Peter Lance is a five-time Emmy-winning investigative reporter now working as a screenwriter and novelist. With a Masters Degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a JD from Fordham University School of Law, Lance spent the first 15 years of his career as a print reporter and network correspondent.
He began as a reporter for his hometown paper, The Newport, R.I. Daily News. There, while a student at Northeastern University in Boston, he won the coveted Sevellon Brown Award from the New England AP Managing Editors Association. Lance next moved to WNET, the PBS flagship in New York, where he won his first New York area Emmy and the Ohio State Award as a producer- reporter for Channel 13’s news magazine The 51st State.
Later, while working as a writer and producer for WABC-TV Lance won his second NY Area Emmy along with the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism prize for Willowbrook: The People Vs. The State Of New York, an exposé on a notorious institution for the mentally challenged. He also was awarded The National Community Service Emmy for that same documentary.
While getting his law degree, Lance worked as a trial preparation assistant in the office of the District Attorney for New York County. Moving to ABC News as a field producer in 1978, Lance won his fourth Emmy in 1980 for his investigation of an arson-for-profit ring in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago: “Arson and Profit.”
In 1981 Lance became Investigative Correspondent for ABC News. For his very first investigative piece on 20/20 Lance won his fifth Emmy for “Unnecessary Surgery,” an exposé of unnecessary surgery in an Arkansas hospital. He won two more Emmy nominations in 1982 for 20/20 investigative pieces on formaldehyde (“The Danger Within”) and toxic waste (“Deadly Chemicals, Deadly Oil”), a piece that also won the National Headliner Award.
Over the next five years he covered hundreds of stories worldwide for ABC News 20/20, Nightline, and World News Tonight. He was a member of the first American crew into Indochina after the end of the Vietnam War. He chased rebel insurgents through the Plaine Des Jarres in Laos and members of the Genovese Family through the toxic wastelands of New Jersey. He tracked knife-happy surgeons in the Deep South and nuclear terrorists through the twisted streets of Antwerp. Then, in 1987, he took a break from nonfiction.
Lance came to LA and began working as a writer and story editor for Michael Mann on two of his acclaimed NBC series: Crime Story and Miami Vice. In 1989 Lance became the co-executive producer and show runner on the fourth season of Wiseguy for CBS and in 1993 he co-created Missing Persons, for ABC. He later served as a writer & consulting producer on such series as JAG (NBC) and The Sentinel (UPN).
In 1997 Lance’s first novel First Degree Burn (from Berkley-Penguin) became a national best seller, ranking No. 24 on The Ingram A-List of The Top 50 Requested Titles in Mystery-Detective Fiction. The film-noir mystery features FDNY Fire Marshal Eddie Burke. Later Lance adapted Veil: The Secret Wars Of The CIA, Bob Woodward’s best-seller on William Casey for HBO. For Showtime he wrote Terror.net, the story of Bradley Smith, the courageous Diplomatic Security agent responsible for helping to apprehend the world’s most notorious terrorists.
In the year 2000 Lance returned to investigative reporting with his best-selling non-fiction investigative biography: The Stingray: Lethal Tactics of The Sole Survivor. Following the 9/11 attacks, Lance started investigating the origins of the FBI’s original probe of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef. After visiting Yousef’s former bomb factory in the Philippines, he came away with hundreds of pages of classified documents proving that the Al Qaeda terrorist had set the 9/11 plot into motion as early as 1994.
Lance then examined the FBI’s original efforts to stop Yousef in 1992 as he built the first WTC device. The result was his acclaimed investigative book from HarperCollins 1000 Years For Revenge. Lance followed that book with Cover Up in 2004. In it he established evidence that federal officials entered into an “ends/means” decision in 1996 that buried a treasure trove of Al Qaeda-related intelligence in order to preserve a series of Mafia-related cases in the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).
Lance presented probative evidence in the book that a senior Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI’s New York Office (NYO) had been in a corrupt relationship with a Colombo Family killer. It was the FBI’s desire to prevent this potential scandal from tanking the mob cases, that led, Lance determined, to the Al Qaeda evidence suppression. In Triple Cross, the final book in Lance’s 9/11 investigative trilogy, he provided stunning evidence that senior FBI and Justice Department officials may have obstructed justice in their failure to monitor Ali A Mohamed, Osama bin Laden’s principal spy inside the United States.
In April, 2010 Lance was appointed Research Scholar at the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Lance’s profile of former FBI undercover asset Emad Salem, “The Spy Who Came in for The Heat,” was the lead nonfiction article in Playboy’s September 2010 issue. “The Private War of Anthony Shaffer,” Lance’s investigation surrounding the Pentagon’s censorship of “Operation Dark Heart,” was the lead nonfiction piece in Playboy’s January 2011 issue.
In 2013 new edition’s of First Degree Burn and Lance’s second novel Stranger 456 were published by Tenacity Media Books along with the true crime classic Murder, Inc. for which Lance wrote a new foreword. His fourth book for HarperCollins, Deal With The Devil, the epic story of the FBI’s 30-year relationship with a Mafia killer, was published in July 2013. In January 2015 Lance wrote the foreword to the new memoir by John Gotti Jr., Shadow of My Father.
In December 2016 along with his own website: peterlance.com Lance set up investigatingtrump.com a new site dedicated to curating the best reporting on the Trump presidency. He’s now at work on a new book on Russia’s influence in the 2016 election. Lance is also adapting two of his books, Triple Cross and Deal With The Devil for a 10 hour dramatic cable series.