Christopher John Boyce was a convicted spy for the Soviet Union sentenced to 40 years in prison. In 1980, he escaped federal prison and was on the run for 1yr and 8 months, during which time he committed 17 bank robberies and studied aviation so he could eventually flee to the Soviet Union.
On 21 January 1980, Boyce escaped from Lompoc. While a fugitive, Boyce carried out 17 bank robberies in Idaho and Washington State. Adopting the alias of “Anthony Edward Lester,” Boyce did not believe he could live as a fugitive forever, and began to study aviation in an attempt to flee to the Soviet Union, where he believed he would accept a commission as an officer in the Soviet Armed Forces. On 21 August 1981, Boyce was arrested while eating in his car outside “The Pit Stop,” a drive-in restaurant in Port Angeles, Washington. Authorities had received a tip about Boyce’s whereabouts from his former bank robbery confederates.
Boyce was released from prison on parole on 16 September 2002 after serving a little over 24 years, accounting for his time spent outside from the escape. In October 2002, shortly after Boyce was freed, he married Kathleen Mills. She had lobbied successfully for Boyce’s espionage accomplice, Andrew Daulton Lee, to be awarded parole in 1998. Following Lee’s release from prison, she turned her attention to freeing Boyce, and the two fell in love through their correspondence. Boyce was released from parole after serving 5 years in July 2008.
The story of their case was told in Robert Lindsey’s best-selling 1979 book The Falcon and the Snowman. This book was turned into a film of the same title in 1985 by director John Schlesinger starring Timothy Hutton as Boyce, and Sean Penn as Lee.
Lindsey’s initial book was followed by The Flight of the Falcon: The True Story of the Escape and Manhunt for America’s Most Wanted Spy (1983), an account of Christopher Boyce’s escape from Federal prison and subsequent bank robbing spree.
American Rapper Canibus makes a reference to the spy duo in his acclaimed song Levitibus:
“Got a message from the Falcon and the Snowman In an unopened Coca-Cola can Showed the whole planet in coded program Encrypted by a pro-scan modem with a low-band Hold up, let me load it in”