Acting Chief John Delaney Godwin Jr.

Acting Chief John Delaney Godwin Jr.

Orange Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Sunday, August 11, 1935

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John Delaney Godwin Jr.

Chief Godwin was shot and killed at 9:30 p.m. on Green Avenue between Fourth and Third Streets when he attempted to arrest two men who had robbed a taxi driver, tied him to a tree, and took his taxi. Chief Godwin and his officers stopped the taxi; arrested one escapee but the other shot him in the abdomen. He fled on foot; entered a parked automobile, and forced a couple to drive him to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where they were stopped by a special agent for a railway company. He arrested the suspect without incident.

On September, 22, 1935, the two used a fake gun made out of soap to fool the jailer into giving them their freedom. Several minutes later they were captured by a one-armed ex-service man.

On October 5, 1935, one suspect, 20, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life. Three weeks later the other suspect, 28, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life. He received a conditional pardon in 1943, and was ordered to report to a army lieutenant to be processed for service.

Chief Godwin had been with the agency for five months and was survived by his wife and two daughters.


  • Age 31
  • Tour 5 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, August 10, 1935
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

arrest, escapee

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Rest In Peace

Nick mottola

August 11, 2020

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