An introduction to his assassination and the pattern of related murders
Copyright 2016 Robert Smith
Published by Robert Smith at Shakespir
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There is so much written about the JFK assassination that it is difficult to separate all the plot details. It is weighed down by minutiae, long histories, conspiracy theories and counter-conspiracy theories, a veritable “poisoned well” of dis-information. Many people feel that the competing theories have come to a stalemate and that the official story of the Lone Gunman is just as probable as the gunmen in the grassy knoll. Actually nothing can be further from the truth. While Kennedy's assassination is still the subject of widespread debate and has spawned numerous conspiracy theories and alternative scenarios, there is little in the official story that is authoritative and unambiguous. Worse still, the evidence used by the official story is tainted. Even one of the major pieces of evidence supporting conspiracy theories, the Zapruder 8mm movie film of the event has a strange set of stories surrounding its chain of custody which would leave any inquirer into the subject feeling uneasy about its validity. So it is with good reason that polling in 2013 showed that 60% of Americans believe that a group of conspirators was responsible for the assassination. There is copious evidence against the official story available to the public and yet more evidence being withheld by the CIA.
The approach taken in this book is to prove background reading on the situation in the JFK presidency and then discuss key tangible facts, the official story and the evidence “left behind”. Only by looking at the wider aspects of the whole JFK network, is a clear view available to the reader on the most likely set of events that occurred on November 22, 1963, and the nature of the environment that has persisted since.
This book attempts to dissect the mess of the JFK Assassination by covering the main aspects of the assassination and putting the event in context with many other strange and anomalous events, mainly deaths. The aim is to provide the most likely explanation for the events using probabilistic techniques. Such techniques are well known to crime investigators; it is the basic diagnostic tool of motive, means and opportunity. To convict a defendant, only evidence linking means and opportunity is required while a motive is not required. However, if a motive can be revealed it makes it easier to persuade a jury to conclude a guilty verdict. In other words all convictions are in some way probabilistic and so criminals are not only convicted solely on evidence but also by probability.
For a single crime, there is a bias towards the defendant: it must be beyond “reasonable doubt,” a term which implies a strong probabilistic determination based on solid evidence, that a defendant committed the crime. However if the defendant is in court again for a similar crime, the information to release past court cases against the defendant is withheld by the judge because knowledge of inclusion of previous crimes is a bias against the defendant. This is used to protect defendants from injustice and is a solid principle for ensuring a fair society defending the weak from the strong. However this book does not do that or intend to do that. It will look at the pattern of criminal activity along a network centered upon JFK. And the pattern discovered is consistent.
Obviously this book relies upon many other sources, many other authors and investigators. While there is copious acknowledgements in the book, the author extends profound apologies if there is any re-use of copyright material beyond fair use and/or where credit has not been offered. Also if there is a sense of déjà vu in the text below this may be because the story is tending towards a consensus based on the evidence which is contrary to the official narrative which is still espoused by the mainstream media almost without discussion. All points of fact can be easily looked up on the internet. However this book aims to be more than just recycling of previously published material because of the breath of the subjects covered, bring in new material uncovered only in the last few years and the attempt at probabilistic analysis.
The basic theory is that when there is a “coincidence,” it should be treated objectively appreciating that rare events do happen and statistically will happen. However when coincidences are repeated, it can no longer be considered a “coincidence” but a “pattern” with a causal relationship. Sometimes this pattern can be due to systematic mechanisms in, say, police or legal processes. However if there is not a system at fault then coincidences do not “add up,” either metaphorically or mathematically. In mathematical terms, probability is not calculated by addition of two probabilities but by their multiplication. One coincidence with one-in-ten chance of happening added to another one-in-ten chance, if there is no linkage between the events, then it is not a one in twenty coincidence but a one-in-a-hundred. So a series of coincidences if there is not a causal relationship rapidly moves from being “by chance” to being by deliberate design.
Just to dwell on this matter for another minute: a mathematician could point to the “shared birthday scenario” to show that coincidences do happen, The scenario shows that the probability of two people in the same room having the same birthday exceeds 50% in a group of only 23 persons which most people find surprising. If there is a set of underlying systematic relationships then coincidences will happen. However the probabilities would show something else if, say, ALL 23 people in the same room have the same birthday. The assumption then would be the gathering would not be random but a deliberately arranged gathering of people with the same birthdate…
Besides the introduction to JFK and some of the people and organizations surrounding him, this book examines the death of many people and for each person, the following will be outlined:
-A short introduction of the person (all this detail should be easily verifiable).
-The official story and key facts of the person’s death (all this detail should be easily verifiable).
-Problems with official story (this detail is often omitted from most sources or aspects go unmentioned).
-Alternative narrative (this section provides differing points of view).
-Who benefits (this describes the results of the simple point of view: cui bono)
-Summary and Conclusion.
However for JFK himself, the following chapters will provide an outline biography before discussing the complexities of his relationships with other important people in his life before any further exploration of the network. So that the book is structured as follows:
-A long introduction to JFK, his network described in several chapters and some key historical events leading up to his Presidency (all this detail should be easily verifiable).
-The official story and key facts of the assassination (all this detail should be easily verifiable).
-Problems with official story of the assassination (that were apparent immediately).
-Other mysterious deaths in the structure outlined above.
-Alternative Narratives (leaning on other key researchers).
-Who Killed Kennedy (names are named and a model described for its organization)
-What we should be doing next…
The chapter order is intended to help introduce the context to JFK’s presidency and also with the method used within the book, hence the discussion of Marilyn Monroe’s death before discussion on JFK’s assassination. Thereafter the discussion of the JFK network is intended to support the understanding of subsequent and often more subtle murders and assassinations.
From the moment of JFK’s inaugural Presidential address, Kennedy ignited what appears to many as the realization of the 1776 US Constitution: a revolution in the arts, science, commerce, civil rights and diplomacy. The USA was at the apex of its power and influence and while Kennedy took the world to the brink of war, in the Cuban Missile Crisis, he managed to reverse the direction of the Cold War. JFK also seized upon the movement for Civil Rights in America and promoted a softer, kinder world in which we all still benefit, even though we are still far from completing that journey. This book cannot do justice to the legacy of JFK. He made an amazing impact on the world. And he did it in less than three years. Suffice to say, that everything before JFK is old: old thinking, prejudiced and clunky. Acknowledging all his faults, the corruption, the legacy of Vietnam and unfinished projects, many commenters have noted that the modern world, the whole space age, started on his inauguration, January 20, 1961.
Of Irish descent, John F Kennedy (full name John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy aka JFK) was born on Tuesday, May 29, 1917, in Brookline, Massachusetts, USA. His parents were Joseph and Rose Kennedy. Joe Kennedy, a hugely successful businessman (including illegal bootlegging of alcohol) and an early supporter of Franklin D Roosevelt. He was appointed chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1934 and from 1937 US ambassador to Great Britain. Jack was second eldest of 9 siblings, Joseph Jr, then Rosemary, Kathleen, Eunice, Patricia, Robert, Jean, and Edward. Joe Senior had high expectations both of himself and for his children.
Jack had an immensely privileged childhood and education. He studied at Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, CT and attended the London School of Economics in the summer in 1935 but left soon afterwards due to jaundice. In fact JFK had a whole series of illnesses throughout his childhood and young adulthood but turned out to be a good sportsman especially as a swimmer and sailor. While being a student at Harvard University, Jack traveled in Europe, Middle East, even the Soviet Union, acting as his father’s secretary. He graduated in 1940 and soon after joined the Navy.
It worth mentioning Jack’s siblings:
- Elder brother Joe Jr had the expectations of political office from his father upon him and he seemed to be living up to expectations until he died. He died while testing remote-controlled bomber aircraft in a secret program during WW2. Jack and Joe Jr were in London together with their father and appeared to have a good relationship. After Joe Jr’s death, Jack was then expected to fill his brother’s shoes.
- Rosemary’s birth was difficult with oxygen starvation causing brain damage; as an adult she had a mental age of an 8 to 12 year old. Her troublesome mood swings embarrassed her family, so in 1941, a new treatment was suggested for Rosemary which Joe Senior approved without even referring to his wife. That treatment was a lobotomy and the results were disastrous. Rosemary’s mental age regressed to a 2 year old. Rosemary spent the rest of her in an Wisconson institution and died 2005 aged 84 with hardly any contact from the rest of the family.
- Kathleen nicknamed “Kick” because of her irrepressible nature, was a high flyer, wowing people wherever she went with her energy and intelligence. She accompanied Joe Jr and Jack to London and made quite an impact. Through her volunteer work with the Red Cross she met and married the Marquis of Hartingdon although he died in the war shortly afterwards. Much loved by Jack, her death in a plane crash in 1948 is considered by some JFK researchers to have had a profound impact on Jack’s attitude to women.
- Sister Eunice was profoundly affected by what had happened to sister Rosemary and she worked tirelessly and successfully for government, charities and special interests to help people with disabilities. She supported Jack’s Presidential Campaign in 1960 and soon afterwards she supported the foundation of the Special Olympics movement and helped form the Peace Corps. She married once, in 1953, had 5 children and died in 2009.
- Patricia was more arts focused. She married British actor Peter Lawford in 1954 but filed for divorce soon after JFK’s death and never remarried.
- Jean maintained a “lower profile” than her siblings yet she also had a glittering career, marriage and children while also being US Ambassador to Ireland (1993-1998) and helped broker the Northern Ireland Peace Agreement. (As of 2016, she is the only surviving JFK sibling).
- Robert (aka RFK) and Edward (Ted) are discussed at length later on this book.
In 1943, Jack was sent to the South Pacific, where he was given command of a Patrol-Torpedo (PT) boat. In August 1943, a Japanese destroyer struck and sunk his craft. Kennedy helped some of his marooned crew back to safety, and was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism.
By 1946 he was back in Boston preparing for a run for Congress entering the 80th Congress in January 1947, at the age of 29. He immediately attracted attention (and criticism) for his youthful appearance and relaxed, informal style. On September 12, 1953, Kennedy married the charismatic journalist Jacqueline (Jackie) Lee Bouvier. Jackie was a great asset to JFK, doubling the size of audience attendance when she appeared at campaign events and also featuring in fashion magazines.
JFK’s poor health struck again in 1955, he had to undergo a painful operation on his back. While recovering from the surgery, Jack “wrote” the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Profiles in Courage”. (The book was later revealed to be mostly the work of Kennedy’s longtime aide, Theodore Sorenson.)
After nearly earning the Democratic party’s nomination for vice president in 1956, Kennedy announced his candidacy for president on January 2, 1960. He chose Lyndon B Johnson, as his running mate. Kennedy faced a difficult battle against his Republican opponent, Richard Nixon, a two-term vice president under the popular Dwight D Eisenhower. Perhaps surprisingly now from a modern perspective, Kennedy’s policies were generally right-wing conservative. He stressed the failure of the USA to close the “missile gap” with the Soviet Union. It was a rhetoric that fed the Cold War fears of the time. Perhaps it was a matter of stealing Nixon’s own clothes since Nixon had long been regarded as a war hawk. Kennedy, though, offered a young, energetic alternative to Nixon and the status quo. Kennedy benefited from his performance (and telegenic appearance) in the first-ever televised debates, watched by millions of viewers. In November’s election, Kennedy won by a very narrow margin, (some claim by election fraud), only by 120,000 votes out of 70 million votes cast, although a clear winner in the electoral college. He became the youngest man and the first Roman Catholic to be elected president of the United States.
Having escaped serious damage during WW2 and two decades of a booming economy, the USA was in an unprecedented and unparalleled position in the world. And now led by Jack and Jackie. Certainly in style and symbolism the impact was dramatic. In his inaugural address, given on January 20, 1961, the new president called on his fellow Americans to work together in the pursuit of progress and the elimination of poverty, and also… win the ongoing Cold War against communism. Kennedy’s closing words expressed the need for cooperation and collaboration: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”
It cannot be underestimated the effect that Kennedys had on public culture and the stature of the USA across the globe. JFK was an enormously popular president, both at home and abroad, and his family drew famous comparisons to King Arthur’s court at Camelot. Jackie Kennedy became an international icon of style, beauty and sophistication. Brother Bobby served as the attorney general, while Edward (Ted), was elected to Jack’s former Senate seat in 1962.
The realities of that Cold War became apparent very quickly just a few months into his presidency. In April 1961, Kennedy approved the plan hatched by the CIA to send 1,400 US-trained Cuban exiles in an amphibious landing at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. Intended to spur a rebellion that would overthrow the communist leader Fidel Castro (whose revolution had only completed in 1959). The Bay of Pigs mission was a failure. Few returned, nearly all of the exiles were captured or killed. The invasion failed for many reasons but obviously the attack would have succeeded if the USA backed up the rebels with air support, logistical support and US troops. But Kennedy refused to be drawn into the conflict because of its potential impact on wider international ramifications. JFK blamed CIA chief, Allen Dulles for the debacle and removed him from his position at the CIA. He used suitable diplomatic language in the process, thanking him for providing “transition” from the Eisenhower administration just the day after awarding him a medal in November 1961 at CIA headquarters.
In June, 1961, Kennedy met with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna to discuss the city of Berlin, which had been divided after World War II between Allied and Soviet control. This probably did not go well since two months later, East German troops began erecting a wall to divide the city. Kennedy sent troops to reassure West Berliners of US Support. (JFK would later deliver one of his most famous speeches, “Ich bin ein Berliner”, in West Berlin in June 1963).
Because of the increased tension between the USA and Soviet Union and the failed invasion of Cuba, the world could easily have tipped into dangerous times. And indeed, the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962 almost brought the two superpowers to the brink of nuclear war. The Soviets were reinforcing Cuba with weaponry including building long range missile sites that could pose a threat to continental United States. When it was learnt that missiles were being transported to Cuba, Kennedy announced a naval blockade of the island. The tense standoff lasted nearly two weeks. The top US Military staff that were apparently advocating a first strike nuclear attack on Moscow, B-52 bombers were flying fully loaded with weaponry waiting for the code to start the attack. Governments the world over were preparing to retreat into bunkers. There has not been a time before or since when the world was on the brink of armageddon. However Kennedy and Khrushchev directly communicated with each other and brokered a deal. The Soviets would dismantle missile sites in Cuba in return for America’s promise not to invade the island and remove US missiles from bases close to Soviet borders. This agreement was an immense victory for mankind. In July 1963, Kennedy won his greatest foreign affairs victory when Khrushchev agreed to join him and Britain’s Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in signing a nuclear test ban treaty. JFK installed an emergency hotline between the White House and the Kremlin to stop any future misunderstandings leading to nuclear annihilation and mutually assured destruction.
Meanwhile in Southeast Asia, even as JFK expressed privately his dismay over the situation, trapped by his own pre-election promises and his continuing desire to curb the spread of communism, the Vietnam conflict had escalated significantly. Lyndon B Johnson visited Saigon in May 1961 and advocated all support to the South Vietnamese government. US troops rose from Eisenhower’s 900 advisors in around 1960 to 16,000 troops by 1963. This may be attributed to a new US Defense policy being developed by Kennedy and the incoming Secretary of Defense, “Whiz Kid”, Robert McNamara. The two of them wanted a flexible response, a set of choices in an emergency other than “inglorious retreat or unlimited retaliation”, as the president put it. Out of a major review of the military challenges confronting the US initiated by McNamara in 1961 came a decision to increase the nation’s “limited warfare” capabilities… and that “flexible response” was being trialled in Vietnam.
During his first year in office, Kennedy oversaw the launch of the Peace Corps, which would send young volunteers to underdeveloped countries all over the world. Otherwise, he was unable to achieve much of his proposed legislation during his lifetime, including two of his biggest priorities: income tax cuts and a civil rights bill. Kennedy was slow to commit himself to the civil rights cause, but was forced into action, sending federal troops to support the desegregation of the University of Mississippi after riots in 1962 left two dead and many others injured. The following summer, Kennedy announced his intention to propose a comprehensive civil rights bill and endorsed the massive March on Washington that took place that August.
JFK’s other famous and inspired policy was the Manned Moon Mission which besides being another reaction to the Cold War and competition with the Soviet Union, was important in developing technology in the USA, in not only space hardware but also computing and material science. The Soviets had put the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, in April 1961 but Kennedy’s commitment to land on the moon before the end of the decade was made before any American had completed a manned earth orbit. (The US Space program’s chief engineer was Wernher “Willie” Von Braun, the Nazi scientist behind the V2 rocket.)
On November 22, 1963, the president and his wife landed in Dallas having given a speech in San Antonio, Austin, and Fort Worth the day before. From the airfield, the party traveled in a motorcade to the Dallas Trade Mart, the site of Jack’s next speaking engagement. Shortly after 12:30 pm, as the motorcade was passing through downtown Dallas, shots rang out. Kennedy was struck twice, in the neck and head.
A few hours later, Lyndon B Johnson was sworn in as President on Air Force One with Jackie Kennedy next to him, still wearing the same blood-splattered pink outfit she was wearing at noon.
At nearly the same time, twenty-four-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested, but two days later, while he was being led from Police offices to jail, he was shot by local nightclub owner Jack Ruby.
Alternative theories of Kennedy’s assassination emerged immediately after his death including conspiracies run by the KGB, the Mafia and the US military-industrial complex, among others. A presidential commission led by Chief Justice Earl Warren concluded that Oswald had acted alone, but speculation and debate over the assassination persisted. At one time or another, doubters of the Lone Gunman Theory “have accused 42 groups, 82 assassins and 214 people of being involved in the assassination,” according to attorney, author and JFK assassination investigator, Vincent Bugliosi.
Kennedy was the fourth US president to be assassinated. Others were Abraham Lincoln (1865), James Garfield (1881), and William McKinley (1901). America’s 29th president, Warren G Harding, later revealed to have been a corrupt philanderer, was widely rumored to have been poisoned by his wife in 1923. There have been at least 20 other known attempts on US presidents’ lives.
The halo over JFK’s presidency has been worn down in the following decades by stories of his numerous marital infidelities and personal association with members of organized crime. To set the context of JFK’s assassination, now with the benefit of hindsight, we need to review some of JFK’s relationships including famously, with Marilyn Monroe, which will be discussed later, but there is a whole string of others. Before Jackie, there was a string of relationships several of which continued on after marrying Jacqueline Lee “Jackie” Bouvier in September 1953.
Florence “Flo” Pritchett was a model that appeared in Life Magazine. In 1940 she met and married Richard Canning and became fashion editor of New York Journal American. She divorced Canning in 1943 and the following year she met JFK who was still in the Navy. The couple spent a lot of time together and they obviously clicked but marriage was out of the question since JFK was a Roman Catholic with political ambitions and she was a divorcee. Flo, apparently, was the only person who could always be guaranteed to make Jack laugh. In JFK’s appointment book for June 28, 1947 there was an entry in Flo’s handwriting: “Flo Pritchett’s 27th birthday! SEND DIAMONDS.”
However later that same year, Florence married Earl E T Smith who was later appointed as Ambassador to Cuba in 1957. They had three children together. Jack and Flo remained friends visiting each other in New York and Washington. FBI files reveal that over during 1957-58, JFK made more than a dozen visits to Cuba not to see the Ambassador but to meet with Florence. Flo also met Kennedy in Miami and Palm Beach where their homes were conveniently adjoined. JFK would hop over a fence to swim with Flo Smith much to astonishment of Secret Service agents who would be there for his protection. On one occasion since they could not find him so the agents called the FBI. The alert came to the attention of the Palm Beach Police Chief Homer Large, a trusted Kennedy family associate, who knew exactly where to find him: in Flo’s swimming pool. Jack and Flo were alone, and as Homer put it, “They weren’t doing the Australian crawl.”
Florence continued working as a journalist. She also became a television personality and appeared on programs such as “What’s My Line?”. It was during this time she became friendly with the journalist Dorothy Kilgallen (who will be discussed later).
For many years pre-1960, Kennedy, while wife Jackie was either having miscarriages or having her first baby (Caroline), had a relationship with Gunilla Von Post, a Swedish socialite. She alleges in her memoirs that JFK called his father and told him he wanted to divorce Jackie and marry her, only to be told that would destroy his political career.
JFK also had sexual relationships with interns and workers at the White House as well as famous actresses. The first person to publicly comment on record of an extramarital affair with JFK was the stunningly beautiful Judith Campbell Exner. Not by choice: she was dragged out of obscurity to testify before a Senate committee in 1975 investigating alleged CIA assassination attempts on Fidel Castro. Exner was a Los Angeles socialite, who had previously dated Frank Sinatra, began her affair with Kennedy during his 1960 Presidential campaign, according to her 1999 Los Angeles Times obituary. Exner and Kennedy continued their relationship during his term of office. During that time Exner claimed to have served as a courier for the President, taking mysterious envelopes to mobsters Sam Giancana, with whom she later also had an affair, and also mobster Johnny Roselli, who is also linked to Castro assassination plots. In 1963, at her final encounter with Kennedy, she claims she became pregnant with his child and later had an abortion. “Jack never in a million years thought he was doing anything that would hurt me, but that’s the way he conducted himself; the Kennedys have their own set of rules,” she said. “Jack was reckless, so reckless.” Previous to this revelation there was no official acknowledgement of JFK’s affairs. Even Exner’s revelations did not make a big media splash. But slowly more and more stories started being reported.
Historian Robert Dallek wrote “An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963” in 2003 and during his research had uncovered references to Fiddle and Faddle, White House workers who were also JFK lovers. They were press aide Priscilla Weiss/Wear, code named “Fiddle”; and press aide Jill Cowan, code named “Faddle.” Jack frequently skinny dipped with Fiddle and Faddle in the White House swimming pool. Apparently Weiss and Cowan’s White House duties (other than sexual services) to the President were very light but records show they accompanied him on trips to Berlin, Rome, Ireland, Costa Rica, Mexico and Nassau.
According to Mimi Alford’s own book “Once Upon A Secret”, published in 2012, the author reveals that JFK’s affairs reported by Dallek were all true. While Dallek’s revelation consisted of analysis of a few dry paper records, Alford provided a first hand account describing JFK’s sexual appetite in detail. Alford confirmed that Fiddle and Faddle were always-willing sex partners to the president. She also recounted her own affair with JFK. In June 1962, just a few days after she started her internship in the White House press office, she met JFK while taking a midday dip in the White House pool. He swam up and introduced himself and later that day invited her to after-work drinks. She was given a private tour of the house, which culminated in JFK seducing the 19 year old in what he referred to as “Mrs Kennedy’s room.” That was the start of an 18-month affair, in which she always called him “Mr President.” In her memoir, Alford writes that JFK dared her, successfully, into giving oral sex to another woman in the pool.
