Police Matron Mary T. Davis

Police Matron Mary T. Davis

Wilmington Police Department, Delaware

End of Watch Sunday, May 11, 1924

Add to My Heroes

Mary T. Davis

Police Matron Mary Davis was beaten to death by a female prisoner in the Wilmington Jail, at the intersection of 10th Street and French Street, during an escape attempt.

The prisoner was the only female prisoner in the cellblock and had been placed in jail for threatening her husband with a gun. While in her cell, the woman broke the sink's water pipe and was using it to break away the cell's wall in her attempt to escape.

When Matron Davis saw the water coming from the cell she opened the door and went in to fix what she thought was a plumbing problem. When she entered the prisoner picked up a piece of rock from the wall and beat Matron Davis to death. The prisoner was re-captured and served 10 years for another murder.

Matron Davis had served with the Wilmington Police Department for 14 years. She is the second known female law enforcement officer to ever be killed in the line of duty. She was survived by her four children and is buried in Mount Salem Cemetery, Wilmington, Delaware.


  • Age 67
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Weapon Blunt object; Rock
  • Offender Released after 10 years

escape attempt, prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

View all 17 Reflections

Today in a small ceremony, the men and women of the Wilmington Police Department took the time to honor you and the other brave Wilmington Police Officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in years past. Fittingly, with the 99th anniversary of your untimely and courageous departure approaching tomorrow, today was about you and your fallen brethren. Rest in peace always and know that your law enforcement family will never forget.

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

May 10, 2023

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.