P.O. John C. Burke #1287

Name: Burke, John C.
Star: 1287
Rank: Patrolman
District / Unit: 011 Precinct
End of Watch: 16-Dec-1915
Incident Details: Police Officer John Burke, 28, was a 3-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 11th Precinct.

On December 16, 1915, Officer Burke was patrolling his beat in search of the “Red Pepper Robber.”  The offender was robbing people and then blinding them with red pepper.  A young delivery boy was robbed of $1.10 and his friend reported the incident to Officer Burke.  The officer pursued the offender into an alley at 57th Street and Prairie Avenue when the bandit shot him three times.  The third bullet struck Officer Burke’s police star and entered his chest.  Officer Burke died en route to Washington Park Hospital.

William J. Lyle, a copycat of the real “Red Pepper Robber,” was arrested, but found innocent.  It is suspected that the motive behind Officer Burke’s murder was the fact that he had previously arrested Lyle.

Officer Burke was laid to rest in Mount Olivet Cemetery.  He was survived by his wife, Rose.