Another member of the White House staff having an affair with JFK was Pamela Turnure, originally the president’s secretary when he was a senator, but then became the first lady’s aide in the White House years. She was said to resemble Jackie and her sexual relationship with JFK started when she was 21. When Jackie was away, reportedly, Turnure would spend nights with the president.
Mary Eno Pinchot Meyer was a longtime friend of JFK who first met him at a prep-school dance in 1938, according to biographer Peter Janney. She married (and would eventually divorce) a CIA agent and had a sister who was married to Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. Both ties put her in Kennedy’s social circle in DC. She visited him frequently at the White House and was known to be one of his mistresses, according to another biographer, Nina Burleigh. She was also a vocal pacifist as well as a friend of Harvard LSD guru Timothy Leary. A love letter Kennedy wrote to Pinchot Meyer one month before his assassination surfaced in June 2016 (and was auctioned for just under $89,000). Pinchot Meyer died in mysterious circumstances in 1964 and her death will be discussed later in this book.
In 2009, it was reported by Gore Vidal, and recorded in Vanity Fair, that JFK and Marlene Dietrich, the famous actress who “wanted to be alone” had a 20 minute sexual liaison at the White House. This was in September 1963 when Dietrich was putting on a one-woman show in Washington. The 60 year old German actress was a longtime friend and lover of JFK’s father, Joe, accepted an invitation from the president to have drinks at the White House in September of 1963 and after “a clumsy pass” and sexual intercourse, Dietrich had to shake JFK awake since she needed directions to exit the White House to make the curtain call on her show.
In light of the Bill Clinton impeachment scandal, had the American public known in 1963 what they know now about JFK’s sexual escapades, would he have been thrown out of office? Would the glow surrounding his presidency diminished? Would sentiment towards him would be different if, for example, it was revealed that one of his bedmates was a prostitute and reputedly, a Soviet Bloc spy? See next chapter.
JFK’s (and RFK’s) relationship with the FBI basically means one thing: their relationship with John Edgar Hoover.
The FBI was formed from the Bureau of Investigation where J Edgar Hoover was the sixth director of that organization from 1924 when Hoover was only 29. Hoover added the term “Federal” in 1935. So effectively Hoover was doing the same job for 50 years. He remained director of the FBI until his heart attack and death in 1972, aged 77. Hoover is credited with developing the FBI crime-fighting capabilities including introducing many modernizations to police technology, such as centralized fingerprint catalogs and forensic laboratories.
Hoover became a controversial figure as evidence of his secretive abuses of power began to surface. Hoover, was the master of sleaze and kept tabs on politicians and their liaisons to maintain his own grip on power. He exceeded the jurisdiction of the FBI, used the FBI to harass political dissenters and activists, amassed secret files on political leaders (including JFK) and collected evidence using illegal methods. Hoover wielded a huge amount of power that even threaten sitting presidents. President Truman was worried that Hoover had transformed the FBI into his private secret police force, saying that the FBI was tending in the direction of the Gestapo by dabbling in sex-life scandals and blackmail and that all congressmen and senators were afraid. Richard Nixon was recorded in 1971 as saying he would not fire Hoover because he was scared of reprisals from him.
Hoover’s desire for leverage could have been a private policy of Mutually Assured Destruction since Hoover was known to be homosexual in an era where this was illegal. (Although the urban legend of Hoover dressing up as a woman are unsubstantiated.)
As an example of the insidious control Hoover had over American life is the way he threatened American life was his set up and influence of McCarthyism.
McCarthyism arose many years before the term was coined, through the House of Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) originally established in 1937 to investigate both left-wing and right wing political groups (for example in 1933, war hero General Smedley Butler stated that there was a fascist “Business Plot” to take over the American government). However by the late 1940s, the focus for un-American activities were Communist groups or merely left wing activities encompassing even Roosevelt’s New Deal projects. In 1947, the HUAC interviewed 41 motion picture workers, so-called “friendly witnesses”, who named nineteen people who they accused of holding left-wing views. Of these, the ”Hollywood Ten” pleaded the fifth amendment and were all imprisoned for six months or more for contempt.
In February, 1950, Joe McCarthy, a senator from Wisconsin, made a widely reported speech claiming to have a list of 205 people in the State Department that were members of the American Communist Party (This was an old list from 1947, and actual number was later reduced to 57). But thereafter, McCarthy also began receiving information from his friend, J Edgar Hoover. In fact according to FBI agent, William Sullivan: “We were the ones who made the McCarthy hearings possible. We fed McCarthy all the material he was using.”
With the Korean War going badly and with Chinese and Russian advances, fear of communism was widespread. McCarthy, was given free rein to investigate communist subversion within the USA.
In June, 1950, the FBI helped right-wing television producer, Vincent Harnett, published the Red Channels, a pamphlet naming 151 Hollywood writers, directors and performers with associations with the American Communist Party. All those people named in the pamphlet were blacklisted until they appeared in front of the HUAC and convinced its board they had renounced their radical past. Once at the interview, if they refused to name further names or show contrition then they would be permanently blacklisted. Over 320 received such blacklisting and they could no longer find work in the entertainment industry. This included Charlie Chaplin, Burl Ives, Arthur Miller, Dorothy Parker, Orson Welles, and many others.
For the next two years McCarthy not only investigated Hollywood but also people in government departments. If anyone admitted to being a member of the Communist Party, they lost their jobs. McCarthy made it clear to those caught up in his witch hunt that the only way of showing that they had abandoned their un-American views was by naming others. McCarthyism, as this process became known, had all the hallmarks of the French Revolution and Robespierre trials through the Committee of Public Safety during its Reign of Terror. While during McCarthyism, no-one lost their heads, the impact was severe considering no laws were actually broken and freedom of speech and assembly were enshrined in the US constitution. Many people directly and indirectly affected by McCarthyism choose self-exile and moved to Canada, Europe or Mexico.
McCarthy, like Robespierre, at first seemed untouchable. With the help of the FBI, dirt could be found on any critic and they were either shamed in the media or accused of being disloyal or both. The Boston Post pointed out: “Attacking McCarthy is regarded as a certain method of committing suicide.” McCarthy’s campaign helped the Republican candidate, Dwight Eisenhower, win the presidential election in 1952.
Then McCarthy started targeting anti-American books. He published a list of 30,000 books by “communists, pro-communists, former communists and anti anti-communists” and these books were removed from state libraries.
McCarthy’s undoing came in October, 1953, when he started investigating communist infiltration into the military (and the CIA). McCarthy attempted to discredit Robert Stevens, the Secretary of the Army. Former army General, President Eisenhower was unimpressed and stopped McCarthy’s work. He instructed his vice president, Richard Nixon, to damage McCarthy’s reputation in order to stop it being repeated. And so, finally, after the Presidential thumbs up, the media started to criticize McCarthy. One newspaper, the Louisville Courier-Journal, reported that: “In this long, degrading travesty of the democratic process McCarthy has shown himself to be evil and unmatched in malice.”
Censured by Senators in December 1954, McCathy’s health deteriorated rapidly thereafter and he died of acute hepatitis, in 1957, aged 48.
Before 1961, Hoover had a direct channel of communication with the occupant of the Oval Office but during the Kennedy Administration in 1961, Hoover’s power-structure suffered a two-year, 10-month setback. He had to deal, not with JFK, but his brother, Bobby. This incensed Hoover so much that he plotted to regain his leverage over the Presidency.
The struggle between Robert Kennedy and Hoover was a grudge match unparalleled in modern American politics according to the 2007 book “Bobby and J Edgar: The Historic Face-Off Between the Kennedys and J Edgar Hoover That Transformed America” by journalist and historian Burton Hersh. It depicts Jack Kennedy as the party animal and Bobby as the real crusader against corruption wherever it was to be found: by the mob, in the unions, or in the government. Unfortunately this crusading cut across many areas of interest, not least the Kennedy’s own family business.
Hoover, it seems, was less keen on catching mobsters. Hersh contends that Hoover knew too well that the mob had infiltrated the worlds of politics and business and it was politic of him to guide the powerful rather than confront them. It is almost as though their roles were reversed with RFK wanting a change in operational tactics and Hoover wanting social engineering. However Hersh failed to mention that Hoover himself was compromised by the mob. Carlos Mossello (New Orleans Mafia head), had photographs of Hoover engaging in oral sex with his male partner, Clyde Tolson, and “encouraged” him into avoiding any action against the mob including inviting him to stay for free in mob-run luxury hotels and to mob-run horse races (where at one course he had his own box facing the winning post).
Communists, however, were easier prey and received the full force of the state’s displeasure. One of the operations credited to J Edgar Hoover, is COINTELPRO which aimed to discredit black political figures and forces of the late 1960′s and early 1970′s which was probably started by Hoover as a backlash against the Civil Rights movement and Kennedy’s concessions. While it maybe too difficult to uncover the motivations of that operation there is a simpler and more tangible story that indicates Hoover desire to gain leverage over the Kennedys. This comes from JFK’s “Profumo Affair-like” liaison involved Ellen Rometsch.
The Profumo Affair was a scandal that rocked the British establishment in March 1963. Two years earlier, John Profumo MP, the UK Secretary of State for War had a sexual relationship with Christine Keeler, a 19-year-old would-be model. This affair had added frisson because Keeler was also involved at the same time with Captain Yevgeny Ivanov, a Soviet naval attaché and diplomat assigned to the UK, thereby creating in a potentially huge security risk. Profumo was forced to resign just a few weeks after this liaison became public and this event contributed towards the Conservative party’s defeat in the UK 1964 general election.
The US version of the Profumo Affair involved Ellen Rometsch, a 27-year-old from East Germany, “an Elizabeth Taylor lookalike,” who had been a budding communist there before moving to the USA. She ended up in a call-girl ring called the Quorum Club, located in a three-room suite at the Carroll Arms Hotel, just across the street from the Senate Office Building. She attended naked pool parties at the White House in the spring of 1963 and on more than one occasion came to the residence explicitly to have sex with JFK.
The timing between Hoover’s interest in JFK’s liaison “with a soviet spy” and the Profumo affair could not be mere coincidence being separated by just a few weeks and months behind the British scandal. It was easy for Hoover to pick up Rometsch’s White House activities and her background in East Germany. Hoover insinuated, because she had been a member of communist youth group before coming to the West that she was a spy and a “honeytrap”. In August 1963, Hoover leaked this information to the journalist, Courtney Evans. Evans while fact checking this information then alerted Bobby Kennedy to this threat to JFK’s reputation. If exposed, the Kennedy-Rometsch affair could have become a major national security issue in the same way as the British Profumo Scandal and could derail JFK’s campaign for re-election. RFK then quickly arranged for Rometsch to be deported aided and abetted by none other than… J Edgar Hoover. So Hoover instigated the leak and then helped cover the story up and in the process gave himself leverage over the Kennedy presidency!
Back in Eastern Germany, Ellen Rometsch went from being a Washington glamour girl to dairy maid on a relative’s farm. In the US, it was taken for granted that she had been a spy and presented a huge security risk to the nation. The FBI kept open files on her until 1986. When the Berlin Wall came down, a couple of reporters visited the then 77-year old Ellen Rometsch but there was no story to be had: she was not a spy, no money changed hands to keep her quiet and she offered no gossip: her story will forever remain private business. Stasi files are now in the public domain including all the people in its employ; Ellen Rometsch’s name is not listed.
The coincidence of the timing with the Profumo Affair and the way that Hoover leaked the information of the liaison to the press indicates, perhaps, the way he found out about the affair in the first place: that Hoover himself purchased Rometsch’s services for the President in the first place?
JFK had multiple relationships with the Mafia. But to simplify the huge complexity of the relationships between the Kennedy Administration and the Mafia, just consider JFK’s relationship with Sam Giancana.
So who is Sam “Mooney” Giancana? As a Chicago Mafia boss that rose through the network to control and empire of nefarious activities by a combination of diplomacy and aggressive retribution, He was not the “Godfather,” that character was inspired by Frank Costello, but Giancana did have a certain flare of his own.
There is an assassination theory that JFK was killed by the Mafia, led by Giancana, as payback for a double-cross after the Mafia helped JFK win the 1960 presidential election. The theory states that JFK’s father Joseph, a former bootlegger, made a deal with Giancana and other Mafia leaders to swing crucial wards in Chicago. After the election, JFK’s brother and attorney general, Bobby (RFK), started a campaign against organized crime, enraging mob leaders who thus wanted to see them both dead. This view is well documented in Giancana’s bestselling book, entitled, er… “Double Cross”. The book’s full title is “Double Cross: The Explosive, Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America”. It was written by his brother Chuck Giancana, and his godson and namesake Sam Giancana and was published in 1992. The book does have important information on the JFK, RFK and Marilyn Monroe deaths, but it is not coming from an unbiased viewpoint…
As Jack Ruby’s killing of Oswald shows, there is likely to be a direct Mafia element to JFK’s assassination but despite the surrounding smoke screen, the Mafia alone could not have undertaken every aspect of the JFK assassination. For a start, there is little to connect Oswald to the Mafia and certainly very little the Mafia could have done to control the state’s actions after the assassination, even if the Outfit and the Deep State were/are “joined at the hip” as many people claim.
Perhaps there were other reasons for the double-cross… If the election was the only reason for the double cross then how do the shared lovers dove tail into the story? There is little doubt that Judith Campbell Exner was both the lover of JFK and Sam Giancana since it is taken from her own testimony (and she was not trying to seek fame or fortune). Yet Exner was not the only lover they shared! Sam Giancana also had another mistress, Phyllis McGuire, who was a member of the very successful singing trio, the McGuire Sisters. According to Sam’s daughter, Antoinette Giancana, McGuire also had a concurrent affair with President Kennedy. Interestingly Sam Giancana was besotted with McGuire and even wanted to have her house bugged because his suspicions that she was having an affair with a show-business friend. “Besotted” may be too strong an emotion for Giancana but he was certainly worried about McGuire’s fidelity. Antoinette Giancana knew McGuire had an affair with JFK then it is likely that her father would also have known. So how did he feel about sharing her with JFK? Each of them would have known that they shared (at least) two lovers so this at least demonstrates a certain complexity between JFK and Giancana, even if both were cold-hearted, women-using sociopaths, there is still ego and power-play considerations at play which unfortunately we are unlikely to ever uncover.
So, a quick review of the main possible reasons for Mafia involvement in JFK’s assassination:
A) The Double Cross premise. After the election rigging the Mafia felt they should not be persecuted by the Kennedys. But this scenario, even though partly substantiated by Professor Edmund Kallina “Kennedy v. Nixon: The Presidential Election of 1960”, may be a smokescreen. Historian Roger Stone has shown that the Mob played next to no part in Kennedy’s election; it did not need to be rigged in JFK’s favor by the mob or anyone else, the TV debate had had its effect. And in any case, Giancana continued to operate successfully it was likely the Kennedy administration and (particularly) the FBI were going gently on the mob, perhaps just trying to stop mayhem and move them towards legitimate businesses (just like Joseph Kennedy recommended). As noted FBI chief, J Edgar Hoover, was compromised by the Mafia, he was not going to imprison any of the Mafia Bigwigs.
B) Castro murder plot. Now here was a bigger deal between Mafia and State that was not going to plan!
What was this deal? A year after the 1959 Cuban revolution, the CIA recruited the Mafia to assassinate Cuban president Fidel Castro. Exner stated she was delivering messages between the JFK and Giancana regarding Fidel Castro proving this direct link. The Double Cross book also confirms Mafia involvement in the CIA plans. According to Antoinette Giancana, her father was merely running a scam in order to pocket millions of dollars in CIA funding. However, the CIA “Family Jewels” documents (released in 1997), reveal that some Mafiosi worked (or had been asked to work) with the CIA on assassination attempts against Cuban leader Fidel Castro. CIA documents (released in 2007) confirmed that in the summer of 1960, (before JFK was president) the CIA, actually Richard Bissell, a name that will crop up later, recruited ex-FBI agent and Richard Nixon confident, Robert Maheu, to approach the West Coast representative of the Chicago mob, Johnny Roselli. When Maheu contacted Roselli, he offered to pay $150,000 to have Castro killed. Roselli introduced Maheu to Sam Giancana and Santo “Joe” Trafficante, the Florida Syndicate boss with previously extensive interests in Cuba before the 1959 revolution. Joe, at least, was only too happy to cooperate. Giancana suggested using poison and thereafter there were many attempts to poison Castro before the scheme was halted. With the ongoing failure to kill Castro, the CIA brought in their top asset: veteran CIA officer, William King “Bill” Harvey, former FBI-man, cold war spy-hunter and known as America’s James Bond. He was tasked with managing the project under the codename ZR/RIFLE. Harvey replaced Bissell and Robert Maheu and met with Sam Giancana, Santo Trafficante, Jr, Johnny Roselli and other Mafia bosses to uncover a string of failures and planning chaos. Harvey cut everyone but Roselli out, and ran the operations against Cuba and Castro himself. However soon after the Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba in April 1961 and the deal between the CIA and the Mafia was scuppered and Harvey was sent to Italy for two years. (In the process Harvey set up the anti-communist Operation Gladio which produced terrorist events for the next couple of decades).
Castro only died in 2016, 53 years after JFK. It is claimed that he survived over 600 assassination attempts on his life.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is a civilian foreign intelligence service of the United States government, tasked with gathering, processing and analyzing national security information from around the world. It is also authorized to carry out covert action to exert foreign political influence. It is worth spending a little time examining the background of the CIA in order to understand some of the later events.
The forerunner of the CIA was the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) which was modeled upon British organizations shown to be successful in World War 2: the British Commandos and Special Operations Executive providing special and covert operations and the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) which provided Human Intelligence.
Future head of the CIA, Allen Dulles, worked at the OSS in Switzerland for the duration of World War II. Dulles successfully established wide contacts with German émigrés, resistance figures, and anti-Nazi intelligence officers to uncover Nazi operations and schemes including detailed plans for the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter and sketchy plans for V-1 and V-2 missiles. Dulles also knew of the 20 July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler. According to Peter Dale Scott, “American War Machine” (2010), Allen Dulles went against orders from Roosevelt forbidding him to negotiate with SS General Karl Wolff about a conditional surrender of German forces in Italy. It turns out this an important breach of Roosevelt’s agreement with Stalin at Yalta for Germany’s unconditional surrender, a breach that is regarded by many as contributing towards the cooling of relations between USA and USSR and hence to the Cold War.
While OSS was dissolved after the second world war, one of main advocates for creating the CIA was Frank Wisner, who had worked for Allen Dulles in the OSS. Wisner, an American but with many German connections realized that the main threat after the war was the Soviet Union and the best spies and intelligence available to the CIA were from Nazi Germany. Evolving from the Office of Policy Coordination (set up by Allen Dulles and James Forrestal), the Central Intelligence Agency was established by the National Security Act of 1947. One of Wisner’s initiatives within the CIA was to recruit German spies (such as Gustav Hilger and Hans von Bittenfield) as part of Operation Bloodstone, not dissimilar from Operation Paperclip mentioned earlier that recruited German rocket scientists. Apparently Wisner was willing to use anyone “as long as he was anti-communist”.
The early track record of the CIA was poor, with the agency surprised by the Soviet takeovers of Romania and Czechoslovakia, the Soviet blockade of Berlin and the Soviet atomic bomb project. In particular, the agency failed to see the Chinese entry into the Korean War with 300,000 troops.
In the period immediately after the war, the world seemed very uncertain and perilously close to The End of Times. It is easy to understand how means to justify the ends could be easily introduced especially when the means seemed non-lethal. Nicholas Rankin’s “Churchill’s Wizards” describes how Churchill used deception for strategic goals; many of Churchill’s stratagems were kept secret for years after the war and the extent of the deceptions are still largely unknown to the general population. In the Second World War, the British were masters of deception. Churchill felt that these secret plans and special operations were essential to winning the war. Such plans included pretend German radio stations broadcasting outrageous British propaganda while also eavesdropping on their secret messages and breaking German ENIGMA codes. The British not only successfully capture German spies but kept their capture secret and spoofing the spies identities to send back false information to the Nazis. Anything that was considered to be the truth had its own classification, namely ULTRA. The extent of British deception was everywhere: they built dummy airfields with model planes, disguised ships and inflatable rubber tanks created a vital illusion of strength in the early years of the War when there was none. Later in the war both the British and US developed phantom armies to misdirect the enemy. This culminated to the success of D-Day invasion in 1944 where all this misdirection was applied simultaneously: dummy spies, dummy radio broadcasts, dummy armies, dummy parachutists!
All this information was known to the OSS.
For all intents and purposes, after WW2, the USA remained on a war footing in their confrontation with Communism and deception would be key to the Cold War too.
In 1948, Wisner used his remit to use propaganda inside the USA by starting Operation Mockingbird, a program to influence the American media. Wisner recruited Philip Graham of the Washington Post to establish the project. (Graham has his own chapter later in this book). Graham recruited others who had worked for military intelligence during the war and so by the early 1950s, Wisner ‘owned’ respected members of the New York Times, Newsweek, CBS and other communications organizations. The truth became whatever the CIA wanted it to be.
Frances Stonor Saunders, the author of “Who Paid the Piper: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War?” (1999) related that in 1948, Washington DC, the elite which ran American policy, (aka the Georgetown Set) were just a small group of ex-military intelligence analysts, journalists, businessmen and politicians. They developed their vision of a “new world order”: internationalist, abrasive, competitive, these men had an unshakeable belief in their value system, and in their duty to spread it across the globe.
In 1949, the Central Intelligence Agency Act authorized the agency to use confidential fiscal and administrative procedures, and exempted it from most limitations on the use of Federal funds. It also exempted the CIA from having to disclose its “organization, functions, officials, titles, salaries, or numbers of personnel employed.”
FBI chief J Edgar Hoover hated the CIA. He described it as “Wisner’s gang of weirdos” and began carrying out investigations. It did not take him long to discover a wide range of divergent politics not only extreme right wing but also from the left. The staff that had been active in left-wing politics in the 1930s were particularly of interest. (Cord Meyer, for instance, will be discussed later). Hoover passed this information to Joe McCarthy for his investigations into communist infiltration in America. Hoover also passed to McCarthy details of an affair that Wisner had with Princess Caradja in Romania during the war. Hoover (using, presumably, the same logic that later identified East German Party Girl, Ellen Rometsch, as a spy) claimed that Caradja was a Soviet agent.
In 1950, after co-authoring the Dulles–Jackson–Correa Report which was deeply critical of the CIA, Allen Dulles was promoted to Deputy Director of Central Intelligence, second in the intelligence hierarchy and, in 1952, Dulles became the first civilian Director of Central Intelligence. The Agency’s covert operations were an important part of the Eisenhower administration’s new Cold War national security policy known as the “New Look”. Under Dulles’ direction, the CIA created MK-ULTRA, a top secret set of projects that included a mind control research project managed by Sidney Gottlieb and experimentation into mind altering drugs. Dulles also personally oversaw the expansion of Operation Mockingbird to include influence over foreign as well as domestic media organizations.
At Dulles’ request, President Eisenhower demanded that Joe McCarthy discontinue issuing subpoenas against the CIA. Documents made public in 2004 revealed that Dulles had ordered the break-in of McCarthy’s Senate office in order to divert the investigation of communist infiltration of the CIA.
The CIA was successful in influencing the 1948 Italian election in favour of the Christian Democrats. The $200 million Exchange Stabilization Fund, earmarked for the reconstruction of Europe, was used to bribe Italian politicians. This tactic of using its large funds to purchase elections was repeated in subsequent years in several countries.
In 1953, Dulles was involved, along with Frank Wisner, in Operation Ajax, the covert operation that led to the removal of democratically elected prime minister of Iran Mohammad Mossadeq, and replaced with Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran. As outlined in the opening scenes of the 2012 movie Argo, the 1953 Iranian coup d’état was desired by the British because of their Oil interests and the CIA made it happen. It was in fact, the CIA’s first successful coup. This information has all been corroborated by files released by the CIA in 2013. This mechanism of the CIA being a tool of business interests has been repeated on multiple occasions.
While the Iran Coup was considered a “success”, a view popularized by Dulles himself through his Mockingbird operation, the long term negative ramifications of that coup linger to this day.
The next CIA operation was against Guatemala and while it is a textbook example of “how to manage a coup” is just an awful tale and the history of it is largely suppressed. (The plan succeeded even though details of the coup was exposed in newspapers before it happened after an agent left plans in his Guatemala City hotel room).
To set the scene, the Guatemalan Revolution of 1944-51 overthrew the previous pro-US dictator and brought a democratically elected government to power. Jacobo Arbenz became President of Guatemala in March, 195, and began an ambitious agrarian reform program attempting to grant land to millions of landless peasants and tackle Guatemala’s unequal land distribution. He said that the country needed “an agrarian reform which puts an end to the latifundios and the semi-feudal practices, giving the land to thousands of peasants, raising their purchasing power and creating a great internal market favorable to the development of domestic industry.”
But this program threatened the land holdings of the United Fruit Company, who lobbied for a US response by portraying these reforms as communist. In March 1953, 209,842 acres of US Corporation’s United Fruit Company’s uncultivated land was nationalized and the Guatemalan government offered compensation of $525,000 ($2.99 per acre). However United Fruit wanted $16 million for the land ($75 per acre, which was a typical price of farmland within the USA). United Fruit was an uncommonly well-connected corporation. Its chief shareholder was Samuel Zemurray who had successfully unseated the Honduran government in the 1930s in United Fruits favor. Zemurray employed Tommy Corcoran as a Washington lobbyist. Corcoran was a former lawyer that set up the famous “Flying Tigers” (US mercenary pilots set up in China at the start of WW2 to support the Chinese against the Japanese invasion). He was also supported LBJ in his 1948 Senator campaign and founder of Civilian Air Transport which was bought by Frank Wisner to become the CIA’s logistical air wing. Corcoran organized an anti-Arbenz campaign in the American media using the propaganda guru, Edward Bernays, to ensure it hit home. The campaign claimed that Guatemala was the beginning of “Soviet expansion in the Americas”. Corcoran also brought in Allen Dulles, and his brother, John Foster Dulles, US Secretary of State since they both had significant investments in the United Fruit corporation. It was easy for the Dulles brothers to agree with Zemurray that their best interests (and probably nobody else’s) would be to remove Arbenz from power using the CIA, and its unlimited funds, as their personal army.
Frank Wisner took overall responsibility for the Operation PBSuccess. It also involved Richard Bissell, head of the Directorate for Plans (an organization instructed to conduct covert anti-Communist operations around the world); Jake Esterline in charge of the CIA’s Washington task force; Tracy Barnes as field commander; and David Atlee Phillips ran the propaganda campaign against Arbenz’s government. The CIA propaganda campaign included the distribution of 100,000 copies of a pamphlet entitled Chronology of Communism in Guatemala and three films on Guatemala for free-showing at cinemas in the USA. Phillips and E Howard Hunt were responsible for running the CIA’s Voice of Liberation radio station. Faked photographs were distributed that claimed to show the mutilated bodies of opponents of Arbenz. The CIA began providing financial and logistic support for Colonel Carlos Castillo who had formed a rebel army in neighboring countries. It has been estimated that between January and June, 1954, the CIA spent about $20 million on Castillo’s army.
The Guatemalan government asked the United Nations for help against the covert activities of the United States accusing the US as categorizing “every manifestation of nationalism or economic independence, any desire for social progress, any intellectual curiosity, and any interest in progressive liberal reforms” as communism. President Dwight Eisenhower responded adamantly that Guatemala had a “communist dictatorship that had established an outpost on this continent to the detriment of all the American nations”. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, backed his brother (and his own self interest) by adding that the Guatemalan people were living under a “communist type of terrorism”.
On 18th June, 1954, aircraft dropped leaflets over Guatemala demanding that Arbenz resign immediately or else the county would be bombed. CIA’s Voice of Liberation also put out similar radio broadcasts. This was followed by a week of bombing ports, ammunition dumps, military barracks and the international airport.
Further appeals to the United Nations met with obstruction. The UN Security Council were diverted from sending an investigation team to Guatemala under United States pressure and a crucial resolution was defeated by 5 votes to 4. The UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold was so upset by the actions of the USA that he threatened resignation. (By all means look up Hammarskjöld’s fate on wikipedia).
On 18 June 1954, Carlos Castillo led 480 CIA-trained men with US-provided weapons across the border from Honduras into Guatemala. The CIA mounted a psychological campaign to convince the Guatemalan people and government that Castillo’s victory was a fait accompli, the largest part of which was a radio broadcast entitled “The Voice of Liberation” which announced that Guatemalan exiles led by Castillo were shortly about to liberate the country. On 25 June, a CIA plane bombed Guatemala City, destroying the government’s main oil reserves. While Árbenz ordered the army to distribute weapons to local peasants and workers, his Generals refused. Castillo and his band of soldiers now crossed the Honduran-Guatemalan border even though they were greatly outnumbered by the Guatemalan Army. However, the CIA Voice of Liberation successfully convinced Arbenz’s supporters that two large and heavily armed columns of invaders were moving towards Guatemala City. At the same time, the CIA was also busy bribing Arbenz’s military commanders; one commander accepted $60,000 to surrender his troops. Arbenz soon started to believe he stood little chance of preventing Castillo gaining power and further resistance would only bring more deaths, so he announced his resignation over the radio on 27 June 1954 handing over power to one of his own staff, Colonel Carlos Enrique Diaz. The CIA then orchestrated a series of power transfers that ended with the confirmation of Castillo as president in July 1954. Castillo’ new government was immediately recognized by Eisenhower. Castillo then reversed the Arbenz reforms. In July 19, 1954, he created the National Committee of Defense Against Communism and arrested those who supported Arbenz when he was in power. Over the next few weeks thousands were detained on suspicion of communist activity. A large number of these prisoners were tortured or killed.
Castillo was the first in a series of military dictators that would rule the country, triggering the brutal Guatemalan Civil War in which some 200,000 people were killed, mostly by the US-backed military. The removal of Jacobo Arbenz resulted in decades of repression. Later, several of the people involved in Operation Success, including Richard Bissell and Tracy Barnes, regretted the outcome of the Guatemalan Coup. (Further detail on this coup and its aftermath can be found in David Talbot’s book “The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government”).
The Dulles brothers are immortalized in one of the great works of revolutionary art by Mexican artist Diego Rivera’s mockingly called “Glorious Victory” describing the carnage created by the CIA’s Guatemalan Coup.
However it was Richard Bissell who would hire the Mafia to assassinate Castro as already described. But at the same time, Bissell worked on a string of parallel plots using Cuban exiles to assassinate him. The CIA even had an Assassin’s Manual (which will be described later) but these plots all failed. These failures, the 1960 U-2 spy plane shoot-down and finally the Bay of Pigs Invasion fiasco seriously impacted the both the CIA and the credibility of its director, Allen Dulles.
The Bay of Pigs Invasion was a failed military invasion of Cuba undertaken by the CIA-sponsored paramilitary group Brigade 2506. In March 1960, Eisenhower had allocated $13.1 million to fund Castro’s overthrow. Many historians agree that Richard Nixon, then vice president, was an enthusiastic supporter of the covert operations against Cuba and was associated with the planning of the Bay of Pigs Invasion with E Howard Hunt. Hunt used the model of invasion from the successful Guatemalan Coup, merely tripling up the scale of the operation.
The Bay of Pigs operation consisted of over 1,400 paramilitaries set out for Cuba by boat from Guatemala on April 13, 1961. Two days later on April 15, eight CIA-supplied, WW2-era B-26 bombers attacked Cuban airfields. On the night of April 16, the main invasion landed in the Bay of Pigs. But the invading force was defeated within three days by the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces, under the direct command of Prime Minister Fidel Castro. By April 20, the invaders had all surrendered. The failed invasion strengthened the position of Castro’s leadership as well as his ties with the USSR and was a major embarrassment for US foreign policy. As mentioned earlier, the USA could have easily been drawn into the invasion of Cuba (and completed it) but Kennedy refused. Unlike the Guatemala Coup, the Bay of Pigs Invasion could not be managed using solely covert actions, the CIA had overreached itself.
Nixon, Hunt, and many CIA and Cuban exile leaders pinned the blame for the military catastrophe on JFK for failing to support the operation. At the time, Nixon told a reporter it was “near criminal” for Kennedy to have canceled the air cover.
After the debacle, Kennedy reportedly said he wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds.” However, following a “rigorous inquiry into the agency’s affairs, methods, and problems” all that happened was that the CIA had (finally) some Congressional supervision. Reading between the lines, this supervision effectively stopped any further plans to take over Cuba and is probably the real reason for the Doublecross; the Mafia not only were denied their return back to their fertile haven of gambling and sleaze but also the severing of a lucrative funding source for their part in the anti-Castro activities.
Kennedy’s Vietnam policy upset the CIA. And that mattered not to JFK. Kennedy had made it clear that the CIA was to gather intelligence, as described in their charter, but were not to propose or promote policies. He was so angry with their performance at the Bay of Pigs that he openly talked about dissolving the organization.
In Vietnam, the CIA were undertaking their own covert operation which because of their past mistakes, was made secret even to the Military and Kennedy Administration. The silly movie with Mel Gibson: “Air America” is actually based on a nonfiction 1978 book of the same name by journalist Christopher Robbins. The book described the world's biggest covert operation and drug-running scam. Air America was a CIA owned air fleet that shipped "anything, anywhere, anytime". "Anything" included supplies, weapons, and illegal drugs. Since Indochina had become the world's leading opium producer, reaching a 70% world production Vietnam and Laos was an important area for Air America interest. The pilots never knew when they were flying aid and food to allies or weapons and drugs.
Arthur Krock’s New York Times column October 3, 1963, contained a dispatch from Vietnam reporter Richard Starnes, “The CIA’s growth was likened to a malignancy which the very high official was not sure even the White House could control any longer. If the United States ever experiences an attempt at a coup to overthrow the government it will come from the CIA and not the Pentagon. The agency represents a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone”.
Since the CIA had control of the media through Operation Mockingbird, whoever was the head of the CIA, in this case Allen Dulles, also had some control of message to the masses. Two examples of this control:
A) The Post Company (Washington Post/Newsweek) via Philip Graham, Ben Bradlee and James Truitt (all of whom were part of the Georgetown Set and will be discussed later), and
B) Time Inc (Time, Life, Fortune) via Henry Robinson Luce who was friends with the Dulles brothers. Luce was not convinced by JFK at first but the night that JFK delivered his acceptance speech at the Democrat National Convention, Joe Kennedy dined with Luce and his wife at the Waldorf and his view was changed. After the JFK victory, Henry Luce’s wife was made Ambassador to the United Nations. Was this coincidence?
This control of the message would directly affect the outcome of elections and maybe the CIA directly manipulated the vote if some of the voter fraud stories prove correct. (Some future Presidents would have been directly employed by the CIA including (widely known) George WH Bush and (less widely known) Barack Obama.) However returning to 1960, whoever the CIA preferred, would be favored by the CIA-controlled mainstream media. It is clear that the Ivy League leadership of the CIA did prefer Ivy League educated JFK to Nixon in 1960. That CIA clique included Allen Dulles, Richard Bissell, Desmond FitzGerald, Tracy Barnes, Frank Wisner and Cord Meyer.
Organized murder is not just undertaken by the Mafia or drug cartels but also by governments. For example, during the Vietnam War, partly in response to Viet Cong assassinations of South Vietnamese government leaders, the USA engaged in the Phoenix Program to assassinate Viet Cong leaders and sympathizers, and killed between 6,000 and 41,000 people, with official targets of 1,800 per month. While that is in the context of a war, arguably the USA has been in engaged in war somewhere in the world since WW2 hence the need and use of covert assassins has been constant for at least the last 60 years.
It is therefore understandable that the methods and processes for assassination have been codified by the government… Classified until 1997, the CIA’s “Assassin’s Manual” was published by the National Security Archive among roughly 1,400 other pages concerning the Guatemalan coup. The manual, which reads like a college course for future killers, was supposedly distributed to agents and operatives taking part in the agency’s coup in Guatemala, which ousted the country’s democratically elected President.
To be clear, once notified about the existence of the manual, the Department of Defense and CIA denied that they were aware of any such teaching tool being distributed to anyone either in the 1950s or to the present day.
Regardless of their statements, the manual was released by the US National Security Archive and verified that the US government had been involved up to its neck in the murder business. (And judging from reports by John Perkins in his book, “The Economic Hit Man” and other reports, the killing business is still booming.)
The CIA’s Assassin Manual described the art of committing the perfect murder into eight major categories: definition, employment, justification, classification, the assassin, planning and techniques. And it gave examples.
The Manual stated “Assassination is an extreme measure not normally used in clandestine operations. It should be assumed that it will never be ordered or authorized by any US Headquarters, though the latter may in rare instances agree to its execution by members of an associated foreign service. This reticence is partly due to the necessity for committing communications to paper. No assassination instructions should ever be written or recorded. Consequently, the decision to employ this technique must nearly always be reached in the field, at the area where the act will take place. Decision and instructions should be confined to an absolute minimum of persons. Ideally, only one person will be involved [in the killing]. No report may be made, but usually the act will be properly covered by normal news services, whose output is available to all concerned.”
In terms of justification the Manual was amazingly frank: “Murder is not morally justifiable. Self-defense may be argued if the victim has knowledge which may destroy the resistance organization if divulged. Assassination of persons responsible for atrocities or reprisals may be regarded as just punishment. Killing a political leader whose burgeoning career is a clear and present danger to the cause of freedom may be held necessary. But assassination can seldom be employed with a clear conscience. Persons who are morally squeamish should not attempt it.”
Jobs were classified as either “simple” where the targeted subject is unaware of being targeted, “chase” is aware but unguarded or “guarded” where the subject was both aware and had established some defenses. A “safe” job was when the assassin planned to remain alive but if the assassin were to die with the victim then the act was “lost”. No compromises were allowed, the assassin was not allowed to fall into enemy hands alive.
A further type of classification concerned concealment. If the assassination was to look like an accident or natural causes then the operation would be called “secret”. If concealment was immaterial, the act was “open”. Further refinement… if actual publicity was required, it was termed “terroristic.”
Following these definitions, the assassination of Julius Caesar was safe, simple, and terroristic, while that of Augustus Caesar may have been the victim of safe, guarded and secret assassination.
An assassin (the manual stated) needed the usual qualities of a clandestine agent and proficiency with particular weapons. The assassin would have minimal contact with the rest of the sponsoring organization with instructions given orally. The assassin must never be captured or at least, captured alive. After any event, all traces and trails leading back to the sponsor needed to be removed. The manual sounded like the plot inspiration for the Bourne Identity or Mission Impossible.
In a “lost” assassination, the assassin would need to be a fanatic with a motive either political, religious, or revenge. The assassin may or may not have realized the small print on the contract, that is, the end of life clause. While fanatics may be common in some parts of the world, an article in the Journal of Forensic Sciences stated that this is rarely the case in the west. “Assassination in the United States: An Operational Study” by Fein, Robert A & Vossekuil, Brian, Journal of Forensic Sciences, Volume 44, Number 2, March 1999, was a major study about assassination attempts in the USA in the second half of the 20th century. It came to the conclusion that most prospective assassins spend copious amounts of time planning and preparing for their attempts. Assassinations are thus rarely a case of “impulsive” action and only a few successful assassins (25%) were found to be “delusional,” meaning that the overwhelming majority of successful attackers were professional, dispassionate and in a small group.
The CIA Manual skipped the process of arriving at and validating the decision to commit an assassination, and moved directly to the operational planning stage once the target has been identified; no questions allowed! The operation was planned like a military operation with situation reports, options considered and the “best outcomes” considered. Any preliminary estimate revealed gaps in information and possibly indicate a need for additional surveillance or special equipment to be procured or constructed. When all necessary data had been collected, a tactical plan was prepared. But unlike a military operation, there would be no printed or written records of the plans.
The only criteria for an assassination method was that death must be absolutely assured. Arranging accidents, running people down in cars or attempts at drowning were not recommended by the CIA Manual because of the many chances of failure.
The Manual waxed lyrical over the use of drugs: “Drugs can be very effective,” it said. “If the assassin is trained as a doctor or nurse and the subject is under medical care, this is an easy and rare method: an overdose of morphine administered as a sedative will cause death without disturbance and is difficult to detect. The size of the dose will depend upon whether the subject has been using narcotics regularly. If the subject drinks heavily, morphine or a similar narcotic can be injected at the passing out stage, and the cause of death will often be held to be acute alcoholism. Specific poisons, such as arsenic or strychnine, are effective but their possession or procurement is incriminating, and accurate dosage is problematical.”
We know that Government sponsored assassination use poisons. Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident was assassinated on September 11, 1978, by ricin poisoning via a tiny pellet containing the poison was injected into his leg through a specially designed umbrella. The CIA attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro by various schemes, some involving poisoning his cigars.
Other traditional murder methods used by assassins are well known:
A) Close-up attacks: physical force, strangulation, stabbing; there are any number of attacks if the assassin is able to gain entry to the target’s home and entrance and exit is hidden in some way.
B) Range weaponry, particularly firearms. A sniper with a precision rifle is a common meme but there are difficulties with such an attack including finding a suitable shooting position, obtaining knowledge of the target’s travel plans, identification of the target at long range, and the ability to score a first-round lethal hit at long range. A dedicated sniper rifle is also expensive, often costing many thousands of dollars because of the high level of precision machining and hand-finishing required to achieve extreme accuracy. This type of weapon is generally not available to an enthusiastic amateur.
C) Handguns in comparison are more easily concealed, and consequently much more commonly used than rifles. Of 74 principal incidents evaluated in the study referenced above, 51% were undertaken by a handgun, 30% with a rifle or shotgun, 15% used knives, and 8% explosives. (Usage of multiple weapons/methods was reported in 16% of all cases).
D) Explosives are also a common murder weapon. Car bombs in particular are effective because they are directed against a specific individual and activated once the vehicle moves usually guaranteeing the expected result. Explosives on timers, even under cars, are definitely old-school. Modern explosives are set off by radio control using simple, low-cost, devices. Those devices are cell phones!
The main problems with the techniques described above is that even with poisoning, there is little chance of keeping the assassination “secret”. Probably the preference for a secret assassination, rather than death by supposedly natural causes or murder by patsies, would be an accident. The CIA Assassin’s Manual said, “The most efficient accident, in simple assassination, is a fall of 75 feet or more onto a hard surface. Elevator shafts, stair wells, unscreened windows and bridges will serve.” However, staging an accident does risk exposing the assassin to witnesses and assassins prefer to have some physical separation from the victim: a problem with many of the techniques described so far. The two most common methods of assassination by accident which provide this physical separation are: air crashes and car accidents (the latter known by assassins as “Boston Brakes”).
Air crashes could be easily arranged with simple timers or altitude sensitive triggers to a small explosive device. It is surprising the number of aircraft that crash at opportune times with no warning or adequate explanation. Most modern aircraft have redundant systems and will warn of engine failure, can fly on one engine, and in any case, aircraft can glide with no power (for example, in August 2001, Air Transat Flight 236 was flying over the Atlantic and because of a fuel leak, ran out of fuel. It glided 75 miles over 19 minutes to land successfully in the Azores). In general flying is the safest form of travel. While several air crashes in the 1950s have been attributed to metal fatigue, “life-ing” of aircraft components is now so sophisticated that accidental failures are rare. Most air emergencies will have time for a pilot to relay a distress call unless there is an unnatural (that is, deliberate) cause for the crash. Air crashes are (nearly) always researched by professional air crash researchers. But there has been instances where the investigations have been deflected. For example, the 1996 TWA Flight 800 crash, which despite serious concerns raised in 2013 by the investigators themselves, the FAA has not re-opened the investigation. Some anomalous air crashes, aircraft seemingly brought down by subversive action, will be discussed later.
The technology to takeover the steering and brakes of a car for nefarious purposes has been around for decades. “Cutting the brake lines” was a Mafia favourite but at some point this method was enhanced with the ability to turn the wheels sharply to enable a high speed crash either into oncoming traffic or into solid objects.
Boston brakes have been used both by UK and US covert agencies. Former SAS Officer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, has stated that Boston Brakes is a commonly used assassination technique. The staged “one car accident” is actually taught in classes to members of a number of commands: Special Forces, Navy SEALS, CIA and others. All that is needed is access to a car, a lonely road and control of the accident investigation.
A secret assassination does not mean that the body is never found. Using Mafia-style “concrete overshoes” or similar technique to “make a person disappear” is not useful since it leads to manhunts and undue publicity. There should be no mystery. Mystery generates too much public interest.
If a victim could conveniently die of natural causes then there would be no suspicion of assassination. Not covered by the Assassin’s Manual but would fit perfectly into the secret assassination category is the Heart Attack Gun which simulates the mankind’s most common natural cause of death (after car accidents). Details of the heart attack gun were first brought to light in 1961 when professional KGB assassin Bogdan Stashinskiy defected to the West and revealed that he had successfully performed two such missions leaving the victims dead from an apparent heart attack. After that the CIA developed their own heart attack gun. In 1975 Congressional testimony, Charles Senseney stated that his Special Operations Division at Fort Detrick received assignments from the CIA to develop exotic weaponry. One of the weapons was a hand-held dart gun that could shoot a poison dart into a guard dog to put it out of action for several hours. The dart and the poison left no trace so that examination would not reveal that the dogs had been put out of action. The CIA ordered about 50 of these weapons and used them operationally. Senseney said that the darts could have been used to kill human beings and he could not rule out the possibility that this had been done by the CIA. A special type of poison developed for the CIA induces a heart attack and leaves no trace of any external influence unless an autopsy is conducted to check for this particular poison. The CIA even displayed the weapon that fired those darts that induces a heart attack at a congressional hearing and it can be found on YouTube. The weapon shoots a small poison dart to cause a heart attack. The dart itself is a toxic ice crystal capable of penetrating the subject’s clothes and melting on contact leaving a deadly cocktail of toxins to enter the victim’s bloodstream and induce a heart attack. The poison is saxitoxin, found in some shellfish and known as “CIA Shellfish Toxin”, after the common knowledge of its use by that agency. Even a tiny amount is effective seconds after injection and is untraceable after autopsy.
Another heart attack gun that apparently is available to the CIA, uses a microwave beam which upsets the natural heartbeat rhythm, putting the organ into a chaotic state and mimics a natural fatal heart attack. It is even more untraceable than the previous weapon.
While these are jaw-dropping revelations, it pales in comparison to what the CIA did not say in these public congressional hearings. At the same time as developing the heart attack guns (1960s), the CIA were also experimenting with mind control and transmissible cancer.
The CIA MK-ULTRA project is well known but has been mythologized to the point where no-one really quite knows its extent or where it has been used. In fact MK-ULTRA is name given to a program of disparate projects and the name is used just to obtain funding to a series of clandestine projects. It is doubtful that there is a complete list of all experiments, weapons and methods derived from MK-ULTRA or where they have been used in live operations.
We do know that one of the MK-ULTRA projects was the development of so-called Manchurian Candidates: assassins that did not even know they were assassins. The CIA started their program in response to rumors that that the North Koreans and Chinese had perfected the technique. This has been covered a couple of times in the movies. Forget the dreadful 2004 movie, the one to watch is the 1962 movie “The Manchurian Candidate” starring Mafia-favorite, Frank Sinatra.
The question is: did the CIA perfect their technique? Possibly, in part. There is some evidence of the use of Manchurian Candidates and Mind Control; for example the attack on Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley, Jr, the troubled son of John Hinckley Senior who was the family friend of former CIA Boss, Veep GWH Bush. But considering the time required to train a Manchurian Candidate and the risky nature of the endeavor, mind control is more likely to have been used to set up patsies to take the fall of any assassination rather than be mind-controlled assassin themselves. There are some examples of this described later in the book.
The evidence that the CIA was developing a cancer-causing agent is quite well documented. Probably what is less well known is the association of that development with the JFK assassination. (Described later on in this book).
Cancer use as a murder weapon was probably introduced by Cornelius Packard “Dusty” Rhoads (June 9, 1898 – August 13, 1959). He was an American pathologist, oncologist and racist, who in 1931, when working as a pathologist for the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, purposely infected Puerto Rican test subjects with cancer cells where 13 of them died of cancer. Rather than being treated as a criminal, Rhoads later went on to establish the US Army Biological Warfare facilities in Maryland, Utah and Panama, and joined the US Atomic Energy Commission, where his role was to irradiate American soldiers and civilian hospital patients to determine the level of radiation required to cause cancer.
After nearly 80 years of research and development it seems clear that there are ways to simulate a heart attack or infect a healthy person with cancer. If used as a means of assassination only a very skilled pathologist, who knew exactly what to look for at an autopsy, could distinguish an assassination from a natural death.
Hugo Chavez openly expressed the possibility he and other Latin American Left-Wing leaders had ‘contracted’ cancer by nefarious means (some 5 or 6 leaders). The US was involved in creating a super-virulent cancer that was to be used against Castro in 1963 and will be described later.
Probably the most well known and famous actress of all time, Monroe had a less than wonderful time off set due to many factors, most of her story is familiar to everyone. For example, most people know that Marilyn was married to famous playwright Arthur Miller but fewer people realize that she accompanied Miller to the House Unamerican Activities Committee, risking her own career, to support her husband’s stance against McCathyism.
Monroe was drawn to powerful men and keenly interested in politics. She had had an on-off dalliance with John Kennedy before his election in 1960. They spent a weekend shacked up at Bing Crosby’s house in February 1962, and another tryst in Palm Springs in March, which, apparently, was their final fling. Monroe, however, wanted more, calling JFK in the hopes of reconnecting. She even saw herself as Second First Lady material, calling Jackie to tell her about the affair, according to Christopher Andersen’s “These Few Precious Days: The Final Year of Jack with Jackie.” Jackie, no stranger to her husband’s infidelities, responded sarcastically, “Marilyn, you marry Jack, that’s great… move into the White House and be first lady. You’re welcome to all the problems.”
Monroe gave her famously sexy rendition of “Happy Birthday” to the President at a May 1962 fundraising event in Madison Square Garden (Jackie wasn’t there) but despite the ensuing gossip, the affair was actually over. But JFK was probably not her most important dalliance at that time. It was JFK’s brother, Robert. She met Bobby on a trip to Mexico earlier that year, at the Santa Monica home of the Kennedy brothers’ sister, Pat, and her actor husband, Peter Lawford. Knowing “the General” (aka the Attorney General aka RFK) would be present, she brought with her a prepared list of political talking points, which they discussed at length. “Bobby was enthralled.” Soon Monroe was talking about the “new man in my life.”
July 1962 was a tense time for the world. The US had detonated a series of advanced nuclear bombs and Soviet Union declared that it would defend China against any attacker. Americans had begun to die in Vietnam. Monroe, used to dealing with subjects head on, tackled the subject of the morality of using atomic weapons, directly with RFK.
Not content with mixing with stars and the Kennedys, she also mixed with a darker side: exiled members of the American Communist Party and the Mafia. She was in fact in the epicenter of world events and discussing them explicitly. Truly, Marilyn was more than the dumb blonde she portrayed in her movies, she was an intelligent, talented and well-connected woman. At the time of her death Monroe was working on the never released movie “Something’s Gotta Give”. She had never looked better, had secured with the help of her co-star, Dean Martin, a good contract with large fees and rights to fire the director. The scenes she had completed were remarkable, some of her best work, but there was a hiatus in production for six weeks and the producer of the movie was worried about her health and reliability. She was known for her delays going on set, drug abuse and worries about her performance. What was not commonly known was her frustration with the hopeless relationships she had with the Kennedy brothers. Monroe lamented to her psychiatrist, Dr Ralph Greenson, that the Kennedys were “passing her around like a football”. Monroe, Greenson claimed, was threatening to hold a press conference to reveal her affairs and cause a stink.
Marilyn Monroe died between midnight and 1am, on August 5, 1962, in her LA home.
The only other person present in the house when she died, supposedly, was Eunice Murray, her housekeeper. Questioned by the DA’s investigators in 1982, Murray said she raised the alarm when, having woken “in the middle of the night”, she noticed a telephone cord under Monroe’s bedroom door. To avoid being disturbed, the actress usually left the phones outside her room at night, muffled by pillows. The unusual sight of the cord snaking under the door, Murray said, alarmed her enough to call Monroe’s psychiatrist.
Ralph Greenson, the psychiatrist, had told police that he rushed to the house in response to the housekeeper’s call, broke a window to get into Monroe’s room, and found her unresponsive. He then phoned her internist, Dr Engelberg, who arrived soon after. Monroe was “sprawled over the bed” Engelberg said. “I took out my stethoscope and listened to detect a heartbeat… she was dead… I got on the phone and called the police.”
Police summoned to Monroe’s home in Los Angeles in the early hours of August 5, 1962. The star had evidently been dead for some time. She was naked, in a semi-fetal position, without make-up, in a disordered room. There were pill bottles on the bedside table but the investigating Police Officer found no glass of water or anything else to aid her to swallow. The autopsy report was to give the cause of death as “acute barbiturate poisoning due to ingestion of overdose.” In the space for “Mode of Death,” autopsy surgeon Dr. Thomas Noguchi circled “Suicide,” adding the word “probable.” That was the verdict coroner that Theodore Curphey announced at a press conference 12 days later, saying he thought the overdose had been “self-administered”, and, implausibly, that the pills swallowed “in one gulp.”
Fans have thought the suicide finding a slur on Marilyn’s character, and that maybe her death had been a tragic accident. Others suspected the overdose had been administered by someone else, perhaps by injection, that their idol had been deliberately killed. In 1982, the District Attorney reviewed the case and started with a formal Request for Investigation of the possible murder of “victim Marilyn Monroe” by a person or persons unknown. A mere four months later, though, the probe was closed down. A report was issued stating that there was “no credible evidence supporting a murder theory”. There was a possibility that the death had been accidental, but suicide was more likely. The DA’s final report did not question the credibility of the principal witnesses, did not mention the destruction of forensic specimens, and essentially rubber-stamped the original findings.
Dr Steven Karch, a retired assistant medical examiner for the city of San Francisco, pointed out troubling discrepancies in the forensic evidence. Monroe’s internist, Dr Hyman Engelberg, told the 1982 DA’s investigation that he had prescribed only one of the medications that killed her. If so where did the other medications come from? The records are contradictory on how the police and coroner’s staff handled the many drugs found at the house. Most disquieting is the fate of specimens taken from Monroe’s body during the autopsy: tissue samples were destroyed before all toxicological test were completed. “The last thing in the world you do is dispose of tissue.” according to Dr. Karch. “To throw away the tissue is, I think, astonishingly damning. There’s no justification, because you never know when you might want to go back and look again.”
Karch concluded that “you can’t rule out the possibility that Marilyn Monroe was murdered. If I had my druthers, I would classify this death as ‘undetermined causes.’ To me, and I’m not by nature a conspiracy theorist, the circumstances of her death remain a mystery.”
Daryl Gates, who in 1962 was an aide to the Los Angeles police chief (later becoming the head the force himself) was not consulted in the 1982 investigation. He states that “records show that [Robert Kennedy] was in Los Angeles. Several other senior police officers have said the same… the Attorney General was in Los Angeles on Monroe’s last day alive.”
Indeed several people, including Monroe’s housekeeper, claimed that the President’s brother did go to Monroe’s home in the afternoon.
Monroe had several phone conversations during her final hours. Two of them appear to have been highly significant. A young scriptwriter she met in Mexico, José Bolaños, phoned her sometime after 9 p.m. Monroe told him, “something that will one day shock the whole world.” Bolaños, though, has refused to elaborate what he feels that may have meant.
At about 9:30 pm, Monroe called Sydney Guilaroff, doyen of Hollywood hairdressers and a confidant of several stars. But, he, like Bolaños, refused to reveal what was said until his death in 1997. Guilaroff wrote that Monroe had sounded frantic. She had told him: “Robert Kennedy was here, threatening me, yelling at me … I’m having an affair with him … I had an affair with JFK as well.” She said that Robert Kennedy had journeyed to Los Angeles that afternoon not merely to break off his own affair but to warn Monroe about ever phoning the White House again. “It’s over… and… I’m frightened… I know a lot of secrets about what has gone on in Washington… Dangerous ones.”
When she was found dead, Los Angeles chief of detectives Thad Brown related that a White House number, scrawled on a piece of crumpled paper, had been found in her bed. According to some investigators that she had called JFK just before she died.
According to the Presidential phone log Kennedy had a long conversation with Peter Lawford that evening, apparently before she died.
The details of just how close the Kennedys were to Monroe, while widely known, has only received limited discussion in connection to her death indicating, perhaps, a concerted cover-up of this relationship.
That the Kennedy brothers should have wanted to cut off contact with Monroe is no surprise. Dallying with her had been foolhardy from the start as both were married men in the public eye. Their folly was compounded by the fact that they apparently told her too much. The 1982 investigators gave some attention to a claim that Monroe kept a journal in which she scribbled notes about her conversations with Robert Kennedy on subjects such as his crusade against the Mafia, his efforts to put Teamster union leader Jimmy Hoffa behind bars, and the confrontation with Fidel Castro’s Cuba. The DA’s report quoted associates saying they had seen no such diary and doubted whether she was even capable of keeping one. Yet no fewer than seven people, including Monroe’s friends and two reporters, are on record as saying the actress did habitually make notes in a diary. One was Jeanne Carmen, a close friend of Monroe’s who claims that one evening when they were together at Monroe’s apartment when Robert Kennedy found the diary and became upset. He told Monroe she should never put anything in writing and to throw the diary away.
Monroe’s notebook was not recorded at the crime scene.
If the notebook posed a threat, Monroe’s loose lips posed an even greater one. In 2007, the US Government released over a 100 pages of documents raising new questions about what really happened to Marilyn. These documents were previously withheld under a “B1” exemption which covered matters of national security. FBI files records Monroe’s February 1962 visit to Mexico where she spent 10 days shopping, socialising and drinking too much. It appeared to be a harmless vacation trip, but on March 6, four days after Monroe returned to Los Angeles, the senior FBI official in Mexico sent Director J Edgar Hoover a four-page report. Quoting two unnamed people close to her, it said that Monroe had “associated closely with certain members of the American Communist Group in Mexico … and their friends and associates who share a common sympathy for Communism and the Soviet Union.” The FBI deemed her to be “very positively and concisely leftist.” Indeed, Monroe was left-wing, having married Miller and associated with members of the American Communist Party. Even her doctors, psychiatrist Greenson and internist Engelberg, had both been involved with the American Communist Party. While she played the part of a dumb blond in her movies, Greenson, has stated that Monroe was “passionate about equal rights, rights for blacks, rights for the poor. She identified strongly with the workers.”
Two weeks after the FBI report was sent, on March 22, Director J Edgar Hoover went to the White House to talk to President Kennedy, some say, to warn Kennedy about his womanizing. Although according to credible witnesses, JFK slept with Monroe two days later, during a weekend break near Palm Springs. In the following weeks, Monroe continued to have contacts with the Kennedy brothers and, during the same period, with Communist Party members that the FBI were tracking. On July 26, 10 days before Marilyn’s death, an official of the FBI’s Domestic Intelligence Division, the counterespionage department, received a report from Mexico City that Marilyn Monroe attended a luncheon at the residence of Peter Lawford with President Kennedy. While nothing in the available record shows that Hoover warned the brothers of Monroe’s indiscretions, it would have been extraordinary had he failed to do so. And so it would also have been extraordinary if the Kennedys were not moving to sever their connection with Monroe.
There are many alternative narratives for Marilyn Monroe’s Murder. This chapter will cover three.
“The Murder Of Marilyn Monroe: Case Closed” by Jay Margolis and Richard Buskin directly accuses Robert Kennedy of not only ordering her murder but being involved in it.
According to the book, after she had threatened to go public about her affairs with the Kennedys, Bobby and Lawford arrived at Monroe’s home in Los Angeles early in the afternoon on that Saturday, hoping to calm her down. Losing the argument, in a hysterical act, Monroe picked up a small kitchen knife and lunged at Bobby. RFK responds by smothering her with a pillow and henchmen giving her sedatives. He ordered a doctor to give Monroe a lethal injection and his brother-in-law, Peter Lawford, later orchestrated the cover-up of her murder.
The murder is described as a premeditated plan on the part of Robert Kennedy, Ralph Greenson and Peter Lawford, allege the book’s authors. They also claim that Monroe was spinning out of control, battling depression and anxiety as she struggled with the failure of three marriages, fearing being typecast as a sex kitten in movies where studios were wearying of her diva antics.
This story seemingly ignores the witnesses that talked to MM after RFK left the house (and appears to be anti-Kennedy propaganda).
William C Sullivan writing in 1979, “The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover’s FBI” doubted whether RFK ever had a sexual relationship with Marilyn and puts an extra spin. He said “Kennedy [RFK] was almost a Puritan. We used to watch him at parties, where he would order one glass of scotch and still be sipping from the same glass two hours later. The stories about Bobby Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were just stories. The original one was invented by a so-called journalist, a right-wing zealot who had a history of spinning wild yarns. It spread like wildfire, of course, and J Edgar Hoover was right there, gleefully fanning the flames… Hoover was desperately trying to catch Bobby Kennedy red-handed at anything… he never did.”
It has been discussed that Monroe through Frank Sinatra and other movie associates had connections to high ranking Mafia bosses, particularly the Giancana family. It has also been rumored that the Mafia had bugged Monroe’s house in order to understand the Attorney General’s plans or perhaps even blackmail the Kennedy’s at some time. (Sam Giancana tried to bug his mistress, Phyllis McGuire’s house so this seems quite plausible). Certainly this view suggests another motive that the Mafia could have wanted to discredit the Kennedys by murdering Monroe. However, while the Mafia is clever and sophisticated they do not have the ability to clamp down on the press and the complete justice system to maintain a complete cover-up that we can see in Monroe’s case.
In the Giancana family’s 1992 best-selling book, “Double Cross: The Explosive, Inside Story Of The Mobster Who Controlled America”, pages 314-315, describes the Mafia Murder Scenario. Bobby Kennedy was with Marilyn, late on Saturday. Listening on the bugs inside Monroe’s home, Giancana’s men heard the argument between Monroe and RFK. Kennedy instructed a man with him, evidently a doctor, to give her a shot to “calm her down.” Shortly thereafter, the Attorney General and the doctor left. Mafia killers later entered Marilyn’s home and killed her using a poisoned suppository in her rectum. The poison was quickly absorbed through the anal membrane directly into the bloodstream, it was as fast acting as an injection, but left no needle mark for a pathologist to discover. Giancana had hoped “Act Two” of the drama would begin, that Bobby Kennedy’s affair with the distraught, love-scorned starlet would be exposed.
This story also seemingly ignores the witnesses that talked to MM after RFK left the house. However the anal suppository is a detail backed up by recent research examining Marilyn’s autopsy notes and so is very convincing.
There was a story released in 2015 that a CIA agent on his deathbed admitted to killing Marilyn. The story was then branded a hoax. While that story may well have been a hoax, in fact the CIA were in a position to kill Monroe, they had access to bugging equipment, they had access to the FBI information on Monroe’s activities in Mexico and the President’s liaisons. They also had access to the Mafia too. Just like the Mafia-did-it scenario, the CIA easily had the capability to bug Monroe’s house and could have had a similar blackmail motivation for killing MM. They could even have achieved it by proxy, asking the Mafia to finish her off.
RFK is quoted as saying, “I don’t trust those guys at the CIA. They’re worse than the Mafia.”
The Kennedys benefit from Monroe’s death. She was a loose cannon, a security risk and capable of wrecking both JFK’s and RFK’s career. If she was just another actress, almost any other woman, any claim about the Kennedys could be pooh-poohed or the press could be distracted away. But not for Monroe… the cameras always lingered on Marilyn.
If it is assumed that fascist groups within the CIA killed Marilyn what would they get? The ability to blackmail, possibly frame, Robert and John Kennedy, perhaps bring down the presidency and install vice-president, LBJ. A similar scenario could be played with J Edgar Hoover green lighting Monroe’s murder. Monroe had communist sympathies and similar to the Ellen Rometsch scandal the following year, Hoover desired political leverage over the White House. In all of these scenarios, the murder was carried out but the ultimate plot failed because of the loyalty of the key individuals that suppressed the truth. Perhaps after this failure to incriminate the brothers, the conspirators decided on more drastic measures against the Kennedys, which eventually led to Dealey Plaza in Dallas.
Since Monroe was in her prime, mixing with the most powerful people in the world, but then committing suicide, does not stack up. She was prone to self-medication but the drugs she used, according to the autopsy, could not have killed her. Many people report that she was not suicidal in the weeks leading to or on the day of her death. So the most likely probability was that she was murdered.
So who murdered Marilyn? Did JFK or RFK order her assassination? Probably not… mainly due to RFK being with her that day. If it was a State Sponsored Assassination on his orders, the space-time separation between Bobby and Marilyn would be hundreds of miles and tens of days! Plus their overall good character and subsequent deaths of both JFK and RFK exonerate them. Probably the same people that killed them could have also killed Monroe. It could have been the Mafia, it could have been rogue elements of the CIA. (It could have been initiated by Hoover, although unlikely. Hoover did help cover up the murder).
The following is the best fit description from the evidence…
Bobby Kennedy appeared at Marilyn’s home on Saturday afternoon, accompanied by another man. Listening in on the conversation, Giancana’s men ascertained that Marilyn was more than a little angry at Bobby. They left and MM was still alive to talk to people and make the calls that she did that evening. The Mafia relayed the information back to the Giancana and/or CIA and/or Hoover and the instruction came back to kill her, certain that RFK would be implicated in her murder since witnesses had seen him, notes and fingerprints would be left. The killers waited for the cover of darkness and, sometime before midnight, entered Marilyn’s home. She could have recognized the killers and hence put up little resistance until she was over-powered and drugged. They preceded to insert a poisoned suppository into her anus, a method used several times by the Mafia for assassinations, and waited until she died.
While events did not pan out in the way expected by the murderers, that is, the incrimination of the Kennedys, it did demonstrate the power of the media to change the story. The media can create the urban myth desired by The Powers That Be and deflect attention away from suspects. If this was not already known before then the death of Marilyn Monroe was a clear demonstration of that fact.
That J Edgar Hoover was involved in the cover up is confirmed by the Kennedys publicly thanking him and the FBI profusely for his assistance in the investigation of Marilyn’s death.
The main conclusion: it was the Mafia that killed her. It was the FBI that covered it up.
Previous chapters have set the scene and outlined some of JFK’s background and relationships. This chapter covers the assassination itself and some of the anomalies.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated at 12:30 pm Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was traveling with his wife, Jacqueline, Texas Governor John Connally, and Connally’s wife, Nellie, in a presidential motorcade. LBJ was in a limousine following on two cars behind.
It is the official mainstream narrative that Lee Harvey Oswald was JFK’s assassin, shooting three shots from the Texas School Book Depository.
