Podcast: Download (Duration: 57:38 — 46.9MB)
Subscribe: Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn | RSS | More
Most of us are law-abiding citizens, but it's clear that writers and readers are obsessed with crime — and those who fight it. In today's show, former FBI agent, Jerri Williams explains some of the myths and misconceptions about the FBI, and why true crime podcasting has turned into an unexpected new career.
In the introduction, I give an update on my writing as I finish up the production process on Audio for Authors and move into the first draft phase on Map of the Impossible. The creative cycle turns again! Plus, I'm on The Writer's Ink Podcast talking about creative entrepreneurship, and on the Six Figure Author Podcast talking about audiobooks, and multiple streams of income with non-fiction. I also mention some audiobooks from the Financial Times Business Book of the Year 2019, as well as World War Z by Max Brooks.
This podcast is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, which helps authors self-publish and reach readers in global markets through the Kobo eco-system. You can also subscribe to the Kobo Writing Life podcast for interviews with successful indie authors.
Jerri Williams is a retired FBI special agent, crime writer, and true crime podcaster. She's also the author of FBI Myths and Misconceptions: A Manual for Armchair Detectives.
You can listen above or on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and full transcript below.
- Why we’re fascinated with crime and law enforcement
- Specifics about FBI special agent job titles and hierarchy
- The types of crimes that are under FBI jurisdiction
- What types of murder the FBI actually investigate
- Misconceptions about FBI agents
- What the FBI Academy is really like
- How TV shows measure up to what’s real about the FBI
- Stepping into podcasting as a book marketing tool
- Podcasting as a mission rather than a revenue generator
You can find Jerri Williams at JerriWilliams.com and on Twitter @JerriWilliams1
Transcript of Interview with Jerri Williams
Joanna: Jerri Williams is a retired FBI special agent, crime writer and true crime podcaster. She's also the author of FBI Myths and Misconceptions: A Manual for Armchair Detectives.
Welcome to the show, Jerri.
Jerri: Hi. I'm so glad to be here. This is exciting.
Joanna: It's super exciting because everyone's like, ‘Ooh, FBI.'
Start by telling us a bit more about you and your background in the FBI and in writing.
Jerri: I was in the FBI for 26 years, and during most of that time I was investigating economic crime, which is advanced fee schemes and Ponzi schemes and business to business telemarketing fraud. So all types of financial fraud.
I do not have an accounting background, but it was something that I learned on the job and that I absolutely loved. I was fascinated by the different schemes and scams that people would do to steal other people's money, and I'm still fascinated.
Joanna: And so what about writing?
How did you decide to get into writing?
Jerri: I have always been a book lover. I am an air force brat. And so my father traveled all around the world and dragged us along with him. Matter of fact, I lived for three years in England, outside of London and outside of Liverpool at different air force bases.
Joanna: Oh, cool.
Jerri: Yeah. And being the new person, I never was anywhere in the entire time I was growing up for more than three years, so we were always moving. Sometimes, it was only a year or two. We were always moving and books became my friends.
Books were something that were very familiar. And I read a lot of different books, but once I got into the FBI, of course, I started reading more crime fiction, and one day I just thought to myself, ‘I can do this.' And you know how they say, write the book that you want to read?
I was reading a lot of books, crime fiction, and whenever they had something about the FBI, I would roll my eyes. The jurisdiction was off. It just didn't work. And I thought, ‘I can do this.'
And so towards the end of my FBI career, I found a case that I thought was really a great case to start out on, and I started writing and I haven't turned back.
Joanna: Fantastic. Let's start with a sort of more of an existential question Like, why are books and TV shows about the FBI so popular?
Why are we so obsessed with crime and law enforcement when most of us are very law-abiding?
Jerri: That's a good question. I think for the most part when it comes to crime, people are fascinated because it really happens and everybody hopes that it won't happen to them. And reading about it kind of helps to calm those fears.
