Episode 188: Ron Hosko – The Boy in the Bunker, FBI Hostage Rescue

In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, retired agent Ron Hosko reviews the abduction and hostage rescue case, known as the boy in the bunker, where Jimmy Lee Dykes boarded a school bus, killed the driver, and took a five-year-old boy hostage.

At the time of this incident, Ron was the Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, responsible for oversight of the FBI’s largest program, worldwide. He provides a detailed overview of all the units and programs involved in the coordination of this successful response to this major crisis event.

Ron Hosko served in the FBI for 30 years.

He served in the Jackson Division in Mississippi and Chicago as a street agent, working undercover and in assignments focused on complex financial crimes and violent crimes, as well as serving on multiple joint task forces and SWAT teams targeting dangerous subjects.

Before his appointment as AD, he led the FBI’s Crisis Management Unit in Quantico, served as an assistant special agent in charge in Philadelphia, where he was awarded the FBI’s Shield of Bravery for his actions during a violent ransom kidnapping.

Later in his career, he was promoted to the Senior Executive Service (SES) and served as an inspector conducting multiple serious and fatal shooting investigations involving FBI and associated law enforcement personnel and led a seminal 20-year review of FBI shooting incidents. Ron was promoted to serve as a special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division, overseeing all criminal and cyber cases in the FBI’s second-largest field office.

After retiring from the FBI, Ron was hired as the President of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. Currently, he is the Director of Investigative Services in the General Counsel’s Office for Ernst & Young Global Consulting Services.

Special Agent (Retired)

Ronald Hosko

1984 – 2014







“In the words of the profilers, Jimmy Lee Dykes was one of these lifelong loners who saw himself as a victim of injustice, a violent promise keeper.” — Retired Agent Ron Hosko

The following are links to articles and videos about the murder of school bus driver Charles Albert Poland, Jr. and the abduction of 5-year-old Ethan Gilman and the successful dynamic rescue by the FBI Hostage Rescue Team:

ABC News (VIDEO)- 2/3/2013:  Alabama Hostage Standoff Ends: Jimmy Lee Dykes Dead, Child Safe After Secret Surveillance

FOX News (VIDEO) – 2/5/2013: Alabama boy held in bunker is ‘happy to be home’

Wall Street Journal – October 12, 2015:  INSIDE AN FBI HOSTAGE CRISIS – A Stolen Boy, an Angry Loner, an Underground Bunker

New York Daily News – 6/2/2013:  Bunker where Alabama boy was held hostage revealed by FBI

Reuters – 6/1/2013:  FBI tapes detail drama of Alabama bunker hostage saga






A graphic drawing of Jimmy Lee Dykes property and the underground bunker. (Photo credit FOX News)























Law enforcement officers gather around the entry hatch to where the boy in the bunker was held for seven days before being rescued by the HRT. (FBI)











The communication pipe used my hostage negotiators discovered booby-trapped with an improvised explosive device – IED. (FBI)












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. […] FBI Retired Case File Review previously reviewed this 2013 Alabama bunker case. Listen to Episode 188: Ron Hosko – The Boy in the Bunker, FBI Hostage Rescue […]

  2. Kyle WoodDecember 1, 2019

    This was another awesome interview! I’ve been listening to your podcast for a couple of years now and am just fascinated by the stories you provide, i was hooked the first time i listened! keep’um coming….

    1. Jerri WilliamsDecember 1, 2019

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know. I really appreciate the feedback.


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