Special Agent: My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI

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9780786867073: Special Agent: My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI

Candice DeLong has been called a real-life Clarice Starling and a female Donnie Brasco. She has been on the front lines of some of the FBIs most gripping and memorable cases, including being chosen as one of the three agents to carry out the manhunt for the Unabomber in Lincoln, Montana. She has tailed terrorists, gone undercover as a gangsters moll, and posed as the madam for a call-girl ring. Now for the first time she reveals the dangers and rewards of being a woman on the front lines of the worlds most powerful law enforcement agency. She traces the unusual career path that led her to crime fighting, and recounts the incredible obstacles she faced as a woman and as a fledgling agent. She takes readers step by step through the profiling process and shows how she helped solve a number of incredible cases. The story of her role as a lead investigator on the notorious Tylenol Murderer case is particularly compelling. Finally, she gives the true, insiders story behind the investigation that led to the arrest of the Unabomberincluding information that the media cant or wont reveal. A remarkable portrait of courage and grace under fire, Special Agent offers a missing chapter to the annals of law enforcement and a dramatic and often funny portrait of an extraordinary woman who has dedicated her heart and soul to the crusade against crime.Candice DeLongs Top Cases: 1. TYMURS-(Bureau acronym for Tylenol Murders)8 victims, 1982. 2. F.A.L.N. Terrorist Organization, 198184. 3. Melissa Ackerman kidnap/rape/murder, 1986Serial child killer Brian Dugan (Illinois). Brian Dugan was the most prolific serial killer Illinois had ever encountered. 4. The Burlington Rapist (Illinois serial rapist), 1984. 5. The Lecherous Landlord was the first and most significant Discrimination in Housing case in the history of the Chicago FBI. 6. Undercover work on UNABOM, including an afternoon with Ted Kaczynski on his arrest day, April 3, 1996.

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Review:

Readers may well find themselves looking nervously over their shoulders after finishing this memoir by Candice DeLong, who met a lot of Hannibal Lecter's soul mates during her 20 years as an FBI agent. An early practitioner of profiling, the analysis of crime data for what it reveals about the perpetrator, DeLong handled such ugly cases that she and her partner at one point were known as "the Gruesome Twosome." Her arrests included child molesters, rapists, and serial killers; among the book's useful features are her tips on what to do if you or your child is attacked. (Yell "Fire!" rather than "Help!" she advises; it attracts more attention.) Not that human nature's darker side was a surprise to DeLong, who came to the FBI from a job as head nurse in a maximum security psychiatric ward, where a violent paranoid schizophrenic crooned at her, "You better pray I never get out of these [restraints]. I could cut your head off. Or do you want me to tear your heart out?" The frank, conversational text ably captures the forceful personality of a female pioneer. The bureau had only been accepting women for eight years when DeLong joined in 1980, and her training at Quantico included brutal harassment by instructors determined to "wash out" any female applicant. Yet she had the toughness to survive and the good sense to know when to ignore her male colleagues' barbed jokes and when to kid them right back. Ultimately, she made friends and got ahead. As well as chronicling a stream of fascinating (and often deeply disturbing) high-profile cases such as the Unabomber, DeLong's narrative portrays a changing FBI, now valuing the special perspective contributed by female and African American agents it once scorned. --Wendy Smith

From the Inside Flap:

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A twenty-year veteran of the FBI, Candice DeLong worked on some of the toughest hig-stakes criminal investigations of our time.  As a field profiler, DeLong collected evidence at the scene of the crime to creat a specific portrait of criminals via behavioral patterns, character traits, background, etc.  Special Agent is her remarkable personal story-- of drama and danger on the front lines of law enforcement, of the art and science of criminal profiling, and of the challenge of maintaining courage, wise-cracking humor, and grace under fire.

Candice DeLong tailed terrorists and helped track the notorious Tylenol killer; she was one of three agents hand-picked to mastermind the Montana manhunt for the Unabomber; and she went undercover for major stings, sometimes in such exotic roles as a gangster's moll, and as a madam of a call-girl ringdubbed the "Candy Store."  As Profiling Coordinator, she was Chicago's and until her recent retirement, San Francisco's link to the Bureau's legendary Behavioral Science Unit, spearheading investigations into the most recondite serial murders and sex crimes.  Packed with fascinating details about her job, Special Agent reveals what life is like for a woman and for an agent on the front lines.

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Candice DeLong
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Candice DeLong
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