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Border Patrol Agent Dies During Search in Rugged Terrain at Arizona Border

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent died Sunday after fellow agents found him unresponsive in a remote part of the Arizona border east of Nogales.

Agent Robert Hotten, 44, was responding to a ground sensor that appeared to be triggered by a group of migrants near Mount Washington. When Hotten didn’t answer his radio, his fellow agents began searching for him and eventually found him at about 4:15 p.m., Tucson Sector Chief Roy Villareal said at a Monday news conference.

The FBI is investigating, but Villareal said “it appears” Hotten had fallen on rugged terrain.

“When Agent Hotten was found unresponsive, it appears that he had fallen and may have hit his head on some rocks, but again at this stage we don’t know that was the cause of death,” Villareal said.

Responding agents provided first aid and performed CPR for about two hours before carrying him out of the mountainous terrain to be airlifted.

“Tucson Sector is grieving today and our condolences are with Agent Hotten’s family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time,” Villareal said in a news release. “Our agents are assigned a dangerous mission in keeping our nation safe, and they risk their lives every day in the line-of-duty. I cannot express the sadness we feel when we lose one of our own. Even as we grieve, we will continue to put service before self and honor first. I thank the brave men and women who take this risk in service to our country.”

Hotten joined the Border Patrol on Sept. 10, 2009. He is survived by his wife, son, mother and brother.


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Award-Winning Actor Jeff Daniels to Play James Comey in Miniseries

Jeff Daniels and James Comey.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Actor Jeff Daniels has some things in common with fired FBI Director James Comey.

For one, Daniels and Comey are both critics of President Donald Trump.

And now, the Emmy-winning actor will play Comey in a miniseries adaptation of Comey’s memoir, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.”

Filming begins in November and an airdate will be announced later, reports Deadline, a website that reports on the entertainment industry.

It has yet to be decided whether the limited series will air on Showtime, CBS All Access or potentially both, Deadline reports.

Comey was fired by President Donald Trump in 2017.

A source told ticklethewire.com in 2017, shortly after Trump took office, that Comey was not a fan of the president. That became more evident as time wore on.

In July, Daniels appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and said of Trump:

“We need somebody that can take this guy on, that can punch him in the face,”


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Permit Approved to Exhume John Dillinger’s Body from Indianapolis Cemetery

Gangster John Dillinger, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The nephew of notorious American gangster John Dillinger has received permission to exhume the body of his uncle in an Indianapolis cemetery on New Year’s Eve.

The nephew, Michael Thompson, he has evidence that his bank robbing uncle was not shot by the FBI at a theater in Chicago in 1934 and that his body is not buried under the headstone at Crown Hill Cemetery

The family plans to conduct DNA tests of the body.

The exhumation permit was approved last week by the Indiana Department of Health, Fox-59 reports.

Cemetery officials have opposed the exhumation.

Dillinger was considered “Public Enemy No. 1” by the FBI after his gang killed at least 10 people, robbed banks and even staged three jailbreaks from 1933 to 1934.

Two months ago, the FBI disputed claims that the FBI killed another man who was not Dillinger.

“A wealth of information supports Dillinger’s demise including 3 sets of fingerprints, all positively matched,” the FBI tweeted on Aug. 1.


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FBI Seels Help Investigating ‘Most Prolific Serial Killer’ in U.S. History

Samuel Little, via FBI

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is calling on the public to help in an ongoing investigation of a 79-year-old man who the bureau says is the “most prolific serial killer in U.S. history.”

His name is Samuel Little. Between 1970 and 2005, he says he strangled 93 victims.

FBI crime analysts say Little’s confessions are credible and have so far verified 50 of them. Some of the bodies have never been discovered, and some of the cases were originally ruled overdoses or accidental.

Samuel Little drew this victim.

For five years, analysts have used the bureau’s Violent Crime Apprehension Program (ViCAP) to link Little to the murders.

“For many years, Samuel Little believed he would not be caught because he thought no one was accounting for his victims,” ViCAP Crime Analyst Christie Palazzolo says in a detailed, multi-media news release.

