Services for retired D.C. police Capt. Ernst H. (Whitey) Winter will be held Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home in Silver Spring. Capt. Winter died Thursday after he was hit by a truck.
He retired from the police force in 1969 after nearly 30 years service. During that time he rose from a patrolman walking a beat to a detective assigned to the second and later the fourth precinct, and served as a detective with the robbery, general assignment and fugitive squads. He later commanded the robbery squad.
In July, 1969, Capt. Winter received a silver medal for valor for rescuing eight persons from a blazing building on 11th Street NW. He had done this on April 5, 1968, during the riots following the assessination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Two days after the dramatic rescue, lowing the assassination of Dr. Martin and stroke that left him partially paralyzed and forced him to retire in June, 1969.
The Washington Post, in a 1948 story, described Capt. Winter's record as one "studded with commendations." He was commended for his help in solving a robbery-murder case in 1940.
Promoted to detective-sergeant in 1948. Capt. Winter, and his partner, Randolph L. (Dan) Dunn, solved two murder cases in rare style. Two taxi drivers had been fatally stabbed and the police were seemingly without a clue. The investigation reached a stage where Capt. Winter decided to follow a tip he had received about a man named George who had stabbed a dog.
"Anyone who'd stab a dog could be guilty of the taxi slaying," explained Capt. Winter. The two officers searched police and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals records - and found their man. At the home of the suspect they found a watch belonging to one of the slain taxi drivers.
As a result, Capt. Winter and Dunn were named "Policemen of the Month" for April, 1948, by the Kiwanis Club. The officers were picked by a panel of journalists, including Robert Estabrook, then an editorial writer for The Washington Post.
Capt. Winter was born in Franklin, Pa. At 21 he joined the Marine Corps. From 1933 to 1937, he was a marine, and was with the last American battalion to serve in Peking.
The Marine Corps used a picture of him on their World War II recruiting poster.
He came to Washington in 1937 and joined the D.C. police force. He left in 1942 to enlist in the Coast Guard and saw action in the Pacific. (In war time the Coast Guard comes under the command of the Navy.) He returned here in 1945 and to the Police force.
Capt. Winter was a Mason and a member of Almas Temple, the American Legion and the Elks.
He is survived by his wife, Mabel, and a son, Rodney, of the home in Silver Spring; two daughters, Patricia Mathis, of Silver Spring, and Karen Anderson, of Monrovia, Md., and five grandchildren.