15 Law Enforcement Officers Murdered By Domestic Extremists Since the Oklahoma City Bombing
Since the Oklahoma City bombing, domestic extremists have murdered 15 law enforcement officers. Each of their deaths was a unique tragedy.
By Susy Buchanan
One of them, a man who had recently been honored for rescuing two people from a burning building, was machine-gunned to death by a tattooed neo-Nazi. Another was murdered by remote control as he leaned over a hidden bomb. A third, who was black, was pitilessly finished off by a black militant famous for standing up for the rights of African Americans. Others died as they tried to talk infuriated fanatics into standing down. Two were murdered by a family enraged to the point of insanity by a highway project that was going to take a couple of feet of their lawn. Still another was cut down by a man whose well-being he had come to check up on.
They were law enforcement officers — one constable, three state troopers and 11 police officers from across America — and each of them was slain by political extremists during the last 10 years. Their names were compiled by Mark Pitcavage, director of fact-finding for the Anti-Defamation League and a long-time student of extremism, and they are among the 17,000 officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty — men and women who abruptly reached their "end of watch."
These 15 men were our guardians — part of the "thin blue line" that is supposed to protect the rest of society from violence and wrongdoing — but they were also human beings. They left parents, wives, children and friends. Behind them remained homes half built, children half raised, vacations never taken and retirement dreams never realized — so much left undone, unsaid, lost forever. As the years pass, their stories fade but their contributions endure, if only as a fragile memory in the human mind.
These, then, are the stories of 15 who died.
Bruce Vanderjagt, 47
Denver, Colo., Police Department
Nov. 12, 1997
Robert "Sande" Sanderson, 34
Birmingham, Ala., Police Department
Jan. 29, 1998
Dennis Warren Finch, 52
Traverse City, Mich., Police Department
May 13, 1998
Dale Dewain Claxton, 45
Cortez, Colo., Police Department
May 29, 1998
James Arland Rowland Jr., 30
Palmer, Alaska, Police Department
May 15, 1999
Ricky Leon Kinchen, 35
Fulton County, Ga., Sheriff's Department
March 17, 2000
John C. Bohach, 35
Reno, Nev., Police Department
Aug. 22, 2001
Eric Bradford Taylor, 31
Massillon, Ohio, Police Department
Aug. 9, 2002
David Frank Mobilio, 31
Red Bluff, Calif., Police Department
Nov. 19, 2002
Kevin Michael Marshall, 33
Michigan State Police (Fremont)
July 7, 2003
Robert Walter Hedman, 49
Otero County, N.M., Sheriff's Department
Dec. 18, 2004