Special Agent Virgil Lee Bensyl

Special Agent Virgil Lee Bensyl

Illinois State Police, Illinois

End of Watch Friday, January 15, 1988

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Virgil Lee Bensyl

Special Agent Virgil Bensyl was shot and killed while he and four other agents attempted to arrest a corrections officer for conspiracy to commit murder.

The agents in charge of the case decided to try to pick up the suspect by staging a motorist assist along the route he would take to work. The warden called the officer at his home and asked if he could help his niece who was stranded near his house.

Special Agent Bensyl walked up to his car, shined his flashlight, and announced himself. The assailant immediately drew a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and fired two or three shots. One shot hit Agent Bensyl in the chest and killed him instantly.

A former Marine and a veteran of the Vietnam War, Agent Bensysl joined the Illinois State Police on July 14, 1969. He served in District 10 - Pesotum, until 1984, when he graduated from New Agents Class #4; He was then assigned to Zone 10 where he remained until his death.

Agent Bensyl was survived by his wife and son. On April 29, 1988, District 10 Headquarters was re-dedicated in honor of Special Agent Virgil Lee Bensyl.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 19 years
  • Badge 1562
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; 9 mm
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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The Illinois State Police lives forever, and since you were an Illinois State Trooper YOU will live forever. You will never be forgotten. Thank you for your sacrifice and service.

Trooper A.M. Unal
Illinois State Police

April 19, 2020

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