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Author`s books
About the authorBooksGeorgi Markov`s casePiccadilly fileThe archives of the SSSContacts
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The Double Life of Agent Piccadilly. The file of the only agent suspected of the murder of the writer, Georgi Markov and the key archive of the First Main Directorate of the SSS

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He was sent to London...

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He underwent special training...

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He was paid well...

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He was presented with medals...

Summary E-mail
“Kill the Wanderer”

By Hristo Hristov

(The Secret Archives of the Bulgarian State Security Services reveal the truth about the Georgi Markov – murdered in London by a poisoned umbrella)

The book received the following are awards for:
Award for overall contribution for the access to information of the "Aсcess of information foundation" (2005), “Chernorizec Hrabur Prize” First Award for best Journalistic Investigation in 2005, given from the Union of Editors of Daily Newspapers in Bulgaria and the award for “Contribution to the Freedom of Spirit in Bulgaria” from the Georgi Vasilev fund, Switzerland, 2006.

“Kill the Wanderer” is a documentary investigation into one of the most emblematic crimes of the Cold War – the murder of the Bulgarian dissident writer, Georgi Markov, in London in 1978. Throughout the whole world this case acquired infamy as the “Bulgarian Umbrella” murder. The assassination became an emblematic example of “wet operations” involving the secret services of the former Eastern Bloc. It recently became the subject of commentary in the media throughout the world after the death of the former Russian officer from the Federal Security Service and political émigré, Alexander Litvinenko at the end of 2006 in London, due to many of the similarities between the two cases.

Hundreds of articles have been written throughout the world about the murder of Georgi Markov. It was commented on in a number of books on the subject of the KGB - Christopher Andrew, Оleg Gordievski, “KGB: The Inside Story” (1990); Christopher Andrew, Vasilii Mitrohin, “KGB – The Mitrohin Archives” (2000); Оleg Kalugin, “Spy Master” (1994). However, there has never been a complete investigation in the case until “Kill the Wanderer” (“Wanderer” was the Bulgarian State Security Services’ code name for Georgi Markov as an enemy of the regime).

Although 29 years have passed since the murder and Scotland Yard still has not discovered the perpetrator, the leading opinion in the West is that the murder of the Bulgarian dissident was carried out by the Bulgarian Security Services on the orders of the then head of state in Bulgaria, Todor Zhivkov, with the assistance of the KGB. “Kill the Wanderer” for the first time calls upon specific archive materials to confirm this thesis. Hristo Hristov (1967) is one of the best investigative journalists in Bulgaria and has researched the crimes of the communist regime. He has published documentary books on the murders in the communist camps in Bulgaria (1944-1962) and on the kidnapping of the Bulgarian émigré, Boris Arsov by the Bulgarian State Security Services from Denmark in 1974. His investigations received numerous prestigious awards. Work on the “Kill the Wanderer” took him six years (1999-2005) and as a court reporter he has reported on the Markov murder case since 1991. His book is based on a number of documents hitherto unknown, many of which are from the secret archives of the former State Security Services.

The author supports the thesis propounded by a number of British politicians, such as MEP Lord Nicholas Bethel, that the truth about the murder of Georgi Markov is hidden in the archives of the SSS in Sofia and the KGB archives in Moscow. And while the KGB archives remain completely inaccessible, the author managed in a short space time, when access to the SSS archives in Bulgaria was relatively possible, to study a large part of them connected with the case. From this point of view, the exceptionally valuable historical secret SSS materials connected with Georgi Markov which he discovered and which were not known to the Bulgarian and British investigations, were of unique significance for establishing the truth of the case.

Extensive research was done into the archives of the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central State Archive (archive of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party and the secretariat of the Central Committee, the archive of the Union of Bulgarian Writers, the confidential archive of the State Council), the archive of the Supreme Cassation Court, the Presidency and the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency. The author has used for the first time a significant number of very important secret documents from the archive of the First Main Directorate of the State Security Service (Zhivkov’s intelligence service), to which access is not permitted in Bulgaria, as well as materials relating to the case from the National Intelligence Services. He has also worked with a number of personal archives including those of the writer himself.

The wealth of documentary evidence in the book is supported by a large number of interviews (more than 25) with important figures related to the case. They include presidents Zhelev and Stoyanov, Deputy Prime Minister Dimitar Ludzhev, investigators Bogdan Karaiotov and Gen. Kosta Bogatsevski, the former Deputy Director of the National Intelligence Service Colonel Radoslav Raikov, the former advisor to President Zhelev on matters of national security Rumen Danov, as well as the directors of the National Intelligence Service for 1991-2003, General Brigo Asparuhov and General Dimo Gyaurov.

One of the most important revelations in the book is the disclosure of the Bulgarian intelligence agent who carried out the task of “neutralizing” the “Wanderer”. The reader will be able for the first time to read the most important documents from the personal intelligence file of Francesco Gullino, an Italian citizen, recruited in 1972 by the Bulgarian Security Services and who worked for them for 18 years in return for remuneration under the code name “Piccadilly”. The Bulgarian investigation services established that he was the only agent of the Bulgarian SSS sent to London to “neutralize” the “Wanderer”.

The author reveals the shocking fact that the Bulgarian National Intelligence Service was directly involved in covered up the trail of the murder. A high ranking officer from the NIS “froze” agent “Piccadilly” shortly before the first democratic elections in Bulgaria in June 1990. The aim was to avoid any possibility of the political opposition discovering him and his 1978 mission in London after any eventual change in government.