WATERLOO (KWWL) –The man convicted of murdering two Waterloo police officers in 1981 has died in prison, and both families of the officers he killed have released statements on his death.
The Iowa Department of Corrections says 60-year-old James Michael “T-Bone” Taylor died Tuesday at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics due to complications from an aortic aneurysm.
Taylor was serving two life sentences for the July 12, 1981 murders of Officer Michael Hoing and Officer Wayne Rice of the Waterloo Police Department.
Hoing and Rice were responding to a loud noise complaint for the second time that night when Taylor reportedly hit Rice in the head, took his service weapon and shot Rice. Hoing returned fire on Taylor, but Taylor reportedly shot Hoing four times.
Rice died at the scene. Hoing died at the hospital the next day.
Two days later, during the search for Taylor, Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Deputy William Mullikin was killed in a car accident while responding to a reported sighting of Taylor.
The Department of Corrections says Taylor was on parole for a robbery charge when the killings took place. He had been in prison for the murders since November of 1981.
The Rice family sent the following statement to KWWL Wednesday morning:
“At Mr. Taylor’s passing, we’d like to extend our deepest sympathies to his family. While this is an emotional struggle for us, we are grateful for all of the support during the last 33 years. This is one more chapter in letting our family heal. We’d appreciate privacy at this time.”
Michael Hoing’s son, Travis Hoing, made this statement on KWWL’s Facebook page this morning after hearing of Taylor’s death:
“I’m not the type of person to rejoice when someone dies, no matter what,” Travis Hoing said. “What I felt was relief and anger all wrapped up into one. I find myself largely troubled over these feelings.
“Roughly 20 years ago, I felt called to forgive him for what he has done and for 20 years, I’ve been coming to terms with that and trying to find the strength to follow my aunt’s footsteps to meet with him face to face and tell him that. Ultimately, I robbed myself of that chance.
“In my heart, I forgive him. God knows I forgive him and while he didn’t need my forgiveness, nor did he deserve my forgiveness, he got it. I just wish I could have done it in person.”So here’s my challenge to friends, family and anyone else who reads this. Find peace in your heart, however you must. I have seen so very many hateful posts already this morning coming from people not even involved in the situation and I have to ask one question. Why are you so angry? Why do you have so much hate?
“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. ‘But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:17-21
“The last line is the most important. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. I ask you all do the same.”
Blogger Romelle Slaughter wrote a well-researched and personal blog post on the “T-Bone” Taylor case in July of 2011; you can read that here.