296: Kyle Vowinkel – Boston Marathon Bomber Negotiation

In this episode, retired agent Kyle Vowinkel reviews how he, as a member of the FBI’s Crisis Negotiation Unit (CNU), negotiated the peaceful surrender of one of the Boston Marathon bombers.

It’s a powerful, first-hand insider’s perspective of the capture of a violent domestic terrorist responsible, along with his older brother, for killing 3 and injuring 281 others. The bombings took place on April 15, 2013.

Kyle Vowinkel dedicated 33 years of service to his country as an FBI Special Agent, U.S. Army officer and West Point graduate. He served in the FBI for 24 years.

Before his Crisis Negotiation Unit assignment, Kyle served for eight years on the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team (HRT).

During his Bureau career, he deployed to over twenty countries, including China, Qatar, Kenya, South Korea, and Peru, and as a tactical operator on HRT on hundreds of high-risk missions domestically as well as overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While a member of the Crisis Negotiation Unit, he negotiated with kidnappers, pirates, and terrorists.

After his assignments on HRT and the CNU, he used his leadership experiences as a supervisor at multiple FBI offices and retired as Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) in the Miami Division.

Currently, he is a keynote inspirational speaker at events around the world for companies and institutions such as West Point, Cornell University, Google, California Association of Tactical Officers, Baltimore Hostage Negotiation Seminar, and FBI National Academy events.

He plans to publish a book to share stories from his career. Contact Kyle via his company – Elite Mindsets – where his mission is to elevate teams to extraordinary performance levels.

Special Agent (Retired)

Kyle Vowinkel

3/1998 – 7/2022







“I was worried he was shot somewhere. Maybe he couldn’t speak. But if he could give another sound back to me to convey that he was listening, then that would be two-way communication.”—Retired Agent Kyle Vowinkel

The following are articles and photos about the Boston marathon bombing and the negotiation and the surrender of the younger brother:


















To learn more about the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, you may also want to listen to these episodes:

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 300 episodes available on all popular podcast apps and YouTube.


  1. […] Listen to Kyle’s other FBI Retired Case File Review case review – 296: Kyle Vowinkel – Boston Marathon Bomber Negotiation […]

  2. Cheryl PriceSeptember 7, 2023

    It was very interesting to find out how the FBI Negotiated with the Bomber and get him to surrender to Law Enforcement without further bloodshed. Such a stressful job.

    1. Jerri WilliamsSeptember 7, 2023

      I guess, handling the stress is part of the training. Kyle did a great job!


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