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Archive for July, 2019

Author of New FBI Book Argues J. Edgar Hoover Was Not the Father of the Bureau

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A new book, “The Birth of the FBI: Teddy Roosevelt, the Secret Services, and the Fight Over America’s Law Enforcement Agency,” argues the FBI was not created by its first director, J. Edgar Hoover, as many people claim.

The origin of the FBI is traced back to 1908, when President Theodore Roosevelt created the Special Agent Force under the Justice Department. Later that year, the agency was renamed the Bureau of investigation.

By 1935, when the FBI was created, Hoover was the third director of the Bureau of Investigation.

Author Willard M. Oliver, a professor for the College of Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State, argues Roosevelt should be credited with creating the FBI because of the agencies that preceded it.

Melissa R. Godbold Becomes Special Agent in Charge of Oklahoma City Field Office

FBI Special Agent Melissa R. Godbold.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Melissa R. Godbold, a 22-year veteran of the FBI, has been named special agent in charge of the Oklahoma City Field Office.

Godbold, who most recently served as the chief of staff for the Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., began her career as a special agent at the Washington Field Office, where she investigated international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction cases. Godbold also was in charge of the FBI’s hazardous materials operation at the Pentagon following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Godbold received a promotion in 2010, serving as a supervisor over personnel security matters in the Washington Field Office.

Two year later, she was a unit chief in the Human Resources Division at headquarters. In 2013, she was promoted to assistant section chief for the FBI’s Counterterrorism Internet Operations Section, overseeing investigations into terrorists’ use of the internet.

In 2015, Godbold was promoted to an assistant special agent in charge at the Dallas Field Office. In 2017, she became director of the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force in the Cyber Division, where she led the FBI’s partnership to coordinate, integrate and share cyber threat information for investigations and intelligence analysis.

Growing up in Oklahoma, Godbold graduated from Putnam City North High School in Oklahoma City and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in geology and a Master of Science degree in hazardous and waste materials management from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Dan Moldea: On The 44 Anniversary of Jimmy Hoffa’s Disappearance. Here’s What I Think Happened

The writer, a Washington investigative journalist specializing in organized-crime and political-corruption investigations, is a Jimmy Hoffa murder expert. He is the author of “The Hoffa Wars” (1978) and eight other books. Tuesday marks the 44th anniversary of the unsolved disappearance of Hoffa, who wanted to regain the presidency of the Teamsters. 

James R. Hoffa

By Dan Moldea

Jimmy Hoffa disappeared 44 years ago today.

In early August 1975, while serving twenty years at Trenton State Prison for manslaughter, inmate Ralph Picardo received a visit from his accountant, who was accompanied by Stephen and Thomas Andretta, two of the alleged co-conspirators in Hoffa’s murder a few days earlier.  Picardo, who was a close friend of the Andretta brothers, told the FBI in or about November 1975 that he had spent some time alone with Steve Andretta during that prison visitation.  According to Picardo, Andretta had given him a few details about the murder.

Picardo told the FBI that, based on what he had learned from Andretta, Hoffa had been murdered near Detroit in a killing engineered by New Jersey mobster Anthony Provenzano, the Andretta brothers’ boss.  After his death, according to Andretta via Picardo, Hoffa was stuffed into a 55-gallon oil drum, loaded onto a Gateway Transportation truck, and shipped to New Jersey.

Shortly thereafter, Picardo made a deal with federal prosecutors and became the most credible witness about the Hoffa case to date.

When he was asked by the FBI specifically who had murdered Hoffa, Picardo replied that he didn’t know for sure but added that Salvatore Briguglio, Provenzano’s top lieutenant, had earlier received a contract from his boss to kill Hoffa in late 1973 or early 1974.  Provenzano sent Briguglio a note, delivered by his brother, Gabriel Briguglio, asking him to execute the Hoffa hit.

Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano

When Picardo was asked by the FBI where Hoffa was taken in New Jersey via the Gateway truck, he again replied that he didn’t know for sure but added that his friends in the Provenzano crew frequently disposed of dead bodies at a landfill in Jersey City, owed by Phillip Moscato, a soldier in the Genovese crime family.

In 1975-1976,  I revealed—in what was my biggest contribution to this case—that a vicious Hoffa rival, Rolland McMaster, was the mystery man behind a series of acts of violence—bombings, beatings, shootings, and general sabotage—directed primarily against Hoffa’s allies in Detroit’s Local 299, the last of which was a car bombing just twenty days before Hoffa vanished.

On the day of Hoffa’s murder, McMaster was with his brother-in-law, Stanton Barr, who was the head of Gateway Transportation’s steel division in Detroit.  Also, one of McMaster’s top goons was Jim Shaw, a long-haul driver for Gateway, who, directed by McMaster, had participated in the earlier anti-Hoffa violence in Local 299.  In addition, on the night before Hoffa’s murder, McMaster and Barr had met with Provenzano at a restaurant in Detroit, according to another federal witness, Donovan Wells, a long-time business associate of McMaster.