You're reading and you're learning how different people handle crime and what they do. And it almost makes you think that you're preparing yourself for if something were to happen to you. So it kind of gives us that jolt of terror at the same time as most books they resolve with some type of a happy ending.
You have an opportunity to look at the crime that's happening on the news and for some people actually around them and you get to feel in control of it because when you don't want anymore, you just close the book.
Joanna: I think that we hope in real life that there will be true justice. But we'd rather the bad guys die, which they do in the books.
Jerri: Oh, yes.
Joanna: But in real life, that doesn't always happen, especially in that financial and economic crime. People just go into some nice prison, white-collar crime.
Let's talk also about the word special agent because I think as someone who's British, this FBI special agent, it just sounds really, romantic is the wrong word, but it's a hell of a title.
Jerri: Yeah. Like a secret agent, almost.
Joanna: It is. It is a special title.
Is there anything specific about that? Are there different levels?
Jerri: Not really. Basically, you can work for the U.S. government, and you can become an agent of the government. But when you also have law enforcement responsibilities and you're allowed to say carry a weapon and make arrests, then that gives you the special agent title.
Secret Service agents are special agents. People who work for the Internal Revenue Service, IRS agents, are special agents. And so that's the distinction.
We all work for the government, but we have special and enhanced responsibilities having to do with law enforcement and the ability to make arrest.
Joanna: I did not know that. That's fantastic.
Let's talk about misconceptions. Let's start with the types of cases because generally, it's serial killers, terrorists, stuff that's all very dramatic.
What are the types of cases?
Jerri: For most books about the FBI, they are about serial killers, profilers and serial killers and thrillers with people chasing terrorists. And there's so much more that the FBI does.
There are more than 200 different violations, and people are of course aware of organized crime and the different shows of the FBI investigating the mob or the mafia.
And of course, nowadays, there should be more books really about us investigating transnational gangs because when you talk about organized crime, you've got Russian-organized crime and Asian organized crime. So it's really expanded.
The American organized crime groups have really dwindled a lot because we've done a great job. But definitely white-collar crime, the number one criminal priority of the FBI is actually public corruption.
Actually, I have a funny story because when I was trying to get an agent to take on my book, I remember sending a query and my books are all about fraud and corruption. I remember an agent sending a letter back saying, ‘Please check your references because I really don't think the FBI would be interested in working a municipal corruption case.'
And I'm like, ‘That's the only agency that really does that work.' Tt's like, ‘What?' It's hard trying to talk about the FBI in an authentic way when there are so many misconceptions about what we do.
Joanna: You said there are 200 violations, so those are violations of the legal code in some way. You've mentioned a few.
Are there any other sort of unusual ones that people might not know?
Jerri: Crimes against children. So, so much of this online predators and human trafficking and kidnapping, parental kidnapping, all of that is under the FBI's jurisdiction.
I talked about transnational gangs. There's also, of course, all types of frauds and kidnapping and drug investigation, narcotics, healthcare fraud. It is just amazing the variety of assignments under the FBI's jurisdiction.
The main thing I always like to tell people is that the FBI and the police are the same except very different. That's because there are things that people try to say that the FBI is responsible for. Especially in a lot of true crime and crime fiction, ‘Why don't they call in the FBI? Why doesn't the FBI do it?'
But we do have this jurisdiction. One of the biggest things and I think misconceptions for crime writers is that the FBI is involved or investigates murder. And we do and we don't.
So a local murder, the FBI is not going to be involved in that. We have no jurisdiction whatsoever. That's under the police to state, local police. It's not an FBI matter.
When the FBI is called in, maybe the murder ended up being murder for hire and the husband hired somebody in Texas to come to Pennsylvania. Now, it's becoming an FBI matter because of the interstate jurisdiction aspect of it.
Joanna: That's really interesting because I actually wrote down here where's the line with the police? So that does sound like a line.
That's really important for people writing books.
