Patrolman Edward F. Smith

Patrolman Edward F. Smith

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Saturday, May 30, 1931

Add to My Heroes

Edward F. Smith

Patrolman Edward Smith was shot and killed by a juvenile whom he had caught swimming in the John Marshall High School swimming pool after hours.

The boy, 15, his brother, 13, and another boy, 15, he was swimming with were arrested.

Investigating officers were perplexed when he confessed to the murder and described how he did it but showed no emotion or remorse. After the three were detained, he said he and the others were putting their clothes back on when a .22 caliber pistol, which he had stolen from a desk in the principal's office, fell from his pocket. He said he picked it up and shot Patrolman Smith because he thought he was going to shoot him. He was arrested and charged with murder. At his probable cause hearing seven days later, the judge suggested that the murder charge should be reduced to manslaughter.

On July 28, 1931, the suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to 18 years. His attorney immediately appealed. The Illinois Supreme Court awarded a new trial. On January 27, 1933, he was retried and acquitted. The jury stated that the more than two years he spent in jail was sufficient for his crime and that they were convinced when he committed the murder, he did not know right from wrong. They also said he had been hopelessly influenced by movies and books about gangsters.

Patrolman Smith had served with the Chicago Police Department for over three years. He was survived by his wife, three-year-old daughter, mother, and two brothers.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 3 years, 8 months
  • Badge 4567

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender Acquitted in 1933

juvenile offender, trespasser

Most Recent Reflection

View all 8 Reflections

My grandfather was the 13 year old boy. I am so sorry for this loss. May we all be healed.


November 12, 2022

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.