William Latham Jr., known to friends and family as Bill, was born in New Jersey to William Latham and his wife the former Gertrude Engle in 1936. His father was from Connecticut and the family moved back there not long after he was born. A sister, Elaine, was born in 1939 and the family was living in New London, Connecticut when the Census was taken in April of 1940. Another girl, named Gertrude after her mother, was born shortly afterwards. The family returned to Camden in the early 1940s. The 1943 City Directory lists them at 533 Gordon Terrace, a short walk from the New York Shipbuilding Corporation shipyards where William Latham Sr. was employed. The family was still at that address in 1947, the elder Latham then working as a sales manager.

Bill Latham grew up in Camden and attended public schools in the city. He graduated from Camden High School in 1955. After high school he served in both the United States Army and the United States Marine Corps.

On June 23, 1956 Bill Latham married Henrietta "Hennie" Ernst at the First Methodist Episcopal Church, South 6th and Stevens Street, in Camden. She was the great-great-granddaughter of Samuel S. Buzine, who had been deputy chief of the Camden Fire Department, and grand-daughter of Joseph F. Ernst, who served with the Fire Department for over 29 years. The marriage produced on child, a son, William Latham III.

After his military service Bill Latham was appointed to the Camden Police Department, where he served with honor and distinction for over 26 years before retiring effective February 1, 1987. He served with the K-9 Unit for several years in the early 1960s, and later served as the department's identification officer. He partnered for a number of years with George "Pappy" Sweeten. After leaving the police department, he went to work as a detective for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, spending 17-1/2 years there, many of which as a homicide investigator. 

After retirement, Bill Latham took great interest in the Wounded Warrior Project. After a long struggle with leukemia, he passed away at his Moorestown, New Jersey home on May 15, 2015.

North Camden
Winter of 1964

Longtime friend of the Camden Fire department and Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper reporter, Mrs. Sara Sanderson, Chief Fire Marshall George Baxter and Camden Police Officer William Latham

Photo courtesy of Bob Bartosz

Click on Image to Enlarge

Camden County Park Policeman Bob Bartosz
Camden K-9 Officer Gene Andreacola
William Latham

Photo courtesy of Bob Bartosz


Bill Latham - Nelson Randolph - Art Jones - Ken Krueger
Photo courtesy of Bob Bartosz

Philadelphia Inquirer - April 26, 1980

Camden Man Is Arrested In Weekend Killing

By John Way Jennings,
Inquirer Staff Writer

A 20-year-old Camden man was arrested yesterday and charged with the weekend slaying of John J. Wiest 3d, 20, of Haddon Township, who was shot during a robbery in Camden after he had driven up to buy cocaine, according to Camden County Prosecutor Samuel Asbell.

Asbell said yesterday that Anthony Ways, of the 1300 block of Morton Street, was arrested near his house about 2 p.m. He was being held without bail in the Camden County Jail pending an arraignment scheduled for today.

Asbell also said Bryant Anderson, 19, of the 1500 block of Louis Street, Camden, was arrested as a witness in the case. He also was being held without bail in the county jail pending arraignment today. Authorities said the arrests came after information had been developed by investigator William Latham of the prosecutor's office and Detective Brian Beverly of the Camden Police Department.

Asbell said Wiest, a gas station attendant, was shot in the chest at Louis and Chase Streets, at 12:20 a.m. Sunday, by Ways after Wiest had given him $20 for cocaine. Ways took the money and walked away but returned shortly with a large-caliber handgun instead of drugs, Asbell said.

Ways shot Wiest after he tried to rob Wiest and an unidentified friend who was the driver of the car, Asbell said.

Camden Courier-Post * May 21, 2015

William Latham Jr.
AGE: 78 Moorestown

Died peacefully on May 15, 2015 at home. Only son of Gertrude Engle Latham and William Latham, Sr. He grew up in Camden with his parents and sisters, Elaine and Gertrude.

Devoted and loving husband of nearly 59 years to Henni (Nee: Ernst) Latham. 
Caring and proud father to William Latham, III. Cherished grandfather to William Latham, Karina Latham, Michael and Jackie Marrero. Great Grandfather to Michael and Liam Marrero.

Bill served in both the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army receiving Honorable discharges before beginning his law enforcement career spanning 44 1/2 years. Serving 27 years on the Camden City Police Department, and 17 1/2 years in the Camden County Prosecutor's Office with many years as a homicide investigator.

It was Bill's desire that celebratory services be private.

His boundless energy and desire to help others went hand in hand. Steadfast in his beliefs and convictions Bill accepted death as he lived life, with both honor and dignity. 

Death came after a short battle in a long war against Leukemia.

If you knew him, you will probably remember his kind interest in you, his strong sense of fairness, and devotion to his family.

Best remembered for his love of family, his love of baseball, and supporter of Wounded Warrior Project.

Camden Courier-Post * May 21, 2015

Bill and I met when he was on the first CPD K 9 Units when I took this Photo of him in the 1960's RIP my Friend you pal 

Bob Bartosz CFD Photographer
Battleboro, North Carolina

On behalf of the Camden High School Class of 1955, we offer our heartfelt sympathy to the Latham Family on the loss of Bill. He is well remembered by all who came in touch with him and there are many who did. Among them, you will find each of his fellow Classmates from the Class of 1955. 

