The Nation: FBI Burglar Breaks 43 Years of Silence

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The Nation has an excerpt from a newly-released book about one of the FBI burglars who stole and leaked documents exposing the extent of J. Edgar Hoover’s “massive, clandestine political spying and extreme, even violent, dirty tricks operations.”

The book is about admitted burglar Judi Feingold and her life underground since the 1971 break-in.

While it’s interesting that Feingold lived underground for more than four decades, and that she had a hand in exposing that a surveillance state is antithetical to democracy, but what’s crazy is that she apparently didn’t need to live underground ever.

Until discovering, in news articles about my book, that seven of the eight Media burglars went public, she thought perhaps other Media burglars might also have decided to go underground. Instead, they had lived in plain sight. William Davidon, the physics professor who was the leader of the group and who had thought of the idea of breaking into the office, had continued to teach at Haverford College and continued to be a leader in the antiwar community. John and Bonnie Raines and their three children, all under eight at the time of the burglary, lived for years in the old stone house in the Germantown section of Philadelphia where much of the planning for the burglary had taken place. John Raines is still teaching religion at Temple University. And Bonnie Raines ran a day care center, studied for a graduate degree and eventually became a leading advocate for children’s issues. Keith Forsyth, who trained himself to pick the lock on the FBI office door but in the end had to rely on a crowbar to break in, worked for years as a union reform organizer at the Budd Company, a metal fabricator in Philadelphia, before completing studies to become an electrical engineer. Bob Williamson continued to work for awhile as a social worker for the state of Pennsylvania. Two other members of the group, who have described their roles but have chosen not to be named, also lived as they had lived before.

Read more of the excerpt from Betty Medsger’s The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI over The Nation.

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