Patrolman William B. Murphy

Patrolman William B. Murphy

Chicago Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Monday, April 24, 1950

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William B. Murphy

Patrolman William Murphy was shot to death as he entered a store on his way home from completing the midnight shift at the Staton Avenue District.

He often stopped to visit a friend who worked as a clerk at 455 West 59th Street. The clerk was watching for the policeman when four armed bandits entered the store and locked him in the back room. After robbing other customers and the clerk, they rifled through the cash register near the rear of the store. One of the men subjects noticed a second cash register in the front of the store and ordered the clerk out of the back to open it.

As Patrolman Murphy approached, he suspected something was not right and called through the open door "is everything all right in there?" The clerk attempted to prevent the Patrolman Murphy from walking into a trap and told him everything was fine.

Patrolman Murphy entered muttering "Everything is not okay." Once inside, all four suspects opened fire. As Patrolman Murphy fell he fired one shot.

Patrolman Murphy was dead on arrival at Englewood Hospital suffering from four wounds in the head and chest. Physicians found his right arm was fractured and his face bruised. This was consistent with reports that the bandits kicked the fallen officer before fleeing.

Two of the suspects were captured a short time later at Bridewell Hospital. Both needed medical attention for a gunshot wound. It was discovered that Patrolman Murphy's single shot had hit the one suspect and then that suspect accidentally shot the other. The suspect that Patrolman Murphy shot was later found dead in his hospital bed. He had ripped open his wound and bled to death.

The other two suspects were eventually apprehended. All three suspects were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. Two were executed in the electric chair, one on October 17th, 1952, the other March 19th, 1953.

Patrolman Murphy was preceded in death by his wife, who died the previous the year. He was survived by three sons and two daughters.


  • Age 52
  • Tour 25 years
  • Badge 867

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender One committed suicide; two executed

off duty, robbery

Most Recent Reflection

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William Murphy was my Grandfather which I never got a chance to meet. The family loves and respects the dedication and service he provided to Chicago. We miss him and respect all the men and woman to serve us and risk their lives for us each day. God bless them!!!!

William J Gannon

February 18, 2017

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