her life is ruined. Her life is holy hell. They're out there running around. They couldn't care less about her.
UNIDENTIFED FEMALE: Are you in love with Richard Matt?
KAYE: Joyce Mitchell is arrested on a felony charge of providing prison contraband and a misdemeanor charge of criminal facilitation. She pleads not guilty to both charges. Another prison employee Gene Palmer is accused of delivering the hamburger meat with the hacksaw blades hidden inside to the escapist.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Gene, did you help them?
KAYE: Palmer, a guard who worked in the same cell block is charged with promoting dangerous prison contraband, two counts of destroying evidence and one count of official misconduct.
His attorney says Palmer was unaware the blades were in the meat but the D.A. says Palmer failed to properly screen the meat in a metal detector violating prison policy. ANDREW BROCKWAY, ATTORNEY FOR GENE PALMER: He was cunned by Joyce Mitchell. She duped him and looking back on that he can't believe that someone will take advantage of him. He knows that he made a mistake and that he shouldn't have done what he did.
KAYE: Meanwhile, Joyce Mitchell's lawyer says she is distraught. But her story is far from over.
Lyle Mitchell visited his wife in jail after she was taken in and is confronted outside by ABC News with a stunning question.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you make of the report says she was trying to have you killed?
KAYE: That's right. Not only was Joyce Mitchell allegedly having a sexual relationship with the prisoner and potentially helping them plot their escape, authorities say she was also aware of a plan to have her husband Lyle Mitchell killed.
Her change of heart about taking part in the plot to kill her husband comes on the eve of the escape according to the Buffalo News while the couple is out on a dinner date sharing Chinese food.
Mitchell's attorney says she was not involved in the plot.
Did you know anything about the escape plan?
Lyle Mitchell's lawyer says he didn't know about any of his wife's activities until he confronted her two days after the escape. That's when she told him the escapists wanted to kill him.
Lyle was stunned when he heard about the affair and the murder plot and feels betrayed by his wife.
PETER DUMAS, LYLE MITCHELL'S ATTORNEY: I hate to use a cliche, but, you know, love is blind.
KAYE: Joyce Mitchell remains behind bars sticking to her story she didn't want Lyle to be hurt.
DUMAS: They have a plan to do harm to Lyle. She doesn't agree with that. She doesn't want Lyle hurt. They start threatening her saying, "You know, we're going to have someone hurt him anyway. We're going to have someone hurt him in the facility or we're going to have someone go to the house and hurt him. You've got to help us out."
KAYE: For a woman of many secrets, some are still unknown. Is she telling investigators everything she knows? Or does she have more information on where Richard Matt and David Sweat are heading.
KAYE: A massive manhunt underway, fugitives David Sweat and Richard Matt on the run, law enforcement moving into neighborhoods, going door to door leaving nothing to chain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're leaving no stone unturned.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They could be literally anywhere.
KAYE: But, where were they? And what did the prison seamstress now accused of aiding in their escape really know?
What do we know about their plan after they left the prison?
ANDREW WYLIE, CLINTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, she's been consistent. She's been consistent and that it's -- was seven hours from this area. And she didn't know whether it was somewhere in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Canada. If we believe her to be telling the truth on that, then they were keeping her at bay about what their, you know, ultimate plan may have been.
KAYE: And plan remains elusive. All investigators know is that their get-away fell apart when Joyce Michelle backed out, leaving the escaped prisoners without the ride they needed.
With no transportation, the fugitive killers were just blocks outside the prison, scrambling to avoid capture.
Check points and road blocks were quickly set up as police search each vehicle for anything out of the ordinary, imploring the public to be on the look out.
WALSH: They could be holdup in a home somewhere, canned food, maybe watching the whole search on television, nice and cool, nice and dry.
KAYE: Lee Bates is a former accomplice of Richard Matt.
BATES: They have something in common that that says, you know, were out and when they catch us we're done. And their mind sets probably going to be they're not going to take us alive.
KAYE: And that would prove to be ominous insight after nearly three weeks into the search, residence here on edge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state police have been by here with out exaggeration probably 50 times in the last two or three days.
