By Andrea Freedman
When fugitive and convicted murdered David Sweat was captured this past Sunday only three weeks after his escape from prison, I must confess to being a little bit disappointed. That is not because I wished for a killer to slip into Canada, or that I have a lack of regard for the safety of the general public. However, I had become so engrossed (okay, obsessed) in the drama surrounding the escape of Sweat and his accomplice Richard Matt, and was looking at this purely from the point of view of someone who enjoys an exciting story.
I confess that I have always been fascinated by the intricacies of the criminal mind. Like it or not, these men, or at least David Sweat, had to be pretty clever to pull off even what they did achieve, regardless of the fact that they were ultimately caught. When pictures of the captured fugitive were plastered across television screens nationwide, I read the look of defeat on Sweat’s face and for one moment I felt a bit sorry for him.
Unlike the movies, there will most likely not be a sequel to this saga, as once authorities are satisfied they have obtained all of the relevant information they can from now captured David Sweat, he will eventually fade from the spotlight and go back to spending the rest of his life in jail – only this time – ironically – possibly with far less freedom than he had before he made his break from Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York.
If he were merely an actor, David Sweat might have slipped under the radar, if only for a little while longer. Freedom was within his grasp. It is true that fact really is often stranger than fiction, and in this case, way more interesting. This multi-layered, intriguing story had everything, including the ever-popular elements of drugs and sex. Having followed it closely, I could not help wishing that the escapee would have sweat it out (pardon the pun) just a little bit longer and attempted to make his last sprint to the Canadian border after dark, rather than in broad daylight. If this had not been real life, I dare say that many of us would not have been able to help cheering this guy on. Sweat’s character might actually have softened the audience’s opinion of him, especially after he came to the defence of the prison guard at Clinton, telling police that the man did not intentionally assist with him and Matt’s escape.
Although David Sweat will now be considered something of a hero by his peers, his attempted, albeit foiled escape may result in tighter security and less privileges for himself and other convicted criminals in the future.
Still, I wonder if he regrets his actions or if he was happy to feel free, even if only for a short while. I cannot help imaging what that first breath of air outside the jail must have felt like.
Back to reality: One less dangerous felon (or shall I say two) has now been stopped from having the chance to hurt someone or take the life from another human being. Many people are breathing a sigh of relief.
Before we know it, another story will come along, making the debacles of Matt and Sweat a distant memory. Still, that being said, I can hardly wait to watch this when it is made into a movie.●
Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2015