Probationary Patrolman Patrick M. Canavan

Probationary Patrolman Patrick M. Canavan

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Monday, September 7, 1970

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Patrick M. Canavan

Probationary Patrolman Patrick Canavan was stabbed to death when he attempted to break up a street fight in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn while off duty.

Patrolman Canavan observed a large fight in the street on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 88th Street and attempted to break it up. He was stabbed in the stomach with a 12-inch hunting knife while attempting to separate two men. He died at Lutheran Medical Center while doctors were preparing for emergency surgery in an attempt to save his life.

Two suspects were apprehended and pleaded guilty to his murder. On September 28, 1971, the suspect, 21, who stabbed Patrolman Canavan, was sentenced to 15 years to life, and the other suspect, 20, who supplied the knife, was sentenced to 5 years probation. The killer was paroled on October 2, 1989.

Patrolman Canavan had served with the New York City Police Department for only 2 months and was assigned to the Police Academy.


  • Age 21
  • Tour 2 months
  • Badge 13330

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Knife
  • Offender Paroled in 1989

fight call, off duty

Most Recent Reflection

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12/14/2023 I discovered his grave in October 1997 when placing a pumpkin on the grave of my murdered son Michael Maurice O'Donald in Holy Cross cemetery Brooklyn,NY in St .Celcia section. At that time I was going to my son's grave every week & kept checking Patrick's grave to see if anyone went there. No one had My Family adopted his grave .Every Christmas place something there. Always place a rock on top of his grave as a notice that some one had been there.That I found out in Ireland was how they marked their graves. I am a retired NYCPD Det/79Pct. I asked the Holy Name ,Emerald Society [once they placed a wreath],Anchor Society [my uncle Morris O'Donald a Bklyn. Mounted was a past president] PBA was great , None listed would place a wreath . Asked the DEA. No hi was not a detective.. Finally I was at a GOAL meeting b& there was an Inspector from Employees Relations & I approached him for help . He had me contact Lieut. from that unit. She has been sesing to the placing of a wreath on PO Canavan's grave for the last 2 years & promised to continue .I found out in my quest for him that the NYCPD ONLY keeps a Fallen Officers File of offices killed in the line of duty up to 1972. Letters are to be sent to all PD organizations to correct this big error & make the cut off 1840. Michael M .O'Donald sr.

Michael Maurice O'Donald
NYCPD 79 Pct. uniform Det.

December 14, 2023

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