("The greatest case in KGB history. We deciphered millions...)
"The greatest case in KGB history. We deciphered millions of your messages. If there had been a war, we would have won it." - Russian KGB officer Vitaly Yurchenko On the night of May 19, 1985, John Walker, Jr. deposited documents containing 129 stolen naval secrets wrapped in a plastic bag at an isolated KGB dead drop near Poolesville, Maryland. Then he drove on to another designated drop point to pick up the bundle of cash, more than $200,000, that was to be his payment. There was nothing there. Disturbed, Walker went back to retrieve the plastic bag. It was gone. He reluctantly returned to his Rockville motel room, convinced he had at last been discovered by the FBI - but when there was no effort to stop or arrest him, it seemed likelier that the Russians had simply screwed up. In his nearly twenty years of treason, of spying for the USSR, this had happened twice before. But this time John Walker was wrong. When he left his room to hide the maps and photographs of the drop sites, handgun at the ready, two FBI agents leapt out at him. What The New York Times was to call "the most damaging espionage operation in American history" had been disarmed at last. Pete Earley's gripping book is shocking in its revelations. The tale of master spy John Walker, Jr. and his ring - his Navy seaman son, Michael, who had supplied that night's documents from his ship, the nuclear aircraft carrier "Nimitz"; Walker's gullible brother, Arthur; and Walker's best friend, retired naval communications specialist Jerry Whitworth - is dazzling in its detail and especially appalling in the portrait it paints of the amoral, egocentric mastermind of the ring. For two decades John Walker fed secrets absolutely crucial to America's national security to the KGB. Incredibly, for two decades, his treason remained undetected. He grew increasingly more sophisticated with time - far different from the naive Navy watch officer who, in December 1967, simply walked into the Soviet Embassy in Washington and said, "I want to sell you top secrets." But his womanizing, his free-spending lifestyle, his boat, his plane, his cars, his frequent trips to Vienna and his discordant family life were more than enough to generate suspicion. However, tips from his wife, Barbara, were repeatedly ignored by the FBI. Pete Earley conducted more than one hundred interviews for this book, including twenty-three separate interviews with John Walker, Jr., lasting an average of seven hours each. He spent several hundred hours talking with ten other members of the immediate family, and many more with the other eighty-seven people interviewed. Out of this extraordinary firsthand access, as well as essential documents, telephone transcripts and FBI files, comes this riveting story of what KGB officer Vitaly Yurchenko called "the greatest case in KGB history. We deciphered millions of your messages. If there had been a war, we would have won it." Family of Spies is as compelling as a superlative novel of international intrigue and suspense. But because it is fact, not fiction, its lessons are frightening. How could this have happened? How can we prevent it from happening again? What can we learn from John Walker's story to ensure that our nation's secrets remain inviolable in the future? ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pete Earley is a storyteller who has penned 13 books including the New York Times bestseller The Hot House and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness. After a 14-year career in journalism, including six years at The Washington Post, Pete became a full-time author with a commitment to expose the stories that entertain and surprise. His honest reporting and compelling writing helped him garner success as one of few authors with ”the power to introduce new ideas and give them currency,” according to Washingtonian magazine.
(A stunning account of life behind bars at the federal pen...)
A stunning account of life behind bars at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas, where the nation’s hardest criminals do hard time. “A page-turner, as compelling and evocative as the finest novel. The best book on prison I’ve ever read.”—Jonathan Kellerman The most dreaded facility in the prison system because of its fierce population, Leavenworth is governed by ruthless clans competing for dominance. Among the “star” players in these pages: Carl Cletus Bowles, the sexual predator with a talent for murder; Dallas Scott, a gang member who has spent almost thirty of his forty-two years behind bars; indomitable Warden Robert Matthews, who put his shoulder against his prison’s grim reality; Thomas Silverstein, a sociopath confined in “no human contact” status since 1983; “tough cop” guard Eddie Geouge, the only officer in the penitentiary with the authority to sentence an inmate to “the Hole”; and William Post, a bank robber with a criminal record going back to when he was eight years old—and known as the “Catman” for his devoted care of the cats who live inside the prison walls. Pete Earley, celebrated reporter and author of Family of Spies, all but lived for nearly two years inside the primordial world of Leavenworth, where he conducted hundreds of interviews. Out of this unique, extraordinary access comes the riveting story of what life is actually like in the oldest maximum-security prison in the country. Praise for The Hot House “Reporting at its very finest.”—Los Angeles Times “The book is a large act of courage, its subject an important one, and . . . Earley does it justice.”—The Washington Post Book World “[A] riveting, fiercely unsentimental book . . . To [Earley’s] credit, he does not romanticize the keepers or the criminals. His cool and concise prose style serves him well. . . . This is a gutsy book.”—Chicago Tribune “Harrowing . . . an exceptional work of journalism.”—Detroit Free Press “If you’re going to read any book about prison, The Hot House is the one. . . . It is the most realistic, unbuffed account of prison anywhere in print.”—Kansas City Star “A superb piece of reporting.”—Tom Clancy.
