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Deputy Warden Peter N. Klein | Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois

Deputy Warden

Peter N. Klein

Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois

End of Watch: Wednesday, May 5, 1926

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 41

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Stabbed

Weapon: Edged weapon; Knife

Offender: Sentenced to death

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Deputy Warden Peter Klein was stabbed and beaten to death in his office at the Joliet State Prison.

Seven inmates had asked to see the warden and when he entered his office they attacked him. He was stabbed with a knife and scissors and hit over the head with an iron bar. The suspects then took a guard and trusty hostage and escaped from the prison. The two hostages were later tied to a tree as the inmates continued their escape.

Five of the seven escapees were captured within five days. A police officer and posse member were shot and wounded during the arrest near Leonore, Illinois. The remaining two suspects were eventually apprehended and on November 26, 1926, six of the seven suspects were convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

On March 12th, 1927, the six convicted suspects staged a daring escape at the Will County Jail in Joliet. Three of the suspects were subdued by guards. The other three, with the help of a guard, escaped. They forced a cab driver to drive them to south Chicago where they were stopped by three Chicago police officers. In an exchange of gunfire with the suspects, Patrolman Leo Grant of the Chicago Police Department was shot and killed, while another officer and the cab driver were seriously wounded.

One of the suspects was mortally wounded, one was captured and the other suspect escaped. The captured suspect was returned to prison and was executed by hanging on July 15th, 1927 at the Will County Jail. Two of the three suspects who were stopped by guards were executed by hanging the same day.

On October 10th, 1928, at the Will County Jail, the third suspect was the last person to be executed by hanging in the state before the method was replaced by electrocution. He was also serving a life sentence for the murder on Park Policeman Harry J. Busse of the South Park District Police Department, Illinois, on January 26, 1922.

Warden Klein was survived by his wife and mother.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Park Policeman Harry J. Busse
South Park District Police Department, Illinois
End of Watch: Friday, January 27, 1922
Cause: Gunfire

Patrolman Leo Grant
Chicago Police Department, Illinois
End of Watch: Saturday, March 12, 1927
Cause: Gunfire

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Rest In Peace Deputy Warden Klein, your service and sacrifice is remembered.

Sgt. Jarrod L. Wilson / K9 Officer
West Virginia Division Of Corrections
May 5, 2013


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