Detective Charles J. Westdhal, Jr.

Detective Charles J. Westdhal, Jr.

Pennsylvania Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Monday, December 11, 1939

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Charles J. Westdhal, Jr.

Detective Charles Westdhal succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained four days earlier when he was shot inside the Fairmount Park Guard headquarters at the intersection of 44th Street and Parkside Avenue.

He had arrested a man whom he caught stealing coal from a railroad car on the tracks along that ran along through park at Black Road and West River Drive. While the man was in custody in the Park Guard headquarters he suddenly lunged at one of the park guards and grabbed his service revolver from its holster. He shot the guard in the abdomen as the two struggled over the gun.

Detective Westdhal and the subject then exchanged shot and both were wounded. The man was taken into custody by the park guard duty sergeant. Detective Westdhal was transported to Presbyterian Hospital where he died four days later.

The subject plead guilty to murder and was sentenced to death. He was executed in the electric chair on July 15th, 1940.

Detective Westdhal was survived by his wife and parents. His father was a police officer with the Philadelphia Police Department.


  • Age 31
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Pennsylvania
  • Incident Date Thursday, December 7, 1939
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Executed in 1940


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No passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

December 11, 2020

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