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Tag: obit

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.

FBI Special Agent Died of Rare Type of Cancer at Age of 65

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Special Agent Mark C. Johnston, who was one of the first law enforcement officials to respond to the Sept. 11 terrorist attack at the World Trade Center, has died of a rare type of cancer.

Johnston was 65.

At the FBI, Johnston also played a role in the TWA 800 flight disaster, the aftermath of Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, the Press of Atlantic City reports

“He had integrity beyond question and was humble to a fault,” Dennis McKelvey, a prosecutor who worked on joint investigations with Johnson, said.

Johnston was the author of the 2015 book “FBI & an Ordinary Guy, the Private Price of Public Services.”

“As an FBI agent in New York and other large American cities, we faced outlaw motorcycle gangs, the Mafia, drug kingpins, terrorists and land pirates,” the book’s description said. “The public knows little about the stress and high emotional costs the guardians of their safety pay in the constant battle against crime and terror.”

The Press of Atlantic City wrote:

During Johnston’s FBI tenure, he was the program manager for its employee assistance program.

Fellow FBI Special Agent Jessica Weisman said Johnston was loyal to his country, caring, compassionate and a dedicated family man. Weisman said he put in at least 20 years of service to the FBI.

“He was very committed and got very involved with the employee assistance program for many years,” Weisman said. “He was a very hardworking Special Agent for the FBI.”

Since Johnston’s retirement from the FBI, he served as program manager for police in-service training at the Atlantic County Police Academy.

Johnston also served with the Concerns of Police Survivors, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and a volunteer with the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. He helped found the local Beach Plum Association and was a counselor for Trinity Hospice’s Camp Lost & Found.

FBI Special Agent Dies After Completing Mandatory Fitness Assessment

Special Agent Ricky O’Donald

Special Agent Ricky O’Donald

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI special agent in the Miami Field Office died after completing the bureau’s annual mandatory fitness assessment earlier this month.

Special Agent Rickey O’Donald suffered a heart attack soon after finishing the fitness assessment on Feb. 17, Officer.com reports.

O’Donald, a 29-year veteran of the FBI, complained to fellow agents that he wasn’t feeling himself, so he drove to a local hospital. While in the parking lot, he collapsed and was later pronounced dead.

O’Donald is survived by his wife and and their daughter.

Contributions may be directed to Christ Rock Community Church, 11000 Stirling Road, Cooper City, Fla. 33328. http://crcconline.org/

The funeral is scheduled for March 1 at Fred Hunter’s University Drive Home in Davie.

Border Patrol Agents Suffers Fatal Heart Attack While on Bike Patrol

Agent David Gomez

Agent David Gomez

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on bike patrol in El Paso, Texas, had a fatal heart attack on Nov. 15.

Agent David Gomez was riding on McKelligan Canyon Road on Nov. 14 with several other agents when he became ill and fell off his bike, Officer.com reports. 

Agents quickly began CPR until paramedics arrived.

The 44-year-old agent was taken to a local hospital, where he died the following day.

Gomez was a 20-year veteran of the Border patrol and is survived by his wife, three children, parents and two brothers.

Other Stories of Interest

Janet Reno, First Woman to Serve As Attorney General, Died at 78

Former Attorney General Janet Reno.

Former Attorney General Janet Reno.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The United States’ first woman to serve as attorney general, Janet Reno, died early Monday at age 78.

Reno spent her final day at home in Miami before succumbing to complications from Parkinson’s disease. She was surrounded by family and friends, NPR reports. 

“She was the least air-brushed candidate we have ever had for a cabinet-level position,” said Jamie Gorelick, who would later become deputy attorney general. “She was herself and she didn’t change herself for Washington.”

NPR wrote:

Reno served longer in the job than anyone had in 150 years. And her tenure was marked by tragedy and controversy. But she left office widely respected for her independence and accomplishments.

She was not President Bill Clinton’s first choice to head the Justice Department, nor his second. But after his number-one pick went down in confirmation flames, and his second choice also proved controversial, Clinton finally turned to Reno.

She was an unexpected pick. She had no connections to Clinton or Washington. But Clinton wanted a woman, and Reno was a big-time prosecutor, holding the top prosecutor’s job in Miami-Dade County, a position she had been elected to four times over 15 years.

Secret Service Agent Who Protected President Johnson Died

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jim Hardin, who protected President Lyndon B. Johnson and his family as a Secret Service agent, died in Texas at the age of 80.

The death was announced Thursday by the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin.

His son, Brad Hardin, told the Associated Press that his dead had an apparent heart attack at his Fredericksburg home.

Hardin, a former teacher and football coach, joined the Secret Service in 1965.

Hardin protected Johnson’s daughter, Lynda, in 1966, while she was attending the University of Texas. Hardin later joined President Johnson’s protective detail.

Hardin, who also protected President Richard Nixon, retired in 1995.

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.”

Ex-FBI Agent Who Authored Books Critical of J. Edgar Hoover Has Died at 88

fbi logo newBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

William Weyand Turner, a former FBI agent who criticized J. Edgar Hoover in several books, died Dec. 26, the Marin Independent Journal reports. 

Turner died after complications with Parkinson’s Disease.

He was 88.

Hoover fired Turner in 1962 after he testified before Congress that an investigation was needed into the bureau’s extensive wiretapping.

When Turner was an agent, he testified that he set up hundreds of wiretaps on telephones and even broke into homes and businesses to plant the hidden surveillance.

Turner detailed in his 1970 book, “Hoover’s FBI,” that the bureau’s director placed so much energy on cracking down on communism that he failed to adequately prosecute organized crime.

“For nearly four decades, he (Hoover) stuck his head in the sand while the crime syndicates waxed fat,” he wrote.