Austin Falley
School of Business

Department of Defense interrogator to discuss hunt for Saddam Hussein

Mon, 03/31/2014

LAWRENCE — Eric Maddox, an interrogator for the U.S. Department of Defense, will present “Finding Saddam” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, at the Lied Center.

The public is invited to attend the free lecture, which is part of the J.A. Vickers Sr. and Robert F. Vickers Sr. Memorial Lecture series presented by the University of Kansas School of Business.

Maddox graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1994 and enlisted in the U.S. Army as an infantry paratrooper for the 82nd Airborne Division. After serving three years as a paratrooper, he re-enlisted as an interrogator and Chinese Mandarin linguist. Since 9/11, he has conducted more than 2,700 interrogations while deploying eight times, including multiple tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, South America, Southeast Asia and Europe.

While assigned to a special operations task force in Tikrit in 2003, he conducted more than 300 interrogations and collected the intelligence that directly led to the capture of Saddam Hussein. As a result, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Director’s Award and the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement.  

Now, as a civilian with the Department of Defense, Maddox continues to help fight terrorism as an interrogator. He published a book in 2008 based on his operation in Tikrit, “Mission: Black List #1— The Inside Story of the Search for Saddam Hussein.”

His story is currently being adapted into a major motion picture, “Mission: Blacklist,” starring Robert Pattinson, star of the “Twilight” series.

The Vickers lecture series was created in 1969 in honor of J.A. Vickers, KU alumnus and founder of Vickers Petroleum Co. in Wichita. His son, Robert, administered and coordinated the lecture until his death in 1995, when Robert's wife, Susan, added her husband's name to the lecture series.

Previous Vickers speakers include Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and U.S. Sen. Robert J. Dole.

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