The Spy Who Was Left Behind: Russia, the United States, and the True Story of the Betrayal and Assassination of a CIA Agent

The Spy Who Was Left Behind: Russia, the United States, and the True Story of the Betrayal and Assassination of a CIA Agent

by Michael Pullara

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Overview

The shocking true story of international intrigue —“a highly detailed, engrossing work” (Kirkus Reviews)—involving the 1993 murder of CIA officer Freddie Woodruff by KGB agents and the extensive cover-up that followed in Washington and in Moscow. “In a post-truth era, we need a lot more fearless writers like Michael Pullara” (Robert Baer, author of See No Evil).

On August 8, 1993, a single bullet to the head killed Freddie Woodruff, the Central Intelligence Agency’s station chief in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Within hours, police had a suspect—a vodka-soaked village bumpkin named Anzor Sharmaidze. A tidy explanation quickly followed: It was a tragic accident. US diplomats hailed Georgia’s swift work, and both countries breathed a sigh of relief.

Yet the bullet that killed Woodruff was never found and key witnesses have since retracted their testimony, saying they were beaten and forced to identify Sharmaidze. But if he didn’t do it, who did? Those who don’t buy the official explanation think the answer lies in the spy games that played out on Russia’s frontier following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Woodruff was an early actor in a dangerous drama. American spies were moving into newborn nations previously dominated by Soviet intelligence. Russia’s security apparatus, resentful and demoralized, was in turmoil, its nominal loyalty to a pro-Western course set by President Boris Yeltsin, shredded by hardline spooks and generals who viewed the Americans as a menace.

At the time when Woodruff was stationed there, Georgia was a den of intrigue. It had a big Russian military base and was awash with former and not-so-former Soviet agents. Shortly before Woodruff was shot, veteran CIA officer Aldrich Ames—who would soon be unmasked as a KGB mole—visited him on agency business. In short order, Woodruff would be dead and Ames, in prison for life. Buckle up, because The Spy Who Was Left Behind reveals the full-throttle, little-known thrilling tale.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501152146
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 11/19/2019
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 394,234
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

A trial lawyer by training, Michael Pullara has pursued the case of Freddie Woodruff for more than ten years. He lives in Texas. The Spy Who Was Left Behind is his first book.

Read an Excerpt

The Spy Who Was Left Behind
A Note on Georgian Names

Key Players

CHAPTER 1 Death on a Lonely Road

CHAPTER 2 “Do They Think We’re Idiots?”

CHAPTER 3 The Testimony of Two Spies and a Housewife

CHAPTER 4 An Obscure Hint

CHAPTER 5 Mr. American Lawyer

CHAPTER 6 Hometown of a Spy

CHAPTER 7 The Thief in Law

CHAPTER 8 “The Americans Knew Everything”

CHAPTER 9 A Visit to the Prosecutor General

CHAPTER 10 “No One Interviews Marina”

CHAPTER 11 A Georgian Education

CHAPTER 12 “You Need to Get That File”

CHAPTER 13 A Letter from the American Ambassador

CHAPTER 14 The Search for the Real Killer

CHAPTER 15 “They Beat Me”

CHAPTER 16 Official Interrogations

CHAPTER 17 A Reporter’s Questions

CHAPTER 18 Confessions of an Old Soldier

EPILOGUE The Spy Who Was Left Behind

Photographs

Acknowledgments

About the Author

Appendix Time line of Aldrich Ames’s CIA career from 1983 to his arrest for espionage

Index

Table of Contents

A Note on Georgian Names ix

Key Players xi

Chapter 1 Death on a Lonely Road 1

Chapter 2 "Do They Think We're Idiots?" 13

Chapter 3 The Testimony of Two Spies and a Housewife 27

Chapter 4 An Obscure Hint 47

Chapter 5 Mr. American Lawyer 67

Chapter 6 Hometown of a Spy 85

Chapter 7 The Thief in Law 99

Chapter 8 "The Americans Knew Everything" 117

Chapter 9 A Visit to the Prosecutor General 139

Chapter 10 "No One Interviews Marina" 159

Chapter 11 A Georgian Education 181

Chapter 12 "You Need to Get That File" 197

Chapter 13 A Letter from the American Ambassador 213

Chapter 14 The Search for the Real Killer 227

Chapter 15 "They Beat Me" 245

Chapter 16 Official Interrogations 259

Chapter 17 A Reporter's Questions 277

Chapter 18 Confessions of an Old Soldier 299

Epilogue: The Spy Who Was Left Behind 319

Acknowledgments 323

Appendix Time line of Aldrich Ames's CIA career from 1983 to his arrest for espionage 325

Index 329

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