A Stone for Willy Fisher


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Hayhanen had told them, the bald Fisher habitually wore a unique dark snapbrim fedora with a distinctive white band.) Apparently Moscow had alerted Fisher to Hayhanen's disappearance, and Fisher made plans to depart for the USSR by way of Mexico.
On 20 June Fisher was sleeping in a New York hotel when FBI agents knocked on the door. Three agents burst into the room and told him that they believed he was involved in espionage and if he refused to cooperate he would be placed under arrest. The agents referred to him only as "Colonel" and Fisher concluded that Hayhanen must have defected because, aside from his rank, Hayhanen knew him only as "Mark." Fisher told his interrogators there was nothing for him to cooperate about. At the time of his arrest, the FBI agents searched his apartment and studio and found a radio communications receiver, instructions for a clandestine meeting in Mexico City, $6,500 in small bills, a bankbook showing a balance of $1,386.22, and


a sandpaper block which had been hollowed out and which contained a transmission schedule for Moscow Central as well as hollowed pencils containing microfilms. They also found the key to a safe-deposit box which was later found to contain $15,000 in cash, birth certificates for Emil Goldfus and a smallpox vaccination certificate for Goldfus, and a forged birth certificate for Martin Collins.
After several days Fisher was transported to the Alien Detention Facility in McAllen, Texas where his interrogation continued. Fisher revealed nothing for about a week and then, suddenly, said that his name was Rudolf Ivanovich Abel and that he was a Russian citizen. Fisher's admission surprised the FBI. If he was, in fact, an illegal resident it was expected that he would deny any connection with the Soviet Union. The FBI reasoned that Fisher decided that while he could continue to insist he was Emil R. Goldfus, he knew that the US government could prove beyond question that the real Emil R. Goldfus was long deceased. The authorities could also prove that there was no Martin Collins and it would also be easy to produce people from the Detroit area who had known the real Andrew Kayotis, If he remained silent, the Department of Justice could prosecute an alien known as Mark with the aliases of Goldfus, Collins and Kayotis. FBI investigators concluded that by claiming the identity of Rudolf Ivanovich Abel, Fisher communicated to Moscow that he had not and would not cooperate with the FBI; at the same time, the US government had no way to

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Posted: May 08, 2007 08:59 AM
Last Updated: Aug 03, 2011 03:02 PM