Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 21 years, 3 months, 18 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: Motorcycle Division
District of Incident (Present Day): 009 - Deering
Cause of Death: Crash - Motorcycle
Age at Time of Death: 44
Date of Birth: 05 Feb 1901
Date of Appointment: 07 Jul 1924
Date of Incident: 25 Oct 1945
End of Watch: 25 Oct 1945
Date of Interment: 29 Oct 1945
Cemetery: Holy Sepulchre Cemetery - Alsip, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 3, Lot E42, Block 12, Section 58
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-2
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 24
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 4, Line 33
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 27-W: 22
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Roy William Costello, Star #471, aged 44 years, was a 21 year, 3 month, 18 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Motorcycle Division.
On October 25, 1945, at 9.50 a.m., Officer Costello, a member of the motorcycle squad, was on routine patrol near the intersection of Archer and Ashland Avenues. He was riding through normal traffic when he crashed into the rear of an automobile after the driver, Edward A. Oehler, age 43, of 820 South Wolcott Avenue, abruptly stopped for a changing traffic signal. The crash was witnessed by Chief William McCarthy, Sergeant Frank Hart and Detective Jack Burke of the Cook County Sheriff’s Highway Police as they were driving behind Officer Costello. Officer Costello was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 10:45 a.m. on October 25, 1945. Oehler was ordered to attend a Coroner’s Inquest on October 26, 1945 at 10:00 a.m.
Officer Costello was waked at a funeral home located at 5436 South Halsted Street. His funeral mass was held at St. John the Baptist Church located at 911 West 50th Place. He was laid to rest on October 29, 1945 in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 West 111th Street, Alsip, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 3, Lot E42, Block 12, Section 58.
Patrolman Roy William Costello, born February 5, 1901, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on July 7, 1924. He earned 1 Credible Mention during his career. In 1932, Officer Costello was assigned to the Motorcycle Division.
Officer Costello was survived by his wife, Pearl A. (nee Benjamin), age 41; children: Eleanor, age 24, Francis (USA) (CPD), age 21, James, age 19, Jane Agnes, age 22, Michael, age 21, Robert Joseph, age 17, William S. (USN), age 19; siblings: Edward, Mrs. M. Cleary, Michael, Richard and William (CPD). He was preceded in death by his brother, Francis. His sons, Francis and William, would become Chicago Police Officers. William would rise to the rank of Deputy Chief.
On November 14, 2006, Officer Costello’s star was retired by Superintendent Philip J. Cline and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.