A female prison employee is being investigated for allegedly helping with the Shawshank Redemption-style escape of two murderers – as sources suggest she may have fallen for the womanising charms of one of the killers.
The woman, who is not a guard, was apparently questioned in connection with the escape of Richard Matt and David Sweat from Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York on Saturday.
The men, who were both serving lengthy sentences, used power tools to cut through a steel wall in their cells, before climbing out of a hole in the wall which led the men to a series of tunnels, taking them to a manhole outside prison walls.
The men even left a note on one of the tunnels reading, ‘Have a nice day’, accompanied with a smiley face, which authorities discovered after the escape sometime on Friday night or Saturday morning.
It is not yet known how the two men got the power tools, but authorities have already begun following leads – including speaking with the female employee.
The Sunday Post quoted a senior sources as saying she had already been pulled from her post – although what it was remained unclear.
There was speculation she may have fallen for 48-year-old Matt’s good looks, with the source saying he ‘had a way with the ladies’.
Retired Detective David Bentley, who was part of the team which jailed Matt in 1997, seemed to confirm the same thing.
He told the Post: ‘When [Matt’s] cleaned up, he’s very handsome and, in all frankness, very well endowed. He gets girlfriends any place he goes.’
Meanwhile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo promised justice would be served.
Speaking on Sunday, Gov Cuomo vowed to return the ‘Have a nice day!’ note to the two notorious killers.
‘I’m sure they knew that since it was the first escape it was going to be a big deal,’ he said of the men, the first to escape from the maximum-security area of the prison since it was built 170 years ago. ‘But we’ll get them back and we’ll give them the note back.’
The governor offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the men, saying that the ‘first order of business is to get these killers back’, according to ABC.
‘It was a sophisticated plan,’ Gov Cuomo said. ‘It took a period of time, no doubt, to execute.’
The cunning escape had hundreds of local, state and federal law enforcement officers searching for a police deputy’s killer and another man imprisoned for dismembering his boss.
Governor Cuomo said the men, who authorities believe must have used power tools as part of their prison break, had help in the form of fellow cons in neighboring cells who refused to squeal.
Cuomo said it was impossible to believe nobody heard the noise of the tools.
‘They were heard, they had to be heard,’ Cuomo told ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ on Sunday.
‘I chatted with a couple of the inmates myself and said, ‘You must be a very heavy sleeper,’ Cuomo said.
After the search is over, ‘we’ll go through the exact details of what they did and how they did it to ensure this never happens again,’ Cuomo said later.
Cuomo also conceded that $100,000, or $50K per fugitive, was a huge sum for a reward, but said what’s important is that these two dangerous men be apprehended before they hurt anyone else.
‘This is a crisis situation for the state.’ he said. ‘They’re capable of committing grave crimes again.’
Sweat, 34, is serving a sentence of life without parole after he was convicted of first-degree murder for killing a sheriff’s deputy in Broome County, New York, on July 4, 2002.
Steven Tarsia, brother of Deputy Kevin Tarsia, said finding out his brother’s killer had escaped ‘turns your world upside-down all over again.’
In 2008, Matt was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the ruthless murder and dismemberment of his former boss, 76-year-old William Rickerson.
The 48-year-old’s criminal history stretches far beyond that cruel murder as well. After killing Rickerson in 1997, Matt fled to Mexico where in 1998 he got into a bar fight and killed another man.
And on Sunday it was revealed that Matt was even part of an elaborate plot to torture and kill an Hollywood heiress.
Police officer Gabriel Dibernardo told the Buffalo News that while Matt was in jail awaiting trial on a rape charge, he agreed to a high-society murder with a criminal acquaintance.
Read more: dailymail.co.uk