NEWSMAKINGNEWS.COM

A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE FEATURING TED GUNDERSON
by Virginia McCullough © 2007

 

Ted Gunderson is not a shy man.  The former FBI agent advertises himself on his web site http://www.TedGunderson.com.  The block that features "Ted L. Gunderson Career Highlights" has a background of dark grey with a medium to dark blue print.  It details his illustrious career but the lack of contrast between the print and the background makes it difficult to read his extensive FBI work history.  The only print that stands out is the red listing of Gunderson's employers and awards and the important dates in his career.  That is unfortunate because anyone would be proud of the rapid rise Gunderson achieved in his service in the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Ted L. Gunderson's last job before his entry into the FBI was as a sales representative for the George A. Hormel Co. in Austin, Minnesota. The Hormel company was a meat processing conglomerate best known as the makers of "Spam".  Gunderson was only employed there from 1950 to 1951.

Between December 10, 1951 and March 2, 1952 Gunderson attended FBI training school.  His first assignment in the FBI was as a Resident Agent working interstate criminal violations and Atomic Energy Act matters, an assignment that lasted until 1956.  The next four years found him assigned to Albuquerque, New Mexico, investigating espionage matters.  Ted Gunderson had found his niche and his career.

In 1960 a young Gunderson became a Special Agent Supervisor in FBI headquarters and he was responsible for contact with various field divisions regarding various matters.  Gunderson noted in an earlier resume that his assignments in the Organized Crime and Anti- Racketeering Section occurred during an era when those matters were a priority classification.  He also acted as a Special Agent Supervisor in the White house Special Inquiry Section dealing with sensitive requests between the FBI and the White house.

From 1965 to 1970 Gunderson was assigned as Assistant Special Agent in Charge, New Haven, Connecticut.  He again concentrated on counter-espionage and security matters.  He proudly points out that among his notable accomplishments were the development of five double agents whose activities were directed against Soviet Satellite Bloc countries.  He claims that information they developed was invaluable to the national defense of the United States.  Also, while in this position, Ted Gunderson coordinated the investigation of the Black Panther Party and the murder trial of Black Panther Chairman, Bobby Seale.

Ted Gunderson's resume indicates that he was proud of heading up the FBI investigation bethind the murder trial of Bobby Seale.  According to Wikipedia's web page on the New Haven Black Panther Trials the historic event created a political backlash against the FBI.

The trial became a national cause celebre among critics of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI and its COINTELPRO program.  Beginning on May Day, 1970, with the pretrial proceedings, twelve thousand Panthers and their supporters arrived in New Haven individually and in organized groups.  They were housed and fed by community organizations and Yale students in dormitories, and met en masse on the New Haven Green across the street from the Courthouse daily to hear protest speakers including Jean Genet, Benjamin Spock, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and John Froines (at that time a graduate student at Yale).  Bombers exploded two devices in the Yale hockey rink, and protestors threw rocks and bottles at National Guardsmen and taunted the New Haven police. The authorities responded by tear gassing the demonstrators.  Yale chaplain, William Sloane Coffin, stated, "All of us conspired to bring on this tragedy by law enforcement agencies by their illegal acts against the Panthers, and the rest of us by our immoral silence in front of these acts," while Yale President Kingman Brewster Jr. issued the statement, "I personally want to say that I'm appalled and ashamed that things should have come to such a pass that I am skeptical of the ability of Black revolutionaries to achieve a fair trial anywhere in the U.S."

In 1970 Ted Gunderson was transferred to a position as Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Field Division.

In 1973 Gunderson was assigned as Inspector in the Inspection Division responsible for the annual inspection of 14 field divisions.

The remainder of his career with the FBI consisted of two-year assignments as Special Agent in Charge of the Field Divisions in Memphis, Tennessee, Dallas, Texas and finally Los Angeles, California, where his title became Senior Special Agent in Charge.  These positions had direct responsibilities for all aspects of field operations.  Gunderson's resume indicates that he coordinated major cases and handled personnel matters in his final years with the Bureau.  However, when he moved to Los Angeles he began a "public relations program throughout Southern California with numerous speaking engagements.  Most engagements were to groups of 100 to 1,500."  He further states that "he maintained an active radio, television and print media schedule, making more that 50 television appearances and 100 radio presentations during his last year as Senior Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division".

On March 30, 1979 Ted Gunderson left the FBI.  He founded his private investigation firm "Ted L. Gunderson and Associates, Inc."

One day after leaving the FBI, April 1, 1979, he began a position as Special Appointee of Attorney General of the United States Griffen B. Bell as Security Consultant for the Pan American Games at San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Other positions Gunderson has held under the umbrella of his company were Security Consultant for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Committee (beginning June of 1980), Chief Investigator for famed Boston Attorney F. Lee Bailey, and consultant to the California Narcotic Authority appointed by former Governor Jerry Brown, now Attorney General for the State of California.

