Patrolman Edward Samuel Virden

Patrolman Edward Samuel Virden

Prescott Police Department, Arkansas

End of Watch Sunday, September 21, 1958

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Edward Samuel Virden

Patrolman Edward Virden was shot and killed inside the old city jail by a prisoner who was able to overpower and disarm him.

The man had killed an automobile salesman and stole a car he was test driving in London, Kentucky, the previous day.

The subject stole Patrolman Virden's service revolver and wallet and fled to Texas after shooting Patrolman Virden. A member of the Kingsville Police Department shot him during a traffic stop after the man pulled out Patrolman Virden's stolen revolver.

He was extradited back to Arkansas where he was convicted of Patrolman Virden's murder and sentenced to life in the Arkansas State Prison. In 1968 he was granted a temporary furlough but failed to return and was charged with escape. He was recaptured in Kentucky on June 27th, 1974. As of 2021, he was still incarcerated and was Arkansas' longest-serving inmate.

Patrolman Virden was a U.S. Army veteran of WWII. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 36
  • Tour 1 year, 6 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

escape attempt, juvenile offender, murder suspect, prisoner custody, stolen vehicle

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Rest in peace and always know that your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 21, 2020

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