Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 5 years, 6 months, 4 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 13, 17th Precinct - Maxwell
District of Incident (Present Day): 007 - Englewood
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 41
Date of Birth: 24 Aug 1877
Date of Appointment: 09 Jan 1912
Date of Incident: 007 - Englewood
End of Watch: 13 Jul 1917
Date of Interment: 16 Aug 1917
Cemetery: Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-4
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 9
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 51
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 16-E: 6
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Peter R. Bulfin, Star #1746, aged 41 years, was a 5 year, 6 month, 4 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 13, 17th Precinct – Maxwell.
On July 13, 1917, at 9:20 a.m., Officer Bulfin was on duty and escorting two clerks from Chicago City Bank & Trust located at 6233 South Halsted Street. The bank was transferring bags of money from the bank to the Live Stock Exchange for deposit. As the auto sat in front of the bank, the bank manager, Edward Wyatt, and two clerks carried out several bags of coin amounting to $12,000.00 and put them into a strong box inside the car. Mr. Wyatt then got into the car behind the wheel while Officer Bulfin sat in the passenger seat. At the same time, four young men, all armed, came from around the corner and advanced on the auto. The gunman caught the two by surprise and as Officer Bulfin attempted to draw his weapon, one of the bandits placed their gun against his chest and fired. Officer Bulfin was stuck in his chest with the bullet penetrating his heart and collapsed in his seat. Mr. Wyatt threw his hands in the air and slumped down in his seat. A different gunmen reached into the money box and seized a bag.
Meanwhile, several patrons and bank employees inside became aware of what was taking place. A cashier, E. H. Holtorff grabbed a revolver and in his fear of striking Mr. Wyatt fired four rounds into the ceiling. The bandits fled up an alley with one bag containing $100.00 in nickels. Once in the alley, a truck driver blocked the bandits escape route, but quickly moved as the four bandits pointed their revolvers at him. They ran to an awaiting touring car with its engine running. The car sped off and made good its escape.
Patrolmen and Detectives responded to the scene and an attempt to transport Bulfin to a hospital was attempted, however he died on scene before he could be transported. Shortly after the shooting, the bank received a phone call. A female bank employee answered and a man’s voice asked, “Did that policeman die?” She replied in the affirmative and the man said, “Good” and hung up. The caller was believed to be one of the gunmen. Several clues were investigated and several people were placed under surveillance. Two labor agents with the Motion Picture Operators’ Union No. 110 were held in connection with the robbery. The men were Thomas Malloy and Frank J. Brown of 4205 South Vincennes Avenue. A search conducted by Captain Ryan for the fleeing vehicle produced a lead. The Captain announced later the same night that he had conclusive evidence that the car used belonged to Malloy.
The assailants were unknown and are still at large as of January 1918. Another man, Jack King was also arrested in connection with the robbery, but was later released. On January 11, 1922, Edward J. Daley was arrested as an accessory to murder in the case. On November 23, 1922, Daley’s case was Dismissed with prejudice by Judge Haas.
Officer Bulfin was waked at H. L. and D. F. Renny Funeral Home and was laid to rest on August 16, 1917 in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, 2755 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman Peter R. Bulfin, born August 24, 1877, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on January 9, 1912. He earned 1 Credible Mention during his career.
Officer Bulfin was survived by his wife, Mary and children: Margaret and six others. He was preceded in death by two children.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #3065.