Edward O’Dwyer

Edward O’Dwyer, an officer with the Pittsburgh Police Department, was stabbed while attempting to make an arrest on June 30, 1881; he died of his wounds on July 5, 1881.

O’Dwyer was attempting to arrest a 16-year old boy for disorderly conduct when the boy’s parents intervened. The boy’s mother, Kate McClain, attacked O’Dwyer and his father, William McClain, stabbed him. The incident occurred in the defendant’s home at Bedford Avenue and Roberts St., in the Hill District.

Both parents were charged with murder. Kate McClain was acquitted and William McClain was convicted of second-degree murder.

Author: Bill Lofquist

I am a sociologist and death penalty scholar at the State University of New York at Geneseo. I am also a Pittsburgh native. My present research focuses on the history of the death penalty in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Pa. This website is dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and sharing information about all Allegheny County cases in which a death sentence was imposed. Please share any questions or comments, errors or omissions, or other matters of interest related to these cases or to the broader history of the death penalty in Allegheny County.

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