Chief of Police David C. Hennessy

Chief of Police David C. Hennessy

New Orleans Police Department, Louisiana

End of Watch Thursday, October 16, 1890

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David C. Hennessy

Chief of Police David Hennessy was assassinated by members of the New Orleans mob near the intersection of Girod Street (present-day Loyola Avenue) and Basin Street.

He was walking home from the police department when he was ambushed and killed. It is believed he was killed to prevent testimony in a trial later in the week.

A total of nine men were charged with his murder. Six of the men were acquitted and three others were cleared in mistrials. All nine suspects and two other men were lynched by angry citizens after the trials.

Chief Hennessy had served with the New Orleans Police Department for 20 years. He had originally been hired as a messenger boy and worked his way up to chief of police. He was survived by his mother. He is buried in Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, October 15, 1890
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Lynched by citizens


Most Recent Reflection

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Chief Hennessy,

You were one of my childhood heroes when I was younger. I read details about your efforts to get rid of the Italian mafia in your city in 1890, and how you were ambushed and killed by those cowardly killers. I hope I see you up in heaven when I'm there. I'd love to hear your war stories. Rest in peace.

Daniel Ryan
Private Investigator (Retired)

May 14, 2023

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