Julius (Jay) Wachtel

Who am I? Where did I land from?
Julius "Jay" Wachtel, My parents were Holocaust survivors from Eastern Europe. I was born in Florence, Italy, where my father taught handicrafts while he and my mother awaited a visa to join relatives in Argentina.  Ten years later we emigrated from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles.

What is my professional background?
Retired August, 1998 after 23 years as an ATF special agent (criminal investigator) and supervisor. Most of my work experience is in gun trafficking and bombing investigations. Duty stations in Phoenix, Helena (Montana) and Los Angeles.  Also served as a police sergeant in Cottage Grove, Oregon and as a U.S. Army military policeman (that´s what they called them) in Vietnam and the U.S.

Most recently, between 1998-2017, I was a Lecturer in the Division of Politics, Administration and Justice, California State University, Fullerton. My courses included Research Methods, Policing, Crime & Delinquency, Criminal Investigation, Criminal Justice Ethics, Police Misconduct, Public Management, Research & Analysis, Public Personnel Management, and, my favorite, Russian Justice, which includes staging a play about the Moscow show trials.

What is my educational background?
Ph.D., Criminal Justice, School of Criminal Justice, State University of New York at Albany.  M.S., Criminal Justice, Arizona State University.  B.S., Police Science and Administration, California State University, Los Angeles.

What else do I do?
I occasionally consult with local governments and nonprofit groups on gun control policy. A collection of my essays on gun control is here. "Stalin's Witnesses, my historical novel about the Great Moscow Show Trials, was published in2012 (see below.) I have have also written several screenplays, mostly about crime and justice.

Police Issues, my long-running criminal justice blog, has essays on a wide range of - yes - issues in policing.

What about my publication history?


Stalin's Witnesses (Knox Robinson Publishing, London, December 6, 2012). Historical novel about five real-life persons who were forced to testify falsely at the 1937 Moscow show trial. An updated second edition was released on Amazon and Ingram in June 2018. It includes a Prequel that can be freely downloaded here. Check it out!


"Firearms and Public Policy." In C. L. Gardiner and P. Fiber-Ostrow, eds., California's Criminal Justice System (2nd. Ed.), Carolina Academic Press, 2014, 296-303.

"The Road to Stalin's Witnesses: Seeking Truth Through Fiction." Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, 2014, 15 (2), 365-375. Excerpt here.

"Sources of Crime Guns in Los Angeles, California." Policing, an International Journal of Police Strategies and Management, 1998, 21 (2), 220-239.

"From Morals to Practice: Dilemmas of Control in Undercover Policing." Crime, Law and Social Change, 1992 (18), 137-158.

"Production and Craftsmanship in Police Narcotics Enforcement." Journal of Police Science and Administration, 1985 (13:4), 263-274.

Conference presentations

"The Craft of Policing." Paper presented in 2005 at the Law Academy of Ukraine, Dnepropetrovsk.

"Illusion of Gun Control". Paper presented at the 2000 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology.

"Unanticipated Consequences of Community Policing." Paper presented at the 1998 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

"Retaking Mean Streets: the Occupation Response." Paper presented at the 1990 meeting of the Western and Pacific Assoc. of Criminal Justice Educators.

My "real life"

My wife, Linda, is an endoscopy nurse (you don´t want to know). She is very active in youth theater. We have a daughter, Jennifer, an NYU grad who lives and works in New York City. Our beloved mutt, Sheba, a crazy Shepherd mix (see left) passed in winter 2015 at the ripe age of fifteen. Koko, a wild-and-crazy Husky/Shepherd mix, now shares our home. She even has her own couch!

Contact: Click here

Enjoy the website!