Preston Anslyn’s Early Exploits
Before he was promoted to Special Officer, St. Louis Police Officer Preston Anslyn responded to calls for service like any other patrolman. On the morning of February 28, 1916, Anslyn was patrolling the area of Franklin and Jefferson Avenues.
A citizen notified Anslyn that 30-year-old Albert Kivet was celebrating after his birthday on February 27th. During his revelry, Kivet assaulted another man. Kivet continued drinking at a nearby saloon. Anslyn entered the bar and arrested Kivet, who surrendered without any resistance.
As Anslyn was escorting Kivet to the police station, Kivet jerked away from Anslyn and began running. Kivet’s attempted escape occurred before the Supreme Court decision, which barred shooting at fleeing prisoners. Anslyn fired two shots at Kivet with one of the bullets lodging in Kivet’s right thigh. Kivet was transported to City Hospital for the treatment of his minor wound.
Kivet died at 55 years of age on November 5, 1941 from pulmonary tuberculosis. Kivet had no listed occupation. However, it doesn’t seem Kivet spent much time in jail or prison for the assault.
Due to cases such as the arrest of Albert Kivet, Preston Anslyn was promoted to Special Officer in the St. Louis Police Special Service Bureau. Anslyn frequently partnered with Special Officer William A. Moller.
On October 16, 1920, Anslyn and Moller were trailing two burglars in the 3800 block of Juanita Avenue. As the approached the house they believed the burglars entered, two shots rang out. Anslyn and Moller were each shot in the chest and died on the front lawn of the house.
After Anslyn and Moller were shot, prosecutors brought one of their cases to trial. Despite both men being shot and killed, their grand jury testimony was enough to convict Robert Porter of robbing a soldier of $155.00 at 20th and Chestnut Streets.
Porter lived by and was known to Special Officers Anslyn and Moller. They paid a visit to Porter at his room in 2010 Chestnut Street. The officers arrested Porter, when the cash and other items taken in the robbery were found in his room. The judge sentenced Porter to five years in the Missouri Penitentiary.
Anslyn and Moller’s killers were never caught. However, St. Louis Police did have a few suspects. Unfortunately, they never had the killers and the murder is unsolved to this day.
Sources: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 28, 1916 edition, p. 3 and October 23, 1920 edition, p. 3. Missouri Death Record DatabasePin It