Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Trooper Philip Joseph Lamonaco

New Jersey State Police, New Jersey

End of Watch Monday, December 21, 1981

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Reflections for Trooper Philip Joseph Lamonaco

One of the killers of Trooper Lamonaco (Thomas Manning) has died in prison at the age of 73. He died of natural causes after serving more than 30 years of his sentence.

Anonymous

August 4, 2019

I passed this scene that night (I was 13) with my mom on our way home to Queens for Christmas. When we saw all the red lights flashing we knew it was something very serious (mom was with the NYPD 20 years at that time). I never knew anything about it or what took place that night until years later when I saw the episode on the FBI Files. RIP Trooper Philip Joseph Lamonaco.

Sgt Paul M. Wilson (ret)
Spanish Fort Police Dept. Spanish Fort, Alabama

July 13, 2019

My father went to high school with Phil, and became a Trooper partly because Phil became one. My father always spoke very highly of Phil when I was a child and still does, I was only 1 when he was killed, so I never met or knew any of his family. The look on my father face when he spoke about Phil though, I could always tell there was something special about him. He had a code he lived by and it influenced many lives he touched. To one of the Greatest. Keep watching over your Family and us. Gone and Definitely NEVER Forgotten.

D. Gapch
Son of NJSP

May 30, 2019

On April 25,1985 I led an escort of US Federal Marshals from the Virginia Beach City Jail here in Virginia to the federal courthouse in Norfolk.
He had been captured the day before with his wife at a rental property.
I also kept detailed info on his killer in my notebook and the groups movements.

It was gratifying to be part of this mans capture. Partly because I lost my twin brother LAPD Off Duane C. Kohnson, EOW 12-19-1984

May Tpr Lamonaco Rest In Peace.

MPO Dana Jonson, retired
Virginia Beach Police Dept.

October 24, 2018

I was working the night Trooper Lamonaco was killed. I was posted at an exit of Rt 80 during the initial call.
I met Trooper Lamonaco a couple of times .
May God watch over Trooper Lamonaco and family

Captain James Staszak (Retired)
Rockaway Twp Police

April 29, 2018

I was only 13 years old the day that Tpr. Lamonaco was gunned down on the side of a lonely, rural NJ interstate. It was about that same time that I had decided I too wanted to one day become a law enforcement officer, & serve my community, just as Trp. Lamonaco had done before me. I vividly remember the feelings of both sadness & anger when I learned that this decorated Trooper had been cut down in his prime by a couple of radical, domestic terrorists. I used to think often of what more he could have accomplished, & how high he could have risen in the ranks of the NJSP, if not for that fateful encounter that cost him his life.

Now retired, after 25 years as a NJ municipal police officer, I again often think of Trp. Lamonaco & the other thousands of my brothers & sisters in blue who were denied the retirement I'm enjoying because of their unwavering allegiance to their oath, & a commitment to something bigger than themselves.

God bless & RIP.

Sgt. Gregory Paul (Ret.)
Woodbridge Twp. PD

December 21, 2017

I attended the funeral for Trooper Lamonaco and will always remember his young children sitting in the front row at the funeral home. Having two children of my own, I
could not even imagine the pain that family was enduring that day. Every year since, members of the Cedar Grove PD
visit the site along Rt 80 and place a Christmas wreath.
Trooper Lamonaco was out gunned that day. As a result, many police departments switched from revolvers to automatic hand guns (including Cedar Grove PD).
God bless the Lamonaco family and all law enforcement families throughout the USA. Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Lt Russell Van Zile (Retired)
Cedar Grove Police Dept.

November 21, 2017

I was only a teenager living in the Philadelphia area when Trooper Lamonaco was killed, but I still remember the deep sense of shock that people felt when the news of his murder came. It was made worse by the loss of Lt. Pagano days later. That was a time when our society didn't glamorize criminals, drugs and so-called "gangsters." The killing of a police officer anywhere in the country made national news, and all good people mourned their loss. For the families of these heroes, it is important that they know they will never be forgotten.

None
None

October 5, 2017

Not an officer just a New York resident traveling to PA and I stopped to see what the memorial was for and wondered why it was set up. Took a picture and decided to follow up at a later date which was this evening. Read all that happened including the related loss of Lieutenant Lester Amos Pagano during his investigation. So many years later. I am grateful that the memorial is maintained so people like myself can learn of the sacrifice you all make including the surviving families. Thank you Very much for all you do and always prays for Both Lieutenant Lester Amos Pagano and Trooper Philip Joseph Lamonaco and their families.

None
None

September 20, 2017

I knew Phil from High School; an avid weight lifter. Yet, he was a gentleman; much unlike the many HS bullies. I respected him for that then & now. RIP & see you in Heaven Phil.

Michael Piccolo, citizen
High School classmate

October 13, 2016

I knew Phil when he patrolled the Garden State Parkway in The 1970's. We were surprised to find we lived only a few blocks from one another in Roselle Park. He was building his home in Northwest NJ at the time.

He was a Trooper's, Trooper. A man's man. I keep a small whisk broom in my car, so I can dust up Phil's memorial on I 80 when I pass by. I think of him often, and remember his professionalism and compassion on the job.

