Side A: One of Ohio’s greatest manhunts ended here on the morning of July 23, 1948. Robert M. Daniels and John C. West, parolees from the state prison in Mansfield, had gone on a killing spree that left six people dead. Driving west on U.S. Route 224 in a stolen auto transport truck, the pair approached this intersection and encountered a roadblock. It was manned by Van Wert County Sheriff Roy Shaffer, Frank Friemoth, the county game warden, and Sergeant Leonard Conn of the Van Wert city police. West was driving the truck; Daniels was asleep in a car overhead. As Sheriff Shaffer climbed onto the truck and apprehended Daniels, West leaped from the cab and shot Conn in the chest and Friemoth in the arm. Conn returned fire and killed West. The officers survived their wounds. Daniels was convicted, sentenced to die, and electrocuted at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus on January 3, 1949. This marker pays tribute to all law enforcement officers who risk their lives to protect the citizens of their communities.
Sponsors: Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #62, Van Wert County Historical Society, and The Ohio Historical Society