Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein Highlights Ongoing and Intensive Work to Solve 2001 Murder of Federal Prosecutor Tom Wales

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein joined U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes, Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan, the Wales family, the National Association of Former United States Attorneys Foundation, and other law enforcement partners in Seattle today to bring continued and deserved attention to the Department of Justice investigation into the 2001 murder of Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas C. Wales.

The Department of Justice remains committed to a reward of up to one million dollars for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible. In addition to and separate from the Department’s reward, the National Association of Former United States Attorneys Foundation President Mike McKay announced that his organization is offering up to a $525,000 reward to the same individuals as the Justice Department for information leading to the Department’s prosecution of those responsible for Wales’ murder. Wales worked as a federal prosecutor in the Western District of Washington for 18 years before he was shot and killed in his home the evening of Oct. 11, 2001.

“Any attack on a law enforcement officer is an attack on our entire justice system,” Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein said. “The Wales family has shown incredible strength, courage, and devotion. As Deputy Attorney General, I intend to see that we leave no stone unturned in the search for the killer who murdered Tom Wales. We will continue to pursue this case for as long as it takes to achieve justice. The killer will be held accountable.”

“The murder of Tom Wales more than 16 years ago remains an affront to the rule of law and a devastating loss to all who knew Tom and the community he so loyally served,” said U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. “I am deeply grateful to the National Association of Former United States Attorneys and their foundation for establishing a separate reward in this case.  As the Department of Justice has made clear time and again — we will never rest until justice is done in this case.”

A task force led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Seattle Police Department continues to work actively and intensively. The investigative team has been able to successfully investigate thousands leads and continues to devote resources to focused investigative avenues. In just the last 12 months, the investigative team has served  nearly 50 new subpoenas and has pursued hundreds of investigative actions. 

Investigators believe that there are people who have information and hope that the significant reward provides an additional incentive for coming forward. The task force asks the public to help partner in its efforts for justice, and closure for the Wales family.

“The FBI remains committed to bringing closure for the Wales family,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jay S. Tabb, Jr., of the FBI’s Seattle Field Division. “We continue to offer a reward of up to $1 million for information that helps us resolve this investigation. We know that there are people with pertinent knowledge and we are pleading with you to come forward to the FBI. Please help us solve this case for the Wales family.”

“We haven’t forgotten about Tom Wales, and are leaving no stone unturned in this investigation,” said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best. “We will continue to work in collaboration with our federal partners to bring the individual responsible for his brutal murder to justice.”

“Local prosecutors will continue our partnership with federal investigators on this case, said Dan Satterberg, King County Prosecuting Attorney. “We are determined to solve this terrible crime.”

The Seattle Prosecutor Murder (SEPROM) Task Force is a joint effort by the FBI, the Seattle Police Department, the Department of Justice, and the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. It includes agents, detectives, analysts, two Department of Justice prosecutors, a King County prosecutor, and FBI personnel assisting across the nation to cover far-ranging leads.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the FBI and can do so confidentially by phone at (206) 622-0460 or by e-mail at walestips@fbi.gov. People can also send anonymous tips to the FBI at 1110 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98101.

The complete library of information, including multi-media materials for download and use, the FBI Seeking Information poster, details about the tip lines, and more can be found at https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/seeking-info/thomas-crane-wales.

Press Release Number: 
18 - 215
Updated February 23, 2018