Home News Stories 2011 September Help Us Find a Killer

Help Us Find a Killer

The FBI is asking for help in the hunt for suspects in the 2001 murder of Tom Wales.

Wales children (Play Video)
Amy and Tom Wales issue a plea for information about their father’s 2001 murder in Seattle.
Watch Video | Download (53MB)


Help Us Find a Killer

Media Campaign Marks Anniversary of Prosecutor’s Murder

09/28/11

It has been nearly 10 years since a killer stood outside the Seattle home of Tom Wales and fired several shots from a handgun through a basement window, killing the assistant U.S. attorney and father of two while he worked at his desk.


 Tom Wales (Play Video)
Video: “Have courage and do the right thing.”
- Download (395MB)

More Information

- Publicity flyer: Help Solve This Case (PDF)
- Seeking Information poster

- Podcast: Wanted by the FBI

If you have any information about the case, there are three ways you can contact the FBI, all of which are confidential and can also be anonymous:

- Call: (206) 622-0460
- E-mail: walestips@ic.fbi.gov
- Send a letter: P.O. Box 2755, Seattle, WA 98111.

Since that time, the FBI and our law enforcement partners have dedicated themselves to finding those responsible for the murder. Now, as the 10th anniversary of the killing approaches on October 11, we are announcing a new media campaign to again ask for the public’s assistance. 

“This is an active case in which we are constantly and aggressively pursuing leads,” said Greg Fowler, the FBI inspector in charge of the task force investigating the murder. “Information is the key,” Fowler added, “and the better the information, the greater the chance of finding those responsible.”

Wales, a prosecutor who specialized in white-collar crime cases, was shot at 10:40 p.m. It has been reported that a lone male suspect was observed leaving the scene.

“We know information about the crime is still out there,” Fowler said. “We know there are people who—because of fear, doubt, or other reasons—have not yet come forward.  Regardless of the reasons, now is the time to come forward. Now is the time to tell us what you know. Now is the time to help us solve this crime.”


 Makarov 9mm handgun
- About the murder weapon (PDF)

 

Insight Into a Killer

As part of the Wales homicide investigation, the Bureau asked its Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) to review the evidence to help understand the personality of the killer and the ways he might react as the 10th anniversary of the murder approaches.

“The anniversary and renewed media attention could prompt a reaction in anyone involved in the homicide,” said Susan Kossler, the BAU special agent assigned to assist with the case. “It’s important for people around that person to make note of behaviors that may be unusual or out of the ordinary.”

The media coverage surrounding the anniversary could trigger a variety of emotional responses from the killer, Kossler said. “He may appear tense or uneasy. He may make unexpected or inappropriate comments about the murder or about Wales.”

The killer might be preoccupied with the case and want to talk about it constantly. Or the very mention of the murder might make him shut down completely. “Any stronger than normal reaction, any significant deviation from the norm is what people should be looking for,” Kossler said.

During the next few weeks, residents in the Seattle region will see and hear a variety of print, broadcast, and billboard advertisements regarding the Wales investigation and the reward of up to $1 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. In addition, detailed information about the case will be available on our website and our social media outlets, including Facebook.

“There are those who may not even know their information is important,” Fowler said, explaining the need for the media campaign. “Something seen, something heard, something out of place, something unusual—even the smallest clue may help.”

Special Agent Russ Fox, who has been supervising the investigation for the past two years, added that the 10th anniversary of the murder is a natural point to “renew the public’s interest in the investigation.” Fox noted that the murder took place exactly one month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which should help people remember that time period.

Fox acknowledged that the case has special significance because Wales was a federal prosecutor and a partner to law enforcement. “But he was also a neighbor, a father, and a member of our community.”

The FBI, the Seattle Police Department, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Justice—which form the Seattle Prosecutor Murder Task Force—“are still fully committed to this case,” Fox said.

“The murder of Tom Wales was more than a single act of violence against an individual,” Fowler added. “It was a crime that impacted many, but no one more than his family. Tom Wales left behind a legacy and a life that cannot be replaced. We remain confident that, with the public’s help, we will find those responsible and bring them to justice.”

If you have any information about the case, there are three ways you can contact the FBI, all of which are confidential:

  • Call  (206) 622-0460;
  • E-mail walestips@ic.fbi.gov; or
  • Send a letter to P.O. Box 2755, Seattle, WA 98111.

Resources:
- Press release | Attorney General’s speech
- Podcast: Wanted by the FBI
- Behavioral Analysis Unit