Patrolman Herbert Paul Brantlinger

Patrolman Herbert Paul Brantlinger

Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Sunday, September 3, 1933

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Herbert Paul Brantlinger

Patrolman Herbert Brantlinger was shot and killed while investigating a gasoline theft which was in-progress at a service station on U.S. Route 19 in South Fayette Township. As he dismounted his motorcycle he was struck with rifle fire.

Almost three weeks later a 19-year-old youth drove into the parking lot of the sheriff's office in Carlyle, Illinois. He told a deputy he was broke and needed help. The deputy began questioning the youth when he noticed a large knife in his car. The youth grabbed the deputies' service revolver and shot him in the arm. As he struggled with the youth several other deputies came to his aid and the youth was taken into custody. As the deputies searched the car, somehow the youth slipped out of a window inside the sheriffs office and escaped. A short distance away he forced a man, his wife, and their child from their car and stole it. He went to Kansas City and asked a pedestrian for directions. He noticed blood on the boy from the struggle with the deputy. He called the police and he was arrested minutes later as he tried to steal gas for his car. Taken back to Carlyle, Pennsylvania State Police were waiting because of information received that he was Patrolman Brantlinger's murderer. They questioned him but left because they could not get enough information. He was convicted of several charges in Carlyle and sent to the Illinois Penitentiary.

After a week in prison the suspect received a new cell mate. After a few days his cell mate who was a Pennsylvania State Trooper had the evidence needed for a murder charge. The suspect was transported back to jail in Carlyle. On March 2, 1934, extradition papers were being prepared when he escaped, stole a bicycle, and peddled his way to Centralia, Missouri, where he was captured four days later. Three days later he was back in Pennsylvania. On May 4, 1934, he was acquitted of Patrolman Brantlinger's murder. Even though a rifle found in the suspect's car was proven to be the murder weapon, his father, a former justice of the pease, testified his son was in bed asleep at the time of the murder. He was returned to the Illinois Penitentiary where he only had 10 months left to serve for the conviction of several charges including attempted murder of the deputy. He was paroled in April of 1935, spent the summer at home, and then was jailed in Carlyle where he was charged with the car he stole after he shot the deputy and escaped. On November 23, 1935, he was sentenced to 5 years.

Patrolman Brantlinger had served with the Pennsylvania State Highway Patrol for almost two years and was survived by his mother.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 1 year, 10 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Sentenced to life


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Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

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

September 3, 2020

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