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Final Patrol: Senior Investigator Kenneth J. Troidl (Retired)

Subject: Death of Retired Member

It is with deep regret that Major James M. Hall, Troop A Commander, announces the death of retired Sr. Investigator Kenneth J. Troidl. Sr. Investigator Troidl passed away on December 23, 2021 after a long battle with cancer. Sr. Investigator Troidl joined the New York State Police on June 18, 1962, retiring as Sr. Investigator of Troop A Major Crimes on April 30, 1986.

Arrangements are as follows: Mass of Christian Burial Monday, December 27, 2021 at 9:30 am Christ the King Church 30 Lamarck Drive Amherst, NY 14226 Burial services will immediately follow. Obituary TROIDL - Kenneth J. December 22, 2021, age 81; beloved husband of 58 years to Lorine M. (nee Rebholz) Troidl; devoted father of Daniel Troidl, Wendy (John) Kendall-Miller and Denise (Paul) Goldbach; loving grandfather of Samantha (Ian) Wilhelm, Andrea (Andrew) Larsen and Justin (Michaela) Kendall; dearest brother of Robert (Lynda) Troidl and the late Richard Troidl; dear brother in law of Diane Heuer; also survived by nieces and nephews. No prior visitation. Family and friends are invited Monday at 9:30 AM to attend a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at Christ the King Church, 30 Lamarck Drive, Amherst. NY 14226. Interment to follow in Williamsville Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Ken's memory to The Beechwood Blocher Foundation, 2235 Millersport Hwy., Getzville, NY 14068 or Hospice Buffalo Inc., 225 Como Park Blvd., Cheektowaga, NY 14427. Ken was a NYS Trooper based in Lewiston, NY from 1963 until he was appointed in 1968 to the Special Investigative Unit until 1972. He then transferred to Major Crimes in Batavia from 1972 until his retirement in 1986. Following his retirement, he became the Chief Investigator for the NYS Office of Inspector General in Buffalo, NY until his retirement 1991. He then began his own Private Investigative Firm called FYI from 1991 until 2005. Arrangements by AMIGONE FUNERAL HOME, INC. Share memories and condolences on Ken's tribute page at


  • By Dan Herbeck

Sep 23, 1991

Kenneth J. Troidl remembers the people he investigated and arrested -- like the late mob leader Stefano Magaddino, drug dealers, bookmakers, a state senator, a prosecutor and other officials who were caught with their hands in the public till.

And he remembers those he didn't arrest. Like the three men who didn't pull a safe job at a Lewiston liquor store late one night back in the 1960s.

That was when Troidl, on patrol as a state trooper, pulled up to a liquor store, saw a hammer and chisel on top of an open safe and figured the three men pulling away from the curb had broken in.

"At this point, there's little doubt in my mind these three guys have just cracked the safe. I chase their car. I stop them, and I pull my gun and tell them to freeze. If these guys try anything, it's me against the three of them. I'm ready to shoot them. But these guys are telling me, 'Hey, we didn't do anything.' "

As it turned out, they had done nothing. The owner had left the tools on the safe and the safe open. The incident taught Troidl a lesson: first appearances can be misleading. It was one he never forgot while conducting hundreds of investiga-tions over nearly 30 years of law enforcement, 26 of them with the state police.

Now, as he retires on Wednesday from his job as chief Buffalo investigator with the state inspector general's office, Troidl goes out the door with the reputation of being tough but fair.

"Ken Troidl is at the very top of the ladder in terms of conducting thorough investigations," said Erie County District Attorney Kevin M. Dillon. "He's not prone to making grandiose statements, or jumping to conclusions. He's just patient, thorough and as sharp as any investigator around."

Retired State Supreme Court Justice Frederick M. Marshall, who also worked with Troidl as a prosecutor, added: "If I'm a defense attorney, and Kenny Troidl did the investigating, I'm thinking, 'My client is in trouble.' "

Troidl, 51, of Amherst, became a trooper in 1962. An expert at bugging and wire tapping, he worked on dozens of the region's most controversial criminal cases, specializing in organized crime and political corruption. He retired from the state police in 1986. He then went to work for the inspector general's office, which investigates corruption in state government.

Troidl was part of the investigation team that arrested Magaddino -- then one of the nation's most powerful mob leaders -- on racketeering charges in 1968. The charges were later dismissed in federal court, but the government was successful in seizing more than $500,000 in unreported income from the reputed mob chief. Organized crime experts said the investigation helped bring about the downfall of Magaddino, who died in 1974.

Other notable events in the Troidl case file:

In the early 1970s, Troidl spent 18 months undercover in New York City, portraying a gambler, in an investigation that led to the conviction of a trooper who was helping to operate and protect a bookmaking ring.

In 1977, Troidl was the lead agent in a bribery case against prosecutor Richard M. Mancuso, the chief of the Consumer Frauds Bureau under then-Erie County

District Attorney Edward C. Cosgrove. Working with Cosgrove on the case, Troidl bugged Mancuso's office in County Hall and obtained evidence leading to his indictment on charges of accepting a bribe to fix a court case. Mancuso admitted in court to taking the bribe and was sentenced to three years in state prison.

"The thing I remember most about that case is that Mancuso had a squeaky chair in his office, and that made it almost impossible to hear what the bugs were picking up," Troidl said. "We had to sneak into his office late one night to oil his chair."

In 1978, Troidl was the lead agent in another corruption case that led to the conviction of the late State Sen. Lloyd Paterson, R-Niagara Falls, after an investigation into his handling of trust and estate funds while serving as Niagara County treasurer.

Troidl also helped put the late mob associate John C. Sacco Jr. in prison from 1977 to 1988. Sacco was convicted of counterfeiting charges after Troidl and other agents bugged his Buffalo home.

With the Inspector General's Office, Troidl concentrated on investigations into official misconduct by state employees or contractors.

Troidl's career almost came to a premature end in December 1967, when he came within a few feet of being swept into the Niagara Gorge in an incident that received international attention.

He slipped and fell into the rushing waters of an underground conduit while searching for a missing 7-year-old girl near Fish Creek in Lewiston. As the water carried him toward the gorge at a speed later estimated by engineers at 60 mph, Troidl was convinced he was going to die.

"I'm speeding down this culvert, which empties out into the gorge, a drop of 300 feet to the rocks below. I'm thinking that I'm dead. I'm thinking about insurance and what is going to happen to my wife and kids. I'm worrying that my legs are going to be broken and twisted the wrong way, they won't be able to put me in a casket. I said a prayer," recalled Troidl, who was 27 at the time.

Miraculously -- as news reports put it -- Troidl was able to grab onto a concrete separator near the end of the culvert, and rescuers pulled him to safety.

Today, Troidl says he has had enough of the excitement of police work and is going into business as a private investigator, specializing in helping businesses fight industrial spying.

Does a man who spent almost 30 years investigating shady politicians and business people end up with a cynical view of people?

"People ask me things like that all the time -- do I think every politician is crooked? No, I don't," Troidl said. "When you think about it, about 2 percent of the politicians cause 90 percent of the problems for the rest of them. If I thought every politician was crooked, I'd take my wife and move to Alaska."

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