Sheriff James Cletus Goodwin

Sheriff James Cletus Goodwin

Spencer County Sheriff's Department, Indiana

End of Watch Sunday, October 28, 1973

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James Cletus Goodwin

Sheriff James Goodwin suffered a fatal heart attack while attempting to apprehend two juvenile inmates who were escaping from the Spencer County Jail at 9:00 p.m.

As he heard the commotion, he ran downstairs and captured one of the juveniles in the street. He collapsed as he escorted the boy back inside. While his son came to his aid, the juvenile fled.

The juveniles were apprehended the next day.

Sheriff Goodwin was a United States Army WWII veteran and had served with the Spencer County Sheriff's Department for four years. He was survived by his wife, five children, three brothers, three sisters, and four grandchildren.


  • Age 52
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Heart attack

escape attempt, escapee, juvenile

Most Recent Reflection

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Sheriff Goodwin,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as a Law Enforcement Officer but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during World War II. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

October 28, 2023

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