List of prison deaths

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This is a list of notable people who have died in prison, whether actually in prison or in hospital while still serving a prison sentence. In alphabetical order, this list does not include inmates who were executed as punishment for their crimes.

Name Date of death Cause of death Known for Comments
Abu Abbas 2004 Natural causes Militant
Jesse Anderson 1994 Beaten to death by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver American murderer
Susan Atkins 2009 Natural causes Member of the Manson family
Andreas Baader 1977 Alleged suicide Member of the Red Army Faction
Josef Bachmann 1970 Suicide Attempt to assassinate APO student leader Rudi Dutschke
Klaus Barbie 1991 Leukemia Nazi war criminal
Steve Biko 1977 Bludgeoned to death by South African police[1] South African anti-apartheid activist
Sandra Bland 2015 Alleged suicide American protester
Heinrich Boere 2013 Natural causes Nazi war criminal
Samuel Bowers 2006 Cardio-pulmonary arrest American white supremacist
Walter Breen 1993 Cancer American child molester
Ariel Castro 2013 Suicide Kidnapped and raped three American women for over a decade.
Richard Chase 1980 Suicide American serial killer
Jeffrey Dahmer 1994 Beaten to death by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver[2] American serial killer and cannibal
Garry David 1993 Died from wounds caused by self-mutilation Robbery and attempted murder
Byron De La Beckwith 2001 Heart attack[3] American assassin
Sigurd Debus 1981 Hungerstrike Alleged member of the Red Army Faction
Albert DeSalvo 1973 Murdered The Boston Strangler
Antonie Dixon 2009 Suicide New Zealand thief and murderer
Edarem 2012 Lung Cancer American Internet personality
Gudrun Ensslin 1977 Alleged suicide Member of the Red Army Faction
Clayton Fountain 2004 Heart attack Member of the Aryan Brotherhood
Yuri Galanskov 1972 Death from an operation by a former doctor (another inmate) with no surgical qualifications Russian poet, historian, and human rights activist, imprisoned for his writings
Kasturba Gandhi 1944 Natural causes Wife of Mohandas Gandhi; fellow political protestor
John Geoghan 2003 Murdered by fellow inmate Joseph Druce Catholic priest and child molester
Vincent Gigante 2005 Oxygen deprivation American Mafia boss Boss of Genovese crime family
John Wayne Glover 2005 Suicide by hanging[4] Sydney Granny Murderer
Hermann Göring 1946 Suicide Nazi war criminal
John Gotti 2002 Throat cancer American Mafia boss
Ryan Gracie 2007 Died as a result of brain injury Brazilian mixed martial artist
Emil Hácha 1945 Unknown President of Czechoslovakia, later of the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia
Katharina Hammerschmidt 1975 Untreated cancer Member of the Red Army Faction
Siegfried Hausner 1975 Severe burns untreated in custody Member of the Red Army Faction
Colin Hatch 2011 Suspected homicide Notorious murderer and child molester
Rudolf Hess 1987 Suicide Nazi war criminal
Myra Hindley 2002 Died in hospital after heart attack in prison British serial killer
Colin Ireland 2012 Died as a result of hip injury.[5] British serial killer of gay men
Ilse Koch 1967 Suicide by hanging Commandant of Buchenwald concentration camp
Ronald Kray 1995 Heart attack British gangster and murderer, twin brother of Reginald Kray
David Lane 2007 Epilepsy American white nationalist
Ervil LeBaron 1981 Natural causes American Mormon fundamentalist
Robert Ley 1945 Suicide by hanging Nazi war criminal
Richard Loeb 1936 Murdered by fellow inmate[6] American murderer
Philip Markoff 2010 Suicide American murderer Known as the "Craigslist killer"
Andrew Martinez 2006 Suicide Nude activist
Ulrike Meinhof 1976 Alleged suicide Member of the Red Army Faction
Holger Meins 1974 Hunger strike Member of the Red Army Faction
Slobodan Milošević 2006 Heart attack Serbian and Yugoslav president
Tjostolv Moland 2013 Suicide Sentenced to death for murder, and espionage for Norway Died in Congolese custody[7]
Joe "Pegleg" Morgan 1993 Liver cancer Mexican Mafia leader
Lawrence Phillips 2016 Suicide American football player
Gavrilo Princip 1918 Malnutrition and skeletal tuberculosis Yugoslav terrorist Assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand, beginning World War I
Richard Ramirez 2013 Cancer American serial killer
Jan-Carl Raspe 1977 Alleged suicide Member of the Red Army Faction
James Earl Ray 1998 Hepatitis C Accused assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Jack Ruby 1967 Pulmonary embolism American nightclub owner

Murdered Lee Harvey Oswald

Bobby Sands 1981 Hunger strike Irish republican Died along with 9 other Republicans on hunger strike. See 1981 Irish Hunger Strike
Ingrid Schubert 1977 Alleged suicide Member of the Red Army Faction
Harold Shipman 2004 Suicide by hanging British doctor who killed many of his patients
Liu Shaoqi 1969 unknown President of the People's Republic of China Wrongly named a traitor during the Cultural Revolution
Richard Speck 1991 Heart attack American mass murderer
John Straffen 2007 Natural causes British serial killer Longest-serving prisoner in British legal history, was in prison for 55 years until his death
Robert Stroud 1963 Natural causes The Birdman of Alcatraz
Anthony Van Egmond 1838 Pneumonia, malnutrition and exposure Dutch war veteran and an early settler in the Huron Tract
Nikolai Vavilov 1943 Malnutrition Russian botanist and geneticist who was imprisoned for his struggle against pseudoscience
Raoul Wallenberg 1947 or later Extrajudicial punishment in Soviet Lefortovo prison Diplomat, rescued Jews during the Holocaust
Fred West 1995 Suicide by hanging[8] Multiple murders; was on remand awaiting trial
Graham Young 1990 Heart attack Poisoner Died in Parkhurst prison. Heart attack is te official cause of death but there has been speculation that other prisoners may have been responsible.[citation needed]
Bob Younger 1889 Tuberculosis Bandit


  1. ^ Pillay, Verashni (2007-09-12). "Keeping Steve Biko alive". News24. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  2. ^ Serial killer's property set to go on the auction block." May 8, 1996.
  3. ^ Stout, David (2001-01-23). "Byron De La Beckwith Dies; Killer of Medgar Evers Was 80". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  4. ^ Sidney Morning Herald: Granny killer found dead in cell.
  5. ^ Pink News: Exercise yard fall contributed to death of Gay Slayer.
  6. ^ The Leopold and Loeb Trial:A Brief Account by Douglas O. Linder. 1997. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  7. ^ Rydland, Julie (29 August 2013). "Congo: Prisoner took his own life". The Norway Post. Aftenposten. Retrieved 11 October 2013. 
  8. ^ Steven Morris (2007-09-20). "Serial Murder and the Psychology of a Sexual Sadist: Frederick West". New Criminologist. Retrieved 2009-01-18. 

See also[edit]