Convicted murderer David Sweat said he escaped Clinton Correctional Facility in 2015 in a bid to start a new life, but admits he was ignorant as he now lives in solitary confinement.
Sweat and fellow inmate, Richard Matt, sparked a three-week manhunt that captivated the country when they performed a Shawshank Redemption-style escape from the prison in Dannemora, New York back on June 6, 2015.
After three weeks on the run, Matt was eventually shot dead by authorities while Sweat was shot and captured a few days later near the Canadian border.
In the new book Wild Escape, written by Chelsia Rose Marcius, Sweat sat down in his new home, Five Points Correctional Facility, to explain the pair’s purpose for the prison break and share details about how he copes with his destiny of being detained.
‘Who wants to spend their life in here? I didn’t do it to be famous… I did it to get out of this madness. I wanted to start a new life,’ Sweat said in the book seen by DailyMail.com.
David Sweat, the only living prisoner who took part in the 2015 Clinton Correctional Facility escape, has now shed light on their escape in a new book ‘Wild Escape : The Prison Break from Dannemora and the Manhunt that Captured America’
Sweat, who was captured a few days after his escape in 2015, is now in prison again at Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, New York
Above shows an inside view of Five Points Correctional Facility where Sweat spoke about his life and the escape in the new book
Sweat and Richard Matt performed a Shawshank Redemption-style escape from the the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York back on June 6, 2015
The inmate added that while the plan was out of ignorance, he and Matt ‘had a cause’ and a ‘purpose’.
He went on: ‘This was about freedom… of course it was about the administration. But I was tired of living in prison. I gave them twelve years of my life. That was enough.’
Sweat said he now stays sane in his new cell with help of the beauty of nature and chirping birds outside his window at Five Points Correctional Facility in Romulus, New York.
The grounds are shared with Finger Lakes, a picturesque region that includes wineries, state parks, lodging and lake activities, its website reads.
Sweat especially spoke fondly of the birds.
‘The other day, I heard the loudest sound, and after my heart came back into my chest, I realized it came from this little robin on the window. I couldn’t believe how close he got.’
He added that he avoids dwelling too much on the negative day-to-day and focuses his energy on the good parts.
‘I try not to think about it. It’s better to think about now than to think about the future, like what I will eat for dinner. I can’t wait until the doctor says I can work out. That will take up about two to three hours of the day.’
Details about the deviant 2015 prison escape were revealed earlier in the book.
The two inmates who spent three weeks on the run after breaking free had smoked a celebratory cigar in their cells after finalizing their elaborate escape route.
The convicted murderers spent weeks cutting through their prison cell walls (above) before leading authorities on a three week manhunt that captivated the country
Sweat spent about 85 nights climbing down into catwalks into the tunnels under the prison to explore possible escape routes.
He firstly had to cut through a steel wall in their cells using chisels, blades and power tools smuggled in by civilian employee Joyce Mitchell who ran the tailor shop where they worked.
Sweat also spent hours cutting through large steam pipes and the chain on the manhole cover that they eventually managed to escape through.
In an excerpt from the book initially published by the New York Daily News, Sweat detailed the lengthy process he went through to cut through the final metal steam pipe with a hacksaw blade – one inch an hour over several weeks.
He said he started the process in the May before his escape when the spring weather meant the prison had cooled its heating system, meaning Sweat could touch the pipe without scalding himself.
After successfully cutting the man-sized hole in the pipe, Sweat described walking in a passageway that ran along a two-block residential street Dannemora so he could inspect the various manholes above him.
After three weeks on the run, Matt was eventually shot dead by authorities and Sweat (pictured above on June 28) was shot and captured a few days later near the Canadian border
The men left a note (pictured above) for authorities to later find on one of the metal pipes they had cut through that said ‘have a nice day’ alongside a smiley face
The two men escaped under the prison and fled from this manhole on a residential street in Dannemora
The three-week manhunt that followed their escape enlisted the help of 1,300 law enforcement personnel
Sweat managed to saw off a chain with the blade and peaked out to check he was outside the prison walls.
‘This will be perfect,’ he said to himself.
Sweat said he then ran back to his cell, lit the cigar and woke Matt to celebrate.
Six months earlier when they started hatching their plan, they had promised they would smoke the cigar when the route was finally ready.
They escaped the prison that night.
The men left a note on one of the metal pipes they had cut through that said ‘have a nice day’ for authorities to later find.
They were discovered missing the following morning during an early inmate count. Sweat had made a makeshift dummy to look like he was still sleeping in his cell.
Sweat was serving a life sentence for killing a sheriff’s deputy in 2002, while Matt was Matt was in prison for 25 years to life for kidnapping, killing and dismembering a man in 1997.
The two inmates cut through the steel walls in their cells (above) using chisels, blades and power tools smuggled in by civilian employee
Pictured above are the chisels, punch, hacksaw blade pieces and unused drill bits were found left by Sweat inside the tunnel
They were discovered missing the following morning during an early inmate count. Sweat had made a makeshift dummy to look like he was still sleeping in his cell
The two men had enlisted the help of Mitchell, a married prison seamstress, to carry out their plan.
It later emerged that they had manipulated her into believing they would all settle together in a place on the beach in Mexico when they got out.
The pair both had sexual relations with the mother-of-one while in prison.
The three-week manhunt that followed their escape enlisted the help of 1,300 law enforcement personnel.
Matt was eventually shot dead by officers on June 26 in a wooded area 30 miles west of the prison. Sweat was shot and captured two days later near the Canadian border.
Sweat pleaded guilty to escape charges and was ordered to pay restitution for some of the $573,000 in repair costs.
Mitchell, the tailor shop employee, pleaded guilty to charges related to providing hacksaw blades and other tools to the inmates.
Wild Escape: The Prison Break from Dannemora and the Manhunt that Captured America, is available to purchase on Amazon.
David Sweat arrives for his arraignment at Clinton County court, in Plattsburgh, New York August 20, 2015
The two men had enlisted the help of Joyce Mitchell, a married prison seamstress, to carry out their plan. She pleaded guilty to charges related to providing the blades and tools to them
Sweat pleaded guilty to escape charges and was ordered to pay restitution for some of the $573,000 in repair costs