Short jail stay ends in suicide

An interactive timeline of Guy Duffy's 30-day sentence at Essex County Correctional Facility in Middleton, MA, from his conviction for animal cruelty in June of 2015 to his death less than three weeks later.

Duffy's wife Laurie claims the jail failed to protect her emotionally distraught and frail husband from self-harm. He was one of five men to die by suicide in a 12-month period at the jail. Jail officials say they continue to strive to prevent suicides and keep inmates safe. ;xNLx;;xNLx;Recorded phone calls released by Laurie Duffy.;xNLx;;xNLx;Timeline produced by Shaz Sajadi.;xNLx;;xNLx;The Eye is the news site of The New England Center for Investigative Reporting. For more information go to;xNLx;

2015-06-25 16:00:00


Duffy was sentenced to 30 days in jail for inflicting "unnecessary cruelty" on his tabby cat Jesse who he had brought to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to be euthanized. Duffy maintained he loved and cared for his cat, who was old and sick. Listen to Lawrence District Court Judge Lynn Rooney announce the sentence in court.

2015-06-29 13:00:00

First call from jail

Five days after his arrest, Duffy calls his wife Laurie from the jail infirmary, where he was transferred directly from court. Laurie says her husband told her he was given a "rough ride" in the van to the jail that left him in a weakened condition. Jail officials claim they have no evidence of this. Duffy tells Laurie that he is taking Librium, an anti-anxiety medication that makes him dizzy. Listen to their first phone call.

2015-07-07 10:27:01

Dormitory Living

Duffy has been living in a dormitory-type setting for a week now. He calls his wife excited because he is going to be transferred to a lower security facility, known as the farm. Listen to their call.

2015-07-08 15:53:00

"Nervous breakdown"

Duffy goes to the farm for a few hours and is returned, a crushing setback that soon puts him on a mental health watch in the infirmary. He tells Laurie he is losing weight and is desperate. "I'm going to die here," he says. Listen to the call.

2015-07-09 04:49:14

Mental health watch

Duffy spends about nine hours on mental health watch in a cell meant for inmates who are unstable or suicidal. He claims he was mocked and taunted by the correctional staff. Jail officials say they have no evidence of this. He was later returned to the dormitory. Listen to his description.

2015-07-10 10:00:05

Jail reassures Laurie

Worried for her husband, Laurie calls the jail and is transferred to a voicemail. She says she left a very upset voice message. On July 10th, she gets a message from Kim Murtagh, telling her Duffy is in a "safe place." Listen to the voicemail.

2015-07-12 12:00:01

Family visit

Duffy and his wife have a no-contact visit in jail. Listen to their conversation.

2015-07-14 01:05:23

Midnight chest pains

Duffy reports having chest pains and is escorted to the infirmary. Because he tells staff he feels unsafe, jail officials attempt to put him in a single cell in segregation. But he resists the placement and is taken "to the ground" by an officer, shackled and returned to the infirmary.

2015-07-14 08:17:11


After another stint on mental health watch, Duffy is returned to "protective custody" in segregation.

2015-07-14 15:23:06


Duffy hangs himself on a coat hook. Listen to Lt. Rand Nichols describe what happened to a state police investigator.

Short jail stay ends in suicide

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