cover image Sleeping with the FBI

Sleeping with the FBI

Russell Warren Howe, Author National Press Books $23.95 (394p) ISBN 978-0-915765-62-1

Special Agent Richard William Miller, a member in bad standing with the FBI's Los Angeles office, was short, fat, addicted to candy bars--and sold Amway products on company time. Though ludicrously incompetent, he dreamed of becoming the first FBI agent to penetrate the KGB. At the core of his scheme was an affair with addled, heavy-drinking Svetlana Ogorodnikova, whom he naively believed would pave the way for his infiltration into the Soviet spy network. But he made the mistake of not telling his superiors what he was up to, and on October 3, 1984, Miller was arrested and charged with espionage. His lawyer characterized him in court as ``Inspector Clouseau played by Jackie Gleason,'' and the not-unsympathetic judge, while sentencing him to 20 years, recommended early parole. Based on FBI files, trial testimony, and interviews with the principals, the book is a sometimes hilarious, often poignant account of the FBI's clumsy handling of the case of a foolish man blinded by love and the prospect of becoming a star in the counterespionage firmament. Howe is the author of The Hunt for Tokyo Rose. Photos. (Dec.)