Patrolman John H. McMail

Patrolman John H. McMail

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Wednesday, March 15, 1922

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John H. McMail

Patrolman John McMail was shot and killed by a suspect he attempted to arrest for assault in Brooklyn.

Patrolman McMail was on foot patrol when he was approached by a woman who told him she had been assaulted by a man who was standing on the corner of Sutter Avenue and Osborne Street, Brooklyn. Patrolman McMail went to the corner and approached the suspect. The suspect fled on foot, and Patrolman McMail pursued him. As he was running, the suspect turned and fired from two .45 caliber revolvers, striking Patrolman McMail in the head.

The suspect continued to flee but was shot and wounded by the owner of a private security company who had witnessed what had happened. The suspect was apprehended, and they found him armed with four guns, a blackjack, and manacles. He was convicted of Patrolman McMail's murder and executed at Sing Sing Prison on March 2, 1923.

Patrolman McMail had served with the New York City Police Department for seven years and was assigned to the 85th Precinct, the present day 73rd Precinct. His wife and two children survived him.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge 3029

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Executed in 1923

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My grandmother was Elizabeth McMail. John H. McMail was her uncle. Her grandfather Thomas had two children – Christian (her father) and John (her uncle).

Two of my sons are considering a career in law enforcement and were deeply touched to learn about their great, great uncle.

Below is an account of John H. McMail’s murder based upon official court records:

John H. McMail was murdered by Anthony Rabasovich on March 15, 1922, at approximately 2:00 p.m., on Osbourne Street in Brooklyn, New York.

Officer McMail was shot and killed coming to the aid of Annie Moyzivick.
Ms. Moyzivick was robbed in front of her apartment by Anthony Rabasovich and Casey Ivananhoff. They reportedly took $270.00, and she was struck and knocked down in the process. Ms. Moyzivick knew both men.

Officer McMail became aware of the crime and ran to the scene. He observed both men walking across from him on Osbourne Street. Officer McMail stepped into the street and ran toward Rabasovich with his arms outstretched. Rabasovich also stepped into the street, and shot Officer McMail once in the forehead with a 45-caliber pistol, when the two were approximately eight feet apart. Officer McMail died immediately.

Rabasovich fled the scene and was followed by citizen pursuers. Rabasovich turned the corner onto Sutter Ave, and then onto Rockaway Ave, and entered a stone monument yard.

Samuel Cohen, who was a night watchman, saw what had occurred and chased after Rabasovich. When Sam Cohen arrived at the stone monument yard he saw Rabasovich holding his pursers at bay with a pistol. Sam Cohen drew his gun and they exchanged gunfire. Rabasovich fired three times but was shot in the neck and immobilized.

A search of Rabasovich revealed the 45-caliber pistol, three smaller caliber pistols, ammunition, a blackjack, a hunting knife, and a pair of handcuffs.

During the trial Rabasovich claimed he had no recollection of what had occurred because he was intoxicated by liquor provided by Annie Moyzivick. He also testified that he had weapons in his possession because he intended to intimidate Moyzivick’s husband’s business rivals.

Rabasovich was convicted of first-degree murder on June 29, 1922. His appeal was denied and he was executed at Sing Sing prison on March 2, 1923.

Daniel P. Gregory, Esq.
Great Nephew

October 7, 2018

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