Fact or Fiction: A Mostly-True Crime History Podcast

Fact or Fiction: Author Series presents Cecil Kuhne

January 12, 2023 MaxMin Labs, LLC Season 3 Episode 4
Fact or Fiction: Author Series presents Cecil Kuhne
Fact or Fiction: A Mostly-True Crime History Podcast
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Fact or Fiction: A Mostly-True Crime History Podcast
Fact or Fiction: Author Series presents Cecil Kuhne
Jan 12, 2023 Season 3 Episode 4
MaxMin Labs, LLC

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Litigator and author Cecil Kuhne shares a mostly-true story about Rudolph Ivanovich Abel, the subject of his book KGB Man: The Cold War's Most Notorious Soviet Agent and the First to be Exchanged at the Bridge of Spies. Abel was captured by the FBI in 1957 after an inept colleague betrayed him to the US.  Abel's trial, his conviction, and his eventual exchange across the Glienicker Brücke (the "Bridge of Spies") for US pilot Frances Gary Powers is a riveting story that will leave listeners questioning what is fact and what is fiction.

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Show Notes Transcript

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Litigator and author Cecil Kuhne shares a mostly-true story about Rudolph Ivanovich Abel, the subject of his book KGB Man: The Cold War's Most Notorious Soviet Agent and the First to be Exchanged at the Bridge of Spies. Abel was captured by the FBI in 1957 after an inept colleague betrayed him to the US.  Abel's trial, his conviction, and his eventual exchange across the Glienicker Brücke (the "Bridge of Spies") for US pilot Frances Gary Powers is a riveting story that will leave listeners questioning what is fact and what is fiction.

Support the Show.

Images and resources used in this episode can be found at factorfictionpodcast.com. If you enjoyed this show, please support the pod by giving it a five star rating, writing a complimentary review, or joining the Fact or Fiction Fan Club. Thanks for listening!

Fact or Fiction: Author Series presents Cecil Kuhne

Laura: As the authorities hunted down kgb, spy Rudolph Abel, the F b I had in hand, his tools of trade hollowed out bolts and coins used to send tiny coded messages and photographs back and forth to the Soviet Union, but they had little else in the way of hard leads. After Abel was located, his modest hotel in Manhattan was staked out by the F B I for over a month before he was eventually arrested and tried for espionage in 1957.

Listeners familiar with the excellent 2015 movie Bridge of Spies may think they know all about Rudolph Abel, but there's more to the story that even Spielberg Broke could fit into his 142 minute film. Today's author is here to tell us all about William August Fisher, a k a Rudolph Ivanovich a. I'm your host Laura, and today's author is Cecil Coon, a litigator with one of the world's largest law firms who has published 20 books with the American Bar Association, most of them dealing with the seamy world of corporate payoffs in this country and abroad.

Additionally, he's also written and edited 18 other books, dealing primarily with adventure travel. In mid-January, readers can purchase copies of Cecil's latest book, KGB Man, the Cold War's Most Notorious Soviet Agent, and the First to be exchanged at the Bridge of Spies. Cecil's here with us today to share some of the highlights from his book.

Of course, since you're listening to Factor Fiction, he'll add one fiction into his story today, and it'll be up to me and all of you to identify the facts from the fiction. So are ready to play. 

hi Cecil. Welcome to the show. I'm so excited to showcase you and your book KG B Man on Factor Fiction

Cecil: Thank you. It's great to be 

Laura: first off, before we talk about your current book, I wanna talk about the sheer number of books you've written. Here are a couple of the more intriguing titles, at least to me, the little book of Elvis law. Business bribes, corporate corruption in the courts. And then there's Kayak Touring and camping near death in the Mountains, true Stories of Disasters.

And then my favorite is Sherlock Holmes for lawyers. A hundred Clues for Litigators. So, so what drew you to those titles, and then are you just always writing?

Cecil: Well, I don't really have any, hobbies, so this is what I do in the evenings to amuse myself.

Laura: Well, I think you must have some hobbies if you're writing about kayaking and. obviously you must like Elvis and Sherlock Holmes.

