1924-1959


 

Sheriff Willis A. Davis
Delta County


On October 18, 1924, Sheriff Davis came upon Woldene Allentharp, who was wanted on three warrants. He exchanged some friendly words and told Allentharp he was under arrest. Allentharp asked if he could get his sweater, then stood up and leveled a .45 at Davis, declaring that he would never go alive. When Davis attempted to draw his gun, Allentharp fired three shots at him. Two shots went wild and the third hit Davis in the abdomen. When Allentharp saw what he had done, he dropped his gun and cried, "Don't shoot! I'll give up!" Davis fired two shots, but both missed.

 

Davis was rushed to the hospital for surgery, but he died a day later.

Source: Delta Independent.


 

Policeman James Shannon
Denver Police Department


Policeman James Shannon was on his beat at 34th and Williams, shortly after 11pm, April 4, 1925. As Shannon was attempting to place Alfred Dorchak under arrest, he was shot in the left side upward into the heart. Dorchak then stole a car and fled. Shannon was found dead on the sidewalk at 11:15pm. He had died almost instantly.

 

Dorchak was arrested a short time later for the killing. He admitted to the shooting, but said he didn't know he had killed killed the officer. On April 29, 1925, Alfred Dorchak was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Policeman Shannon.

Source: Code 109.


 

Agent Clyde L. Taylor
U. S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms


Agent Taylor was attempting to arrest a moonshiner in Leadville, when the man fired at him with a shotgun. Agent Taylor was not wounded by the shotgun blast, but suffered a fatal heart attack as a result and died on May 11, 1925.


 

Patrolman Elmer I. Rich
Denver Police Department


Patrolman Rich responded to a domestic disturbance call on March 23, 1927, at 3511 Jason. The dispute was between Eulopio Veltran and his wife Marie. As Rich entered the house through the back door, Eulopio opened fire on him. Marie tried to make her husband stop, and when he didn't, she jumped between them and took a bullet in the right breast. She fell to the floor and Eulopio shot again at Rich, hitting him in the right temple and the left chest, and killing him instantly. Eulopio then walked to the living room and turned the gun on himself.

Source: Code 109.


 

Patrolman Harry R. Ohle
Denver Police Department


On November 22, 1928, Patrolmen Harry Ohle and R. K. Evans were searching a residence at 2233 Curtis, acting on a tip that illegal alcohol was being dispensed at this location. After searching the lower level, the patrolmen, accompanied by the house matron, Louvenia Reese, went upstairs. As they opened a door and entered a darkened room, three shots rang out, striking all three. Ohle died instantly, a bullet through his heart.

 

The shots were fired by Eddie Ives, who had just robbed a nearby liquor store and thought the police were looking for him. Ives, who weighed only 80 pounds, was captured, tried and convicted. His sentence of death by hanging was carried out at Canon City on November 11, 1930, but only after several unsuccessful attempts. Thereafter, the State of Colorado switched to lethal gas for its executions.


 

Patrolman Robert K. Evans
Denver Police Department


On November 22, 1928, Patrolman Robert Evans was shot in the right arm during an altercation and was admitted to Denver General Hospital for treatment. His night nurse turned out to be his former fiancee, Farice King. Although Evans had broken his engagement to King and married another woman, King seemed at ease with the situation, and for several nights, the two talked about old times.

 

In the early morning hours of November 28th, King walked up to the bed where Evans was sleeping, fired two shots into him and then turned the gun on herself. Evans died instantly, but King survived, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. On February 14, 1934, King was pardoned by the Governor.


 

Patrolman Clarence W. Alston
Denver Police Department


Patrolman Alston was walking his beat shortly before 11pm on March 24, 1929, when he saw two men pulling another man out of his car at the intersection of Colfax and Broadway. Alston ran to the vehicle, stuck his head inside and demanded to know what was going on. Two shots were fired and Alston fell to the street, shot through the chest and in the leg. He was rushed to Denver General Hospital and died an hour later.

 

One of the suspects, William Marshall, was arrested as he boarded a streetcar. The second suspect was found in his hotel room closet, shot through the head by his own gun.

Source: Code 109.


