Sergeant Thomas P. McAvoy

1920 - 1964
Albany Police Department
Division I
Gunshot Wounds

On the snowy Tuesday of 1-28-1964 at 11:50 AM, Harold Linn, 55, of Hudson NY, barged through the back door of the Huba residence at 157 Manning Blvd. brandishing a shotgun and demanding money from Mrs. Huba and her six small children who were eating lunch. Upon seizing $33, Linn began to tape each person's hands together. Two of the kids had first managed to run into the living room and tell the maid that a "bad man" was in the kitchen. The maid escaped unnoticed and called police from a neighboring dentist's office. Sgt. McAvoy arrived almost immediately at the "Trouble Unknown" call and was told by the dentist that a gunman was in the Huba house with the family. Not wanting to further endanger the lives of the children, McAvoy left his revolver holstered and entered the house with only a flashlight in hand. Linn immediately accosted Sgt. McAvoy at gunpoint, sat him in a kitchen chair in front of the kids, and shot him in the chest with a shotgun. Linn then kicked Sgt. McAvoy, stole the officer's badge, identification and revolver, shot the officer again in the chest, then picked up both spent shotgun shells. A back-up officer arrived and the kids motioned with their heads for the back-up officer not to enter the house. As the back-up summoned assistance from the police radio in his unit, Linn escaped through the rear yards to his car parked at State Street and North Pine Street. The massive ensuing manhunt failed to nab Linn.

On 2-5-1964 Harold Linn's car struck a truck in Chicago. Linn was brought to the hospital and was subsequently arrested by the FBI for the murder of Sgt. McAvoy. A search of Linn's car revealed Sgt. McAvoy's revolver beneath the driver's seat. Linn later died in prison.

At the time of killing Sgt. McAvoy, Linn was out on parole for the 1931 killing of his sweetheart's boyfriend in New York City in which he had received a 30 year prison term.
Sgt. McAvoy, a 15-year police veteran, was sworn in on 6-26-1948. He served in the Navy Air Corps in W.W. II, flew 50 missions on a B-24 over North Africa and England, and won the Air Medal. The McAvoy's lived at 77 North Main Street, 1st floor, and loved to hike, camp and fish together. Sgt. McAvoy's take home pay at the time was $70 per week. He was known as "a friendly, cheerful man and damn good cop" and "a kind, wise husband and father".

McAvoy's survivors included his widow, Rita Hunkle McAvoy; two sons, Thomas P. Jr., 20, and Patrick J., 15; mother, Mary Quigley; and sister, Mrs. John Franklin. He was buried Friday 1-31-1964 from Champion & Sons Funeral Home, and Blessed Sacrament Church, and buried at Our Lady of Angel's Cemetery in Colonie, NY. (His wife Rita died 1-15-1994 in Albany at the age of 72.)