Reputed CIA assassin left legacy of intrigue, controversyhttp://www.ajc.com/news/reputed-cia-assassin-left-598768.html
The self-described CIA assassin who authorities say accidentally killed himself in Newnan last Saturday once described his work as "the dirtiest end of a dirty business."
Roland Haas, 58, wrote a 2007 memoir that some praised as a gritty, realistic account of Cold War spying. Others called Haas a fraud, and a retired CIA polygrapher termed his book "99 percent fiction."
In the book, “Enter the Past Tense: My Secret Life as a CIA Assassin,” Haas wrote that he was a 19-year-old Purdue University student on an NROTC scholarship when the CIA recruited him to be a deep cover operative.
His first assassination was in Afghanistan, he said, where he killed a major heroin dealer and two bodyguards.
"Three people were deleted, they were removed," he said in 2007 at a bookstore appearance in Fayetteville. "Those three acts irrevocably changed who I was. ... The day I undertook that first mission successfully, I ceased being the person I had been."
He also described being tortured in an Iranian jail.
"The good thing is, you only feel about the first three or four hits and then you pretty much pass out," he said.
Haas' account sparked a controversy. Some former CIA officers began protesting Haas’ employment as the head of intelligence for the U.S. Army Reserve at Fort McPherson, according to the SpyTalk blog in the Washington Post.
The former U.S. Army reservist died after accidentally shooting himself in the leg and rupturing his femoral artery, Major James Yarbrough of the Coweta County Sheriff's Office told the Times-Herald of Newnan.
Haas had just left his Newnan apartment last Saturday night when he pulled his car to the side of the road and got out, according to reports.
A passing motorist heard the "pop" of a gunshot and saw Haas on the side of the road, according to reports. The motorist called 911, even after Haas said he was OK. A second passer-by also called authorities, the Times-Herald said.
Then, Yarbrough said, an officer happened to be on Shenandoah Boulevard -- near where Haas was -- and went to his car.
That officer found Haas lying face down at the back of his car.
Haas’ body was taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which ruled his death as accidental, Yarbrough told the Times-Herald. Authorities believe he was in medical distress at the time of the shooting, the newspaper said. He was in diabetic shock, he suffered heart disease and had "several other things going on," Yarbrough said.