Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 3 months, 3 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 23, 29th Precinct - Lincoln Park
District of Incident (Present Day): 018 - Near North
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 27
Date of Birth: 03 May 1893
Date of Appointment: 11 Nov 1920
Date of Incident: 018 - Near North
End of Watch: 03 Jan 1921
Date of Interment: 06 Jan 1921
Cemetery: Mount Carmel Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 8, Lot S8, Block 2, Section 17
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-6
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 23
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 4
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 4-E: 17
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Probationary Patrolman John J. Mullen, Star #4275, aged 27 years, was a 3 month, 3 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 23, 29th Precinct – Lincoln Park.
On January 3, 1921, at 12:57 a.m., Officer Mullen while on duty responded to a disturbance of an intoxicated man at the Hawaii Café in the Lincoln Gardens located at Wells Street and Lincoln Avenue brandishing a gun. As Officer Mullen entered the café, Edward Morris, was walking out. He stopped Morris and told him to stay while he questioned John W. McEvilry, alias James Crosby. Morris followed Officer Mullen to the back of the café where he began to place, McEvilry under arrest. While in the process of placing McEvilry in custody, Morris approached Officer Mullen from behind and shot him at point blank range. By this time other officers had also responded to the café. Officer Mullen was transported to Augustana Hospital where he received several blood transfusions and was pronounced dead at 3:50 a.m. on January 3, 1921, dying on the operating table.
Responding officers were able to take McEvilry into custody as he tried to flee without further incident. During the commotion Morris slipped away and made good his escape in an auto driven by Eddie McBride. McBride was also in the company of Victoria Soypior, age 15, and Genevieve McCullom, age 15. On January 8, 1921, Morris and McBride were located in Beverly Hills, found in a haystack, and captured during a gun battle in which McBride was wounded. Morris was extradited back to Chicago and indicted by the Grand Jury. The coroner concurred in the indictments and also recommended the arrest of Eddie McBride. The Coroner also recommended the arrest of the two 15-year-old girls who were in company of the men and that they be held to the Juvenile Court. On February 16, 1921, Eddie McBride was arrested and turned over to the Cook County Sheriff. On March 26, 1921, McBride and McEvilly were acquitted by Judge Sullivan. On April 9, 1921, Morris was sentenced to life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Sullivan. On November 17, 1921, Mallery’s case was stricken off the record by Judge Sullivan.
The chain of events that led to Officer Mullen’s murder began earlier in the evening. McEvilry and Morris had entered the café with two female companions and at a table near Mrs. May Rhoden and a friend. At 12:45 a.m., the women that had accompanied McEvilry and Morris stood up and left. It was at the exact same moment that Rhoden’s friend told a joke at which she laughed. Mrs. Rhoden laughed so loud that it caught the attention McEvilry in which he believed she was laughing at him. McEvilry then shouted at her, “I’ll show you whether to make fun of me because the girls ditched me,” and brandished a revolver. Rhodish got up and frightened at what just happened she went to the café’s owner, John Ballash, and reported what had just taken placed. Officer Mullen was only a half block away from the café when he received the report and rushed to the establishment to investigate.
Officer Mullen was waked at his residence located at 1430 North Clybourn Avenue. His funeral mass was held at Immaculate Conception Church located at 7211 West Talcott Avenue. He was laid to rest on January 6, 1921 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 8, Lot S8, Block 2, Section 17.
Probationary Patrolman John J. Mullen, born May 3, 1893, received a Temporary Appointment, # Unknown, to the Chicago Police Department on August 5, 1919 and was issued Star # Unknown. He received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on November 11, 1920 and was issued Star #4275.
Officer Mullen served in the U.S. Army attached to the 151st Infantry, Company I, was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged. He was survived by his parents: Edward J., Sr. and Marie (nee Kelly) and siblings: Catherine Mullen, Edward J., Jr., Margaret and Martin.
Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #7448.