Special Agent
Nelson Bernard Klein Sr.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Friday, August 16, 1935

Age: 37
Served: 9 years
Badge #:
Panel 36W, Line 6
Included

Incident Details

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date/Time of Incident:
Friday, August 16, 1935
06:15 pm
Incident to Death Duration:
Same day
Incident Location:
Alley behind 221 Union Street, West College Corner
Incident County:
Union
Incident Township:
Union
Weapon Used:
.45-caliber handgun
Suspect Disposition:
Executed in 1936
Burial Place:
Evergreen Cemetery, Southgate, Kentucky

   Special Agent Nelson Klein was shot and killed while he and another special agent attempted to arrest a man for car theft and interstate transportation of stolen vehicles in West College Corner.

   The agents went to the area after receiving information the suspect was visiting his brother at his residence. When Special Agent Klein saw the suspect walking down an alley and instructed him to surrender, he ran behind a garage. The suspect opened fire, striking Special Agent Klein five times, who died at the scene. The other agent returned fire and wounded the suspect.

   The 55-year-old man was convicted of murder and sentenced to death. On March 24, 1936, he was executed by hanging at the Marion County Jail in Indianapolis. He was the second person to be tried and the first person sentenced to death under a federal law allowing the death penalty for the murder of a federal agent.

   Special Agent Klein was assigned to the Cincinnati, Ohio, field office. He was survived by his wife, 6- and 8-year-old sons and 2-year-old daughter. His oldest son, Special Agent Nelson B. Klein Jr., 42, was killed on duty in a single-vehicle accident on May 29, 1969 in Bulloch County, Georgia while serving with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Military Service


New York National Guard
World War I

Memorial Tributes

• When it opened in 2011, the new Indianapolis field office has an address of 8825 Nelson B. Klein Parkway to recognize him.
• In 2013, a plaque honoring Special Agent Klein was dedicated in the lobby at the Cincinnati field office in his honor.
• In 2017, an Indiana State Historical Marker was erected at Stateline Ballpark near the site where Special Agent Klein became the first special agent killed since the agency was renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation on July 1, 1935.



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Special Agent Nelson Bernard Klein Sr.- Federal Bureau of Investigation - INLEM.org