Patrolman Joseph J. Sullivan

Patrolman Joseph J. Sullivan

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Wednesday, May 22, 1929

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Joseph J. Sullivan

Patrolman Joseph J. Sullivan was shot to death in a hand-to-hand battle in the notorious Red Bolton Saloon at 1610 Polk Street. The manager of the establishment was being sought for the murder as well as others after police received an anonymous phone tip regarding the murder of Patrolman Raymond Martin.

Another suspected killer surrendered, and police learned that Patrolman Sullivan had been in the saloon only a short time before he was slain. He was said to be trying to gain information related to the kidnapping in which Detective Raymond Martin was murdered on May 15th, 1929. This supported the theory that Patrolman Sullivan was killed because he found an important clue in the investigation. While the suspected killer was being questioned he bolted from the officers, jumped from a fifth-floor window at the police station, killing himself. The manager of the Red Bolton Saloon was shot and killed by police along with two other gangsters on December 27th, 1929.

Another support for this contention was revealed when the Patrolman Sullivan's fiance told investigators that he had phoned her hours earlier and told her he intended to visit the saloon to search for a suspect in the kidnapping.

Patrolman Sullivan was survived by his father, Sergeant Jeremiah Sullivan, also a member of the Chicago Police Department. At the time he was killed he was part of a team investigating the "Saint Valentine's Day Massacre" which was not related to this incident.


  • Age 28
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge 5421

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

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I would like to find any surviving members of Joseph's family. My Grandmother was francis Sullivan Zoelck of Oak park.

Melissa Mulroy
[email protected]

Melissa Mulroy

October 29, 2019

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