John R. Foster

No image available for John Ruskin Foster
Date of Birth: 
1899
Date of Death: 
May 14, 1936
Location of Death: 
St. John Lake, IN

Circumstances of Death

Special Agents John Ruskin Foster and Guy Goodin were working a special assignment near St. John Lake, IN.  During a pursuit of a suspicious black Ford coupe, the suspect vehicle turned off the highway and drove down a dirt road.  The agents followed, but as they came upon the vehicle, one of the two suspects opened fire with a rifle, seriously wounding Agent Foster in the chest.  They then fled.  Agent Goodin rushed him to St. Margaret's Hospital in Hammond, but Agent Foster died enroute.

A massive investigation subsequently identified two bootleggers, James Jacobs (aka James Jones) and Harlan Crouch as the prime suspects in the killing.  Jacobs was quickly arrested by Prohibition Agents and admitted that he and Crouch had been transporting 200 gallons of liquor in their car from Chicago Heights to Indianapolis.  They decided to ambush the agents because they could not get away from them.  Jacobs identified Crouch as the shooter.  Crouch was captured by agents and police in Chicago several weeks later and also admitted to shooting and killing Agent Foster.

Background

Agent Foster joined the Alcohol Tax Unit on January 21, 1935.

Personal

Agent Foster was born in Marion, IN.  He was survived by his father, R. J. Foster.

Associated Artifacts: 
Image of newspaper article from The Burlington, dated May 14, 1936, with headliine: Federal Agent Fatally Shot
Image of newspaper article from The Sheboggan Press, dated May 14, 1936, with headline: U.S. Revenue Agent Slain While Pursuing Two Suspects
Image of Work Memorandum removing John Foster from the rolls
Image of newspaper article from The Sheboggan Press, with headline: U.S. Revenue Agent Slain While Pursuing Two Suspects
Image of newspaper article from The Time Recorder, with headline: Federal Agent Killed Chasing Rum Runners
Image of newspaper article from The Sheboggan Press, with headline: Hunt Slayer Suspect Today In Two States
Image of newspaper article from The Daily Courier, with headline: Federal Officers Identify Murderer of Revenue Agent
Image of newspaper article from The Oshkosh Northwestern, with headline: Police Squad Takes Crouch
Image of newspaper article from The Sheboggan Press with headline: Convicts Flee With Three Hostages
Last Reviewed August 20, 2015