Skip to Content

U.S. Marshals Service


Marvin Lutes

The U.S. Marshals Service is saddened to announce the death of retired U.S. Marshal and president of the U.S. Marshals Association Marvin Lutes. Lutes passed away from complications related to heart disease Jan. 19, 2012, at the age of 63. Born in New Eagle, Pa., he served his country in the U.S. Air Force in the Vietnam War from 1966-70, later joining the Marshals Service in 1975. Lutes began his career as a Deputy U.S. Marshal in the District of Columbia Superior Court and rose through the ranks, serving in the Eastern District of Kentucky, Northern District of Florida, Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois, Eastern and Western Districts of Washington, and Eastern District of Missouri. He served as Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal in three districts: the Southern District of Illinois from 1986-87; the Eastern District of Washington from 1987-90, and the Eastern District of Missouri in 1990 and from 1994-99. He was appointed the U.S. Marshal for the Eastern District of Missouri from 1990-91 and for the Northern District of Illinois from 1992-94. He retired in 1999.

One of Lutes’s most high-profile cases was that of Christopher Boyce, known as “The Falcon.” A convicted spy, Boyce escaped from California’s Lompoc Correctional Institution in January 1980. For the next 20 months, Lutes and a team of deputy U.S. marshals pursued the evasive fugitive. Despite Boyce’s ability to avoid arrest, the team caught up with him in a Port Angeles, Wash., parking lot on Aug. 21, 1981. Surprisingly, Boyce remembered Lutes and greeted him by name while incarcerated years later. For this and many other fugitive cases, Lutes was one of the individuals on whom Tommy Lee Jones based his character, Deputy U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard, in the 1993 movie The Fugitive.

Lutes’s contributions to the U.S. Marshals Service were many. In addition to his leadership in the agency, he served on the Law Enforcement Availability Pay Advisory Group, crafting the policy and implementation procedures that began a separate compensation system for the agency’s criminal investigators. Lutes also spearheaded a committee to review redundant and unnecessary policies within the agency. After retirement, Lutes became president of the U.S. Marshals Association (formerly the Retired U.S. Marshals Association), maintaining his passion for the U.S. Marshals Service. Most of all, Lutes will be remembered for his gregarious personality, sense of humor and no-nonsense communication style.

Lutes is survived by his wife Denise and two sons, Joseph and Dan. Though Lutes was repeatedly hospitalized for heart disease, he survived to see his son Joseph graduate from the U.S. Marshals Service Academy and become a deputy U.S. marshal on Dec. 22, 2011. As a living tribute, Joseph, who currently serves in the Eastern District of Missouri, carries the same badge number as his father. The U.S. Marshals Service sends its deepest condolences to Denise, Joseph and the entire Lutes family. is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice