Special Agent Mansel Ross Burrell

Special Agent Mansel Ross Burrell

United States Department of the Treasury - Bureau of Narcotics, U.S. Government

End of Watch Tuesday, December 19, 1967

Add to My Heroes

Mansel Ross Burrell

Special Agent Mansel Burrell was shot and killed by drug traffickers while working an undercover heroin investigation in Gary, Indiana.

At 8:30 pm, another agent and two Gary police officers observed Agent Burrell enter the suspect's apartment. About 45 minutes later, Agent Burrell left the premises in his government-issued vehicle with the suspect and a male subject following in their vehicle. The other agent followed both vehicles, lost them in traffic, but found Agent Burrell's vehicle parked in an alley near the suspect's apartment 15 minutes later.

After surveilling Agent Burrell's vehicle for two hours, the other subject was observed entering the vehicle and drive away. Within blocks, the car was stopped and while searching the subject, marked currency was found that had been carried by Agent Burrell. The suspect was arrested, taken to the Gary police station and, after over four hours, told officers interrogating him that the other suspect shot Agent Burrell four times in the head in a wooded area of Gary, before dumping his body in Illinois.

Agent Burrell's body was found, at 7:55 am, in a cornfield one-half mile south of U.S. 30 in Bloom Township in Cook County, after the suspect agreed to direct officers to the location. The shooter pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison, where he later died. The other suspect, a half-brother to the shooter, was convicted of second-degree murder, but on appeal his conviction was reversed.

Agent Burrell had served with the Bureau of Narcotics for 15 months and was assigned to the Chicago Division. He was the youngest federal narcotics agent to be killed in the line of duty. Agent Burrell was survived by his parents, brother and sister.


  • Age 23
  • Tour 1 year, 3 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Location Indiana
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Died in prison

narcotics, undercover

Most Recent Reflection

View all 14 Reflections

I was a young patrolman working with my partner that night when told there was a missing federal undercover agent. Till this day I remember that night very vividly. God blees his soul as he did not have a chance at life due to those miscreants. Let the angels look after him and those in all enforcement.

Lieutenant Wally DeRose Ret.
Gary, Indiana

July 22, 2023

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.