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Deputy Sheriff John L. Waller | Franklin Parish Sheriff's Department, Louisiana Franklin Parish Sheriff's Department, Louisiana

Deputy Sheriff

John L. Waller

Franklin Parish Sheriff's Department, Louisiana

End of Watch: Sunday, June 14, 1953

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 41

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Shotgun; 20 gauge

Offender: Executed in 1957

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Deputy Waller was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance.

Deputy Waller, along with an agent with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, arrived at the 23-year-old suspect's home to find him brandishing a shotgun on his front porch. As the officers stepped out of their car the suspect shot Deputy Waller in the neck killing him instantly. The agent managed to wrestle the gun from the suspect and take him into custody.

Fourteen days later the suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. Three years later he received a new trial and was again sentenced to death. He was executed in the electric chair on August 16, 1957.

Deputy Waller was survived by his wife.

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Most Recent Reflection

I did not know this man, but he was my paternal grandfather's brother. At the time of Officer John L. Waller's death, my daddy was only 7 years old. He said that the family was on vacation in California at the time, and upon hearing the work of Uncle John L's death, his family abruptly cut short their vacation, and headed back to northeast Louisiana, only stopping ONCE during the drive that took several days. My papaw (Sheriff Hiram B. Waller), never DID get over the guilt that his brother lost his life in the line of duty. Apparently, my papaw and his brother looked quite a bit alike, and even more tragic, my papaw had dealt with the perpetrator before and had tried on numerous occasions to assist him in getting professional help for his addictions and mental illness. Just a sad situation all the way around. My great uncle was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the man who killed him was not necessarily a BAD person, but one who was clearly disturbed and needed professional help. I do not fault him, nor do I hold any of his family members accountable for his actions. I only hope and pray that the addiction/mental illness amongst his family members was broken after this incident and his descendants have enjoyed happy and fulfilling lives.

Melanie Waller Routon
Great-niece, daughter of his nephew, Ralph M. Waller
July 9, 2016

 

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