Chief of Police William Terrell Mantoth

Chief of Police William Terrell Mantoth

Tehachapi Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, August 11, 1968

William Terrell Mantoth

Chief Mantoth was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a kidnap-rape suspect. Chief Mantoth and two other officers went to the suspect's home after receiving a warrant on him. As Chief Mantoth followed the man to a room the suspect suddenly dashed for a closet and Chief Mantoth attempted to stop him. The suspect whirled around and opened fire with a .22 caliber pistol, striking Chief Mantoth twice. One of the other officers shot and wounded the suspect.

The 22 year-old suspect was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to five years to life July 14, 1969. He was paroled March 18, 1976. On July 24, 1976, he was arrested in Bakersfield, California, after he kidnapped and brutally beat a woman.

Chief Mantoth had been Chief of Police for ten years. He was survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Paroled in 1976

Most Recent Reflection

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the suspect who killed chief mantoth, was shot and killed by members of the kern county sheriff;s dept. in 1983 after he kidnapped another woman and was holed up in a house in tehachapi .he faked surrendering, and pulled a phoney gun, forcing officers to kill him.justice was finally served.....

dep. w. flower ret.
kern county sheriff's dept. ret.

August 26, 2016

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