Everybody has their own special talent. Some people are great at creating art. Some people are known for carrying a tune. Some people are known for kicking other peoples’ asses. The following two people fall squarely under that last talent, though one also qualifies for the first.
We’ll start with the uh, more colorful of the two inmates. Allow me to introduce you to Charles Bronson, born Michael Gordon Peterson, formerly Charles Ali Ahmed. I know it’s hard to tell from that photo, but he can be quite the character.
Mr. Bronson started his illustrious prison career all the way back in 1974 after being convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Mr. Bronson had trouble… adjusting. He went on to be transferred between prison and medical facilities well over a dozen times in as many years.
Some of Charlie’s escapades: Attacking an inmate with a glass jug, damaging prison property, straight-up punching prison officers in the face, trying to dig a tunnel out of his cell, staging rooftop protests and even at least one case of attempted murder. He did manage to make it out of prison briefly in 1987 (those naughty things he did stretched his sentence a bit) and enjoyed a short stint as a bare-knuckle boxer. He changed his name to Charles Bronson at that point on the suggestion of his manager.
Not surprisingly, he landed his ass back in jail because of committing… armed robbery. I could go on and on about this man, but I won’t. You seriously need to check out his wiki page. I’m just scratching the surface, here!
Charles Bronson is most definitely a violent man, but one thing that can’t be said of him is that he is a murderer. Thomas Silverstein on the other hand can make no such claim. Meet one of the most notorious prisoners in history who also looks like he could be your next door neighbor.
Mr. Silverstein made it into prison a few years after Mr. Bronson, in 1977. He used the same tactic to get there though: armed robbery. He was sentenced to fifteen years at Leavenworth.
He joined up with the Aryan Brotherhood while there. This led to his first prison murder in 1980. The victim, Danny Atwell, reportedly refused to serve as a drug mule. He received a life sentence and was transferred to a high security prison. The conviction was overturned in 1985 however, when it was revealed that testifying inmates had perjured themselves.
That didn’t make much difference, seeing how Silverstein struck again in 1981. His new victim was Robert Chappelle, a member of the D.C. Blacks prison gang. Silverstein said he didn’t do it(of course,) but newly-transferred Raymond “Cadillac” Smith, national leader of the D.C. Blacks said oh yes he did and immediately set to trying to kill his ass. Silverstein and another inmate killed Smith first, stabbing him 67 times.
Silverstein’s last victim was correction officer Merle Clutts. Silverstein managed to get out of his cuffs while being transferred from the showers and stabbed Clutts to death with a shank obtained from another prisoner. He didn’t deny that one.
Thomas Silverstein is currently housed in a supermax facility in Colorado. He will be eligible for release in 2095. Surprisingly, he is not the artist in the bunch. Seriously, go read more about Charlie!