Chief of Police William Terrell Mantoth

Chief of Police William Terrell Mantoth

Tehachapi Police Department, California

End of Watch Sunday, August 11, 1968

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William Terrell Mantoth

Chief Mantoth was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a kidnap-rape suspect. Chief Mantoth and two other officers went to the suspect's home after receiving a warrant on him. As Chief Mantoth followed the man to a room the suspect suddenly dashed for a closet and Chief Mantoth attempted to stop him. The suspect whirled around and opened fire with a .22 caliber pistol, striking Chief Mantoth twice. One of the other officers shot and wounded the suspect.

The 22 year-old suspect was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to five years to life July 14, 1969. He was paroled March 18, 1976. On July 24, 1976, he was arrested in Bakersfield, California, after he kidnapped and brutally beat a woman.

Chief Mantoth had been Chief of Police for ten years. He was survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Paroled in 1976

Most Recent Reflection

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I grew up in this town and as a young kid remember how it effected our small tight community.There was no reason or way for me to understand how this could happen.I had also lost a classmate to a hunting accident in this time period so my faith was put to a tremendous could these unrelated and untimely deaths happen? What exactly was the big guys plan? Why? A lot of questions...

Town resident

September 22, 2018

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