Night Policeman Jesse Starks

Night Policeman Jesse Starks

Benton Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Tuesday, November 30, 1948

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Jesse Starks

Night Policeman Jesse Starks was shot and killed with his own service weapon after responding to a disturbance at a local theater.

When he arrived at the scene he discovered that his son-in-law had been ejected from it for causing a disturbance. The son-in-law and five relatives had then returned to the theater armed with weapons.

As Policeman Starks attempted to calm the situation his son-in-law pulled his service weapon from its holster and shot him.

The 21-year-old suspect was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 21 years in prison. He was paroled in 1955. Two of his family members were sentenced to less than five years for aiding and abetting.

Policeman Starks had served with the Benton Police Department for one year. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 46
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Paroled in 1955


Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Starks,
On today, the 75th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Benton. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

November 30, 2023

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