Sheriff Benjamin Franklin Orcutt

Sheriff Benjamin Franklin Orcutt

Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office, Michigan

End of Watch Thursday, December 12, 1867

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Benjamin Franklin Orcutt

Sheriff Benjamin Orcutt was shot and mortally wounded by two men who were attempting to free prisoners from the county jail.

Sheriff Orcutt, whose home was beside the jail, awoke to a loud noise and went out and discovered two men attempting to make a jail window into an exit for his prisoners. As he pursued the two men into an alley, one or both opened fire striking the sheriff in the chest.

Sheriff Orcutt was able to return to his home. Physicians were sent for but his wound was fatal. He died at his home nine days later.

The two suspects were never positively identified. It was believed that they were accomplices of three prisoners who burglarized the Kalamazoo County Treasurer's Office the month before. Several suspects were questioned but none were charged. The case was never solved.

Sheriff Orcutt had served with the agency for 15 years. He was a Lieutenant Colonel for the Union Army with the 25th Michigan Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. He was survived by his wife and three young sons.


  • Age 53
  • Tour 15 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Tuesday, December 3, 1867
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Never tried

escape attempt

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“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

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Federal Air Marshal Service

August 15, 2021

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