Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper Layton T. Davis

Illinois State Police, Illinois

End of Watch Thursday, March 18, 1976

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Reflections for Trooper Layton T. Davis

I was a young child and my brothers knew the family. I was very sad and when I read about Dispatcher Archie Varnem was the one that caught Chicago's slip up, a lot of old memories came back to me. I am so sad that they paroled on of his killers this week.

USA Sgt Todd Fred

August 27, 2020

The Illinois State Police lives forever, and since you were an Illinois State Trooper YOU will live forever. You will never be forgotten. Thank you for your sacrifice and service.

Trooper A.M. Unal
Illinois State Police

April 19, 2020

I am very sorry I never met Trooper Davis, however my father stated that we were related (possibly cousins). I was only 13 yrs old when this horrible event occurred and have always remembered it. I was dreaming then of becoming a law enforcement officer and this event just helped to create my resolve to do so. I have been with the Centerville Police Department now for 27 yrs. and still look forward to going to work every day and just hope that I have lived up to be the kind of officer as I have always heard that Trooper Davis was.

William E. Buchholz
Chief of Police
Centerville Police Department
Centerville, Indiana

March 22, 2020

I am not with ISP or any other law enforcement agency. I made the ambulance call the day Layton was shot and killed. All these years later I can, even today, not get those images out of my head. I remember transporting him to St. Anthony Hospital in Effingham per orders of theDistrict 12 Captain. All I could think of was the senseless act that I had just experienced. This was still in the time when Police were respected and not used as targets by the crazies of today. RIP Layton.

Mike McClure
EMT that made the ambulance call for Layton

March 18, 2020

Incredibly sad story. How lovely to remember this Trooper with a memorial highway.


January 4, 2020

Rest up Trooper. It’s very unfortunate that this event took place. Devastating story to say the least. Drove by the sign and became interested so I googled you and the story truly saddened me


June 26, 2019

I've always seen the memorial signs so today I wanted to look his name up. He sounded like a wonderful, caring officer and human being. I'm so sorry for his loss.

Sheila Littleton
Illinois resident

June 3, 2018

In 1971, I was 10 years old and eldest of four boys. My family and I were moving from northern Illinois back to Metropolis that winter. My ma was driving, and as we crossed a small stream, the rented trailer we were towing slid on the ice. It drug our car off the highway and down an embankment. Even after all these years, I remember Trooper Davis' kindness, as he ascertained that none of us were seriously injured and radioed for a tow truck. My brothers and I sat in the back seat of his patrol car, while ma gave him a brief report of what had happened. Due to circumstances, we were traveling with almost no resources. Trooper Davis took us to a local motel, asked the clerk to rent us a room (though we had no money), and personally guaranteed that he would pay the bill if we failed to do so by the next day. He helped us get some food, and arranged for my aunt to have a ride to a bank the next morning to have some money transferred from her own bank. The car needed repairs to the front-end, and again, Trooper Davis made sure that my ma and my aunt had a ride to the shop to pick up the car, after the repairs. A few years later, when ma read of his murder, we were all in shock, and ma cried. Caring for people was a large part of his job, but caring ABOUT people was just who he was.

Shawn C. Bailey, American from Illinois
Grateful Recipient of Trooper Davis' Kindness

May 30, 2016

I was a college student hitchhiking from Macomb to Carbondale in the fall of 1975. Trooper Davis picked me up as I was on the Interstate beyond where pedestrians are allowed. He issued me a well deserved warning ticket, but also gave me a ride another 10 miles down the road. It was a cold day, and I remember the warmth both of the car and Officer Davis. I was shocked to read of his death the following spring, and have never forgotten him.

Peter Adams, private citizen

April 21, 2015

Rest in Peace

Tpr Neal Merry
Illinois State Police

January 15, 2015

I remember that Chicago Pd hadn't put them in the computor, and it was 3 or 4 hr after the shooting that Chicago Pd put them in, Dispatcher Archie Varnem was the one that caught their slip up

Larry Hebron
Dist 12 Dispatcher

March 20, 2014

My Father Wilfred Rauch Badge # 12-5 had just finished having coffee with Layton and they took off in different directions. My father was the first on the scene and held Layton until help arrived... He had lost a close friend and co-worker.. My father had a very hard time with this and was never the same afterwards... Rest in Peace Layton!

Andrew Rauch
Son of Wilfred Rauch

March 19, 2014

we captured the killers of trooper davis on us 50 on the southside of olney.A roadblock was setup by having a large gravel truck.There was a young lady who had her car hi-jacked in car at time of capture.

trooper Will Gibson
trooper assigned to district 12

April 27, 2013

My Dad was John T Elson, badge 12-4, and after all this time I remember seeing him with tears in his eyes after Trooper Davis was murdered. There is a bond. I actually remember meeting Layton Davis when I was a young man. My Dad was also a WW2 veteran and after returning home from combat, he was hired into the ISP in 1946. In short, he left me with an undying respect for the Illinois State Police and our Military Veterans.

P.S. I hope those who murdered Layton Davis are still in prison if not dead.

John Merle Elson

Son of John T Elson Badge 12-4

January 17, 2013

Rest in Peace, Trooper Davis. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

June 5, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 34th 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 18, 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 18, 2010


Pat Van Den Berghe

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

October 17, 2007

rest in peace Trooper Davis, your son carries on your legacy as a peace officer, and those of us too young to have known you think of you and your family often.

lakeland college



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