June 16th, 2015

Who are the escaped murderers in NY, and why…

…oh why were they given the prison privileges they appear to have been given?

The answer to the first is: among the most psychopathic, cold-blooded killers in the prison population, and that’s saying something. Both of them have been known to be criminals since adolescence and have never looked back. What’s more, the report of those who knew them is of relentless exploitation of other people, and hardly a glimmer of anything you might call a conscience.

Here’s Sweat’s story. It’s not a pretty one. And Matt’s is, if anything, worse:

Age: 48

Early life: He grew up in the small city of Tonawanda, New York, near Buffalo. Classmates told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that Matt was often in trouble as a child. “He would terrorise kids on the (school) bus,” Randy Szukala told the newspaper. As a teenager, he ran away from home on a stolen horse. Eventually, Tonawanda police Capt Frederic Foels told the Democrat and Chronicle, he became a “small-time thug”.

Previous crimes: Matt had been known to law enforcement for years, committing numerous offences, but his most serious crimes appear to have started in the late-1990s. In 1997, a fisherman found the dismembered body of William Rickerson, a Buffalo businessman, in the Niagara River. Investigators zeroed in on Matt – one of Rickerson’s former employees. But Matt fled to Mexico before he could be arrested. While there, he reportedly killed an American man in a bar, landing him in a Mexican prison. He was eventually sent back to New York in 2007. Matt was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life with no chance of parole before 2032.

Matt falls into a particular category of psychopathic killer known as the escape artist. It’s a potentially more lethal combination than “psychopathic killer” alone, for obvious reasons. This is Matt’s escape history; it’s impressive.

As for Sweat:

Age: 34

Early life: His mother, Pamela Sweat, told the Press & Sun-Bulletin of Binghamton, New York that her son had a troubled childhood and had violent tendencies. “I don’t want nothing to do with him,” Ms Sweat told the newspaper. “He has tormented me since he was nine years old, and now he’s 34 and I feel like he’s still doing it.”

Previous crimes: In 2002, a New York sheriff’s deputy caught Sweat and his cousin, Jeffrey Nabinger, with stolen guns. But when the deputy, Kevin Tarsia, tried to arrest them, the pair shot Tarsia 15 times and ran him over with their car…

So, tell me: why were Matt and Sweat given the following prison privileges? Are the prison authorities insane, stupid, or both?:

The killers seemed the wrong match to put in adjoining cells, a combustible combination promising no good. They were both callous, early adopters of a life of lawlessness. They could be wily. One had demonstrated escape skills. The other was a systematic schemer, reading blueprints, sketching maps, mulling over the fine details of crime…

They served their time on the so-called honor block, housing gained through good behavior that allows greater freedom of movement, the right to cook meals and the benefit of wearing street clothes in your cell.

Read the whole thing; it will make your blood run cold.

Remember that:

When [Matt] returned to New York in 2007 [to stand trial], authorities exercised extreme caution. The New York Times reported that measures included staffing the courthouse with double the usual number of deputies and making Matt wear an electric stun belt.

Quote: “He is the most vicious, evil person I’ve ever come across in 38 years as a police officer.” Gabriel DiBernardo, a retired captain with the North Tonawanda Police Department, told the New York Times.

Matt not only has a history of creative and repeated escape attempts, he has also made explicit threats to a detective who worked on the case:

And now that Matt’s on the run again, a retired detective who helped lock him up is sleeping with one eye open — and his finger on the trigger.

“I stayed up pretty late last night, and I’m armed with guns,” former Tonawanda cop David Bentley, 67, said Sunday. “I had a tough time sleeping, knowing he could come around.”

Bentley, who has a home security system and a watchdog, also said, “We have patrols keeping an eye on some of the retired guys who dealt with him.”

The night before his 2008 conviction for the grisly murder of William Rickerson, Matt wrote a chilling letter to Bentley.

“You lied in court to [expletive] me over for the DA,” Matt wrote. “You also make it very clear that we are not friends. I’ll remember both . . .”

At the time, Bentley said the three dots suggested “there’s more to come.” On Sunday, he said he hadn’t forgotten the warning.

“This is a tense situation — he’s absolutely capable of anything.”

