Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 12 years, 10 months, 8 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 10, 28th Precinct - Lake
District of Incident (Present Day): 012 - Near West
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 44
Date of Birth: 1864
Date of Appointment: 04 Oct 1889
Date of Incident: 012 - Near West
End of Watch: 12 Aug 1902
Date of Interment: 10 Sep 1902
Cemetery: Mount Carmel Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 6, Lot N18, Block 2, Section B
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # A-4
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 16
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 1, Line 31
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 23-E: 12
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Charles F. Pennell, Star #1852, aged 44 years, was a 12 year, 10 month, 8 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 10, 28th Precinct – Lake.
On August 12, 1902, at 3:30 a.m., Officer Pennell and Patrolman Timothy Devine were ambushed by gunfire when they were following two burglary suspects who came out of alley located at 1622 West Jackson Boulevard and fired six shots. Both officers returned fire, each firing twice, one of them wounding one of the fleeing assailants. Officers Devine and Pennell were mortally wounded in the attack and were found by responding officers lying at the mouth of the alley. Officer Devine was found with his gun still in his hand, while Officer Pennell’s gun was found approximately twenty feet away next to a fence in the alley. Officer Devine was found dead at the scene. Officer Pennell was taken to Cook County Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds the next day on August 12, 1902.
Before Officer Pennell’s death, he was able to give a brief description of their assailants. He described two men, one six feet tall with a silk hat, the other approximately 5’ 8” tall. Trying to convey more details, Officer Pennell was unable to due to his injuries.
There were six arrests after the murders. John Pike was arrested on suspicion but later discharged on July 21, 1903. On November 30, 1909, Charles Kruger, under sentence of death for the murder of Constable Henry F. Bierer in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, on July 10, 1903, confessed to the murders of Officer Devine and Pennell. On February 11, 1904, Bierer was hanged in Pennsylvania. On August 12, 1905, Louis Stockowski was also arrested on information given by Louis Growzeski, who was at the time serving a sentence in Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet.
Officer Pennell was laid to rest on September 10, 1902 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 6, Lot N18, Block 2, Section B.
Patrolman Charles F. Pennell, born in 1864, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 4, 1889.
Officer Pennell was survived by his wife.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #1910.
In February 1958, Officer Pennell’s star was retired by Commissioner Timothy J. O’Connor and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 1121 South State Street. In 2000, Chicago Police Headquarters moved to a new facility at 3510 South Michigan Avenue, Officer Pennell’s Star was re-encased in the new headquarters building lobby.