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Correctional Officer Robert J. Conkle | Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois

Correctional Officer

Robert J. Conkle

Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois

End of Watch: Saturday, July 22, 1978

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 22

Tour: 2 months

Badge # Not available

Military veteran

Cause: Stabbed

Weapon: Edged weapon; Shank

Offender: Acquitted

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Correctional Officer Robert Conkle, Lieutenant William Thomas and Correctional Officer Stanley Cole were killed during a riot at the Pontiac Correctional Center.

Around 9:00 am, about 500 inmates were returning to their cells in the North Cell House when a riot erupted. The inmates set fire to several buildings in the complex resulting in an estimated $4 million in damages. Lieutenant Thomas and Correctional Officer Conkle were stabbed with shanks numerous times shortly after the riot began. Correctional Officer Cole was stabbed with a screwdriver.

Correctional center staff and Illinois State Police troopers were able to restore order and return the inmates to their cells 11 hours later. Seventeen inmates were charged with the murders of the correctional officers, but none were convicted.

Correctional Officer Conkle was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Illinois Department of Corrections for only two months.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Correctional Officer Stanley E. Cole
Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois
End of Watch: Saturday, July 22, 1978
Cause: Stabbed

Lieutenant William Nelson Thomas
Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois
End of Watch: Saturday, July 22, 1978
Cause: Stabbed

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Most Recent Reflection

Officer Conkle,
I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army as a Paratrooper in the 82nd "All American" Airborne Division. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Airborne All The Way!

Anonymous
United States Border Patrol
July 22, 2017

 

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