It's been nearly a week since escaped convict David Sweat was caught by authorities, and nearly two since Richard Matt was fatally shot by cops, but there are still plenty of strange details emerging about the daring prison break. The Buffalo News reports that Matt apparently wrote a letter to his daughter before the two men escaped Clinton Correctional facility in Dannemora: "I always promised you I would see you on the outside. I’m a man of my word."
The letter was postmarked prior to the June 6th, the day of the escape, and arrived at the daughter's home in Buffalo June 9th. Matt had kept up a correspondence with his daughter while in prison, but she apparently had no idea he was planning to escape. Buffalo News adds that "she requested round-the-clock protection, fearing that Matt would attempt to see her while he was on the run. That never happened."
This apparently wasn't the only way Matt communicated with his daughter—he also allegedly engaged prison worker (and reported lover) Joyce Mitchell into contacting her on his behalf. They write:
Mitchell, 51, the prison’s tailor shop supervisor, began calling and texting Matt’s daughter several months ago.
In the initial phone call from Mitchell, the daughter told investigators that she did not recognize the incoming phone number but decided to accept it.
“I’m a friend of your father’s,” Mitchell said, introducing herself.
Mitchell was actually more than a friend of Matt, authorities say. She is accused of supplying him and Sweat with hacksaw blades and other material to help them escape the prison.
“Mitchell called the daughter a couple of times, but most of the communications were through text messages from Mitchell,” the law enforcement official said. “She would pass along tidbits on how Matt was doing. He had a bad back, and Mitchell gave medical updates. Matt asked that she provide his daughter with the updates. There was nothing suspicious in those exchanges. Nothing about the planned escape was mentioned.”
Matt, 49, was shot three times in the head in the vicinity of Lake Titus on June 26th; police said he ignored an order to drop a shotgun he was holding. Matt's body was claimed by his 23-year-old son Nick Harris, who told WIVB that he believes Matt was wrongfully killed by police. He also exchanged letters with his father, although he said he didn't really know him: "I don't know him to say I respect him or not. Obviously he was in jail when I was younger, and he wasn't there for me as a father."
The Times reported today that Matt aimed his "20-gauge shotgun at an armed federal agent late last week but was shot and killed before he could pull the trigger."