Special Agent Glenn Lafayette Varnell

Special Agent Glenn Lafayette Varnell

Southern Railway Police Department, Railroad Police

End of Watch Sunday, August 25, 1929

Glenn Lafayette Varnell

Special Agent Glenn Varnell was shot and killed when he attempted to arrest a man and a juvenile boy who were trespassing on a train in Birmingham, Alabama.

The man produced a pistol and shot Special Agent Varnell in the abdomen. Despite the wound, he was able to return fire and wounded the man. Both subjects were taken into custody and confessed to the shooting.

Special Agent Varnell was taken to St. Vincent Hospital where he died two hours after the shooting.

He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 32
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Alabama
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Arrested

juvenile offender, trespasser

Most Recent Reflection

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Special Agent Varnell, to be murdered for a trespassing arrest is outlandish and incomprehensible. However, death for the most minor reasons seems to have been the norm for centuries. It's sad and infuriating.

You did your job, you did it faithfully and for that, you are honored here because in the course of that faithful service, you paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Your killer and his accomplice no doubt faced true justice, if not in this life, then in the next and what that justice was, was up to God, not man.

God Bless you, Brother and may your eternal rest be ever peaceful.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Department

April 6, 2018

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