Death Classification: Performance of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 4 years, 6 months, 15 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 23rd District - Marquette
District of Incident (Present Day): 011 - Harrison
Cause of Death: Illness - Cardiac Arrest
Age at Time of Death: 33
Date of Birth: 05 May 1926
Date of Appointment: 22 Aug 1955
Date of Incident: 011 - Harrison
End of Watch: 09 Mar 1960
Date of Interment: 12 Mar 1960
Cemetery: Mount Carmel Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 2, Lot W9' 11 / W9' 12, Block 13, Section 32
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Not Enshrined
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 11
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Detective Dennis John Laughlin, Sr., Star #3047, aged 33 years, was a 4 year, 6 month, 15 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 23rd District – Marquette.
On March 9, 1960, Detective Laughlin and his partners, Detectives Joseph Adlesick and John Lynch, had been working a plainclothes detail. They were at the end of a 12 hour investigation that targeted five armed robbery suspects. The suspects were believed responsible for 25 west side street holdups. The detectives received a tip that three of the suspects were in a pool room located at 3843 West Roosevelt Road. Upon arriving at the location they were able to arrest James Stuckey, age 18, William Slater, age 18 and Joseph F. Hampton, age 19. The three then implicated Everet Nelson, age 20, who was arrested in his home located at 2932 West Warren Boulevard. After repeated questioning by the three detectives, the four arrestees told them that the leader of the gang was John L. Ikerd, age 21. Detective Laughlin and his partners searched four other flats, where they were told Ikerd might be hiding, before they went to 1147 South Whipple Street. They took Nelson to the flat with them. Nelson knocked on the apartment door and Ikerd, who was undressed, opened it. When Ikerd saw the three detectives behind Nelson he quickly slammed the door and locked it. The detectives and another squad of three detectives surrounded the building.
Detective Laughlin broke the door in with his shoulder and lunged into the apartment. Ikerd reached for a .45 caliber automatic pistol on top of a dresser in the room as Laughlin tackled him. During the struggle, Laughlin began gasping for breath and collapsed. The two other policemen administered cardio pulmonary resuscitation and called for an inhalator squad. Detective Laughlin had suffered a heart attack and died.
Detective Laughlin was waked at Gibbons O’Keefe Funeral Home located at 4245 West Madison Street. His funeral mass was held at St. Mel’s Church located at 4301 West Washington Boulevard. He was laid to rest on March 12, 1960 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 2, Lot W9′ 11 / W9′ 12, Block 13, Section 32.
Detective Dennis John Laughlin, Sr., born May 5, 1926, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 22, 1955. On October 1, 1957, he was promoted to Temporary Detective. On August 8, 1958, he was restored to Patrolman.
Detective Laughlin served in the U.S. Army enlisting on October 29, 1945 and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Private 1st Class. He was also a member of Chicago Police Post No. 207 American Legion. Detective Laughlin was survived by his wife, Marilyn (nee Miller), age 27; children: David, age 5, Dennis John, Jr., age 8, John, age 20 months and Kathleen, age 6; mother, Esther (nee Ireland) and stepbrothers: John O’Connor, Mathew O’Connor and Michael O’Connor. He was preceded in death by his father, Emmett (CPD).
On August 25, 1939, Detective Laughlin’s father, Patrolman Emmett D. Laughlin, was also killed in the line of duty while serving with the Chicago Police Department.