Friday, January 17, 2003


That's two this month....

Death row inmate dies of heart attack

MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) -- A man who drew up a hit list and methodically killed four people died of a heart attack in his cell on death row.

Jerry F. Hessler, 45, was found Tuesday by a prison guard during a routine security check, said Rod Johnson, administrative assistant to the warden at Mansfield Correctional Institution.

An autopsy determined Hessler, who had a history of heart problems, died of a heart attack.

"His Judgment Day has come," said Ruth Canter, a former co-worker who survived being shot by Hessler. "I always felt like when he was in prison, I was in prison."

Hessler was convicted of killing four people in a shooting spree November 19, 1995, that targeted former bank co-workers.

He had been fired from Bank One in 1994 for alleged sexual harassment. Following his dismissal, he killed two former co-workers and their 5-month-old daughter and the father of a woman who had rejected his romantic advances 10 years earlier.

Hessler also shot and wounded his former supervisor and Canter before driving 75 miles to try to kill a former girlfriend.

Hessler was sent to death row in 1996 after his conviction for aggravated murder.

Attorneys said Hessler had bragged about the killings by writing about them on the walls of his cell while awaiting trial.