Guard Herbert Orlando Parsell

Guard Herbert Orlando Parsell

Connecticut Department of Correction, Connecticut

End of Watch Friday, March 9, 1945

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Herbert Orlando Parsell

Guard Herbert Parsell was killed during an inmate escape attempt at the Connecticut State Prison in Wethersfield.

Three inmates reported that they were ill after breakfast. The inmates were ordered to the report to the infirmary, but they instead joined a group of inmates reporting to work at the maintenance shop where Guard Parsell was stationed. They planned to escape through the shop and scale a wall outside that they knew was unguarded at that time of the morning.

When the three inmates arrived at the shop, two of them tackled Guard Parsell. Five other inmates came to Guard Parsell's assistance, giving him time to sound an alarm throughout the prison, but they were eventually repelled by the two inmates who had staged the attack. The two inmates set upon Guard Parsell again and beat him about the head with wrenches before help could arrive. The three inmates then barricaded themselves in the shop.

When prison officials arrived, they pumped tear gas into the shop to encourage the inmates to surrender. Twenty minutes after the attack on Guard Parsell's, the three inmates were subdued and taken back to their cells. Guard Parsell was rushed to St. Francis Hospital, where we was declared dead on arrival from severe head injuries.

All three prisoners were convicted of murdering Guard Parsell and executed by electrocution on October 1, 1946.

Guard Parsell had served with the Connecticut Department of Correction for eleven years. He was survived by his wife, his son, two step-children, and three siblings.


  • Age 53
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Blunt object; Wrench
  • Offender Executed

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Rest in peace always and please know that your heroic death will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement family.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

March 9, 2022

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