Served: 7 years
February 1, 1891 to January 10, 1898
During the Christmas holidays of 1897, bandits entered the Wiedeman Jewelry Store at 1602 Freeman Avenue, bound and gagged the clerk, and made off with property. On January 9, 1898 word reached Police headquarters that Herman Diehm, alias Ed Meyers, of 1308 Bremen Street, the suspected ring leader of the gang, was at Jack Dougherty’s house at 547 E. 8th Street with others of the gang and possibly some of the loot. The officers were warned that Diehm would resist arrest until death.
Though off duty at the time, Detective Moran went to the house with Detectives James Dwyer, Lou Becker, and Phil Roach, Sergeant Sinkking, and Officers Miller, Parr, and Gheogan. Sergeant Sinkking and the officers went to the rear while Detectives Becker and Roach covered the side entrance. At 8 p.m. Detective Moran told Detective Dwyer to “step aside” and then ordered those inside to open the door. The door was opened and, as Detective Moran walked in, Diehm fired at the detective and escaped out the side of the house amid a shower of bullets. Detective Moran, shot through the torso, said to Detective Dwyer, “My God, Jim, I’m shot! Send me to the hospital!”
Patrol 2 took Detective Moran to Cincinnati General Hospital.
After Diehm escaped, the gang members left in the house were arrested: John Hattersly, 26, of 6 Perin Street; Buck Wainright, 26, of 932 Kenyon Avenue; and Johnny Needham, 25, of 825 West Liberty Street. Needham made a statement that he saw Diehm fire some shots, but did not see who he shot.
At the hospital, Doctors Dandridge and Shields removed a .41 caliber bullet which had pierced both of Detective Moran’s lungs. He rested easily to 7 a.m. the next day, January 10, 1898, but then took a turn for the worst. Mrs. Moran, though several months pregnant, came to the hospital where she cared for his every need. Deputy Clerk of Police Court, Edward McHugh, took a dying declaration in the presence of Lieutenant Krumpe and Dr. J. M. French. He made another in the presence of J.B. Menke, Al Wuest, and Peter J. O’Hara. Each time Detective Moran identified Diehm as the shooter. Reverend James Donohue of St. Edwards Church administered the sacrament of Extreme Unction. Detective Moran died at 1:10 p.m.
Detective Moran left his wife, Anna, and four children; Edward G. Moran, Robert Moran, Elmer Moran, and Florence Moran. He was laid out in his home at 1488 State Street. Father F. X. Dutton presided over the funeral, a high mass at the Blessed Sacrament Church on Wilder Avenue near Gest Street, and he was buried in St. Joseph’s New Cemetery. Lieutenant Krumpe, Sergeant Keidel, Detectives Phillip J. Roach and James Dwyer, and Officers John H. Martin, James O’Neill, and Michael Batters acted as pallbearers.
On March 9, 1898, Anna gave birth to Detective Moran’s fifth child, a boy she named Emmit Moran, but he joined is father only nine months later in December 1898. Anna joined them both 42 years later in November 1940.
Three days after the shooting, based on a flier distributed to area law enforcement agencies by Chief Phillip Deitsch, Covington Officers discovered Diehm in their city. Covington Lieutenant Schleuter and Officers Kiely and Brenkamp followed him to the Central Hotel on Pike Street near Russell Street and, at 1 a.m. on January 12, arrested Diehm in bed. He had a .38 caliber British Bulldog revolver under his pillow. Diehm admitted to them that he had fired on the night Detective Moran was shot, but claimed it was only in self-defense.
Diehm was indicted for Murder of the 1st Degree. On April 25, 1898, he was tried in front of Judge Samuel Smith. Diehm’s attorneys argued that Diehm fired, but that he had missed Detective Moran, ergo someone else shot him. The jury on May 14, 1898, returned a verdict of Not Guilty.
We will never know to what level Detective Moran may have aspired in his next twenty or thirty years had he lived, but his grandson, Stanley Grothaus, joined the Cincinnati Police Department and retired as an Assistant Chief. His great grandson, William M. Gustavson, became an attorney and eventually rose to th elevel of Cincinnati Assistant Solicitor and Safety Director. He still serves on the BAR.
During June 2009 Museum volunteers Thomas and Marilou Waller noted that Detective Moran’s gravestone substantially sunk into the ground. They asked for the family’s permission to repair the grave. The family not only approved, but Great Grandson Glenn Grothaus purchased another headstone that identified Moran as a detective and killed in the line of duty.
If you have information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Director@police-museum.org.
This narrative was researched and revised on January 6, 2013 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President, with assistance and images supplied by Cincinnati Police Sergeant Thomas A. Waller (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Past Vice President. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society..