LINE OF DUTY DEATHS
Roll Call of all Line of Duty Deaths. A Line of Duty Death is classified as the death of an active sworn member by felonious or accidental means during the course of performing police functions while on or off duty.
Constable James Quinn
Constable of Police James Quinn, Star # Unknown, aged 39 years, was a 9 month, 4 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, elected to the Town of Chicago - 9th Ward.
On December 5, 1853, Constable Quinn succumbed to injuries sustained during two previous incidents in which he was attacked and severely beaten while in the discharge of his duties. The first attack occurred on Friday night, December 2, 1853, after Quinn, armed with a warrant, had arrested a man, Paul Parmilee, for theft in a notorious criminal hideout known as "The Sands" a shantytown of brothels and saloons north of the Chicago River and east of present day Michigan Avenue. Quinn was escorting Parmilee to the Watch House when he asked Quinn if he could return to the place in the Sands in which he had been arrested to fetch his coat. As the Constable walked Parmilee back inside, ostensibly to get his coat, the establishment's owner, William Rees, a notoriously violent man, attacked the Constable, breaking his ribs and injuring his jaw. During this altercation Parmilee escaped.
The following evening an arrest warrant was delivered to Constable Quinn ordering him to find and arrest the escapee. He returned to the Sands to conduct his search and again came upon Rees who had assaulted him the previous evening. Rees attacked Quinn, threw him to the ground and kicked him several times, fracturing additional ribs and puncturing the Constable's lung.
Duty bound, and despite his injuries, Quinn reported back to the Watch House Sunday morning for the 5:00 a.m. end of watch roll call. Quinn briefed the Captain of the Night Watch who ordered his entire 26 men Night Watch to return to the Sands to search for and arrest both Parmilee and Rees. By mid-morning, both were in custody. Constable Quinn's condition worsened throughout Sunday causing congestion of the brain. He succumbed to the injuries the following day, Monday, December 5, 1853.
On January 9, 1854, Rees was indicted by the Grand Jury for murder. On February 1, 1854, Rees was found guilty and sentenced to five years in in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Alton. On February 15, 1854, He began his sentence.
Constable Quinn's funeral mass was held at Holy Name Church and he was laid to rest in the New Catholic Burial Ground, on Dearborn Street between North Avenue and Schiller Street. The cemetery was eventually closed and it is unknown if Constable Quinn's remains were moved. The New Catholic Burial Ground was the direct predecessor of Calvary Cemetery and was located in the area presently bound by North Avenue, Burton Place, Dearborn Parkway and State Street directly west of the present residence of the Cardinal-Archbishop.
Constable of Police James Quinn, born in 1814, was elected on March 1, 1853. In 1853, the Constable served a dual role as Constable and police officer during the early stages of the Chicago Police Department.
Constable Quinn was survived by his wife, Margaret and son, Patrick. His son Patrick, known as Paddy, played major league baseball with the 1874 Chicago Champions of the Federal Club. He later played on Cap Anson’s Chicago White Stockings, the predecessor of the Chicago Cubs. Several of Constable Quinn’s grandsons James, Joseph and William served in the Chicago Fire Department. William J. O’Brien died in the line of duty on July 15, 1917 in a gas explosion. Another grandson, John J. O’Brien, became a Chicago Police Officer in 1901 rising to the rank of Captain before retiring in 1935.
On February 24, 1854, Margaret Quinn filed a petition with the Common Council for assistance because her husband "died while faithfully and honestly discharging his duty as an officer of the City of Chicago.” On March 6, 1854, the Council's Committee on Judiciary issued a report concurring with Mrs. O’Brien’s petition and recommended a payment of $50.00. This marked the first time duty death benefits were awarded.
In 2007, a panel of seven professional historians from the Chicago History Museum reviewed all of the evidence in this case and unanimously found that Quinn "died as the result of injuries he suffered in the line of duty." These historians concluded, "We can say with certainty that Constable Quinn is the earliest known Chicago Police Officer to die in the line of duty."
Chicago Police Department homicide file not found for this incident.
On March 2, 2010, Constable Quinn's star was retired by Superintendent Jody P. Weis and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.
Patrolman John Quinn
Patrolman John Quinn, Star #2797, aged 37 years, was a 9 year, 4 month, 19 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 13, 41st Precinct - Sheffield.
