Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Good Shepherd: CIA Secrets or Hollywood Sizzle?

Dr. Fredericks

While studying poetry at Yale, Wilson meets Dr. Fredericks (Michael Gambon,) a professor who tries to seduce him sexually and recruit him into a Nazi sympathizer group. Unknown to Fredericks, the FBI already had recruited Wilson to spy on his activities. Dr. Fredericks is forced to resign from Yale, but re-enters the movie after Wilson arrives in London to be trained as an OSS officer. Wilson discovers his former professor actually was an MI-6 officer working undercover. Dr. Fredericks becomes Wilson's mentor and teaches him the nuances of counterintelligence work. In the film, the professor lets his homosexual libido get the best of him and MI-6 asks Wilson to intervene. Unless Dr. Fredericks retires from the service, he will be murdered because he "knows too much." An unrepentant Dr. Fredericks urges his young protege "to get out" before it is too late and then ends up getting murdered by the OSS and tossed into the River Thames.

Kim Philby
Kim Philby

*Fact: Screenwriter Roth said Dr. Fredericks was a composite creation. Although fictional, he was partly based on Guy Francis de Moncy Burgess, a member of the infamous Cambridge spies, which included Anthony Blunt, Donald Maclean, John Cairncross, and Harold A.R. (Kim) Philby. Burgess was flagrantly homosexual. Neither the CIA or MI-6 have ever been known to murder one of their own simply because they "know too much." Given that thousands of persons in Washington, DC have top secret clearances, the streets would run with blood if the CIA began murdering them simply because they had read secrets and might someday reveal them.

Guy Francis de Moncy Burgess
Guy Francis de Moncy Burgess

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