Detective Who Sent Fugitive Killer Richard Matt to Prison: I Fear For My Life

INSIDE EDITION speaks to Detective David Bentley, who put Richard Matt behind bars and whom he says he tried to help in the past.

The police detective who sent fugitive Richard Matt to prison for life says he's living in fear after Matt's spectacular escape.

Retired Detective David Bentley has known Matt since he was a good-looking but troubled youth living near Buffalo, New York.

He told INSIDE EDITION's Steven Fabian, "I am always armed, even in my house. I am armed at all times. I just won't take the chance of being taken by surprise." 

Fabian asked, "It sounds like you still care for him?"

Detective Bentley said, "He was almost like a son to me. I tried to help him but he has been very evil and it has got to stop." 

His son, David Jr., was a friend of Matt's when they were teenagers. Now, he is terrified of him. 

His son said, "He is like a Rambo, survivalist. Feels no pain. Gets into fight, no pain. Cuts himself, no pain. No fear of any man. He don't fear any fight." 

Read: Following a Hollywood-Style Escape, Two New York Prisoners Are Still on the Run

Detective Bentley was the key investigator when Matt was suspected of dismembering his boss. He also testified against Matt at his trial in 2007.

Not long after, Matt wrote a threatening letter to Detective Bentley, saying: "I know what you did and I’m not going to forget it."

Detective Bentley told Fabian, "He said that he would never forget that. Then, dot, dot, dot, as if it was a threat."

Detective Bentley also shared extraordinary photos with INSIDE EDITION.

One shows Matt in prison in the 1980's. He's wearing a correction officer's uniform shirt, holding a night stick. Beneath, Matt wrote: “Who said I can't escape this place!!”


Detective Bentley said of the photo, "I wouldn't say he had the run of the place, but I would say he had too much freedom." 

Another photo shows an early mug shot of Matt.


Matt has been in and out of prison his whole life. Another photo shows Matt staring out of a cell door window during a visit from Christian missionaries.


In another letter, he wrote to Detective Bentley from prison in Mexico 2000. He said he believed he would one day get the death penalty. He wrote, “I am not scared to die any more. I am almost going to welcome death."

Now, his former friends are appealing directly to Matt to give himself up.

Detective Bentley said, “Richard, you have got to turn yourself in. I don't want to see you hurt anybody. I don't want anybody to hurt you. I don't want you to kill anyone." 

Also, according to the ex-husband of the woman suspected of having helped two vicious killers escape from prison in upstate New York, he claims she's a cheater with an out-of-control sex drive.

"She's 51. I thought maybe her sex drive would be gone and she wouldn't do that," Tobey Premo, who was married to Joyce Mitchell, was quoted as saying by the New York Daily News.

Read: Authorities: Woman Who Worked in Prison Tailor Shop Might Have Helped Killers Escape

Premo also spoke to NBC, saying he's not surprised that his ex allegedly fell hard for convicted killer Matt. He said, "She could be a small town girl who was sweet-talked by a city guy."

Premo says his marriage came to an end when he found out that his ex, who is also known as Tillie, was having an affair with Lyle Mitchell, her current husband.

Premo said, "She screwed up everything. We had a son. We had a nice house and everything. I left her and moved on."

Meanwhile, the search for the two escapees shifted back to Dannemora - just three miles from the prison. 

Now, Stephen King, who wrote Shawshank Redemption, which has many parallels to this real-life story, is tweeting about the drama:

Okay, the Dannemora break was a bit like Shawshank. Sometimes life imitates art, that's all. Except these are bad, bad boys.

June 10, 2015

 Watch Below: Joyce Mitchell's Son Insists: My Mom Didn't Help Convicts Escape Prison