Patrolman John A. Olson

Patrolman John A. Olson

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Thursday, October 20, 1938

John A. Olson

Patrolman John Olson was fatally shot in the back after being slugged from behind by one of two bandits at 9:48 a.m. Both bandits made their escape. Officer Olson was on duty and in uniform, and was escorting an insurance company cashier to a bank at Crawford and North Avenues. At the intersection of Harding and North Avenues, the southwest corner, one of the bandits jostled between the officer and the cashier, put a gun to the cashier and grabbed the money bag, as the other bandit struck the officer from behind with a length of lead filled rubber hose.

Patrolman Olson, stunned from the blow, staggered forward in pursuit of the thief who was running with the money bag, and at the same time was trying to draw his revolver, when the second bandit, in the back, inflicted an almost instantly fatal wound. The killers fled on foot, the one who fired the shot running north on Harding Avenue to the next corner and then ran east and escaped. The length of hose was found near the scene, and later the zipper jacket worn by one of the killers was found as well as the fatal weapon, an Iver Johnson Revolver.

There were many witnesses to the crime who were able to identify the killer and also furnished a description of the man who ran with the money.

At a Coroner’s inquest on October 21, 1938, the verdict of "murder by unknown men" was returned.

Patrolman John Olson is survived by his wife.


  • Age 45
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Never apprehended

Most Recent Reflection

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To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 75th anniversary year of your death. I am privileged to leave a tribute to you. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service.

My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace

Phyllis Lasater Loya
mom of fallen officer Larry Lasater

December 23, 2013

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