Officer Harry M. Bending, Jr.

Officer Harry M. Bending, Jr.

Des Plaines Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Thursday, August 28, 1952

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Harry M. Bending, Jr.

Officer Harry Bending was shot and killed after responding to a report of four suspicious men at a finance company at Ellinwood and Center streets.

Prior to Officer Bending's arrival the four men produced guns and were robbing the store. One of the suspects, who was stationed at the front door, notified the other suspects. As Officer Bending approached the top of the stairs one man opened fire, striking him in the shoulder and twice in the head. Although mortally wounded, Officer Bending was able to return fire before the three fled in a stolen car driven by a fifth man. The car was found abandoned two miles from the scene. A traffic citation found inside the car led to the arrest of all five, 21, 22, 24, 25, and 26, the same day. All were connected to a recent robbery of a finance company in Crown Point, Indiana, and several hold-ups earlier in Chicago.

One suspect, the oldest, who admitted he killed Officer Bending, was sentenced to 60 years. Two others were sentenced to 30 years each. One was sentenced to 22 years.

Officer Bending had served with the Des Plaines Police Department for six years. He was survived by his wife and son. He was a World War II navy veteran. In 1970 his nephew became an officer with the Des Plaines Police Department.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge 161
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to 60 years

robbery attempt, suspicious person

Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace Officer Bending.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

January 24, 2021

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