Former second-in-command at the FBI, W. Mark Felt, revealed that he is ?deep throat,? the legendary source who ?leaked? classified information to the Washington Post and ultimately toppled the Nixon administration. Lost in the hubbub is the story of Frank Willis, the Watergate Security guard who discovered the break-in attempt. On June 17, 1972, Willis was making his rounds at the Watergate Hotel, which served as the Democratic National Committee Headquarters, when he noticed a piece of duct tape affixed to the latch of a stairway door. The tape prevented the door form locking. Willis ripped the tape from the door and continued his rounds. By the time he circled back, a new piece of tape had been affixed to the door, arousing Willis? suspicions. He called in the police, who found a group of five burglars on the sixth floor of the building. The police arrested the burglars at gunpoint, igniting what would become the Watergate scandal.
After the scandal broke, Willis resigned from his security guard position. He had difficulty finding work after that. Most institutions feared the government would cut their funds if they hired him. In 1990, Willis returned to South Carolina to care for his sick mother. They lived together off her $450 a month Social Security check. When she died in 1992, Willis was too poor to pay for a funeral, and had to donate her body to science. Willis spent the next 10 years living in obscurity. On September 27, 2000, the man whose phone call changed history, died penniless.
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