Patrolman Aaron Charles Laubach | Hamilton Police Department



Age:     35
Served: 7¾ years
April 5, 1930 to January 27, 1938



Aaron was born about April 5, 1902 in Hamilton to Rudolph G. “Rudy” and Louise E. Laughbach.  Rudy was a member of Butler County law enforcement, including being elected as Butler County Sheriff.  He died when Aaron was 26 years old.

Three years later, Aaron joined the Hamilton Police Department as a Patrolman during 1931.

At 34, he married Johnnie Marie Fowler, also of Hamilton, on December 26, 1936 in Davidson, Tennessee.



Because of a series of robberies, Patrolman Laubach was assigned to a plain clothes stake-out in Pater’s Gas Station at Grand Boulevard and East Avenue on January 27, 1938.  Laubach had just arrived at the station at about 7:15 p.m. when a bandit entered immediately behind him.

A shootout ensued during which Patrolman Laubach was hit three times including the arm, chest, and head.  He returned two shots, but without effect.  He died within five minutes.

Patrolman Laubach was survived by his wife of thirteen months, Johnnie Marie (Fowler) Laubach; mother, Louise Laughbach; and siblings Robert Laubach, Theresa Laubach, John Laubach, Russel Laubach, and Jackie Laubach.  He was buried on January 31. 1938, in Greenwood Cemetery, Section W, Lot 406, Space 4.



An investigation ensued and, within a month, John W. Cline, 24, of West Elkton, was arrested.  He signed a confession to the shooting February 20, 1938 implicating his brother-in-law, Chester Francis, 19, West Elkton, as his driver.  He also admitted to four other robberies in Hamilton, two of them at the station where Patrolman Laubach died.



John Cline was executed in the Ohio electric chair February 1, 1939, less than one year after the murder.

Francis Cline pled guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.



Marie Laughbach never remarried and died 46 years later on January 23, 1984.


If you know of any information, archives, artifacts, or images regarding this officer or incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at

© This narrative was further researched and revised on January 24, 2013 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Director.  All rights are reserved to him and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.