In honor of police week coming up (May 15th) Evergreen Washelli wanted to share a unique story of one of the many Police officers we have buried in our cemetery. There will be a ceremony coming up where Charles O. Legate will be receiving a new marker in celebration of Police Week, and in honor of the sacrifice he paid carrying out his job as a Police officer. Legate was thought to have been murdered because he threatened to expose wrongful doings that were occuring at the time. Even at the cost of death Legate upheld his morals and duties to protect the city. Below is a picture of the proof of the new marker that will be replacing the old temporary marker that is now in place.
Officer Charles O. Legate is found murdered on March 17, 1922.
On March 17, 1922, Officer Charles O. Legate (1872-1922) is found murdered in a locked garage on his beat near 12th Avenue and Jackson Street. At first, the death is ruled a suicide, but is later discovered to be murder.
In the early morning hours of March 17, Legate went missing from his beat. Officers went to a garage where Legate kept his car and found him inside with the doors locked. He was dead with two gunshot wounds and a gash to his head. His revolver was found nearby with two rounds fired.
The suspects involved had manipulated the crime scene; leading detectives to originally believe his death was a suicide. Evidence later convinced investigators that Officer Charles O. Legate was murdered determined because the wounds to his head were later found to have come from a different gun.
Four years later, Police Chief William B. Severyns, who was appointed to clean up the Seattle Police Department after Legate’s death, wrote in a series of articles in the Seattle Union Record, “It was something in the inner workings of the tenderloin that brought Legate’s murder ….[It might have been] a quarrel over the division of spoils. There had been hard feelings between Legate, other policemen, and other underworld characters, and … Legate had threatened to squeal. One of two men, or both, did the shooting. One of these men was a policeman. The other was an underworld character, a dealer in liquor and dope” (Victor, 167).