Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is the focus at Alcatraz East Crime Museum’s newest Temporary Exhibit

Photo courtesy of Alcatraz East Crime Museum

Photo courtesy of Alcatraz East Crime Museum

Alcatraz East Crime Museum’s latest temporary exhibit will feature the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), opening on July 13, 2020. The exhibit will showcase the important work the Bureau does statewide on a daily basis, and details from famous solved and ongoing cases.

“We hope visitors will learn something new about the work that goes into investigating difficult cases in their communities by a special Tennessee agency they may not have known about,” explains Rachael Penman, director of artifacts at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “Working with the TBI on this exhibit we were able to see firsthand how much their agents and staff truly care about victims and survivors and will do whatever it takes to bring justice and closure to a case.”

Since the 1950s, the TBI has existed in various forms. They have seven offices throughout the state, and over 600 employees spread across eight divisions. Their mission is to support local law enforcement around the state by providing them with specialized investigative skills. At any one time, the Criminal Investigation Division has more than 1,500 open cases. They also routinely conduct their own independent investigations into child victimization, drug violations, domestic terrorism, and fugitive recovery.

This partnership with TBI allows visitors to learn about the founding of the agency and the important roles of TBI’s agents, forensic examiners, and analysts. This exhibit will also bring attention to current missing children and features a local cold case, the brutal 2015 murder of Donald Lawton in Kodak, TN. Other cases featured in the exhibit will include the Bain sisters kidnapping in 2012, the murder of Rhonda Daugherty in 2014, and murder of State Senator Tommy Burks in 1998.

“We are honored to have this platform to give Tennessee residents and others visiting the museum a closer look at the work we do across the Volunteer State,” says TBI Director David Rausch. “We are a diverse agency with a remarkable history, and this exhibit highlights our unique role in law enforcement’s greater mission to protect and serve.”

Alcatraz East Crime Museum reopened in May, following the pandemic closure, with measures in place to help keep visitors safer. To help “police” these new safety rules, the museum added a new K-9 mascot “Doc” (law enforcement abbreviation for Department of Corrections). Guests will see signage and friendly safety reminders from Doc throughout the museum. The museum’s updated safety measures include reduced hours, enhanced cleaning, spatial distancing protocols, employee health screenings and employee PPE.Guests are encouraged to review all safety rules prior to their visit on their web page devoted to COVID-19: https://www.alcatrazeast.com/covid-19/.

Alcatraz East Crime Museum has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden; Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief; and Judge Belvin Perry Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.  Or, visit the TBI page at https://www.alcatrazeast.com/temporary-exhibits/tennessee-bureau-of-investigation-2/.

Photo courtesy of Alcatraz East Crime Museum

Photo courtesy of Alcatraz East Crime Museum

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