Cecil: Well, I started out in college as a rafting guide in the summers in the Grand Canyon, and I started writing articles about that and . Then I went to law school and started writing books for the American Bar Association and got a little out of hand. And I keep saying this is the last time I'll do that, but I keep coming back so

Laura: Well, I, I actually, I haven't bought the Sherlock Holmes for lawyers. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm really intrigued by that. , Did you come up with that title on your own or was that something somebody pitched to you?

Cecil: Well I'll explain that there was a series of the American Bar Association called the Little Book series.

Now they started off with a little book of golf and I thought it might be interesting to write a book about hunting and fishing that I went into foodie the Little Book of Foodie Law.

An Elvis law, which surprisingly there is a lot of litigation dealing with Elvis Presley. And, but my most famous book in that series, I eventually wrote nine of them, was The Little Book of Barbecue Law. And you'd be shocked at how much litigation there is about barbecue. And I was even interviewed on on NPR for that book during the 4th of July.

And so those were sort of lighthearted tongue in cheek books. I enjoyed writing them. And they I've had a great association with the American Bar Association and they have recommended books that I was skeptical of at first. For example, one of the editors suggested I write a book about buried treasure. And I thought it was an interesting title, but I didn't think there would be any cases. And as I looked into the area, I found just a plethora of litigation dealing with people that had come across Buried treasure and the legal issues of who that treasurer belonged to.

Laura: Huh.

Cecil: and then one other book they recommended was a book about aviation accidents airplane, commercial airplane accidents.

And there's of course a lot of litigation about that as well. So I enjoy the law and I enjoy writing about it.

Laura: Well, it sounds like you must enjoy researching. That's what I like about my podcast, is just finding those little I guess almost like buried treasure nuggets of information that like, like you said, barbecue law, buried treasure. Who would think there would be that much to research for those?

But it sounds interest.

Cecil: I do enjoy the the research. My, I started my career as an appellate lawyer writing appeals, and you're exactly right. I, it is an interesting area and the more you get into it, the more interesting it becomes. And that's exactly how this current book KGB Man started. I'd always been a fan of the spy novels written by William F.

Buckley. They were called the Blackford Oak Series. And they were set in the Cold War. And I wondered about cold War Soviet spies and whether there was any litigation involving them. And I came across the name of Rudolph Abel, who was the most notorious Soviet agent of the Cold War. And I started to inquire about the transcripts of the of the trial.

And they were very difficult to find. I found a law librarian at a law school who was able to dig deep enough to find these transcripts, which of course are now oh, 70 years old. And she found 'em deep in the recesses of some government archives. And that is really what much of the book is based upon.

His his transcripts.

Laura: So I guess there aren't digital copies at this point. They're just the actual paper copies.

Cecil: They were paper copies and The librarian went beyond the call of duty. It wasn't something that you or I could find. She had sources and it was a lot of work for her, and she was very kind to to keep digging reluctantly at times. But I came across the entire transcript, which was about five or 600 pages of a fairly dry transcript.

But that together with research on the background of the case led to this book.

Laura: That's fascinating. And I think with your legal background, and also the fact that you've done some of these more I guess eccentric titles , I'm guessing you have a pretty good sense of humor if you wrote about barbecue law and Elvis. So I think you're the perfect person to take that dry transcript and make it readable for the non-lawyer people like me.

, what exactly drew you to the story.


Well, I, I find the Cold War era to be very interesting and the KGB was an extremely sophisticated organization, and I had never heard the name of Rudolph Abel before I started looking into it. But Abel was an interesting character. He, he came into the United States in 1948 and the way these Soviets spies.

Come into the United States, including his assistant who eventually is the one who defected to the United States, and disclosed who Abel was, the way they come through into the United States through a series of usually well birth certificate. Ella often take the name of an American infant who has died overseas.

Therefore, the US agencies do not know about the death, and they will take on the name of this of this person making it easier to, to take on a complete name. Though Abel had several names. He had a Krypton, him, he was known among the Soviet spies as Mark. but he had actually three other names.

