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.
Desk Sergeant John P. Shine
Desk Sergeant John P. Shine, Star #44, aged 42 years, was a 16 year, 5 month, 9 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 7, 17th Precinct - Englewood.
On October 10, 1905, Sergeant Shine was in charge of a squad of officers who were in pursuit of Robert Newcomb, who had previously killed one woman, Mrs. Florence Poore, wounded two men and ran through the streets brandishing a pistol. Newcomb then sought refuge in his home at 1261 West 61st Street and barricaded himself in his apartment. In response to Sergeant Shine's knock at his rear door Newcomb fired through the door, the bullet taking effect in the Sergeant's abdomen from which wound he died two hours later in Englewood Union Hospital. Newcomb was arrested, tried, convicted and is now under death sentence for murder. Of the four persons shot by Newcomb, three have died from their wounds.
On October 11, 1905, Newcomb was arrested and held without bail by Coroner's Jury. On January 7, 1906, Newcomb was sentenced by Judge Barnes to hang on February 16, 1906. Newcomb was hung on February 16, 1906.
Sergeant Shine was waked at his residence located at No. 5913 South Princeton Avenue, his funeral mass was held at St. Bernard Catholic Church located at 340 West 66th Street and he was laid to rest on October 13, 1905 in Calvary Cemetery, 301 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois.
Desk Sergeant John P. Shine, born in 1863, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on May 1, 1889.
Sergeant Shine was a member of the Chicago Policemen's Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his wife, Margaret; daughter, Annie D. Shine Fitzgibbon; mother: Anna (nee Magner) and siblings: Anna Maria Shine McManimen, Cornelius C., Michael and William T.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #2309.
On October 14, 1910, Sergeant Shine's star was retired by General Superintendent LeRoy T. Steward and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, City Hall, 121 North LaSalle Street, Room 505, Office of the Superintendent of Police. Officer Shea's star was one of fourteen stars added to the newly instituted memorial to preserve the memory of officers killed in the line of duty. The tradition of retiring a star number was born. In 1928, the star case was moved to the 4th floor Office of the Superintendent at Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. The Honored Star Case was later relocated to the lobby of Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. In 2000, Chicago Police Headquarters again moved to a new facility at 3510 South Michigan Avenue, Sergeant Shine's Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.
Patrolman Emil Shogren
Patrolman Emil Shogren, Star #985, aged 32 years, was a 5 year, 10 month, 11 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 17th District - New City, detailed to the Detective Division - Ford Squad 5-C.
On April 18, 1928, at 11:35 p.m., Officer Shogren was on patrol with his squad, Sergeant John G. Shortwall and Patrolman Frank Pietrowiak, when they came to a stop at a traffic light. While at the stoplight the officers noticed two suspicious looking men, Joseph Copps and Robert Nash of Orlando, Illinois. Sergeant Shortwell and Officer Shogren exited the squad car at 39th Street and Michigan Avenue to question the men. The policemen had not yet reached Copps and Nash when they drew revolvers and immediately opened fire on the officers. Both policemen returned fire, Shogren being struck during the first volley. Officer Shogren was struck in the chest, penetrating his heart, and then collapsed to the ground. The gunman then turned and fled on foot with Sergeant Shortwall in pursuit. Hearing the sound of gunfire, Officer Pietrowiak exited the squad car and gave chase with the Sergeant. As they ran, the Sergeant continued to fire at the fleeing felons, one of his rounds striking Copps. Copps was struck in his jaw, collapsed to the sidewalk, and was apprehended. Nash continued to flee until he was cornered in the rear of 3958 South Michigan Avenue, where he turned and attempted to battle with police, and was shot and killed by Officer Pietrowiak. Officer Shogren was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival, 45 minutes after beginning his tour of duty.
Follow up investigators examined the dead body of Robert Nash, where they learned his identity from a railroad pass card found in his pocket. Robert Nash was a career criminal wanted for a previous murder. On April 7, 1928, Nash murdered Charles Cook in an attempted store holdup. Joseph Copps also had a lengthy rap sheet and on May 28, 1928 was held by the Coroner as an accessory to Officer Shogren’s murder. On August 8, 1928 his case was nolle prossed by Judge David.
Officer Shogren was laid to rest in Oakhill Cemetery, 11900 South Kedzie Avenue, Alsip, Illinois.
Patrolman Emil Shogren, born July 28, 1895, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on June 7, 1922. He earned 2 Credible Mentions during his career.
Officer Shogren was survived by his wife and three daughters.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #10974.
In December of 1923 the Ford Squad was assigned to the Detective Division and detailed to patrol two districts. The cars were manned by four men in plainclothes with two shotguns. They patrolled 24 hours a day in eight hour shifts.
Patrolman Edward L. Simanek Sr.
Patrolman Edward L. Simanek, Sr., Star #10896, aged 73 years, was a 42 year, 5 month, 27 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Field Services - Patrol Division: Unit 054 - Area 4 Task Force.
On June 4, 1968, Officers Simanek and Ronald Stankowicz #7131 were working a mission in the 11th District. The officers stopped an auto for a minor traffic violation at Harrison Street and Homan Avenue. The driver of the auto, Haywood St. Claire, exited and walked towards Officer Stankowicz showing him his Illinois drivers’ license. Officer Simanek exited the squad car and began to approach the passenger side of the stopped auto. The vehicle they stopped was a jitney cab and unbeknownst to the officers a second man, who was wanted for an armed robbery, was hiding on the floor in the back of the car. The passenger, Robert Pryor, without warning abruptly emerged from the vehicle with a handgun and began firing. Officer Simanek was struck in the face and right buttock as the St. Claire made his escape. Pryor then began firing his handgun at Officer Stankowicz who returned fire as Pryor fled on foot through a gangway. Officer Stankowicz ran back to his squad car, radioed for help and notified dispatch that his partner was shot. He then went to the trunk of the squad car and retrieved their department issued shotgun and gave chase after Pryor. Officer Stankowicz entered the gangway at 3350 West Fillmore Street and Pryor pointed his handgun at the officer. Fearing for his life, Officer Stankowicz fired the shotgun once, striking Pryor. Pryor fell to the ground and was subsequently placed under arrest.
