Merle E. Clutts

Merle E. Clutts
Merle E. Clutts, a 51 year-old Senior Officer Specialist, died at USP Marion on October 22, 1983 after a nineteen-year tour of duty.

On the morning of October 22, 1983, Officer Merle E. Clutts was assigned to the Control Unit (H unit), when he was attacked (at about 10:30 a.m.) by inmate Thomas Silverstein. Although handcuffed as he was escorted from a shower back to his cell, Silverstein broke away from his escort and ran to the front of another inmate's cell. This confederate freed Silverstein from his restraints and gave him a knife. Silverstein attacked Officer Clutts, who was fatally wounded, then surrendered to other staff. Inmate Silverstein received a life sentence for murdering Officer Clutts.

Of interest, inmate Silverstein was incarcerated at USP Atlanta when the Cuban Riot broke out in November 1987. Although initially freed by Cuban participants, he was later put in restraints and led to the front of the institution, where he was turned over to authorities by his fellow inmates. Inmate Silverstein is currently incarcerated under maximum security.

The murder of Officer Robert L. Hoffmann later that same day in the same unit, was determined to be unrelated to Officer Clutts' murder.

Merle E. Clutts is listed in the National Law Enforcement Memorial on Panel 32, W-5. Merle, you will never be forgotten.