Jerri: It's absolutely important. And it's one of the reasons why when I'm reading somebody's crime novel and they start and because so many crime novels have murders. And so if it's a murder in the FBI, that's when I'm like, ‘They got this wrong. And I could've been able to show them or another agent tell them how to make it right, but this is so wrong. Why is the FBI there?'
Joanna: Whereas in reality, the police would have been there.
Then it's the police who would call the FBI, is it, when they realize that it's another jurisdiction?
Jerri: That, and some type of violent crime, yes, that would be the case. And even in serial killings and serial murders, in most cases, the local law enforcement needs to invite the FBI in.
Say they have some serial murders that they are unable to solve but they're local. They're local murders, but there is a number of bodies that keep showing up. The only way that the FBI can become involved in that investigation is under the invitation of that local department. ‘We need help, we need assistance. We'd like to use your resources and your, your different technologies to try to solve this particular murder.'
In many cases, what looked like a local serial murder may actually become much, much more than that because we find out through databases, etc. One of them is called ViCAP, the Violent Criminals Apprehension Program.
You input murderers and missing persons and unidentified human remains into this database. And so you may find out that what they're investigating in Denver is very similar to what happened in Minneapolis and they start to work together and see that there is a serial murder.
In that situation, that's where the FBI would be brought in because the main difference between the FBI and a local police department is that we have national jurisdiction.
As an FBI agent, if I'm assigned in Philadelphia, where I spent most of my career, and there's something going on in, I'll pick another state, Florida. I like Florida. I can just pick up and go, I can take my weapon with me. When I get to the airport, I just have to show my identification and fill out some forms, but I can hop on that plane and go to Florida with my gun and investigate.
I don't have to ask anybody any permission except for the head of the office in Florida, the head of the FBI office in Florida. But a police officer can't do that.
Joanna: Right. So there's a big tip for people writing.
If you want to write an FBI book, you need to have some kind of crime that is national rather than just local.
Jerri: Well, it can be local. Say a drug investigation. There are many cases.
Murder, yes, definitely murder. It has to be some type of interstate aspect to it or it has to, and this is the trick, it has to affect interstate commerce.
If you have a gang that is obtaining their drugs from, say, Mexico or California and they're operating in Philadelphia, I can work on that case in Philadelphia because the trafficking of drugs and the transferring of drugs affects interstate commerce. And so that's where the FBI gets their authority to work those type of cases.
Joanna: Wow, that's super interesting. And I guess one of the other misconceptions have, it could be, again, because I'm British, all I see of the FBI really is TV, although I did go on a ThrillerFest thing to the FBI office one day.
Jerri: Oh. Did you do that?
Joanna: I did. And they were quite typical to be honest. They were white men wearing dark suits and earpieces. But are all the agents drunk and dysfunctional?
Is it like the TV or what are the people like in the FBI?
Jerri: No. I think that you may be getting us mixed up with the cliché and misconception about Secret Service agents. Unfortunately for Secret Service agents, there have been some scandals where they'd been overseas and they'd been partying and drunk with prostitutes. That is not the FBI's cliché.
Joanna: No, you're right. I've been watching ‘Men In Black.' That's clearly it.
Jerri: I could tell you that the misconception about FBI agents and their persona is that we're dry, unemotional, no sense of humor, basically a body in a suit. And that is not true either.
FBI agents are fun people. I'm fun. So that's not true either. So being drunk and partying is not true about the Secret Service, but I still would rather they have that misconception and that cliché about us.
Joanna: I guess it's more that when we write characters in books, the character has to have a flaw, and FBI agents or agents, in general, tend to have dysfunctional families or some kind of emotional wound, which I guess is true of every human being.
These are some of the things we write in our books.
Jerri: Absolutely. I think for almost all crime novels, when you have a law enforcement officer, whether he or she is an FBI agent or a police detective there tends to be a flaw. A lot of times it is that they drink too much or that they're womanizers.
I know for my own character, I have her with a very painful past, and some #MeToo moments that make her very vulnerable to the first case that we introduce in the book and having to deal with that is her flaw.
