Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Correctional Officer Richard Bert Fordham, Sr.

Lee County Sheriff's Office, Illinois

End of Watch Monday, May 9, 1977

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Correctional Officer Richard Bert Fordham, Sr.

Rest in peace Correctional Officer Fordham.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

December 12, 2020

43 years ago one week from my 15th birthday two men attempted to break out of the county jail. In the process they jumped the jailer and brutally killed him. This failed attempt forever changed his family and has left scars that still remain today.
I remember the community response in turning out in the memory of this man. The small town where these types of crimes were unheard of but yet it happened. Occasionally from time to time someone from this mans life who have long lost contact will reach out to him to find that he has long left this world. Thanks to those that remember a better time and remembering him and sharing.
Though he was not always the perfect man he strived to make a better world for his family and to the community and country he served for almost 25 years of a man who was killed at 39.
He held different titles in his short life but the one i will always call him is Dad.

Richard B. Fordham Jr.

February 28, 2020

Bert was my father’s ( Jim Graham) best buddy growing up. They went into the navy together. I remember the day Bert was murdered, someone called the house and told my mom what had happened. She said it was harder to tell my dad that than about his mother passing. I was in 7th grade and it was the first police funeral I ever attended but unfortunately not the last. Squad cars lined Galena Ave. from the arch to the north side of Dixon. RIP Bert I know you and my dad are hanging out swapping stories.

S/MST Craig Graham Ret.
Illinois State Poice

May 11, 2018

You'll never be forgotten by law enforcement or your fellow Navy shipmates. I served with Bert in the recruiting station Sterling and Dixon in 1977 when Bert left so many friends and a wonderful family. Rest in peace Bert.

AK1 Jerry Saladino
U.S. Navy Retired

November 14, 2017

Correctional Officer Fordham"s story was read in Richton Park Police Department's roll call on 2-21-17 to honor him.

Sgt. James Galvan

February 21, 2017

The promise: Always honored, never forgotten.

Sgt. T.J. Jones
Greater Cleveland Transit Police Department, Ohio

May 9, 2015

Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.

Thank you for your heroism.

God Bless

Detention Officer A.Zambito

May 9, 2015

I served under Bert for 2 years as a USNR QM2 with Commander Carrier Division 14 aboard the USS Wasp CVS-18 back in 1967 through 1969. Bert was a QM1 at the time and my immediate boss, so to speak. I first tried tracking him down about 12 years ago for the first time since I was discharged from USNR active duty in '69. I eventually made phone contact with his widow, Lucille, and she informed me of this incident at that time. I was so shocked that I almost dropped the phone. I spoke with her for several minutes and told her that I had a lot of old photos I had of Bert that I had taken while serving with him. I asked if she would like to have them which she did and I mailed them to her shortly thereafter. He was an all around great guy and I still find it difficult to believe this tragedy. I only stumbled across this site today and just had to take time to offer a few comments. R.I.P. Bert and I know you have all of the heavenly navigational duties under control up there!

Bill Dozier, former USNR QM2
Private Investigator-semi-retired

January 6, 2015

Rest in Peace, Correctional Officer Fordham. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 29, 2013

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 35th 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 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
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

May 9, 2012

Why is there any consideration to individuals who couldn't care less about the innocent life they took?

J. Fischer police officer
Columbus Ohio Police

February 7, 2012

I don't want these people out in society

Stephen Hawkisn

January 26, 2012

Please do not parole this cop killer.

CWO-4 J. A. Mc REE
U.S. Army CID (Retired)

January 26, 2012

Senseless, needless tragedy and we need to do our part to keep these people behind bars. Lets make a stand to keep them there for C.O. Fordham. Rest in peace brother.

Ofc Michael Bernard
Richfield Township Police Department, Davison MI

January 26, 2012

How much is a life worth? It is the ultimate loss. Dont let the cop killer out. Please.

Officer G.R. Whitmore
Moscow Idaho Police Department

January 26, 2012

You are forever in our prays

1st Vp Fl.State Fop, Lonnie Miller Jr.
Florida State Fraternal Order Of Police

January 25, 2012

Officer Fordham you are a true Hero and I will never forget your sacrifice. May Our Great God continue to watch over your family and friends. I sent a letter to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board asking them to NOT grant parole for the person that was convicted of your murder. I pray they will not release him. Rest in Peace

kathy stevenson wife of fallen officer
Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson EOW 1/9/05

January 25, 2012

So saddened to hear the news.

May you rest in peace after having served those around you. My thoughts are with you, your family, fellow officers and friends.

Reserve Officer G. Krystof
Los Angeles Police Department

January 25, 2012

I don't think any "cop killer" should ever step foot on the street again!!!!!!
If they are willing to kill a police officer, then they are willing to kill anyone, for any reason!!!! They are a threat to society and will always be!!!!

Patrolman Duane Weeks
Bexar County Constable Precinct 3

January 25, 2012

No killer of any law enforcement officer should ever walk the streets freely again. Too many of our officers are being murdered. This must stop!

Beth Hammond, Master Sergeant
Yell County Mounted Patrol

January 25, 2012

If this killer allowed any form of released after killing a correctional officer, he or she should not see any freedom. It would be rewarding his or her actions. Other inmates would may not think twice or worry about assaulting or killing officers, if the price they have to pay is not steep enough. Prior to becoming a Police Officer, I was a Correctionla Officer at ACI in Rhode Island

Lt. Philip A. Duarte ret.
Woonsocket Police Dept. RI

January 25, 2012

R.I.P. BROTHER: “The Final Inspection"

The policeman stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining.
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, policeman.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My church have you been true?"

The policeman squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry badges
can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was rough,
and sometimes I've been violent,
Because the streets are awfully tough.

But I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep....
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.

If you've a place for me here,
Lord, It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't.....I'll understand.

There was silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, policeman,
You've borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in hell”
Former GA & WI Police Officer/Deputy

Former GA & WI Police Officer/ Deputy
Rock Co. WI & Liberty Co. GA

January 25, 2012

you will not be forgotten

Staff Sergeant

January 25, 2012

Officer Fordham, you will not be forgotten! R.I.P.

Deputy Sheriff
Livingston County (Il) Sheriff's Ofc.

May 9, 2011

C/O Fordham, Rest In Peace & GOD BLESS YOU & YOUR FAMILY! Our job is not for everyone and you paid the ultimate price of our job! This could happen to any of us any day we enter the county jails we work! You will never be FORGOTTEN and true justice will take place, when the murders face GOD! Thank You for your service, you are a HERO!!!

Detention Deputy G. Carew
Seminole County Sheriff's Office, FL/J.E.P.C.F.

April 10, 2009

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