Four years after Ted Gunderson left his last position with the FBI as Senior Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Division, the FBI was investigating their former employee for fraud.  Gunderson felt alone, isolated and betrayed by his brothers in law enforcement.  In the lengthy article below Gunderson says, "I'm really upset and incensed over this because I'm a good person. I don't do these (illegal) things," Gunderson said. "And it really perturbs me to think that my old fraternity is out trying to get me."

What caused the fall from grace of one of the FBI's leading stars?  Is the answer a simple bad business decision made by the former agent or did it have more to do with his often spoken belief that a Satanic cult was out to kill him.  In 1983 author Joe McGuiness published his nonfiction book entitled Fatal Vision centering on former Green Beret Jeffrey MacDonald's defense at his murder trial for killing his wife and two children.  That defense was that drug crazed members of a Satanic cult had broken into his home and killed his family.

The following article, written by investigative reporter Steve McGonigle, states:

"Since July, Gunderson has been on the run, dodging, he says, two murder contracts on his life.  One of the contracts issued by a satanic cult that he has implicated in the slayings of the wife and two children of former Green Beret doctor Jeffrey MacDonald at Fort Bragg, N.C. MacDonald has been convicted of the slayings and is serving three consecutive life prison sentences".

Ted Gunderson would become obsessed with "The Devil made me do it defense" originally introduced in the Manson murder trial and further hyped by the MacDonald defense.  Almost every major case that Ted Gunderson would investigate in the future would reflect his belief in Satanic Ritual Abuse.  The stage was set for the Greek tragedy that would play out for the remainder of Ted Gunderson's life.

FBI EX-AGENT FEARS PROBE, PLOT BY SATANIC CULT.
by Steve McGonigle Staff writer, The Dallas Morning News, 1983

FORMER FBI SUPERSTAR FALLS ON TOUGH TIMES

When Ted Gunderson retired from the FBI in 1979, he was one of the elite cadre of special agents at the pinnacle of the agency he had loved as nothing else.

During his 27-year career, the personable Nebraskan had gone from street agent to head of FBI offices in Memphis, Dallas and, finally, Los Angeles.  He was one of a handful interviewed for the job of FBI director, which ultimately went to U.S. Appeals Court Justice William H. Webster.

But life for Gunderson -- described by friend and former U.S. Atty. Gen Benjamin Civiletti as "a great patriot devoted to....the letter and the spirit of the law" -- has taken a turn toward the bizarre.

After Gunderson left the FBI as one of its most popular and highest profile agents, he fell abruptly from the public spotlight.  Not even jobs as chief of security for the Pan American games and security consultant to the Los Angeles Olympic Committee could restore him to the same high level of public view.

Today, he finds himself again in the limelight but not in a fashion he relishes.

Since July, Gunderson has been on the run, dodging, he says, two murder contracts on his life.  One of the contracts issued by a satanic cult that he has implicated in the slayings of the wife and two children of former Green Beret doctor Jeffrey MacDonald at Fort Bragg, N.C.  MacDonald has been convicted of the slayings and is serving three consecutive life prison sentences.

Gunderson, now a Los Angeles-based private investigator, is the target of an FBI fraud investigation into a defunct Dallas investment company.  Gunderson says he fears his former FBI colleagues will have him indicated on federal fraud charges.

A Dallas woman, Jenny Rogers, recently claimed the former FBI agent is part of a conspiracy that resulted in her arrest on a bogus lunacy warrant.  Gunderson and others, she said, swore to the lunacy warrant so that her testimony as a federal witness against them would be discredited.

And the 54-year-old Gunderson, who once headed one of the largest FBI field operations in the nation, acknowledges that he has worked for one convicted law-breaker and has shared a Dallas high-rise apartment with another.

Gunderson, who lives out of a suitcase, fretting constantly about being killed and fluctuating between hurt and anger about the treatment he says he has received from those he calls his brethren in law enforcement.

"I just don't understand it," Gunderson said during a recent interview in a southwestern city that he asked be kept confidential. "I thought they (the FBI) would help me. Instead...they're trying to destroy me."

His concern is an FBI investigation into his role with Dekla International Inc., a now defunct investment firm for which Gunderson was president for three weeks in August.  Federal agents are investigating complaints that Dekla defrauded clients by taking advance fees or "front money" to provide loans that never materialized.

Also under investigation are Alan Blair, a self avowed witch who served as Dekla chairman of the board, and Raymond Crosby (R.C.) Johnson, a loan broker who worked with Dekla and with whom Gunderson briefly shared a Dallas apartment.  Both Blair and Johnson have criminal records.

