David Sweat And Richard Matt: Could Infamous Escapee Bucky Phillips Have Helped Missing Inmates?
David Sweat and Richard Matt have been spotted in rural areas of New York’s Southern Tier weeks after escaping from Clinton Correctional Facility, raising some questions of whether another infamous escapee could have helped the pair.
Ralph “Bucky” Phillips made national headlines in 2006 when he escaped from the Erie County Correctional Facility and went on the run. Phillips evaded police for months, becoming something of a folk hero to locals — at least until he ambushed two state troopers, killing one and wounding the other.
Bucky Phillips was able to evade police by sticking to the thick, wooded areas of New York’s Southern Tier and northern Pennsylvania, an area he knew well.
Now that David Sweat and Richard Matt have been spotted in the same area, there are questions being raised as to whether Bucky Phillips may have somehow helped the pair.
As CNY Central News noted, Phillips is being held in the same prison where Sweat and Matt were imprisoned, and may have attempted his own break-out.
“He is now serving life without parole in the same Clinton Correctional that has attracted our attention this week. He was even caught with the makings of a dummy under his bunk a few years ago. One report shows he has not lived in the regular population in recent years, so it’s unlikely he communicated with Sweat or West about strategy for escape or survival.”
There is no confirmation from police as to whether Bucky Phillips could have helped David Sweat and Richard Matt, and it’s not even known if the men had any contact. But the coincidences of their escapes have raised eyebrows.
This weekend, the two escaped inmates were spotted in Friendship, New York, a small town in Allegany County, within miles of the border with Pennsylvania. Residents reported a heavy police presence in the area, and a Buffalo reporter was turned away by police who called the area a “hot spot.”
The previous day, they had been spotted in another rural area east of Friendship, suggesting that the pair may be moving westward or trying to head to Pennsylvania.
But if David Sweat and Richard Matt did have help from Bucky Phillips in their escape, they may be at a big disadvantage. Phillips was an experienced outdoorsman who was able to travel long distances and fend for himself for months, but there is no indication that either Sweat or Matt have experience in the wild.
[Image via WHEC]