December 17, 1916, Officers John F.
Houlehan and Jerome M. Fells were on
duty near the Bonaventure Hotel on Independence
Boulevard and Park Avenue, when they
noticed a young man acting suspiciously.
Officer Fells asked the man to stop, and the man
drew his revolver on them. Officer Houlehan
attempted to draw his gun, and was shot.
Officer Fells was then also shot in the thigh. Officer Houlehan was
taken to the hospital, where he died
December 23, 1916. Funeral services were held at St. James Cathedral, 39th and Harrison Boulevard.
Officer Fells pursued the suspect, Charles Matthews (24), who was captured in a barn at 816 Euclid an hour after the shooting. Matthews plead guilty to
first degree murder on 02-02-1917 and was sentenced to life in prison on the same day.
Officer Houlehan, 56, was born in Ireland, began his career with
the Kansas City Police Department as
a jailer on January 22, 1890. He was
appointed to the department on January
22, 1896, and reappointed November 17,
1915. Interred: Mount St. Mary's Cemetery.
Article by Brent Marchant