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U.S. Marshals Service

History -  Capture of Christopher Boyce

On August 21, 1981, at approximately 8:20 p.m., Christopher John Boyce, escaped Federal prisoner and convicted Soviet spy, was arrested by a U.S. Marshals Service Task Force assisted by FBI agents. This arrest in the small town of Port Angeles, Washington, ended the most extensive and complex manhunt in the history of the Service in the 1980's.

Escorting escaped Federal fugitive Christopher Boyce from the U.S. Courthouse in Seattle.

Escorting escaped Federal fugitive Christopher Boyce from the U.S. Courthouse in Seattle.

The investigation began in the late evening hours of January 21, 1980, when Christopher Boyce, with the help of fellow inmates, hid in a drainage hole, used a makeshift ladder and tin snips to cut through a barbed wire perimeter and escaped from the Lompoc Correctional Institution in Lompoc, California.  Boyce was sentenced a 40-year sentence for espionage. He had been convicted of passing top secret satellite technology information to the Soviets along with a co-defendant, Andrew Daulton Lee. The publicity surrounding the trial of Boyce and Lee was worldwide and resulted in a bestselling book about the exploits of "The Falcon and The Snowman."

Boyce hid in this cramped drainage hole for over three hours prior to his escape.

Boyce hid in this cramped drainage hole for over three hours prior to his escape.  His legs went to sleep and almost prevented his escape.

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