Name : Finnegan, John P. 

Rank: Det.

Shield #: 1613 Command: 070 Detective Squad
Date of Death: 1962-05-18   Cause of Death: Shot-Robbery?
 Detective Finnegan and Detective Luke Fallon were shot and killed in a gun battle with bandits caught in the act of robbing a tobacco and confectionary shop in Brooklyn's Boro Park section. Both men were gunned down in a vicious exchange of shots with the robbers. Five suspects, the two in the store and the driver of the getaway car, plus two accessories, were rounded up within five days. One was picked up in Chicago, another in Connecticut, two in New York and the fifth surrendered to The New York Daily News.

The detectives were on patrol when they learned of the robbery. As they entered the store, both men were met by a hail of fire. They returned the fire as they fell, mortally wounded.

Detective Finnegan was 29 years old and had been with the NYPD for 6 years.
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Comments from Friends    
We were appointed the same day (10-24-56) and assigned to the 79 Pct. I was in the 6th Sqd and John was in the 8th Squad. He as a nice guy, very active and alert. I think he went into the Bureau, as a result of a cab-stickup arrest. After that I lost track of John until that fatal day. He was the first MOS that I knew, who made the supreme sacrifice. His death really hit home to all of us. A few years ago, I met his son and daughter at a DEA Memorial Picnic on Staten Island. And shared my recollections of their father with them.
— Ed Bradin

I was 19 and working in a Merkel meat market on Flatbush Avenue.The Finnegan Family lived on Lenox Road and shopped at this store almost daily. That morning John Finnegan was in the store with his son also named John I believe. To me at that time he gave me the impression of one tough, no nonsense person. He probably added to my desire to become a "cop" in which I did. I joined the NYPD in 1965 and also became a Detective retiring in 1987 from the 6th PDU. I did not realize at that time that his tragic death and that of his partner Detective Luke Fallon would only be the beginning for me personally of so many MOS being killed in the line of duty. I was transferred to another store shortly after that day and lost contact with the family, but never forgot them or John Finnegan.
— John McParland

rest in peace.
— sjs
Posted: November 3, 2006, 10:32 am

John was my neighbor growing up in Flatbush.When he was off duty,we would talk about sports and life in general.John also would visit me when I was playing baseball for Erasmus Hall at there field on MCDonald ave when he was assigned to the that area.He just loved the game.John also knew my father who was still on the job,and assigned to the 71Pct.They use to have many conversations that I recall about the job.His death affected me greatly at that time,and my father saw for the first time,tears coming down my cheeks at his funeral.I lost a great friend and neighbor.I never forgot him or his family.I later went into NYPD in 1969 and retired in 1989.I also kept a virgil on his killer,and every time he came up for parole.I sent a letter to the parole board opposing his release.This was the least I could do for my friend and his family.May he rest in peace
— John Whelan
Posted: January 4, 2007, 12:32 pm

my father,john gillen detective nypd worked on his killing.i was 12 years old at the time .i never forgot detectives fallon and finnegan .i was in federal law enforcement for 29 years .god bless these fine men
— mike gillen
Posted: April 26, 2007, 5:42 pm

This man was my grandfather. Though I never met him, I feel a close bond with him. I am told by my family that I am portraying his personality. I am 13 years old in this year of 2007. I am grateful for those people who loved and cared for my grandfather. From the storis I ahve heard it is concivable for people to respect him. I hope to learn more about him and remember the stories that I have heard and pass them on to my children of the future. Though my father, John F. Finnegan, was only four and my aunt, Maureen Finnegan Curtis, was only two at the time they can recollect many things of my grandfather. I love him dearly and hope he rests in peace.
— Catherine Finnegan
Posted: May 12, 2007, 6:09 pm

Rest in Peace Dad, Father-in-law and Grandpa. WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!
— The Finnegan Family
Posted: May 18, 2007, 8:12 pm

