Cold-blooded killers who are caught for their evil deeds are sentenced in a court of law. Once they have been handed their sentence, they will most likely spend the rest of their days behind bars. However, some individuals, who are also in the prison system, believe a different kind of justice should be served and are willing to take matters into their own hands.
One of the most challenging problems that plague prisons is extreme violence between inmates. The Canadian Medical Association Journal found among prison inmates in the U.S. and Canada a lifetime prevalence of 87% for substance abuse, 56.7% for antisocial personality disorder, 22.8% for affective disorders, 15.6% for anxiety/somatoform disorders, and 2.2% for schizophrenia.
This breeding ground for hostility alongside these following cold-blooded killers entering prison with a lot of notoriety turned them into sitting ducks.
“The Boston Strangler” killed 13 female victims aged between 19 to 85; he broke into their homes and attacked them before strangling them to death usually with their stockings. “The Green Man” broke into over 400 homes and sexually attacked over 300 women throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. He was always dressed in green when committing these crimes which earned him this nickname.
Despite no physical evidence linking him to the crimes, Albert DeSalvo confessed he was both “The Boston Strangler” and “The Green Man.” In 1967, he was sent to Walpole maximum security state prison (now known as Massachusetts Correctional Institution—Cedar Junction) to serve his life sentence. After six years behind bars, DeSalvo was stabbed to death in his cell.
Canadian serial killer Léopold Dion raped 21 boys and killed four others after he was released early from prison. In 1940, Dion was sentenced to life in prison following a rape conviction. He was granted parole in 1956 but he then returned to prison after a conviction for raping a 15-year-old boy. Then in 1963, a parole board granted him release—again—and he went on to kill four young boys.
These tragic events led to a lot of fury from the public. Benoit Godbout, the executive director of the parole board, said: “The board honestly believed, after examining many reports, that the man was ready and would probably do well on parole.”
On November 17th, 1972, Dion was stabbed to death by a fellow inmate named Normand Champagne. The inmate, who was known in the prison as “Lawrence d’Arabie” (Lawrence of Arabia), was later found not guilty of this crime by reason of insanity.
Donald “Angel of Death” Harvey admitted to killing more than 80 hospital patients in his care whilst he worked as an orderly in Ohio and Kentucky. Official reports state the victim count is more likely 40—57 patients.
The serial killer was active in the 1970s and 80s, targeting mostly cardiac patients; smothering them with pillows to “ease the pain”. Other victims, he poisoned with arsenic and cyanide and he also let the oxygen run out in their tanks.
Harvey pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty and was sent to Toledo Correctional Institution in Toledo, Ohio. On March 30th, 2017, Harvey was murdered by a fellow inmate, James Elliott. The Blade newspaper received letters from Elliot claiming he punched and stomped on Harvey in his cell. Elliot said he had grown up in Kentucky and knew the relatives of some victims killed by Harvey.
Thor Nis Christiansen
In 1976 to 1977, serial killer Thor Nis Christiansen targeted female students at the University of California in Santa Barbara. Born in Denmark, Christiansen was a promising student with a high IQ but he later dropped out of high school and began working as a gas station attendant.
Christiansen stole a pistol from a friend and became obsessed with a fantasy of shooting women then engaging in necrophilia—a fantasy he would eventually make a reality. His killing spree later earned him the nickname “The Mad Dane”.
Christiansen’s killing spree was referred to as “look-alike” murders as all his victims were strikingly similar. He was finally caught when his fifth intended victim escaped after being shot in the head and after her recovery, she met him again in a Los Angeles bar.
On March 30th, 1981, Christiansen died after being stabbed in the exercise yard at Folsom State Prison. The identity of his killer still remains unknown.