Correctional Officer Merle E. Clutts

Correctional Officer Merle E. Clutts

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

End of Watch Saturday, October 22, 1983

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Merle E. Clutts

Correctional Officer Merle Clutts was killed when he was stabbed by an inmate with a homemade prison shank at USP Marion in Marion, Illinois, at 10:15 am.

The suspect, a former leader of the Aryan Brotherhood, was being escorted back to his cell after having a shower when another inmate slipped him a shank. The suspect then ran down the tier and attacked Correctional Officer Clutts, whom he had a vendetta against. By the time the officers got the suspect off Correctional Officer Clutts and got him to safety, he had been stabbed 40 times. Two other officers were also injured.

The suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, where he died in May 2019. Prior to Officer Clutts' murder, the suspect had murdered three fellow inmates. One of the three shot and killed Officer Henry W. Jennings of the Hartford, Connecticut, Police Department on May 25, 1964.

Just eight hours later, Correctional Officer Robert Hoffmann would be murdered in the same prison in an unrelated incident.

Correctional Officer Clutts was a United States Army Korean War veteran and had served with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for 19 years. He was survived by his wife, two sons, and daughter.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Location Illinois
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Shank
  • Offender Deceased

correctional Facility, prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

View all 27 Reflections

Im a former Correctional Officer 4 years at a state MAX and deathrow. I will strongly opine that any Officer who served as long as Officer Clutts and having the capability to manage the "worst of the worst" inmates as did Officer Cutts, had to be a strong Officer, never compromised, never abusive, always dutifuul and professional. Well, the gangsters want the strong Officers eliminated one way or another so their gang can have more control through violence and intimidation. Officer Clutts being targeted is the ultimate recognition that he was top tier. His family can be proud, as am I. Where would we be without men like this? Rest in peace brother.

Correctional Officer Robert Huntington
Former state Correctional Officer MAX and death row.

September 11, 2022

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