Major Charles Guess Talks About Dannemora Escape And Capture Of David Sweat And Richard Matt

Sep 27, 2017

On June 6, 2015 two convicted murderers escaped from the maximum security prison at Dannemora.  The search for David Sweat and Richard Matt fell under the jurisdiction of New York State Police Troop B, commanded by Major Charles Guess.  Now retired, he has written a book about the 23-day manhunt.  In this second part of an interview, he recounts his first walkthrough of the prison with Governor Andrew Cuomo on the first day of the search.

"I was surprised by the silence number one.  I expected there  to be jeering, cat-calls, and you know a bit of a ruckus. Because clearly before we walked in that afternoon the inmates had been locked down. They knew it was an escape.  Did they know who or how many? Perhaps not just yet but they knew an escape had occurred and it’s monumental in any facility let alone Dannemora. But in hearing that silence it was eerie."

Major Charles Guess retired in September 2016 after 32 years of service in the New York State Police and the military.  His book on the manhunt, Relentless Pursuit, is available online and at local bookshops. Part one of the interview is at wamc.org.