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Special Agent Virgil Lee Bensyl | Illinois State Police, Illinois Illinois State Police, Illinois

Special Agent

Virgil Lee Bensyl

Illinois State Police, Illinois

End of Watch: Friday, January 15, 1988

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 41

Tour: 19 years

Badge # 1562

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; 9 mm

Offender: Shot and killed

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Special Agent Virgil Bensyl was shot and killed while he and four other agents attempted to arrest a corrections officer for conspiracy to commit murder.

The agents in charge of the case decided to try to pick up the suspect by staging a motorist assist along the route he would take to work. The warden called the officer at his home and asked if he could help his niece who was stranded near his house.

Special Agent Bensyl walked up to his car, shined his flashlight, and announced himself. The assailant immediately drew a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and fired two or three shots. One shot hit Agent Bensyl in the chest and killed him instantly.

A former Marine and a veteran of the Vietnam War, Agent Bensysl joined the Illinois State Police on July 14, 1969. He served in District 10 - Pesotum, until 1984, when he graduated from New Agents Class #4; He was then assigned to Zone 10 where he remained until his death.

Agent Bensyl was survived by his wife and son. On April 29, 1988, District 10 Headquarters was re-dedicated in honor of Special Agent Virgil Lee Bensyl.

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Most Recent Reflection

I knew Agent Bensyl as a young adult. I grew up with his wife and brother in law in our small country village of Cisco, Illinois. I will never forget the day I learned of special Agent on a nationally televised crime show. I was in shock and broke down in disbelief.
Agent Bensyl was a very dedicated man of service as was his father before him. Knowing his wife and the heartbreak of widowhood and raising a child without their Dad is a daunting task. I commend Agent Bensyl for his dedication not only to his fellow officers but his duty to for the citizens he chose to protect.

I commend his fellow officers for their rememberance. For the new memorial to the fallen.
But most of all. Lets remember Janice and their son, who have carried on in his absence.

January 16, 2016


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