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Marshal William Petersen | Winthrop Harbor Police Department, Illinois Winthrop Harbor Police Department, Illinois


William Petersen

Winthrop Harbor Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch: Friday, January 13, 1922

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 28

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Shotgun

Offender: Pardoned in 1928

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Marshal William Petersen was shot and killed as he attempted to stop a speeding vehicle.

As Marshal Petersen stood in an auto repair shop, he observed the vehicle speed down the street at approximately 70 mph and nearly strike two children. He gave pursuit on his police motorcycle and as he was about to overtake the vehicle one of the occupants leaned out of the window and shot him in the chest and abdomen with a shotgun, killing him instantly.

The suspects were later arrested and the suspect identified as the gunman was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. In 1922, the governor granted clemency and commuted the inmate's sentence to life in prison but in 1928, the same governor granted the inmate a pardon.

Marshal Petersen was the village's only law enforcement officer and was a World War I veteran.

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R.I.P., God Bless

James Vepley
January 1, 2017


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