Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman Thomas Ray Carpenter

Colorado State Patrol, Colorado

End of Watch Thursday, December 27, 1973

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Patrolman Thomas Ray Carpenter

Patrolman Carpenter,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of the state of Colorado. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy. If I remember correctly I think I saw your story on an episode of Real Stories of the Highway Patrol.


United States Border Patrol

December 27, 2023

Channel 9 had a story about your kidnapping and murder, noting it had been 48 years ago. I'm very familiar with the Hwy 36 & Broadway area, having worked for the Adams County Sheriff's Office for 30 years. The area was also the same location where an ACSO Detective was killed in a car crash a few months earlier. May you rest in peace.

Reedy L. Lash / Sgt (retired)
Adams County Sheriff's Office

January 1, 2022

I went through the CSP academy with Tom Carpenter. His death brought out a number of issues in the way State Patrol officers handled traffic stops.

Russ Locke, Retired (but not from CSP)
CSP Class of 1968

February 7, 2021

Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

December 27, 2020

Rest in peace Tom

Ofc Howard Levett
Broomfield Police Department

October 18, 2019

Rest in peace Patrolman Carpenter.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

September 20, 2019

May his soul rest peacefully in Heaven.

First Sergeant Thomas Webb,Retired
New York State Police

June 15, 2019

Trooper memorialized 44 years after his murder
Sonia Gutierrez, 9News KUSA 6:08 PM. MST December 30, 2017

DENVER - A Colorado trooper is now being honored, 44 years after his death.

On December 27, 1973, trooper Thomas Ray Carpenter stopped by the Boulder Turnpike to help what looked to be a broken down car with two men inside.

Somehow, the men got ahold of his gun, forced him back in his patrol car and made him drive around at gunpoint.

Trooper Carpenter was later found dead. His killers, have never been found.

STORY | Murder of CSP Trooper still unsolved after 40 years

Saturday, his family, friends and the Colorado State Patrol dedicated that same stretch of highway in his honor.

They unveiled a sign that read, "in memory of state trooper Thomas Carpenter." Underneath is a plaque signed by his family, friends and colleagues.

Carpenter's death is still one of Colorado's longest running unsolved crimes.

Police Officer-retired
NYC Police Department

December 31, 2017

He was Mr. Carpenter to me as a young teenager working at a gas station. I too only spoke with him probably five or ten times. But I never forgot his face all these years. He was neat as a pin, very focused, and had a warm smile. He left an impression on me. I felt safe each time he walked into our little station. Always gave us a tidbit of news or a tip on safety. I remember hearing the horrible news and how grief and disbelief seemed to just hang in the air. We prayed for his family, and grieved along with them. It is sad, and wonderful to read these reflections of him. God bless his family and friends until they reunite with him where there is no more parting or tears.


June 6, 2016

I knew Tom. He and I went through the same CSP class in 1968. And although I left the state patrol in 1972 and joined the Lakewood Department of Public Safety, I was at his funeral that bleak December day. I volunteered to drive Chief Brooks and Deputy Chief Vermillia to the funeral. It was one of the saddest days of my life. I firmly believe that the suspects either got what they had coming at some point in their lives or will when they face God.

Russ Locke, Retired Undersheriff
Gunnison County

September 2, 2015

It is amazing how someone whom you have never met can have such a huge impact on your life. The legacy of Patrolman Thomas Carpenter is far greater than anything he could of done in this life time. He was able to give me the gift of the most amazing father anyone could ever dream of having. My grandfather, Patrolman Carpenter, raised a man who respects, accepts, and protects everyone who he comes across. My grandmother, his wife, was able to keep his memory alive and instill the values that he believed to be important for their children to know. Patrolman Carpenter is a hero to me and I am blessed that he was able to raise a man who is the most amazing dad in the world. I wish I could have met the man who gave me my father to tell him Thank You. But it would never be enough.

Shannon Carpenter

June 18, 2015

I think of you often even though i barely knew you. I was in high school and worked at a gas station. You would stop by and say high occasionally. About a week before your tragic death I asked you what it would take to become a Colorado State Patrolman. You told me that I should just work hard and stay in business. You where special and will never be forgotten. I continue to pray for your family.

R. T. Elder

May 21, 2014

I was a fatherless youth growing up in Lafayette, Colorado. Officer Tom Carpenter was our Boy Scout Leader and one of the more significant influences on my youth. I rember the cloud over Chritmas that year. I attended the funeral and I will never forget the image of all the law enforcement agencies that showed their support. Husband, Father, and Scott Leader Tom Carpenter will always be a positive memory in my thoughts.

Warren Charter

December 7, 2013

Thanks Sheila, I think of your dad and my good friend and car partner every day and speak often about him with the kids and grand kids. Will never forget! The best of the best!

jim anderson
retired good friend

September 12, 2013

Rest in Peace, Patrolman Carpenter. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 24, 2012

Patrolman Carpenter - Three Fridays ago, on a very rainy morning, I was in the State Assembly chambers when your name was read off as one of the almost 250 others, during a motion regarding this month's Police Memorial week. I stood next to CSP Chief Wolfinbarger who acknowledged the mention of each and every CSP member.

Thank you for your service to the people of Colorado.
May God grant you eternal rest and may His perpetual light shine upon you.

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

May 10, 2010

Tom was instrumental in my Christian conversion and will always be rembered honorably in my memories for his service as a dedicated officer.

James C. McClung
Former CSP Trooper

May 8, 2010

The last time I saw Ray was in his home around Christmas of 1973 I was 14 years old. I will always remember Ray for his love of his family and the compassion for others. I still remember going to his house and what fun times or families had together. Ray was the example of what all Law enforcement Officers should be like. I still try to visit his grave around the time of his death. Thank You Ray for your sacrifice.

Deputy Daniel Dow
Mesa County Sheriffs Office

February 22, 2010

Your heroism and service is honored today, the thirty-sixth anniversary 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 murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

I pray for the solace of all those who love and miss you for I know both the pain and pride are forever.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

December 30, 2009

Your fellow Troopers remember and honor your sacrifice. God Bless.

Michigan State Police

February 22, 2009

RIP.You will never be forgotten by the ones who love you and knew you.


January 4, 2009



December 26, 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 24, 2007

Rest easy Brother.

Former MD Police Officer
Fauquier County, VA

September 3, 2007

He was my father. To honor him I gave his middle name to my first born, his first grandchild/granddaughter. I spelled it Rae. Last May, 2006 she became a mother herself. She gave her son, my grandson, the middle name of Thomas - to honor my father, her grandfather - whom she never met. His name lives on.

March 2, 2007

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