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A nationwide manhunt for two escaped New York murderers has been issued, leaving law enforcement officials to conclude “they could be anywhere” at this point.

Both 34-year-old David Sweat (pictured right) and 48-year-old Richard Matt made a sensational escape from the maximum-security prison Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York on Saturday, June 6. But a closer look into their violent history reveals that comparing their story to the fictional yet empowering tale of The Shawshank Redemption belittles the message of perseverance through false imprisonment and salvation obtained from natural wisdom.

NBC News reports Sweat was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole for shooting sheriff’s deputy Kevin Tarsia to death in 2002. He and an accomplice broke into his house, stealing his rifles and handguns and when confronted, they shot him fifteen times.

The elder Matt has an even more grisly past which includes being convicted of the 1997 murder of a former employer. In court, it was determined Matt beat William Rickerson with a knife sharpener, duct taped his body, tossed him in the trunk of a car, and then drove around looking for a place to finish the deed. After Rickerson repeatedly caused a commotion, Matt would stop the trunk to break his fingers before eventually snapping his neck and sawing off his arms and legs. Afterwards he fled to Mexico where he was later apprehended after he killed another man in during a botch robbery.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo believes the inmates had assistance in their escape which was made possible after they drilled holes in their adjoining cells and crawled through tunnels before emerging through a manhole on the outside. They also left a taunting letter for the prison staff which read, “Have a nice day” that was discovered in their empty beds.

“We’re going through the civilian employees and private contractors first,” Cuomo said. “I’d be shocked if a correction guard was involved in this, but they definitely had help. Otherwise, they couldn’t have done this on their own. These are killers. They are murderers. They are now on the loose, and our first order of business is apprehending them.”

Both men are believed to be in the Canadian border but it could be anybody’s guess at this point.

Photos: New York State Police

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