On August 16, 1918, there was a homicide on Bedford Street in the city of Newark, New Jersey. Arriving officers secured witnesses and called for the legendary Newark Detective Thomas Adubato, who was home sick in bed and was scheduled to start vacation the next day.
The detective hurried to the scene and soon had secured a lead on the suspect, which eventually took him and two other detectives into New York City that evening, where the suspect was believed to be holed up. Soon the cops from Newark, along with members of the NYPD, had the suspect cornered in an apartment building and a gun battle ensued. Detective Adubato and NYPD Officer Thomas Flaherty were both shot, and Adubato carried Flaherty down five flights of stairs to the street, where they were both taken to Bellevue Hospital.
Although he was critically wounded, Detective Adubato asked that his wife not be told, as he didn’t want her to worry. Unfortunately, within hours, he would die. He was laid to rest at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in East Orange, and soon — nobody knows exactly when or how — his headstone was stolen from the grave marker it sat on.
Decades, later the Newark Fraternal Order of Police learned of the missing bust while planning a 100-year memorial for Detective Adubato, whose family members the FOP were in touch with. On July 31, 103 years after his death, the Newark FOP invited the Adubato family to a ceremony at Holy Sepulchre, where the story of Thomas Adubato’s heroics was told and the new headstone was unveiled. Nearly 20 family members attended the event, including Michael Adubato and Ann Marie McEvoy, grandchildren of the detective, as well as 15 members of the Newark Police Department, including Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara and the motorcycle squad.
Never Forgotten, Never Let Them Walk Alone.