We do create flaws for most of our crime fiction characters. But, I'm hoping that people will start to innovate that and pick up on some things that are normal in any type of fiction. Family issues. FBI agents, many of them, transfer around a lot, and so of course, that creates tension in the family. So there are other ways of creating those flaws.
Joanna: I have to ask what really happens at the FBI Academy?
Jerri: Whatever you saw on the TV show, ‘Quantico,' nothing like that.
Joanna: I've never seen it.
Jerri: ‘Quantico' was a big, big hit a couple of years ago, and it actually had three seasons, but the first season took place at the FBI Academy as this group of brand new agent trainees went through the Academy. And they were hooking up with each other and sabotaging each other and they were spies and moles, and it was really exciting.
But none of it was true, especially the part about the low cut, very tight-fitting, revealing outfits that all of the female trainees wore. That's not true either. So it was an interesting show.
I didn't give it a total thumbs down because I thought at the time that was it was really introducing a whole new generation of people to the FBI. Allowing them to look at the FBI as a diverse organization that did so many different things as far as investigation. So people were able to learn some good information about what the FBI does.
But when it came to who the FBI is, a bunch of sex-craved, good looking, young people, that wasn't necessarily authentic.
Joanna: What are the things that they cover at the Academy?
Jerri: The Academy really is three different training functions. You're going to go there to learn about the FBI procedures, do the legal training. What you can do and can't do as far as arrest and search warrants and interviews.
Then you're also going to get all of your firearms training. Now, people can come in there never having shot a weapon before in their life and come out of there as a marksperson, really being able to get that perfect bullseye.
You're trained there in the pistol, semiautomatic pistol, and you're also trained in the rifle. And so that's a huge aspect of training because FBI agents do carry weapons. When you're on duty, all the time you have your weapon, and yes, just like on TV, we've all had that opportunity to pull them out and point them at people and say, ‘Stop. FBI.'
Breaking down those doors. That's all a reality. And the third part of training is physical fitness. Just making sure that you're in the best physical fitness shape that you have ever been in.
And as a matter of fact, even before you become an agent, before you're actually hired, they do give your fitness test. So you already better be fit before you apply for the FBI because they're going to be testing you on that.
If you don't pass at least a minimum fitness test, then you're not even going to be able to begin training. But the training continues with more so the defensive tactics. So you might do boxing and martial arts just to help you when you get into a situation that you know what to do and how to handle yourself.
Joanna: Someone like you who did financial crime, economic crime, you'd expect less fisticuffs with that kind of crime.
Do you have to keep up all of that shooting, training and physical training and go back for refreshers?
Jerri: Absolutely. Four times a year FBI agents have to re-qualify with their weapon. We have to go out on the range and we have to shoot and you have to get a qualifying score, or else you might have your weapon taken from you.
And the same thing for physical fitness, their test, I don't know if it's once a year or twice a year, you're given a physical fitness test; running and sit-ups and pull-ups and all of that stuff in order to try to maintain your physical fitness.
Of course, once you get out in the field, there are different expectations depending on your age because somebody right out of Quantico who's 28 years old you can't expect that person who is now in their early 50s to test the same way. But yeah, you have to keep it up.
And the one thing that I like to stress to people, although you may be assigned to do, to an economic crime squad, at any time during the day, you could be called out to assist on any squad. And so, just because you're working a case that most of the time takes place on paper, that doesn't mean that tomorrow the drug squad isn't going to be taking down 30 individuals and you are assigned as the team leader to go into a particular house and arrest a drug dealer.
I've done that. That's been my assignment. Not only was I in the Philadelphia office, but Philadelphia covers the Camden, New Jersey area. And at one point, Camden was the murder capital of the United States. So they had so many murders and drug-related assaults that it got that wonderful title.
During the three or four years that I worked in the Camden office, I went out on every single drug arrest there was. Usually, after we kicked in the door and started the arrest, I was the one who helped the female arrestees, I strip search them and help them put on their clothes before we took them off to jail.
