The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation would like to thank CPD Retirees John Manos, Frank Limon, Jim Gantz, John Eshoo and Hank Walsh for giving their time and service representing the CPMF at the October 24th parole hearing for Joseph Hurst, convicted of the murder of Chicago Police Officer Herman Stallworth. Thanks to these men and their efforts spent in keeping a cop killer in jail, we are able to fulfill our mission to “Never Forget” the fallen officers of the Chicago Police Department.
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation would like to thank CPD Retirees John Manos, Frank Limon, Jim Gantz, John Eshoo and Hank Walsh for giving their time and service representing the CPMF at the October 24th at 26th and California at the parole hearing for Joseph Hurst, convicted of the murder of Chicago Police Officer Herman Stallworth. On Thursday, November 1st, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation (CPMF) secured 23 uniformed Chicago police officers, chartered a bus and attended the en banc parole hearing in Springfield, IL. The 14 members of the IPRB then cast their votes and the motion to deny parole for inmate Hurst carried by a margin of 11-3. Inmate Hurst will remain in the Dixon Correctional Center until his 2013 hearing before the IPRB. Thanks to the retired and active members of the Chicago Police Department, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is able to continue its mission to "Never Forget" our fallen officers.
Each year, May 15th is celebrated as Peace Officers Memorial Day, with the week leading up to it designated as National Police Week. Between 25,000 to 40,000 law enforcement officers from around the world converge upon Washington D.C. to participate in a number of planned events honoring those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice and meet others that share a common brotherhood. Family survivors of law enforcement officers being honored at the Police Week events are invited as special guests through Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)
Two major events salute fallen officers from across the country – the Candlelight Vigil, held on-site at the National Police Memorial on the evening of May 13th, and the Peace Officers’ Memorial Service, planned for May 15th on the steps of the Capitol. At the Memorial Service, new Gold Star families are invited to participate in the ceremony, placing red roses on a wreath in the name of their lost loved one. This year, Chicago has four new additions to the National Police Memorial, Officers Nauden and Lewis, and two historical honorees, Sgt. Sidney T. Sullivan and Officer Thomas Gesirski.
In past years, Chicago has had one of the largest contingents at National Police Week, with 300 to 500 officers going to Washington D.C. to represent our city, fallen heroes and take part in the Police Week activities. This year, due to the NATO summit that will take place in Chicago during the same time period, no active duty Chicago Police Officers will be allowed to take any days off to attend the conference.
A small delegation of retirees stepped up and answered the call to represent their brethren and offer support to the CPD Gold Star families suffering from the crippling loss of their loved ones. There were 81 retirees wearing the blue retiree/supporter shirt and 15 members in uniform, in attendance at the Capitol Bldg. ceremony, who participated, using the theme, Doing the Right Thing.
The uniformed members consisted of our five (active) Honor Guard members, three exempt members, (the commanding officers of Paul Nauden and Clifford Lewis), with the remainder mostly retirees who chose to wear their uniform along with 1-2 active members in attendance for a total of 96 members.
Retired Police Officers Dennis and Tom McKenna annually attend this event, this year they participated as the only two Chicago members of our Pipes and Drums in attendance. They transported their bass and snare drums to D.C. and marched with the Washington D.C. pipe band, representing the CPD in their Chicago kilts.
We also thank Officer Dennis McKenna for the beautiful photos (above) taken at the event.
On September 13th 2011, hundreds of Gold Star family members gathered at their Memorial Park, just east of Soldier’s Field for a candlelight vigil and to be reminded once again that their loved ones, who gave their lives so we could all be safe, have not been forgotten.
Ironically, it was on the very same date thirty five years ago that Patrick Crowley gave is life during a narcotics raid at 6243 South Aberdeen.
On the morning following the candlelight vigil, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, headed by John Gordon, along with retirees Jim Padar and Tom Kinsella, Fraternal Order of Police, Second Vice President, Frank DiMaria, and Bob Buckley from the Superintendent’s Office testified at the protest hearing of Willie C. Lewis. Lewis was convicted of murdering Officer Crowley and was sentenced to 500 to 1000 years. It was the first four digit prison sentence in Cook County history. How a person receiving such a sentence could even be considered for release is beyond me.
Chicago police officers both active and retired will travel to Springfield, IL in the near future to appear before the Illinois State Parole Board and object to any possibility of parole for Willie C. Lewis. We, as retirees, should take an active interest in the status of those convicted of taking the lives of our fellow officers.
Pat Crowley deserved to be 67 years old this year, enjoying his retirement with us.. It is my opinion Willie C. Lewis will never deserve to be released back into society.
May Pat Crowley Rest in God’s Peace.
Thank you to Chicago Police retirees Jack Kozaritz and Charlie Roberts who recently appeared and testified at the parole hearing of Joseph Bigsby, convicted of the 1973 murder of Officer Edward Barron and the attempted murder of several other responding officers.
This hearing was the first step in Bigsby’s parole process. We, as retirees, need to come forward by attending these hearings to ensure that those convicted of killing our fellow officers receive the same permanent sentence they gave their victims. There is no need for everyone to testify, just our presence in numbers make a powerful statement.
Show you still care, show you have not forgotten.
Thank you also to others who were present, including but not limited to, John Gordon of the Memorial Foundation, representatives from the Fraternal Order of Police, the Superintendent’s Office and the State’s Attorneys Office.
