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George F. Azrak

Entered on Duty: 
1967-05-15
End of Watch: 
1967-06-17

Patrol Inspector (Trainee) George F. Azrak, and his fellow officer, Patrol Inspector Theodore L. Newton, Jr., both of Temecula, California, were found murdered in a remote deserted mountain cabin on June 19, 1967, following an intensive 48-hour search after they disappeared while on official duty. The men were kidnapped from their post during a traffic check operation along Highway 79 near Oak Grove, California, in the early morning hours of June 17, 1967. The checkpoint was located about 75 miles north of the Mexican border on a route known to have been used by illegal aliens and smugglers of aliens, narcotics, and contraband.

The officers failed to report in following an all-night assignment at the checkpoint, and a hurried search failed to reveal the whereabouts of the men and their two vehicles, a jeep and a Border Patrol sedan. The Service jeep was soon located about a mile from the checkpoint where it had been driven through two stock fences and left under a tree in an open field.

On June 19, the missing Service sedan was spotted about 9:00 a.m., by a member of a jeep club from Hemet, California. The sedan had been covered with brush. Fifty feet away was a deserted shack and there the bodies of the missing patrolmen were located. The cabin was located on the Bailey Ranch, a mountainous brushy area, off Highway 71 (now Highway 371) near Anza, California, and about eight miles northeast of Oak Grove where the men had been at work.

In reconstructing the crimes, it appeared that Patrol Inspectors Newton and Azrak intercepted a vehicle in which over 800 pounds of marijuana were being transported. While checking this vehicle the officers were overpowered by four convicted felons, two of whom had been following the load of marijuana in a second vehicle. The officers were then taken to the mountain cabin where they were made to lie prone with their arms extended toward each other inside a shelf of an old stove. The right wrist of one man was handcuffed to the left wrist of the other, and vice versa. While incapacitated in this manner they were shot and killed. Autopsies performed revealed Patrol Inspector Newton had been shot once in the head while three shots were fired into Patrol Inspector Azrak, two in the head and one in the chest.