Wiki: Freddie Woodruff

Freddie R. Woodruff (September 14, 1947 — August 8, 1993)[1] was a regional affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Tbilsi, Georgia. Earlier in his career he had been posted under diplomatic cover to Berlin, the consulate in Leningrad and in the early 1980s to Ankara followed by a stint in Ethiopia 1987.[2]

Woodruff has been widely reported as the Central Intelligence Agency station chief involved in training the bodyguards of the Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze and an élite Omega Special Task Force. He was shot in the head and killed in 1993 on a mountain road in the sensitive border area with Ossetia whilst on a “private trip” in a vehicle driven by the Georgian head of security Elgar Gogoladze.[2] This program had been initiated under the cover of USAID after a state visit to Georgia in 1992 by the American foreign secretary James Baker III immediately after Eduard Shevardnadze had been installed as head of state in the follow-up of a bloody coup d'etat supported by foreign powers against the democratically elected president of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia, who died under suspicious circumstances a year later.[2] Woodruffs coffin was accompanied home personally by CIA director James Woolsey who at the time of the assassination had “coincidentally” been in Moscow. He also held a speech at the funeral service.[2]

Anzor Sharmaidze, a 20 year old former Soviet draftee, was convicted of Woodruff's murder.[3] Sharmaidze was alleged to have been a “drunk bandit” and to have randomly shot at Woodruff.[3] Although initially not formally cleared of the charges, he was released from jail in 2008 after witnesses stated they were forced via torture to implicating him.[3]

In 2013, Georgian Minister of Justice Tea Tsulukiani stated that "[t]he case has not been properly investigated". Tsulukiani said she believed that the killing embarrassed President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze and cast doubt in the United States government about his ability to lead his nation.[3] Most likely his assassination – carried out in a professional manner by single shot in the forehead (none of the other three passengers in the car were hurt) – was ordered either because he could have come close to expose Robert Ames or, more likely, his earlier involvement with the slush fund of $27.5 billion stashed away by Lee Emil Wanta on behalf of the Reagan administration by way of the AmeriTrust Inc.[2][4]

Woodruff was married twice. With his first spouse, a fanatical Baptist, he had a daughter Georgia Woodruff-Alexander. He was survived by his second wife, Meredith, a former CIA officer, three children, and sister, a nurse in Arkansas.[2]


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