Detective William Hulligan

Detective William Hulligan

Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio

End of Watch Tuesday, February 8, 1887

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William Hulligan

Detective William Hulligan was killed after being struck on the head with a coupling pin by one of three members of the Blinky Morgan Gang as they were attempting to free a fourth gang member.

He and another officer were extraditing the prisoner from Pittsburgh and were aboard a train when the incident occurred at a train station in Ravenna, Ohio. The other officer was seriously injured but recovered.

On June 27, 1887, the suspects were cornered in Alpena County, Michigan. The gang leader who murdered Detective Hulligan shot and killed Sheriff Charles Lynch of the Alpena County, Michigan, Sheriff's Department. The sheriff died from his wounds on August 17, 1887. Three including their leader were apprehended. One, who was freed from the train, was never apprehended. The leader was convicted of murder and hanged in Ohio on August 3, 1888. The other two were sent to prison but received new trials and were released.

Detective Hulligan was a Civil War Veteran who entered the war at the age of 15 as a private with the 24th New York Calvary, Company K and served with the Cleveland Division of Police for 14 years. He was survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge 114
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Incident Date Thursday, February 3, 1887
  • Weapon Blunt object
  • Offender Executed in 1888

ambush, prisoner custody

Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Attorneys General Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Detective William Hulligan of the Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio and the additional 68 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

February 8, 2023

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