Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Francis "Two Gun" Crowley

A Cop Killing

Officer Fred Hirsch Jr.
Officer Fred Hirsch Jr.

On the night of May 6, 1931, just 10 days after the Brannen killing, Patrolman Fred Hirsch Jr., 28, and his partner Peter Eudyce, 24, of the Nassau County police, were cruising along Black Shirt Lane in North Merrick, Long Island. They saw a red Ford sedan parked in a darkened area of the street known as a lover's hangout. The cops decided to check out the occupants. When they came to a stop, Hirsch exited the radio car and approached the left side of the parked vehicle. He saw that the driver was a young man, no more than 16 or 17 years old. The passenger was a pretty young girl named Helen Walsh, 16, who lived in nearby Roosevelt, Long Island. Hirsch had no way of knowing that the vehicle had been carjacked earlier from a Manhattan garage. He also did not know that the driver was "Two Gun" Crowley.

"What are you doing here?" said Hirsch to the driver.

"Just talkin'," replied Crowley.

When Hirsch demanded to see his license, Crowley suddenly pulled out a .38 caliber pistol and opened up on the young patrolman. "Well, we were in the car when the cop came up and asked Frank for his license," Walsh later said. "Frank pretended to reach for it. Instead of that, he pulled his guns and shot the policeman." Hirsch was hit four times and fell to the ground. But he managed to get off two shots at Crowley who ducked onto the floor of the car. Crowley fired again out the window and hit the cop in the chest. Officer Eudyce took cover behind the police car as Crowley jumped from the Ford and snatched Hirsch's revolver. As he began to drive away, Crowley shot Hirsch with the officer's own weapon. "I pushed him away and started to drive off when I noticed he was in agony," Crowley later told investigators, "I picked up his own revolver from the floor and pointed it at him and pulled the trigger. It fired that time and the policeman lay still."

As Hirsch lay on the ground mortally wounded, Crowley floored the accelerator as the tires struggled to get traction. Inside the car, Helen Walsh screamed in terror and tried to jump out the window. Eudyce fired at the car, which roared out of the lot in a swirling cloud of dust. The entire event lasted all of 10 seconds.

Later, when cops searched Officer Hirsch for his personal effects, they found a wanted poster for "Two Gun" Crowley neatly folded in his breast pocket.

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