Ferdinand F. "Bud" Pribbenow was born in Wichita, Kansas, on July 10, 1934. He graduated from Bentley High School in Bentley, Kansas, in 1952. Pribbenow served in the United States Navy from 1954 to 1958 and the United States Navy Reserve from 1958 to 1962.
Pribbenow joined the Patrol on July 13, 1959. Upon graduation from patrol school, he was stationed in Columbus. In 1962, he was promoted to Trooper Class A and transferred to the Patrol's Kansas Turnpike detail in Wichita.
Shortly after 8 p.m., on July 11, 1981, Pribbenow stopped a
car for traveling 98 mph in the 55 mph zone on the Turnpike north of the
El Dorado interchange (US-77). Pribbenow was walking up to talk with
the driver when suddenly the driver leapt out of his car and shot the
trooper in the chest. The 23-year-old suspect then shot him in the neck
before fleeing in his car.
A physician from Prescott, Arizona,
was the first person on the scene after the shooting. He called for
assistance on the patrol car radio, but was unable to save Pribbenow.
A short time later, police spotted the killer's vehicle driving through
the tollgate at the Kellogg exit in East Wichita, and a pursuit ensued.
About a mile into the chase, the suspect rammed the back end of a van
that was stopped at a light at Kellogg and Rock Road near the Towne East
Shopping Mall. Officers demanded the suspect leave his car, and he
replied with gunfire. Officers returned fire, striking the suspect
several times before he was taken into custody.
Pribbenow served the citizens of Kansas for 22 years before his death. His wife, Dorothy, and 5 daughters survived him.