Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 9 years, 7 months, 13 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 30th District - West North
District of Incident (Present Day): Cicero, IL
Cause of Death: Struck - By Vehicle
Age at Time of Death: 39
Date of Birth: 13 Sep 1891
Date of Appointment: 07 Jun 1922
Date of Incident: Cicero, IL
End of Watch: 20 Jan 1931
Date of Interment: 23 Jan 1931
Cemetery: Calvary Cemetery - Evanston, Illinois
Grave Location: Lot S2, Block 10, Section D
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Not Enshrined
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 8
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Not Listed
Officer Down Memorial Page: Not Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Hugh Kennedy, Star #787, aged 39 years, was a 9 year, 7 month, 13 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 30th District – West North.
On January 20, 1931, Patrolman Kennedy was found dead with a gunshot to the head in a vacant lot near 52nd (Laramie Avenue) and Ogden Avenues, in Cicero, IL. His service revolver was also missing. An unknown motorist was wanted in connection with Officer Kennedy’s death. The investigation of Officer Kennedy’s death was delayed until February 4, 1931 to enable the police to investigate clues. It was believed, at first, that the policeman had been taken for a ride by gangsters.
According to his widow, Mrs. Angela Kennedy, the policeman left his home at 4742 West West End Avenue at 1:00 p.m. Monday, January 19, 1931 saying he would be home for dinner. At 5:00 p.m. he called again saying he was on his way home. Nothing was heard from him after that until his body was found.
According to Mary Monhardt, niece of Officer Kennedy, the following statements were made by family members just after the Officer’s death. Ms. Monhardt’s mother stated “When Uncle Hugh was killed we were warned not to talk about it to anybody.“ Ms. Monhardt heard her aunt Ange say “Uncle Hugh was thrown out of a black car onto her front lawn that night.“ “She thought he was alive at that time.“ Later, older cousins told Ms. Monhardt that “Uncle Hugh’s service revolver was found in a shoemakers’ shop in the neighborhood.“ Ms. Monhardt remembers her Father going there and it was common knowledge that it was a bookie place.
The Coroner’s Physician, Thomas L. Dwyer said Kennedy died as a result of a broken back and internal injuries. He expressed the belief that Kennedy had been struck by an automobile, picked up by the driver to be taken to a hospital, and then was thrown out when it was discovered that he was dead. The Coroner’s theory was logical except it didn’t explain the gunshot wound.
Captain, Charles McGurn of the West North Avenue Station, to which Kennedy had been assigned, testified that Kennedy was an efficient policeman. His duties, watching school crossings, were not of a nature to create enemies, Captain McGurn pointed out. Kennedy had never served on a vice or gambling squad.
Further investigation led police to Vito Lotresci, age 45, and his son Sam, age 24. The Lotresci home had been burglarized by four youths and the youths who committed the burglary were later apprehended. The four youths gave confessions and stated that they took a revolver from the home that belonged to Officer Kennedy. With this new evidence, police linked Vito Lotesci to the murder and during interrogation; Lotresci stated that the gun was found six years earlier by his son, Sam. Sam Lotresci also confirmed his father’s story, but the stories were not 100 percent accurate. Without any further evidence, the case was dropped and the Lotesci’s were released. The full circumstances of Officer Kennedy’s death still remain a mystery.
Officer Kennedy was waked at his residence located at 4742 West West End Avenue. His funeral mass was held at St. Thomas Aquinas Church located at 5112 West Washington Boulevard. He was laid to rest on January 23, 1931 in Calvary Cemetery, 301 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, Illinois. His grave is located in Lot S2, Block 10, Section D.
Patrolman Hugh Kennedy, born September 13, 1891, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on June 7, 1922 and was issued Star #787. On November 6, 1924, he was issued Patrolman Star #56 after reporting is previous star missing. On November 17, 1924, he was reissued Patrolman Star #787 after it was recovered. Prior to joining the Chicago Police Department Kennedy was a Special Policemen.
Officer Kennedy was a member of the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association and the Charles Carroll Council No. 780 Knights of Columbus. He was survived by his wife, Angela (nee Tracy); siblings: Anna Casey, Daniel, Jeremiah, Thomas and William.