Read The Last Undercover Online
Authors: Bob Hamer
Copyright © 2008 by Bob Hamer
All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.
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First eBook Edition: September 2008
13: THE MURDER OF JEFFREY CURLEY
22: THE MIAMI NAMBLA CONFERENCE
24: LEADERLESS, SHIRTLESS, CLUELESS
26: JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE PARANOID DOESN’T MEAN I’M NOT OUT TO GET YOU
27: SIX-PACK ABS AND A KEY OF COKE
29: LEGOLAND MAKES IT UNANIMOUS
31: TROLLING FOR A THREE-TIME OFFENDER
36: GREG NUSCA, AKA DAVID R. BUSBY
37: DIARY OF A SEXUAL PREDATOR
40: KEEP THOSE PLATES SPINNING
Praise for the Last Undercover
“I don’t think a story could be any more gripping than THE LAST UNDERCOVER. I sat down with Bob Hamer’s outstanding account of a life spent undercover and read straight on through. Every story is better than the one before it and what’s most stunning of all is that it’s all true!”
New York Times
bestselling author of
“For the past ten years, I have been playing the role of Detective Olivia Benson on
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
but Bob Hamer wasn’t playing; for him it was all too real. This undercover FBI agent has been on the front lines for the past 26 years, going toe-to-toe with some of the worst society has to offer. THE LAST UNDERCOVER is truly an enlightening look into a world many of us only hope is the product of some TV writer’s imagination. This is drama at its very best . . . and it’s true.”
—Mariska Hargitay, Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning actress and founder of The Joyful Heart Foundation
“Action heroes aren’t just the product of fiction or film. Undercover FBI Agent Bob Hamer shows that they really do exist. From contract killer to pedophile, the roles Bob has had to adopt would make even Mitch Rapp cringe. THE LAST UNDERCOVER is a fascinating look into the dark world of crime.”
—Vince Flynn, #1
New York Times
bestselling author of
Protect and Defend
“A true-life journey undercover into the heart of darkness. Killers, dealers, counterfeiters, sexual predators—you name it, Bob Hamer has entered their world and brought them to justice. If you thought FBI agents with guts of steel were only in the movies, read this book: you’ll be glad to know they’re really out there.”
—Andrew Klavan, author of
Don’t Say a Word
“Bob Hamer’s THE LAST UNDERCOVER really does prove that truth is stranger than fiction—and often, more surreal. During his two-and-a-half decade career, this law enforcement veteran and dedicated family man did everything from mingling with L.A. gang members to collaring a ring of middle-aged pedophiles. And he’s done it all with a sense of humor, fierce determination, and unbridled courage to put the bad guys where they belong—behind bars. Don’t start reading this book unless you’re comfortably seated . . . because you won’t want to stop.”
—John Tinker, Emmy award-winning writer, co-creator of
and executive producer of
“I couldn’t put this one down. The accounts of Bob Hamer’s undercover work for the FBI against street gangs, organized crime, drug kingpins and other assorted criminals is both fascinating and informative, but the undercover work he did to help bring down some the kingpins of NAMBLA exposes the underside of some of the dirtiest and most disgusting human beings on earth and gives the reader a better understanding of just how dangerous and disgusting these child predators are. I truly enjoyed the book.”
—Charlie Daniels, country music artist
The simple words of A. W. Tozer in
The Divine Conquest
spoke volumes to my motivation in writing
The Last Undercover.
He wrote, “The only book that should ever be written is one that flows up from the heart, forced out by the inward pressure. . . . His book will be to him not only imperative, it will be inevitable.”
After twenty-six years as an FBI agent, all of them as a street agent and many of those years spent in various undercover roles, I have experienced what most never will. I held a baby’s arm . . . not a baby by the arm, just the arm, from the elbow to the fingers, an arm severed in a tragic accident. I saw a man’s head detached from the torso, and attended autopsies. I comforted a woman with the brains of her boyfriend splattered on her blouse and confronted armed suspects. I’ve fired my weapon in the heat of a drug deal gone bad and have been threatened with death by disgruntled felons taken into custody. In my various undercover roles I have gone toe-to-toe with some of the most dangerous, notorious, and sometimes fascinating criminals in our society. Five years of working street gangs and more than twenty years working various organized crime groups exposed me to the best and worst of mankind.
Through all this, two things allowed me to withstand the day-to-day battles I fought. First was an unwavering belief that God, for whatever reason and however undeserved, had wrapped His protective arms around me. Second was a family who was there for me each and every evening when I returned home from work.
