Murder of Police Constable
The murder by shooting of young Constable James Dorgan outside a drapery store in Stafford Street, Timaru, on 27 August 1921, was the cause of one of the most intensive manhunts in South Canterbury, but the killer was never found. The dead man had been left to watch the premises because it was believed that a burglar or burglars were at work inside, but when police reinforcements arrived they found Dorgan fatally shot. The young policeman had a family of three children, and his death and the circumstances of it resulted in a fine example of public cooperation with the police. The search for the murderer was prosecuted with the greatest diligence. There were at least a dozen suspects who were closely questioned, and 70 sets of fingerprints were compared with prints left by the intruder on the door of the shop. With great reluctance the police were compelled to give up the search.