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The Remarkable Life of FBI Special Agent Jerry Crowe – 1924-2017

Photo via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jerome K. “Jerry” Crowe, a retired FBI special agent who played a significant role in major cases and founded the bureau’s first SWAT team in Los Angels, died following a longtime battle with Alzheimer’s disease, The Daily Breeze reports

He was 93.

The WWII Amy veteran joined the FBI in 1951 and spent all but his first year in the Los Angeles Field Office, before retiring in 1979.

Crowe was an FBI firearms instructor and worked on major cases such as the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr. and Patty Hearst.

In the Sinatra case in December 1963, Crowe was chosen to deliver a $240,000 ransom to the kidnappers. Within days, Sinatra’s only son, who was 19 years old, returned unharmed to his parents, and the kidnappers were arrested.

Crowe founded the FBI’s SWAT team and became its leader in May 1974.

The bureau renamed in Crowe’s honor the FBI Regional Counterterrorism Training Center at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Orange County in 2011.

“Jerry was an outstanding FBI agent,” read a statement announcing the name change, “who was selected for this honor because it was his foresight in fostering the SWAT concept in Los Angeles and his ability to create and lead the original L.A. SWAT team, which helped to create a legacy that is now an integral and important part of the FBI throughout the nation.”

Crowe was a native of Florida.

The Daily Breeze wrote:

Born in Cocoa, Florida, on Oct. 4, 1924, Crowe was the youngest of three children born to John and Mary Crowe. He graduated from Daytona Beach Mainland High, where he lettered in football and track and field.

Following older brother Jack Crowe into the Army in 1943, he was sent to Europe a year later and, in 1946, was discharged and returned to the United States.

After graduating from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, in 1950 with a degree in business administration, Crowe joined the FBI. His first supervisor in the FBI, after he was assigned to the bureau’s Seattle office, was Mark Felt, who later gained fame as anonymous Washington Post informant “Deep Throat” in the Watergate scandal.

A lifelong sports fan, Crowe met Los Angeles native Margarita Sanchez at a Los Angeles Rams football game at the Memorial Coliseum in 1952. Married in October 1953 and settling in Redondo Beach in 1957, they reared three children: Jerome, Robert and Nancy.

Before retiring from the FBI, where he mostly was assigned to bank robbery investigations and served as a counselor to the 86th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, Crowe earned a master’s degree in police administration from Cal State Los Angeles.

After leaving the bureau, he worked as director of security at Gibraltar Savings for more than a decade before retiring.


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