Although aware of Blair's criminal record, Gunderson said, he was convinced Dekla was a legitimate business.  Gunderson denied any wrongdoing and said he resigned from Dekla when he learned the company was under investigation.

Former clients in the Dallas area say they were told that Dekla represented a Dutch based trust company that had access to billions in OPEC oil money.  The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries money would be deposited in domestic banks and then used by Dekla to finance loans, the clients said they were told.

The clients said that they paid advance fees but that they never received loans.

Gunderson said he left the company without earning a dime.

"I'm not a con artist; I'm not a criminal," Gunderson said. "I'm a very honest person. I'm a man of integrity, and I stand up for what's right."

Gunderson accused the special agent in charge of the Dallas FBI office, Tom Kelly, and another agent involved in the Dekla Investigation of attempting to "destroy" him through accusations from people with personal grudges against Blair and Johnson.

Gunderson said Dallas FBI agents, using the allegations of personal enemies, "are doing everything they can" to have him indicted on charges of mail fraud and fraud by wire.

He said he also suspects that the FBI investigation into his activities is being guided by a lawyer in the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington who, Gunderson said, wants to discredit him for another reason.

He said the lawyer, Brian Murtagh, fears Gunderson will be able to reverse the conviction that Murtagh won against MacDonald, who was convicted in August 1979 of murdering three members of his family in Fort Bragg.

MacDonald is serving three consecutive life sentences at the Federal Correctional Institution near Bastrop, Texas.

Gunderson said that he was hired by friends of MacDonald to investigate the case and that he has evidence that proves MacDonald's story that his pregnant wife and two daughters were beaten and stabbed to death by four members of a satanic cult.

Gunderson said that since he provided a 1,200 page report on the MacDonald case to the Justice Department in February 1981, Murtagh has been using the FBI in a campaign to show that Gunderson and the report are not credible.

The FBI investigation into his involvement with Dekla, Gunderson said, stems from Murtagh's efforts to discredit him.

"I think Mr. Murtagh has duped the FBI, the great FBI," Gunderson said. "It makes me sick."

Murtagh and Dallas FBI chief Kelly, in separate interviews, disputed Gunderson's charges that they are working together to indict or imprison him.

"We are not trying to put Mr. Gunderson under the jail," Kelly said. "We have an allegation, and like any allegation, we open an investigation, and we investigate it."

Kelly said that the investigation has no connection with Gunderson's work on the MacDonald case and, further, that he had never heard of Murtagh.

Murtagh, an attorney in the organized crime and racketeering section of the Justice Department, said that he was unaware of the Dallas investigation and that Gunderson's charge that he was directing the investigation is "an absolute falsehood."

"I've never been to Dallas; I don't know anyone in Dallas. I'm not involved in whatever your basic story is down there. It ain't so," Murtagh said.

"I think that Mr. Gunderson would like to litigate the MacDonald case in the press and not in the court, where they (defense attorneys) haven't been too successful.  And that's where I'm going to litigate it."

Noting that Gunderson's findings are based on the statement of a woman who has been declared "an inherently unreliable witness" by a federal appeals court because of her drug habit, Murtagh said, he does not believe the report would alter the jury finding that MacDonald killed his family.

Gunderson contended, however, that Murtagh knows the report exonerates MacDonald.

"That's why I'm in this mess I'm in now. I'm standing up for MacDonald. I know that I'm right about MacDonald," Gunderson said.

"And I tell you what, you can put it on the record, MacDonald is going to be walking the streets, be a free man, because I'm not going to stop until we get him out," Gunderson said.

In January 1980, publicity once again found Gunderson.

Two physician friends of MacDonald hired Gunderson to clear the former Army doctor of charges that he had murdered his wife and two daughters.

For a year, Gunderson investigated the nationally publicized murders and the joint Army Justice Department investigation that led to MacDonald's conviction.

Gunderson's big break occurred when Helena Stoeckley, an admitted drug addict who had testified at MacDonald's trial, told Gunderson in a sworn statement that she was present when members of the cult murdered MacDonald's family.

In February 1981, Gunderson turned over his report on the MacDonald case and waited for MacDonald to be set free.

A year later, he was still waiting, becoming increasingly convinced that the government was more interested in discrediting his report then in admitting its mistake and prosecuting the real killers of MacDonald's family.

Gunderson said he also realized that the year of waiting had devoured most of his money; he was heavily in debt to banks in Los Angeles and Dallas.

Fate intervened again in the first week of July [1981].

