Star of Netflix TV show found dead aged 29 as family say they have been left 'devastated' by his sudden death

John "Eastside" McAllister, who appeared on Netflix series “Unlocked: A Jail Experiment” has died aged 29. Photo by GoFundMe.John "Eastside" McAllister, who appeared on Netflix series “Unlocked: A Jail Experiment” has died aged 29. Photo by GoFundMe.
John "Eastside" McAllister, who appeared on Netflix series “Unlocked: A Jail Experiment” has died aged 29. Photo by GoFundMe. | GoFundMe
The 29-year-old Netflix TV star died suddenly and police are investigating as foul play is suspected.

A prisoner who starred in a hit Netflix TV series has died after being found unresponsive in his jail cell aged 29.

John "Eastside" McAllister, who appeared on the series “Unlocked: A Jail Experiment”, died just a month before he was due to be released from prison. The cause of his death remains unknown at the time of writing (Thursday June 6), but police are investigating as suicide has been ruled out and foul play is suspected.

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The prisoner turned Tv star was found unresponsive at Randall L Williams Correctional Facility in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, United States, on Sunday (June 2). He was taken to a local medical centre, called Jefferson Regional Medical Centre, to receive treatment at around 8:50am but he was pronounced dead soon after.

The Netflix series, which first aired in April, followed cameras during a social experiment which involved giving American prisoners more independence. A total of 46 inmates, who were all based at the Pulaski Country Regional Detention Centre, were all filmed as they were allowed to come and go from their cells as they pleased under guard supervision.

McAllister, who was known by his fellow prisoners as Eastside, was shown to start his tattoo business during the show. Viewers watched as he tried to improve his circumstances after 14 jail terms and a committing offences including drug, theft and firearm related crimes.

On a GoFundMe page called ‘Help John McAllister's Family with Funeral Expenses’ set up to raise the funds for his memorial his aunt Melissa Regan wrote: "His sudden passing has left our family devastated.”

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In an update, Regan showed their appreciation for “Unlocked” and said it had helped her nephew think about who he wanted to be. She wrote: “Our family would like to express our deepest gratitude for the "Unlocked" series. For the first time, John took a hard look at his life and was willing to make changes to become a better person.”

“He was so excited to get out and start a new, better life for himself. The news of his passing is devastating, especially since he only had 28 days left in his sentence and had so many plans and goals. The series gave him the chance to grow, and for that, we are forever grateful. Thank you Netflix and Lucky 8 for making this happen.”

Regan also said a celebration of life would be planned for McAlllister soon. Viewers of the show have paid tribute to McAllister on X. One simply said “may he rest in peace”. Another person said “RIP”. “Unlocked: A Jail Experiment” was released on Netflix earlier this year and is still available to watch on the streaming platform.

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