An ambulance responded to the scene and transported Officer Simanek to Illinois Research Hospital in critical condition. The emergency room staff used all of their talents and resources available at that time to stabilize the wounded officer. The bullet that struck Officer Simanek in the face entered below his nose and ricocheted around the inside of his throat before exiting out the back of his neck. It had severed an artery, sheared his jugular vein and damaged several nerves. As a direct result of the injuries sustained, Officer Simanek’s vocal cords were damaged and he was paralyzed on the left side of his body. His throat was also partially paralyzed and he was unable to consume liquids and solids in an upright position.
In police custody, Pryor was transported to Cook County Hospital where he was treated for his shotgun wound. Pryor survived and was subsequently charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery of two Chicago police officers. Further investigation revealed that several days earlier, on May 27, 1968, Pryor was in the area of 350 East 43rd Street in the 2nd District at 4:30 a.m. Officers Robert White and Zenon Pet observed him acting suspiciously. The officers pulled their squad over and called Pryor to the car. When he approached, Pryor displayed a handgun, placed it to the head of Officer White and demanded that both officers place their handguns on the seat of their vehicle. Pryor took both guns and ordered the officers to drive away. He waited until the squad had driven away before fleeing on foot with the two officer’s duty weapons. The handgun, which was used to shoot Officer Simanek, was one of those stolen duty weapons.
Robert Pryor later stood trial and was found guilty of the attempted murder and aggravated battery of Officer Simanek and was sentenced to 75 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. He was released from prison in April 1992 after serving only half of his original sentence.
After spending five months in the hospital he was discharged. He continued his recovery at home and following a lengthy recovery going in and out of the hospital for five years Officer Simanek returned to active duty. He was assigned to the newly formed Gang Crimes West Section at Harrison and Kedzie and held an administrative position until he was officailly retired on August 28, 2001 due to his death. Officer Simanek passed away on August 28, 2001 from complications resulting from his line of duty injury.
Officer Simanek was waked at Zarzycki Manor Chapels located at 5088 South Archer Avenue, his funeral mass was held at St. Bruno Catholic Church located at 4751 South Harding Avenue and he was laid to rest on August 31, 2001 in Resurrection Cemetery, 7201 Archer Road, Justice, Illinois.
Patrolman Edward L. Simanek, Sr., born on January 30, 1928, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 1, 1959. He earned 1 Blue Star Award, 5 Honorable Mentions and 1 Complimentary Letter during his career.
Patrolman Simanek was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and the St. Jude Police League. He was survived by his wife, Dolores (nee Stec); children, Edward L., Jr. and Karen Simanek Mercado (CPD), son-in-law, Alan Mercado (CPD): grandchildren: Edward L. Simanek III, Erik Simanek, Joseph Edward Mercado and Richard Alan Mercado and sisters: Patricia Zib (CPD) and the late Dolly Ryan.
Patrolman John W. Simpson
Patrolman John W. Simpson, Star #4774, aged 30 years, was a 4 year, 5 month, 6 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 4, 4th Precinct - South Wabash.
On July 28, 1919, at 8:45 p.m., Officer Simpson was found in an alley at 27th Street and Wabash Avenue with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. A black rioter shot him at the 31st Street Train Station, located at 31st Street and Wabash Avenue. The incident took place during the 1919 race riot. Officer Simpson was taken to Mercy Hospital where he was taken into surgery. His wounds were to grave and he died on the operating room table the same day.
On August 28, 1919, the arrest of the assailant was recommended by the Coroner. The assailant is unknown and was still at large as of January 1920.
Officer Simpson was waked at his residence located at 3910 South Calumet Avenue and he was laid to rest on August 5, 1919 in Lincoln Cemetery, 12300 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman John W. Simpson, born January 11, 1889, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on February 22, 1915.
Officer Simpson was survived by his parents: Mariah and Silas and brother, Curtis.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #5209.
Officer Simpson was one of the 38 fatalities of The Chicago Race Riot of 1919. Chicago’s riot was the worst amongst approximately two dozen riots which raged in the U.S. during the “Red Summer.” The “Red Summer” which occurred in the summer and autumn months marked the culmination of racial tension after WWI.
Patrolman Osbourne Sims
Patrolman Osbourne Sims, Star #4848, aged 33 years, was a 1 year, 3 month, 10 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 22nd District - Maxwell.
On December 6, 1956, Officer Sims and his partner, Patrolman Donald Burns were on patrol when they responded to a call of a burglary in progress at 702 South Ada Street. The burglary was reported by a neighbor, Nick Riccio. Riccio had run outside and seized one of the burglars, Hector Garcia, alias Hector Bermudez, at 1337 West Flournoy Street. He held him there until police arrived on scene. Suddenly, when the two officers arrived on scene, Garcia broke loose and fled on foot into an area way. The officers split up to enter the area way from opposite directions in an attempt to trap Garcia. Officer Sims, after capturing the other burglar at 1445 West Lexington Street, called out for Hector Garcia to halt as he started to flee again. Garcia stopped momentarily, turned, and fired at Patrolman Sims striking him two times. Patrolman Sims was shot in the chest and died at the scene. The second burglar fled during the shooting as well as Garcia.
Officer Burns, at the time, said he heard a shot and found Officer Sims laying on the pavement with a bullet wound in his chest. Officer Burns radioed for help and several backup officers responded within minutes. Garcia fled into a building at 1445 West Lexington Street and threatened the occupants with a gun. A search of the area was conducted and after Garcia was spotted crouching in the basement of the building he barricaded himself in. Tear gas bombs were shot into the cellar. Garcia was ordered to surrender and answered with gunfire. His answer was followed by 60 rounds of bullets from responding officers. A Detective marksmen brought Garcia down and he was killed in the exchange of gunfire.
Officer Sims was waked at Jackson Funeral Home, his funeral mass was held at St. Marks Episcopal Methodist Episcopal Church located at 348 South Jefferson Street, Joliet, Illinois and he was laid to rest on December 11, 1956 in Elmhurst Cemetery, 1212 East Washington Street, Joliet, Illinois.
Patrolman Osbourne Sims, born October 21, 1923, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 26, 1955.
Patrolman Sims served in the U.S. Navy, was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War and was Honorably Discharged. He was survived by his wife, Bertha; children: Charlene, Cynthia and Kenneth and step-daughter, Katherine.
