The New York State Police are honoring a fallen officer who died of a gunshot wound under mysterious circumstances over 90 years ago.

New York State Police Wall of Honor

If you follow the New York State Police on social media, you’ll know that every so often they will honor a fallen officer with what they call the NYSP Wall of honor. This week they are honoring Trooper Carl T.Wilder.

Trooper Wilder passed away on September 7th, 1928 in the Tuxedo-Greenwood Lake area of Orange County. Sadly, according to the New York State Police, Trooper Wilder’s death is still very much a mystery. After being shot by an unknown suspect, Trooper Wilder died with a necktie in his hand.

What Happened to New York State Trooper Carl T. Wilder?

Some believe that this tie belonged to the suspect and that the New York State Trooper was killed by bootleggers in the area.

The New York State Police share the story in more detail writing:

On September 7, 1928, Trooper Wilder was shot by an unknown suspect and left lying next to his motorcycle on the Tuxedo-Greenwood Lake Highway. Trooper Wilder was unable to reply to inquiries regarding the suspect before he died. The necktie he was holding when he was found, apparently torn from the neck of the suspect, provided no clue to the murderer. It was theorized that Trooper Wilder may have been killed by bootleggers operating in the area.


Jealousy, Booze and a Mysterious Woman Played a Possible Role in Wilder's Death

Then On September 11th, 1928 the New York Times published an article that threw another plot twist into the case with the headline:

 “HOTEL MAN LINKED IN TROOPER'S DEATH; Wife of Long Island City Doctor Said to Have Told of Knowing Him and Wilder. JEALOUSY SEEN AS MOTIVE. Comrades Hear Slain Officer Was Lured to Isolated Spot by a False Phone Call.”

The Rockland County Journal then published an article that read much like the NYT article and explained that Trooper Wilder received a telegram from a mysterious woman, with information on where to meet.

HRVH Historical
HRVH Historical

The woman's name was not released just that she was the wife of a prominent doctor on Long Island. At the time the article was published it looks as though police were trying to figure out if the woman was a "frequent visitor at  the hotels and resorts to which liquor was being smuggled and which the trooper endeavored to stop."

The Rockland County Journal also added that jealousy could have been a motive, as a hotel keeper may have been jealous of the relationship between the Trooper and mystery woman.

The Mysterious Death of NYS Trooper Carl T. Wilder

We can only theorize what may have happened to Trooper Wilder. Who his assailant was is still a mystery to this day.

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