Town Marshal James Cockrill

Town Marshal James Cockrill

Jackson Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Tuesday, July 22, 1902

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James Cockrill

Marshal James Cockrill was shot and killed from ambush from a second floor window of the court house as he stood in front of a store. His murder resulted from trouble caused by the "Hargis Cockrill Feud" His murderer was Curt Jett, "Wild Dog of the Mountains".

In 1901 Marshal Cockrill and his brother, also a policeman, attempted to arrest a local judge and his brother who were drunk inside a liquor store. When they resisted arrest gunfire erupted and the brother was killed. Marshal Cockrill's brother was jailed for murder but acquitted at trial. After the trial a local doctor who testified in his brother's behalf was assassinated. Days later Jett assassinated Marshal Cockrill. Jett escaped into the mountains. On May 4, 1903, a local prominent attorney was assassinated in the same place where Marshal Cockrill was killed. Curt Jett and another man were apprehended and charged with his murder.

Curt Jett was convicted of the attorney's murder and Marshal Cockrill's murder, and sentenced to death. His companion was sentenced to life. He was paroled January 4, 1917. Months later Jett's sentence was commuted to life. Jett said that the judge hired him to kill Marshal Cockrill and the Sheriff and another man helped him escape. He said he killed the attorney because had interfered with the trial and was interfering with situations which were of special interest to prominent men, some who were involved in the feud. Jett was paroled December 13, 1918.

The judge was charged with murder, and the sheriff with aiding and abetting. Both were eventually acquitted. Both were convicted in a civil suit and had to pay the attorney's wife $8000 in 1907.

Marshal Cockrill is buried in Hays Cemetery in Wolverine.

For the sake of time and space the "Hargis Cockrill Feud" has a lot of information about it on the internet which will shed more light on Marshal Cockrill's murder, the trials, and the feud.


  • Age 26
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Monday, July 21, 1902
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 22, 2020

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