KAYE: Have they asked you any question?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes they have if I've seen anything, heard anything, the answers been no.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like tracks leading here, unless you got broken pieces down here so we don't know if somebody went through here. And if you go down you got like a little stream coming down so you follow the stream it's a nice way out.
KAYE: This woman was checking her attic and basement every night before bed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Somebody's going to see something somewhere, somebody's going to give it up.
KAYE: In Dannemora, investigators concentrate on a perimeter near the prison. Four wheelers cut pads to rough terrain. The thick brush makes it hard to see.
So search teams are resorting to other means using motion detectors similar to this one. They have cameras on them and they can be attached to any tree here in the woods. When the sensors pick up activity they snap a photo.
Law enforcement also on the hunt from the air, you can see what search teams where up against, so many places where the escapees to hide, 6 millions acres of trees and heavy wood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's pretty easy to hide out here.
KAYE: In a distance another challenge, the Canadian boarder.
PAUL MONGILLO, U.S. CUSTOMS AND BOARDER PROTECTION: We are looking at the vehicles we're looking at the individuals, opening trunks, opening back of doors of trucks and things, so it is a lot very extensive.
KAYE: Boarder patrol can't secure the entire northern boarder, so there are plenty spots like this one, open areas where you don't need any passports or documentation to cross the boarder. So watch this here I'm standing in the U.S. so I keep one foot in the U.S. and put another foot in Canada. This is the boarder right here or I can just simply walk into Canada no questions asked.
Closer to the prison tips were pouring in. In the village of Saranac, investigators believe they were getting close when a resident thought he spotted the two escapees jumping over a stone wall in the backyard. Another alleged sighting, two men spotted walking in the middle of the night in the pouring rain. And another possible lead, near the Pennsylvania boarder, two men seen leaving the woods near these railroad tracks.
MAJOR MICHAEL CERRETTO, N.Y. STATE POLICE: The state police is asking residence who live on this area along the New York-Pennsylvania boarder to be on alert.
If these men are spotted, please call 911 immediately. Do not approach because both are considered to be very dangerous.
KAYE: Despite warnings and calls to be on the lookout, nothing pans out. The search comes up empty. But investigators figure it will only be a matter of time before the fugitives make a mistake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No lead is too small for us to investigate. Law enforcement is maintaining a strong, invisible presence in this region.
JOHN CUFF, FMR. U.S. MARSHAL: This people are in need. They're in need of money, they're in needs as of to sustain themselves. They're hunkered down right now. They're somewhere. They're going to have to make a move. And at some point when they feel comfortable they're going to surface and they're going to make a mistake.
KAYE: Suddenly another reported sighting. And this one feels real. A witness says a man was running out of a cabin into the woods in Franklin County, New York, just 20 miles away from the prison. Investigators pounce on the cabin and find DNA from both men inside it.
Could this be the break investigators are looking for?
As a nervous community awaits word, search teams move in scouring hunting cabins and heavy forest holing on to a strong scent that the killers could be among them.
O'TOOLE: I think that there are long establish history on both of their parts to use violence to live their lives, to use violence because they got upset with somebody that will ultimately get them caught again.
KAYE: A good bet. Soon a burglary call and a gun shot will give investigators the break they've been looking for.
KAYE: Weeks have pass since Richard Matt and David Sweat cut their way out to this prison to freedom. The first time anyone has ever escaped from maximum security here. And they are still on the run. But investigators have renewed hope that they are getting close.
In the small town of Owls Head New York, population just about 500, a major break in the manhunt. A cabin owner calls police after noticing two men run out the back of his cabin. Authorities discovered DNA evidence, proof that both fugitives had been inside this cabin, seeing here from NBC news.
UNIDENTIFED MALE: We'll find them (ph).
KAYE: After weeks of dead-end leads, law enforcement now has something to go on.
MAJOR CHARLES GUESS, L.T. STATE POLICE: They had about some basic supplies that you might find a honey cabin, they have taken some items within the major system, they've drop some items and left something behind that aids in our search effect that we've collected and submitted to the lab.
