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Russian spies pose as all-American family - Damian Lewis: Spy Wars


The Murphys’ wholesome all-American image was an elaborate facade. The New Jersey couple were really Vladimir and Lydia Guryev - trained members of Russia’s foreign intelligence service. They were ‘Illegals’: deep cover agents, who had assumed false identities to enter the United States.

To their neighbours, Cynthia Murphy was the family’s bread winner, working in finance in upstate New York and Richard Murphy was a stay-at-home dad, looking after their two young daughters. Richard and Cynthia Murphy were, a married couple, but married only per instructions and arrangement by the Russian Intelligence Service. Their children, their homes, their lives were mere cover positions for their real purpose in life, which was to work against US interests on behalf of the Russian Intelligence Service. The Guryevs’ goal was to pass themselves off as true American patriots: to embed themselves completely in US society.