Top 10 Most Dangerous Prisoners Held In Attica Prison

Attica Correctional Facility, located in New York, is synonymous with one of the bloodiest prison uprisings in American history and has housed some of the most dangerous and infamous prisoners of the last half-century.

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10 – David Berkowitz

Earning his infamous nickname, The Son of Sam, Berkowitz who was born in 1953, began his killing spree in New York City, mainly targeting young couples who were parked in cars.

Between 1976 and 1977, he committed a series of shootings that left six people dead and several others injured.

What made Berkowitz particularly terrifying was the cryptic and taunting letters he sent to the police and the media.

In these letters, he claimed to be driven by demonic forces and referred to himself as the “Son of Sam.”
The fear and panic he instilled in the city reached a fever pitch, as residents altered their behaviors to avoid becoming his next victims.

Berkowitz’s reign of terror came to an end in 1977 when he was apprehended by the police.

He later confessed to the shootings, attributing his actions to a perceived influence from his neighbor’s dog, which he believed was possessed by a demon.

Berkowitz pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to six consecutive life terms in prison.
Behind bars, he underwent a religious conversion and claimed to have found redemption.

9 – Kendell Francois

Born in 1971, Kendell Francois, was an American serial killer who terrorized the city of Poughkeepsie, New York, in the 1990s.

Working as a street sweeper, Francois led a seemingly ordinary life while secretly committing heinous crimes and between 1996 and 1998, he murdered eight women, concealing their bodies in his home.

Francois was eventually apprehended in 1998 after a chance discovery by police investigating a missing person case and the shocking revelation of his gruesome acts stunned the community.

In 2000, he pleaded guilty to multiple charges, receiving life in prison without parole at Attica, before being transfered to Wende Correctional Facility.

8 – Willie Sutton

Widely known as “Willie the Actor,” Sutton was an infamous American bank robber during the early to mid-20th century.

Born in 1901, Sutton became a mastermind in his criminal craft, executing over 100 successful heists and accumulating a legendary status.

His cunning disguises and ability to elude law enforcement also earned him the moniker, Slick Willie, and it was years before he was caught.

Sutton’s criminal career spanned decades, marked by a series of high-profile bank robberies and daring escapes.

Despite his criminal exploits, Sutton gained a peculiar form of folk-hero status, admired by some for his audacity.

In 1952, he was captured and sentenced to a lengthy prison term, much of which was spent at Attica.

7 – Edward Cummiskey

One of the most famous inmates to ever grace the walls of Attica Correctional Facility, Edward Cummiskey was a mobster from New York who not only served as a mentor to Jimmy Coonan, but also led the famous Westies gang.

Remembered for showing Coonan how to dispose of murder victims, he often helped him to dispose of victims on the shores of the New York Harbor.

After serving his time in Attica Prison, he was released, but met his end in a bar, the victim of famous hitman, Joseph Sullivan.

6 – Mark David Chapman

Chapman gained notoriety as the man who assassinated John Lennon, the legendary Beatles musician, on December 8, 1980, outside Lennon’s New York City residence.

Chapman, a troubled individual, had become fixated on Lennon and his fame, but his actions shocked the world and left millions grieving.

Obtaining an autograph from Lennon earlier on the day of the murder, Chapman remained at the crime scene, reading a copy of J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye.”

Arrested immediately, he later claimed that he was inspired by the novel and believed he would become a prominent figure himself.

He became infamous for all the wrong reasons and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

Chapman’s heinous act forever altered the course of music history and many still pay their respects to Lennon.

5 – Colin Ferguson

Gained infamy as the perpetrator of the Long Island Rail Road shooting in 1993, Ferguson boarded a train with a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, and opened fire on passengers, killing six and injuring 19.

His motive, he claimed, was a response to perceived racial grievances, however his crimes shocked the nation.

In 1995, Ferguson was convicted of murder and attempted murder, receiving a 315-year sentence.

This tragic event wa sone of the first to highlight urgent need for improved gun control measures in the United States.

4 – H. Rap Brown

A prominent civil rights activist and leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Brown converted to Islam in 1971.

Changing his name to Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, his life took a dark turn when he was convicted of armed robbery in 2000.

Receiving a lengthy prison sentence, his time behind bars was marked by controversy, as he continued to be an influential figure despite his incarceration.

In 2002, Al-Amin was found guilty of murdering a sheriff’s deputy and wounding another in a 2000 shootout and this conviction resulted in a life sentence without parole.

3 – Sam Melville

The principal conspirator and bomb setter in the 1969 bombings of eight government buildings in New York City.

Gaining notoriety as the “Mad Bomber” during the late 1960s, Melville, was an American political activist associated with the Weather Underground, a radical group opposing the Vietnam War.

His actions were a stauch protest against perceived injustices and militarism with the bombings being designed to avoid casualties.

Apprehended by authorities in 1970’s alongside his accomplice, Jane Alpert, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Melville lost his life during the 1971 Attica Prison uprising, of which he was a key figure, being struck down by gunfire when the uprising was put down by force.

2 – Dean Faiello

American fraudster and unlicensed plastic surgeon Faiello, deceived numerous individuals seeking cosmetic enhancements while operating in New York City.

Faiello exploited his victims’ desires for physical perfection by posing as a qualified professional and his fraudulent procedures led to severe consequences, including infections and disfigurement.

Faiello’s criminal activities reached a climax in 2003 when authorities discovered the body of one of his clients, Maria Cruz, buried in the backyard of his New Jersey home.

Faiello had administered a lethal dose of drugs during a botched cosmetic procedure and subsequently, he fled the authorities, but was later captured in Costa Rica.

In 2006, Faiello was convicted of manslaughter and unauthorized practice of medicine, receiving a 20-year prison sentence.

1 – Joseph ‘Mad Dog’ Sullivan

Born in 1935, Joseph Sullivan was a notorious Irish-American mobster known for his involvement in organized crime during the mid-20th century.

Sullivan gained his menacing nickname due to his ruthless and unpredictable nature.

He rose to infamy for his activities with the Philadelphia crime family, where he was involved in various criminal enterprises, including extortion, racketeering, and loan sharking.

Sullivan’s criminal career was marked by violence, and he was linked to multiple murders in 1980, before being convicted and sentenced to life in prison, much of which he spent at Folson.

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