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New Hero Search Dennis McNamara
- Jan. 30, 2002 -

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Police Dept. Patch
Resided: Upper Darby PA, USA
Born: Jul. 04, 1958  
Fallen: Jan. 30, 2002
Race/Sex: Caucasian Male / 43 yrs. of age
Dept: Upper Darby Police Dept.
Upper Darby, PA   USA
County: Delaware
Dept. Type: Municipal/Police
Hero's Rank: Patrolman
Sworn Date: 4/1983
FBI Class: Homicide - Gun
Weapon Class: Firearm
Badge: 121
Bio: Dennis McNamara was not only a police officer but was also in the Air Force, joined the Army Reserves, was a fantastic artist who could paint or draw anything you would like; played guitar and wrote his own music; was a husband, a dad, a son and a brother and a friend.

Dennis overcame adversity in his early years in life in a dysfunctional family to become a National Security Employee in the Air Force stationed in Maryland and was joined there by his wife Diane and son Spike. Dennis loved his family and especially loved his son Spike. He was very happy to be a father and a husband and he enjoyed life in the Air Force.

Dennis eventually left the Air Force honorably and returned to Upper Darby, PA where he took jobs that really were not what he wanted but wanted to take care of his family. His wife Diane always worked so that they could provide for their son and make sure he was a happy child. Dennis worked so hard at jobs that took up a lot of his time and not a lot of money but eventually he decided to become a cop after talking with people in the town that he knew and also to enter the Army Reserves to have more of a stable life for his family.

Dennis was still in the Army Reserves when he was murdered and he had since had a baby girl named Melissa, who he named by the way, that he absolutely adored and this child was so much like him and he knew that she was his mirror image in looks and personality and he enjoyed all of his time with her. He only had 10 years with her in this life and 20 with his son but he made the best of it and was a good dad to his kids. He always worked so hard at being a cop and never backed off of assignments whether they be walking a beat on 69th Street or working undercover all night long or being in a car all day long out looking for things happening on the streets. He was not afraid of anything and I, his wife, never worried about him because I used to see the cops totally back each other up when they were working so there was no fear for me or the kids. I never thought this would happen to our Dennis.

Dennis was a wonderful person and my soul mate for life and there will never be another man like him on this planet and I am honored that I had him in my life for 22 years and that he was the father of my children. I loved him so much and still do and will never forget him in my life.

I think of all the cops that have been murdered and feel so much for their families. It is a madness that never seems to end in this world.

We love you Den. Di, Spike, Melissa

Survived by:
Diane McNamara - Wife
Melissa McNamara - Daughter
Dennis "Spike" McNamara - Son
Fatal Incident Summary
Offender: Thomas Campbell :: Caucasian / Male - 52 years old
A known problem most of his life and part of a motorcycle gang in PA and in and out of jail and just your basic loser in life that said he would never go back to jail and then ends up spending the rest of his life there. A real scholar this one!

Location: PA   USA   Wed. Jan. 30, 2002
Summary: On January 30, 2002 Dennis McNamara was doing a car stop and Thomas Campbell, A Pagan Motorcycle Gang Member, came out of a house on Perry Avenue in Upper Darby and when Officer McNamara asked for his name and turned his head to his radio Thomas Campbell pulled a gun out of his pocket and shot Officer McNamara in the right temple and killed him. Thomas Campbell fled the scene but was caught hours later after he flipped the vehicle he was in and was taken to hospital and then was released to the custody of Upper Darby Police Department and put on trial in February of 2003 and plead guilty to homicide and was sentenced to life, no parole.

Disposition: Trial was started in Delaware County Court House in February of 2003 after some delays because Thomas Campbell wanted to plead not guilty. The court house was filled with reporters and family and cops from Upper Darby and other areas and on the 2nd day Thomas Campbell decided to plead guilty and admit what he did and it was brought to the attention of Diane McNamara to decide whether the DA should push for death penalty or life, no parole. Decision was made for life, no parole, since they really do not execute people in PA at this point and have not for a long time. The 3rd day was quick and the plea was entered and it was over after the judge sentenced Thomas Campbell to life in prison, no parole.

Source: Website      Click
Officer Dennis McNamara was shot and killed while investigating suspicious activity in front of a home on Perry Avenue.

As he talked into his shoulder mounted microphone, a motorcycle gang member ran out of the home. The suspect pulled out a handgun and shot Officer McNamara in the side of the head. The suspect then fled the scene in a vehicle.

Officer McNamara was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds two hours later.

The suspect was arrested in the early morning hours following a car chase in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The suspect was seriously injured when he crashed his vehicle. The suspect pled guilty to Officer McNamara's murder and was sentenced to life.

Officer McNamara was a U.S. Army Reserve member and had been employed with the Upper Darby Township Police Department for ten years. He is survived by his wife and two children.

More from Upper Darby Police Dept.
   It is taking me right back, right back to the night my husband was murdered, shot in the head, no chance to get his gun out to return fire as I sit here and watch the coverage of the shooting of Officer Cassidy in Philadelphia on Halloween! I am sick to my stomach and I am thinking so much of his family and remembering myself and my kids on that horrible day when our sweet policeman died in the line of duty. I don't even know what to say sometimes about this because every time a cop gets shot now it just takes me right back, especially if they get shot in the head like my Dennis did! These horrible people need to be put off the planet! Just like cancer, let's eradicate them so they can never hurt anyone again! I am thinking of you Cassidy family and you are in my thoughts every day and I know what you will be going through and if you ever want to talk about this or meet with myself and my kids we would be so happy to be with you whenever you are ready. I am sorry, so sorry for you. I am Diane McNamara, my husband was Dennis McNamara, police officer in Upper Darby, PA #121 that was murdered on January 30, 2002. Mrs. Cassidy, you will now be the hero of your family to get through this and help your kids get through this. It is a long and hard road but you can do it. Things will never be the same and there will always be a hole in your heart. I still have that hole in my heart but I am still here and my kids are my whole life and they are doing pretty well now and I am so proud of them! It is always there for us though, right on the tip all the time and we will think of you and send good thoughts your way to help you in the next few days, months and years. You will be amazed at how many people will be there for you like that were there for us! I never realized how many wonderful and good people there were out there until my husband died. From all over the world too! It was just unbelievable and overwhelming all at once. My heart is with you!
Diane McNamara . . . Mar. 23, 2003
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