Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Joshua Thomas Rutherford

Blaine County Sheriff's Office, Montana

End of Watch Thursday, May 29, 2003

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Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Joshua Thomas Rutherford


I don't even know what to say. I speak to your mother a lot, and she misses you terriblely. She is such a strong women, someone to admire and look up to. I'm getting to know you through her. This May she will be going to Police week, and I will be going too. Sadly this year I have another officer to honor, though I wish I did not. You're photo speaks volumes of you. I looked at it and couldn't help but smile!

Rest in Peace brother, and know your family will always be taken care of. ALWAYS!

See you on the other side!

Bobbie Schwartz
Sister to Jason Schwartz EOW 9.28.01


February 5, 2004

Hello Josh,

I can't believe it's been 8 months already! and soon to be 9. we all miss you around here, and miss that smile you always had!.........and that most handsome face. I wish i could see your face just one more time, you were always my Mentor. Seems like alot's happend since you have been gone. But Just Know and Remember that Roberta has always Loved You and will Continue Loving you for the rest of her days, as well as your 2 Sons that Just love the hell out of you every single day. you know, i seen this one person that almost looked exactly like you! it was just crazy, and just blew me away, i guess that is true. that we all have a twin somewherez in this world. But anyways, i just wanted to Tell you that i Love You, and you are thought of every single day! and I know Valentines Day is coming up, and just know that your sweetheart is thinking of you on that day! Happy V-day! Laterz.

A Close Friend, that misses you dearly!

February 5, 2004


Eight months since you left for your new beat. I miss you so much it hurts.

January 29, 2004

You were an good friend of mine, it was a terrible thing seeing you in that casket, remembering the way we used to be in our younger years, the conversations we had and when I returned from the Army, I ran into you only one month before on a warm Spring sunny day, who would've known that some one we both knew would do this to you.
It's different to those of us who knew what life was like for you and in our communities.
Rest In peace Josh, another tribal brother from Ft.Belknap, Montana.
LeRoy LongKnife, Jr

Army Vet LeRoy LongKnife, Jr
Fort Belknap Police

January 23, 2004

Josh, I found myself thinking about you and your family today while working my shift. That is what brought me to the officer down website. I spent quite a bit of time reading through all of the reflections and I started to reflect on some of the occasions that I had the opportunity to work with you. As it has been said numerous times, your passion for your family and your job was unparralled. My respect for you and your dedication to our profession is shared byall that knew you. Thinking and reading about you brought me to reflecting on our other Montana brother that died in this new millenium. I think of both of you often and feel that you are watching over all of us that wear our badge of honor and put it on the line each and every day.

Sr. Special Agent Greg Sandsness
BNSF Railroad Police

January 10, 2004

Haopy New Year baby

January 1, 2004

May God be with Josh's family. He was truly a great warrior and will be sorely missed.

Deputy Sheriff
Vernon County, Mo

December 31, 2003





December 25, 2003

When God Made Deputy Sheriffs

When the Lord was creating Deputy Sheriffs, He was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said,
"You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And the Lord said, "Have you read the requirements on this
order? A Sheriff’s Deputy has to be able to run five miles through alleys in the dark, scale walls, enter homes the health inspector wouldn't touch, and not wrinkle their uniform."

"They have to be able to sit in an undercover car all day on a stakeout, cover a homicide scene that night, canvass the neighborhood for witnesses, and testify in court the next day."

"They have to be in top physical condition at all times,
running on black coffee and half-eaten meals, and they have to have six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands . . . no way!!"

"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord, "it's the three pairs of eyes an officer has to have."

"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. "One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before they ask, 'May I see what's in there, sir?'" (when they already know and wish they'd taken that accounting job) "Another pair here in the side of their head for their partner's safety, and another pair of eyes here in front so they can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, 'You'll be alright, ma'am,' when they know it isn't so."

"Lord," said the angel, touching His sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow."

"I can't," said the Lord, "I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound drunk into a patrol car without incident and feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck."

The angel circled the model of the Deputy Sheriff very slowly. "Can it think?" she asked.

