In Memory of Martha Dixon 1/10/1959 – 11/22/1994
Today we continue the special series commemorating the 50th anniversary of modern-day women FBI agents.
Earlier this year when recording the recruiting and application update episode, I learned that at Quantico each new agent class honors one of the eighty-eight Bureau agents and employees who have died in the line of duty, whether that be from the result of an accident or illness during the commission of their assignments or the result of a direct adversarial confrontation or by the hand of an adversary. I wanted to follow that tradition.
To highlight the commitment and sacrifices made by all women agents, I decided to honor one of the six women agent service martyrs. I chose Special Agent Martha Dixon.
“If she was able to join the SWAT team, she had a lot of resourcefulness that her co-workers and her bosses saw. She never took that for granted. She realized this was something she earned.”—Monica Dixon Dentino (Martha’s sister)
In this episode, you’ll hear from one of Martha Dixon’s sisters, Monica Dentino, one of her brothers, Kevin Dixon, and six of Martha’s former co-workers, retired agents Icey Jenkins Craig, Bill Cole, Dan Reilly, Jeff Bedford, Jerry Bamel, and John Kuchta, who share loving memories about Martha and emotional stories about when they learned the tragic news.
Martha Dixon was born in January 1959 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Several years after receiving her Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh, and moved to Arkansas to work as a forensic chemist for the Arkansas State Crime Lab.
Martha entered on duty with the FBI in June 1987.
Her first office of assignment was the Knoxville Division. A few years later, she was transferred to the Washington, DC Field Office, known as WFO, where she was assigned to a cold case squad working with detectives from the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department, MPD. She was also a founding member of WFO’s Evidence Response Team. Martha married a fellow agent, George Martinez, on September 10, 1994.
On November 22, 1994, Special Agents Martha Dixon Martinez and Michael John Miller, and Police Sgt. Henry “Hank” Daley, were shot and killed inside the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Headquarters building.
At approximately 3:30 p.m., a gunman entered the “cold case” squad room, to which the agents were assigned, and opened fire with a TEC-9 assault weapon. During the exchange of fire, a third special agent, John Kuchta was shot and seriously wounded, and a 15-year-old boy was shot in the leg. The gunman, who also died of gunshot wounds sustained during the incident.
The Martha Fund is dedicated to preserving the memory of slain FBI Special Agent Martha Dixon by hosting family-oriented public events and funding the construction and renovation of playgrounds in the Pittsburgh area.
The following are articles and videos featuring tributes to Martha Dixon, Mike Miller, and Hank Daly:
Washington Post – 12/1/1994: THE CALL THAT NEVER CAME
The FBI Files (VIDEO): Attack On The Washington D.C. Police HQ
Trib Live – 11/22/2001: FBI office named for local woman
FBI Website – 11/22/2014: Honoring the Fallen – 20 Years Since Shooting Killed Two Agents, Police Sergeant
FBI Website – 11/22/2019: Law Enforcement Commemorates 25th Anniversary of Deadly Shooting
FBI Website – 10/8/2021: Martha’s Ride Stops at FBI Pittsburgh Field Office to Remember Martha Dixon
To learn more about this tragic incident and another case where agents made the ultimate sacrifice, listen to FBI Retired Case File Review episodes:
The FBI Wall of Honor remembers line of duty service martyrs of which 6 are women agents.
Sheila Jean Regan, who died in a plane crash near Upperville, Virginia, on December 1, 1974.
Robin L. Ahrens, who was fatally wounded participating in the apprehension of a fugitive on October 5, 1985.
Martha Dixon Martinez, who was killed by a gunman inside Washington, D.C. police headquarters on November 22, 1994.
Laurie Fournier, who died on December 26, 2009 from health complications associated with exposure to toxic air during 9/11 recovery efforts.
Melissa S. Morrow, who died on March 22, 2018 from health complications associated with exposure to toxic air during 9/11 recovery efforts.
Laura Schwartzenberger, who died on February 2, 2021 while executing a search warrant in Sunrise, Florida.
Photo Gallery – Martha Dixon