Corrections Employee Nellie Wicks

Corrections Employee Nellie Wicks

New York State Department of Correctional Services, New York

End of Watch Thursday, September 27, 1906

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Nellie Wicks

Corrections Employee Nellie Wicks was stabbed to death by an inmate at the Matteawan State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.

The inmate, a woman, was committed to the hospital in 1893 after she killed her husband and two women. It was September of 1893 when a woman and her grown daughter came to her home in Burllingham to talk to her husband about some property. The community became suspicious when the three could not be found and told the police they were missing. During a search of the property the women's nude bodies were found in a barn near the home. Both had been struck in the back of the head with an axe and shot in the heart five times. Her husband was found under the house. He had been killed in the same manner.

Corrections Employee Nellie Wicks was a nurse in the prison hospital. The inmate was very fond of her. When she told the inmate she was quitting and going to work for a private hospital she went berserk, grabbed some scissors, and stabbed her to death. The inmate died in the prison hospital on June 28, 1918, from Brights Disease.

Employee Wicks is the first known female law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty in the United States. She had served at the Matteawan State Hospital for one year.


  • Age 21
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon
  • Offender Died in mental hospital

Most Recent Reflection

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You paved the way for the numerous amazing female law enforcement officers to follow. No passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 27, 2020

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