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Lewes, Delaware
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May 1, 1998     Cape Gazette
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May 1, 1998
 

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, , sb"  aO 1.  , dVa, [.I. Y 73, j  S,tate mike make history: with ol,ening of new museum in Dover By Kerry Kester The haunting strains of bag- pipes were stilled, hundreds of people fell silent, and a solemn color guard marched quietly amid dozens of uniformed law enforce- ment officers. Some reflected on fallen officers; others remembered a different era of citizen protec- tion. All rejoiced in marking 75 years of Delaware State Police service, with the unveiling of the Delaware State Police Museum and Educational Center. State dignitaries and officials, retired Delaware state troopers and citizens gathered on Tuesday, April 28, at state police headquar- ters, to be the first to view the new museum, which 11 years ago was no more than a vision. Also repre- sented at that ceremony were the FBI, International Association of Chiefs of Police, and state troop- ers from Massachusetts, Rhode Is- land, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. "This is overwhelming," said Col. Alan Ellingsworth, state po- lice superintendent. "The opening of this museum is truly exciting and memorable. This museum celebrates the lives who have lived the tradition, those who are living the tradition and those who will live it in the future." Those who addressed the audi- ence included Gov. Tom Carper; Secretary of the Delaware Depart- ment of Public Safety Karen John- son; Lt. Barry Beck, museum di- rector; retired Capt. Coleman Stoops, Delaware State Police Museum Inc. president; and Maj. Joseph E. James and Maj. Oscar H. Frundt, state police chaplains. It's a hands-on place Visitors entering the 5,200- square-foot museum will pass a granite and bronze memorial, do- nated by the Delaware State Troopers Association, to those troopers who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty. Entering the main gallery, visi- tors will view glassed exhibits on each side of the room, where the exhibits show the history of state police units and campaigns. For example, when the state police be- gan its public service in 1923, the entire organization consisted of a few motorcycle highway patrol- .men. Today the state police staffs ap- proximately 600 troopers and 200 civilians. It has more than 30 spe- cial units and sections, offering specialization in the fields of criminalistics, public safety and crime prevention. As visitors continue their walk through the museum, they will see a small model of a crime scene. Continued on page 11 Kerry Kester photos Officials and dignitaries shown cutting the ribbon for the new Delaware State Police Muse- um and Education Center at state police headquarters in Dover on Tuesday, April 28. Shown in front are (l-r) Gov. Tom Carper, MBNA President Charles Cawley, retired state police Capt. Coleman Stoops, Delaware State Police Superintendent Col. Alan Ellingsworth and Delaware Department of Public Safety Secretary Karen Johnson. Representatives from law enforcement agencies in six states, the FBI and the Inter- national Association of Chiefs of Police attended the opening of the Delaware State Police Museum and Ed- ucational Center. The New Jersey State Police Pipe and Drums Unit were part of the presentation of the colors ceremony. Return "The Delaware Coast was of strategic importance during both world wars. Situat- ed at the mouth of the Delaware River, it was necessary to protect the safety of Wilm- ington, Philadelphia and the inland areas vital to the wars' efforts. Fort Miles, in what is now the Cape Henlopen State Park, provided submarine watch services for the Delaware and part of the New Jersey coasts. Several mine-layer and mine-tend- ing ships were based there. "Then, as now, the Rehoboth Beach and Lewes areas were active summer resorts. Many homes, ordinarily left unused in the winter months, were rented to servicemen from Fort Miles and their families. Such was the case of the Lakeside Home. Army Warrant Officer John H. Worthington and his wife, Elaine, were tenants of the Lake- side Home in November 1943. "Army Warrant Officer Carl J. Mouline and the Worthingtons were close friends and were often together at area night spots. Mouline was a frequent visitor at the Lake- The miniature crime scene shows where the body of John Worthington was found in the home along Silver Lake. to the scene of a Rehoboth murder in side Home. On Nov. 3, 1943, after a night of visiting area taverns and considerable drinking, an argument ensued among the three friends. As is too often the case, the argument turned violent, and at about 3 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 4, 1943, John Worthington lay shot to death in the living room of the Lakeside Home. State and lo- cal police and the U.S. Army conducted in- vestigations, and Carl Mouline was indict- ed and tried for his friend's murder" - From the museum's guidebook Few people remember this murder, which occurred in the house nestled along Silver Lake in Rehoboth Beach, then owned by Ethel Waterman, of fountain pen family fame. Fewer still know that a miniature replica of the first floor of that house was constructed in 1956 as a training aid for the Delaware State Police Academy, to help young troopers learn to investigate and solve crime scenes. The account of the incident as told above encapsulates the murder details and subse- quent trial in which "Frenchy" Mouline, as he was nicknamed, was found guilty of in- voluntary manslaughter in December1943, and sentenced to 18 months in prison. How- ever, the governor subsequently pardoned him for the crime in 1944, stating "The cir- cumstances reflected no credit to any of the participants." In depth newspaper accounts and court records from this Rehoboth Beach murder can be found along with the newly restored replica in the Delaware State Police Muse- um and Education Center in Dover, which officially opened on Tuesday, April 28. One of the most fascinating exhibits in the facility, the state has one woman, Beatrice Simonds of the Oak Orchard area, to thank miniature at new museum Beatrice Simonds, the widow of Maj. Sterling Simonds, donated the recent- ly restored Miniature Crime Museum to the Delaware State Police Museum, in his memory. She found the replica of the Rehoboth Beach house in which a murder was committed in 1943, and with the help of William Lytle ,left, and Robert Long of Rehoboth Beach, the model was restored down to the last minute detail. They were on hand Tuesday, April 28, for the museum's open- ing. for the fact that the "Miniature Crime Mu- seum" is on display. Like a trooper herself, she finally tracked down the whereabouts of the miniature house in 1992, after it had somehow fallen out of police hands and ended up going to auction. "It somehow ended up in the Washington, D.C. area, and was in quite a state of disrepair," Simonds said of the painstakingly created replica. Her determi- nation to carry out the restoration of the replica stems from the fact. that she is the widow of the late Sterling E. Simonds, who was director of training for state police offi- cers when he constructed the miniature house in 1956, along with fellow officers Sgt. John Herbert, Cpl. L. Scott Ellis and Sgt. Monroe Ellis of the Wilmington Police Department. The Simonds also purchased the furnishings or had them created - right down to the vomit in the sink found when the police arrived at the Lakeside Home fol- lowing the 1943 murder. To ensure as much accuracy as possible, Capt. Simonds received permission to in- Continued on page 15