Prohibition Officer Ell Watkins

Prohibition Officer Ell Watkins

West Virginia Department of Prohibition, West Virginia

End of Watch Monday, June 27, 1932

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Ell Watkins

Prohibition Officer Ell Watkins was shot and killed while inspecting alcohol permits at a pharmacy in Bradshaw, West Virginia.

Officer Watkins was shot in the back five times during the inspection. His 9-year-old niece was accompanying him during the inspection and witnessed his murder.

The pharmacy's owner, an employee, and the owner's brother were arrested and charged with his murder. In July 1932 the charges were nolle prossed after the presiding judge declined to continue the case at the prosecution's request.

Officer Watkins had served with the West Virginia Department of Prohibition for approximately 10 years and was one only two state prohibition officers remaining on the payroll at the time of his murder. The agency was abolished due to lack of funding later in the year. He was survived by his wife, brother, and sister.


  • Age 52
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Charged with murde

alcohol violation, ambush

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Watkins,
On today, the 90th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of West Vrginia.


United States Border Patrol

June 27, 2022

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