Capt. John J. MacGillivary, 61, oversaw city homicide squad

December 17, 1996|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

John Joseph MacGillivary, a veteran city police captain who supervised Baltimore's homicide detectives for a decade, died of cancer Friday at his home in Bel Air. He was 61.

Captain MacGillivary began his police career 28 years ago on patrol in the Southern District and was eventually promoted to captain to oversee the homicide unit, where hundreds of murders were solved under his direction.

"Captain Mac," as he was called by his detectives, was transferred to the chief of patrol's office last year under the Police Department's controversial rotation policy.

"He has been missed and will be missed," said Sgt. Jack Barrick, the senior supervisor of the homicide unit.

"God don't make people much better than Captain Mac. I'm not saying he walks on water, but they don't make them much better than him. He was a good soldier," said Sergeant Barrick. "His abilities and credentials far exceed the rank he held in our agency."

Captain MacGillivary's son, Gregory, now a homicide detective in the unit his father once ran, said, "He loved working with the Police Department. He was in awe of how his men and women were able to work the long hours and be away from their families for the time it takes to solve a homicide."

A native of Canada, Captain MacGillivary earned a degree in business administration from Boston College and managed several department stores before joining the Police Department.

He was a military policeman in the 1950s and later graduated from the FBI Academy.

In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife of 37 years, the former Cornelia Bielski of Bel Air; another son, Kevin MacGillivary of Bel Air; four daughters, Elaine S. Smith, Margaret Duff, Maryann Kantor and Selene Gorrell, all of Bel Air; and six grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. today at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, 615 Congress Ave. in Havre de Grace.

Contributions may be made to Johns Hopkins Hospital, Children's Oncology Center, 600 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore 21205.

Pub Date: 12/17/96

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