Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 10 years, 3 months, 17 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 38th District - Town Hall
District of Incident (Present Day): 019 - Town Hall
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 32
Date of Birth: 16 May 1895
Date of Appointment: 04 Jan 1918
Date of Incident: 019 - Town Hall
End of Watch: 27 Apr 1928
Date of Interment: 01 May 1928
Cemetery: Eden Cemetery - Schiller Park, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-11
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 7
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 23
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 19-E: 12
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Arthur Frederick Esau, Star #4967, aged 32 years, was a 10 years, 3 month, 17 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 38th District – Town Hall.
On April 27, 1928, at 10:05 p.m., Officer Esau was on duty in plain clothes when he entered a drug store, owned by Jack Terman, located at 3404 North Clark Street. He sensed that something was amiss after he noticed there was no clerk behind the counter. Two men, Charles Walz, age 18, and Anthony Greco, age 19, and two female accomplices, Dolly Kazor and Gertrude Pialkowski, had entered the store a few minutes prior and forced the clerk, Louis Terman, into a back room along with a customer, Jack Weber. They were in the process of robbing the store when Officer Esau inadvertently interrupted the holdup. As Officer Esau walked behind the counter, Terman attempted to resist as the robbers got as close to Officer Esau and fired before he could draw his weapon. Esau, mortally wounded, collapsed to the floor and the robbers fled the store, escaping in a waiting automobile. A pedestrian outside the store heard the gunfire and called for police. Sergeant Robert McComb and his squad responded to the scene and discovered Officer Esau dead at the scene.
The clerk and the customer were still bound and gagged. Further investigation of the scene led police to believe the same men had robbed Harry Reveille’s men’s clothing store located at 3152 North Lincoln Avenue earlier in the evening. The clerk and another customer at that store were also bound and gagged in the same fashion. It was also believed the robbers were responsible for two other robberies; the first taking place at the store of Harry Walburn located at 2739 North Clark Street and the second at a Southside store. This theory was developed after a hat stolen from Walburn’s store and a coat from the Southside store were left at the scene.
Anthony Grecco, Dolly Kazor, Gertrude Pialkowski and Charles Walz were arrested and calmly confessed to the murder as well as more than a score of other robberies. On May 10, 1928, the men were booked for murder and their accomplices, Dolly Kazor and Gertrude Pialkowski, were booked as accessories. On October 19, 1928, Greco and Walz were sentenced to death by Judge Miller to be carried out on December 14, 1928. Greco and Walz appealed their conviction staying the execution date, but their appeals were unsuccessful. On February 20, 1929, they were both executed in the electric chair at Cook County Jail. This was the first time this means of execution was employed in the State of Illinois. The cases against Kazor and Pialkowski were stricken off the record.
Officer Esau was waked at a chapel located at 2838 North Lincoln Avenue, his funeral mass was also held at the chapel. He was laid to rest on May 1, 1928 in Eden Cemetery, 9851 West Irving Park Road, Schiller Park, Illinois.
Patrolman Arthur Frederick Esau, born May 16, 1895, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on January 4, 1918. He earned 1 Credible Mention during his career.
Officer Esau was survived by his wife, Jeanne (nee Gehrmann) ; daughter, Janis Carol Hope; parents: Adeline (nee Schive) and Charles August, Sr. and siblings: Charles August, Jr. and Lenora W.
Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database case not found for this incident.