PINEVILLE - If they stay on the beat, or job, long enough, any member of law enforcement, regardless of level, will tell you they have that one case that they can't get out of their mind.
Jack Bias, a retired veteran lawman who spent most of that time as a Wyoming County Sheriff's deputy, is no different.
It was a triple-murder case in Oceana, a scene that Bias will never forget.
The case involved a man, Dick Wimmer, and his wife. Wimmer's wife had filed for divorce and the night before the hearing, Wimmer had gone to his wife's apartment in an attempt to talk her out of going through with the divorce.
That is where it went horribly wrong, and that night Wimmer shot his wife and two children (a 3-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl) to death.
Bias and the Oceana police chief were the first officers to arrive at the scene. They would find Wimmer over his wife, looking as if he were trying to give her CPR. It was worse than just that.
"We were the first to go in, and when I opened the door, I noticed it pushed back, like something was behind it. When I stepped in, there was a little boy sitting there, and his eyes were opened and he was looking at me," Bias said, getting choked at the memory. "It was like he was trying to say, 'Why did daddy do this?' Then I saw the little girl, and her eyes were open, and she was looking at me."
Both were shot while apparently trying to leave the scene.
They pulled Wimmer up off his wife, and had to subdue him.
"I grabbed his legs and pushed them up behind him and they cuffed him. And I wouldn't see him again until the court case," Bias said.
Bias didn't grow up wanting to be a police officer.
His father worked for C & O Railroad, and he is fond of the railways -he and his wife Belinda often making the autumn train ride from Huntington to Hinton and back.
In the early 1970s, he was part of the Odd Fellows fraternity and one of the members was the chief of the Barboursville, West Virginia, police department.
"He asked me if I would like to ride around, see what I thought about it," Bias said. "He said it might be something I'd be interested in, and it turns out I was."
He was on the job with the Barboursville Police Department for three years in a part-time capacity.
He was part of the law enforcement officers on the scene at the tragic Marshall football team plane crash on Nov. 14, 1970.
It was another scene he won't forget.
He recalled seeing the three large parts from the plane and a lot of parts spread out across the scene. Later he matriculated to Oceana, and again served as a part-time officer for five years.
"Back in those days, most small towns hired several part-time officers and you had to get a second job," Bias said. "I worked at Allen Creek Store and I also worked at a liquor store. People used to come in and say 'I guess I know where you will be showing up at tonight,' and stuff like that. Just in fun."
By the late fall of 1975, he was ready for a change and that November, he was swore in as a Wyoming County Sheriff's Deputy
For a long time, Bias served as the department's Juvenile Officer.
"Usually you would go out with a social worker and if it warranted it, you'd do an investigation," Bias said. "You see a lot of bad out there, kids who were beat up, burned, broken bones, just about everything you can imagine."
Needless to say, there was a lot of investigating. One of the first questions Bias gets these days is whether he ever shot anyone.
He has not.
Like a majority of law enforcement officers, Bias never had to discharge his weapon.
"I did draw my gun with the intention of shooting but fortunately, it never came to that," Bias said.
He was, however, shot at a couple of times.
One time he and his partner were patrolling out by R.D. Bailey Lake.
"We were driving along and we hear 'Pow, pow, pow!' " Bias said. "We didn't find out until a couple weeks later that there was a drunk guy up on the mountain and he was targeting us," Bias said.
The other time was when he was in Lynco picking up an intoxicated suspect and was sitting in a church parking lot with the suspect in the back.
"I was sitting there writing it up and then all of a sudden I hear these shots," Bias. "I thought they sounded pretty close. Then I hear them again and I turn around and see the dirt behind us flying up from the ground."
Turns out there was a person in the trailer park across the street who thought Bias was there to pick him up on a warrant.
He was later brought in for just that.
Bias was born with spina bifida, and at 21 days old underwent his first surgery.
In grade school he had to wear braces on his back. As he got older he said he grew out of it, and thought it was in the past.
It would later resurface.
"When I was about 48, I started noticing there were times that I would turn and the upper part of my body would go but the bottom wouldn't," Bias said. "I finally broke down and went to a neurologist to see if they could figure it out."
Bias went to the University of Virginia and got the news that he had suffered "tethered cords."
"The doctor told me he could do a surgery that would keep me out of a (wheel) chair for several years or I could not have the surgery and be in a chair in three years," Bias said.
He was still able to serve in several capacities, including serving as a bailiff in Wyoming County.
He officially retired in 1998 after 23 years on the job, but ran the DARE program for several years in Wyoming County on a volunteer basis.
He still serves as a member of the Pineville Town Council and represents the deputies on the Civil Service Commission.
"It is an honorable profession," Bias said. "I certainly didn't plan it. I guess if I could recommend it, I would say to a person don't expect to make big money, because it isn't there. And it is a lot different out there than when I was on the job. It's a different world, and it's more dangerous. But I enjoyed it."
Especially on the days when justice prevails.
Wimmer, the man who shot and killed his wife and two children, got his day in court and was found guilty on all counts.