Former FBI profiler delivers workshops

Hallie Thomas

Hallie Thomas

Calling herself a “late-blooming thrill seeker,” Candice DeLong came to campus last Wednesday to talk about her 20-year career in the FBI.

“There’s a lot of mystique involved with the FBI and for a time I didn’t even consider it. But if I can do it, anyone can.”

This University of Illinois graduate originally started out as a psychiatric nurse and for 10 years she honed her communication skills as well as her ability to work with violence.

Since the average age of incoming agents in the FBI is 32, Candice’s break between college and the Bureau is nothing out of the ordinary.

“They are looking for experience and maturity, not kids straight out of college.”

Ms. Delong was scheduled for a hectic day at SDSU, beginning with a morning lecture for criminology students.

In the afternoon, she gave a self-defense workshop in Rotunda D that focused on safety tips she had learned through her training. Later that night she lectured on her three most notorious cases: the Tylenol murders, the SALN terrorist organization, and the Unabomber.

Being busy is nothing new to Candice Delong. After retiring from the FBI in 2000, she was a technical adviser for crime writer Ken Follett.

“I told him I was interested in writing a book and he said ‘If you ever do, I’ll get you an agent.’ I felt that opportunity was knocking, so I wrote the first three hundred pages and called him. When I told him what I had done he dropped the phone.”

Candice and a co-author worked for seven more months to finish her memoir “Special Agent: My Life At the Front Lines.”

Since then she has traveled extensively on the lecture circuit as well appeared as guest commentator on several news programs.

On April 14 her new show “What Should You Do?” will air on the Lifetime network.

“It is based on the last chapter of my book and focuses on the proactive prevention of violent crimes. It also informs people on what they should do in emergency medical and environmental situations.”

This summer she will also write for Cosmopolitan magazine about car and road safety, and there is a screenplay based on her book that is waiting for a green light.

In her spare time, Candice enjoys reading crime novels. Jeffrey Deaver, author of “The Bone Collector,” is her favorite writer.

But, which fictional detective is more realistic: Kay Scarpetta or Clarice Starling?

“Definitely Scarpetta. The Bureau would never give prominent cases to a rookie like Starling.”

What Should You Do? Safety Tips from Candice DeLong

1. If you are threatened physically and you decide to handle it physically: throw one good punch and run like hell.2. Self-defense classes may build confidence, but in reality men are stronger than women and the average guy can take an average girl.3. Remember: a person cannot be restrained if they are twisting.4. When being strangled, never grab the assailant’s hands; tuck chin down and twist one side. 5. Always jab for the eyes.6. When calling for help, yell “FIRE!” People will pay more attention.7. Take advantage of every split second and run.8. If someone is putting you in a trunk, they intend to kill you, so resist being put in a trunk.9. Never go anywhere with a person pointing a gun at you. Give them what they want and run away in a zig-zag manner. Yell, if in a populated area.

#1.887451:1565525562.jpg:fbi.jpg:Former FBI agent Candice DeLong shows a student how to escape a strangle hold during a self-defense presentation she gave on Feb. 5 in Rotunda D. DeLong also has a program based on her book airing soon on Lifetime. :Wendy McBrayer