Men couldn’t help themselves. They told her secrets. Women intuitively hated her, but came to her for help. Her society mother could not control her.
In the photos we see of her today, the intensity and mystery of her green eyes has the force to pull us in with an unbelievable power. She’s someone we’ll never forget.
British and American intelligence forces before and during WWII gave her the code name: Cynthia. The achievements of Betty Pack and her dangerous liaisons and death-defying missions remained classified until now. It’s told by Howard Blum in “The Last Goodbye.”
Betty risked her life to seduce diplomats and military men, leaving a diplomat husband and two children alone and adrift, when she went off to ply a craft she developed with her own intuition and guts.
Blum’s fierce narrative non-fiction only bruises the surface of what truly happened to this extra-ordinary woman who wrote and published a novel at the age of twelve spelling out what one day she’d do.
She used not only her wit and beauty but her journalistic skills to live a life of high intrigue. As I read of her accomplishments and the few letters that she wrote and he included — her words direct, inviting, compelling and captivating — I could only wish that Blum might have included more such letters so I could feel her authentic voice.
Betty, or Elizabeth, as she sometimes called herself, experienced life and the feeling of being truly alive. She had ardor and passion but she always wanted something more, according to Blum, her biographer. She never felt content or at peace. So many times she sensed love, but it never lasted and she’d go on to the next.
Maybe you can’t have it all.