Shannon M. Beck

1970 – 2018

On the morning of September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were commandeered by terrorists and crashed into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Later that morning, both towers and surrounding buildings collapsed, sending a large cloud of toxic dust and smoldering debris through lower Manhattan.

Evidence Technician (ET) Shannon M. Beck was deployed to New York City and worked at Ground Zero, the Hudson Street Warehouse, and multiple residences in New York City as a part of the FBI’s World Trade Center recovery operation. She worked daily shifts at these sites as a member of the Phoenix Field Office’s Evidence Response Team. From September 24, 2001, through October 10, 2001, she worked 8- to 12-hour shifts sifting and sorting through World Trade Center debris in an effort to locate human remains, personal items for identification or victims, and recovery of evidence. As part of her official duties at these sites, she was exposed to all carcinogens, toxins, hazardous materials, etc., present at the recovery sites.

In July 2016, Beck was diagnosed with stage 4 gastric cancer. She succumbed to the disease on August 18, 2018. Extensive research by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health established sufficient evidence that Beck’s exposure to the air in and around the World Trade Center site either precipitated or accelerated her development of the disease.

Beck was born in March 1970 in Placerville, California. She entered on duty with the FBI on October 29, 1995.