Honor Roll

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Deputy Henry Ronsse was assigned to the Glendale area of Los Angeles County when he was murdered. Special Deputy Ronsse, 35 years of age, was the manager of the La Crescenta Water Company and a “Special Deputy” whose actions led to his own death. John Allen, an informant, led police to an illegal and apparently popular still. Allen’s home was set afire after the still was shut down. Fearing for his life, Allen sought help from Deputy District Attorney Burke who helped Allen get a gun permit and then loaned him a weapon. Allen worked at the parking lot of the La Crescenta Lodge. He was talking to Burke, a guest there, when Deputy Ronsse drove up at 2:00 a.m. accompanied by a 16-year-old girl. Deputy Ronsse cursed Allen, circled around the car and made a move that frightened him. Allen drew his gun and fired. The girl claimed Ronsse never spoke and that Allen laughed after shooting him but Burke disagreed, saying that not only was Allen’s testimony true, Ronsse had liquor in his car. An inquest failed to determine if the killing was justified, but public sentiment was such that Deputy District Attorney McClelland filed murder charges.