Retired agent Eddie Freyer served 30 years with the FBI, four years as a clerical employee in the Pittsburgh Division and 26 years as a special agent. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review with Jerri Williams, he is interviewed about the intensive investigation that was launched to recovery Polly Klaas, a twelve-year-old girl abducted from her bedroom by a stranger during a slumber party with two friends during October of 1993. Eddie Freyer was the case agent who, working in conjunction with his partners from the Petaluma Police Department, worked countless hours for more than sixty days without a single day off, desperately trying to recovery Polly and bring her home alive. Freyer was aware, that although they knew the reality of the decreased possibility of finding her alive after the first 24 hours had passed. The Polly Klaas child abduction investigation became a major national story. All parents could relate to the fear and horrified of the thought that their child could be taken from her bedroom during the night. Freyer is currently an instructor with ICITAP, the International Criminal Investigation Training Assistance Program, and travels around the country and world conducting presentations about the Polly Klaas abduction case and the lessons he learned during the investigation.
Retired agent Denise Minor served nearly 29 years with the FBI. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review with Jerri Williams, Minor is interviewed about her extensive investigative experience working overseas primarily in various countries in Africa and in the United States utilizing her French language skills to communicate, interpret and translate during her career. In addition to serving as the Legal Attaché or LEGAT in Rabat, Morocco, Minor was a French interpreter for the Protocol Office in support of FBI Director Louie Freeh and other FBI executives, deployed to Nairobi, Kenya to lead a small team with French language skills to conduct terrorism investigations in the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros Islands, deployed to Rwanda to investigate human rights violations and genocide and had numerous other assignments that took her to Yemen, Haiti and other French-speaking destinations around the world. Her state-side assignments, included leading a team of crime analysts at the Behavioral Analysis Unit, Violent Criminal Apprehension Program and serving as a leadership development program facilitator on the FBI Leadership Learning Delivery Team. After retiring from the FBI, Minor, a licensed attorney and certified personal coach, opened her own leadership development consulting firm, MindSpring Metro DC, Inc.
Retired Special Agent Jim McGee served in the FBI for nearly 21 years. This week on FBI Retired Case File Review with Jerri Williams, he is interviewed about being a member of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), one of the world’s most elite counter-terrorism teams. McGee provides a first-hand account of his participation in the HRT’s first dynamic assault mission which resulted in the successful hostage rescue of nine. In 1991, a violent group of Cuban inmates in the Federal Correctional Institution in Talladega, Alabama, overpowered their guards and took hostages. The inmates demanded that they not to be deported back to Cuba. The HRT was called in and the hostages were rescued unharmed. For their efforts, Jim and the other HRT members were awarded the FBI Medal of Meritorious Achievement. McGee wrote a book about his experience—Phase Line Green—available by contacting McGee directly.
Retired agent Bob Cromwell served 22 years with the FBI. In the early part of his career, Bob was assigned cases under the Violent Crimes Program and investigated dangerous fugitive matters. Bob is interviewed specifically about his investigation and capture of two fugitives wanted for Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution (UFAP). One was a rapist and the other the murderer of a well-known New Orleans Catholic Priest. Following his success as a field agent, Bob moved up the management ranks and retired as the Special Agent in Charge of the Jacksonville Division. He currently serves on and is board chairman of the Innocence Project of Florida, working to exonerate innocent people sent to prison for crimes they did not commit. In this episode, Bob is also interviewed about his fight to correct and prevent wrongful convictions. His new book—Fugitive Man: Hunting Violent Criminals for the FBI and Searching for Justice for the Innocent Convict—covers his FBI career and Innocence Project work. Bob can be contacted via his website fugitiveman.com.
Retired agent Stan Ragen served in the FBI for 29 years. During his career, he was a member of SWAT, the coordinator of the Evidence Response Team (ERT), and worked Crisis Management matters—both as an agent and squad supervisor. Due to his involvement with these programs, Stan participated in many of the major investigations handled by the New York Office. In particular, he played an important role in coordinating the office’s extraterritorial response to crisis events around the world. Some notable examples are the El-Khobar Towers (Saudi Arabia); TWA flight 800 (NY); Egypt Air flight 990 (RI); USS Cole (Yemen); US Embassy bombings (Kenya and Tanzania); and the 9/11 attacks. He also assisted in the New York FBI response to Hurricane MARILYN (USVI); USAir flight 1549 (NY); and Hurricane SANDY (NY). Prior to retiring, Stan served as a senior advisor to New York Field Office executives, specifically in developing Continuity of Operations plans and procedures.
Retired special agent Toni Chrabot served more than 24 years with the FBI. Her investigative specialties were public corruption, organized crime, and money laundering. As a crisis negotiator she responded to a number of kidnappings and barricade situations and as an instructor at the FBI Academy she was designated a subject matter expert in intelligence, interview and interrogation. She later supervised special agent operations at a satellite office out of FBI Detroit. Toni is interviewed about the Crisis Incident Response Group (CIRG) and specifically the Crisis Negotiation Unit and what the team was responsible for. She is also interviewed about the kidnapped grandma case involving Hedwig, “Heddy” Braun, held for a $3 million ransom on her 88th birthday. Prior to retiring, Toni was Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville Field Office where she was responsible for criminal, intelligence, cyber and crisis management programs and operations. Shortly after retiring, Toni founded RISK CONFIDENCE GROUP, LLC to provide operational risk consulting and services focused on insider threat, safety & security, risk intelligence, crisis management, and other related areas. Toni also provides expert commentary for local media outlets, regarding crime, terrorism, workplace violence and issues related to the FBI.
Retired Agent Vincent McNally served in the FBI for 31 years. He was first hired as a clerical employee and two years later received an appointment to the special agent position. During his agent career, he conducted and led investigations in general criminal violations, espionage, terrorism, white-collar crime, organized crime, and drug violations. He later became an instructor in Crisis (Hostage) Negotiations and Program Manager for the FBI’s Critical Incident Stress Management teams at the FBI Academy. Vince tells us about a hostage negotiation case in Honolulu, Hawaii involving a workplace violence situation. Vince and I also have an open and honest conversation about the stress and trauma experienced by law enforcement personnel, how it affects their work and home life, and results in a higher incidence of suicide. Vince retired after serving as Unit Chief of the Employee Assistance Unit (EAU) at FBI Headquarters. Currently, Vince serves on the Board of Scientific & Professional Advisors of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (National Center for Crisis Management). He is a Compassion Fatigue Specialist, Board Certified in Acute Traumatic Stress Management (ATSM), and Board Certified in Emergency Crisis Response (B.C.E.C.R.) He is also a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP). He can be reached via his LinkedIn profile, where he regularly posts articles on critical incidents, trauma, and stress.