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

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.

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 him to safety he had been stabbed 40 times. The suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

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 had served with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for 19 years.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

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

Most Recent Reflection

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I was a correctional officer at FCI Terminal Island when Merle was murdered, remember it well. Silverstein later came to Terminal Island that year to attend a trial in Los Angeles. My boss, 6'6" and 250+ pounds had a 'heart to heart' with Silverstein and he gave us no trouble at all...which was better for him in the long run if you get my drift.

Senior Correctional Officer

May 12, 2017

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