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Q: Articles about circumstances slain police officer.. ( No Answer,   2 Comments )
Subject: Articles about circumstances slain police officer..
Category: Family and Home > Families
Asked by: caneartist-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 26 Oct 2004 11:18 PDT
Expires: 25 Nov 2004 10:18 PST
Question ID: 420359
My father-in-law's father was a police officer in Hayward, CA, during
the late 1920's.  His name is Christian Nelson Thorgaard.  Married to
Bertha; had 2 sons, James and Donald.
  Archives of "Hayward Review" only go to Dec. 31, 1930.  He was shot
in the line of duty on 12/6/31.  But there is a family rumor that he
was either involved with crime, OR that he committed suicide.
  Since the community of Hayward was very small back then, every
ticket he issued was reported in the "Review," as was the fact that
Bertha joined the PTA.
  I would THINK the shooting or suicide of a diligent police officer
would have made front page headlines.
  Our family would very much like to know the official cause of death
and the circumstances surrounding it.  My father-in-law is the only
surviving relative of that family.  He is 79 years old and does not
remember much about his father's death.  He thinks 2 bullets were
fired into his father's head.
  Copies of any newspaper articles would be greatly appreciated as
would be the cororner's report.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 26 Oct 2004 12:58 PDT

There's a site called the Officer Down Memorial Page which has a
fairly deep database of line-of-duty deaths whether from agressive
action, in car crashes, or even by their own hands.  The site is at:

If you search for "hayward" in the AGENCY box, you'll get a list of
Hayward Police Officers in the database going back to 1929.  The name
Thorgaard does not appear on this list, nor does a direct search on
the name produce any results.

Of course, the database may not be complete.  But I have to ask...are
you certain that Officer Thorgaard was killed in the line of duty?

Let us know all you can about the history of this...even small details
may be the key that helps unlock the past.



Clarification of Question by caneartist-ga on 26 Oct 2004 17:28 PDT
Thank you for your swift response.  I cannot understand why his name
is not on any roster for police officers in Hayward, CA.  I have
looked through archives of the "Hayward Review" and a front page
article mentions his appointment as police officer following the
firing of another.  When he cited a person for being a public
nuissance or some such thing, THAT was published also.  Even short
little articles about small disturbances in which he was involved,
mention his name.  So I have every reason to believe he WAS an
Also, his wife, Bertha lived into her 90's and lived near us in
Wisconsin at one time.  She made a remark one time that insinuated he
was involved in some sort of criminal activity.  Either he was "on the
take" or was zealously up holding the law making him a nuisance to
criminals. I'm not sure which and Bertha seemed to be ignorant of the
exact nature of his involvement too.
  My father-in-law only remembers that someone told him his father
committed suicide.  But he also remembers hearing there were two
bullet wounds to the head.  Unlikely it was a suicide.
  What about death certificates?  Or coroner's reports?  Where do I go
to find those, assuming they are archived on the Internet?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 26 Oct 2004 18:19 PDT
I hope my earlier comments weren't misleading.  Christian Thorgaard
definitely WAS an officer with the Hayward Police...I came across many
of the newspaper references that you mentioned in my searching.  It's
a shame the Hayward newspaper archives come to a halt at 1930.

However, I couldn't find any information about his death in the line
of duty.  As tutuzdad-ga suggested below, perhaps contacting the folks
who run the Officer Down page would be a good next step.

In the mean time, if I or any of the other researchers here come
across some additional information, we'll be sure to let you know.

There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Articles about circumstances slain police officer..
From: tutuzdad-ga on 26 Oct 2004 13:14 PDT
I have extensive access to information about officers killed in the
line of duty and I found no references in any database supporting the
story about Thorgaard being murdered in this manner, or that he is
memorialized as a police officer line-of-duty death at all.

Chris Cosgriff, who founded and hosts the Officer Down Memorial Page,
is a friend of mine. He has researchers on hand who can investigate
"unreported" instances of officers killed in the line of duty. If you
contact him through the site mentioned above he may be able to look
into the matter for you.

Subject: Re: Articles about circumstances slain police officer..
From: bowler-ga on 26 Oct 2004 18:34 PDT
After looking through an online library catalog it seems as though the
"Hayward Review" stopped in 1910 was then called the "Hayward
twice-a-week Review" until 1925 and then became the "Hayward
Semi-Weekly Review" from 1925-1930 and finally the "Daily Hayward
Review" until 1942.

The California State Library is listed as owning the "Daily Hayward
Review" from 1929 to 1942.


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