Accused Cannibal Dies in Mont. Prison
A convicted sex offender who was once accused of killing and cannibalizing a boy was found dead in his cell Sunday at the Montana State Prison.
Nathaniel Bar-Jonah was found unresponsive early Sunday, said prison spokeswoman Linda Moodry. His cause of death is unknown, though he had been in poor health. An autopsy is planned, and an investigation is underway.
He was serving a 130-year sentence for kidnapping, sexually assaulting and choking a teenage neighbor. Authorities had also charged him with murder in the 1996 disappearance of 10-year-old Zach Ramsay.
Authorities said they had evidence suggesting Bar-Jonah butchered the boy and disposed of his body in meals served to neighbors.
Prosecutors were forced to dismiss the murder charge in 2002, when Bar-Jonah was 45, after Ramsay's mother said she would testify she believed her son was still alive.
Bar-Jonah moved to Montana after facing legal trouble in Massachusetts, where he pleaded guilty in 1977 to posing as a police officer and kidnapping two boys.
A later plea deal in another case allowed Bar-Jonah to move to Montana with his family.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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