Harry J. Crowley  | Star #160

Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 13 years, 8 months, 4 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: District 33 - Summerdale

District of Incident (Present Day): 001 - Central

Location of Occurrence: 539 West Polk Street

Cause of Death: Gunfire - Enemy

Age at Time of Death: 39


Date of Birth: 12 Mar 1885

Date of Appointment: 1911

Date of Incident: 08 Nov 1924

End of Watch: 08 Nov 1924

Date of Interment: 11 May 1834


Interment Details

 Cemetery: Mount Carmel Cemetery - Hillside, Illinois
 Grave Location: Grave 6, Lot 22, Block 5, Section U
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # B-8

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 21

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 2, Line 12

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 19-E: 12

Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed



 Military Service: No Military Record Found


Incident & Biographic Details

Sergeant Harry J. Crowley, Star #160, aged 39 years, was a 13 year, 8 month, 4 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 33 – Summerdale.

On November 8, 1924, at 10:59 p.m., Sergeant Crowley while off duty was in the rear room of a “soft drink” parlor owned by John Quail located at 539 West Polk Street. He was in the company of Miss Margaret Price whom he had accompanied to the establishment. While seated at a table in the back enjoying a beer two armed bandits, Calisto Hernandez and Joe Estrado, entered the establishment. They were wearing handkerchiefs over their faces and demanded the patrons to throw up their hands as they attempted to rob the establishment. It was at this time that Sergeant Crowley drew his gun and confronted the robbers. Both Sergeant Crowley and one of the robbers fired at the same time. Sergeant Crowley being struck in the chest with the bullet piercing the heart and the bandit struck in the right side of his chest. Both men collapsed to the ground bleeding, but Crowley continued to fire at the other robber but missed. The second robber fired three shots at Crowley before he fled out the door. Crowley died on scene. The first robber was identified and later died from his injuries.

On December 2, 1924, the arrest of Joe Estrado was recommended by the Coroner. On December 17, 1924, Joe Estrado was arrested in Rockford, Illinois and extradited back to Chicago. On December 18, 1924, he was held without bail by Municipal Court Judge Adams. Estrado stood trial and was found guilty of the murder of Sergeant Crowley. On February 9, 1925, he was sentenced to life in the Illinois State Penitentiary at Joliet by Judge Kersten.

Sergeant Crowley was waked at his residence located at 1358 North Kenmore Avenue. His funeral mass was held at Our Lady of Lake Church. He was laid to rest on November 12, 1924 in Mount Carmel Cemetery, 1400 South Wolf Road, Hillside, Illinois. His grave is located in Grave 6, Lot 22, Block 5, Section U.

Sergeant Harry J. Crowley, born March 12, 1885, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 4, 1911 and was issued Star #705. On November 11, 1914, he was promoted to the rank of 2nd Class Detective Sergeant, his title being officially changed by order of the city council on January 11, 1915. On October 4, 1914, he was issued a Detective Sergeant Star # Unknown. On June 28, 1921, he was promoted to the rank of Acting Sergeant. On October 21, 1921 he was issued Sergeant Star #160. He earned 3 Credible mention and 1 Extra Compensation for Meritorious Conduct totaling $180.00. Sergeant Crowley was also awarded the Tribune Hero Award for September of 1921 for a separate incident.

Sergeant Crowley was survived by his mother, Margaret and siblings: Cornelius I., Mrs. Frank Barrow and William J. Crowley.

Incident recorded under Chicago Police Historical Homicide Database, Case #7476.