Correctional Officer Stanley E. Cole

Correctional Officer Stanley E. Cole

Illinois Department of Corrections, Illinois

End of Watch Saturday, July 22, 1978

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Stanley E. Cole

Correctional Officer Stanley Cole, Lieutenant William Thomas and Correctional Officer Robert Conkle were killed during a riot at the Pontiac Correctional Center.

Around 9:00 am, about 500 inmates were returning to their cells in the North Cell House when a riot erupted. The inmates set fire to several buildings in the complex resulting in an estimated $4 million in damages. Lieutenant Thomas and Correctional Officer Conkle were stabbed with shanks numerous times shortly after the riot began. Correctional Officer Cole was stabbed with a screwdriver.

Correctional center staff and Illinois State Police troopers were able to restore order and return the inmates to their cells 11 hours later. Seventeen inmates were charged with the murders of the correctional officers, but none were convicted.

Correctional Officer Cole had served with the Illinois Department of Corrections for one year. He was survived by his son and daughter.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Screwdriver
  • Offender Acquitted

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Cole,
On today, the 39th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your two fellow COs who were also killed that day for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Illinois. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy. There is no tougher job in Law Enforcement than that of a Corrections Officer.


United States Border Patrol

July 22, 2017

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