City Marshal William Matthew Tilghman

City Marshal William Matthew Tilghman

Cromwell Police Department, Oklahoma

End of Watch Saturday, November 1, 1924

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William Matthew Tilghman

Marshal William Tilghman was shot and killed after arresting a corrupt federal prohibition agent for public intoxication. Marshal Tilghman observed the man stumbling in the street carrying a pistol. As he was escorting the man to jail, the suspect pulled out another pistol he had concealed in his pants and shot Marshal Tilghman three times.

The suspect was acquitted of Marshal Tilghman's murder by a corrupt judicial system. The same suspect shot and killed Agent Crockett Long, of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, in 1932 as revenge for being arrested by him. The man also blamed Agent Long for his failure to be hired by the agency.

Marshal Tilghman had been in law enforcement for 54 years, starting his career in the late 1870's. He had served with five different local and federal agencies and had only been with the Cromwell Police Department for only a few weeks. He was survived by his wife and three children and is buried in Oak Park Cemetery in Chandler, Oklahoma.


  • Age 70
  • Tour 54 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Later shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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On this actual anniversary of your death I’d like to reiterate my previous reflection and say that your sacrifice is never forgotten.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

November 1, 2020

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