Family of Spies

John Walker lay on his bed in the Rockville, Maryland, motel and tried to figure out what went wrong. Had he made a mistake on the date? Were the Russians trying to pull a double cross? Was the KGB making him pay for his having given them some photographs in a previous drop that were too blurred to be of any use? He couldn’t figure out what had gone wrong. This was the first time in the 20 years he had been selling secrets to the KGB that he hadn’t received his money.

Map Given to Walker by KGB

Map the KGB had given Walker with instructions for finding and using dead drop.

He thought back to 1970, when he had been transferred to a training unit and lost his access to key lists and could not keep supplying the Russians with what they wanted most. At that time, the KGB staff in Moscow had become suspicious that he might be an FBI plant and threatened to kill him if he tried to end his spying activities. It was a shock to him at the time; but over the years, he had adjusted to life as a spy and threats from his Russian handlers no longer bothered him. He hadn’t been this worried about what was going on since his scare in January, 1978, when the KGB insisted that he go to Vienna to deliver the envelope full of miniature camera film cartridges. At that time, he had been afraid he was going to be killed in some Vienna back street after turning over the pictures he had taken of U.S. Navy cipher machine key lists. The Russians had insisted that he stay at a cheap hotel, and the fact that he couldn’t speak a foreign language had made him rather conspicuous. He was sure that his communication problems with the hotel people had alerted every espionage agent in the entire city and if the KGB didn’t eliminate him, the CIA would probably grab him. But he had finally made contact, turned over the film, waited around until he was paid and then left without incident.

Page 79 from “SECRET CODE BREAKER III – A Cryptanalyst’s Handbook “