Merle Temple, a native of Tupelo, Mississippi, worked for the FBI in Washington after high school. He returned to Mississippi to earn two degrees in Criminal Justice at Ole Miss where he later received the Distinguished Alumni award. He signed on with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN) after college when President Nixon declared the first “War on Drugs.”
A graduate of the DEA academy and the New England Institute of Management as class president, he infiltrated drug distribution cells, was held hostage by dealers who planned to kill him, and after a raid on the headquarters of a Dixie Mafia syndicate, he was lured out by contract killers in a standoff near Memphis. As MBN Captain, he and his agents were ambushed by a sniper protecting a heroin deal. A gun battle ensued with dealers who had local police protection. He was later named Special Internal Affairs investigator of a plan to corrupt the MBN.
After leaving the MBN, he became a Bell System Security Manager where he investigated corporate corruption, and assisted police in a dramatic hostage situation. He served in many management posts for Bell including public relations and marketing, was active in high level political campaigns, and was a fundraiser and chairman for many nonprofit boards. He was State Criminal Justice Chairman for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and served on executive committees for the Republican Party.
He was an adjunct criminal justice/sociology instructor at Augusta State University, served on a national panel setting standards for schools, and his fight to protect a nonprofit agency was profiled in a speech on the floor of Congress. He served as Quality Council Chairman and received many awards from BellSouth.
Merle retired to his hometown of Tupelo to write. When he wrote A Ghostly Shade of Pale, he resisted pressure to add profanity and explicit scenes of intimacy. He wanted to write books that were not throwaway items in a throwaway world, and books that he wouldn’t be ashamed for his Mother and his English teacher to see if they were still alive. He kept that pledge again in the sequel, A Rented World.
Merle has met many of the icons of the 20th Century, including Margaret Thatcher, Charlton Heston, Ronald Reagan, J Edgar Hoover, Morgan Freeman, and Ravi Zacharias.
He traveled to Hollywood to meet producers, appear on TV and radio, and to sign books for the cast of Criminal Minds. Jim Clemente at Criminal Minds is writing the screenplay for his novel. KKLA, the largest Christian radio station in the U.S., invited him to give his testimony to Southern California during drive time, and he has appeared on American Family Radio and Israel National Radio. He travels across the country with his wife, Judy, to speak, sign books, and witness for his faith.