Darrel "Bud" Cate
April 22, 1927 - September 21, 1972
On September 21, 1972, Buena Park Detective Darrel "Bud" Cate was conducting an investigation in the City of Anaheim. Detective Cate accompanied a male subject into a residence. The man armed himself with a revolver and shot Detective Cate two times, once in the chest and once in the head.
Hours later, Detective Cate succumbed to his injuries. Detective Cate was survived by his wife and five children.
After an intense, six-day manhunt, the suspect was arrested. He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to three 10-year jail terms for the murder and other crimes.
Bud was survived by his wife Patricia, and their five children: Kevin (age 15), Kerry (age 14), Kenneth (age 12), Kelly (age 10), and Kerby (age 5). He was also survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Spangler and his sister, Mrs. Wesley Smith. The Cate family lived on Via Media in Buena Park.
More than 1,500 people gathered to pay their last respects to Darrel “Bud” Cate on September 23, 1972, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Anaheim. Representatives from 48 police departments in the state were present.
After the services there was an honor guard procession to the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cypress. Detective Cate was buried with full police honors which included a 21-gun salute, color guard and bugler.
Detective Cate was the first Buena Park Police Officer to die in the line of duty.
He began working for the Buena Park Police Department as a patrolman in February of 1962. In 1967, he was promoted to commercial burglary detective and in 1972 switched to a position as a detective for the crimes-person unit.
In 1981, Buena Park City Council passed two resolutions: one for a memorial tree to be planted in honor of Detective Cate at the Buena Park Library. The other resolution named a street in Buena Park "Cate Drive."
Darrel “Bud” Cate was a Buena Park Police Department detective working in the crimes-person unit.
On September 20, 1972 Detective Cate received a case in which a pregnant Buena Park housewife claimed she had been sexually assaulted by a male subject listed on the crime report as “Paul Drago." The report also listed Drago’s address as 939 Emerald Street in Anaheim.
On September 21st, at approximately 11:00 a.m., Detective Cate and his partner Dale Wilson went to 939 Emerald Street to talk to Drago. Unknown to the detectives at the time, “Paul Drago” is one of the many aliases used by a subject whose real name is Herman Lee Clouston.
At 939 Emerald Street, the two detectives found a male subject (later identified as Clouston) working underneath a jacked-up vehicle in the garage. Clouston denied being “Paul Drago” and said he did not have any identification with him. Clouston said he lived nearby at 931 Emerald Street and was only working on the vehicle for the man who lives at 939 Emerald Street. It was decided Detective Wilson would walk over to 931 Emerald and see if he could verify the information given to them by Clouston.
While Detective Wilson was walking over to 931 Emerald Street, Detective Cate and Clouston went into the residence at 939 Emerald Street either to retrieve the subject’s identification card or so that Clouston could use the restroom. Clouston walked down a hallway in the residence while Detective Cate stood at a location where he could watch both the hallway and a female subject, later identified as Clouston’s wife, who was sitting in a chair in the living room.
Clouston was able to retrieve a .22 caliber revolver and shot Detective Cate once in the chest and once in the head. Detective Cate managed to fire two rounds from his service revolver but did not strike Clouston. Detective Wilson heard the shots and ran back to 939 Emerald Street. There he found Detective Cate bleeding and lying on the floor in the kitchen. Detective Wilson soon learned that Clouston had fled the residence via a back door and had jumped over a fence. Detective Wilson began administering first aid to Detective Cate.
Approximately one hour later, Detective Cate was pronounced dead at the Garden Park Hospital in Anaheim.
It was later determined Clouston was an ex-con with an arrest record dating back to 1954 for charges such as Auto Theft, Larceny, Burglary, and Escape. Clouston had served several multi-year prison terms in West Virginia and Ohio. In 1966 Clouston had escaped from prison in Ohio and was caught a few days later in Los Angeles.
After shooting Detective Cate and running out the back door of his residence, Clouston convinced a neighbor to drive him out of the area saying he “was being shot at” and asking “take me to call the police." A 19-year-old male neighbor believed Clouston enough to drive him out of the area to an address on Monroe street in Buena Park. Clouston fled Monroe street in a blue Volkswagen which was sighted by an Anaheim police helicopter but managed to elude pursuing officers.
What followed was one of the largest manhunts in Southern California history. Hundreds of police officers from several different agencies were involved in a 6-day search for Clouston. During the manhunt, police sealed off several areas and conducted house-to-house searches. Police dogs and helicopters were used. Thousands of tips from concerned citizens were investigated. Several times, police reported being in sight of Clouston. At one point, shots were fired at a vehicle police believed Clouston was trying to escape in. Unfortunately, Clouston always managed to escape. The focus of the manhunt was mostly in the cities of Buena Park, Bell, and South Gate.
During his flight from police, Clouston took at least four people hostage, carjacked, stole or borrowed several vehicles, broke into houses, and at times exchanged gunfire with pursuing officers. Clouston told several of his hostages, all of whom were later released unharmed, that he would “not be taken alive”. During the manhunt, a Fullerton Municipal judge issued a warrant for the arrest of Clouston on charges of murder.
On the evening of September 26, Lynwood police were looking for a suspect in a nearby burglary and located Clouston as he hid in a trash-bin area. Clouston was still armed with a loaded .22 caliber revolver but was arrested without incident.
On August 1, 1973, Clouston was convicted of second-degree murder for the shooting of Detective Cate. In addition, Clouston was convicted of burglary and kidnapping in connection to crimes he committed during the 6-day manhunt prior to his arrest. Clouston received three ten-year jail sentences for his crimes. The sentences were to run concurrently.
On January 30, 1982, Clouston was released from State Prison after serving only nine years.
Over the months following the murder of Detective Cate, there was an outpouring of sympathy and donations to help fund the surviving family. Several fundraisers were organized and large donations were made by police associations, private citizens, and businesses. Also, the overtime pay earned by officers during the manhunt for Clouston was donated to the fund.
In November of 1972, a “Darrel Cate Memorial Flag-Football Game” was played at Western High School in Anaheim with all donations being added to the memorial fund. It was estimated total donations exceeded $25,000.00.
On February 17, 1981, the Buena Park City Council passed a resolution for a memorial tree to be planted in the honor of Detective “Bud” Cate at the Buena Park library. On April 25, 1981, there was a dedication ceremony at the library located at 7150 La Palma, in which a lemon-scented Eucalyptus tree was planted and accompanied by a bronze plaque in memory of Detective Cate. The tree and plaque are along the south side of the sidewalk leading to the main entrance of the Library.
On November 16, 1981, the Buena Park City Council passed a resolution naming a private street “Cate Drive” in honor of the slain police officer. Cate Drive is located on Knott Avenue just north of Firestone Boulevard.