[ Part One of the report ]
[ Part Two of the report ]
Part One of the
report by Randall Sullivan, published in the Oct. 11,
1981 edition of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner
Los Angeles HERALD
Sunday Oct 11, 1981
'The spy who loved me': An officer's
battle with obsession
First of two parts, concluding next
She quoted from Chaucer at breakfast but had preferred
talk of stakeouts, surveillances and undercover busts
over drinks that night.
She bore an exotic name that suited her aquiline features
- Theodora Nordica D'Orsay - but called herself Teddy,
wore a red sweatshirt with the emblem of the New Orleans
Police Department on the shoulder, and was sitting with
three patrol cops from the Los Angeles Police Department's
Venice division when Mike Ruppert met her at the bar of
Brennen's Pub in Marina del Ray during December of 1975
"it's not too often you meet a woman who is beautiful,
intelligent, literate and witty siting in a bar with a
bunch of police officers," Ruppert said. "She
was definitely somebody I wanted to see more of."
Ruppert got Teddy's phone number at breakfast. They went
to dinner the next weekend then spent most of the next
15 months together. Even after Teddy disappeared in March
of 1977, she would remain in Ruppert's life as the catalyst
for his career collapse, his obsession with intrigue and
his eventual doubts about his own sanity.
It was never clear, especially at the beginning, precisely
what Teddy was doing with her life.
She was vastly more versed in the vernacular of law enforcement
than any police groupie Ruppert had ever encountered.
And she knew people or seemed to. Teddy dropped the names
of not only undercover investigators but of suspected
organized crime figures like Dan Horowitz and Hank Friedman.
She brought home a story once of a visit to the hotel
rooms of an apparent Mafia weapons dealer who kept a cache
of machine guns in his closet but insisted to Ruppert
that she had gone there with friends, "good guys."
Lacking any visible means of support, Teddy explained
that she had saved money.
[Pull Quote: "His story was incredibly detailed and
with many names and dates, all of which appeared quite
logical. At not time were the patient's associations loosened
or was his story incoherent. His thought processes were
lucid. He appeared fully oriented in all spheres. Clearly,
he is a bright individual with no major weaknesses."
-From the Woodview-Calabassas Psychiatric Hospital "Discharge
Recommendation" prepared by Dr. Robert A. Cole, Feb
2, 1978, regarding Los Angeles Police Department Officer
"OK, I tried to go along with the idea that I was
crazy, since that's what the department wanted me to do.
But my doctor said I was totally sane. And if I was sane,
then something really strange was happening. And it went
back to Teddy." -Mike Ruppert, Sept. 26, 1981 End
Late night calls to Teddy from men who asked for her even
when Ruppert answered a phone registered under his own
name and what Ruppert described as "cryptic phone
messages" left on the answering machine went unexplained.
Teddy was out two or three nights a week - off drinking
with her friend Linda Covington, a Brennen's bartender,
Ruppert was told. When he heard from Linda that Teddy
had disappeared early in the evening on one of those nights,
Ruppert did not make the obvious assumption that she was
seeing another man. Instead he imagined clandestine operations
and undercover identities.
Not long after Rupert and Teddy moved into the same Culver
City apartment in March of 1976, she left for a vacation
in Hawaii. When Teddy returned to Los Angeles, Ruppert
was not interested in stories of waterfalls and white
sand beaches, and certainly not of men with darkly tanned
torsos. Ruppert insisted that she tell him the truth.
What was the "deal," he demanded to know. He
hammered her with questions about the specifics of the
"operation." At 3 o'clock in the morning, exhausted,
Teddy "confessed" that she had been in Hawaii
to participate in an exchange of a huge load of government-issue
automatic weapons for several kilos of processed, uncut
Teddy fell asleep to the sound of Rupert alternately chortling
and demanding "further details."
Ruppert had been warned early on by another policeman
that Teddy was "a party girl," but he saw that
as "a cover."
The aura of adventure Teddy cloaked herself in appealed
to Ruppert's own sense of singularity.