Considering the number of witnesses, cameras and research undertaken concerning this most famous of crimes, it is amazing just how difficult it to obtain concrete information about the event. The details below have been extracted from a variety of sources which in turn has been taken from official reports to give here the bare bones of the official story.
All stories agree that at 12:30 pm as the motorcade drove down Elm Street in Dealey Plaza, shots were fired at President Kennedy. About 80% of the witnesses recalled hearing three shots. Because of the timing of incident (taken from multiple sources), and the number of cartridges found, the case against Lee Harvey Oswald as being the Lone Gunman relies upon just three shots being fired.
First shot: only a minority of the witnesses recognized the first gunshot they heard as weapon fire. There was hardly any reaction to the first shot from the majority of the people but apparently it wounded bystander, James Tague.
President Kennedy, Governor Connally, and Mrs. Kennedy, turned from looking to their left to looking to their right (towards the grassy knoll).
Second shot: the bullet caused all of Kennedy’s and Connally’s non–fatal wounds by entering Kennedy’s back, exiting through his throat, entering Connally’s back, exiting his chest, passing through his right wrist, and lodging itself in his left thigh. Connally was hit in his upper right back by a bullet he did not hear fired. After Connally was hit he cried out, “Oh, no, no, no. My God. They’re going to kill us all!” The Warren Commission’s “single bullet” theory explained all this damage.
Third shot: this resulted in JFK’s death. Fragments of the President’s scalp, brain, and skull landed on the interior of the car. Blood was splattered on the inner and outer surfaces of the front glass windshield and raised sun visors, the front engine hood, the rear trunk lid, the following Secret Service car and its driver’s left arm, and motorcycle officers riding on both sides of the presidential limousine.
As recorded on the famous Zapruder movie, Jackie Kennedy climbed out onto the back of the car apparently reaching for a piece of the President’s skull.
Secret Service agent Clint Hill jumped onto the back of the limousine as Mrs. Kennedy returned to her seat, and the car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital. (Governor Connally survived his wounds. Doctors stated that after the Governor was shot, his wife pulled him onto her lap, and the resulting posture helped close his front chest wound and saved his life).
JFK was shot while it passed the infamous “grassy knoll” on the north side of Elm Street. As the motorcade left the plaza, police officers and spectators ran up towards the knoll, where many people believed the shooter was behind a fence but no-one holding a rifle was found and nobody appeared to be running from the area. About four men were located in this area according to one observer. Abrahams Zapruder filmed the assassination on his 8mm cine-camera from the grassy knoll.
However, other credible observers reported shots from the Texas School Book Depository and gave a description of a man looking out of a sixth story window where he had also witnessed seeing a rifle poking through the window. Another witness in the TSBD heard the sounds of a bolt-action rifle and cartridges dropping on the floor above them.
Estimates of when Dallas police sealed off the entrances to the Texas School Book Depository range from 12:33 to after 12:50 p.m. The police located a rifle near an open window on the sixth floor surrounded by cardboard boxes, the so-called “sniper’s nest”. Investigators scoured the scene for fingerprints but the rifle and the boxes had apparently been wiped clean. The only fingerprint found was a partial print taken from one of the cardboard boxes. The fingerprint did not match anyone who worked at the TSBD or Lee Harvey Oswald.
The broadcast media had already reported the claims of eye–witnesses that shots had come from more than one direction. Of the 104 witnesses in Dealey Plaza who are on record with an opinion as to the direction from which the shots came, 54 (51.9%) thought that all shots came from the direction of the Texas School Book Depository, 33 (31.7%) thought that all shots came from the area of the grassy knoll or the triple underpass, 9 (8.7%) thought all shots came from a location entirely distinct from the knoll or the Depository, 5 (4.8%) thought they heard shots from two locations, and 3 (2.9%) thought the shots came from a direction consistent with both the knoll and the Depository. Additionally, the Warren Commission said of the three shots they concluded were fired that “a substantial majority of the witnesses stated that the shots were not evenly spaced. Most witnesses recalled that the second and third shots were bunched together.”
At a press conference at Parkland Hospital one of the doctors who had treated the president claimed that the throat wound had been caused by a shot from the front. The staff at Parkland Hospital could be trusted to tell the truth and do a forensic autopsy as required by law. However that that was not to be. After the President was pronounced dead, and secret service agents tried to move his body, Dallas County medical examiner Earl Rose at Parkland Memorial Hospital tried to halt the removal of the body from the hospital insisting that an autopsy be performed there. After heated exchanges, he and a policeman blocked the path of the casket at the door of the hospital. However they were pushed aside by the secret service retinue and the body taken and loaded onto Air Force One.
Lyndon B Johnson became President upon Kennedy’s death, taking the oath of office onboard Air Force One at Dallas’s Love Field airport before departing for Washington, DC.
Bethesda Naval Hospital was selected for JFK’s autopsy. It was quickly started and finished by midday 23rd Nov. Two surgeons were in charge, James H Humes and J Thornton Boswell, both anatomic pathologists and they joined, thirty minutes into the procedure, by forensic pathologist Pierre Finck.
A ten-month investigation from November 1963 to September 1964 by the Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone in shooting Kennedy, and that Jack Ruby also acted alone when he killed Oswald before he could stand trial. Kennedy’s death marked the fourth and most recent assassination of an American President.
In contrast to the conclusions of the Warren Commission, completed September 24, 1964, the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded in 1979 that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy”. The HSCA agreed with the Warren Commission in that Kennedy’s and Connally’s injuries were caused by Oswald’s three rifle shots, but they also determined the existence of additional gunshots based on analysis of an audio recording and therefore “… a high probability that two gunmen fired at [the] President”. The Committee was not able to identify any individuals or groups involved with the conspiracy. In addition, the HSCA found that the original federal investigations were “seriously flawed” in respect of information-sharing and the possibility of conspiracy. However, in 1988, the acoustic evidence indicating conspiracy was re-examined and rejected, with the Justice Department concluding “that no persuasive evidence can be identified to support the theory of a conspiracy in … the assassination of President Kennedy”.
James “Jim” Garrison, New Orleans District Attorney, began an investigation into the assassination of JFK in late 1966, after receiving information from David Ferrie. The end result was the arrest and trial of New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw in 1969, but with Shaw being unanimously acquitted because of the unreliability of the evidence. However, Garrison was able to subpoena the Zapruder film from Life magazine and shown to jurors and the court, its first public projection, and able to shine light on JFK’s autopsy which have since been invaluable to researchers. Garrison’s key witness against Clay Shaw was Perry Russo, a 25-year-old insurance salesman, who testified that he had attended a party at anti-Castro activist David Ferrie’s apartment. At the party, Russo said that Lee Harvey Oswald and Clay Shaw had discussed killing President Kennedy. The conversation included plans for the “triangulation of crossfire” and alibis for the participants. Garrison proposed that the attempt to blame the killing on the Cubans and the Mafia were a cover story but he blamed the conspiracy to kill the president firmly on the CIA who wanted to continue the Cold War. Garrison’s investigation received widespread attention through Oliver Stone’s 1991 film, JFK, which was largely based on Garrison’s work as well as Jim Marrs’ “Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy”.
The official story is reliant on three bullets causing the numerous recorded wounds, namely, the (at least) two hits on the President, Connally’s torso, wrist and thigh and Tague’s face nick. This number of shots had to be three because three spent shells were found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository and because using a bolt action rifle it would be impossible to load, aim and shoot more than three rounds in the timespan of the shooting.
It was not always the case, but most official accounts agree that the first bullet missed its target and injured only a bystander. James Tague, a spectator and witness to the assassination, received a minor wound to his right cheek while standing 531 feet away from the Depository’s sixth floor, easternmost window, 270 feet in front of and slightly to the right of President Kennedy’s head facing direction, and more than 16 feet below the top of the President’s head. Tague’s injury occurred when a bullet or bullet fragment struck the nearby Main Street south curb. A deputy sheriff noticed blood on Tague’s cheek and a bullet smear on a nearby curb. Tague had not realized that the stinging on his face at the time of the shooting was a bullet ricochet. When Tague testified to the Warren Commission and was asked which of the three shots he remembered hearing struck him, he stated it was the second or third shot. When the Warren Commission attorney pressed him further, Tague stated he was struck concurrent with the second shot. This of course contradicts the official story, where only the first shot was available to hit him. This contradiction is a minor compared to the other contradicting evidence for the other shots.
The second shot is also known as the Magic Bullet. The multiple injuries to both JFK and Connally was explained by Warren Commission’s Single Bullet Theory. The weakness of the theory is well known: Governor Connally was adamant that he was shot in the back after JFK had already been wounded. The Zapruder film shows Connally reacting to his back wound after JFK reacts to his throat wound, and shows him gripping his hat long after his wrist is supposed to have been shattered. President Kennedy’s back wound was located lower than his throat wound. It seems extremely unlikely that both wounds could have been caused by one shot from the sixth floor of the TSBD. Several witnesses recalled smelling cordite (the result of gunfire) close to the motorcade. It would not be possible to smell this if the only bullets were shot from the sixth floor of TSBD.
The reason for the “Magic Bullet” tag to the single bullet theory is because of necessity for the bullet to have changed direction twice. Once during the course through JFK’s body: it entering President Kennedy’s back and coming out of his throat and the second change of direction when exiting JFK’s throat to hit Governor Connally close to his right armpit. (Doctor’s at the hospital receiving JFK described the throat wound as an entry wound rather than an exit wound).
The Warren Commission also introduced as evidence, Exhibit 399, a bullet that was claimed to be the magic bullet itself. The bullet, found on a trolley in the Parkland Memorial Hospital, apparently not even JFK’s trolley, appears to be a virtually pristine bullet. It had sustained far too little damage to be a credible candidate for the role of the magic bullet. Yet the Warren Commission claimed because of ballistic analysis, it had actually been fired from Oswald’s rifle… Since this exhibit was central to the case against Oswald and the lack of certainty that this bullet could ever have travelled through two bodies, it significantly undermines the official story rather than seals it.
Besides the various home movies taken of the Presidential entourage that day, there is one more permanent record of the assassination event: an audio recording of the shooting. A police motorcycle officer within Dealey Plaza had left his radio switched on and the whole event was recorded on a dictabelt. A dictabelt was a common office device at the time, for sound recording, essential for office typing pools and also used for recording court evidence. It recorded sound by a mechanical engraving process on a plastic belt about 3.5 inches wide and 12 inches circumference, and sound could be replayed with a stylus using similar technology as a gramophone player. The recording gained prominence when it was used as the key piece of evidence that prompted the HSCA to conclude that there was a “high probability” that the Kennedy assassination was the result of a conspiracy.
The HSCA hired two outside laboratories to analyze the dictabelt. While the roar of motorcycle engine noise drowned out much of the audio from a human listener’s perspective, distinct spikes in volume could be identified, based on comparison between the pattern of such spikes and the echo patterns which the buildings in the Plaza would create. The experts found 6 impulses on the dictabelt whose echo patterns matched what one would expect from gunfire in the plaza. The HSCA then conducted a field study, placing microphones in Dealey Plaza and firing rifles fired from the Book Depository’s “sniper’s nest” and from spots behind the fence on the grassy knoll, finding a solid match for a shot from the grassy knoll. Due to its medical conclusions that all shots which struck the motorcade came from the rear, (which will be discussed later), the Committee determined that the grassy knoll shot missed. Satisfying nobody in the arguments over the JFK assassination, the HSCA’s analysis was attacked from all sides. Scientist Norman Ramsey debunked the HSCA’s findings. But re-analysis of by other scientists such as D B Thomas in his book “Hear No Evil” and others, give much more credibility to the acoustic evidence and to the idea that there were more than three shots.
The two surgeons in charge of the autopsy, James H Humes and J Thornton Boswell, did not have experience with forensic autopsies. While they were joined by pathologist Pierre Finck, even Finck was rusty having only reviewed autopsies and not performed an autopsy himself in two years. In fact for all three of them, the only practical experience of forensic autopsies was from a one–week course taken by Finck ten years earlier. The autopsy room was small and crowded with non–medical onlookers, several of whom were apparently giving orders to the pathologists directing them to avoid particular investigations.
The original autopsy report was deliberately destroyed by Dr James Humes. The rewritten autopsy report included measurements and other data that do not exist in the pathologists’ surviving notes and diagrams. The pathologists and photographers recall photographs which appear no longer to exist, so the photographic record is incomplete.
Pierre Finck testified under oath (in the criminal trial of Clay Shaw in New Orleans in 1969) that senior military officers had taken an active part in autopsy. He admitted after intense questioning that the pathologists were forbidden to dissect the president’s throat wounds and the connecting tissue. Dissecting the wounds was a basic procedure, and would have determined whether the president’s non–fatal injuries had been caused by one or more bullets, and from which direction. The Parkland Hospital doctors had stated that neck wound was a bullet that hit the President from the front. Yet the official story within hours of the event was already stating that Oswald had shot him from the rear. Those in charge of the autopsy would surely have been aware that dissecting the wounds was likely to resolve the question one way or the other. To stop the dissection can only be interpreted as a fear of contradicting the official story. Pierre Finck’s testimony indicates that the high–ranking military officers who appeared to control the autopsy were already aware of the need to promote the lone–assassin explanation.
Two FBI agents that attended the autopsy, James Sibert and Francis O’Neill, informed the pathologists during the latter stages of the autopsy that a bullet had been retrieved from Parkland Hospital (referred to as exhibit 399 earlier). These agents stated in later affidavits that the pathologists had concluded this bullet had fallen out of the president’s back during emergency cardiac massage. The bullet in his back would mean a shot from the front. Mind you, since the bullet was not even found on JFK’s trolley, this assertion merely undermines the credibility of the autopsy rather than forensic proof of a grassy knoll shooter.
But by far the biggest mistake in the autopsy is the discrepancy between the autopsy and the images seen in the Zapruder movie. Autopsy photographs surfaced in the late 1980s, and showed JFK’s right side of his face to be completely intact yet the Zapruder movie shows a massive head shot on the right side. Even the skeptics had to agree that either the Zapruder film or the autopsy photos (or both) have to be forgeries.
Except for Zapruder Movie there is little film coverage of the murder. Presidential parades take place for publicity purposes, there should have dozens of journalists and camera crews covering the event. The press would usually travel in a flatbed truck in front of the presidential limo capturing the President and first lady with cheering crowds behind. But not on that day, there was no flatbed truck and the press were squeezed into a station wagon far back in the motorcade not only thwarting their purpose for being there but also stopping any of the press recording the assassination. The patently poor security at the event will be discussed later.
So to the Zapruder Movie itself… Abraham Zapruder, was a well-connected business man in Dallas, he ran a clothing manufacturing business from his offices in Dealey Plaza. His good connections probably arose from his freemasonry. He was a 33rd Degree freemason (which is about as high as you can get). He filmed the most famous piece of evidence in the whole JFK assassination, actual silent movie footage of the assassination itself, filmed from a perfect location with little camera shake before, after and during the shots were fired. It is only 27 seconds long, less than 500 frames. It was filmed on a Bell & Howell clockwork camera running at 18 frames a second onto color 8mm film. Frame 331 shows JFK’s head effectively exploding as it is hit by a rifle bullet. Whether this movie provides information on gun direction and shooter locations has been debated for decades. It is widely regarded as disproving the magic bullet theory and promotes the theory of a grassy knoll shooter.
The rights to the Zapruder film was sold to Life Magazine the monday after the assassination. While various stills were printed in Life Magazine, the movie itself was not even shown to the general public for 12 years. In 1975 a bootleg copy was shown on TV, late at night, at the end of daily transmissions but a network of academics knew it was to be shown and captured the images on recording devices. Once the genie was loose, it has been played frequently and indeed became the basis of Oliver Stone’s JFK movie regarding the conspiracy and cover-up through the eyes of New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison.
The whole story of the Zapruder Movie is the subject of multiple books and is the source for many JFK books (and films). While it was declared an “Assassination Record” in 1993 and thought to be the gold standard of evidence on the JFK assassination; unfortunately it is not.
The fact that the movie was in the hands of the CIA all weekend after the assassination is not commonly reported and often denied even on modern internet websites dedicated to JFK conspiracy theories. However there is an authoritative investigation into the movie from independently minded investigators. While serving as chief analyst of military records at the Assassination Records Review Board in 1997, Douglas Horne discovered that the Zapruder Film was examined by the CIA’s National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) by at least two separate teams after the assassination of President Kennedy. On record, Horne interviewed legendary NPIC photo interpreter Dino Brugioni, famous for his work during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Brugioni confirmed NPIC examination of the film the day after the assassination but Brugioni did not know about the second examination and believes the Zapruder Film in the archives today is not the same film he saw the day after the assassination.
Multiple commentators have pointed out the crude retouching of the Zapruder movie. The back of JFK’s head has been blacked out and a new exit wound at front of the head. Plus the well documented entourage stand-still before the final drive along Elm Street seems to have been conveniently edited out. It is suspected that other key frames were lost as well.
These changes were suspected as being done on Sunday November, 24, with duplicate copies to replace Zapruder’s master copy and the three duplicate copies that he had made. Probably only about 50 people saw the original movie everyone else has seen the edited version.
As if all the points above is not evidence that the general public has been uninformed about the crime of the century then here is the clincher: there are more than 3,000 pages of material that the CIA is still keeping out of public view until (at least) October 2017. These will be discussed later in the book.
As mentioned in the introduction, before discussing alternative theories on JFK assassination, there will be several chapters discussing the JFK network in order to understand “the pattern”.
The name Lee Harvey Oswald will always be indelibly linked with JFK forever more. A 24 year old American Marxist Assassin? This person must have been a very free thinker…
Oswald grew up in a reasonably chaotic family situation where he was often playing truant and getting into trouble. In July 1955, Oswald (aged 16) joined the Civil Air Patrol where he probably met Captain David Ferrie. This may be important to the conspiracy theory since David Ferrie and Oswald apparently meet up again in 1963.
Oswald (aged 19) contacted the Socialist Party of America, in October 1956, and in the same month enlists in the United States Marine Corps reporting for duty in San Diego. His checkered career in the Marines enabled him to reach “marksman” level rifle shooting (some way behind expert and sharpshooter) and language training in Russian. He was discharged from the Marines in September 1959. Oswald claimed the early discharge was to support his mother but actually by the middle of October for his 20th birthday, he was in Moscow. When his visitor visa was about to expire he made a suicide attempt and rushed to hospital. He revoked his American citizenry in early November, telling US embassy officials “I am a Marxist”. Oswald spent a year and half in Russia before meeting, proposing and marrying Marina (having already proposed to another Russian before her.) In May 1961, Oswald asked the US Embassy for himself and his wife to return to the USA but it is over a year before they are allowed to return stateside (June 1962) with a new baby daughter. The US State Department lent Oswald $435.71 in travel expenses to return to the United States after three years living in Russia.
Once back in the USA, he returned to Dallas and interviewed by the FBI. He mixed with the elite Russian émigré community, meeting socialite George De Mohrenschildt and his wife. Mohrenschildt confirmed Oswald’s socialist leanings and his Russian language skills.
However, Oswald and Marina’s relationship was becoming strained maybe partly due to Oswald resisting Marina’s integration into American society (Oswald was insisting that she did not learn to speak English). In November 1962, the Oswalds had a violent argument, and Marina and daughter move out to live with friends (Ruth and Michael Paine) for a week or so. However by thanksgiving they were back together with his brother and step-brother visiting apparently patching up family differences.
According to the Warren Report, Oswald ordered a rifle and pistol from Klein’s Sporting Goods in Chicago March 12, 1963, and picked up the weapons on March 25. On March 31, 1963, it is alleged Marina took the infamous “Backyard Photos” of Oswald holding rifle and “Communist newspapers” in the backyard of 214 West Neely Street.
However the relationship with Marina deteriorated again and Marina was living with friends in early April. She was three months pregnant and Oswald moved to New Orleans to find work. He was employed at the Reily Coffee Co in May but was fired by mid July. (See the chapter on Dr Mary Sherman for the significance of these three months).
In June, he was distributing Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) literature at the Dumaine Street wharf close to where the USS Wasp is docked. He was even on TV advocating for Cuba!
On August 5, 1963, supposedly pro-Castro Oswald offered to help anti-Castro Cuban Carlos Bringuier in his struggle against Castro. Four days later, Bringuier sees Oswald distributing FPCC literature on Canal Street and a scuffle ensued. Both men are arrested and Oswald spent a night in jail. The following day, at Oswald’s request he was interviewed by John Quigley of the FBI. Oswald pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and fined $10.
Just a few days later, August 17, 1963, Bill Stuckey from radio station WDSU asked Oswald for a radio interview and later the same day the station broadcast a short 5 minute slot with Oswald at 7:30pm. Two days later Stuckey’s offered Oswald a live radio debate with Bringuier, the same guy he had a fight with on the streets just a week earlier. The 25 minute debate took place on August 21 at 6pm with Oswald stating the FPCC view against Bringuier and director of a right-wing group, Conversation Carte Blanche.
In late September, Oswald traveled to Mexico where he spent over a week trying (unsuccessfully) to obtain a visa to visit Cuba which also required visits to the Soviet Embassy. He was told it would take four months to obtain the visa. Even using his fluent Russian, he was unable to shorten the process.
In early October he was back in Dallas looking for work. A job opening at the Texas School Book Depository was relayed to him from his friend, Ruth Paine. The Texas Book Depository Company was a private firm which distributed textbooks to public schools in parts of Texas and Oklahoma.
Oswald started work at the TSBD, October 16, 1963. Marina gave birth to Audrey Marina Rachel Oswald October 20, 1963.
A week later, FBI agent James Hosty was asking about Oswald in the Paine’s neighborhood. He interviewed Ruth Paine and Marina at the Paine household. Oswald later told Marina that if Hosty returned she should get his plate number. (After his arrest, Oswald was found to have Hosty’s car license and telephone numbers in his notebook).
The Dallas Times Herald detailed the exact route of the presidential motorcade on November 19, 1963.
It is alleged Lee Harvey Oswald by himself fired three shots at Kennedy with a mail-order rifle with a dodgy sight from an open window on the sixth floor of the depository.
November 22, 1963, 7:15am: Linnie Mae Randle, neighbor to the Paines, saw Oswald carrying a 27 inch long paper bag into work. She thought the package contained “curtain rods”.
Randle’s brother Buell Wesley Frazier drove Oswald to TSBD (with the package) at 7:23am. Arriving around 7:50am at the TSBD no-one else saw Oswald arriving with an unusual package. At around 11:40am Oswald was left alone on the sixth floor while other workers go for lunch on the second floor. Oswald then supposedly assembled the rifle and created a “sniper’s nest”.