WE LOVE YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH G-PA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YOU'LL ALWAYS BE IN OUR HEARTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— Catherine Finnegan
Posted: August 1, 2007, 8:28 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDPA!!!!!!!!!!!<3333 I LOVE YOU <333333
— Catherine Finnegan((granddaughter))
Posted: October 7, 2007, 4:01 pm

I got to know the family a bit while growing up in Brooklyn. They were very special people and had a great love for one another! I wish them all the best!!! BTW - Happy Birthday, Mo!
— Danny H
Posted: January 28, 2009, 6:26 pm

I just finished running in the NYPD Memorial Run wearing the name of Det. John J.Finnegan. I considered this an HONOR to be associated with a hero such as he. As young officer assigned to the 70 Pct. in 1990 I saw his plaque as I walked into the precinct. Day after day his image would look onto all the officersof the command, and set a standard to hold oneself to. When I felt tired during the run I would think I didn't want to let this hero down, and finished with a personnel best time. My father was involved with this case as the Det commander of the 66 PDU, and would tell me of it. I hope in some way I have paid a small bit of respect to the legacy of Det. Finnegan, and to his family just know HE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN.
—  Sgt. Robert Delaney
Posted: May 17, 2009, 3:12 pm

Another Roll Call one Officer not Present. May He rest in Peace. Ret NYPD (66).
— Ret Mike Kelly
Posted: May 19, 2009, 11:25 am

Jerry the jew is dead. Not a minute to soon. Maybe now the family and his extended family(NYPD)can get some closure. RIP JOHN
— John McParland
Posted: June 3, 2009, 10:58 am

Heyy, thanks to all of you for you're comments and stories. After reading everything I felt closer to him, though i was unable to actually meet him. When my father, John F Finnegan, my father and his son, received the news that Jerry((I think that is his name, I'm sorry if I am wrong)) had passed away he was relieved and happy, serves that meany right ! Please continue to leave comments and stories, for multiple reasons but the main one for me is so i can get a sense of who my grandfather was. restinpeace grandpa october 7, 1933- May 18, 1962. You will never be forgotten, in our hearts forever <3
— Catherine Finnegan
Posted: June 6, 2009, 5:51 pm

My prayers have been answered.I was very happy when I received a letter from the NYS Parole Board,informing me the that Jerome Rosenberg had died in Prison.May John s family finally have closure.John was a wonderful person and neighbor. I wish some of Johns children or his wife would contact me at my e-mail address. John F Whelan,Jr(ret NYPD Hwy #3
— John Whelan
Posted: June 7, 2009, 12:31 pm

I just want to say that your father will never be forgotten because he was a great man who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the City of New York. I am the son of your father's cousin Richard Coyne from St. Thersea's (9th Ward). Being a former NYPD Detective (currently with FDNY) I am sure that John Finnigan was watching over my shoulder while i was patroling East Flatbush (67Pct) during my time on the job. May God Bless JOHN J. FINNEGAN
— Richard Coyne
Posted: August 2, 2009, 9:34 pm

everytime i click this page i cry but all of your comments ... even though i've already read them billions of times ... cheer me up and then i start crying happy tears. please continue to comment and please leave some stories. if you would like to contact my daddy(his son) about anything you can ... my parents e-mail address is thank you byee<3xo ... i love you grandpa always and forever <3333333333333
— Catherine Finnegan (granddaughter)
Posted: August 7, 2009, 10:17 pm

Retired NYFD I was shocked by this brual act. Mom wife says she was in a Wedding party with John's Brother? Maybe first name Pete? Also a Policeman?
— Ed Thompson
Posted: November 9, 2009, 12:34 pm