"You bet," said the Lord, "it can tell you the elements of a hundred crimes, recite Miranda warnings in its sleep, detain, investigate, search, and arrest a gang member on the street in less time than it takes five learned judges to debate the legality of the stop . . . and still it keeps its sense of humor. This Deputy also has phenomenal personal control. They can deal with crime scenes painted in hell, coax a confession from a child abuser, comfort a murder victim's family, and then read in the daily paper how law enforcement isn't sensitive to the rights of criminal suspects."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the Deputy Sheriff. "There's a leak," she pronounced, "I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model."

"That's not a leak," said the Lord. "It's a tear."

"What's the tear for?" asked the angel.

"It's for bottled-up emotions, for fallen comrades, for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American flag, for justice."

"You're a genius," said the angel.

The Lord looked somber. "I didn't put it there," He said.


December 17, 2003


Another delay in LJ's omnibus hearing. The judge had an illness in the family so the hearing is postponed untill the 22nd of this month. I told Yvonne to take her time and do the job right so he has no possibility of appeal. So no trial date or time but I know that you have this under control. We will get Justice. I miss you.



December 9, 2003

Josh, I did not know you. I moved to Helena a few days before your death from Ohio after my husband, a fellow deputy, was murdered. I recall very vividly where I was when I heard the tragic news of your death. Know that you, your family, friends, and co-workers have all been in my thoughts and prayers the last few months. I too will return to DC next year to honor you and the others. It is my hope to seek out your mother, family, and fellow survivors here in Montana and help them in any way that I can. Thank you Josh for your service. Your memory lives on in the spirit and mind of others.......just as my husband's does. Your death was not in vain. I will pray to give your family and friends the continued strength they need.

Jennifer Tanner-Wife
Dep. Robert Tanner EOW 1/08/02

December 5, 2003

Josh, you were a friend and a fellow brother of the brown. I miss you and think of you always. We were D.T. Instructors together at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy, it is never the same whenever I go to instruct without you being there by mine and the other Instructor's side. All of us miss your jokes, smile and laugh. Josh because of the training that we have done together I feel I am a better Officer for it. May your sons be like you in all things and all they do in their lives. I feel that everybody who knew you and loved you are that much better for having this short time on Earth to be with you. May God and the Angels gaurd and protect you and yours. 24-6 from 11-4

Deputy Alan L. Guderjahn
Phillips County Sheriff's Office

November 27, 2003


I cannot believe it has been 6 months going on 7 pretty soon, since you have been gone. It seems empty in Harlem without seeing your smile and your face around. Roberta seems to be getting better, as she is a strong woman as well as your sons, whom i know miss you more everyday of thier lives, and they are all being strong, especially with the holidays coming up. I am glad to know that they are giving your mother maxine comfort as much as they can. Your mother is such a strong person and she is the bravest woman i know, and i can't even to begine to imagine how hard it is to be without you in her life. But she keeps you alive inside of her and i know she will forever miss and love you, as well as the rest of us. I see your little buddy is being a cop now huh? Corey S! Alot of people call him "KINDERGARDEN COP" which really fits his desription, cause of how young he is. he tries to be like you too much but, he might make a good cop, but not as good as you. "Kidding". I have alot of respect for police officers, as they lay thier life down to protect their community, just as you did. but I am so sad that it had to end the way it did, and i hope that bastard get's what he deserves for destroying the lives of your family, especially your precious sons. You were thier world and they loved you more than anything imaginable. I think Thomas is going to be like you, He looks just like you! it's like seeing you again, and it gives me comfort. when you see grandma maxine bigby, tell her Hello for me and that we all miss her dearly,.........she used to babysitte me when i was little and always got grounded from her! she would have her fly swatter ready and what not, and she would always say......ISH, Ish, But i just wanted to say, that your family is being thought of everyday, and our prayers will continue to be with them. I love you very much, and It was a Honor knowing you in that short time. I wished that i could of spent more time with you, but just knowing you was good enough for me, cause i always thought very highly of you, disregard what other people said about you. People talk like you were this horrible person and what not, but i seen you in a different way, you were just a police officer doing your job. and if people can't understand that, then there is something seriously wrong with I mean, it's not like you arrest them or pull them over for no reason, obviously they broke the law, and they have to owe up thier responsibilty right?. well Officer Rutherford, I want to tell you "Happy Thanksgiving". It's not happy cause your not here, but i wanted to tell you that, as if you were still here, and you are......In My Heart! Love Ya!........Laterz.

