Patrolman John F. Houlehan

Patrolman John F. Houlehan

Kansas City Police Department, Missouri

End of Watch Saturday, December 23, 1916

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John F. Houlehan

Patrolman John Houlehan was shot when he and his partner attempted to question a suspicious man near Park and Independence Avenues. The suspect pulled a revolver from inside his coat; shot Patrolman Houlehan, and then engaged in a running gun fight with his partner. As they entered a dark alley his partner was shot in the hip. Several citizens attracted to the scene chased down the suspect and detained him as other officers arrived.

Patrolman Houlehan died seven days later from his wounds. He had been with the agency for 20 years.

In February of 1917 the 22-year-old suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life. On December 9, 1917, he was admitted to the prison hospital with two broken ankles after an unsuccessful attempt to escape. As he scaled down the outside wall his rope broke. In 1919 he made another unsuccessful attempt to escape. He was transferred to the Fulton Insane Asylum on January 4, 1921, and died there on January 10, 1931.


  • Age 60
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, December 16, 1916
  • Weapon Handgun; Revolver
  • Offender Died in mental hospital in 1931

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Houlhan,
On today the 95th annivesary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Kansas City.



December 23, 2011

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