Railroad Detective Fred H. Wells

Railroad Detective Fred H. Wells

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Saturday, December 3, 1921

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Fred H. Wells

Railroad Detective Fred Wells was shot and killed when he interrupted several men burglarizing a rail car in Peoria, Illinois, at approximately 5:00 am.

Detective Wells was engaged in a shootout at the foot of Cedar Street with the men and was struck three times. His body was not found until about 7:00 am after police were notified that a man suffering gunshot wounds had been taken to a local hospital.

Peoria police officers investigating the shooting were told that shots had been heard near the rail yards. As they searched the yards they discovered the body of Detective Wells.

The wounded subject confessed to the shooting and claimed that he acted alone, however, several other suspects were taken into custody in connection with the murder.

The suspect was convicted of murder, sentenced to 14 years, and eventually released. In 1932 he and his father burglarized two stores in East Moline.

Detective Wells had served with the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad Police Department for four years.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Illinois
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and wounded


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Det. Wells,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice as a Law Enforcement Officer.


United States Border Patrol

December 3, 2021

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