Chief of Police Dave Markham

Chief of Police Dave Markham

Willows Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, February 19, 1940

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Dave Markham

Chief Markham was shot and killed as he and another officer attempted to take shotgun from a man who was walking the streets threatening people. As the two officers talked with the man he opened fire fatally wounding Chief Markham and blowing away half of the other officer's face. Both managed to return fire leaving the suspect seriously wounded. A citizen, who ran out of a nearby hardware store, was hit with a bullet from Chief Marhham's revolver and killed.

On May 27, 1940, the suspect, 37, was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed at Ukiah State Mental Hospital.

Chief Markham had served as a constable and chief of police for Willow for 18 years.


  • Age 69
  • Tour 18 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Committed

suspicious person

Most Recent Reflection

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Chief Markham was my great Grandfather on the maternal side of the family. My father grew up in Willows and the story of his grandfather and his death were strong and important stories that were passed down to my family.

Hugh McAvoy, Great Grandson
Great Grand Father

February 4, 2023

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