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

Most Recent Reflection

View all 51 Reflections

Uncle Jim thinking about you as the 48th anniversary of your murder approaches. Remembering you and the "Daltons" and your "wanted poster, "the Daltons, wanted for country music" I think it said. Remembering the song grandpa used to love to hear you play, "Cool Water" and he would even sing a part.

Family was always so important. Every Sunday we would gather with grandma and grandpa, first at their home on Washtenaw, in good weather at Swallow Cliff, and finally the family gathered at Lake Will. And of course horseshoes, which grandpa loved so much. Good times, good memories.

I have seen your memorial plaque at Stateville as well as your name engraved on the police memorial wall in D.C. during several trips during police week when police and families gathered from around the nation.

You and your family have always been in my prayers.

Bob Lenihan CPD retired

December 9, 2020

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