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Trooper Ernest J. Morse | Connecticut State Police, Connecticut Connecticut State Police, Connecticut

Trooper

Ernest J. Morse

Connecticut State Police, Connecticut

End of Watch: Friday, February 13, 1953

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 31

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Executed in 1955

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Trooper Ernest Morse was shot and killed after stopping a stolen vehicle on the Wilbur Cross Parkway.

As Trooper Morse approached the car the driver shot him in the abdomen. He was found by a passerby who used his radio to call for assistance. He was taken to Bridgeport City Hospital where he died one hour later.

The subject who shot Trooper Morse was convicted of murder, sentenced to death, and was subsequently executed on July 18th, 1955.

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Most Recent Reflection

My Dad worked at the Milford Toll Plaza from 1943 until he was promoted to Supervisor and Special State Trooper and assigned to the newly opened West Haven Toll Station on I-95 in January 1958. My father recalled the day that Trooper Morse lost his life. Only moments before the tragic event, Ernie or Moose; as my dad called him, was chatting with him in the Toll Station. Moose loved comic books and was thumbing through one at that moment. He left and what seemed a very short time later, a call went out over the station's radio that a State Trooper was down. As one would imagine amongst the fraternity of fellow troopers, information was shared amongst themselves that the press was not privy to. One such fact which I will always remember my father telling me at the supper table while trying to hold back tears was Moose's last task which was trying to get his rosary beads from his pocket as he lay on the ground. I've carried mine with me ever since. I vaguely recall the name of Moose's assailant. Donahue. I think he was from Massachussetts and supposedly came from a respectable family. When Donahue went to the electric chair in Wethersfield a couple of years later, I remember the news report on the radio describing his last moments and what he ate for his last meal. What made the biggest impression on me was that Donahue's parents showed no mercy toward their son, maintaining that he was raised the same as his siblings and deserved the punishment for what he had done. About ten years later, while working for the Supreme Council Knights of Columbus in New Haven, I met Moose's brother Jimmy Morse on summer evening at a fast food drive in not far from where I live on the beach in West Haven. He was with John Fitzgerald and Jimmy Pisani who both worked at the Knights of Columbus as well. It was nice but more of an honor to meet Jimmy Morse and to shake his hand. Some events from our childhood leave indelible marks and Moose's sudden and premature passing did so on me. I'm now 69. It's as sad today as it was when I was 9 years old.

Johnny Howard
Son of Milford Toll Collector
June 8, 2013

 

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