Policeman David H. Wiley

Policeman David H. Wiley

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Sunday, April 10, 1932

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David H. Wiley

Policeman David Wiley was shot and killed as he and his partner investigated a suspicious vehicle parked in front of a business on Market Street near Third Street. After observing two men exit the building, place bundles in the car, and then return to the building, the officers approached the vehicle. A man sitting inside shot and killed Policeman Wiley and then sped away.

Four men, 19, 19, 20, and 22, were arrested nine days later and charged with Policeman Wiley's murder. All four were convicted of murder. Three were sentenced to life in prison. The 19-year-old killer was sentenced to death, but he was granted a new trial and sentenced to life. Much to the disappointment of many citizens, he applied for a pardon in 1940 that was endorsed by the arresting officer and the judge who presided over his trial. In June of 1942, he was pardoned by Governor Arthur H. James. In 1944 he and his wife were arrested for stabbing a woman, 35, who lived in the same building with them 24 times. Both were released due to insufficient evidence. On August 2, 1947, he was returned to prison for violating his parole after he was caught with a gun. He was paroled on November 6, 1951. In 1952 he and his brother were paroled recently after serving a sentence for a New York murder and went to work as enforcers and extortionists for a Philadelphia Mafia family. Questioned frequently by police they were always released for lack of evidence, or witnesses feared retribution. On April 9, 1955, he and another ex-convict were arrested for attempting to break into a safe in Central City. He was convicted of burglary and sentenced to 10 to 20 years. He was paroled in 1964 after being credited with saving the life of a guard who was stabbed during a riot at Eastern Penitentiary. On December 25, 1975, he was shot and killed by a man he was arguing in a Philadelphia bar.

The group of burglars was suspected in the murder of Policeman William Henderson one month earlier but were never charged due to a lack of evidence.

Policeman Wiley was a U.S Navy veteran of World War I and had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for six years. He was survived by his parents and six siblings.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge 3245
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to life

suspicious vehicle

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Wiley,
On today, the 90th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the USN during World War I.

Fair Winds And Following Seas

United States Border Patrol

April 10, 2022

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