Neil J. Welch
August 9, 1926 – June 29, 2017
Preceded in death by wife, Geraldine Ellen “Geri” (McLeod) Welch. Survived by sons, Neil J. Welch, Jr. (Patricia) and Brien M. Welch (Jacquie); grandchildren: Brien M. Welch, Jr. (Shelby), Katherine H. Welch, Joseph J. Welch, Madeline J. Welch, Jacob N. Welch, and Emmanuel J. Welch; brother, Jerome T. Welch.
The family will receive friends Sunday, July 2nd from 2pm to 4pm at the Bel Air Chapel, 12100 W. Center Rd. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL Monday, July 3rd at 10am at St. John Catholic Church at Creighton University, 2500 California Plaza. Private Family Entombment, Calvary Mausoleum with military honors by American Legion Post #1. Memorials are suggested to Creighton University.
FORMER FBI ASSISTANT DIRECTOR IN CHARGE OF NEW YORK FBI OFFICE
Neil J. Welch, an Omaha native, who had an illustrious 29-year career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, died on June 29th. He was 90. Mr. Welch, a 1951 graduate of Creighton University’s School of Law, personally captured convicted killer Winston Mosely in 1968, and supervised the FBI’s famous ABSCAM investigation that led to the convictions of a U.S. senator and several Congressmen in the early 1980s. Mosely had raped and murdered bar maid Kitty Genovese in New York in a case that was famous because many witnesses who heard Ms. Genovese’s screams for help allegedly did nothing to notify police. And, the ABSCAM case pioneered the FBI’s covert “sting” investigative technique with its use of videotaped evidence and a fictitious sheik who lured corrupt politicians to help him obtain a casino license in New Jersey.
Mr. Welch was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 9, 1926, and grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was a high school pitcher and Eagle Scout. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944, upon graduation from North Omaha High School, and he served in the Navy’s South Pacific campaign during World War II. He returned to Omaha after the war, attending Omaha University, and graduating with a law degree from Creighton University in 1951. He joined the FBI as a Special Agent in 1951, and was Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo, Detroit, and Philadelphia FBI Offices. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter named Mr. Welch as one of his five finalists to replace Clarence Kelley as FBI Director, the only current FBI agent to be named. Carter later chose William Webster as the Director, who had not been one of the five finalists. In 1978, Director Webster promoted Mr. Welch to Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Office, the largest office in the FBI.
Mr. Welch co-authored “Inside Hoover’s FBI” (Doubleday 1984) with former Philadelphia U.S. Attorney David W. Marston, which was the top selling book in St. Paul, MN. He received the School of Law Alumni Merit Award from Creighton University School of Law in 1986.
Mr. Welch was predeceased by his wife, Geraldine McLeod Welch on November 10, 2013.