Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Crimes of the times

For the next couple of weeks, I am going to write a series of blog posts about the most significant crimes that have occurred in Lincoln’s history.  This is simply one man’s perspective from the early 21st century.  I had to make a decision about crimes that occurred at locations that are inside the city today, but were outside our corporate limits at the time they occurred.  I chose the later.

I will be identifying the top 10 most significant crimes in reverse order, saving the biggest for the end.  This, of course, is just based on my own perception.  Before beginning, though, I have to deal with three crimes that stand apart: the murders of three police officers in Lincoln.  I’m not quite sure how to place them in a list.  They all had huge impacts on the community, and on the police department in particular.  Because these are my colleagues, I deal with them separately and in chronological order. Later this week, my top 10 list will begin.

Patrolman Marion Francis Marshall
Shot in the shadow of the new Nebraska State Capital.  Governor Charles Bryan came to his aide and summoned assistance. 

Lt. Frank Soukup
Since Marion Marshall was technically not a Lincoln police officer, Lt. Soukup was actually the first Lincoln police officer murdered on duty.  One of his collegues who were present at the motel and involved in the gun battle, Paul Jacobsen, went on to enjoy a long career and command rank at LPD, where they both influenced many young charges (like me) and left his mark on the culture of the agency.

Lt. Paul Whitehead
In the space of a few months, three LPD officers died in the line of duty.  Frank Soukup had been murdered, George Welter had died in a motorcycle crash.  Paul Whitehead's partner, Paul Merritt, went on to command rank, and like Paul Jacobsen left an indelible mark at LPD, its current chief, and the community.

The Series:


Anonymous said...

Great topic to explore. How did Lt. Whitehead die? Also, can you put dates (years are OK) so we can have a context? Thanks. Looking forward to reading the whole series.

Tom Casady said...

He was shot near 37th and O Streets by an escapee from the Indiana State Penitentiary in 1967. Marion Marshall was killed in 1932, Frank Soukup in 1966. See this previous post.

Steve said...

Curious to see your list. I won't mention the first one that comes to my mind, and it may not top your list, but it almost has to be on it.

On another topic, do you have any idea why I nearly always have to enter my password twice when I comment to your blog? Occasionally, it may be due to uncoordinated phalanges, but there has to be some other reason for most of the problems. I have been quite slow and deliberate many times, and it still takes two tries to be accepted.

JIM J said...

This one would make the top ten on a late night talk show. Barking Dog.
For the last two nights from 11 PM to mid morning we have two new canine neighbors to help us to stay awake without coffee. When the late night TV begins the sales of Bark no more coller to the next 200 callers, I think of our situation. As I hear the excaliming "wait there is more" indeed there is.
It seems our new canine neighbors come with two or twelve owners, depending on the time of day you count the people coming and going. But wait their is more.
Seems the prior owner never sold the place and is in sub-lease with one of the twelve disciples.
So they may get evicted. But wait their is more.
Today the boat trailer got a citation for no plates.
Lots of minor ones here to consider for top crimes. Canine Caper, as seen on TV!

JIM J said...

Steve, I do too.

Shannon said...

My father, Paul Jacobson died in 1994 but spoke of both Lt. Whitehead and Lt. Soukup many times over the years.

I appreciate your post and the recognition of these LPD officers that lost their lives protecting the public.

Tom Casady said...


Your Dad was a great guy, and a fantastic police officer, from whom I learned a great deal. I think about him often.

Anonymous said...

I remember when Lt. Soukup was killed. My dad was devastated to have lost his friend and Lt. and to have had to shoot a man in self-defense. He only remembered firing the gun once, but autopsy showed differently. Target practice kicked in automatically, it seems. My dad mourned for Frank's wife and children. Due to new technology and different procedures, an officer's ability to protect himself is hopefully better these days. There is no replacing a good officer, but I am grateful that you have memorialized these officers who gave their all. Thank you, also, for your mention of my father's service. It means alot to me and my family. He loved the Force and its people. Shirley J. Jacobson