Routt County resident, retired FBI agent releases new book, “If You Shoot, Shoot To Kill” |

Routt County resident, retired FBI agent releases new book, “If You Shoot, Shoot To Kill”

“If You Shoot, Shoot To Kill,” by Corbett Hart, Routt County resident and former FBI agent releases new book.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A shootout during an airline hijacking, a night-time search in the Tennessee woodlands for a violent man of legendary status and assassins and swindlers thwarted from seizing Elvis Presley's airplane – life as an FBI agent is far from ordinary.

As a special agent for 22 years, Corbett Hart knows it's a life of dealing with the unexpected and the profane.

As the sixth book authored by retired agents of the FBI and published by the History Publishing Company, "If You Shoot, Shoot To Kill" is Corbett's autobiographical account cataloging the criminal cases he encountered during his time with the bureau.

Corbett will be speaking about his new book during a signing from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at the Antlers Café and Bar in Yampa. He will also be doing a book talk at Off the Beaten Path bookstore in Steamboat Springs from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 1.

Corbett graduated from high school in Trumann, Arkansas, and then enlisted in the U.S. Army. Later, he earned an accounting degree from Southern Illinois University and landed his first job as an IRS auditor.

"I got to know some FBI agents through my work, who encouraged me to apply to the Bureau," said Corbett, who landed in Steamboat Springs with his wife, Barbara, in 1994 after his post-FBI career as assistant deputy chief of the Shelby County Sheriff Office. "Their work seemed to be a lot more exciting than what I was doing."

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Earlier this week, Explore Steamboat caught up with the retired FBI agent to talk about his book and his career.

Explore Steamboat: What made you want to write an autobiography of your time in the FBI? Was there any hesitation in that as far as exposing certain cases?

Corbett Hart: I always had it in the back of my mind that I should preserve my FBI career at least for my family and friends. Like many agents, I had saved documents, photos and newspaper clippings from significant cases. I sorted through these, and with my memory rekindled, thought, “Why not write a book?” The task began in 2014; I never could have done it without the help of my wife, Barbara. I had to submit the manuscript to the FBI for approval before I could publish the book. There were no issues. I have exposed some details about my participation in some cases that have never been made public before. I don’t anticipate any retaliation.

ES: What are some of the other cases that you've encountered that people won't expect to read about?

CH: I played an undercover role several times in my career. A short but unusual case involved a man who wanted to hire a hit man to kill someone, the hit man being me. Not every case results in the guilty verdict we would expect. I once worked for months undercover in a drug case. A Mississippi state trooper confessed to his role, changed his story, went to trial and was acquitted.

ES: Where did the title, "If You Shoot, Shoot to Kill," come from and why did you chose it for the title of the book? What's significant about it?

CH: My wife actually created the title. The phrase was instilled in all agents from the beginning in firearms training. As a law enforcement officer, when confronted with a deadly threat, there is no mincing of what needs to be done. I had two instances in my career when I faced this situation; there was no question of what needed to be done.

ES: From what the regulars at Antlers say, the story of how you met your wife is one that involved a raid of some kind? What's the story there?

CH: My fellow agent Chuck Allison was working a white collar crime case against the higher-ups of an advertising corporation, the Tanner Company, in Memphis, who were alleging taking kickbacks from employees of advertisers through the mail, telephone, making it a federal case. Chuck got a search warrant for the entire 10-story building. My job that day was to baby sit the dozen or so attorneys who worked there. I gathered them all in the senior attorney’s office; one female attorney sat there with her arms across her chest shooting daggers at me with her eyes. This happened to be the then Barbara MacIntosh. Over a year later, we both were at a Memphis bar. I was with Chuck, and she was with a group from Tanner although she had already left there. I went on a hunting trip to Colorado for three weeks and called her on my return. She always wondered how I knew where she lived and which door to go to. Heck, I was a trained investigator. She was never charged in the case. One thing led to another, and we married.

ES: What is the overarching message you hope to share with readers through this book? Or is it more just to show people life as an FBI agent?

CH: That being an FBI agent is not like on TV or in the movies. It's hard work, sometimes exciting, sometimes a day of paperwork in the office. It's an opportunity I believe that even from humble beginnings like mine, the son of sharecroppers, a person in this country can be anything you want to be.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.


If you go:

What: Book signing with Corbett Hart, author of “If You Shoot, Shoot To Kill”

When: 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20

Where: Antlers Café and Bar, 40 Moffat Ave, Yampa

If you go:

What: Book signing with Corbett Hart, author of “If You Shoot, Shoot To Kill”

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1

Where: Off the Beaten Path, 68 Ninth St.


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