STOUGHTON, Wis. — In a story Oct. 2 about a Wisconsin town honoring a police officer killed in the line of duty in 1934, The Associated Press, relying on information from the Wisconsin State Journal, misidentified a relative of the officer. He is Bob Burull, not Bill Burull.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Wisconsin town honors police officer killed 82 years ago
A small town in southern Wisconsin has honored a police officer killed in the line of duty 82 years ago
STOUGHTON, Wis. — Decades after his unsolved killing, a small town in southern Wisconsin has honored a police officer slain in the line of duty 82 years ago.
Norwegian immigrant Paul Kraby was recognized for his service to Stoughton at a ceremony Saturday where the local department posthumously awarded Kraby the Police Purple Heart, the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/2dJUM81 ) reported. Members of Kraby’s family accepted the award.
The 43-year-old Kraby was on patrol near a coal yard when a gunman shot 18 pellets into his head early on Sept. 30, 1934, killing him instantly. Investigators believe the killer waited for Kraby to pass by. The clues: a few footprints, torn-out fence boards and burnt matches, indicating the shooter had been lying in wait.
A World War I veteran who fought for the United States, Kraby lived in Stoughton for 26 years after emigrating from Norway and became a police officer only about nine months before he was killed. Residents called him a well-liked policeman who would take drunks home rather than arrest them, and many suspect he was not the intended target.
But former Stoughton resident Duane Thorsen, who wrote the book “The Chalk Ring” about the killing decades later, believes Kraby was targeted because he was going after bootleggers during Prohibition.
“Paul Kraby was really trying to catch the bootleggers,” Thorsen said. “This person who shot him wanted to keep his friends happy with liquor.”
Ten days after the killing, police arrested former officer Joseph Pliner. Pliner reportedly had been working with bootleggers and was forced to resign. His replacement was Kraby.
“Pliner ran with the crowd that liked bootlegging,” Thorsen said.
After being jailed for seven months, Pliner was acquitted of Kraby’s killing after a six-day jury trial. No one was ever convicted.
Kraby’s adopted city had never recognized his death in the line of duty. But Saturday’s ceremony set that right, said a relative, Bob Burull of Stoughton.
“At last Paul Kraby has been vindicated and the community has come forward to acknowledge what he had done,” Burull said.