Correctional Officer Frieda Belle King

Correctional Officer Frieda Belle King

Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois

End of Watch Tuesday, February 8, 1983

Frieda Belle King

Correctional Officer Frieda King was stabbed to death with a 12-inch long butcher knife by an inmate near the cold storage area of the kitchen at the Pontiac Correctional Center.

The inmate was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. On January 11, 2003, the outgoing governor granted clemency to all 167 Illinois death row inmates as one of his last acts in office. The inmate's sentence was commuted to life without parole.

Correctional Officer King had served with the Illinois Department of Corrections for over two years. She was survived by three daughters, four sons, seven sisters, four brothers and three grandchildren.

Correctional Officer King is the first known female law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in the state of Illinois.


  • Age 50
  • Tour 2 years, 3 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Knife
  • Offender Death sentence commuted

Most Recent Reflection

View all 13 Reflections

I attended Chenoa schools with her kids and knew them well... I visited their home often and was always treated well by Frieda, who had a great sense of humor.

She taught me to quickly overcome my stuttering by telling me in a nice way to begin looking at others as equals... and by relaxing while choosing my words carefully. I've often silently thanked her for the insights she gave me.

I worked in the Illinois Correctional Industries at Pontiac as a supervisor and left a few months before they had the state's worst riot... Correctional Officer Bill Thomas was occasionally assigned as my personal guard and he lost his life in that riot... three years before Frieda began working there.

I left the state over 20 years ago... before their hair brained governor committed treason by letting killers off the hook. What a messed up state it has been... I do not wish to ever return and spend a single dime there... hope anyone left there with any sense will leave... Go West! Or come to Texas... but leave ASAP.

Frieda would have left the state and been enjoying her retirement years that she certainly earned... but she was robbed of that and her family was robbed of her presence.

The pain her family has had to suffer is a daily one... how can they forget what happened? We are told to forgive others for their sins against us... but the killer should have to pay for what he did with his life... instead he may be now killing others or roaming the streets if the parole board lets him loose.

Our loss is certainly Heaven's gain... but when the crooked governor who pardoned 167 condemned killers passes on what will be written on his tombstone? Moved to a warmer climate! Just like the killer, that governor will have to answer for what he has done.

Sure hope the family remembers their mother's wonder sense of humor and how she could be positive in life when things around her were not going correctly... she has been an inspiration for me many years... so I am sure she passed plenty of wisdom onto each of them that they can use to make lemonade out of them lemon.

Dennis V Carter
long time friend from Weston, Illinois

September 25, 2013

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