Now the FBI is urging the public to help with the 43 unconfirmed confessions. On its website, the FBI posted some of Little’s illustrations of his victims, as well as video confessions in five cases.

“Even though he is already in prison, the FBI believes it is important to seek justice for each victim – to close every case possible,” Palazzolo says.

The unverified confessions involve purported murders in Miami, Fla.; North Little Rock, Ark.; Covington, Kentucky; Las Vegas, Nev.; and New Orleans, La.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. https://tips.fbi.gov


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Weekend Series on Crime History: The Watergate Hearings


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Ralph Himmelsbach, FBI’s Lead Investigator in D.B. Cooper Case, Has Died

FBI sketch of D.B. Cooper

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Ralph Himmelsbach, the lead FBI agent in the mysterious 1971 skyjacker case of D.B. Cooper, has died.

The retired agent died Tuesday in Woodburn, Oregon, at the age of 94, The Oregonian reports.

Himmelsbach was best known for the decade he spent investigating the hijacking of Northwest Orient Flight 305. Cooper boarded the plane in Portland, Ore. He claimed to have a bomb and had the plane fly to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where he got the ransom money. He subsequently parachuted from the plane and was never found.

After his retirement, Himmelsbach wrote the book “Norjak: The Investigation of D.B. Cooper” and “The Secrets of the FBI.”

“Special Agent Himmelsbach retired from the FBI almost 40 years ago, but he never left the FBI family,” Renn Cannon, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, said. “Through the later years of his long career and into retirement, he was seen as an expert on the mysteries of the D.B. Cooper disappearance. He will be missed by all who had the chance to come to know him.”

Born on Sept. 28, 1985, in Oakland, Calif., Himmelsbach graduated from the University of Oregon and later served as a pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

Himmelsbach joined the FBI in 1951 and became a reputable, dogged investigator.

Later in his life, Himmelsbach said D.B. Cooper likely did during his jump from the plane.

FBI Agents Say Hijacker D.B. Cooper Probably Died During His Jump


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Homeland Security Official Who Scaled Back Counterterrorism Efforts Is Resigning

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Department of Homeland Security official and presidential appointee will leave his post after scaling back on some counterterrorism efforts involving weapons of mass destruction.

James F. McDonnell, who led the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office, will step down at noon Thursday, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan requested McDonnell’s departure.

In his seven-sentence resignation memo, McDonnell did not give a reason for resigning.

McDonnell has faced criticism earlier this year for promoting a scientifically-disputed system for detection of airborne infectious agents such as anthrax.

McDonnell also directed “the scaling back or elimination of multiple anti-terrorism programs at Homeland Security, which has primary domestic responsibility for helping authorities detect and block WMD-related threats,” The Los Angeles Times wrote.


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FBI Runs Facebook Ads to Recruit Russian Spies

FBI’s Facebook ad targeting Russian spies.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is reportedly turning to Facebook in an apparent effort to recruit Russian spies or people who know them.

The bureau recently began running three Facebook ads in with Russian texts over images and illustrations in the Washington D.C. area, CNN first reported.

One of the ads reads, “For your future, for the future of your family,” over a photo of a young woman with her family at her graduation.

The link directs people to the FBI Washington D.C. Field Office’s website for its counter intelligence program and encouragers users to meet “in person.”

The FBI declined to provide specifics about the ads, but one special agent said Russian spies “are very active and pose a security risk.”

“We cannot comment except to note that Russia has a large number of intelligence officers based in Russian diplomatic facilities around the world. They are very active and pose a security risk to the US and our allies,” Alan E. Kohler Jr., special agent in charge of the Washington field office’s counterintelligence division told CNN on Tuesday.

“The FBI uses a variety of means to gather information, including the use of sources,” he said. “The FBI will use all legal means available to locate individuals with information that can help protect the United States from threats to our national security.”

“Russia has long been a counterintelligence threat to the US” and the FBI will “continue to adapt our investigative and outreach techniques to counter the threat,” he added.


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