Patrolman Joseph Rosenberg

Patrolman Joseph Rosenberg

Louisville Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Thursday, August 16, 1888

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Joseph Rosenberg

Patrolmen Joseph Rosenberg and James W. Jones were walking a beat at 2:00 a.m. when they heard a woman scream "murder, help."

The officers entered a house at No. 98 Lafayette Street, a house infamous for crimes and murders committed within its walls. They found Charles Dilger in the act of beating Mary Burns, alias "Bumgy" Burns, with whom he was living. What occurred inside the house was never discovered, but Dilger fled and was arrested two hours later. Officer Jones was dead with stab wounds in the brain and heart. Officer Rosenberg laid at the foot of the bed stabbed in the right temple. He was reported to have died later that afternoon.

Dilger was tried twice and appealed to the supreme court and Governor. His appeals were denied and he was set to be hanged on July 31, 1889 along with another murderer, Barry Smart. Both men were hanged at the same time. Smart died instantly. Dilger slipped through the noose and the rope caught him over the chin at the lower teeth. He was seemingly unhurt and was drawn up through the trap by deputies. A new rope was brought into service and the noose was readjusted and Dilger asked, "What's the matter?" He was told, "The rope has slipped its knot." Dilger replied, "This shows that I should not die." He was hanged again and died.

Patrolman Rosenberg is buried in The Temple Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky. His brother, Patrolman Gus Rosenberg, died on April 11th, 1909, from injuries sustained when he was assaulted while making an arrest.


  • Age 43
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Knife
  • Offender Not available

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Rest in peace always knowing that no passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

August 16, 2020

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