Dannemora Search Incident Commander Discusses New Book On Matt-Sweat Escape

Sep 26, 2017

It captured the nation’s attention for nearly a month and kept everyone in Northern New York and Vermont on tenterhooks during the summer of 2015.  On June 6th, two convicted killers escaped from the maximum security prison at Dannemora.  Fugitives Richard Matt and David Sweat eluded searchers for weeks as reporters from around the world fixed a spotlight on the Shawshank-esque getaway.

What was it like to be the person in charge of the largest search ever conducted in the state?  New York State Police Major Charles Guess was the commander of Troop B Headquarters, and it fell upon him to lead the massive undertaking.  Now retired, he has written Relentless Pursuit, a book about those 23 days.  In the first of a two-part interview, Guess says he was encouraged to write the book by his wife Elinor as an insider’s comprehensive record of events.

"At least from my point of view, and I can certainly claim an insider’s point of view as the former Incident Commander for this, as to what I saw what I experienced in how we did things both strategically and tactically during those 23 days with all of our federal, state and local partners and the influence and effect that the community had, which was phenomenal, support from the North Country citizens.  And really how we got from day one to day twenty-three and ended this thing."

In part two of our interview tomorrow, Incident Commander and author of Relentless Pursuit Major Charles Guess delves deeper into the search for Richard Matt and David Sweat.