Ralph Geidel retired from the FDNY in 1985. He moved to California in 1995 to mine gold.
On September 14, 2001, he returned to New York City to search for his brother, Gary, a New York City firefighter with Rescue Co. 1, who was in the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Ralph worked at Ground Zero for over 230 days and earned the nickname "The Crow", for his uncanny ability to locate human remains in the vast pile of rubble. His brother Gary, was never found.
Ralph was diagnosed with Stage IVA throat cancer in 2003, just 14 months after leaving the site.