Mar 3, 2009

Former FBI Agent visits LU

by Mandi Forth

Retired FBI Agent Edward Sulzbach addressed the Criminal Justice Student’s Club (CJSC) last Thursday. Members of CJSC and politically-minded students came to hear his account of working for the FBI.

“He reminded me of a grandfather who has done much with his life and has wisdom that he is willing to share,” sophomore Corrina Wendricks said.

Sulzbach was awarded a Medal of Valor for his heroism in a shootout in which he shot a career criminal and saved the life of a detective who had been critically wounded.

Before retiring, Sulzbach worked for the FBI for 24 years. During that time, he worked as an undercover agent and on criminal profiling for serial killers and serial rapists. Sulzbach also spent time as a teacher at the FBI training camp in Quantico.

Even though Sulzbach had to take a few years off from profiling because of the difficulty of his job and being haunted by the “ghosts” of the murdered victims he saw, he never regretted his decision to become an agent.

“The goal is to serve and protect. It’s a great way to spend your life, serving others,” Sulzbach said.

Sulzbach did not lecture the students as much as he told stories of his “glory days.” He spent the majority of this time answering questions and telling stories about his family.

“I enjoyed the small personal stories that are so real, as well as the honesty in which he answered us and spoke about his work,” junior Majda Othman said.

“I liked that he didn’t just tell us about the FBI and what it is like to work for them, but instead shared personal stories … I’ve learned much general information from textbooks, (and) it is always nice to just listen to someone who has been there and done that, because no two situations are ever going to be alike,” senior Christina Ciminiti said.

“Every officer or agent is going to live their own story. The line of work might be the same, but the actual experiences differ greatly.”

When asked if being an FBI agent was anything like it is portrayed in TV shows and in movies, Sulzbach responded that shows such as "Criminal Minds" have a fairly accurate representation of what FBI agents do every day.

“One thing that always made me mad was that they ride on a private jet. I had to sit in the back of an American plane getting hit by the bathroom door every time someone needed to use it. I never got to ride in a private jet,” Sulzbach said.

The CJSC was formed last September and usually has a special speaker or activity every month.

In a past event, psychology Professor Clay Peters spoke about the psychological profiles of notorious criminals, such as, Ted Bundy, Jeffery Dahmer, David Berkowitz (.44 Caliber Killer) and John Wayne Gacy (The Clown Killer).

The group’s main focus right now is an event coming up on April 3-4 called The RED Event. This event focuses on putting an end to the child sex trade. The name RED is an acronym for react to the child sex trade, end the child sex trade and defend children’s rights.

“It is our duty as Christians to defend the cause of the weak and fatherless and to defend the rights of the poor and oppressed ... and that is what our club is about,” Peters said.

Contact Mandi Forth at 

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