Bigsby, who was 16 years old at the time of the incident, is now 54 and serving a two hundred year sentence.
Officer Barron’s children, Paul and Linda, now 51 and 52 years old, grew up fatherless. If not for this senseless act, today Officer Ed Barron would have been 74 years old and enjoying a well-deserved retirement with his wife, Nancy.
Please continue to visit this site for information on future parole hearings. These officers were killed on our “watch.”
Always remember, it was only by the grace of God, it wasn’t any of us.
Pension Contribution Form
Rest in Peace Officer Barron, you will not be forgotten.
P.O. ROBERT F. WENZEL - The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation has learned that inmate John Luckey, the convicted killer of Police Officer Robert Wenzel, star # 7495, has died in prison.
For those who remember, Officer Robert Wenzel, was working a one-person traffic car when he was killed by Luckey during a traffic stop on North Lake Shore Drive at 0530 hours in January 1973. During the stop, Luckey shot Officer Wenzel, who despite his wounds, was able to return fire. The dedicated officer died as a result of the injuries he sustained.
Luckey was found guilty and sentenced to 75-150 years in prison.
To many of us who came on the job around that time, Officer Wenzel’s murder was a stark reminder that our lives could end in a violent instant. Officer Wenzel was working a one person traffic car, and as a result of his killing a new policy was instituted whereby two person squads were mandated on the 1st and 3rd watch. We all thought how valiantly he fought for his life, but though he died a hero, he died alone at the hands of a cold-blooded killer. Fortunately for us, his tragic death brought about a policy that made us all safer during the remainder of our careers.
Our thoughts remain with Officer Wenzel and his family.
BOB WENZEL was in my major 10:30 traffic court room, room 8 if I recall correctly, at 321 South La Salle. On occasion I sat next to him and we talked in that first row where the officers sat. At the time I had less that three years on the job. I watched and listened as the veteran officer testified in DUI cases. His testimony was an inspiration to me, it was accurate and to the point. Then he would match wits with the defense attorney for a few minutes and ultimately the case was continued to the next date in the Key of F.
One day, that white traffic hat was gone. On January 19, 1973, at approximately 5:25 AM, Traffic Officer Robert F. Wenzel – Unit 151 – Traffic Enforcement – had been shot four times and killed while conducting a stop on Lake Shore Drive, near Lincoln Park. It was the era of one man cars, and that quickly changed after his death.
His assailant, Richard Luckey was found guilty and sentenced to 75 to 100 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary.
I am sure that over the years Luckey came up for parole because he was left a paraplegic as the result of being shot during the incident. At the parole hearings, we as retired police officers, need to appear in support of our police family and the officer’s family. Please follow this retiree web site for information on future parole hearings, and maybe we can appear as a group instead of, or in addition to, one of our many monthly luncheons/meetings.
Bob Wenzel, like so many other of our fallen officers, never saw children graduate, never saw them get married, never enjoyed grandchildren, and never grew old with a loved one. Today he would have been 74 years old and enjoying retirement.
As a result of rejected parole hearings, Richard Luckey spent 38 years in the Illinois State Penitentiary where he recently died.
Rest in Peace, Bob.
Justice has been served.
Your family and extended family misses you.
We Will Never Forget! – Bob Graeber, Retired
ONE OF THE ACTIVITIES of our fellow retirees involved visiting the father of a disabled officer and his son. According to the visiting officer:
“We talked for a few hours, I mostly listened. He certainly is a character. He lost his wife of many years, lives alone although he spends the winters in Florida. He retired as a Sergeant with 22 years in rank and 34 years of service. He’s also a WWII vet and had many interesting ‘war stories.’ I told his son we knew many of the same ‘usual suspects’ on the job although he been ‘retired’ for over 30 years!
I’ll stay in contact with them and must admit it was a pleasure to visit with him. I’ll stay in touch with the family, no problem. I got it covered. Just a note to let you know that ”we” have his best interests at heart.”
This visit was a rewarding experience for both retirees. Anyone who wishes to visit a retiree could get information by contacting the CPD Memorial Foundation at 312-499-8899 or .
ON JUNE 15, 2011, a parole hearing was held at 26th and California for Johnnie Veal and George Knights, convicted killers of Officer Anthony Rizzato and Sergeant James Severin. They were murdered on a playlot of the Cabrini Housing Project on July 17, 1970 as they participated in a community outreach program dubbed “Walk and Talk.”
The hearing room was filled to capacity with representatives of the Severin and Rizzato families, active police officers, retired police officers, the Police Memorial Foundation, FOP and the Office of the Superintendent.
Family members gave moving testimony as to how their overwhelming sense of grief and loss never dissipates and seems only to be reinforced with each subsequent parole hearing.
A retired Chicago Police officer, a sergeant at the time, testified as one of the first responders. He told of being hampered by continuing gunfire as they sought to remove Severin and Rizzato for medical attention which would prove to be fruitless.
Another retiree testified: “Anthony Rizzato and James Severin were a threat to no one. There was no crime in progress. There was no panic of pursuit or frenzied confrontation. There was simply Johnnie Veal and George Knights in the window of a nearby high-rise with high powered hunting rifles and two Chicago Police officers below reaching out to the community. It was one of the most cold, cruel and calculating crimes in my memory.”
Everyone present at the hearing has reason to be proud of their presence and their testimony. Retirees in particular, know that your presence was grim testimony to the motto of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation: “Never Forget.”