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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While none of the assailants faced any kind of justice here on earth, they surely have or will face a higher justice in a different place. Thank you for your service and today we remind you and your family that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten by your LE brethren. Rest in peace always.

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

July 22, 2020

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