What do FBI agents do?
I have often wondered what it is exactly that FBI Agents do? Previously my only source of reference had been from movies, television and novels. Fortunately I have had the opportunity to interview eight FBI Agents, through the Eric Hunley Unstructured podcast.
FBI True Crime
My first FBI agent interview was with former FBI agent Jerri Williams. She is now also a novelist and seasoned podcaster. During the 1980's the FBI actively recruited women and people of color while Jerri was still a juvenile parole officer. The salary jump was a considerable increase to a state employee, which made the notion to switch careers very attractive to Jerri.
She later applied and found herself inducted into the FBI training program in record time. Over the next 26 years of her careeer she would work on financial crimes within the FBI. This would also include a giant Ponzi scheme that had bilked non-profits out of over 350 million dollars!
FBI Agents have to control their schedules and determine their priorities, as they often would have many different cases all running at the same time.
Find Jerri Williams online at the following places:
Chris Voss is the CEO and Founder of The Black Swan Group Ltd. He is also the author of the bestselling business negotiation book, "Never Split the Difference." He formerly served as the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI, before his retirement.
Voss was primarily based in Quantico, VA, and is one of the most notable alumni to come out of the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit. In our podcast interview, we discussed a wide-ranging series of topics, which included tactical empathy, mirroring, ransoms, and so much more.
Jim Clemente is a former New York Prosecutor who later became a FBI Profiler working in the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit 3 (for crimes against children). He first got his start in the FBI's bank robbery unit in New York City and Jim then later transferred to Quantico.
In this unstructured interview, we discuss his career as a FBI profiler. Then we also delve into his first hand experiences as a 9/11 first responder. We then touch on the severe health issues he has suffered as result of the attack. We also discuss the time he spent writing on the hit CBS TV Criminal Minds. Followed by an overview of his crime podcasts Real Crime Profile and Best Case Worst Case
FBI Forensic Linguistics
Jim Fitzgerald is a legendary FBI Profiler who is most renowned for his contributions to the FBI's UNABOMBER case. Jim's work has helped to define the discipline of forensic linguistics. Jim studies language and the patterns also found in it. Forensic linguistics was the critical factor that would lead to the identification of Theodore Kaczynski from his infamous manifesto writings.
It was Kaczynski's grammar and vocabulary that were so perfect that it led to his ultimate downfall. You can also learn more about Jim and his other cases which include the Pizza Bomber and the Washington Sniper in this Unstructured Interview.
What many people don't know is that FBI Agents can also operate in espionage. You see it's not just the CIA who has to deal with spies, and you find that FBI Agents also have to do the work domestically. Robin Dreeke was the former Chief of the Counterintelligence's Behavioral Analysis Program for the FBI.
While Robin worked in this position he had to learn about building trust. In this interview, we discuss his book "The Code of Trust." He teaches people how to build relationships that fulfill their lives and relationships, while also providing enough insight to stop a terrorist attack.
FBI Crime Time
Did you know that the FBI also works around the world? There are FBI agents in foreign embassies all over the planet. These agents have to work with law enforcement in foreign countries all the time. Eugene Casey is one of the most famous traveling FBI agents. He spent most of his career overseas as the Unit Chief of the Eurasian Organized Crime Unit for the FBI. He also worked as a legal attache in Paris, and was also at one time a Supervisory Special Agent in the Middle East.
After having functioned in so many different roles within the FBI, it has led him to many interesting opportunities in life. These have included interviewing Illich Ramirez Sánchez, aka Carlos the Jackal - the most famous terrorist in the world (before Osama Bin Ladin). This has also resulted in the creation of the ABC television series "Whiskey Cavalier," which is partly based on Eugene Casey's life and career within the agency.
FBI Behavioral Analysis
Lanning was a predecessor to Jim Clemente having served within the former Behavioral Sciences Unit, now known as the Behavioral Analysis Unit. His long storied career began for him as an Explosives Ordinance Officer in the United States Navy. Later leading to him working and teaching at the Bomb Unit within the FBI.
As radicalism began to lessened over the years, Kenneth shifted to the Behavioral Science Unit. It is was here that he worked with profiling legends like John E. Douglas, Roy Hazelwood, Robert Ressler, Jim Clemente and James Fitzgerald. He got to interview the infamous John Wayne Gacy, as well as other serial killers while working with John Douglas.
FBI Deep Undercover
Bob Hamer has successfully posed as a drug dealer, a contract killer, residential burglar, fence, pedophile, degenerate gambler, international weapons dealer and he even spent some time as a white-collar criminal.
He served over 26 years as a FBI Special Agent, and during his storied career he worked cases involving organized crime, gangs, terrorism, and child exploitation. Bob is also the author of three award-winning books: THE LAST UNDERCOVER: The True Story of an FBI Agent's Dangerous Dance with Evil; and ENEMIES AMONG US, and TARGETS DOWN.
As you can see, there are many different jobs within the FBI Agency. The agents I have interviewed have found their careers to be incredibly exciting and fulfilling. Futhermore I promise to continue to explore all the possibilities as I interview more remarkable FBI agents in the future.