Spy Story

Con man or super spook — either way, Roland Carnaby wasn't supposed to meet his death on a Houston highway in a high-speed chase with the cops.

The FBI's Franks declined to comment.

Kallinen says that the Secret Service took the laptop from HPD after the shooting and copied the hard drive. Afterward, the City of Houston gave Kallinen an image of the hard drive.

"We talked to an expert," Kallinen says, "who told us there's no way to tell if they erased something. There was not much information on the hard drive, less than we thought there would be."

Carnaby's spy friends say Carnaby must have been working with the CIA to be allowed behind the seal at the agency's Virginia headquarters. The CIA, however, says that's not necessarily true.
Courtesy Susan Carnaby
Carnaby's spy friends say Carnaby must have been working with the CIA to be allowed behind the seal at the agency's Virginia headquarters. The CIA, however, says that's not necessarily true.
Though it appears Carnaby did provide information to U.S. intelligence officers, it is unlikely that his death will merit a star on the CIA's wall commemorating the agency's fallen heroes.
Courtesy Susan Carnaby
Though it appears Carnaby did provide information to U.S. intelligence officers, it is unlikely that his death will merit a star on the CIA's wall commemorating the agency's fallen heroes.

He says there was no information about a current investigation. However, "the city knew we thought he ran to protect secrets in his laptop, so if the lawyers were sneaky they could've excluded information and were working with the Secret Service."

In the end, though, says Kallinen, "We'll never know for certain what was in Roland Carnaby's mind when he drove away."

Other elements also remain a mystery, including the badge Carnaby showed Officer Starks. Kallinen says he has not tried to authenticate it. "What does it even mean if it was fake?" he says. "The judge said that issue is not that important."

Another theory is that Carnaby was drunk or high when the police pulled him over. The medical examiner's autopsy, however, found no alcohol or drugs in Carnaby's system.

Taken as a whole, the evidence seems to point to a man who was an informant at times, a brash braggadocio at others, who enjoyed the role of spy as much as he was one for real.

"He may have believed it as much as anybody else," says Helfman.

Perhaps in death, Carnaby will finally get a small dose of the validation he seemed so desperately to want in life.

"Roland Carnaby was a patriot beyond all else," says Kallinen, "and he put himself in grave danger for little or no money for his country. And to ruin his reputation with this demonization is just insane. The people need to know that he loved the police, and to drag his name through the mud after they shot him in the back, that's a shame upon the Houston Police Department."

Much of Carnaby's life remains classified, as evidenced by the fact that the Justice Department attorney who attended Bechaud and Napolitano's depositions interrupted the two men occasionally to remind them not to reveal certain information.

Internet conspiracy theorists can speculate all they want, but one thing seems fairly certain: Because Carnaby died in an unexpected, random incident and because the U.S. intelligence community is so tight-lipped, only a few guys wearing dark coats in Washington, D.C. may ever know the whole truth about Roland Carnaby.

"He was an interesting and outgoing person," says his wife Susan. "I think he was even more complex than I realized."

chris.vogel@houstonpress.com

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Houston Concert Tickets
Loading...