“No Man Of God” is the title of a movie released last Friday in large market theaters.
I had the awesome privilege of celebrating and watching it with the movie’s main character, Bill Hagmaier, played by Elijah Woods.
Bill has been a close friend for over 30 years. He, his wife Barbara, and their two children are those dear people who weren’t born into your family, but count as family.
Bill, now retired, was a career FBI agent. Of course, over the years, we heard a bit here and there. But Bill, being the consummate professional, kept most things at work. He always interested himself in you and your life, leaving his daily work in the background.
This movie is about some of his work with Ted Bundy, the serial killer.
For years, movie companies have been after his experience, some even making up a storyline without his approval. He was intent on honoring the victims and their families: that just wasn’t what Hollywood was after!
That has always been Bill’s inspiration, helping others, protecting! That was his calling as an FBI agent: to help the victims by apprehending the criminals but also to stop people from becoming victims.
He was one of the original five Agents who began and developed the “Profiling” method of criminals. It’s now a common term. That wasn’t always the case. Bill was at the forefront of its development. The goal was to learn about the criminals so their behavior could assist officers in predicting their movements, decreasing the potential for crimes to occur and reoccur; thwarting them before someone else was victimized.
Ted Bundy was one of Bill’s earliest criminals to assess and learn from. The movie is about this process. How he did it. Bundy, of all people, wanted nothing to do with law enforcement. The movie shows how Bill gained entrance into his world, his mind, and his graces.
Most of the movie occurs inside the prison with Bundy and Bill sitting at a table. It is not a graphic movie; I couldn’t have stomached that. Again, Bill’s largest concern was that his victims and their families would not be re-victimized by a movie associated with his name. It is, however, an adult movie with an adult theme; as you might imagine.
Bill was involved with many, many more high-profile cases in his career; giving credence to the blossoming world of “profiling”. He eventually became the Director of the Missing and Exploited Children Unit from which he retired.
I recall when our town, near Washington DC, became the place of three child abductions! Bill instructed all of us to watch our children. His words replay in my mind to this day. He said, “Elaine, watch Olivia. I mean, anytime she is outside your house. I don’t care if the bus stop is the end of your driveway. Stand there with her. Be there when she gets off!! Don’t let her out of your sight!!”
The culprit for these three abductions had not been caught. They did not know who or where he was! Someone had stolen these girls from their doorsteps. I knew he was serious! I took it seriously!! He warned about our boys too, cause they just didn’t know how or when the next strike would be. Our children lost some of their freedoms and childhood from that day on. It was frightening, devastating, scary!
Bill was not just concerned for his caseload. He has always cared about his neighbors, friends, family, community and world! He wanted to protect You; all of us! That is a heavy load to bear. We often wonder how he does it! It’s really unimaginable that one man could carry so much hurt, horror, sorrow, grief and still have room to love and care about others.
Bill’s bedrock is his faith. He is most concerned about what God thinks of him and how he carries out his earthly assignments. His faith and beliefs in the God of the Bible are with him in every situation; clear in his dealings with others.
The movie posses the question… was Ted Bundy, a man of God. Or that he was NOT a man of God. There’s much discussion around the topic. He had a Bible and read it. He prayed with people. In the end, he showed angst about facing God upon his execution… Only God knows!
But, I can assure you, the man you will see sitting across the table from Ted for hours, certainly IS a man of God! That is not a question! Knowing a friend for over 30 years proves convictions.
I could not be more proud of Bill! And let me add Barbara! She gave her husband to his work for the good of our nation, children and victims. She gave no small sacrifice, so he could help others! Both of their children now serve our nation, helping others, in predominate careers of their own; carrying on Bill and Barbara’s heartbeat.
He leaves a legacy of expertise, excellence, professionalism and love.
Bill, we are so proud of you and thankful for your service to all of us! You’ve made a difference in our world by living out your convictions and heart for others. We are blessed and honored to share life with you and Barbara!!!
No Man Of God is in theaters now, in large markets. You can also stream it on Amazon Prime. There are other choices if you Google it.
Chicago Sun Times Review: “Wood’s portrayal of Hagmaier, a straight-living family man who was practically a rookie with the FBI but had already started building the skill set that would make him the stuff of legend.”
In 1980, Ted Bundy was sentenced to death by electrocution. In the years that followed, he agreed to disclose the details of his crimes, but only to one man. During the early days of the agency’s criminal profiling unit, FBI analyst Bill Hagmaier met with the incarcerated Ted Bundy in the hopes of understanding the psychology of the serial killer and providing closure for the victim’s families. As Hagmaier delves into Bundy’s dark and twisted mind, a strange and complicated relationship develops that neither man expected. Based on actual transcripts of interviews between FBI analyst Bill Hagmaier and the incarcerated Ted Bundy, No Man of God is nothing short of riveting.
Thank you for loving and protecting all of us at great personal cost Bill,
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