Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Thomas L. Reuter

Grant County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin

End of Watch Monday, March 19, 1990

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Thomas L. Reuter

I just stumbled across this page today, and yet 31 years and a few months later, the memories hit me anew.

Tom, I have long wanted to say these words to you, and I will never get the chance. At the time we lost you, I was already well into the development of complex PTSD and had no connection with my emotions; that is no longer.

I really wish that I could have told you how much I loved you and how much you meant to me. I was just a ragtag little girl, probably coming across as needy and annoying, and you loved me anyway. You were there for every important thing that happened in my life between age 5 and the day of your death one month and one day before my 12th birthday. You and Diane showed me what it meant to love your kids, and you provided so much to me emotionally than you could have ever known. My life was a daily hell, and yet I knew that your house was always a safe place.

Thank you for who you were, who you helped me to be then, and who you have helped me become now. Thank you for Diane, Dan, Doug, Tim, Sherry, and Andy. They were siblings in my heart and a relatively stable set of people to count on when I had nothing and nobody else. Thank you for the homemade pizza nights, the walkie-talkie hide-and-seek, the weeks at the Bavarian, the beach (and the sunburns!), and the last-day antics (that at least once ended with Peggy in the lake). Thank you for your friendship, your service, and your love. I carry so much within me that would not exist without having been loved by you, and I am so deeply grateful for every minute of those almost-7 years that you were in my life.

You are so deeply loved and missed and remembered. ❤

Erin Reddy Wolff

July 25, 2021

Sent Just Now

To Whom it May Concern,
I respectfully ask that you DENY PAROLE to Gregory Coulthard, inmate #00204039. This inmate's violent murder of Deputy Sheriff Thomas Reuter, of the Grant County Sheriff's Department, in 1990, should preclude any consideration for parole.

There should never be parole for cop killers. Coulthanrd said he just shot.  What if it had been someone in HIS family that drove up. Would he have just shot then? Even 35 years ago the deputy would have turned on his lights to warn other drivers that he was there. I do not believe that he "just shot" .
He wants parole BUT when will Deputy Reuter be paroled from the grave. When Deputy Reuter is paroled from the grave then MAYBE inmate #00204039 might be able to get paroled but I will still stand against him getting out of his cage. That cage is where he belongs. I never knew Deputy Reuter but I know the tunnel. I walk it every day. There is no getting out of the tunnel completely. I have to walk in it every time an important date comes around again. The date I was rescued from rape. The date my HERO rode with me to the hospital. The date of what would have been our wedding. The date of my son's birth and death from the rape. The date I had to allow my son to be put in the ground and my HERO held me for over an hour at that grave. The date my HERO stayed with me on what should have been my son's first birthday. The date he put a ring on my finger, the date he was going to ask my parents for my hand in marriage, the date that he did not show up, the date that I returned home from my parents and found three officers and my pastor waiting for me at the bus terminal. The date I was told he was gone. The date I saw his face very briefly when they were placing him in the casket as they did not know I was there.  The date...  Every one of these dates still come around--every 365 days the date comes again.

There are more dates that I am praying for--the date they find the murderer/s, the date they are placed in a cage for the rest of their lives, the date I can ask the judge to allow them to live with a sentence of life plus the number of years they have had free since the murder of four officers. My HERO fell immediately the other three fell at different dates through time but all from the same incident.
Deputy Sheriff Thomas Reuter was shot and killed when he stopped to assist a tractor being driven by an 18-year-old Coulthard around midnight. Coulthard shot him as he approached and was convicted of first-degree homicide. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Deputy Reuter stopped the tractor to help somebody. Make his murderer pay for that random shot. Make his murderer remain in prison FOR LIFE! Please don't make this family live another horrible date--that of the murderer's parole. Have you seen the picture of his six year old son wearing his Daddy's hat and holding his Daddy's star at  the funeral? Look closely and you can see the confusion and terror in that child's face. At that age, he most likely did not understand why but he knew something was wrong. Something that his little heart could not fix for his Momma. Something that would never go away completely EVER.  You can see it at grantcountysheriff (dot) com / Tribute / Tribute (dot) php  and scroll down to Deputy Reuter's place -- then click on funeral and go to page 6.
Deputy Reuter had served with the Grant County Sheriff's Department for 13 years. He left behind his wife and five children.

Please Honor that service with the vote of NO PAROLE. Please honor this family that has had their HERO torn from them so many years ago.
As a concerned citizen and in the interest of public safety, I again respectfully ask that you DENY PAROLE to inmate #00204039. Justice demands that he be made to spend every remaining day of his FULL SENTENCE in prison.

