FBI mole Robert Hanssen - How has his family handled it?

I just watched Breach, the movie based on the capture of the mole Robert Hanssen, whose passing of information to the Russians constituted perhaps the most serious damage to U.S. national security.

In addition to being a spy, Hanssen was also apparently an ultra-conservative Catholic, involved in Opus Dei, and had a habit of imposing his religious views on his subordinates.

Furthermore, Hanssen was also secretly making videotapes of his wife and himself having sex and sharing the tape with his friends.

(Hanssen pleaded guilty to numerous charges and is currently serving a life sentence.)

Hanssen’s Wikipedia page indicates that his wife had some reason to suspect his spying, but overall, the family was portrayed as being very close.

What I’m curious about is what happened after Hanssen’s capture and the disclosure of everything that went on. It seems to me that in a lot of criminal cases, family members tend to rationalize or justify the perpetrator’s actions.

Is there any indication of how Hanssen’s family has handled this? Do they believe he was innocent and all this was trumped up or a misunderstanding? Alternatively, do they think that his actions were somehow justified, that he was doing something good? Or have they reconciled themselves to the fact that he is a criminal and a traitor and deserves punishment?

Any ideas?

Hansen’s wife had discovered his spying for the Soviets earlier in their marriage. He portrayed it as selling worthless intel to the Soviets for quick and easy money. She went with him to a priest and Hansen promised he would never do it again, so she was aware of his past spying. The family is very conservative politically and very patriotic they live (or lived, they might have moved) in northern Virginia, I’ve been by their house and all the cars had bumper stickers promoting conservative issues. I’m not aware of any public statements from the family, but I remember reading in the Washington Post that they had accepted that he was guilty and that he had betrayed his family in many ways. He had a really bad childhood and I think I remember reading that the wife blamed a lot of Bob’s behavior on his abusive father.

From the Crime Library story on Hanssen:

e: that’s a pretty interesting account of his life, BTW. I looked it up in an attempt to answer the OP, but I ended up spending nearly an hour reading the whole thing.

It’s hard to know what to think. I mean, obviously, the guy is pretty fucked up and he was a traitor and his actions resulted in numerous deaths. On the other hand, he’s not the BTK killer.

On the other hand, so far as I know, Hanssen doesn’t seem to have shown any remorse. And it’s not entirely clear why he did what he did.

At what point does a man deserve to be repudiated by his family?

They are Opus Dei Catholics and their priest told Hanssen to give the money to Mother Theresa, I wonder if any of it was returned?

I think you are looking for links to what his family thinks, not just our blind opinions, so I am moving this thread from IMHO to General Questions.

:dubious: Does anyone see some weird contradictions here? :smiley:

No. The ones who pretend to be closest to god are the real perverts. We have a bunch of evangelical leaders doing all those weird things with men .women and livestock. Watch the ones who speak the loudest. They are covering up.
I saw the movie and Hanssen was very outwardly religious. They spent a fortune to catch him.

That’s an attitude I don’t understand, frankly. Aside from any other points, either God will forgive him or he won’t. What good does nagging God every frickin’ day do? Some avowed deeply religious people seem to have an awfully low opinion of the Man Who Lives in the Clouds.

What he did may not be as grisly or gruesome, but what he did was just as bad if not worse. Not only was he responsible for the deaths of several people who were responsible for the nation’s security, but he also undermined the efforts of thousands of others. I think what he did was worse, and if his wife knew he did that, she should be in jail too. I think it’s also bullshit that they get to keep part of his pension.

Is there an account anywhere of the deaths that were directly attributable to his actions? The Crime Library article only mentions two: spies for the U.S. in the KGB who were outed in his initial communications and subsequently executed by the Soviets.

According to her accounts, “verified” by lie detectors, the only thing she knew about was the incident mentioned by madmonk28. I have to think that if there was more to be known, FBI interrogaters could have gotten it out of a housewife.

I don’t think you can pin it on one reason. One that stood out to me was this rather poignant quote:

The only place he really did belong was Opus Dei, and he used most of the money he made from selling secrets to put his six children through expensive Opus Dei private schools. I’d have to think that making enough money to fit in in the only group where he could fit in was a motivating factor.