Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman Walter Demitrie Ilyankoff

Fort Lauderdale Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Sunday, July 21, 1974

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Patrolman Walter Demitrie Ilyankoff

Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

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

July 21, 2020

I am your great niece, you are forever in my thoughts as I have gotten my degree in forensic science and law. My grandfather, your brother, John is my pap. Thank you for your service and thank you for fighting for what is right for our country and our citizens. I never knew u but u sound like I imagine u would as my paps brother. Rest In Peace.


November 23, 2019

Rest in peace Patrolman Ilyankoff. I remembered reading your story. A Ft. Lauderdale police hero forever.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

July 19, 2018

I remember when my Dad, Ryan Runnerstrom, got the call to conduct a search for his killer. The newly started K-9 unit found the killer after an exhaustive search.

It turns my stomach to hear of a police officer getting shot because my father was one and so was I.

K-9 partners are crucial and have proven themselves valuable.

Erik Runnerstrom

March 7, 2018


I can still remember the day the call came out my stepfather jumped up ran in and got dressed and was gone in less than 20 minutes for him that was fast. he cried for the next week and never forgot you when ever he talked about you his eyes would water up even his last few days of his life not really knowing anyone I could say your name along with other officers he knew and he would talk about you and the others until his mind drifted back off into space. Rest In peace and tell Ed he's missed to.

Dennis Padgett
Step son of Edward C Junne

January 18, 2018

My wife and I were classmates of Dimitree at St. Luke High in Carnegie Pa. and graduated in 1953. We heard of his death but were unaware of the circumstances. What happened was evil and horrifying. We offer our deepest sympathy to his family and want them to know they are in our thoughts and prayers as is Dimitree.

Detective Anthony Loniero
Los Angeles Police Dept.

September 27, 2013

Rest in peace Patrolman Ilyankoff. I read of your shooting was glad the animals who took your life got the punishment they deserved. Your bravery and honor will never be forgotten. What happened to your colleague, Officer Bryant Peney will too not be forgotten.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

July 21, 2013

I probably met you at a young age, but never knew that you and your wife were dear friends of my father. As my dad left this life in early 1980's I was befriended by your widow MaryAnn and have since continued to admire her as a person and who is dedicated to keeping your killers in prison. You have a lovely granddaughter as well.
I attended the Broward Police Academy in 1983 as an officer for Lake Worth PD - when I graduated MaryAnn gave me your old police whistle so you would be a guardian angel watching over me. I cherish that gift everyday and she insisted I keep it even after I retired 20 yrs later. Thank you for your service and for watching over all of us.

Ret. Lt. Susan (Pults) Wellborn
Lake Worth Police Dept.

February 15, 2012

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

Officer 11169

February 9, 2012

God bless you and rest in peace

Tom Davis
never met you but a friend

November 26, 2011

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 36th 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

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

July 21, 2010

Patrolman Ilyankoff. I never knew you,yet I'll never forget you. I was 17 the day you made your transition. I grew up in Ft.Laud. I was working a the Union 76 station a couple blocks away from the Red Lobster that Sunday morning. I watched all the police activity that day. Thank you for your service and sacrifice.My badge still says Patrolman. I am still proud to be one at FLPD. Peace Kim

Patrolman Kim Clark

October 8, 2009

As my career's end is coming closer, I decided to check and find those who had lost their lives during the year that I was hired. While it's been many years since your passing, I'm sure those you left behind and those whom with you served with distinction have kept you alive in their memories. Thank you for your service and for looking out for us who continue in our chosen profession. Rest in peace Patrolman Ilyankoff.

Sgt. Robert Mau Sr.
PD Joliet IL

December 17, 2008

I was 18 years old when this tragedy occured. My friend and me were out walking when we came upon a police officer guarding the exit of a wooded area. He had a rifle in his hands. We asked the officer what had happened and he told us about the shooting of Patrolman Ilyankoff. I then asked him; "Do you think you will take him alive?" I will never forget his answer. While scanning the field with his eyes, his demeanor never changed. He simply replied; "Not if he comes this way we won't." I have always wished the murderer had chosen this particular route to try and escape. Unfortunately, he did not. A police officer should never serve as judge and jury, but on the morning of July 21, 1974, as far as I was police officer with a rifle was definitely up to the job! It would have been wrong, but somehow I do not think Patrolman Walter Demitrie Ilyankoff would have minded. God bless you Patrolman Ilyankoff and please rest in peace.

Steve Comeau

August 30, 2008

Officer Ilyankoff your work on this Earth as we know it is done. You are in God's Hands now brother. May you rest in peace.

