Guard Ezra Hoskins

Guard Ezra Hoskins

Connecticut Department of Correction, Connecticut

End of Watch Wednesday, May 1, 1833

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Ezra Hoskins

Guard Ezra Hoskins was killed when he confronted four inmates attempting to escape from Wethersfield State Prison.

On the night of April 30, an inmate managed to bore through the lock of his cell with a dinner utensil and to free another inmate who had fashioned a skeleton key for the prison. The inmates unlocked the cell doors of two other prisoners and followed Guard Hoskins on his rounds. They then concocted a ruse to murder him so that they could continue with their escape.

At midnight, one of the inmates circled the walkway between cells and appeared suddenly in front of Guard Hoskins, who could not hear his movements due to deafness. As Guard Hoskins approached him and asked him what he was doing out of his cell, another inmate attacked Guard Hoskins from behind, hitting him on the head with an iron bar. The inmates then beat Guard Hoskins until they ascertained that he was dead and attempted to flee the prison through a door near the women's cell block. However, a female inmate noticed them out of their cells and alerted the matron, who quickly sounded an alarm. All four inmates were recaptured before they could leave the prison.

The two inmates who were directly responsible for Guard Hoskins' murder were sentenced to death and hanged on September 6, 1833.

Wethersfield Prison was located at the current site of Cove Park and the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles in Wethersfield, Connecticut. The prison was demolished in 1965 and sold to the city for $1.

Guard Hoskins was preceded in death by his wife.

He is buried in Wethersfield Village Cemetery, Weathersfield, Hartford County, Connecticut.


  • Age 66
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Blunt object
  • Offender Executed

correctional Facility, escape attempt, prisoner custody

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Guard Hoskins, it has been 191 years since you were taken from us. New England law enforcement has continued to thrive, learn and become safer due to the traditions and sacrifices you, your family, and many others have made for us. Thank you for years of law enforcement service.

Chief (Ret) Steven Marshall
Georges Mills, NH

May 1, 2024

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