Pellicano stars in “The Spy Who Hacked Me”?

It’s got private detectives, high-profile lawyers, eavesdropping skullduggery and a dead fish. But the Anthony Pellicano case has always seemed to be missing something — sex appeal? A giant gorilla? Spies? — to be considered grade-A screenplay material.

The rumor mill is trying to help out, hinting at the involvement of secret agents. Since bigshot L.A. lawyer Terry Christensen was indicted in connection with Pellicano’s alleged wiretaps earlier this month, it’s been clear that the government has recordings of the detective on the phone with his clients. But those recordings — made by the detective himself — didn’t come easy. Obtaining them required the kind of codebreaking you expect to see in a spy movie.

In fact, many in L.A. seem to think actual spies, and not just the FBI, were required to get into Pellicano’s files. While none of them are sure enough to stand by this belief for publication, a combination of conjecture and rumor has it that an agency with plenty of well-publicized eavesdropping experience came to help (can you spell NSA?).

People familiar with the Pellicano case weren’t confident enough to be quoted — even anonymously — about their belief that agencies which typically operate overseas were brought into a very domestic investigation. And mouthpieces for both agencies wouldn’t specifically deny NSA involvement.

But security experts say that would fit into the National Security Agency’s post-Patriot Act role of assisting domestic law enforcement. And who else has the codebreaking resources needed to figure out Pellicano’s computer password?

So, no spies officially cast in this story yet. Add a pirate, though, and maybe we’re ready for the silver screen.

— Justin Scheck


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