Ray Wannall

Ray Wannall

W. Raymond Wannall, who headed the FBI's intelligence division under J. Edgar Hoover and later became the bureau's assistant director, spent more than three decades with the FBI before retiring in 1976.

For all but five years of his career, he worked in the intelligence division at the bureau's D.C. headquarters. He was responsible for operations related to counterintelligence, counterterrorism, security and espionage. Among the many cases he worked on was the 1974 kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a guerrilla group.

He also was one of the managers who handled Morris Childs, a disillusioned member of the American Communist Party who during the Cold War became a double agent for the FBI and penetrated the highest levels of the Kremlin.

Mr. Wannall's book "The Real J. Edgar Hoover, For the Record" was published in 2000.

Walter Raymond Wannall Jr. was born and raised in Washington. He was a graduate of McKinley Technical High School.

In 1942, he received a law degree from what is now the law school at Catholic University. That same year, he entered the FBI as a special agent. During the 1940s and '50s, he worked on the bureau's Middle East intelligence desk.

He held life memberships in several professional organizations, including the National Intelligence Study Center, and was a past chairman and president of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.

He served on the boards of other organizations, including America's Future Inc. and the Maldon Institute, a group that analyzes information presented in the news media. He also lectured at the Alexandria-based Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies.

Mr. Wannall died Jan. 29 of pneumonia at Fairhaven, a retirement community in Sykesville, Md. He was 92.

Books by Ray Wannall


Content not available at this time.


Content not available at this time.


If you would like to contact this author or request them for an appearance or interview, please e-mail Turner Publishing at or call us at (615) 255-2665.