Joyce Mitchell worked as a seamstress at the upstate New York prison where inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped. Mitchell is accused of abetting their escape by providing the tools they used to break out. During an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, Mitchell says the two prisoners threatened to kill her husband if she didn’t help them. While shackled and handcuffed, Mitchell tells Lauer “how she was drawn into a brazen plot by two cunning and desperate murderers.”
There are many bizarre details around the escape, but Mitchell’s reference to inmate Richard Matt as “Mister Matt” is jarring. She tells Lauer, “Mister Matt said he was going to kill my husband.” She adds, “Mister Matt even asked where my mother lived. Where my son lived.” Her lawyer might refer to the inmates with that kind of formal address in a court of law, but coming out of Mitchell’s mouth, Mister Matt sounds strangely respectful. Dateline NBC will air Lauer’s two-hour interview with Mitchell on Friday, September 18 at 9pm.