The inspiration for FX’s hit show “The Americans” was a real Russian couple living a double life in New Jersey complete with fake passports and fake names. Richard and Cynthia Murphy lived in Montclair, the parents of two young daughters, but in 2010 the FBI arrested them as Vladimir and Lydia Guryev. They pled guilty to “conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign country,” according to the Associated Press, and were deported to Russia. Their home, vacant since their arrest, will finally go up for sale in the near future.
It’s been reported that an investor, Jeremy MacDonald, is going to spend $200,000 to renovate the house and then put it on the market for approximately $700,000. “I didn’t even know it used to be a Russian spy house,” said Mr. MacDonald. He doesn’t believe the home’s past as an epicenter of Russian espionage–secret code words, invisible ink, and an encrypted radio were among the evidence collected by the FBI–will affect the sale one way or the other.
Nearby Montclair residents are welcoming the investment, “Montclair is excited that this house will be renovated soon and lived in again, bringing a new family to the neighborhood,” said Brian Wilde, Montclair’s head of code enforcement.