Oswald at 12:30 apparently waited for the Presidential Limousine to enter Dealey Plaza. Oswald failed to take any shots when the procession stopped in clear view of the sniper nest on the sixth floor of the TSBD then waited until the car was moving away before firing three times in quick succession using the bolt action rifle through the tree foliage overhanging Elm Street. The second and third bullets apparently fired in very fast succession both hitting the President.
Within the next sixty seconds, Oswald apparently hid the gun and returned to the second floor to buy a soft drink from a vending machine. At 12:31, Oswald is apparently confronted in the lunchroom by Patrolman Marrion Baker. The superintendent of the building, Roy Truly, vouched for Oswald, and he was allowed to leave the building before the Police sealed off the building. Oswald’s supervisor stated that Oswald was the only TSBD employee that he was certain was missing.
Oswald caught a bus and a taxi (Oswald could not drive) back to his rooming house, at 1026 North Beckley Avenue, arriving at about 1:00 pm. He took a jacket and his handgun and stood at the northbound Beckley Avenue bus stop in front of the house. At approximately 1:15 pm, Dallas Patrolman J D Tippit drove up in his patrol car alongside Oswald. It is assumed Tippit stopped because Oswald resembled the police broadcast description of a man seen by witness Howard Brennan firing shots at the presidential motorcade. Tippit’s encounter with Oswald occurred near the corner of East 10th Street and North Patton Avenue which is about nine-tenths of a mile southeast of Oswald’s rooming house. “Shortly after 1:15 pm” (according to the Warren Commission Report) Tippit exited his car and was immediately hit by four bullets. Many witnesses heard the shots and some claim they saw Oswald flee the scene holding a revolver. Nine positively identified him. Four cartridge cases found at the scene were identified by expert witnesses as having been fired from the revolver later found in Oswald’s possession, to the exclusion of all other weapons. However, the bullets taken from Tippit’s body could not be positively identified as having been fired from Oswald’s revolver as the bullets were too extensively damaged to make conclusive assessments. By 1:22 pm Police had broadcast a description of the suspect for the Tippit murder.
At 1:40 pm Oswald suspiciously slipped into the nearby Texas Theater without paying and the Police were alerted. When they arrived, a witness pointed out Oswald sitting near the back. After a brief scuffle with Police Officer Nick McDonald, where Oswald reportedly tried to shoot his way out and McDonald jams his hand in front of the pistol’s firing hammer, he is overpowered and led away. By 2 pm, Oswald was in Police custody initially charged with Officer Tippit’s murder and then later with Kennedy’s assassination. Bizarrely, Oswald encountered reporters in a hallway and caught on camera announcing, “I didn’t shoot anybody. They’ve taken me in because I lived in the Soviet Union. I’m just a patsy!” At an arranged press meeting, he was asked, “Did you kill the President?” Oswald, who yet to be charged with Kennedy’s death, answered, “No, I have not been charged with that. In fact, nobody has said that to me yet. The first thing I heard about it was when the newspaper reporters in the hall asked me that question.” He was asked, “How did you hurt your eye?” Oswald replied, “A policeman hit me.”
Over the next two days, he protested his innocence. Oswald admitted that he went to his rooming house and changed his clothes and armed himself with a .38 revolver but denied killing Kennedy and Tippit, denied owning a rifle, said the two photographs of him holding a rifle and a pistol were fakes, confessed to having rented postal box but denied receiving packages (containing the rifle and pistol from it) in the name of Hidell. When confronted with the “A J Hidell” id card, Oswald retorted irritably “…you have the card yourself and you know as much about it as I do.” During an interrogation with Captain Fritz, when asked, “Are you a communist?”, he replied, “No, I am not a communist. I am a Marxist.” During the interrogations, according to Craig, Oswald said in dismay, “Everybody will know who I am now.”
Oswald asked for legal representation several times while being interrogated, as well as in encounters with reporters. But he declined services of senior Dallas attorneys, saying he wanted to be represented by John Abt, chief counsel to the Communist Party USA, or by an American Civil Liberties Union lawyer. Oswald also declined his brother Robert’s offer to obtain a local attorney.
Sunday morning at 11.20, November 24, Oswald was led through the basement of Dallas Police Headquarters toward an armored car that was to take him to the nearby county jail when, incredibly, Jack Ruby stepped from the crowd and shot Oswald. The event was broadcast on live TV. Oswald died at 1:07 pm.
Ruby, a Dallas Nightclub owner, described his motive as anger over Kennedy’s death and “saving Mrs. Kennedy the discomfiture of coming to trial.”
The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone in assassinating Kennedy (this view is known as the lone gunman theory) and that Ruby acted alone in killing Oswald. The Warren Commission’s evidence included the rifle and bullet shells at the TSBD and the following assertions:
A) All of the shooting came from the sixth floor of the TSBD
B) Oswald had brought the rifle to work wrapped in paper, and was at the sixth floor window with the rifle at the time of the shooting
C) The Commission was able to explain all the injuries with only three shots.
Oswald’s body was exhumation in 1981, to check a claim that a double was buried in his place. Dental records and a surgical scar confirmed it was Oswald.
There are multiple problems with the case against Oswald. The first being Oswald’s location. Within ninety seconds of the shooting, TSBD superintendent Roy Truly and Dallas policeman Marrion Baker found Oswald in the lunchroom on the second floor calmly drinking a soda, despite (allegedly) committing the “crime of the century.” on the sixth floor of the TSBD. He did not have enough time to fire on the president, run to the opposite corner of the sixth floor where the rifle was discovered, hide it, race down four flights of stairs without being seen, get a coke and show no sign of exertion or emotion. Other TSBD employees concurred that they heard no footsteps and did not see Oswald racing down the stairs for his encounter with Truly and Baker.
Researchers have shown that the rifle, bullets and wounds do not tie together from a forensic science point of view. One such researcher Howard Roffman in his book 1976 book “Presumed Guilty” cogently argues that the Warren Commission was working on an agenda to prove Oswald guilty, ignoring conflicting facts, a method known as “Dry-Labbing”, in other words, scientific fraud. The main arguments thereafter from the Warren Commission and other pro-Lone-Gunman Theory supporters relies upon witness testimony (which is conflicted) and Oswald’s background including the famous Backyard photos (which are discussed further below).
As already described, it is more probable that more than three shots were fired. Certainly the timing between the last two, deadly shots was very short, Oswald was not a particularly good marksman and leaving his assassination until his target was moving away under the cover of trees is making the task even more difficult. It would be nothing short of miraculous for Oswald to make these shots. No expert marksman has ever been able to reproduce the feat described in the Warren Commission report on the first attempt: three deadly shots within six seconds at a moving limo with a bolt-action Mannlicher-Carcano rifle.
Even if Oswald was a perfect shooter, the next problem is with the rifle itself. The rifle telescopic sight was found during a test shooting by FBI and US Army investigators to be uncalibrated requiring the introduction of “shims”, metal wedges under the scope to adjust both elevation and azimuth errors in the scope. The condition of the bolt and trigger also rendered the rifle unreliable. Even after the rifle had been repaired, the experts were unable to replicate Oswald’s alleged feat. While the Warren Commission JFK assassination scenario has been achieved (in terms of the number of bullets fired in the timescale and hitting the target), it was only achieved many years later using much better rifles and expert snipers.
The official story is on shaky ground right from the start concerning the three shots: one missing, one magic bullet and within a second, the final the deadly shot through the trees. All done with a uncalibrated, unreliable rifle. And the magic bullet theory is largely contradicted by the Zapruder movie. The probability as Oswald as the Lone Gunman is already low.
While many people state that there was shooting from the TSBD, a skilled sniper would not poke their rifle through the window (unless they wanted to be noticed). So was that gunman Oswald? There did not appear to have Oswald’s fingerprints on the weapon or on three bullet casings or on paper bag supposedly used by Oswald to carry the weapon. Oswald would have to have either gloves (none have been found or mentioned) or he cleaned these surfaces to not leave marks in the seconds available between the shooting and appearing downstairs. A paraffin test on Oswald’s cheek revealed he had not fired a rifle that day.
Even the seemingly unambiguous evidence from Linnie Mae Randle recalling Oswald carrying the weapon in a paper bag is open to dispute. By examining Randle’s testimony, it can be seen that she was less than explicit in the interrogation with the investigator suggesting both the curtain rods and size of the packet before Randle confirmed the detail. In any case, the size of the packet Oswald carried (27”) was too small to fit the unassembled rifle (the disassembled Carcano rifle is 35 inches long). Other witnesses do not recall Oswald carrying any large paper bag, indeed other witnesses put Oswald on different floors at the time of the shooting. Since Oswald moved supposedly from the sixth floor to the first floor in a matter of minute from the shooting (and also cleaning the rifle of all fingerprints, hiding the rifle and buying a soda) then the timing of the official story seems suspect.
It seems that some of the evidence against Oswald was manufactured after the event. The first example of this is the paper bag used to carry the rifle. Since the rifle was described as “well oiled” it should have been easy to associate the paper bag with the rifle as the oil would have seeped into the paper but there was no such link. Several researchers have suggested that the rifle paper bag was manufactured by the Police soon after the assassination. This is due to the use of TSBD-branded tape on the packaging which was available only from a single, bolted down dispenser within the TSBD. Oswald would have had no opportunity to create the paper packaging before the crime and would have had the problem of bringing the weapon into the building presumably at some other time, in some other bag, and then carrying it back home, all on a bus, taxi or friend’s car (since Oswald could not drive).
Whether this proves that there was a conspiracy is debatable since it is known that some Police Investigators will manufacture evidence to prove their case, however the next item demonstrates a clear intent of conspiracy.
The day after the assassination, the Dallas police released photographs of Oswald holding the murder weapon in one hand and a copy of a communist paper in the other hand. These photographs, according to Dallas police, were taken in Oswald’s backyard in 214 West Neely Street. The “backyard photos” were supposedly taken by Marina Oswald on March 31, 1963. Oswald owned expensive cameras yet the yard photos were apparently taken on a cheap box camera.
When Oswald was shown the pictures after his arrest, he insisted they were forgeries and claimed he had never seen these photographs before. He said that he knew something about photography, and that his face had been pasted on someone else’s body. But Marina testified in 1964 that she had taken the photographs at Oswald’s request, testimony she has since reaffirmed repeatedly. Oswald’s mother testified that on the day after the assassination she and Marina destroyed another photograph with Oswald holding the rifle with both hands over his head.
The photographs were found at 2515 West Fifth Street in Irving, Texas, the home of the Paines. On two searches on the day of the assassination of this address, the Dallas police did not locate the photographs. However, another search was made the following day and it was this third search in which the Dallas police say they found the photos. However these two key photos were never listed on the Police’s inventory sheets of Oswald’s possessions. Neither was the black shirt and the black pants that Oswald had on in the photographs; they have never been located.
In 1967, George DeMorenschild found another backyard photograph with slightly different pose. On the back of this photograph is handwritten by an unknown person “Hunter of fascists, ha ha ha.”
In 1970, Dallas news reporter Jim Marrs interviewed Robert and Patricia Hester who both worked for the National Photo Lab in Dallas. They said they were very busy processing photographic material for both the FBI and the Secret Service on the night of the assassination. The Hesters told Marrs that the FBI had color transparencies of Oswald’s backyard the night of the assassination and had one color transparency that had nobody in the picture. Not only is this highly suspicious but they recall doing this processing a day before the two famous photos were found.
(Incidentally, in 1976 the Senate Intelligence Committee located a fourth photograph of Oswald with the backyard pose that was slightly different again. The photo was found among the belongings of the widow of Dallas police officer Roscoe White).
Photographic expert Jack White testified before the House Select Committee stating his conclusion that the photographs are fakes for the following reasons:
1) White concluded that Oswald is standing in an unnatural position, off-centre and outside the weight bearing alignment of his feet. A person could not stand in such a position.
2) Between the photographs, one head is much larger than the other.
3) Although the photos were supposed to have been taken just seconds apart, the body shadows in the photographs are different. In Exhibit 133-A the photograph has a 10 o’clock shadow, Exhibit 133-B a 12 o’clock shadow.
4) White said that the elbow is too high in one photograph indicating the arm length had been adjusted.
5) In one photo, the right hand is missing fingernails and looks too stubby.
6) The photographs reveal that Oswald is wearing a watch but witnesses have stated that Oswald did not own a watch. No watch was found among Oswald’s possessions. He was not wearing one when he was arrested.
7) Using Oswald’s height as a reference (5’ 7”), then the rifle in the photograph is the wrong length.
8) Part of the rifle scope is missing.
9) The photograph shows Oswald with a flat chin yet Oswald had a cleft chin, indicating that the face had been cut and pasted on.
10) The faces of the two photographs match perfectly (with a minor rotation of the image).
11) Both photos show the same shadow shape below the nose even though the tilt of the head is different.
12) Within the same photograph, the direction of shadows cast on the right side of the neck differ from the shadow direction from the rifle.
14) While being cropped differently the background was unchanged between the photographs implying that the photographs were taken with the aid of a tripod (which contradicts Marina’s story).
15) By tilting one of the photographs it can be seen that the photographs were taken from the same spot.
During the 1991 JFK Assassination Symposium, computer image processing expert Tom Wilson corroborated all of the White analysis and, assuming a date in late March, identified the time of day from the photograph shadows as 9:12 am. But Marina stated that the photographs were taken in the early afternoon and so is inconsistent with the Wilson study.
The backyard photos are recognized as some of the most significant evidence against Oswald and so have been subjected to rigorous analysis; there have been many analysts that claim these photographs are genuine. However, rather than hear the debate of experts, nowadays, this analysis can be done by anyone with a modern computer and image manipulation software. Find the images on the internet and rotate the images as layers (using Photoshop or similar products). Just like Tom Wilson, you will find it easy to reproduce most of Jack White’s analysis for yourself. They are fake.
As for Marina’s testimony, unfortunately it cannot be relied upon. She was in a state of shock, under threat of deportation and separation from her children. She had to learn English and the English she learnt was from her interrogators.
Perhaps the biggest reasons to doubt the official story is the fact that on live TV, Oswald is murdered by Jack Ruby. This will be discussed in a later chapter.
Described so far is just the official story of Lee Harvey Oswald. There is considerable contrary evidence including evidence from Roger Craig was a Deputy Sheriff in Dallas that contracted the official story on Oswald’s movements including an accomplice helping him escape the TSBD (in Ruth Paine’ station wagon) and the type of gun found. For the sake of brevity, this information will be left to another chapter, and this section will just describe motive, means and opportunity and other ways of explaining Oswald’s role.
Oswald had no credible motive to assassinate JFK. Oswald was either pro-cuban (JFK had made a deal with the Soviets to sustain Castro’s regime) in which case he did not have an axe to grind with him or he was a patriot working against the Cubans, in which case he had no motive to assassinate the President. Indeed, several witnesses recalled Oswald expressing complimentary remarks about JFK both as a person and as a politician.
Examining the means and opportunity that Oswald was the Lone Gunman let us assume the following:
Chance of hitting the target twice in the timescale 1 in 100 (very conservative figure)
Chance of rifle being used with uncalibrated scope 1 in 50 (conservative figure)
Chance of evidence photos not being manufactured (1 in 100) (conservative figure)
Chance of Oswald being murdered because of cock-up rather than conspiracy (1 in 10) (conservative figure)
The chance of the official story, that Oswald was a Lone Gunman, being correct is already, using these simple estimates around 1 in 5,000,000 as a conservative estimate.
The likelihood that Oswald was not the Lone Gunman has been known for some time and there has been many alternative narratives for Oswald’s role in the event. These consist of the following types
A) Collusion with other gunman theory
B) Patsy – Oswald as a useful idiot
C) Pasty – Oswald as an undercover agent
Often mentioned, even in mainstream media, is the possibility of another gunman “on the grassy knoll” with whom Oswald colluded. This narrative sticks with the majority of the official story but adds an extra gunman to cover the final shot from the grassy knoll. While, superficially, this seems plausible, this second gunman is not easily identified, at least from the officially published accounts of his life. This narrative is more likely to be a “limited hangout”. A limited hangout is, according to former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Victor Marchetti, “spy jargon for a frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting, sometimes even volunteering, some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.” The grassy knoll accomplice can be viewed as just that sort of intriguing tidbit without having to dissemble the crumbing case against Oswald.
Oswald said it himself, “I’m a patsy”. The next level of detail in Oswald’s background is the chaotic nature of his life and life style. Oswald seemed consistent in aspiring to a better world, even if that aspiration was towards extreme socialism, namely Marxism. Oswald had come to the FBI’s attention on several occasions, not only from his return from Russia but also appearing on TV and radio advocating for Cuba and media-demonized, Fidel Castro. Could it be that Oswald was selected sometime in 1963 to be the patsy to “take the fall” for the JFK assassination. Was he just a pawn in a giant conspiracy?
Perhaps Oswald was not only a patsy but also working undercover for the government. Perhaps that agency was the FBI since he appears to have contact with the FBI on several occasions and indeed even asked once to see the FBI. The FPCC flyers that he was handing out had an address which was in the same building as a New Orleans FBI office and was in the neighborhood of many other intelligence agencies including the Office of Naval Intelligence. Indeed indirect evidence that Oswald was working undercover comes a memo that reports that states on October 9, 1963, FBI agent, Marvin Gheesling, removed Oswald from the FBI watch list for surveillance. This was shortly after Oswald’s arrest in New Orleans in August and his reported travel to Mexico in September. There are also apparently documents showing Oswald working for the CIA. CIA Counterintelligence chief, James Angleton, retained a file on Oswald and his visit to Mexico which was only discovered after Angleton had retired. He never volunteered this information.
If Oswald was an undercover spy, it would explain his duplicitous behavior with anti-Castro, Bringuier, working with him, falling out and fighting and then debating him all with the space of a week or so in August 1963. It would also explain why he did not want Marina to learn to speak English; he may have been trying to keep his Russian language skills honed or use Marina to exploit the Russian exile community! It also would explain why Oswald said in dismay, “Everybody will know who I am now,” since his cover was blown (rather than the Warren Commission version, which edited this statement to make him sound gleeful and self-promoting, “Now everybody will know who I am.”) Oswald’s mother has stated that her son was an agent for the government.
Did Oswald meet CIA agent, David Ferrie, in 1956 at the Civil Air Patrol where Ferrie could have shaped a future career for the sixteen year old? Or again in 1963, where Ferrie was involved in developing secret assassination weapons against Castro? (This aspect will be described further later in this book). This would indicate that Oswald was indeed an undercover agent. Could Oswald’s career as a spy really start as far back as 1956? Well, if not at that time then may maybe from his time in the Marines. Oswald may have been following a well known path in intelligence circles called “sheep-dipping”. This is a process for disguising a military or intelligence asset to give them a civilian cover, to blot out their past, to allow their work for the government to continue without subsequent suspicion. Oswald could have been a fake defector, part of a scheme that the CIA had been running around that time to introduce spies into the Soviet Union. This would explain how a dirt poor Marine from Louisiana managed to learn fluent Russian, fly to Europe staying at the most luxurious hotels, before entering into the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War. With an established trail of activities associated with pro-Castro Cuban groups, and by 1963, a dispensable asset, he may have been the perfect patsy for an assassination conspiracy.
These doubts can be sown up in Professor John Newman’s 2008 book “Oswald and the CIA: The Documented Truth about the Unknown Relationship Between the US Government and the Alleged Killer of JFK” which meticulously documents Oswald relationship to the CIA. In summary, he was a CIA asset.
Who benefits from the death of Lee Harvey Oswald? Considering the chance of him being the only gunman is so small, the huge benefit of his death would be to all other people in the conspiracy.
Oswald could not have fired all three shots. There is little to no evidence that he even fired one. The evidence against Oswald seems merge and fabricated. Indeed, the planting of evidence at both the TSBD and Parkland Hospital would have been easily achieved: conditions at both sites were chaotic and accomplices could easily have escaped detection. It seems pretty clear that Oswald was a CIA asset and set-up in advance to take the blame by a group of people intent on burying the truth. The evidence for this has been made available by many researchers but the real confirmation of his patsy status is self evident: his murder on live TV.
But there is some awkwardness in this story. Why did Oswald flee the TSBD? Was this a mistake by the plotters? If Oswald was a patsy then he should have been picked up immediately. After all he was still in the building when the Police arrived. Perhaps the plotters needed Oswald to flee to make him look guilty and create some “space” in the plan: to allow time to plant weapons, for instance. If so another excuse was required to pick up Oswald at a later time…
Tippit was a Bronze Star decorated war hero who saw action in the parachute regiment during World War 2. Returning back to civilian life, he took a few years before deciding to become a Police Officer, joining the Dallas Police Department as a patrolman in July 1952. Tippit was cited twice for bravery during his career. At the time of his death, Tippit was earning a salary of $490 a month (worth $3,794 in 2016) as a police officer. In order to support his family he also worked two part-time night jobs, two nights in a restaurant and one at a cinema.
On November 22, 1963, J D Tippit was working beat number 78, his normal patrol area in south Oak Cliff, a residential area of Dallas. At 12:45 p.m., 15 minutes after the President’s assassination, Tippit received a radio order to move to the central Oak Cliff area as part of a concentration of police around the center of the city. At 12:54 Tippit radioed that he had moved as directed. By then several messages had been broadcast describing a suspect in the Kennedy assassination as a slender white male, in his early thirties, 5 feet 10 inches tall, and weighing about 165 pounds. Oswald was a slender white male, 24 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall, and an estimated weight of 150 pounds.
At approximately 1:11–1:14 pm, Tippit was driving slowly eastward on East 10th Street when about 100 feet past the intersection of 10th Street and Patton Avenue, he pulled alongside Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald walked over to Tippit’s car and apparently exchanged words with him through the car’s window. Tippit opened his car door and as he walked toward the front of the car, Oswald drew a handgun and fired three shots in rapid succession, all three bullets hitting Tippit in the chest. Oswald then walked up to Tippit’s fallen body and fired a fourth shot directly into his right temple to ensure his death. (This is an approach that is taught to professional assassins.)
The Warren Commission identified twelve people who witnessed the shooting, or its aftermath. Domingo Benavides saw Tippit standing by the left door of his parked police car, and a man standing on the right side of the car. He then heard shots and saw Tippit fall to the ground. Benavides stopped his pickup truck on the opposite side of the street from Tippit’s car. He observed the shooter fleeing the scene and removing spent cartridge cases from his gun as he left. Benavides waited in his truck until the gunman disappeared before assisting Tippit. He then reported the shooting to police headquarters, using the radio in Tippit’s car.
