Patrolman Patrick Gaffney’s Murder

Patrick Gaffney's Obit. Card 1

Newspaper articles about Policeman Patrick Gaffney’s shooting and other related articles: Some of the images are small and illegible, so I transcribed the articles so that you can read them more easily.

Dec 19, 1918 – Lexington Herald


CLEVELAND, Dec. 19.-In a running battle between East Cleveland police and suspected automobile thieves in which seventeen shots were exchanged tonight, Patrolman Patrick J. Gaffney and Police Captain Patrick J. Hendricks were wounded, Gaffney probably fatally. The police believe they wounded the fugitives, who escaped.

The automobile abandoned by the pair was full of, hams and groceries, believed stolen.


Dec. 27, 1918 – Cleveland Plain Dealer


East Cleveland Citizens to Care for Wife of Thug’s Victim.

A committee of East Cleveland citizens has been organized to collect funds for the assistance of the widow of Patrolman Patrick J. Gaffney, who was shot by a thug Thursday night.

Mrs. Gaffney has been left with the care of four young children. Her husband carried no insurance and reserve funds are lacking. C. M Caborn, city manager, conceived the plan of soliciting voluntary assistance.

The committee includes the following: Chief of Police, E. C. Kraus, R. C. Morris, H. D. Trader, W. G. Dillon, J. P. Arter, R. C. Potter.


Dec. 28, 1918 – Knoxville Independent


Cleveland, Ohio.–Patrolman Patrick J. Gaffney, who was shot as the result of a running battle with two gunmen several days ago died.


Dec. 29, 1918 – Cleveland Plain Dealer


Priest, at Funeral, Points to Sacrifice of Patrolman

“He died in your defense and mine.” was the statement of Rev. William S. Nash, assistant pastor of St. Philomena’s Catholic church, Euclid avenue and Wellesley street, East Cleveland, in his sermon at the funeral of Patrolman Patrick J. Gaffney of the East Cleveland police department yesterday morning.

Patrolman Gaffney, who was shot ten days ago, died in East Cleveland hospital Christmas morning.

Solemn requiem mass was said by Father Nash, with Rev. M. J. Casey and Rev. Charles Frey assisting.

Mr. Gaffney leaves a widow and four young children.  A committee of East Cleveland citizens has been named to raise a fund of $5,000 for their support.


March 18, 1919 – Sandusky Star-Journal


Cleveland Crook Puts His Case Up to Judge When Arraigned. CLEVELAND, March 18. – John Grogan, gunman, pleaded guilty to homicide  when arraigned in criminal court today on a charge of first degree murder for  the shooting of Patrolman Patrick Gaffney.

Under the homicide plea it is up to the judge to decide the degree of crime.   Judge Levine will set a date for hearing for witnesses.

Grogan for years has been mixed up in major crimes in Cleveland and special  state prosecutors believe that his story will link up the chain of evidence against  those responsible for making Cleveland and “easy town” for crooks. pgaffneyarticle3-18-1919 *************************************************************************************************

June 27, 1919 – The Coshocton Tribune


CLEVELAND, O., June 27. – John Grogan, notorious gunman, today was sentenced to the Ohio penitentiary for life for the murder of Patrick Gaffney, East Cleveland policeman. Sentence was imposed by Criminal Judge Stevens after Grogan pleaded guilty to second degree murder. 


November 8, 1920 – Sandusky Star-Journal


CLEVELAND, Nov. 8. – Guarded by nearly 100 policemen, detectives and deputy  sheriffs, George “Jiggs” Losteiner, 35, wounded Bedford bank bandit, was taken  from the hospital to court here today.  He entered a plea of guilty to the robbery  charge, but pleaded not guilty to the charge of slaying Patrolman Patrick Gaffney  here in 1918.  Losteiner’s trial on the murder charge was set for November 29.   Police said they had a good case against him.


December 3, 1920 – Sandusky Star-Journal


CLEVELAND, Dec. 3 – Fourteen witnesses will be produced by the state here Monday when the trial of George Losteiner, charged with the murder  of Patrolman Patrick J. Gaffney, gets under way.  Losteiner was wounded  and captured while he and several others tried to escape with $2,500 after holding up the Bedford bank.  Gaffney was killed in December of 1918.   John Grogan, a pal of the prisoner, is now serving life for the killing.  Police  charge Losteiner had a hand in the murder.


July 22, 1921 – LIMA NEWS (OHIO)

The two youths were said to have fired the shots, after an attempted holdup.

The first man to be sentenced by the trial judge for stated periods of solitary, was Alexander Kish, Seneca-co convict, who was received Feb. 16, 1915, to serve a life sentence, after having been found guilty of first degree murder charges, with recommendation of mercy.

Kish’s sentence included “the fifth day of each month, and the four previsions days shall be spent by the prisoner in solitary confinement in a darkened cell.”  This later, on the recommendation of Warden P. E. Thomas, was changed to solitary the first day of each month.


Kish brutally murdered an aged woman at Bellevue, and rifled her home, disposing of most of the goods in the town limits.

The most notorious of the eight men who regularly go into the “C. C.”s” or corrective cells, as they are known, is George Loestiner, Cleveland gangster.  He spends each Christmas Day in solitary.  On Christmas Day, 1920, Patrolman Patrick Gaffney of East Cleveland, died from wounds inflicted by Loestiner.

pgaffneyarticle7-22-1921 *************************************************************************************************

July 27, 1937 – The News Journal


Clevelander Who Led Break 11 Years Ago, Succumbs. COLUMBUS – (AP) – George “Jiggs” Loestiner, 52, serving a life term for  murdering a Cleveland policeman during a robbery, died today in Ohio penitentiary.

Loestiner died in the prison hospital.  He had been ill about three days, but  physicians had not diagnosed the ailment.

He was sentenced to prison Dec. 12 1920 for killing Patrolman Patrick J. Gaffney.

In 1926, six years after entering the penitentiary Loestiner was one of the leaders in a bold escape by 12 convicts through the main entrance, he and the others were  captured within a few hours, however.


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