Russell Lee KusterLos Angeles Police Department, California
End of Watch: Tuesday, October 9, 1990
Reflections for Detective Russell Lee Kuster
"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."
~ Winston Churchill
A police officer is on duty 24 hours a day; 7 days a week; 365 days a year. Detective Kuster gave his life so that yur life would be more secure.
Detective Russell Lee Kuster is a true American hero.
Lieutenant / Sheriff Lloyd F. Emmons
Tennessee Highway Patrol - Retired | DeKalb County Sheriff - Retired
January 22, 2013
Canyon Country resident
January 17, 2013
Russell you are still in our thoughts; how time passes.
Detective Ernie Basset
October 10, 2012
Russ I often think of you; you were one of a kind. I think upon first meeting you people thought you were quiet and even somewhat indifferent. However those that knew you considered you very caring. Although you did not talk about your kind acts I knew you hepled people. Sometimes you hepled too much; you gave some money and others moral support. I think that is one reason your knick name was "Big Guy".
Detective Ernie Basset (retired)
August 28, 2012
Years cannot replace the sadness we still wear with Russ Kuster's death.He taught us all how to live and enjoy the simple life! He made not only a professional contribution but a fine human example.He was dearly loved by all that knew him.Our hearts weep for our family and dear friends he left behind! He is eagerly looking out for all the "Roys" in Heaven! God Bless! you,Russ! Diana Knox Proctor.
Diana Knox Proctor
August 23, 2012
It is shame of my country, because the man who shot and killed Detective Kuster was a Hungarian MOB member. I pray for Your soul and for Your family Det. Kuster!
June 14, 2012
Russ Kuster was "THE FINEST OF THE FINEST!" I knew his parents well.We hold on to THE BLESSED HOPE that one day We will all be together forever.Russ is a "TRUE BLUE AMERICAN HERO!" I would have loved to got to know him better!
Diana Knox Proctor
May 9, 2012
Rest in Peace, Detective Kuster. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.
January 14, 2012
Hey Roy We held your 20th anniversary last October 9th in front of Hollywood station. Each year passes, yet the memory and respect has never faded. Tom Lange helped me with setting up the exhibits and the Commanding Officers of Hollywood summoned the Honor Guard and Piper for the ceremony. Many of your old friends were there and many others sent e mails, letters and tributes in your memory. Ernie Basset, Steve Hodell, Dick Rudell and Chuck Sousa to name just a few. Hank was overwelmed with the heat and circumstance and was taken away my RA 26. He was OK and was saddened that he missed the entire ceremony, but he was there in memory as you were. . I want you to know that your memory will never be forgotten and your sacrfice will always rermain in my heart. The Mayor, a City Councilman, Assistant Chief Moore, Commander Smith and Hollywood's Captains spoke of you and your legacy and honor. Most of your friends are retired now , yet your actions and reputation are still alive in the newer Officers. It was a great turn out and the folded flag was presented to me and I presented it to the Commanders at Hollywood stationj. I got a brass name plate and placed it on your US Flag presentation case. It remains at Hollywood Detectives where it belongs. I still miss you old friend, and your memory will always be with me and my family.
Semper Fidelis Roy
Retired Detective John E Miller
Los Angeles Police Department
August 30, 2011
On June 18,1990 I entered the Los Angeles Poice Department after having just been honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps in April. I never had the opportunity to meet you in person but I will always remember your name due to the fact that you were the first LAPD Officer to lose his life during my career. I read some of your reflections and I see that you were in the Marines also. Well Marine continue to Rest in Peace "Semper Fidelis"
Police Ofcr III Chris Green Sr.
September 15, 2010
thank you Det.Kuster,because of your brave actions there is one less dirt-bag on the streets. rest in peace sir.
May 2, 2010
Your heroism and service is honored today, the 19th 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 was a Pittsburg, CA police officer. He was your fellow Marine as well. Semper Fi.
In reading the reflections about you, I have learned that you were a much admired officer who touched many lives in a positive way.
Rest In Peace.
October 9, 2009
I was a very young Officer When Detective Kuster was killed, but remember the day clearly. Rest in peace sir, you have not been forgotten.
October 8, 2009
Your death was a great loss not only to the law enforcement community but for my family. You were a valued friend and guest at my parents wedding. Your friendship with them was great and truely cherished. Im sorry I didnt get a chance to know you but through my parents memories. Thank you for your dedicated service and being a true friend.
Dep. Paul Palumbo
L.A. Co. Sheriffs Dept.
Deputy Paul Palumbo
Los Angeles Co. Sheriffs Dept.
April 27, 2008
On the anniversary of your death we wish to remember you and thank you Sir for your service.
Pat Van Den Berghe, Civilian
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH
October 9, 2007
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission
Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC
September 17, 2007
Russ, My Friend and Hero. You and Dennis Zeuner were my first partners when I started out with the LAPD in 1968. You taught me everything I knew about being a Police Officer. We had many things in common, We both grew up in the Mid West, you in Indiana and I in Illinois. We were both Marines and very proud of that.
