Correctional Officer James P. Zeiger

Correctional Officer James P. Zeiger

Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois

End of Watch Thursday, January 11, 1973

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James P. Zeiger

Correctional Officer James Zeiger was stabbed to death while walking the 8th Gallery of Cell House B at the Stateville Correctional Center.

An inmate attacked him from behind, stabbing him eight times with a knife, inflicting a fatal wound to the heart. The inmate then threw Correctional Officer Zeiger over the rail to the concrete floor 40 feet below.

The suspect was denied parole in 2001 and later died while still incarcerated.

Correctional Officer Zeiger had served with the Illinois Department of Corrections for three years. He was survived by his wife and eight children.


  • Age 43
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge 373

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Knife
  • Offender Died in prison

prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

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49 years ago today (January 11, 1973); our family was torn apart. We just lost our mom 5 years ago, and a brother almost 2 months ago. Daddy, I hope you know how much you were loved here on earth and how much you are missed. I hate that you never were able to walk your daughters down the aisle; to meet any of your 8 grandchildren; to hold and play with your 12 great-grandchildren. Please continue to watch over us and keep us safe as you did when you were alive and continue to do in heaven. We will meet again some day, Until then, always remember how much you are loved and missed by your family.

Linda Wells, daughter

January 11, 2022

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