256: Tommy MacDonald – Fugitive Cop Killer Donald Eugene Webb

Retired Agent Tommy MacDonald served as a Special Agent with the FBI for twenty-five years, 21 as a special agent and four as an investigative specialist.

In this episode of FBI Retired case File Review, he reviews the thirty-seven-year manhunt for Top Ten Most Wanted Fugitive cop killer Donald Eugene Webb, wanted for the December 1980 murder of Saxonburg, Pennsylvania Chief of Police Gregory Adams. His multiple interview sessions with Webb’s wife, Lillian, were a major component of the many tools and techniques used to resolve the mystery case.

Tommy first office assignment was the New York City Field Office where for eight years he was assigned to the FBI/NYPD Violent Crimes Squad in lower Manhattan, also known as the Joint Bank Robbery Task Force, which investigated violent crimes in the five boroughs of New York City.

In October 2010, he was one of two FBI Agents selected nationwide by Executive Management in FBI Boston to work what was then the 14-year unresolved fugitive investigation for JAMES “Whitey” BULGER.

In late 2011, he returned to the NYO, where he was assigned to the White Plains Resident Agency, where he was the assigned case agent on a sixty-five defendant RICO gang case in Yonkers, NY.

In September of 2012, he accepted a transfer to the Portland, Maine Resident Agency out of the Boston Division of the FBI, where for eight years he worked cases as a field agent.

While assigned in Maine, in addition to the fugitive hunt for Webb, Tommy was the case agent on the arrest and conviction of serial child predator and baseball coach Robert Joubert, the arrest and conviction of three subjects and recovery of six stolen NC Wyeth paintings in one of the largest art heists in New England history, several defendant health care fraud investigation.

He was also a member of the FBI’s Child Abduction and Rapid Deployment Team. He spent his final year serving as the recruiter for the Boston Field Office.

Tommy has a BA from the University of New Hampshire which he attended on a basketball scholarship, and a JD from Fordham University School of Law, which he attended at night while working full-time as an Investigative Specialist for the FBI.

He is currently employed in software sales as a Regional Sales Manager for uLab Systems.

Special Agent (Retired)

Tommy MacDonald

May 2000 – June 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We were hoping with the publicity the photos might give us a tip that would resolve this case, whether Webb was alive or dead.”—Retired Agent Tommy MacDonald

The following are links to articles about the fugitive investigation and resolution of the 37-year manhunt for cop killer Donald Eugene Webb:

Washington Post – 7/17/2017: FBI agents spent decades searching for a mobster wanted in a cop killing. Then they found his secret room.

South Coast Today – 10/22/2017: The hunt for Donald Webb

Boston 25 News (VIDEO)  –  2/23/2018: New England’s Unsolved: Final secrets of police chief killer found in backyard grave

Unsolved Mystery (VIDEO) – Timestamp 37:30: Fugitive Donald Webb

FBI Evidence (VIDEO): Secret Hideout in Webb Residence Closet (Credit FBI Boston Photographer Rick Rota)

Listen to more FBI Retired Case File Review episodes about Top Ten fugitives.

Deceased Chief Adams’ patrol car right after his murder.
Chief Adams and his family. Photo taken a few months before his murder.
FBI wanted flyer for Donald Eugene Webb.
Saxonburg, PA police cruiser parked in front of residence when the Mayor and current Chief of Police drove to Massachusetts in July 2017 to witness Webb’s body being exhumed.
Webb’s revolver was buried with him in his backyard grave.
Webb’s burial site behind the backyard shed.
Webb’s was buried in his backyard behind a shed.
FBI SA Don Kornek (Tommy’s partner on Webb case) and SA Rich Pires (currently the CDC at FBI Boston) at the Webb Dig.
Photo taken during the night of the Webb remains recovery. From left to right, Mass SP Det Mike Cherven, Mass SP Det Sgt Kevin Baker, Mass SP Det Loming Chan, Mass SP Det Lt Brian Canavan, FBI SA Tommy MacDonald.
Photo of Gordon Mainhart, partner of Chief Adams and only other cop in Saxonburg when he was killed, at the town memorial for his slain partner. Gordon was in the back of the ambulance with Chief Adams when he died. He is holding the bat with Pittsburgh Steelers colors – logos of FBI, MA SP and PA SP, and quote “Until it’s Done” given to him after the case was resolved.
Chris Birckbichler (PA State Police Det.), Pete McCann (retired original FBI fugitive case agent), Tommy MacDonald, and retired PA State Police Det. James Poydence (original PA SP detective assigned Chief Adams homicide).
Tommy MacDonald and Phil Torsney at FBI Boston.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 250 episodes available for free on all popular podcast apps.

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