Herman Thomas Lange
Dearborn County Sheriff's Department
Tuesday, December 31, 1929

Age: 40
Served: 1 year
Badge #:
Panel 63W, Line 27 (2010)
Panel L1, Line 12 (2010)

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Date/Time of Incident:
Monday, December 30, 1929
05:30 am
Incident to Death Duration:
1 day
Incident Location:
Harrison Brookville Road near Braysville
Incident County:
Incident Township:
Weapon Used:
.38-caliber handgun
Suspect Disposition:
Discharged in 1960
Burial Place:
Greendale Cemetery, Greendale

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   Sheriff Herman Lange died the day after being shot by a subject who had shot another man the previous evening.

   The intoxicated subject shot a 62-year-old man, who later died, during an argument and then fled the scene. Sheriff Lange had arrested two other men from the house where the shooting took place and was in search of the suspect.

   As Sheriff Lange stopped upon seeing a man walking near Braysville, he was shot in the abdomen when his badge was seen by the suspect. He was able to return fire and wound the 21-year-old suspect before he fled into the darkness. Sheriff Lange was taken to Bethesda Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, for surgery where he died the following day.

   On March 11, 1930, the man was captured in Perry County, Kentucky, and extradited to Indiana. He was subsequently convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in a change of venue to Franklin County.

   In 1933, Governor Paul V. McNutt granted clemency and commuted the offender's sentence to life in prison. This was later commuted to time served and he was paroled. After repeated requests, Governor Harold W. Hanley discharged him from parole in 1960.

   Sheriff Lange, a Republican from Lawrenceburg, was in the first year of his two-year term in office as the 37th sheriff of Dearborn County. He was survived by his wife, 14-year-old daughter, mother and three brothers.

   His wife, Mary 'Mayme' Lange, was appointed sheriff to serve the remainder of her husband's term, becoming the first female to serve as a sheriff in the state of Indiana.

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