Former Palm Beach County Sheriff, FBI agent Bob Neumann dies at 81

Before becoming Palm Beach County’s top cop, Bob Neumann’s law enforcement career included investigating some of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's most high-profile cases.

For 13 years, Neumann was the FBI’s supervising agent at the West Palm Beach federal courthouse before retiring in 1995 and making a successful run as the Republican candidate for Palm Beach County Sheriff.

Neumann, who served as Palm Beach County’s 14th sheriff, died Feb. 5. He was 81.

“Sheriff Neumann led the PBSO with unparalleled distinction, having previously served with the FBI,” a PBSO statement on its Facebook page said. “His tenure was marked by dedication, courage, and a deep commitment to the citizens of Palm Beach County.”

Neumann served one term from January 1997 to December 2000, defeating appointed incumbent Charles McCutcheon in the 1996 election. He lost his bid for reelection in 2000 to Ed Bieluch.

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High-profile FBI cases included disappearance of labor boss Jimmy Hoffa

Former Palm Beach County Sheriff Bob Neumann died on Feb. 5, 2024. He was 81.
Former Palm Beach County Sheriff Bob Neumann died on Feb. 5, 2024. He was 81.

Before becoming sheriff, Neumann was assigned to the FBI's West Palm Beach office. His time in the office included coordinating the FBI's month-long search in 1984 for suspected serial killer Christopher Wilder. The search ended in April of 1984 when Wilder fatally shot himself while wrestling over a gun with a New Hampshire police officer.

“We were always just hours behind him,” Neumann recalled in a 2008 interview with The Palm Beach Post. “We got to a motel in Oklahoma, and he had checked out two hours earlier.”

While working as a special agent in the FBI's Detroit office, Neumann was involved in one of the agency's biggest investigations, the still-unsolved 1975 disappearance of labor boss Jimmy Hoffa.

"There's not a day that I would have changed," Neumann said of his 26-year career with the bureau. "I did not regret any of it."

Julius Whigham II is a criminal justice and public safety reporter for The Palm Beach Post. You can reach him at jwhigham@pbpost.com and follow him on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, at @JuliusWhigham. Help support our work:Subscribe today.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Former Palm Beach County Sheriff, FBI agent Bob Neumann dies at 81