Episode 036: Vince McNally – Critical Incidents and LEO Suicide Prevention


Retired Agent Vincent McNally served in the FBI for 31 years. He was first hired as a clerical employee and two years later received an appointment to the special agent position. During his agent career, he conducted and led investigations in general criminal violations, espionage, terrorism, white-collar crime, organized crime, and drug violations.

In this episode, Vince McNally reviews a hostage negotiation case in Honolulu, Hawaii, involving a workplace violence situation, one of many critical incidents he was involved in during his career.

Vince and I also have an open and honest conversation about the stress and trauma experienced by law enforcement personnel, how it affects their work and home life, and results in a higher incidence of suicide. Later in his career, he became an instructor in Crisis (Hostage) Negotiations and Program Manager for the FBI’s Critical Incident Stress Management teams at the FBI Academy. Vince retired after serving as Unit Chief of the Employee Assistance Unit (EAU) at FBI Headquarters. Currently, Vince serves on the Board of Scientific & Professional Advisors of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress (National Center for Crisis Management). He is a Compassion Fatigue Specialist, Board Certified in Acute Traumatic Stress Management (ATSM), and Board Certified in Emergency Crisis Response (B.C.E.C.R.) He is also a Certified Employee Assistance Professional (CEAP).  He can be reached via his LinkedIn profile, where he regularly posts articles on critical incidents, trauma, and stress.

Unit Chief (Retired)

Vincent John McNally

1/4/1971 – 1/3/2002







The following are newspaper article and photos providing details about critical incidents and the hostage negotiation case Vince worked while assigned to the Honolulu Division:

Recent article of the Hostage situation in Honolulu Hawaii

Accurate description of the hostage situation in Honolulu Hawaii

Newspaper and CNN summary of the hostage situation in Honolulu Hawaii

Vince currently works to help law enforcement deal with trauma and stress. Here’s the 10 Point Suicide Reduction Program he mentioned during the interview.

Logo used for the FBI Employee Assistance Unit when Vince headed the program.











This photo was taken by Vince directly after 9-11 during an impromptu flag raising ceremony conducted by FBI and military personnel after a flag was found in the rubble at the Staten Island Landfill.











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 250 episodes available for free on all popular podcast apps.


  1. D.L.B.September 13, 2021

    I forgot to thank Vince McNally: thank you for your service. Groundbreaking work.

    (And I see the Flag was raised at Staten Island (I honestly was thinking “Where are they standing in Ground Zero–the black smoke was burning for weeks. )

    Thank you for your podcast, Jerri!

    1. Jerri WilliamsSeptember 14, 2021

      As always, thank you for listening!

  2. D.L.B.September 13, 2021

    Thank you for this–a most important, maybe one of THE most important podcasts you’ll do. If you can help one FBI officer forget about the stigma of getting help when in need–well, perhaps you’ve just helped save a life.

    I see the flag raising at I’m assuming Ground Zero?

    I listened to this episode today because I photographed Ground Zero, with the permission of the MP, and National Guardsmen and women, for archival purposes. What I saw, what I experienced, what I saw others experiencing (looking for… remnants of the lost souls…), it was traumatic.

    I will email you a photo (please don’t circulate it: they are all being donated to the 9/11 Museum; hopefully in NYC, where I lived (the photo studio I used for magazine and New York City Gallery Shows was just 4 blocks north of the North Tower. (The “rubble” from the fallen Towers fell all the way up to West Broadway– that’s just shy of a quarter mile. And when I say “rubble”, we all know wasn’t just burning computers, sheetrock, chairs, concrete, e.t.c. I will never forget that).

    Thank you for this episode. In have worked through what I saw when i volunteered for 11 days total at Ground Zero, photographing Manhattan from Ground Zero up to Union Square– which was horrific; getting off the subway and seeing hundreds upon hundreds of Missing Persons fliers hanging everywhere there was room to hang one.

    As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I’m still not supposed to be using my phone because of issues with light sensitivity… but I HAD to thank you for this episode in particular.

    Thank you.

    1. Jerri WilliamsSeptember 14, 2021

      I agree that this was an important episode. I learned so much from Vince. I can’t imagine how hard it is to remember what was witnessed in those weeks of recovery after the 9/11 attacks. Please take care of yourself.

  3. Russ AtkinsonJune 10, 2018

    Great episode. Vince, you’re still looking good!


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