Monday, December 29, 2014

Reminder of a spy

I saw the movie "The Imitation Game" Sunday. It's a very good flick. The mention of the British Cold War spies, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, reminded me that a number of years ago Maclean's younger sister, Nancy Jean, lived in Cedar Hill, Texas, where I ran the local weekly paper, and I knew her pretty well. In fact, she once gave me a memoir to read and appraise, but unfortunately it disappeared when a break-in at a self-storage unit resulted in the theft of a table where the document was stored.

Nancy Jean Oetking ended her days in Texas because she married a petroleum engineer. She died in 2007, aged 88.


  1. Sad to read that the memoir "disappeared" as you put it. Nancy Maclean was a very close friend of my mother's (Rosalys Walker). My mother was also a good friend of Alan Maclean, Donald's younger brother, and friend of Angela Culme Seymour, sister of Donald Maclean's friend Mark Culme-Semour. But I am puzzled: how did Roland Philipps gain access to the memoir if it was lost or did he see it before it was shown to you? Philipps mentions it in his Donald Maclean biograophy called "A Spy named Orphan". Help on this would be much appreciated! Thank you.

  2. Back around 2002 my wife and I put some furniture in storage when we made a move to a home that didn't have enough space. Our self storage unit was broken into and an end table from a bedroom set was stolen. Among the papers in its drawers was Nancy's manuscript.

    I assume I must have had a photocopy, if her manuscript is mentioned in the book.


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