Officer Quinn and his partner, Patrolman Blaul, were assigned to investigate several armed robberies and murders being perpetrated by known offenders, most notable the “Car Barn Murder.“ Officers Quinn and Blaul were given information that one Gustave Marx, who lived in their police district, had exhibited an automatic revolver in a saloon and possessed a considerable amount of money. Both knew Marx and they spent several days looking for him.
On November 21, 1903, shortly before 11:00 p.m., Officers Quinn and Blaul saw Marx in Greenberg's saloon at Addison Avenue and Robey Street (present day Damen Avenue). He was standing at the bar drinking with a crowd of young men. Quinn entered through the front door of the saloon and Blaul by a side entrance. “I want you,“ Quinn said to Marx, and before he could place his hands on the suspect's shoulder he had received his death wound. Marx had whipped out a revolver and fired several shots, the first of which struck Quinn in the stomach. Officer Quinn was fatally wounded. Officer Blaul returned fire and wounded Marx. Officer Blaul, who had witnessed the shooting of his partner, closed in on Marx and showed him no more mercy than the latter had shown Quinn and returned fire. Marx was wounded twice, once in the shoulder and another bullet striking him in the hip. As he fell Blaul leaped upon him with the ferocity of a tiger and disarmed him of two revolvers. Marx was arrested and taken to the 41st Precinct Station where he was interrogated and snitched on his fellow gang members, Niedermeier, Roeski and Van Dine, who were also wanted for robberies and murders at railway offices and saloons in Chicago, including the Car Barn Murder. Officer Quinn was taken to Alexian Brothers Hospital and died at 1:00 a.m. on November 22, 1903.
During the time that Marx was locked up and before he “squealed“ his partners, who knew of his arrest, remained in Chicago, but kept under cover. It developed later that the rescue of Marx from the 41st Precinct, Sheffield Avenue Police Station, was planned by Van Dine and Niedermeier. They had rented a building in the vicinity, which was to be set on fire. The patrol wagon and crew would respond and so would any commanding officers in the station except the desk sergeant. To take the latter and lockup keeper unawares and shoot them if necessary was the program, and liberate their confederate during the progress of the fire.
The publication of Marx's confession in the Wednesday morning Chicago papers effected a sudden transformation in Van Dine and Niedermeier's sentiments, and their desire to destroy Marx was more intense than their desire to effect his liberation. They decided that flight was the only thing left for them, and consequently they fled from the city that night, going to Indiana.
Later, in Indiana, a country school teacher, who that day had seen the pictures of Van Dine and Niedermeier in a Chicago newspaper, recognized them as the hunted bandits and he informed the Chicago Police Department by telegraph of his suspicions. Acting under instructions from the Superintendent's office the following men were dispatched that night to Indiana: Detective Sergeants Mathew Zimmer and James Gleason, and Officers Martin J. Qualey, Joseph Baumer, John Sheehan, Joseph Hughes and John Driscoll.
On November 27, 1904, at 5:00 a.m., eight officers assigned to track down Officer Quinns killers, Niedermeier, Roeski and Van Dine, saw smoke curling from a dugout alongside the railroad tracks some distance from Pine, Indiana at Millers Station. Suspecting that they had found their quarry they approached the hut with drawn revolvers and commanded those inside to surrender. A slanting door was thrown open and one of the bandits showed himself, discharging his revolver at the same time. Officer Driscoll was mortally wounded in the first volley of shots that belched from Niedermeier's automatic gun, and Detective Sergeant Zimmer was the next to fall a victim with dangerous wounds in the head and right shoulder. All three suspects were able to make good their escape in the confusion. Officer Driscoll died of his wounds four days later on December 1, 1903 at Mercy Hospital in Chicago.
VanDine, Roeski, and Peter Niedermeier were located by a large posse and arrested a week later. On December 5, 1903, they were held by the Coroner. On March 26, 1904, Niedermeier and VanDine, and a fourth, Marx, were convicted of the robbery and murder of railway employee Frank W. Stewart and sentenced to hang by Judge Kersten. On April 22, 1904, the 21-year-old offenders were executed by hanging at the Cook County Jail. The third suspect, Roeski, was convicted of one of the saloon murders and sentenced to life in prison.