Dan Moldea’s book.

Only Person Living or Dead

Notably, I am the only person in the world, living or dead, who has interviewed all of these suspects—the Andretta brothers, the Briguglio brothers, Moscato, McMaster, Barr, and Shaw.  And most of these interviews were recorded.

I also recorded interviews with other persons of interest, including Charles “Chuckie” O’Brien, Hoffa’s “foster son,” and Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, who would later falsely claim to have killed Hoffa.

Confirming that Ralph Picardo “basically had it right,” Phillip Moscato told me—on tape—that he and Briguglio had unloaded the barrel containing Hoffa’s body from the Gateway truck and then buried it at his landfill in Jersey City.

Read more »

‘Pink Lady Bandit’ Suspects Arrested in Alleged Bank Robbery Spree

The “Pink Lady Bandit,” via Ayden Police Department.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI nicknamed her the “Pink Lady Bandit” because of the pink handbag she used while robbing multiple banks in several states.

The FBI announced Monday that two suspects have been arrested in connection with the bank robberies along the East Coast.

Police in Charlotte, N.C., arrested Circe Baez, 35, and her suspected accomplice, Alexis Morales, 38, on Sunday.

The FBI had offered a $10,000 reward for the arrest of a woman accused of robbing banks in Pennsylvania, Delaware and North Carolina between July 20 and July 26.

The suspects are being held at the Pitt County Detention Center in Greenville, N.C., on a $4 million bond.

Gilroy Mass Shooter Posted White Supremacist Manifesto Before Opening Fire

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

About an hour before opening fire at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California on Sunday, the 19-year-old gunman posted about a white supremacist manifesto on Instagram.

Santino William Legan, who killed three people and injured 15 others, encouraged his Instagram followers to read, “Might Is Right or the Survival of the Fittest,” a fringe book that describes black and Jewish people as inferior and advocates for women as property.

The Instagram post, reported by the San Francisco Chronicle and other publications, has been removed.

“Books play a big role in the white supremacist movement,” Peter Simi, a professor of sociology at Chapman University in Southern California who studies political extremism and violence, told the Chronicle. “Posting (about a book) is a clear shout to say the reason I’m doing this violence is not just personal but to say I’m acting on behalf of a larger movement.”

The shooting follows congressional testimony by FBI Director Christopher Wray, who said most domestic terrorism cases in the past nine months have been “motivate by some version of what you might call white supremacist violence.”

“Read Might Is Right by Ragnar Redbeard. Why overcrowd towns and pave more open space to make room for hordes of mestizos and Silicon Valley white twats?” Legan wrote.

Legan was killed by police shortly after he opened fire.

The FBI and ATF are helping local police investigate.

Supreme Court Gives Green Light to Use Pentagon Funds for Border Wall Construction

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Supreme Court ruled that Trump’s administration can use billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to help build a border wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The five-to-four ruling gives the administration permission to begin using $2.5 billion in Defense Department money to move ahead with wall construction. Lower courts delayed the project pending a Supreme Court decision.

Another $3.6 billion comes from military construction funds.

“Wow! Big VICTORY on the Wall,” Trump tweeted. “The United States Supreme Court overturns lower court injunction, allows Southern Border Wall to proceed. Big WIN for Border Security and the Rule of Law!”

FBI, ATF Join Investigation into Mass Shooting At California Garlic Festival

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and ATF have joined the investigation into a mass shooting that killed four people, including a 6-year-old boy, and injured 15 others at the popular Gilroy Garlic Festival in California on Sunday.

At least one gunman opened fire and was quickly killed by local police. On Monday morning, authorities warned that a possible accomplice is still on the loose.

The FBI and ATF are assisting Gilroy police.

The motive of the shooting was not immediately clear.

Four FBI Agents in Houston Area Awarded Congressional Badge of Bravery for Efforts During Hurricane Harvey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Four FBI agents on Friday were awarded the Justice Department’s Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery for their rescue efforts during Hurricane Harvey in 2017 that are credited with saving about 150 people in the Houston region.

The awards, given at Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston, went to FBI Agents David Ko, Jack Walker, Michael Walker and Justin Widup. Those honoring the agents included Texas Sen. John Cornyn. The hurricane caused $125 billion in damage in the Houston area and Southeast Texas.

“As flooding reached its peak, Houston Police officers called upon local FBI agents for help evacuating flooded apartments in the Greenspoint area,” a press release from Cornyn’s office said. “Working through the night into early morning, FBI Agents Ko, Walker, Walker, and Widup brought more than 100 citizens and police officers to safety.  Later that morning, they assisted approximately 30 Houston Police officers trapped in a heavily flooded police substation in Braeswood Place and approximately 20 Houstonians – including young children – in a nearby apartment complex surrounded by floodwater.”