Admitted Cop Killer Arrested After Hiding in NY’s 2nd Smallest City for Almost 50 Years
Many eyebrows raised in a small Upstate New York city as word is circulating that one of their neighbors is a cop killer.
Authorities in the state of Maryland say a man who called Little Falls, NY home from the last 45-years killed a deputy sheriff in 1971 and has been hiding out in Herkimer County nearly ever since. And, he's admitted to the crime, according to officials.
Larry David Becker was interviewed by police back in 1973 as a possible suspect in the homicide of Captain James Tappan Hall - a Montgomery County, Maryland Special Deputy Sheriff who was shot in the head and found facedown in the parking lot of the Manor Country Club in Rockville, MD, in late October of 1971, police said. Authorities believe he came upon a burglary in progress and was murdered.
Sometime after police spoke with him, Becker moved to Little Falls and began using the name Larry David Smith, police said.
In October of 2021, the 50th anniversary of Captain Hall’s homicide, detectives from the Cold Case Unit decided to review the case with a fresh set of eyes.
For almost a year, Detective K. Leggett and Corporal L. Killen of the Cold Case Unit, combed through case files, recordings, and interviewed witnesses. Through the course of their investigation, Leggett and Killen narrowed in on one person, Larry David Becker. In 1973 Becker was interviewed by investigators but had not been labeled a suspect.
After refocusing efforts to find Hall's killer after the 50th anniversary of his murder, investigators were able to track down Becker (Smith) to again speak with him about the case. Police say it was then he admitted to killed in Captain Hall.
On Thursday, September 1, 2022, detectives applied for and received an arrest warrant, charging Smith with murder. Smith was then arrested in New York for Captain Hall’s murder.
Smith has waived his extradition and is expected to return to Maryland by the end of the week.
Little Falls Mayor Mark Blask said he was aware of the arrest, but was not familiar with the man. And, he hadn't spoken with anyone who was.
"He was never on anyone's radar here in any regard," Blask said. "I haven't spoken to a person who ever met him or even knew who he was. He lived in a property run by the Housing Authority and apparently just kept to himself."
When asked his initial reaction to news of the arrest, Blask said: "If I was on the run from the law I would live in Little Falls. It's a cool place."
[AUTHOR'S NOTE: This post is for informational purposes only. Any charges or accusations of wrongdoing mentioned in the article are only allegations and the reader is reminded that all persons are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.]