Memorial to Samuel C. Hayden

End of Watch: February 27, 1921
Rank: Officer, Badge No. N/A
Age: 43  Years of Service: 11 years
Location of Death: 948 Westminster Street, NW
Duty Assignment: Eighth Precinct


Recently released from St. Elizabeth’s hospital and drunk with whiskey, Twitty Lynwood Harris walked down the street carrying a gun. He shot two men at random and then casually walked into his house at 948 Westminster Street, NW.

Captain Bean, Officer Cole, and Officer Hayden responded to the scene and entered the house to search for the suspect. They were advised that the suspect was hiding in a third floor room. As they were about to enter the room, the suspect opened fire from a hall closet. As Officer Hayden turned towards the suspect he was shot in the head and his body fell against Captain Bean, preventing him from returning fire. Officer Cole shot the suspect in the chest.



Officer Hayden served with the Metropolitan Police Department for 11 years. He was survived by two brothers and two sisters.


Articles from the Washington Post – transcribed by Dave Richardson, MPD/Ret.



Policeman Hayden Slain Trying to Capture Madman


T.L. Harris, Killed, Recently Patient at St. Elizabeth’s

Suspect, an A.E.F. Soldier, Gun Toter for Some Time—Desperate Fusillade in Westminster Street House, From Closet of Which He Opens Fire on Police With Fatal Effect—Killed by Officers.

Crazed with bootleg whiskey and heavily armed, Twitty Lynwood Harris, recently discharged from the St. Elizabeth’s hospital for the Insane, ran amuck in the streets of Washington yesterday morning, inflicting bullet wounds on two men, then shooting and killing Policeman Samuel C. Hayden, of the Eighth precinct, and finally was himself shot and killed, a few minutes after the fatal shooting Hayden, when trapped in a clothes closet on the third floor of his home at 948 Westminster Street Northwest by a squad of police.

Fight Waged With Fury
That the suspect did not succeed in killing more persons was due to the fearlessness of Capt. R.T. Bean and Policeman A.H. Cole, who, braving the fusillade of shots aimed at them, stood their ground and returned the suspects fire. Bullet holes in the door of the clothes closet showed with what fury the fight raged, and more holes in the walls and ceiling showed where the suspect, after being shot, continued to fire at the officers.

After disabling Harris, Capt. Bean and Policeman Cole and George Davis carried Hayden, still alive, to the street and hailing a passing automobile took him to the Freedman’s hospital. He died en route. It was found that only one bullet had hit him. It had entered his head above the right eye and had come out in the rear of his head at the left. The bullet holes in his cap bore evidence of the path the bullet had taken.

Shoots Without Warning.
With Harris’ death police have lost opportunity to find out what imaginary grievance caused him to start on his death-dealing spree. His first victim, Herbert Akers, of 2014 Vermont avenue northwest, was standing at Tenth Street and Vermont Avenue northwest when shot without warning. The bullet, steel jacketed as were all found on Harris, smashed his left heel, inflicting a minor wound.

Brandishing the automatic over his head and shouting incoherently, Harris took to his heels and did not stop until in front of 950 Westminster Street, next door to his home. There he saw John Mills, 40 years old, standing in the doorway.
“You’re looking for some of it, too, are you?” demanded Harris of Mills. Without awaiting a reply he fired at Mills. The bullet lodged in his shoulder. Harris then walked into his home, took a position at the window in the front room and calmly awaited the coming of the police. He reloaded the weapon, locked the front door and toyed with the automatic.

Police in Hot Pursuit.
Hardly had he entered his home when the police at the Eighth precinct were hot on his trail. They learned his home address and, under the command of Capt. Bean, policemen were placed on guard at the front and rear of the house and one man on the roof. Leading the way Capt. Bean and Policeman Hayden, who was the “wagon man;” A.R. Cole and George Davis searched the lower floors of the house.

They met a man standing on the steps leading up to the third floor, who motioned to them that Harris was barricaded in a room in the front of the house. The door was shut and the police prepared for a death grapple with the suspect.

Standing in a group just a few feet from the door of the room in which Harris was thought to be hiding the police awaited the suspect’s first move.

It was not long in coming. The suspect, in fact, had taken refuge in a hall closet less than two feet distant from where the group of police were standing. Opening on a sudden the closet door, Harris began firing.

Vaults Flight of Stairs.
Davis, who was unarmed, was directly in the path of the madman’s sight. Vaulting over a flight of stairs, he shouted a warning to Hayden, and as the latter turned to look a bullet crashed through his head.

