Keeper James Gastin

Keeper James Gastin

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Thursday, October 31, 1844

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James Gastin

Keeper James Gastin was beaten to death by an insane inmate in the Eastern State Penitentiary.

The inmate had become irate inside of his cell after being refused recreation time. Keeper Gastin entered the cell to try to quiet the inmate, but the man attacked him with a floorboard that he had pulled from the floor. He beat Keeper Gastin with the floorboard and repeatedly stomped on him. The inmate then put on Keeper Gastin's clothes and attempted to escape.

Another keeper recognized the inmate and, with the help of other officers, was able to subdue him and put him into a cell.

The inmate confessed to murdering Keeper Gastin and also to previously murdering his own father.


  • Age 40
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Blunt object; Lumber
  • Offender Charged with murder

Most Recent Reflection

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On this 176th anniversary of your selfless and heroic actions please know that no passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

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

October 31, 2020

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