Walter Lee Peterson

Captain Walter Lee Peterson, a guard at Western Penitentiary, was killed by inmate Stanley Hoss in a racially-motivated attack on December 10, 1973.

Hoss, a former death row inmate whose sentence had been commuted to life imprisonment, was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Peterson and received a second life sentence. Hoss was originally sentenced to death for killing Verona Police Officer Joseph Zanella on September 19, 1969.

Stanley Hoss hanged himself in prison on December 6, 1978.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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