A True FBI Crime Story. . . 



Career FBI agent William Plunkett’s new book, The G-Man and the Diamond King: A True FBI Crime Story of the 1930s, brings to life a sensational Depression era murder and subsequent trial that put Cincinnati under the national spotlight.

The victim, a young agent named Nelson Klein working in the Cincinnati office, was the first FBI agent killed in the line of duty, and his assailant, a career criminal from Kentucky named George Barrett, was the first man executed under a new statute that made the murder of a government agent a federal offense.

 News headlines of the day

 News headlines of the day

The trial was held in a packed Indianapolis courtroom and both it and Barrett’s execution were spectacular events. The federal court verdict was death by hanging but Indiana’s method was electrocution, which necessitated bringing in the famous “human hangman,” Phil Hanna—a story in himself—who dismantled an Illinois gallows and reassembled it in Indianapolis, expressly for Barrett. 

Plunkett’s research began when he attended a memorial service for Agent Klein, held in Southgate, Kentucky, nearly seventy-five years after Klein’s death in a deadly shootout beside a flower garden in the little town of College Corner, just north of Cincinnati. Wondering at the melancholia he was feeling for the forgotten agent, Plunkett took on Klein as his personal case: who was Klein, his life ended almost before it began, who was George Barrett—a man who had killed his own mother—and how had they ended up tragically in a College Corner backyard?

The author’s research through decades-old FBI files, interviews, and extensive reading has culminated in a fresh look at an important yet near-forgotten story. Plunkett tells it dramatically, poising it against the backdrop of one of America’s most dangerously exciting decades and the birth of modern crime-fighting itself.


The book is on Amazon.com for $19.95.

If a signed copy is desired, you can contact Bill at wplunkett@zoomtown.com. He will send one out for $25 which covers the book for $20 & $5 for packaging and postage. Tell Bill I referred you over.

All proceeds go to the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI Foundation (Charity).

Notice: We have no financial interests in this production.