Special Officer Robert Franklin Fennell

Special Officer Robert Franklin Fennell

Wichita Falls Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Sunday, March 20, 1938

Robert Franklin Fennell

Special Officer Bob Fennell died after his throat was slashed by a subject that he had ejected from a local nightclub.

Earlier in the night Officer Fennell had confiscated three knives and two razors from women who were at the club. He had ejected one of the women and her escort from the club. A short time later the man returned, approached Officer Fennell from behind, and slashed his throat with a razor.

Officer Fennell drew his pistol as he fell, but was unable to fire at the subject who continued towards him. The nightclub's owner picked up Officer Fennell's gun and shot the subject three times, killing him.

Officer Fennell had been appointed a special officer by the Wichita Falls police chief several weeks earlier. He had previously served with the Burkburnett Police Department and Electra Police Department. He was survived by his wife, two daughters, mother, two brothers, and three sisters.


  • Age 36
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Razor
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

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We at the Wise County Historical Commission have been told that Special Officer Fennell was buried with other members of his family in the Sweetwater Cemetery east of Decatur, Texas off of Hwy 380. If this is true, there is not any kind of engraved grave marker to mark his final resting place. We are greatly interested, as are members of the Sweetwater Cemetery Association, in learning if he is truly buried there and, if so, in getting a permanent marker to mark the site for future generations to be reminded of his history.

Kerry Clower, Chairman
Wise County Historical Commission

June 9, 2017

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