Anderson University alum featured on ‘Oprah’

Thu, 2006-09-28 09:10 -- univcomm
September 28, 2006

[Editor's Note: Retired FBI agent and AU alum Bob Hamer discusses his undercover work to capture criminals on 'Oprah']. Bob Hamer has been a contract killer, a degenerate gambler and a sexual predator. Now he has added talk show guest to his resume. Hamer, a graduate of Anderson University and a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, will appear today (September 28) on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

As a street agent, Hamer worked undercover in 20 FBI criminal investigations. His first operation as a fence, led to the recovery of more than $1 million in stolen property and he later infiltrated the ranks of organized crime in Los Angeles.

But it was his work uncovering the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) that garnered the attention of the show’s producers.

NAMBLA advocates sex between men and boys and cites ancient Greek traditions to justify the practice. Based in New York City and San Francisco, the organization’s sexual advocacy is protected by the First Amendment.

“It’s a very secretive organization,” said Hamer, 56. “A lot of the members use aliases. To be invited to a meeting you have to be a member in good standing and sponsored by another member. I’m not quite sure why I got the invitation.”

From 2001 until early 2005, Hamer posed as a homosexual pedophile to gain entry into the group. He gained the trust of high-ranking members, was invited to the national convention and ask to join NAMBLA’s steering committee.

On Aug. 11, the last of eight NAMBLA members caught in the sting operation was sentenced. When active FBI agents declined to comment for a Chicago Tribune story, they referred the reporter to Hamer, who retired in January.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Hamer said posing as a pedophile “thoroughly disgusted me. I had taken on an alter ego antithetical to everything I believed to be right and moral.”

The headline grabbed the attention of “Oprah” producers, who were assembling segments for an episode devoted to sexual predators. Titled “What Pedophiles Don’t Want You To Know,” the show will feature crucial warning signs for parents and reference the “Dateline NBC: To Catch A Predator” series.

The show was recorded on Sept. 7. Hamer, who has dabbled in the television industry, said he was perfectly comfortable with the experience.

“I’ve served as technical advisor for several television shows,” Hamer said. “For ‘Angela’s Eyes,’ which is on the Lifetime network on Sunday evening. I’ve done technical work for ‘Law and Order: SVU,’ ‘Sleeper Cell,’ I’ve written several scripts and sold them to TV, so I’m somewhat familiar with TV. It wasn’t that new to me.”

Hamer graduated from Anderson College (now Anderson University) in 1972. He attended law school at the University of Cincinnati and graduated in 1975. After four years of active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, he joined the FBI.

Hamer said Anderson professor Val Clear’s deviant behavior class inspired him. Hamer’s undercover operations have lasted anywhere from a few months to a few years. Some of his experiences sound straight out of Hollywood.

“I was involved in the Los Angeles mafia family case in which we arrested 15 top mafia members in L.A. We targeted the head of the Mexican mafia back in the 1980s,” Hamer said. “At the same time as this particular investigation into NAMBLA, I was investigating the Smoking Dragon case, dealing with members of Chinese government purchasing surface-to-air missiles and printing counterfeit $100 bills.”

Hamer now resides in southern California. He has received the FBI Director’s Award for Distinguished Service and three United States Attorney Awards for Distinguished Service.

“The Oprah Winfrey Show”
“What Pedophiles Don’t Want You to Know” featuring Anderson College graduate and retired FBI agent Bob Hamer
Today, 4 p.m. (EDT: Check Local Listings)

— JUSTIN SCHNEIDER is a reporter for The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Ind. Story re-published with permission.