Patrolman Edward J. O'Leary

Patrolman Edward J. O'Leary

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Friday, July 26, 1957

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Edward J. O'Leary

Patrolman Edward O'Leary was killed when a prisoner grabbed the steering wheel of his patrol car, intentionally causing it to crash.

He was working a plainclothes assignment and had arrested the woman for prostitution. He was transporting her to the police station when she grabbed the steering wheel at the intersection of Central Park West and West 105th Street. The woman yanked the steering wheel, causing the patrol car to strike an oncoming bus head-on. Patrolman O'Leary suffered severe head injuries and was transported to Knickerbocker Hospital where he died two days later. Six passengers on the bus suffered minor injuries.

The 21-year-old woman fled the scene in a taxi cab but turned herself in. She was charged with prostitution, escaping custody, and murder. In court her attorney said she just wanted to escape because she was afraid of the withdrawal symptoms she would go through if she could not get her heroin. She was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to one year in jail. In 1959 she was arrested for possession of heroin with intent to sell.

Patrolman O'Leary had served with the New York City Police Department for 11 years and was assigned to the 7th Division. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 37
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge 16061

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Incident Date Wednesday, July 24, 1957
  • Weapon Automobile
  • Offender Sentenced to 1 year

arrest, prisoner custody, prostitution

Most Recent Reflection

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Yesterday was the 66th Anniversary of my father's death. Not a day goes by that we don't think of him. He had a wonderful smile and enjoyed life. I wished I had been old enough to have heard his stories and thoughts. Also, yesterday the NYC PBA and the 34th Precinct honored my father with a beautiful memorial service. Special thanks to Kevin Murphy of the PBA for all his hard work and efforts. It is heartwarming to know that his memory will continue to live on in the hearts of his brothers and sisters.

Patricia Skrocki

July 27, 2023

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