Detective Joseph J. Lynch

Detective Joseph J. Lynch

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Thursday, July 4, 1940

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Joseph J. Lynch

Detective Joseph Lynch and Detective Ferdinand Socha were killed when a time bomb they were inspecting exploded.

Detective Socha and Lynch were called to the World's Fair Grounds and directed to the British Pavilion after an electrician found a suspicious satchel in a fan room. The canvas bag was emitting a ticking sound, so it was carefully carried to the rear of a secluded area near the Van Wyck Expressway, where it was placed beneath a 20-foot maple tree. Detective Lynch took out a pocketknife and slit open a 2-inch hole in the bag as his partner knelt down to look inside. As the Detectives were examining what appeared to be dynamite, the bag exploded. The explosion opened a crater 5 feet wide and 3 feet deep and killed both Detectives. Four other Police Officers were critically injured.

It was never determined who planted the bomb or what motivated the bombing.

Detective Lynch had served with the New York City Police Department and was assigned to the Bomb Squad. He was survived by his wife, three daughters, two sons, four sisters, and three brothers. One of his brothers also served with the New York City Police Department, and two brothers-in-law served in law enforcement.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 1423

Incident Details

  • Cause Bomb
  • Weapon Explosives; Bomb
  • Offender Unknown


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Sgt/SDS Brian J. Coughlan
NYPD Bomb Squad

July 4, 2023

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