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Sunday, October 10, 2010

23 Years ago today - First Female Trooper killed in the line of duty - Elizabeth Cobb [AL]

On October 11th, 1987 Alabama State Trooper Elizabeth Cobb was on patrol, sitting in her patrol car when Trooper Joseph Cecil Duncan Jr. - her patrol supervisor, fiancée , and life insurance beneficiary, surprised her with death. He shot Elizabeth several times. Elizabeth was the first female trooper in the United States killed in the line of duty. Duncan plea bargained down from capital murder to murder and got 25 years. He has repeatedly been denied parole, has never showed remorse, and is set to get out in five years.


Elizabeth is my aunt. I was only 7 years old when she died. I still think of her often and our family still misses her deeply. She was a very beautiful and ambitious woman who will always be our hero.
Monica Thrasher

New York Times
Published: October 21, 1987

A male state trooper has been charged with murdering a female trooper, whom he once considered marrying, in an effort to collect life insurance benefits.

The accused is Trooper Joseph Cecil Duncan, 32 years old, who was arrested late Monday in the slaying of Trooper Elizabeth Cobb, 31. He is being held without bond.

Ms. Cobb was shot several times in the head and left dead in her patrol car near a rural Dallas County church Oct. 11. Tom Wells, director of the State Department of Public Safety, said Mr. Duncan and Ms. Cobb had both worked out of the Selma office and had at one time considered marrying, although no date had ever been set.

Ms. Cobb recently purchased a life insurance policy that named Mr. Duncan as the beneficiary, and Mr. Duncan killed her in an attempt to collect the money, Mr. Wells said. Neither Mr. Wells nor the Dallas County Sheriff, Cotton Nichols, would disclose the amount of the policy or discuss whether the two had quarreled before the killing.
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  1. I remember the night this occurred. This was senseless and now the responsible party has finished his sentence. Sadly, his victim hasn't. Elizabeth Cobb will be remembered by the "Thin Blue Line."

  2. I am writing a fictional story featuring two protagonist characters who work for the Alabama Highway Patrol. One of them is a heroic female state trooper, probably not much different than Elizabeth Cobb had been. It appalls me that a man can commit such a horrific crime just for money, and then be allowed to walk free. I guess this is the ugly world in which we now live.

  3. My husband was a 10 yr. Old child when she was shot.And, That night Duncun pulled them over and Said to his mom, "It would sure be a shame if you and your son where to go missing out here in these woods. No one would ever find you." He also said Cobb was pregnant and that was why Duncun murdered her.


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