Actually, I know the argument for allowing a man like that to benefit from the usual rewards for good behavior in prison. It goes like this: he’s there for life, or at least many many many years, and there needs to be some possibility of rewards for his cooperation or he’s going to make the place miserable the whole time. Having no rewards at all increases his dangerousness because he has nothing to lose by acting just as bad as he can, and nothing to gain by acting better.

But surely there should be some limits to what a man like that can gain by cooperation. Psychopaths tend to be smart and very good at conning people, and this guy was also an escape artist. He should never, for example, have been placed in a unit where he could wear civilian clothes. And yet he was—that, and more.

Most of the coverage of Matt and Sweat’s escape has focused on the sex, and on the charm they exercised on prison employee Joyce Williams, who assisted them in their escape. But it was a crime of opportunity. If they hadn’t found Williams, they’d have found another Williams. And another, or another. Maybe they did; who knows at this point how many people helped them with the breakout? The entire escape episode was nearly inevitable—and that’s another crime.

27 Responses to “Who are the escaped murderers in NY, and why…”

  1. Artfldgr Says:

    Most of the coverage of Matt and Sweat’s escape has focused on the sex, and on the charm they exercised on prison employee Joyce Williams, who assisted them in their escape.

    Classic modern feminist woman of the average kind.. boring husband not good enough, cheats, then cheats again with more thuggish… taking advantage of the feminist changes to the prison system that allow women and male convicts to be together… (not so much in womens prisons)

    sexual discombobulation of the western woman includes prison sex (sends chills, eh? ultimate bad boys), stripping at religious sites in other countries then wondering why they are pissed, and a lot more…

    Feminist describes why she goes for bad boys [trigger warning for ‘nice guys’]

    This is the modern woman in a nutshell. This is what Sheryl Sandberg advocates when she tells women to go for the bad boys in your youth and settle down with chumps when marrying. Dateless chumps: stay sexless and wait until this girl is done screwing around, you’ll get your turn later (when she starts aging and her biological clock starts ticking like a time bomb)… actually wait, you’ll get a dead bedroom because there’s no way you could possibly compare to the hundred other badboys she f*cked.

    (this explains why the feminists are so way peeved about asian women, who been poachnig their retirment wallets before they been done having all that desease carrying fun sex with thugs.

    I’m a feminist. I’ve dated “bad boys.” I’ve broken up with them — much to my friends” collective relief. And I’ve gotten back together with them — to no one’s delight except my own.

    Why would I do such a thing? Why do smart women return to these bad boys?

    thuggish criminals are the last “real men” around compared to what other men have become…

    With the straightforward “bad boys,” it’s a different kind of game, and some of us prefer it. They’re unabashed with what they want, and we”re free to be unabashed right back. There’s a line of respect we each observe, but we say what we think. We don”t filter, we agree to disagree, and we get some quality banter out of it.

    Interesting won’t kill me like boring will But this is the bottom line, isn’t it?

    I can’t deny it — my life is more interesting with interesting guys in it. The doomed nature of the relationship makes me feel alive. If I suddenly had something consistent and mature, I don’t know I could handle it. Women get restless too. Plus, uncertainty is just plain exciting.

    When I look back at the guys where I should have “known better,” I can’t help but laugh with some good-natured nostalgia — because I wouldn’t trade my stories for anything. I like my colorful life. And I’ve learned a lot from dating fascinating walking contradictions. These guys bring vibrancy, conflict and challenges to my life, and some of us like how these relationships push us.

    thus goes modern women of the west…
    (great children by accident too)

  2. Artfldgr Says:

    Without decent men in their lives to mediate their relationships, the women complain about gorrilas then get into bed with them, as the man that can kill is definitely the harem leader and she is part of that harem of women in the primitive world… she was set free from cognition, claiming sexism, only to go out and find the worst sexist violent wackos possible…

    its liberating

    Why Do Women Fall for Bad Boys?
    Why do the wrong men feel so right? A new study offers some answers

    a bit skewed by politics, but:

    Research has revealed that more men than women possess the Dark Triad personality traits of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellism. The hallmarks of narcissism include dominance, a sense of entitlement, and a grandiose self-view. Studies overwhelmingly show that narcissism is greater in men, even across cultures. Moreover, it is believed that narcissism may advance short-term mating in men, as it involves “a willingness and ability to compete with one’s own sex, and to repel mates shortly after intercourse.” In line with these capabilities, the authors note, narcissists are adept at beginning new relationships, and identifying multiple mating opportunities. They are also less monogamous.

