Patrolman Lawrence E. Murphy

Patrolman Lawrence E. Murphy

Newton Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Monday, September 13, 1937

Lawrence E. Murphy

Patrolman Lawrence Murphy and Patrolman Henry Bell were shot and killed by a robbery suspect. While on patrol, Patrolman Bell and his partner noticed a gray sedan that answered the description of a getaway car used in a recent robbery. The vehicle was stopped on Watertown Street near the intersection of Capital Street. After questioning the occupants their suspicion was aroused, and while Patrolman Bell stood by the car, his partner took the cruising car to the nearest patrol call box to check with headquarters on the registration.

At this same time Patrolman Murphy called in to the station and was sent to the scene on his motorcycle. Meanwhile, the female operator of the vehicle diverted Patrolman Bell's attention and disarmed him. She then handed the gun to the male passenger, a known criminal and jail breaker, who put the gun in Patrolman Bell's back and ordered him to drive the car. As they drove away Patrolman Murphy overtook the car and forced it to stop. As Patrolman Murphy dismounted from his motorcycle the suspect opened fire on Patrolman Murphy, striking him. The suspect then turned his gun on Patrolman Bell and fired two rounds into his right side, and fled. Although seriously wounded, Patrolman Murphy rose to his knees and fired at the fleeing suspect, hitting him at least once.

Patrolman Bell died at the scene. Patrolman Murphy was removed to the hospital where he died the next month from his wounds.

The female suspect was captured at the scene. The male suspect was captured a week later in an apartment in Dorchester in a raid led by the Newton Police Chief. He was later found guilty of murder and executed.

Patrolman Murphy had served with the agency for two years. He was survived by his wife and four children.

Bio

  • Age 33
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, August 22, 1937
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Executed

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Our mom Ruth was your oldest of four when you left this world and how proud she was of you. She told us many wonderful memories she had. We wished we could have met you. Love your granddaughters Janice Erickson Dussault and Debbie Erickson Gagnon

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August 28, 2016

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