Insights Into the New York Jail Break
For weeks now I’ve been hearing about the jail break in Upstate New York. The news coverage has said only that Richard W. Matt and David Sweat cut their way out of a prison using tools. Few specifics have been given, but some reports say that the men may have used power tools. Being a gearhead, the first question I thought of was “What kind of power tools could they have used, and how would they have masked the noise?” I guess I’m not alone, because The New York Times hired Paul Monck, a boilermaker and instructor at Lincoln Technical Institute in Union, N.J., to try cutting through a 3-ft. section of carbon-steel pipe like the one the inmates cut through to make their escape. In a video accompanying the Times story, Monck demonstrates the cutting process using cordless and corded electric grinders, a circular saw, a reciprocating saw, and a hacksaw, which I think is the tool they must have used. If Monck’s testing is accurate, it would have taken the inmates more than 20 hours of intermittent or constant sawing to cut their way to freedom. Given their situation, I’m sure they had the time and the motivation to do so.
Here’s a link to the Times story.
This is the pipe through which the convicts escaped. It's made of carbon steel and would have taken a long time to get through.
Richard W. Matt and David Sweat cut their way to freedom on June 6 and remain uncaptured. The two cut through a 24-in.-dia. steel pipe to gain their freedom, but the exact method they used is unknown.
Here are the results of Paul Monck's testing. Despite how long it would take, I think the inmates used a hacksaw, which would be comparatively quiet and easy to hide.