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Sgt. Charles Paul Monaghan Jr.
(March 24, 1926 – Feb. 1, 1964)

Officer Robert Marvin Endler
(Dec. 12, 1926 – Feb. 1, 1964)

Sgt. Charles Monaghan and Officer Robert Endler were both born on the East Coast, both in 1926. Both served in the Navy during World War II. They both moved to Los Angeles, joined the LAPD within three months of each other in 1959, and served together at the Wilshire Station. And they died together, on Feb. 1, 1964, shot to death while attempting to question a suspected forger at a department store.

On that evening, a man and a woman went into the Sears, Roebuck and Co. store at 4550 W. Pico Blvd. They went to the customer convenience center on the second floor of the store, and asked if they could cash a check for $167.49. The 20-year-old cashier asked to see some identification, and the man showed her a driver’s license.

"I've handled many driver's licenses for identification purposes," the cashier said, "and this one didn't feel right. It felt too thick." The cashier called the store's security officer, Thomas Winters, and he agreed that the license looked suspicious. He asked the couple to wait in the store's security office while he called the Wilshire Station, which was near the store, at 4526 W. Pico Blvd.

Sgt. Monaghan and Officer Endler were sent to the store to talk to the couple. On their way out of the police station, they bumped into Officer Endel L. Jurman, 27, who decided to accompany them. When the officers arrived at the store, they asked the woman to wait outside the security office while they questioned the man.

The three officers and Winters entered the security office and started to question the man. When Endler started to search him, the man pulled a .38-caliber, snub-nosed revolver from his waistband and started shooting. Jurman was hit first, in the upper right chest and arm. After falling to the floor, Jurman was able to return fire, but missed. Endler was then hit in the chest, and Monaghan was shot in the head. Winters escaped injury because Monaghan pushed him to the floor as soon as the shooting started.

As the gunman ran out of the office, Winters picked up Monaghan's gun and chased the fleeing gunman through the store, firing at him once in the rug department, but he also missed. During his escape, the gunman shot Stephen Suzuki, 55, a teacher at Lincoln High School and a part-time store employee, hitting him in the left shoulder. The gunman then kicked open a door leading to a rooftop parking lot, jumped into a white 1964 Chevrolet Impala, and sped off.

Jurman and Suzuki were taken to Central Receiving Hospital, where both recovered. Monaghan and Endler both died at the scene. Both were 37 years old.

Charles Paul Monaghan Jr. was born on March 24, 1926, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the second child of Charles and Mary O'Donnell Monaghan. His father worked as a grocer. After serving in the Navy during World War II, Monaghan came to Los Angeles, where he joined the LAPD in February 1949.

Monaghan was survived by his parents; his widow, Mary I. Fagan Monaghan; two sons and two daughters, ages 1 to 7; and his older sister, Rosemary. Nearly 500 mourners attended Monaghan's funeral Mass at St. Gregory Catholic Church, with the Most Rev. Timothy Manning, auxiliary bishop of the Los Angeles archdiocese, delivering the eulogy, followed by a graveside service at Holy Cross Cemetery, where Monaghan was buried.

Robert Marvin Endler was born on Dec. 12, 1926, in Boston, Massachusetts, the only child of Louis and Evelyn Endler. His father was in the furniture and upholstery business. After serving in the Navy during World War II, Endler came to Los Angeles, where he joined the LAPD in May 1949.

Endler was survived by his parents; his widow, Dorothy "Dotte" Maceda Endler; a son, 11; and a daughter, 8. An overflow crowd attended Endler's funeral services at the Utter McKinley Chapel on Vermont Avenue, with an estimated 200 mourners standing outside. LAPD Chaplain William Riddle delivered the eulogy. Following graveside services at Forest Lawn Memorial-Park in Hollywood Hills, Endler was buried.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. set up separate $10,000 trust funds for the families of the slain officers.

After the shooting, the woman remained sitting in a chair outside the security office, and was taken into custody. She told police that she met the gunman about two months before, in Chicago, and they drove together to Los Angeles. In her purse, police found a .25-caliber revolver, which she said the gunman had given her, as well as five forged California driver's licenses. She said she and the gunman tried unsuccessfully to cash forged checks at two liquor stores in the neighborhood before coming to the Sears store, and she also provided a photograph and identification of the gunman. Police searched the apartment the couple shared on Veteran Avenue in West Los Angeles, and found a check-writing machine, a photo printer and more than 800 phony payroll checks.

