Deputy Constable Bill Lankford Cornell, Sr.

Deputy Constable Bill Lankford Cornell, Sr.

McLennan County Constable's Office - Precinct 1, Texas

End of Watch Thursday, September 27, 1973

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Bill Lankford Cornell, Sr.

Deputy Constable Bill Cornell suffered a fatal heart attack while attempting to arrest two men whom he caught breaking into a work van at a construction next to his home in the 900 block of Wooded Acres Drive.

He was able to arrest one subject and then fired two shots at the second subject but was unable to arrest him. He took the man back to his apartment and called the Waco Police Department before collapsing. The subject he arrested began CPR on him, and responding officers also attempted to revive him but were unsuccessful.

The man he arrested was charged with burglary.

Deputy Constable Cornell was a U.S. Navy veteran of WWII. He had served with the Waco Police Department for 20 years and had previously served as the elected constable of Precinct 1 before being defeated. The new constable had appointed him as a deputy constable following the election.


  • Age 57
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Heart attack
  • Weapon Person
  • Offender Apprehended

arrest attempt, robbery

Most Recent Reflection

View all 5 Reflections

Deputy Constable Cornell,
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. Navy during World War II. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Fair Winds And Following Seas

United States Border Patrol

September 28, 2023

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