California death row inmate James Lee Crummel hanged himself from a locker in his cell in San Quentin State Prison over the weekend.
James Lee Crummell, 68, received the death penalty in 2004 for the 1979 kidnap, rape and murder of 13-year-old James Jamie Wilfred Trotter.
Crummel was found by prison staff at approximately 4 p.m. on Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported. He was last seen alive around 3:45 p.m. on Sunday when prison personnel passed by his cell.
A San Quentin prison spokesman told the Times that Crummel was not on suicide watch. Crummel used an extension cord to hang himself from a locker in his cell. The spokesman said that inmates are allowed to have extension cords to plug in televisions and other electronics, the Times reported.
Crummel had a history of molesting boys going back to the 1960s, and he was one of the first sex offenders to have his history notified to a community as required by Megan's Law, the Daily Pilot reported. Megan's Law allows law enforcement authorities to share information about those convicted of sex crimes with the general public.
The 13-year-old Jamie Trotter, of Costa Mesa, Calif., was missing for more than a decade. He was last seen by his mother as he was on his way to school when he disappeared.
In a bizarre twist, Crummel contacted police in 1990 and told them he found a human skull and other bones while hiking in the Santa Ana Mountains. The remains were identified as Trotter's in 1996, and Crummel was charged with the teenager's death a year later.
Crummel, a former cook, had a history of sexually abusing boys and was convicted of child molestation in Missouri, Wisconsin and Arizona.
Crummel was also convicted of molesting a California teenager in 1999 and had been serving a life sentence for that crime as he simultaneously faced murder charges in Trotter's death.
Court testimony showed that Crummel abducted Trotter and offered him alcohol before raping and murdering the 13-year-old boy.
James Lee Crummel is also suspected of kidnapping and killing 9-year-old Jack J.D. Phillips, who went missing from his Big Bear Lake, Calif., home in 1995, the San Bernardino Sun reported.
The 9-year-old's remains have never been found and Crummel, who lived near the boy's home, never offered to tell police where the boy's body was located, Phillips' father told the Sun.