FBI’s Employees-Only Magazine – “The Investigator” – J. Edgar Hoover Memorial Issue

PDF: The Investigator, June 1972


Started in 1932 and still going, The Investigator is the FBI’s employee magazine (originally a newsletter), circulated only within the Bureau. Issues are almost impossible to obtain, and even information about it is scant. For a periodical that’s been published monthly, and now quarterly, for 86 years, that goes out to thousands and thousands of employees at a high-profile government agency, this invisibility is pretty astounding.

I’ve gotten hold of some issues, and I’ll be scanning them as 300 dpi TIFFs, then making them into PDFs. I’m starting with the June 1972 issue, which might be the most significant one. After 50 years ruling the Bureau, J. Edgar Hoover died in May 1972. This is the memorial issue, and it’s as hagiographic as you can imagine. The Investigator is an odd publication anyway – in the issues I have (1940s-1980s), mundane and sometimes bizarre glimpses into the personal lives of agents, leadership, and staff are interspersed with insider info about FBI operations, Readers Digest-like stabs at humor, objectification of some female staffers, rote listings of retirees, photos of gun-toting men, and a near-total absence of people of color – and this issue is bigger and more emotional than most. You could write a dissertation about everything happening here.

[This article was updated on 2-27-2018 to reflect new info showing that The Investigator is still being published.]


















[Note: Black Vault has obtained PDFs of the 1961-1962 issues via a FOIA request to the FBI. Unfortunately, they’ve been redacted to the point of being Swiss cheese, and the Bureau did such a bad job scanning them that they look like fourth-generation photocopies of faxes of mimeographs. (Example 1 and 2.)]
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