KAYE: The escapee left in such a rush, they left behind boots, dingy prison-issued underwear and bloody sacks -- the first pieces of solid evidence that puts the fugitives in this area of Owls Head, New York.
[21:45:12] This is just 20 miles from the prison but still finding them will be tricky. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are number of factors that make this a complex search, the weather, the terrain, the environment and frankly the vast scope of the north country of Adirondack. MATT MAGUIRE, N.Y. RESIDENT: It's mountainous Adirondack area with, you know, trees and swamp and, you know, just thick, thick vegetation that, you know, you can't see 10 feet in front of you.
KAYE: Making it even more difficult to track these killers, authorities have a hunch that they are using picnic style pepper shakers to throw the search dogs off their scent.
Meanwhile, residents in this quiet town are taking up arms and locking their doors...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a plenty of guns and ammunition.
KAYE: ... hopeful that the two men will soon be caught.
JOHN POLLIC, FRANKLIN COUNTRY, N.Y. RESIDENT: I am very concerned because these two convicts they got nothing to lose.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's been awful like you can't sleep and then darkness hits, I'm wondering where they are, what they're doing, how they got out.
KAYE: Another lead comes in when a cabin owner noticed there's an open bottle of gin in his cabin and calls his father who tells his son to notify the troopers. A short time later, while on the phone with his son, a gun shot.
BOB WILLET, MALONA, N.Y. RESIDENT: He said he heard a gun shot and I heard it to the phone.
KAYE: That gun shot was directed at a man driving along this road in Franklin County pulling a camper. The campers hit by a bullet. The driver calls the police who end up here.
Just a few steps off the highway an abandoned trailer where it turns out Richard Matt found shelter, inside insects and spider webs, old sleeping bags and a closet, silverware, sitting in an old mason jar, and a teapot still on the stove. John Chodat lives right across the street.
JOHN CHODAT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, N.Y. RESIDENT: To my knowledge he had been staying there a few days. And on the day after his birthday and Friday he decided apparently to shoot at a passing camper probably to slow them down and maybe, you know, come in here and take them somewhere, but they kept going.
KAYE: Law enforcement are closer than ever. They carefully close in on Richard Matt who is found lying here behind a tree armed with a shotgun and then hiding, a cough gives him a way. Matt is just a five- minute walk from the abandoned trailer when law enforcement shoot him dead. SUPT. JOSEPH D'AMICO, N.Y. STATE POLICE: A tactical team from Customs and Border Protection met up with Matt in the woods challenged him and he was shot dead by border patrol at that time. We recovered 20-gauge shotgun from Matt's body at the location.
KAYE: Matt never fires his weapon. He is fatally shot three times in the head.
CUOMO: You never want to see anyone loose their life, but I would remind people that Mr. Matt was an escaped murderer, killed two people who we know about, killed his boss in a dispute and dismembered him.
KAYE: Law enforcement rushed to the scene as word spreads that Richard Matt is dead. But where is his accomplice David Sweat?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to space about 20 feet down the line.
KAYE: A perimeter is set out as investigators calmed the area looking for any sign of him. But as the minutes and hours drag on, there is no sign of David Sweat. And it's starting to become very clear that the manhunt is far from over.
CUOMO: We have no reason to believe that Mr. Sweat was not with Mr. Matt at that time, but we don't have any confirming evidence that he was either. There are several leads that are being tracked down as we speak about Mr. Sweat and his possible whereabouts.
KAYE: Law enforcement quickly moves to track down those leads and close the perimeter hoping to get David Sweat to surface.
KEVIN MULVERHILL, FRANKLIN COUNTY SHERIFF: He's been on the run now for three weeks. He's tired, he's fatigued, he's hungry, he's going to make mistake. And once gain, those calls that get in, those reason we get in from the public, you know, I've been saying it right along. You know, when something like that is going to tip this two.
KAYE: But concerned grows that David Sweat had parted ways with Richard Matt long before Matt was shot and killed.
[21:50:07] Search teams are racing against the clock fearing this dangerous killer could be making a run for the border. They couldn't have been more right.