He was "not your average cop," Ruppert said,
and he had plenty of evidence to support that claim. Ruppert
was far more intelligent than the average LAPD recruit,
an honors graduate from UCLA who had verified his intellectual
gifts by obtaining membership in MENSA, the organization
for people whose IQs are in the top 2 percent of the population.
One of the former commanders said he had heard Ruppert
had the highest IQ in the LAPD.
A political science major at UCLA, Ruppert was attracted
to the "sense of mission" that had been inculcated
inside a police department run then by the nations fore-most
spokesman for "Don't like cops? Next time you're
in trouble, call a hippie" law enforcement chief
He had attended college as "a shorthair surrounded
by longhairs" during the early 1970s, Ruppert said,
and he was drawn to the sense of camaraderie shared by
the officers of a department that was then successfully
passing itself off as the finest police force in the world.
Ruppert and his closest friend at UCLA, Craig Fuller,
now a highly placed White House aid to President Regan,
had frequently discussed -- as they stood on the sidelines
of campus demonstrations - how much more effective they
could be if they got inside the system and became part
of its inner workings before calling for change.
"I entered the police department sincerely believing
that someday I would be chief of police in Los Angeles,"
It did not seem such an unlikely forecast at the beginning
of his career. Ruppert was valedictorian of his Police
Academy class in 1973 and earned solid "outstanding"
ratings on his personnel reports over the next four years.
While his commanding officers praised him with four official
commendations and 13 citations, some of his fellow patrol
officers were a bit rattled by Ruppert. He was obsessed
with his career. As a young white man from Orange County
thrown onto the streets of a black ghetto wearing a blue
uniform, Ruppert was known for his relentless pursuit
of "hypes," heroin addicts. Other officers said
he never took the uniform off, that he worked in his sleep.
Ruppert's field reports, a former sergeant of his said,
were the most elaborate and descriptive in the department.,
"a pleasure to read each one a complete story."
His new girlfriend, Teddy D'Orsay, not only accommodated
Ruppert's obsession with police work and his endless extrapolations,
she enhanced them, building on the idea that each small
case was spiraled upward into the criminal organizations
she had infiltrated.
[Pull Quote: During the course of the next 10 months Ruppert
began to document evidence - much of it still on file
with the FBI, the U.S. Justice Department and the LAPD
- that would support his theory that he was living with
a CIA agent. End Pull Quote]
In May of 1976 Ruppert and Teddy went to Las Vegas, where
he was enrolled in the US Drug Enforcement Agency training
program. In Las Vegas Ruppert asked Teddy to marry him.
There were things she had to discuss before she could
answer, Teddy said. The couple drove to Ensenada, Mexico,
for a short vacation.
In the Bahia bar, Ruppert loudly demanded to know where
Teddy got her money. In a stage whisper that was overheard
by people at nearby tables, Teddy told him that Rupert
had already assumed, that she was "working for the
government in an intelligence capacity involving organized
Ruppert pounded on the table, shouted in triumph. Teddy
began to shake her head, looking frightened. It was just
a joke, she said, Didn't he get it? But Ruppert was still
pounding the table, repeating again and again, "I
knew it. I knew it."
Teddy shrugged her shoulders and finished her drink. OK,
she said, you knew it.
During the course of the next 10 months Ruppert began
to document evidence - much of it still on file with the
FBI, the U.S. Justice Department and the LAPD - that would
support his theory that he was living with a CIA agent.
The intrusions on their home life, the phone calls and
Teddy's disappearances increased.
Ruppert bought Teddy a present, a pistol, an off make
F1 Garcia 380-caliber automatic.
"She had it field stripped in 10 seconds," he
recalled. He took Teddy to a practice range and discovered
"she was as good a shot as I was."
She had been trained by the government, Teddy told him,
One night during the fall of 1976 according to Ruppert,
he was awakened by a phone call from a man who asked for
Teddy. He handed the phone to her, lying in bed next to
him. When Teddy hung up, she told Ruppert that Carlo Gambino,
the Mafia don of dons, had died that night and the West
Coast mob was meeting in San Francisco. She would have
to fly up there that night, Teddy said.
