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 after police received an anonymous phone tip regarding the murder of Patrolman Raymond Martin.

The killer surrendered and police learned that Officer 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 killed. This supported the theory that Officer Sullivan was killed because he found an important clue in the investigation.

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

Officer Sullivan was survived by his father, Sergeant Jeremiah Sullivan, also a member of the Chicago Police Department.


  • 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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Patrolman Sullivan,
On today, the 90th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Chicago.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

May 22, 2019

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