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Kansas Department of Corrections

by Cheryl Cadue last modified May 03, 2019 02:30 PM

Among the nearly 300 names on the Kansas Law Enforcement Memorial, the names of eight Kansas Department of Corrections officers are included.
Mark Avery Corrections Officer, Lansing Correctional Facility Corrections Officers Mark Avery and Michael Bidatsch were on routine duty supervising the Lansing Correctional Facility recreation hall on May 22, 1993 when they were attacked and beaten with bar bell plates and a stocking cap stuffed with pool balls. Officer Avery died the next day at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Robert D. Hurd Corrections Officer,  Kansas State Penitentiary (now Lansing Correctional Facility) On October 11, 1981, Corrections Officer Hurd died after being stabbed by an inmate who was angered by a disciplinary report that Officer Hurd was going to file. 
Donald R. Martin  Corrections Officer, Lansing Correctional Facility On August 19, 1978, Corrections Officer Martin was killed when he was attacked and beaten by an inmate who was holding a female hostage during an escape attempt.
Paul J. Weber Parole Officer, Kansas City Parole Office On October 19, 1976, Parole Officer Weber was killed after he went to the home of a parolee whose mother had requested assistance in removing her son from her residence. As Officer Weber followed the parolee into the kitchen, the man seized a butcher knife and stabbed Officer Weber. The parolee was convicted of assault on a law enforcement officer and first-degree murder
Henry N. Kenaga Corrections Officer, Kansas State Penitentiary (now Lansing Correctional Facility) On June 20, 1954, Corrections Officer Kenaga was killed after responding to a situation in which inmates, armed with guns and knives, had rushed the visiting room and seized at least six hostages. The inmates were crossing the prison yard when they encountered Officer Kenaga who then attempted to prevent their escape. Officer Kenaga was fatally shot. After a brief exchange of gunfire and a call for additional enforcement officers, the inmates were surrounded and returned to their cells. They were charged with first-degree murder.
Lee White Kansas State Industrial Reformatory (now Hutchinson Correctional Facility) On July 25, 1928, Officer White was supervising five inmates who were working on the new grandstands at the state fairgrounds. Officer White was struck from behind and knocked unconscious by two inmates, Glenn Bellfield and Jake Schell. The two inmates escaped and shot a young girl while commandeering her car. White was treated by a local physician and then joined the search for the escaped inmates. White was a passenger in a vehicle with other officers during the search on July 26, 1928 when the vehicle failed to negotiate a turn and flipped. Officer White, who landed under the vehicle as it came rest, died at the scene. The others suffered minor injuries. After a cross-country manhunt the two escapees were captured following a shootout in Roswell, New Mexico on July 29, 1928.
David W. Burns Corrections Officer, Kansas State Penitentiary (now Lansing Correctional Facility) On December 15, 1923, Officer Burns died after being shot four times by an escaped inmate. Officer Burns had traveled to Texarkana, Texas and was on a train returning with two escapees. While traveling through Alicia, Arkansas, one of the inmates shot Officer Burns four times. Before his death, Officer Burns told the doctor tending to his wounds that he was shot with a revolver believed to have been smuggled to the escapees while at the Texarkana train depot. One escapee was later caught in Arkansas. The second escapee, who had shot Officer Burns, was located following his arrest for a robbery in Meridian, Mississippi six months after Officer Burns’ death.
William H. Owens Corrections Officer, Kansas State Penitentiary (now Lansing Correctional Facility) On October 5, 1905, Officer Owens died from injuries suffered during an escape that occurred the day before his death. Officer Owens had taken an inmate to conduct survey work outside the penitentiary. The inmate had delivered a severe blow to Officer Owen's solar plexus that resulted in internal bleeding and a heart attack. The inmate was quickly captured and charged with felonious assault and murder.


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