FBI True arrived on CBS within the 2023 TV schedule to cowl a few of the FBI’s most high-stakes instances, with the brokers who risked life and limb telling the story themselves in conversations with fellow former brokers. The following episode on November 21 will study the 2001 investigation into then-FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who’s now generally known as essentially the most damaging spy within the historical past of the Bureau for promoting secrets and techniques to the Russians. Former FBI investigative specialist Eric O’Neill, who went undercover at Hanssen’s aspect, spoke with CinemaBlend about his harrowing expertise and the PTSD he suffered afterwards.
Eric O’Neill went undercover inside the FBI, utilizing his personal identification and life to immerse himself alongside Robert Hanssen with the clock ticking. Conducting this operation inside the partitions of the FBI did not imply that he was secure or that Hanssen would not suspect him if one thing was off. In an unique clip from the brand new November 21 episode (seen above), O’Neill shares an incident when he needed to fairly actually run by way of the constructing to return the PalmPilot and different gadgets that he’d taken at a uncommon opportune second, racing to beat Hanssen from catching him within the act.
When O’Neill spoke with CinemaBlend for FBI True, I famous that I hadn’t realized that an agent could possibly be in mortal peril from one other armed agent inside the partitions of the FBI. I requested the way it feels to look again at that harrowing state of affairs greater than twenty years later, he shared:
The percentages weren’t in Eric O’Neill’s favor when he needed to try to preserve his cowl intact when Robert Hanssen was in a very unstable mind-set, no matter the truth that they have been in an FBI workplace. Regardless of being satisfied on the time that he was not going to outlive the undercover operation, he was profitable in returning the gadgets and holding his mission secret. The previous agent continued trying again:
Eric O’Neill left the FBI after working the Robert Hanssen espionage case, and went on to put in writing a e book about his expertise referred to as Grey Day: My Undercover Mission to Expose America’s First Cyber Spy that was revealed in 2019. The story has additionally been informed on movie and tv, notably together with Ryan Phillippe portraying O’Neill within the 2007 movie Breach. For FBI True (which can stream for Paramount+ subscribers following the debut on CBS on November 21), he informed the story to fellow former agent Kristy Kottis.
The format of FBI True entails brokers talking with different brokers overtly and candidly, with Kristy Kottis usually asking the questions which have by no means been answered fairly this manner earlier than. Different FBI True brokers beforehand opened as much as CinemaBlend about talking with Kottis, and Eric O’Neill shared his ideas on telling his undercover story to her for the upcoming episode:
FBI True govt producer Craig Turk described the format of brokers speaking to different brokers on digicam because the “secret sauce” to make the docuseries work, and Eric O’Neill solely had good issues to say about working with Kristy Kottis. He continued:
Fortunately, Eric O’Neill did certainly come out okay on the opposite aspect of the investigation into Robert Hanssen, however he went on to be very clear about how troublesome all the expertise was. After I informed the previous agent that his days within the workplace with Hanssen sound like a few of his scariest occasions throughout the operation, he expressed:
Remember to tune in to CBS on Tuesday, November 21 at 10 p.m. ET for the “Searching Graysuit: America’s Lethal Traitor” installment. In contrast to different episodes of the docuseries that run for simply half an hour, FBI True devotes an entire hour to the sophisticated and high-stakes mission to catch Robert Hanssen as essentially the most damaging spy within the historical past of the Bureau.
You’ll find former episodes of the docuseries streaming through Paramount+, and take a look at our 2024 TV schedule for when the three scripted FBI reveals will return to CBS. FBI True EP Craig Turk can be the creator of FBI, and he addressed the hit present reaching the 100-episode milestone.