Helen Markham witnessed the shooting and then saw a man with a gun in his hand leave the scene. Markham identified Lee Harvey Oswald as Tippit’s killer in a police lineup she viewed that evening.
Barbara Davis and her sister-in-law Virginia Davis heard the shots and saw a man crossing their lawn, shaking his revolver, as if he were emptying it of cartridge cases. Later, the women found two cartridge cases near the crime scene and handed the cases over to police. That evening, Barbara Davis and Virginia Davis were taken to a lineup and both Davises picked out Oswald as the man whom they had seen.
Taxicab driver William Scoggins testified that he saw Tippit’s police car pull up alongside a man on the sidewalk as he sat in his taxicab nearby. Scoggins heard three or four shots and then saw Tippit fall to the ground. As Scoggins crouched behind his cab, the man passed within twelve feet of him, pistol in hand, muttering what sounded to him like, “poor dumb cop”. The next day, Scoggins viewed a police lineup and identified Oswald as the man whom he had seen with the pistol. Scoggins admitted he did not actually witness the shooting and his view of the fleeing killer was obscured because he ducked down behind his cab as the man came by.
The Commission also named several other witnesses who were not at the scene of the murder, but who identified Oswald running between the murder scene and the Texas Theater, where Oswald was subsequently arrested. Four cartridge cases were found at the scene by eyewitnesses. It was the unanimous testimony of expert witnesses before the Warren Commission that these spent cartridge cases were fired from the revolver in Oswald’s possession to the exclusion of all other weapons.
Oswald ducked into the Texas Theatre without buying a ticket and the police were called. Police descended on the venue at 1:45pm. Upon his arrest and during subsequent questionings by police, Lee Harvey Oswald denied any involvement in Tippit’s murder. Based on eyewitness’ statements and the gun found in Oswald’s possession at the time of his arrest, he was formally charged with the murder of J D Tippit at 7:10pm on November 22. During the course of the day, police began to suspect that Oswald was also involved in the shooting of President Kennedy. At approximately 1am on November 23, Oswald was also charged with assassinating JFK. Oswald continued to maintain his innocence in connection with both murders.
On the evening of his murder, both Robert Kennedy and the new President, Lyndon B Johnson, called Tippit’s widow to express their sympathies. Jacqueline Kennedy wrote a letter expressing sorrow for the bond they shared. The plight of Tippit’s family also moved much of the nation and a total of $647,579 was donated to them. One of the largest individual gifts was $25,000 from Dallas businessman Abraham Zapruder after selling his film of the president’s assassination to Life magazine.
Tippit was buried the same day as President Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald, November 25, 1963.
The Warren Commission spent ten months investigating the murders and interviewing witnesses, concluded that Tippit was murdered by Lee Harvey Oswald.
Discrepancies in witness testimony and physical evidence call into question the Commission’s conclusions regarding the murder of Tippit. According to Jim Marrs, Oswald’s guilt in the assassination of Kennedy is placed into question by the presence of “a growing body of evidence to suggest that [he] did not kill Tippit”. He hypothesized that “the slaying of Officer Tippit may have played some part in a scheme to have Oswald killed, perhaps to eliminate a co-conspirator or simply to anger Dallas police and cause itchy trigger fingers.”
Researcher James Douglass said that “…the killing of Tippit helped motivate the Dallas police to kill an armed Oswald in the Texas Theater, which would have disposed of the scapegoat before he could protest his being framed.”
Harold Weisberg offered a simpler explanation: “Immediately, the flimsy police case against Oswald required a willingness to believe. This was proved by affixing to Oswald the opprobrious epithet of ‘cop-killer.’”
Despite the fact that eyewitnesses to the shooting identified Oswald, some critics doubt that Tippit was killed by him and assert he was shot by other conspirators. Others say that multiple men were directly involved in Tippit’s killing. Conspiracy researcher Kenn Thomas has alleged that the Warren Commission omitted testimony and evidence that two men shot Tippit and that one left the scene in a car.
The FBI and the Secret Service independently measured the time they took to walk briskly from the rented room to the site of the murder. They each took 12 minutes. Without assistance, Oswald could not have reached Tippit in time to shoot him.
Researcher Sterling Harwood suggests that Tippit must have had a role in a conspiracy to kill Kennedy or to silence Oswald, since there is no other reason for an experienced officer like Tippit, before engaging the suspect, to fail to call in to his dispatcher after spotting a likely fit to the description of Kennedy’s killer.
Journalist, Dorothy Kilgallen, also a famous gossip columnist and TV and radio celebrity, uncovered information that Tippit and Jack Ruby met at Ruby’s Carousel Club eight days before the assassination. Kilgallen also broke the story that two shooters were witnessed at Tippet’s murder and how witnesses had been threatened by the Dallas Police or the FBI. On 25th September, 1964, Kilgallen published an interview with Acquilla Clemons, one of the witnesses to the shooting of J D Tippet. In the interview Clemons told Kilgallen that she saw two men running from the scene, neither of whom fitted Oswald’s description. Clemons added: “I’m not supposed to be talking to anybody, might get killed on the way to work.” (Further detail of Kilgallen is given in a later chapter). A 1966 interview with Acquilla Clemons can be found on Youtube.
To actually understand Tippit’s role in the event is difficult since we do not even have a good photograph of him. Newspapers and other media show a photograph of Officer Tippit which is the so called ‘Elvis Photograph’ taken 15 years before he was shot, why is a more recent photograph of the Officer never shown? Tippit’s physical similarity to JFK, a virtual twin, with fellow Dallas Officers calling him ‘Jack Tippit’, after JFK, have led some researchers to speculate that he was used as a body double. He was used either as a security double that was shot in the Limo while acting as a stand-in on the parade (unlikely!) or as a body double for the autopsy to hide the direction of the assassination bullet (also quite unlikely).
Other researchers have speculated that if Oswald was an undercover agent with either the FBI, CIA or Police working either for or with the Mafia and their gun-running schemes to Cuba or Castro assassination plots then Oswald would need a handler; a coordinating officer from his cover back to the secret services. Some have suggested FBI agent James Hosty may have had the job while others speculate that J D Tippit, a cop with far more experience expected from just a patrolman, could have been another…
If using solely the official story, Oswald’s shooting of Tippit seems very rash. Perhaps Oswald thought this would be his only means of escape. However if he did feel desperate why try to escape by bus and by foot?
However since there is much evidence that Oswald was unlikely to be the JFK assassination, his reason for killing Tippit is also highly suspect. It is difficult to see who benefits from Tippit’s death except if Oswald was a patsy then perhaps Tippit could have been killed as an excuse to go after Oswald. But if Oswald was also working undercover then in that case, Tippit’s death could have had a role more significant than to encourage itchy fingers in the police force. Tippet could have been, for example, a coordination officer between Oswald and other agencies. Oswald may have been instructed by the Police Officer Baker that entered the TSBD after the shooting to go from the TSBD to a prearranged meeting point where he was expected to meet Tippit. Tippit, likewise could have been instructed to converge at the same location. Dark actors then took the opportunity of severing the link between Oswald and his handler.
The impossibility that Oswald was the Lone Gunman means that the probability is that Oswald did not kill Tippit. If Oswald had been set up as a patsy: he had no “motive”, very little, to no time, for “opportunity”. His possession of a .38 pistol does prove the “means” however there is no association between gun and bullets found in Tippit’s body and the witness evidence is suspect.
The probability is that the work of Kilgallen was correct: Tippit was murdered to further entrap Oswald. This was not clear at the time but viewing the JFK network as a whole and in hindsight, it is clear now.
Tippit’s death seems unbearably needless and woefully sad: a pawn sacrificed in a poorly constructed game of political chess.
Dr Mary Stults Sherman was an orthopedic surgeon and cancer researcher in New Orleans, Louisiana and is, strangely, implicated in the JFK assassination by her associations. Her implication is made most solid by the incredible details of her death, a most uncommon murder.
Sherman was born in Evanston, Illinois, in 1913. She had a Master of Arts degree and in 1943, she obtained a medical degree from the University of Chicago. In 1952, she relocated to New Orleans to become director of the bone pathology laboratory at The Ochsner Clinic Medical Foundation, a creation of surgeon Alton Ochsner. The next year she began her final position as associate professor at Tulane Medical School. A cancer researcher, she was also the senior visiting surgeon in orthopedics at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.
On July 21, 1964, Sherman was found dead in her apartment on St Charles Avenue in New Orleans. The police treated the death as a murder. The body had burn and stab wounds. There had been a fire on her deathbed apparently made by the murderer to destroy evidence. An autopsy was performed by Monroe S Samuels, MD, on July 21, 1964. The autopsy report classified Sherman’s death as a homicide. Dr Samuels determined that Sherman died of a stab wound in her heart.
The details of Sherman’s murder have had an intense veil of secrecy around them. The burns on her body were not minor but extensive. Her right arm and rib cage had been burned away, yet the hair on her head remained unburned. But that is not what killed her. She was apparently burned, not in her apartment but somewhere else and then transported to her apartment and then finished off by a knife. The body had been stabbed in the heart, liver, arm, leg, and stomach. The wound to the heart hemorrhaged but the wound to the liver did not, indicating that she was alive at the time of the heart wound but already dead by the time the wound to the liver was inflicted. The murderer attempted, but failed, to set fire to the apartment in an attempt to destroy the crime scene, it merely burned the mattress and some underwear.
Information about her missing arm was not released to the public and while investigators were aware that the massive burns inflicted upon her could not have occurred in her apartment, this crucial detail was not released to the press.
In 1995 Edward Haslam published “Mary, Ferrie & the Monkey Virus: The Story of an Underground Medical Laboratory”. Haslam’s mother was a close friend of Sherman so he had first hand knowledge of the victim. Haslam claims that Sherman was involved in carrying out secret research into developing a vaccine to prevent an epidemic of soft-tissue cancers, caused by the polio vaccine contaminated with SV-40. (Between 1955 and 1963 around 90% of children and 60% of adults in USA were inoculated with SV40-contaminated polio vaccines). This work was sensitive enough but according to Haslam, she was also developing a weaponized virus that could be used by the CIA for causing cancer for secret assassinations.
Part of the work included using a linear particle accelerator located in the Infectious Disease Laboratory at the Public Health Service Hospital in New Orleans. Haslam argues that Sherman was seriously injured, perhaps by accident, while using the linear particle accelerator. This explains why her body was so badly burnt. In an attempt to cover-up her secret research, Sherman was stabbed in the heart and then moved under cover of darkness to her apartment. A small fire was then started in an attempt to explain the burns on her body. (According to Haslam, there was a second-lab working on this project, being run by David Ferrie, a friend of Sherman, on Louisiana Avenue Parkway. David Ferrie is implicated into the JFK assassination.)
Haslam had everything, except a witness. A few years after the publication of his book he was able to complete the final pieces of his puzzle. Judyth Vary Baker came forward about her 1963 adultery with a certain Lee Harvey Oswald! According to Baker, she and Oswald were hired by Reily Coffee Company in the spring of 1963 which was a cover for the secret virus research.
Baker, whose employment records show that she did indeed work at the Reily Coffee Company in New Orleans at the same time Oswald, claimed that in 1963 she was recruited to work with Dr Alton Ochsner and Sherman on a clandestine CIA project to develop a biological weapon that could be used to assassinate Fidel Castro. Apparently she, Oswald and with the assistance of Clay Shaw (!), they would go to maximum security prisons to test out the cancer-causing viruses on inmates on death row.
Oswald kept in touch with Baker and in November, 1963, he told her that he had been forced to join a plot to kill JFK. Oswald believed that the conspiracy was being organized by Mafia leader, Carlos Marcello and a CIA agent, David Atlee Phillips. Oswald told her he would do what he could to ensure that Kennedy was not killed. After the assassination and the arrest of Oswald, Baker received a phone-call from David Ferrie warning her that she would be killed if she told anyone about her knowledge of those events.
Baker’s story and her book “Me & Lee” finally disclosed a witness who could validate Haslam’s theory about the secret labs.
Haslam published “Dr. Mary’s Monkey” in 2007, an updated account on the death of Mary Sherman, with an additional chapter on the new, and quite feasible, theory about Oswald.
Based on Haslam’s story, Sherman’s death is the result of her work on biological weapons. Sherman’s boss, Alton Ochsner, fierce anti-Communist and cancer expert, was enlisted by the CIA to create a virus that causes cancer, so that this can be given surreptitiously to Fidel Castro to rid the Western hemisphere of the Communist menace. Ochsner directed David Ferrie, an ex-airline pilot and a non-scientist, and Dr. Mary Sherman, a cancer researcher to start working in separate labs on altering viruses to cause cancer.
The weaponized cancer virus was tested on prisoners on death row in Louisiana. Oswald, Baker and, according to Haslam, Clay Shaw (who was indicted by Garrison for involvement in the JFK assassination) were involved in transporting and arranging these tests.
The two labs were eventually consolidated at a secret site, determined by Haslam to be the US Public Health Service Hospital (then called the Marine Hospital), Tchoupitoulas. Located at that hospital was a high-powered linear accelerator. Haslam proposed that a laboratory accident there created an explosion which seriously injured Dr. Sherman. There are two main suspects of being a party to her killing: Alton Ochsner and David Ferrie. Sherman’s body was transported to her apartment and an attempt was made to cover up the nature of her injuries by stabbing the body and setting it afire.
While Sherman’s death benefited nobody as far as it can be determined (except, maybe, Fidel Castro). The cover up of her death certainly benefitted the State’s secret plan to develop cancer-causing weapons.
Exactly why Sherman was murdered is not known but her first injury by the could have been accidental when using the linear particle accelerator and then killed off in order to disguise the top secret work she was engaged upon. Sherman’s death was certainly covered up by the state or agents that official cover which gives that much more authenticity to Haslam’s and Baker’s narrative.
Judyth Vary Baker’s link to Oswald, David Ferrie and Clay Shaw is stunning. She was threatened to remain quiet, which she was for many years. When she finally spoke up in the late 1990s she received death threats. Baker, after several attempts on her life, no longer lives in the USA and keeps her home location secret.
Jack Leon Ruby (born Jacob Leonard Rubenstein) was a nightclub operator in Dallas, Texas. On November 24, 1963, two days’ after JFK’s assassination, Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald on live television and while Oswald was in police custody.
Originally from Chicago, in 1947, Ruby moved to Dallas after being demobbed (he was an aircraft mechanic in WW2) where he managed various down market nightclubs and dance halls. Ruby developed close ties to many Dallas Police Department officers who frequented his nightclubs, where he provided them with free liquor, prostitutes and other favors. Many people doubt that Ruby was part of the Mafia but his association with key mob figures and his Cuban gun running activities show that he was had multiple ties with organized crime. In 1959, he visited Cuba to meet a “friend”, Santo “Joe” Trafficante, an influential Mafia boss that ran casinos on the island before Castro came to power. Ruby was an associate of Chicago mobster Sam Giancana according to memoirs of Joseph Bonanno, “Bound by Honor” written about his father, Bill Bonanno, New York Mafia boss.
Ruby never married or had children but had relationships with several of the dancers at his club including exotic dancer and porn star, Candy Barr.
The Warren Commission attempted to reconstruct Ruby’s movements from November 21, 1963 through November 24. The Commission reported that he was attending to his duties as the proprietor of the Carousel Club located at 1312 1/2 Commerce St. in downtown Dallas and the Vegas Club in the city’s Oak Lawn district from the afternoon of November 21 to the early hours of November 22.
According to the Warren Commission, Ruby was in the second-floor advertising offices of the Dallas Morning News, five blocks away from the Texas School Book Depository, placing weekly advertisements for his nightclubs and he learned of the assassination of Kennedy around 12:45 pm.
According to the Warren Commission, Ruby arrived back at the Carousel Club shortly before 1:45 pm to notify employees that the club would be closed that evening.
Ruby was seen in the halls of the Dallas Police Headquarters on several occasions after the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963. Newsreel footage from WFAA-TV (Dallas) and NBC shows Ruby impersonating a newspaper reporter during a press conference at Dallas Police Headquarters on the night of the assassination. District Attorney Henry Wade briefed reporters at the press conference telling them that Lee Oswald was a member of the anti-Castro Free Cuba Committee. Ruby was one of several people there who spoke up to correct Wade, saying: “Henry, that’s the Fair Play for Cuba Committee,” a pro-Castro organization. Ruby told the FBI, a month after his arrest for killing Oswald, that he had his loaded snub-nosed Colt Cobra .38 revolver in his right pocket during the press conference.
Ruby left his two beloved dogs in his car and entered a post office to send an emergency money order to one of his employees. Then he walked to the nearby police headquarters, making his way to the basement via either the Main Street ramp or a stairway accessible from an alleyway next to the Dallas Municipal Building. At 11:21am Police escorted Oswald through the police basement to a vehicle that was to transfer him to the nearby county jail, Ruby stepped out from a crowd of reporters and fired his .38 revolver into Oswald’s abdomen, fatally wounding him. Ruby was immediately pounced upon him as he yelled “You killed the president, you rat!” The shooting was broadcast live nationally, and millions of television viewers witnessed it.
Reuters’s Ralph Harris was one of the first reporters to dictate a bulletin to his agency: “The fatal shot, fired by Jack Ruby into Oswald’s abdomen at point-blank range, in the presence of armed police and reporters, had such a stunning impact that the scene froze into a moment of paralyzed amazement, then pandemonium as Oswald dropped to the concrete floor.”
When Ruby was arrested immediately after the shooting, he told several witnesses that he hoped his killing would help the city of Dallas “redeem” itself in the eyes of the public, and that Oswald’s death would spare “…Mrs Kennedy the discomfiture of coming to trial.”
The Warren Commission found no evidence linking Ruby’s killing of Oswald with any broader conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy. Part of the reason for this was that an unplanned and unexpected delay to Oswald’s transfer by half an hour meant that had Ruby been part of a conspiracy, he would have been downtown 30 minutes earlier. The Warren Commission published in 1964 provided a detailed biography of Ruby’s life and activities to help ascertain whether he was involved in a conspiracy to assassinate Kennedy. The Commission’s view was that there was not a “significant link between Ruby and organized crime”.
Despite his plea of insanity, a Dallas jury found Ruby guilty of murdering Oswald, and Ruby was sentenced to death. Later, Ruby appealed his conviction, had it overturned and was granted a new trial outside of Dallas. As the date for his new trial was being set, Ruby became ill and died in prison, January 3, 1967, of a pulmonary embolism due to lung cancer. Because his conviction was overturned, and his retrial was pending at the time of his death, he died technically un-convicted.
Fifteen years later, the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigated Ruby and said that he “had a significant number of associations and direct and indirect contacts with underworld figures” and “the Dallas criminal element” but that he was not a “member” of organized crime.
The biggest problem with the official story is Ruby’s motive and the Warren Commission clearly tried to distract attention away from Ruby’s involvement in a conspiracy. There are three big areas where the Warren Commission did this: firstly interpreting Ruby’s movements in a way that is favorable to the Lone Gunman theory, secondly by not inquiring about Ruby’s free access into the Police Headquarters and thirdly not looking for links between Oswald and Ruby.
White House correspondent and former reporter for the Dallas Times Herald, Seth Kantor testified that after President Kennedy was shot and taken to Parkland Hospital, he entered the hospital at 1:30 pm. He felt a tug on his coat and turned to see Jack Ruby who called him by his first name and shook his hand. They had met some years before. Ruby asked him if he thought that it would be a good idea for him to close his nightclubs for the next three nights because of the tragedy and Kantor responded that he thought that would be a good idea. The Warren Commission dismissed Kantor’s testimony, saying that the Parkland Hospital encounter contradicted other witness testimony and CCTV records. The Commission concluded that “Kantor probably did not see Ruby at Parkland Hospital” and “may have been mistaken about both the time and the place that he saw Ruby”.
The connection of Ruby, Oswald’s killer with Parkland Hospital and a conspiracy is clear when Exhibit 399 is also considered. Exhibit 399 is the Warren Commission’s “magic bullet” that mysteriously appeared at Parkland Hospital and in all probability planted there. Ruby could have been the person that planted it!
Kantor, incensed that his testimony was dismissed by the Warren Commision, wrote a book, published in 1978, “Who Was Jack Ruby?” claimed that Ruby might have tampered with JFK assassination evidence at Parkland Hospital.
In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations reexamined Kantor’s testimony and stated: “While the Warren Commission concluded that Kantor was mistaken [about his Parkland encounter with Ruby], the Committee determined he probably was not.”
As mentioned above, Ruby was seen in the halls of the Dallas Police Headquarters on several occasions after the arrest of Oswald. He could seemingly navigate his way through the building with ease. There is evidence that the Dallas Police Department had withheld relevant information from the Warren Commission concerning Ruby’s entry to the scene of the Oswald transfer and the Warren Commission seemingly unconcerned in investigating Ruby’s free movement in the building. This allowed the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Ruby was not part of conspiracy and acted alone.
The unexpected delay in Oswald’s transfer which the Warren Commission stated vindicated Ruby as part of a conspiracy could also be applied in reverse, the Police could have deliberately delayed the transfer to meet a pre-arranged timetable with Ruby.
Soon after Ruby murdered Oswald, Dallas lawyer Carroll Jarnigan told FBI agents he saw Oswald and Ruby together in the Jack Ruby’s Carousel Nightclub on the night of October 4, 1963. (On that date, Oswald had only just returned from Mexico).
At the time of Oswald’s arrest, Carousel emcee Bill Demar (Bill Crowe in real life) publicly identified Oswald as a recent patron. The magician-ventriloquist said he distinctly recalled Oswald because, as an audience member, Oswald had actually taken part in Demar’s “memory act.” This claim has since been supported in an exclusive interview July 19, 1976 with the New York Daily News by comedian Wally Weston who also worked as emcee before Demar, claiming Oswald was at the Carousel “at least twice” before the assassination.
