Captain John W. Holt

Captain John W. Holt

Erie Railroad Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Wednesday, April 15, 1931

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John W. Holt

Captain John Holt succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained on April 7th, 1931, while confronting several trespassers on Erie Railroad property along the Perry Highway one mile south of Meadville, Pennsylvania.

He had taken the day off to celebrate his birthday when he was called by headquarters and informed of the trespassers in a hobo encampment. He went alone to tell the men to move along but was attacked and disarmed. One of the men shot him with a .45 caliber pistol before they all fled. Captain Holt was able to crawl to the nearby highway where he was picked up by a citizen and taken to a local hospital.

His condition worsened and he died on April 15th, 1931.

Several men were arrested. One was charged with Captain Holt's killing and was sentenced to 8 to 16 years for second-degree murder in Western Penitentiary.

Captain Holt was survived by his wife and four sons.


  • Age 43
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Pennsylvania
  • Incident Date Tuesday, April 7, 1931
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Guilty of second-degree murder


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Rest in peace Captain Holt.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

November 21, 2022

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