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Matt’s killing in Mexico was robbery-murder, sheriff says

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Richard Matt’s violent past

Richard Matt is believed to have killed at least two people – North Tonawanda businessman William Rickerson and a man in Mexico, although not much has been written about that second murder.

After killing and dismembering Rickerson during a robbery in December of 1997, Matt stole his half-brother’s van and drove to Mexico. That is where he killed another man inside a strip club in Matamoros, Mexico, in February 1998.

Although the death of that man in Mexico sometimes has been reported as a barroom brawl or knife fight, retired Zapata County, Texas, Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez said Mexican authorities told him it was actually a robbery-murder.

The second victim was Charles Perrault, 53, an American who worked in Texas for an oil company and had eight sons and daughters.

Matt saw Perrault with a wad of cash, followed him into the men’s room to rob him and then stabbed Perrault in the back, Gonzalez said.

“This is what the Mexican police told me,” Gonzalez said in a telephone interview. “[Matt] seemed to be a very bad guy with no feelings for human life.”

After spending almost nine years in a Mexican prison, Matt was released into the custody of U.S. Marshals and returned to Niagara County to face prosecution for the Rickerson murder.

He was convicted of murder and other crimes in 2008 and sentenced to the maximum prison term of 25 years to life.

– Dan Herbeck

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