Episode 001: Tom Cotton – Overview of 25 Years of Service


Welcome to the first episode of FBI Retired Case File Review with Jerri Williams. This true crime podcast features interviews with retired FBI agents discussing their careers and their most intriguing cases. I also talk about crime fiction and crime dramas – books, television shows and movies – especially those depicting the FBI.  In this episode, retired agent Tom Cotton who served twenty-five years with the FBI, reviews his Bureau career. Prior to his retirement in 1995, he worked on a case involving a corrupt Dallas City Councilman. Tom was the administrative case agent. Tom he explains how the case was initiated and talks about the results of this high-profile investigation.


Special Agent (Retired)

Tom Cotton

11/2/1970 – 3/6/1995

Tom Cotton









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FBI trainee Tom Cotton shown here just before graduating new agent class (NAC 6) in 1971

For my first show I decided to interview retired agent Tom Cotton. I chose Tom because, although he is now living back in the Philadelphia region and is currently the Chairman of the Charles Reed – Philadelphia Chapter of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI, he served all of his career outside the area. Prior to sitting next to him at the chapter’s holiday luncheon last month, we had never met. During our first meeting he somehow convinced me to become his Vice Chair. This interview was the perfect opportunity for me to get to know him better.

Tom entered on duty (EOD’d) with the FBI on November 2, 1970, more than 45 years ago. During his 25-year career, he was assigned to six different FBI offices, Charlotte, New York, Washington Field Office, San Juan, Miami, and Dallas.  He worked a variety of investigations, including chasing soviet spies, bank robbery, organized crime, applicant matters, intellectual property crime and public corruption.

Paul Fielding – Public Corruption Investigation

Here’s a summary of the case and links to related news articles. Paul Fielding was the first sitting Dallas City Council member to be indicted on corruption charges.

Paul Fielding pleaded guilty in 1997 to extorting money from companies and received 41 months in prison. (Case summary ZoomInfo)

Should Paul Fielding go to jail?

Investors’ suit lost in Fielding indictments

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Jerri Williams and Tom Cotton – January, 2016











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 200 episodes available for free subscription on all popular podcast apps.

1 Comment

  1. CarlaJanuary 24, 2016

    Congratulations on creating an executing such a professional Podcast. Awesome interview Jerri! Great questions. Very interesting life of Mr. Cotton. Humble spirit and great interviewee.


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