Policeman Robert J. Thurman

Policeman Robert J. Thurman

Glasgow Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Friday, September 18, 1914

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Robert J. Thurman

Policeman Robert Thurman was shot and killed after arresting two drunken men in North Glasgow.

He was walking the men along Main Street to the city jail when one of them shot him in the chest. After he fell to the ground the two men kicked him several times before fleeing.

Both killers were arrested a short time later and charged with Policeman Thurman's murder. The shooter was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. His sentence was commuted to 21 years on January 24, 1919, by Governor Augustus O. Stanley.

Policeman Thurman had served with the Glasgow Police Department for just over one year and had previously served as marshal of Burkesville and Edmonton. He was a widower and was survived by two teenage daughters. He was killed two days before being re-married.


  • Age 35
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentence commuted to 21 years

Most Recent Reflection

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I had been told a few stories of Officer Thurman and they was passed down by the old policeman from Glasgow Police dept...my father was a firefighter for 34yrs in Glasgow..the police station was just next door and jail or holding area was in the basement there my dad started work as a fireman in 1957 so then he knew men who was officers back in the 20s and maybe earlier who was old men then in 57 anyway dad told me about the "old days" in Glasgow he said it was pretty rough the men would raise hell drinking and celebrating any event and this officer was going to clean up the town and was doing a great job was said but dad heard he was one tough guy he was said to take on 3 or 4 in a brawl easy and bring them in after he gave them a beat down. Apparantly back then it was not uncommon for men to be men and badge or not they would often accept a challenge of a fight and this be the case officer Thurman was said to be the victor everytime! But didn't have ample back up once and was ambushed by these men who was obviously cowards...its beyond me these men was only given 21yrs for 1st deg murder of police officer...and likely would have had this officer been from Glasgow and known but he wasnt he was from Burkesville...these men should have paid with their lives as did officer Thurman...Rip to a very brave tough fallen hero.

Richard Wilson
Former deputy jailer

March 1, 2020

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