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Cahill (Thomas J.) Papers
SFH 15  
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San Francisco Police Department Records Series 1 1949-1970 bulk


Arranged by type of record, then chronologically.

Scope and Contents

Chiefly records from a long-term undercover vice investigation, 1954-1959; together with a few memos, publications, press releases, and audio recordings, 1954-1970. A handful of memos concerns Mafia investigations of 1968-1970.
The undercover vice investigation, led by Head of the Super Vice Squad Frank Ahern, (who was partners with Cahill as a homicide inspector and was later promoted to Chief) includes correspondence, transcripts, and partially-identified audio recordings. Most of the material seems to be documentation gathered by an undercover operative investigating prostitution and bookie rings, gambling, narcotics, and homosexuals. There were a series of public trials around 1956 based on the information obtained through the investigation's wiretaps, in which Mabel Malotte and Inez Burns both figure prominently.
Audio includes several partially-identified or unidentified wire spools and reel-to-reel tapes, including a set of seven reels housed in an envelope labeled "Homicide detail," with a note to Cahill enclosed from John B. Hood. Some of the audio might match up to the transcripts in this series.
box 1, folder 1-24

Vice investigation: Internal Documents 1954-1959

box 1, folder 25-40

Vice Investigation: Transcripts 1954-1959

box 1, folder 41

Vice Investigation: Correspondence 1954-1959

box 2, folder 1

Memos 1954-1970

box 2, folder 2

Press Releases 1957-1970

box 9, disk 1-11, box 6, folder 1-10

Audiorecordings 1949-1956?

Scope and Contents

6/1 “Dictation of Polly Gould on Meeting with Bones Remmer,” November 12, 1949 (wire spool). 6/2-3 [Polly Gould recordings] (wire spools), [1949] 6/4-5 [Polly Gould recordings] (reel-to-reel), late 1949 6/6 Unidentified wire spool recordings "Trans. 1-3," [195?] (3 spools)
6/7 "Homicide detail" (7 reel-to-reels), [195?] Box 9 Memovox discs sent to Inspector Frank Ahern (11 discs), [195?]
6/8 "Hoodlum organization" (reel-to-reel), Apr. 22, 1956 6/9 "Tape of conversation with Chief" (reel-to-reel), undated 6/10 Unidentified recording (reel-to-reel), undated
box 2, folder 2-18, box 7, folder 1-3

Correspondence Series 2 1950-1999


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and Contents

Incoming and outgoing correspondence, mostly concerning Cahill's promotions and appointments, speaking engagements and public appearances, and work in professional associations and government commissions. Several folders contain letters, cards, and telegrams of congratulation on his appointment to Deputy Chief in 1956 and Chief in 1958, including one disbound scrapbook devoted to Cahill's appointment as Chief. Notable items include: a copy of General Order No. 69, dated Sept. 10, 1958 and a letter from Richard Nixon thanking Cahill for his letter regarding J. Edgar Hoover's death. The series Includes a few photographs that were enclosed with correspondence, now filed separately: Visit to Waterford Garda Barracks, Ireland (Aug. 29, 1969), Cahill and unidentified man in antique car (undated), and John F. Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy, and John F. Kennedy, Jr. (undated). Please see Appendix B for corresponding folders.

Professional Activities Series 3 1951-2000


Arranged by type of activity or document, then chronologically.

Scope and Content

Scheduling diaries; speeches and interviews; papers documenting Cahill's attendance at conferences, events, and trips, as well as his bids for public office; typescripts; certificates and awards; biographical sketches, and SFPD ephemera. Includes photographs and audiorecordings documenting various speeches, interviews, events, and trips.
box 2, folder 20-24, box 3, folder 1-2

Scheduling Diaries 1957-1969

Physical Description: 7 folders

Scope and Contents

Includes one scheduling diary of Chief Ahern, 1958.
box 6, folder 11, box 7, folder 4, box 3, folder 3-19, box 9

Speeches and Interviews 1951-1995

Scope and Contents

Speech materials consist mostly of undated handwritten notes, along with typescripts, drafts, and some speeches of other people. Includes a a few police photographs that accompanied a speech on crime from the 1950s; a phonograph recording of Cahill and Ahern with Senator Kefauver and Senate staffer George Reedy in March 1951 for the Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce; a transcript and phonograph recording of Cahill's appearance on Meet the Press on Feb. 19, 1967; a reel-to-reel audiorecording of a speech Cahill made at a testimonial dinner for Archbishop McGucken on June 16, 1967, at which Cahill was master of ceremonies; and a reel-to-reel audiorecording of an interview with Cahill conducted by a student at Red Bluff High School and published in the school newspaper on March 14, 1969.
box 3, folder 20-21

Typescripts 1960-[1980]

Scope and Contents

Includes a typescript of Cahill's report, Outlook for Civil Disobedience, 1967.
box 3, folder 22

Conferences 1955-1997

box 3, folder 23

Conference: International Association of Chiefs of Police 1960

box 7, folder 5

Conference: Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit 1963

Scope and Contents

This folder consists of photographs only.
box 3, folder 24

Conference: National Conference on Crime Control 1967

box 3, folder 25

Conference: California Disaster Council, Governor's Disaster Council Task Force Jan. 29, 1970

box 3, folder 26

Conference: California Peace Officers Association Midwinter Feb. 1970

box 4, folder 1

Events 1959-1994

box 4, folder 2

Soviet Premier Khruschev's visit Sept. 1959

box 4, folder 3-8, box 7, folder 6-8

Testimonial dinner June 23, 1967

Scope and Contents

Includes materials from two scrapbooks, plus photographs from one small album and one Sheraton Hotel album.
box 4, folder 9

