Merchant Policeman Albert Lawrence Doyle | Newport Merchant Police Department
Served: About 10 years
1918 to November 5, 1928
Albert was born August 15, 1884 in Cincinnati to Irish immigrants, Thomas and Elizabeth (Handley) Doyle.
His father died when he was 11 years old and his mother finished raising the family. By 1900, she moved the family to Newport and a few of Albert’s siblings had jobs. At 16, Albert was working at the Helming-Williamson Shoe Company in Cincinnati and continued as a shoemaker through at least 1914. By 1910, Albert was living with his mother and four siblings at 713 Weingartner Place in Newport and Albert was still working in the shoe business. During 1918, he began to work as a guard at the Andrew’s Steel Plant in Campbell County.
During 1923, he was appointed as a Newport Merchant Policeman.
During October 1927, Albert’s mother, widowed 32 years, died at the age of 84. Albert stayed in the home on Weingartner with his family of five.
By 1928, Merchant Policeman Doyle was well respected and recognized as one who had protected the merchants of Monmouth from loss. In doing so, he had a few close calls with some aggressive would be thieves.
Such was the case about 2:20 a.m., on Sunday morning, November 4, 1928. While patrolling his beat, Policeman Doyle came across a suspicious auto parked at the Herman Jacobs & Company clothing store on the southeast corner of Eight and Monmouth Streets. He approached the car and found two men trying to pry open a rear door near Dayton Street. Policeman Doyle drew his revolver, but a lookout he had not seen, standing in the shadows near the Citizens Bank and Trust Company, shot him in the back. Though wounded and falling, Policeman Doyle turned and shot five times at the lookout. The lookout continued shooting and the burglars shot at the officer. Doyle believed that he struck the lookout once. Otherwise, none of the shots took effect in any direction.
The shooters jumped into the auto and sped away. Newport Police hastened to the scene and called an ambulance that took Policeman Doyle to St. Elizabeth Hospital with a bullet lodged in his abdomen.
By Monday, Policeman Doyle appeared to be improving. But his condition deteriorated Wednesday and died late that night on November 7, 1928 of a gun shot wound in the back, right hip.
Policeman Doyle was survived by his wife Mayme K. (Teipel) Doyle; children, Evelyn Doyle (3), Edna Mae Doyle (2), and Robert Doyle (1); and siblings, Katherine Doyle, Lucy (Charles) Sturm, Joseph Doyle, Margaret (Harry) Kettles, and Anna Doyle. His funeral was at St. Stephen Church where he belonged to Lodge No. 1301 of the Knights of Columbus. He was buried in Section 5, Lot 428 of Mother of God Cemetery at 3125 Madison Avenue in Covington.
Clues in the case dissipated quickly. Two men were questioned on November 15, 1928 in Montgomery, Alabama after being arrested there in a car stolen from Fort Thomas. They were released but led police to another three men. Those men were arrested and even charged; but the charges were dropped in the spring of 1929.
Finally, Foreman Price, Herman “Gerky” Finan, and Theodore (aka Terry) Turner were found and identified as the killers. They were indicted for the murder by the Campbell County Grand Jury, but were, at the time, incarcerated and waiting for trials elsewhere.
Turner was charged in Bourbon County and convicted as a habitual felon and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Finan was also convicted as a habitual felon but received only a five-year sentence.
Price was awaiting trial and being held with Turner in the Jefferson County Jail in Louisville. They escaped together during May 1929. Price was recaptured in October 1929 by the Cincinnati Police Department and he was charged with a series of Kentucky robberies committed after his escape.
Turner was recaptured later, and on January 1, 1931 he escaped from the Frankfort State Reformatory with John Dougherty, a convicted murderer. Both were re-captured in Louisville April 1, 1931 and returned to the reformatory.
It is unknown what penalty Price received, but it is apparent that not one of the three were ever prosecuted for the murder of Policeman Doyle.
Mrs. Doyle continued living with her family on Weingartner and by 1930, had invited her widowed mother and her sister into the home. By 1940, they had moved, and she and Edna were working in the St. Elizabeth Hospital laundry. She retired from the hospital in 1954 and, 27 years after her husband, she died on March 13, 1955.
If you know of any information, artifacts, archives, or images related to this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Memorial@Police-Museum.org.
© This narrative was revised October 29, 2019 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Vice President, with much research and information provided by Cincinnati Homicide Detective Edward W. Zieverink III, Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Curator. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.