KAYE: Three weeks after two prisoners pulled off the most stunning escape ever from this maximum security prison, one of them is still on the run. By now, it's believed David Sweat knows his partner in crime Richard Matt was shot dead by authority. And he also knows he could be next.
MULVERHILL: We're going to follow every lead whether it's in that, whether within that perimeter, adjacent to the perimeter or anywhere within the county or anything that looks like might have some credibility. KAYE: Search teams are hopeful they're closing in. They find a camp near route 41 in Franklin County close to where Richard Matt was killed. Sweat's DNA is found at the site, but two days have passed since then and Sweat is still nowhere to be found. And still so many unanswered questions. Where the fugitive still together when Matt was killed? Had David Sweat already made it to Canada? And does he have a weapon too?
[21:55:00] 1,300 law enforcement scoured this area looking for David Sweat, but all it takes is one state trooper with a very keen eye who noticed there's something strange along this road in Constable, New York, just two miles from the Canadian boarder.
D'AMICO: He spotted a male who was basically jogging up along the side of the road. He approached him and as he exited the car the male turned to him he says "Hey come over here", the male kind of ignore him called out to him again at which time the male turns around kind of like, you know, "What do you want from me?" And he recognized him to be David Sweat.
KAYE: Sweat ignores Sergeant Jacobs command and bolts across the fields heading right for a tree line. So the New York State trooper a trained fire arms instructor reportedly drops to on knee and fires his weapon twice from 50 yards away. An incredibly difficult shot, he hit David Sweat both times in the torso.
As word spreads over police radios that David Sweat is down law enforcement races to the scene startling residents in this small rural community.
MICHAEL DOYLE, CONSTABLE NEW YORK RESIDENT: My wife run out of the house and said, "Oh my god, something's going out the street", and I heard a shots.
KAYE: Incredibly, Sweat was just two miles away from crossing the Canadian border. Now bloody that handcuffed he is once again in custody. It turns out he is unarmed but he does and have with him a backpack full of supplies. Bug repellants, wipes, and pop charts. Also Sweat had somehow manages to swap his prison garb for camouflage clothing.
COUMO: The nightmare is finally over, Mr. Matt is deceased and the other escape Mr. Sweat is in custody.
KAYE: A relieved community turns out to thank law enforcement. The nightmare is over but the story is still unfolding even in critical condition David Sweat begins to spill the details about the great escape. He tells investigators he'd separated from Richard Matt five days earlier because Matt was slowing him down. Sweat says Matt was out of shape and hitting the bottles to much after they broke into a cabin.
Sweat also shares that they planned to go to Mexico after escaping but were forced to improvise when prison seamstress, Joyce Mitchell, failed to pick them up in the get away car.
COUMO: When Mitchell doesn't show up the Mexico plan gets spoiled and then they headed north towards Canada.
KAYE: And remember the plan to kill Joyce Mitchell's husband Lyle, Sweat tells investigators it was actually Mitchell's idea to kill her husband before they all fled to Mexico. Her attorney denies that.
Also a source close to the investigations says that according to Sweat this was the plan long in the making. Sweat told investigators beginning last winter Sweat got a whole in his cell first, then Matt's cell. Sweat would lead his cell every night in search of an escape route wondering through the tunnels beneath the prison.
The New York Times reports that at one point Sweat cut through a wall when steam started blowing unbearable heat on him. Sweat says he rigged the fan to help cool him using electricity from the tunnels light.
Also one inmate told Richard Matt heard noise coming from Sweat cell as the two were cutting through the wall with a hacksaw. The paper says Matt explained it away saying he was stretching canvas for one of his paintings which he maid in prison. And it turns out Sweat and Matt had made a practice run the night before the actual escape, but when they emerge from a man whole Sweat told the authorities they where just too many houses so they went back to the prison and pulled it off the next night using a different man whole.
Sweat also confirms the escapees hadn't use power tools after all just hacksaw blades wrapped in cloth to make them easier to use to cut through the steam pipe and cell wall but he adds they did uses sledge hammer they found underground to knock down a brick wall on the way out.
An impressive jailbreak that the one surviving escapee will be able to think about behind bars authority hope for many more years to come.