On December 31, 1957, Officer Sims' star was retired by Commissioner Timothy J. O'Connor and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the 4th floor Office of the Superintendent at Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. The Honored Star Case was later relocated to the lobby of Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. In 2000, Chicago Police Headquarters moved to a new facility at 3510 South Michigan Avenue, Officer Sims' Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.
Detective Oliver Jerome Singleton III
Detective Oliver Jerome Singleton III, Star #2131, aged 42 years, was a 16 year, 2 month, 6 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Inspectional Services - Intelligence Division: Unit 135 - Criminal Intelligence Unit.
On January 24, 1969, at 7:15 p.m., Detective Singleton and his partner, Detective Frank Edwards, were conducting surveillance on the Bell and Howell Company located at 7100 North McCormick Boulevard, building #9. They were also in the company of 16 other officers from the Lincolnwood and Chicago Police Departments. The officers had received a tip that a Thillens, Inc. armored truck robbery would occur between 5:50 p.m. and 6:10 p.m. at that location. Detective Singleton was one of 18 policemen assigned to watch the plant.
The gang of four offenders arrived to the location at 6:00 p.m. and waited in their vehicle for the truck to arrive. By 7:15 p.m., the truck had not arrived and the men attempted to leave. Officers then blocked their vehicle in the driveway with their squad cars in front of building #1. One of the men, James Allen, age 19, exited the getaway car and began firing at officers. Officers exchanged gunfire injuring Allen and fatally wounding his two accomplices, Larry Gibson, age 23 and Tyrone L. Oby, age 27. A fourth accomplice, Nathan Wright, age 35, was waiting nearby in a getaway car. He was later apprehended at his home at 5426 South Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. Detective Singleton sustained a single, through and through, gunshot entering the left upper shoulder and exiting through the base of the neck. He was transported by Lincolnwood Fire Department Ambulance to St. Francis Hospital. As a result of the shooting, the Detective Singleton was paralyzed from the neck down and was confined to a hospital bed. He would later die from his wounds in Veterans Research Hospital on November 27, 1969.
On October 13, 1969, Detective Singleton testified from a stretcher in criminal court against John Allen one of the surviving defendants. On November 27, 1969, Detective Singleton succumbed to his wounds 10 months later. On December 5, 1969, Nathan Wright, leader of the gang, was indicted for murder. Wright stood trial and was found guilty of murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and attempted armed robbery. He was sentenced to 75 to 150 years in prison. James Allen was subsequently tried and found guilty of Detective Singleton's murder and attempted armed robbery. He was sentenced to 100 to 200 years in prison. In 1983, he was granted parole. In 1984, he was charged with murdering three people and was found guilty. Allen escaped from Joliet Correctional Facility and was quickly apprehended. He is currently ineligible for parole.
Detective Singleton was waked at Griffin Funeral Home located at 3232 South Martin Luther King Junior Drive, his funeral mass was held at the St. James Cathedral located at 33 East Huron Street and he was laid to rest on November 30, 1969 in Oak Ridge Cemetery, 1441 Monument, Springfield, Illinois.
Detective Oliver Jerome Singleton III, born March 16, 1927, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on September 21, 1953. He earned 1 Medal of Valor (posthumously), 1 Blue Star Award, 2 Department Commendations and 2 Honorable Mentions during his career. In March, 1961, he was promoted to Detective.
Detective Singleton served in the U.S. Navy, was a veteran of World War II and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Aviation Machinist Mate. He was also a member of the Illinois Police Association. He was survived by his wife, Patricia; parents: Oliver Jerome II and Rosalia M. Roberson and siblings: Doralyn Young, Robert (USMC) and Sally Hynes.
Incident Recorded under Lincolnwood Police Department Case #M69-2.
Park Policeman Ludwig Rudolph Skala
Park Policeman Ludwig Rudolph Skala, Star #11, aged 38 years, was a veteran of the West Park Police Department, assigned to the Motorcycle Division.
On November 21, 1915, Officer Skala was on patrol on his police motorcycle. The officer was near the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and Ashland Avenue when his motorcycle engine seized up. The abrupt stop of the motorcycle caused Officer Skala to be thrown from the motorcycle. He struck his head on the ground and was mortally injured. The officer was transported to Cook County Hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving on November 21, 1915.
Officer Skala was waked at his residence located at 2856 South Millard Avenue and he was laid to rest on November 24, 1915 in St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery, 6800 North Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot 28, Block S, Section 3.
Park Policeman Ludwig Rudolph Skalae was born in 1877.
Officer Skalae was survived by his wife, Antoinette.
Chicago Police Department homicide file not found for this incident.
The West Park Police Department, in the City of Chicago, was disbanded on April 30, 1934. On May 1, 1934, the remaining officers were transferred to the Chicago Park District Police Department, which was organized on the same date. Four park district police departments, Irving, Lincoln, West, and South were consolidated into the Chicago Park District Police Department. Fallen officers of the West Park Police Department are currently honored on the memorial wall of the Chicago Police Department as Chicago Police Officers. Their stars are displayed in the Honored Star Case located in the lobby of the Chicago Police Department at 3510 South Michigan Avenue.
Patrolman Vincent X. Skiba
Patrolman Vincent X. Skiba, Star #1707, aged 51 years, was a 30 year, 8 month, 2 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 7 - South Chicago.
On January 7, 1924, at 6:50 p.m., Officer Skiba was on patrol with his partner, Patrolman Joseph C. Lamb. The officers observed three men, Lucius Dalton, Eddie Duncan and Henry Wilson, at the corner of 79th Street and Merrill Avenue who was wanted for armed robbery. Officer Skiba and his partner attempted to arrest three robbery suspects and as they moved in the three men opened fire. Officer Skiba was incapacitated and mortally wounded collapsing to the ground. Officer Lamb was also struck, but was able to return fire as the men fled into the surrounding prairie. A priest, Father Henry Weber, assistant pastor at St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church had been passing by when the shooting occurred. He rushed to the side of Officer Skiba and administered his last rites. Officer Skiba was then rushed to South Shore Hospital, but died enroute.
News of the shooting spread quickly. Under the direction of Chief of Detectives Michael Hughes, several squads of officers and together with friends of Officer Skiba scoured the streets in search of the bandits. One squad pulled alongside a streetcar, which one of the bandits was believed to riding on, and apprehended Eddie Duncan. Duncan quickly gave up his accomplices, naming Lucius Dalton and Henry Wilson. On January 10, 1924, Dalton and Wilson were arrested. All three men gave full confessions, were indicted, stood trial and found guilty. On February 18, 1924, Dalton and Wilson were sentenced to death on the gallows by Judge Caverly. On February 25, 1924, Duncan was sentenced to life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Caverly. On April 18, 1924, Dalton and Wilson were executed by hanging at Cook County Jail.
Officer Skiba was laid to rest in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery, 801 Michigan City Road, Calumet City, Illinois.
Patrolman Vincent X. Skiba, born April 25, 1872, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on May 5, 1893. He earned 6 Credible Mentions and 1 Extra Compensation for Meritorious Conduct totaling $180.00 during his career. On March 14, 1898, he was given a Civil Service promotion.
Officer Skiba was a member of the Chicago Policemen's Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his wife and daughter.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #7468.
Patrolman John J. Skopek
Patrolman John J. Skopek, Star #6614, aged 28 years, was a 2 year, 6 month, 14 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 27th District - Warren.
On July 22, 1933, at 9:30 p.m., Officer Skopek and his partner, Patrolman Elmer Ostling, were on patrol when they observed an auto with three suspicious males matching a description of a stolen auto driving westbound on Washington Boulevard. The vehicle had been stolen three weeks earlier and was being used in the commission of crimes. As the occupants of the car spotted the officers, they sped off in an attempt to get away. The officers initiated a pursuit and were able to force the car to the curb in front of 2838 West Washington Boulevard. The officers then began to approach the car to question the occupants. When they were within a few feet of reaching the car two of the occupants exited the vehicle and opened fire on the officers. Both officers were shot several times and were only able to return fire one time each before they collapsed to the pavement. Officer Skopek was so close to his shooter the muzzle flash from the revolver burned his face, he was shot six times by .45 caliber and .380 millimeter rounds. Officer Ostling was shot five times by .45 caliber rounds. As Officer Ostling fell, he slid off the curb and came to rest under the bandit’s stolen car. It was at this time that the gunman got back into the car, one being helped by his accomplice, after suffering a gunshot wound in the exchange. The car then sped off running over Officer Ostling’s body. The auto fled westbound on Washington Boulevard before turning northbound onto Francisco Avenue.
By this time traffic had become congested as hundreds of citizens crowded around the wounded officers. Four of those citizens picked up Officer Ostling’s body and placed him into the squad car and rushed him to Franklin Boulevard Hospital. As he lay in the bed he repeated, “They didn’t give us a chance, they didn’t give us a chance,” according to the Chicago Daily Tribune. Officer Ostling died one half hour later just as his wife, who was escorted by Patrolman Otto Jicha, approached his hospital room. Another citizen picked up Officer Skopek’s body and rushed him to Washington Boulevard Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The stolen auto was eventually recovered in front of 1829 West Huron Street with a blood stained back seat.
On October 8, 1937, two inmates, Edward Moorehead and James Progue, age 28, at the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet attempted to escape. The men were sentenced to prison in 1934 for their parts in other unrelated crimes. Progue was apprehended and Moorehead was shot during the escape and died two days later on October 10, 1937. A third man, Sam Turriano, age 22, had also been sentenced to the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet in 1934, but his sentence was shorter. He was transferred to Pontiac Reformatory in July of 1934 and then paroled in December 1936. It wasn’t until February of 1937 that the first information implicating the three men in the officer’s murder surfaced. On October 10, 1937, Progue confessed to the murders and he named two accomplices, Edward Moorehead and Sam Turriano. On November 11, 1937, Progue entered a plea of guilty. On December 12, 1937, Turriano also entered a plea of guilty. Both men stood trial and were sentenced to serve 199 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet.
Officer Skopek and he was laid to rest on July 26, 1933 in Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, 7201 Archer Avenue, Justice, Illinois.
Patrolman John J. Skopek, born August 10, 1904, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on January 8, 1931.
Officer Skopek was survived by his wife, Rose and son, Robert, age 7.
Patrolman Edward Francis Smith
Patrolman Edward Francis Smith, Star #4567, aged 33 years, was a 3 year, 8 month, 0 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 25th District - Fillmore.
On May 30, 1931, at 2:50 p.m., Officer Smith was on duty conducting a surveillance at John Marshall High School, 3250 West Adams Street, after recent looting at the school. A janitress, Mae Crabtree of 3303 West Warren Boulevard, and her son, Charles, age 9, alerted the officer that three people had broken into the school and were still on premise. Mrs. Crabtree, Charles and Officer Smith entered the school and began searching the classrooms for the burglars. Officer Smith then heard a splash coming from the school’s pool. While Officer Smith made his way to the pool, Mrs. Crabtree Officer and her son were going to summon assistance from the Fillmore Street police station. Smith walked into the pool area and found three boys, Varner Corry, age 15, his brother, Earl, age 12 and Schuyler Pearson, age 16, swimming. He told the youths to get dressed and leave the premises. One of the teenagers, Vernon Corry, began to dress himself when he drew a weapon and pointed it at the officer, directing him to “stick 'em up!“ He fired twice, as Officer Smith, in the act of drawing his own weapon stepped behind a pillar. It was at this time Mrs. Crabtree, just as she was going to summon the help, heard Officer Smith order someone to get out of the pool and get dressed. She then heard several gunshots and saw two boys climb out a nearby window. Officer Smith was struck several times in the chest, heart and back of the head and died on scene.
Several squad cars responded to the school shortly thereafter and upon arriving found Officer Smith’s lifeless body beside the pool. Responding officers also observed a blood trail leading out of the pool area and to the second floor. Officer Smith was able to return fire and strike one of the boys in the finger causing him to leave the blood trail. Further investigation in the six hours that followed led police to piece together the events and make an arrest.
Patrolman Edward Flynn of the Fillmore Station questioned several boys who had shown up to the scene after the fact. One of them Leonard Zylch, age 12, of 3321 West Adams Street, who was the son of Patrolman Walter Zylch, informed investigators that he had spoken to two boys who had witnessed the killers escape. Officer Flynn and three detectives relocated with Zylch to 3359 West Adams Street where the found William Datz, age 12 and Harold Landis, age 13, the two witnesses. Datz and Landis told the police about the boys they had seen and gave the names and addresses of the boys. The police officers then relocated to 736 South Claremont Avenue where they made a forced entry. Upon entry the officers located Earl and Varner Corry who soon confessed to their roles in the murder. The brothers took Officer Flynn to the back porch and showed him where they threw the revolver used to murder Officer Smith. They also gave the officer the name to the third boy, Pearson, who was with them. The boys were placed into custody and transported to the Fillmore Station.
