Bio & Incident Details
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Incident Date: 11/23/1965
Correctional Officer George Wilson, Lieutenant Arthur Kisro and Lieutenant Lewis Paul were killed during a riot at the Menard Correctional Center.
The incident started when a flaming bottle filled with lacquer thinner was thrown at a guard tower, where the officer there was severely burned. A riot erupted and four of its leaders barricaded themselves and hostages in the kitchen. Lieutenant Paul died instantly from a stab wound to his heart when the riot broke out at about 4:15 pm in the inmate dining hall. Lieutenant Kisro died at 6:15 pm from assault wounds to his liver and abdomen. Correctional Officer Wilson died at 8:40 pm from assault wounds to his liver and kidney. During the over four-hour standoff, another injured correctional officer who was being held hostage and suffering from loss of blood, was given a transfusion through the bars of the kitchen door.
The director of the Department of Public Safety was able to talk the inmates into surrendering at 8:40 pm. The four leaders of the uprising were convicted. Three inmates were sentenced to death until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in 1972. One of these inmates was resentenced to 480 years in prison, another was resentenced to 200 years, while the third was resentenced to 300 years and has since been released. A fourth inmate, who was sentenced to 50 to 75 years, was paroled on July 2, 1998.