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Arthur Walker's trial shed new light on his brother's activities. Not only did John recruit his son, brother and best friend as spies, he allegedly strapped a money belt on his unsuspecting mother to bring spy payments back from Europe. Also introduced as evidence was a set of KGB instructions seized at John Walker's Norfolk home. They read like something out of a bad mystery novel. Hand-lettered in red and blue ink, the directions told Walker what route to take to meet a Soviet agent in Vienna, starting at a store called Komet Küchen, which sells kitchen cabinets. He was to make repeated stops at specified shop windows. "You will be contacted either at the Bazala store or somewhere on your route," the paper said. "If no one contacts you, please use alternate dates and the same route."
Walker was allegedly following KGB instructions at the time of his arrest. According to testimony at Arthur Walker's trial, FBI agents learned from telephone wiretaps that John was going to make a drop last May 19. They trailed his van by car and helicopter as it wound through the back roads of Maryland, eventually stopping several times at the same remote spot. When Walker finally left the vicinity, agents tramped through the woods, kicking smelly garbage bags, until they came across what one called "a classic type of Soviet drop site." It was a log between two trees marked with No Hunting signs. Beside the log, the agents found a neat brown bag filled with fresh garbage. Wrapped in plastic under the garbage were classified documents. One FBI agent scoffed at the method as "pre-World War II trade craft." Walker was tracked to a nearby motel, where he was arrested. Seen in the drop area, Soviet Embassy Official Alexei Tkachenko quickly returned to Moscow.
Clumsy and bumbling as it evidently was, the Walker spy ring managed to operate without detection for nearly two decades. That speaks eloquently of the need for more effective measures to keep military secrets from the nation's enemies. If a bunch of amateurs could jeopardize naval communications with relative ease, the damage real professionals might do is easy to imagine. --By Ed Magnuson. Reported by B. Russell Leavitt/Norfolk and Charles Pelton/San Francisco