He was initially Andre Kti, he became Emil Robert Goldis, and he also used the name of Martin Collins.

Laura: Oh.

Cecil: And he came through the Canadian border, through the Canadian border. It was a lot more porous back then in 1948, and it's remarkable that he was able to do what he did for almost 10 years without being disclosed.

Laura: So these other aliases, were those all, from birth certificates of dead infants, or how does that work?

Cecil: Well, they, yes, except for Martin Collins. I think he just made that name up. After he was in the States for a while, he was at that point I think, feeling very secure in his situation in the United States. So that did not have official birth certificates, but rhino, Hey Haman, who was the, the Finnish?

Soviets spy. He came through the United States under the name of Eugene Nikolai Machi. And as I explained in the book Eugene Nikolai Machi was an infant in Idaho who had died while overseas. And he used that birth certificate.

Laura: huh? They surely can't do that anymore. I would think that record keeping because of the technology that we have now this is probably off topic, but how do they infiltrate the US at this point? Do you have any idea?

Cecil: I don't. I think you're right. It'd be much more difficult now. There's no question about it. Of course, the KGB is gone. And there are there are agencies that have taken its place,

Laura: Mm-hmm.

Cecil: kgb, a very sophisticated agency, and they were able to select the best minds in the Soviet Union. They recruited most of these agents when they were in high school.

They were promising students who had a facility for languages mathematics, and other technologies. And they, so they were able to get to recruit the best minds in the country. And Rudolph Abel was certainly one of those. Rudolph Abel had also the advantage of growing up in England. His parents were Russians, but he still retained a bit of a British accent.

So that was helpful to him as well.

Laura: , that was in, the movie Bridge of Spies ?

Cecil: Well, I know about the movie, but I purposefully did not watch the movie because I did not want it to taint

Laura: Mm-hmm.

Cecil: my book.

Laura: Yeah.

Cecil: three, or three or four books that deal with the, the Bridge of Spies. And this is the first book though, that has actually gone through the trial and the apprehension of, of Abel in any detail,

I'll find that the most interesting part

as to how he was revealed.

Laura: Mm-hmm. . So, so how did the US government learn about him? You mentioned a defector. Is that part of it?

Cecil: He well, I might this is just a paragraph that I think summarizes the entire book. Basically I I know that the able case encompasses almost every possible aspect of a, an espionage plot gone wrong. There was the lazy and inep young Soviet spy with a thick finish accent who had a serious drinking problem.

And that was rhino.

Laura: Hmm.

Cecil: And he knew he was very ineffective and he knew that he was about to be reprimand. And he, so he decided to defect the United States, and he revealed to the American Embassy in Paris where he had gone for vacation. Everything he had acquired in the last five years rhino was well, he was an alcoholic and he knew that he would probably be executed by the Soviets because he was he was very ineffective in what he had been doing.

And he knew that Abel had told the authorities and had sent him back to the Soviet Union. So he decided that that was the really the time that he should defect. Abel himself was extremely disciplined but he made one minor mistake. He took. Rhino is assistant to his art studio one afternoon to pick up some equipment, and that is the most serious sin that a Russian spy can commit, is to reveal his location.

When Rhino defected fact that he was able to take the authorities, the FBI to this studio in man outside of Brooklyn actually, and they surveilled it for some time when they then saw able walking into the studio, they didn't have his name, they knew bits and pieces through Rhino about the means of.

Communication between the spies, but they really didn't have much else to go on. They did not have his name. And then there was also a connection to an American serviceman who was at the American Embassy in Moscow, who had been giving the Russians secrets, American secrets from the embassy there in exchange for money and prostitutes.

Laura: Okay.

Cecil: It, it reads like a sp novel. And but it's all true.

Laura: Wow.

Cecil: And then of course, there was the one incident where Abel was very disciplined, but he had also considered defecting himself at one.

Laura: So he did consider defecting. Well, okay, so you mentioned Art Studio and, and I know like from that movie, I'm gonna keep referring to that cuz that's all I know. But he was a pretty competent artist, correct.

