Correctional Officer Merle E. Clutts

Correctional Officer Merle E. Clutts

United States Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Government

End of Watch Saturday, October 22, 1983

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Merle E. Clutts

Correctional Officer Merle Clutts was killed when he was stabbed by an inmate with a homemade prison shank at USP Marion in Marion, Illinois, at 10:15 a.m.

The suspect, a former leader of the Aryan Brotherhood, was being escorted back to his cell after having a shower when another inmate slipped him a shank. The suspect then ran down the tier and attacked Correctional Officer Clutts, whom he had a vendetta against. By the time the officers got the suspect off Correctional Officer Clutts and got him to safety, he had been stabbed 40 times. Two other officers were also injured.

The suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, where he died in May 2019. Prior to Officer Clutts' murder, the suspect had murdered three fellow inmates. One of the three shot and killed Officer Henry W. Jennings of the Hartford, Connecticut, Police Department on May 25, 1964.

Just eight hours later, Correctional Officer Robert Hoffmann would be murdered in the same prison in an unrelated incident.

Correctional Officer Clutts was a United States Army Korean War veteran and had served with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for 19 years. He was survived by his wife, two sons, and a daughter.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Location Illinois
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Shank
  • Offender Sentenced to life

correctional Facility, prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Clutts,
On today, the 40th anniversary of your death I would just like t say thank you for your service and sacrifice for our Country-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but also when you served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

October 22, 2023

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