Police also arrested two men who were involved in the forgery operation, and who also helped the killer escape. After the shooting, the killer went to a bar on Melrose Avenue, called the two men and asked them to pick him up. When they arrived, he told them that he was in trouble, and asked them to drive him out of the city. After he explained that he had shot three police officers and a store employee, the two men decided that the killer was "too hot," so they dropped him off at a freight yard on North Main Street.

The killer had arrest records in nine states, and had served six prison sentences for forgery, auto theft and assault with a deadly weapon -- including assaults and at least one stabbing while in prison -- in Georgia and Kentucky, as well as Alcatraz and Leavenworth, which released him on parole three months before the shooting. Overall, he had spent 15 of the previous 17 years behind bars.

A nationwide alert went out for the gunman, focusing on Las Vegas and Chicago. Roadblocks went up on all roads around Las Vegas, and police searched hotels, motels, casinos and bars for the killer. The FBI determined that the killer had gone to Denver, where he rented a station wagon, and they alerted Chicago police with a description of the vehicle.

Four days after the shooting, the killer was captured without incident in Chicago after Traffic Officer Joseph Bertucci noticed a station wagon with Colorado plates making an illegal U-turn. When he stopped the car, the officer recognized the driver as the killer from Los Angeles. Aware that the driver had already killed two police officers, Bertucci decided to let the driver go with a warning, but he followed the station wagon while he called for reinforcements.

About 30 police cars and more than 100 officers responded to the scene. The killer was stopped as he walked along the street by Chicago Det. Ronald O'Hara, who pointed his gun at the man and said, "I know you’re the man who killed those two policeman."

"I didn't know they died," the killer replied, and then he raised his hands in the air. At the time of his arrest, he was carrying the .38-caliber revolver used in the shooting and 50 rounds of ammunition in his pocket. While in custody in Chicago, the killer confessed to the shootings at the Sears store in Los Angeles.

After attempting suicide in Chicago by slashing his arm with a razor, the killer was brought back to Los Angeles, where he was charged with two counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit forgery and burglary. (His first court hearing in Los Angeles was presided over by Superior Court Judge Joseph A. Wapner, who later gained national fame on "The People's Court" TV show in the 1980s.)

During the trial, Winters, the Sears security guard, testified that Monaghan kept him out of harm's way when the shooting started, and likely saved his life. When the shooting started in the Sears security office, Winters dropped to the floor. "I rose up to look, but Monaghan pushed me back down with his left elbow and got in front, shielding me," Winters said. "He had his gun in his right hand. I heard another shot. ... I saw Monaghan sit down, bleeding from the head."

In June 1964, at the end of a five-week trial with 100 witnesses, the jury of eight women and four men deliberated for seven days before finding the killer guilty of all charges, and Superior Court Judge John G. Barnes sentenced him to death. The California Supreme Court upheld the verdict and the sentence, and the execution date was set for May 4, 1966. In April 1966, U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas granted a stay of execution, to allow time to file an appeal.

The next execution date was set for Oct. 18, 1967. That execution did not take place, and his death sentence was vacated in 1972, when the California Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty in the state was unconstitutional, and the sentences of more than 100 Death Row inmates in the state were reduced to life with the possibility of parole.

The killer of Monaghan and Endler was eventually transferred to the state Medical Facility at Vacaville, and was assigned to the facility's fire department, which was located in a minimum-security area outside the main gate. In July 1977, he walked away from the facility. He was recaptured eight months later in Texas, and returned to prison, to the California Institute for Men at Chino. The killer's bid for parole was unanimously denied in July 1983. He died in the California State Prison in Solano in 1996.

Monaghan's father died in 1967, at the age of 76, and his mother died in 1986, at the age of 92. They are buried next to their son at Holy Cross Cemetery.

Endler's wife, Dotte, died in 2014, at the age of 89. She's buried near her husband at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills.

The Sears store on West Pico Boulevard where the shooting took place is now a Lowe's hardware store. Officer Endel Jurman, who was injured in the shooting, recovered and remained with the LAPD until he retired and moved to Reno, Nevada. In 1981, he married actress Tura Satana. They remained married until his death in 2000, at the age of 63. Stephen Suzuki, the part-time Sears employee who was also wounded, died in 1999, at the age of 91.

In 2011, the LAPD instituted the Purple Heart Award, to recognize officers for acts of bravery in situations resulting in injury or death. In 2014, Sgt. Monaghan and Officer Endler were both posthumously awarded the LAPD's Purple Heart.

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