The FBI Files: Season 5 – Ep 14 "Death Pact"



[music playing] NARRATOR: In the 1990s, the
disguised serial bank robber, terrorizes the Chicago area. Expert with weapons, aware of
police procedure and fearless, he hits hard and
disappears fast. [sirens] NARRATOR: Police and the
FBI realize the only way to stop him is to
catch him in the end. But his desperate violence
proves impossible to predict. [gun shots] [music playing] -The average bank robbery
yields roughly $3,000, yet some criminals risk
everything for the take. In suburban Chicago,
a disguised gunman began a series of
robberies, growing more violent with each one. I'm Jim Calstrom, former head
of the FBI's New York office. Tracking the robber's
movements, agents discovered he wasn't
alone and would do anything to avoid capture. [music playing] NARRATOR: March 5,
1990, Chicago, Illinois. -$1,000. -OK. NARRATOR: At a bank on
the city's south side, employees begin what they
thought was a normal work day. The neighborhood was
quiet until 10AM. -Take the money out and
put it on the counter. Don't you touch that alarm! NARRATOR: The disguised
gunman threatened to kill anyone who
didn't follow his orders. -Come on, come on! [music playing] NARRATOR: The tellers
knew not to interfere. It was over in seconds. When they were safe,
they called police. -Yes, we just had a robbery. NARRATOR: The Chicago
police patrol officers closest to the bank
responded first. -He walked up and
put a gun in my face. NARRATOR: The witnesses
reported that the robber was a white male, about
six feet tall. -I was just putting the money– NARRATOR:But they didn't
see details of his features, because of his disguise. He wore gloves and
carried a police scanner. The man was aggressive,
handling a semiautomatic handgun with confidence. He left no fingerprints,
and security cameras revealed no other
immediate clues. Police canvassed the area,
hoping to find other witnesses. A woman, who lived
near the bank, reported that she thought
she had seen the robber. She said that, at about
the time of the robbery, she saw a man, who seemed
to be wearing a fake beard, get into a small
four door sedan. She did not get the plates. But she did give officers
a description of the car. Checking every similar
car in the area, they soon found
one they believed was the robber's
getaway vehicle, abandoned a few
blocks from the bank. The officer approached with
caution, in case someone was still inside. But it was empty,
except for a paper towel covering the
broken ignition. A records check revealed the
car had been stolen from a mall parking lot four days earlier. Later processing produced
no leads to the robber. Bank robbery is a
federal offense. So police contacted
the Chicago FBI. [phone ringing] -Hi, this is is Keefe. NARRATOR: Supervisory Senior
Resident, Agent Bill Keefe, had handled dozens of
bank robbery calls. -At that time, we were extremely
busy with bank robberies. We had had two on one day. We were running sometimes as
many as three robberies a week. NARRATOR: Most were committed
by amateurs who went in without a plan and
were caught quickly. -As I said, Shoemaker's
already over here. NARRATOR: But when the
bank robbery squad reviewed the reports on the
south side robbery, they noted how clean the assault
was, obviously, well planned. They believed it was not
the bearded assailant's first robbery and
would not be his last. Two months later, the
robber with the fake beard hit a bank in the
suburb of Libertyville. -Get it out of the drawer. NARRATOR: Not satisfied
with cash drawers this time, he ordered a
teller to open the vault. -Don't you try anything. Come on, let's go. Come on!
Come on! Come on!
Come on! NARRATOR: He said his
police scanner would let him know if anyone hit
the silent alarm. -Give me everything
from the vault! Put it in there. Come on. NARRATOR: The robber
escaped with thousands of dollars in cash. -He's getting into a car. -License plates are– NARRATOR: But this
time, a teller got the license plate
number from his getaway car. While Libertyville police
looked for the car, Chicago FBI agents
interviewed the tellers. Special Agent Hank
Schmidt learned that gunman was more
aggressive this time. HANK: He controlled
people with the weapon. He would intimidate
them by putting the gun up towards their face. He pointed the gun directly
at someone, when he talked to them, which was
intimidating to the tellers and the customers. NARRATOR: Although
interviews yielded no clues, police did find the
getaway car, abandoned a few blocks from the bank. Again, the vehicle
had been stolen from a mall three days earlier. And as before, the
thief used a towel to hide the broken ignition. FBI Special Agent Dave Childree
was part of the robbery squad. The squad uncovered an
earlier robbery in Willamette, Illinois, believed to be
