VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild
These killers didn't survive prison. For this list, we'll be looking at American killers who were themselves killed by other inmates while serving time. Our countdown includes Edwin Kaprat, Whitey Bulger, Jeffrey Dahmer, and more. Which of these stories do you find most interesting? Let us know in the comments.
10 American Killers Who Were Murdered in Prison
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re examining 10 American Killers Who Were Murdered in Prison.
For this list, we’ll be looking at American killers who were themselves killed by other inmates while serving time.
Which of these stories do you find most interesting? Let us know in the comments.
Lee Roy Martin
Family man Lee Roy Martin was working at a textile mill in South Carolina when he embarked on his killing spree. Between May 1967 and February 1968, Martin abducted and killed four females, two of whom were teenagers. Martin became known as the “Gaffney Strangler,” Gaffney being the small town in which the killings occurred. He was eventually arrested in February 1968 and given four life sentences - one for each of his victims. Martin was serving time in the state’s Central Correctional Institution when he was stabbed and killed by another inmate named Kenneth Rumsey.
Donald Leroy Evans
We don’t know much about the crimes of Donald Leroy Evans. What we do know is that his killings occurred between 1985 and 1991, the latter year being when he was finally arrested. Evans targeted people at parks and public rest stops, and he has been officially linked to three deaths. However, he later confessed to killing over seventy people throughout the country. While claims like this are often taken with a grain of salt, authorities were able to link his information to various cold cases, which lends credibility to his confession. Evans was given the death penalty in Mississippi, but he was stabbed to death by another inmate before he could be executed.
This man has the somewhat bizarre moniker the “Granny Killer,” owing to the advanced ages of his victims. Edwin Kaprat killed six people between 1991 and 1993. He would often harass elderly individuals with threatening phone calls and commit acts of arson. Some of his victims were found beaten to death, with some subsequently consumed by the fires that he’d started. Kaprat was eventually arrested and confessed to the killings, leading to a conviction of first-degree murder. While on death row at Florida State Prison, both Kaprat and a man named Charles Street were stabbed to death by inmates Mario Lara and Rigoberto Sanchez-Velasco.
This furniture salesman and novice skydiver terrorized the Sacramento area for ten years between 1977 and 1987. In that time, Roger Kibbe would often prowl California’s Interstate 5, leading to his nickname, the “I-5 Strangler.” Kibbe would often kidnap his victims near the freeway, bind them with parachute cord, and duct tape their mouths closed. He would then assault his victims before strangling them with the cord. It’s believed that Kibbe killed at least eight people, and he was eventually arrested and given life in prison. Kibbe’s crimes came back to haunt him, as he was strangled to death by his prison cellmate on February 28, 2021.
The Pied Piper of Tucson was initially on a good path. He was a talented athlete, had many friends and girlfriends, and was reportedly very personable. However, he eventually dropped out of high school after getting suspended and became a repeat killer. He’s known to have killed at least three people, possibly four. Two of Schmid’s victims were his girlfriend and her sister, both of whom were strangled to death. Schmid was serving fifty years in prison when he was stabbed forty-seven times on March 10, 1975. The attack didn’t kill Schmid outright, but it left him with devastating injuries. He survived nearly three weeks but eventually succumbed to his wounds on March 30.
More than a killer, Whitey Bulger was a crime boss who ran the Winter Hill Gang of Massachusetts. As part of the Irish Mob, the Winter Hill Gang - and Bulger by extension - partook in all manner of organized crime, including racketeering, money laundering, and trafficking. And, yes, homicide. At one point, Bulger was the FBI’s second most-wanted fugitive, behind only Osama bin Laden. Bulger’s old associate, Kevin Weeks, became a cooperating witness and testified against Bulger, leading to a conviction for numerous homicides (among a laundry list of other serious crimes). Shortly after arriving at United States Penitentiary, Hazelton in West Virginia, Bulger was viciously beaten to death by a number of his fellow inmates.
The true number of victims ascribed to Donald Harvey is unknown. Between 1970 and 1987, the Angel of Death worked as a hospital orderly and killed anywhere between thirty-seven and eighty-seven people. He was officially convicted of the former amount, but he claimed the latter is more accurate. Harvey used many methods to dispose of his sick patients, including cyanide poisoning, turning off their ventilators, and suffocating them with a pillow. His crimes were eventually discovered in March of 1987, when an autopsy revealed cyanide in one of his victims; the orderly confessed soon thereafter. On March 28, 2017, Harvey was severely beaten by another inmate named James Elliott and died two days later.
Criminal duo Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb hoped to devise, enact, and get away with the perfect crime. They decided to kidnap and kill a teenager named Bobby Franks, and they famously enacted the plan on May 21, 1924. The incident resulted in widespread media attention and was even deemed the “crime of the century.” But Leopold and Loeb did not devise the perfect crime. They spent seven months planning the attack, but it took investigators just over a week to figure it out. Leopold and Loeb confessed to the crime, and both were sentenced to life in prison. Leopold was released in 1958, but Loeb was killed by a fellow inmate named James Day on January 28, 1936.
A man known as the “Boston Strangler” prowled the city in the early-to-mid ‘60s and killed thirteen women. While no one knows for sure, these crimes are largely attributed to Albert DeSalvo. DeSalvo confessed to the killings, but the revelation remains controversial and disputed. However, DNA officially linked DeSalvo to one of the Boston Strangler’s victims in 2013, lending credence to the possibility that he killed all thirteen. In November 1973, DeSalvo was stabbed and killed while serving life for assault. While he was never officially convicted, the primary suspect in the stabbing is a Winter Hill Gang associate named Robert Wilson.
Perhaps the most infamous serial killer in American history, Jeffrey Dahmer killed seventeen people throughout his life, with sixteen of these killings occurring between 1987 and 1991. Dahmer was finally captured on the night of July 22, 1991 and was given sixteen life sentences. He served his time in Wisconsin’s Columbia Correctional Institution, where he came into contact with a man named Christopher Scarver. Scarver was also serving life for killing a man in 1990. On November 28, 1994, Dahmer was cleaning the prison gym with Scarver when Scarver bludgeoned him with a metal bar. He succumbed to his injuries soon after, and Scarver told a prison guard that God had given him the mission to kill Dahmer.