Tonya C.

November 27, 2003

Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God. Matthew 5:9.
My prayers to the family and friends of Officer Rutherford.

Coretta Benson
Anchorage, Alaska

November 16, 2003

Hi Josh, I am writing to let you know I have met your Mom, I met her at COPS Parent Retreat. I also lost my son this year, and I can tell you it took a lot of courage for her to go to that retreat. I am so glad she did, because we became friends there. Josh, I watched your mom climb the rope tower and she was awesome, she did it for you, I know you were her strength. We have been keeping in touch and I have come to love her so much, we have paid a huge price for friendship, I think it will last forever. I hate that we had to lose our sons to be friends, but I know God has a plan and it is a good one. I want to thank you Josh for being the Man you were and Father and Police Officer, and for being such a kind and loving Son to your Mother, You will always be remembered for the kind person and helpful servant that you were. Somehow, I have a feeling that all you officers have already met and are leading us parents to each other. It seems liked I have known your Mom forever, Probably our Sons Spirits mingling with us. O.K. Blue Angel stay 10/8 and remember I will always love you (Iwalu)

Pat Carruth
Mother of Officer Jeremy

November 14, 2003

My Son,

Its been five long months. I miss you so much, your smile as well as your laugh. I never thoght you would leave first as you were the one that I counted on to take care of me, even though I knew you planned on a nursing home for me. Hah, you would of had to catch me first. Me and Jill would of been perched at Lucky Lil with her motorized wheel chair with the side car.

Thomas broke his thumb playing basketball. They finally won a game. Teague is so lost without you and angry. I under stand the anger though because I would love to rip LJ's heart out. He didn't realize that he was ripping the heart out of our family when he shot you. My son I miss you much but I will continue to go on because I know thats what you want. There are days that I smile because of a memory of your childhood or the way you looked the day Thomas was born. Then there or days that I can't just stant the unjustness of your death. Those are the days that I cry into my ice cream.

I met a lot of parents of slain police officers and I know that you have probably talked to them by now. I will go to DC in May for National Police Week. Yes me flying. I'm not scared as the worst that life could deal me has been done. So flyin
is nothing now.

I love you so much but you alway knew that.


October 31, 2003

Five months has passed my friend and I find your presence around me as if you were still right next to me. Sometimes I can feel you embrace me, as if you were trying to tell me that everything will be alright. I'm sure you are aware how often the thought of you crosses my mind.

I have begun to laugh more in the passing days, knowing that you would not want me to continue my life in sadness. I don't deny that days such as today are difficult and there will always be the sadness. But I can't help but think of all the fun times we had together and the times you made me laugh.

Thank you for including me in your life here on earth. It is I who am truly blessed to have shared a part of your life. I know your journey home was one with out fail.

Take care, Ranger Rutherford:)


October 29, 2003

josh, i still cannot believe that you are gone. i am so grateful that i got to know you. i think about you every single day and i hope you know how proud i am of you. i know that one day we will see each other again. somehow that makes things a little easier. i am back in montana now, and that also helps me feel closer to you. i know you are looking down on your family and friends protecting us from your new watch. thank you josh.....

melody stanley
josh's aunt

October 16, 2003

Hi Josh - I met your mom a couple of weeks ago at a retreat for moms and dads who have lost their sons and daughters in the line of duty. Your mom is an amazing person and she loves you so much and she is so proud of you. You would have been so proud of her as she climbed that rope tower - it was quite an accomplishment. We cheered her on because we all knew why she was doing it. The grief and agony of losing a child is the worst pain a parent can endure and sometimes we have to do some things that we think we can't just to give us the confidence that we can make it through another day and night without our child. Your mom is in the good company of thousands of other parents who will take care of her until she meets you again. Rest in peace, Josh. I know you were a good man and a very dedicated officer.

