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Patrolman William B. Murphy | Chicago Police Department, Illinois Chicago Police Department, Illinois


William B. Murphy

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch: Monday, April 24, 1950

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 52

Tour: 25 years

Badge # 867

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: One committed suicide; two executed

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Patrolman William B Murphy was shot to death as we entered a store on his way home from completing the midnight shift.

Officer Murphy was on his way home after work from the Staton Avenue District. He often stopped to visit a friend who worked as a clerk at 455 West 59th Street The clerk was watching for the policeman when four armed bandits entered the store and locked him in the back room. After robbing customers and the clerk, they rifled the cash register near the rear of the store. The robber noticed a second cash register in the front of the store and ordered the clerk out of the back to open it.

As Officer Murphy approached, he suspected something was not right and called through the open door, “Is everything all right in there?” The clerk attempted to prevent the policeman from walking into a death trap and told him everything was fine.

Murphy entered muttering, “Everything is not okay.” Once inside, all four suspects opened fire. As Murphy fell, he fired one shot.

Patrolman Murphy was dead on arrival at Englewood Hospital. He sustained four wounds in the head and chest. Physicians found his right arm was fractured and his face bruised. This was consistent with reports that the bandits kicked the fallen officer before fleeing.

Two of the suspects were captured a short time later at Bridewell hospital. Both needed medical attention for a gunshot wound. It was discovered that Patroman Murphy's one shot had hit one suspect and then that suspect accidently shot the other. The suspect that Patrolman Murphy shot was later found dead in his hospital bed. He had ripped open his wound and bled to death.

The other two suspects were eventually apprehended. All three suspects were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. Two were executed in the electric chair, one October 17, 1952, the other March 19, 1953.

Patrolman Murphy was preceded in death by his wife the previous year. He is survived by three sons and two daughters.

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William Murphy was my Grandfather which I never got a chance to meet. The family loves and respects the dedication and service he provided to Chicago. We miss him and respect all the men and woman to serve us and risk their lives for us each day. God bless them!!!!

William J Gannon
February 18, 2017


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