PLEASE Honor all of us who have had to go through this same TORMENT IN OUR LIVES.


Cynthia Ann Starr

December 22, 2020

Rest easy Deputy. Thirty years later, you are not forgotten and many of us have sent letters on your behalf.

Tony Ferris, Former Patrol Officer
Longmont PD

December 22, 2020

RIP. A true American Hero.

Howard R Palladino Retired Supreme Court
NYS. Supreme Court Officers

December 22, 2020

Rest easy on this your 30 anniversary in heaven

Mark Mottola

March 19, 2020

Rest in peace Deputy Sheriff Reuter.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

July 29, 2019

I will never forget this tragic event. It shaped my husbands career and the entire sheriffs department became a closer knit family.

Amy Breitsprecker
Spouse of Sgt Ed Breitsprecker Jr

March 19, 2019

We never Knew Tom. We had only just moved to this area when such a dreadful thing happened. Our hearts burned for the man, his young wife
and such a beautiful family, now left alone in stunned grief.
There have since been such wonderful articles in the paper to help us know
the fine family man & friend of the community that we lost, WASTED senselessly! The poem above says it so well! These officers are out there trying to help & protect, and take their lives in their hands in the darkness so often. -So often thankless. I have great admiration for Tom's son, who chose to pick up where his Dad left off.
We think of Tom often, especially now when so many Officers are getting a
bad rap all across the nation from the media.
Thanks to the friends & co-workers who got the word out about the parole
hearing. Sending a letter is the very least we can do.
We SALUTE you Tom, the job you did well, & the strength of your fine family to go forward.

M. Smalley
Just down the road

March 25, 2015

Tom, you will always be rememberd by family and friends as you were a wonderful husband to your wife, father to your children and a great friend to many. Your children have grown into adults now and you should be very proud of them and Diane who finished raising them by herself as you were taken away from all way too soon. You will always be missed by many.

You were a Great Friend and a Great Person!
Larry & Sherry


March 6, 2015

I never had the privilege of meeting Tom, but if his widow and children are any indication, he must have been a fine man. They should not have to look over their shoulders wondering what Tom's killer might try next if he is released. My "No Parole" letter personally delivered to the post office was received and I have received a reply showing that.

Ken Kriesel
friend of family

February 12, 2015

My "No Parole" Letter went out this Morning. No Parole for the POS that shot you. God Bless Your Family, Friends and Department.

Retired Police Officer, Bob Reed
South Lake Tahoe Department

January 29, 2015

Sir, your dedication to serve and protect is remembered today on this anniversary of your ultimate sacrifice. A hero is never forgotten. Rest in Peace. Thoughts are with your family.

G. Birkholz
mother of fallen Officer Craig Birkholz,

March 19, 2014

Deputy Reuter's son Daniel has now complieted all fto requirements and is on full solo patrol status

Matthew S. Alexander
family friend

May 29, 2013

One of Tom's twin boys, Daniel, is a dispatcher with the Grant County (WIS) Sheriff's Department, and is now a certified officer with hopes of becoming a Patrol Deputy very soon.

Bob Bloyer, retired

July 25, 2012

A Hero may fall but shall never be forgotten, RIP Sir and may god be with you and your childern.

James Kotke
Civilian / Former Officer
WSF Park Police (Wi.)

February 15, 2012

Its been 20 years since you've past, and I still think about you every day. Every year I get older, I see a little more of you in the mirror. It's not just the looks that remind me of you, but the person I am and everything about me. I used to be bitter and wonder why you were taken away from us, and now I just thank god you were my dad and I had you on earth for 13 years. Without you, I would have been lost. Please keep looking out for us, and know someday, we will all be together again! You are the greatest dad a kid could ever hope for!
Love your son,

Tim Reuter

May 14, 2010

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

March 19, 2010

The wicked flee where no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion
Proverbs 28:1

You are never forgotten

Friend of Off. Kris Fairbanks RIP 9-20-08


March 19, 2009

Your heroism and service is honored today, the nineteenth 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 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

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

March 19, 2009

Thank you for your service and dedication. Rest in peace.

Michelle - wife of Retired LEO

February 2, 2009

Rest in Peace Tom.

Lt. Rodney Bender (ret.)
Racine Sheriff's Dept.

November 19, 2008



April 30, 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

February 22, 2008

Rest in God's loving embrace, hero. You will never be forgotten.

Wisconsin L.E.O.

January 17, 2008

Tom was a great guy, loved hunting and fishing with his kids. Laughed a lot, too. Always had something to say, and was not afraid to say it. He could take it and give it right back, with a smile.

He was one of the best.

Bob Bloyer, Captain
Grant County Sheriff Dep't.

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