Here’s the Racist Smiley Face Inmates Left for Authorities During Prison Break

June 7, 2015 | Bucky Turco

Two seemingly polite, convicted killers who escaped a maximum security prison in upstate New York left behind a note with an illustration of a racist Asian caricature that read: “Have a nice day!” It was left just outside a steel pipe the men reportedly cut through. A photo of the memento was posted to Governor Cuomo’s official Flickr page and so far, most media outlets have avoided publishing the smiley face image or mentioning its biased content. Here’s how it’s being portrayed by the news:


A post-it note with a smiley face and the words “have a nice day” was left on a pipe the inmates cut open, according to Cuomo.

Daily News

And once officials discovered they were gone, they found a note from convicts telling them to “Have a nice day!”

Washington Post

Before exiting the prison, the men left a yellow sticky note on a pipe, according to news reports.

“Have a Nice Day!” it said.

The Guardian:

The inmates, Richard Matt and David Sweat, were described as dangerous and their escape plan “extraordinary”, after they cut neat holes in pipes in the prison’s heating system and had the time and nerve to leave a note bearing a smiley face and the words “Have a nice day”.


The two left behind a taunting note urging authorities to “Have a nice day.”

New York Times:

The inmates left a parting message, according to a picture posted to Twitter by Gareth Rhodes, the governor’s deputy press secretary. It shows a yellow Post-it note next to a hole cut in a pipe. On the note, a caricature of a man wearing a conical hat appears above the words: “Have a nice day!”

Clinton Correctional_Facility_note_jun7_2

Authorities at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, about 20 miles from the Canadian border, say they realized the men were missing during a 5:30am bed check Saturday morning. The escapees reportedly carved holes in their cell walls with power tools, made their way through the prison’s bowels, and then escaped out of a manhole, but not before leaving the mocking note that the media just isn’t quite sure how to process.

(Photos: Governor Andrew Cuomo)