Police Officer John T. Whalen

Police Officer John T. Whalen

Watsonville Police Department, California

End of Watch Monday, October 25, 1920

Add to My Heroes

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 railroad 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 to 10 years to life. He was paroled on October 16, 1944.

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

He is buried at the Valley Catholic Cemetary in Watsonville, Santa Cruz County, California.


  • Age 60
  • Tour 13 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Paroled in 1944

arrest attempt, disorderly

Most Recent Reflection

View all 6 Reflections

Rest in peace PO Whalen. I came across your story while researching my family. Although, we share the same name and profession we are only related by our calling. Until we meet in heaven

Sgt John T. Whalen
Larchmont, NY PD

March 19, 2023

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.