Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Detective Willis Henry "Bill" Gravell

Oro Valley Police Department, Arizona

End of Watch Tuesday, March 28, 1989

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Detective Willis Henry "Bill" Gravell

I woke this morning at exactly 9:40, the time 35 years ago that Juan Lucero Escalante took your life. I wish I could speak to you to tell you I learned from Sheriff Estrada in Santa Clara County (Nogales) that they have issued an arrest warrant against him for a cold case homicide done just before his path crossed yours. I can’t believe that much time has passed and I still miss you every day. (“You are always on my mind…”)


March 28, 2024

My darling, Bill, while it’s been 34 years since that terrible morning, there are very few days I don’t think of you. You were my love, my husband, my partner, my friend. As the last song I played for you says, you are Always On My Mind.

Kathy Gravelle

July 30, 2023

I personally didn’t know him well but my husband did and how hard he took Bill’s passing. RIP. He still talks about you, Bill.

Martha Doty

July 4, 2023

Oro Valley PD is looking to reach out to Kathy or any family of Detective Gravell. Please contact Darren Wright by email [email protected] or call 520-260-2074.

Darren Wright
Oro Valley AZ PD

May 3, 2023

Bill was one of the great men from my childhood who taught me service and sacrifice. I think if he and kathy often and miss him dearly.

Walt Smith
County Commissioner/Cousin

July 11, 2020

Rest in heavenly peace

Mark Mottola

March 28, 2020

I served with the Boulder County Sheriff's Department with Bill back in 1975-76 time, he was my partner on the shifts, I too remember that Texas drawl, but most I remember his love of his family and the job. We ran rotating shifts so we worked swing, days and nights. I remember his stories, his kindness, and one instance stood out on my mind, my son was about 11 and was home from school but my husband hadn't arrived and my son was anxious and scared (my husband was in charge of a halfway house) and our shift was over, Bill stayed after shift and talked to my son on the phone until I could get home which was about 20 minutes, by the time I got home all my son said was "Hi Mom, Bill is telling me some great stories about being my age in Texas, he saw a rattlesnake." Thank Bill.

Cherry Emerson
Former Boulder County Sheriff's Deputy Jail Division

November 15, 2015

"Always On My Mind."


Kathy Gravell

March 29, 2014


I thank you with all my heart for the reflection you posted about Bill. It will be 25 years on the 28th of this month. He was a wonderful man, a dedicated officer, and the love of my life. I still have some of the case report tapes he dictated but, even without them, I too can close my eyes and hear that Texas drawl and remember his laugh. I thank God for the gift of those years we had together.


Kathy Gravell

March 11, 2014

I was the last person who you talked to those many years ago. Not a day goes by that I do not think about what happen. I was a mere 20 year old dispatcher working my 1st real job. I grew up very fast on that day. I can remember your voice like it was yesterday. Victor 42 I answered.. I will be out on the east end on Desert Sky with a possible.......


March 7, 2014

Fallen but NEVER forgotten.

Explorer Joshua Erwin
Oro Valley

October 31, 2013

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

October 27, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 20th 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 28, 2009

Det. Gravell,
On today, the 19th anniversary of your murder, I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrfice for the citizens of Oro Valley. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.



March 28, 2008



February 26, 2008

Detective Gravell,

Having worked at the BCSD, I tried to think if our paths had crossed. I cannot remeber if I had the honor of meeting you.

Rest in peace, know that your time spent on earth impacted many, you are still alive in those whose lives your touched.

Officer Michael Lowry
University of Colorado Police Department

January 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

July 26, 2007

Rest in Peace Detective Gravell and thank you for your 25 years of service. Your dedication after all those years is commendable and obvious by the story of your final stop. You will never be forgotten.

Chicago Police Department

March 24, 2007

Rest in Peace, Detective Gravell. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

March 14, 2007

Detective Gravell: 17 years ago you were taken from your family, friends and co-workers and I wanted to let you know that your loss is still felt.

I didn't know you, but you were one of those many in Arizona who kept us safe when we visited your state. Thank you for that.

Bless you and keep an eye on your brother and sister officers down here.

LoVae Pray Martines, Law Enf. Liaison
MADD-San Bernardino County Chapter

March 28, 2006

Thank you for your many years of service to your fellowman. Rest in peace and may God bless you and your family.

State Constable J.L. Green
S.C. State Constables

March 28, 2006


No officer killed on duty should be without a reflection to his memory. It is my honor to be the first for you. You have not been forgotten and we still mourn our loss. Thank you for your service sir. Rest in peace.

Captain Robert W Cannon, Ret.
Vermilion Co, Il. Sheriff's Dept.

June 19, 2004

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