FBI History

Hall of Honor
FBI Agents Killed as the Result of an Adversarial Action

Photograph of Nelson B. Klein

NELSON B. KLEIN
1898 - 1935

On August 16, 1935, Special Agent Nelson B. Klein and another Special Agent were seeking George W. Barrett in connection with car theft and interstate transportation of stolen vehicles. SA Klein and associates proceeded to College Corner, Indiana, where Barrett's brother lived. When the Agents located Barrett later that day, they instructed him to surrender. However, Barrett ran behind a garage and opened fire, mortally wounding SA Klein, who returned the gunfire, striking Barrett in both legs. Barrett was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of his injured legs. Following his recuperation, Barrett was removed to Indianapolis, Indiana, where he was convicted for the murder of SA Klein. Barrett was the first person to receive the death penalty under an enactment of Congress making it a capital offense to kill a Special Agent of the FBI, and on March 24, 1936, he was executed.

SA Klein was born in April of 1898 in New York City, New York. After working as a private investigator, he entered on duty with the FBI, then the Bureau of Investigation, in 1926. At the time of his death, SA Klein was 37 years old.

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