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


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I am currently writng a book, after an exhaustive period of research, that seems to indicate that Hennessy was sacrificed by the Mayor and some of his close socialite friends. The power brokers of New Orleans wanted control of the docks and shipping at New Orleans, which was in the hands of three Italian families. That was intolerable to some. Immediately, the city police and mayor blamed literally every Italian in New Orleans and on the night of October 15, 1890. the police arrested 210 Italians and crammed them in to the city's police jail. Not long after that, a rigged Grand Jury indicted 19 Italians, including two prominent members of shipping and stevadore companies. They went to trial and 6 were acquitted and three were mistried. But the next morning, after exhortations by the press and the mayor, a lynch mob was formed and stormed the Orleans Parish Prison and lynched 11 Italians. The same Grand Jury that indicted the Italians found no wrong doing with the lynch mob. And the docks, soon after the lynchings, came under the control of the city's elite ruling class. There much more to this story.

Former Detective S.R, Perricone
New Orleans Police Department

October 16, 2019

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