Thomas Lynn Clements (October 2, 1954 – March 19, 2013) was head of the Colorado Department of Corrections until he was assassinated on March 19, 2013.
Clements was born in St. Louis, Missouri.He married Lisa Smith in 1984 and had two daughters. Before moving to Colorado to lead the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC), Clements had worked in a similar position in Missouri.
Clements was known as a progressive leader who cared about the mental health of his prisoners and worked to ensure their transition into society once released. "Tom Clements was someone who worked in a cold, dark world with a remarkably open and generous heart," said Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper the day after Clements was killed.
Tom Clements was fatally shot in the chest at his home in Monument, Colorado after answering the door on March 19, 2013.His assassination drew international attention, as it came hours before Governor John Hickenlooper signed new gun control laws.
The substantial evidence in the case indicates that the assassin was Evan Spencer Ebel (August 16, 1984 - March 21, 2013), a 28-year-old white supremacist and follower of Asatru.Ebel was killed during a high-speed chase with Texas law enforcement two days after Clements' death. Ebel had driven to Wise County, Texas. A Texas sheriff's deputy realized that the car Ebel was driving matched the car suspected in the Clements killing in Colorado—an older black Cadillac sedan, with mismatched license plates. That Texas deputy was Montague County Sheriff's Deputy James Boyd, who first pulled over Ebel's vehicle and was shot in the head by Ebel but survived. The shooting was captured on the deputy's cruiser's video. After a wild chase with engaging gunfire with law enforcement, he collided with a semi-truck carrying a large payload of gravel, to which he got out and continued firing at officers. Ebel was then shot and critically wounded by them and died from his injuries without regaining consciousness.
Police also found items that they concluded were stolen from another murdered Colorado man, Nathan Leon: a pizza delivery shirt and an insulated pizza delivery container. Leon was forced to make a rambling recorded audio statement before he was murdered.Police believe that Ebel killed Leon on March 17 to get the pizza delivery "props" that Ebel subsequently used to feign a pizza delivery to the Clements home. The gun found in the stolen Cadillac matched the ballistics of the gun used in the killings of Clements and Leon.
Since Ebel could not legally purchase a pistol due to being a convicted felon, he had his friend, Stevie Vigil, a straw buyer, purchase the murder weapon. She was sentenced to more than two years in prison for supplying the murder weapon.
Paradoxically, Evan Ebel's father, Jack Ebel, is an old friend of Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, the man who hired Tom Clements.When Governor Hickenlooper originally interviewed Tom Clements for his position the governor claims to have had a conversation about the son of a friend in administrative segregation, but that he never mentioned Ebel by name.
Evan Ebel had spent much of his time in prison in solitary confinement.Tom Clements' successor, Rick Raemisch, has said "Whatever solitary confinement did to that former inmate and murderer, it was not for the better."
Suspicion has also fallen on members of the 211 Crew, a white supremacist gang formed in Colorado's prisons in the mid-1990s.The only formal suspect authorities have named in his death, Ebel, is thought to have had connections with the 211 Crew. On April 5, 2013, it was confirmed by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office that James Lohr, 47, had been arrested by the Colorado Springs Police Department, and that Thomas Guoly, aka Thomas Guolee, 31, was also wanted for questioning.
A public memorial service was held for Clements at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO, on March 25, 2013. Mourners at the memorial service included Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, state leaders, family members, friends, and former inmates. Hickenlooper called Clements a great man who led a "quiet crusade" to reform the state's correctional system.
"It was a belief he had at the core of his person, that anyone could be redeemed," Hickenlooper told mourners. "He was, without question, one of the most remarkable people I've ever known in my life."Clements worked in corrections in Missouri for three decades before he accepted an offer from Hickenlooper—in 2010—to head Colorado's prisons.
Christopher J. Scarver Sr. is an American convicted triple-murderer who is best known for the murders of his fellow inmates Jeffrey Dahmer, a serial killer, as well as Jesse Anderson, a murderer, at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin in 1994. Scarver used a 20-inch (51 cm) metal bar which he had removed from a piece of exercise equipment in the prison weight room to beat and fatally wound Dahmer and Anderson. Scarver was sentenced to two further life sentences for the murders of Dahmer and Anderson, after being sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Steve Lohman in 1990.
The Aryan Brotherhood, also known as the Brand or the AB, is a neo-Nazi prison gang and an organized crime syndicate which is based in the United States and has an estimated 15,000–20,000 members both inside and outside prisons. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has characterized it as "the nation's oldest major white supremacist prison gang and a national crime syndicate" while the Anti-Defamation League calls it the "oldest and most notorious racist prison gang in the United States". According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Aryan Brotherhood makes up an extremely low percentage of the entire US prison population but it is responsible for a disproportionately large number of prison murders.
Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) is a supermax prison facility in Crescent City, California. The 275-acre (111 ha) prison takes its name from a shallow bay on the Pacific coast, about 2 mi (3.2 km) to the west.
David Eden Lane was an American domestic terrorist, white separatist, neo-Nazi, and convicted felon. A member of the terror organization The Order, he was convicted and sentenced to 190 years in prison for racketeering, conspiracy, and violation of the civil rights of Alan Berg, a Jewish radio talk show host, who prosecutors claimed was murdered by a member of the group through drive-by shooting with Lane acting as driver, though they were unsuccessful in getting murder convictions. He died while incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana.
