The 1991 murder of 14-year-old cheerleader Amy Carnevale by her teenage bodybuilder boyfriend Jamie Fuller was a tragedy that reverberated throughout Beverly, Massachusetts. Her gruesome death fueled a whirlwind of possessiveness and toxic masculinity.
Jamie Fuller was convicted of her murder and sentenced to life without parole. But since the 2013 Supreme Court ruling that made life without parole unconstitutional for juveniles, Fuller has embarked on a journey of transformation and advocacy.
STORY OF REDEMPTION AND PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION
Against the backdrop of daunting circumstances, Jamie Fuller’s story is one of redemption and personal transformation. From a young age, Fuller faced challenges that would shape his life forever. But it was in these early years that a spirit of determination thrived, allowing him to devise coping mechanisms that would ultimately shape the choices he would make.
In a series of episodes that are both heartbreaking and hopeful, Fuller’s life took a sharp turn when he became eligible for parole in 2019, at the age of 43. This pivotal juncture marked the onset of his journey toward redemption and a second chance in society.
During his time at the halfway house, Fuller worked to break down barriers that had previously hindered him from fully embracing a healthy lifestyle and making positive changes in his life. This process included working to reintegrate himself into the community, including being an active member of his church, leading a Bible study and supporting others on their own paths to recovery.
Fuller also pushed himself to pursue new opportunities that could benefit him and others. Specifically, he pursued a design internship with renowned architect and inventor Shoji Sadao, whose groundbreaking geodesic dome designs would eventually serve as the inspiration for the Montreal Biosphere.
When he returned to his hometown of Beverly, Massachusetts, Fuller used the skills he learned to create a business that focused on recycling aluminum cans. He also began to spend more time with his family and re-engaged in the community through volunteerism.
But, perhaps most significantly, Fuller re-embraced his Christian faith in earnest during this period. In doing so, he sought to reconcile the tumultuous relationship with his mother that had culminated in the murder of Amy Carnevale and began to see his actions through the lens of forgiveness.
In his work as a filmmaker, Fuller often explored the themes of redemption and second chances. His 1952 novel, The Dark Page, which was later adapted into the film Scandal Sheet by Phil Karlson, offers an early example of Fuller’s unyielding refusal to sugarcoat troubling social issues and his willingness — so uncharacteristic of the postwar era in Hollywood — to complicate our feelings for his protagonists.
INSIDE THE CORNER OF THE PRISON WALLS
During his time behind bars, Jamie Fuller learned to navigate the complex dynamics of prison life. Despite the hardships, he found unexpected moments of personal growth and transformation. Through his advocacy work, he has inspired others to pursue their own path to redemption and change.
Fuller was convicted in 1991 of stabbing his girlfriend, Amy Carnevale, 14, to death and throwing her weighted body into a pond. He claimed heavy drinking and the use of steroids drove him to kill her. He was sentenced to life in prison.
The walls of the four-tiered block loom overhead, imposing a feeling of impenetrable isolation. Inmates have carved the prison’s name into one of its stone corners. Inside, the cells are tight and cramped. Each cell is six feet wide and twice as long, with a solid metal bed frame attached to the wall and walls, a sink and toilet and two metal plates that act as a desk and chair. Guards patrol the corridors, ducking thrown objects and insults.
Prisoners used to be more connected to their peers, but violent crime grew rapidly and political rhetoric turned away from rehabilitation to punishment. As prisons grew bigger and fuller, wardens and guards focused on keeping inmates from being exposed to anything that might distract them or pose a security risk. The era of music by prisoners — Merle Haggard reaching stardom in the 1960s and others finding success with applause lines like “I turned 21 doing life without parole” — ended as violent crime peaked and victims’ rights activists framed any creativity behind bars as an affront to crime survivors.
As we leave the cell block, Fullenkamp points out a section of wall that’s 10 feet high, with toilet paper balls stuck to it. Inmates had wet or peed them and then tossed them to the wall as a sort of mummified parting message to the old place.
