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Most Damaging Spy in FBI History, Robert Hanssen, Dies at Colorado Supermax

Suppose you’ve watched the 2007 film Breach starring Chris Cooper, Ryan Phillippe, and Laura Linney. In that case, you know the name Robert Hanssen, a disgraced FBI agent who spied for the Soviet Union and later the Russian Federation for decades.

His damage to American intelligence operations was immeasurable, and it’s widely considered the greatest disaster in American history regarding this line of work.

Hanssen was paid over a million dollars in cash and other valuables for his treasonous work, often dropping off sensitive materials in Foxstone Park in Fairfax County, Virginia. It was also the site of his arrest in 2001.

Facing the death penalty, he took a plea deal that landed him multiple life sentences without the possibility of parole to be served at the ADX Florence, the “supermax” detention facility, until he was found dead this morning at the age of 79 (via NBC News):

FBI agent-turned-traitor Robert Hanssen, who spied for the old Soviet Union and later the Russians, died Monday in the cell where he was serving 15 consecutive life sentences for betraying his country, federal prison officials said.

Hanssen, 79, was “found unresponsive” around 6:55 a.m. at the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, the Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.

Despite attempts to revive him, Hanssen was pronounced dead by the EMS workers who had tried to save him, the BOP said.

The FBI was notified but the BOP did not indicate whether Hanssen’s death was under investigation.

Hanssen began spying for the Soviets in 1979, three years after he joined the FBI.

Using the alias “Ramon Garcia,” the Chicago-born Hanssen sold “highly-classified national security information” to Moscow for $1.4 million in cash, bank funds and diamonds, the FBI said on its official history page.


Hanssen also revealed to his Moscow spymasters the existence of an underground secret eavesdropping tunnel built by the FBI under the Soviet Embassy.

At the time, the Justice Department described the situation as “possibly the worst intelligence disaster in US history.”

Eric O’Neill, the counterintelligence operative who helped take down Hanssen, said his death closed the door on a significant part of his life, though he had wished to confront the man one last time. Phillippe portrayed O’Neill in the 2007 film, though Hollywood did take some liberties with some aspects of the story.

  • Russian says:

    FBI was a Great Agency, created by Great American Patriot. But it began to rot in May 02, 1972.
    Now it became POLITICAL Police, same as KGB, Gestapo, Stazi and cuban SDE.
    Everyone working for fbi after April 23, 1993 is FASCIST and Enemy of American People.

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