Death Classification: Line of Duty Death
Agency: Chicago Police Department
Served: 2 years, 9 months, 1 day
Unit of Assignment / Detail: 24th District - Lawndale
District of Incident (Present Day): 010 - Ogden
Cause of Death: Gunfire - Friendly
Age at Time of Death: 34
Date of Birth: 28 May 1912
Date of Appointment: 18 Apr 1944
Date of Incident: 19 Jan 1947
End of Watch: 19 Jan 1947
Date of Interment: 22 Jan 1947
Cemetery: Bohemian National Cemetery - Chicago, Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
Superintendent’s Honored Star Case:
Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 23
Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall:
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 17-E: 29
Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed
Military Service: No Military Record Found
Incident & Biographic Details
Detective William Edward Goles, Star #4576, aged 34 years, was a 2 year, 9 month, 1 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the 24th District – Lawndale.
On January 19, 1947, Officer Goles was on duty with his temporary partner, Detective Clarance Mallon, age 42, who had elected to work his regular day off. It was their first time working together. They responded to a burglary in progress at Garden City Brewery located at 2118 South Albany Avenue called in by the night watchman. The watchman, Frank Pesek, age 55, reported that the basement door had been pried open and that he suspected an intruder was inside. Detective Mallon entered through the rear door while Detective Goles covered the front door and waited for additional units. Sergeant James Slattery and Patrolman Arne Abrahamson arrived on scene and entered through the rear door. When the assist units arrived, Detective Goles entered the brewery through the front entrance. Unbeknownst to the other officers, Detective Goles entered the facility and was mistaken for the intruder. During a search of the brewery, Detective Mallon saw an office door open and a man with a gun and fired one shot striking Detective Goles in the right temple. Detective Mallon stated, “I was two steps away when an office door opened about a foot. I saw part of a man’s head and part of a revolver. I thought it was the burglar and fired one shot at his head.“ Detective Mallon succumbed to his injuries.
Captain Anthony Piksa of the Lawndale police, after an investigation lasting all morning, said the slaying was “an unfortunate accident.“ Goles’ widow, Vlasta, tried to console the grief stricken Mallon. Mrs. Goles said, “There is no question of my having to forgive him,“ the widow said. “It could have happened to anyone.“
On January 19, 1947, a coroner’s jury exonerated Detective Mallon and ruled the death an accident.
Detective Goles was waked in John T. & J. F. Chrastks Memorial Chapel located at 3440 West 25th Street, his funeral was also held at the chapel. He was laid to rest on January 22, 1947 in Bohemian National Cemetery, 5255 North Pulaski Road, Chicago, Illinois.
Detective William Edward Goles, born May 28, 1912, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on April 18, 1944. He earned 1 Credible Mentions and 1 Extra Compensation for Meritorious Conduct totaling $120.00.
Detective Goles was a member of the Chicago Policemen’s Benevolent & Welfare Association. He was survived by his wife, Vlasta E. (nee Kulhanek, age 36; children: Marilyn Ann, age 7 and Ronald, age 4; parents: Anna (nee Thrlik) and John and siblings: Charles, John, George and Rose Holpuch.