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Captain Walter Lee Peterson | Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Pennsylvania


Walter Lee Peterson

Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Pennsylvania

End of Watch: Monday, December 10, 1973

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 42

Tour: 15 years

Badge # Not available

Military veteran

Cause: Assault

Weapon: Blunt object; Chair

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Captain Walter Peterson was beaten to death with a chair after being attacked by four inmates in the exercise room at Western Penitentiary in Pittsburgh. He had just been promoted to Captain three hours before the attack.

One of the suspects was in prison for murdering Officer Joseph Zanella, of the Verona Police Department, on September 19, 1969. He hanged himself in his cell on December 6, 1978.

The other three inmates were convicted of first degree murder and got a life term added to their sentences. One had recently stabbed a fellow inmate to death. Another one was in prison for murdering two women near Bedford.

Captain Peterson had served with the agency for 15 years, and served with the United States Air Force in the Korean War. He was survived by his wife and son.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Police Officer Joseph Paul Zanella
Verona Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania
End of Watch: Friday, September 19, 1969
Cause: Gunfire

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December 10, 2016


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