James Keith Kallstrom (May 6, 1943 – July 3, 2021), a.k.a. Jim Kallstrom, was an American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent who served as assistant director in charge of its field office in New York. He was noted for heading the criminal investigation into the TWA Flight 800 crash in 1996.
James Keith Kallstrom
May 6, 1943
|Died||July 3, 2021 (aged 78)|
|Alma mater||University of Massachusetts Amherst|
|Occupation||Head of the FBI New York field office|
Kallstrom was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on May 6, 1943. His father was a trumpeter during the swing era and subsequently worked as a car salesman; his mother was employed as a nurse. He studied at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, obtaining a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1966. He joined the US Marine Corps that same year, eventually rising to the rank of captain. He served two tours in the Vietnam War.
Kallstrom worked for 27 years at the FBI from February 1970 to December 31, 1997, and was described as an expert in wiretapping. During his career, he was a leading advocate of expanding wiretapping power through the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). He headed the special operations division at the Bureau's field office in New York. He later became assistant director in charge of the office in 1995, a position he held until his retirement two years later. He led the investigation into the 1996 explosion of TWA Flight 800. He was also a supervising agent in the New York investigation of the Cosa Nostra criminal network that resulted in the Mafia Commission Trial of 1985–1986.
Kallstrom left the public sector for private sector employment in the financial industry beginning in 1998. After the September 11 attacks, he returned to the public sector to lead New York state's public safety office at the behest of George Pataki.
Kallstrom was the host of the Discovery Channel show The FBI Files until it was cancelled in 2006. He supported Donald Trump during the 2016 United States presidential election and referred to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton family as being criminal-like. He was also critical of the Special Counsel investigation by Robert Mueller, saying in 2018 that it was orchestrated by a cabal beyond the scope of the FBI and the intelligence community. He added that he "did not recognize the agency I gave 28 years of my life to".
Kallstrom was married to Susan for 50 years until his death. Together, they had two children, Erika and Kristél.
- "Our People" Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation. Accessed November 11, 2016. Archive URL
- Langer, Emily (July 7, 2021). "James Kallstrom, FBI agent who led investigation of TWA Flight 800, dies at 78". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
- Jr, James C. Mckinley (February 17, 1995). "Wiretap Expert Named to Head New York City Office of F.B.I." The New York Times.
- Weiser, Benjamin (December 10, 1997). "F.B.I.'s Kallstrom, Head of Flight 800 Inquest, to Retire". The New York Times.
- Neidig, Harper (October 30, 2016). "Ex-FBI official: Clintons are a 'crime family'".
- "Insiders of the American Mob: Jim Kallstrom, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI".
- "Three who shined after 9/11".
- Ciment, James (March 10, 2015). World Terrorism: An Encyclopedia of Political Violence from Ancient Times to the Post-9/11 Era. Routledge. p. 585. ISBN 9781317451525.
- "FBI Files". TV Guide. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
- "Comey Faces Sharp Criticism; Ex-FBI Official Calls Clinton A 'Criminal'". NPR.org.
- "James Kallstrom, FBI agent who investigated TWA Flight 800 explosion, dies at 78". abc7ny.com. ABC 7. July 5, 2021. Retrieved July 5, 2021.