At the FBI, Peter Klismet was truly part of an elite force. He became a psychological profiler long before the box office smash movie Silence of Lambs starring Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster that highlighted the FBI’s efforts to track down serial killers like the fictitious Hannibal Lechter.
In real life, Klismet’s highly specialized training as psychological profiler was put to the test in February 1985. He boarded a plane and flew into Nebraska. Over the next couple days, Klismet reviewed police reports, photos and a video of the crime scene. He would come up with a grocery list of disturbing characteristics belonging to the elusive killer still roaming at large.
Details from Klismet’s 1985 report are meticulously highlighted in my upcoming book FAILURE OF JUSTICE.
And, thirty years later, I connected with Klismet about the Helen Wilson murder investigation. Nowadays, the retired FBI agent lives in Colorado and runs a consultant business, Criminal Profiling Associates http://www.criminalprofilingassociates.com/testimonials.html He’s published three books about his storied FBI career: FBI DIARY: PROFILES OF EVIL, FBI ANIMAL HOUSE: What Really Happened Inside the FBI Academy and FBI DIARY: HOMEGROWN TERROR.
Here is one of the many questions I asked Klismet. Please bear in mind you’ll find much more of his insight within my book FAILURE OF JUSTICE.
Me: Is there anything you hope that small-town law enforcement and prosecutors around our country can learn from the Beatrice 6 debacle?
Klismet: I think we’ve now reached a higher level of training for our officers in the country, although in some places (particularly the south), they just pin a badge on a person, give him a gun and say ‘go catch some crooks.’ I doubt anything like the Helen Wilson debacle will ever occur again. But it wouldn’t surprise me if it did. We now know there are a whole lot of people who were found guilty of murder and executed who weren’t guilty. People in prison for rape are being freed every day it seems after DNA shows they were not the person who committed the crime. The Helen Wilson case was simply an “Imperfect Storm” of unimaginable consequences, which effectively ruined the lives of six people. And which will let a 30 year old, solved case, fade into obscurity with absolutely no justice served in the slightest.
Find out more about FAILURE OF JUSTICE here.