Postal Inspectors are a fascinating bunch but there doesn't seem to be that much razzle-dazzle about what they do, and they do a lot. The caught the Unabomber, for example. There was a CBS show you could watch: The Inspectors. Anyone seen it? (I don't have a television, but I do watch things through the internet sometimes. Let me know if it's worth my time.) They tend to be a part of the post office that I just forget about until reminded that they are actually a really powerful branch of law enforcement.
Recently, I read this article on Vice about how Postal Inspector Frank Oldfield brought down The Black Hand mafia in the early 1900s. It's promoting a book co-written by one of Oldfield's descendants, William Oldfield, and Victoria Bruce. I liked this summary by Victoria Bruce a lot:
"Each inspector was given the authority to investigate any crime committed using the mail system. This allowed a post office inspector to utilize all forms of commercial and private transportation at a moment's notice to peruse a criminal involved in violating the trust of the mail. From train robbers to safe crackers to extortionists to fraudsters, an inspector was responsible for solving those crimes. As the federal government grew in the 1920s through the 1950s, the FBI and U.S. Marshalls became more prominent. Unlike the post office inspectors, who were told to be very secretive about their cases, the FBI began to make headlines.
The postal inspectors today continue to call themselves “The Silent Service” because they continue to work on cases that seldom get them big headlines, although they have just as much power and jurisdiction as they always have. It’s not well known, but post office inspectors broke the Unabomber case, the anthrax case and are constantly on the lookout for international and domestic sex and drug trafficking which utilizes the internet, electronic banking, and the traditional U.S. mail."
So, while it isn't an L.W.A. Book Club pick (yet), I'm gonna pick up a copy. It seems like a good read! Funny, I'm a lot more willing to take a chance on a bad book than I am on bad television.