Escape at Dannemora is Showtime's take on the riveting 2015 prison break that spurned a nearly month-long manhunt and ended in one death. But viewers tuning in to the miniseries from executive producer and director Ben Stiller may be wondering: where is David Sweat now?
Warning: Spoilers ahead
The surviving escapee has bounced around a few different prisons since his recapture. Currently, Sweat, who's portrayed by Paul Dano in the show, is serving out his sentence at Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, New York, according to CBS affiliate WGRZ. He was transferred there earlier this year from Attica, where he was placed at the end of 2017 after yet another prison escape plan, according to the New York Times.
The plotted escape was from Five Points Correctional Facility, where Sweat was placed after being recaptured from his escape at Dannemora. According to the New York Times, Sweat never intended to actually follow through on his second escape plan. Rather, he devised it and then admitted it to guards in an attempt to barter more special privileges, including an extra visit each week, the ability to receive food packages, and permission to take photos with his girlfriend Fran Malanik and her 6-year-old daughter. But his attempts at negotiation didn't work. Instead of his demands being met, he was simply moved to another prison. Sweat claimed that guards told him he was being moved because of his involvement in a fight, which Sweat said never happened, according to the New York Times.
Stiller approached the project with a commitment to telling the story as faithfully as possible, including shooting at the real upstate New York prison from which Sweat tried to escape. Additionally, Dano visited Sweat in prison to try and get a sense of the man he was about to portray. (Stiller managed to get the cast in to speak with the prisoner, even though he was in solitary confinement.) Said Dano in an interview with Build:
It was actually hard to walk into a prison and talk to a human being behind the glass or the bars for several hours, which we did. It was really important though to remember and see that that person has other parts of themselves besides the part that we know in the news, that they killed somebody and that they're in prison. And so that was a helpful reminder, but a painful one.
It's been widely reported that locals were skittish about Stiller and the crew invading their sleepy town to tell what they assumed would be a sensationalized version of the story. But hopefully, the efforts of the team can help to humanize everyone involved. Escape at Dannemora airs Sunday nights on Showtime.
This first-time mom wants to have a home birth, but is she ready? Watch how a doula supports a military mom who's determined to have a home birth in Episode One of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for the next three episodes, launching Mondays in December.