Grover Wolf

Grover Wolf, an officer with the McKees Rocks Borough Police Department, was shot and killed on November 14, 1930, by a disgruntled drunk man he had encountered several hours earlier and told to go home. That man, Otto Parsons, returned and shot Wolf.

Parsons, who claimed the shooting occurred after Wolf struck him and the two fought over a weapon, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life on January 23, 1931 (Pennsylvania had moved from a mandatory death sentence for first-degree murder convictions to jury discretion to choose life or death in 1925).

In June 1931, Parsons was granted a new trial after the court ruled the evidence did not support a first-degree murder conviction. Parsons pled guilty days later; the court fixed the case at second-degree murder and sentenced Parsons to six to twelve years in prison in June 1931. His sentence was further commuted in 1935 and he was released from prison.

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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