Serial rapist kills prison guard.


I originally read about this story here.

A woman, Jayme Biendl, was killed by a serial rapist in prison. She had been a guard for  9 years. She was the only guard in the chapel. She had previously complained about that but from everything I can read she was not complaining about safety issues and her complaints had more to do with the amount of area she had to cover alone. It was a medium security facility.

The killer, Byron Scherf, is a serial rapist who is doing a life sentence on the 3 strikes law. Yes, 3 strikes.

In 1978 he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault after attacking a 16-year-old girl with a knife. He served just two years of a 10-year sentence and was released in 1980.

Less than a year after getting out on early release  he abducted a young Pierce County waitress at knifepoint, bound her, raped her, and then doused the room she was in with gasoline and set it on fire, according to court records. He served just 12 years and was paroled.

In 1995 he told a 37 year old real estate agent woman he wanted to look at a home for sale, then forced her at gunpoint into the trunk of his car and later raped her.  He also threatened to kill her and her daughter if she reported the attack. He was arrested several days later in Post Falls, Idaho. He was convicted in 1997 and was given life in prison.

Since 1997 he has behaved in prison according to officials. He has not had any serious disciplinary actions, he has held a prison job, he did not get involved in any gangs and was basically being a good boy.  Personally not having serious behavior problems while in prison does not seem very hard. On top of that the use of the word serious tells me that he did get into trouble, he just got into less than some of the other prisoner!

Not surprisingly those that love and care for the woman that he killed where not really impressed by his prison record either.

In what he called a plan to escape he strangled Jayme Biendl to death with a microphone cord. He then changed his mind and was found in the prison chapel where Ms. Biendl’s body was also found. He was covered in scratches so we know that this woman fought for her life.

There is discussion over why it took officials almost 90 minutes to find her body but I have to say in my opinion they probably did not go looking for her right away since she was a good employee and they were not keeping tabs on her.

I do not know how long he was considered ‘missing’ but there was a short search for him. They found him pretty quickly which might be another reason they did not notice her missing right off. Of course he did not just admit what he did so it was a little while before they found her body.

What I do not understand is how a serial rapist gets to serve his life sentence in a medium security facility. The fact that he raped assaulted and kidnapped multiple women over the years should have kept him in a maximum security prison since they did not do the right thing and give him the death penalty. Did they expect him to be ‘fixed’? To get better? At least one person 30 years ago acknowledged how dangerous this man is.

A staff psychiatrist at Western State Hospital who examined Byron Scherf 30 years ago predicted that no amount of treatment or incarceration would curb Scherf’s propensity for violence.

“… I feel that even after treatment for his rape tendencies, he would still be of strong enough antisocial personality that he would continue to break the law,” staff psychiatrist Donald F. Allison wrote in a 1981 report to a Pierce County judge.

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I have said before that violent serial offenders do not get better and remain a risk to society. While they are in prison they are a risk to anyone that enters the gates. Fine, for argument’s sake all prisoners present some risk but serial offenders are a much higher risk and have nothing to offer back.

There is also much discussion about the lack of funding for prisons, the cut backs causing the guards to be reduced and the fact there is a lack of support for the officers in prison. All issues that are important and all things that need to be looked at and fixed. We send our worse into the prisons and ask the guards to protect us (and the prisoners) as well as make sure the prisoners are treated ‘right’ even when they throw piss and crap at the guards and we need to make sure that we are taking care of the guards.

I feel so bad for those that knew and loved Jayme Biendl. I hope better security and tougher reforms are made so that her death has something ‘positive’ come out of it.

Dreamin Demon article

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  1. This woman’s death simply should not have been happened. The animal who killed her cannot be rehabilitated and I cannot understand for the life of me why on earth such an animal would be placed in a medium security facility.

    My prayers and sympathies go out to the family and friends of Jayme Biendl.

    • Unfortunately too often prisoners are moved to less secure facilities due to overpopulation. Psychiatric doctors sometimes lead to this as well. They are so sure that they have helped to ‘cure’ someone that they advise prison boards to make stupid mistakes.

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