Type of Officer: Corrections Officer
Jurisdiction: Leavenworth
County: Leavenworth
Death Date: 12/15/1923
Added to Memorial: 1997
Circumstances of Death: Gunshot
D. W. Burns, records clerk and parole officer at the Kansas State Penitentiary, died December 15, 1923, in St. Louis. Officer Burns was shot four times by escaped convict Ben F. Casey. Burns traveled to Texarkana, Texas to bring Casey and Charles O’Keith back to Lansing after their escape from the Kansas State Penitentiary. The shooting took place as their train passed through Alicia, Arkansas early on the morning of the 14th. Before his death, Officer Burns told the doctor tending to his wounds that he was shot with a revolver believed to have been smuggled to the convicts while at the depot in Texarkana. O’Keith was found the next day in Jackson County Arkansas, but Casey was not found until 6 months after Officer Burns’ death. Kansas authorities were able to locate him due to a robbery arrest in Meridian, Mississippi.