Bios of the four who gave their lives in the line of duty, from the program for the dedication of Remembrance Park last Saturday:
Police Officer Edward Pflaume
On Dec. 13, 1925, Officer Pflaume was shot by an armed robbery suspect known to police as “three-fingered” Jack White after the suspect robbed an ice cream truck in Forest Park and the police converged on the roadhouse located out of town at 10159 Cermak where the suspect was holed up. White was a top lieutenant of Al Capone and although he was apprehended at the time of the incident and later convicted of the crime, the charges were eventually overturned, freeing White for both crimes.
Police Lieutenant Herman Ziebell
On September 30, 1946, Lt. Herman Ziebell was shot and killed while investigating a burglary in progress at the Louis Laubs Gas Station, located at 7749 Roosevelt Road. The two offenders involved escaped from the scene of the crime while Lt. Ziebell’s partner raced to bring his dying partner to Speedway Hospital. Three weeks later, Charles Crosby and Henry Hitson were identified as the offenders and apprehended in New York. The shooter was found to be Charles Crosby who was later convicted and sentenced to death. He died in the electric chair in 1947. For his part in the crime, Hitson was given a sentence of 199 years in prison.
Fire Captain Frank Schnurstein
On March 29, 1969, Captain Schnurstein suffered a fatal heart attack while rescuing tenants from an apartment fire at 7320 Madison. The captain had already rescued one child and was going back to save more when the heart attack struck, resulting in the captain falling three stories off the rescue ladder which he had climbed. The fire was intense and 10 people needed to be carried to rescue with many more led out through the stairways that fateful day.
Officer Michael Caulfield
On Sept. 30, 1982, Rookie Officer Michael Caulfield died as a result of a gunshot wound sustained during a shootout inside the Forest Park Police Department. The offender, one Orin Dominquez, was in custody for a traffic-related warrant when he grabbed another police officer’s service weapon from the officer’s holster and began shooting. Officer Caulfield’s training officer returned fire and killed Dominquez. During the exchange of gunfire, Officer Caulfield, who had joined the force three months prior, was struck in the head and died instantly. One other officer was shot in the foot and the training officer was grazed in his arm with one bullet and struck in the badge on his chest with another, which ultimately saved his life. This tragic incident was the catalyst for improved gun security measures and stricter policies within the FPPD when booking prisoners.