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Troopers involved in Wilder capture receive honors

By JACQUELINE HUARD

CONCORD, N.H. -- A detective wounded in the capture of accused sex-slayer Christopher Wilder said Friday he spotted the fugitive playboy in a remote northern New Hampshire town by 'just being a curious cop.'

State Police detective Leo Jellison said he and Trooper Wayne H. Fortier saw Wilder's gold car and noticed he had a tan and had recently shaved. Wilder was slain in the April 13 capture in Colebrook, less than 10 miles from the Canadian border.

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'It just fell in from there,' Jellison said. 'It was just being a curious cop.'

He said the capture of the Florida contractor was a combination of training, years of experience and instinct.

'We don't have time to think about the book,' Jellison told reporters after he and Fortier received an armful of framed awards and commendations from the governor, state police, and the FBI at a Statehouse ceremony.

Wilder died from two simultaneous gunshots to the heart fired from his own .357 Magnum revolver during a struggle in his car with Jellison. His death ended a nationwide sex-slaying spree in which Wilder allegedly abducted 11 women and killed at least four women.

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Jellison said he squeezed Wilder's arms together and held them for what seemed like a long period.

'I knew I was shot and I was afraid I was going to get shot again,' he said.

State Police Col. Paul O'Leary gave each man the Medal of Valor, the highest award granted by state police, for their 'extraordinary heroism involving personal hazard' in carrying out their jobs.

'There has never been a prouder moment for them or for me,' O'Leary said after placing the medals, strung from gold ribbons, around their necks. Each of 16 troopers flanking the men walked by, saluted, and shook their hands.

The two also received awards from the American Police Hall of Fame, a private organization in Florida, and the American Law Enforcement Officers Association.

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