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Wack: The FBI’s First Use Of Airplanes & The Original Pilot

Retired FBI Special Agent Larry Wack maintains a website as a tribute to the early FBI and the G-Men of the 1930s. More can be found at this website.

By Larry Wack

The FBI’s First Use Of Airplanes & The Original Pilot Retired FBI Agent, Murry C. Falkner was actually the only FBI Agent during the ‘30s who was an “authorized pilot.” Falkner became an FBI Agent in 1925.

He obtained his pilot’s license in 1936 at the Albuquerque Airport while assigned to the El Paso FBI office.

Most of his official flying duties were in the West Texas and New Mexico areas. Falkner recounted some of his career in a 1967 interview for the FBI’s internal magazine, “The Grapevine.”

Among other high profile cases, Falkner was involved in the Dillinger and Bremer kidnapping investigations and received a raise in salary along with others for their work.

He used his raise to learn how to fly. In 1939, he was on special assignment in Seattle and bought his first plane. Before delivery, he was transferred to San Francisco, FBI and then had to travel to Detroit to arrange delivery. After a short sprint in San Francisco, FBI he was transferred to Alaska but found problems financially in taking the plane with him. Falkner retired from the FBI in the ’60s and maintained a residence in Mobile, Alabama.

At the time of his retirement, he had a new career in mind – writing. In a recently found July, 1965 news interview with Falkner, it’s revealed “Writing is not new in the Falkner family.

He (Murry) is a brother of the late William Faulkner and John Faulkner, also a novelist. William Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1949 and the Pulitzer prizes for fiction in 1955 and 1963.”

Said Falkner in the same interview, “I’m going to try to do some writing. I have no illusions that I have the talent my brothers had but I am going to try my hand at it.”

At the time, Falkner was 66 years old. Falkner retained the revised spelling of the family name when his brothers, on the other hand, restored the “u” dropped by their great-grandfather.

 

FBI Linked Chicago Home to Massive Leak of Nude Celebrity Photos

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has linked an unassuming brick home in Chicago to nearly 600 hacked personal data-storage accounts, many of them belonging to celebrities, the Associated Press reports.

Some of the photos contained nude images of female stars.

According to recently unsealed court documents, the FBI seized computers and cellphones from the home in October but has not filed charges.

The affidavit states that investigators suspected a computer was used at the home to access Apple iCloud accounts of celebrities.

No one answered the door for an AP reporter.

FBI Arrests Correction Officers in Beating Death of Rikers Island Inmate

Photo by Tim Rodenberg - Flickr: Rikers Island Jail.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents arrested two New York correction officers Wednesday accused of beating to death a Rikers Island inmate, Newsweek reports.

A pretrial detainee, 52-year-old Ronald Spear, was killed in December 2012 from bunt force trauma to the head.

Agents arrested former officer Brian Coll and officer Byron Taylor.

According to the complaint, Coll “willfully kicked Ronald Spear multiple times in the head while he was restrained, which resulted in injury to Spear.”

Both officers “agreed to make false statements to multiple investigators about the assault of Ronald Spear…in order to cover up the fact that Coll had unlawfully assaulted Spear,” according to the complaint.

New York City settled a wrong death lawsuit in the case for $2.75 million.

Secret Service Agent Investigated After Sexting with Woman at Michelle Obama Event

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Secret Service agent is under investigation for flirting with a woman he met while screening bags at an event featuring First Lady Michelle Obama.

The agent, whose name has not been released, is accused of sending a racy picture to the woman after the pair had exchanged text messages all night, according to the New York Post.

The woman worked for a private organization.

“He’s an agent, but he’s out by the [magnetometers]. It’s an exterior post. He’s not on [the first lady’s] detail,” a government official said.

Cleveland.com Editorial: TSA Gives Little Reason for Confidence in Security

By Editorial Board 
Cleveland.com

At airports around the country, including Cleveland Hopkins International, passengers entering the security wringer run by the Transportation Security Administration have been entertained by a display of some of the instruments of mayhem that agents have taken from people over the TSA’s 14-year history.

Earlier this year, the TSA proudly released a year-end report stating that during 2014 it had confiscated 2,212 firearms – most of which were loaded – after screening more than 653 million passengers.

The display board and statistics might have made everyone feel as though the lines, pat-downs, shoes-in-the-basket and full-body scanners were worth it, except for one other statistic that was revealed recently:

Ninety-six.

That’s the percentage of times Department of Homeland Security operatives managed to sneak weapons, bombs and other contraband past airport security in a test of TSA effectiveness.

ABC News disclosed the information June 1 from a leaked report, showing that a covert DHS team had beaten security screening 67 of 70 times.

When confronted with this evidence of colossal failure, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson called for more evaluations and training. He expressed continuing confidence in the TSA workforce and said test results “never look good out of context.” Then he reassigned acting TSA administrator Melvin Carraway.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest reacted by trying to blame Senate Republicans for dragging their feet in confirming Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger as TSA head. After the prior TSA administrator announced his departure last October, President Barack Obama nominated Neffenger in late April.

TSA Inspector General John Roth, who oversaw the covert test, reacted by telling the Senate Homeland Security Committee that he wasinvestigating the source of the leak.

Those responses don’t fill us with confidence.

To read more click here.

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Task Force Cracks Down on 2 Gangs in Milwaukee

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI teamed up with police to crack down on gang activity in Milwaukee, resulting in eight search warrants and more than a dozen arrests beginning just after dawn Tuesday.

The MPD-FBI Gang Task Force recovered 10 guns, drugs and tens of thousands of dollars in alleged drug money, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. 

By Tuesday night, authorities were still searching for four men.

The focus of the task force was ATK, or Atkinson Ave., and HPT, or Hustlers, Pimps and Thugs.

“The hope is to significantly impact these two violent street gangs, to disrupt their operations, so we can restore some order to the neighborhoods where they operate,” said Capt. Thomas Stigler of the Milwaukee Police Department.

Former U.S. House Speaker Hastert Pleads Not Guilty in Awkward Court Appearance

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges involving hush money payments and lying to federal agents, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Tribune wrote that Hastert looked “extremely uncomfortable.”

“As the judge left the bench and Hastert’s high-powered attorneys conferred with prosecutors, Hastert, once one of Illinois’ most prominent politicians, remained by himself near the lectern, his shoulders hunched, arms hanging limp at his sides. After a moment, he turned toward the gallery where dozens of reporters and spectators were filing out and pursed his lips.”

When the brief hearing was over, the 73-year-old Republican was silent as he passed throngs of reporters and flashing cameras.

Hastert is accused of paying $3.5 million to keep quiet wrongdoing during his days as a high school teacher and wrestling coach.

Hastert’s bank withdrawals caught the attention of authorities.

Investigation Opens to Find Leak of Alarming Study about Airport Security

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It was an alarming discovery: An undercover operation found that investigators could slip through airport security with weapons and phony bombs more than 95% of the time, the Washington Post reports.

But that information, which quickly spread nationwide, is considered “classified,” so whoever leaked it could face termination or even jail time.

The inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security said he is investigating.

“We have started an investigation to determine where the leak was,” Inspector General John Roth told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

After the reports became public, acting TSA Administrator Melvin Carraway was forced from the job, the Post wrote.