End of Watch: 06/04/1912
Agency: Aberdeen Police Department
County: Grays Harbor County
On Tuesday, June 3, 1912, Detective Frank Welch of the Aberdeen Police Department was shot and killed at a house that he had responded to for the report of a suspicious circumstance. A woman had called for the police after she had heard some unusual noises outside of her house. Upon arriving at the house, Detective Welch was shot by the woman’s husband, John Creech. Creech, a wealthy lumberman in Grays Harbor, had thought that his wife was cheating on him. He had arrived home early from work in Raymond and was lying in wait for the other man to come to his house to court his wife.
As Detective Welch was looking around the Creech home for the source of the noise, he was shot by Mr. Creech. Detective Welch was transported to the hospital where he died the next morning. Creech was arrested and charged with murder. He was eventually acquitted of the murder charges in Grays Harbor Superior Court by unanimous verdict.
Detective Welch had served with the Aberdeen Police Department for only five months, and had previously served in law enforcement with the Seattle Police Department and San Francisco, California, Police Department.