Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Paul Lawrence Verna

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, June 2, 1983

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Police Officer Paul Lawrence Verna

Paul was a friend of mine back in 80's when he used to work as a PI for Hughes Markets we became really good friends and his death was really shocking and sad for me, I attend his funeral and I will always remember what a good friend he was

RIP Paul


AL Menendez
Just an old friend from Hughes Markets

January 23, 2012

Rest in Peace, Officer Verna. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 14, 2012

To Paul, a long time friend in so many ways. From the early childhood years, through the challenges of adult life. I was so honored to have known you for over 25 years.

We grew up in the rural San Fernando Valley and enjoyed the best experiences out of the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Explorers. At 16 years old, we were both off to Yosemite on our own motorcycles.

You took the high road in everything you did. Family and friends were important to you. You inspired trust to those around you. You gave respect to those citizens that you served.

I was in the LAPD Academy Reserve Class of 4-83 when that tragic day occurred. From that day forward, my respect for your life has only grown.

My friend, you have many that think of you all the time. My salute to you,
Paul. My respect to your two sons Bryce and Ryan

Reserve Police Officer Gary Krystof
Los Angeles Police Department - Friend

March 14, 2011

Officer Verna - You were, by all accounts, a great man. I've met your sons, both LAPD Officers now, and see you in them. The people of Los Angeles lost a true hero the day you were taken from us. May God grant you eternal rest. May he grant your killers...otherwise...

Chief K. Moreland (Ret. Sgt.)
Palmer Lake, CO PD (Ret. LAPD)

April 16, 2010

Not being from here, when I came on the job I made every attempt to learn about the history. When I was a new P-II wheeled to Communications Division in 2003, I met a LAFD Captain who had worked with Ofcr. Verna back when they were both firefighters. He still loved the guy, talking about how funny he was, what a great friend he was. Years later you could see it still hurt him to talk about it. And when I lost a fellow officer and Academy classmate teh following year, I knew that feeling.

Officer Verna, I knew your name then and now. I pray for my two boys and kiss them before I head out in the morning. I see one of your boys working Motors and hope my boys will be good men like yours. Rest in peace brother and we'll see you when we get there.

RIP Ofcr. Paul Verna
RIP Ofcr. Ricardo Lizarraga

Police Officer III

October 27, 2009

I just wanted to let your family and friends know that there are many out there who know the pain that you feel today. My brother Roger was killed 4 years ago today on June 2nd. You are in the thoughts and prayers of many folks who care. I pray that God will bless you with many precious happy memories to help fill your heart "especially today".

Judy Coleman
Sister of Roger Lynch

June 3, 2009

My first assignment upon graduation from the Los Angeles Police Academy in 1981 was Devonshire Division. That’s where I met Paul Verna. He was a great man, a great cop, and a very funny guy. He was a deeply devoted husband to Sandy and a loving father. The first thing I noticed about Paul was that he treated me as an equal even though I was still on probation what they called in those days a ‘boot’. Paul treated everyone fairly and loved to talk, and crack jokes. He was as Sgt. Joe Reiner who worked with us at Devonshire pointed out the nicest guy you could ever meet.

Even before he went to ‘motors’ Paul loved motorcycles and whenever we could we rode home together after our shift he rode his Honda Gold Wing and I rode my Yamaha FJ 1100. Paul was the kind of man who would help a friend in need. Once while I was still on probation there was a situation which could have ended my career. At great risk to their careers Paul and Sgt Joe Reiner went to bat for me.

I was working an ‘L car’ the day I heard of Paul’s tragic passing I cried like a baby. To those of us blessed to have known Paul and those of us blessed to have known of him we will never forget Paul Verna.

Police Officer Retired, Musa T. Camara
LAPD Friend & co-worker with Paul

April 2, 2009

I was still on Active Duty, assigned to a contingent for the U. S. Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force. We were working closely with Southern California police departments in preparation for the upcoming 1984 Olympics. To my knowledge, Officer Verna's Funeral was the only one that Chief Daryl F. Gates was unable to attend, because he was in Germany attending an International Olympics Counter Terrorism Conference.....

Michael B. Parlor

January 27, 2009

To Officer Verna and and his loved ones:

Please know that your memory is honored and revered today. Rest in Peace, Officer Verna. I am praying for solace for your family today and each day of their journey as survivors. I know you must be especially proud that your two sons followed in your footsteps, and I believe you continue to lead by example. I hope to meet your family one day.

