Retired Chicago Police Detective Charles Salvatore worked with his partner Thomas Vance Minton for about a year. But in that year he learned a lot about how to conduct an investigation from Detective Minton, who went by nickname “TV.”
One thing TV taught Salvatore was the importance of being thorough. Salvatore said that when the two began working together in Area 1 homicide, Minton would look at every angle in a case. He would gather all the paperwork, go into a corner of the Area and read every report. He would try to visualize each case report, searching for any patterns that might be hidden in them.
“He was a great detective, very thorough, very meticulous in everything he did,” said Salvatore.
Minton, a lifelong cigar smoker, was also known for being one of the most dapper dressers on the police department. Each day, the color of his belt, holster, bullet pouches, and shoes matched.
Salvatore was so impressed with Minton’s methods that he adopted the same investigative thoroughness in his own cases.
Clearly, a bond was formed between the two men, a bond that remained even decades after both men retired.
It was this bond that compelled Salvatore to take action after he heard that Minton had died in his home a few weeks ago. Minton had no family save for a distant cousin. Minton met each day with a friend for breakfast at The View on 82 and Harlem. When Minton didn’t show up one morning, the friend went to Minton’s house and found him deceased.
Things got complicated. Because Minton had no family, his body remained at the morgue. Salvatore, upset at thinking of an old partner’s remains being stuck at the morgue, went to work. He spent several days tracking down Minton’s cousin and helping to make arrangements for Minton.
But there was something lacking. Salvatore could not hold a service for Minton because people could not be tracked down in time.
For this reason, Salvatore decided to hold a Memorial and Celebration of Life for Minton, Monday, May 14 at the Primetime Restaurant, 7750 W. 95th Street from 6-9 pm.
There will no doubt be many great stories about Minton, including his love of Lincoln Town Cars and his restoration of them, which won him several awards during his retirement. One of his restored Lincolns was donated to a Lincoln museum in Michigan.