Investigative Aide John P. McAuliffe

Investigative Aide John P. McAuliffe

United States Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Government

End of Watch Monday, March 14, 1960

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John P. McAuliffe

Investigative Aide John McAuliffe and Investigative Aide Benedetto Spizzirri were shot and killed in Chicago, Illinois, after arresting three men who had stolen two bags of mail from the Chicago Post Office loading dock. The two aides had been conducting a stakeout of the post office as the result of a recent rash of thefts.

After observing the theft of the two bags of mail, the aides stopped the suspect's vehicle at the corner of Clark Street and Roosevelt Road and took the men into custody at gunpoint. After searching the three men they were placed in the back of the government vehicle. One of the aides then attempted to move the suspect's vehicle out of the travel lane but could not get the car started.

One of the three subjects offered to assist getting the car started and was allowed to assist. He reached under the dashboard, where he had hidden a gun, and slipped it into his shirt sleeve. The car was then started and moved out of the roadway. When the subject was again placed into the vehicle he drew the .32-caliber pistol and shot both aides in the back of the head, killing them both as they sat in the front of the vehicle.

The three suspects fled but were later apprehended as the result of a joint task force setup to locate them. The suspect identified as the gunman, 37, was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. On February 27, 1968, his sentence was commuted to two concurrent terms of 120 years each. The two accomplices, 32 and 36, were sentenced to 199 years in prison.

Investigative Aide McAuliffe had served with the United States Postal Inspection Service for eight years and was a Korean War veteran and the recipient of a Purple Heart. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 36
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Illinois
  • Weapon Handgun; .32 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service, military as well as LE, and please know that your sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

March 14, 2021

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