Merchant Policeman Charles Creighton Clarke

Merchant Policeman Charles Creighton Clarke

Seattle Police Department, Washington

End of Watch Wednesday, January 22, 1936

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Charles Creighton Clarke

Merchant Policeman Charles Clarke was shot and mortally wounded while he and several Seattle Police Department detectives investigated an international gang of Filipinos suspected of extorting local Filipino merchants. He died in a hospital two weeks later.

Policeman Clarke walked up to eleven Filipinos in the lobby of the Alps Hotel lobby at 621 King Street with the intent of questioning one. When that subject walked off toward an elevator he followed and was shot in the back by one of the other ten. The subject he followed turned and shot him twice. Despite being mortally wounded, he was able to return fire critically wounding the gunman who shot him twice. The other ten were arrested in connection with Policeman Clarke's murder. The suspect, 30, who shot him first and responsible for his murder was arrested in Billings, Montana, on December 9, 1936. He was tried for his murder in April of 1937. Outcome unknown.

Policeman Clarke had been laid off from the Seattle Police Department several months before his death but was given a special police commission to keep order in a Chinatown dance hall. He was survived by his wife and two daughters.


  • Age 29
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, January 9, 1936
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Apprehended


Most Recent Reflection

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Greetings grandfather.
I am the grandson of your daughter Norma Jean Clark, and nephew of Geraldine Clark.
And the grandson of Elizabeth Clark, Your family.

Turbulent times in the 1930s, this Facilitated and created plenty of gangs with criminal activity that occurring in Seattle just coming out of The Great Depression.

The one thing the Isn't mention that there was no financial help for his family by the City of Seattle according to families description. I don't even know if they paid for the burial. The family doesn't know where he's even buried today.

Being laid off with a family of three is difficult for any family. you have to take the job that is available, In this case it was a very dangerous job and maybe grandpa was not qualified to handle the situation, Nevertheless that cost him his life.

My grandmother had to raise the children on her own, but being a Strong frontiers woman Along with her Brother and Grandparents help she brought up two beautiful children.

His daughter Norma Jean passed away in 1997 and his daughter Geraldine is still alive today at the age of 95.

I just wanted to make clarification, the obituary Written by these individuals on the site seem to think giving any job to a laid-off person was being thoughtful. I never met my grandfather so I don't know his personality but I think he was only thinking of income for his family and not the dangers that were given to him.

Les Buntting

Leslie Buntting

April 17, 2023

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