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Burden Pasenelli, Legendary Female FBI Agent Who Shattered Stereotypes, Dies

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Burden Pasenelli, a former special agent who shattered gender barriers in the FBI, died Tuesday in Arizona following a brief illness.

Pasenelli was 71.

A former Seattle police officer, Pasenelli joined the FBI and became the bureau’s first female assistant director and first woman special change in charge of a bureau office, the Seattle Times reports.

Pasenelli was described as a no-nonsense pioneer and a loyal friend.

After 26 years with the bureau, Pasenelli retired in 1999. “She really was exceptional, both as a leader and as a person,” said Kate Pflaumer, the former U.S. Attorney in Western Washington and a longtime friend and colleague of Pasenelli.

Pasenelli rose to power at a time when there were very few female agents.

“I was raised on a farm,” she said in a 2012 FBI video interview. “I could work as hard as any man could, so I figured I was worth as much as any guy.”


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