In Memoriam: Remembering our Fallen

HaightWebSmGeorge Haight

George Haight, a gate keeper, was poisoned by an inmate March 27, 1893 at the Michigan State Penitentiary in Jackson.

Haight ate tainted food prepared by inmate Robert Irving Latimer. Latimer served Haight, the captain, and other workers food poisoned with prussic acid. Latimer had special permission to both cook meals and purchase hazardous chemicals.

When Haight passed out, Latimer swiped his key ring and made his break. He was apprehended days later.

Haight was survived by a wife and five children.

Latimer wasn’t charged with Haight’s murder, possibly because he was already serving a life sentence for his mother’s murder. Decades later, he received a pardon from the governor and was released.

Earl F. DeMarse

On the morning of September 25, 1973, Earl F. DeMarse, a corrections officer at the Marquette Branch Prison, reported for duty as usual.

Fifteen minutes into the shift, DeMarse came from his station in the auditorium to Central Control bleeding profusely from multiple stab wounds. He died before he made it to the hospital. DeMarse was 55 years old. DeMarse’s killer, inmate Richard Goodard, was given a mandatory life sentence in 1974. He was transferred to the State Prison of Southern Michigan and was there only a short time when he stabbed and injured another officer.

DeMarse was the second corrections officer killed in the line of duty in the state of Michigan. The Earl F. DeMarse Corrections Academy in Lansing was named after him to honor his 26 years of dedicated work as a Michigan corrections officer.

After DeMarse’s death, many officers wanted to strike because they were shorthanded and under very difficult working conditions.

Josephine McCallum

Corrections Officer Josephine McCallum, a new employee, was found murdered at the bottom of a stairwell in the activities building of Jackson Central March 24, 1987.

She was the only officer in the building when she was brutally attacked, raped, and left to die. She left behind one son and a husband.

Inmate Edward Hill was charged with the murder of Josephine McCallum and received a life imprisonment sentence in 1990. One of the delays in the trial was the blood enzyme test (from blood found on Hill’s clothing). The courts decided that the test was inadmissible evidence because of the uncertainty of its accuracy. The Jackson County Prosecutor challenged the decision and was successful in bringing Hill to trial.


Jack Budd

On December 27, 1987, Corrections Officer Jack Budd was working in five block at the State Prison of Southern Michigan.

His life ended when a prisoner brutally attacked and murdered him.The inmate ran from the shower area and attacked Budd, stabbing him repeatedly.

Inmate James Miller was charged with the murder of Officer Jack Budd. He went to trial and received an additional 80-120 years in prison.