Sergeant Benjamin Oliver Booth

Photo of Sergeant Benjamin Oliver Booth
End of Watch: Wed, Jun 14th, 1933
Date of Incident: Not Known
Cause of Death: Gunfire (Intentional)
Service Time: Not Known
Age: 37


He was survived by his wife, a 7-year-old daughter, and an 8-year-old son.


Sergeant Benjamin O. Booth, an original member of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, was fatally shot on June 14, 1933. After a bank in Mexico, Missouri, was robbed. Sergeant Booth was called in to work on his day off to man a roadblock at the intersection of U.S. Highway 40 and U.S. Highway 63. Boone County Sheriff Roger Wilson joined Sgt. Booth at the roadblock.

At the roadblock, Sergeant Booth approached a 1932 Ford V-8 Coupe on the passenger side. As he tried to open the door the passenger shot Sgt. Booth in the left leg. As the shot rang out, Sheriff Wilson approached the car and fired one shot. Sheriff Wilson was then killed by a shot that came from inside the vehicle through the windshield striking him in the head.

As Sheriff Wilson was shot, Sergeant Booth had pulled the passenger from the vehicle and was struggling with him. The driver ran around the vehicle and shot Sergeant Booth in the back. The passenger then retrieved his gun from inside the car, held it against Sergeant Booth's body as he lay on the ground and fired a shot to ensure his death.

Sergeant Booth was transported to the hospital by patrol car. Reportedly, he was able to push himself up in the seat with his elbow as he was driven past his own residence. Sgt. Booth died en route to the hospital.

The Booth children had been playing in the yard on that day. They watched and listened as the emergency equipment moved into and out of the area.

Following a 17 month investigation a known outlaw by the name of Francis McNeily provided law enforcement officials with information regarding his involvement in the events that led to the deaths of Sergeant Booth and Sheriff Wilson. McNeily also implicated his co-defendant George McKeever who was incarcerated in the South Dakota State Penitentiary at the time.

McNeily was convicted of killing Sheriff Wilson and received a penitentiary sentence. McKeever was convicted of murdering Sgt. Booth and was hanged in Fulton, Missouri, on December 18, 1936. Neither McNeily nor McKeever was involved in the Mexico bank robbery.

Sergeant Benjamin O. Booth, 35, was the first member of the Missouri State Highway Patrol to be killed in the line of duty.


Missouri State Highway Patrol Patch
1510 East Elm Street
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101
(573) 751-3313
Colonel J. Bret Johnson


There are currently no tributes for Sergeant Benjamin Oliver Booth.