Jean Hill
Mom- Deputy Barry Hill EOW 12/4/00

October 16, 2003

Josh rest in poace my friend, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Sgt. tom Hamilton
Montana Highway Patrol

October 14, 2003


My son you left so fast that I wasn't able to hold you and tell you goodbye. I'm so sorry that I didn't go home for Memorial Day but glad that I went home when Poncho left. I have those hours with you to hold in my heart. You looked so happy. You made me laugh when you told me that Thomas would be your personal representative at Poncho's funeral. I didn't realize that you meant that Tlhomas would represent you for life. You would of been so proud of Thomas. He was so courageous, confident and loving when he did your eulogy. I know that your lpve gave him the boost he needed to be able to talk in front of all those people.

We spoke often about the negative remarks that people made to you while you were here. The whold town tuned out to bid you goodbye. People were lined up at the Quik Stop and the college. It was definately something to see. It is so hard to say goodbye as I know that you will be in my heart forever. You were the light of my life and now you are my angel.
They are days that I can walk with grace and dignity because of the person you were. There are also those days that your sister, sons, and friends have to support me because I am overwhelmed with thought that I will never see your smile again.

I went to a retreat to past weekend for the parents of police officers killed in the line of duty. There were psychiatrists there and they had a field day with me. Seriously it was nice to be able to talk to others that are in this walk of grief. Nice group but very high membership requirements. I know you were laughing when you saw me go up that cargo net. Thanks for the boost I couldn't of made it that last yard without you. My potty mouth kicked into gear when I went down that zip lip. I told everyone that I did it for you. I will do everything possible to get this grief work done so you could be happy with your grandma.

Well my dearest son, I won't say goodbye but I'll see you. I will do my best for sons.

Love Mom


October 12, 2003


It has now been 3 months since you have left us, and there isn't a day that goes by that you don't cross my mind. It has been hard getting used to, you not being around at the FootBall games and what not. Everytime i see one of the Blaine County sheriff's in uniform, You pop in my head right away, and How i wish you were still one of those deputies-walking around and making sure our town is safe and just doing your job. I respect the Blaine county officer's, but there will never be an officer like you! I was reading in the paper how your partner recieved a bullet proof vest, and i just wished you would of wore yours on that fatal night......but you were just passionate about your job and you gave your life doing what you love most, and i respect you for that. And i also know that your son Thomas is so proud of you! and that he had the best dad any kid could ever have, I have alot of respect for Thomas, on how brave he was when he had to see his dad for the last time, he handled it so well and was just the strongest boy you could ever see!.........well, i love and miss you, i will see you again someday!

Love Always,
Your freind

a Friend

September 20, 2003

It is now three months since you have been laid to rest. The hurt of your departure feels like it was just yesterday. At times it feels like the hours/days/weeks drag on endlessly. People say that time will heal all wounds, but time can be concieved in a different way for any given moment.

I know that you continue to watch over your mother, son's, extended family and friends. You cared so much for those people closest to you, that in their hearts they know that you will always be there for them.

As a friend of yours, I hope you knew how much I cared for you. When I reflect on the times we spent together, there are the "could of", "should of", and "would of's" that try to enter my thoughts, but I find consolation in the fact that I was able to tell you how much I cared for you.


August 29, 2003

I never understood your passion to be a police officer. I talked to you about my fear of you being an officer. You never had any fears. You followed your heart and chose to do what you loved best--protecting the people of your community. You made such a great impact on all the people in the Blaine County Community-young and old. I am proud of you Joshua for all of your accomplishments in your short life. I promise you that I will do my best to raise Thomas and Joshua Teague to the best of my ability. I know that you are in Heaven watching over us. I am thankful for the love and the memories you gave to us. They are so much like you in so many ways. Thomas has your confidence and Joshua Teague carries your stubborness. When I look at our boys Joshua, I see you. They both have so much love, compassion, respect, confidence and humor.......just like their dad!
You are a true Warrior. There is not a day that goes by that we are not proud of you. Thomas and Joshua Teague are two lucky boys to have had the "greatest dad" in the world.
Thank you Joshua, for sharing your life with us. It was a priveledge to have our hearts touched by you. We will love you----always and forever!

Your partner and friend

August 21, 2003

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, you were born twenty nine years ago today not a day went by that you weren't loved to the best of my ability. I will carry you in my heart forever.

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