Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer Merle Lee Andrews

California Highway Patrol, California

End of Watch Wednesday, December 20, 1967

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Officer Merle Lee Andrews

Rest In Peace Brother. You are honored and remembered on the 50th anniversary of your EOW. Thank you and your family for your service and sacrifice.

Officer Mike Robinson, (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

December 20, 2017

On November 30, 2017, I represented the family at a suitability for parole hearing and immediately thereafter an extended medical probation hearing for Mr. Spychala. Mr. Spychala was unable to attend the suitability hearing. Parole was denied just as it has been every three years since 1967. Extended medical probation was decreed and he was to be transferred from prison to a private medical facility. He passed away at the age of 88 on December 12, 2017 before that transfer could take place, dying in prison. This is bitter sweet for me - I have compassion for this man in his time of suffering and knowing that his life was locked up in his mental illness. That said, I feel relief that he's gone, and that he passed in prison and not outside in a private facility. Having worked in the financial side of public protection, I understand the cost of maintaining medical facilities that can care for aging and ill incarcerated persons. That cost, depending on the facility, is likely to be above $266,000 annually and required medical care has extreme impact on prison medical staff. However, what message do we give our police officers and the families of any murdered victim when we say that someone who committed a premeditated murder, is eligible for any type of probation, for the sake of saving dollars. I can see this program working for low-level nonviolent offenders with or without mental illness, but not violent offenders who committed murder. I may not be successful, but I want to work to legislation to change this program. If Mr. Spychala had received treatment when he had lower offenses, Merle might still be alive. Once Mr. Spychala "up'd the stakes to premeditated murder", he needed to be incarcerated and not released because CA prisons are short of bed space and money. I pray now that Merle, my father, and Mr. Spychala all rest in peace. As for myself and our family, this loss remains with us, and we work each day to remember the good times with Merle and the life lessons he taught us. Hopefully we all live a life that honors him.

Margaret Cady
Niece

December 15, 2017

Very sad day for law enforcement. My m/c break in officer Tom Ferrill was a close friend of Merrill and took me to the spot where the incident happened. For years after that when patrolling in PV or while breaking new officers in I would go by the spot and reflect on what had happened there.

RJ Kelley
SLA CHP

December 15, 2017

I was just notified of the death of Merles killer. A few days shy of 50 years from Merles EOW - 12-20-1967. I am a great niece of Merles, and vividly remember the day it happened. A shocking life lesson for a 15 year old. That senseless act of violence forever changed the lives of everyone who knew Merle. Many thanks to all our law enforcement, and military, for your brave service, and for some, the ultimate sacrifice. You are all appreciated and remembered.

Teresa McCabe

December 13, 2017

Thank you Officer Andrews.

Tony Andrews
Police Chaplain

February 8, 2017

I answered the phone the night the Highway Patrol phoned to notify my father, Compton PD Officer Neal Andrews and Merle's brother, that Merle had been shot. Our family, including Grandma Andrews, Merle's mother, were gathered in the dining room, making Christmas gifts and preparing for the annual family Christmas Eve dinner. The deafening silence that followed a once festive moment still haunts me. The memories of the man Merle was and the joy of life he shared, still live within all of us. Dad was lost after Merle's death and vowed to make sure his killer received a sentence that would keep him off the streets so he would not harm anyone else. Now with State realignment, we fear he'll receive compassionate release, so it's for Merle, dad, all peace officers, and those residents that stayed and held Merle until backup and the ambulance arrived, that I stay on the victim notification list to attend each suitability hearing. Most of all, I keep Merle alive, and live a life that would make him proud. May his memory, and the memory of all the others that gave their life in service be for a blessing. May we never forget what they gave up for us.

Margaret Cady
Niece and Contract Manager, OCSD

April 18, 2014

IN HONORE CASORUM
Gone, but never forgotten.

