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Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Detective Russell Lee Kuster | Los Angeles Police Department, California Los Angeles Police Department, California


Russell Lee Kuster

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch: Tuesday, October 9, 1990
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Reflections for Detective Russell Lee Kuster


Time has passed for this post... However, this was one of the most challenging times for me in my police career....I was with Kuster at a bar in Hollywood watching a Reds baseball game with him and Rozzi...before he went to the Bar on Barham...by the time I arrived home Kuster was killed...he had agreed to call me out on the next Homocide, as a boot Detective Trainee... I don't talk much about this incident...however it is, and will always be a sorrowful moment and reflection on my 27 year career. God Bless to all

Retired Captain
January 26, 2016

Thank-you for your dedicated service to the city of Angels Detective Kuster. Thank-you for wearing law enforcements most honorable badge. Your sacrifice will never be forgotten, 25 years has passed since you were taken from us, you will remain in our thoughts and hearts forever. Once a part of the LAPD family, always a part of the LAPD family. R.I.P. Detective, go walk heaven's beat with the angels.

Security Officer Cole Phelps
LAPD Supporter
October 9, 2015

My Uncle Russ was a true hero. It's unbelievable it's been 25 years! I was 20 years old when I got the call my uncle was killed. It was crushing to the family, especially my Aunt Susie. Besides his police work, he was fun to hang out with, he walked cool, talked cool, and smoked cool. He loved his work and his Roys. We'd get so excited to hear all the detective stories he'd tell us. My friends and I came to visit one summer at age 16 and he specifically told us where NOT to go and of course we went. When we got home he said I know where you've been and that scared the crap out of me, he didn't tell my parents. Haaaa that's one cool uncle. He also told me about the marines and he was proud to be one. Wish he was still around, would love to hear all the "war" stories again. Love you, Uncle Russ they don't make cops like you anymore.

Megan Williams
September 29, 2015

Roy Me Boyoo... I have been looking over the reflections and there is so much respect for you and your memory in them. I will be speaking at the 25th anniversary of your death next month at Hollywood station. Time has gone by so quickly and yet I can still see you coming through the station door with your red blazer on and yelling Semper Fi. I will never forget you Russ, you were the finest Officer and Detective I had the honor to have known. The honors and tributes that have been given to you over the years have been numerous and well deserved. The finest of them all have been the title "FRIEND" I still miss you Roy and always will.
Semper Fidelis

Retired Detective John E Miller #13738
Los Angeles Police Department
September 6, 2015

Happy Birthday Bro!!! I still think about and miss you everyday.

Harry G. Kuster
June 24, 2015

Russ, I can't believe it's been 25 years

Margaret Collier
Old friend from the Casting Office
December 14, 2014

It seems like only yesterday, when I was getting ready for work at 4:30a.m. when the Door Bell rang, and the Milford Police told me you been killed, and I had to go to Dillsboro to tell the family. What a Horrible Day! You've been gone now 24 yrs.. The same amount of time your were with the LAPD. As Bud said, I will be raising my glass tonight to Salute you as my Hero and Best Friend. I Love You Bro!!

Harry G. Kuster
October 9, 2014

On October 9, 1990, it will be 24 years ago that Russell Kuster was fatally killed in a gun battle in Hollywood Division. Please join me and raise your glass on 10/9/14, 10 PM PST and salute a damn fine Homicide Detective and friend!!

Bud Arce
October 2, 2014

"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

God Bless.

J. Jaynes
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!

Robert Papp
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
2nd Cousin
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.

Phyllis Loya

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.

R.I.P. Sir,
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

"The Badge"
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.
Written By:
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

Retired Detective
LAPD Hollywood Homicide
May 29, 2007


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