Corrections Employee Robert George Warnke

Corrections Employee Robert George Warnke

United States Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Government

End of Watch Thursday, June 20, 1929

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Robert George Warnke

Corrections Employee Robert Warnke was killed after being beaten by an inmate yielding an iron bar at the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. Officer Warnke was performing his early morning duties when the man attacked him from behind, knocking him to the ground.

After falling, the man jumped on Officer Warnke and continued to beat him. The suspect, age 38, who had claimed to have murdered 22 people, had also been involved in the murder of Superintendent Harry Minto, of the Oregon Department of Corrections on September 28, 1915. He was one of the America's worst serial killers, rapist, arsonist, robber, and burglar. His life of crime started when he was eight years old when he stole a revolver from a neighbor. His murder spree began in 1920 after he burglarized the home of President William Howard Taft in New Haven, Connecticut, stealing a large amount of jewelry, bonds, and Taft's .45 caliber pistol.

He was hung at Leavenworth Prison for Officer Warnke's murder on September 5, 1930. As officers placed the black hood over his head he spat in the executioner's face. When asked did he have any last words he said yes; "hurry up you --------, I could have killed a dozen men while you have been screwing around. When a reporter asked him did he have any regrets about all the terrible things he did he said "I'm not the least bit sorry". He was buried in the Leavenworth Prison Cemetery. Officials refused to put a headstone on his grave.

Officer Warnke had served with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for eight years. He was survived by his wife and son and is buried in Highland Cemetery, Junction City, Kansas.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Location Kansas
  • Weapon Blunt object
  • Offender Executed in 1930

Most Recent Reflection

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On this “anniversary” of your untimely departure we say thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo (Retired)
Delaware State Police

June 20, 2020

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