KCPD Memorial   Lest We Forget
Police Officer
John F. Houlehan
Kansas City, Missouri Police Department
End of Watch: Saturday, December 23, 1916
Age: 56
DOB: April 4, 1860
Cause of death: Gunfire
Date of incident: December 16, 1916
Suspect information: Sentenced to life
 
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