FBI agents and analysts take viewers inside a real-life race-against-the-clock mission to save a 5-year-old boy kidnapped and held hostage by an armed gunman in the series premiere of CBS News’ “The FBI Declassified,” airing Tuesday, October 6 at 10/9c on CBS. Narrated by Alana De La Garza of the CBS drama series “FBI,” “Saving Ethan” offers unprecedented insight into the tactics investigators used to rescue a young boy kidnapped in rural Alabama.
On January 29, 2013, Jimmy Lee Dykes jumped on a packed school bus in Midland City, Alabama. Dykes shot and killed the driver and kidnapped little Ethan Gilman. Dykes took the child to a heavily fortified underground bunker he had spent months constructing. The FBI says his mission was to take hostages to use as pawns in an attempt to share his anti-government grievances with the world.
FBI agents and analysts knew they had a limited window of time to breach the bunker and rescue Gilman. Could they pull it off?
“Kidnappings are incredibly difficult for a number of different reasons,” says Steve Richardson, the FBI special agent in charge of the case. “There’s a child’s life at stake. … Emotions are high. … Time is of the essence.”
“The FBI Declassified,” from the award-winning team behind “48 Hours,” features FBI agents and analysts and goes behind the scenes of some of the biggest cases they’ve solved during their careers. Through never-before-seen footage and in-depth interviews, each episode will focus on a different investigation and showcase the cooperation between the FBI and other law enforcement agencies.
Agents and analysts reveal the thinking, teamwork, technology, techniques and pure gut instinct that goes into solving a critical case.
“When the entire FBI machine spins up on one case acting in concert, it takes your breath away,” says FBI profiler Molly Amman. “There was no mountain that the FBI would not have moved to save Ethan.”
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