SGT. Daryl Brewer
Clarksville Police Dept. Clarksville, Tennessee

May 17, 2008

From a letter to the parole board for the 2 remaining convicted murderers

Nov. 9, 2007
Although it has been many years since these offenders violently and unremorsefully took the life of our fallen brother, Officer Walter Ilyankoff, the impact of their actions has affected and continues to affect the lives of many, including Officer Ilyankoff’s family and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department overall. There can never be justification for the offenders’ actions, nor forgiveness for their animosity.

The murder of a police officer is the most significant act of a nation at war with the criminal element of its society. This act symbolized the offenders’ utter disrespect for the law and those sworn to uphold it and protect its citizens. If these offenders would so callously murder one of society’s protectors, how can the average, law-abiding citizen hope to defend themselves against such marauders?

Consideration for parole for these violent offenders? Not a chance. These offenders should never see the light of day except from behind strong iron bars. The family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances of Officer Walter Ilyankoff strongly urge the Parole Board to deny consideration of their application for parole and allow justice to be fully served by committing the convicted to prison for the remainder of their useless lives.

Captain Lee Spector
Fort Lauderdale Police Department
District Three/Dayshift Patrol Commander

Captain Lee Spector
Fort Lauderdale Police Department

November 9, 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

October 2, 2007

As a rookie Walter was one of the guys I learned the most from about being a cop. He loved the job and it showed. I looked forward to coming to work to see what practical joke Walter and Harry Thompson were going to play on each other. I often think of Walter even today as one of the really "good guys".

Capt. Lew Williams

February 10, 2007

I knew Walter when I was a young patrolman, and later when I became a sergeant. He had a laid back, laconic sense of humor. He used to jokingly call other officers "milk man," meaning they "milked" the job, or took it easy. But it was all in fun. I was off-duty the Sunday morning that he was killed, but I will never forget it. It was a quiet morning. Walter had a Sunday paper and a cup of coffee (they were still in his car when I saw it the next day). When dispatch broadcasted the alarm call at the Red Lobster on North Federal Highway, Walter apparently thought it was a routine false alarm. When he approached the rear door he was holding only a clipboard in his hand. He was shot from ambush. The killer took his car keys and his service weapon. He executed the wounded officer with his own service revolver and drove off in his car. The killer's name was Ford, as I recall. I celebrated when Ford went to the electric chair. I will never forget Walter Ilyankoff. Rest in peace, brother.

Captain James T. Farley, Retired
Ft. Lauderdale PD

February 4, 2007

We express our deepest sympathy to the family, friends and all the members of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. We were made safer by his service and we all suffer their tragic loss. The family of Patrolman Ilyankoff deserves our appreciation and gratitude for their sacrifice. No greater love has a man than the will to give his life for another. In the days to follow, may you be strengthened by the fact that Patrolman Ilyankoff is a man distinguished by exceptional courage and will always be admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities. You, your family and your sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Thomas Doyle
Cary Police Department, NC

July 9, 2006

Rest in peace.

Det. A. Johnson

February 17, 2006

Uncle Walter,

Until now, I never knew you but I want to remember you and thank you for your service in helping people in your community. It is still a shock to me, that after all this time I never heard about you. My Dad may have knew you, but your brother, my grandpa never said anything about you. I wish he did say something, but now I know for myself. You didn't pass away in vain, you did your duty, and God called you that day to be with Him. Your still missed today by many, but I know when the Lord takes me home I will get to meet you and we can share some stories. Awesome!
You will be remembered NOW by my family and myself! Your in the Lord's Hands!

Very Respectfully,
Photographer's Mate 3rd Class,
Bryan M. Ilyankoff
U.S. Navy

Photo Mate 3rd Class, Bryan M. Ilyankoff
U.S. Navy

December 30, 2005

Officer Ilyankoff,
On today, the 29th anniversary of your murder, I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Fort Lauderdale. It might have taken some time, but the piece of scum that murdered you got his justice as well.


July 21, 2005

Many years have passed since this tragedy claimed Officer Ilyankoff's life, and forever altered the lives of the other victims of this entire incident, particularly that of the young school teacher/waitress who was so cruelly and callously raped by the low life who was responsible for all this.Fortunately, justice was properly served,and the perpetrator will never again hurt another person (not that the word "person" describes him). But it can never undo what was done to these good people. May Officer Ilyankoff rest in peace, and I pray that his family and the other survivors of this crime recover fully and heal completely.God bless you all.

Paul Bardal
Canadian Armed Forces

October 6, 2004

Rest in peace.

Ofc. Michael Walker
Tallahassee Police Dept.

February 25, 2004

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