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The woman was to show up at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at 9 a.m. to view the document, and department officials weren’t entirely sure what was going to happen from there. Two lawyers with the U.S. Attorney’s Office would be present. An archivist specializing in historical artifacts had been brought in. Armed guards — four of them — would watch over the meeting to make sure that everything went over smoothly. No funny business. No sudden moves. Everyone figured this document viewing on May 25 near Denver International Airport would be an emotional one for the woman. She’d already been sitting in her car in the parking lot outside, crying, since midnight, steeling herself for what was about to occur.
In early 2018, federal agents had seized a number of historical artifacts from Julia’s Conifer home that had originally belonged to British code breaker and computer science pioneer Alan Turing, the subject of The Imitation Game, a biopic starring Benedict Cumberbatch released in 2014. That’s when most people learned about Turing. They learned about Julia in 2020, when the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed a complaint that accused her of stealing Turing’s belongings from a British boarding school during the 1980s. News outlets around the world ranging from the Associated Press to the BBC ran stories quoting the government’s court filings about this strange Colorado woman who had devoted much of her life to an early-twentieth-century math genius, had purportedly taken some of his posthumous relics without permission, and had even changed her last name to match his in some kind of homage. What was behind Julia Turing’s obsession? Derangement? A kind of fetish? Or something else?