Once at the station, Varner Corry gave a full account of events to police. He said “We were swimming in the pool when the policeman came in. He told us to dress. I started to put on my clothes, and was half-way dressed when I took hold of my revolver. I pointed it at the policeman and told him to put up his hands. Then he reached for his revolver, and I thought he was going to shoot, so I fired four or five times. I don’t know how many. He got his gun and shot at me and hit me in the second finger of my right hand. I went to the second floor, and got down a drain pipe. I don’t know how my brother or Schuyler got away.”
Chief of Detectives John Norton, Deputy Detective Chief Lawrence Rafferty, Captain Patrick J. Collins and Assistant State’s Attorney E.A. Ferrari interrogated the three boys until midnight. Through the interrogations, they were able to clear a separate case and learn that the boys had broken into the school two months earlier and had stolen the revolver that would be used to murder Officer Smith. The revolver was taken from the gymnasiums office and Varner had said that his father had told him to return the gun, but instead, carried it around.
On June 1, 1931, a Coroner's Jury held all three boys to the Grand Jury for murder and the State's Attorney ruled they must stand trial in the Criminal Court instead of the Juvenile Court. In June 1931, the Grand Jury returned an indictment only on Varner Corry. The charges against Earl Corry and Schuyler Pearson were dropped and they were released. On July 28, 1931, Vernon Corry was found guilty of Officer Smith's murder in a bench trial. Judge Joseph Sabath sentenced him to serve 18 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet. Corry was granted a retrial on the grounds that he should have initially been tried in front of a jury. On January 26, 1933, Corry was acquitted of Officer Smith's murder.
Officer Smith was waked at his residence located at 334 South Kostner Avenue, his funeral mass was held at St. Mel's Church located at 4301 West Washington Boulevard and he was laid to rest on June 3, 1931 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois.
Patrolman Edward Francis Smith, born November 30, 1897, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on September 30, 1927. He earned 1 Credible Mention during his career.
Officer Smith was a member of the Chicago Policemen's Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his wife, Helen (nee Clyne); daughter, Eileen Marie; mother, Bridget Farley and siblings: Hugh and the late Owen.
Patrolman Edward W. Smith
Patrolman Edward W. Smith, Star #3002, aged 31 years, was a 1 year, 3 month, 29 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 15, 31st Precinct – Austin and detailed to the Mounted Squad.
On August 4, 1907, at 12:30 p.m., Officer Smith, while walking to his home at No. 667 Warren Avenue (present day 2654 W. Warren Avenue), was accosted by an armed offender at the alley on the west side of Washtenaw Avenue between Washington Boulevard and Warren Avenue. The offender fired his gun, striking Officer Smith in the chest. Officer Smith then managed to stagger to his home, which was only 500 feet from the scene of the shooting. He was discovered by his wife, wounded and bleeding, attempting to open the front door. He walked in and collapsed in the entrance hall of the house and said, “That fellow shot me,” and slipped into unconsciousness and died a few minutes later.
The true course of events are unknown, but three theories developed following Officer Smith’s death. The first believed that the attacker was someone Officer Smith had been out with earlier in the day. Officer Smith was out and about all day in his civilian clothes before returning home. The second theory placed blame with three highwaymen who approached him. It was Lieutenant C. C. Healy who believed the first theory to be what took place. Investigators questioned Officer Smith’s wife but she was unable to provide a lot of details. She stated that her husband left the house at 3:00 p.m. with a man she was unacquainted with and that was the last she saw of him. Some neighbors claimed that Theodore Girard, a civil engineer who was believed to be with the Panama Canal previously, was the man who left with Officer Smith. A search for him was conducted at 3:00 a.m. the night of the murder and it is unknown if he was ever found. The third theory was that Officer Smith’s murder was that of revenge. Police arrested Joseph Glazebrook who had made threats against Officer Smith. The two had been seeing the same woman and Glazebrook might have shot him for revenge. Officer Smith’s murder remains unsolved.Officer Smith was waked at his residence located at No. 667 Warren Avenue (present day 2654 W. Warren Avenue) and was laid to rest on August 7, 1907 in Rosehill Cemetery, 5800 North Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman Edward W. Smith, born in October 1875, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on April 6, 1906.
Officer Smith was a member of Mount Vernon Lodge of the Knights of Pythias. He was survived by his wife, Mary.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #2837.
On October 14, 1910, Officer Smith's star was retired by General Superintendent LeRoy T. Steward and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, City Hall, 121 North LaSalle Street, Room 505, Office of the Superintendent of Police. Officer Smith's star was one of fourteen stars added to the newly instituted memorial to preserve the memory of officers killed in the line of duty. The tradition of retiring a star number was born. In 1928, the star case was moved to the lobby in the new Chicago Police Headquarters building at 1121 South State Street. In 2000, Chicago Police Headquarters again moved to a new facility at 3510 South Michigan Avenue, Officer Smith's Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.
Patrolman Jesse Sneed
Patrolman Jesse Sneed, Star #5078, aged 32 years, was a 4 year, 1 month, 13 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 4th District - Stanton.
On April 7, 1928, at 12:45 a.m., Officer Sneed was on patrol and had come to the Northwest corner of 31st Street and Vernon Avenue where he observed two suspicious men, Clarence Lewis and Ralph Banks, alias Heard. Officer Sneed stopped the men for questioning and began to inquire about their business. As Officer Sneed was interviewing the men one of them drew a revolver from their pocket and shot him. Officer Sneed collapsed to the ground as the men fled the scene. Sneed was discovered shortly after the shooting and taken to Michael Reese Hospital where he lingered for four days before dying on April 11, 1928.
Clarence Lewis and Ralph Banks were later arrested but the Coroner’s Jury, which held them to the Grand Jury on April 11, 1928 was unable to determine which of them fired the fatal shot. Both men were indicted. On September 28, 1928, Banks was acquitted by Judge Comerford, who, on November 26, 1928, sentenced Lewis to life imprisonment in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet.
