Policeman Frank Cavanagh

Policeman Frank Cavanagh

Glendive Police Department, Montana

End of Watch Wednesday, July 3, 1946

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Frank Cavanagh

Policeman Cavanagh was shot and killed while arresting a suspect for disturbing the peace and threatening to kill his wife. The man's wife had signed a complaint in order to have the man removed from the home. Policeman Cavanagh met the man at the house and asked him to accompany him to the police station. As the two walked out of the house the man suddenly produced a revolver and shot Policeman Cavanagh once in the back and then three times in the body, killing him instantly.

The suspect fled but was arrested a short time later. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison but was paroled in 1962.

Policeman Cavanagh had served with the Glendive Police Department for 5 years. He was survived by his wife and father. His father served as the Glendive police chief at the time.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Paroled in 1962

Most Recent Reflection

View all 8 Reflections

Frank Cavanagh was my mother's uncle. My mom was Loretta Lee Cavanagh. While Frank was killed before my birth, my mom spoke so highly of her Uncle Frank and of her summers spent in Glendive with the Cavanagh family.She recounted the story of his death and how he was killed in the line of duty. I did not recall that my great grandfather was chief of police at the time. I will be visiting Glendive MT soon and reading this brings such poignant memories of the Cavanagh family. We, too have a current police officer in our family, Loretta's grandson Adam
Susan Ridenour
Great Niece, September, 2015.

Sue Ridenour
Great niece

September 3, 2015

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