Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods
Serial Killers Killed in Prison
Charles Schmid
Charles Schmid
Charles Howard "Smitty" Schmid Jr. (left), aka The Pied Piper of Tucson, for his ability to charm women when he was a popular high school gymnast. Schmid told people that wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone and get away with it. In May 1964, at 22, the diminutive Casanova felt like a big man when he raped Alleen Rowe and then bashed her head in with a rock (right: Rowe's skull). In August he strangled his girlfriend Gretchen Fritz and her sister Wendy. Schmid told his friend Richard Bruns about the murders, and showed him the bodies. Bruns ultimately went to police.

Schmid was convicted and sentenced to death in 1966. He made several unsuccessful escape attempts, and even a fake suicide attempt to try to get out of prison. Then in 1971 Arizona temporarily abolished the death penalty, and his sentence was commuted to 50 years in prison. This time his escape was successful but brief. In prison Schmid changed his name to Paul David Ashley, and began writing music and essays, and strutting around the prison like he was better than his fellow inmates. On March 10, 1975, Schmid was found stabbed 47 times lying in a pool of blood. He had a sucking chest wound that the surgeon could not fix. One eye and a kidney had to be removed. In all, Schmid had some twenty stab wounds to his face and chest. He died 20 days later and was buried at the prison to avoid his grave being vandalized.
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