Patrolman William T. Cavanaugh

Patrolman William T. Cavanaugh

Kansas City Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Wednesday, April 8, 1936

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William T. Cavanaugh

Patrolman Cavanaugh succumbed to gunshot wounds received the previous day after attempting to stop a robbery on East 21st Street. He was off duty and eating with his wife at a local tavern when a man entered and began robbing the establishment. Patrolman Cavanaugh drew his weapon and fired on the suspect, who then fled on foot. Patrolman Cavanaugh gave chase and in a running shootout was mortally wounded. The suspect was apprehended several days later.

The 32-year-old suspect was convicted of first degree murder and was the first person to be put to death in Missouri's new gas chamber on March 4, 1938.


  • Age 32
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Tuesday, April 7, 1936
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Executed in 1938

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Cavanaugh,
On today, the 83rd anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Kansas City.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

April 8, 2019

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