    Psychopathy is comprised of callousness, a lack of empathy, and antisocial, erratic behavior. It also lends itself to success in short-term mating, through a moral deficit and interpersonal hostility. Psychopaths have also been found to exhibit superficial charm, deceit, and a sexually-exploitative interpersonal stance.

    Machiavellianism is comprised of duplicity, insincerity and extraversion. The manipulative, coercive, and opportunistic ways of these individuals are also advantageous in short-term mating; studies do reveal that Machiavellians have been found to be more promiscuous.

    so why were women repressed by family?

    Cause if family didnt control their mating, they destroyed family with their dumb ass choices!!!!

    note that destruction of family is a feminist goal, and that since that has been the norm, the society has made women in to one big harem of perversion for such people… in a way that early women of the 1960s might have not believed possible. instead of less of it, they crave more abuse, more nastiness, more being used, more of the bad stuff…

    and society in general is paying the price for it!!

    we certainly are not going to get a utopian world if women love and make a lot more sociopathic morons without fathers. eh?

    [edited for length by n-n]

  3. Ann Says:

    You don’t have to be a card-carrying feminist to fall for a bad guy. Look at Madame Bovary. All it took for her was a head filled with romance novels.

  4. Cornhead Says:

    CCN reports that escaped cons have been found!

    Same location as the missing Malaysian jet.

  5. Artfldgr Says:

    agreed ann… but its feminism that removes anyone from actually talking to them or reaching them or preventing them from such… think on it for a bit. you cant stop a woman from doing anything she wants including getting stoned and wandering down dark allies… to stop her is to be what? not her friend… at least not before she has the horrible moment.

    feminism normalized being a skank and slut, and biatch, and all those words they decided to own to make ok. add to that bastardy, and a few others.

    its one thing to fall for someone in a romance novel, its another thing to promtoe it as normal.

  6. blert Says:

    Somehow I doubt that these two grand fellows will be going back inside.

    I’d also rather expect that they’ve long since gotten entirely out of the area — Shawshank style — almost from the first.

    With his Mexican speech skills, I’d say that our felons are headed first to the barrio, thence over the border.

    The only man able to track them down: Rick Deckard, bladerunner.

    For they are sure to fail their “Voight-Kampff” test.

  7. Molly NH Says:

    How about the grousing that Commie Gov Cuomo was
    a huge factor in throwing the initial response completely off track. He showed up, his minions cleared the command center of appropriate responding officers & *involved * the officers or PR people he brought along. Cuomo himself took to inspecting the physical escape scene, & I believe he even crawled into it !!!!! Then rivalries materialized
    with State Police *wanting* to be the agency that captured the 2. So while all quibbled the bad guys appear to have gotten away.

  8. Range of Light Says:

    I sincerely hope that there’s an unspoken ‘Take No Prisoners’ order out on them.

  9. Oldflyer Says:

    Now, what are the arguments against the death penalty again?

  10. starlord Says:

    If I were a psychotic killer who had escaped prison, I’d head to a state where firearms are fairly easy to obtain. Such as here, in Texas. Although it’s a double edged sword if you’re going to use them – an awful lot of Texans have them too.
    Mexico seems like a bridge too far – nobody is going to want them around there either, and they would stick out like a sore thumb. If the US govt. offers a reward for their capture, there are plenty of guys down there who would be happy to collect. The one thing that seems certain, they planned the escape pretty carefully, and seem to have planned the getaway just as carefully.

  11. Molly NH Says:

    starlord, they only have to go to Vermont
    2nd amendment lovers there !

  12. BillR Says:

    There are a myriad of stupi things about this. Some have already been mentioned, so I’ll take another track, a tangent actually.

    I believe that our education, by high school level should prepare us for life (see “To Sir with Love”), and on thing which would help us survive is better knowledge of malicious psychological types. Somewhere in our classwork should be instruction – that there are psychopaths, narcissists, sociopaths, borderlines, histrionics, what have you, among us. Teach what they act like, show examples, methods of psychological self-defense.

    Historical or contemporary examples of each abound, and these are common enough that we will encounter more than a handful in a lifetime. They’re not just movie baddies, they’re real flesh and blood and everywhere. And much more should be taught about them. There aren’t all that many, but they cause a large fraction of the world’s problems.

