Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman Leonard Clifford Miller

Apollo Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Thursday, January 3, 1980

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Patrolman Leonard Clifford Miller

After 40 years you’re still remembered. What a tribute to a dedicated police officer who made such a sacrifice at such a young age.
You will not be forgotten.

Lt. J.C. Downey (Retired)
City of DuBois Police Department

January 18, 2020

Service planned for Apollo cop killed 40 years ago during Kill for Thrill spree

Posted on TribLive January 13, 2020

A memorial service will be held Sunday in honor of Apollo Police Officer Leonard C. Miller, who was killed 40 years ago during the Kill for Thrill murder spree.

The service will start at 2 p.m. at Apollo First Lutheran Church and be open to the public, police officers and first responders.

Miller, 21, was killed on Jan. 3, 1980, on the Westmoreland County side of a bridge connecting Oklahoma to Apollo in Armstrong County. He was pursuing a sports car and was shot and killed near the now-demolished Belvedere Hotel.

Two men in the sports car — 21-year-olds Michael Travaglia of Washington Township and John Lesko of Homestead — were arrested later that day. Police charged them in the Kill for Thrill spree that took four lives across the region over eight days, including Miller’s.

Both men eventually were sentenced to death in Miller’s case. Travaglia died on death row in 2017. Lesko is Pennsylvania’s longest-serving death row inmate.

The Rev. Dr. Philip Ramstad will lead the service. The Rev. June Jeffries, pastor of Apollo New Life Baptist Church, will deliver the sermon. Choirs from both churches will sing and remarks and readings will be made by others.

An offering will be taken to support the Leonard C. Miller Scholarship Fund, which provides a scholarship to an Apollo-Ridge senior who plans to major in criminal justice. Donations will be accepted to support Lenape Technical School’s Law Enforcement Technology program activities.

Afterwards, refreshments will be available in the church social hall courtesy of the Friends of Leonard C. Miller and Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church Association in Apollo.

Retired Police Officer

January 13, 2020

Rest in peace.

Lt. Jim Russo

January 4, 2020

Rest in peace Patrolman Miller. Young, handsome and brave!

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

February 1, 2019

Rest In Peace, brother. Never be forgotten

Chief of Police
Borough of Apollo

January 9, 2019

RIP Brother

Sgt Michael Ropelewski
Harrison Township Police Department

January 3, 2019

I will always miss your easy hardy laugh, jokes, that beautiful smile! May you rest is peace, brother and know you are loved.

Sam Miller, Captain, Retired
Jupiter Police Department

January 3, 2018

As a young news reporter I covered this tragic story. Officer Miller was an only child. His Mother, whom I interviewed, was informed and bed fast. His Father, an elderly slight man, who wore his grief with quiet dignity, was in th courtroom every day. Officer Miller was the last victim of the "kill for thrill" duo, that should have been excecuted decades ago.

Congressman Ron Klink

January 6, 2017

As a young news reporter I covered this tragic story. Officer Miller was an only child. His Mother, whom I interviewed, was informed and bed fast. His Father, an elderly slight man, who wore his grief with quiet dignity, was in th courtroom every day. Officer Miller was the last victim of the "kill for thrill" duo, that should have been excecuted decades ago.

Congressman Ron Klink

January 5, 2017

Execute those A* H* ...Now ... Just now

May his sole rest in peac. A real hero that sacrificed his life the peace and prosperity of HIS fellow humanbeings. You are GREAT my dear brother

Srini Cherukuri

March 9, 2015

leonard was a friend thru belonging to Vandergrift vfd #2 and him belonging to Apollo vfd. was always a fun guy to be around was proud of his home town and really was the guy that wanted to make a difference and an improvement to the town and the kiski valley. sadly missed by all

Gene Hepler firefighter/emt
wash.twp vfc westmoreland cty

January 3, 2014

I was 17 years old when Officer Miller was killed. I met him at a football game for Kiski. He was very kind and considerate. He has been missed.

Elaine Kelly

January 2, 2014

i am a student at mission hills high school and did a research project for patrolman leonard miller i am sad to hear what happen to him my prayers go to his family

isaac padilla

May 16, 2013

Today the governor signed the death warrant for the execution for one of your killers. The execution is to take place in September. Hopefully Justice will be served.

Capt. Douglas Edgell
City of Aliquippa Police Dept.

July 19, 2012

I was 10 years old when you died. And now I've been an officer for almost 20. I want you to know that every time I pass the spot where you were killed I say a prayer for you and your family. I'm sure you are in a better place, where you deserve to be; but I will not forget you. Rest in peace, my brother.


March 14, 2012

I never knew Leonard Miller personally, but my parents did and said he was the nicest person that one could ever meet. Its a shame that some one so young was taken away from us for no reason at all!!! And whats worse is that these sick sadistic assholes are still living 32 years later... There is something totally wrong with this, and our justice system needs some serious reconstruction!!!! I didnt know, and its a total shame that I will never know him, but words cannot describe my thanks and graditude for him sacrificing his own life doing what he loved. It takes guts and courage to be a police officer, and I am forever grateful to Leonard C. Miller!!!

Chad Fasenmyer
January 11, 2012

Chad Fasenmyer

January 11, 2012

Leonard was taken much too soon. He's remembered by all who knew him as a gentle soul and someone you just wanted to be around. Every year since his death I think of him and how much he meant to all of us in Apollo.


January 5, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the thhirty-first 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 murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect and your memory will always be honored and revered. I pray for solace for all those who love and miss you for I know the pain and pride are forever. I am so sorry you lost your life at such a young age and after only achieving your dream of full time status officer for such a brief period.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

January 3, 2012

32 years later and still missed.

Officer (retired)
Apollo Police

January 3, 2012


Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you. This year has been bad for local officers. I am sure that you are waiting to greet each and every one as the come through the gates. Rest in Peace.

Ptlm R Baustert
Gilpin Twp Police Dept

December 22, 2011

God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain; but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way.

Rest in peace.

Michelle - wife of US Marshal

June 9, 2010

Leonard, I grew up in Apollo and have always called it home, I remember the tragedy of your being taken way to early, Although I was only nine at the time. I have never forgotten you and never will as I continue my career in corrections you will live on my heart, as your memory lives on with all of us who remember you.

PA Dept. of Corrections

October 29, 2009

"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

January 15, 2008



December 31, 2007

Thinking of you and your family today and everyday.

Cpl/1 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police

January 3, 2007

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