Cecil: No question. He was a very fine artist. He had this art studio that he kept for several years, and he was also very skilled in photography. But he was quite quite the artist. And he hung out with other artists in the United States and had this art studio, and he led a, a life full of some social interaction with Americans, none of whom ever suspected that he was a Russian spy.

Laura: Well, yeah, if he had that British accent and then if he actually had real talent as an artist, what a great, great cover. I'm gonna like suspect people that all the time now you know, an artist in general, kind of a bohemian different group. So,

Cecil: Well, that's, that's, that's the word. He, he was a bohemian. That's exactly right.

Laura: well, and a lot of the artists, I'm assuming were fairly liberal. So the idea that they might support communism you know, I don't, I think that would be kind of par for the course, right.

Cecil: That's a, that's a good point. And these, these were interesting times. This was during the development of the atomic bomb. So there was also this interaction with Los Alamos lab in New Mexico. and that is deserving of a book on its own. But they made several trips to New Mexico and they also tried to find Roy Rhodes, who was a service man who was providing the Russians with all this information.

And he had returned to the United States and Abel was instructed to try to find Roy Rhodes. And they they, they went to Colorado where they met with his family, but they never did find Roy Rhodes himself. And about that time then Rhino defected.

Laura: So who was looking for Roy Rhos? What? It was the the fbi

Cecil: Well, no, Abel,

Laura: Abel was.

Cecil: Abel was asked by the KGB. To find roads perhaps to get more information from him. We don't know. The interesting thing is we'll never know how prolific Abel was. We see all these, he was convicted on circumstantial evidence, reams and reams of, of equipment. I have these lists in the book.

I included them from the FBI's inventory, which I think are interesting because they give you an idea of what they were doing in these apartments to communicate with each other and to send information back and forth to the Soviet Union. Abel was a good spy. We don't really have an exact knowledge of what atomic secrets were transferred to the Soviet Union.

Laura: Oh, so we, but they did find some of the paraphernalia use. Can you describe some of that for us?

Cecil: Well, the, the United States government, the F b I first became aware that something was awry when a newspaper boy in New York City was given a coin that didn't seem quite right to him. And he they used, they would often use ho coins to put these micro dots and micro like microfilm inside someone.

Well, this is Rhino again. He was careless and he gave a newspaper boy one of these hollowed out nickels. This young man who was later called to testify in the trial, he turned the nickel over to the New York police who then turned it over to the F B I. So it was all in code, of course this micro fish.

But they knew there, there was associate activity going on somewhere in the area. But that is one of the ways they communicated. They would also generally they would com communicate by meeting at certain places in Central Park. And they were told to wear a, a red strip type and smoking a pipe to identify each other.

They didn't usually speak very much at first. They would just exchange messages. and it was several years actually before rhino personally spoke with Abel. They would drop these containers off in various lamp posts around Manhattan. And often that's how rhino was paid through these cash drop-offs or they would meet in the back of the theater in in New York.

So it was very clandestine. And this all came out in the trial. Of course Abel did not testify. And so it was all based upon really the testimony. Rhino and also this Roy Rhodes, who was the service man that I mentioned, who had revealed secrets to the Soviets. But in exchange, I'm assuming for immunity, he provided this information.

Laura: So, okay. What happened to Rhino at the or is that, is that giving away spoil?

Cecil: No. Right. He went to, on vacation, he was supposed to be headed back to this Soviet Union. This was in may of 1957. He was on his way back to Moscow. He stopped in Paris, and he went straight to the American Embassy and defected. They interviewed me for several hours and then they flew him to Washington, DC Where he revealed all this information and then of course he became a a United States citizen with protection.


Laura: So did he, did he live to a ripe old age then? 

Cecil: Well, we don't know what happened to him because he, I'm assuming he was protected by the government until his death. We don't really know what happened to him. He did have family in the Soviet Union but he was Aous person. He dropped his family in favor of a a new wife. Why That he took to the United States.

I know. This is amazing. He took her to the United States as his new wife, and she had no idea. But he was a Soviet spy who had had another life.

