|Died||July 31, 2011 (aged 82)|
|Occupation||FBI Senior Special Agent In Charge, private investigator, speaker, author|
|Employer||Federal Bureau of Investigation, private clients|
|Title||Senior Special Agent in Charge, Los Angeles; Special Agent in Charge, Dallas, Memphis and Washington, D.C. offices, F.B.I.|
Theodore L. Gunderson (7 November 1928 – 31 July 2011) was a Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent In Charge and head of the Los Angeles FBI, an American author, and a conspiracy theorist. Some of his FBI case work included the Death of Marilyn Monroe and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. He was the author of the best-selling book How to Locate Anyone Anywhere Without Leaving Home. In later life he promoted a number of conspiracy theories, notably including satanic ritual abuse.
Early life and FBI
In December 1951 Gunderson joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation under J. Edgar Hoover. He served in the Mobile, Knoxville, New York City, and Albuquerque offices. He held posts as an Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge in New Haven and Philadelphia. In 1973 he became the head of the Memphis FBI office, and in 1975 became head of the Dallas FBI office. In 1977 Gunderson was appointed head of the Los Angeles FBI. In 1979 he was one of a handful interviewed for the job of FBI director, which ultimately went to William H. Webster.
After retiring from the FBI, Gunderson set up a private investigation firm, Ted L. Gunderson and Associates, in Santa Monica. In 1980, he became a defense investigator for Green Beret doctor Jeffrey R. MacDonald, who had been convicted of the 1970 murders of his pregnant wife and two daughters. Gunderson obtained affidavits from Helena Stoeckley confessing to her involvement in the murders which she claimed had in actuality been perpetrated by a Satanic cult of which she was a member. Stoeckley later took and passed a polygraph, with the military examiner concluding that Stoeckley truthfully believed that she was present at MacDonald's home during the murders. But because of her drug use during and after the murders, the examiner could not conclude if she was actually present at the scene of the murders. Some time afterwards, Stoeckley changed her story and denied ever having seen MacDonald, and was adamant she was not involved. Under oath, Stoeckley denied any culpability in murders, and any knowledge of who may have committed the acts. On her deathbed at the age of 31, Stoeckley changed her story one final time and reiterated and reaffirmed that she was present during the murder of MacDonald's family and that MacDonald himself is innocent.
Gunderson was involved in the McMartin preschool case, at the heart of the 1980s "satanic panic". He made numerous confident statements supporting the truth of the supposed abuse ring and became a "recognized spokesman on the dangers of satanic ritual cults".
In a 1995 conference in Dallas, Gunderson warned about the proliferation of purported secret occultist groups, and the danger posed by the New World Order, a conspiracy theory about an alleged shadow government that would be controlling the United States government. He also claimed that a "slave auction" in which children were sold by Saudi Arabian agents to men had been held in Las Vegas, that four thousand ritual human sacrifices are performed in New York City every year, and that the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was carried out by the U.S. government.
Gunderson also claimed that in the United States, there is a secret widespread network of groups who kidnap children and infants and subject them to ritual abuse and subsequent human sacrifice.
The Southern Poverty Law Center believed Gunderson "played a pivotal role in the anti-government 'patriot' movement". Gunderson alleged the U.S. government was preparing for mass executions by setting up a thousand internment camps and purchasing 30,000 guillotines. He was also an architect of conspiracy theories around the Oklahoma City bombing, promoting a narrative of an FBI coverup, and the idea that if McVeigh was one of the bombers then it was due to secret government mind control.
Gunderson did not believe that Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident. Instead, Gunderson alleged that top officials linked to an international drug and weapons ring feared the singer-turned-politician was about to expose their crimes - so they had Sonny murdered on the ski slopes and staged the result as an accident.