I was distressed to learn today that in March of this year the California Supreme Court for the second time overturned the death penaly verdict of one of the two men convicted of your murdet. I pray that justice will be rendered for your brutal murder.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the distinquished service Officer Verna gave to his community and the citizens of California, and for the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on June 2, 1983.

Phyllis Loya

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, eow 4/24/05

October 12, 2008

RIP.Your tour of duty cut short but you will never be forgotten by all those who love you.


October 4, 2008

June 2, 2008 was the 25th anniversary of Paul's death. He was my partner for just two years, but he was my best friend for many more. Paul was a very special kind of person. The best way to describe Paul is the way he was remembered at his funeral service. If you could pick your son you would pick Paul, if you could pick your father you would pick Paul, if you could pick your brother you would pick Paul. I was lucky enough to say I picked Paul as a friend. His two sons are both Police Officers and fine young men, I know he would be very proud of them. I miss you my friend.

Detective John Walker
L.A.P.D. Ex-Partner

June 5, 2008

As a Reserve Officer assigned to Devonshire Division, I was honored to have known Officer Paul Verna. I always appreciated his great sense of humor during briefings; often bringing the entire watch to laughter further enhancing our camaraderie. I had just moved to Northern California and joined the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department when news came of Paul’s murder. His funeral services, to this day, remains the most emotionally charged and solemn event I have ever witnessed.

At one time, Paul was a Los Angeles City Firefighter; so the entire route from church to cemetery was spotted with dozens of fire trucks from every town. Miles of motor officers, black and white patrol vehicles and civilian vehicles participating in the procession made their way through streets jammed with people that came to get a glimpse of a hero’s last march. Watching all this from the back seat of our patrol car, I tried to find words that could describe the experience…..but, there are no words. One would have had to have been there to see hundreds of people who didn’t know Paul personally; but, were standing on the curbs, holding American flags, and saluting as his casket passed.

Several times a year, I visit the California State Police Memorial at the State Capitol building. I locate Paul’s name and reflect on that day. I can still hear his laughter.

Chris Pheasant
Sacramento County Sheriff's Dept.

March 20, 2008

Officer Verna,

I grew up in Devonshire Division and knew many of the officers there at the time. I did not know you, but I did meet your wife. I was an x-ray technician working at the hospital when you were brought in. I still recall it to this day. I also witnessed your funeral, as I live near where you are resting.

I am now in a different career, working in law enforcement, and I still recall your tragedy vividly. Larry Lassiter's mother left a message a few spaces down. I work the folks that worked with him, as well as Ray Giacomelli. All 3 of these tragedies helped shape my new career choice.

Please know that even after you are gone, you are having a positive influence on the world.

Contra Costa County

February 15, 2008

I was lucky enough to get assigned a paper on Officer Verna. I am currently going thru an academy. I am so honored to have gotten this Officer's name. I hope to make contact with his son's. I will graduate in March 2008. It would be an honor to have his son's there. I will be very honored to do my presentation on Officer Verna.
Thank you,

Leticia Martinez,

November 22, 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
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

September 17, 2007

In all my 70 years of life I have yet to meet a person who was such a gentle, considerate and loving person as Paul. I was Paul's supervisor in North Hollywood Division and remember the long talks we had about nothing in particular. I lost track of Paul when he went to motors, but I have never forgotten him and will always keep him in my heart. God bless you Paul. Someday we will meet again and share some good memories, as cops usually do. I know Rodney is with you. Take care of him.

Sgt. Joe Reiner
LAPD - Retired

March 9, 2007

I met Officer Verna when I just started in law enforcement as a civilian employee, assigned to LAPD Devonshire Area. One officer was talking to me about the job, telling me "It's not too late, kid, save yourself, go to the Fire Department." Paul overheard this and came over, saying "Hey, kid, I just came BACK from LAFD, talk to me and I'll tell you why." I talked to him and stayed in LE for 30 years. I remember Paul always had a smile on his face and was quick to share a laugh. Great cop, great man.