Laura: Wow. And then Roy Rho. So he was an American, he said he was from Colorado. And he was so, he was a service man and he was actually passing secrets to the Russians.

Cecil: Yes. 

He worked in the motor pool at the embassy. He had a fairly low level job, but he was able to get information from the embassy. And he did this for quite some time.

Laura: Ah. So he was just in the right position he was somebody they wouldn't notice, so he could overhear things and,

Cecil: That's right.

Laura: Oh, wow. This is like a spy novel.

Cecil: Well, he was easily bought off by Russian prostitutes and cash.

Laura: Hmm. So let's see. So why, why was Abel's arrest like such a momentous, important event?

Cecil: Well, he was a colonel in the KGB at very young level, and he was at least as far as we know, the most notorious Soviet spy in the United States. And so his arrest caused a lot of, created a lot of publicity, even more so when he you know, his capital punishment. But he had committed his lawyer, Donovan was a very effective attorney who was actually court appointed to the to the.

Against really the wishes of his family and friends who did not like the fact that he was assisting cause of communism by representing able. But he did a very fine job and he was intelligent enough to fluff the idea of using able as a potential tray if an American spy was caught, which happened just a few years after that.

Laura: , it's like the great legal thrillers too.

The, you know, the brilliant lawyer who comes up with this great strategy at the last minute to save his client. It's very compelling, 

Cecil: it was an important case because there's some very interesting legal issues and it went to the Second Circuit, and then the United States Supreme. And the issues are pretty interesting about his arrest merely because Donovan argued that the arrest was illegal because it was made in conjunction between the F B I and the department of immigration and naturalization.

So I don't wanna get too thick into the weeds of the legal issues, but it went to a divided US Supreme Court. So the issues were substantial but eventually the conviction was confirmed. And I, I do think that Abel perceived a fair trial. There's no question that he did. If you read the dialogue in the book which I think reads very well It's a dialogue back and forth between these lawyers, very skilled lawyers both Donovan and United States prosecutors.

And they eventually brought about 30 different witnesses into the courthouse. It was well documented.

Laura: but it was hard to find. It was like buried you said in the like the archives.

Cecil: Well, the, the transcript was hard to find, but the list of items in Abel's apartment, and his his studio I think were just fascinating because he had just piles and piles of shortwave radios, camera lenses, pliers, cutting tools, optical equipment magnifying lenses. And it, it was clear that he was doing something besides just painting.

Laura: Sure. Well, and, I'm assuming 1957, that would've been like, you know, cold War was, at its peak and there was a lot of anti-communist anti-Soviet sentiment, I should say, at the time.

So I would think it would be really hard for him to get a fair.

Cecil: well, I think, I think that's true. And the, and the judge went to great links to, to ensure that. They were, it was tried in New York City and Abel was 55 years old. When he was convicted. He was eventually sentenced to 30 years in prison rather than life because it was a capital offense. And Abel also had a family back in Russia that he would have if he had defected, that he would've abandoned.

And he, well yes, they, I mean they they were there in Russia and he was even though he considered defecting he was concerned about what would happen to his family. And that was actually even a concern for Rhino. He was concerned about his abandoned family in Russia and what reprisals would be taken against them, but eventually he decided to defect anyway.

Laura: well, I guess it was his neck or theirs, right? 

Cecil: I think he, he knew that he was headed for execution because he had been so inefficient in what he had been doing. He was literally a drunk and was not following orders from Abel, which of course is a serious matter.

Laura: Oh, sure. Yeah. Especially , since you said Abel was so disciplined. 

So you've touched on this a little bit, but how did the US attorney structure its prosecution against Abel?

Cecil: Well, it was all circumstantial evidence. Really

Laura: like a lot of circumstantial evidence.

Cecil: it was, and they produced, they brought all this equipment I mentioned earlier, the, the photographic equipment and so forth into the into the courtroom. But most of the testimony was rhinos. They brought in the F B I agents that arrested Abel and took the, the inventory of his studio and apartment.

