In honor of National Police Week, the Cleveland Police Museum tells the stories of Cleveland’s fallen officers.
Gerald Bode was appointed to the Cleveland Police Department on August 10, 1934.
On December 18, 1937 at 11 pm, Patrolmen Gerald Bode and Virgil Payne observed five suspects acting suspiciously at Mullen’s Service Gas Station on Buckeye Road. Bayne approached one of the men who was out of the car. At the same time, Bode approached the left rear of the auto to question the vehicle’s occupants.
As Bayne began to search the suspect outside the car, the man pulled a revolver and fired several shots at Bayne. At the same time, Bode was met with a hail of gunfire from inside the vehicle. Although mortally wounded, the officers were able to return fire before their attackers sped off in their vehicle. Both officers were pronounced dead on arrival at St. Luke’s Hospital.
The five murderers were later arrested. One was found to be a juvenile and was turned over to the Juvenile Court. Of the others, one was electrocuted, one was sentenced to be electrocuted but had his sentence commuted to life in prison and later reduced again, and the others were eventually paroled.
Officer Bode was survived by his wife, Ada Belle (nee Frame), father Ernst Bode and brothers Dr. Oliver and Earl Bode. Services were held at the Claus Funeral Home.