You were in my wedding party when I was married in 1973 and we had a long and wonderful time together. We had great times at the Office and at Reubens and a million other places in between. I still have your Marine Corps stamps and emblem that Sue gave me when we visited her at your home after the service in Hollywood Hills. It is next to my photo of General Chesty Puller.
I was called 5 years after your death to St. Josephs Hospital in Burbank, California. I was informed that Sue had been killed in a traffic acident just a short 1/2 mile from where you were shot. The same rescue unit took her to the same ER and she passed in the same room where you had been taken.
I just retired from Hollywood Detectives where you were the Homicide OIC. Your photo is still on the wall and your star is in front of the station and another one on Hollywood Blvd. with the many other "famous" names of Hollywood lore. You were always my friend and you will always be remembered by me and my family, always. I held the mememorial service for the 10th anniversary of your death in 2000, two other Officers from Hollywood have been killed in the line of duty since you left us. Joe Rios and Chuck Heim. So now there are 7 Hollywood Officers that are honored in the front of Hollywood station.
It was and will always be MY HONOR TO HAVE KNOWN AND LOVED YOU.......... I still call our old friends ROY and DAD..
John E Miller # 13738
Los Angeles Police Dept. 1967-2007 Hollywood Homicide
LAPD Hollywood Homicide
May 29, 2007
Rest in peace brother. Thank you for your service.
nc game warden
May 15, 2007
Next week I will be presenting a class regarding Off-Duty Tactics. It will give me an opportunity to pass Your memory on to some of the "LAPD New Breed." (May You Rest-In-Peace)
Maj M. B. Parlor
April 19, 2007
On this the anniversary of your leaving us in the physical sence, we pay tribute to your spirit. Tonight the Evening Watch of the Henry County Georgia Police Department's North Precinct will hit the street in your honor. Please watch over us as we continue your fine work.
For the entire shift,
Sergeant V.T. Rosen
Sergeant V. T. Rosen
Henry County Police Department
October 9, 2006
I had the uneviable task of investigating the murder to obtain data to be used by the State during future officer survival training. RLK lived, worked, and died, all within a square-mile area.... He was well-liked and well-respected, and is so sorely missed by so many who will never forget.... RIP, Bro !
Maj M. B. Parlor
August 23, 2006
We will always remember our fun and loving uncle with much love and admiration.
I had my son read all of the messages left by your friends. He was sorry he never met the man he was named after. It has been a little over 15 years and my memory of you still shines bright, just like the man you were. We take comfort in knowing that you are in heaven with Aunt Sue now. Thank you for being such a wonderful uncle and for teaching your neices, unfortunately with your death, how precious life is.
I love and miss you very much.
Lesley Hansen, niece
March 23, 2006
Russ was a supervisor in Hollywood Detectives when I worked there as a Sex Detective. The comadre between all of the other "seasoned detectives" was a fine example for a young policewoman. The basic things I learned while working that unit helped me throughout my career. Not only was Russ one of the best Homicide Detectives of our time but he was able to pass on his knowledge and experience in such a way that didn't make you feel stupid. Many "Kuster Trained" detectives went on to enjoy a reputation of the highest regard. Russ had a sence of humor that was lasting and infectious. Many of us, in rememberance of him, still quote him. Don't we Roys? He had a unique way of calling you when there was a call out that I still laugh about today. They don't make cops like Russ Kuster anymore but those of us who were fortunate enough to know and work around him shall not forget what a true professional and gentleman he was.RIP Roy.
DET III Patty Fogerson
December 2, 2005
Steve, You said it All!!
It was with great shock and sadness that I received the news of Russ’s death this morning. As most of you know Russell Lee was a very large part of my life (both professional and personal) during my 14 years at Hollywood Homicide. As my partner and then my supervisor he, more than any other individual, influenced my career. And what a privilege influenced that was for me! Russ possessed a rare and wonderful blend of skill, professionalism and dedication. He was always there when the need arose. For friend and victim alike he was there to help. His strong firm Midwest beliefs fortified his faith in Justice and impassioned his drive and insistence that all Hollywood murders be solved
How many times do we all remember his year end admonition that, “85 % clearance rate is not good enough.” How many times do we all remember during “slow” months, Russ’s insistence on pulling out the unsolved books and finding the answers he knew were there and had been overlooked by us due to busier times?
Russell Lee Kuster was one of a kind. Like his heroes, John Wayne and General George Patton. Russ was an individual who never wavered in his personal beliefs. You always knew where he stood. This was true if you were a probationer at your first crime scene, or if you were a deputy chief at your 500th.
My heart goes out to all of you at Hollywood Detectives in these hours of grief. Cherish, as I do the fun and tragic times you had with this man. Cherish and remember the spirit of dedication he proudly exemplified. And finally, smile in remembrance that Russ in his final moments made sure that Los Angeles would not be burdened with another “whodunit” as he sent the “Son-Of-A-Bitch” to hell.
Love in Brotherhood
Steve Hodel LAPD Retired
Take care "Roy"
Det. Addison Arce
LAPD Robbery Homicide MCIS
November 24, 2005
Russ was my partner when I went to work homicide. He was a great teacher. He became my supervisor but most of all he was a very good friend.
Detective Sergeant Hank Petroski
Los Angeles Police Department
November 23, 2005
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