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 Patricia I. <I>Murphy</I> Longinette

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Patricia I. Murphy Longinette

  • Birth 24 Nov 1929 Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
  • Death 2 Aug 2011 Creve Coeur, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA
  • Burial Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
  • Plot Section Number 24, Plot Number 4205
  • Memorial ID 74696685

Before Patricia Longinette joined in 1951, the St. Louis Police Department was a man's world.

The department had been hiring "policewomen" since 1916. But they weren't allowed to carry a gun or badge or make arrests.

Mrs. Longinette — then Patricia Murphy — and six other women who graduated from the Police Academy with her became the first female officers with the same authority as men.

Patricia Longinette died Tuesday (Aug. 2, 2011) at St. John's Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur after a respiratory illness. She was 81 and had lived in Bridgeton.

She was one of the first female officers assigned to the traffic and vice divisions.

In August 1953, she played a key role in the arrest of Jordan Chambers, a powerful north St. Louis politician. Mrs. Longinette and another female officer were sent into the Club Riviera on Delmar Boulevard, which Chambers owned.

The two officers ordered a gin rickey and a whiskey highball at 2:30 a.m., an hour and a half after the legal deadline for buying liquor at the time. They kept the drinks as evidence and left before the arrival five minutes later of the male members of the liquor squad.

By then, the bar's shelves were bare of liquor and there was no evidence of drinking by the 150 patrons. But Mrs. Longinette and her partner had the evidence and Chambers was arrested.

Patricia Murphy grew up in north St. Louis, where her father was a dentist. She graduated from Rosati-Kain High School and worked briefly at the Army Finance Center.

In May 1951, the Missouri attorney general issued an opinion that municipalities with populations of more than 5,000 could give women the power to make arrests.

Until then, female officers had just three duties: watching runaway children, searching female prisoners and acting as decoys in saloons, said Police Department librarian Barbara Miksicek.

When the department advertised it was hiring women for real police work, Mrs. Longintte was one of 70 women who applied.

She told the Post-Dispatch at the time that applicants were tired of their previous jobs, "doing the same kind of work day after day."

"I don't know what work we'll be doing but we know we won't be bored," she added.

The department picked eight women to attend the Police Academy and seven graduated. They were hired as probationary officers at $265 a month.

The newly minted officers were issued uniforms with skirts, blue blouses, crossed ties and hats. They also got guns and badges.

The old Globe-Democrat ran a feature story on Mrs. Longinette under the headline: "She carries a gun, but she's just another working girl." One photo showed her vacuuming the rug in her home.

She married a police officer and retired from the department in 1959 after having three children. She later had a fourth child, was divorced and took up teaching. She retired from the old All Souls Catholic School in Overland in 1993 and kept in touch with the surviving members of that first class of women.

Her family recalls her pride at her role in the department's history.

"My grandmother meant the world to me, was really a fascinating person and lived a life of service to others," said granddaughter Julie Longinette. "She deserves to be recognized."

The funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 10235 Ashbrook Drive in Bellefontaine Neighbors, followed by a celebration of her life. The body will be cremated.

Among the survivors are three daughters, Ellen Hyde of Boynton Beach, Fla., Karen Schuler of Boca Raton, Fla., and Susan Eshbaugh of Seattle; a son, Tom Longinette of St. Louis County; a brother, Jack Murphy of Lake Saint Louis; a sister, Sister Mary Murphy of Mississippi; eight grandchildren; and one great grandson.

Patricia I. Longinette

Longinette, Patricia I. (nee Murphy), age 81, Tuesday August 2, 2011, fortified with the Sacraments of the Holy Mother Church. Beloved mother, sister, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and friend to many. Services: Funeral Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, 10235 Ashbrook Dr., St. Louis, MO 63137, Saturday August 6, 2011 at 10AM. Please come celebrate the life of Patricia immediately following Mass in the church hall.

Family Members






  • Created by: Timothy Tumbrink
  • Added: 9 Aug 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 74696685
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Patricia I. Murphy Longinette (24 Nov 1929–2 Aug 2011), Find A Grave Memorial no. 74696685, citing Calvary Cemetery and Mausoleum, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Timothy Tumbrink (contributor 46772461) .