P-O- James Caplis #1511

Detective James J. Caplis #1511


Name: Caplis, James J.
Star: 1511
Memorial Panel #: #PANEL#
Rank: Patrolman
District / Unit: Detective Division - Area 3
End of Watch: 21 December 1931
Incident Details: James J. Caplis, 31, was assigned to the Detective Division. On December 21, 1931, Detective Caplis was fatally wounded when a gang of armed robbers entered the Chinese restaurant he was dining in on the 800 West block of Wilson Avenue. Members of the “42 Gang” entered the restaurant with their weapons drawn and ordered restaurant patrons to stand up against a wall. Detective Caplis was unaware that members of the gang were in the restaurant posing as customers. The officer distanced himself from the customers and shot at one of the armed robbers. Detective Caplis was shot by one of the bandits and carried to Lakeview Hospital by a dozen citizens. He succumbed to his injuries at Lakeview Hospital

Hurlon Burlison was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Frank Freeman was sentenced to 99 years in prison. Nick Bruno was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Tony Pape was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Dorothy Evans and Marcella Royce turned state’s evidence and were freed.

Detective Caplis’ funeral mass was held at Our Lady of Sorrows Church and he was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery. He was survived by his parents and his sister, Mrs. Edward [Nellie] Flood.