On June 6, convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped from the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York. The two remain at large, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised a $100,000 reward for information that leads to their capture. It’s a fascinating story, and one that is still developing. This isn’t Richard Matt’s first escape—you could say he has a talent for busting out. He also has a talent for portraiture, as shown in the collection of oil paintings that a friend of his shared with Syracuse-based journalist Alex Dunbar:
Dunbar shared these images via Twitter, and has filed two video reports that have been posted to YouTube, scroll down to watch.
What did Richard Matt do? Bad stuff. He was serving a 25-year sentence for second-degree murder of his 76-year-old former boss, William Rickerson. Here’s an ABC News account:
William Rickerson spent 27 hours on a snowy December night in the trunk of a car in pajamas while his killers drove from New York to Ohio and back, angry because he wouldn’t tell them the location of the large sums of money Matt was convinced Rickerson kept on hand.
Co-defendant Lee Bates described how Matt at one point opened the trunk and bent the duct tape-bound elderly man’s fingers back until they broke. After driving some more, Matt snapped Rickerson’s neck with his bare hands.
Before the car ride, Matt had beaten Rickerson in his North Tonawanda home, stopping long enough to eat pepperoni and drink wine, Bates testified. He poured the rest of the wine on Rickerson, then pulled off the businessman’s hairpiece and put it in his pocket.
After the killing, Matt fled to Mexico, where he killed a man outside a bar in Matamoros. He served nine years in prison before being returned to the United States in 2007.
Here’s the video report on his art: