Deputy Sheriff Forrester "Forist" Messer

Deputy Sheriff Forrester "Forist" Messer

Knox County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky

End of Watch Friday, November 23, 1923

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Forrester "Forist" Messer

Deputy Sheriff Forist Messer and Jailer Charles West were shot and killed as they and another deputy attempted to serve a warrant on a man who had escaped from jail the previous week.

As they approached the man's home, they were fired upon from ambush. Jailer West and Deputy Messer were both killed, and the second deputy was wounded.

Six men were apprehended and charged with murder. One was convicted of murdering Jailer West and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Another was killed in a gunfight with another man four months later near Pineville.

Deputy Messer was a United States Army WWI veteran. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 32
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Apprehended

ambush, escapee

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Sheriff Messer,
On today, the 100th 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 I.


United States Border Patrol

November 23, 2023

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