Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Robert Philip Hanssen: The Spy who Stayed out in the Cold


Many government officials wanted to renege on the agreement, but Plato Cacheris's skills ultimately carried the day and the deal remained in place. With so many fingers pointed at the Bureau after the terrorist attacks of 9-11-01, the FBI was understandably distracted and unable to change the understanding. Still, many agents believed satisfaction was just ahead.

"Hanssen won't adjust well to life in prison," an FBI agent predicted. "His arrogance will have to be knocked out of himeither by correctional officers or the other prisoners."

Plato Cacheris and Hanssen (left) listen to US Attorney Randy Bellows, at the sentencing phase on May 10th, 2002
Plato Cacheris and Hanssen (left) listen to US Attorney Randy Bellows, at the sentencing phase on May 10th, 2002

At his sentencing on May 10th, 2002, Bob appeared to have aged 10 years. Gaunt, pale, slender, and stooped over, he said he regretted committing his crimes. He also apologized to his absent wife and children who he said were innocent and had been slandered in the press. He was responding to reports that he had photographed himself having sex with Bonnie and then had allowed his pal, Jack Hoschouer, to view the results.

Another "revelation," which claimed that Bonnie's brother, Mark Wauck, informed FBI headquarters that $5000 was lying around the Hanssen household in 1990 and that the Bureau failed to act may also be untrue. In her lie detector test, Mrs. Hanssen both denied the story and passed the polygraph question.

Despite the personal sexual reports, Bonnie and the children continued their weekly visits. In an act of solidarity, his mother, Vivian Hanssen, moved from Florida to Virginia and now lives with the family.

Finally, in what may be a cryptic warning, Plato Cacheris assessed the espionage skills of Robert Hanssen following his client's sentence: "He was as artful a spy as we've ever seen. Except for the one who's out there now and hasn't been caught." he said.

Following Mueller's appointment, the disgraced Louis Freeh joined a Delaware credit card company, MBNA. Many of the firm's executives are former FBI employees.

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Adrian Havill is the author of The Spy Who Stayed Out In The Cold: The Secret Life of Robert Hanssen, which the Washington Times recently called  "a meticulous account." He lives just six miles from the Hanssen family's Northern Virginia house and interviewed more than 100 people for his account of Robert Hanssen's life.

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