 

Deputy Sheriff Coral A. Hickman
Kiowa County


On March 14, 1930, Deputy Hickman and William Mosher saw a vehicle that matched the description of a vehicle used in a recent robbery. Hickman followed the vehicle as it turned a corner, sped up and then stopped as if to look at the tires. As Hickman caught up with the vehicle, three bandits, armed with rifles and "six" guns, jumped out and headed for Hickman's car. The bandits opened fire and Hickman was shot six times. The bandits fled and were apprehended two miles south of Jetmore, Kansas.

Source: Kiowa County Press.


 

Sheriff William B. Justice
Washington County


During the evening of June 17, 1930, Sheriff William Justice and Akron Night Marshal George McGruder were in the Burlington Railroad yards in Akron, searching for a hobo who had earlier caused a disturbance in town. At about 8:35, the two men were standing on a side track, watching an incoming freight train from the east, and failed to see a switch engine backing up from the west.

 

McGruder saw the engine first and jumped off the track as he called to the Sheriff. But Justice was struck by the tender and thrown beneath the train. He was removed from the tracks and taken to the Ft. Morgan hospital, where he later died from his injuries.


 

Agent Dale F. Kearney
U. S. Department of Justice


Agent Kearney received an anonymous call warning him to leave certain bootleg places in Aguilar and Trinidad alone. Two days later, on Saturday evening, July 5, 1930, he was summoned from his house and followed a vehicle from Trinidad to Aguilar. Kearney's car overheated, so he stopped at the Aguilar Motor Co. shortly before midnight. J. G. Lile found a loose coupling on the oil line which had caused the car to overheat. Lile went into the Alpine Rose Cafe, called for a tow truck and ate a sandwich. At about midnight, he started to return to his vehicle. Shortly after that, shots were heard and Kearney's dead body was found with 16 bullet wounds. The murderers are unknown, but thought to be bootleggers that Kearney was investigating.

Source: The Walsenburg-Huerfano World.



Patrolman William Keating
Denver Police Department


On August 31, 1931, Patrolman Keating was checking in at 4:30am from the call box in front of the McCarty-Sherman showrooms, while two youths, Donald Ray and William Piskoty, were inside attempting to open the safe. The youths saw Keating and assumed that he saw them. They ran and broke a window, forgetting they had opened the door. In their haste, they left some keys behind. Keating heard the noise and went to investigate. He tried the garage doors and found the alley entrance unlocked. He went in and searched for intruders.

 

An hour later, thinking the patrolman had left, Ray and Piskoty returned to find their keys. When Keating saw them enter, he ordered both to put up their hands. They told Keating they were tourists, that their car had broken down, and they thought someone could help them repair their car. Keating told them they were under arrest and walked with them toward the call box. On the way, he asked Piskoty for a driver's license. Ray dropped his hands and said he had one, but he turned around with a .38 automatic and fired at Keating. The two ran, turned and fired again.

 

Keating was raced to Denver General Hospital and was able to give a description of the two before he died. The two suspects were arrested, confessed to the murder of Patrolman Keating and were sentenced to 65 years to life imprisonment.

Source: Code 109.


 

Detective John F. Dea
Detective George P. Schneider
Denver Police Department


February 11, 1933 became a day of terror for the 100 or so people at the Colorado Auction Company in downtown Denver. When proprietor Henry Zelinger received $20 worth of tools on consignment from Gay Rice, he became suspicious and notified the police, after telling Rice to return at 2pm. At the appointed time, Rice was met by Detectives John Dea and George Schneider, who asked him to step through a door and away from the people in the auction gallery.

 

The detectives did not know that Rice had been previously arrested for carrying concealed weapons and was regarded as a "mental defective" for some threats he had made against the police. As Rice went through the door, he drew a gun from his pocket and shot Dea twice, dropping him immediately. He then turned and shot Schneider twice. After Schneider fell, Rice stood over him and fired five more rounds into his body. Rice then ran amok in the auction gallery, firing at people, walls, windows and cars outside. After Rice had fired nearly 50 rounds, he moved close enough to the wounded Dea that the detective was able to fire four rounds, missing three times and finally hitting Rice once in the forehead.

 

In the aftermath, Schneider was dead almost immediately, three of the gallery patrons were injured (one later died), Rice died about an hour after the incident, and Dea died about 6pm, but not before explaining what had happened.


 

Patrolman Clarence E. Fraker
Patrolman John J. O'Donnell
Denver Police Department


On March 22, 1934, Patrolmen Clarence Fraker and John O'Donnell were responding with lights and siren through the streets of Denver. At 25th and Marion, their police car collided with another car. The driver of that car later claimed he never saw the lights or heard the siren.

