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Home Breaking “Devil’s Chosen One” Dies in Jail: Inquest Reveals Details of Wayne Spencer Franks’ Death

“Devil’s Chosen One” Dies in Jail: Inquest Reveals Details of Wayne Spencer Franks’ Death

"Devil's Chosen One" Dies In Jail: Inquest Reveals Details Of Wayne Spencer Franks' Death

"Devil's Chosen One" Dies In Jail: Inquest Reveals Details Of Wayne Spencer Franks' Death

Wayne Spencer Franks, infamously dubbed “the Devil’s chosen one,” died in his prison cell just months before he could potentially apply for parole. Franks, who was serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of an elderly widow, Mabel Whitelam, was found dead at HMP Wakefield on December 5, 2022. An inquest has revealed that the 47-year-old died from heart disease, with a large dose of dihydrocodeine, an opioid pain medication, found in his system.

"Devil's Chosen One" Dies In Jail: Inquest Reveals Details Of Wayne Spencer Franks' Death

Background of the Crime

Franks was convicted of the horrific murder of 82-year-old Mabel Whitelam, whom he stabbed 22 times after she opened the door to him on March 11, 2003. At the time of the crime, Franks was in his late 20s and struggling with a heroin addiction. Following the murder, he ransacked Whitelam’s home in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, and stole £80. He was found guilty of the murder after a trial at Hull Crown Court in 2004 and was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years.

"Devil's Chosen One" Dies In Jail: Inquest Reveals Details Of Wayne Spencer Franks' Death

Circumstances of Death

Franks was discovered lifeless on his bed in his cell at HMP Wakefield, a maximum-security facility known for housing high-profile criminals. The inquest heard that Franks had taken a significant dose of dihydrocodeine, believed to have been acquired from another inmate as it was not prescribed to him. His body showed signs of rigor mortis, indicating he had been dead for some time.

"Devil's Chosen One" Dies In Jail: Inquest Reveals Details Of Wayne Spencer Franks' Death

A number of drugs, including one used for treating Alzheimer’s disease—a condition Franks did not have—were found in his system. The inquest also noted that Franks had a history of drug abuse dating back to the age of 11 and was known to be a supplier and user of illicit substances within the prison.

"Devil's Chosen One" Dies In Jail: Inquest Reveals Details Of Wayne Spencer Franks' Death

Inquest Findings

The jury at the inquest in Wakefield concluded that Franks died as a result of misadventure, meaning his death was caused by a deliberate act that had unintended consequences. Coroner Oliver Longstaff stated that there was no evidence to suggest Franks had taken his own life and found no grounds for criticism of the prison’s care or treatment of Franks.

"Devil's Chosen One" Dies In Jail: Inquest Reveals Details Of Wayne Spencer Franks' Death

The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, who investigated Franks’ death, highlighted his known involvement in trading prescribed medications in prison. HMP Wakefield has since implemented improved security measures to curb the trafficking of drugs among inmates, which has led to a significant reduction in such activities.

"Devil's Chosen One" Dies In Jail: Inquest Reveals Details Of Wayne Spencer Franks' Death

Family and Parole Prospects

Franks’ daughter, who had limited contact with him, believed he was due to be eligible for parole in March 2023. She had spoken to him the day before his death and noted that he “seemed his normal self.” Despite his criminal past and the nature of his offenses, she did not raise any concerns about his care in prison.

Conclusion

Wayne Spencer Franks’ death marks the end of a life marred by crime and substance abuse. While his passing has closed a chapter on his violent legacy, it has also prompted further scrutiny into the issue of drug trafficking within prison walls and the adequacy of inmate care.

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