Inmate suing for Baby Shark song used as jail torture mysteriously found dead

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - John Basco was allegedly tortured by jail officials for hours with the popular children's YouTube song Baby Shark during his arrest in late 2019, and filed charges against the prison afterwards. Now, he has been found dead in his cell.

John Basco was a plaintiff in a case against the county for being a victim of prisoner torture through the repeated playing of the song Baby Shark.
John Basco was a plaintiff in a case against the county for being a victim of prisoner torture through the repeated playing of the song Baby Shark.  © Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

Basco was among a group of three inmates who sued Oklahoma County for allegedly handcuffing them all to a wall and forcing them to listen to Baby Shark on repeat for hours.

Two of the accused detention officers were subsequently fired and a lieutenant retired over the incident, as criminal charges were filed against all three.

Yet, Basco will not live to see the actual trial.

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The 48-year-old was found unresponsive in his cell early on Sunday morning, and prison staff announced that after life-saving measures were initiated, he was pronounced dead, according to reports.

His exact cause of death is yet to be determined, and is still being investigated.

"I'm really bothered by this," Basco's attorney Cameron Spradling said of his client's death "One of the Baby Shark victims is conveniently dead within three days of his arrival at the jail. How does that happen?"

Basco had been booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center just days earlier on a drug trafficking complaint.

Mark Opgrande, a spokesperson for the jail, said there were no obvious signs of foul play in Basco's mysterious death and that investigators are looking into the possibility of a drug overdose.

Playing Baby Shark as a torture method was a joke among jail officers

Basco's subjection to the "inhuman punishment" of listening to Baby Shark was due to "a joke" between corrections officers to "teach inmates a lesson," according to investigators who confirmed the prisoners' complaints over the tune.

The high-pitched kids song famous for its "doo doo doo doo doo doo" phrasing is one of the highest-viewed YouTube videos of all time, with 11 billion views and counting.

Similar cases of "musical torture" have been reported around the world. Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have claimed that officials blasted inmates for hours with high-volume music in an effort to break their willpower.

Cover photo: Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

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