Patrolman First Class Ben Wesley Strickland

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Patrolman First Class Ben Wesley Strickland

South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina

End of Watch Friday, May 31, 1974

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Ben Wesley Strickland

Patrolman Ben Strickland was shot and killed after making a traffic stop of a speeding car at a rest stop on I-20 near Columbia at 3:00 a.m.

After arresting the driver and placing him in handcuffs, the passenger approached him from behind and opened fire, killing him. Hours later, a Cayce police officer spotted the car and pursued it into a subdivision, where the two suspects exchanged shots with the officer as they abandoned the car and ran.

The next night, at a home in Columbia, a man awoke to the sound of a shotgun blast through his front door. He was abducted by one suspect who forced him to drive to Columbia. As he was driving toward several police cars, the suspect attempted to crawl into the back seat. The driver slammed on the brakes, hit the suspect with his fist, and jumped out a ran to the police. Police officers discovered he had knocked the suspect out when they took him into custody. The other suspect was apprehended minutes later during a search of the area.

Both suspects, 21 and 22, were charged with murder. The gunman was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life. The other was convicted of accessory to murder and sentenced to 10 years.

Patrolman Strickland, a U.S. Army veteran, served as a St. George police officer before starting his 16-year career with the South Carolina Highway Patrol. He was survived by his wife and two sons.

In 2012, mile marker 49 on South Carolina's I-20 in Lexington County was named for him on the 38th anniversary of his death.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 16 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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It's coming up on 48 years since that tragic night in May of 1974 when Officer Ben Strickland lost his life at the hands of who Sheriff Metts called a "Coward" when he was murdered after a routine traffic stop. I can attest in real life that Sheriff Mett's calling this low life degenerate a "Coward" was in fact the Truth. I know it because I, Allen Anderson am the person that was kidnapped by him after the chase and manhunt when he shot into the Gantt's home then beat and abducted me with the same sawed off shotgun he used to kill a true hero in Patrolman Strickland that night. He was truly a coward even when wielding his sawed off shotgun and threatening to blow my head off just like the Patrolman he bragged about killing all while crying his butt. That is right. He cowardly cried during the entire time he marched me through the house having me rip out all of the telephones before kidnapping me and forcing me in the car that ended up taking him to nowhere but the SC State Penitentiary for the rest of his sorry cowardly life. This scripture goes out for Patrolman Strickland and one that I stand with:
No weapon formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.
Isaiah 54:17 KIV

Allen Anderson - Person Kidnapped
I am the person who was kidnapped following this murder

February 4, 2023

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