Officer Sneed was laid to rest in Lincoln Cemetery, 12300 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman Jesse Sneed, born August 31, 1895, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on February 29, 1924.
Officer Sneed was survived by his wife.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #10972.
Police Officer Thor Odin Soderberg
Police Officer Thor Odin Soderberg, Star #14767, aged 43 years, was a 10 year, 11 month, 5 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to Bureau of Professional Standards: Unit 124 - Education and Training Division.
On July 7, 2010, at 3:40 p.m., Officer Soderberg was participating in a weeklong police operation called Operation Protect Youth. The program was headquartered out of the Targeted Response Unit's facility located at 6120 South Racine Avenue, the former Englewood District Station. At approximately 3:45 p.m., Officer Soderberg finished his shift and proceeded to walk to his vehicle in the facility's parking lot. While he was changing out of his uniform from his trunk, Bryant Brewer, age 24, of 5814 South Wolcott Avenue approached him and a physical altercation ensued. During the struggle, Brewer was able to disarm and fatally shoot Officer Soderberg. Brewer then took Officer Soderberg’s gun and left the officer to die. Moments later, Brewer opened fire in what appears to have been an attempted armed robbery of a civilian passerby. Officers heard the gunshots and ran out of the building. They saw Brewer and exchanged gunfire with him. Brewer was wounded and later recovered. Officer Soderberg died at the scene and was pronounced dead by Dr. Rios at 5:25 p.m. on July 7, 2010. He was transported to the Medical Examiner's office by CFD Ambulance #55.
Bryant Brewer was arrested and charged with 1st Degree Murder. He was tried and on August 4, 2015 was found guilty of 1st Degree Murder with no allowance for insanity. He was also found guilty on three counts of Attempt Murder of an additional three Peace Officers: Sergeant Kusinski, Police Officer Thorp and Police Officer Casey. On September 23, 2015, Brewer was sentenced to natural life in prison on the charge of 1st Degree Murder. On the charge of attempted 1st Degree Murder he was sentenced to 100 years for each officer for a total of 300 years. On the charge of disarming a Peace Officer he was sentenced to 15 years. On the charge of Attempted 1st Degree Murder and Armed Robbery of a witness he was sentenced to 50 years in prison. In total Brewer was sentenced to Life in Prison plus 365 additional years in prison.
Officer Soderberg was waked at Malec & Sons Funeral Home located at 6000 North Milwaukee Avenue, his memorial mass was held on July 15, 2010 at the University of Chicago: Rockefeller Memorial Chapel located at 5850 South Woodlawn Avenue and he was cremated on July 12, 2010 at Woodlawn Cemetery, 7750 Cermak Road, Forest Park, Illinois.
Police Officer Thor Odin Soderberg, born February 18, 1967, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 2, 1999 and he attended the Jackson Street Police Academy. He earned 1 Department Commendation, 15 Honorable Mentions and 7 Physical Fitness Awards during his career. Officer Soderberg previously worked in the 6th District and the Bicycle Patrol Unit.
Officer Soderberg served in the U.S. Army and was Honorably Discharged. He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. Officer Soderberg was survived by his wife, Jennifer Lynn (nee Louden), age 37; mother, Aura Evelia (nee Gonzalez) and siblings: Diane Sainsot, Fred and Vanessa .
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #HS398722.
On January 18, 2011, Officer Soderberg'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.
Police Officer Eric Solorio
Police Officer Eric Solorio, Star #13609, aged 26 years, was a 3 year, 5 month, 17 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Strategic Deployment: Unit 253 - Targeted Response Unit.
On January 17, 2006, at 10:47 p.m., Officer Solorio and his partner, Police Officer Maria Ramirez, were working the third watch on beat 4221E. While on patrol they witnessed a vehicle speeding. The officers pursued the vehicle eastbound on Marquette Road from Halsted Street and attempted to pull it over. While in pursuit both vehicles passed a white car on the left. For unknown reasons, just after passing the white car, an unknown Chrysler came into the intersection from southbound Union Avenue and headed eastbound on Marquette Road. Officer Ramirez took evasive action to avoid a collision and swerved to the right. The squad car hit a patch of black ice and spun out of control traveling over the south curb of Marquette Road. The squad car then struck a tree and continued traveling until it struck the Alpha Missionary Baptist Church building located at 701 West Marquette Road before coming to rest. Officer Solorio was transported to Christ Medical Center by CFD Ambulance #36. Officer Ramirez was also transported to Christ Medical Center by CFD Ambulance #58.
Officer Solorio sustained severe trauma to his neck, back and internal injuries as a result of the crash. Once at the hospital it was determined that he would be permanently paralyzed from the chest down. He was only able to move his shoulders and arms. Officer Solorio would later undergo surgery for his spinal injury. After surgery he awoke and blew everyone in his hospital room kisses. Over the next month he would remain in the hospital and talk with the dozens of visitors who came to visit. Tragically, Officer Solorio would later develop breathing problems and internal bleeding which necessitated additional surgery. Due to complications he would succumb to his injuries and was pronounced dead by Dr. Salzman at 7:25 p.m. on February 12, 2006. Officer Ramirez sustained only minor injuries in the crash, was treated, and released from the hospital.
Officer Solorio was waked at Blake and Lamb Funeral Home located at 5800 West 63rd Street, his funeral mass was held at Holy Cross Church and he was laid to rest on February 16, 2006 in Resurrection Cemetery, 7201 Archer Avenue, Justice, Illinois.
Police Officer Eric Solorio, born July 21, 1979, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 26, 2002. He earned 10 Honorable Mentions during his career.
Officer Solorio was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Latin American Police Association. He was survived by his mother, Amelia (nee Mendez), age 62; siblings: Richard Carillo, Richelle Romo and Rosa.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #HM130287.
In March 2006, a new satellite police station located under the Granville Red Line "EL" stop was dedicated in Officer Solorio's honor.
On September 7, 2006, Officer Solorio's star was retired by Superintendent Philip J. Cline and enshrined in the Superintendent's Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.
On September 1, 2010, In memory of his sacrifice the brand new Eric Solorio Academy High School located at 5400 South St. Louis Avenue was named in his honor and officially opened.
Probationary Patrolman Ralph Steward Souders
Probationary Patrolman Ralph Steward Souders, Star #360, aged 29 years, was a 1 month, 19 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 12 - Stock Yards.
