Detective Joseph Landin died August 5, 1985, as a result of a traffic accident while investigating a narcotic’s case. Also killed was his partner, Detective Monty Conley. A driver ran a stop sign and slammed into the deputies’ patrol unit on the Highway 99 and Avenue 120 off ramp.
The driver was subsequently sentenced to five years, four months in prison on the conviction of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.
The deputies were members of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Narcotic’s Task Force.
Prior to joining the Department in 1981, Landin was a patrol officer for the Woodlake Police Department from 1974 to 1981.
Landin, 34, lived in Woodlake at the time of his death. He left a wife, Betty, and three small children.
Landin joined the Sheriff’s Department in 1981 after six years as a Woodlake police officer. He was a 1968 graduate of Woodlake High School and also graduated from College of the Sequoias and the Tulare-Kings County Law Enforcement Academy.
With the department, Landin served in several divisions including the Sheriff’s Tactical Enforcement Patrol, which patrols high-crime areas and the narcotics division.
He was secretary and current vice president of the Latino Peace Officers Association and a member of the Woodlake branch of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Association.
A native of Lamesa, Texas, Landin moved to Woodlake in 1965 and settled there with his wife, Bette, and three young children – sons Joseph and Christopher and daughter Monica.