Testimonial dinner Mar. 17, 1970

box 4, folder 10

Testimonial dinner June 5, 1975

box 4, folder 11

Stockton Police Facility tenth anniversary 1980

box 4, folder 12

Birthdays 1990-2001

box 7, folder 19, box 4, folder 13

90th birthday party June 8, 2000

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of the event at United Irish Cultural Center.
box 4, folder 14, box 7, folder 9-18

Hall of Justice Rededication Ceremony March 10, 1994

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs from three albums plus some loose photos.
box 4, folder 15

Hibernian Newman Club Luncheon March 27, 2000

box 4, folder 16, box 7, folder 20

Trip to Hawaii Oct. 1968

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs.
box 4, folder 17, box 7, folder 21-22

Trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina Dec. 1-18, 1968

Scope and Contents

Include photographs, originally housed in a photo album embossed: Buenos Aires (Republic of Argentina), December 1-18, 1968.
box 4, folder 18

Trip to Ireland Aug. 1969

box 4, folder 19

Professional service: International Association of Chiefs of Police 1962

box 4, folder 20

Professional service: San Francisco Charter Commission 1978

box 4, folder 21

Professional service: Bank Advisory Board [1978?]

box 8, folder 1

Certificates and awards (oversize) 1948 and 1958

box 4, folder 22-23

Certificates and awards 1951-1995 and [undated]

box 4, folder 24

Press releases 1970 and 1992

box 4, folder 25

SFPD ephemera

box 4, folder 26

Biographical sketches


Clippings and Printed Material Series 4 1936-2002

Physical Description: 35 folders, 1 flat box


Arranged by type of document, then chronologically.

Scope and Contents

Includes clippings about or sent to Cahill, as well as those concerning investigations in which he was involved or topics in which he was interested. Some clippings might have been used to prepare speeches. Clippings sent by the San Francisco Police Credit Union have orange tags glued to them. There is also a scrapbook/case file compiled by Pacific Telephone Company about the January 1954 kidnapping of Leonard Moskovitz, documenting the company's—and particularly Chief Special Agent Doug Hayden's—role in apprehending the kidnappers and effecting Moskovitz's release.
Other printed materials include magazines, journals, government documents, and monographs that Cahill collected, containing articles about him or featuring topics about which he was concerned. A few items are written or co-written by him in his capacity as Police Chief or commission member, including: 128 Hours: A Report of the Civil Disturbance in the City and County of San Francisco (1966), published by the SFPD in the wake of the riots spurred by the police shooting of an African American youth in Hunters Point; and The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society and Supplemental Statement on Constitutional Limitations, both issued in 1967 by Lyndon B. Johnson's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice, on which Cahill served.
box 5, folder 1-7, box 4, folder 27-36, box 8

Clippings 1936-2002 bulk

box 5, folder 8

Periodicals: Police and Peace Officers' Journal, San Francisco edition 1953-1956

box 5, folder 9-10

Periodicals: Police Chief June 1958-2001

box 5, folder 11

Periodicals: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin Oct. 1960-Mar. 1970

box 5, folder 12-13

Periodicals: Miscellaneous titles 1960-1968

box 5, folder 14

Periodicals: University of San Francisco 1969-1980

box 5, folder 15

Periodicals: San Francisco Police Department yearbook 1982

box 5, folder 16

Periodicals: West's Who's Who in U.S. Law Enforcement Leaders 1990-1991

box 5, folder 17

Periodicals: The Watch Report 1998-1999

box 5, folder 18

Government documents: 1960-1971

box 5, folder 19-20

Government documents: The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society: a Report by the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice 1967

box 5, folder 21-23

Newsletters and pamphlets 1940-1997 and [undated]

box 5, folder 24

Monographs: 128 Hours 1966

box 5, folder 25

Miscellaneous Monographs [1966]-1994


Unidentified Photographs Series 5 1962-2000

Physical Description: 4 folders, 1 oversize folder

Scope and Contents

Consists of photographs that are not identified as being part of other series. Most of the photographs are described as part of other series; please see other series descriptions and container list for further information.


Arranged chronologically.
box 7, folder 23


box 8, box 7, folder 24-26



Photographs transferred to San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection Appendix B

box 7, folder 1

Visit to Waterford Garda Barracks, Ireland Aug. 29, 1969


Removed from Box 2 Folder 13.
box 7, folder 12

Cahill and unidentified man in antique car, undated


Removed from Box 2 Folder 17
box 7, folder 3

John F. Kennedy, Caroline, and John F. Jr. Kennedy 2/18 undated


Removed from Box 2 Folder 18.
box 7, folder 4

Police photographs from speech on crime 1950s


Removed from Box 3 Folder 3.
box 7, folder 5

Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit 8th Annual Conference, Los Angeles April 1963


Removed from Box 3.
box 7, folder 16

Testimonial dinner, small album June 23, 1967


Removed from Box 4 Folder 8
box 7, folder 7-8

Testimonial dinner, Sheraton Hotel album June 23, 1967


Removed from Box 4 Folder 8
box 7, folder 9-17

Hall of Justice re-dedication ceremony albums 1-3 March 10, 1994


Removed from Box 4 Folder 13
box 7, folder 18

Hall of Justice re-dedication ceremony March 10, 1994

box 7, folder 19

90th birthday party at United Irish Cultural Center June 9, 2000


Removed from Box 4 Folder 15.
box 7, folder 20

Trip to Hawaii mid-October 1968


Removed from Box 4 Folder 16
box 7, folder 21-22

Trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina from album) Dec. 1-18, 1968


Removed from Box 4 Folder 17
box 7, folder 23

Miscellaneous photographs 1962-2000

box 7, folder 24-26, box 8

Undated photographs

box 8

Oversized magazine and newspaper clippings Appendix C