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Policeman Ian J. Campbell | Los Angeles Police Department, California Los Angeles Police Department, California


Ian J. Campbell

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch: Saturday, March 9, 1963

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 31

Tour: Not available

Badge # 10046

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Died in prison

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Policeman Ian Campbell was shot execution style and killed after he and his partner were abducted by two suspects during a traffic stop. The officers were on patrol when they began to question the men. One of the suspects pulled out a gun and was able to disarm the officers. The two men drove the officers to a field where they shot Policeman Campbell. The second officer was able to flee the scene and was not injured.

The subject who shot Policeman Campbell was sentenced to death but later had the sentenced commuted to life. The accomplice was also sentenced to life in prison.

In December 2006 the accomplice violated his parole and remained at large for several months. He was located on February 25, 2007, and taken into custody. He died of natural causes while in prison on April 6, 2007. The subject who shot Policeman Campbell died in prison on August 12, 2012.

Policeman Campbell had previously served with the United States Marine Corps and was survived by his mother and two daughters. He is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California.

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Most Recent Reflection

I read The Onion Field shortly after its release -- I was about 13 and a precocious reader. It may very well have been one of the first non-fiction crime stories I read. Though many would follow, none has attached itself to me like the tragedy of Ian Campbell and Karl Hettinger. Humanity lost a man with the soul of a poet, America lost a brave defender, two little girls lost their daddy, a wife - her husband, a mother - her son.

When I find myself thinking about Officer Campbell, I do not dwell on his death. In my mind's eye, he is tucking his children into bed, throwing a casual arm around his wife, visiting his mother...but most of all, he marches on a hill, a solitary piper expressing his sometimes melancholy soul.

In 1993, I gave birth to my son, Ian Campbell B-----. Part tribute to this fallen officer, part tribute to my own deceased brother, my Ian is a young man now, who makes music, who has a generous heart and innate honor, integrity, and empathy. I like to think he lives up to the name.

May God bless and keep you. Thank you for bravely and generously sharing your Ian with the world.

June 3, 2017


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