MICHIGAN CRIME: The 1959 Murder of a Michigan State Trooper
Michigan State Police Trooper Albert W. Souden was only 29 years old when he was kidnapped and killed in Argentine, Michigan by a former mental patient. Trooper Souden was the 22nd Michigan State Police officer to die in the line of duty.
Trooper Souden was on the road investigating a burglary that took place in Milford. His suspect was ex-con & ex-mental patient Alvin W. Knight. Souden had written down the license plate number of a vehicle he saw in the vicinity of the burglary and traced it to Knight.
After locating Knight at a house where he was staying in Argentine, Souden approached the front door. Seeing the trooper at the door, Knight opened it and was able to take his gun away from him. Knight then forced Souden - at gunpoint - to drive the patrol car out to a secluded wooded area southwest of town; once there, Knight shot Souden in the back of the head, dug a shallow grave and buried him in a field on White Road.
When Trooper Souden didn't come home that evening, his wife called the station and alerted the force. They immediately began a search. Volunteers, the Army and National Guard all pitched in with the search. It didn't take long for them to find Knight hiding in a cottage in northern Michigan, where he didn't hesitate to admit his crime. He took the police to the shallow grave and was eventually sentenced to 18-25 years in prison.
The suspect later led investigators to Trooper Souden’s makeshift grave. At his trial in early 1960, the suspect pled guilty to a reduced charge of second degree murder. He was sentenced to 18-25 years in prison.
The house where the murder took place is seen in the photo gallery above but it was torn down just a few years ago. It's now an empty lot but you are free to drive by, visit and take pictures of this infamous Michigan murder site. It's locate don the southeast corner of Sunset Way and Silver Lake Road in Argentine, near Softwater Lake.
Trooper Albert W. Souden was the 22nd Michigan State Police officer to die in the line of duty.