Inside Soviet Spy Robert Hanssen's Family Life Following News of His Death

After news broke that former Russian spy Robert Hanssen died, many wanted to learn more about the former FBI agent's family and private life.


Jun. 6 2023, Published 11:10 a.m. ET

News recently broke that Robert Hanssen, a convicted Russian spy who reportedly received more than $1.4 million in cash and diamonds from the Russian government in exchange for information about the U.S., had died. Following the news of his death, which seems to have come from natural causes in his jail cell, many wanted to learn more about Hanssen's family.

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Hanssen's spying was hugely detrimental to the U.S. efforts during the Cold War, but before he was incarcerated without the possibility of parole, he had a family.

Who were Robert Hanssen's children?

Hanssen had six children in total, three girls and three boys. His boys were named Greg, John, and Mark, while his girls were named Sue, Jane, and Lisa. The entire family attended Mass every week, and they were very active in Opus Dei. All three of his sons attended an all-boys prep school in Maryland called The Heights School, while his daughters attended Oakcrest School for Girls in Vienna, Va. Both schools are associated with Opus Dei.

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Who was Robert Hanssen's wife?

Hanssen's wife, Bonnie, apparently had no idea that her husband had been spying, and didn't benefit from the money he received from the Russian government. By the time Robert was caught, some of their children were grown and had left home, while others were still in private school. Bonnie was allowed to receive 55 percent of her husband's pension after he was arrested, and continued teaching all the way until 2020, when she finally retired.

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Once he was caught, Hanssen's chief concern appears to have been finding a way to take care of his family financially. It wasn't until after he was caught that Bonnie started teaching, apparently because she determined that it was the only way for her to make ends meet with two children still in private school. It still isn't clear what Hanssen was doing with the money he received.

Hanssen violated his wife's privacy in their bedroom.

In addition to the treason he committed, reporting has also suggested that Hanssen also violated his wife's privacy without her awareness. At his suggestion, Jack Hoschouer, a retired Army officer sometimes watch the two of them have sex through a bedroom window. Eventually, Hanssen began filming sex with his wife and would later pass the tapes off to Hoschouer.

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Hanssen eventually installed a secret closed-circuit television system in his bedroom so that Hoschouer could monitor them from his guest house. He also apparently described his sex life in some detail on internet chatrooms. Anyone who was familiar with the couple could have identified them based on his messages.

While it's far from the gravest of his crimes, which led to the death of several Soviet sources who were working with the U.S. government, it adds to the complicated picture of Hanssen's life before his incarceration. Now, after more than 20 years behind bars, Hanssen's strange story has finally come to its conclusion.

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