A Stone for Willy Fisher


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Maki family returned to Finland in 1927 and their eventual fate is unknown.) Upon arrival in New York on 20 October 1950, the assistant (whose real name was Reino Hayhanen) made his initial contact with Mikhail N. Svirin, first secretary of the Soviet UN delegation. (This contact by an "illegal" with a "legal" resident violated longstanding operational procedures. It is believed that the instructions were based upon the rationale that Hayhanen, a novice, would need money and communications and these could be provided through the "legal" rezidentura.) Hayhanen located himself in Brooklyn and performed his assigned duties as a contact officer or courier and also serviced dead drops for Svirin. He spent most of his time, however, drinking in Brooklyn bars in Finnish neighborhoods and his KGB masters began to be disenchanted with him. Toward the end of 1953, Hayhanen's behavior began to attract the attention of local authorities and in April 1954, he found it necessary to leave the United States. Upon his return, he had his first operational meeting with Fisher sometime in July or August 1954 in the men's room of a Flushing movie theater.
During 1954 and 1955, Hayhanen tried to satisfy the demanding Fisher, but without success. Fisher was completely dismayed by the inept and alcoholic Hayhanen. The more pressure Fisher put on Hayhanen, the more Hayhanen drank. In June 1955, while on a visit to Moscow, Fisher complained to Moscow Center about his assistant. Moscow agreed that Hayhanen should be relieved but instructed Fisher to exercise care. Fisher returned to New York in December and learned that during his absence Hayhanen had embezzled $5,000 that was supposed to have been delivered to an agent. Hayhanen also had shrouded the windows of the photographic shop he was supposed to be operating as a cover, thus drawing attention to the place. Hayhanen and his wife drank such Quantities of whiskey that the garbage collectors threatened to stop picking up the empty bottles.
Fisher met Hayhanen in July 1956 and told his assistant that because he had been working under a strain and since his store had not been opened, he ought to take a vacation. Several months later, Hayhanen received a message from Moscow notifying him that home leave had been approved and that he had been promoted to lieutenant colonel. Hayhanen, while incompetent, was not stupid. He concluded that his trip to Moscow was probably not going to be a vacation and he was unenthusiastic about the promotion. He had heard about individuals who were promoted just prior to a trip home and who were never heard from again. He stalled and made excuses about his departure but Fisher was persistent and Hayhanen finally sailed for France on 24 April 1957. In Paris, Hayhanen met a KGB officer and received additional funds and instructions to travel to Moscow via Frankfurt on the following day. The next day, instead, he went to the American embassy and defected. The embassy made arrangements to turn Hayhanen over to the FBI.
Hayhanen gave the FBI a physical description of Fisher and information concerning his activities. While he did not know the precise location of the studio loft that Fisher had rented for his cover as an artist-photographer, he provided enough details for the FBI to find the building and establish surveillance. Fisher had taken a short trip to Daytona Beach, Florida and on his return 11 May, the FBI surveillance picked him up. (The FBI was able to spot Fisher because, as


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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:59 AM
Last Updated: Aug 03, 2011 03:01 PM