Em 1984, Jacqui conheceu Bob Lambert num protesto pelos direitos dos animais. tinha 22 anos. Apaixonaram-se. Um ano depois tiveram um filho. Mas em 1987, Bob desapareceu. A mulher nunca mais ouviu falar nele. Até que, em 2012, viu uma fotografia nas páginas do Daily Mail que o identificava como um espião que, nos anos 1980 e 1990, esteve infiltrado nos grupos defensores dos direitos dos animais. E que, várias vezes, terá ido longe demais. Uma história para ler na The New Yorker.
An undercover surveillance operation that went too far.
I—JUNE 14, 2012
It was four o’clock on a Thursday afternoon, and Jacqui had just got home from work. She made a pot of coffee and took it out to the garden with the Daily Mail. It was the start of her weekend. The sun was out. She sat down at a patio table and poured the coffee, taking a minute to enjoy the scent of the wisteria that was blooming on her trellis.
She opened the paper: the Queen in Nottingham for her Golden Jubilee; bankers under scrutiny; wives and girlfriends of the England football team. Absent-mindedly, she continued to read. She barely glanced at an article titled “How Absence of a Loving Father Can Wreck a Child’s Life.” A few pages later, she came to a photograph of a smiling young man with bouffy brown curls that parted like curtains around his eyes. Even after twenty-five years, she knew the face’s every freckle and line.
She subsequently told a parliamentary committee:
I went into shock. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I started shaking. I did not even read the story which appeared with the picture. I went inside and phoned my parents. My dad got the paper from their nearest shop and my mum got out the photos of Bob and our son, at the birth and when he was a toddler. They confirmed to me, by comparing photos, it was definitely Bob.
Bob Robinson was Jacqui’s first love and the father of her eldest child. He had disappeared from their lives in 1987, when their son was two. (To protect her son’s privacy, Jacqui asked me not to use her last name.) Over the years, Jacqui had tried many times to track Bob down, but she had never been able to find him. Neither had any of the government agencies she had enlisted to help in the search. Bob had seemingly vaporized. Now there he was, staring back at her from the pages of a tabloid.
Jacqui tried to focus. “An undercover policeman planted a bomb in a department store to prove his commitment to animal rights extremists, an MP claimed yesterday,” the article that the picture accompanied began. “Bob Lambert is accused of leaving an incendiary device in a Debenhams in London—one of three set off in a coordinated attack in 1987.” (No one was hurt in the attacks, which caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage to the stores, targeted because they sold fur products.) It went on to explain that Caroline Lucas, an M.P. for the Green Party, had invoked parliamentary privilege to make the accusation. She was calling for “a far-reaching public inquiry into police infiltrators and informers.” Jacqui read on. The officer, the article said, had insinuated himself into animal-rights groups in the nineteen-eighties, creating an alter ego under which, for several years, he led a double life. Bob Robinson was Bob Lambert, and Bob Lambert was a spy.
O artigo completo está aqui.