A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF ALL THE LAPD’S LINE-OF-DUTY DEATHS. NARRATIVES ARE SUPPLEMENTED BY HISTORICAL NOTES FROM REBECCA ESCOBAR, CREATOR OF THE MEMORIAL, “WINDOWS OF THE BEGOTTEN BLUE.”
This collection of fictional storytelling is inspired by true events. You will read, in chronological order, a short tale about every single LAPD officer killed in the line-of-duty. Many of the scenes, dialogue and character portrayals were creatively designed in order to best represent the known historical facts of the time. In some cases, we were able to include factual first-hand accounts from people who knew these officers best.
STORY 1: FALLEN MARSHAL WILLIAM WARREN, 1870
CHAPTER 2: THE BATTLE AT TEMPLE & MAIN
Ocotber 31st 1870 11:00 AM Temple Street and Spring Street Street Level
“Marshal!” Deputy Dye stood at the top of the steps. Marshal Warren lowered his pipe and turned his head towards his right shoulder. His shoulder followed suit as did his body. He turned towards his subordinate deputy.
“Consider the reward bounty mine, Deputy. And may I suggest you lower your voice when speaking to your superior.” Marshal Warren now faced Deputy Dye. Squared and postured he raised his pipe to his thin lips. A cherry red glow emanated from the concave corncob. Marshal Warren continued, “Stand down, Deputy. I can assure you many more bounties will abound.”
You can hide behind that badge until high noon, but everyone here knows who really brought back the China-Woman.“ Deputy Dye’s glare remained abhorrent and deadly as he spoke. “Why don’t we settle this the old fashioned way? Barking-iron to barking-iron. Let the best man win.”
“We are a civilized organization, Deputy. Unlike your former days of petty horse thievery and uncivilized seditious campaigning.” The crowd around the pair began to thicken. Marshal Warren continued, “This new organization of 6 lawmen demands respect, Deputy Dye. While the skills from your former days as a devious individual brought order to the part of our town being settled by the Chinese, you are not the only man for the job.” The crowd rumbled in curiosity. Seemingly not on purpose, the Marshal and his Deputy inched their way closer to each other.
Deputy Dye’s face boiled blood red. His eyes swelled from desperate rage. His abhorrent death glare could bare no more. He yelled, “Prepare to be Chicagoed, Billy! You’ll leave here with blinkers so black and blue your own kin will walk by you without notice!”
By this time in the banter they had closed the distance between them to a few paces. Deputy Dye raised his walking cane above his head and swung it towards the Marshal with so much passion that an animalistic grunt escaped Deputy Dye’s mouth.
Marshal Warren anticipated the attack and drew his single shot Derringer. He took one shot at his Deputy-POP! Deputy Dye paused. Realizing he was whole, he swatted his coat with a downward swing of his left hand, exposing the silver dull butt of his Colt revolver.
Marshal Warren remained steadfast. His nerves like steel. He’s been in plenty of gunfights before. With the Derringer flipped open, the Marshal reached into his coat for a secondary bullet.
A slow-motion life now controlled the scene.
Deputy Dye eyeballed the Marshal’s hands. His eyes slowly moved up to look at his superior’s eyes. A slight smirk shone on the Deputy’s face. His right hand reached across his body. In the timespan of one blink, Deputy Dye’s palm wrapped around the cold steel of his Colt revolver.
Marshal Warren’s mouth slowly dropped open, as did the mouths of most of the crowd surrounding them. He stared into the barrel of his opponent’s pistol. His left hand fumbled for the Derringer bullet somewhere in the vast universe of his coat pocket. The Marshal’s final blink lasted an eternity before the white flash.
The POP! that followed snapped and warped slow-motion life back into real time.
Deputy Marshal immediately dropped his Derringer and grabbed his belly with both hands. The rage that captivated Deputy Dye was not out of steam yet. He holstered his pistol as fast as he cross-drew it before he shot the Marshal.
Deputy Dye was no lawman. He was a criminal who was deputized for one duty. A duty he did very well using tactics from his criminal life. This was evident in the actions immediately following the shooting that took Marshal Warren’s life. Deputy Dye immediately began to beat the dying Marshal as he lay there, unprotected and no longer a threat.
The butt of a pistol.
Blood splatter and pulps of coughed up phlegm decorated the ground around the Marshal’s beaten body. A fellow deputy attempted to rescue the Marshal, but he was met by gunfire as well. After Deputy Dye shot the other deputy, he looked around at the helpless crowd around him.
Not a word was uttered.
Dye lowered his pistol and addressed the spectators with that same smirk and a silent bow. A sign of showmanship and disrespect to the Marshal. Dye mounted his horse and galloped away due east. He galloped away in a straight line. The dirt in the air behind him rose and dissipated as he grew smaller and traveled further away.
Marshal Warren lay face down. He mustered enough energy to open one eye. He could see his former deputy’s dust trail ascend into the sky. The Marshal’s labored breathing caused him to snort red mucus out from his nose as he tried to stand up. But he simply did not have the strength. He could see the people around him talking to him and trying to help him. But he could not hear a thing.
Marshal Warren was turned onto his back. He looked up into the sky. He thought about his love, Juanita. He thought about his three beautiful daughters. Especially Ida.
“Oh, Ida,” he thought, “You have your mother’s eyes. But you have your father’s spirit. May you never end up on the losing end of a gunfight like me.”