Minn. man who killed 5 named as suspect in Oregon prison murder


The authorities say an Oregon State Penitentiary inmate found dead in his cell last week was strangled and his cellmate is the suspect.

Joseph Akins, a convicted murderer, was found dead Saturday at the Salem prison. Cellmate Craig Bjork was held in segregation at the prison, but was not publicly named as the suspect until Wednesday, according to the Register Guard.

Bjork killed his wife, his two children and another person in Minnesota in the early 1980s and killed an inmate in a Minnesota prison in the 1990s, according to WCCO.

Bjork, 53, has been in the Oregon prison since January, when he transferred from Minnesota on an interstate compact, according to the Associated Press.

The Star Tribune says Bjork was convicted in the murders of his two young sons in 1982, his girlfriend and a Minneapolis prostitute. According to court records, Bjork was harassed in prison during the 1980s for being a child killer and was transferred from Minnesota to a Montana prison. He was returned to Minnesota following an escape attempt.

On Thanksgiving Day 1997, in a kitchen area, Bjork used a plumber's pipe to murder fellow inmate Edwin Curry, a 41-year-old convicted sex offender who was due to be released the following year.

According to KPTV in Salem, Department of Corrections records show Akins was convicted of one count of murder in Multnomah County in January 2008.

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