RALEIGH, N.C. -- One of the most remarkable spies in history never bothered to use an alias, even as he recruited a group of operatives that would become known as the Cambridge Five spy ring.
Arnold Deutsch spied for the Soviets in the 1930s while living in England next door to crime writer Agatha Christie. His storied career was recounted Thursday at the Raleigh Spy Conference, an annual gathering held at the North Carolina Museum of History.
Deutsch had amazing skills as a recruiter, said Nigel West, a British intelligence expert and frequent guest at the conference.
"What makes Deutsch so extraordinary is that because of his background as a psychologist, he didn't just pitch an individual" to join his spy ring, West said. "He wrote very long psychological profiles of the people he intended to approach.
"It was almost like a relationship between a psychiatrist and a patient."
The three-day conference attracts an eclectic mix of scholars, history buffs and retired FBI and Central Intelligence Agency officers who come to revisit the glory days.