 

The two officers were rushed to local hospitals, where they both subsequently died of their injuries.

Source: Code 109.


 

Sheriff Adolpho Rodrigues
Costilla County


Sheriff Rodrigues and Undersheriff J. P. Mestes were investigating a robbery on January 1, 1934, and had set up a road block. Two miners, Herbert Rankin and George Putnam, drove around the road block in their van because they knew they were not guilty of any crime. The officers fired a few shots at the van and Rankin and Putnam returned fire. Rankin and Putnam drove to a pool hall and Rodrigues and Mestes followed. When the two officers entered the pool hall, the miners opened fire. Sheriff Rodrigues was hit and died a few minutes later. Mestes was hit in the arm and never fully recovered.

Source: "Reflections - Sheriffs of bygone days".


 

Patrolman Thomas J. O'Connor
Denver Police Department


On March 5, 1934, Patrolman O'Connor was crossing the street with his wife when they were struck by an automobile. O'Connor's wife, Lila J. O'Connor, suffered a compound fracture of the right leg and possible internal injuries. She was taken to Mercy Hospital and survived. Patrolman O'Connor died almost instantly from a skull fracture and a compound fracture of the right leg.

Source: Code 109.


 

Officer Lee S. Whitman
Greeley Police Department


Officer Whitman was assigned to the complaint desk and prisoner booking area. Late on the night of July 24, 1934, another officer brought a suspect, Jack Prince, in for booking. The arresting officer went back on patrol, leaving Prince alone with Officer Whitman. Prince pulled a .38 caliber revolver from his boot and shot and killed Whitman.

Source: Greeley Police Department.


 

Patrolman Alson C. McCasland
Denver Police Department


On April 13, 1935, Patrolman McCasland was traveling east on a motorcycle. At East 19th and Clarkson, his motorcycle struck a car driven by Miss Muriel Painter. The motorcycle overturned and McCasland suffered a fractured left arm, brain concussion and numerous cuts. He died from complications on May 28, 1935.

Source: Code 109.


 

Sheriff W. W. Dunlap
Montezuma County


On July 15, 1935, Sheriff Dunlap was transporting two murder suspects from Glenwood Springs to Cortez for trial. The suspects were brothers Otis and Herbert McDaniels. Four miles east of Placerville in San Miguel County, the suspects overpowered Dunlap and shot him.

 

Otis McDaniels paid for his crime on February 14, 1936 in the gas chamber at Canon City. Herbert McDaniels received a sentence of life in prison.

Source: Montezuma County Sheriff's Office.


 

Detective Pasquale Marinaro
Denver Police Department


Shortly after 9:00pm on April 17, 1936, Detective Marinaro and other Denver Police detectives entered an apartment building at 335 23rd St. They were looking for Amos Hayhurst, who was wanted by police for the murder of Joseph Dicker at the home of Hayhurst's ex-wife Edna. Hayhurst had originally planned to kill his ex-wife and himself.

 

Marinaro entered an apartment rented by Mr. and Mrs. Fisher to search for Hayhurst. When Marinaro walked into the kitchen, Hayhurst opened fire with his gun and the first bullet struck the detective. Marinaro fired two shots, one of which hit Hayhurst in the hip. When Hayhurst knew he couldn't escape he shot and killed himself. Marinaro died of a bullet wound to the heart in an ambulance on the way to the Denver General Hospital.

Source: Code 109.


 

Patrolman Forrest E. Sawyer
Denver Police Department


On March 8, 1937, a liquor-maddened man, Fred Stallings, threatened his twin brother. After he left his brother's house, he ordered his wife to drive through a red light and into a parked car. When she refused, he pulled out his gun and threatened to kill her. He then took the wheel himself and drove to his home.

 

He called the police station and requested two officers to come and arrest him because he was crazy. His intention was to kill them. Patrolman Sawyer and Patrolman Carroll, a rookie, responded and approached the house. Stallings swung the door open and opened fire. He shot Sawyer near the heart and Carroll in the chest. Sawyer stumbled to the driveway, collapsed and died. Carroll was able to get to a gas station and call police.

 

Soon after, bystanders heard another shot as Stallings committed suicide.

Source: Code 109.