committed by the same man. One surveillance camera photo
provided a frightening clue. -There was a very good
picture of the robber taken, in which he was using what
we call a weaver stance. This is a shooting position
taught to police officers. It was taught to FBI agents. And if you have been
taught to shoot like that, you recognize it. This person might have had
some law enforcement training. NARRATOR: If so, he would know
how these investigations work. And he could prove very
difficult to catch. The local press dubbed
him the bearded bandit. Investigators took
advantage of the coverage to ask citizens for help. [camera clicking] NARRATOR: They published
enhanced stills from the robberies,
hoping someone would recognize him,
despite the disguise. -We put his picture on the news. He did wear a
beard, a fake beard, and mustache and a ball cap. So after running
those pictures, we were not getting any
tips from the public. -You, get the money
from the vault. NARRATOR: In November,
1990, the elusive bandit hit a bank in
Wheeling, Illinois. A teller hit the alarm
before he was told not to. [police radio] DISPATCH: All available units,
please respond to a 1090 at the Wheeling Bank and Trust. NARRATOR: Over his
scanner, the gunman heard the police responder. BILL: He didn't
leave the bank, which would be the normal
reaction of bank robbers. They're there to rob the bank. They're not there
to get involved in a shootout with the police. -You've got 10 seconds
to open that vault or I'll blow your head off. BILL: He stayed in the
bank, while the police were responding and held a
gun up to the cashier and counted down from ten. -Ten, nine, eight, seven,
six, five, four, three, two– NARRATOR: It seemed he knew
how long he had before police responded, more evidence
he might be a cop. -He started moving further. -Up here.
-Higher. NARRATOR: As the
robberies continued, it looked like the bandit
purposely chose targets in different jurisdictions, to
complicate the investigation. BILL: No bank was ever
hit the second time. The robberies would be on the
other end of the suburban area, against Lake Michigan. And then they would be out
in Schaumburg or Elk Grove Village, or up north in Lake
County, such as Libertyville. As he struck in new
suburbs, the FBI had to coordinate with a growing
number of police departments. Palatine, Illinois
police Chief John Koziol, a Detective Sergeant at the
time, learned of the case and that the bandit's getaway
cars belonged to shopping mall employees, stolen at the
beginning of their shifts. -He would steal one
of the employee cars, knowing it would not
be reported stolen for approximately eight hours. So he knew he had eight hours
to get the vehicle to where he needed to put it before anyone
would even discover it missing and it would become
hot on the system. NARRATOR: When dumping the
cars, the robber did his best to interfere with the
ongoing investigation, wiping them clean
of fingerprints and leaving no trace
of himself behind. -It was very apparent that he
was aware of evidence gathering techniques of police methods. NARRATOR: In the end,
agents found nothing of evidentiary value
in any of the cars. Since the cars didn't
help identify the bandit, investigators followed every
conceivable lead that might. They visited theatrical
shops around the city, hoping a salesperson
might recognize the man with the fake beard
as a customer. -No. -Not at all? -Not at all. I'm sorry. NARRATOR: Again, nothing. Thank you very
much for your time. -You're welcome. -Have a nice day. -You, too. NARRATOR: The bearded bandit
committed seven armed bank robberies in the Chicago
area between January 1990 and February 1991. Then the robberies stopped. -We went over what we had done
to that point in time, looked for things we might have missed. Maybe he'd been
incarcerated somewhere. Maybe he'd moved out of state. Maybe he was dead. We just didn't know. NARRATOR: The bandit's trail
stayed cold for nine months. On November 4, 1991, Palatine
police officer, Kevin Maher, was working the day shift. [police dispatch radio] NARRATOR: A
dispatcher in training road along to learn procedure. OFFICER: I was heading
south on Quentin Road, when I saw vehicle
heading northbound. And I look through
my side view mirror, and I thought what I
saw was an expired tag. So I made a U-turn, and I
was telling my ride along that we were going
to go up and see if this vehicle
had expired plates. And if it did, I would
conduct a traffic stop and show him how we
conduct a traffic stop and how we punch all the
numbers into the computer. NARRATOR: It was supposed
to be a routine stop. OFFICER: The person driving
the vehicle swerved over to the side of the road
and jammed on the brakes. -He's got a gun. NARRATOR: Maher's first instinct
was to protect his passenger. [gun shots] NARRATOR: The bearded
