Police Officer John T. Whalen

Police Officer John T. Whalen

Watsonville Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, October 25, 1920

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John T. Whalen

Police Officer John Whalen was shot and killed as he escorted a prisoner to jail after arresting him for being drunk and disorderly. Officer Whalen was found by a rail road detective, face down on the ground, on a vacant lot 200 feet from the city hall. He had been shot twice in the head and three more times in the back after he fell. Minutes later a man was detained walking near the scene and later admitted to the murder.

The subject, 41, was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced from 10 years to life. He was paroled on October 16, 1944.

Officer Whalen had served with the Watsonville Police Department for 13 years and was survived by his wife and four children..


  • Age 60
  • Tour 13 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Paroled in 1944

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Whalen,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Watsonville.


United States Border Patrol

October 25, 2020

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