Episode 051: Jim McGee – HRT, FCI Talladega Hostage Rescue

Retired Special Agent Jim McGee served in the FBI for nearly 21 years. This week on FBI Retired Case File Review with Jerri Williams, he is interviewed about being a member of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), one of the world’s most elite counter-terrorism teams. McGee provides a first-hand account of his participation in the HRT’s first dynamic assault mission which resulted in the successful hostage rescue of nine. In 1991, a violent group of Cuban inmates in the Federal Correctional Institution in Talladega, Alabama, overpowered their guards and took hostages. The inmates demanded that they not to be deported back to Cuba. The HRT was called in and the hostages were rescued unharmed. For their efforts, Jim and the other HRT members were awarded the FBI Medal of Meritorious Achievement. McGee wrote a book about his experience—Phase Line Green—available by contacting McGee directly.

Special Agent (Retired)

James McGee

11/17/1986 – 10/1/2007



The following FBI overview and newspaper article provide additional background material about the FCI Talladega Hostage Rescue:

1991 Talladega Prison Riot – A Look Back at the FBI’s Early Crisis Response Capabilities


The following is a 6 Part FBI overview about Hostage Rescue Team (HRT):

Part 1: Three Decades of Service
Part 2: The Crucible of Selection
Part 3: Training for Every Contingency
Part 4: Night Maneuvers
Part 5: Held to a Higher Standard
Part 6: Mission in the Gulf of Aden

Video: HRT Marks 30 Years


McGee during his time on the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team.











McGee and a fellow operator shortly after the successful hostage rescue.












Phase Line Green is McGee’s behind-the-scenes account of the Talladega prison riot. Hardback copies of the book are available for $30 by contacting McGee directly (jhnjmcg at aol.com).



















Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, attempts to relive her glory days by writing crime fiction and hosting FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast available for subscription on iTunes and Stitcher. Her debut novel—Pay To Play— about a female agent investigating corruption in the Philadelphia strip club industry is available now at amazon.com. 




This episode was sponsored by FBIRetired.com – the only on-line directory made available to the general public featuring “retired” FBI AGENTS / ANALYSTS interested in showcasing their skills to secure business opportunities.

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Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, attempts to relive her glory days by writing crime fiction and hosting FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast available for free subscription on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, and other popular podcast apps. Her nonfiction book FBI Myths and Misconceptions: A Manual for Armchair Detectives and her FBI corruption squad police procedurals featuring Special Agent Kari Wheeler are available wherever books are sold.


  1. Emily QuarrickMay 29, 2018

    To me, any type of medal or award that this man won is completely null and void by way of his arrogance. Watching his interviews and the way he smirks and speaks is infuriating and takes away his credibility as a decent human being.

  2. ProemedMarch 2, 2018

    @ZeroZee I couldn’t agree more! Maybe Jerri can learn how overall perception can be tainted by 1 act of extreme arrogance.

    1. Jerri WilliamsMarch 3, 2018

      In addition to being an FBI agent, I worked for 12 years as a spokesperson for the FBI and Philadelphia’s Transit system. Believe me, I know all about perceptions! That’s why I approve negative (non-threatening) comments regarding this post. Transparency and respect for different opinions is key.

  3. BenMarch 1, 2018

    His attitude is exactly why people are hating our authorities!

  4. JimFebruary 14, 2018

    Guy should be writing his next book from prison!
    93 gas canisters fired at children… And he gets a medal for it! Write about Waco ffs

  5. John BelcherFebruary 11, 2018

    Why did you not write about waco

    1. Jerri WilliamsFebruary 12, 2018

      The interview was specifically about the prison riot, the subject of Jim’s book.

  6. ZeroZee0February 3, 2018

    Just watched him on the A&E show about Waco. Those idiots were Bat-Shit crazy, but This Douche Nozzle is the Epitome of Government Arrogance and Overreach.

    1. Jerri WilliamsFebruary 3, 2018

      I respect your right to express your opinion and, therefore, partially approved this comment.


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