FBI Inspector who confronted ‘Baby Face Nelson’ honored in SLC

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SALT LAKE CITY — Samuel Cowley was honored at his grave site in Salt Lake City, 82 years after his death.

FBI Inspector Cowley already has a place of honor in FBI history, but it’s the man he brought down who is far more famous to the general public.

Cowley and Special Agent Herman Hollis confronted gangster, bank robber, and killer Lester Gillis, AKA Baby Face Nelson after a high speed chase in Barrington, Illinois on November 27, 1934.

Gillis and his accomplice, John Paul Chase, had automatic rifles, but the agents still managed to shoot and kill the country’s most notorious criminal of the day.

The agents both died as well.

Cowley had an eight month old son at the time of his death. Samuel P. Cowley, a successful corporate attorney, was present at the memorial for his father arranged by the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI.