Childhood & Early Life
Candice DeLong was born on July 16, 1950, in Chicago, Illinois, to a building contractor father and a homemaker mother. Her father did not want her to follow a non-practical career path. Thus, Candice prepared herself for a career in the field of medicine. Soon after she was born, the family moved to Arizona, where Candice spent her remaining adolescence.
However, an incident that Candice came across when she was 5 years old changed her life. A 5-year-old girl was beaten to death after she got into a stranger’s car around her locality. Candice was extremely shocked when she heard about the case.
Following her high-school graduation, Candice enrolled at the ‘Northwestern University’ to study nursing. She also joined the university hospital as a nurse. After her graduation from the university, she continued to work at the psychiatric wing of the hospital.
There, she worked at the maximum security area and came across a number of criminally insane people. What surprised her most was the fact that most of those criminals were from rich families.
She worked at the hospital for 8 years and gained a keen interest in crime psychology. By the time she was 28 years old, she was a single divorcee mother. She was contacted by the ‘FBI’ while she worked at the hospital.
Candice also wanted a change in her career path and moved to the ‘FBI’ training academy in Quantico, Virginia. She was only one of the seven female recruits in the 1980 batch. After her graduation from the academy, she worked at ‘FBI’s Chicago office. She wanted to work in the field desperately and got her chance very soon.
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In the early 1980s, she joined the ‘FBI’ and was introduced to her first big case, which was that of the infamous Chicago Tylenol murders. One of the most chilling cases of the year, it involved a series of deaths by poisoning caused by drug-tampering. The victims of this case had unknowingly consumed potassium cyanide. In the first few poisonings, seven people had died.
Nobody was actually charged with the murders, but the case led to some new rules in terms of the packaging of over-the-counter drugs and brought about a number of new anti-tampering laws.
Candice got another major case in 1995, when she became one of the three hand-picked ‘FBI’ officers who embarked on a manhunt for a terrorist named Ted Kaczynski, also known as the “Unabomber.” Ted was a well-read anarchist and terrorist, who aimed to start a revolution against people who were involved in the expansion of modern technologies. He killed three people in the pursuit of his cause.
Ted was captured in Lincoln, Montana, and upon his arrest, Candice announced that he was only concerned about two things: “his little quarter-acre of property and killing people.” This case also made it to the national headlines.
Candice also worked briefly with the ‘Child Abduction Task Force’ in San Francisco, where she solved a case involving the kidnapping of a 9-year-old boy. She later said that the greatest achievement of her career was to rescue a little boy from the web of crack cocaine and child pornography. The boy was saved from San Diego when the force received the information that the kidnapper was a train.
In the late 1990s, Candice contemplated retiring permanently from the ‘FBI.’ She submitted her official resignation in 2000. Around the same time, she decided to write a book based on her experiences of working with the ‘FBI.’ The book, titled ‘Special Agent: My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI,’ was successful.
The book described the criminal-profiling aspects of her job along with her contribution in solving many high-profile cases over the years. She also dedicated a part of her book to personal safety and gave tips on how a little bit of caution could sometimes help people in the direst of situations.
She also had a strong presence of mind. The book described the disappearance of a woman named Laci Peterson. Laci’s husband, Scott, was apparently talking about his wife in the past tense although her body had not been found back then. This helped Candice crack the case within minutes, by proving that Laci was murdered by her husband.
After gaining nationwide fame as a highly competitive female ‘FBI’ agent and retiring in 2000, Candice started getting offers to appear on TV and in films.
In 2003, the TV film ‘Killer Instinct: From the Files of Agent Candice DeLong’ was released. The story featured Candice’s pursuit for a serial killer. Actor Jean Smart played the role of Candice in the film.
Candice has also appeared as a guest on two TV shows, namely, ‘Erin Burnett OutFront’ and ‘Nancy Grace.’ In 2005, she bagged her big break on TV with the crime-documentary-styled TV series ‘Deadly Women.’ The series focuses on the crimes committed by women, and many of the cases have been inspired by the ‘FBI’ experiences of Candice.
Candice still hosts ‘Deadly Women,’ which is currently aired on ‘Investigation Discovery.’ The show has been dubbed in Spanish and Italian, too. One of the longest-running shows on the channel, it has completed 11 successful seasons and is in its 12th season now.
Candice appeared in another crime series on ‘Investigation Discovery,’ titled ‘Facing Evil with Candice DeLong.’ The show was hosted by Candice as she visited different women’s prisons and spoke to the female prisoners. At the end of each episode, she told the audience whether she believed the prisoner’s words or not. The series ran successfully for five seasons, between 2010 and 2014.
She also appears on the San Francisco Bay Area radio station ‘KGO’ with RJ Ronn Owens.