Patrolman John A. Olson

Patrolman John A. Olson

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Thursday, October 20, 1938

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John A. Olson

Patrolman John Olson was fatally shot in the back after being hit from behind by one of two subjects at 9:48 a.m.

Patrolman Olson was on duty, in uniform, while escorting an insurance company cashier to a bank at Crawford and North Avenues. At the southwest corner of Harding Avenue and North Avenue, one of the subjects jostled between the officer and the cashier, put a gun to the cashier, and grabbed the money bag. The other subject struck the officer from behind with a length of lead-filled rubber hose.

Patrolman Olson, stunned from the blow, staggered forward in pursuit of the thief who was running with the money bag. He was trying to draw his revolver when the second subject shot him in the back. The two subjects fled on foot, the one who fired the shot running north on Harding Avenue to the next corner and then ran east and escaped. The length of hose was found near the scene, and later the zipper jacket worn by one of the killers was found as well as the fatal weapon, an Iver Johnson Revolver.

There were many witnesses to the crime who were able to identify the killer and also furnished a description of the man who ran with the money.

At a coroner’s inquest on October 21st, 1938, the verdict of "murder by unknown men" was returned.

Patrolman John Olson is survived by his wife.


  • Age 45
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Never apprehended


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These clowns could never measure up to the man you are. Rest in peace sir. You will never be forgotten

Fellow citizen

October 20, 2023

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