Bridge of Spies - ARREST of RUDOLF ABEL

Willy Fisher / Rudolf Abel was staying in room 836 of this hotel—the Latham, located at 4 East 28th Street in Manhattan—when he was arrested there on June 20, 1957. Photo by Jim Henderson who has released it into the public domain.


Despite misgivings about his promotion and home-leave trip, Hayhanen had no choice but to return to Russia. He left the States on April 24, 1957.

Arriving in Paris, a stopping-point on his return to Moscow, the erstwhile spy gave himself up to the American Embassy where he defected. When he was turned-over to the FBI, Hayhanen had all the ammo he needed to protect himself and to sell-out Rudolf Abel (whom he knew only as “Mark”).

Although Hayhanen, the defector, did not have all the details about Abel and his activities, he could describe him - and the dark hat (with the white brim) which Abel usually wore. He also knew enough details about the general location of Abel’s photography shop for the FBI to set-up a surveillance.

When Abel returned from a trip to Daytona Beach, in Florida, FBI agents spotted him on May 11, 1957. They did not arrest him at that time. Instead, they watched and waited for the right time to apprehend him.
Knowing that Hayhanen was missing, Abel began to worry about his own well-being. He planned to return to the Soviet Union by way of Mexico.

He did not enter his own apartment until the evening of June 13th. Less than two hours later, the lights at 252 Fulton went out, and FBI agents tracked Abel to the Fulton-Street subway station. The suspect boarded a train bound for 28th Street.

Leaving the 28th Street station, Abel headed to Hotel Latham where he guest-registered under the name “Martin Collins.” A week passed, as the agents continued to investigate the man with the names which they knew he’d used:  Mark/Emil Goldfus/Martin Collins.

On the 20th of June, as Abel was still sleeping in room 836 of the Latham hotel - FBI agents knocked on his door. Special Agents Edward Gamber and Paul Blasco of the FBI then pushed their way into the room.

They addressed the room's occupant as “Colonel,” causing Abel to believe that Hayhanen had defected since no one else knew his KGB rank.

Urged to cooperate, Abel refused. He never changed his approach on that topic.

Investigators, meanwhile, searched his flat located near the Brooklyn Bridge. They found what they needed to accuse him of being a spy. He was arrested, however, by agents of the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) on a charge of illegal entry into the United States.

The feds sent Abel - who had not-yet used that name - to the Alien Detention Facility, in McAllen, Texas. It was there, for the first time, that the man with lots of aliases first identified himself with the name by which the world still knows him: Rudolf Ivanovich Abel.

It was his way of telling Moscow he’d been arrested.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Sep 22, 2015

Updated Last Revision: Jun 02, 2016

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"ARREST of RUDOLF ABEL" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 22, 2015. May 31, 2020.
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