I would like to let the Finnegan family know that my mother and my grandmother shared this story with me many times in the past. I recently met with Joseph Coyne and we spoke of John Finnegan. My grandmother's name was Margaret Coyne Thornton, and my mom's name is Barbara Thornton Fischer. I am told that my grandmother and John Finnegans mother were cousins from Galway Ireland. I am a former New York City Police Officer having worked in East Harlem in the mid to late 80's. I am currently a Detective in the Suffolk County Police Department. My dad Mike Fischer is also a retired NYPD Officer. I wanted to let you know that we are still thinking of John Finnegan. God Bless.
— Danny Fischer
Posted: May 3, 2010, 7:17 pm

sorry I'm a day late but rest in peace grandpa<3 i didn't know you but i love you so much and i wish i could've had the honor of meeting you, but i'm still blessed to be related to you. meet you on day xoxo
— Catherine Finnegan
Posted: May 19, 2010, 9:45 pm

Another roll call two (2) Dets not present. May they rest in peace. May 18 1962-- May 18 2010.
— Retiried PO Michael Kelly 66 Pct
Posted: May 18, 2010, 6:15 pm

I love and miss you. You are always in my heart. Your daughter, Maureen
— Maureen
Posted: August 7, 2010, 7:52 pm

hi i love you so much <3
— Catherine Finnegan (granddaughter)
Posted: August 30, 2010, 1:12 am

My name is Edward and I am a member of the NYPD for the past 24 yrs. I remember when I was a Criminal Justice student at Westchester Community College in the early 1980's my professor had posted in his office a copy of the NY Daily News which had the crime scene photo of the two Detectives who were slain. At that moment I realized the danger involved in my future chosen vocation. May GOD bless the souls of Detective Luke Fallon & Detective John Finnegan.
— Edward
Posted: December 29, 2010, 12:38 pm

rest in peace<|3 49 years, still wish i had the honor of meeting you grandpa =[
— catherine finnegan
Posted: May 18, 2011, 9:02 pm

Always in my heart.
— Maureen Finnegan
Posted: May 18, 2011, 5:14 pm

Always in my heart. <3
— Maureen
Posted: May 18, 2012, 7:41 am

Rest in peace Grandpa<3
— Catherine
Posted: May 18, 2012, 9:31 pm

rest easy grandpa<3
— Catherine Finnegan
Posted: September 11, 2012, 4:22 pm

Today, Officer Arthur Lopez was murdered in the line of duty. Another fallen officer, another angel, another hero. This made me think of you and how I never got the chance to meet you. Like all your other men in blue/fallen angels, you were a hero and I love you so much words can't even describe. Rest In Peace Grandpa <3
— Catherine Finnegan
Posted: October 23, 2012, 6:24 pm

Det Finnegan you died a Hero even though you passed you will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace John
— Tommy
Posted: May 18, 2013, 6:09 am

Another roll call. Not present. RIP
— Mike Kelly
Posted: May 18, 2013, 5:22 pm

Thank you all for your continued posts. It's comforting to know we are not alone in remembering. Maureen
— Maureen
Posted: October 13, 2013, 10:45 pm

John we continue to pray for you. Rest in Peace.
— Tommy
Posted: May 18, 2014, 7:46 am

Another Roll Call. Not Present. R I P (5 2) Ret PO Mike Kelly (66 Pct)
— Mike Kelly
Posted: May 18, 2014, 5:07 pm

Hi grandpa!! I wanted to write on this, although I know you won't see this, to let you know I am following in your footsteps to becoming an amazing modest person and detective; I am interning this summer with the NYPD legal bureau. I know you're up there looking down on me, watching over me, helping me, and I hope you are proud. I love you. Rest in Peace<3
— Catherine Finnegan
Posted: July 10, 2014, 12:03 pm

John we continue to pray for you. Rest in Peace.
— Tommy
Posted: May 7, 2015, 6:33 am

Another Roll Call not present. RIP. Ret. PO (66 Pct)
— Mike Kelly
Posted: May 18, 2015, 11:25 am

still rember riding on your shoulders as a little girl💖love u uncle john have never forgotten you
— Eileen
Posted: June 6, 2015, 3:58 pm

still rember riding on your shoulders as a little girl 💖love u uncle john
— Eileen
Posted: June 6, 2015, 4:01 pm



Those who bloom in the hearts of others never fade away