74-year-old “thug” cop killer gets life sentence for Lincoln Square bank robbery

A 74-year-old man who spent about 15 years in prison for killing a Chicago cop in 1968 (and another 30 years behind bars for robbing a restaurant after he got out) will spend the rest of his life in federal prison for robbing a Lincoln Square bank in July 2018.

It probably didn’t help that David Walsh last year threatened to kill the federal judge overseeing his case.

David Walsh (inset) and a bank surveillance image of the robber. | CPD; FBI

In July 2018, Walsh went to a Ravenswood retirement home and tried to recruit an acquaintance to join him in a series of small-time bank robbery jobs, the FBI said after his arrest. The other guy declined the opportunity.

The next day, Walsh walked into the U.S. Bank branch at 4725 North Western Avenue with a plastic mask on his face and a gun in his pants. And he robbed the joint.

David Walsh changes clothes in an alley after the robbery. | Federal court filing

With $3,700 of the bank’s money in his shirt, Walsh ran into a nearby alley and changed his clothes. Then he slipped away on a train at the Western Brown Line station.

Not long after that, the guy Walsh tried to recruit as a partner contacted the FBI because he used to make money as a paid federal informant. He snitched on Walsh, but the feds say they didn’t pay him for his help this time.

The tipster wore a wire and met with Walsh a couple of more times to discuss his bank robbery proposal while the FBI built a case. Agents moved in and arrested Walsh as he rode around a bank parking lot on Milwaukee Avenue in the informant’s car.

Cop killer

Walsh received a 20- to 40-year sentence for fatally shooting a Chicago police officer who asked him if he was authorized to carry a handgun in 1968. He was paroled in May 1983. Five weeks later, he was charged with distributing cannabis and got a 6-month sentence.

CPD Det. Young Hobson, who was killed when Walsh shot him five times in the chest on May 3, 1968. | ChicagoCop.com

He got a two-year sentence for the guns and got out of prison on April 1, 1987. On April 11, saying he wanted to celebrate his 10th day of freedom, he robbed a South Side restaurant.

A prosecutor who was handling the robbery case filed a one-page “statement of facts” pleading for a stiff sentence.

“Each time this thug was released his acts became more sinister and sophisticated,” the prosecutor wrote. “An examination of his prison record will convince you that you have your hands full. He has stabbed an inmate, possessed numerous shanks, thrown scalding water, been caught with escape plans and maps, pills, and has threatened guards and even parole officers and counselors. He has also threatened to escape from court.”

“Please keep him securely locked up forever,” he urged.

They didn’t.

Instead, Walsh received a 60-year sentence for the restaurant robbery “celebration,” and then got out in half that time in 2017. The next summer, he robbed the bank in Lincoln Square.

But his willingness to threaten authorities didn’t fade.

During a court hearing last year, Walsh told U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman, “I not only would blow your f*cking brains out, you pig, but I would kill your entire f*cking family and torture and murder each and every f*cking one of them, you filthy, motherf*cking lying pig motherf*cker you,” according to the Sun Times.

During the hearing, Feinerman said he was planning to give Walsh 13 years for the Lincoln Square bank robbery. This week, the judge sent him away for life.

In a court filing earlier this month, Walsh’s attorney asked Feinerman to reduce his client’s violent history rating because a robbery Walsh committed in 1964 involved a knife instead of a gun. Attorney Patrick Boyle also argued that the state hadn’t proven that the gun Walsh displayed during the bank robbery had bullets in it during the hold-up.

The FBI said the gun they took from Walsh at the time of his arrest was fully loaded, however.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com