Robert K. Moncure

Date of Birth: 
1886
Date of Death: 
January 18, 1930
Location of Death: 
West Palm Beach, FL

Circumstances of Death

Prohibition Agents Robert Knox Moncure, Franklin Patterson, James Kugler and William MacNulty were executing a Federal search warrant for illicit liquor at the home of George Moore, in West Palm Beach, FL.  Agents Moncure and Kugler went to the front door while Agents Patterson and MacNulty covered the rear of the home.  Moore came to the locked screen door and was advised of the search warrant, but bolted back into the interior of the home, closing the main door behind him.  Agents Moncure and Kugler forced open the screen door, when a shotgun blast came directly through the front door, instantly killing Agent Moncure.

Agent Patterson heard the gunshots and entered through the rear door to confront Moore.  During an exchange of gunfire, Agent Patterson was also badly wounded and died several hours later.  Moore instituted a stand-off between himself and the agents for several hours before surrendering.  Moore was subsequently tried and acquitted by a local jury in State court for the murder of Agent Moncure.  He was indicted, tried and convicted in Federal court for the assault on Agent Patterson.  He received 10 years (the maximum allowed) for that conviction.

Background

Agent Moncure joined the Bureau of Prohibition on March 16, 1929, with an annual salary of $2,300.

Personal

Agent Moncure was born in Fredericksburg, VA.  He was survived by his wife, Liza.  Mrs. Moncure, in a statement to the press of the day, stated that her husband's cousin was also a Prohibition Agent, who had been killed three years prior in Baltimore.  Although the official files are silent, she was probably referring to Prohibition Agent Charles Rouse, killed in Baltimore, MD, in 1927.

Associated Artifacts: 
Image of The Charleston Gazette newspaper article, dated January 19, 1930, with the headline, Two Dry Agents Slain; Officials Instructed in Sanctity of Homes, (Page 1 of 2).
Image of The Charleston Gazette newspaper article, dated January 19, 1930, with the headline, Two Dry Agents Slain; Officials Instructed in Sanctity of Homes (Page 2 of 2)
Image of The Bismark Tribune newspaper article, dated January 20, 1930, with the headline, Florida Man Facing Murder Counts for Slaying Dry Agents
The Evening Tribune article, dated January 20, 1930, with the headline, Doran Blams Critics in Dry Agents' Death
Last Reviewed August 19, 2015