Patrolman John Skopek

Patrolman John Skopek

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Saturday, July 22, 1933

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John Skopek

Patrolman John Skopek and Patrolman Elmer Ostling were shot and killed when they made a traffic stop of a speeding car in front of 2838 Washington Boulevard.

Unbeknownst to both officers, the vehicle they had stopped had been stolen three weeks earlier and was being used in the commission of crimes.

Both officers approached the car on the passenger side and asked the occupants to exit the vehicle. The men stepped out and immediately produced revolvers and opened fire. Both officers were shot several times and were only able to return fire one time each. Patrolman Skopek was killed instantly. Patrolman Ostling was taken to Franklin Boulevard Hospital where he died a short time later.

The identity of the suspects remained a mystery until October 10th, 1937, when a captured escapee from the Illinois State Penitentiary confessed to the murders. He named two accomplices, one who escaped with him who was shot and killed during the capture. The other suspect was apprehended and also confessed to the murders. Both suspects were convicted of murder and sentenced to 199 years in prison. One died in prison on June 18th, 1951.

Patrolman Skopek was survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 34
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge 6614

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 199 years

stolen vehicle, traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service and on days like this we remind you and your family that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

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

July 22, 2020

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