Served: 7½ months
April 16, 1948 to November 30, 1948
Having survived his tour as a coxswain for the U.S. Navy during World War II, Lewis Hall returned to Cincinnati and married Clara Boebinger, the widow of a man who did not make it back from the war. She was pregnant when he began his career with the Police Department, but she lost the baby at birth in June.
Also during June, he was transferred to the Highway Safety Bureau to replace Motorcycle Patrolman John Hughes, who had been killed in a motorcycle crash. He was wearing Patrolman Hughes’s leather jacket when he went to work on the morning of November 30, 1948.
At 1:50 p.m. that afternoon, Patrolman Hall paced a speeding car and activated his lights and his siren as they traveled outbound on Queen City Avenue. The car did not pull over. In the 2300 block, just past Sunset Avenue, the car and motorcycle were side-by-side. The driver of the car veered right, forcing the motorcycle off the road, but Patrolman Hall dodged the obstacles and came back onto the road to continue the pursuit. He crashed the motorcycle into a utility pole at 2450 Queen City Avenue. There were no witnesses to the crash, but it seemed likely that he was forced off the road again.
Dr. Fred Trinkle, the man who brought Patrolman Hall into the world, drove up on the crash site and pronounced him dead. The coroner found he had suffered a broken neck, fractures of his right hip and leg, a crushed chest, a fractured skull, and internal injuries.
Patrolman Hall’s murder left his wife Clara a widow for the second time. She fainted when notified of her second husband’s death, so soon after the death of their child. She was rushed to Bethesda Hospital. Patrolman Hall was also survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hall, and a sister, Mrs. Bertha Gordoni. He was laid out at Busse & Borgmann funeral home and buried on December 3, 1948 in Vine Street Hill Cemetery. Pallbearers included Patrolmen Paul Bare, John Gallespie, Wilber Cappel, Bill Rainey, Walter Hanlon, and William Finnell.
Police searched for the killer’s auto, but never found it.
If you have information, artifacts, archives, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati incinnati Police Museum at Director@police-museum.org.
This narrative was revised November 22, 2012 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President, with research assistance from Cincinnati Police Dispatcher Karen Arbogast (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Volunteer. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.