4. The Deadliest of Honey Traps
Not all honey traps are heterosexual ones. In fact, during less tolerant eras, a homosexual honey trap with a goal of blackmail could be just as effective as using women as bait.
Take the tragic story of Jeremy Wolfenden, the London Daily Telegraph's correspondent in Moscow in the early 1960s. Wolfenden was doubly vulnerable to KGB infiltration: He spoke Russian, and he was gay. Seizing its opportunity, the KGB ordered the Ministry of Foreign Trade's barber to seduce him and put a man with a camera in Wolfenden's closet to take compromising photos. The KGB then blackmailed Wolfenden, threatening to pass on the photographs to his employer if he did not spy on the Western community in Moscow.
Wolfenden reported the incident to his embassy, but the official British reaction was not what he expected. On his next visit to London, he was called to see an officer from the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) who asked him to work as a double agent, leading the KGB along but continuing to report back to SIS.
The stress led Wolfenden into alcoholism. He tried to end his career as a spy, marrying a British woman he had met in Moscow, arranging a transfer from Moscow to the Daily Telegraph's Washington bureau, and telling friends he had put his espionage days behind him.
But the spy life was not so easily left behind. After encountering his old SIS handler at a British Embassy party in Washington in 1965, Wolfenden was again pulled back into the association. His life fell into a blur of drunkenness. On Dec. 28, 1965, when he was 31, he died, apparently from a cerebral hemorrhage caused by a fall in the bathroom. His friends believed, no matter what the actual cause of death, that between them, the KGB and the SIS had sapped his will to live.
Ironically, his time as a spy probably produced little useful material for either side. His colleagues weren't giving him any information because they were warned that he was talking to the KGB, and the Soviets weren't likely to give him anything either. In this case, the honey pot proved deadly -- with little purpose for anyone.