Fullenkamp has ideas for other ways the prison can be preserved and shared with visitors. He hopes to create a historical photographic collection and an oral history project with inmates. He has studied preservation efforts at other penitentiaries, including the old one in Mansfield, Ohio, that became famous after the movie “The Shawshank Redemption.”
OUTSIDE THE CORNER OF THE PRISON WALLS
The moment Jamie Fuller became eligible for parole represented a significant milestone in his life. It was not only a legal process that could see him finally free from prison bars, but it was also a symbolic crossroads at which his journey of redemption and personal transformation gained tangible momentum.
Fuller was convicted of stabbing his 14-year-old girlfriend to death in 1991 and throwing her weighted body into a pond because he was addicted to drinking and drugs. He had been on probation for a burglary conviction in Branch County when the incident took place.
At the time, he was known by the local media as “Evil Ray” for the many times he had tried to escape from prison. To the outside world, he spun wild stories of conspiracies and international intrigue, guns and smuggled cash. Inside the prison walls, however, Ray was a quiet man who kept his mouth shut.
Once Fuller entered his cell, he was a prisoner for 26 years. But during that time, he grew into a man of deep insight and compassion who was able to build a better life for himself in spite of his past. He made friends in prison who served as sources of support and encouragement during difficult periods, and he learned to overcome the challenges of his circumstances by finding strength within himself.
After a while, Fuller started writing for the anarchist paper Black Dragon, which shared the communal concerns of leftist incarcerated people. In an article, he wrote that prisons are used to break people and to trample them into a mold that no sane person would willingly accept.
Today, the old penitentiary is a museum and a state park, and the corner of the prison wall where prisoners prayed for forgiveness is preserved in a wooden box filled with glass-plate negatives from 150 years ago. Country musician Eric Church even references this historic site in his song, “Sinners Like Me.”
The tour guide leads us into the former stockade wall where prisoners were once hanged. On the other side of the wall, a memorial to those who died trying to escape still stands. Inside, survey markers dot the ground, marking locations of old wells that were used as escape tunnels. The fences are chainlinked, but they give a misleading sense of openness that is deceptive, especially during “fly-up” when prisoners are allowed to roam the compound.
Jamie Fuller’s story is a testament to the power of redemption and the potential for personal transformation. His journey has inspired countless individuals, both inside and outside of prison walls, to seek positive change in their own lives. His tireless advocacy has also fueled the flames of social justice and athlete welfare, leaving an indelible mark on our world.
During his youth, Jamie lived in a difficult and chaotic environment. He faced educational obstacles, struggled with peer pressures, and ventured into the world of crime. But beneath the veneer of his actions lay a multifaceted individual with untapped potential. Jamie would eventually become ensnared in a spiral of criminal activity that led to his eventual arrest and conviction for the gruesome murder of his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Amy Carnevale, in 1991.
A resident of Beverly, Massachusetts, Jamie Fuller was a popular and well-liked student at Beverly High School. But those who knew him described him as an ill-tempered teenager whose jealousy often impeded his relationships with others, including Amy Carnevale. Fuller’s possessive nature ultimately drove him to murder her on August 23, 1991, and then cover her body in plastic before dumping it in a nearby pond.
After being convicted, Jamie Fuller was sentenced to life in prison without parole. However, a legal development in 2013 deemed life sentences without parole to be unconstitutional for teenagers and allowed Jamie Fuller to receive a parole hearing in 2019.
But on February 12, 2019, the day of his parole hearing, Jamie Fuller was denied parole. The decision is being appealed, but he will remain in prison for the foreseeable future. He is currently serving his life sentence at MCI Shirley in Walpole, Massachusetts. Jamie Fuller is survived by his mother Salena Fuller and stepfather Jay Fuller of Portsmouth, Ohio, her siblings Lauren (Hailey) Orban, Katherine Fuller, and Carter Hobbs, his grandparents Janet Fuller and Marion Durham of Lucasville, Ohio, and step brothers; Michael Patrick Orban and Aiden Fuller of Pearland, Texas.