Special Officer William W. Wiles

Special Officer William W. Wiles

Kern County District Attorney's Office, California

End of Watch Friday, December 19, 1924

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William W. Wiles

Special Officer William Wiles was shot and killed while investigating an illegal still.

As Officer Wiles and two other officers attempted to arrest the suspect at the still the man ran back to his car and grabbed a handgun. The suspect then opened fire on Officer Wiles, killing him. The other two officers forced him to surrender. The man claimed he shot in self defense.

On May 5, 1925, the suspect, 31, was convicted of manslaughter after two trials and sentenced to 10 years.

Officer Wiles had served with the Kern County District Attorney's Office for one year and was assigned to the Prohibition Squad. He had previously served as a constable in Wasco for eight years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 10 years

alcohol violation

Most Recent Reflection

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Like way too many others since, 96 years ago William Wiles left his two children and wife at home to go to work. We will never forget. In recognition of the 91st anniversary of his EOW, "The Bakersfield Californian" newspaper reporter Lois Henry detailed the story of Kern DA Inv. William Wiles leading up to his fatal encounter. http://www.bakersfield.com/news/2015/12/19/lois-henry-prohibition-era-killing-still-has-its-mysteries.html
[published 12/19/2015] The Californian and the District Attorney's office are still hoping a photo of him will be located. If you are a history buff with access to any Kern County photo archives or perhaps the old Prohibition Dept., any efforts would be appreciated.

Howard Eddy
Kern Co. D.A. Inv. RET

December 21, 2020

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