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Detective Ben Johnston | Tulsa Police Department, Oklahoma Tulsa Police Department, Oklahoma

Detective

Ben Johnston

Tulsa Police Department, Oklahoma

End of Watch: Friday, January 3, 1947

Bio & Incident Details

Age: Not available

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 9/12/1946

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: One shot and killed

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Detective Johnston and Detective Sylvester Cormack were shot and killed while attempting to arrest two suspects wanted for questioning in the murder of Officer Jerry St. Clair ten days earlier. They were also wanted for the murder of a night watchman in Seneca, Missouri, a day earlier and a hit and run accident in which a man was killed a week earlier in Vincennes, Indiana.

The detectives stopped the two suspects on Frisco Avenue but were immediately fired upon. Detective Cormack succumbed to his wounds at the scene and Detective Johnston succumbed to his wounds three months later. One of the suspects was apprehended at the scene and the second was later apprehended in Idaho.

On Febuary 3, 1947, both suspects escaped from the Tulsa County Jail. One was captured a short time later. Two hours later the other suspect was shot and killed in a gun battle with three state troopers 40 miles east of Tulsa.

The suspect who murdered Officer St. Clair was apprehended in California. He was convicted of first degree murder and executed in the electric chair on November 17, 1949.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Police Officer Jerry St. Clair
Tulsa Police Department, Oklahoma
End of Watch: Monday, September 2, 1946
Cause: Gunfire

Merchant Policeman James Elbert Wallace
Seneca Police Department, Missouri
End of Watch: Thursday, September 12, 1946
Cause: Gunfire

Detective Sylvester Cormack
Tulsa Police Department, Oklahoma
End of Watch: Thursday, September 12, 1946
Cause: Gunfire

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Most Recent Reflection

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 65th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect, not even 65 years.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05
January 3, 2012

 

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