Notorious Government Spy and Ex-FBI Agent Found Dead

A well-known spy from America’s past breathed his last within prison walls. Robert Hanssen, an ex-FBI agent and one of the most infamous spies in American history, passed away at 79. Prison officials found Hanssen lifeless in his cell at a prison in Florence, Colorado, and later confirmed his death.

As per the Associated Press, an unnamed source suggested Hanssen’s death was likely due to natural causes. This source wished to keep their identity hidden while sharing the cause of his demise.

Hanssen had been serving a life sentence since 2002, with no chance of parole. He had confessed to 15 counts of espionage along with other offenses, in exchange for which he had received over $1.4 million in diamonds and cash for supplying secret American information to Russia. His spying activities are thought to have begun as early as 1985. His information leakage to Russia was vast and detailed, including how the U.S. managed to infiltrate Russian spy operations.

The intelligence given by Hanssen is believed to have led to the execution of at least three Soviet Union officers who were spying for the U.S. Once their cover was blown in Russia, they were put to death.

Hanssen began dealing with the Soviet Union and continued, even after its breakup, with Russia. He received bank funds, Rolex watches, and diamonds for the highly sensitive national security information he gave away.

Always maintaining a low profile to avoid detection, Hanssen lived a normal life in suburban Virginia with his family. He drove a Ford Taurus and a minivan and lived in a simple home with his six children. While leaking secrets, he used the alias “Ramon Garcia.” He is believed to have handed over almost 6,000 documents and over 25 computer disks to his contacts. Hanssen is suspected of alerting Russian authorities to a secret tunnel the U.S. had built under the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C., used for surveillance.

Despite conducting this extensive espionage, Hanssen remained undetected for years. Eventually, investigators found several overlooked clues leading them to suspect him as a Russian informant. He was later caught red-handed, taping secrets inside a trash bag beneath a park footbridge, a ‘dead drop’ location for his Russian contacts.

Hanssen’s intriguing tale was brought to life in the 2007 film “Breach,” with actor Chris Cooper playing the role of Hanssen.