Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 7 years, 7 months, 7 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 25th District - Fillmore
District of Incident (Present Day): 011 - Harrison
Location of Occurrence:
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 36
Date of Birth: 23 Apr 1893
Date of Appointment: 07 Jun 1922
Date of Incident: 011 - Harrison
End of Watch: 14 Jan 1930
Date of Interment: 17 Jan 1930
Cemetery: Mount Carmel Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 1, Lot N22, Block 7, Section 22
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-1
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 7
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 26
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 9-W: 3
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Detective Jerry E. Murphy, Star #4447, aged 36 years, was a 7 year, 7 month, 7 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 25th District – Fillmore.
On January 14, 1930, at approximately 4:30 a.m., Al Holzman of Hoopeston, Illinois, Meyer Wolf a local crook and Sam Wasserman, alias Sam Waterman, age 32, of 1256 South Troy Avenue were in the process of burglarizing an apartment located at 4049 West Jackson Boulevard. After the burglars took $80.00 from the trouser pockets of the apartments resident, Harry Sucherman, they forced him to open a wall safe. Sucherman pressed an alarm to his brother Nathan’s apartment, which was across the hall on the first floor. Nathan immediately called police, and officers under the command of Lieutenant Edward Conroy from the Fillmore Street station were dispatched. Detective Murphy was among those officers, both in uniform and in plain clothes, who responded to the burglary in progress call. Lieutenant Conroy ordered the building surrounded and went to the front with Sergeant Lynch while Detective Murphy went to the rear with Officer Loeffer. When the lieutenant reached the door to the apartment he ordered the men out as they men were preparing to make their getaway. Conroy yelled, “Come out and surrender,” the bandits now realizing their path of escape was impossible opened fire. Detective Murphy entered the building through a rear window and went to the lobby where the armed suspects were now holed up exchanging gunfire with officers. He was shot and killed before he could return fire.
Tear gas bombs were forced on Wasserman, who had retreated upstairs, when he tried to gain entry to the apartment of Dr. A. A. Hirsch by identifying himself as a police officer. Mrs. Hirsch called down to a uniformed officer saying, “They’re banging on my door. Shall I let them in?” She was instructed by Lieutenant Conroy to let no one in and call the station for reinforcements. Within minutes, two squads from the Detective Bureau arrived. They stormed the lobby where they found Detective Murphy dead beside two of the gunmen; Al Holzman and Meyer Wolf. The third suspect, Wasserman, shouted from the third floor that he would surrender. Wasserman laid down his gun and came down and surrendered to police. Detective Murphy was transported to Garfield Park Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival on January 14, 1930. Lieutenant Conroy, who had been shot in the shoulder during the incident, was also transported to Garfield Park Hospital where he was treated and released.
Wasserman was arrested and gave a statement. He stated that he had only met his two accomplices the previous Monday and that he was not the actual killer of Officer Murphy. Chief of Detectives John Stege discovered that Wasserman was an ex-convict who had been arrested with Sam Wolf the previous year. Assistant States Attorney Abraham Lincoln Marovitz made it clear to Wasserman that because they were in the commission of a crime, that he was also responsible for the death. Meanwhile, later in the day, at the Cook County Morgue a crowd grew large of victim’s identifying the dead burglars as the perpetrators of crimes against them. Mrs. Sally Goodman of 1901 South Springfield Avenue identified Holzman as one of three men who had robbed her of $200.00 the day before. The three bandits had forced their way into her home and subjected her to torture until she told them where her money and jewelry were hidden.
On January 15, 1930, Wasserman was held to the Grand Jury by the Coroner for murder and burglary but indicted on the burglary charge only. On January 15, 1930 a No Bill was returned by the Grand Jury on Wasserman. On October 8, 1930, Wasserman was sentenced to the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet for burglary by Judge Schwabs.
Detective Murphy was waked at his residence located at 4172 West 24th Place. His funeral mass was held at Epiphany Roman Catholic Church located at 2524 South Keeler Avenue. He was laid to rest on January 17, 1930 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 1, Lot N22, Block 7, Section 22.
Detective Jerry E. Murphy, born April 23, 1893, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on June 7, 1922. He earned 1 Credible Mention and 1 Extra Compensation for Meritorious Conduct totaling $300.00 during his career.
Detective Murphy was a member of the Chicago Police Post No. 207 American Legion, Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association and the Bishop Kettler Council No. 1628 Knights of Columbus. He was survived by his father, Patrick J. and siblings: Dora Doyle, John, Katherine M., Nell Schmitz and Richard S.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #10582.