bandit was back. In November 1991, a routine
Chicago area traffic stop erupted in violence
when a man shot Palatine police
officer, Kevin Maher. -I was in a state of shock,
because it was broad daylight, it was 11 o'clock, and it was
a quiet residential street. And it was a basic ambush. And after he fired
the first round, the first round came
through the windshield and struck me in the shoulder. And glass from the windshield
struck me in the left ear. [police radio] -Give me your location. [police radio] -Units, officer down. NARRATOR: The officer down call
went out on the Illinois State Police Emergency Radio Network. [police radio] NARRATOR: From more than a
dozen surrounding suburbs, police and emergency
personnel rushed to the scene. Maher realized one of the shots
that pierced his windshield was aimed dead center and might
have hit him in the head, had he not moved to protect his
passenger and reverse the car. [sirens] [police radio] NARRATOR: While
paramedics treated Maher, officers questioned him. -Did you get anything more? A license plate or anything? NARRATOR: As a police officer,
he was a perfect witness. Trained in recalling
details, he gave them a description of the gunman, the
car's license plates, the type of gun, and the direction in
which the attacker escaped. -We've got a male, white, six
foot, 200 pounds, beard, hat, last seen going
south from the scene. So let's spread out and
start looking for the car. Which way do you
want to go, Matt? -I'll go that way. NARRATOR: Police fanned
out to find the shooter. [police radio] Do we
know on the vehicle we have direction of travel? NARRATOR: More than 100
officers joined the search. [police radio] -Southbound Smith from Euclid. -Southbound Smith from Euclid. -Southbound Smith
from Euclid, 10-4. -Why don't you
guys check it out. -684485, that's a match. NARRATOR: Three blocks from
the location of the attack, police found the
shooter's vehicle. [police radio] NARRATOR: It had been reported
stolen from a mall parking lot, five days earlier. Palatine Police
Chief John Koziol realized the grave danger. -When someone is willing to
shoot at a police officer, on a routine
traffic stop, we all realize that he's willing
to shoot at anyone. His determination to escape is
much greater than his concern for the safety of anyone that
would be a law enforcement officer or citizen
on the street. When you're willing
to shoot a policeman, you're willing to shoot anyone. NARRATOR: Koziol
helped coordinate the search for
the deadly gunman. KOZIOL: We immediately set up
a perimeter with the assistance of the state, county, and
local officers in the area. We had canines on the scene. We had a chopper in the air. We notified the schools in
the area to stay locked down. NARRATOR: Evidence technicians
began to process the car. The ignition was
broken, the damage covered by a paper towel. They looked for fingerprints
that might help them identify the perpetrator but found none. Canine handlers
brought in their dogs, which are trained to remember
a scent from a specified place, then follow only that
scent, ignoring others. But the trail ended, not
far from the vehicle. Despite the massive effort, the
suspect somehow slipped away. [police radio] -10-4. -In addition to
taking it personal when one of our
officers is shot, we all know that a citizen is
much more likely to be injured or killed, and we
worked that much harder to bring him to justice. NARRATOR: For more
resources, they called in the FBI
and Supervisory Special Agent Bill Keefe. BILL: I was asked to come
over to the Palatine Police Department by the
Chief of Police. There had been a
composite sketch drawn, and everybody was reviewing the
circumstances of the shooting. NARRATOR: For nearly two
years, Keefe and his squad had been working the
bearded bandit case. BILL: I had asked if we could
look at the car that was found. And when I looked
at the ignition, this was our bank robber. NARRATOR: After being
treated, officer Maher came to the station to
look at surveillance photos of the bearded bandit. NARRATOR: He said
the bank robber did look like the
man who shot him. KOZIOL: We surmised
that he was on his way to do a bank robbery. He knew once the
officer ran the plate, the car would come back stolen. He also know that with the
guns he had in is vehicle, it's not something
he could conceal, if the officer walked
up to the vehicle. NARRATOR: The bearded bandit had
made a huge leap in violence. BILL: This guy wasn't
going to go away. We were going to have to come
up with a very innovative way to either identify
and charge him or that we were going to
have to catch him in the act. NARRATOR: Chief Koziol
brought the many investigators together. -After the initial
search, we set up a multi-jurisdictional
task force here at our police department. We had the FBI, the state
