Chief Sergeant W. H. Riley

Chief Sergeant W. H. Riley

Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Oklahoma

End of Watch Monday, December 13, 1943

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W. H. Riley

Sergeant W.H. Riley was stabbed to death while questioning two inmates about a robbery that took place inside the Oklahoma State Prison.

Another inmate had accused the two of robbing him. During the questioning, one of the inmates struck Sergeant Riley in the head with a lead pipe and the other stabbed him in the face and back, killing him. They also beat and stabbed to death the inmate who had accused them of robbery.

Both suspects were convicted of Sergeant Riley's murder and sentenced to death. One was executed in the electric chair on November 1, 1946. On May 30, 1946, the other suspect was found dead in his bed on death row a few hours before he was to be executed. He had slit his wrist with a razor blade.

Sergeant Riley had been with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for ten years. He was survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 50
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Shank
  • Offender Executed


Most Recent Reflection

View all 6 Reflections

I have another thing in common with one of my dearest friends... both of our Great Grandfathers are here. Definitely not a happy thing, but we have families who believe in service, in doing the right thing, and I'm so proud of both of you.
Your descendants are awesome, many are serving our country, That's your legacy. I'm going to remember your birthday, btw, that is a happy thing.

Amy Hunt

December 28, 2021

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