Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Policeman Walter Henry Kesterson

Los Angeles Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, February 4, 1946

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Reflections for Policeman Walter Henry Kesterson

Officer Kesterson,
On today, the 75th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Los Angeles. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

February 4, 2021

Rest In Peace Brother in Blue. Thank you for your sacrifice and service.

Officer Mike Robinson (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

February 4, 2018

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

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

September 21, 2017

My name is Bryan Kesterson.I'm related to Mr.William Kesterson,I'm just not sure how,I heard about him with very little detail when my grandmother passed in 2005.I read his story in detail today,and I have to say how proud I am to be related to such a hero,I'm interested in finding out more about him.If anyone can help me I would greatly appreciate it.

Bryan Kesterson

August 30, 2015

Rest In Peace brother

Sergeant R. Alvarez

April 7, 2015

I read your story today on "Old School LAPD" facebook page. Quite a story. You were a true warrior and hero. You continued to fight, though you were mortally injured. I am glad that you were finally recognized for your bravery (although it should have been done decades ago). RIP sir.

Mashpee, MA Police Department

February 5, 2014

Rest in Peace, Policeman Kesterson. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 14, 2012

Policeman Kesterson - As has been mentioned, your courage was recognized some 61 years later with the posthumous awarding of the LAPD Medal of Valor. Here, from the LAPD website is the citation:

On the evening of February 4, 1946, at around 8 o'clock, two armed men robbed a movie theater on East Santa Barbara Avenue. Police broadcast a physical description of the suspects, along with their route of escape, as the two suspects ran from the theater.

About 15 minutes later, Metropolitan Division Officer Walter Kesterson and his partner, conducting crime suppression duties in the area of 43rd Place and Avalon Boulevard, spotted the two armed men. Seeing that they matched the description of the suspects in the armed robbery, Officer Kesterson, who was seated on the passenger side of the police car, stepped out and tried to stop the two suspects. As Officer Kesterson approached, the first suspect reached into his coat pocket as if for a gun, and the fight was on. In the struggle, the suspect was able to arm himself with a .38 caliber revolver. He shot Officer Kesterson, hitting him in the upper body.

Officer Kesterson, an 18-year veteran, although mortally wounded, returned fire, hitting the suspect and killing him. Simultaneously, as the second suspect was removing a handgun from his pocket, Officer Kesterson aimed and shot him, neutralizing this deadly threat against himself and his partner. Officer Kesterson was rushed to a local hospital, where he died from his injuries.

An investigation found that the two suspects had committed at least 25 robberies in the Los Angeles area. Two weeks prior to Officer Kesterson's encounter with these suspects, a City of Vernon police officer, who stopped these same suspects for driving under the influence, was shot and killed by one of them.

Officer Kesterson is commended for his attention to duty, bravery, courage under fire, and after sustaining a fatal wound, continuing to fight two armed suspects until they were no longer a threat to the public, or to his fellow law enforcement officers.

The department looked lang and hard to find a surviving family member, a nephew residing in Colorado to accept your Medal of Valor. Also on the stage, that day, were several officers whose act had gone unrecognized for ten years, merely because the paperwork had been misplaced in a desk drawer. To borrow (and twist) a saying from police critics in regards to justice, "Recognition delayed is recognition denied." May all who deserve recognition get it as soon as practicle...the duty of police managers and supervisors to recognize courage and service should never fall by the wayside.

Policeman Kesterson, thank you for your service and for your example. Should I be put to the real test, one day, may you approve of my actions.

Chief K. Moreland (Ret. Sgt.)
Palmer Lake, CO PD (Ret. LAPD)

April 5, 2010

Oh Brave and Noble Warrior your courage did vanquish evil and your Bravery does you justice as you followed the Tradition of Brave and Honorable men who would not be defeated.

Retired Police Officer.

March 22, 2010

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 63rd anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. I was glad to see you recently received the Medal of Valor from your department, it was richly deserved.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
mother of Officer Larry Lasater, eow 4/24/05

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

February 4, 2009

You are not forgotten. Rest in peace, brother.


February 3, 2009

The memory of Your death has afforded me the opportunity to stay in touch with one who remembers Your family.

May You Rest - In - Peace.

Maj M. B. Parlor

February 4, 2008

You are not forgotten


February 4, 2008


Pat Van Den Berghe
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH

January 30, 2008

Your memory lives on, and now I frequently correspond with "VNM." I was able to provide her with webites related to Your tragic death, as well as more recent information related to Your family and Your much - deserved Medal of Valor.

It is the least that I can do for a Metro Cop !

Maj M. B. Parlor

June 6, 2007

When I first read your story last year on the anniversary of your death, I wondered why you were not honored with our department's medal of valor for your actions that fateful night. Apparently I am no longer alone.

Today's Los Angeles Times tells of Metro Captain Scott Kroeber's effort to see you are awarded the honor you have long deserved. It is my hope our police commissioners will ensure this occurs. Rest in peace brave warrior.

James M. Grant, Civilian Employee
LAPD Van Nuys Division

March 9, 2007

I knew Walt Kesterson very well. He visited my parents often. He was a neighbor to my Grandmother in Inglewood. I have very fond memories of Walt and his wife Peggy. He was a giant among men with the most tender heart. I dearly loved this man. It was a very sad day for all of us when he was killed. I would love to share some of my memories with anyone who wants to write me. Velma (Pardee) Masner
[email protected]

Velma (Pardee) Masner

March 8, 2007

The best news that I have heard all week!!!!! - This spring, LAPD officials hope to remedy the oversight and award Kesterson the Medal of Valor, 61 years after his death. The Los Angeles Police Commission still must vote on the commendation, which it is expected to do within the next couple of weeks. If it is approved, Kesterson's 78-year-old nephew will fly in from Colorado to accept the award.

Maj M. B. Parlor

March 8, 2007

Thank you for your service. RIP Sir.

brother of LAPD gang ofcr

February 4, 2007

In years past, Metro Division of the LAPD awarded their officers who won and survived a gunfight, the "Kesterson Award". Your actions that day in 1946 still motivate us never to continue to fight no matter what never ever give up.

Detective-III Pete Bakotich

December 1, 2005

As the years pass, your memory lives on. You are remembered.

January 24, 2005

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