police, Cook County Sheriffs Police and all
the local agencies from our area and those involved
in the bearded bank robber series. NARRATOR: Since
their suspect seemed to know police procedure,
they adjusted it. KOZIOL: We learned
we had a violent bank robber that was using a scanner. We were no longer
giving out the location of the bank over the air. We were giving out a code
number for each particular bank. -If we have a
robbery in progress, go ahead and give us– NARRATOR: The task force hoped
patrol officers in the area could use the codes to
respond to robbery calls without the bandit realizing it. -Especially you
undercover agents. NARRATOR: Confident that the
bearded bandit would resume his crime spree
eventually, police began doing spot checks of
banks throughout the region. On November 18, two weeks
after the shooting, Elk Grove Village, Illinois
police officers saw nothing suspicious at
one bank on their list. But later that morning, a woman,
leaving a nearby business, did– two people, in obvious
disguises, entering the bank. [screeching tires] NARRATOR: Two weeks after a
police shooting in the Chicago area that was linked to the
bearded bandit, the gunman reappeared in Elk Grove
Village, Illinois, this time with an accomplice. [phone dialing tones] -911, can I help you? NARRATOR: While a witness
outside the bank called police. -There's something very
strange going on here. -OK, thank you. NARRATOR: The robbers struck. -Sit down over there! NARRATOR: The bandit
demanded money from the vault, his
accomplice standing guard. -Get 100,000 from the vault
now, or I'll blow your head off. -911 dispatch, aware
of the bearded bandit, used a prearranged
code to alert officers. 2130, 2132, code
green, location 52, without revealing information
over the police scanner. – I don't have the combination. NARRATOR: They also
alerted the FBI. Special Agent Hank Schmidt
realized the new danger. -The big concern is that
the robber, in some cases, discharges the weapon
when he's using it to gesture at the employees. So the potential for
violence is always there. The numbers obviously
increase if we have two people that are armed. -You open it then! NARRATOR: In the
bank, the manager explained they could not get
into that time delay vault. -Come on! -OK ma'am, can you hold
on a moment while– NARRATOR: The dispatcher
instructed the witness outside to leave, in case
there was gun play. With the money from the cash
drawers, the robbers fled. Unaware the police
had been called, the teller hit the alarm. Elk Grove Village officers
approached with their sirens off, quietly
surrounding the bank. If the robbers were still
inside and heard police, they might take hostages. Officers were in
even more danger, according to Palatine
Chief John Koziol. KOZIOL: For the
first time, we had two bearded
individuals rob a bank. That, of course, increased our
sense of urgency even more. Now we had two armed
gunmen to deal with when law enforcement
arrives at these banks. -2600, can you call the
bank uh find out if– NARRATOR: Through
the dispatcher, police talked with
bank employees. The manager said the
robbers had left. -They've already left. NARRATOR: The officers
had to be sure. The robbers could be holding
a gun on the manager, forcing her to lie. -OK, we're going to need to
have somebody from the bank step out. NARRATOR: The
dispatcher asked them to send one employee
outside to talk to police. -Can you tell me who
that is going to be? -She's about 5 foot 4". NARRATOR: The manager
gave them the description of the woman chosen to go. -Her hair in a bun. She has a brown necklace
and black and white outfit. -Female subject, 25, Indian
descent, five feet tall, thin build. -2600 have the
official come out. OK, I see her coming out. Hi, are you aware there
was a bank alarm here? -Yes. -Is there anybody hurt inside? -No. NARRATOR: The employee assured
them the assailants were gone and no one was injured inside. -All right, guys,
the bank is clear. Go on inside. NARRATOR: The officers moved in
to clear the bank for certain. -One of the witnesses
told us that she believed that the second person,
the smaller person, was possibly a woman
disguised as a man. NARRATOR: After the Elk
Grove Village robbery, police recovered two
cars with the bandit's signature ignition covering. It was more evidence of his
criminal sophistication. -To cleanse himself,
after leaving the bank, he would drop the one
off a block from the bank that he had just gotten
into that all the witnesses had seen him leave the bank in. And he would go
a few blocks away and get into the other vehicle
that he had left their previous and then since cleanse himself
from that first hot vehicle. NARRATOR: All the
cars were similar, according to Special
Agent Dave Childree. -We were able to kind
of key in the cars by the type, the make, the size,
