From the Archives

The 'Walker Family Spy Ring'

The so-called "Walker Family Spy Ring" sold U.S. military secrets to the Soviet Union and has been described as the most damaging espionage operation against the United States in 30 years. The members include:

John Anthony Walker Jr.

The confessed leader of the spy ring, Walker, 48, pleaded guilty to espionage and is awaiting formal sentencing Oct. 3 in Baltimore. He faces two life terms and would be eligible for parole in 10 years, although government officials say he probably never will be released. Walker began spying in 1968. He retired from the Navy as a chief warrant officer in 1976 and was working as a private detective when he was arrested in May, 1985.

Michael Walker

The son of John A. Walker Jr., 23-year-old Michael also pleaded guilty last October and under terms of the plea bargain with the government must serve more than eight years of a 25-year prison term. Formal sentencing is scheduled Oct. 3. Michael Walker began spying in 1983 and was a Navy seaman stationed on the aircraft carrier Nimitz when he was arrested.

Arthur J. Walker

The brother of John A. Walker Jr., Arthur, 51, was convicted in Norfolk, Va., in August, 1985, of conspiracy and espionage and sentenced to the maximum three life terms plus 40 years and fined $250,000. His espionage career started in 1981 when he was recruited by his brother. Arthur Walker retired from the Navy as a lieutenant commander and was working for a defense contractor when he was arrested.

Jerry A. Whitworth

Described as the "best friend" of John A. Walker Jr., Whitworth, 47, was sentenced Thursday to 365 years in prison and fined $410,000 after being convicted of espionage in San Francisco on July 24. He will be eligible for parole in 60 years. Whitworth began spying in 1974. He was living in Davis, Calif., after his retirement as a Navy communications specialist when the spy ring was broken.

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