On a personal note, Bill was as "squared away" as they come. Bill could have easily been our "Poster Boy" if given the opportunity by our beloved Corps. R.I.P. Marine.

Semper Fi,
CHS '55

John Block 
Hertford, North Carolina

When I came on the PD in 1965, Bill was a guy I looked up to. We had a lot of laughs and he was always there for you. Lost track of him the last few years-He truly will be missed!

Bill Berks

Bill was a great, and fair cop, well liked, and always had a smile. Had the pleasure of working with him at Korvettes as a part time store detective. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Gus Barbetta
North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

It was a pleasure knowing Bill while working Camden PD. he was a good cop and will be missed.

Joe Olsen CPD retired
Bellmawr, New Jersey

Bill was a smart, no nonsense cop and an all around good guy.

Dan Robertson, 
Haddon Township, New Jersey

Bill was a great guy and a totally dedicated, fair, good cop. He was someone all of us new guys took advice and knowledge from. Sorry for your loss

Don Stone

My condolences to the family. I had the privilege to work with Bill on the Camden PD. In addition to being a great detective, he was truly a gentleman. He cared deeply about the city he served and the officers he worked with.

Larry Worrell
DeBary, Florida

He was a great guy and a great cop.

Frank Rooney
Cinnaminson,, New Jersey

Bill was without a doubt one of the best street cops on CPD.

Tony Saponare
Bellmawr, New Jersey

Bill, what a great Detective to work with, what a great person, RIP

Cliff Leary 
Lewes, Delaware

RIP my CPD friend, my condolences to his family.

Oscar Milbourne
Kittrell, North Carolina

Had the pleasure of working with Bill when I was an Assistant Prosecutor, and also enjoyed his professionalism when he appeared before me as a judge. He was a good man, and highly and deservedly respected by his peers. he graced this earth. May he rest in peace

Isaiah Steinberg
Port St. Lucie, Florida

A class guy

Charlie Duus 
Cape Coral, Florida

t was a pleasure working with Bill. Good Cop and good man. R I P Bill

Jack Stinsman
Melbourne, Florida

Although I knew Bill as a Detective, my brother Gil held him in the highest regards, on and off the job. Rest in peace brother.

Frank Upshaw
Winslow Township, New Jersey

Bill's kindness towards you was astounding. He showed a genuine interest in helping me as a young Detective and was more than willing to share his knowledge and expertise. I have great respect for Bill Latham. I was quite fortunate to have him and George Sweeten as my first partners in Detective Division. How fitting that he passed away on National Peace Officers Day. Rest In Peace...Semper Fi Marine.

Sgt. Richard Desmond

And another brother in blue is taken from this world....RIP!

Bob Nelson - CPD, Sgt. Ret.,
 Fort Myers, Florida

Always remember cop talk and baseball talk with Bill. A mentor and a friend.

Denny Gormley
Haddonfield, New Jersey

One of the best.

Nelson W Randolph
Collingswood, New Jersey

A real cops cop.

Dan Vautier
Vero Beach, Florida

In loving Memory of A wonderful Man who I honor, love, & respect. My grandfather William Latham Jr.

William Mark Latham
Baltimore, Maryland

Bill was a great guy and a good friend. He also was a great lunch partner at the Prosecutor Office. I will miss him! God bless you Bill.

Chuck Pierce
Runnemede, New Jersey

It was an honor for me to be a friend and co-worker to Bill, a man of great integrity.
Semper Fi

Bob Whalen

Dearest Hennie,

Your Bill was such a gift from Heaven: honorable, admirable, kind, loving, courageous: not just your hero, but an admirable individual. That memory of him will help you cope in your new life without him by your side. 
We are sorry we were not there to help you. Please remember that you have our thoughts, prayers and love.

Wally and Kate Kuligowski, 
Albuquerque, New Mexico

I had the privilege of visiting with Bill and his gracious wife and my classmate Hennie, They were the most devoted couple to be around, never an unkind word. Spoke of old times in Camden about my dear prosecutor friends like Bobby DePersia and Chuck Pierce, these were and are still the best of the best in law enforcement. As a proud mother of a deputy constable, in Austin, Texas, Bill , Hennie , and I had much in common. I loved being with this devoted couple, and Bill passed with great dignity. He was handsome to the last day. RIP Bill, and I'll take care of Hennie and eat your Popcorn. Love to the Latham family. Gentleman, loyal husband, great father and grandfather, he had it all. Love, 

Gina Vasile Secrest

My thoughts and prayers are with the Latham family. It was a great pleasure working with Bill during his tour with the Camden County Prosecutor's Office. Bill was a proud, kind, professional, and caring man. He was one of the "old timers" I looked up to because of his knowledge and experience in Law Enforcement. Bill was a very private person and I completely understand his request. Rest in peace Bill...God Bless!!

Diane Wilson
New Jersey

I was fortunate to work with Bill as a young Assistant Prosecutor. I learned lessons from him that I carried throughout my career and beyond. He was a man of integrity.

Mary Alison Albright