Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman Harry Boyd Ray

South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina

End of Watch Sunday, September 7, 1958

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Patrolman Harry Boyd Ray

Patrolman Ray,
On today, the 60th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just as LEO but for our Country as well when you served with the USN. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

Fair Winds And Following Seas

Anonymous
United States Border Patrol

September 7, 2018

Patrolman Ray was my 3rd cousin - we are both descendants of William Miller and Elizabeth Wilson Miller.
No one knows the dedication of our men and women who protect and serve better than their loved ones left behind after such a tragedy. I only have respect for his dedication and service and pray that his memory will be treasured by those who enjoy the benefits of his service and duty.

Rev. James Russell Miller

June 17, 2016

Patrolman Ray was my grandfather, and while I never got to meet him, he has had an important impact on my life. He lives on through the stories of my grandmother. He also lives on through their children - my dad and 2 aunts. We are such a loving family! My grandmother, my children, and I reminisced today on the events from so many years ago as we often do. She still smiles like a schoolgirl when she talks about him. It is absolutely heartwarming to know that her love for him still lives on. Yes, he is gone, but he is never forgotten!

Niki Medlin
Grandaughter

September 8, 2013

To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 55th anniversary year of your death. I am priviliged to leave a tribute to you. 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 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.

I pray for solace for all those that love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever. Thanks to your family for sharing their devotion to you through their reflections.

Phyllis Lasater Loya
mom of fallen Pittsburg (CA) officer Larry Lasater

May 1, 2013

I feel sure I would have loved Officer Harry Ray if I'd had the opportunity to know him because I know and love his eldest daughter, Boni very much. She became part of my family when she married my brother and she's been a wonderful addition...she loves as unconditionally as any human being I've ever known. She's made our family life all-around richer (and we're not the easiest bunch!) All of which is to say that, I am glad her Daddy lived long enough to know Bonnie and witness for himself what a sturdy backbone she has, and how huge her capacity is for love. I have no doubt he'd be very proud to see how his family has prospered and honored his legacy.

Karen McBryde
Sister-in-law (to Boni)

April 24, 2013

Harry Ray was/is my Dad. His death was a tragedy for all of us. I was 6, my brother Harry Ray, Jr. was 4 and Mom (JoAnn) was pregnant with my sister, Jodi. We have all gone on to have happy lives in spite of losing Daddy. Chris Paul, I want to thank you on behalf of my family for your kind words. I also want to thank everyone who posted notes here and to say hi to my cousins whom we lost touch with after Daddy's death, I am sorry about that. My heart stops every time I hear or read about a fallen officer and will until I die. Thanks again to all.

Boni Lea
daughter

April 23, 2013

Patrolman Ray and family members, I am sorry for your loss and thankful for service and the service of your brothers and sisters in law enforcement. I'm returning this month from the military as an interrogator and intelligence collector. My career was spent preventing terrorists/insurgents from harming innocent people. So, it was a huge blow to find out my great uncle, Otis Britt, committed such a horrible act. I never met him and I can only remember him ever being mentioned three or four times by my family and this part was never mentioned. In fact, my grandmother, his sister said he was hit by a car as a young boy. It wasn't until was 26 that I learned he was actually a criminal and just today I researched the details of the crime. I'm truly sorry for all that the family of Patrolman Ray have lost and endured.

Chris Paul
U.S. Army

March 11, 2013

Patrolman Ray,
On today, the 55th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the ciitizens of the state of South Carolina. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

R.I.P.
USBP

Anonymous
U.S. Border Patrol

September 7, 2012

I was a young teenager when uncle Harry was gunned down- but I will always remember how full of life he was & how proud he & his brother my uncle William were to serve the state of SC as state troopers. I still think of some of the things we did -going to the beach, family get to gathers, etc. He will always be young in my mind (I'm 66). I am so sorry his children did not have him as long as my brothers & I did.

Emma Ray Parnell
neice

November 16, 2009

50 years have passed since you gave your all but the years have in no way dimmed the brilliance of the life you lived and the service you rendered. It is my privilege to honor you on this day, Patrolman Ray.

A Grateful Citizen
North Alabama

October 14, 2008

Thank you for your service to the citizens of South Carolina. You have not been forgotten. Rest in peace.

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

September 7, 2007

"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
Sergeant
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.

July 11, 2007

"No person was ever honoured for what he received. Honour has been the reward for what he gave."
--Calvin Coolidge

Debbie Brewer
citizen and COPS member

June 25, 2007

I was nearing my fifth birthday when your life was taken. Who could know that forty-seven years later my family, especially our daughter, would know the same pain that your family experienced? I hope that your family found a way to honor your life and your sacrifice by living their own lives to the fullest. Rest in God's peace.