On July 3, Gunderson met Allan Blair for the first time. That day, Blair and Bob Barron, a former movie actor and producer who was president of the Blair-operated SASS International Inc., which later was merged into Dekla, went to Gunderson's office in Los Angeles.  Barron, who had met Gunderson in 1977 at his farewell party in Dallas, had hired Gunderson in February 1982 to do background checks on potential SASS clients.

During the meeting in Gunderson's Westwood office, Barron said, Gunderson told them he was the target of a death contract because of his work on an attempted contract murder case involving a Los Angeles businessman.  When Gunderson told them who he thought was behind the contract, Blair offered to intercede, Barron said.

Five days later, Barron said, he, Blair and Gunderson went to the Los Angeles home of a nightclub owner who had knowledge of the contract.  Gunderson left the meeting with the nightclub owner convinced that the contract on his life had been lifted, Barron said.

But Gunderson's troubles with contract murders weren't over, he said.

The next afternoon while lying on the lawn in front of his apartment, Gunderson said, he found 13 red roses, 13 chrysanthemums and a line typed note that read:

"Poacher in the grass

Once a cub, the lion sees

Shades of death and life."

Gunderson said he read the peculiar package as a deadly message and concluded the threat came from members of the nameless satanic, sex drug cult that he had named as the perpetrators of the MacDonald family murders in North Carolina.

Gunderson said he took the threat seriously, and when Blair suggested that he go to Dallas, he quickly put most of his belongings in storage, vacated his apartment and drove to Texas.

"I had no intention of joining SASS (Blair's company)," Gunderson said. "I went over there (to Dallas) to hide."

Once in Dallas, Blair allowed him to live in his North Dallas condominium and provided him with a free telephone and office space from which to operate his private investigative firm, Gunderson said.

Within a month, Gunderson was president of Dekla, which Blair had renamed to reflect the company's merger with a Dutch firm of the same name.

For the next three weeks, Gunderson said, he spent his time in meetings with Dekla's board of directors and signing contracts with clients.  His lone edict to Dekla officials, he said, was that no advance fees be collected from clients in anticipation of loans.  As far as he knew during that time, Gunderson said, there were no front money fees.

Gunderson says he believes he is under investigation by the FBI primarily because of a vindictive woman's charges to the FBI that Gunderson and Johnson -- with whom he temporarily shared an apartment -- are implicated in the Dekla fraud.

Ms. Rogers' accusations to the FBI are rooted, Gunderson says, in her personal feud with Johnson.  Ms. Rogers and Johnson had been squabbling over the ownership of a $200,000 Northwest Dallas home that they had shared for three years before their breakup.

Gunderson, Johnson and Ms. Rogers' former husband, William Aubrey Rogers, swore in an affidavit Sept. 27 that Ms. Rogers was mentally ill and posed a threat to herself and others.  Ms. Rogers was arrested Sept. 30 and detained at Parkland Memorial hospital on a lunacy warrant.

Dr. Douglas Puryear, the examining psychiatrist, released Mr. Rogers in less then three hours, she said, after talking to her and learning from an FBI agent that she was a potential government witness.

Ms. Rogers said the lunacy warrant was a sham to discredit her testimony as a federal witness against Gunderson and Johnson. "I am not a looney," said Ms. Rogers, who also said $8,600 in jewelry was missing from her house, apparently taken during her arrest on the lunacy warrant, Johnson later was arrested for the theft, but a Dallas County grand jury refused to indict him.

Gunderson, although saying he was convinced that Ms. Rogers needed psychiatric help, said he regrets his role in securing the lunacy warrant.

"I made a mistake, and I'll stand up against anybody and say that," he said.  "The mistake I made was I became personally involved in the situation (between Johnson and Ms. Rogers).... .It was not my place to do that.  It was not the thing I should have done."

Today, the agency for which he worked 27 years won't even listen to his side of the story, Gunderson said.  He admits a real fear of being indicted.

"What disturbs me is that these (FBI) people are out on the streets trying to find some information that doesn't exist, trying to dig up information that I violated the law," Gunderson said.

Gunderson defends Johnson, calling him an honest businessman who is not guilty of committing any illegal acts. Johnson's only mistake, Gunderson said, was to have made the wrong woman angry.

Johnson also defends Gunderson's role: Gunderson's fault, Johnson said, was an overabundance of trust in the good nature of people. Gunderson was conned by Blair, just as all other Dekla clients were conned, Johnson said.

"Ted believes in honesty and J. Edgar Hoover," Johnson said. "I think he was naive because he thought these people could do what they said they could do."

"I'm really upset and incensed over this because I'm a good person. I don't do these (illegal) things," Gunderson said. "And it really perturbs me to think that my old fraternity is out trying to get me."

"And that's all it is."

by Virginia McCullough © October 2, 2007