Police Officer Frederick J. Cione, Jr.

Police Officer Frederick J. Cione, Jr.

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Friday, January 30, 1970

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Frederick J. Cione, Jr.

Officer Frederick Cione was shot and killed as he approached three men. A witness said Cione got out of his patrol car and approached three men along the 1700 block of West Oxford Street shortly after 0100 hours. One of them pulled a .22 pistol and fired three shots, one in the chest, on in the abdomen and one hitting and lodging in his gun holster and belt.

No suspects have ever been identified in this case and it remains the only unsolved murder of a police officer in the city's history.

Officer Cione had served with the agency for one year and had previously served with the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He was survived by his parents and his brother.

A playground was named after him at Aramingo and Lehigh Avenues with a giant mural depicting Officer Cione and Officer Joseph Friel, who was struck and killed by a drunk driver in the line of duty on December 4, 1994.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge 6398
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .22 caliber
  • Offender At large

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Philadelphia police gather to mark 50th anniversary of city’s only unsolved cop murder

Posted on the Philadelphia Enquirer January 30, 2020

Dozens of Philadelphia police officers gathered Thursday in North Philadelphia to mark the 50th anniversary of the murder of Officer Frederick Cione, the only unsolved killing of a police officer in city history

Cione, 25, a first-year officer, was working alone on an overnight shift Jan. 30, 1970, when he was fatally shot in the chest on the 1700 block of West Oxford Street around 1 a.m.

Homicide Lt. Norman Davenport said Thursday that many details surrounding Cione’s killing “remain a mystery to this day,” and he encouraged witnesses to come forward.

Over the years, dozens of people have been questioned, at least two men claimed responsibility, and billboards promised reward money. But nothing materialized as a solid lead.

Davenport acknowledged that it might be difficult to build a criminal case after so many years, but he said: “Every family is deserving of the truth.”

Cione’s relatives — including two nephews who are on the force — attended the ceremony at the site of the killing. Acting Commissioner Christine M. Coulter and Managing Director Brian Abernathy also spoke.

Cione’s brother Nicholas Cione Sr. said officers have frequently told him where they were the night Frederick Cione was killed.

Coulter said: “We want to solve every murder,” and she encouraged witnesses in Cione’s case or any others to come forward.

“Make a difference if you see something,” she said. “Make a difference if you know something.”

Philadelphia police officers Vince Cione, and Nick Cione hang their heads as their father, Nicholas Cione Sr., speaks at a ceremony honoring his brother Frederick Cione on the 1700 block of Oxford Street in North Philadelphia on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. Officer Frederick Cione was fatally shot while patrolling on the block 50 years ago, the only unsolved murder of a Philadelphia cop.

Retired Police Officer

January 30, 2020

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