The other day, a commenter to a thread that mentioned a US Postal Service .357 for sale, asked:
Why on Earth would a Postal Inspector be issued a firearm? Am I missing something obvious?
Postal Inspectors are sworn law officers, who make a lot of arrests, we replied, but we couldn’t remember when we’d heard of one having a shootout. Well, Google found us one.
Postal Man In Hot Gun Fight
Chicago Inspector Shoots One Money Order Bandit and Is Wounded Himself
Chicago, April 23. (AP) Evan Jackson, an ace among Chicago postal inspectors, and four men he sought for an $18,000 post office robbery fought with guns in a room at the Hawthorne Arms Hotel early today.
Jackson was shot three times, and may die. Clyde Markin, one of the robbery suspects, was slightly wounded and was captured. A woman companion of the four men, Marion Courtney, leaped from a first floor window and was found, painfully hurt, on the alley pavement below. The other three escaped.
Jackson had lured the suspects to the hotel with the help of what we’d now call a CI, and lurked in an adjacent room with a stenographer taking notes on the suspects’ conversation, when the suspects began to suspect something and started to walk out on the CI, Morris Stein. Jackson burst into the room and ordered the crooks to give themselves up. They didn’t.
Instead, they drew guns and opened fire.
Jackson, with a reputation in the Postal Service for daring, tossed a pistol to Stein and told him to defend himself. He then opened fire, dropping Mackin before three bullets brought him down.
Later, at the hospital, Jackson dictated a statement to his secretary, to be used in the event of his death. The names of the men who escaped were given by Mackin as Harris Travis, Eddie Courtney, and William Doody.
Stein told police that $1100 worth of money orders stolen in the robbery of a postal sub-station April 4 had been cashed in the account of his wife at a department store. Jackson… enlisted Stein’s aid in trapping the robbers.
And some things never change. For one, the best guide to future behavior…
Federal authorities said the three who got away are all former convicts.
You don’t say.
We wonder what became of Johnson — and if he appreciated what a keeper he had in that secretary, who’d follow him through a stakeout, a gunfight, and even to the hospital to take a deathbed statement. We do know he recovered from his wounds, or he’d be listed on the Postal Inspectors’ Memorial Page. There’s quite a long list for an organization focused on non-violent, mostly white-collar crime. (Among their more famous busts are televangelist Jim Bakker and class-action lawyers William Lerach and Melvyn Weiss).
You should go to the original source, not only for the bits we left out, but because the same page also has a story that begins, “A mysterious electrical device, capable of developing a “death ray” of 3,000,000 volts of dynamic energy, its whereabouts clothed in deepest secrecy, is housed somewhere in San Francisco, it was revealed today.”
But that’s WeaponsMan for you. Come for the Postal Inspector derring-do, and we’ll throw in a steampunk death ray!