On December 19, 1922, 8:30 a.m., Officer Souders was assigned to guard the A&P (Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company) Store located at 5361 South Morgan Street after a string of recent robberies. Two juveniles, Bernard “Nagles“ Grant, age 21, and Walter Krauser, age 19, entered the back room of the store and immediately held Officer Souders at gunpoint as they attempted to hold up Adam Glass, the manager. A moment later Officer Souders lunged at one of the suspects, who opened fire. Officer Souders fell dead, one bullet having pierced his heart. One of the bandits was wounded in the arm by his own gun apparently having been turned against him in the scuffle. He left his coat, one sleeve bloody, and his cap as he made good his escape.
A manhunt for the bandits was conducted and their identities were learned. Twelve hours after learning of their identities police had them in custody. On December 21, 1921, Bernard Grant and Walter Krauser were turned over to the Sheriff on indictment after confessing to the crimes. Grant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to hang on June 15, 1923 by Judge Hebel. On July 7, 1923, Krauser was sentenced to hang on October 19, 1923 by Judge Hebel. Both appealed their cases to the Supreme Court. On July 3, 1924, Supreme Court Judge Caverly affirmed Grant’s sentence. On February 21, 1925, Supreme Court Judge Hopkins reversed Krauser’s sentence and he was re-sentenced to life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet. On June 20, 1925, Grant attacked Krauser in prison with a knife and stabbed him five times. He died the next day. A few weeks later Grant killed himself by setting his clothes on fire.
Officer Souders was laid to rest in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois, Section T. His grave is located in Section T.
Probationary Patrolman Ralph Steward Souders, born on February 23, 1893, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 30, 1922.
Officer Souders served in the U.S. Army. was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Lieutenant. He was also a member of the Chicago Policemen's Benevolent & Welfare Association. Officer Souders was survived by his expectant wife, Mary and son, Ralph, Age 2. Following Officer Souders' death his wife gave birth.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #7460.
Park Policeman Charles J. Speaker
Park Policeman Charles J. Speaker, Star #357, aged 59 years, was a veteran of the Chicago Park District Police Department, assigned to the South Section.
On June 30, 1941, Officer Speaker, while patrolling his beat conducted a traffic stop at 5900 South Lake Shore Drive. He pulled up on Bernard “Knifey” Sawicki, age 19, in a car he had stolen the previous day. Sawicki was in the process of robbing a couple sitting in their car when he was spotted by Officer Speaker. When Sawicki saw Officer Speaker approaching, he drew his .22 caliber gun and fired at the officer. Officer Speaker was mortally wounded and later died.
Bernard “Knifey” Sawicki had a long record. He earned his reputation for violence in the fifth grade. He earned his nickname, Knifey, from those who saw him handle a knife. Officer Speaker became his fourth victim of murder. Sawicki had murdered John J. Miller, age 19, when he resisted him during a robbery in Sherman Park. Charles Kwasinski, age 17, a St. Charles parolee like Sawicki, shooting him after the two argued over whether to rob a hotel at 16th and State Streets. The other murder victim is unknown. Sawicki also shot at Clarence Swak, age 16, but missed.
Sawicki was later arrested on his mother’s front porch while bringing her candy. He was transported to the 18th District - Stock Yards station. He used the same .22 caliber gun in all of his shootings, showed no remorse and claimed that all the shootings were accidents. While in custody he claimed he didn’t fear the electric chair, for he always believed he would not live until the age of 21. Sawicki’s mother, in a statement to a newspaper, stated that he was the black sheep of the family and had always headed in a bad direction.
Bernard “Knifey” Sawicki was tried and found guilty after a long and contentious public trial. He was sentenced to death in the electric chair. On January 17, 1942, he was electrocuted in the electric chair at Cook County Jail.
Officer Speaker was waked at his residence located at 6828 South Drexel Avenue, his funeral mass was held at Holy Cross Parish Church located at 4521 South Wood Street and he was laid to rest on July 3, 1941 in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, 2755 West 111th, Chicago, Illinois. His grave is located 2-8 from South Line, in Lot 220, Block 48, Grave N.
Park Policeman Charles J. Speaker was born on July 18, 1883.
Officer Speaker was a member of the Chicago Park Policeman's Benevolent Association, Holy Name Society and the Genoa Council No. 1659 Knights of Columbus. He was survived by his wife, Mary (nee Mahoney); children: Joseph and Mrs. George Kelly and siblings: Frank, Henry, John Warning, Mrs. Fred Hiller, Sophia Kinney and the late Emma Cuttler.
The Chicago Park District Police Department, in the City of Chicago, was disbanded on December 31, 1957. On January 1, 1958, the remaining officers were transferred to the Chicago Police Department through an intergovernmental agreement. Fallen officers of the Chicago Park District Police Department are currently honored on the memorial wall of the Chicago Police Department as Chicago Police Officers. Their stars are displayed in the Honored Star Case located in the lobby of the Chicago Police Department at 3510 South Michigan Avenue.
Patrolman George J. Sperakos
Patrolman George J. Sperakos, Star #669, aged 41 years, was a 9 year, 1 month, 4 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 29th District - West Chicago.
On April 24, 1952, at 2:00 a.m., Officer Sperakos, while off duty, was visiting with Stanley Kozieniak and his wife, Cecilia, owners of the tavern located at 1807 West Division Street. Officer Sperakos was dressed in his uniform hat, trousers and a civilian sweater while sitting in the backroom of the tavern having coffee with Stanley. Three men entered the tavern and ordered drinks. After consuming a few drinks, without warning, the men drew guns and announced a robbery. The first robber shoved the bartender aside, firing a warning shot to discourage anyone from being a hero. The same robber then took $200.00 from the cash register. The other robber ordered Cecilia and her daughter, Dorothy, age 14, to line up against the tavern wall. When Mr. Kozieniak heard the warning shot he stepped into the doorway from the back room to see what the commotion was about. Alerting Officer Sperakos, he stepped to the door and fired three shots at the robbers. The robber who fired the warning shot turned and when he saw Sperakos in the doorway yelled to his accomplice that there is a “copper” in the back room. At that time both robbers returned fire upon Sperakos at which time he ducked behind the door to the back room for cover. Sperakos then emerged once again and returned fire, shooting three more times before he was fatally struck. Officer Sperakos was struck in the center of his forehead and collapsed to the floor. The robbers observing this then fled the tavern, taking $30.00, southbound on Wood Street in a light colored auto and then eastbound on Division Street. Officer Sperakos was rushed to Presbyterian Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds at 10:55 a.m. on April 24, 1952.
