Some U.S. intelligence specialists say that, of all recent U.S. spies, none frightens them as much as Chris Boyce and his drug dealing friend, Andrew Daulton Lee. Experts see them as symbols of the alienated 1960s generation who "have as much contempt for Americans as for the Soviets," said one Senate intelligence specialist.
Both were upper-middle-class young men from suburban Los Angeles, both were bright (Boyce had an i.q. of 142), and both were bored.
Boyce's father, a retired FBI agent, got Boyce a job in 1975 through a former FBI colleague at TRW Systems Inc., a California defense contractor. At 21, Boyce was working as a clerk in TRW's "black vault," designed for secure communications between the CIA and TRW.
Shocked by what he learned about CIA operations overseas, Boyce sent Lee to contact the Soviet embassy in Mexico City. Boyce then started removing documents, photographing them at home and sending them via Lee to Mexico and Vienna.
Over two years, they sold the Soviets an array of documents about extremely sensitive U.S. satellites and communications techniques for about $70,000.
Lee, late in meeting his Soviet contacts for one last delivery in Mexico City, stupidly went to the embassy there and threw a note over the fence. He was arrested by Mexican police.
Boyce was arrested in January 1977 at the University of California's Riverside campus where he was in a Chinese studies program -- the KGB had urged him to enroll as a long-term spy project.
Lee was sentenced to life imprisonment, and Boyce to 40 years, which was increased by 28 years after he escaped from prison in 1980 and spent 19 months as a fugitive.
"No American who has gone to the KGB has not come to regret it," Boyce told a Senate Committee in April. "They are bringing down upon themselves heartache more heavy than a mountain.