  13. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “among the most psychopathic, cold-blooded killers in the prison population” neo

    “Now, what are the arguments against the death penalty again?” Oldflyer

    When a society abandons common sense, sooner or later, the inmates end up running the asylum.

  14. scottthebadger Says:

    I have met many as a deputy, that I believe would be better for society if they were simply put to sleep. Evil, incurably so.

  15. Richard Aubrey Says:

    So Madame Bovary was full of romance novels….

    What do you think the theme is? Does Fabio look like an accountant? Does he have a dad bod?

  16. Ymarsakar Says:

    My sort of society keeps criminals in jail to protect them from the rest of us. American society keeps criminals in jail to protect the Normals from the crims.

    Most people are not physically or psychologically capable of dealing with human trash or sociopaths, not on the streets and not in jail. Other than culling the population, raising the training and conditioning of the Sheep and Sheepdogs would be more productive. People who tend to get the job of guarding the human refuse, often elevate themselves above the rest of us or distance themselves emotionally in order to safeguard their own peace and sanctity. Then again, I always believed that if you lack the strength to maintain your own sanity easily, you aren’t cut out to have the Authority to protect others. The power to get the job done comes from inside, it doesn’t come from a title or a LEO status or a CO uniform.

    It didn’t for Joyce.

    For those that don’t know, there are exceptional guards and fighters out there. You just don’t hear about them because Hollywood and the MSM is allergic to them, similar to how they are allergic to patriots and Sarah Palins. To name one, check out Rory Miller’s biography or book Meditations on Violence.

    Criminals, in order to survive long in their chosen urban jungle or environment, must become very good at interviewing and assessing risks and rewards. Thus they will avoid taking on people that are their superior or their peers in power or ruthlessness. That goes double for the rational ones that like planning. The majority of crims have impulse control issues, so they don’t necessarily plan long term. The ones that do, tend to survive a bit longer and have more accurate assessment tools. They can figure out which man or woman is an easily target. Just like Hussein can figure it out. Then they can carry out the plan.

    A strong person can protect, momentarily, those around them merely via the proximity effect. A nation of weaklings, a culture of cowards, however can do little about accurately assessing who is best to take the Authority of Power and the Throne of Empire. Unlike criminals, who tend to die if they make an inaccurate judgment or assessment of a target, normal civilians just keep living on as livestock, you can’t get rid of them. If a nation’s leaders are corrupt, fat, and incompetent, one must necessarily ask if this is due to the vice of the people or merely the unlucky fortunes of human history.

  17. miklos000rosza Says:

    You often hear, among those against the death penalty, that life in prison is “worse.” Aside from those who adjust quite well to the regimented lifestyle, like perhaps Charlie Manson, there exists the danger of some of these guys preying on other prisoners, while immune to any fear of punishment, or — this. Escape. A crime spree perchance to follow. We’ll see what develops.

    But I’ve long been of the opinion that some put themselves outside of the ordinary human tribe and are just too dangerous to have around.

    As, for instance: what are we going to do with ISIS POWs once some massive conflict inevitably breaks out? Will it be a “War Crime” to finish off such wounded prisoners as occur? They explicitly DO NOT follow the Geneva Convention rules of warfare, so why should we?

    Meanwhile, here in America, can female prison-guards be trusted with charismatic inmates? It’s a boring job, and when someone has nothing else to think about but seducing you — and is good at it — there you go.

  18. Steve57 Says:

    “Are the prison authorities insane, stupid, or both?”

    I vote for both. No doubt they had a checklist, and these two killers had checked all the blocks for honor status, and that was the end of it.

    “But I’ve long been of the opinion that some put themselves outside of the ordinary human tribe and are just too dangerous to have around.”

    Me too. Those retired cops wouldn’t have trouble sleeping if we had as a society taken care of business. Also, I’m reminded of why we have a death penalty every time Israel releases killers to a hero’s welcome.

  19. Steve57 Says:

    “Will it be a “War Crime” to finish off such wounded prisoners as occur? They explicitly DO NOT follow the Geneva Convention rules of warfare, so why should we?”

    Technically it’s the Law Of Armed Combat they’re not following, which has more to do with the Hague convention.

    But the LOAC does allow for reprisal when your enemy is not behaving right. Pour encourager les autres. You simply can not prosecute war crimes when your enemy remains in the field. The LOAC recognizes this reality and provides a remedy. Consequently I’m a huge fan of reprisal.