the non-visibility of them. They were just everyday cars. NARRATOR: He was stealing
them, then letting them sit for several days before
using them as getaway cars. The task force asked to be
notified of similar cars stolen from area shopping malls. -Stolen from a local mall. -We were successful
in getting information on cars that type that were
stolen in the northwest suburbs and in the city of Chicago. We would put that information
out on a weekly basis. -Agent Scott Backin from the
FBI and Sergeant Steve Pearson from Chicago PD actually
went to every roll call of approximately 50 to 60
law enforcement agencies and spoke to the individual
officers in a need to find these cars. Those personal business
mean a lot more than just putting something
out on a teletype. NARRATOR: Somewhere
in the metro area, they hoped to find a getaway
car after the bandit stole it, but before he used
it in a robbery. Weeks later,
officer Tom Polanski was checking an apartment
building parking lot in Niles, Illinois,
when he spotted a stolen car on their list. It did look like the
bearded bandit's work. -The agreement was if
they found one of those and it did turn out to be stolen
when they ran the license plate that they would back
off and notify us. That happened. We set up a surveillance
on that vehicle. NARRATOR: FBI agents and Niles
police officers and detectives watched from an empty
apartment, overlooking the stolen car, 24 hours a day. -On December 13, we found out
the Rolling Meadows police had located another stolen car
that was at all probability one of the bearded
bandit's cars. Chief Koziol was
sure they were right. -These two particular
vehicles were both stolen out of
large mall areas. Both were owned by
employees of those malls. The MO was perfect. NARRATOR: They set up
surveillance on the second car, in Rolling Meadows, too. -Rolling Meadows PD stepped up. They shared time,
detectives, intelligence, sat with our agents out
there, 24 hours a day. NARRATOR: To further ensure
the bandit did not slip away, the FBI wanted to
install tracking devices in the vehicles. But they couldn't do
so in the parking lots. Late one night, agents
removed the two cars and replaced them with look
alikes for a few hours. It was a risky move; the
thief could return at any time and spot the agents
or the decoy cars. At the FBI garage,
technicians installed the remote tracking
devices in each vehicle. They also equipped the cars
with remote kill switches that would allow agents to shut down
the engines from a distance. They put the cars
back and waited. Days passed. -There was a nagging
doubt in all of our minds that maybe we had been
discovered, that perhaps he had seen one of us or a police
officer going in and out of this apartment they
were using to watch the car in Niles, that
he had seen somebody near the car in Rolling Meadows
and that he was just going to back off these cars
and never come back. We weren't sure. We just didn't know. But we were committed
to watching these cars until something
told us otherwise. NARRATOR: After a week,
the vigile paid off. A van pulled up, and a man
approached one of the cars. -This was, in my mind,
a do or die effort. This is going to
be our only shot. If we miss this, he's going
to know we're onto him. NARRATOR: They hoped
they could peacefully end the bandit's crime spree. But no one had
forgotten the last time the gunman was cornered. In 1991, as Chicago
area investigators watched two stolen
cars they believed were going to be used in the
bearded bandit's next hold up, a man entered one of the cars. Special Agent Hank Schmidt
believed it was their suspect. He matched the general
physical description of the person we were looking
for, as the bearded robber. -We have our man. We have our man. NARRATOR: The man had been
dropped off at the vehicle by someone driving a van. Mini wagon and a white van. OFFICER: Heading
southbound on the alley. NARRATOR: When he drove
away, the van followed. Investigators could not
identify either driver. They had to be careful. If the beard bandit and his
accomplice spotted a tail, they might start shooting. But FBI technicians had
installed a tracking device in the car, allowing agents
to follow at a distance. The suspect parked the stolen
car near a suburban bank. -Mini wagon is parking. Van is behind them. NARRATOR: Hearing the news,
Supervisory Special Agent Bill Keefe believed they
finally found their target. BILL: When the vehicle showed
up in the vicinity of a bank, our adrenalin really
was pumped up. And we really knew that
we were going to have it. NARRATOR: This car was
likely the first get away car for the next day's robbery. Agents believed the two
suspects would next pick up the second stolen car
in Rolling Meadows. -Standing down. NARRATOR: They were right. -We've got somebody
