In October 1936, Boston police Officer John Lynch was on patrol in Jamaica Plain when he tried to arrest a man for drunkenness — a powerful, far younger man who had been a boxer. Lynch, an Irish native and veteran of World War I, was viciously beaten, sustaining serious head injuries.
Lynch was never the same. He continued on his beat, but became forgetful, and needed constant assistance from his partners. In time, it was hard for him even to recognize fellow officers, even longtime friends. By 1940, he could no longer work, and he died four years later, at 57.