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

Man to be re-sentenced on kidnapping

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.









Toni representing the FBI at press conference at conclusion of “Operation Deadend.” Also pictured: Jacksonville Sheriff John Rutherford, HIDTA Director Robert Peryam.










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, 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.

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