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Two Arrests in 1970 murder of a St. Paul police officer
KSTP News ^ | Jan 15, 2005

Posted on 01/15/2005 11:36:41 AM PST by Lijahsbubbe

ST. PAUL--Investigators say the 35-year-old unsolved murder of a St. Paul police officer is now solved.

Officer Jim Sackett was ambushed while he and his partner responded to a call about a woman having a baby.

Sources involved in this exhaustive investigation tell 5 Eyewitness News St. Paul Police and the FBI have two suspects in custody. 53-year-old Larry Clark and 54-year-old Ron Reed were arrested Friday night. They have been the prime suspects in this case since 1970.

Both men were indicted by a grand jury this week in St. Paul. Clark was arrested in Minneapolis. Ron Reed was arrested in Chicago.

Newspaper headlines called the murder of officer Jim Sackett a "cold-blooded" killing. Just after midnight on May 22, 1970, two St. Paul police officers were called to 859 Hague Avenue.

A caller told a police dispatcher her sister was pregnant and about to deliver a baby. The cops did not know it, but the call was a hoax, designed to lure them to an ambush. Sackett's partner, Glen Kothe, talked to us in 1994 about that night, "We were joking about how I was going to deliver a baby in the back seat of a two-door sedan."

What happened next was no joke. When no one answered at the front door, Sackett's partner walked around back. Moments later, all hell broke loose. "The whole intersection just lit up. That's what made me think it was like a cherry bomb or an M-80. It was just a big flash," said Kothe.

It was much worse.

"I came around the corner and there's Jim laying on the sidewalk. And like I say, there's a pool of blood about three feet across around him," recalled Kothe. Jim Sackett was dead.

His assailant disappeared into the night and no shooting suspects were arrested in the days, months and years that followed. In fact, the case sat dormant for nearly 25 years until 1994. That's when 5 Eyewitness News traveled to Colorado to track down the woman who made the fake emergency call that lured Sackett to his death.

In an interview that followed, Connie Trimble made a new and important revelation. She told police in 1970 she was alone in the phone booth when she made the call and didn't know what would happen. However, in the 1994 interview, she said Ron Reed was with her at the phone booth. On the basis of that information, St. Paul Police reopened the investigation in 1994.

Jim Sackett's widow always hoped it would help solve the case and she'll never forget the last time her husband left the house. "The way he kept hugging me goodbye and hugged the children and said goodbye and didn't want to leave and yet he wanted to get the uniform on and get going," said Jan Sackett-Monteon in 1994.

At her home Friday night, Jan Sackett-Monteon expressed relief upon hearing news of the arrest. "I was so happy. Finally, after all these years I'll have the answers to these questions. It's been a long time and I think that justice is going to be served and make their life a little miserable as mine has been for 34 years, never knowing the answers to the questions so I could at least have closure in my life."

On the night of his death, Officer Sackett had just finished a weeklong vacation to spend time at home with a newborn son and three other children. He was shot just hours after returning to work.

Ron Reed was a suspected member of the Black Panthers and a leading suspect in the case from the start.

Reed served just less than 13 years in prison and Larry Clark served just less than 8 years in prison for a 1970 bank robbery in Omaha, Nebraska. During the robbery, the men shot a bank guard, who was an off-duty police officer. The guard survived the injuries.

A news conference is planned to address Officer Sackett's murder Saturday morning in the Ramsey County Attorney's office. Watch 5 Eyewitness News at 5:00 Saturday for updates.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption
KEYWORDS: blackpanthers; domesticterrorists; leo

Officer Jim Sackett
Murdered: May 22, 1970

1 posted on 01/15/2005 11:36:42 AM PST by Lijahsbubbe
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To: Lijahsbubbe

This was such a huge story. I cannot believe they solved it!

Great news.

2 posted on 01/15/2005 11:38:31 AM PST by Lijahsbubbe
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To: Lijahsbubbe

Get 2 ropes.

3 posted on 01/15/2005 11:43:18 AM PST by 7.62 x 51mm (• veni • vidi • vino • visa • "I came, I saw, I drank wine, I shopped")
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To: shotokan


4 posted on 01/15/2005 11:47:10 AM PST by trussell (I Never Frown, even when I am sad, because I never know who is falling in love with my Smile!!!)
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To: Lijahsbubbe

I think they solved it 35 years ago. They just didn't have the evidence that would stick in court until now.

5 posted on 01/15/2005 11:51:52 AM PST by AngrySpud (Behold, I am The Anti-Crust ... Anti-Hillary)
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To: trussell; Lijahsbubbe; TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig; MontanaCowgirlCop
Excellent news! Thanks for that ping!

(If you want to be part of an LEO ping I'm trying to put together FReepmail me.)

6 posted on 01/15/2005 12:10:25 PM PST by Horatio Gates
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To: Lijahsbubbe

Don't get too happy yet. They still must be tried and convicted. No guarantees.

7 posted on 01/15/2005 12:46:12 PM PST by em2vn
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To: AngrySpud; em2vn

Yes, more accurately. I'm so excited to see this though, it's big news to me. Hopefully, there will be justice served.

8 posted on 01/15/2005 2:27:36 PM PST by Lijahsbubbe
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To: shotokan

Maybe they should use justice from back then also. Firing squads and hanging were all the rage back then.

9 posted on 01/15/2005 5:55:47 PM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig (You can turn your head away from the Berg video and still hear Al Queda's calls to prayer.)
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To: shotokan

Thanks for the ping, I would of missed this one.
Glad they caught the murderers, it's amazing how they did this after sooo long.

10 posted on 01/15/2005 7:06:20 PM PST by FreedomHasACost
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