Episode 038: Toni Chrabot – Kidnapped Grandma, Hostage Negotiations


Retired special agent Toni Chrabot served more than 24 years with the FBI.  Her investigative specialties were public corruption, organized crime, and money laundering.  As a crisis negotiator she responded to a number of kidnappings and barricade situations and as an instructor at the FBI Academy she was designated a subject matter expert in intelligence, interview and interrogation.  She later supervised special agent operations at a satellite office out of FBI Detroit. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Toni is interviewed about the Crisis Incident Response Group (CIRG) and specifically the Crisis Negotiation Unit and what the team was responsible for.  She is also interviewed about the kidnapped grandma case involving Hedwig, “Heddy” Braun, held for a $3 million ransom on her 88th birthday.  Prior to retiring, Toni was Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Jacksonville Field Office where she was responsible for criminal, intelligence, cyber and crisis management programs and operations. Shortly after retiring, Toni founded RISK CONFIDENCE GROUP, LLC to provide operational risk consulting and services focused on insider threat, safety & security, risk intelligence, crisis management, and other related areas. Toni also provides expert commentary for local media outlets, regarding crime, terrorism, workplace violence and issues related to the FBI.

Assistant Special Agent in Charge (Retired)

Toni Marie Chrabot

1/27/1991 – 5/31/2015










The following are links to newspaper articles about the kidnapped grandma Heddy Braun case, and a series of videos of a Dateline episode featuring another kidnapping case Toni Chrabot worked on:

Grandmother’s Kidnapping Galvanizes a Community – LA Times

Woman Survives Kidnap

In September 2011, Toni appeared on Dateline NBC’s Season Premier Episode titled “Ransom,” which featured the kidnapping investigation into the 2009 disappearance of a young mother from Ponte Vedra, Florida. Her role is introduced in Part 3 and plays throughout the next several parts.

Toni during a TV appearance where she provided commentary regarding a mass shooting.







Kidnapped grandma Hedwig, “Heddy” Braun, taken on her 88th birthday.









Toni at the FBI Academy in May 1991 on the day she graduated from New Agents Training Class 91-5.










Toni at firearms training in Spring 1991 while undergoing new agents training.













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. Lisa PayneDecember 16, 2019

    Love the podcasts!!!!! My only suggestion is in the book recommendations. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let us know if the books are filled with harsh language. I realize in this business, that harsh language is used often. I have waned to read or listen to several of the books you have recommended but the use of the Lord’s name in vain and the F-bomb are not something I want to hear.

    That’s why I have enjoyed your podcasts, as they have not been filled with vulgarities. Keep up the great podcasts, they are excellent!

    1. Jerri WilliamsDecember 16, 2019

      Lisa – Thanks for listening! I think you’re right. Most of the books I recommend will have strong language. My book Pay To Play is not for you, but I really think you’ll enjoy Greedy Givers. One of the main characters recites Bible verses throughout the story. There is minimal (two or three times) harsh language.

      I do my best to keep the podcasts episode clean, because I hope students interested in joining the FBI are listening too.


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