Inmate locked in a hot shower for two hours until his skin slipped off died an "accidental" death

The death of Darren Rainey, a mentally ill inmate thrown into a steaming shower at Dade Correctional Institution in a case that sparked scrutiny on conditions inside Florida’s prison system, has been ruled accidental, the Herald has learned.

Darren Rainey

suffered from heart disease and severe schizophrenia, for which he had been taking Haldol, a potent anti-psychotic drug that is known to elevate body temperatures and affect blood pressure and the heart, the autopsy reported, sources said.

On the day he died, Rainey had defecated in his cell, a possible psychotic episode spurred by his mental disorder, the report said, according to sources.

Prison officers took him to the small shower, which had been rigged to be controlled from an adjoining room, locked the door and left him there for up two hours as the stall filled with steam. Harold Hempstead, an inmate-orderly who was in a cell almost directly below the shower, told the Miami Herald he heard Rainey screaming for forgiveness.

When staff finally took Rainey out of the stall, his skin seemingly melted off — a condition known as “slippage” caused by prolonged exposure to water, humidity and the “warm, moist” environment, the autopsy reported, sources said.

He had no “thermal” injuries, or burns, on his body, the autopsy reported.

Hempstead, a convicted burglar whose prison grievances and interviews with the Miami Herald first brought to light details of Rainey’s death, said he was shocked to learn that the death was ruled accidental. He told investigators, including those with the Justice Department, that the rigged shower was used on several other inmates with mental illnesses to terrorize them and keep them in line. The plumbing was dismantled after Rainey’s death.

“Obviously his life was of no value because he was a black, poor, mentally disabled, Muslim prisoner,” said Hempstead in a prison interview by telephone.“The decision shows that black lives don’t matter.”


Torture of prisoners is sad reality of the United States. Sometimes people behind the bars are less dangerous than prison warders. The state takes care about its guards covering up their inhuman deeds. Rainey’s death was ruled as an accident despite the facts and witnesses. Such outcome of so called justice only encourage sadistic behavior of prison warders and police officers. They know that they can do it legally.


“Life isn’t just about surviving, it’s about love and experiences and connecting with other people, and art and music. I do think you see the characters just starving for that. We’re not just animals surviving in this apocalypse, we’re human beings trying to make sense of our lives and to have some sort of purpose and enjoyment, and love is one of the biggest ways to feel connected to life and to feel like your time means something. I think it’s cool that people see that, and who knows what will happen. It’s the fun of the chase, the unknowns of what could happen next. It’s cool when people care so much about the characters that they do want to see them in love and they do want to see them do fun things besides just survive.”     -  Emily Kinney, zap2it

Russian prisoners tattoos and their meanings.

 The ink used for these tattoos are made with a mixture of burned rubber and urine.

Text across the eyelids reads ‘DON’T / WAKE’.
Eye tattoos are made by inserting a metal spoon under the eyelid so that the ‘needle’ doesn’t pierce the eye.

The tattoos on this inmate mimic those of higher-ranking criminals and indicate he has adopted a thieves’ mentality. However, he does not wear the ‘thieves’ stars’, he is not a vor v zakone (thief-in-law) and therefore holds no real power among this caste.

Tattoos with portraits of Lenin and Stalin are intended to show patriotic feelings. However, some prisoners had portraits of Lenin and Stalin tattooed on their chest for ‘protection’, as it was commonly believed that the guards were forbidden to shoot at an image of their great leaders.

The stars on the shoulders denote an authoritative thief. The rose on the chest means he turned eighteen while in prison. The acronym ‘SOS’ on the right forearm variously stands for Spasite Ot Syda (Save me from judgment); Spasayus Ot Suk (I saved myself from the bitches)*; Spasayus Ot Sifilisa (Saved from syphilis); Spasi, Otets, Syna (Save me, father, your son); Suki Otnyali Svobodu (Bitches robbed my freedom).

On the arm beneath the skull is the Latin phrase Memento Mori meaning ‘Remember that you will die’. The double-headed eagle is a Russian state symbol that dates back to the 15th century and was used by Peter the Great.  This photograph taken in the Soviet period shows this emblem tattooed as a bold symbol of power and rage against the USSR. It can also be interpreted as ‘Russia for the Russians’. The Statue of Liberty implies a longing for freedom, while the dark character holding a gun denotes a readiness to commit violence and murder. The eyes on the chest signify ‘I can see everything’. The eight-pointed stars tattooed on the shoulders mark the bearer as an ‘authoritative’ thief.

Text above the cross reads ‘O Lord, Save and Protect your servant Viktor’, text beneath reads ‘God do not judge me by my deeds but by your mercy’. Text above the waist reads ‘I fuck poverty and misfortune’. The skull and crossbones show that the prisoner is serving a life term. The girl ‘catching’ her dress with a fishing line on his left forearm is a tattoo worn by hooligans and rapists. The snake coiled around human remains (positioned on the middle third of each arm) is a variation on an old thieves’ tattoo. The snake is a symbol of temptation; here the snake’s head has been replaced by that of a woman: the temptress. 

Text across the chest reads ‘He who is not with me is against me’.
The swastika and Nazi symbols may mean that the owner has fascist sympathies, though they are more usually made as a protest and display of aggression towards the prison or camp administration. During the Soviet period the authorities often removed these tattoos by force either surgically or by using an etching method. A tattoo of a mermaid can indicate a sentence for rape of a minor, or child molestation.  In prison jargon the nickname for a person who commits this type of crime is amurik meaning ‘cupid’, They are ‘lowered’ in status by being forcibly sodomised by other prisoners, sometimes in groups

The Madonna and Child is a thieves’ talisman, acting as a guardian from misfortune and misery. It also means that the bearer has been a thief from an early age: ‘Prison is my home’; ‘A child of prison’

Text on the arm reads ‘Remember me, don’t forget me’ and ‘I waited 15 years for you’.On his stomach (left) is a religious building with a crescent moon; his features also indicate that he is not Russian. He is not an authoritative thief, but has tried to imitate them with his tattoos to increase his standing within the prison. The lighthouse on his right arm denotes a pursuit of freedom. Each wrist manacle indicates a sentence of more than five years in prison.

A snake around the neck is a sign of drug addiction. The stars on the clavicles and epaulettes on the shoulders show that this inmate is an authority. The trousers worn by the inmate are part of the uniform of a special regime colony, the strictest type of regime in the Soviet Union. Criminals sent here are known as osobo opasnim retsidivistom (especially dangerous recidivists), who have carried out grave offences such as murder or paedophilia. They are assigned to harsher and more restricted regimes of detention than other prisoners, and are not subject to be released on parole.

The stars on the shoulders show that this inmate is a criminal ‘authority’. The medals are awards that existed before the Revolution and as such are a sign of antagonism and defiance towards the Soviet regime. The eyes on the stomach denote a homosexual (the penis makes the ‘nose’ of the face).