Because when you arrest somebody and you take them to jail, they don't like it when you, you don't search somebody and you hand them over somebody who has a weapon or drugs on them. So yeah, I got to do all of that.
Even though I worked white-collar and economic crime, that doesn't mean that I wasn't getting down and dirty and the fact that every other agent who has these, what look like, soft and cushy assignments that they're not going to be called out to do the fun action stuff either.
Joanna: Also the dangerous stuff. There are pros and cons there.
Jerri: Well, you know what? White-collar crime and can be dangerous too. When you have a person who considers themself to be a Titan, a business leader and they have this huge reputation and they believe that they are invincible and you have an FBI agent coming to arrest them to take away their freedom, that is not necessarily somebody who's going to go down easy either.
Joanna: I guess they can afford to pay for the bad guys. So just remind me, is the TV show ‘Billions.' Have you seen that?
Jerri: No. I know what you're talking about but I've never watched the show.
Joanna: There are people listening now who can't talk to us. I think it might be the district attorney, not the FBI because I think it's a New York state thing. But that's when you talk there about the billionaire perhaps doing something wrong, being taken down. So we do have some dramatizations of that kind of thing.
I also wanted to ask, because obviously I'm in the UK, many of my listeners are international. Do the FBI get involved with international cases?
You mentioned transnational crime, but is there any international involvement?
Jerri: Absolutely. I think people would be surprised to hear that the FBI actually has 60 overseas offices and cover about 180 different countries. Most of these offices are located at the U.S. embassy or a U.S. consulate, and it usually has maybe two or three agents.
We're working with our law enforcement partners and security personnel in as many countries as there are in order to fight crime because crime is global now. Now, with the internet crime is definitely global and something that affects Americans here can initiate overseas. And so we're working with our international partners all the time.
We have a jurisdiction that allows us to work overseas cases, but we can only work them at the invitation of those countries. So it's just like somebody from the UK can't come over here and start investigating and arresting people. Well, we can't do that either.
Everything we do is with the blessings of, not just the host country, but even with our state department who are in charge, who actually manage our overseas offices. The FBI is working so many other cases on an international level.
Joanna: Would that be cases in the UK that impact Americans or have been crimes committed by Americans?
Jerri: Both. In most cases, there might be something, maybe somebody you know, a British person was here and they perpetrated a fraud and now they've gone back to England. And so we're working with the officials to try to find out who that person and do the investigation.
We may also have somebody here, an American who's doing that, committing a crime. And we're working with the officials overseas. And so it's both ways.
We're assisting other international law enforcement agencies in cases that they're working with against Americans. And of course we're also reciprocating and assisting them.
Joanna: Fantastic. And then we've talked about quite a few shows.
Are there any good TV shows or movies or books, apart from your own obviously, that you think do portray the FBI in an appropriate way?
Jerri: Absolutely. One of my favorite shows is ‘Mindhunter' on Netflix.
I think they do that so well because FBI profilers and serial killers are almost always portrayed incorrectly. They have the FBI profiler is out there in the field, making arrests and doing an investigations. And for the most part, profilers are more like consultants.
If you have an FBI agent in the field or a detective in the field and they have a hard-to-solve case, they may contact the FBI profilers who are stationed at the FBI Academy in Quantico and say, ‘Hey, look, here's my whole file. Can you help me figure out what type of person would do this crime? What am I looking for? Can you help me connect the dots?'
And that's what they do. Sometimes they go out to the field and interview people, again, the detectives to try to get an idea of what's missing. What did they have? But what they've missed in looking at this case, but they're not investigating the case. There is already a case agent.
There's already a detective that is investigating the case and they're helping out. And in ‘Mindhunter,' they show it correctly. Matter of fact, last season was about the Atlanta child murders. They're investigating Wayne Williams.
What they were able to show is that there was already a case agent in Atlanta working the case, but our two profilers in the TV show went down to assist and help them figure out who was committing these murders. And so I was really, really pleased with that show. I absolutely loved it.