D. Brewer
Mother of Susan Parker, wife of Trooper Jon Parker, EOW 5/16/2005

Debbie Brewer
citizen and COPS member

May 8, 2007

My Uncle Harry died when I was three years old. We have all the clippings from the murder to the trial. I talked with my Aunt (Uncle Harry's wife, last year) She lives in Columbia and is doig well. There was an article in the State Paper in recent years that may be in the archives concerning his death. His children are all doing great and are successful. My father was a High Patrol at the time Uncle Harry died. My father died of Cancer in 1961 at the age of 37. I was told that my father never got over the death of his Brother Harry Boyd Ray. I vaguely remember me and my family visiting my Uncle as a child. From what I am told, he was a wonderful, caring person.

Jackie Ray Wingard
niece

April 25, 2007

Harry Ray was my uncle, although he was killed a year before I was born. I know that he and my dad were close as he would tell me that Harry liked to come by the house to see him and he would turn on the siren as he pulled up in the driveway to let everyone know he was there. My family told me that Harry was the kind of person that everyone liked-he made friends wherever he went. He was also a US Navy veteran. Harry grew up in a large family and all of his brothers and his sister grew up to be successful in what they chose to do. My brother told me that this incident created incredible trauma for our entire family. Harry was loved by many people. I have other stories and family information about Harry and this case.

Thomas Ray
Nephew

March 14, 2007

This happened a long, long time ago
but you have not been forgotten. You
were highlighted on the website today and we are remembering you
and your sacrifice. We're also
remembering those left behind to
mourn. With love from one coast of
America to the other.
Lynn Kole
Washington State

December 17, 2005

Patrolman Ray, you are not forgotten, RIP brother, and God Bless You, and your family and friends

Pecos Police Department
Pecos Texas

April 2, 2005

I was a rookie SC Highway Patrolman when Harry was murdered. I recall the massive state-wide search that involved each and every one of us that tragic day, and the days that followed. Harry Ray's murder definitely changed the way I approached my duties from that day forward, and to the day I retired from law enforcement. A great friend of mine with the SC Law Enforcement Division (SLED)solved that murder and was instrumental in obtaining the death penalty for two of the three violent criminals. Harry Boyd Ray's murder was a major turning point in my law enforcement career. I had become lax, complacent and unconcerned about my own safety and the real dangers involving the duties I was sworn to uphold. I often think of Harry's family, i.e., where are they, how are they doing, how did they survive after his death.

David Barrineau
ATF Agent - Retired

August 10, 2004

I was 12 years old when Patrolman Ray lost his life. His death marked a transition from my childhood concept of "everything is always good" to facing the reality of "bad things happen to good people." I followed every word of this case in the Spartanburg Herald, even through the day that two of the three killers were executed in the electric chair. The third person involved got life and 30 years at the last moment. I later had an opportunity to meet this third person in 1965 at Spartanburg Methodist College as he spoke with a group called "Operation Get Smart." He appeared to have genuine remorse for his part (get away driver) in this crime. Patrolman Ray had a newborn son, had pleaded for his life, but was shot by Britt and Wesbury anyway. This is the part that Levon Tilson (third man) regretted most. I often think of Patrolman Ray and wonder about his son. It would be my honor to one day meet this man and let him know that even though I have never met him,he has been a part of me since his father's death. I am thankful for the law enforcement officers I have served through the years in my churches, especialy Retired Patrolman David Burgess Wardlaw who was, and continues to be, a true inspiration and holds the highest ideals for law and order. I am thankful to him for his remembrances of this tragic event in the life of our great state. Respectfully submitted with deep appreciation for Patrolman Ray's service to South Carolina and all law enforcement, active, retired, or killed in the line of duty. Rev. Barry L. Brown, United Methodist Minister

Rev. Barry L. Brown
United Methodist Pastor, S.C. Conference

June 5, 2004

09-07-03, A HERO NEVER DIES. GONE, BUT NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN. REST IN PEACE MY BROTHER. MAY GOD BLESS.

CHIEF RONNIE WATFORD-RETIRED
JEFFERSON POLICE DEPT,S.C.

September 7, 2003

Rest easy, Troop. You are not forgotten. Never. A hero lost but an angel to guide those unfortunate who follow. Thank you for your sacrafice. Thank you.

Deputy M. Moore
Warren County S.O. (OH)

September 7, 2003

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.