Prison Guard Walter R. Doucette

Prison Guard Walter R. Doucette

Massachusetts Department of Correction, Massachusetts

End of Watch Tuesday, December 24, 1935

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Walter R. Doucette

Prison Guard Walter Doucette was shot and killed with his own weapon while transporting two prisoners, 24 and 25, back to the prison in a taxi after their court appearance in the Dedham Superior Court.

Guard Doucette was transported to City Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. Both prisoners were apprehended 10 days later; one in Malden and the other in Providence, Rhode Island. Both blamed the other for the shooting. Both had been convicted of burglary six months earlier and sentenced to 12 years each.

At the suspect's trial, the cab driver testified he was driving near Battery and Commercial Streets just after it had gotten dark when he saw the prisoners attack Guard Doucette in the back seat. He stopped at a nearby gas station and ran for help. He said he then saw Guard Doucette chase the prisoners to the back of the station, heard several gun shots, and then watched as the prisoners returned and stole his taxi. He then ran behind the station where he found Guard Doucette sitting on a loading dock, badly wounded. Both were convicted of murder and got a life sentence added to their terms. On June 8, 1936, one was transferred to the Bridgewater Insane Asylum where he died in 1962. The other was pardoned by Governor John A. Volpe on December 24, 1962.

Guard Doucette had served with the Massachusetts Department of Corrections for six years. He was survived by his wife and six children.


  • Age 43
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

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New England law enforcement did get justice for Walter Doucette. The slayers, both hardened criminals serving long sentences from Everett Massachusetts, split up, one was apprehended by Providence RI police on January 2 1936 and the other by Malden Massachusetts Police on January 3 1936. Both were convicted by a Suffolk county jury of second degree murder on January 24, 1936 and sentenced to life.

Mark Tinto

January 3, 2022

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