Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer James William Nunalee, Sr.

Wilmington Police Department, North Carolina

End of Watch Tuesday, April 4, 1978

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Officer James William Nunalee, Sr.

It is amazing and awe-inspiring to see the many heart-felt commemorations to Officer William Nunalee over this span of years. He was a good friend to me in Chestnut Junior High and New Hanover High School. We had many classes together, including
band and JROTC. He was my best friend and hunting/fishing companion in those wonderful days! I joined the US Army and he joined the WPD. I was heartbroken at the news of his murder. I drive by his memorial park when I come to town and pay my respects to a wonderful man/friend/father and husband. I will be coming back to Wilmington this week (maybe for the last time) for my mother's memorial service and will again pay my respects to Billy...until we meet on the other side! Maybe we can play our bugles again like we did in the JROTC Drum and Bugle Corps (1970-'72)!

Robert H Johnson, III
Best friend in High School (NHHS)

December 15, 2021

I would like to thank everyone for their kind words.
I was barely 3 when my father was taken from us.
Your words mean a lot, thank you all!

CPO James W. Nunalee, Jr.

April 7, 2021

Rest easy

Mark Mottola

April 4, 2020

Officer Nunalee,
On today, the 41st anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Wilmington. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

April 4, 2019

I agree with Capt. Mose!
You are correct, he was a very easy going person liked by all!

Donna Waters Massingale
Ret, State of NC; CJ Spec, CJ/ Sherff's Stds Instr

October 3, 2018

I was a senior Criminal Justice/Sociology major at UNC Wilmington from Jan to May,1978.
As an intern at the Wilmington Police Dept, I was set to ride that night, possibly with Officer Billy Nunalee.
Due to a wierd forboding sixth sense bugging me all day, I cancelled that ride later that very afternoon. I had no reason, yet I had a heavy deep omnious feeling and something telling me to not ride that evening.
Years in the field ( now retired) I often, and even now, tell my rookie, and veteran officers, in training, or other times, to please, do not discount your sixth sense!
Listen to your gut! Stay safe!

Donna Waters Massingale, MPA/JA
Ret, State of NC; CJ Spec, CJ/ Sherff's Stds Instr

October 3, 2018

I was a police explorer with Wilmington PD when Billy Nunalee was murdered. Having been on several ride-along NGOs with Billy, I knew him as an easy going guy with a good sense of humor. I never pass the location where he died, that I don't think about him.

Captain Mose Highsmith
Brunswick County Sheriff's Office

March 10, 2017

You must not be forgotten. You will not be forgotten. My best friend from long ago.

Personnel Security Specialist
U.S. Navy

October 24, 2016

Billy was one of my two best friends in school and on the weekends we'd hang out sometimes. I remember once we spent the whole weekend at Billy's house playing with a race car set we'd bought. Billy's family were always very hospitable and a pleasure to be around. When I reminisce I can't do so without including Billy.

Friend. Ron Bordeaux

November 24, 2013

I have never forgotten your kindness to Allison after her father and I separated. How much you where loved by Joanne and what a wonderful father you where to Jimmy. My heart broke on the morning you died. You have never been forgotten but remain in my heart and thoughts. Each time I go by the park dedicated to you or by the location of your death I am reminded of how precious each moment and second are to life and to live the best I can. You are not forgotten.

Susan D. Blackburn

July 6, 2013

A young life wasted. That morning I was but 24 just like you. The words of your Sarge that you did not make it forever haunt me. Justice may never be served in the public eye but the coward who did this will burn forever in hell as his final reward. May the Peace of the Lord be with your loved ones who remain and still grieve for you. I too, grieve with them for the loss but trumpet your dedication and sacrifice and thank God that we have good people who do sacrifice for us all. Evil is a part of life that must be confronted. Thank you!

C. R. Sloop
CEO , Cedarwood Marketing

May 27, 2011

Your heroism and service is honored today, the thirty first anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service o my home state and the birthplace of my son. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

April 4, 2009

I have never forgotten 30 years later it is still a fresh memory. You have never been forgotten as a true and caring friend. I am so sorry that you did not get to live your life with Joanne and Jimmy. To celebrate each day. You will never be forgotten

Susan B

May 23, 2008


Pat Van Den Berghe

April 9, 2008

Thank You for having served the Carolina Community.

Maj M. B. Parlor

April 4, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

December 31, 2007

I knew Billy personally. I met him when he was still in high school. He was a great, loyal friend and could always be depended on to keep his word. He was ethical in all ways. He had always expressed a desire to be in law enforcement and was willing to give his life to the community in which he served. That kind of dedication is hard to find. I'm sure his parents and wife have always been proud of him. I think of him quite often and it makes me fell good to know this site is dedicated not only to him, but all the different law enforcement officials who gave their all to protect and serve. Thank you, Billy, for being willing to do that.

James L. Rowe, Systems Security Mgr
DoN, Camp Lejeune, NC

December 11, 2007

I worked with officer Munalee during the time indicated.. He was a very fun guy to be around.. We sometime rode together. I remember very clear the time this took place. He He was and still is a good friend.

Jim Harrelson Sgt Ret

December 8, 2007

When I was a young rookie officer my FTO took me by the place where you were killed. It was no longer a convenence store but I could still see where the bullets struck the pavement as the coward shot you as you lay on the ground even 10 years later. I thought about you every time I drove by that place. I hope one day justice will be served for you. Rest in peace brother and thank you for your service.

nc game warden
former WPD officer

September 23, 2007

This officer and his family deserve to have this cold case reexamined with renewed determination. I hope the
killer(s) can be identified.

Security Officer

March 14, 2007

Billy, You are remembered often....

K. E. Ramsey, Inspector
California Highway Patrol, former New Hanover Deputy

January 19, 2007

I was just a child when this murder occured, yet I still remember it occuring. Officer Nunalee's wife worked for my sister as a teacher at a private school/daycare. This case has always bothered me.


Ken L Woodruff
Prior Explorer with WPD and current volunteer with NHCSD

November 25, 2006

You are not forgotten, nor ever will be.

John A. Boone
Former Wilmington Police Officer

October 27, 2006

Thank you for your service to your fellowman. Rest in peace my brother in blue. May God bless you and your loved ones.

State Constable J.L. Green
S.C. State Constables

April 4, 2006

Rest in Peace,Sir, for Our Lord will see Justice is served.

February 9, 2006

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.