  

Detective Fred Renovato
Denver Police Department


On October 13, 1938, City Detective Renovato was informed of a crazed man named Joe Coats who was dragging a woman named Virginia Garcia by the hair from her apartment. Renovato exited his car in front of a home at 1221 22nd St. and Coats immediately opened fire on him. Renovato was shot four times, once each in the neck, shoulder, leg, and heart. Coats turned the gun on Garcia and pulled the trigger three times, but the weapon never discharged. He then escaped. Renovato was able to lift himself and fire five times, but he missed.

 

All available officers were called out to search for Coats and given orders to shoot to kill. Renovato was transported to Denver General Hospital but died enroute.

 

Coats was apprehended, tried and convicted for the murder of Detective Renovato. He was sentenced to death and was executed on January 10, 1939.

Source: Code 109.


 

Undersheriff Clarence B. Fugate
Jefferson County


On October 12, 1940, Undersheriff Fugate was called to a domestic disturbance at Lee's Tavern that had turned into a hostage situation. Arthur Markham and owner Jack Carleton had gotten into an argument and Carleton had shot Markham three times.

 

When police arrived, Carleton said he would kill any officer who entered. Fugate entered and asked for Carleton's gun, and Carleton told him it was in the kitchen. Fugate went to the kitchen, but didn't find the weapon. He returned and asked for it again. Carleton reached behind the bar, pulled out a weapon and fired at Fugate twice, hitting him once in the heart and once in the lung. Fugate was able to fire one round before he died, but it lodged in the wall of the tavern.

 

Carleton escaped and hid in an alley where he was found and arrested. He was sentenced to life at hard labor in the Colorado State Penitentiary at Canon City. Carleton died 22 years later in 1962 while still in prison. He was 76 years old and was buried at "Woodpecker Hill", the prison cemetery.

Sources: Lakewood Sentinel; Golden Transcript.


 

Patrolman Virgil M. Hall
Denver Police Department


Patrolman Hall and his partner, Patrolman Robert LaVernway, received a report of an auto theft shortly after 1:00am on July 4, 1945. A few seconds later, they spotted the car and attempted to stop it. The car sped away into an alley and crashed against a wall. Two men jumped out and ran. The two officers split up and chased the suspects.

 

LaVernway lost his man and started back to the patrol car. On his way, he heard Hall's shotgun discharge; then he heard additional shots and found Hall at 22nd and Larimer. Hall had been shot in the stomach, left chest and hip, and wanted an ambulance. An ex-convict named Mondragon had shotgun wounds in his head, chest and hips. Hall was waiting in the police car and Mondragon was lying on the top of a stairway in the alley. They were both transported to Denver General Hospital and Hall died the next day.

 

Mondragon was sentenced to life imprisonment in the state penitentiary on October 7, 1945. He was transferred to the State Hospital, and in March of 1957 he was resentenced to 25 years to life.

Source: Code 109.


 

Town Marshal Raymond B. Lewis
Town of Castle Rock


17 year old Manuel Perez was a fugitive, wanted for shooting two Denver Police officers. On February 14, 1946, he was sitting in the B&B Cafe in Castle Rock, unaware that he had been recognized and law enforcement had been summoned. When Marshal Raymond Lewis arrived at the cafe, Perez became suspicious and attempted to leave. Although Lewis was unarmed, he approached Perez and told the teenager to raise his hands. Instead, Perez pulled a revolver and fatally shot the Marshal in the chest. Some of the cafe customers jumped Perez and held him until Undersheriff Duncan Lowell arrived and made the arrest.

 

Perez was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison (as a minor, he could not be sentenced to death).

Sources: The Record-Journal; Rocky Mountain News.


 

Officer Alvin Nelson
Leadville Police Department


In the early morning of April 8, 1949, Officer Nelson arrived to assist Officer Mindenhall, who was tracking down Arvin Wurts after the man had broken into a car. Wurts had ducked into the Delaware Hotel, and the two officers followed him up to a third floor room. When confronted in the room, Wurts shot Nelson in the heart. Mindenhall returned Wurts's fire and killed him on the spot.

Sources: Denver Post; Leadville Research Cooperative.


 

Sheriff Wesley A. McDonald
Deputy James L. Jackson
Washington County


On November 8, 1952, Sheriff McDonald and Deputy Jackson drove out to a farm southwest of Akron. They made the trip to pick up farmer Clarence Hass, a mental patient. The Sheriff, who had known Hass for many years, parked the car about 35 feet from the back of the farmhouse and began to walk toward the back door. Hass was standing in the doorway. He raised his rifle and gunned down Sheriff McDonald. He then turned the rifle toward the police car and shot Deputy Jackson through the door.

