Shadow Unit


Supervisory Special Agent Solomon ("Duke") Todd

Reyes: "I suppose you've seen something like this before, Todd? You've seen everything."

Todd: "Oh, no. You've never seen everything."

Age 54

The oldest member of Shadow Unit, Sol Todd came to the FBI late in life. In what he now refers to as his misspent youth, Sol believed deeply in the communal/counterculture lifestyle. He doesn't talk about it much now: it doesn't fit his current role in life--but he passed the FBI background check, and that's what mattered.

He was accepted to Penn State, but dropped out after four semesters, and--if he can be believed--tuned in, turned on, dropped out, and went to live on a commune in upstate New Hampshire. His lottery number came up in 1973, and he served a tour in Southeast Asia. Understandably, he returned home with a renewed interest in higher education, and graduated Penn with a journalism degree in 1975.

Todd made a career as a journalist through most of the seventies and early eighties, published in magazines including Rolling Stone and The Atlantic Monthly. He's ridden with the Hell's Angels and seen combat without a gun, which he generally considers less use than a camera. Brash, abrasive, opinionated, his personal politics are as cryptic as his personal life. He's lived with several women, but never married one. If somebody is either dodgy or interesting, chances are Todd has met them, or at least claims he has.

His first book, Life by Misadventure, was published in 1978, and is something of an underground classic. There have been others since.

A love for academia coupled with a desire to understand oddities of the human mind and soul has led him to a sideline collecting advanced degrees. He has two Masters--one in Psych, one in comparative religion--and a J.D. However, he didn't take the bar examination until 1986, when he decided to join the FBI.

Coincidence likes Sol. He's never at the center of the action, but if something is about to go down, chances are he'll be in the vicinity when it happens. It made him a lucky journalist. Now it makes him a lucky cop.

He was in Prague in 1969 and Los Angeles in 1992, and his co-workers--who call him "Duke," after the Doonesbury character--have some theories about where else he's been and what else he's done. When presented with these speculative histories, Sol will usually top them with an even more unbelievable version. ("Actually, Hunter S. Thompson was modeled on me.") He delights in telling shaggy dog stories and improbable fairy tales, but otherwise, he's laconic, unflappable, and fatalistically mellow .