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They "Cooked" This Inmate to Death in a Scalding Hot Shower

Darren Rainey suffered from schizophrenia

By True Crime WriterPublished about a month ago Updated 26 days ago 3 min read

Darren Rainey's skin melted from his body by the time guards at Dade Correctional Institution opened the shower door. He was dead, two hours after guards locked him inside the shower where water temperatures reached a scalding 160 degrees F. He suffered second and third-degree burns to 30% of his body, yet officials ruled his death “accidental.”


Darren Rainey, a 50-year-old schizophrenic man, earned himself two years in prison after his ninth arrest on cocaine possession. Only months into his sentence, Rainey defecated on himself. Prison guards threw him into a scalding hot shower with temperatures reaching 160 degrees for two hours. When guards finally opened the shower door, Rainey was dead.

After defecating on himself on June 23, 2012, Rainey smeared feces on himself and the walls and floor of his cell in the psychiatric ward at the prison. Prison guards Roland Clarke and Cornelius Thompson ordered Rainey to clean himself. He refused. Content written by Criminal Matters.

Guards walked Rainey to the ‘special’ shower, a unit where inmates could not control the water temperatures, punching and taunting him as they walked.

Two Hours in The Shower

In the shower, Rainey refused to stand under the scalding hot water. He crouched down on the floor on the side of the steam-filled shower. Guards told Rainey he would stay in the shower until he cleaned himself, locked his stall, and walked out.

Rainey screamed, cried, and pleaded with guards to let him out of the shower. He shouted about how hot the water was. He asked them to get him out of the shower. The two guards ignored his requests and instead continued taunting him. “Have you had enough yet,?” one guard allegedly asked Rainey.

Two hours passed. Guards noticed Rainey had finally quietened down, prompting their return to the shower. Opening the shower, the guards found Rainey lying face-up on the drain. He was dead.

Prison officials called paramedics. One of the paramedics who attended to Rainey said he suffered second and third-degree burns to 30% of his body. Content written by Criminal Matters. Red patches of burned skin lined his body. Rainey's skin peeled off his body when the paramedic touched him.

The Medical Examiner ruled Rainey’s death accidental, with the cause listed as “undetermined.”

DCI Inmate Comes Forward With Information, Prompting Investigation

Two years after Rainey's death, Mark Joines, a convicted murderer and inmate at Dade Correctional Institution, came forward with information about the incident. Harry Hempstead then contacted the Miami Herald about the matter, prompting an official investigation.

According to Joines, on June 24, 2012, guards woke him earlier than usual with a special cleaning job. They handed Joines a bottle of bleach and ordered him to clean the shower stall where Rainey had died the night before. He claimed he found one of Rainey’s blue shoes and cleaned from the shower what he later realized were pieces of the man's skin.

After receiving Hempstead’s information, The Miami Herald investigated the shower torture of Darren Rainey. Investigative journalists discovered at least eight other inmates had been subjected to shower torture at the institution. They also learned Rainey’s death was never investigated properly, leading many human rights organizations to become involved in the matter.

After a full investigation into the shower incident, officials determined Rainey’s death was accidental, caused by a combination of factors, including a prior heart condition, mental illness, and confinement in the shower. Neither correctional officer faced criminal charges in his death.

The investigation did lead to the suspension and ultimate termination of Jerry Cummings, the warden of the Dade Correctional Institution, along with changes in the way state prisons across the U.S. operate their psychiatric wards.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Darren Rainey’s daughter, brother, and sister filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Dade Correctional Institution. They accused the facility of “cruel and unusual punishment.” The family settled with the institution for $4.5 million in 2018.

Should the guards have been held responsible for Darren Rainey's death?"

Rest in Peace, Mr. Rainey.

My deepest condolences to the Rainey family.

Sources & More Information:

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About the Creator

True Crime Writer

The best of the worst true crime, history, strange and Unusual stories. Graphic material. Intended for a mature audience ONLY.

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