But really 90% of the conviction was based on the testimony of Rhino. They did bring in as I mentioned it's an American service man, Roy Rhodes, but he had never met Abel. So that testimony was interesting and effective, but it was not as critical as that abri because, because of course Abel could not be compelled to testify under the Fifth Amendment.

Laura: So, I don't know. I'm not a lawyer obviously. So how in general trying someone on circumstantial evidence and just based on the testimony of one witness, is that typically a really effective strategy or I.

Cecil: Most criminal defendants in this sort of case, I'm not a criminal lawyer, but do not testify. And so most of these cases dealt with on circumstantial evidence, though there was there was a lot of circumstantial evidence. They had all these codes and devices in the apartment sheets that showed translation codes and that sort of thing.

It was pretty clear that he was a spy doing business with the Soviet Union. So I don't think the the j the, the jury had much trouble convicting him based upon that.

Laura: So, I know you said it went all the way to the Supreme Court and they decided that he would be allowed to live. Was there anything sp else special about that? Decision.

Cecil: Well they had, there were several justices that dissented and it was not a unanimous decision. And the decision was really based primarily on this issue of the search warrant.

Laura: Oh, right.

Cecil: The search warrant was initially arranged to the Department of in Immigration. And so there were some justice that justices that thought it was unfair that he be pursued under that line of of accusation rather than just as a spy, because he had, of course, violated immigration laws by coming in under false pretense.

Laura: And the Supreme Court said that wasn't really kosher, is that,

Cecil: Well there were just a few justices that thought that, and that was also one of Donovan's arguments. Donovan made the the statement in his, he eventually wrote a book about it, and his argument was that the immigration officers were pawns of the F B I

And so he was trying to prove that the, the raid and the arrest were made without proper criminal warrants.

And that the F B I. Was just working under the auspices of the immigration department, but that that was not an effective legal argument according to the court.

Laura: Mm-hmm. So how did Rudolph Abel eventually end up back in Russia? I mean, he was sentenced to 30 years in the US as a spy. What can you tell me about.

Cecil: Well he was in prison of course. And it's an interesting discussion of, of they eventually well he was, he was waiting in prison and was serving out. His term of 30 years when this powers who was the airman that was shot down over Russia. He was doing surveillance of Russian military installations.

He was shot down and captured by the Russians, and at the bridge of Spies, the two were exchanged. If powers had not been shot down then there might not have been an exchange for a very long time, but this, that's how it happened. 

Laura: So, so where was, where was the Bridger spies?

Cecil: bridges spies, is basically on the. On the border between east and west Germany.

Laura: And then, okay. Help me with the timeline. So when was Powers captured and when did they do the exchange?

Cecil: Well, let's see. Powers was shot down in about 1962. Abel was convicted in 57. We had about five years in, in prison,

Laura: Okay. And then, so he was shot down in 62, and then how long did it take them? When did they actually broker the exchange, ?

Cecil: It didn't take very long. And then Abel went back Russia. We don't know too much about it. We know that there was a postage stamp. I'm sure he was widely celebrated. There was a postage stamp made in his honor, and

Laura: Oh,

Cecil: I'm assuming he went back to his family. And he, at the time, he was about 55 years old.

Laura: so he had a lot of life. I wonder, I guess that you probably don't know, did he go back into the military? Into the K G B?

Cecil: My, my guess would be that he retired and was well provided for because kgb officers like him were well compensated. Yeah.

Laura: Yeah. Huh All right. So what was the single most interesting thing you learned about Abel and his story in your research?

Cecil: Well, I think The most interesting thing I found out about him was his childhood as a young man excelling in all these subjects and being spotted early on as a potential for the K G D.

Laura: I've heard that that the us that the F B I and CIA recruit people out of high school. That's just rumor, . Well, great. So I'm assuming you added a fiction there. Is there anything else that you think we need to co touch on before we.

Cecil: Well, I think we've covered it. I I hope people enjoy the book. I enjoyed writing it.

Laura: Mm-hmm.

Cecil: And I hope it has interesting pace to it because of it's a true story with some very interesting constitutional issues. And it gives, I think a real insight view of how these spies were dealing with one another.

