Jeanne Vertefeuille

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Jeanne Vertefeuille
Jeanne Vertefeuille.jpg
Vertefeuille in the 1990s
Born(1932-12-23)December 23, 1932
DiedDecember 29, 2012(2012-12-29) (aged 80)
Alma materBachelor's degree, history, University of Connecticut, 1954
OccupationIntelligence Officer
Known forInvestigation which uncovered the actions of Aldrich Ames

Jeanne Vertefeuille (23 December 1932 – 29 December 2012) was a CIA officer who participated in a small team that investigated and uncovered the actions of Aldrich Ames, a notorious Cold War spy.

Early Life[edit]

Born in New Haven, Connecticut on December 23, 1932, she earned a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Connecticut in 1954, where she also learned German and French. She began her career as a typist for the Agency in 1954 and obtained promotions and expertise on the Soviet Union over several decades, serving in Ethiopia, Finland, and the Netherlands.[1][2]


In 1976, Veretefeuille wrote ''The GRU Today'', which was a study on the operations of the GRU, a Soviet security organization.[3]

She was made the lead investigator of a small team looking at the high rate of Russian double agent disappearances in 1986.[1] As it became more clear to the team that there could be a mole in the organization, Vertefeuille worked to keep the team small and focused to minimize the chances of the mole escaping before an arrest could be made.[4] Over the course of 8 years, this investigation led her to Ames's involvement in the disappearances - he had exposed them in exchange for millions of dollars, leading to at least 8 executions. The investigation was fraught with difficulty, but the team began to uncover his treachery in 1989 when it was found that he had bought luxury cars and a house, beyond the salary of a typical CIA agent. The case was not cracked until 1991, when Vertefeuille and her team correlated Ames's meeting times with large deposits in his bank account.[1] She officially retired in 1992 but continued to work as a contractor until a few months before her death in 2012.[2] Ames was arrested with the involvement of the FBI on February 21, 1994.[1] Prior to his arrest, Ames had told the KGB that Vertefeuille had the requisite access to be framed instead.[5]

Throughout her career, Vertefeuille was known for her intense personal privacy and solitary nature. She died of brain cancer at the age of 80.[1]


In 1998, Ames' story was dramatized in the TV movie Aldrich Ames: Traitor Within, starring Joan Plowright as Vertefeuille.[6]

In 2014, ABC aired The Assets, an eight-part American drama television miniseries based on Circle of Treason.[7][8][9]


  1. ^ a b c d e Martin, Douglas (11 January 2013). "Jeanne Vertefeuille, C.I.A. Official Who Helped Catch a Notorious Mole, Dies at 80". New York Times. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b Morell, Michael (4 January 2013). "Message from the Acting Director: Jeanne Vertefeuille". CIA. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Sandra, Grimes; Vertefeuille, Jeanne (2012). Circle of treason : a CIA account of traitor Aldrich Ames and the men he betrayed. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. p. 6. ISBN 9781612513058. OCLC 824081739.
  4. ^ Wise, David (1995). Nightmover. HarperCollins. pp. 176–177. ISBN 0-06-017198-7.
  5. ^ "The People of the CIA...Ames Mole Hunt Team". CIA. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  6. ^ "Aldrich Ames: Traitor Within (TV Movie 1998)". Internet Movie Database. 24 February 2018.
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie. "ABC Orders Cold War Limited Series 'The Assets' For 2014". Retrieved 2013-09-08.
  8. ^ Lacey Rose (2013-07-23). "ABC Orders Limited Series About The Cold War". Retrieved 2013-09-08.
  9. ^ "ABC Orders Cold War-Inspired Limited Series 'The Assets' - Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Archived from the original on 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2013-09-08. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

Further reading[edit]