The Prison Break from Dannemora and the Manhunt that Captured America

Wild Escape is the gripping debut work of imprisonment, escape, and survival by New York Daily News crime reporter, Chelsia Rose Marcius. It all began with one idea: to talk to the man who broke out of prison and lived to tell the tale. Click here to learn more and here to purchase. 

A letter from inmate David Sweat and other notes at Le Moulin a Cafe in Manhattan. 

Writing Wild Escape has taken Chelsia to a number of places in the past two years, from upstate New York to North Carolina. She has worked in a number of places while on and off the road, from cabins to hotels to her local library and the neighborhood coffee shops — wherever the story takes her.


Chelsia's beloved dog, Otto, who has accompanied her on a number of assignments from the marathon bombing in Boston to the kidnappings of three women in Cleveland, Ohio. Here, he has found a comfortable spot at a hotel in Malone, N.Y. while Chelsia writes Wild Escape.

While working on her first book, Chelsia continued to cover other stories as staff reporter for the New York Daily News — from the mass shootings in Las Vegas and Orlando, to the courts and crimes scenes of New York City. Since joining the News in 2012, she has landed nearly 1,000 bylines both online and in the paper. You can read her most recent work here.

Photo of Luis Vielma, 22, who was killed during the massacre at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. He worked Universal Orlando Resort on the ride, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.


Mesquite, N.V., hometown of Stephen Paddock who killed 58 people at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas — the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

State prison identification photos of David Sweat and Richard Matt placed in front of Clinton Correctional Facility's training center for a press conference June 19, 2015.

Trailside Bar & Restaurant in Owls Head, N.Y., where state troopers often stopped for a burger during the manhunt, June 24, 2015. Chelsia has stayed here on several occasions to work on Wild Escape.

Windmills in Ellenburg Center, N.Y. June 22, 2015. about 20 miles northwest of Dannemora.

The author's favorite place to write: the New York Society Library in Manhattan.

Since September 2017, Chelsia has taught Journalistic Inquiry: The Written Word at New York University, a first-level reporting and writing course that emphasizes in-depth research and interviewing techniques. (To view her NYU bio, click here.) Chelsia is committed to her students, who she regards as the best and brightest in this new generation of journalists. 


Students in Chelsia's class, Journaistic Inquirty: The Written Word Sept. 25, 2017 at New York University.  

Chelsia on assignment in Mesquite, N.V., Oct. 3, 2017. 

Chelsia's reporting has led her across the country, from small towns to big cities, from hospital bedsides to people's homes. She has witnessed some of the most intimate moments of humanity — a true privilege in her book. Follow her on FacebookTwitter or right here as she continues her journey. 

  Mementos of a journalist.

Mementos of a journalist.