Episode 163: Jim Siano and Tom Baker – Mackle Kidnapping, Airplane Hijacking

In this two-for-one episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, retired agents Jim Siano and Tom Baker, both first office agents at the time, review the kidnapping investigation of Barbara Jean Mackle and the arrests of her kidnappers Gary Steven Krist and Ruth Eisemann-Schier. Barbara Jean was buried alive in a wooden coffin-like box for 82 hours during the harrowing incident.

Jim Siano also reviews an airplane hijacking case where the pilot was shot in the stomach by the hijacker, Arthur Barkley. Jim Siano narrowly escaped the same fate when the hijacker’s gun, pointed directly at Jim, jammed.


Special Agent (Retired)

Jim Siano

7/1968 – 7/1988









Jim Siano served with the FBI for 20 years. He was initially assigned to the Jacksonville and Alexandria Divisions where he worked criminal matters.  Later in his career, he was assigned to the Behavioral Science Unit at Quantico as a hostage negotiator instructor, FBI Headquarters and the Dallas Field Office as a Supervisor on a criminal squad. Jim Siano was also the Supervisor of the President’s Task Force for Organized Crime and Drugs for four years.

Special Agent (Retired)

Thomas Baker

1968 – 2000









“By this time, she had been buried alive for 82 hours and they didn’t know what they were going to find.”

Thomas Baker served in the FBI for 33 years. During his career, he served in a variety of leadership positions dealing with terrorist and criminal challenges. He has extensive experience with police management and training issues, having served as a management instructor at the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Tom Baker served as the Legal Attaché in Canberra, Australia, and Paris, France. Currently, he’s an international law enforcement consultant, and advises law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and worldwide on innovations in forensics, communications, and identification systems. He has been published in professional journals on aspects of biometrics, major case management, and police training and has presented before national and international forums, on television and radio, concerning these topics as well.

The following links are to articles about the Barbara Jean Mackle kidnapping and the arrests of her kidnappers Gary Steven Krist and

Coffin for Living. Sketch shows coffin-like box in which kidnap victim Barbara Jean Mackle spent 4 years. (From The Record Wire Service)










Charlotte Deputies Nap Suspect in Mangroves

Frogs, Snakes, Gators…And Steps in the Water

Frogs, Cont.

FBI Arrests Woman Kidnapping Suspect

Kidnaper Sentenced to Life

The Barbara Jean Mackle kidnapping case was made into a 1990 TV movie 83 Hours “Til Dawn about a wealthy man’s daughter who is kidnapped and placed in a box with air for only 83 hours.













The following links are to articles about Arthur Barkley’s hijacking of  a TWA commercial plane and the shooting of its pilot Captain Dale Hupe:

Jim Siano and another agent escort Arthur Barkley to his arraignment. ($100 million skyjacker seized after wild trip – Tallahassee Democrat)










2 Skyjacker – Cont.

2 Gunfire Ends 100 Million Ransom Hijacking Terror

2 Gunfire – Cont.

Crews Story of Dramatic Battle for Survival with Air Pirate

Deer-Hunting Rifles Prove Undoing of Plane’s Hijacker

Wounded Pilot Says He Welcomed Hijacker’s Bullet


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.

1 Comment

  1. […] During the interview Paul mentioned an airplane hijacking case he worked on. You can listen to the FBI Retired Case File Review episode about the case here: Episode 163: Jim Siano and Tom Baker – Mackle Kidnapping, Airplane Hijacking […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top
Malcare WordPress Security