(Pete Earley's The Hot House gave America a riveting, unco...)
Pete Earley's The Hot House gave America a riveting, uncompromising look at the nation's most notorious prison--the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas – a book that Kirkus Reviews called a "fascinating white-knuckle tour of hell, brilliantly reported." Now Earley shows us a different, even more intimate view of justice – and injustice – American-style. In Monroeville, Alabama, in the fall of 1986, a pretty junior college student was found murdered in the back of the dry cleaning shop where she worked. Several months later, Walter "Johnny D." McMillian, a black man with no criminal record, was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the crime. As McMillian sat in his cell on Alabama's death row, a young black lawyer named Bryan Stevenson took up his own investigation into the murder of Ronda Morrison. Finding a trial tainted by procedural mistakes, conflicting eyewitness accounts, and outright perjury, he was determined to see McMillian go free--even if it took the most unconventional means...
("There are things that have never come out about this cas...)
"There are things that have never come out about this case. There are still secrets that only a few know" - Aldrich Ames For nine years Aldrich Ames fed highly classified information to the KGB. Russia paid him millions of dollars – and promised millions more. He betrayed the identities of the United States' top agents. An act that led to their executions inside the Soviet Union. Never before in American history has one man done so much to sabotage our national security. New York Times bestselling author Pete Earley (Family of Spies) is the only writer to conduct fifty hours of one-on-one interviews with CIA mole Aldrich Ames, without a government censor present. He is the only writer to have traveled to Moscow to speak directly to Ames's KGB handlers and with the families of the spies he betrayed. And he is the only writer to have had access to the remarkable CIA mole-hunting team that tracked down and stopped Aldrich Ames. The result is a portrait of a much more complex and diabolical man than has previously been depicted; an account of damage far worse than has ever been chronicled, including startling revelations of unreported double agents and scandal in high Washington circles; and a story of three women who bucked every obstacle the CIA male establishment could throw at them, to expose perhaps the most devastating spy in modern U.S. history. This is an extraordinary human drama, a modern morality play charged with love, sex, greed, betrayal, and heroism. "All of the people whose names were on my list knew the risks they were taking when they began spying for the CIA and FBI. If one of them had learned about me, he would have told the CIA, and I would have been arrested and thrown in jail. Now that I was working for the KGB, the people on my list could expect nothing less from me. It wasn't personal. It was simply how the game was played." - Aldrich Ames, Russian Spy.
(Former Washington Post reporter Pete Earley had written e...)
Former Washington Post reporter Pete Earley had written extensively about the criminal justice system. But it was only when his own son-in the throes of a manic episode-broke into a neighbor's house that he learned what happens to mentally ill people who break a law. This is the Earley family's compelling story, a troubling look at bureaucratic apathy and the countless thousands who suffer confinement instead of care, brutal conditions instead of treatment, in the "revolving doors" between hospital and jail. With mass deinstitutionalization, large numbers of state mental patients are homeless or in jail-an experience little better than the horrors of a century ago. Earley takes us directly into that experience-and into that of a father and award-winning journalist trying to fight for a better way.
(When the Cold War ended, the spying that marked the era d...)
