Incident DetailsCause of Death:
Custody Officer Virgil Orem died from injuries he suffered 14 months earlier after being assaulted during an escape attempt at the Indiana Reformatory in Clarksville.
On the evening of the assault, two inmates had been called out of their cells to repair a motor in one of the wells at the institution. The inmates, whose intent was to escape, believed Custody Officer Orem possessed the keys to an engineering vault containing ropes and pulleys. As Custody Officer Orem returned to the area where the inmates were working, he was struck about his head with a heavy piece of iron and beaten nearly unconscious.
Custody Officer Orem was able to return to work performing light duties after about six weeks, but developed a worsening paralytic condition about a month before he died, on his 41st birthday.
Custody Officer Orem was survived by his wife, three sons, two sisters and three brothers.