We're grateful to the Troopers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the months of Sept. & Oct..
Robert H. Bell
On January 14, 1981, while on duty with the Delaware State Police, Corporal Robert Bell saw a young man preparing to commit suicide by jumping off the Cranston Heights Bridge in Wilmington. He intervened and pulled the young man to safety but, eventually, lost his own life because of the incident. Twelve years later, Corporal Bell died from complications of A.I.D.S., received from a blood transfusion, a result of surgery for injuries he sustained in the heroic rescue. Corporal Robert Bell’s wife, Linda, relates in a testimonial to her husband that, “…one day Bob says let’s take a ride. So Bob, myself, and our four children hop in the car and off we go. Next thing I know, we pull up to the old Troop 6 (Troop 2A) and he says, ‘I’m going in for an application. I’m going to be a trooper.’ His dream came true on January 15, 1971. He was, at this time, 29 years old. Myself and a few others took turns shuttling Bob and other fellow troopers, who lived close by, back and forth to the Academy. Bob protected us the best he could from all the tragedies in the world and selected to tell me and the children happy aspects of the job. He never bragged of his deeds and on a number of occasions was cited for heroism which made us very proud. In the summer of 1985 Bob went to give blood, and we were later informed he was H.I.V. positive. He had received tainted blood from a man who was also H.I.V. from a tainted blood supply. Bob became the first person infected through a transfusion from another person affected through a transfusion. As the years wore on and the disease started taking its toll on him. He eventually lost his struggle on September 7, 1993: this trooper, this husband, this father, this hero. All the children are grown and have families of their own. George is a New Castle County police officer; Kim is a Trustee for the Northern Region for C.O.P.S.; Scott is a plumber’s apprentice; and Daniel is a landscaper.”
Gerard T. Dowd
Trooper Gerard Dowd, 28, was killed in a fatal accident, September 11, 1990, when his patrol vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer at the intersection of Delaware Route 54 and Maryland 353. He was, at the time of his death, responding to an emergency call to assist a fellow officer at a fight in progress near Frankford, Delaware. Gerry Dowd was assigned to the patrol division at Troop 5, Bridgeville. As flags waved in the breezy afternoon and a bagpipe player filled the air with the song “Amazing Grace”, Trooper Dowd was buried, September 15, 1990, at Lady Lourdes Cemetery, Seaford. Putting perspective to the funeral, Sergeant David Citro, P.I.O., stated, “We had one funeral six months ago for a trooper and we hadn’t had one in years. People are just stunned by it (Dowd’s death). It allows us to sit back and reflect on how precious life is.” Trooper Dowd is survived by his parents, Robert F. and Jean Cameron; two brothers Robert J. and Frank Jr., and three sisters, Molly, Katy and Ann. (Photo Gallery)
Eugene B. Ellis
On September 11, 1967 Colonel Eugene Ellis, who was to retire in 15 days as Superintendent of the Delaware State Police died as a result of a heart attack. Born in Delmar, Delaware on May 26, 1926, Eugene Bradley Ellis was the son of Paul and Ada Ellis. He had one brother, Paul, and a sister, Alma Lee (now deceased). Colonel Ellis served n the U.S. Navy for two years during World War II prior to joining the State Police, October 6, 1947. He was married to Ida Mae Russell of Georgetown. The couple had no children. After serving as an aide to Governor Elbert Carvel, Eugene Ellis became the Director of Driver Improvement. In 1960, he was named acting Motor Vehicle Commissioner (the only active member of the State Police ever to act in that capacity). He was promoted to Colonel on April 11, 1963 and served in this position until his death. Colonel Ellis was a Mason and his affiliates included the Franklin Lodge AF and AM No. 12 of Georgetown and the Nur Temple of the Shrine. Eugene Ellis was laid to rest in the Union Cemetery Georgetown, Delaware. In his last public appearance some five hours before his death Colonel Ellis ”…called for respect for law and order… Unfortunately the only contact the public has (with policemen) is when they receive a traffic citation. But I don’t suppose (they) would want to deal with drunks, degenerates, and criminals that we do…”.