Officer Quinn was waked at his residence located at No. 1933 North Ashland Avenue (present day 3504 North Ashland Avenue), his funeral mass was held at St. Andrew's Church and he was laid to rest on November 25, 1903 in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, 2755 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman John Quinn received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 3, 1894.
Officer Quinn was a veteran of the U.S. Army and served January 1, 1888 thru January 25, 1895 in Company C. of the 20th Infantry and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Sergeant. He was survived by his wife, Kate and children: George F., James E. and Katie.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #1986.
Detective Daniel Joseph Quinnan
Detective Daniel Joseph Quinnan, Star #7899, aged 38 years, was a 13 year, 5 month, 24 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 1st District - Central Vice Unit.
On September 19, 1966, at 9:45 p.m., Detective Quinnan, while working as a vice detective in plain clothes, interrupted an armed robbery at the Dinerama Lounge located at 646 South Wabash Avenue. Prior to the officer’s arrival, Paul E. Thedford, age 29, had been in the lounge approximately an hour and a half. Thedford had consumed seven whiskey sours and conversed with the bartender, Michael Albanese. Without warning Thedford produced a gun and announced a robbery to the bartender and then hid his gun under the bar. He ordered Albanese to give him all the money in the cash register. Albanese complied, placing $150.00 in a paper bag and handed it to Thedford. Thedford then made his way down the bar towards the exit and stopped by a patron, ordering him to empty his pockets. The patron complied and placed $65.00 into the paper bag. Thedford turned to exit and just as he attempted to leave, Detective Quinnan entered thru the revolving door. He was there to conduct a routine check of the lounge. Detective Quinnan walked in and began to talk with Thedford when the he shot the officer in the chest before he had an opportunity to draw his weapon. Thedford stepped over Detective Quinnan's body and fled the scene making good his escape. Detective Quinnan was transported to Presbyterian St. Lukes Hospital where he died shortly after arriving.
Following the incident, more than 100 officers flooded the Loop in search of Thedford. His description was broadcast across the city by radio. Less than four hours after the shooting, a cab driver reported seeing a man matching Thedford’s description to police. He stated that he had seen the man at the Harrison Hotel located at 609 South Wabash. Officers flooded the area and located Thedford attempting to check into a room at the YMCA located at 628 South Wabash Avenue. He was placed into custody and had only $1.00 and a bottle of whisky sour in his possession. Thedford was then transported to the Central Station where eight witnesses identified him as the shooter. He had arrived in Chicago from Dallas, Texas only the day before after serving a prison term for burglary.
On October 5, 1966, Paul E. Thedford was indicted for murder and two counts of robbery. On March 17, 1967, he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 30 to 75 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet.
Detective Quinnan was waked at King Funeral Home located at 2506 West 63rd Street, his funeral mass was held at St. Rita of Cascia Parish Church located at 6243 South Fairfield Avenue and he was laid to rest on September 23, 1966 in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery, 3801 West 87th Street, Evergreen Park, Illinois.
Detective Daniel Joseph Quinnan, born May 14, 1928, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 27, 1953. He earned 2 Department Commendations and 28 other awards during his career. He was promoted to Detective the year before his death.
Detective Quinnan was a member of the Chicago Patrolman's Club, Chicago Policemen's Benevolent & Welfare Association, the Illinois Police Association, and the St. Jude Police League. He was survived by his wife, Dorothy; mother, Florence Goyer and siblings: Alice Zoladz, Eileen McGarry, Jane Floerke and Marjorie Byrne.
Patrolman John W. Quirk
Patrolman John W. Quirk, Star #9866, aged 23 years, was a 1 year, 4 month, 12 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 32nd District - Shakespeare.
On January 13, 1958, Officer Quirk was off duty on his second date with a young woman, Mrs. Caroline Smith, age 18. One of their first stops that evening included a tour of the Shakespeare Avenue Station located at 2131 North California Avenue where he was assigned. Their second stop was a restaurant located at 3801 West Fullerton where they had a chance meeting with his partner, Carmen Abbate, age 27 and visited for some time.
