Tuesday, July 28, 2020

My Washington Times 'On Crime' Column On Retired FBI Agent Jerri Williams And Her Book, 'FBI Myths And Misconceptions'

The Washington Times ran my On Crime column about retired FBI agent Jerri Williams and her book about FBI myths and misconceptions.

Legendary FBI agent Joe Pistone once told me that “Donnie Brasco,” the film made about his six years undercover with the Bonanno Cosa Nostra crime family, was about 80% accurate.

“For Hollywood, that’s good,” Mr. Pistone said.

Retired FBI agent Jerri Williams’ book, “FBI Myths and Misconceptions” points out the many errors about the FBI in novels, TV and movies.

I knew Ms. Williams back when she was the spokesperson for the FBI in Philadelphia. Her job then was educating the media and the public about the FBI. I reached out and asked her why she wrote the book.

“In January 2016, I started a podcast “FBI Retired Case File Review,” which features interviews with retired agents. During many of the episodes, my former colleagues and I often made comments regarding cliches and misconceptions we saw and heard about the FBI in books, TV, and movies,” Ms. Williams replied.

“Episodes 50 and 100 focused exclusively on what authors and screenwriters sometimes get wrong. As a crime novelist myself, I know that when writers are crafting their books and scripts, the most important thing is the story. However, I was hoping to show writers how to keep the story as true to life as possible and honor the agents who do the job.

“One day it hit me. Those two shows were the foundation for a really cool book debunking FBI myths and misconceptions for those who read, watch, and write crime dramas about the FBI or want to become an FBI agent. There’s a lot out there, and the book has led to me starting a new career as a technical consultant for TV.” 

You can read the rest of the column below or via the below link:

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