Brian Shepard was born on the 4th of July, 1949 in Kankakee, Illinois. This real, live nephew of his Uncle Sam grew up to become an FBI agent, spending his first six years of service in New York City. He returned to his home state in 1983, assigned as the sole agent in Decatur. Mark Whitacre was the wunderkind of Archer Daniels Midland Company, or ADM (yes, the same ADM of the classy Supermarket to the World television advertisements). Whitacre is also the duplicitous hero of The Informant. In this true account that has more spy action than some Tom Clancy novels, we get double-crossing, dirty dealing, lying, conniving, and wiretapping . . . and that's just the FBI agent and his informant. Add to the mix Whitacre's high-school sweetheart and loving wife, Ginger, who thinks all will be cured if her poor, beleaguered husband simply tells the truth. But, alas, Ginger, the truth isn't simple, and neither are Whitacres's colleagues at ADM, especially head-honcho Dwayne Andreas. Andreas pulled political strings worldwide for decades, even before heading ADM: He met Gorbachev before Reagan did, dined with Yitzhak Rabin before he was Prime Minister Rabin, and helped David Brinkley find an apartment. All the while even when his friend Richard Nixon got in a bit of a mess in 1972 he managed to stay out of the public eye. Does our meager FBI agent have a chance? The truth is a complicated matter, and in the case of The Informant, much stranger than fiction. The truth is The Informant is more deceitful and more spellbinding, than many works of fiction. The phantasmagoric story behind the so-called "Supermarket to the World" rocked Decatur and much of the world, and it will certainly change the way you look at your grocery bill. It may also change the way you think about your neighbors when a strange car pulls into their driveway.
While Diane Stresing admits she was born under an assumed name, she claims she has never been an FBI informant.