Sgt. T. J. Jones
Greater Cleveland Transit Police Department, Ohio

December 20, 2013

I.D. 2769 was a long way from 5342; mine when I reported out of the academy to SLA in June 1967. I respected your seniority and was proud to have worked with you. After 4-months of cadets it was most refreshing and inspiring to be around an "old salt".

Tim Liddell
CHP (retired)

July 8, 2013

God bless you, Officer Andrews. I was a 15 year old kid sitting in the hills about a quarter mile above the park strip and watched the mad man gun you down. Your heroism and desire to survive remains with me like that late afternoon happened today. I will always honor and remember your service.

Keith Ensminger
Eye Witness

January 22, 2013

God bless you sir.

Officer J. Jaynes
Arizona Highway Patrol

January 16, 2013

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 44th 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 who was murdered in the the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

Rest In Peace

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

December 20, 2011

I reported into the South Los Angeles area office in Sept of 1969 from the academy. The first night I attended briefing I heard about your service to our beloved Highway Patrol. From the earliest moment of my career you have been a part of my life within the Highway Patrol. I heard about the sign going up at the 405 freeway in South L.A. and was very pleased that they finally recognized your service.I am sure that we will meet again and at that time I will tell you what an impression you made upon my life.I only wish that we could have been with you that fateful night to help you out. Again, thank you for being a part of my life and Semper Fi...God Bless the Blue and Gold....

State Traffic Officer Mike Becze #7185
California Highway Patrol South Los Angeles

November 8, 2010

My Father in-law's father was Merle Andrews...let me be perfectly clear that Peter Beaver is not related to us.

Thank you to everyone that has shown support. We wish we were notified of the dedication so all of us including his wife Sandra (who is alive and well)could have been there to honor him.

Thank you.

Donnetta Andrews

Donnetta Andrews
grand daughter in-law

October 30, 2010

Grandfather, my name is Derek Andrews. We never met but from what I have learned about you, you were a great man. I am sorry we never got to meet each other but I am sure we will some day. You honor our family with your service and I am proud to be your grandson.

Love Derek

Derek Andrews

October 30, 2010

Uncle Merle, I never knew you but did know your Brother, Neal, my Grandfather, LAPD Retired. Also knew your mother Margaret Andrews, my great grandmother. Your service and bravery were always remembered and honored in our family. May you rest in peace.

Shelly Hall,
Grand Daughter of Verna and Neal Andrews.

Shelly Hall, Great Niece
Fullerton, CA

March 3, 2010

Rest in Peace, Officer Andrews. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

October 22, 2009

Keep Resting Easy Brother knowing the Blue and Gold NEVER forgets our own!!God Bless All

DB
Calif Highway Patrol,Ret.

December 20, 2008

You are remembered today and thank you Sir for your service

Pat Van Den Berghe, Manchester, NH
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH

December 11, 2007

Dad I wish I could have known you
your son Carl Andrews

Son

October 24, 2007

Merle, I was 15 years old and used to polish your police bike, go water skiing with you and Tom, your partner and family. Merle, I can't express the insperation you were to me, and how you encouraged me. I am now 54 years old and miss you as if it was yesterday. My heart breaks for you being gone. I loved you as a mentor and special friend. I go to the sight where the incident occured and reflect and think of what you went through and how it hurts to know where you lied when dying. I have your graduation picture from the academy proudly hanging on my wall. I love you and miss you and one day we will all be together and I know you are standing guard at Heavens Gates! Love always your friend, Peter

Peter Beaver Police Commission
LAPD/Friend

August 26, 2007

On the anniversary of your death, I salute you for your service and honor you for your sacrifice.

A hero never dies....

Rest in peace, hero.

December 20, 2004

Rest in peace Brother Merle, you are a true hero and will never be forgotten.


Son of G. Truman Wortham EOW 7/15/73

Assistant Chief Carl Wortham
Sand Springs Police Dept. Okla

January 12, 2004

A dear friend and fellow officer, I will always have fond memories of this fine CHP Officer.

TO Antonio P Rios
CHP

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.