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FBI: Dayton Mass Shooter Motivated by ‘Enduring Fascination with Mass Violence’

Mass shooter Connor Betts. Photo: Facebook

By Steve Neavling

A gunman who opened fire in downtown Dayton, Ohio and killed nine people and wounded 27 others in August 2019 had an “enduring fascination with mass violence,” according to the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. 

Connor Betts also likely had mental health issues, the report, which was released Monday, concludes, ABC News reports.  

The FBI found that Betts acted alone and was not acting on behalf of an idealogical group. 

“The FBI’s BAU assessed the attacker’s enduring fascination with mass violence and his inability to cope with a convergence of personal factors, to include a decade-long struggle with multiple mental health stressors and the successive loss of significant stabilizing anchors experienced prior to August 4, 2019, likely were the primary contributors to the timing and finality of his decision to commit a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio,” the report states.

The shooting came one day after another gunman killed 23 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. 

Although Betts had “suicidal and violent fantasies,” there were no specific signs that he was dangerous to others, the report states that 

“This underscores the importance of bystanders’ attentiveness to more subtle changes an individual may exhibit that could be indicative of their decision to commit violence, such as a change in personal circumstances, an increase in perceived stressors, or language indicating they may be contemplating suicide,” the FBI said.


Judges Dismiss Torture Case Against CBP Officer

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

The case against a CBP officer accused of torturing a Muslim man while he was detained in Michigan has been dismissed. 

A panel of federal judges dismissed the case, which stems from the 2015 detainment of Anas Elhady, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was placed in a freezing holding cell for hours, WXYZ reports.

Elhady, who was born in Yemen and placed on the government’s terrorist watchlist, was returning to metro Detroit, where he lives, from a visit with his family in Canada when he was pulled over by CBP. Elhady said he suffered from hypothermia and was taken to the hospital after his detainment. 

In a lawsuit, Elhady argues he was wrongly placed on the government’s terorist watchlist. 


Border Patrol Agent Adopts Dog He Found While on Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent at the Tucson Sector adopted an abandoned dog that he found while on patrol.

Agents were on ATVs near Sasabe, Ariz., when they spotted the “lost, hungry, and thirsty pup,” the sector said on Facebook.

In the new home, the dog is doing well. 


FBI Offices in Northwestern Pennsylvania Have a New Leader

Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

Jason T. Crouse has been named senior supervisory senior resident agent of the FBI offices in Erie and New Castle, Pa. 

The offices cover seven counties in northwestern Pennsylvania. 

Crouse, a Pennsylvania native and 19-year veteran of the bureau, replaced Supervisory Special Agent Mark Beneski. 

Beneski told the Erie Times-News that Crouse is a good fit for the position.

“He’s definitely a hard-working guy, definitely dedicated to the Erie area,” Beneski said. “He’s been here a long time, and in that time he’s made a lot of great relationships throughout the whole area.”

Crouse received an undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the University of Maryland and a law degree from the School of Law at Wake Forest University. 

Before joining the bureau, he worked as a public defender in Maryland. 

“Law enforcement was always in the back of my mind, something I always wanted to do,” he said. “As I progressed through college and law school, I always viewed the FBI as the pinnacle of law enforcement, so that’s what I set my sights on.”

Crouse’s career with the FBI began in Erie, where he served for seven years as a coordinator for the Erie Area Gang Law Enforcement task force (EGLE) 

For roughly the next decade, Crouse investigated violent crimes against children. 

“While that was my primary focus, based on small number agents we have here and the broad spectrum of investigations we have to undertake, I’ve had experience in all those violations. So I’ve worked counterterrorism investigations, bank robbery, white collar fraud, health care fraud. And not always as a case agent in charge of an investigation but certainly in a supporting role here,” he said.

Crouse said the top priorities at the Erie office are counterterrorism and national security, as well as violent crimes and fentanyl.  


Weekend Series on Crime History: The Philly Mob


FBI Agent Who Worked Near Russia Has Symptoms Consistent with Havana Syndrome

By Steve Neavling

A former FBI agent said he’s suffering from a mysterious and often debilitating affliction known as Havana Syndrome. 

Now the bureau, which had not previously acknowledged that some of its current or former employees could have the syndrome, is offering access to medical care for agents who have symptoms, NBC News reports.

The former agent was originally denied medical treatment for the syndrome, according to an email from an FBI official that said the bureau “is not authorized to give any medical advice and there are not any medical programs in place for current and/or retired employees” for potential brain injury symptoms. 

The agent said he had suffered from migraines and dizziness about a decade after he served overseas in a country near Russia. 

When NBC News asked the bureau about the email, the FBI said it was “one part of a larger exchange taken out of context and does no reflect the FBI’s commitment to supporting its personnel, both current and former.”

The Havana Syndrome dates back to late 2016, when dozens of American officials and family members who were in Cuba or China reported symptoms consistent with the Havana Syndrome. They include headaches, nausea, vertigo, memory loss, bloody noses, and hearing bizarre sounds. 

Some authorities believe the syndrome is the result of weaponized microwave radiation, while others say it may be from pesticides or a psychological illness. 

The FBI’s statements added that the bureau “does not have the authority to provide direct medical treatment, we now have a process to guide current and former employees to the interagency medical treatment and evaluation options that are available to them.”

“Anomalous Health Incidents is a top priority for the FBI, as the protection, health and well-being of our employees and colleagues across the federal government is paramount.”


Retired FBI Agent Vies for State Senate Seat in Texas

Retired FBI Agent Tim Reid. Photo: Campaign

By Steve Neavling

A retired FBI agent is running for a seat on the state Senate in Texas. 

Tim Reid, a Republican, is vying to replace retiring Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, The Amarillo Pioneer reports.

Reid worked as an FBI agent in Amarillo from 1986 to 2005, according to his press release. He now serves as director of athletics and campus safety at Ascension Academy in Amarillo, where he also teaches geopolitics, geography, and crime scene forensics. 

Reid previously served as a member of the Canyon ISD Board of Trustees. 

The primary election is scheduled for March 1, 2022. 


TSA Manager is 33rd Employee of the Agency to Died After Contracting COVID-19

By Steve Neavling

A TSA manager died Saturday after contracting COVID-19. 

Transportation Security Manager Joseph “Joe” Santos, who worked at San Diego International Airport, was the 33rd TSA employee to die due to COVID-19 complications. 

Santos was a military policeman for the U.S. Marine Corps. After retiring, he joined the TSA in March 2002 and helped roll out screening operations at various airports nationwide as a member of the Mobile Screening Force. 

In October 2002, he returned San Diego, and the following month he was promoted to manager. 

“He will be fondly remembered and his hard work, leadership and dedication to the TSA mission will be greatly missed,” the TSA said in a statement. “We offer our heartfelt condolences to Santos’s family, friends and colleagues.”