Tantalizing! Sensational! Lurid! True Crime always seems to come with an implicit exclamation point. It is a genre that documents the not normal and emphasizes the extreme. Are people drawn to the dark details of the depraved? Or to the otherness of those who dwell in this mostly hidden underworld? Or are people just relieved that they themselves have avoided these nefarious situations?
The Museum kicked off its winter Witness program with an engaging panel discussion, Attack on the USS Cole: Precursor to 9/11. Moderated by NBC4 anchor Jim Handly, the event featured former NCIS Special Agents Cathy Clements and Robert McFadden. Ms. Clements was also a member of the Major Case Response Team that was first on the scene of the bombing; Mr. McFadden also served as the co-case agent for the NCIS-FBI joint investigation.
It was early morning on October 12, 2000, when I received word from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) anti-terrorism alert center that there had been an accident off the coast of Aden, Yemen, involving a Navy ship, the USS Cole. I was the director of NCIS at the time.
When asked about the exhibits in the National Law Enforcement Museum, something I like to talk about that tends to surprise people is the wide variety of jobs that exist within the law enforcement profession. While doing research for the Museum’s exhibits, one of my favorite things was (and still is) meeting and working with a variety of types of people to gain insight and expertise on the different aspects of law enforcement from those who live and work it every day.