Detective Gregory J. Erson

Detective Gregory J. Erson

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Thursday, June 19, 1980

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Gregory J. Erson

Detective Gregory Erson was shot and killed during a robbery attempt as he worked an undercover prostitution detail on The Stroll.

Detective Erson had made six arrests that evening and was continuing the operation when the robbery took place. Other officers found Detective Erson slumped over the steering wheel of his car in a vacant parking lot at Whittier Street and Westminster Place. His gun, badge, and wallet had been stolen.

Two suspects were ultimately convicted of capital murder. One of the men was later murdered in prison and the second was sentenced to life in prison.

Detective Erson was assigned to the Third District Bureau and had been with the agency for eight years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge 948

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Killed in prison

robbery, sex offense, undercover

Most Recent Reflection

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“Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be the complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor-by instinct, by inevitably, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.”
“He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge. He is a lonely man and his pride is that you will treat him as a proud man or be very sorry you ever saw him.”
“The story is this man’s adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. If there were enough like him, the world would be a very safe place to live in, without becoming too dull to be worth living in.”
Raymond Chandler
I knew you, Greg, as a fearless nose tackle making running backs regret they touched a football.

Al Picard, retired GS-13 Specialist
Nat’l Park Service/ Homeland Security

February 15, 2021

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