But with all the stories, all the incidents, all the assignments, only one flowed “up from the heart, forced out by inward pressure.” That was my experience infiltrating NAMBLA. I needed to tell that story. I needed to share that experience to alert the world to an underground network of pedophiles targeting boys.
I first met my agent, Bucky Rosenbaum, at my brother Dan’s Christmas party. Bucky had been on the staff at Saddleback Church in Orange County, California, and represented Rick Warren in the Purpose Driven Life series. Bucky decided to launch his own literary agency and was looking for clients. He may now regret attending that party because I began to talk to him about my undercover experiences in NAMBLA and my desire to expose the organization. We agreed to meet later in the year once he got the agency off the ground and I began writing about the investigation. I wasn’t interested in pounding my chest and bragging about my undercover exploits or in writing a tell-all exposé about the FBI. With missionary zeal I wanted to alert the world to the “boy lover” agenda. That was the book flowing up from within.
By the time we next met I had almost eighty-five thousand words on paper, detailing the three-year investigation. Bucky, too, captured my vision and agreed to help me find a publisher. We both thought the process would be easy. Child molestation was a topic that cut across the political aisle.
Law & Order: SVU
was a top-rated show on NBC and Chris Hansen’s
Dateline NBC: To Catch a Predator
segments were drawing 10 million viewers with each episode. We assumed the publishers would be craving an exposé on such a hideous organization written from the perspective of an undercover FBI agent. Two dozen rejection letters later, we realized it was not going to be an easy sell. Many of the rejections were thoughtful, praising my writing and my willingness to target a notorious group of pedophiles. No one, however, wanted to take on the project. Several rejections even used “ick factor,” which must be a literary term taught at our prestigious universities. But several publishers were helpful in encouraging me to expand the subject matter by including more undercover stories.
As I thought about what these publishers said, I knew that had I never had the undercover experience of twenty-plus administratively approved undercover operations, I would have never been successful in pulling off the NAMBLA assignment. Their suggestions to expand the manuscript made sense. Although I balked early in the process of including more stories, I knew that if I wanted to accomplish my mission of exposing the boy lover movement, I needed to add these other undercover investigations. I set about expanding the manuscript.
Bucky then called upon a friend in the publishing world, Gary Tera- shita at Center Street. The manuscript had been originally rejected by them but Gary agreed to give it another read. After a second look he caught our vision, bringing on board Thom Lemmons to help me work through the now 125,000 words and give shape to my story. A special thanks to Gary, Thom, and Harry Helm for believing in me and taking a chance with my message.
As I recounted my other undercover stories, I relied on memory and what few mementos I had from the investigations, mainly news accounts, court documents, and administrative write-ups either for awards or chastisements. For the NAMBLA account I relied not only on my memory but trial preparation materials, including reports, transcripts, and tape and video recordings.
As a condition of my employment with the FBI, it is necessary for me to obtain the Bureau’s approval for any published material. This book has been vetted and approved under the provisions of the prepublication review policy. Upon the FBI’s review of the manuscript there were only two requirements. First, I had to delete the names of any FBI agent mentioned in my original submission. Second, I had to clearly state that the views expressed in the book do not necessarily represent the views of the FBI. Although I hate not giving proper credit to those other special agents who worked with me throughout my career, I complied with the FBI’s conditions. I hope those agents will forgive me since, for one of the few times in my career, I complied with an FBI mandate.
What follows is the true account of my career as an undercover special agent with the FBI culminating in my infiltration of NAMBLA. Thanks for joining me in the journey of
The Last Undercover.
Thanks to Harry Helm at Hachette Book Group USA and Rolf Zettersten, the senior vice president and publisher at Center Street, as well as Gary Terashita and Cara Highsmith, for their patience throughout the project. A special thanks to the rest of the Center Street team for making this a reality.
To Thom Lemmons, who helped me shape this into the book it is.
To Bucky Rosenbaum, my agent and friend. It was a longer journey than either of us expected.
To my friends Katie Finneran, Dawn DeNoon, Midge Raymond, Tracey Stern, Monika Baker, Paul Grellong, and Daniel Combs, who provided valuable feedback and encouragement on the original manuscript.
To Lawana Jones at the FBI Prepublication Unit for ushering the manuscript through the process . . . several times.
To Laura Eimiller with Public Affairs at the Los Angeles FBI, who offered support, encouragement, and great advice.
To Jennifer Corbett and Anne Perry, not only for leading the successful prosecution of the NAMBLA members but for providing me with court documents as I put this project together.
But mostly to a gracious God, who blessed me with a great family: parents who served as role models, a wife who stood by me for these past three-plus decades, and the two greatest children in the world. You are all my heroes.
A WALK TOWARD THE BEAST
New York NAMBLA Conference