Another one that I really loved was ‘The Looming Tower' that was on Hulu. Did you see that?
Joanna: I didn't, but that was about pre-911, wasn't it?
Jerri: That's correct. And that was just so well done. They actually used the real names and portrayed real FBI agent who had worked on that case, Ali Soufan and John O'Neil, and a host of other agents. But it was done very, very accurately.
Of course, there was a big scene at the end of the movie where they were running through Yemen and bombs were blowing up and people were being killed. And that didn't happen, but it was a creative compromise that I understand and did to keep the action going and to put interest.
But the relationships between the agents, the relationships between their loved ones, the relationship between the FBI and the CIA all felt really, really real. I really enjoyed that show.
Joanna: That's fantastic. We don't have much time left, I know we can talk for ages, but I also want to switch gears a little bit because you have a true crime podcast, which is one of the biggest niches for podcasts in the USA. I know that you have some big download numbers, which is fantastic.
How does the podcast play into your book marketing?
Jerri: The podcast initially was all about book marketing. At the time I started the podcast, I still had an agent. I was with Curtis Brown which is one of the biggest literary agencies in the U.S. and in the UK.
One of the things that he was asking me to do while he shopped the book around was to start building a profile. And I thought, well, I don't want a blog. I was listening to podcasts and I said, ‘You know what, I can do a podcast.'
For the last four or five years of my FBI career, I switched from investigations and became the spokesperson for the Philadelphia office. And in that role, I was dealing with the media on camera locally in Philadelphia, which is a huge media market. I think it's the fourth-largest media market and the U.S.
I was also doing national TV shows, Discovery Channel and American Greed and things like that. And so I was used to speaking public speaking and I knew all of these agents and I thought, ‘I'll do a podcast and my niche will be that I will only interview FBI agents.'
I decided to just interview retired agents because I didn't want to have to go through the hassle of having to go through headquarters. The FBI is a bureaucracy, so I didn't want to have to deal with that. And with retired agents, we had the flexibility of doing interviews and conducting speeches and presentations without having to that get a clearance from FBI headquarters.
I started doing that just as a way to introduce myself to build an authentic profile as a retired agent and to hopefully in building a true crime audience, also try to find people who were interested in reading crime novels.
At the end, my agent did not sell my book and because of shows like yours, I decided to step into self-publishing and independent publishing. And I am so glad I did. Now I'm working on my third crime novel and the podcast has definitely helped me market my book.
Joanna: Oh good. Because I know how much work it is. But as you say, you've had some media training.
Did you find any challenges in the podcast or are you just a natural?
Jerri: I wouldn't call myself a natural, but I think there were two reasons that I think I did pretty well starting out the gate. And that was, I did have some media and spokesperson training in that sense.
And also, I'm a pretty confident person. I think that comes from being an air force brat and having to move so often that I can just put myself out there.
I'm not going to say I'm not nervous in some situations, but who cares? I don't care if I'm scared or I'm nervous. I do it anyway. And so I just decided I was going to do a podcast and I just started it and just kept on going and reaching out to agents.
I've interviewed, I think the next time there'll be 190, 192 episodes. These are agents from, who have worked all different types of cases, many of them, the most major, biggest cases that the FBI has ever done.
Joanna: Tell us the name of the podcast.
Jerri: It's ‘FBI Retired Case File Review.' And of course you can get it wherever you listen to audio.
Joanna: Wherever you're listening to this.
Jerri: Yes, you can listen to that.
I've been really lucky. It is doing quite well. I just reached 3 million downloads, after I've been doing it for four years, 192 episodes, 3 million downloads.
I think this year is going to be one of my biggest years. I think I'm going to really increase my listenership even more because now I'm doing CrimeCon. Have you heard of CrimeCon?
Joanna: Tell us about CrimeCon.
