"He clearly was a Russian named Murphy. It was very odd"
So spoke a neighbor of Richard Murphy, the spy who was 'deep undercover' in Montclair New Jersey with his wife Cynthia Murphy.
Except the neighbor immediately recognized a Russian accent when the Irishman Murphy spoke.
Some undercover operative.
This was not From Russia with Love, more like From Russia with Laughs, starring Peter Sellers rather than Sean Connery.
The Montclair 'Irish' couple were as Irish as vodka, as convincing as the Bolshoi doing Riverdance.
We'll probably find out they celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a Cossack dance on the lawn.
Something was odd, so odd that even neighbors noticed right away.
First Cynthia said she was from Canada, then Scandinavia then -- well never mind.
They appeared to gather no more information that Misha back in Moscow could not have gathered from a casual trawl of the Internet.
Richard went back to Moscow in February grabbing a fake Irish passport on the way in Vienna to cover his tracks.
He was unsuccessful in that as well as the FBI had him in their sights all the way.
Inspector Clouseau could probably have kept tabs on them, so poorly were they covering their tracks.
The bumbling spies were straight out of a Pink Panther script.
As Clouseau once remarked "There is a time to laugh and a time not to laugh, and this is not one of them. "
We learnt Richard Murphy rarely left the house, complained bitterly to his bosses about how tough the assignment was, while his wife just go on with it.
She seemed to have a successful career, but a low level money manager in Manhattan is not exactly a job at the center of the Russian/U.S. axis of influence
The real tragedy here is their two little daughters.
Who now will look after them? They have no relatives in America and don't even know who their parent really are.
Amid the farce there is real tragedy for them.