Joseph Rosenberg

End of Watch: Thursday, August 16, 1888

Biographical Info

Age: 43

Tour of Duty: 7 years

Rank: Patrolman

Assignment: Patrol

Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Stabbed

Date of Incident: August 16, 1888

Incident Location: No. 98 Lafayette Street

Weapon Used: Edged weapon, knife

Case Status: Closed

Joseph Rosenburg


Patrolmen Joseph Rosenberg and James W. Jones were walking a beat at 2 AM when they heard a woman scream "murder, help." The officers entered a house at No. 98 Lafayette Street, a house infamous for crimes and murders committed within its walls. They found Charles Dilger in the act of beating Mary Burns, alias "Bumgy" Burns, with whom he was living. What occurred inside the house was never discovered, but Dilger fled and was arrested two (2) hours later. Patrolman Jones was dead with stab wounds in the brain and heart. Patrolman Rosenberg laid at the foot of the bed, stabbed in the right temple. He was reported to have died later that afternoon.

Dilger was tried twice and appealed to the Supreme Court and Governor. His appeals were denied and he was set to be hanged on July 31, 1889 along with another murderer, Barry Smart. Both men were hanged at the same time. Smart died instantly. Dilger slipped through the noose and the rope caught him over the chin at the lower teeth. He was seemingly unhurt and was drawn up through the trap by deputies. A new rope was brought into service and the noose was readjusted and Dilger asked, "What's the matter?" He was told, "The rope has slipped its knot." Dilger replied, "This shows that I should not die." He was hanged again and died.

Patrolman Rosenberg had served with the department for seven (7) years. He is survived by his wife.

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