Newsseum Reveals 171 FBI Secrets

An exposition at the Washington Museum of Journalism and News highlights the role of the press in reporting on recent high-profile crimes

“Secrets of the FBI” – this is the name of one of the most popular expositions of Washington’s Newseum – museum of journalism and news. She talks about the role of the press in covering the sensational crimes of recent times and acquaints visitors with the evidence and documents from which the classification of secrecy has been removed today..

Newsseum Reveals 171 FBI Secrets

The facade of this modern building in downtown Washington is carved 45 words from the first amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees Americans freedom of speech and expression. And a little lower, on the poster, there are three more letters that citizens associate not only with the protection of rights and freedoms, but, sometimes, with imprisonment..
These letters are FBI. An exhibition dedicated to the most high-profile cases of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Newseum has allocated an entire floor. It would seem, what can connect tough detectives with freedom-loving journalists? Yes, about the same thing that every day attracts millions of Americans to screens and newsstands: scandals, intrigues, investigations. The press and law enforcement are a long-standing tandem, thanks to which crime reports have long become a part of a 24-hour reality show..
“This exhibit provides examples of how the media assisted the FBI in solving crimes and reporting high-profile cases,” said Patty Rule, Newseum’s Director of Exposition Development. – There are, of course, examples of how excessive publicity interfered with the investigation, and sometimes cast a shadow on innocent people. “.
On the stands there are documents and material evidence of the most notorious crimes of recent times. Here are the weapons of the largest gangster of the thirties, John Dillinger, and the boots of the terrorist Richard Reid, stuffed with explosives, and the engine of the plane that crashed into the building of the World Trade Center, and the hut of Theodore Kaczynski, who went down in history as the Unabomber..
“It turns out that the Unabomber lived in our state, just two hundred miles from my city,” says Dave Cobb, a visitor to the exhibition. “In fact, there are many hermits in Montana who live so secluded in the mountains, so it is not surprising that they could not find him for so long.”.
However, familiar faces at the exhibition can be seen not only by guests from Montana, but also by tourists from Russia. The fatal brown-haired Anna Kushchenko-Chapman, who worked for Russian intelligence, is looking at us from the screens and stands of the exposition; Anapa resident Yevgeny Bogachev, who cleared American accounts for hundreds of millions of dollars; Chechen refugee Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who organized the terrorist attack at the Bonston Marathon.

Newseum: “War on Terror: The FBI’s New Focus”

“Unfortunately, the topic of terrorism is still on the front pages of newspapers today. As well as a completely new phenomenon – cybercrime, says Patty Rule. – In the era of gangsters, law enforcement officers tracked intruders using fingerprints. Today the FBI calculates them from electronic traces left on the websites and personal accounts of people living hundreds and thousands of miles away. “.
The exposition was opened in 2008, but there were so many people wishing to get acquainted with the “classified materials” that very soon there was simply nowhere to place the exhibits. Therefore, the hall had to be closed last year for reconstruction. According to the organizers themselves, this is just the tip of the iceberg of what the FBI archives have. So the exhibition is likely to only expand..

  • Dmitry Shakhov

    Operator, program producer "Present time. Outcomes". on "Voice of America" since 2014 


  • Ales Kruglyakov

    Correspondent of the Russian service «Voices of America» since 2015. Presenter «Present time. America». In the 1990s and 2000s, he was the author and host of various projects on Belarusian television, including an information and publicistic program «Croc», TV News Agency and «Good morning Belarus!»

    [email protected]


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