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Convicted Waterloo Cop Killer Dies

James "T-Bone" Taylor 1981 Mug shot from the Waterloo PD
Waterloo Police Department

The man convicted of killing two Waterloo police officers nearly 33 years ago has died in prison. Officials with the Iowa Department of Corrections (IDC) say James Michael “T-Bone” Taylor, 60, died Tuesday (March 18, 2014) at University Hospitals in Iowa City. Corrections officials say Taylor died of natural causes due to complications from an aortic aneurism.

Taylor was serving two life sentences in the shooting deaths of Wayne Rice and Michael Hoing. The Waterloo police officers were shot and killed on July 12, 1981, while responding to a complaint of “loud music” at a home just two blocks from city hall.

Taylor eluded capture for several days. He was caught after a nearly week-long manhunt and eventually convicted of the murders.

The five-day search for Taylor also led to the death of a third local law enforcement officer. Two days after Rice and Hoing were gunned down, Black Hawk County sheriff’s deputy William Mullikin died in a traffic accident while responding to a reported sighting of Taylor. The crash killed another man and injured three others, including two sheriff’s deputies.

On July, 17, 1981, Taylor was captured in a bean field outside La Porte City. Iowa State Trooper Marv Messerschmidt was credited with the capture.

Messerschmidt retired from the patrol in 1986 after 30 years of service. Coincidentally, Messerschmidt died earlier this month (March 5, 2014) at a Cedar Rapids hospital at the age of 86.

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