Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 11 years, 3 months, 5 days
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 4th District - Stanton
District of Incident (Present Day): 002 - Wentworth
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy
Age at Time of Death: 41
Date of Birth: 15 Jun 1892
Date of Appointment: 27 Oct 1922
Date of Incident: 31 Dec 1933
End of Watch: 01 Feb 1934
Date of Interment: 05 Feb 1934
Cemetery: Holy Sepulchre Cemetery - Alsip, Illinois
Grave Location: Grave 3, Lot 2, Block 14, Section 10
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # C-4 / C-5
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 7
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 36
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 26-E: 5
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: U.S. Marine Corps
Incident & Biographic Details
Patrolman Thomas J. Murphy, Sr., Star #2533, aged 41 years, was an 11 year, 3 month, 5 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 4th District – Stanton.
On December 31, 1933, at 11:50 a.m., Officer Murphy was assigned to guard the Eastman Coal Company located at 3443 South LaSalle Street in an area experiencing a pattern of robberies. The officer was inside the facility standing near a doorway when he heard the office manager, Fern Else of 7127 South Wabash Avenue, say “Here they come again, the same bandits.” Two of the bandits peered through a side window of the office. They brandished their guns and told those inside to “Stick ‘em up.” A third bandit attempted to enter through the office door and when he learned that it was locked fired his gun through the door. Officer Murphy returned fire through the door, firing two rounds. During the exchange of gunfire, the two bandits in the window fled the scene. It was at that time the third bandit shifted his position and went to the window unbeknownst to Officer Murphy. The bandit fired his weapon through the window, the bullet striking Officer Murphy in the back with an upward trajectory and lodging in the rightside of his jaw . There was also a fourth bandit who drove the getaway car, a Ford V-8 auto. After the gunfire, the car sped away heading northbound on LaSalle Street before going West on 33rd Street. All four bandits made good their escape. Officer Murphy was transported to Mercy Hospital where he lingered for one month before he was pronounced dead at 1:45 a.m. on February 1, 1934.
Officer Murphy was assigned to thwart any further robberies at the business. The coal company had been robbed of $200.00 three weeks prior to Officer Murphy’s death. The day before the robbery, the same robbers were responsible for a brazen daylight robbery of the Sunday collection from Little Flower Church located at 8001 South Wood Street. As the Church’s Ushers were carrying collections from the church to the rectory, the bandits intervened and stole the money. They made good their escape with $1600.00.
Officer Murphy’s funeral mass was held at St. Basil Catholic Church located at 1840 West Garfield Boulevard. He was laid to rest on February 5, 1934 in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 West 111th Street, Alsip, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 3, Lot 2, Block 14, Section 10.
Patrolman Thomas J. Murphy, Sr., born June 15, 1892, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on October 27, 1922. He earned 2 Credible Mentions during his career.
Officer Murphy served in the U.S. Marine Corps from May 27, 1917 thru August 13, 1919, was a veteran of World War I and was Honorably Discharged at the rank of Private. He was survived by his wife, Mary and children: John, age 5 and Thomas, Jr., age 6. Officer Murphy’s son, John, also became a Chicago Police Officer serving on the Department 25 years before retiring. John’s son, Michael P., became a Chicago Police Officer as well and in 2005 as a Sergeant was involved with the planning of the Gold Star Memorial and Park alongside Soldier Field.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department Central Complaint Room No. 7503 and Station Complaint No. 86983. Incident disseminated via Teletype Message No. 73087, 73101 and 73114