By C.W. Saari
During my FBI career, I was exposed to numerous story-worthy crimes. Some were memorable because of the ingenuity of the crimes themselves; others could not be forgotten for reasons such as the helplessness of the victim or the viciousness of the criminal. Whenever the FBI undertook any investigation, its objective was always to solve the crime and bring whoever was responsible to justice. Sometimes the crime went unsolved. At other times, the perpetrator disappeared or died before giving up the answer. On occasion, the public even pulled for the criminal to get away, like the legendary D.B. Cooper who hijacked an airplane and parachuted out the back with a knapsack stuffed with $200,000. Another example was Frank Abagnale, “The Great Imposter,” whose life was profiled in the movie Catch Me If You Can starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Some of the FBI cases I worked on frequently grabbed headlines because of the status of the victim. For example, the public was captivated by the kidnapping of newspaper heiress Patty Hearst, the disappearance of the Teamster’s top official Jimmy Hoffa, and the attempted assassinations of Presidents Ford and Reagan. Some crimes involved horrific loss of life and their images were forever burned into the minds of the public—like the bombings of Pan Am 103, the federal building in Oklahoma City, and the World Trade Center.
The FBI is responsible for investigating over two hundred different federal crimes at any given time. The public thinks the FBI is huge and omnipresent. It isn’t. The Bureau has approximately thirteen thousand agents worldwide, which is about the same number of sworn police officers in the city of Chicago. Its agents are supported by a professional staff of intelligence analysts, translators, microbiologists, electronic engineers, computer experts, and trained experts in hundreds of other disciplines.
I wanted to write a novel that would highlight how the FBI investigated a significant case. During the early years of my career, I had cases involving violent crimes, the search for fugitives, and the interviews of public figures like actors and actresses and even congressional leaders. Later, I specialized in cases in which the FBI had the sole national lead—counterintelligence and counterespionage cases. It was and still is an area involving the most secretive and sensitive techniques designed to protect our national security. We were spy hunters. I was fortunate enough to supervise undercover operations aimed at discovering who foreign spies were and what they were after. I quickly learned that the FBI’s greatest successes in counterespionage were also those we hoped the public would never learn about.
As I approached mandatory retirement, I outlined a novel that would be an FBI procedural on the search for a villain trained as a professional intelligence officer. The Mile Marker Murders was the result.
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C.W.’s book is available to purchase through BQB’s online store, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite bookstore. It’s also available to download as an eBook too! Learn more about C.W. by reading his biography or visiting his website: cwsaari.com.