Jerri: It's like ThrillerFest, but for true crime aficionados, and it's the biggest true crime-related convention, conference in the world. And it's going to be the happiest place in the world in Orlando this year.
Joanna: It's funny because I was in Orlando at the Podcast Movement last year, and they were saying the stats on true crime podcasting is incredible. I'm quite jealous of your numbers because I'm at 4 million downloads and I've been doing this a decade.
This is part of the niche and this is fantastic because so easily measurable is that the niche for true crime is huge. So yeah, this is a fantastic niche.
I wanted to point this out to people, that it's not just that you started a podcast and that you know a bit about what to do. It's that you're in a niche that is hugely in demand.
Jerri: And it's a niche that not many people could venture into.
Joanna: In an authentic way.
Jerri: Also because I'm a retired agent, I have access to the retired agent directory and so I could reach out and talk to these agents and try to convince them to come on. Not everybody wants to come on the show, but I have access to retired agents.
I have friends who suggest people and so that helps a lot.
Before we go, I do want to talk a little bit more about content marketing because I really think this is a great subject and I know so many people who have podcasts who not that they're going to make tons of money from podcasting and you have to have a product or something that you're selling.
You can't necessarily make a lot of money just by taking an ads. I have no ads on my show. I will never have ads on my show because I consider my podcast now, in addition to be content marketing for my books, but also a mission.
It's my mission to show the public who the FBI is and what the FBI does because there's so much information out there, not just what you see on TV books and in movies, but what's happening in the news.
I do not get political on my podcast. But my goodness, there are so many misconceptions and clichés and I have to say lies that are out there about the FBI. I give people an opportunity to judge for themselves. They listen to the stories. I let the case reviews speak for the FBI.
Joanna: I think that's great because what you've said there and the fact that you've been doing this now for four years is the same as I feel, which is the podcast is part of my creative body of work. It starts out as book marketing, but it's for you as well. It's become much, much bigger.
Jerri: Absolutely. And so people who have their books and they're looking for ways to marketing. If you're thinking about doing a podcast, it is not as easy as it looks.
Joanna: That's for sure.
Jerri: Would you agree?
Joanna: That's for sure. But it's also incredibly rewarding, and of course, I get to talk to people like you and you get to talk to people like you've got on your show. That's partly why we do it too. It's quite cool to talk about this stuff.
Jerri: Matter of fact, some of the things that I get to do, like I talked to a former deputy director of the FBI. The only person higher than him would have been an FBI director and I did that last month.
And John Pestel who is also the administrator for TSA. I would never have had an opportunity probably to speak to him if it wasn't for this podcast. It really is very rewarding and it has to be because it's hard work.
Joanna: Definitely. It's been so interesting to talk to you Jerri and definitely get people to check you out.
Where can people find you and everything you do online?
Jerri: On my website, it's Jerri Williams, that's jerriwilliams.com and you have everything there. I love my homepage because it shows you my books. It shows you my podcast and it shows you my FBI blog where I review lots of TV shows and movies for what they get wrong and what they get right about the FBI, so Jerriwilliams.com.
Joanna: Brilliant. Thanks so much for your time, Jerri. That was great.
Jerri: Thank you. It was great speaking to you.
S. J. Pajonas says
Really enjoyed this podcast! It was interesting to hear from a former FBI agent about the things books and TV often get wrong. I subscribed to her podcast right away!
Great tip on the library and audiobooks. While listening to the intro, I nipped over to my library website and maxed out my requests for all your books 🙂
I hope to be listening to Audio for Authors soon.
Joanna Penn says
Thanks so much 🙂
William R. Ablan says
I really enjoyed this. As a former law enforcement officer, I worked often with the FBI, and it really is funny how people have misconceptions about them. We once worked a case that we thought was theirs (turns out it wasn’t), but building the relationships with the agents was great. If I thought I needed help from the federal level, or just somebodies brain to pick, they were always there. I once had to have the door of a small office space processed and my contact told me the best person at the lab to do it, and how to get it to them.
Solved the case faster and easier.