 

After killing the two officers, Hass set the house and outbuildings on fire and then fled. After a twelve-hour manhunt, and as officers were closing in on him, the insane farmer killed himself with the same rifle.


 

Patrolman William A. Claassen
Denver Police Department


Patrolman Claassen and partner James Ingraham stopped at the Ideal Pharmacy at 2801 Downing St. to investigate a burglary in progress. A gun duel erupted with an ex-convict named Jack Bundage. Claassen was shot in the chest, but was able to fire one shot that wounded the gunman. Bundage burst out of a rear window with his shirt stained from the gunshot wound. Although Ingraham had been wounded by one of Bundage's shots, he fired a single round that killed the burglar.

 

Claassen died soon after the incident on February 11, 1953.

Source: Code 109.


 

Patrolman Richard Burchfield
Colorado Springs Police Department


On November 26, 1953, Patrolman Burchfield was dispatched to a personal armed robbery occurring on North Cascade Ave. He soon called in and asked dispatch if there were any detectives working. His second transmission advised that he was en route to HQ to meet the detective. A short time later, a man came into the front desk of HQ and advised that there was a police car pulled over near Bijou and El Paso St. and the officer appeared to be sick because he was slumped over. Officers raced to the scene and found Burchfield lying dead in the patrol car. He had been shot seven times at close range with a .22 caliber pistol.

 

Much remains a mystery, but information gathered during the exhaustive investigation that spanned 3 decades indicates that Burchfield had found and taken into custody a suspect in a series of armed robberies. Found on the floor was an ID card belonging to the victim of the robbery that had occurred earlier that evening. The reporting party initially had driven past the patrol car and saw a tall skinny male walking briskly away. After driving around the block three times, he saw the officer slumped over and became concerned.

 

This case has been officially cleared and no one has ever been charged with the murder of Patrolman Burchfield.

Source: Colorado Springs Police Department.



Patrolman Donald J. Seick
Denver Police Department


Patrolman Seick was off-duty on January 12, 1958, and had stopped at a filling station with his wife. Observing a man quickly walk out of the building, Seick suspected the man had just robbed the station. Seick drove behind the man until he reached 50th and Green Court. He then asked the man what he was doing in the service station, and the man replied that he wasn't doing anything except walking. Seick turned to his wife and told her to duck. She climbed out of the car on the street side as Seick got out on the curb to meet the man. Seick told the man to take his hands out of his pocket.

 

Mrs. Seick heard a shot and she ran to the other side of the car to see her husband slumping into the gutter. The bandit then pointed the gun at her. She pleaded for her life and said she had six kids to take care of. She stooped to her husband's side as he muttered something she couldn't understand. The gunman walked across the street, climbed into a car and drove away. Seick died minutes later of a bullet through the heart. Seick's gun was determined missing because he never left home without it.

 

Five days later, Donald Carl Zorens was arrested on suspicion of the murder and was positively identified. Zorens was found guilty of murder in the first degree and was sentenced to the State Penitentiary for the remainder of his natural life. However, he was paroled on January 7, 1974.

Source: Code 109.


 

Officer Raymond J. McMaster
Boulder Police Department


On November 9, 1958, Officers Raymond McMaster and Howard Grothjan were parked along Highway 7, watching for armed robbery suspects who were headed their way from the north. When the suspect vehicle passed them, the officers followed and observed two men in the car. The officers decided to stop the vehicle, unaware that a third man was hiding in the rear seat, armed with a pistol.

 

As McMaster approached the right side of the vehicle, a gun battle began. McMaster was shot in four places, yet he still managed to seriously wound two of the suspects. Grothjan, who was not injured, called for assistance and the three suspects were apprehended. Shortly thereafter, McMaster succumbed to his wounds.

 

Two of the suspects, Vernon and Revilo Sides, were convicted of first degree murder and received life sentences. The third man, Vernon Johnson, was convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.

 


We welcome any additions, updates or corrections to the Memorial Book Online. If you have any reliable information to contribute, please contact: CSP Motor Carrier Safety, 15200 South Golden Road, Golden, CO 80401. (303) 273-1875.

 

Colorado State Patrol Memoriam

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