    Two asides. I am critical of Israel for going too far to protect civilian lives in Gaza. The Gazans voted for Hamas. And the Israelis get blamed anyway, even when Hamas kills their own people. Israel will not be able to meet their own high standard when they fight Hezbollah in Lebanon (which I won’t be surprised if that breaks out this summer). Will Israel be able to give the Lebanese a phone call before bombing their house? No. Will the be able to “knock on the roof” before taking out a building? No. Since they won’t be able to do those things in every conflict they can foreseeably be engaged in, they should not do them in anything.

    Also they should not be setting the bar so high that the rest of us in the West can’t possibly meet those standards. Going a little bit beyond what the LOAC demands is admirable, but going so far beyond is unworkable for the most part. Again, Israel can do it in Gaza because of the unique circumstances but those circumstances are just not repeatable.

    Second aside; I suspect we’re not taking many prisoners when we do conduct a rare raid into ISIS territory for the above concerns. These guys are more of a liability than an asset, and I mean they’re not worth it for the intel value. Their PCs, laptops, cell phones, thumb drives, pocket litter, whatnot, is just as good. At least if they’re dead the CinC can’t trade them for any more deserters.

  20. ErisGuy Says:

    he’s there for life

    There’s your problem.

    Too many in our society: parole boards, governors, warden, and guards, reward those whom should be executed.

  21. ErisGuy Says:

    I’m sure some famous writer like Mailer or Capote will latch on to the story of Sweat & Matt, write a novel or direct a film or write a true crime, after which the pair will be at least as famous as Pretty Boy Floyd.

    Discussing the criminal aspects overlooks the artistic possibilities and chance for fame by writers of the stature of Capote.

  22. Da Tech Guy Blog » Blog Archive » The “What are you, nuts?” post Says:

    […] Then there are Matt and Sweat (you couldn’t come up with a better-​named duo if you tried), the two escapees who are still at large. In spite of their vio­lent antecedents dat­ing back to ado­les­cence, the two were granted prison priv­i­leges that included the ben­e­fit of wear­ing street clothes. Yes, […]

  23. Richard Saunders Says:

    Now, if you folks were multi-culturalists like me, you’d have learned from our Chinese brethren (and sisteren!) the solution to people like Sweat & Matt — a bullet to the back of the head, with a bill sent to the criminal’s family for the bullet.

    BTW, why has no one in the police or the media noticed that the prison the criminals were is very close to a large, mostly unpopulated country with virtually no border controls from the US? All you’d need is a mackinaw, a Molson’s, a hockey stick, and you’d blend right in, eh?

    Why are the cops looking in Mexico? Or Vermont, for that matter?

  24. Ymarsakar Says:

    America doesn’t have a death penalty, except in some special cases like Oklahoma. What America has is life imprisonment, then you either get paroled, killed, or sentence shortened.

    So when people compare the DP to life imprisonment, some of them know that either way, they already have the latter and rarely get the former. So when they try to shift things towards the latter, that’s why. They know the former is so rare that if they just move a few goal posts around, it’ll disappear entirely in the US.

  25. Tonestaple Says:

    I don’t think women liking “bad boys” is particularly relevant. These two men are psychopaths so they lie as easily as they breathe. If one story hadn’t worked on this poor foolish woman, they would have easily switched to another, or to another victim.

    What I want to know is, what kind of training in psychology to prison guards get? Does anyone tell them that it is imperative that the assume that every single prisoner is a psychopath who is going to try to work you for his own advantage? Does anyone tell the guards that they cannot believe a single, solitary word the prisoners say? Do the guards get any training in what psychopathy looks like and what it means?

    I have read of this happening elsewhere, to other women, and to men, although with the men, it’s not usually about sex; it’s about be my pal, help me out, do me this little bitty favor and BAM, he’s hooked and now he’s muling drugs. But what kind of training to prison guards get?

  26. neo-neocon Says:


    I forget where I read it, but I read somewhere that they ordinarily do get such training and warnings. But the charm of the psychopath and his/her ability to lie convincingly is probably so powerful that for many people it can overcome that sort of training. It’s one thing to learn it, it’s another thing to apply it.

  27. Tatterdemalian Says:

    According to new reports, the seamstress helped them escape so they could murder her husband.


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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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