When we die, most of us will have an obituary. But did you know details about our lives could also be etched in an FBI file? The FBI has conducted countless investigations on people and many notable Oklahomans are listed in the cases.
The Oklahoma City Bombing is considered one of the most labor intensive investigations in FBI history. At the center of the file referred to as OKBOMB: Timothy McVeigh. While his name comes up hundreds of times in this file, McVeigh never appears in any other FBI investigation.
On the other hand, Oklahoma's beloved Will Rogers' name is mentioned several different times. Known as "America's favorite son," Rogers' file includes memos from ceremonies where he received national awards.
Oklahoma City Agent in Charge James E. Finch says the vaudeville star most likely spoke with an agent during the events.
"It could have been information that surfaced just in talking to him about someone else," Agent Finch said. "He may have made those statements and the agent documented it."
We even found FBI files on one of Oklahoma's greatest athletes, Mickey Mantle. The Commerce Comet is known as one of the best baseball players in history. But his FBI file shows he even had some enemies.
"You will find famous people as references on FBI files, but not as subjects of an investigation," Agent Finch said. "Basically investigating the violation which happened to be a threat to them of some kind."
The FBI investigated two threatening letters sent to Mantle. One from 1960 reads "I have a gun with microscopic lenses and I'm going to get you through both of your knees..."
The other, later considered a prank from a young baseball fan, said "Your career will come to an end with a .32 signed a loyal Red Sox fan.'
We showed Mantle's file to his sister, Barbara Delise. She did not know about the FBI investigations, but isn't surprised.
"Probably just jealous maybe of him and what he did," Delise said. "Maybe they thought he had a lot of money, which he didn't."
That may explain why he was blackmailed as a 1956 file states, for $15,000 after "being found in a compromising situation with a married woman."
Mantle admitted he had "shacked up" with many girls in New York City, but denied ever getting caught.
Does the FBI have records on us? Probably not. Agent Finch says they don't have the manpower or desire to keep files on everyone. It's also illegal.
Learn more about FBI files.