Chenega MIOS would like to honor the life of American hero Howard Teten, who unfortunately passed away on January 11, 2021, at 88-years old. Father-in-law to Chenega’s Director of Financial & Account Systems, Mike Mueller, Howard was an extended member of the Chenega family.
Howard led a life that one would think they would only find on TV. He began his career in the Marine Corps in 1950 as a photographer. After he was discharged in 1954, he decided to go to school to study criminalistics, eventually graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, all while working for the local Sheriff’s Department. Howard later joined the FBI in 1962, hoping to learn more about the connection between personalities and the psychology of people, and quickly became a vital asset. Howard was the first FBI criminal profiler and co-created the FBI Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) in 1972, where he served as Unit Chief. This unit’s goal was to study behaviors at crime scenes to unlock signs of mental disorder and personality traits to aid in detectives’ deductive reasoning and is much of the basis for the show Criminal Minds. This system has grown and become more sophisticated over the years and is now known as the Criminal Investigative Analysis Program (CIAP).
Howard’s legacy lives on through his daughters and grandchildren, who have shared some of his incredible stories through the years. For starters, they remember him telling of the time he led a team of ten agents to break up the KKK in Tennessee. The agents embedded themselves into the local police department to form bonds with local officers, knowing that some of them were members of the KKK. With these internal department connections, the officers were more willing to cooperate with the FBI. He vividly remembered a time of saving a man’s life when he had been quietly following a member to a commotion behind a barn. Once his presence (as well as his revolvers’) were known, the members scurried away.
Another, more light-hearted memory he had was of a woman who would call her local police department as well as an FBI field office claiming she heard voices in her house. Eventually, the case was passed along to the Institutional Research Unit, which at the time he said handled cases that were more “out there.” After an interview with the woman, Howard discovered she had a metal tooth that resonated with the radio frequencies of two radio towers surrounding her house, causing her to actually hear the radio in her head.
His stories do not stop in the United States though, Howard also had many exciting stories from his experiences abroad. While abroad, Howard formed many connections, including frequently getting tea with King Hussein to discuss how to improve the Jordanian National Police and being taught the Arabic alphabet by the Tunisian Foreign Minister. He was an incredible man with so many stories to share that we cannot fathom what could have been in the stories he was unable to share due to his business’s nature.
Howard’s family described him as a gentle-giant and humble man, with work that will live on in more far-reaching ways than we could ever envision.