Archive for Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Former FBI spokesman to visit library, discuss book Sunday

February 29, 2012

A famed FBI spokesman will discuss his self-published book this weekend at the Bonner Springs City Library.

Jeff Lanza, who for 20 years was the FBI’s spokesman for the Kansas City region, will visit the library Sunday, March 4, to talk about his book, “Pistols to Press: Lessons on Communication from an FBI Spokesman and Agent.” He also will share the experiences he had representing the FBI during many famous investigations.

Lanza has been a guest on Fox National News and also has appeared on Larry King Live, The Today Show, Good Morning America and CNN. He retired four years ago but continues to give presentations and serve as an expert for the media.

Lanza said he wanted to document some of the things that happened during his career, but he also was prompted to write a book after receiving a reoccurring question.

“These stories are some of the most important things that ever happened during my career,” he said. “I give a lot of talks, and invariably, I always get asked ‘What’s the most important case you worked on?’ I just said, ‘Why don’t I put these in a book, and then people can read about it.’”

There were some cases for which he couldn’t discuss the details, but his career had trained him well on what information could be shared and what could not.

“The manuscript had to be submitted to FBI,” he said. “I had a pretty good idea of what I could say and couldn’t say, so they didn’t take anything out.”

Though he was limited on what he could include, Lanza said he thinks the book helps give the general public a better idea of how the FBI operates.

“There’s a lot of misconceptions about the FBI and how they investigate cases and how they interact with local police departments,” he said, “and reading the book, people will get a better idea of how it’s done in real life.”

The book is interesting both because of the famous cases Lanza worked on and because of the lessons on communication he shares.

“I didn’t want to make it a bunch of war stories; I wanted it to have a purpose,” Lanza said. “For those who work in any type of job where you have to communicate… all the stories are kind of wound into the key learning points of communication.”

Not all of the book relates to his work in the FBI — Lanza included stories of the things that influenced him growing up.

Lanza’s presentation at the Bonner library will begin at 2 p.m. His books will be available for sale, with a book signing to follow the presentation. More about the book can be found at


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