Patrolman Joseph C. Reiser

Patrolman Joseph C. Reiser

Boston Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Sunday, January 20, 1918

Joseph C. Reiser

Patrolman Joseph Reiser was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend a burglar in an apartment building on Jersey Street in Back Bay.

Patrolman Reiser had observed the suspect, who matched the description of a lookout, and went to investigate. The suspect opened fire with a revolver, striking Patrolman Reiser four times, before fleeing.

The suspect was arrested a week later. He was found to be responsible for 80 burglaries. He specialized in stealing jewelry and phonograph records. He was convicted of Patrolman Reisner's murder and sentenced to life in prison.

On May 25, 1920, the suspect broke out of the Massachusetts State Prison along with two other men. He was captured in Chicago on December 24, 1920. One of the other escapees was serving a 15 to 20 year sentence for the murder of Patrolman Charles E. Deininger of the Boston, Massachusetts Police Department on Febuary 13, 1919. He surrendered to authorities in Middlesex County in August of 1920.

Patrolman Reiser had been employed with the Boston Police Department for ten years.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 8 Reflections

Today is the anniversary of your death Joseph. We thank you for your service. No matter how much time passes this is a tremendous loss for our city of Boston. When I attend mass at my home parish of St. Brigid of Kildare this Sunday we will be thinking of you and your service as a police officer in the city of Boston. I can confirm that you have been added to my heroes page here on the and you will always be honored. Blessed be the peacekeepers for they shall be called the children of God.

Former Protective Security Officer (PSO) for Region 1 U.S. Department of Homeland Security Federal Protective Service Police, Pete Harrington BostonMA

January 21, 2016

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