Hayden fell against Capt. Bean, thus preventing the use of the captain’s gun, but Cole shoved his pistol against Harris’ chest and emptied his gun. Capt. Bean also shot the latter several times, and though mortally wounded the suspect continued firing until a bullet struck him over the heart and tore a hole through it. He crumpled up and fell into the closet, the door closing.

Four shots as a precaution and certainty were fired through the door by the police and then, satisfied that Harris’ gun had been stilled, the police carried Hayden from the house. Half an hour later they returned to the house and found Harris lying in the closet dead. The body was taken to the morgue.

In Harris’ coat pockets were found several boxes of cartridges. He had reloaded his weapon several times and one box was nearly empty. Harris had been a member of the A.E.F., and one of his hands was deformed from shrapnel.

Ten Years on the Force.
“Sam” Hayden, the slain policeman, was appointed to the force in 1910. He served continuously in the Eighth precinct and was rated by his captain as one of the best men under his command. He was a typical “old school” policeman, and a man of his word, and his fearlessness was well known. He was unmarried and made his home at 1113 N Street, NW. Hayden reported at the station house for duty yesterday an hour and a half before he was shot.

Harris was released from the St. Elizabeth’s hospital in July of 1920. Six days later, it is said, he purchased the gun he used, and has been known to have carried it on several occasions.

Hayden’s body was taken to an undertaking establishment on Seventh Street Northwest. It will be moved to Baltimore, Md., today, and from there to the family home at Lodge, Westmoreland County, Va. Hayden is survived by two brothers and two sisters.





Believes His Execution Will Expiate the Crime.


Execution Record for the District Since 1871—Two-thirds of the Criminals Hanged Have Been Blacks—List of Men Who Have Paid the Penalty Upon the Gallows—Execution of Guiteau.

The preparations for the execution of Elijah Chapman, the condemned murderer of Ida Simms, have been completed to the smallest detail, and he will ascend the scaffold of the District jail shortly before noon to-day. The scaffold has been carefully overhauled and the rope tested. Every part is in perfect working order, and every precaution has been taken to guard against accident. The cell doors looking out into the corridor along which the death march will take place have been covered, so that the other prisoners will not be able to catch a glimpse of the condemned man as he goes to the gallows. The execution will be witnessed by the authorities and many of the guards at the jail and by the usual physicians, ministers, detailed police officers, and representatives of the press. A jury will be selected from among those present to pass upon the death of the murderer.

His Last Day on Earth.
Chapman passed his last day on earth in receiving visitors. During the past two weeks he has received from ten to fifteen visitors each day, and it was his request that he be allowed to continue the practice as long as possible. He has been almost constantly attended by two ministers of the gospel, Rev. Mr. Roberts and Rev. Mr. Howard, and he has made a constant profession of Christian faith, believing that he will be forgiven for his crime by giving his life on the scaffold.

The condemned man’s mother did not visit him yesterday. She took leave of him last Sunday, when she visited the jail. Other relatives were permitted to see him, however, among them being his brother, Henry Chapman, who is also a prisoner at the jail. The brothers were allowed to visit in the morning and again in the afternoon.

During the period of his imprisonment Chapman has been a model prisoner. He has spent the greater part of his time, when not seeing his visitors in devotion. He has been in excellent health and has gained steadily in weight. He has slept well and has a good appetite. During the present week he has been under the constant, watchful care of a special guard, and the death watch was kept over him last night. Warden Harris has been interested in the prisoner, because of his excellent behavior and because of the resignation with which he met the refusal of the President to interfere with the sentence pronounced by the court.

I suffering this, the extreme penalty of the law, he will give his own life because he took that of Ida Simms, a woman of his own race. That many men met their deaths upon the scaffolds of the jails which have been in service in the District of Columbia did not serve as a warning to prevent the commission of the crime for which the prisoner must hang, and his execution will only add another to the lengthening list of examples held up by the law as warnings to all evil-doers.

Will Be the Thirtieth.
The execution of Elijah Chapman will be the thirtieth which has taken place in the District of Columbia within memory of the older residents, and exactly two-thirds of the criminals who thus died were black. There have been numberless murders in the District within the period mentioned, but comparatively few of the murderers who are brought to trial the world over suffer the death penalty. They go to fill the big prisons, where they work their lives away in the hope of freedom sometime in the hazy future, and life is sweet to them as it is to all men.

Going back thirty years, to the time when the District jail stood on the site now occupied by the Pension Office, the list of executions begins with that of James Grady, a white man who outraged and murdered an old woman named Faulkner on Ohio Avenue. He was hanged on the 24th of March, 1871. George Jenkins, black, followed on the 31st of October, 1872, for the murder of his wife, a pretty woman of whom he was jealous. He hacked her in a terrible manner as she lay in bed in her home not far from the Arlington Hotel, the instruments he used being a shoe knife and butchers cleaver. Robert Burns, one of the oldest and best known police officers in the city and now on office duty at police headquarters, discovered the murder and secured much of the evidence by which Jenkins was afterward convicted.

