Memorial Service Held Honoring Fallen Special Agents
|FBI Philadelphia May 12, 2009|
As part of National Police Week, the FBI held a Special Agent Memorial Service to honor the 54 FBI special agents killed in the line of duty earlier today at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Attorney General Eric Holder, Deputy Attorney General David Ogden, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III, and former FBI Directors William H. Webster and Louis J. Freeh participated in today’s ceremony, marking the 30th year the ceremony has been held at FBI Headquarters. Hundreds of FBI employees attended the service to honor the sacrifices of the fallen special agents and their families.
“Every May, when we join together in remembrance of our fallen heroes, we are reminded of the risks the men and women of law enforcement face each and every day, and of the courage they must demonstrate in confronting those risks,” said Attorney General Eric Holder.
“We come together today because we have not forgotten the cost of freedom. We have not forgotten the sacrifices these men and women have made on our behalf, nor have we forgotten the sacrifices borne by the families and friends of those we have lost,” said Director Mueller.
On August 9, 1979, three special agents were shot and killed in two separate incidents, thousands of miles apart. In response, FBI Director William Webster held a memorial service at FBI Headquarters. One week later, a public memorial service was held in Washington, D.C., evoking a tremendous outpouring of sympathy and support. The following August, Director Webster formalized the tradition, and the first Special Agent Memorial Service was conducted at FBI Headquarters. It has been held every year since.
There have been two FBI Special Agents killed in the line of duty while serving in the Philadelphia Division, who were honored as part of today’s ceremony and whose names are inscribed in the FBI’s Hall of Honor for Special Agents killed as the result of an adversarial action.
Special Agent Terry Anderson Killed in the Line of Duty, May 17, 1966
The small town of Shade Gap, Pennsylvania (population at the time 140), had for several years prior to 1966 been terrorized by a mysterious “Mountain Man” who had been responsible for a series of random and violent attacks, some including gunfire. Many in the community suspected that the “Mountain Man” was, in fact, William Diller Hollenbaugh, age 44, a local hermit who had spent time in both prison and a mental hospital, however the police could never definitively identify him as the person responsible for the attacks. Hollenbaugh was frequently seen around town on a battered red bicycle, and he lived with several mongrel dogs in a small shack in the hills subsisting on wild game and state relief checks.
On May 10, 1966, 17 year old Southern Huntington High School junior Peggy Ann Bradnick stepped off the school bus with her five younger siblings. The group was approached by a masked and armed man, who abducted Peggy Ann and dragged her into the woods.
An intense week-long manhunt ensued, and the FBI’s Philadelphia office sent twenty Agents to assist the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) with the search for the missing girl.
On the morning of May 17, Special Agent Terry Anderson, from the Harrisburg RA, was accompanying a cadre of State Troopers and tracking dogs in the area of Hollenbaugh’s shack, when the group came under fire from the woods. Special Agent Anderson was struck and killed, along with one of the PSP dogs. Several days later, as the manhunt intensified and more police and FBI Agents joined in, Hollenbaugh was shot and killed by the State Police after wounding a Cambria County Deputy Sheriff. Peggy Ann Bradnick was freed, unharmed except for physical and psychological exhaustion, and she reported that in the week he held her captive Hollenbaugh admitted to being the “Mountain Man” responsible for all of the previous incidents.
Special Agent Charles L. Reed Killed in the Line of Duty, March 22, 1996
Special Agent Charles L. “Chuck” Reed, who was assigned to the Lansdale (now, Fort Washington) Resident Agency of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, had spent much of his FBI career passionately working some of the Division’s biggest drug investigations.
Chuck’s most famous case was the “yuppie cocaine conspiracy,” a huge drug ring founded and operated by Main Line dentist Larry Lavin. The case resulted in over one hundred convictions, and the investigation was documented in the best selling book, Dr. Snow.
On March 22, 1996, Chuck was working undercover in a drug investigation, and was meeting in his car in the parking lot of a waterfront hotel with reputed Center City Philadelphia drug dealer Jonathan Cramer. A gun battle ensued inside the car, and both Cramer and SA Reed were shot and killed. Chuck was buried in his hometown of South Burlington, Vermont, following a funeral that was attended by thousands.
A park in the Lower Salford Township town that Chuck and his family lived in was dedicated in his honor, to commemorate Chuck’s dedication to his community and to the many children he had coached.
On March 12, 2008, over 300 Special Agents and other law enforcement officers marched from the FBI’s office on Arch Street to Delaware Avenue, where a plaque was unveiled through the “Hero Plaque Program” to commemorate SA Reed’s sacrifice.