Chief of Police Thomas L. Guess

Chief of Police Thomas L. Guess

Belle Vernon Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Thursday, May 16, 1907

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Thomas L. Guess

Chief Thomas Guess was shot and killed by the former police chief, who had been arrested for public drunkenness. A citizen had helped subdue the suspect, who was taken to a cell at the city police department.

As Chief Guess attempted to search the prisoner the man produced a revolver that had been hidden in his sleeve, and shot him once in the head, killing him.

The man then ran from the scene but was captured after he was shot through his shoulder by a citizen. He was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death on June 26, 1907. His sentence was commuted to life January 20, 1909. He was paroled on September 23, 1921.

Chief Guess had served as police chief for only seven months. He was survived by his wife and three children. He is buried in Fairchance Cemetery, Fayette County, Pennsylvania.


  • Age 48
  • Tour 7 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Paroled in 1921

Most Recent Reflection

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To my Great Grandfather...I did not know you but researching your life, I was saddened of the way you died, but also so very proud that you accomplished what you did.

Caine Luckey
Former Regional Security Supervisor at Nationwide Insurance

February 11, 2016

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