Throughout the course of this project utilizing the ability to request FBI files has been vital. On this page I thought it would be interest to walk people through requesting a file for their own curiosity or research.
One can request any FBI file they want through the Freedom of Information Act. However, there are a few caveats. The FBI file has the right not to disclose any file for any reason. If your request for a file gets rejected it is generally because either the investigation is still open, the file contains information that could jeopardize homeland security in any way, or because they simply do not have files on that particular topic. Just a note: if you are requesting a file on a person who is alive you will need written permission from that person in order to request them.
Requesting is as simple as sending an email. The FBI website is very helpful for requesting and you can see the form letter you must follow in order to request here. Then, send that letter to email@example.com. Don’t be discouraged if you do not here back for awhile. I did not hear back for several weeks for most of my requests. But, as you can read about in my blog post, after about six weeks of waiting for the files I had requested on Rod Serling, a large envelope containing the 40 pages of files showed up in my mailbox.
Good luck and happy researching!