Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 4 years, 1 month, 21 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 13th District - Morgan Park
District of Incident (Present Day): 022 - Morgan Park
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 35
Date of Birth: 16 Sep 1894
Date of Appointment: 27 May 1926
Date of Incident: 022 - Morgan Park
End of Watch: 18 Jul 1930
Date of Interment: 21 Jul 1930
Cemetery: Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-1 / C-2
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 16
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 27
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 20-E: 4
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman John J. Guiltanane, Star #1325, aged 35 years, was a 4 year, 1 month, 21 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 13th District – Morgan Park.
On July 18, 1930, at 12:55 a.m., Officer Guiltanane and his partner, Patrolman Anthony P. Wistort #5843 were on an early morning patrol conducting follow-up surveillance after a local gas station located at 115th and Halsted Streets was robbed. The bandits in that robbery had been seen fleeing in a small sedan with one headlight out. The two officers were attached to a special squad at the Morgan Park station. Following a hunch that the bandits may be looking for a replacement headlight, the officers went to the Morgan Park Auto Sales Company located at 2345 West 111th Street. The officers parked their squad car and walked into the store. Upon entering they observed the night porter, Elisha Alford, with his hands up and face to the wall being searched by a man with a gun. The officers drew their weapons and ordered the bandit to surrender. He did so along with his accomplice who was waiting outside in small sedan. Officers Guiltanane and Wistort had arrested, Harry Yetter and William Neveraski, alias Nevere.
Patrolman Fred S. Jurgens #3931 who was making his rounds in the neighborhood saw the officers and came over to assist. He was sent to a pull box to notify the station to send a patrol wagon. As Officers Guiltanane and Wistort escorted the bandits to the rear of a Police Ford, the bandits drew concealed weapons and began to fire at the officers. The officers were able to return fire striking one of the bandits. Officer Guiltanane was shot in the chest penetrating his lungs and Officer Wistort was shot in the abdomen, the bullet hitting his spine. Both bandits then fled the scene making good their escape. Officer Jurgens, hearing the gunfire, immediately returned to the auto parts store noting that the bandits had fled and discovering the injured officers. Officer Guiltanane died on scene while Officer Wistort was taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park. Wistort eventually recovered but was paralyzed from the waist down.
Other officer responded to the scene. Sergeant J.J Kelly of the Morgan Park station recovered a license plate concealed in the side pocket of the bandit’s auto. A check on the plate came back to Andrew Vanosky of 1638 West 63rd Street. Police were immediately sent to the owners address to investigate. Police searching the area apprehended one of the bandits, Harry Yetter, at a nearby home minutes after the incident with bullet wounds in his arm and leg from the officers return fire.
On August 13, 1930, Yetter was held to the Grand Jury by the Coroner and indicted. The Coroner also recommended the arrest of Neveraski. On July 2, 1931, Yetter was convicted and sentenced to life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Schwaba. On June 12, 1936, Neveraski was finally apprehended after six years after the incident. He was arrested in Grand Rapids, Michigan and stood trial. On July 17, 1936, he was convicted and sentenced to 199 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Burke.
Officer Guiltanane was waked at his residence located at 5635 South Union Avenue. His funeral mass was held at Visitation Catholic Church located at 843 West Garfield Boulevard. He was laid to rest on July 21, 1930 in Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery, 2755 West 111th Street, Chicago, Illinois.
Patrolman John J. Guiltanane, born September 16, 1894, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on May 27, 1926.
Officer Guiltanane served in the U.S. Army from May 30, 1918 thru June 5, 1918 and was Discharged from the draft at the rank of Private. He was survived by his mother, Mary (nee Barry) and brother, William J.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #10055.