Retired agent Joe Lewis served 27 years with the FBI. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Lewis reviews “SandBomb” the investigation of Eric Rudolph and the bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama abortion clinic that resulted in the death of off-duty police officer Robert Sanderson and severely injured a nurse. The case also identified Rudolph as the person responsible for the Olympic Park Bombing, as well as the bombing of another abortion clinic, and a nightclub all in Atlanta, Georgia. More than five years after the incident, Eric Rudolph was captured and pled guilty to the Birmingham bombing and the bombings in Atlanta. Joe Lewis led this investigation as the Special Agent in Charge of the Birmingham Division. During this time period, he also oversaw an investigation that reopened the infamous 1963 church bombing in Birmingham and led to the conviction of one of the conspirators. Prior to this assignment, Joe Lewis served in several other management positions including as the supervisor if the Chicago Division’s Public Corruption Squad. He retired from the FBI as the Deputy Assistant Director, Organized Crime Branch, Criminal Investigative Division in Charge of all Organized Crime Investigations and Intelligence. In the private sector, Joe Lewis served as Senior Director of Corporate Investigations for Walmart’s Global Security Division. He is now also retired from corporate life.
Retired agent Randy Wolverton served with the FBI for 28 years. During his Bureau career, Wolverton, a CPA, worked cases involving violent crime, white-collar crime, drugs, public corruption, domestic terrorism and health care fraud. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Randy Wolverton reviews a savings and loan fraud case that targeted real estate investor Leonard Pelullo. In spite of the testimony of LCN underboss Phillip Leonetti who admitted to brokering a disputed loan shark debt between Leonard Pelullo and a LCN protected loan shark, the case had to be tried four times before Leonard Pelullo’s final conviction was upheld, and he was sentenced to a 24-year prison term. Prior to retirement, Randy Wolverton was promoted to the Financial Crimes Section, Economic Crimes Unit at FBI Headquarters and was responsible for program management of corporate fraud, securities fraud, insurance fraud and mass-marketing fraud matters. After he retired from the FBI, he co-edited a book entitled “White Collar Crime – Core Concepts for Consultants and Expert Witnesses” published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Randy Wolverton currently continues to work for the FBI as a contract Asset Forfeiture Investigator.
Retired agent Bob Clifford served with the FBI for 24 years. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, he reviews the organization and operation of the transnational gang MS-13, Mara Salvatrucha, the most dangerous gang in America. In November 2004, Bob Clifford was asked by then FBI Director Robert Mueller to accept a special assignment to FBIHQ to establish the FBI’s MS-13 National Gang Task Force, and served as its first Director. For the next 18 months, Bob led multi-agency and multi-national efforts to combat the infamous MS-13 and other violent transnational street gangs, to include several deployments throughout Central America to successfully garner international cooperation and intelligence-sharing. In addition to coordinating multiple law enforcement field operations, Bob was required to appear before White House, Congressional, and Cabinet-level officials on a regular basis. The task force is now known as the Transnational Anti-Gang (TAG) Task Force initiative. Bob Clifford was previously interviewed on Episodes 96 and 97 of FBI Retired Case File Review about his investigation and capture of the only surviving hijacker responsible for the hijacking of Egypt Air Flight 648.
Retired agent Judy Tyler served 31 years with the FBI. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Judy reviews her investigation of the Maurice Lewis, aka “Mo Black,” 8th and Allegheny cocaine criminal enterprise and the surprising spin-off case involving the theft of Philadelphia’s historically significant architectural treasures that resulted in the conviction of Charles Kass, a former IRS and Labor Department agent. Judy has extensive experience in the investigation of violent drug trafficking organizations and advanced investigative techniques. She specialized in the recruitment, development, and operation of human intelligence, also known as informants, and cooperating witnesses. During her career, she received awards from the Mid-Atlantic Region of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) and from the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Post-retirement, Judy continues to share her experience and expertise as a contract instructor training current FBI agents as part of a specialized in-service program. (In Episode 3 of FBI Retired Case File Review, Judy was interviewed about two other drug investigations and her FBI career.)
Retired agent Gary Noesner served in the FBI for more than 30 years, four as a support employee and 26 as a special agent. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Gary Noesner reviews his role, 25 years ago, as a hostage negotiator speaking with David Koresh and other members of the Branch Davidians during the Waco siege. He also reviews the Paramount Network’s 6-part TV mini-series, Waco. During his Bureau career, Gary Noesner was an investigator, instructor, and hostage negotiator. A significant focus of his career was directed toward investigating and negotiating numerous crisis incidents covering prison riots, right-wing militia standoffs, religious zealot sieges, terrorist embassy takeovers, airplane hijackings, and over 120 overseas kidnapping cases involving American citizens. He continues to consult independently and speaks at law enforcement conferences and corporate gatherings around the world. He has appeared on numerous television news programs and documentaries and has been interviewed in major publications addressing hostage negotiation, terrorism, and kidnapping. Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator, the book he wrote about his career, serves as the basis for a six part mini-series on the 1993 Waco Siege incident airing on the Paramount Network in January and February 2018. Gary can be contacted for presentations and speeches via his website.
I’m celebrating 100 episodes of FBI Retired Case File Review with a special crime fiction show exploring clichés and misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. What most people know about the FBI comes from popular culture. This list features what writers of novels, scripts and screenplays sometimes get wrong about the Bureau and FBI agents. This is my second list. In Episode 50, I also wrote about this topic. Both lists were created for those who read and watch crime fiction about the FBI, write crime fiction and thrillers about the FBI, and who have always wanted to join the FBI.
Why should you care if entertainment media gets things wrong about the FBI in books, TV, and movies? Why does it matter if films and novels occasionally contain false information about the FBI?
Retired agent William “Bill” Grace served more than 33 years with the FBI. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, he reviews the “Wolf Ticket” investigation where 13 Philadelphia Roofers Union Local 30 officials were convicted of racketeering, extortion, and bribery. The case uncovered numerous ties between union leaders, organized crime, and public officials. The key to the successful investigation was the surreptitious recording devices installed in the union hall that secretly taped conversations between union leaders and others. Prior to his transfer to the Philadelphia Division, where he worked Labor Racketeering and Corruption cases in Philadelphia and South Jersey, Bill Grace was assigned to the Bureau’s Baltimore and New Haven Offices. He currently continues to work for the FBI as a contract Asset Forfeiture Investigator.