Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Terry Thomas O'Connell

Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, Missouri

End of Watch Wednesday, April 5, 1978

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Terry Thomas O'Connell

It's been 44 years since we saw you last, Terry, about 3 months before you were murdered. God Bless You, and we hope that God is taking good care of you in Heaven.
Hopefully, when we pass, we'll see you again in Heaven.

Dave and Sharon
Sister and Brother In Law

April 22, 2022

Terry and I were friends growing up in St. Louis in a subdivision named Assumption Valley. We had marathon Monopoly games, night time badminton, and so much more. Our life paths crossed many times through the years. While at my kitchen sink in Jackson, MO listening to KMOX radio I heard the devastating news being reported of that horrible event. I could not believe it! Terry, I know you are still missed by many and you will always hold a spot in my fond memories.

Diane Jordan

April 17, 2020

Continue to Rest In Peace, Dear friend!

Major Ralph Brown (Ret)
Jefferson County, Missouri Sheriffs Office

April 5, 2020

Rest in peace Deputy Sheriff O'Connell.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

November 5, 2019

Rest in peace.

Lt. Jim Russo

April 6, 2018

Terry was the second husband of my Aunt Janet, who had been married to my paternal uncle until she was widowed. I've never forgotten the terrible story of his death, even though I was only 10 at the time.

Liz Smith
Family friend

January 18, 2017

I am Terry's younger sister. My son, Matt found this page and sent it to me today. Matt is 35 and was born on Terry's birthday, May 1...forever linked to his uncle. Terry's death left a huge gap in the hearts of so many, his family, his new wife and her 2 children and all of his friends. I read all the reflections and am so grateful to see so many were touched by his compassion and humor. I moved to Cincinnati when I married my husband David, but often returned to St. Louis to visit my mom or dad while they were living. One year I attended the memorial for fallen officers in Jefferson County and talked to many of the officers, who knew Terry. Reading these reflections for the first time is really difficult but also uplifting. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts.
Sharon Disher

Sharon Disher

June 7, 2016

12 June, 2015. I had no idea there was a memorial page for Terry O'Connell, but found it while talking to my wife about losing relatives. Terry was the son of the daughter of my Aunt Tish, my mother's older sister, and Tom O'Connell. I was always told that made us cousins. I was older by several years and had known Terry from the first day he got home from the hospital. We were fairly close, although we lived in different areas and went to different schools. In 1958 I went away to college and in 1962 moved to Oregon for my first teaching position. We never saw each other again. I always remembered him and was shocked when I got word from family in a letter that he had been killed. I understand he had a wife and that there were children. I do not know what happened to the troglodyte who killed him, but I hope he paid accordingly. To his family and friends go my best wishes, many years late, but believe me it is from my heart!

Anthony Marks, retired teacher

June 13, 2015

I knew Terry back in 1969-70 when he was working part-time as store security at the Clayton Famous Barr store. He was always very congenial, loved to talk, and at the time my entire life's desire was to become a cop...I was a junior at CBC when I met him. When I heard he was murdered it was like getting a spear in my side....I have since been a cop, RN, reserve deputy in 4 states and is becoming far more dangerous than it should be. left an indelible mark on many of us as a friend and fellow officer. It has been 45 years and I still remember your smile.

Riccardo Spurgeon, Retired/Patrolman
Creve Coeur Police Dept

February 26, 2015

Terry was a great guy.....I worked with him at Abbott Ambulance when he was with St Louis County PD.

He was always ready for the game, a practical joker.....always had his partner's back.

Some years later I ran into Terry at the ST Louis PD when taking a ATF Bob and Arson class. He had gone over to Jefferson County.

A temendous loss to the community and friends and family.

RIP Terry!

Jon Shoop
Monarch Fire and EMS

Captain Jon Shoop
Monarch Fire

July 9, 2013

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 34th anniversary year of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. 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
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

April 5, 2012

I came in on evening shift in the radio room when I heard of Terry's passing. The FBI ,the major case squad ,hiway patrol as well as all of the Jefferson County Sheriffs Department, were all out, making it one of the largest man hunts in the counties history. It took far to long to catch the killer but we never gave up. R.I.P. Terry.

dispatch Bob Weiss
Jefferson County Sheriffs Department

December 30, 2011

Another year has passed and you are still admired and respectfully remembered in the hearts and minds of so many. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones and friends on this anniversary of your EOW. You will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

April 5, 2010

You and I had been at an inservice training just weeks before this and had met and talked about our radios. I was on duty that day and had made a car stop at the same time as you. Our radio frequencies were so close we could sometimes talk car to car and we always heard each other's dispatchers. I will always wonder if you and I were transmitting at the same time and you were not heard because of my being on the air. I lost it some when I heard the radio traffic of what had happened and you and I are forever connected because of it. Rest in Peace my friend.

Patrolman Warren Walls, Ret.
Creve Couer, MO

December 22, 2009


Pat Van Den Berghe

April 7, 2008

Today on the 30th anniversary of your death, we pause and say a prayer for you and those you left behind to mourn.
Rest in peace DS you are not forgotten.
Chief John Roelandts (retired)
Deborah Roelandts (911 retired)
Oconomowoc Wisconsin

Chief John Roelandts (retired)
Town of Oconomowoc

April 5, 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 6, 2007

You are a hero to all, you will be remembered in our hearts and dreams.

April 7, 2007

Rest in peace, Sir! You are not forgotten.

Police Officer

October 23, 2006

You are a true hero to us all and you will npt be forgotten.

St. Louis City Police

July 3, 2005

To the family and friends of Terry O'Connell and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department, my continued deepest sympathy.

Terry was a friend and a fine man. His loss stunned us all. I know he and our other fallen brothers watch over all of us as we continue on with his work.

Peter Damos
St. Louis County Police ( 1975 - 1981 )
U.S. Secret Service - San Antonio

ATSAIC Peter J. Damos
U.S. Secret Service - San Antonio

April 22, 2005

Ride Along

So you don’t like the ticket I just gave you.
Well, come take a ride with me.
A trip to the scene of an accident.
Where a person now struggles for freedom, and for life.
All because someone was in a hurry, or late for work.

You say you didn’t call me and you don’t need my help.
That this is a family matter and none of my business.
Come take a ride with me.
Where a child now cowers in the nearest corner, or bedroom closet.
They cover their ears and ask god “ please make them stop”.
Still think no one needs my help.

You’ve said all we do is eat donuts and drink coffee.
Come take a ride with me.
On the countless days after taking four calls in an hour.
We think we have time to sit down for dinner.
Only to be call away again.

You think we’re cold and have no heart.
Well, come take a ride with me.
To a place where the pipes now lay to rest.
A brother or sister who gave their life, for someone like you.
A place where tears fall like rain for their family,
For our family, and yes even for you.
Yeah, come take a ride with me.

R. S. B

Deputy Marshal

February 12, 2005

God Bless You

Deputy Constable LC Downing
Wharton County Texas Constable Pct 2

September 11, 2003

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