On July 31, 2011 Gunderson's son reported that his father had died from bladder cancer. Gunderson himself described suffering from a decline in health after being diagnosed with arsenic poisoning (of which bladder cancer is a common symptom) by his doctor, Edward Lucidi. Lucidi reported that he was assisting Gunderson with treatments to neutralize the arsenic, but that due to Gunderson's busy schedule he did not have the time to undergo more comprehensive therapies to fully remove the poisons from his system.
- Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI. Turner Publishing Co. 1999. pp. 150–151. ISBN 9781563114731.
- "Former Memphis FBI chief Gunderson dies". San Diego Union-Tribune. 2011-08-19. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
- How to Locate Anyone Anywhere Without Leaving Home. ISBN 0-525-24746-7.
- Gunderson, Ted L (1994). Corruption: the Satanic drug cult network and missing children. OCLC 893568977.
- "The Dallas Division, Office Locations and Special Agents in Charge".
- Daniel Schorn (November 6, 2005). "Jeffrey MacDonald: Time For Truth". CBS News, 48 Hours. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
- January 2, 1983, The Dallas Morning News
- "Around the Nation; Investigation Reopened In Doctor's Murder Case". Associated Press International. 1982-04-17. Retrieved 2008-08-21.
- "Helena Stoeckley polygraph by Robert Brisentine | Jeffrey MacDonald Case". www.crimearchives.net. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
- The Murder Almanac ISBN 978-1-897-78404-4 p. 112
- McGinniss, Joe (1983). Fatal vision. New York: G.P. Putnam Sons. ISBN 978-0-399-12816-5. OCLC 9111302.
- "Jeffrey MacDonald's Wife Says He Is 'At Peace' As Judge Considers New Evidence". ABC News. Retrieved 2021-08-18.
- Morris, Errol (2012). A wilderness of error : the trials of Jeffrey MacDonald. New York: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-1-59420-343-5. OCLC 760974114.
- Wyatt, W. Joseph (2002-05-01). "What was Under the McMartin Preschool? A Review and Behavioral Analysis of the "Tunnels" Find". Behavior and Social Issues. 12 (1): 29–39. doi:10.5210/bsi.v12i1.77. ISSN 2376-6786.
- Beck, Richard (2015). We believe the children : a moral panic in the 1980s (1 ed.). New York. ISBN 978-1-61039-287-7. OCLC 884814316.
- De Young, Mary (2004). The day care ritual abuse moral panic. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1830-3. OCLC 53900894.
- Jenkins, Philip (1998). Moral panic : changing concepts of the child molester in modern America. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07387-9. OCLC 38566093.
- Evan Harrington (September 1996). "Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia: Notes From a Mind-Control Conference". Skeptical Inquirer. Retrieved 2012-04-29.
- Philip Jenkins (July 2008), "Chapter 10: Satanism and Ritual Abuse", in James R. Lewis (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements, Oxford University Press, pp. 222, 241, doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195369649.001.0001, ISBN 9780195369649
- Philip Jenkins and Daniel Maier-Katkin (2006), "Satanism: myth and reality in a contemporary moral panic", in Chas Critcher (ed.), Critical Readings: Moral Panics and the Media, Open University Press, pp. 90–91, 93, ISBN 978-0335218073
- "False Patriots". Southern Poverty Law Center. 8 May 2001. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
- Ingram, Hunter. "Fact check: Fake claim about US purchase of 30,000 guillotines has circulated for years". Retrieved 2021-04-26.
- "Secret camps and guillotines? Groups make 'birthers' look sane". 2009-08-29. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
- Keller, Larry (30 August 2009). "Evidence Grows of Far-Right Militia Resurgence". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
- Witt, Howard (9 May 1995). "AMID OKLAHOMA MYSTERIES, CONSPIRACY IDEAS WIN HEARING". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
- "Sonny Bono 'assassinated' by hitmen: former FBI agent". NewsComAu. 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2021-08-20.
- "FBI agent claims Sonny Bono was murdered". NME. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 2021-04-26.
- Former Memphis FBI Chief Dies Archived 2013-06-24 at the Wayback Machine