James Burke: From beat cop to Suffolk's top cop

James Burke, left, and Dennis Sullivan in their

advertisement | advertise on newsday

James Burke, left, and Dennis Sullivan in their patrol vehicle, circa 1988. James Burke became a Suffolk Police officer in 1986, at age 21. But his association with the force began when Burke was a 14-year-old witness in the murder case of John Pius Jr., a Smithtown teen whom classmates suffocated with rocks in 1979. (Credit: Handout)

In 1979, James Burke became a teenage witness in one of Long Island's most notorious murder cases: the suffocation of 13-year-old John Pius in Smithtown.

The experience helped focus him on a career in law enforcement. Burke, then 14, testified in a series of trials that he heard admissions from classmates charged with shoving rocks down Pius' throat to keep him from talking about a stolen...

Continue Reading

Already a Newsday or Optimum customer ?

Get unlimited digital access $1 for 4 Weeks

$0.99/Week Thereafter

Get the Newsday Now newsletter!

The best of Newsday every day in your inbox.

Comments

Newsday.com now uses Facebook for our comment boards. Please read our guidelines and connect your Facebook account to comment.