stepping out. I got a male, a white male. NARRATOR: That vehicle
was also equipped with a tracking device. [police radio] OK, van is leaving. Red car is pulling
out behind it. 10-4. NARRATOR: Surveillance agents
followed that car, believed to be a secondary getaway
car, to a hardware store about 20 miles from the
bank, where the pair left it. [police radio] -OK, it looks like he's
getting back into the van. All right, they're pulling out. Unit 2, go ahead and follow. NARRATOR: With both
suspects in the van, agents no longer had the
benefit of a tracking device and had to stay close. They followed the van into
Hanover Park, Illinois and watched as it pulled
up to a townhouse. Now, Special Agent
Dave Childree could identify the people inside. -We had a license plate
and two vague descriptions of people, a man and a woman. Normal record checks
on that license plate would tell us that
that van belonged to Jeffery and Jill Erickson. The FBI and police
worked through the night to learn more. -We had done a lot of research,
calling police departments, trying to see who
these people were. We were looking for
a previous arrest record, which we didn't find. During this process we had
received some information that Jeffrey Erickson had
been a police officer. NARRATOR: In 1986,
Jeffrey Erickson worked as a patrol officer
in a Chicago suburb. He distinguished himself
as a skilled marksman. But he was uninterested in
the everyday requirements of the job– traffic
stops, paperwork. He was about to be
fired when he resigned. Records also showed that
Jeffrey Erickson opened a used bookstore in early
1991, during the time the bearded bandit
was on hiatus. It appeared he and his wife
Jill, a university chemistry student, led a double life,
using bank robbery money to build a middle
class existence. He might not have seemed
threatening on the surface, but Special Agent
Schmidt knew he was. SCHMIDT: Because he's
a trained individual, he knows how we're
going to react, he can plan ahead for that. And if he's trained
with a weapon, he's going to be more
professional in the way he handles that weapon. And he's going to be
a bigger threat to us. NARRATOR: Investigators
considered waiting until the Erickson's
approached a bank the next day but decided not to
risk a shoot out near employees and customers. BILL: We had enough
that we did not have to get him in the
vicinity of a bank. The safest approach
would be when he came to the car, the stolen
car, we would arrest him. NARRATOR: While surveillance
units watched the suspect's home, a SWAT team
set up near the car in the hardware
store parking lot. Police Chief John Koziol– -The SWAT team set
up on the vehicles were very well aware
of his background and knew that he
may shoot first. And they were taking
that into account. NARRATOR: By the
morning, they were ready for the Erickson's
to make their move. -By about mid-morning,
the surveillance units advised us that the van
was, in fact, moving from the residence with
at least two people. They were heading in the
direction of where we were, watching the stolen car. SCHMIDT: The surveillance team
advised us that Mr. Erickson had got out of the vehicle
in an adjoining parking lot. -He's walking away. OK, the driver's
in the van still. He's walking west. NARRATOR: The FBI had installed
a kill switch in a stolen car, which they could use to turn
off the engine from a distance. SCHMIDT: We watched
him come around the corner from that
other parking lot and go to the vehicle
and enter the vehicle and start that vehicle. -Kill it. NARRATOR: Erickson was
distracted by the car trouble. -OK, let's go in. The SWAT team moved in. -Back out of the car! Out of the car! Put your hands where
I can see them. Get back out of that bag! Out of the car! Put your hands where
I can see them! -I know that the pressure
of to shoot or not shoot is a split second decision. -Away from the bag.
-Get your hands up! -Back in there! Get out of the car! -And most law
enforcement officers don't want to have to
shoot an individual if they don't have to. No one wants to take
a life that way. We felt like we controlled him. NARRATOR: After twice
reaching for his bag, Erickson finally
followed orders. SCHMIDT: Had he come out
of the bag with a gun, it would've been an entirely
different situation. I asked him, as we
were transporting him after the arrest, to
the federal lockup, you being a former
police officer, you would know that a gesture
like that could get you shot. And he looked at
me, and he said, well, I figured you'd
shoot me in the head and it would be
over with quickly. NARRATOR: In the car, agents
searched Erickson's bag and found the bearded bandit's
tools, loaded guns, a police scanner, gloves,
a beard and a wig. -His bank robbery
kit in that bag– it was very helpful to the case. Without that information
