Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 2 years, 3 months, 0 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 10 - Gresham
District of Incident (Present Day): 002 - Wentworth
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 27
Date of Birth: 03 Jun 1898
Date of Appointment: 29 Jan 1924
Date of Incident: 002 - Wentworth
End of Watch: 29 Apr 1926
Date of Interment:
Cemetery: Resurrection Catholic Cemetery - Justice, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot 43, Block 111, Section D
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-10
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 6
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 17
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 47-E: 13
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Frank J. Blazek, Star #4901, aged 27 years, was a 2 years, 3 month, 0 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 10 – Gresham.
On April 28, 1926, 11:50 p.m., Officer Blazek had recently dropped his partner, Patrolman John Gorman, off at the station. Officer Gorman was leaving work early after getting permission from their Captain. Blazek stayed on and continued to patrol by himself. While on patrol, he observed a suspicious man walking down the street. After getting a closer look at the man, Officer Blazek realized that the man was Joe Crown, alias “Lovey Joe,“ who was responsible for more than 35 armed robberies. Crown was also wanted. Officer Blazek stopped his squad car, placed Crown in custody and began to transport him to the station. As Officer Blazek was transporting Crown to the station, he suddenly attacked the officer. The struggle occurred in front of 4913 South State Street where Crown gained control of Blazek’s service weapon and shot him. A witness called police for help and responding officers found Officer Blazek wounded in his squad car upon arrival. Blazek was taken to Washington Park Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries one day later on April 29, 1926.
The witness told investigators that after Crown shot the officer, he beat him over the head, fracturing his skull. Crown then leapt from the automobile and fled on foot. A search of the squad car produced a narcotic vial and hypodermic needle in the rear seat, which was believed to be Crown’s.
On May 11, 1926, Crown was arrested. On May 14, 1926, he was held by the Coroner to the Grand Jury after confessing to the murder and 35 robberies. On October 1, 1926, he was sentenced to life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Eller.
Officer Blazek was laid to rest on May 3, 1926 in Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, 7201 Archer Avenue, Justice, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot 43, Block 111, Section D.
Patrolman Frank J. Blazek, born June 3, 1898, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on January 29, 1924.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #7618.