Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 4 years, 6 months, 17 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 11th District - Burnside
District of Incident (Present Day): 001 - Central
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 32
Date of Birth: 26 Oct 1900
Date of Appointment: 06 Jul 1928
Date of Incident: 20 Jan 1933
End of Watch: 23 Jan 1933
Date of Interment: 25 Jan 1933
Cemetery: Waldheim Cemetery - Forest Park, Illinois
Grave Location: Gate 90, Lot 756, Row 7, Grave 3
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-3 / C-4
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 18
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 34
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 22-E: 15
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Maurice Marcusson, Star #1865, aged 32 years, was a 4 year, 6 month, 17 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 11th District – Burnside, detailed to the Bureau of Identification.
On January 20, 1933, at 4:45 p.m., Officer Marcusson, while off duty, was inside the Market Loan Company on the 9th floor of the McNeil Building located at 323 West Jackson Boulevard when he was approached by a porter, Polexaphan Irving. The porter stated that the building’s elevator engineer, Frank Sablick, suspicion was aroused by three suspicious men who were in the corridor. Officer Marcusson left the loan office to investigate and approached the men announcing his office. As he began to question them, the three offenders drew their revolvers and began firing. Officer Marcusson, prior to approaching the men, had his weapon at the ready and was able to return fire. Officer Marcusson while mortally wounded was able to wound one offender, Tony Rocco, age 24, who was apprehended by Patrolman Daniel Kenney as he tried to flee south bound on Market Street (present day Orleans Street) from Jackson Boulevard. Recovered from the pocket of Rocco was a revolver with five spent rounds in the cylinder. The two other offenders were able to make good their escape. Rocco was transported to the station and was interrogated by Captain Willard Malone and confessed to the attempted robbery of the Market Loan Company and shooting at Officer Marcusson, but he refused to name his accomplices. Several witnesses also identified Rocco as one of the men who shot at Officer Marcusson time, Rocco became angered that he was taking the fall for the crime; he gave up his accomplices’ names. Rocco named George Chevas as the driver and two other men he only knew as Basile and Paul. At the same time, he recanted his story that he shot at Officer Marcusson.
Officer Marcusson was transported to St. Luke Hospital and clung to life for three days before succumbing to his injuries on January 23, 1933. Rocco was shot twice, once in his left thigh and once in his left side eventually recovering in the Bridewell Hospital.
On January 31, 1933, Tony Rocco was indicted along with Basile. On September 22, 1933, Rocco was sentenced by Judge Charles Molthrop to 199 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet for the murder of Officer Marcusson. On October 14, 1933, Basile was sentenced to life in prison in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet for his role in the crime. George Chevas was also arrested and stood trial being found not guilty on October 14, 1932. There is no record of Paul ever being found or tried for the murder of Officer Marcusson.
Officer Marcusson was waked at a chapel located at 7206 South Stony Island Avenue. He was laid to rest on January 25, 1933 in Waldheim Cemetery, 1400 Des Plaines Avenue, Forest Park, Illinois. His grave is located in the Temple Judea Section, Gate 90, Lot 756, Row 7, Grave 3.
Patrolman Maurice Marcusson, born October 26, 1900, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 6, 1928.
Officer Marcusson was survived by his wife, Wilma (nee Mehr), age 26; children: Clarice, age 10 months and Nat; mother, Lena (nee Rothenberg) and siblings: Albert, Bertha, Charles, Ella Distillman, Esther Lavin and Ray Lynn.
On today, the 90th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Chicago.