John Wright Hickenlooper Jr. is an American politician, geologist, and businessman serving as the junior United States senator from Colorado since 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 42nd governor of Colorado from 2011 to 2019 and as the 43rd mayor of Denver from 2003 to 2011.
The United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility, commonly known as ADX Florence or Supermax, is an American federal prison in Fremont County near Florence, Colorado, operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice. ADX Florence, constructed in 1994 and opened one year later, is classed as a supermax or "control unit" prison, that provides a higher, more controlled level of custody than a maximum security prison. ADX Florence forms part of the Federal Correctional Complex, Florence, which is situated on 49 acres of land and houses different facilities with varying degrees of security, including the adjacent United States Penitentiary, Florence High.
Fort Lyon was composed of two 19th-century military fort complexes in southeastern Colorado. The initial fort, also called Fort Wise, operated from 1860 to 1867. After a flood in 1866, a new fort was built near Las Animas, Colorado, which operated as a military post until 1897.
Thomas Edward Silverstein was an American criminal who spent the last 42 years of his life in prison after being convicted of four separate murders while imprisoned for armed robbery, one of which was overturned. Silverstein spent the last 36 years of his life in solitary confinement for killing Corrections Officer Merle Clutts at the Marion Penitentiary in Illinois. Prison authorities described him as a brutal killer and a former leader of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang. Silverstein maintained that the dehumanizing conditions inside the prison system contributed to the three murders he committed. He was held "in a specially designed cell" in what is called "Range 13" at ADX Florence federal penitentiary in Colorado. He was the longest-held prisoner in solitary confinement within the Bureau of Prisons at the time of his death. Correctional officers refused to talk to Silverstein out of respect for Clutts.
The Southern Ohio Correctional Facility is a maximum security prison located just outside Lucasville in Scioto County, Ohio. The prison was constructed in 1972. As of 2022, the warden is Donald Redwood.
Menard Correctional Center, known prior to 1970 as Southern Illinois Penitentiary, is an Illinois state prison located in the town of Chester in Randolph County, Illinois. It houses maximum-security and high medium-security adult males. The average daily population as of 2007 is 3,410.
The Angola Three are three African-American former prison inmates who were held for decades in solitary confinement while imprisoned at Louisiana State Penitentiary. The latter two were indicted in April 1972 for the killing of a prison corrections officer; they were convicted in January 1974. Wallace and Woodfox served more than 40 years each in solitary, the "longest period of solitary confinement in American prison history".
The United States Penitentiary, Florence High is a high-security United States federal prison for male inmates in Colorado. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice. USP Florence High is part of the Federal Correctional Complex, Florence, which is situated on 49 acres (20 ha) of land and houses different facilities with varying degrees of security. It is named "Florence High" in order to differentiate it from the United States Penitentiary, Florence ADMAX, the federal supermax prison located in the same complex.
Homaidan Ali Al-Turki is a Saudi national convicted in a Colorado court for sexually assaulting his Indonesian housekeeper and keeping her as a virtual slave for four years. On August 31, 2006, Al-Turki was sentenced to 28 years in prison on twelve felony counts of false imprisonment, unlawful sexual contact, theft and criminal extortion. On February 25, 2011, he was re-sentenced from 28 to eight years for his good behavior in prison. Al-Turki maintains his innocence and blames anti-Muslim sentiment for the charges that led to his 2006 conviction and sentence in a case that has strained relations between the U.S. and the Saudi government.
The Colorado Governor's Mansion, also known as the Cheesman-Boettcher Mansion, is a historic U.S. mansion in Denver, Colorado. It is located at 400 East 8th Avenue. On December 3, 1969, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It is open free-of-charge for scheduled tours, and also hosts special public events.
The Ásatrú Alliance (AA) is an American Heathen group founded in 1988 by Michael J. Murray of Arizona, a former vice-president of Else Christensen's Odinist Fellowship. The establishment of the Alliance, as well as the establishment of The Troth, followed the disbanding of the Asatru Free Assembly in 1986. The Ásatrú Alliance largely reconstituted the old AFA, is dominated by prior AFA members, and acts as a distributor of previously AFA publications.
Capital punishment was abolished in Colorado in 2020. It was legal from 1974 until 2020 prior to it being abolished in all future cases.
Joseph A. Garcia is an American lawyer and politician. He served as the 48th Lieutenant Governor of Colorado from January 2011 to May 2016. He is currently the chancellor of the Colorado Community College System.
Colorado State Penitentiary is a Level V maximum security prison in the U.S. state of Colorado. The facility is part of the state's East Cañon Complex, together with six other state correctional facilities of various security levels.
211 Crew is a white supremacist prison gang, active both in and out of prison, that was formed in 1995 at Colorado's Denver County Jail. It was linked to several high-profile murders and criminal investigations. Those included the assassination of Colorado Department of Corrections head Tom Clements. Due to a threatening letter sent by a Texas Aryan Brotherhood member, it was suspected to be linked to similar assassinations of Texas district attorney Mike McLelland, and his assistant prosecutor Mark Hasse, but a former Justice of the Peace was eventually indicted for those murders.
On December 14, 1993, four employees were shot and killed and a fifth employee was seriously injured at a Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant in Aurora, Colorado, United States. The perpetrator, 19-year-old Nathan Dunlap, a former employee of the restaurant, was frustrated about being fired five months prior to the shooting and sought revenge by committing the attack. He fled the scene of the shooting with stolen money and restaurant items.