Served: 2 years
March 16, 1926 to May 16, 1927
On May 15, 1927 Mary Easley approached off duty and probably unarmed District Four Patrolman Wilson at his residence at 761 Kenyon Avenue and informed him that a man had just fired two shots into the windows of her residence at 621 Cutter Street. While relating this story, Ms. Easley saw the suspect and pointed to him. Patrolman Wilson called to the suspect, “Come here, buddy. I want to see you.” The suspect, 18-year-old John Coverson, 978 West Seventh Street, without a word, drew his revolver and shot Patrolman Wilson three times in the right side, right arm, and left leg.
Frank Murray, of 1219 Richmond Street, led a crowd of citizens who ran Coverson down and were beating him mercilessly. They likely would have beat him to death if not stopped by Inspector Eugene Weatherly, Night Chief, Chief of Detectives Joseph Arain, and Lieutenant John Seebohm. They arrested Coversion and an apparent accomplice, 19-year-old Enis Greer, of 643 Clinton Street.
Patrolman Wilson was taken to General Hospital. He died the next morning, May 16, 1927. He left a wife, Geneva (35), and son, Olin, Jr. (14). Patrolman Wilson was buried in Union Baptist Cemetery in Covedale on May 19, 1927.
The murder was investigated by Sergeant George Dooley and Detective Albert Schwach. Coverson was charged, tried, convicted, and executed eight months later on January 9, 1928. He was the fourth person executed for murder of a Cincinnati policeman.
Patrolman Wilson was survived by his brother, Patrolman Robert A. Wilson Sr., with whom he worked in District Four. He also left nephews and neice, Melvin C. Wilson, William Wilson, and Lillian Wilson-Grigsby. Robert retired in 1947. Melvin became a Jailer for Cincinnati and later worked for the Water Works. William became a Cincinnati Police Patrolman and served 42 years from 1945 to 1987. Lillian was hired as a Policewoman in Cincinnati during 1947. She served until 1965, then worked at Hamilton County Felony Probation Office until 1982, and died during 2008. Patrolman Olin Wilson’s great nephew, Robert G. Wilson III, served on the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department from 1971 to 1989. His great grandniece joined the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office as a Corrections Officer in 1989 and still serves.
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 revised April 17, 2011 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President, with genealogical information provided by Cincinnati Policewoman Lillian Grigsby (Retired) before her death. All rights are reserved to them, their assigns, and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.