‘Cellmate Secrets: Joyce Mitchell’ is an episode that examines the story of Richard Matt and David Sweat, two convicted murderers, who deliberately seduced prison seamstress Joyce Mitchell into helping them escape New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility in 2015. Their interlinked actions led to a 22-day long manhunt, which is said to have cost $23 million. Now, a former inmate, Erik Jensen, is speaking out to give us a first-hand account of his time with these infamous criminals. So, if you are here curious to know more about him, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Erik Jensen?
After a rough childhood and youth years, Erik Jensen arrived at the Clinton Correctional Unit in Dannemora, upstate New York, for a parole breach in 2011. As per his own public statements, he only spent close to a year in this prison, but the experience drove him to turn over a new life. During his incarceration, Erik served at the jail’s tailor store right alongside Joyce Mitchell, who he says stood out due to her friendly personality. However, he soon realized that it was actually flirty. It was an all-male facility, so Erik believes that Joyce simply craved the prisoners’ attention.
The inmate encountered both Richard Matt and David Sweat shortly after, who he asserts were the exact opposites. While David seemed “very well-spoken, very detailed-oriented,” Richard was outspoken and forceful, with several rumors swirling about him from every direction. At the tailor store, Erik had seen Joyce talk to David quite a lot, so he thinks their connection went from work talk to friendship to sexual involvement, leading to the prison break in June 2015. On that fateful day, Erik, with his freedom and a new outlook on life, was getting ready to celebrate his birthday.
Where is Erik Jensen Now?
In the aftermath of the ‘Shawshank Redemption’ style jailbreak, Richard’s demise, David’s capture, and Joyce’s conviction, Erik can safely state that it was simply “a fantasy” for the prison seamstress. “She had control…She lived a double life. Maybe she didn’t have much excitement in her life … It may have seemed like an adventure, but reality hits hard. Her fantasy had to come to an end.” Erik added that he had done numerous things in his life on impulse and emotion as well, and just like this attempted escape, it did not work out in the long run. Happy endings matter.
— Erik Jensen (@erikjjensen81) December 31, 2018
Fortunately, Erik Jensen is living in his happy tale right now. He owns and operates Jensen Creative Consulting Agency, an entertainment consulting business, which has already aided him in leaving a mark in the industry. In fact, Erik worked with Ben Stiller for Showtime’s ‘Escape at Dannemora,’ a miniseries on this exact case, and has consulted for ‘The Blacklist,’ ‘For Life,’ and ‘I Know This Much Is True, along with ‘The Irishman.’ He knows that he’ll always be known as an ex-con, but he’s working on expanding his wings. Erik accepts every part of who he is, which seems to be his secret for creating a better life for himself and his family.
Read More: Where is Joyce Mitchell’s Husband Now?