When the Cold War ended, the spying that marked the era did not. An incredible true story from the Pulitzer Prize-nominated New York Times bestselling author of Crazy. Between 1995 and 2000, "Comrade J" was the go-to man for SVR (the successor to the KGB) intelligence in New York City, overseeing all covert operations against the U.S. and its allies in the United Nations. He personally handled every intelligence officer in New York. He knew the names of foreign diplomats spying for Russia. He was the man who kept the secrets. But there was one more secret he was keeping. For three years, "Comrade J" was working for U.S. intelligence, stealing secrets from the Russian Mission he was supposed to be serving. Since he defected, his role as a spy for the U.S. was kept under wraps-until now. This is the gripping, untold story of Sergei Tretyakov, more commonly known as "Comrade J."
(For decades no law enforcement program has been as cloake...)
For decades no law enforcement program has been as cloaked in controversy and mystery as the Federal Witness Protection Program. Now, for the first time, Gerald Shur, the man credited with the creation of WITSEC, teams with acclaimed investigative journalist Pete Earley to tell the inside story of turncoats, crime-fighters, killers, and ordinary human beings caught up in a life-and-death game of deception in the name of justice. WITSEC Inside the Federal Witness Protection Program When the government was losing the war on organized crime in the early 1960s, Gerald Shur, a young attorney in the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, urged the department to entice mobsters into breaking their code of silence with promises of protection and relocation. But as high-ranking mob figures came into the program, Shur discovered that keeping his witnesses alive in the face of death threats involved more than eradicating old identities and creating new ones. It also meant cutting off families from their pasts and giving new identities to wives and children, as well as to mob girlfriends and mistresses. It meant getting late-night phone calls from protected witnesses unable to cope with their new lives. It meant arranging funerals, providing financial support, and in one instance even helping a mobster’s wife get breast implants. And all too often it meant odds that a protected witness would return to what he knew best–crime. In this book Shur gives a you-are-there account of infamous witnesses, from Joseph Valachi to “Sammy the Bull” Gravano to “Fat Vinnie” Teresa, of the lengths the program goes to to keep its charges safe, and of cases that went very wrong and occasionally even protected those who went on to kill again. He describes the agony endured by innocent people who found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up in a program tailored to criminals. And along with Shur’s war stories, WITSEC draws on the haunting words of one mob wife, who vividly describes her life of lies, secrecy, and loss inside the program. A powerful true story of the inner workings of one of the most effective and controversial weapons in the war against organized crime and the inner workings of organized crime itself–and more recently against Colombian drug dealers, outlaw motorcycle gang members, white-collar con men, and international terrorists–this book takes us into a tense, dangerous twilight world carefully hidden in plain sight: where the family living next door might not be who they say they are. . . From the Paperback edition.
(From New York Times bestselling author Pete Earley—the st...)
From New York Times bestselling author Pete Earley—the strange but true story of how a young man’s devastating brain injury gave him the unique ability to connect with the world’s most terrifying criminals. Fifteen-year-old Tony Ciaglia had everything a teenager could want until he suffered a horrific head injury at summer camp. When he emerged from a coma, his right side was paralyzed, he had to relearn how to walk and talk, and he needed countless pills to control his emotions. Abandoned and shunned by his friends, he began writing to serial killers on a whim and discovered that the same traumatic brain injury that made him an outcast to his peers now enabled him to connect emotionally with notorious murderers. Soon many of America’s most dangerous psychopaths were revealing to him heinous details about their crimes—even those they’d never been convicted of. Tony despaired as he found himself inescapably drawn into their violent worlds of murder, rape, and torture—until he found a way to use his gift. Asked by investigators from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to aid in solving a murder, Tony launched his own searches for forgotten victims with clues provided by the killers themselves. The Serial Killer Whisperer takes readers into the minds of murderers like never before, but it also tells the inspiring tale of a struggling American family and a tormented young man who found healing and closure in the most unlikely way—by connecting with monsters.
Earley received his education at Phillips University, graduating from it with a degree in journalism.
After a 14-year career in journalism, including work at The Washington Post and Enid News & Eagle, Pete became a full-time author, living in New York, United States.
(Pete Earley's The Hot House gave America a riveting, unco...)1995
(From New York Times bestselling author Pete Earley—the st...)2012
(A stunning account of life behind bars at the federal pen...)1992
(For decades no law enforcement program has been as cloake...)2009
(Former Washington Post reporter Pete Earley had written e...)2007
(When the Cold War ended, the spying that marked the era d...)2008
("There are things that have never come out about this cas...)1996
("The greatest case in KGB history. We deciphered millions...)1988
Earley has one son, Kevin.