Laura: Well, yeah, definitely. I mean, I, I can't wait to read it, but I'm guessing you did add your fiction to that story, right? You lied about something.

Cecil: I did,

Laura: Oh, I'm excited. All right. We're gonna pause for a word from our sponsors and then we're gonna be back and you're gonna give me my four choices and try to trick me.

. Welcome back listeners. I'm here with litigator and author Cecil Coon, who is discussing his book KG B Man. And he just shared a crazy, but mostly true story. And now he's agreed to give me four details from the story, one of which is his own invention. And I'm gonna try to figure out what he made up.

I'm not sure I'm ready because this is such a nutty, crazy story. It, it sounds like something that you'd read in a fictional spy thriller, so, all right. All right, I'm ready. So why don't you gimme my four choices. I've got my pen and paper.

Cecil: Okay. The first one is that Abel was a married man with children still in Russia.

Laura: Okay.

Cecil: The second one is that That he was a very skilled artist and photographer.

Laura: okay.

Cecil: The third is that he considered defecting himself to to the US or Russia. 

And the fourth one is that he never showed emotion throughout the whole process of his arrest and conviction.

Laura: Ooh. That's right. You said he was super disciplined. Hmm. So my choices are he was married and he left his family behind in Russia. And you said for over 10 years. And then he was a skilled artist and photographer. Ooh. Hmm. I'm pretty sure he was an artist, but the photography, I'm not sure about that he considered defecting to the us that he rarely showed him motion.

. Hmm. So I'm gonna say number one I think is definitely because at his age he would've been 45. It makes sense that he would have a family. Like I said, the second one I'm not sure about because of photography. The third considering defecting to the US, I. From everything I know about Soviet era, Russia. I would think if, as you pointed out, he was kind of a bohemian I would think he would consider defecting to the US because if you're an artist, why not?

It seems like the US would definitely be a much better place to be. And that he never showed emotion. Ooh, that's pretty hard. Never to show emotion. All right, I'm gonna, I'm gonna go with number two. I think number two was the lie. I think he was an artist, but I don't think he was a photographer. How'd I do?

Cecil: well, do you want me to reveal the the lie?

Laura: Yes, please.

Cecil: Actually, there is no evidence whatsoever that he ever considered defecting to the United States. He was tried and true Soviet, and it's highly unlikely that he would've ever admitted to anything. So I, I, there's, there's no way he would've defected to the United States.

He had plenty of opportunities to do so and never did so. 

Laura: I was a little suspicious of that one, but I don't know. That's amazing that he was that, like you said, disciplined and sincere in his beliefs. 

Cecil: Yes. I also recommend Donovan's book because he revealed, he, he reveals that that Abel never strayed from his purpose in life, which was to support his country and to steal as many military secrets in the United States as possible.

Laura: That is a fascinating story and I can't wait to read the book. It comes out on January 10th, is that correct?

Cecil: That's correct.

Laura: Oh, exciting. Do you have a lot of book tours lined up and that kind of thing?

Cecil: Well, I have a few. I'm I'm very excited about it and I it's quite different from anything I've done before. But. It's the most engaging project I've ever worked on.

Laura: Mm-hmm. . It sounds fun. And uh, yeah, I hope you you get that librarian a special Christmas present. So it sounds like that that person helped you a lot,

Cecil: possible.

Laura: So, all right, well, well, Cecil, thank you so much for being here. I had a lot of fun. I hope you did too. 

Cecil: It's been a pure pleasure speaking with you

thank you, Laura. Have a great day.

Laura: All right, you too. Bye-Bye.

 K t b man , will be available and hard copy. And on Kendall, on January 10th, 2023, I will post links to purchase it on factor fiction podcast.com as well as on the fact or fiction Facebook page.

And I encourage everyone to check it out. I'm gonna read it as soon as I can get my hands on a copy. 

I'll be back soon with a regular episode of Factor Fiction. And until then, listen carefully, because it's tricky to know if something is fact fiction. Goodbye.