Paul H. Sherman
Trooper First Class Paul H. Sherman, a six year veteran of the Delaware State Police, was fatally injured in a collision with a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad passenger train on October 16, 1945. He was pulled from the wreckage and rushed to the Wilmington General Hospital where he expired. Trooper Sherman was born August 7, 1909 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He studied law at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania and business at Columbia University in New York City prior to becoming a member of the state police. At the time of his death Trooper Sherman was married to Margaret Elizabeth. The couple had two children, James Henry and Sandra Lee. The funeral for Paul Sherman was held at the Hearn Funeral Home and with full honors his body was laid to rest at Gracelawn Memorial Park, New Castle, Delaware.
Robert A. Paris
Some kids dream of becoming star athletes but Robert Paris’ childhood dream was to be a state policeman. “He wanted to join the State Police ever since he was a child” relates his dad, Ralph Paris. The dream came true. Robert Paris joined the State Police on May 1, 1959. On October 17, 1963, Detective Robert Paris made the supreme sacrifice – he gave his life. Assigned with Trooper Robert Forenski to investigate the burglary of television sets from motels on the DuPont Highway in New Castle, Delaware, Trooper Paris was murdered by three armed perpetrators. The entire state of Delaware was shocked by this senseless tragedy. The following statement was issued by the Governor’s office concerning Robert Paris’ death: The death of Robert Paris is a misfortune of the greatest magnitude…Our heartfelt sympathy is extended to the family and friends of this dedicated and courageous man who gave his life in the line of duty. Mourners by the thousand paid tribute to Trooper Paris at his funeral at St. Elizabeth’s Church. Father Karnis began the eulogy “It is a divine command that men shall return to their maker…Trooper Paris died while serving as an instrument of Almighty God in keeping law and order. Policemen know what this job means and they love it as Trooper Paris did…” Robert Paris was interred for eternity in the All Saints Cemetery Wilmington, Delaware. Those who knew him characterize Trooper Paris as a hard worker with a good sense of humor. “He was always smiling ear to ear…” Neighbors stated, at the time of his death, “…Everyone loved him…He was always getting the boys in the neighborhood to play ball or something…” Trooper Paris was survived by his wife, Sally Ann, and two daughters Kim and Beth. Kim is a graduate of the University of Delaware and is now Kim Paris Stitik. She has two children, Paul and Hunter. Beth Glyn Paris is a graduate of St. Francis School of Medical Technology and is employed by Dade International.
Museum Opens New Exhibit Detailing 1979 Lambertson Murder Case
On Tuesday, June 1, 2021, the Delaware State Police Museum revealed its new exbibit which detailed the events surrounding the Lambertson Murder Case and included the renown execution of the convicted murder Billy Bailey.
On May, 21, 1979, Bailey tragically shot and murdered Clara and Gilbert Lambertson inside of their home located just north of Dover. Bailey was a habitual offender who was facing possible life in prison for a recent check forgery conviction. On this date, Bailey committed an armed robbery of a local liquor store before traveling to the Lamberston’s residence. Shortly after the murders, Delaware State Police responded and canvassed the area for Bailey. Delaware State Police Aviation located Bailey fleeing on foot. As the helicopter was hovering close to the ground, a trooper pilot jumped from the aircraft and gave chase. Bailey fired a gunshot towards the pursuing trooper, but missed and was ultimately tackled and taken into custody.
Following a successful trial, Bailey was sentenced the death penalty. Bailey refused the option of dying by lethal injection and instead opted to be hanged. On January 25, 1996, Billy Bailey was the first to be hanged in Delaware since 1946 and only the third in the United States since 1965.
The Delaware State Police Museum located at 1425 North DuPont Highway, Dover, DE, 19901, is open and visitors are welcome. Our hours of operation are 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM, Monday - Friday and the first Saturday of the month, 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM. We are closed on Federal Holidays. If you have questions, please call 302-739-7700.
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A Memorial Tribute to our Fallen Heroes