How Alger Hiss Was Framed: The Latest Theory

33 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2015 Last revised: 29 Feb 2016

Date Written: November 2, 2015


Alger Hiss was convicted of perjury in 1950 for denying that he spied for The Soviet Union. Ever since, theories have been advanced that he was 'framed.' The latest theory is that Hiss was framed by the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps and one of its former agents, a New York City private detective named Horace Schmahl. Like most Hiss conspiracy theories, this one includes claims that Hiss's supposed spy documents were typed on a fake typewriter that was made to operate like Hiss's home typewriter.

This paper attempts to debunk this theory. It begins be describing the whole Hiss Case, to set the stage. Then it describes the new theory about the CIC and Schmahl and how they committed 'forgery by typewriter.' The paper then lists the new theory's many weaknesses and improbabilities, and concludes that it is highly unlikely to be true. Finally, the paper notes the many improbabilities of any theory that the CIC or anyone else framed Alger Hiss by 'forgery by typewriter.'

Keywords: conspiracy, Army Counter Intelligence, Army Counterintelligence, CIC, FBI, OSS, libel, grand jury, perjury, trials, famous trials, jury trials, political trials, Chambers, Hiss, Whittaker Chambers, Alger Hiss, treason, Communism, espionage, HUAC, House Un-American Activities Committee, Nixon, Pumpki

Suggested Citation

Berresford, John W., How Alger Hiss Was Framed: The Latest Theory (November 2, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

John W. Berresford (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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