Retired Navy warrant officer John A. Walker Jr. is hardly the first alleged spy to be turned in by an anguished wife. A telephone call to investigators in 1964 from the wife of Army Sgt. Robert Lee Johnson ended one of the nation's strangest spy rings.
In 1953, Johnson, stationed in Berlin, was angry that he hadn't been promoted. He met with Soviet agents, who trained him in spy techniques.
Johnson recruited a friend, James Mintkenbaugh. The two received $250 a month from the Soviets for years.
Working at missile sites in Europe and at Fort Bliss, Tex., Johnson gathered missile diagrams, plus a sample of rocket fuel.
Over the years, he and Mintkenbaugh communicated with the KGB with messages in hollowed-out razors, shoe heels and cigarette lighters.
Johnson was transferred to a military installation outside Paris, a shipment point for code gear and NATO communications. He removed batches of material from a secret vault and photographed and returned them.
A recent Defense Intelligence Agency report said the damage in losing this material was "extremely serious and long-lasting."
Meanwhile, the Soviets ordered Mintkenbaugh to marry a Soviet woman -- despite his homosexuality -- and to establish a real estate business. He set up shop in Arlington, and for years he told the Soviets about government employe customers.
Johnson deserted from the Army in 1964, and his wife telephoned authorities. Johnson and Mintkenbaugh received 25-year sentences. Mintkenbaugh said he was "one of God's mistakes and should have died as a baby," the DIA said.
In May 1972, Johnson's son Robert Jr., 22, a Vietnam veteran who hadn't seen his father for years, visited him at the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pa. In the visiting room, the son pulled a knife and stabbed his father in the chest, killing him.