266: Martha Dixon, Line of Duty Service Martyr

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.

(L-R) Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Henry Joseph Daly, FBI Special Agent Martha Dixon Martinez, and FBI Special Agent Michael John Miller.

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 a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Donate here.

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: 

267: John Kuchta – 1994 DC Police Headquarters Shootout

118: Ed Mireles – Fatal FBI Miami Shootout (Part 1)

119: Ed Mireles – Fatal FBI Miami Shootout (Part 2)

The FBI Wall of Honor remembers 88 line of duty service martyrs of which 6 are women agents.

Special Agent Sheila Jean Regan

Sheila Jean Regan, who died in a plane crash near Upperville, Virginia, on December 1, 1974.

Special Agent Robin L. Ahrens

Robin L. Ahrens, who was fatally wounded participating in the apprehension of a fugitive on October 5, 1985.

Special Agent Martha Dixon Martinez

Martha Dixon Martinez, who was killed by a gunman inside Washington, D.C. police headquarters on November 22, 1994.

Special Agent Laurie Fournier

Laurie Fournier, who died on December 26, 2009 from health complications associated with exposure to toxic air during 9/11 recovery efforts.

Special Agent Melissa S. Morrow

Melissa S. Morrow, who died on March 22, 2018 from health complications associated with exposure to toxic air during 9/11 recovery efforts.

Special Agent Laura Schwartzenberger

Laura Schwartzenberger, who died on February 2, 2021 while executing a search warrant in Sunrise, Florida.

Photo Gallery – Martha Dixon

Martha Dixon, 3-years-old.
Martha at the FBI Academy with parents during NAC training, 1987.
Martha (front row right in navy blue) and Icey Jenkins Craig (front row in white) with NAC 87-13 classmates.
Martha with cigar after SWAT training at Quantico.
Knoxville SWAT – laser tag training.
Martha’s pre-raid wink at Talladega Federal Prison.
Visiting brother Kevin in 1990 at Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD.
Martha’s mom, Mary Dixon, at the November 2001 dedication ceremony for the Martha Dixon Field Office in Pittsburgh, PA.
Martha’s mom, Mary Dixon, at the dedication ceremony for the Martha Dixon Field Office.
Photo of Martha on display at the dedication ceremony for the Martha Dixon Field Office.
Presenters at the Martha Dixon Building Dedication.
Memorial for Martha permanently on display in the Pittsburgh Division lobby.
Wall of Honor at Dixon Field, Pittsburgh, PA.
Words of comfort and prayer dedicated to the memory of Martha.
Participants running in the Martha’s Run 10K race in Pittsburgh, PA.
Martha’s Playground in Mt. Lebanon, PA.
The logo for Martha’s Run on display at one playground that received a contribution from Martha’s Fund.
Shawna Dixon, one of Martha’s nieces in front of the sign for Matha’s Playground in Mt. Lebanon, PA.
(VIDEO) News clip of Kevin Dixon and daughter Shawna taking part in the Police Unity Ride in Washington, DC.
Shadow box display of a Martha’s Ride jersey presented by the Dixon family to the FBI Pittsburgh Division.
Kevin Dixon with daughter Shawna Dixon and brother Ed Dixon at the Martha’s Ride finish line.
2018 Martha’s Ride participants Sean and Marcy Mudders, mid-ride.
A photo at the finish line of Martha’s Ride in front of the Martha Dixon Building in 2018.
The elevation changes of the Martha’s Ride route.

FBI Director Robert Mueller embraces Martha’s mother, Mary Dixon, in front of the sign officially naming the Pittsburgh Division building in honor of Martha Dixon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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