John H Tennyson

End of Watch: Sunday, August 14, 1949

Biographical Info

Age: 30

Tour of Duty: 7 years

Rank: Patrolman

Assignment: Patrol

Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Gunfire

Date of Incident: August 14, 1949

Incident Location: 2500 block of East Burnett Avenue

Weapon Used: Handgun

Case Status: Closed

John H Tennyson


Patrolman Tennyson was shot and killed in a running gun battle with the notorious gangster, Earl David Bircham, when he interrupted a robbery at 9:15 pm. Patrolman Tennyson had stopped by a downtown restaurant to see his wife when the incident occurred. Bircham was captured by a former Marine when he ran into the backyard of the Marine's home right after he killed Patrolman Tennyson in the 2500 block of East Burnett Avenue.

Bircham was convicted of Patrolman Tennyson's murder and executed in the electric chair on February 1, 1952.

Patrolman Tennyson was a U.S Navy veteran of WWII and had served on the department for seven (7) years. He is survived by his wife.

To support the men and women of the LMPD, visit the Louisville Metro Police Foundation website to find out more.