Guard John R. Greer

Guard John R. Greer

Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correctional Institutions Division, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, August 27, 1938

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John R. Greer

Guard John Greer succumbed to stab wounds sustained 11 days earlier during an escape attempt at the Eastham State Prison Farm in Houston County, Texas.

Guard Greer was stabbed in the stomach by one of the eight prisoners who attempted to escape. Other guards who were at the prison farm opened fire on the prisoners during the escape, killing two of them.

Six felons escaped; two men were shot by guards by the river, two were drowned, one was recaptured, and one was apprehended in 1939.

Guard Greer was a U.S. Army veteran of WWI and served with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correctional Institutions Division for 13 years. He was survived by his wife, son, four daughters, and parents.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 13 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Incident Date Tuesday, August 16, 1938
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Knife
  • Offender Shot and killed

escape attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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John Greer was my grandfather, and I was raised on stories of his challenging life, and his ferocious protection of his family. Family stories have him guarding Clyde Barrow during his time in Eastham in 1932. His wife, my grandmother (Daisy Greer), told of petitioning the judge to not apply the death penalty to one of the surviving escapees, because “Every man is some mother’s son.”

Johnnie Driessner

June 2, 2022

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