Patrolman James W. Jones

Patrolman James W. Jones

Louisville Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Thursday, August 16, 1888

James W. Jones

Patrolmen James W. Jones and Joseph Rosenberg were walking a beat at 2:00 a.m. when they heard a woman scream "murder, help." The officers entered a house at No. 98 Lafayette Street, a house infamous for crimes and murders committed within its walls. They found Charles Dilger in the act of beating Mary Burns, alias "Bumgy" Burns, with whom he was living. What occurred inside the house was never discovered, but Dilger fled and was arrested two hours later. Officer Jones was dead with stab wounds in the brain and heart. Officer Rosenberg laid at the foot of the bed stabbed in the right temple. He was reported to have died later that afternoon.

Dilger was tried twice and appealed to the supreme court and Governor. His appeals were denied and he was set to be hanged on July 31, 1889 along with another murderer, Barry Smart. Both men were hanged at the same time. Smart died instantly. Dilger slipped through the noose and the rope caught him over the chin at the lower teeth. He was seemingly unhurt and was drawn up through the trap by deputies. A new rope was brought into service and the noose was readjusted and Dilger asked, "What's the matter?" He was told, "The rope has slipped its knot." Dilger replied, "This shows that I should not die." He was hanged again and died.

Patrolman Jones had served with the agency for seven years. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge 143

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Knife
  • Offender Charles Digler executed

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Jones,
On today, the 130th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your Partner for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Louisville.


United States Border Patrol

August 16, 2018

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