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OFFICER WALTER LUEDTKE

On the night of December 18, 1924, a man caused a moonshine-fueled disturbance at his brother’s house at the sight of the latest fashion trend: bobbed hair. 

As he continued to berate the mother of the two girls, ages 9 and 11, the man fled the house and found a policeman on a nearby corner. Together they returned to the home on N. 5th Street between W. Clarke and W. Wright Streets.

Almost immediately, Officer Luedtke began to struggle with the uncle and the fight got pushed out the back door. They had gone down two steps when the man put a revolver against Officer Luedtke’s abdomen and pulled the trigger twice. Officer Luedtke fell and the killer leaned over and fired one more shot into the motionless policeman in view of the mother and girls. A neighbor, hearing the commotion, rushed over and began fighting with the uncle and managed to disarm him. The uncle fled and was captured the following day.

Upon being arrested, he pleaded he had been drunk and did not know he had shot Officer Luedtke. A jury, however, needed only five minutes to find him guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Officer Luedtke had served with the Milwaukee Police Department for three years. He was survived by his wife and four-year-old daughter.