SOUTHGATE - Seventy-three years after his first funeral, FBI Special Agent Nelson B. Klein of Southgate will have his second, reports NKY.Com, the Website for Cincinnati newspapers.
A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Saturday at Evergreen Cemetery in Southgate to honor the agent who was killed in the line of duty in 1935.
Klein, who was 37 years old, was the first FBI special agent killed in the line of duty after Congress enacted legislation making it a capital offense to kill an FBI special agent. The perpetrator was captured, convicted and executed seven months after Klein's murder, NKY.Com reports.
According to newspaper articles from the time, Klein lost his life as he tried to apprehend a man wanted in connection with a car theft ring.
Klein and his partner tracked George W. Barrett, known locally as the Diamond King, to West College Corner, Ind. When confronted, Klein ordered Barrett to surrender, but Barrett tried to escape, and gunfire broke out. Although he was shot in the chest and arms six times , Klein was able to return fire, wounding Barrett and allowed him to be captured, reports NKY.Com
Tim Tracy, an FBI special agent from Fort Thomas, read a newspaper article about Klein several years ago and held on to it. He knew Klein was buried at Evergreen Cemetery, and one day earlier this year, Tracy decided he would go find Klein's grave.
With the help of the cemetery, Tracy located the burial plot but was surprised by what he found.
"My heart just sank," he said. "It was really sad. The large stone had fallen over, and it was on a very steep incline. You could tell no one had been there for years and years, NKY.Com reports.
"I thought to myself, 'We need to right this.' "
Tracy began to spread the word about the Klein gravesite and learned through research that Klein's widow, who is now deceased, and his children moved from the area long ago, reports the Website for Cincinnati newspapers.
Subsequently, donations have been made by current and retired FBI agents and local police officers to pay for the repairs. The National FBI Agents Association donated a plaque shaped like an agent's badge, which was incorporated into the grave stone. Lewin Monument in Fort Mitchell was able to build a crane and lift the two-ton stone and replace it in its original setting, reports NKY.Com
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