Case of Barney Wood.
Barney Wood, a powerful white man, who was noted for his bravery, his proneness to fighting, his good nature, and his great strength, was the next to ascend the scaffold steps on December 6, 1872. He was a watchman at the storehouses of an ice company. The property changed hands and Wood believed that he was about to lose his employment. He became intoxicated on duty and when an officer of the company appeared at the storehouses that night Wood shot him down without the least provocation. The condemned man broke down and had to be carried to the scaffold on the day of his execution. Wood was followed to the scaffold on the 10th day of the same month by Charles Johnson, a black, who had been a soldier and who returned from the war to find that his wife had been untrue to him. He cut her throat at their home in Georgetown.

On the 6th of the following June, 1873, Thomas Wright, a notorious black man who lived in South Washington, paid the penalty for the murder of a harmless Russian Jew peddler named Rodinisky. The suspect, who was tall and lanky, but powerful man with a peculiarly shaped head, struck the peddler on the back of the head with a hatchet as he stooped to open his pack in the murderer’s shanty. Wright buried his pack, hid the body in a closet until night and then carried it into an alley, where it was found. The most interested spectator at the inquest was Wright, but his nerve failed him when he was sentenced, and when the shackles were knocked from his ankles so that he might walk to the gallows, he trembled so that he had to be assisted.

Last in the Old Jail.
The last murderer to be executed in the old jail was Henry Young, a black whose home was in Alexandria, but who came to this city armed with a slung-shot made from one of his boot-tops. He killed a Virginia drover for his money. The drover’s name was Hahn. He had sold his sheep and was supposed to have a large sum in his possession. He was enticed into the bushes of a park in South Washington by a woman, and Young hit him with the slung-shot, killing him instantly. The woman fled. Young searched his victim only to find a draft for the sale of the sheep. The draft and the slung-shot were the clews which the murderer was speedily apprehended.

The first execution in the present jail took place on the 2nd of April, 1880. The condemned man on that occasion was James M.W. Stone, a black who had killed his wife and sister-in-law during a fit of drunken jealousy. Stone was a heavy man, and as the drop was greater than usual, there was some apprehension concerning the results. When the man shot through the trap his head was completely severed by the rope.

Babe Bedford and William Queenan were executed together on November 19, 1880. They were the black murderers of a storekeeper named Hurd, whom they attacked for the purpose of robbery, as he was on his way to his home on P street northwest, one dark night in the early fall. They struck him down and left him dead, but they were soon apprehended.

Execution of Guiteau.

The most notorious of all the murderers who have paid the extreme penalty for their crimes in the District of Columbia was the fanatic assassin (of President Garfield), Charles Guiteau, who was hanged in the District jail on June 30, 1882.

The more recent executions have occurred in the following order:
Charles Shaw, black, January 19, 1883, for the murder of his half-sister.
Charles Lancaster, black, May 15, 1885, for the murder of Officer Fowler, in charge of a chain gang of which Lancaster was a member.
Lewis Summerfield, white, April 30, 1886, for the murder of his wife and daughter.
Richard Lee, black, April 30, 1886, executed with Summerfield.
Antonio Nardello, an Italian, May 28, 1886, for the murder of another Italian in a shanty at the camp.
Nelson Colbert, black, May 17, 1889
Benjamin Hawkins, black, May 29, 1890, for the murder of his wife.
Howard Schneider, white, March 17, 1893, for the murder of his wife. He also shot and wounded his brother-in-law.
Bit Off Policeman’s Ear.
Thomas Crumpton, black, April 27, 1894, for the murder of a black named Shenklin. Crumpton once bit off a piece of Policeman Sergt. Mulhall’s ear.
James Travis, black, July 19, 1895.
Joseph Beam, white, July 26, 1895, for the murder of his sister-in-law.
John Harris, black, February 14, 1896.
Irwin Ford, black, June 6, 1896, for the murder and ravishing of Elsie Kreglo.
William Strothers, black, May 5, 1899, for the murder of his wife.
Charles Winston, black, May 5, 1899, for the murder of his wife.
Edward Smith, black, May 12, 1899, for the murder of Edmonia Jackson, a black woman, whose body he kept in his rooms for several days.
George W. Horton, white, December 6, 1899, for the murder of a woman named Nicholson, in the park at Four-and-a-half Street and Maine Avenue. Horton was an ex-policeman.
Benjamin H. Snell, white, June 20, 1900, for the murder of Lisa Wiesenberger.