or that evidence, we just arrested a car thief. NARRATOR: Having Jeffrey
Erickson safely in custody was only half the job. In the adjoining parking
lot, the SWAT team approached the van. It might be Jill
Erickson inside. [shouting] NARRATOR: Agents
scrambled to follow. The chase barreled through
11 suburban jurisdictions, reaching speeds of
110 miles per hour. A roadblock didn't work. [gun shots] [sirens] -And she had fired multiple
rounds out of that van either at the pursuing agents
or other people in traffic. It was a big concern
for the agents that she might hit
an innocent civilian. [sirens and gun shots] NARRATOR: Agents shot out
the rear tires of the van, but the driver
was not giving up. [sirens] NARRATOR: In 1991, the suspected
bank robber led police and FBI agents on a dangerous chase
through the Chicago suburbs. The fleeing van turned into an
area that investigators knew had no outlet. [sirens] NARRATOR: They blocked the road. [police radio] [inaudible] NARRATOR: As the van charged
them, they had to fire. [gun shots] [car crashing] NARRATOR: They saw
movement inside. -Step out of the van! Step out of the van! NARRATOR: Then an FBI agent
cautiously approached. The driver was wounded, a
single self-inflicted gunshot. It was Jill Erickson. Later that night, in
the hospital, she died. Special Agent Hank Schmidt– -We believed it may have been
a pact they had both come up with that they would
not be arrested. She, that day, carried
out her part of the pact. And that day, he decided, for
whatever reason, he didn't. -Inside the van were spent
cartridge casings, blood, fibers, other ammunition,
other weapons. There was a rifle with several
hundred rounds of ammunition. That whole neighborhood became
an evidentiary nightmare. There were bullets that
Jill had fired, stuck in the side of houses
and cars on the street. NARRATOR: The FBI
obtained a federal search warrant for the Erickson's home. -We found some loose
cash, but what impressed me was the amount of
firepower in the house. An arrest at that home would
have evolved into a shootout. In that home, there was a weapon
everywhere that you would find a picture or a statue or a
knickknack in any other home. NARRATOR: Among
the weapons found was the 223 caliber
semiautomatic assault rifle used in the attack on
officer Kevin Maher. Chief John Koziol
realized a shoot out would have been
deadly to both sides. KOZIOL: The weapons in
his home were as good as any law enforcement has,
as far as firepower goes. Most of the long guns he
had, that type of ammunition would zip right through an
officer's bulletproof vest. NARRATOR: Another
discovery in the house spoke to the couple's mindset. -One of the things that
we found quite ironic was the television was
on, and the VCR was on. And there was a Bonnie
and Clyde tape in the VCR and it was queued up to the
point where Bonnie and Clyde were being shot to
death in the movie. And it was obvious that that
was something they watched before they went out and did
before their bank robberies. -Turn your head to the right. NARRATOR: The one robber
was dead and one in custody. The violence was not yet over. Jeffrey Erickson's trial
began on July 13, 1992. The evidence compiled
against him was strong. -In all conversation with
US Attorney's Office, the trial was going very well. They were very upbeat
about it and the evidence was, in their mind, going
to be enough to convict him. NARRATOR: But then, after court
adjourned on July 20, 1992, two deputy US Marshals
loaded Erickson and several jail inmates
onto an elevator. Erickson was still
dressed for court. The prisoners were headed for
a van that would take them to the Metropolitan
Correctional Center. [elevator beeps] NARRATOR: By the time the
elevator reached the parking garage, Erickson had
somehow escaped his cuffs. Erickson shot US Marshal Bill
Frakes in the back and head, killing him. Ambushed, Frakes had not
had time to draw his weapon. As the gunman ran for the
street, court security officer and former Chicago
police detective, Harry Belluomini confronted him. [gun shot] NARRATOR: Erickson shot the
police veteran in the chest. But before Belluomini
died, he got off four rounds, fatally
wounding Erickson. The gunman was 40 feet from the
crowded streets when he died. -The thing is all
these resources were brought to bear
on an individual. He was captured and was
being tried in court. You think the case is over, but
unfortunately, the only person that could stop this
individual turned out to be a very brave,
courageous policeman named Harry Belluomini
who, while dying, shot and killed Jeff Erickson. NARRATOR: And
newlywed, Bill Frakes was a promising
young lawman, just nine months into his career. Harry Belluomini was
a 31 year veteran. Two of his children
are also Chicago police officers, carrying
on his legacy. [music playing]

