James “Porky” O’Rourke: Where is the Prisoner Now?

Ever since his early 20s, James “Porky” O’Rourke has been familiar with violence, so much so that he couldn’t stop marking his presence with it in any prison he moved to. The episode titled ‘O’Rourke’ of ‘World’s Most Dangerous Prisoners’ provides viewers with a detailed account of James’s murderous journey from the early 1990s. Featuring insightful interviews with the prison personnel and the victims’ loved ones, the episode also explores the crimes of James through different perspectives.

James “Porky” O’Rourke Took Victims in All the Prisons He Was Held

Growing up in East Glasgow, Scotland, during the 1980s, James Bernard “Porky” O’Rourke was a member of an aggressive gang led by William Gray. In 1992, when William got involved in a feud with another gang member, Neil Cairney, 22-year-old James and the rest of his associates attacked Neil’s gang, which resulted in him killing Neil with a slab of concrete. After a few days, he and William were arrested and charged with the murder. On October 2, 1992, he was convicted of being responsible for brutally killing Neil and received a life sentence for the same. He was incarcerated at HMP Glenochil Prison in Tullibody, Scotland.

About 5 years later, on January 5, 1997, he and his fellow inmate entrapped a prison officer named William and nurse Karen and held them hostage for several hours before letting them go unharmed. For that crime, an additional six years were added to James’ sentence. In July 2001, he was transferred to another prison, where he left a mark as well. In 2002, he received another eight years of imprisonment for abduction and assault. Then, in 2004, he was moved to HMP Kilmarnock, Scotland, where he stabbed the prison boss, Michael Guy, in the exercise yard. For that offense, he was charged with assault to injury and sentenced to another four years. In November of the same year, he was granted an appeal for the 1992 murder of Neil Cairney.

James Was Charged With Murdering a Fellow Inmate

Not only did he fail in his attempt to flee, but also his appeal. Just a few months later, he attacked and stabbed a prison escort and a senior prison official, for which he was sentenced to eight more years in prison. After several years of utter dominance in prison, James felt threatened by the arrival of a fellow inmate named Thomas Peacock in 2019. To retain his reign, he attacked Thomas unexpectedly. Following the attack on him, James was handed an additional 9-year sentence for the assault and attempted murder charges. In January 2021, he befriended a 30-year-old inmate named Dean David Ramsey.

Just a few days into the new year, on January 9, 2021, James lured Dean into his cell, tied his wrists, and strangled him with a bedsheet, which caused a brain injury. Although Dean was rushed to the Forth Valley Royal Hospital, he died a couple of days later, on January 11, 2021. As per reports, after killing Dean, James got out of his cell, shook hands with other inmates at HMP Glenochil, and bragged about it. It was he himself who confessed to one of the prison guards that he had caused harm to someone in his prison cell. Over a call with his mother, he reportedly admitted, “I f***ing tied him up and gave him the treatment.” The officials arrested him for killing Dean but claimed that he did not mean to kill him.

James “Porky” O’Rourke is Serving His Two Life Sentences Behind Bars

More than a year later, in 2022, James Bernard “Porky” O’Rourke pleaded guilty to murdering Dean Ramsey in his prison cell, and the jury convicted him of the same. On July 5, 2022, the court sentenced him to another life sentence on top of an ongoing life sentence and an accumulated 35 years. During the trial, James stated that he felt “gutted” for his victim’s family. Meanwhile, his defense attorney addressed the courtroom, “He accepts, by tendering the guilty plea, that he is committing himself to spending the rest of his life in custody.” Currently, he is incarcerated at a Scottish high-security prison facility.

Read More: Edward Johnson: Where is the Killer Now?