Former Sheriffs

Guy Humphrey Langley III

Langley,Guy H

Appointed: 1975

Guy Langley was born in Fowler, Calif. on July 8, 1939, the son of a painting contractor. He was educated locally, and graduated from Caruthers High School. He served as a military policeman from 1957-60 in the U.S. Army.

He was hired as a sheriff's deputy in 1962, and worked in the courts, jail, and on patrol. In 1970, he was promoted to sergeant, working in patrol and detectives for the next few years. In early 1974, he resigned from the department to challenge the twenty-year incumbent sheriff, Melvin Willmirth, on a platform calling for increased narcotics enforcement.

Langley was declared the winner of a close election in November 1974. He took office as sheriff on January 6, 1975, and resigned May 30, 1975. After leaving office, he worked at a car dealership, operated a motorcycle dealership, and farmed in the Monmouth district. The semi-retired father of three lives in Selma with his wife, Pat.

The sheriff's election of 1974 was rancorous and bitterly contested. Toward the end of the campaign, a Fresno City College criminology professor, C. Thomas Whitt, declared himself a write-in candidate. Whitt was initially believed to be the winner of the general election, but a recount handed the victory to Guy Langley. Suits were filed to overturn the election, which had been poorly administered by county election officials. In December, Langley and his campaign manager were indicted by the Fresno County Grand Jury over campaign funding irregularities. Sheriff Langley was sworn into office in January 1975. In March, a local judge overturned the results of the botched election, but the sheriff remained in office pending appeals. In May, Langley pled no contest to misdemeanor campaign financing charges and resigned his office. Undersheriff Hal McKinney was named acting sheriff and administered the department until he was appointed sheriff by the Board of Supervisors in July.

The major crimes of Sheriff Langley's brief tenure were six murders committed by the serial killer Felipe Martinez Garcia in Orange Cove.

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