Interview with Michael Smith

I want to move now, forward in time a little bit, to Sunday night, when you told me things got really dark and, and when negotiations had pretty clearly broken down. You knew Governor Rockefeller wasn't coming. Describe to me what you did. You wrote a letter. You, you had some conversations with an inmate who was guarding you. Tell me that story if you will.


By Sunday night, the, ah, it was, it was the feeling generally with the, among the hostages and also with the inmates that we were communicating with, that the negotiation process was breaking down. Governor Rockefeller had refused to come and take part in the negotiation process and, ah, the negotiating committee didn't seem to be coming back with any positive response to the demands that were most important. There wasn't any problem with the insignificant, ah, demands but the demands that were most important hadn't been addressed, either hadn't been addressed or the, ah, inmates hadn't been given a positive response to those demands. And, ah, Sunday night was, ah, it was raining. All the hostages were in one area and it was just, ah, commonly felt that something was going to happen the following mo--ah, morning, that, ah, it was generally felt that the prison would be retaken by force.