Eleven Days of Hell: A Terrifying True Story of Kidnap, Torture and Dramatic Rescue by the FBI and the KGB
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On January 6, 1992 Yvonne Weinstock and her then-husband Danny landed in Moscow on a business trip. They had just left the airport when they were ambushed, kidnapped and held for ransom for 11 horrifying days in a dilapidated country house by a gang of Russian "gypsies" who were in reality far more sinister -- cold-blooded conspirators in a sinister plot that joined the Russian Mob, ex-KGB agents and early al-Qaeda operatives looking to fund terrorism, no matter the cost of human life. As told by Yvonne Weinstock (now Bornstein), who survived, but will never be free of its painful echoes, this is the incredible story of those 11 days of hell, and of one of history's unlikeliest rescue operations -- which against all odds allied the FBI and Russian intelligence agencies for the first and only time in history. Reliving the agony, horror and torture she endured, she also unravels the twists and turns of the rescue mission from her own research into the confidential case, skillfully weaving a heart-thumping narrative of drama and intrigue worthy of a top-notch spy novel. Yvonne writes from the heart about the devastating impact of the kidnapping on her marriage and her life, and the change of attitude it had on her that resulted in a belated appreciation for the simple, meaningful things she had come to overlook in her drive to the top of the corporate business world.. In the end, though, she lives uneasily with the memory of her 11 days of hell, she took from it lessons in life that apply to all of us.
No one within the police department seemed to care very much about our traditions. Finally, George was laid to rest. Watching his casket being lowered into the ground, I couldn’t help but think that my life had ended as well. Finally, after three interminable months, George’s killers were tracked down. That’s when all the pieces of the puzzle fell together. George, it was revealed, had been stalked for some time before that night in a plot rigged by one of his employees who knew George carried a
around the grounds of the Weinstocks’ home, a camera in his hand, snapping pictures of the pool and the tennis court as well as the exterior of the house. Yvonne and Danny attributed this to simple admiration for their lifestyle. But what was Miasnikov’s game? His fawning didn’t add up. Grigory, after all, was no fool. He had lived in England for a time, and his father had been a diplomat. Miasnikov had dealt with Westerners before. Was it credible that he had never travelled to Western cities,
whom we were dealing. It would have been frightening enough to be held by a man like Grigory, especially if he was indeed trained in army intelligence methods. But were these ‘gypsies’ going to understand the intricacies of raising a million dollars on short notice, or be in any mood to wait beyond a day or two for it? When the men had come for Danny, they had rifled through our belongings for any useful information. They handed Oleg my wallet, which contained four credit cards. ‘You have
or the threats against him and his family. Mostly, he stayed home, dreading that he would hear or read in the media that the Weinstocks had been abducted, even killed. In that case, he resolved, he would plead ignorance. On Wednesday, Christmas Day in Russia, Oleg must have felt big-hearted. Either that or he was cowed by the women who wanted Danny and me to come to the dining room table for the early afternoon holiday meal. Oleg petulantly did not join the feast. Instead, he sat out of sight
was a boon for Yvonne and Danny; the telex number could be traced right to the SovAustralTechnicka office. Yet Robert was willing to bend on this detail, believing that Ian bought the fact that this was a business debt, not a ransom. Besides, he would keep moving to different locations for future calls. The Russian police, he knew, were notoriously inept and riddled with corruption; any trouble from them could be erased with a few bribes. After Ian agreed to send the telex that day, Robert ran