Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Park District Police Department
Served: 9 years*
Unit of Assignment / Detail: West Section
District of Incident (Present Day): Barrington, IL
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 35
Date of Birth: 31 Aug 1921
Date of Appointment: 30 Apr 1905
Date of Incident: 14 Nov 1956
End of Watch: 14 Nov 1956
Date of Interment: 17 Nov 1956
Cemetery: Queen of Heaven Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 1, Lot 119, Block 8, Section 22
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-3
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 15
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 2
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 41-E: 9
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Army
Incident & Biographic Details
Park Policeman Robert Edwin Golden, Star #420, aged 35 years, was a 9 year veteran of the Chicago Park District Police Department, assigned to the West Section.
On November 14, 1956, Officer Golden had just finished his shift at 11:00 p.m. and went to the Bel-Mar Tavern at Higgins Road (IL Route 72) and Bartlett Road in present day Barrington, Illinois to relax as he lived in nearby Carpentersville. Two boys entered the tavern with shotguns and announced a robbery. One of the robbers, the short one, stationed himself by the door. Another one of the robbers vaulted over the bar and snatched $40.00 from the till and then ordered the tavern patrons to move to one side of the circular bar and place their wallets and hands on the bar. As the four patrons obeyed, Officer Golden drew his service revolver, and yelled to the robbers to drop their shot guns, and then ducked behind the bar for cover. As Officer Golden raised his head from behind the bar to see if the robbers had obeyed, the taller robber fired his shotgun. He then scooped up two of the four wallets and fled with his accomplice. They made good their escape in a car. The robbers were described as aged 19 to 22 years old with dark hair, needing haircuts, and wore denim trousers. Officer Golden was shot in the face and died instantly.
On November 17, 1956, on a hunch by Elgin State Policemen, Val Mihalic and Donald James, two men were arrested and a third was detained by the U.S. Navy. The two State Policemen transported the boys to the State Police Station at Irving Park Road and Harlem Avenue, in Chicago, for questioning. The two boys were interrogated for seven hours by Lieutenant William Moffat and Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Cooney. Edward Pack, age 19 and his half-brother, Robert Lord, age 18, of Fox River Heights, confessed their roles in the holdup slaying of Officer Golden. The two boys named Robert Brimhall, age 18, as an accomplice who had been inducted into the U.S. Navy hours after the slaying. Pack named Brimhall as the actual slayer. Brimhall was placed under detention at the San Diego Naval Base at the request of Illinois State Police.
Pack said he had been one of two robbers that entered the tavern with shotguns and announced a robbery. During the interrogation he said “I told them, ‘Hold up your hands’ as he went in the door and then he told Brimhall to go over to the bar and get the money.“ “He saw a man raise his head and part of a hand above the bar and say, Hold it. I’m a cop.’ I didn’t want to shoot him and I ducked down. I heard the blast of the other shotgun, and I saw the man fall. Brimhall was on his way out the door and I went out right behind him.“ Pack also said that Lord was the driver of the getaway car, and had not been in the tavern. They drove a mile south on Bartlett Road, where they threw out gloves Brimhall and Pack had worn, and the shell from the .16 gauge shotgun Brimhall had carried. Police later found the gloves and a shell at the site. Pack said he and his companions drove around for a while, then went home. Brimhall stayed that night with the brothers, and on Wednesday they drove him to the Navy recruiting station in Elgin, where he was inducted. In their home, police found one shotgun hidden under the mattress of Pack’s bed. They recovered the other shotgun from a neighbor who had loaned it to Pack and Lord to go hunting.
Brimhall was returned to Illinois on a Governor’s Warrant. On February 21, 1957, all three suspects were convicted of Officer Golden’s murder. Brimhall was sentenced to life in prison. Edward Pack was sentenced to 40 years in prison and Robert Lord was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Officer Golden was waked at Gibbons-Okeefe Funeral Home located at 4245 West Madison Street. His funeral mass was held at Resurrection Missionary Baptist Church located at 7201 South Carpenter Street. He was laid to rest on November 17, 1956 in Queen of Heaven Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 1, Lot 119, Block 8, Section 22.
Park Policeman Robert Edwin Golden, born August 31, 1921, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Park District Police Department in 1947.
Officer Golden served in the U.S. Army, enlisting on April 24, 1942, was a veteran of World War II and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Private. He was also a member of the Chicago Police Post No. 207 American Legion, Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association, Illinois Police Association, St. Jude Police League and the Carpentersville Veterans of Foreign Wars. Officer Golden was survived by his wife, Patricia Marie (nee Crowley); children: Daniel, Michael, Patrick and Robert; parents: Katherine (nee Moran) and Peter and brothers: John, Martin, Peter and William.
The Chicago Park District Police Department, in the City of Chicago, was disbanded on December 31, 1957. On January 1, 1958, the remaining officers were transferred to the Chicago Police Department through an intergovernmental agreement. Fallen officers of the Chicago Park District Police Department are currently honored on the memorial wall of the Chicago Police Department as Chicago Police Officers. Their stars are displayed in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case located in the lobby of the Chicago Police Department at 3510 South Michigan Avenue.