5. Baiting the Hook


Manage episode 290640184 series 2904635
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Herbert Cukurs invited "Anton Kuenzle" to visit him at his home, not knowing, of course, "Kuenzle" is the spy Mio, undercover. So the spy prepares for the meeting. He doesn't know what Cukurs wants, which was the real question. Most spies use a handful of motives to get people to do what they want: money, sex, patriotism. But Cukurs was an odd fish. He seemed to want to be a hero again, to be beloved. The spy couldn’t offer him that - so what could he dangle in front of the Butcher?

“Good Assassins: Hunting the Butcher" came out of Stephan Talty's work on a related book, The Good Assassin. Explore other parts of this story in the book: Buy The Good Assassin

The spy decides on his approach. He will dangle a chance at redemption in front of the Butcher: a last shot at riches and fame. That was the bait.

Cukurs suggests the two of them take a trip inland — he owned two plantations there. The long trip gives Cukurs a chance to see if they're being tailed. If the spy had people following him, they would be exposed on the deserted roads. The Butcher was hunting the spy as much as the spy was hunting him.

“Good Assassins: Hunting the Butcher” is written and hosted by Stephan Talty. Produced and directed by Scott Waxman and Jacob Bronstein. Executive Producers: Scott Waxman and Mark Francis. Story editing by Jacob Bronstein with editorial direction from Scott Waxman and Mangesh Hattikudur. Editing, mixing, and sound design by Mark Francis. With the voices of: Nick Afka Thomas, Omri Anghel, Andrew Polk, Mindy Escobar-Leanse, Steve Routman, and Stefan Rudnicki. Theme music by Tyler Cash. Archival research by Adam Shapiro. Thanks to Oren Rosenbaum at UTA.

Special thanks to Kevin Anderson and the Anderson family for permission to use the Jack Anderson recording, Leah Richardson and the Special Collections Research Center at George Washington University Library, and Ron Saah.

Learn more about Good Assassins: Hunting the Butcher

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