Saturday, June 20, 2015


The Falcon and The Snowman


Christopher Boyce
Cait Boyce
Vince Font

AMERICAN SONS: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE FALCON AND THE SNOWMAN is the gritty, heartbreaking true story of three people who overcame insurmountable odds. It offers a deeply personal, intimate look at the struggle for survival, the pain of regret, and the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. In 1977, Christopher Boyce and Andrew Daulton Lee were convicted of selling U.S. intelligence information to the Soviet Union. Boyce was sentenced to 40 years. Lee received a life sentence. The story of their crime, as told in the book and movie THE FALCON AND THE SNOWMAN, was only the beginning. Locked away for decades in some of the most brutal prisons in the federal justice system, Boyce and Lee survived numerous murder attempts and spent years of their lives in solitary confinement until a young, idealistic paralegal named Cait Mills put them on the path to becoming free men. Diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer, Mills’ stoic determination to conquer her illness and continue her work was the catalyst that would ultimately transform all three of their lives. AMERICAN SONS: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE FALCON AND THE SNOWMAN takes the reader on a twenty-five-year odyssey through the trials and tribulations of three people whose refusal to give up helped them survive the impossible. NOTE: This title was previously published as THE FALCON AND THE SNOWMAN: AMERICAN SONS. The second edition includes a new cover design and updated title. - Amazon review

I've always been a big fan of the film - The Falcon and The Snowman - and recently when I discovered it was on demand on cable I insisted to my girlfriend that we had to watch it since she had never seen it. It's a timeless film sort of like Cool Hand Luke - it could have been made just yesterday. Anyway, seeing it again stirred my interest in this case so of course I Googled for more information and I discovered the book on Amazon.

I knew that Boyce and Lee had been released from prison but I definitely didn't know the circumstances behind their releases. This book will answer the majority of any questions you have about their incarceration and the brave woman who fought the system to secure their releases. It's a fascinating read and I highly recommend it.

The most fascinating fact that I picked up in the book is that one of Daulton Lee's fingerprints was found in the Black Vault where Boyce worked and where the classified information was stolen from. If you know anything about this case you know that there is no way in hell that Daulton Lee would have ever been allowed access to this security vault, which brings forth the question - who planted that fingerprint. CIA? FBI? Obviously someone in law enforcement had to have done it in an attempt to secure their case against these two.

At one time I was a Security Counselor (which is a fancy name for a guard) at the Minnesota Security Hospital. On our unit we had an inmate named Earl Steven Karr who was convicted of a series of pipe bombs throughout the Midwest:


AP, Associated Press
Jun. 23, 1987 11:36 AM ET
 (AP) _ A man accused of planting 23 pipe bombs in four Midwestern states has pleaded guilty to planting five pipe bombs in Chicago and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Earl Steven Karr, 26, of Minneapolis, was sentenced Monday by Cook County Circuit Judge James M. Bailey after pleading guilty to five counts of possession of an explosive device.
Karr is already serving a 16-year sentence in Minnesota, and the Illinois term will run concurrently.
The former mental patient had been charged with planting 23 bombs in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin between May 3 and June 8, 1984, said Assistant State's Attorney Jeff Warnick. Six people were hurt by explosions.
Karr was injured June 8, 1984, when a pipe bomb in his rented car exploded in Mason City, Iowa. The incident led to his arrest.

Earl was as crazy as the proverbial shit-house rat and was a world class pain in the ass while he was on my unit. A tiny, thin, little dude, with skin so white and transparent that I swear you could see his organs through his skin. He hardly ever ate anything but sweets and was constantly being locked into solitary for infractions. It turns out that Earl had been housed in Oak Park Heights prison after being sentenced and while there had attacked Christopher Boyce who had been transferred there by the Feds. Karr had rigged up some homemade stun gun and along with some mace he had manufactured had tried to kill Boyce. He claimed that Boyce was trying to steal his Id:

(Id, ego, and super-ego are the three parts of the psychic apparatus defined in Sigmund Freud's structural model of the psyche; they are the three theoretical constructs in terms of whose activity and interaction our mental life is described.)

Finally, when a judge determined that little Earl was "sane" and could go back to prison I was the one who escorted him from the unit to the waiting cops who would transport him back to the Oak Park Heights which is Minnesota's super max prison. 

As I took the cuffs off of him I said "Earl, be careful when you get back to Oak Park because Boyce might be waiting for some payback."

Earl looked at me with his crazy eyes and said "Thank you for that bit of human kindness."