List of prison deaths

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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. Most of them died from suicide.

Name Date of death Cause of death Known for Comments
Abu Abbas 2004 Natural causes Terrorist Captured by American forces on 14 April 2003, the Pentagon reported Abbas died on 8 March 2004. US returned body to Palestine Red Crescent Society.
Ivan Milat 2019 Natural causes Murder
Omar Abdel-Rahman 2017 Coronary arterial disease Terrorist
Jesse Anderson 1994 Beaten to death by fellow inmate Christopher Scarver American murderer
Susan Atkins 2009 Brain tumor Member of the Manson family
Andreas Baader 1977 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 Forty-sixth political detainee to die during interrogation since the government introduced laws permitting imprisonment without trial in 1963.
Sandra Bland 2015 Alleged suicide American motorist Arrested for traffic violation on July 10 by State Trooper Brian Encinia. Encinia was indicted for perjury for making false statements about the circumstances of Bland's arrest. Waller County jail failed to follow required policies and procedures.
Heinrich Boere 2013 Natural causes Nazi war criminal
Samuel Bowers 2006 Cardio-pulmonary arrest American white supremacist Co-founded the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and convicted of bombing death of civil rights leader Vernon Dahmer.
Ian Brady 2017 Cancer British serial killer
Walter Breen 1993 Cancer American child molester
Whitey Bulger 2018 Homicide American mobster
Roy Buchanan 1988 Suicide by hanging American guitarist His death is still the subject of fierce debate.
Ariel Castro 2013 Suicide Kidnapped and raped three American women for over a decade.
Richard Chase 1980 Suicide American serial killer
John Evander Couey 2009 Cancer Sex offender convicted of murdering Jessica Lunsford
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 white supremacist Klansman from Greenwood, Mississippi who assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers on June 12, 1963.
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 Suicide Member of the Red Army Faction
Jeffrey Epstein 2019 Alleged Suicide American financier and convicted sex offender
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 Indian political activist and the wife of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Imprisoned in a detention camp in Pune for protesting and participating in the Quit India movement.
Hermann Göring 1946 Suicide by poison Nazi war criminal
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
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
Charles Harrelson 2007 Heart attack Hitman, convicted of murdering U.S. Federal judge John H. Wood Jr. Father of actor Woody Harrelson.
Donald Harvey 2017 Killed by fellow inmate Serial killer
Colin Hatch 2011 Suspected homicide Notorious murderer and child molester
Siegfried Hausner 1975 Severe burns untreated in custody Member of the Red Army Faction
Aaron Hernandez 2017 Suicide Former tight-end for NFL team New England Patriots, later convicted of murdering Odin Lloyd Found not guilty of the 2012 double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado just 5 days before he was found dead.
Rudolf Hess 1987 Suicide Nazi war criminal Was the sole inmate in Spandau Prison from 1966 until his death. The prison was demolished afterwards
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 Wife of the 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
Liu Shaoqi 1969 Pneumonia / unknown illness Former Chairman of the People's Republic of China Died of mistreatment as a result of political persecution during the Cultural Revolution
Liu Xiaobo 2017 Liver cancer Prisoner of conscience Nobel Peace Prize laureate (2010)
Richard Loeb 1936 Murdered by fellow inmate[6] American murderer
Sergei Magnitsky 2009 Closed cerebral cranial injury Russian tax accountant who specialized in anti-corruption activities Magnitsky alleged there had been large-scale theft from the Russian state, sanctioned and carried out by Russian officials. He was arrested and eventually died in prison.
Charles Manson 2017 Natural causes Leader of the Manson Family
Philip Markoff 2010 Suicide American murderer Known as the "Craigslist killer"
Andrew Martinez 2006 Suicide Nude activist
Ulrike Meinhof 1976 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
Dennis Nilsen 2018 Pulmonary embolism British serial killer
Lou Pearlman 2016 Cardiac arrest Manager of Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC
Carmine Persico 2019 Natural causes Boss of the Colombo crime family
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 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 Suicide Member of the Red Army Faction
Arthur Shawcross 2008 Cardiac arrest Serial killer
Harold Shipman 2004 Suicide by hanging British doctor who killed many of his patients
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
Wolfe Tone 1798 Suicide Leader of the 1798 Irish Rebellion against Great Britain
Toussaint Louverture 1804 Natural causes Leader of the Haitian Revolution who was imprisoned for launching a rebellion against France
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
Vercingetorix 46 BC Strangulation Gaulish leader defeated by Julius Caesar
John Anthony Walker 2014 Unknown United States Navy Chief Warrant Officer convicted of spying for the Soviet Union from 1968 to 1985
Raoul Wallenberg 1947 or later Unknown (debated) 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
Carl Williams 2010 Bludgeoned to death Australian crime boss Murdered by fellow inmate while serving sentence
Yip Kai Foon 2017 Lung cancer[9] Hong Kong armed robber with AK-47
Graham Young 1990 Heart attack Poisoner Died in Parkhurst prison. Heart attack is the official cause of death but there has been speculation that other prisoners may have been responsible.[citation needed]
Daniel Betty 2020 Suicide Died in Peoria. Stutter is the official cause of death.


  1. ^ Pillay, Verashni (2007-09-12). "Keeping Steve Biko alive". News24. Archived from the original on 2007-10-17. 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 Archived 2007-03-15 at the Wayback Machine 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.
  9. ^ "'King of Robbery' Yip Kai-foon dies of cancer". Radio Hong Kong. 19 April 2017.

See also[edit]