Bernard J. WIlson Chief of Police (retd)
Los Angeles Airport Police

April 27, 2006

I was in the Academy the day you were killed. Several months later, I started my first tour of duty as a deputy at Men's Central Jail, which is located near downtown L.A. On a Fall afternoon, just months after you were killed, I had the responsibility to escort one of your killers and some other "keep-away" inmates to the showers. These were considered to be the most dangerous or noteworthy inmates in the jail system. Anyway, your killer, who I knew shot you in the back, decided to show off for the other inmates by bragging about committing your murder and adding that he would do the same to me upon his release from prison. Normally, such taunts just passed without a response. However, I was pissed off by this coward bragging about being a tough guy for what he had done. I got into his face while the other two killers were on my flank. I guess they were waiting for him to take the lead. I barked into his mug that I knew he was a coward, that he shot you from behind, and he never would have measured up to you had he tried to fight fair. His lip trembled and his speech stammered. He had no heart for a fight, and he certainly wasn't worthy of being mentioned in connection with your name. He aslo lost quite a bit of standing with his fellow inmates after that day.

Years later, his death penalty verdict was returned to the local court for review, and I made sure I was on the witness list to testify about what this coward had confessed to in my presence. I wasn't called to the stand, and the punishment of death was reaffirmed.

Your son has joined our ranks now, and I have been told that he is carrying on the family tradition of exemplary service to his fellow man.

May you rest in peace, and I hope to see you in Heaven someday.

Los Angeles Sheriff's Department

February 8, 2006

To the family and friends of Officer Paul Verna:

I am so sorry that Officer Verna was killed in this brutal murder that occurred so many years ago. I am sure that he would have been proud that his sons followed in his footsteps.

I lost my son Larry Lasater when he was fatally shot on April 23, 2005 during a foot pursuit of two bank robbers. HIs death has traumatized his wife, my son, myself, all his family and friends, his department just as I am sure the loss of Officer Verna traumatized the lives of all who loved him. Larry's only child, Cody, was born 2 1/2 months after Larry was murdered so that void will be felt forever by my grandson.

I was enraged today to read an article which is the cover article of the California Lawyer, the monthly publication of the State Bar of California, that was entitled Inside A Death Row Marriage. This article was about Kenneth Gay, one of the individuals convicted of the murder of Officer Verna. As an active member of the State Bar of California since 1983, I immediately called to protest this tawdry article in my professional journal which I felt glorified a cop killer and did nothing to serve the interests of its audience of each attorney who practices law in the State of California. I am asking my local chapter of COPS to write letters to the editor of California Lawyer and am sending my own letter in protest.

I am going to speak out to honor the memory of Officer Verna and protest this stupid, inane article that had no business being published in the California Journal.

Rest In Peace, Officer Verna. Your valor will not be forgotten.

Phyllis Loya,
mother of Larry Lasater, eow 4/24/05

January 18, 2006

Officer Verna was a great man, father, Police Officer! My twin brother and I were riding our bike in early 1983 when he was struck by a car. The woman that hit my brother fled the scene. Officer Verna arrived just minutes later and apprehended the fleeing hit and run suspect. It put a long lasting impression of me who he was and what the LAPD was about. I was twelve and Officer Verna is a big part of why I became a Police Officer. It was an honor to meet him and now know his sons. Paul, you will always be missed by your extended family.

Police Officer II

January 1, 2006

I was an Explorer at LAPD Devonshire Division when Ofcr Verna went EOD. I remember speaking to him in the station many times and how polite and friendly he was. I remember that he was the image of what I thought an LAPD Officer should be. I show my wife and children his picture in the lobby at Club Dev whenever we go there.

David Williams
Los Angeles

November 13, 2005

I just saw Officer Verna's story on Court TV, and I'm very pleased to know that his killers were brought to justice. I've lost several friends in my 25 years on the department, and it is never easy to accept the death of another officer. The Lord holds a special place for those who give their lives in the service of others. I know you are proud of your sons and watch over them now. They are your legacy. How proud you must be. Rest in Peace, Brother.

Sgt. Bill Richardson
Anchorage, Alaska PD

September 6, 2005

I really did'nt even know this page existed, but after reading the "reflections" left for my father by other officers, I figured I had to leave my own. I love, miss, and respect my father. Even though I was only four when he died, he made a huge impact in my life and the path that my life has taken. My brother and I are both Los Angeles Police Officers. Thank you for the kind words about my father, I know he would thank you to.

Police Officer Ryan Verna
Los Angeles Police Department

August 13, 2005

I salute you for your service and honor you for your sacrifice.

A hero never dies....

Rest in peace, hero.

April 27, 2005

From one motor cycle Officer to another. A JOB WELL DONE. May you rets in peace SIR.

PO Timothy M Tumbrink
St.Louis Police Department

January 26, 2005

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