36 thoughts on “The FBI Files: Season 5 – Ep 14 "Death Pact"

  • hey lets let a girl escort a gang of dangerous criminals out, what could possibly go wrong! GRRRRRRRL POWER

  • lol they almost shot the guy but they let the girl do whatever the hell she wants hahahah equality!!

  • The accent of the beginner narrator, is brilliant, when he at 1.26-1.27 says "Nye Yark" Office 😛

  • These 2 US Marshals died unnecessarily because of such negligence without keeping a clone eye on this dangerous criminal that he was able to break free from his hand cuffs and chain and grab a gun from one of the Marshals and kill the first one in cold blood and then the 2nd one he killed but the Marshal was able to pump 4 bullets into this asshole and killing him. I hope the families of these 2 Marshals sued for such gross negligence

  • This dumb ass bitch Jill Erickson got what she deserved taking her own life. She didn't care about others that she was shooting at trying to evade the FBI and police. This asshole was able to get out of his handcuffs and killed 2 U.S. Marshals but the courageous Marshal was able to get off 4 shots killing this SCUMBAG. My sympathy goes out to the family, friends and his colleagues. This courageous Marshal will always be remembered. Gone but never forgotten. RIP

  • Banks rob ppl, so ppl rob banks back. Only thing is they rob us legally and never get arrested. Taking ppls assets when they hit hard times etc so to me bank robbery is a victimless crime if no ones hurt or mentally abused to bad

  • If he was black, he'd be shot if there was no bag next to him. I wish they shot him,they would save the life of those officers.

  • If you do something really illegal to fund your middle class lifestyle, but you watch the end of “Bonnie and Clyde” before you rob a bank, and you have to have a suicide pact in case you get caught, I think that places you at the “Head of the Idiots” class. Obviously, there was some pretty heavy duty personality disorders going on.

  • Excellent. The 8ITCH killed herself. If they had shot and killed the POS when he was in the car, two police officers would STILL be alive today. I'm all for KILLING all violent criminals immediately to avoid EXACTLY what happened here. I'm also all for KILLING all murderers found guilty, using DNA, video, reliable witnesses as proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Take them out back the courthouse right after the guilty verdict and shoot them in the head, then donate their organs to needy people. I'm disgusted that my tax dollars are being used to keep POS criminals alive in prison for decades waiting to be executed. KILL THEM!!!!!!

  • I hate people that steal… U want something, get a job and buy it urself!… That's what the rest of us do

  • Arresting him b4 the job ! His attorney could claimed he was just heading to a theatrical rehearsal class …🎃🤹‍♂️🤹‍♀️😎

  • Where can you see the lawmen just shouting when this criminal is going for his bag. They should have shot him and nor shouting at him. What if that in his bag was a bomb? They're all be dead, maybe. They let him live and he killed 2 people. What happened should be a lesson to these so called law enforcers.

  • Why don't these lawmen learn from this. He's putting his hands in his bag, they should have shot him. Now he killed 2 people and thanks to this one guy, he eventually shot the criminal before he died.

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