James R. Fitzgerald

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James R. Fitzgerald
Born (1953-06-24) June 24, 1953 (age 65)
Police career
DepartmentBehavioral Analysis Unit
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Service years1987–2007[1]
RankSupervisory Special Agent
Other workConsultant

James R. Fitzgerald (born June 24, 1953) is an American criminal profiler, forensic linguist, and author. He is a retired FBI agent and best known for his role in the UNABOM investigation, which resulted in the arrest and conviction of Ted Kaczynski.[2][3]

Law enforcement career[edit]

Fitzgerald's career in law enforcement began in 1976 as a police officer in Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania. In 1987, after eleven years of local police work culminating in his promotion to the rank of sergeant, he was recruited by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Upon graduation from the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, Fitzgerald was assigned to the New York Field Division's Joint Bank Robbery Task Force. In 1995, Fitzgerald was promoted to Criminal Profiler at the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime, which would later become the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, or BAU. Through myriad investigations of homicide, serial rape, extortion, kidnapping, and workplace violence, Fitzgerald refined his skills in text analysis and threat assessment, specialties that were used in the UNABOM investigation.

Fitzgerald was also responsible for developing training programs and tools to improve the threat assessment capabilities of the FBI. Among these is the Communicated Threat Assessment Database (CTAD),[4] an exhaustively indexed repository of data consisting of every communicated threat encountered in the course of FBI investigations.

Later career[edit]

Fitzgerald has remained active in the fields of criminal profiling and forensic linguistics since retiring from the FBI, holding positions as adjunct faculty at both Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York and Stockton University in Pomona, New Jersey. He also continues to work as a private consultant and technical advisor to media productions, such as Criminal Minds and Sleepy Hollow. James Fitzgerald served as a consulting producer in the Discovery Channel's 2017 miniseries, Manhunt: Unabomber,[5] which features actor Sam Worthington as James "Fitz" Fitzgerald, described by Fitzgerald himself as "a composite character" of many investigators in the Unabomber case.[6]



  • 2003: 'Workplace violence: from threat to intervention,' in Clinics in Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • 2004: 'Using A Forensic Linguistic Approach to Track the Unabomber,' in Profilers, Campbell, John H., and DeNevi, Don, Prometheus Books
  • 2006: Forensic Linguistic Services at the Behavioral Analysis Unit-1, an FBI handbook detailing services offered at the BAU-1
  • 2007: 'The FBI’s Communicated Threat Assessment Database; History, Design, and Implementation', in FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
  • 2014: A Journey to the Center of the Mind, Book I, The Coming-of-Age Years, Infinity Publishing
  • 2017: A Journey to the Center of the Mind, Book II, The Police Officer Years, Infinity Publishing
  • 2017: A Journey to the Center of the Mind, Book III, The (First Ten) FBI Years, Infinity Publishing


  1. ^ "Fitz FBI". bustle.com. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  2. ^ Davis, Pat. "The Historian's Spotlight - James Fitzgerald". FBI National Academy Associates. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b Nevitt, Cindy. "Stockton professors minds behind 'Criminal Minds'". Press of Atlantic City. Retrieved 2017-07-16.
  4. ^ Fitzgerald, James (2007). "The FBI's Communicated Threat Assessment Database". FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. 76: 6–9.
  5. ^ "'Manhunt: Unabomber' Star Sam Worthington Tells Us About Playing the FBI Agent Who Took Down The Ultimate Serial Killer". Maxim. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  6. ^ Urquhart-White, Alaina. "How Accurate Is Fitz In 'Manhunt: Unabomber'? Here's What The Real James Fitzgerald Thinks Of His Fictionalized Self". Bustle. Retrieved 2017-12-29.
  7. ^ Silberman, Dan (24 September 2013). "LMN PREMIERES FIRST ORIGINAL SERIES 'KILLER PROFILE'". A&E Networks. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  8. ^ "The Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey Will Solve the Murder". E! Online. Retrieved 2017-07-23.
  9. ^ "Manhunt: UNABOMBER". Discovery Press Web. Retrieved 2018-01-02.

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