(SCARAMENTO, Calif.) -- Orlie "Jay" Pane, a veteran Sacramento police officer who helped solve a number of high-profile crimes before retiring in 1993, died Wednesday.
The 59-year-old Sacramento resident was getting ready for a day of fishing with a couple of friends when he was stricken with a fatal heart attack, said William Yeager, his former Police Department partner.
Mr. Pane, a large man who was a star football lineman in high school, arrested serial killer Morris Solomon in 1987.
As a detective, he earned praise in 1982 when he helped track down Kevin Richard and Robert Washington, who had robbed several Sacramento banks, pistol-whipping tellers.
And he was the investigator who helped arrest serial rapist Ronald Feldmeier in 1984 after a string of sexual assaults in neighborhoods near downtown Sacramento.
In that case, Mr. Pane caught the suspect after a late night chase through back yards and over fences.
According to the Police Department, his personnel file is filled with letters of commendation for his role in scores of felony investigations.
A native of Sacramento, Orlie Antonio Pane Jr. was one of two children of the former Ramona Navarro and Orlie A. Pane Sr., a city parks worker.
He graduated from Sacramento High School in 1959 and was picked as a member of The Sacramento Bee All-Star football team his senior year.
He later attended Sacramento City College for two years and served in the California Army National Guard, which included a six-month stint of active duty for his initial training.
Mr. Pane became a police officer by chance, said his widow, Anita.
"It wasn't like it was a lifetime ambition," she said. "He and his buddies were taking the tests for fireman and policeman. He did well, and it just kind of fit in right at the time and worked out for him."
He was sworn in as a Sacramento police officer on July 16, 1966.
Although he hadn't planned on a career in law enforcement, Mr. Pane turned out to be "an excellent investigator" who was extremely tenacious and had a knack for getting people to tell him things, recalled Rodger Pogue, who worked with him as a police officer.
"He was always pleasant, never seemed to get upset and had a dry sense of humor -- one of these guys who would tell you a joke and five minutes later you would pick up on it," Pogue said.
After he left the Police Department in 1993, he worked part time as an investigator for the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office.
There, he helped build the case against Jeffery Hronis and John Bertsch, who were convicted two months ago of murdering Linda Canady.
"He was like a big teddy bear who wasn't afraid to try anything," said Trish Hacker, a district attorney's investigator. "He had this ability to laugh at himself. He could relate to anyone."
He is survived by his wife of 37 years, the former Anita Richardson of Sacramento; son, Curtis Pane of Sacramento; daughter, Denise Pane of Coloma; and sister, Rose Marie Pane of Sacramento.
Services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday in Nicoletti, Culjis & Herberger Funeral Home, 5401 Folsom Blvd.
(iSyndicate; Sacramento Bee; Nov. 17, 2000). Terms and Conditions: Copyright(c) 2000 LEXIS-NEXIS, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights Reserved.