I was amazed to find that so many deaths in the 70's 80's and a few in the 90's (not heard of much though, as yet) in the Defence department in our
dear government were with big question marks. From Dennis Skinner who work at the time of his death with the Midlands Bank's in Moscow to, the many
bizarre suicides in the British technology industry (mainly "Marconi"), he is part of the article that I was looking at:
Hanging, Electrocution, Poisoning, Asphyxiation - Why have so many defence industry scientists died in bizarre accidents or suicides?
On 17th June 1983 Dennis Skinner the Midlands Bank's representative in Moscow was found dead on the pavement beneath the window of his fifth-floor
Leninski Prospekt apartment block. Foreign Office officials announced the death of 54 year old Skinner as a suicide, telling journalists he had a
"persecution complex", and that his death was due to a combination of excessive vodka and paranoia.
But Skinner was discovered with his tracksuit top pulled over his head, and no trace of alcohol was found in his blood. His family and friends found
it hard to accept a verdict of suicide. Only a few days earlier, he had passed a note to a neighbour, asking her to tell the British Embassey in
Moscow that there was a "spy in their own security forces". The end of the letter read: "For God's sake, do this or I'm dead".
While the circumstances of his death remain a mystery, it now appears that Skinner had found himself caught up in a web of espionage invloving British
Intelligence, the KGB
and the international computer industry.
The KGB Connection
In the 1960's Skinner worked for the British computer firm ICL and posted to Moscow, where he fell in love with his secretary Lyudmilla Arianova.
Lyudmilla had been orignally planted on skinner by the KGB to keep tabs on his international computer dealings. In 1970 the KGB asked him to
co-operate with them, and when Skinner told the British Intelligence Services MI6 that he had been approached by the KGB, they recognized the
intelligence possibilities in continuing the relationship.
During the early 1970's Skinner divorced his wofe and married his Russian sweetheart and took up a post financing international computer sales with
the Midlands Bank. Living between England and Russia, he continued his secret meetings with KGB agents in Moscow and MI6 officers in London. Each side
appears to have known that the other was involved.
Skinner's problems began when the KGB wanted him to supply them with computers, despite the ban on high-technology sales to the Soviot's imposed by
the West. The KGB was particularly interested in electronic warfare and computer controlled defence systems, and Skinner informed his contact,
Alexander Barabeichik, that he knew a way around the restrictions on export licenses. Barabeichik then began to put pressure on Skinner, threating
false allegations of illegal currency dealings, owning pornography and visa offenses would be used against him if he refused to co-operate.
Skinner discussed the threats with MI6, who promised that his visits to Russia would be conducted "under very controlled conditions". Despite the
caution, Skinner was killed during his next trip to Moscow.
Back in London, an inquest into his death headed by coroner Dr Mary McHugh, found that Skinner had been unlawfully killed. Dr McHugh alleged that
British Intelligence was connected with his death, while others assumed it was the work of the KGB. American sources suggested that he "died at the
hands of a British secret-service hitman".
The identity of Dennis Skinner's murderer - and the exact reasons why he was killed - remains unknown, but his death was almost certainly connected
with sales of military technology to the Soviet bloc. And know it appears that Skinner's death was just the one in a catalogue of dozens invloving
some of the most brilliant minds in military computer technology.
For the rest of the story click below
Body Count Mounts