For once, it occurred to Ruppert: to secret business,
national security, undercover assignments, what better
cover could a faithless lover have?
The next morning, driving to work, Ruppert heard a radio
news announcement of Gambino's death and of the mob meeting
in San Francisco.
Teddy insisted later that the trip to San Francisco had
nothing to do with Carlo Gambino, whoever that was. She
had been planning the trip for a week, she said. It was
all a coincidence. She couldn't remember any phone call
the night before she left. She advised Ruppert to take
Ruppert's speculations upon his live in love's "business"
began to assume international proportions during the last
month of 1976.
Teddy had been a childhood friend of Minou Haggstrom's,
the American educated niece of Shah Reza Bahlavi of Iran.
Teddy and Minou had carried on an occasional correspondence
between Culver City and Tehran during the early months
of 1956, but at the end of the year the letters from Iran
began to arrive more frequently. Teddy talked about the
danger Minou was in, how important it was to get her out
of Iran soon.
Ruppert decided that the envelopes arriving from Tehran
did not contain personal letters but rather encoded messages.
He began to see that it all fit. Even the bullet hole
in Teddy's car fit.
He discovered the bullet hole on March 1, 1977, one year
to the day since Ruppert and Teddy had taken the apartment
in Culver City. Their relationship was deteriorating.
Teddy was out more, gone overnight occasionally. Ruppert
was complaining more about "the disruptions of our
"I'm blowing your cover, right?" Ruppert said.
Teddy showed him the bullet hole in the driver side door
of her 1965 Ford Comet - a perfect car for a secret agent,
Ruppert had decided, because it was "sound mechanically
on the inside, a heap on the outside, the kind of car
you don't notice." Someone had tried to kill her
in her Comet, Teddy said, she had to get out of town.
Ruppert now believes Teddy put the bullet hole there herself,
with the gun he bought her, but at the time he believed
Two days later Teddy was gone without a goodbye. A month
passed without word from her.
One week after Teddy's disappearance, Ruppert's mother,
a marginally successful realtor in Fountain Valley, was
approached in her office by four men with Italian surnames
who asked her to help arrange the purchase of a $45 million
parcel of real estate.
Mrs. Ruppert, who made her living selling occasional $70,000
tract houses, calculated that her commission on the deal
proposed by the Italian gentlemen would be $750,000. Panicked,
she called her son and told him she thought she was becoming
involved in something illegal.
Mike Ruppert took the names of the men who had proposed
the $45 million deal to two members of LAPDs Organized
Crime Intelligence Division, Lee Goforth and Charles Bonneau.
Goforth and Bonneau ran checks and informed Ruppert that
one of the four men did have "an association with
an important organized crime figure" but that it
was not a close association. They scheduled another meeting
At this gathering, Goforth said he noticed that Ruppert
"I asked him if there was something else besides
his mother's deal and he said, yes, there was," Goforth
recalled. "Then he went into all this weird stuff,
this theory about his girlfriend, the double agent, being
behind it all.
He and Bonneau attempted to check out the name Teddy D'Orsay
with "at least one federal intelligence agency,"
Goforth said, and "nobody had heard of her, they
said." Mike Ruppert's name had been passed along
during these inquiries as well.
It was after his initial meeting with Goforth and Bonneau,
Ruppert said, that "the harassment started."
Hang up phone calls and cars tailing him to and from work.
He found his apartment searched, he said, and the only
things missing were two photographs of Teddy. He began
to drive with his gun on his lap and slept at night with
it under his pillow.
Five weeks after Teddy's disappearance, Ruppert received
a post card from a small town outside Atlanta, Ga. - "Having
a great time, wish you were here, Teddy."
One more month after that, 10 weeks after her disappearance,
Teddy called Ruppert from New Orleans, where she was "working
on something important," and gave him a phone number
and an address in suburban Gretna, near the Belle Chase
Naval Air Base.
(Part two continues the story of Ruppert's obsession with
Teddy, which leads eventually to his resignation from
the LAPD to "save my life.")
<END of PART
[ Part One of the report ]
[ Part Two of the report ]