A manhunt was initiated and fifteen squad cars spread out across the city searching for the gunmen. It was believed at the time that one of the gunmen had been wounded by Officer Sperakos. It was also believed that the gunman were the same men who robbed Mike’s Tavern at 1700 West Cermak Road earlier in the evening. Witnesses gave varying descriptions of the men as either Mexican or Italian between the ages of 25 and 30 years-of-age with medium height and dark wavy hair. The gunman have never been identified and are still at large.
Captain John Ryan of the 29th District - West Chicago located on Racine Avenue later stated that Officer Sperakos had just returned from driving his mother-in-law home when he decided to stop into the tavern to visit. Sperakos normally worked the midnight shift, but was off duty that night. He related that Sperakos was wearing his uniform because he had attended a special drill session earlier in the evening and had no time to change.
Officer Sperakos was waked at Malec Funeral Home , his funeral mass was held at Holy Innocents Church located at 743 North Armour Street and he was laid to rest on April 28 1952 in St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery, 6800 North Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Illinois.
Patrolman George J. Sperakos, born March 25, 1911, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 20, 1943.
Officer Sperakos served in the Armed Forces. He was a member of the Chicago Police Post No. 207 American Legion. Officer Sperakos was survived by his wife, Cecilia; daughter, Dorothy and brother, James.
Patrolman Vincent John Spiro Jr.
Patrolman Vincent John Spiro, Jr., Star #979, aged 27 years, was a 1 year, 1 month, 2 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 11 - Englewood, detailed to the Motorcycle Division.
On July 1, 1923, at 10:30 p.m., Officer Spiro was fatally injured while in pursuit of a speeding vehicle at 84th Street and Ashland Avenue. His motorcycle collided with the side of a streetcar after either being struck or pushed by the vehicle he was pursuing. The automobile and occupants were not identified. He was transported to Mercy Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on July 9, 1923.
John Coleman, a man who was believed to be the driver of the auto was later arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon.
Officer Spiro was waked at his residence located at 8014 South Peoria Street and he was laid to rest on July 12, 1923 in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 West 111th Street, Alsip, Illinois.
Patrolman Vincent John Spiro, Jr., May 8, 1896, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on June 7, 1922.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #7463.
Patrolman John Frank Stachnik
Patrolman John Frank Stachnik, Star #6974, aged 29 years, was a 7 year, 1 month, 23 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 1st District - Central.
On April 20, 1969, Officer Stachnik was on duty and riding his 3-wheel police motorcycle southbound on the 1100 block of South Wabash Avenue. As he was attempting to make a right turn onto 11th Street, the throttle of the 3-wheel motorcycle became stuck. Officer Stachnik was thrown into a traffic control box and struck his head as the motorcycle began to turn over. Officer Stachnik was transported to Mercy Hospital where he underwent brain surgery. He succumbed to his injuries eight days later on April 28, 1969.
Officer Stachnik was waked at Robert’s Funeral Home located at 2819 South Archer Avenue and he was laid to rest on May 1, 1969 in Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, 7201 Archer Avenue, Justice, Illinois.
Patrolman John Frank Stachnik, born April 24, 1940, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 5, 1962.
Officer Stachnik was survived by his wife, Madeline (nee Kostecka) and parents: Frank and Irene Janik.
Patrolman Herman Stallworth
Patrolman Herman Stallworth, Star #10965, aged 37 years, was an 8 year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 3rd District - Grand Crossing.
On May 23, 1967, at 11:40 p.m., Officer Stallworth, and his partner, Patrolman Eugene Ervin, were working the third watch on beat 314. The officers stopped a vehicle at Cottage Grove Avenue and Marquette Road for a traffic violation. When the officers approached the vehicle, the two men, Joseph R. Hurst, age 24 and Charles Harper, age 25, claimed to have no identification with them. Officer Ervin walked back to the squad car to run a check on the vehicle's license plates and call for assistance when gun fire rang out. As Officer Stallworth stood next to the driver's side window, Hurst opened fire and shot the officer multiple times in the chest and abdomen. He then jumped out of the vehicle and began shooting at Officer Ervin, striking him in the face. Despite being severely injured Officer Ervin was able to call for assistance and twenty units soon responded to his call for help.
Hurst then fled the scene on foot and was spotted by two of the responding officers who gave chase. Charles Harper, the passenger of the car, took refuge in the crowd of onlookers that had begun to form following the shooting. Hurst began firing at the officers as he ran to a nearby building located at 6434 South Maryland Avenue and barricaded himself in the bathroom of a third floor apartment. Hurst continued to exchange gunfire with pursuing officers through the bathroom door as he was surrounded by additional officers. He soon found himself out of ammunition. Hurst then took his .38 caliber pistol, threw it into the hallway and surrendered without further incident. He was placed into custody and transported to Woodlawn Hospital where he was treated for cuts to his head and face. Approximately an hour after Hurst’s arrest, Harper stepped from the crowd and approached Patrolman Edward G. Carey and turned himself in. Officer Stallworth was transported to Billings Hospital by beat 315 where he was pronounced dead by Dr. Witzelbaum at 1:45 a.m. on May 24, 1967. Officer Erwin was also transported to the hospital, was treated and made a full recovery.
On February 15, 1968, Joseph R. Hurst was found guilty of 1st degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery. Hurst was sentenced to the death penalty. However, in 1974, during a moratorium on death penalty, Hurst was re-sentenced to 100-300 years in prison. On February 27, 2014, Hurst was denied parole.
Officer Stallworth was waked at Miller, Major and Ockleberry Funeral Home located at 1010 East 79th Street and he was laid to rest on May 27, 1967 in Lincoln Cemetery, 12300 South Kedzie Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
Officer Herman Stallworth, born December 23, 1929, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department in March, 1959. He earned 1 Award of Valor (Posthumously), 1 Blue Star Award (Posthumously), 3 Department Commendations and 2 Honorable Mentions during his career.
Officer Stallworth served in the U.S. Navy and was Honorably Discharged. He was survived by his wife, Geraldine C. and four children ages 4 to 13 years old.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department RD #F161657.