|Died||July 12, 2004 (aged 48)|
|Criminal penalty||3 life sentences|
Clayton Anthony Fountain (September 12, 1955 – July 12, 2004) was an American federal prisoner, member of the Aryan Brotherhood, and convicted murderer. Clayton was born on September 12, 1955, at the U.S. Army Hospital in Fort Benning, Georgia. Clayton was the oldest of six children, having one brother and four sisters, and was named after his father, Clayton Raleigh Fountain. The family moved every 1½ to 2 years. While his father served combat tours in Korea and Vietnam and his mother was working, Clayton, as the oldest child in family, became a surrogate for both parents when he was very young. He recalled maternal responsibilities for cooking, ironing, serving, cleaning, and caring for his young siblings. While serving in the Marines, he was convicted of murdering his staff sergeant in 1974, while stationed in the Philippines. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and was ultimately sent to the United States Penitentiary, Marion, which was at the time the highest-security prison in the United States. Fountain murdered three prisoners and one correctional officer with a shiv while serving time at Marion, and was labeled the "Most Dangerous Prisoner" in the federal system.
On October 22, 1983, Fountain stabbed Correction Officer Robert L. Hoffmann to death, hours after Fountain's friend and fellow Aryan Brotherhood member Thomas Silverstein stabbed another correction officer, Merle Clutts, to death at the same facility. The incidents resulted in a 23-year lockdown at Marion, and contributed to the creation of the federal supermax prison, United States Penitentiary, Florence ADX.
Fountain was moved to the United States Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. He was housed in a specially constructed confinement unit, and was allowed contact only with authorized personnel. Fountain converted to Catholicism, and completed several educational courses on theology during the twenty years he spent in virtual isolation. By distance, he earned an associate degree in business and a bachelor's degree in philosophy and business by distance from Ohio University, and earned a Catholic Catechetical Diploma and began a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from Catholic Distance University. He developed ties with an order of Trappist monks, and was accepted posthumously as a lay brother after his unexpected death from a heart attack in 2004. The book A Different Kind of Cell: The Story of a Murderer Who Became a Monk is based on his life and religious conversion. The foreword was written by Sister Helen Prejean.