In the Cell
Agent Werner Mauss got himself put into prison in 1970
How Mauss used a crook’s fondness for prostitutes to help him find out the whereabouts of a police murderer
District. After working on several industrial cases from his small office in the Essen suburb of Bredney, (as reported) secret agent and horse-lover Werner Mauss had his big break in 1970. He was sitting comfortably in his garden at home when he received a phone call from the headquarters of the Federal Criminal Police Office in Wiesbaden.
Super agent Mauss was to be set on the trail of two dangerous criminals, the robbers and police murderers, Alfred Lecki and Helmut Derks. They had broken out of prison in Essen before setting off on a armed and brutal bank-robbing spree through Germany.
“They shot their way through everything.”
The escape was nevertheless a source of some amusement in legal circles at the time, because the pair had evidently taken the words of a song sung by the prison choir the wrong way. As the other inmates rehearsed, the pair made good their escape, breaking out to the accompaniment of the Christmas song: “Fling wide the door, unbar the gate”. With numerous crimes following in the wake of the outbreak, Minister of the Interior Hans Dietrich Genscher personally ordered the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) to take up the case. They, in turn, decided that this was a job for their “most potent weapon”: Werner Mauss.
Equipped with all authorisations and false documentation, as well as all the necessary information, “Institution M” as he was known to the BKA took up the trail of Alfred Lecki and Helmut Derks. A few weeks later Werner Mauss had his first lead, it lead him via Belgium to Spain. Mauss, whose work as a civilian operative for the BKA in Spain was registered via Interpol, had the full backing of the Spanish police.
“I knew that Derks had a weakness for prostitutes. That had to be my starting point.” The agent from Hunsruck decided to monitor the telephone calls of the best-known prostitutes in the Ruhr, women whose services Helmut Derks was known to have used in the past. The tactic paid off a few days later, when, via a hotel in Belgium, Mauss followed a lead that led to Alicante by way of Madrid. It was there that agent Mauss would set a trap for Helmut Derks.
Following a robbery in Offenbach Derks had gone into hiding in Alicante. “We were able to persuade a German prostitute to cooperate with us in Spain” – three days later Derks was arrested in Alicante. Of police murderer Alfred Lecki, however, there was still no trace. Using a cover story, Mauss had himself put into a cell with Derks. After some hours Derks revealed to Mauss that his friend Lecki was in hiding out in Marbella. A few hours later the second of the criminals was arrested there by Mauss and a special unit of the Spanish police force.
The arrest was a huge success for undercover agent Mauss and would lead to an increase in police work for the civilian operative. Shortly afterwards, the “Bond from the provinces” as he was humorously referred to by police officers at the BKA, was put under contract by the head of the Federal Intelligence Service. He was to be paid an annual fee of 650,000 Deutschmarks, all expenses paid. The WOCHENSPIEGEL has no information on any operations carried out by Werner Mauss for the Federal Intelligence Service (based at Pullach, near Munich).
Werner Mauss maintains silence on these operations.
By courtesy of the Wochenspiegel SW publishers