Roll Call of Honor

True, Agent John M.

End of Watch: 07/11/1930

Agency: Union Pacific Railroad Police Department

County: Pierce County

On Friday, July 11, 1930, Special Agent John True of the Northern Pacific Railway was working in the Tacoma rail yard when he was assaulted and died.

Suspects C. H. Ryan and Ray Stark struck Special Agent True in the head with a blunt object and he died from a fractured skull.  The men, along with a third male, were burglarizing the yard when they were confronted by Special Agent True as they were trying to break into a storage shed.  They were in search for tools to free their car, which had become stuck near a muddy stream nearby.

The men dragged Special Agent True’s body under the Commercial Dock Bridge, a bridge owned by the railway, at Pacific Avenue near South 2nd Street.

Ryan and Stark were arrested the next day.  In October, 1930, the men were convicted of manslaughter after initially being charged with first degree murder.

Agent True is survived by his wife, brother, and sister.

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