THE traumatized wife of a top US spy who killed himself says he was trying to MURDER her and take her to the “afterlife”, The Sun can exclusively reveal.
Anthony Schinella, 52, the National Intelligence Officer for Military Issues, shot himself in the head in their front yard in Arlington, Virginia, on June 14.
Schinella had just recently married his wife Sara Corcoran, a Washington DC based journalist, who says he was obsessed with the afterlife, and fears he was suffering from PTSD.
An FBI liaison to the CIA entered Schinella’s home after his death and took away his passports, phone and combed through his property, with his wife later discovering a stash of S&M gear, up to 200 sex toys, along with guns and ammunition.
In the following days, she also found the gas stove had been dismantled, fearing he was going to blow up the house.
Speaking to The US Sun in an exclusive interview, she recalled: “My husband was planning on murdering me. He had talked about taking me to the afterlife before.
“We would often watch documentaries on Egypt, Valley of the Kings, pharaohs, he had a love of Egypt, he spent a great deal of time in the Middle East, he spent several years living in Bahrain.”
The pair tied the knot at a lawyers office and honeymooned at the Trump Hotel, with Schinella having briefed the President in the past.
She thinks Schinella was suffering from the stress of being in four wars and was two months shy of a 30 year career in the CIA which had dominated his life, to the detriment of his mental health.
She said: “I went back in the house a few days later to see what he was doing with the stove, he was dismantling it, he only had to let gas run for about half hour, 45 minutes, light a match, the whole house would have blown up.”
Prior to the night of terror, she said the pair were caring for a new kitten they had adopted, and she offered to sleep in a bedroom in the basement to look after the pet, so her husband could sleep peacefully upstairs.
He had bizarrely gathered a number of artefacts on their bedside table upstairs, including cards from the Chinese Zodiac, handcuffs, and love letters Sara had written him.
“To have those three things together, you’re only going to sit there and kind of go through all of the notes I’ve ever written to you if you’re getting ready to leave this world,” she said.
Sara, 46, began to panic after he drank a cup and a half of Burnett’s vodka and she started pleading with him to “go to sleep” and “you’ve got to stop”, but he began making no sense.
“He pulled out a glock and threatened to kill himself for two hours,” she said. “I was trying to talk him out of it. It was a traumatic ordeal.
“I was only fearful he was going to kill me when he started asking me about my grandfather.
“I didn’t call 911 at first because I was afraid he would shoot himself and me.”
Schinella was obsessed with her grandfather, Washington lobbyist and former member of Roosevelt’s brain trust, Tommy the Cork, and she says he began asking who she loved more and who was a better man.
Sara says she ran out of the house barefoot with the kitten as she fled the scene while he was dismantling the stove.
“I got the kitten in, I ran out with no shoes on, I was absolutely terrified,” she recalled. “And I’m trying to start the car but I pressed the accelerator vs the brake so the car didn’t start right away.
“So he comes out, he’s pulling on the car handle yelling. He is frantic. He tried to smash the back window, which I’d heard is the weaker spot, he had a gun and could have shot me in the back of the head.”
But as she reversed the car to get away, he yelled her name, and then shot himself in the head before dropping to the ground.
“I’ve never heard a gunshot that loud before, I’m going to need therapy for the rest of my life,” she said, still shaken from the experience.
“He was so upset that I’d escaped. I put the car in park, screaming, I knocked on the neighbors door and called 911. He was pronounced dead on the scene.”
Asked if she knew he was suffering with mental health issues, she said: “I would say, maybe he was sad about leaving the agency.
“Somebody [else] would say, ‘Wait, he was so happy, he was going to do his own consulting business, join the board of a private equity firm, and be head of research British think tank IISS… I don’t know.”
The CIA didn’t provide Sara with any details surrounding her husband’s suicide, and she’s “at a loss” as to what the main trigger could have been.
“I let my husband have so much privacy as he worked at the CIA, I didn’t know anything, I didn’t even know about the bondage!” she said.
“I feel just traumatized, it’s been a little over two months, at first I had all these dreams of spies killing me for, for weeks on end, I’ve lost like 15 pounds. The stress is overwhelming.”
Schinella was a high up military affairs analyst in the intelligence community in the United States.
He was also a member of the powerful National Intelligence Council (NIC) and an expert on the Taliban’s military capabilities.
Schinella took his own life before The New York Times reported on June 26 that Russia paid bounties to the Taliban to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan.
The NIC then drafted a memo claiming that the intelligence about the bounties was inconclusive – but this document was leaked.
Asked if she thinks these issues could have contributed to his suicide, Sara replied: “They could, it would give me a little sense of relief to know that there was some sort of trigger that drove him into this downward spiral, but I wish he’d have told me.”
Sara says she never felt he was serious about taking her to the afterlife, and described him as a “gentle, caring, loving man” and a “genius” who she met a year and a half prior at a wine event in Washington, DC before recently getting married.
She went on: “I think my whole family felt a sense of betrayal that this guy who, again, we all thought was the most amazing, gentle guy, would actually be capable of such a violent act.
“If I hadn’t have escaped, which I wouldn’t have been able to if he wasn’t working on the stove, he would not have let me leave the house, that I know for sure.
“I thank my lucky stars, a guardian angel must be looking out for me because I was able to get out of there. He said he’d left me everything, but he left me nothing, he just wasn’t planning on me living, he didn’t have a will.
“I do hope my husband is at peace. To have this amazing illustrious career of [almost] 30 years, to not think about your family, and end your career this way, to me that wasn’t the man I was married to, it really wasn’t.”