Patrolman Aaron Charles Laubach | Hamilton Police Department

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


Because of a series of robberies, on January 27, 1938 Patrolman Laubach was assigned to a plain clothes stake-out in Pater’s Gas Station at Grand Boulevard and East Avenue.

Laubach had just arrived at the station at about 7:15 p.m. when a bandit entered. A shootout ensued during which Patrolman Laubach was hit three times including the arm, chest, and head. Patrolman Laubach fired two shots without effect. His wounds proved fatal.

Patrolman Laubach was the son of Rudy Laubach, a former Butler County Sheriff. He was survived by his wife of 13 months, Marie (Johnson) Laubach; mother, Louise Laubach; and siblings Robert Laubach, Theresa Laubach, and John Laubach. He was buried on January 31. 1938 in Greenwood Cemetery.

On February 30, 1938 John W. Cline (24) of West Elkton signed a confession admitting to the shooting and implicating his brother-in-law, Chester Francis (19) of West Elkton, as his driver. Cline admitted to four robberies in Hamilton, two of them at the station where Patrolman Laubach died.

Cline was executed in the Ohio electric chair Feb. 1, 1939, one year and five days after the murder.

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

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This narrative was revised on January 23, 2011 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President. All rights are reserved to him and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.