Officer Quirk drove the young woman home and pulled in front of the Towne Home Girls Residence, 22 East Banks Street at approximately 2:30 a.m. The moment the vehicle came to a stop, two men, Nicholas J. LaPapa, Jr., age 20, and George Starcevic, age 23, jumped into the back of the car from each side with guns drawn. The two robbers demanded their money and took jewelry. They then forced Officer Quirk to drive in the area of the north side. At Cleveland Avenue and Wisconsin Street, he crashed his vehicle into a parked auto. While drawing his service revolver from a shoulder holster, he spun around and fired into the rear of the vehicle. Officer Quirk used his body to shield his companion from the bullets as the shooting started. LaPapa dropped his gun and attempted to grab Officer Quirk's gun as he continued to fire. LaPape was shot in his right hand. Three more bullets from Quirk's gun passed through LaPape's jacket and shirt but did not wound him. Officer Quirk then slumped over in the seat and LaPape and Starcevic exited the car and fled in different directions. Mrs. Smith, hysterical, blew the car horn until help arrived. Officer Quirk was mortally wounded and was transported to Grant Hospital where he died. He had been shot twice in the back and once in the chest.
After a city wide manhunt, LaPapa was apprehended at Henrotin Hospital while seeking first aid for a gunshot wound to his right hand sustained in the gun battle. LaPapa told hospital staff that he had cut his hand on a broken pitcher in his home. Physicians noting powder burns on his hand called Detectives Anton Bielski and Edwin Kirkwood. The detectives went to Quirks home and recovered five revolvers, including Quirk's, from a paper bag located in a bureau drawer. LaPapa was arrested and confessed that he and Starcevic along with three other men had been committing robberies in Chicago for several months.
On January 13, 1958, Starcevic surrendered to the FBI agents at 51st Street and Racine Avenue accompanied by his attorney. The FBI agents went to that location after receiving a tip that Starcevic would be there. Upon his surrender, Starcevic stated “I have been in on a shooting a policeman on the north side and want to give myself up.“ Starcevic was transported to the FBI office at 212 West Montrose Street (present day 73rd Street) and Lieutenant Frank Pape, Deputy Chief of Detectives was notified. While at the FBI office Chief of Detectives Patrick Deeley arrived and questioned Starcevic who confessed to firing three shots and said that LaPapa also had fired, LaPapa had denied firing any shots. Starcevic also said that as he fled he threw his revolver on a roof of a nearby building. Police would later recover the gun at 1839 North Larrabee Street. Starcevic was transported back to the Detective Bureau handcuffed to Sergeants Patrick O'Connor and Charles Fitzgerald. While at the Detective Bureau both men were identified by Mrs. Smith as the two men who had kidnapped Officer Quirk and herself. LaPapa said “I'm sorry it happened,“ and Starcevic said “I'm sorry too.“ Starcevic was a former inmate of the Illinois State Training School for Boys in Kane County, who had escaped from the school four times.
The incident began when the two men drove in LaPapa's 1957 automobile to a south side auto agency, where LaPapa planned to trade the car in for a newer model. Upon arrival they found the car dealer closed and decided to have a few drinks in two taverns near 63rd Street and Stewart Avenue until. At 1:00 a.m., they returned to LaPape's home and parked the car. While inside, LaPape gave Starcevic a .38 caliber revolver and they started walking, looking for someone to rob. They spotted Quirk's car in front of Mrs. Smith's home and forced their way in.
LaPapa and Starcevic were held to the Grand Jury by the Coroner and a True Bill was returned for murder. On July 2, 1958, the two men plead guilty in criminal court. Nicholas J. LaPapa, Jr. received a sentence of life in prison and George Starcevic 199 years in prison.
Officer Quirk was waked at Rago Brothers Funeral Home located at 5120 West Fullerton Avenue, his funeral mass was held at Our Lady of Angels Church located at 3808 West Iowa Street and he was laid to rest on January 16, 1958 in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois.
Patrolman John W. Quirk, born December 1, 1934, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on September 1, 1956. He earned 1 Credible Mention during his career. Quirk was promoted to Patrolman First Class on October 30, 1957. Patrolman Quirk was recommended for promotion to Detective, only four days prior to his death.
Officer Quirk served in the U.S. Marine Corps, was stationed in Japan and was Honorably Discharged. He was survived by his parents: Caroline (nee Onofrio) and John R. and sister, Jo Ann Pluta.
On December 30, 1958, Detective Quirk's star was retired by Commissioner Timothy J. O'Connor and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. In 2000, Chicago Police Headquarters moved to a new facility at 3510 South Michigan Avenue, Detective Quirk's Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.