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Convicted Spy Soblen Goes Missing

June 27, 1962 - Dr. Robert A. Soblen, who was scheduled to surrender today to start a life sentence for spying for the Soviet Union in wartime, was reported missing. The FBI and the police in New York City and in Rockland County were notified that Soblen had been missing since 9:00 Monday night. The car Soblen had been driving was found parked in front of 255 West 91st Street. A woman friend of Soblen’s who lives nearby could not be found. Federal Judge William B. Herlands, who indicated that Soblen might have fled to avoid serving his sentence, said that he “used his skill at subterfuge and secrecy as a spy and is now using the same skill as a fugitive.” Soblen’s lawyer, Ephraim S. London, told Judge Herlands that he did not believe that the Lithuanian-born psychiatrist had fled. “I don’t believe he is fleeing the jurisdiction of this court,” he said. “He is either very ill, incapacitated, or dead.” Mr. London pointed out that Soblen suffered from lymphatic leukemia and used drugs constantly to ease the pain. A year ago, physicians reported that he had a life expectancy of about one year.

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