No finer man walked this earth. He will be remembered for generations to come. God bless his wonderful family.

Mark Russo
Green Brook, NJ

July 19, 2016

I was a Detective at the time of Trooper Lamonaco's murder. I can remember my anger and desire for revenge.

Detective
Madison Police Department

December 21, 2015

Living in Hackettstown and 28 years old .....when I was watching NBC News and they reported this tragedy. I could not believe that such a tragedy would happen so close to home.....out here in the middle of nowhere. I became very concerned for the safety of my Mom, Dad and Sister who where living in Mt Bethel Pa at the time...so I called to check. I was so touched and intrigued by Officer Lamonaco and his courage that I had to see the Trial in Somerville. I remember seeing the strength and poise of Mrs Lamonaco while sitting in court. What an amazing woman she is to remain active after all these years in supporting other Families and Law Enforcement. God Bless America and the Lamonaco Family! and

Ed Wehmeyer
Hackettstown Resident

December 21, 2015

I was born about 9 years after Trooper Lamonaco was killed and I am a native of the West Coast but I have friends from New Jersey and they have told me what a legend Trooper Lamonaco was. So even though I didn't know you I want to say thank you for your service and you have my upmost respect Trooper Lamonaco.

Patrol Officer Micah Smith
The Mall At Steam Town Security Department

December 3, 2015

For many years, at holiday time, I drove Rt80 from NYC en route to Binghamton. On Dec 22,1981 nearing the Water Gap I saw many, many uniformed and regular men searching an area beside the highway . That was the place where the tragedy occurred. They were looking for evidence. I always remember Tpr Lamonaco at holiday time and whenever I travel this road. I look for his memory marker around mile 7. I passed there today (11/11/15) and he was in my thoughts.

Judith Silverman
Passerby

November 11, 2015

I was a young trooper when this cowardly crime occurred. Even though i never met Trooper Lamonaco, his memory has remained with me since his death. A brother will always be missed.

Sgt. Robert G. Van damm
Vermont State Police {retired)

December 22, 2014

My father was a Sgt. 1st Class in the NJSP and assigned to the Fugitive Unit when Trooper Lamonaco was killed. I was a teenager and had many nights when my father was on stakeouts, searching for Manning and his accomplices. Trooper Lamonaco's name has always been engrained in my memory because Troopers take care of each other and as children, we were all part of the NJSP family. My thoughts are with his surviving family.

Michael J. Popovitch, Jr.
Son of Lt. Michael J. Popovitch, NJSP

December 17, 2014

Will be raising a glass to trooper Lamonaco on Christmas Day. Rest in peace fellow law enforcement officer

Constable johnston
British transport police

December 17, 2014

Hi Daddy, sorry I haven't been on here! Can't believe it is that time of year again. Time is going so fast. Everyday I wish you were here. Keep looking down on all of us. Love you with all my heart.
Love your little girl,
Sunny

Sarah Lamonaco
Proud daughter

December 14, 2014

I was the Head Grand Juror who indicted Manning and Williams in abstentia circa 1983. They were still on the run. It would be years later when Williams would be picked up in a communal living house (Ohio?). And when Manning was picked up sunning himself in his backyard by a swat team (Virginia?). It was williams who jumped out of the passenger side and emptied his 9mm on PL. Phil got off 5 or 6 rounds but was wounded and simply outgunned.One of Phil's bullets went thru the windshield, thru the backseat and into the spare tire in the trunk. Williams died in prison, and Manning continues to be subversive---last I read. Only in America!!!!

R. Brown
Head of Grand Jury, Trenton, NJ,

February 8, 2014

The killing of Tpr. Lamonaco aunched the largest manhunt in NJ police history and ended with the arrests of Raymond Levasseur, Patricia Gross, Richard Williams, Jaan Laaman, and Barbara Curzi on November 4, 1984, and Manning and his wife Carol on April 24, 1985.

All of them were associated with the United Freedom Front. There were home grown terrorist groups in the United States from the 1960s - 1970s - 1980s.

The investigation into Tpr. LaMonaco's murder identified Thomas Manning
as one of the shooters. Manning had ties to Massachusetts, the NJ SP sent investigators to work with the Task Force in Massachusetts until the suspects
were captured in 1984 and 1985!!!

Tpr. Phil LaMonaco will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!!!

Tpr. Stephen F. Byron, Retired
Massachusetts State Police

December 26, 2013

I was 15 when this happened. Trooper Lamonaco and law-enforcement officers like him, who did the job to the best of their ability every day to protect the public and their fellow officers is why I am in my 20th year of policing.

God Bless him and his family, you are not forgotten.

PO David M. Smith
SCPD

December 25, 2013

rest in peace

pfc j pease
cmpd

December 21, 2013

Thinking of you and your family during this holiday period. You will Always remembered and will never been forgotten.

Police constable Johnston
British transport police

December 19, 2013

Still missed to this day by his family and fellow troopers. That is certainly a measure of the man. The saying is "Gone but not forgotten". How true.

Sgt (ret) Jerry Kane
NYPD

October 15, 2013

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