Back in the summer of 2015, we were riveted by the unforgettable prison break at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY. Now, that highly dramatic breakout and subsequent manhunt is being brought to Showtime as an eight-episode limited series, Escape at Clinton Correctional, starring Benicio del Toro and Patricia Arquette.
Del Toro will play convicted murderer Richard Matt, who was serving a 25-year sentence for killing and dismembering an upstate businessman at Clinton. He and fellow inmate David Sweat, who had been convicted of killing a NY state sheriff's deputy, concocted an elaborate plan to break out. Aiding them was Tilly Mitchell, who will be played by Arquette; Mitchell supervised the prison tailor shop, where she was seduced by Matt, who she later said had "complete control" over her at the time.
Mitchell confessed that she snuck tools, gloves, glasses with lights on them, etc. to Matt and Sweat (some of these tools were hidden in frozen hamburger meat), which enabled the pair to cut through their cell's steel walls, traverse the catwalks in the prison's infrastructure, hack into a steam pipe that wasn't in use, and finally climb out through a manhole on the other side of the prison walls on June 6th, 2015.
"I believe I helped inmate [Richard] Matt and inmate [David] Sweat escape because I was caught up in the fantasy," she said in her confession. "I enjoyed the attention, the feeling both of them gave me and the thought of a different life." She also confessed to having sexual contact with Matt on multiple occasions, and giving him naked photos of herself.
Matt & Sweat were on the lam for weeks afterwards, until Matt was fatally shot during an attempted carjacking and Sweat was captured. Sweat later claimed that he was the mastermind behind the plot, which involved five months of planning the escape with Matt; on top of that, he claims they did a test run the night before the escape.