Investigator
John Ruskin Foster
Bureau of Internal Revenue, Alcohol Tax Unit (Federal)
Thursday, May 14, 1936

Age: 36
Served: 1 year, 3 months
Badge #:
Panel 57E, Line 6
Panel L18, Line 3

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date/Time of Incident:
Thursday, May 14, 1936
01:00 am
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
Crown Point-St. John Road, one mile east of U.S. 41
Incident County:
Lake
Incident Township:
St. John
Weapon Used:
.35-caliber rifle
Suspect Disposition:
• Sentenced to life
• Sentenced to life
Burial Place:
Estates of Serenity, Marion

   Investigator John Foster was shot and killed as he and another agent were chasing a vehicle near St. John.

   While parked near a filling station, on U.S. 30 in Dyer, the agents saw a vehicle with two suspected bootleggers and gave chase. Their speeds reached 75 mph on U.S. 41 until the suspect's vehicle turned eastbound onto a dirt road, heading toward Crown Point.

   When the vehicle rounded a curve, one of the men opened fire with four shots from a high-powered rifle. Investigator Foster, who was driving, was struck twice in the leg and once in the heart, killing him instantly.

   The suspects were able to flee the scene, but the 40-year-old driver was captured by police in Chicago Heights, Illinois, three hours later. During questioning, he confessed they were carrying 200 gallons of untaxed alcohol from Chicago to Indianapolis and implicated the other suspect as the shooter.

   That 43-year-old suspect was captured on May 27 in a rooming house in Indianapolis. Both suspects pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and on June 26, 1936, were sentenced to life in a federal penitentiary.

   Investigator Foster was assigned to the Chicago District. He was survived by his wife of one year and his parents.


The responsibilities of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Alcohol Tax Unit (1934–1951) are now under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


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Investigator John Ruskin Foster - Bureau of Internal Revenue, Alcohol Tax Unit (Federal) - INLEM.org