Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 7 years, 8 months, 3 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 8th District - South Chicago
District of Incident (Present Day): 002 - Wentworth
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 38
Date of Birth: 03 Jan 1890
Date of Appointment: 27 Nov 1920
Date of Incident: 002 - Wentworth
End of Watch: 30 Jul 1928
Date of Interment: 02 Aug 1928
Cemetery: Holy Sepulchre Cemetery - Alsip, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 2, Lot 38, Block 5, Section 10
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-11
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 10
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 23
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 10-W: 10
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Detective Jeremiah Edward O’Connell, Sr., Star #1977, aged 38 years, was a 7 year, 8 month, 3 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 8th District – South Chicago, detailed to Detective Division – Ford Squad 3-C.
On July 29, 1928, at 12:05 a.m., Detective O’Connell was on patrol with his partners, Detectives Howard J. Doyle, John Ryan and Edward Tussy. They were driving in a Detective Bureau squad car in charge of Detective Doyle when a citizen approached them. The citizen reported that a known armed robber was nearby. The officers then followed the citizen to an alley near 33rd and LaSalle Streets. Upon arrival they observed Aaron Woodworth, alias Jack Whitaker, and an accomplice, Joe Harris, in the process of robbing Minister George Van Pertioloy, of Mount Vernon Baptist Church, in front of 3401 South LaSalle Street. As Officer O’Connell and his partner attempted to arrest Woodworth, a shootout ensued. Woodsworth exchanged gunfire with the officers. Both officers were struck in the gunfire as well as Minister Van Pertioloy, who got caught in the crossfire. Van Pertioloy collapsed to the sidewalk and died on scene. Officer O’Connell was mortally wounded. Woodward also wounded Patrolman Howard Doyle before he himself was wounded and apprehended by responding officers. Officers also arrested Joe Harris as well. Officer O’Connell was rushed to Lakeside Hospital where he lingered for one day before dying on July 30, 1928.
On September 25, 1928, Woodward was held to the Grand Jury by the Coroner on two charges of murder and indicted. On September 26, 1928, Joe Harris, was discharged by Judge Padden. On March 20, 1929, Woodward was sentenced to death in the electric chair on June 14, 1929 by Judge Robert E. Gentzel. Woodward appealed his conviction and on January 7, 1930 the Supreme Court affirmed his conviction and the sentence was upheld. On April 11, 1930, Woodward was executed in the electric chair at Cook County Jail.
Detective O’Connell was waked at his residence located at 10306 South Avenue L. His funeral mass was held at St. Francis De Sales Church located at 10201 South Ewing Avenue. He was laid to rest on August 2, 1928 in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 West 111th Street, Alsip, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 2, Lot 38, Block 5, Section 10.
Detective Jeremiah Edward O’Connell, Sr., born January 3, 1890, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on November 27, 1920. He earned 17 Credible Mentions and 6 Extra Compensations for Meritorious Conduct totaling $900.00 during his career.
Detective O’Connell served in the U.S. Army from February 23, 1918 thru May 9, 1919 in the 305th Field Artillery Regiment, Battery A, was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Corporal. He was also a member of the Policemen’s Post of the American Legion, the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association and the Bishop Kettler St. Rita’s Council No. 2034 Knights of Columbus.
Detective O’Connell was survived by his wife, Irene L. (nee Goggin); children: Edward, Irene Loretta, age 1,, James, Jerome Edward, Jt., age 5 and Nelle Kathryn, age 6; mother, Catherine (nee Rahilly) and siblings: Bessie, Charles, Daniel, Frank, Kathleen, May, Thomas, Jr., Timothy and William.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #10717 and Case #11277.
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.