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  • Escape from Dannemora

  • Richard Matt, David Sweat, and the Great Adirondack Manhunt
  • By: Michael Benson
  • Narrated by: Al Kessel
  • Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Escape from Dannemora

By: Michael Benson
Narrated by: Al Kessel
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Summary

It was one of the biggest crime stories of the decade-two deadly killers, desperate and on the run. After months of planning, Ricky Matt and David Sweat cut, chopped, coerced, and connived their way out of a maximum-security prison in the wilderness of upstate New York and managed to elude police for three weeks, sending the region into lockdown and keeping the entire country on edge. The media called it "a bold escape for the ages," and veteran true-crime writer Michael Benson leads us along the story's every wild path to dig out a tale of adventure, psychology, sex, and brutality. 

Escape from Dannemora examines the strange case of Joyce Mitchell, the long-time prison employee who had a sexual relationship with at least one of the killers, and who smuggled them tools and aided in the escape, while they cooked up a plan to kill her husband. In the end, Benson looks closely at conditions at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, a crumbling Gothic pile now under investigation for charges of drug trafficking and brutality.

©2017 Michael Benson (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Escape from Dannemora

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  • PJ
  • 19-01-19

Very interesting and informative

I found this book to be very interesting and informative. This is not meant for those who had followed the story of the escapees very closely but rather for those like myself who didn't know much about it. Really enjoyed the read. My only complaint would be that the book is very good until around 2 hours left when it drops off. Also I'm not sure why but the narrator has a very strange almost mocking voice that he puts on when quoting someone else in the book. Overall though I am very happy that I listened to this book and would recommend it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew R. Pray
  • 01-03-19

Inaccurate....from the start.

I am a local that lived through the escape. From the very beginning of the book it is written that the Adirondack Park has over 100 peaks that are over 5,000 feet high. This is inaccurate. We have 46 peaks that are over 4000 feet high and over 100 that are above 3000 feet. If the author can flub up on such a small detail, it frightens me to read what liberties might be taken in the events of the prison escape. I will be returning the book.

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  • Randy YH
  • 21-01-19

Useful but accents were...tiresome

This book is a nice counterpoint and enhancement for the very entertaining Netflix series about the same event. It gives more of the “law enforcement” side and allows one to better u sweat and this crazy true story.

The only thing I warn is that the reader, who is very good, tends to use a mob-ish, new-yorky, east-coasty accent whenever quoting anyone. It is unnecessary and actually detracts from the listening experience. But it is definitely not a deal breaker. Crazy story!

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  • Southwest Prepper
  • 20-10-21

Long and flat story

Overall this was ok at best, granted there isn’t much of a story to tell about two convicts that escape prison. The narrator was very monotone with an occasional New York accent that really just fell flat, the entire book felt like I was listening to a high school history video.
The story itself was hard to follow, I had to go back several times to know what was going on. I think half the book goes on to explain why the inmates were in prison, relatively brief narrative of the escape itself then an equally brief story of them being captured and the last several hours go on in detail of the aftermath and punishment of those involved.
I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone.

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  • Paulette Wright
  • 26-07-21

An Open Comment to Al Kessel

Absolutely enjoyed this book and got a good deal of information that I haven't gotten anywhere else. However, although the narrator has a wonderful voice and is really talented, he blows it by doing "voices". Please, Mr. Kessel, don't do those fake voices anymore. Your "woman" voice sounds simpering and ridiculous, and your "male" voice sounds like a 1940's New Jersey movie gangster. You would be so much better at this if you just dropped these silly voices and read the quoted narratives in your own voice. You aren't making the audiobook better by doing this, you're throwing the listener out of the "spell". All in all, I enjoyed this book - but the voices made for some really cringy moments I could have done without.

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  • Jamie
  • 14-02-19

All over the place....scattered.

Seemed very scattered. The fake accents were a bit much. I basically just had it on as background noise as I drove.