Detective James A. Nugent Sr. (1944-2019)


The Greater Cincinnati Police Museum

“Preserving the History of Law Enforcement in the Greater Cincinnati Area”



Detective James A. Nugent Sr.

James was born September 1, 1944 in Hamilton to Charles A. and Kathryn R. (Shelhouse) Nugent, Jr.  His grandfather, Charles A. Nugent, Sr., was a long-time Hamilton patrolman, first appointed in 1918.

James joined the Army National Guard of Ohio on March 4, 1965, during the Vietnam War, and was honorably discharged on March 3, 1971.

James joined the Hamilton Police Department as a patrolman on July 2, 1966.  His first major case was the 1975 Ruppert family massacre, to which he was one of the first responders.  He was promoted to Detective in 1979 and almost immediately involved in the investigation of the kidnapping and attempted murder of a Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader.  Detective Nugent also investigated the murder of a Mosler security guard by another security guard in 1985 and a dismemberment case that started with nothing more than a skull as evidence.  A religious man, each time he responded to a murder scene, he would say a prayer for the soul of the victim.  He rose to Chief of Detectives and investigated 120 murders – only two of which he did not solve during his career.  He rose to Chief of Detectives and investigated 120 murders. He retired from the Hamilton Police Department on October 30, 1998, leaving only two unsolved homicides. Those cases were later solved (1999 and 2014) from evidence and information he developed.

Detective Nugent then went to work as an investigator for the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office.  He finally retired on April 15, 2013 with 48 years of service to his country, community, and county.

He was a member of Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge # 38.  During his off time, he was an umpire for little league knothole and adult softball leagues.

Detective Nugent suffered dementia for a long time.  He passed away at his residence in the early morning hours of January 13, 2019 at the age of 74.  On January 15, 2019, Hamilton Police Chief directed a seven-day period of mourning.

He was predeceased by his brother, Gordon Nugent.  Detective Nugent is survived by his wife, Jannas (Shepherd) Nugent; children, Lynn (Michael) Cavenaugh and Cincinnati Firefighter James A. (Tammy) Nugent, Jr.; grandchildren, Ashley Bolduc, Megan Benson, Hannah Nugent, and Jimmy Nugent; six great-grandchildren; siblings, Charles Nugent, Bill Nugent, Dianne (Jim) McLaughlin, Evelyn (Dick) Fischer, Gayle (Gary) Bennett, and Luann (Scott) Nichols; and sister-in-law, Mary Kay Nugent.

Visitation will be held 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at Weigel Funeral Home at 980 N. W. Washington Boulevard.  A FOP service will be held at 6:45 p.m.  A funeral service, officiated by Reverend Mark Wurzelbacher, will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at the funeral home.  Interment will be in Hickory Flat Cemetery.


© 2019 – All rights reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum



One thought on “Detective James A. Nugent Sr. (1944-2019)

  1. Thank you so much for all the kind words. My daddy means the world to me. He loved his job and his community.
    Lynn Nugent Cavenaugh

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