Skip to Content

Frederick Humphries has been identified as the shirtless FBI agent tied to Jill Kelley – the woman who indirectly blew the whistle on the David Petraeus scandal.

Humphries is the Florida-based FBI agent central to the ongoing, surprising sex scandal that brought down retired general and CIA Director Petraeus last week.

At nearly every key moment in this bizarre and head-scratching case, Humphries has been there, lurking in the shadows … sometimes without a shirt on.

Robby Anderson Mugshot

Even before anyone knew who he was, someone set up the faux Twitter account @shirtlessFBIguy. All kidding aside, his role in the case was highly substantive.


The question of how and why the FBI opened the investigation with momentous consequences was asked the moment Petraeus resigned from the CIA.

The emerging portrait of the agent who initiated the inquiry is an intriguing piece of the puzzle.

Humphries took the initial complaint from Jill Kelley, a Tampa woman active in local military circles and a personal friend, about some anonymous e-mails.

Emails that accused her of flirtatious behavior toward Petraeus.

The subsequent cyber-stalking probe uncovered an extramarital affair between Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell, who agents determined sent the emails.

It also ensnared Gen. John Allen, the commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, after FBI agents found sexually explicit e-mails between Allen and Jill Kelley.

A spokesman for Kelley said her concern when she took the emails to Frederick Humphries was that she feared the sender was “stalking”  Petraeus and Allen.

“She asks the agent, ‘What do you make of this?’” the spokesman said. “He said: ‘This is serious. They seem to know the comings and goings of a couple of generals.’ ”

Allen himself had received a similar anonymous e-mail message, sent by someone identified as “kelleypatrol,” advising him to stay away from Jill Kelley.

The general forwarded it to Kelley, and they shared concern that someone was stalking them.

The nature of the relationship between Kelley (left) and Humphries is not known, but nothing has suggested they were anything more than friends

Kelley has also denied rumors that, like Paula Broadwell, she was involved with David Petraeus.

In any case, thanks to Humphries, the FBI made a federal case out of this – and at some point, for some reason, Humphries sent shirtless pictures of himself to Kelley.

This, a lawyer for a law-enforcement guild who spoke with Humphries, described to the N.Y. Times as a “joke” that the national media have misunderstood.

Still, friends characterize him as “passionate” and “kind of an obsessive type.” So … there’s that.

Humphries has been tied to high-profile cases before. In 1999, he used his French language skills to interrogate a Francophone terror suspect.

That ultimately helped the Bureau find and stop Ahmed Ressam from bombing LAX airport in what would come to be known as the Millennium Plot.

The “wiry [and] high-energy” former Army officer unraveled the cover story of a member of the Millennium Plot by spotting his fake French accent.

Eleven years later, in 2010, Humphries shot a “disturbed, knife-wielding man” dead at the gates of MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa after being attacked.

Read more about him at the New York Times, and about his role in the shadows and the forefront of the Petraeus scandal in this in-depth piece by Wired.