True stories from the world of international espionage
Monday July 22nd 2024
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Attempt #56

One simple change of direction, one stray thought, one encounter can save a life.

I was in Baja California, Mexico, getting ready to drive back into the U.S. after a mission to Cuba. My bags were packed and loaded in my Ford Expedition to leave that afternoon. I had been writing my memoirs in Spanish, and a neighbor there in Mexico was helping me translate and compile them in English. I went to check on the manuscript and she said she was having computer problems; and that simple fact saved my life.

Instead of driving that afternoon across the border, I stayed home and waited for my writer friend to sort out my manuscript; I wanted to have it ready when I drove back. The night got late; it was past 11pm when I heard a popping sound outside. I went to my balcony to see what was going on, just in time to watch my Expedition explode in a fireball.

Earlier that day, I had taken it to get routine maintenance, but apparently someone at the service station added an extra part to the engine compartment. I would have been driving across the border around that time if I had not stayed. This was the 56th attempt on my life.

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