Texas attorney in Fort Worth to talk about book on Cold War assassination, cover-up

Spy Who Was Left Behind

On Aug. 8, 1993 the CIA’s station chief in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia was killed. A suspect was quickly arrested and everything seemed settled, but was it?

It sounds like something from the fictional TV show, The Americans. But it’s a true-life tale of betrayal, assassination and cover-up unearthed by Houston attorney Michael Pullara, who tells the story in his book, The Spy Who Was Left Behind.

Pullara is a Texas trial lawyer. He represents plaintiffs in complicated commercial disputes and, on a pro bono basis, individuals suing for violations of their human rights.

The Spy Who Was Left Behind is his first book.

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Pullara will be in Fort Worth Thursday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Worth Public Library to talk about the book.

For more on the event: http://fortworthtexas.gov/library/authorvisit/

From the Simon & Schuster website:

On August 8, 1993, a single bullet to the head killed Freddie Woodruff, the Central Intelligence Agency’s station chief in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. Within hours, police had a suspect—a vodka-soaked village bumpkin named Anzor Sharmaidze. A tidy explanation quickly followed: It was a tragic accident. U.S. diplomats hailed Georgia’s swift work, and both countries breathed a sigh of relief.

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Yet the bullet that killed Woodruff was never found and key witnesses have since retracted their testimony, saying they were beaten and forced to identify Sharmaidze. But if he didn’t do it, who did? Those who don’t buy the official explanation think the answer lies in the spy games that played out on Russia’s frontier following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. Woodruff was an early actor in a dangerous drama. American spies were moving into newborn nations previously dominated by Soviet intelligence. Russia’s security apparatus, resentful and demoralized, was in turmoil, its nominal loyalty to a pro-Western course set by President Boris Yeltsin, shredded by hardline spooks and generals who viewed the Americans as a menace.

At the time when Woodruff was stationed there, Georgia was a den of intrigue. It had a big Russian military base and was awash with former and not-so-former Soviet agents. Shortly before Woodruff was shot, veteran CIA officer Aldrich Ames—who would soon be unmasked as a KGB mole—visited him on agency business. In short order, Woodruff would be dead and Ames, in prison for life. Buckle up, because The Spy Who Was Left Behind reveals the full-throttle, little-known thrilling tale.

For more on the book:


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A video interview with the author: