Keeper Jeremiah Murphy

Keeper Jeremiah Murphy

New York City Department of Correction, New York

End of Watch Wednesday, November 3, 1926

Jeremiah Murphy

Keeper Murphy and Warden Peter Mallon were shot and killed when three prisoners tried to escape the Tombs Jail. Pistols had been smuggled into the jail for all three prisoners. The three men faked an illness and were brought to the jail doctor. While they were in the doctor's office, they pulled their guns and attempted to escape. Warden Mallon heard the commotion from his office and came running to stop the escape. The suspect shot and killed him as he entered the doctor's office.

The suspects then fled into the courtyard of the prison where they exchanged shots with Keeper Murphy and his partner. Keeper Murphy was killed and his partner was wounded. As the suspects continued their escape attempt, two were shot and wounded by responding New York City Patrolmen. With no escape possible, all three suspects committed suicide.

Two of the suspects were members of a New York City gang that had robbed merchants. On February 20, 1925, a third member of the gang had murdered Guard Robert Holtman of the Maryland State Division of Corrections, during a successful escape attempt from the state penitentiary in Baltimore, Maryland. The suspect was apprehended in New York, returned to Maryland, and executed on August 14, 1926.


  • Age 49
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Committed suicide

Most Recent Reflection

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Keeper Murphy,
On today, the 91st anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your Warden who was also killed in that incident for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of New York City. There is no tougher job in Law Enforcement than that of a Corrections Officer.


United States Border Patrol

November 3, 2017

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