Patrolman Leonard Clifford Miller

Patrolman Leonard Clifford Miller

Apollo Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Thursday, January 3, 1980

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Leonard Clifford Miller

Patrolman Leonard Miller was shot and killed after stopping a car that had sped past him twice.

He was shot twice in the chest as he approached the vehicle. The two suspects, both 21, were apprehended. It was soon determined the two had been on what was labeled a "kill for thrill" spree for the past eight days. The bullet-riddled bodies of a 26-year-old single mother and two men, 32 and 49, had been found in different locations in and near Apollo Borough. A few days earlier, as they aimed to shoot a 35-year-old female employee in a convenience store, the attempt was foiled by two men who entered the store.

Both were convicted of four counts of murder and sentenced to death. Both had their convictions overturned in 1991 and 1996. Both were retried and again sentenced to death. Their appeals for new trials were denied in 2011 and 2012. One of the subjects died in prison on September 3, 2017. In 2021 the other was still on death row. He is Pennsylvania's longest-serving death row inmate.

Patrolman Miller's murder occurred on his third day as a full-time officer with the Apollo Police Department. He had previously served as a part-time officer for the Apollo Police Department and Vandergrift Police Departments for 2.5 years. He was survived by his parents.

He is buried in the Riverview Cemetery, Apollo, Pennsylvania.

In 2005 the Apollo Bridge was renamed the Leonard C. Miller Bridge.


  • Age 21
  • Tour 2 years, 6 months
  • Badge 78

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to death

traffic patrol, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

View all 35 Reflections

I was four years out of high school when Officer Leonard Miller was killed in a town near where I live.
His bravery, to go after two armed men alone, who were baiting him, stands in stark contrast to the cowardice of the politicians who imposed and continue to impose, a moratorium on carrying out death penalty sentences in Pennsylvania. Thank God there are such men as Leonard Miller who do what's right and seek justice, and not like those politicians who stand in the way of it. I can't believe Leonard's killer, who killed four more besides Leonard, is still alive 43 years later.

Matt Mawhinney
Citizen of Greensburg, PA

February 10, 2023

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