Episode 221:  Jean O’Connor – Evidence Response Teams, ERT

Retired agent Jean O’Connor served in the FBI for 21 years. Assigned to the Washington Field Office (WFO), she worked undercover specializing in drug diversion cases, investigated complex narcotics trafficking cases, and was on the Extraterritorial Terrorism Squad with deployments around the world. Jean was also a member of the WFO Evidence Response Team (ERT) and was named Senior Team Leader, a position she held for 13 years.

In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Jean O’Connor reviews the ERT program, the 12 steps of processing a crime scene and a bank burglary case solved with DNA evidence collected by the WFO ERT.

Following the 9-11 attacks, Jean was a first responder at the US Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, in charge of evidence and victim remains recovery. She led forensic teams to process attacks against the US Embassy in Yemen, in Turkey, and against US Embassy personnel in Beirut, Lebanon. Stateside, Jean has led teams to process numerous “Lone Offender” shooting scenes including the 2009 Holocaust Museum shooting, two separate shooting attacks targeting the US Pentagon, the 2012 White House shooting, and the Washington Navy Yard attack in 2013.  That same year, she led a team to assist in the investigations of Boston Marathon bomb attacks, where she played a key role in coordinating Evidence Response Team deployments throughout the investigation.

SA O’Connor is a 2012 graduate of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Program on Terrorism and Security Studies (PTSS) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where she continues to instruct as an Adjunct Faculty member.

During her FBI career, she also served as a Trustee for the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) Memorial College Fund for eleven years, assisting the children of fallen Agents obtain a college degree. After her recent retirement from the FBI, the FBIAA hired Jean to be their Executive Director. She is also a Principal Consultant at FedSquared Consulting, providing instruction and consultation on a variety of Counterterrorism topics to both Government and private sector clients. She operates the consulting firm with her husband Tom O’Connor who was interviewed  with her on Episode 162: 9/11, FBI Line of Duty Deaths and Illnesses and Episode 213: Domestic Terrorism, Racially Motivated and Antigovernment Extremists.

Special Agent (Retired)

Jean O’Connor

September 1998 – September 2019







“Our focus is on forensic evidence collection at crime scenes and during search warrants.”—Retired Agent Jean O’Connor

The following are links to more information about the FBI’s Evidence Response Team (ERT) program:

FBI.gov Website – Evidence Response Team

FBI.gov Website – 10/5/2021: How the FBI Trains Its Evidence Response Teams

KSL News Utah VIDEO – 6/22/2018:  Evidence Response Team: the FBI’s real-life CSI

Jean O’Connor at the WFO ERT warehouse before her retirement, with evidence equipment in the background.










This is the 12 step process for collecting forensic evidence at a crime scene. Some of the steps can occur simultaneously.




The Washington Field Office’s mobile ERT unit.


















Interested in supporting the FBIAA? Here’s how you can donate.











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.


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