I know the guard who has been arrested for helping two New York prisoners to escape is not guilty. That is, her constitutional right says she has to be regarded as innocent unless (not until) proven guilty. The onus is on the Crown to prove 51-year-old Joyce Mitchell has actually aided and abetted two felons in their quest for freedom. Let’s think about the likelihood that David Sweat and Richard Matt had any help to escape from the prison.
Somehow they managed to break a hole big enough for both of them to crawl through in a Shawshank-like manner and get to freedom. Unlike Tim Robbins however, they don’t appear to be living comfortably as millionaires on a deserted, exotic island. Military personnel stated “they’ve got to be cold, wet, tired and hungry.” In other words, they’re still trapped, even on the outside. Nope, that doesn’t sound like St. Miguel to me.
But I digress. let’s take a closer look at Mitchell. Assuming (dangerously) that Mitchell is indeed guilty there is very little we know about her except:
- She is married with an adult son
- She was supposed to drive the “getaway” car but later refused
- She provided the prisoners with contraband to help them escape
- They were able to emotionally manipulate this woman into a serious criminal act
- She was in a role where she was supposed to uphold the law and protect the outside community from Sweat and Matt
- She has a good work history with the prison
- If the two convicts hurt or kill anyone outside the prison, Mitchell’s charges will be upgraded
- She’s in a lot of trouble right now
- She carefully planned and premeditated the act of sneaking contraband weapons to Matt and Sweat
Criminal defense lawyer Ted Williams stated the prison “is a little city within itself.” He also explained there is a “prison network,” inside and outside prisons. That’s a frightening proposition.
- easily manipulated
- succumbed to the unique prison environment
- emotionally troubled
- dour, plain and overweight
- possibly has a personality disorder
How do we know Mitchell was easily manipulated? Well, that can’t be a stretch. One of the men killed a cop; the other dismembered an elderly person. Dismembered. Like Dr. Frankenstein. And these were the men who seduced Mitchell into helping them make good their escape. What is attractive about men who commit such crimes? Ask the many death groupies such as Sondra London who marry murderers. For these deeply disturbed women there is an element of seduction in a “bad boy” taken to an extreme. In this case Mitchell became Matt and Sweat’s Angel of Mercy. Mitchell chose to stand by her man – er, men.
Some women have rescue fantasies. Mitchell may very well be one of them. Mitchell got to know these men on a personal level (or thought she did) suggesting the line between reality and the type of men she had befriended was blurred. Women who write to men in prison can be very gullible people. Many of the prisoners’ profiles are littered with pretty phrases heart-wrenching photographs. Prisoners have been known to claim, “loneliness is a terrible thing” and, “a friend is waiting“. All of them promise to reply to any letters. Can’t you just hear the violins playing?
Mitchell’s plain, unattractive appearance has to be an influence. Before you get all hoity-toity, consider that Mitchell probably doesn’t get flattering male attention too often and likely didn’t experience a plethora of men vying for her attention as a young woman. It matters. Why? How do you think Sweat and Matt were able to seduce Mitchell into aiding their escape? A lot of men use pretty words, such as the above, and lies on a regular basis to seduce women for any number of reasons, although normally this is done to procure sex. This was a sexual relationship of sorts – without the physical act.
Hybristophiliacs are sexually excited by violent outrages performed on others. If Mitchell is a hybristophiliac, she may have been sexually aroused by the knowledge that these two men are extremely violent and dangerous. This appeals to many women. Who knows why? Mitchell has to be emotionally troubled in the extreme.
Mitchell was very likely an outsider in her own community for any number of reasons. That she was a prison guard, a person of authority in a very dangerous environment, makes her unusual. I know two people who escort prisoners two and from jail to go on trial but I don’t know anyone who is a prison guard. Either Mitchell is very brave or a little bit nuts. Maybe both. But it must be an ego trip to carry around a gun and keep other people locked up. And maybe it’s fun to smuggle contraband.
That is until now. I should think it’s nowhere near as fun to be behind bars instead of guarding them.