SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – For over 100 years, one Utah family has woven an unbroken string of police work. Some of the cases they’ve handled received worldwide attention, and at least one received its own Netflix series. Unfortunately, the family’s police streak may be coming to an end very soon.
When it comes to doing police work, few in Utah have a longer history than the Throckmorton family.
“My grandfather, George Throckmorton moved here in the early 1900s. He was the town marshal for a period of time,” said George Throckmorton, retired police forensics specialist.
He said since his grandfather put on the badge, someone in the family has been a police officer, special agent, firefighter, and more for almost as long as Utah’s been a state.
“That’s what I grew up with, I thought everybody did something like that,” said George Throckmorton.
The Throckmortons have played a key part in solving some of Utah’s most iconic crimes, like the Mark Hofmann forgeries and bombings in 1985.
Recently depicted in the Netflix special “Murder Among the Mormons,” Hofmann’s final forged document before his arrest had fooled some of the greatest historic and forensic experts in the world, but not George Throckmorton.
“All of them said it was genuine, but it wasn’t. It was forged. And you could tell,” George Throckmorton said. “He made a mistake, which was [leaving behind] a microscopic hairline that was not supposed to be there.”
That ability to examine evidence has carried down to George’s son, Matt Throckmorton, who currently works as a technician in the Salt Lake City Police Crime Lab. Matt told ABC4 News he was hooked as soon as he saw how police studied crime scenes to solve cases.
“I got to see what they did: being able to help in different capacities, whether it was taking photographs or trying to find fingerprints, or trying to catch bad guys. I fell in love with that aspect of law enforcement,” Matt Throckmorton said.
Matt has since worked cases like Elizabeth Smart, and the 2019 murder of University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck. When he decides to call it quits, the Throckmorton family legacy may end with him.
“It goes back a long way, and it’s over with after my son [is] gone. His daughters [are] not going into police work,” George Throckmorton said.
“I think we’ve had a good run. It would be awesome to see it continue, but if it doesn’t, I think we did a good job, and we did what we could where we were,” Matt Throckmorton said.
For now, the legacy lives on, but when the day finally comes, their family will leave behind more than 100 years of serving Utah.
“There’s a chance some of the grandkids may change their minds and go into police work later, but right now some are simply too young to pick a career path yet.”