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Police Officer James T. Morrow | Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

Police Officer

James T. Morrow

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch: Monday, November 23, 1936

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 35

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; Pistol

Offender: Not available

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Officer Morrow was shot and killed in a gully next to a railroad track by a purse snatcher he and his partner were chasing. The suspect shot him in the head and chest five times.

Six months later the 19-year-old suspect was apprehended. The suspect confessed to seven earlier robberies and the murder of another man two months earlier after he robbed him of 25 cents. He was convicted of both murders and sentenced to death. His sentence was later commuted to life.

The suspect's attorney maintained his client was innocent and that he had a mental problem that caused him to confess to the crimes. On February 24, 1939, a man picked up for questioning about a murder, told officials that he was with a man who committed both murders. That man had been shot and killed three weeks earlier by Philadelphia detectives when they attempted to arrest him for six recent murders. The original suspect was released and the killer's companion was charged with the murders. He was convicted of Officer Morrow's murder and sentenced to life. In 1951 he convinced the court that he was coerced into giving his confession and was awarded a new trial. He was acquitted on May 1, 1951, and released.

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Today is the 80th anniversary of his death. He was my Grandfather's Uncle. RIP

Sergeant Thomas J. Morrow
Philadelphia Police Department
November 23, 2016

 

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