Other entertainers seem to corroborate Carlin’s story. Stripper, Janet “Jada” Conforto, told reporters that Ruby and Oswald were acquainted. She appeared on TV and famously killed Ruby’s claim that he was a super-patriot, by saying “I believe he disliked Bobby Kennedy but I didn’t think he loved Kennedy that much”. Jada’s friend, singer Beverly Oliver, who worked next door at the Colony Club, when visiting Jada bumped into Ruby and another man. Oliver states “Ruby introduced me: ‘Beverly, this is my friend, Lee. He works for the CIA.’” Oliver confirmed that Lee was Lee Harvey Oswald. While not the soundest of evidence on many different levels, there is further corroboration. A 20 year old stripper, Karen “Little Lynn” Carlin who also worked for Ruby at the Carousel, took a shine to the young, good-looking Oswald and remembered him well. A report by Roger Warner of the US Secret Service on November 24, 1963 stated that Carlin overheard Oswald, Ruby, and others she didn’t know, plotting to assassinate JFK. She would not come forward publicly because she feared for her life. Carlin died of a gunshot wound in Houston in 1964.
Jim Garrison stated in a famous interview with the Playboy magazine “Our investigators have broken a code Oswald used and found Ruby’s private unlisted telephone number, as of 1963, written in Oswald’s notebook.”
Any relation between Ruby and Oswald not only contradicts the Warren Commission narrative but indicates a more complex relationship between the two. Certainly the motives of Ruby himself become unbelievable.
Indeed the original plea of insanity was revealed by Ruby himself as just trying to exploit legal loopholes. In a private note to one of his attorneys, Joseph Tonahill, Ruby wrote: “Joe, you should know this. My first lawyer Tom Howard told me to say that I shot Oswald so that Caroline and Mrs. Kennedy wouldn’t have to come to Dallas to testify. OK?” Later according to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, Ruby’s explanation for killing Oswald would be “exposed … as a fabricated legal ploy.” (Tom Howard died of a heart attack, aged 48, in March, 1965.)
Many people that knew Ruby mock the thought of Ruby being part of a conspiracy. He was too untrustworthy, too egotistical and could not keep a secret. Among the people and organizations that have made this claim which is supported by the Warren Commission is his brother who categorically denied that Ruby worked for the Mafia.
Despite these views, Ruby working for the Mafia is pretty well established. His past relationships and his line of business, trip to Cuba and knowledge of FPCC pretty much ensures that Ruby was tied up with mob activities.
So with Ruby working with the Mafia his actions should be interpreted completely differently from the Warren Commission’s conclusions. It is much more likely that Ruby was somehow duty-bound to carry out the murder. Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa claimed to have said that Ruby was assigned the task of coordinating police officers who were “loyal to Ruby” (that is, paid-off by Ruby) to kill Oswald while he was in their custody. As Ruby evidently mismanaged that part of the operation, he was given a choice to finish the job himself (or else suffer ruthless consequences from the mob).
Many JFK assassination researchers believe that New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello played a significant role in the President’s murder based on the grudge he had against the Kennedys (mainly Bobby Kennedy) because of his forced deportation to Guatemala. Lamar Waldron, in his book “Legacy of Secrecy: The Long Shadow of the JFK Assassination”, cites 1985 FBI prison files in which Marcello bragged, “Yeah, I had the son of a bitch killed. I’m glad I did. I’m sorry I couldn’t have done it myself!” These files are based on transcriptions from secret bugs in the cell during Marcello’s imprisonment. Marcello stated that he instructed Ruby to kill Oswald. Since Marcello had set up Ruby “in the bar business in Dallas” the implication was Ruby was owed a debt to the Mob. This largely corroborates the story reported from Jimmy Hoffa. This story also suggests that Marcello could have brought Oswald into the JFK assassination plot (as a patsy or as an assassin?) via David Ferrie.
Even before this evidence was available, G Robert Blakey, chief counsel for the House Select Committee on Assassinations from 1977 to 1979, view was that “The most plausible explanation for the murder of Oswald by Jack Ruby was that Ruby had stalked him on behalf of organized crime, trying to reach him on at least three occasions in the forty-eight hours before he silenced him forever.” Blakey found that Marcello and two other godfathers, Santos Trafficante of Florida and Chicago boss Sam “Mooney” Giancana were complicit in Kennedy’s assassination.
The House Select Committee on Assassinations in its 1979 Final Report concluded that Ruby’s shooting of Oswald was not a spontaneous act, in that it involved at least some premeditation and it was likely that Ruby entered the police basement with assistance, even though the assistance may have been provided with no knowledge of Ruby’s intentions. The committee was troubled by the apparently unlocked doors along the stairway route and the removal of security guards from the area of the garage nearest the stairway shortly before the shooting. Indeed the fact that Dallas Police Department had withheld relevant information on how Ruby gained entry into the building to shoot Oswald from the Warren Commission shows that there is something to hide.
In a memo released many years later but actually written by Hoover only 7 days after the shooting, Hoover noted how the Dallas police did not even make a move to stop Ruby.
Jim Garrison stated “We have evidence linking Ruby not only to anti-Castro exile activities but, as with almost everyone else… (including) to the CIA itself. Never forget that the CIA maintains a great variety of curious alliances it feels serve its purposes… I have solid evidence indicating that Ruby, Ferrie, Oswald and others involved in this case were all paid by the CIA to perform certain functions: Ruby to smuggle arms for Cuban exile groups, Ferrie to train them and to fly counterrevolutionary secret missions to Cuba, and Oswald to establish himself so convincingly as a Marxist that he would win the trust of American left-wing groups and also have freedom to travel as a spy in Communist countries, particularly Cuba.”
James Beaird, who claimed to be a poker-playing friend of Jack Ruby, told both The Dallas Morning News and the FBI that Ruby smuggled guns and ammunition from Galveston Bay, Texas to Fidel Castro’s guerrillas in Cuba in the late 1950s. Beaird said that Ruby “was in it for the money. It wouldn’t matter which side, just the one that would pay him the most.” He claimed that “each time that the boat left with guns and ammunition, Jack Ruby was on the boat.”
Sam Giancana and Richard Nixon when he was a freshman congressman from California apparently had a mutually rewarding relationship. In the book Doublecross Sam Giancana is quoted as saying “Nixon’s done me some favors, all right, got us some highway contracts, worked with the unions and overseas. And we’ve helped him and his CIA buddies out, too. Shit, he even helped my guy in Texas, (Jack) Ruby, get out of testifying in front of Congress back in ‘47… by saying Ruby worked for him.” Investigator and longtime White House reporter, Don Fulsom, connected this statement to a 1947 memo, found in 1975 in historical FBI documents, which supported Giancana’s contention. The memo, addressed to a congressional committee investigating organized crime from an FBI assistant, states: “It is my sworn testimony that one Jack Rubenstein of Chicago … is performing information functions for the staff of Congressman Richard Nixon, Republican of California. It is requested Rubenstein not be called for open testimony in the aforementioned hearings.” This is, if nothing else, a remarkable coincidence, or possibly a clue to a debt of honor?
Following Ruby’s March 1964 conviction for murder with malice, Ruby’s lawyers appealed to the highest criminal court in Texas, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. They argued that he could not have received a fair trial in Dallas because of the excessive “publicity” surrounding the case. For “publicity”, read “death threats”.
There are a lot of reasons to assume that Ruby wanted to confess but felt he could not for fear of his life. During the six months following the Kennedy assassination, Ruby repeatedly asked, orally and in writing, to speak to the members of the Warren Commission. Only when one of Ruby’s sister Eileen letters to the commission became public, the Warren Commission finally agree to talk to Ruby. In June 1964, commission members went to Dallas to see Ruby. But Ruby stated he should be taken to Washington DC saying “my life is in danger here” and “I want to tell the truth, and I can’t tell it here.” The Warren Commission was unable to comply.
A year after his conviction, in March 1965, Ruby conducted a brief televised news conference in which he stated: “Everything pertaining to what’s happening has never come to the surface. The world will never know the true facts of what occurred, my motives. The people who had so much to gain, and had such an ulterior motive for putting me in the position I’m in, will never let the true facts come above board to the world.” When asked by a reporter, “Are these people in very high positions, Jack?” he responded “Yes.”
Dallas Deputy Sheriff Al Maddox claimed that the prison authorities had given Ruby an injection apparently to relieve cold symptoms but actually Ruby believed it was to inject a cancer virus. “That’s what he told me, Ruby did. I said you don’t believe that bullshit. He said, ‘I damn sure do!’ Then one day when I started to leave, Ruby shook hands with me and I could feel a piece of paper in his palm… In the note he said it was a conspiracy and… if you will keep your eyes open and your mouth shut, you’re gonna learn a lot.” Maddox also revealed that Ruby confessed there “was a conspiracy” to murder JFK, and that Ruby’s motive in killing the alleged presidential assassin was not patriotism, but rather to “silence Oswald.”
Not long before Ruby died, according to an article in the London Sunday Times, he told psychiatrist Werner Teuter that the assassination was “an act of overthrowing the government” and that he knew “who had President Kennedy killed.” He added: “I am doomed. I do not want to die… I am not insane. I was framed to kill Oswald.”
In October 1966, the appellate court agreed with Ruby’s lawyers for a new trial and a change of venue. Ruby’s conviction and death sentence were overturned. Arrangements were underway for a new trial in February 1967 in Wichita Falls, Texas. But December 9, 1966, Ruby was admitted to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, suffering from pneumonia. A day later, doctors realized he had cancer in his liver, lungs, and brain. Three weeks later, he was dead.
Who benefitted from Ruby’s murder of Oswald. If there was a conspiracy to assassinate JFK then the conspiracy group would have clear benefits in Oswald’s death. Who benefits from Ruby’s death? The same people.
Jack Ruby died of cancer a few weeks after his conviction for murder had been overruled in appeals court and he was ordered to stand trial outside of Dallas, thus allowing him to speak freely if he so desired. If there was little hesitancy in the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald in order to prevent him from talking, then there is no reason to suspect that any more consideration would have been shown Jack Ruby if he had posed a threat to people who had conspired to murder the JFK. The fact that Jack Ruby knew of the injected cancer virus and that he knew he was likely to have died from it seems like a cruel irony. Cruel jokes made by conspirators and assassins? There is a pattern.
The coincidence of his death implies that we should examine the probability of his death was achieved by the same group of people that were responsible for the JFK assassination group. What group of people could have killed Ruby? The Mafia could not have killed Ruby. Nor the FBI. How about the CIA? Did the CIA have motive, means and opportunity? Yes.
Motive: the CIA would want Ruby to be quiet and not talk about the Mafia / CIA connection.
Means: the CIA had developed cancer virus. Ruby was aware of that fact but few other people were.
Opportunity: Ruby was in jail. He was not able to go anywhere. The CIA had agents that could deliver and inject the virus.
Estimated probability of CIA assassination is above 80%.
Dorothy Mae Kilgallen was an American journalist and television game show panelist. She started her career shortly before her 18th birthday as a reporter for the New York Evening Journal (owned by William Randolph “Citizen Kane” Hearst). As a crime reporter she covered many major murder cases.
In 1936, Kilgallen competed against two other reporters in a race around the world using only means of transportation available to the general public. She was the only woman to compete in the contest and she came in second. She wrote a book about the event and that inspired a 1937 movie “Fly-Away Baby”. She did not star in that movie but was an actress that year.
In 1938, she returned back to newspapers, creating a gossip column, “The Voice of Broadway,” which eventually was syndicated to more than 146 papers. Kilgallen’s articles featured mostly show business news and gossip, but also ventured into other topics such as politics and organized crime.
In 1940 Kilgallen married Richard Kollmar and in 1945 the couple began a daily morning radio show, “Breakfast with Dorothy and Dick” and this helped spurred the popularity of her newspaper column. Kilgallen became one of the most important gossip columnist in America, by 1950 she had around twenty million readers. Kilgallen was swamped with requests by press agents to plug the activities of their clients and in return she offered a deal: “Bring me three detrimental stories concerning other celebrities and I will include a good piece about your client.” The agents were always happy to rat out their rivals and so she always had a stream of high quality material.
In 1950 Kilgallen ventured onto a television game show “What’s My Line?” The show was a big hit and she was a regular panelist for 15 years.
Kilgallen continued to report on famous criminal cases including front-page articles on the Sam Sheppard trial. Her investigative work secured a new trial for Sam Shepard. (His case was later the basis for the popular television series, “The Fugitive”).
Kilgallen sometimes wrote articles about political issues. According to several of her close friends, Kilgallen received information from the CIA. Kilgallen was extremely well-informed about the situation in Cuba. In 1959 and 1960 Kilgallen included a large number of anti-Castro stories in her column. However, when Kilgallen disclosed that the CIA and the Mafia were working together in order to assassinate Fidel Castro, J Edgar Hoover began to keep a dossier on Kilgallen’s activities. Kilgallen was in fact the first journalist to point to the Castro plot in an article published 15th July, 1959.
Soon after this Kilgallen started receiving bad press herself including being sued for libel by the journalist Elaine Shepard because she had implied she had an affair with President Eisenhower. The costly case was to drag on for years.
In 1961 Kilgallen was commissioned to write a book called “Murder One”. The book contained details of famous murder cases including the ones she had reported on in the 1930s.
In March, 1963, the stress of the court case, the TV, radio, book writing and newspaper column overtook Kilgallen and she was taken to hospital suffering from anemia. While her husband, Richard Kollmar, attempted to carry on with the daily morning radio show alone but without Dorothy it lost its appeal and the show was soon cancelled.
JFK mistress, Flo Pritchett (see chapter 3) became friends with Kilgallen after Flo appeared on “What’s My Line?” Flo introduced Dorothy to JFK in the 1950s. Since Kilgallen was now one of America’s most famous gossip columnists, this could have been a dangerous thing to do but Kilgallen was loyal both to her friend and to JFK. Over the years Kilgallen received a great deal of information about the affairs of JFK but she kept them quiet even when pressed by her publisher. However, Kilgallen broke this rule when on the 3rd August, 1962, she alluded to a new man in the life of Marilyn Monroe. She wrote “Marilyn’s health must be improving. She’s been attending select Hollywood parties and has become the talk of the town again. In California, they’re circulating a photograph of her that certainly isn’t as bare as her famous calendar, but is very interesting… And she’s cooking in the sex-appeal department, too; she’s proved vastly alluring to a handsome gentleman who is a bigger name than Joe DiMaggio in his heyday. So don’t write off Marilyn as finished.” Apparently this message and other context, left enough clues to enable readers to identify one of the Kennedy brothers (later Kilgallen told friends she was actually referring to RFK rather than JFK). Kilgallen is likely to have been enticed by someone to write this story since the following day, Monroe was dead. Kilgallen realized that someone had set her up to smear the Kennedys.
It is not known how JFK’s mistress, Flo Pritchett, reacted to the death of her long-time lover, but she surely had between her and her husband a huge amount of detail on JFK’s life, friends, enemies and their own suspicions. What we do know is that her friend Kilgallen took a keen interest in the case and seemed to be well informed. There is other evidence that Kilgallen and Pritchett were sharing information on the case (as they had done before: Kilgallen’s information on Cuba was likely to be sourced from Earl Smith via his wife, Flo).
Kilgallen was convinced that Kennedy had not been killed solely by Lee Harvey Oswald. A week after the assassination Kilgallen wrote an astoundingly insightful article: “President Lyndon Johnson has been elevated so swiftly to his new high post that in one sense, he has been snatched up into an ivory tower. As Chief Executive, he is no longer in a position to hear the voices of ordinary people talking candidly. If he could walk invisible along the streets of the nation and listen to ordinary people talking he would realize that he must make sure that the mystery of Lee Harvey Oswald is solved and laid before the nation down to the smallest shred of evidence. If Oswald was President Kennedy’s assassin, he was the most important prisoner the police of this country had in custody in 100 years, and no blithe announcement in Dallas is going to satisfy the American public that the case is closed… President Johnson has directed the FBI to look into every aspect of the case, but he must go a giant step further. He must satisfy the public’s uneasy mind about this peculiar assassination of the assassin or he will start his term in office by making a dire political mistake that could cost him the 1964 election… The case is closed is it? Well I’d like to know how in a big smart town like Dallas, a man like Jack Ruby, operator of a striptease honky tonk, could stroll in and out of police headquarters as if it were a health club at a time when a small army of law enforcers was keeping a ‘tight security guard’ on Oswald. Security! What a word for it. I wouldn’t try to speak for the people of Dallas, but around here, the people I talk to really believe that a man has the right to be tried in court. When that right is taken away from any man by the incredible combination of Jack Ruby and insufficient security, we feel chilled. Justice is a big rug. When you pull it out from under one man, a lot of others fall too. That is why so many people are saying there is ‘something queer’ about the killing of Oswald, something strange about the way his case was handled, and a great deal missing in the official account of his crime… The American people have just lost a beloved President. It is a dark chapter in our history, but we have the right to read every word of it. It cannot be kept locked in a file in Dallas.”
Kilgallen had good contacts within the Dallas Police Department and was able to obtain a copy of the original police log that chronicled the minute-by-minute activities of the department on the day of the assassination. This enabled her to report that the first reaction of Chief Jesse Curry to the shots in Dealey Plaza was: “Get a man on top of the overpass and see what happened up there”. Kilgallen pointed out that Curry when he told reporters that he initially thought the shots were fired from the TSBD, had lied.
Kilgallen was the first to make public the existence of Acquilla Clemons, a witness to the Tippit killing whose name does not appear once in the Warren Report or volumes.
Kilgallen was publicly skeptical of the conclusions of the Warren Commission’s report. She had a source within the Warren Commission who gave her an 102 page segment dealing with Jack Ruby before it was published. In August 1964, she published details of this leak and so ensured that this section appeared in the final version of the Warren Commission report, (not published until November 1964) . Readers of her article were shocked at the hopelessly inept questioning of Ruby by Chief Justice Warren. Warren appeared to be deliberately avoiding following up on topics being fed to him by Ruby.
The FBI investigated this document leak to Kilgallen, much to her annoyance. She wrote in her column that the FBI “might have been more profitably employed in probing the facts of the case rather than how I got them”.
In another of her stories, Kilgallen claimed that Marina Oswald knew a great deal about the assassination of Kennedy: “Those close to the scene realize that if the widow of Lee Harvey Oswald… ever gave out the ‘whole story’ of her life with President Kennedy’s alleged assassin, it would split open the front pages of newspapers all over the world. Even if Marina explained why her late husband looked so different in an official police photo and the widely-printed full-length picture featured on the cover of Life magazine, it would cause a sensation. This story isn’t going to die as long as there’s a real reporter alive, and there are a lot of them.”
Kilgallen’s reporting brought her into contact with attorney and JFK assassination researcher Mark Lane who had himself received an amazing story from the journalist Thayer Waldo. He had discovered that Jack Ruby, J D Tippet and Bernard Weismann (an anti-JFK, right-wing lobbist) had met at the Carousel Club eight days before the assassination. Waldo, who worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, was too scared to publish the story or any other information he had discovered about the assassination. He believed that he would be killed if he did. Kilgallen’s article on the Tippit, Ruby and Weissman meeting appeared on the front page of the Journal American. Later she was to reveal that the Warren Commission were also informed of this gathering and the informant also added that there was a fourth man at the meeting, an important figure in the Texas oil industry.
Kilgallen published several articles about how important witnesses had been threatened by the Dallas Police or the FBI.
Kilgallen was able to arrange through her network of contacts an interview with Jack Ruby in prison. The private interview with Ruby lasted between eight to thirty minutes with no one else in the room; even the guards agreeing to wait outside. The meeting was held in room reserved for judges and apparently would not have been bugged. She was also the only reporter ever to interview Jack Ruby privately; other reporters were furious. Kilgallen kept the contents of the interview secret since she was hoping to make some money from the information: her financial situation was so bad from the libel case costs and loss of her radio show contract that she was worried that she may have to sell her beloved house in New York City. Publishing in her column would not make her extra money so she planned to include what she knew about the assassination of JFK in her unfinished book “Murder One”. So she did not reveal what Ruby told her but did say to friends and colleagues in October, 1965, that she was close to discovering who assassinated JFK announcing: “In five more days I’m going to bust this case wide open.” Since knew that reporters Bill Hunter and Jim Koethe and Ruby’s attorney Tom Howard had died in the past year in strange circumstances and knowledgeable about the gossip surrounding JFK, she was worried for her own security, so Kilgallen apparently handed a draft copy of her book to her friend, Florence Pritchett.
On 8th November, 1965, 52 years old Dorothy Kilgallen was found dead in her New York apartment. She was found dead on the third floor of her five-story townhouse. There were no signs of a struggle or violence, quite the reverse, she was dressed in her nightgown and sitting upright in her bed!
Her own newspaper wrote: “Miss Kilgallen died in her sleep. She was found by a maid and a hairdresser who came to the home to keep a 12:15 pm appointment. Alongside her bed was a book which she apparently had been reading before falling asleep. She had written her last column, which appears in today’s editions, early in the morning and had sent it to The Journal-American offices by messenger at 2:30 am.”
Kilgallen’s husband, actor and producer Richard Kollmar, and their youngest child, Kerry, were sleeping in other rooms when she died.
New York Journal American (15th November, 1965) reported “The death of Dorothy Kilgallen, Journal-American columnist and famed TV personality, was contributed to by a combination of moderate quantities of alcohol and barbiturates, a medical examiner’s report stated today. As many personalities whose multiple duties and responsibilities demand unceasing attention, Miss Kilgallen experienced recurring tensions in meeting her deadlines for performances, both as a newspaperwoman and TV performer. In his report today, Dr. James Luke, Assistant Medical Examiner, said that although Miss Kilgallen had only ‘moderate amounts of each,’ the effect of the combination had caused depression of the central nervous system ‘which in turn caused her heart to stop.’”
Approximately 2,000 people attended her funeral.
The copy of Kilgallen’s notes from Jack Ruby on the Kennedy assassination were never found.
Some of her friends believed Kilgallen had been murdered for the following reason: her hair dresser, Marc Sinclaire. Since Kilgallen was usually out to the early hours of the morning and slept late, Sinclaire often woke Kilgallen in the morning. That morning he found her body and he immediately thought she had been murdered since:
A) Kilgallen was not sleeping in her normal bedroom but in the master bedroom, a room she had not occupied for several years.
B) Kilgallen was wearing false eyelashes. According to Sinclaire she always took her eyelashes off before she went to bed.
C) She was found sitting up with the book, The Honey Badger, by Robert Ruark, on her lap. Sinclaire claims that she had finished reading the book several weeks earlier.
D) Kilgallen had poor eyesight and could only read with the aid of glasses. Her glasses were not found in the bedroom where she died.
E) Kilgallen was found wearing a bolero-type blouse over a nightgown. Sinclaire claimed that “she would never wear [this clothing] to go to bed”.
Eight days after her death, a ruling was made that she died of barbiturates and drink. However the quantities quoted did not seem excessive. Medical examiner James Luke’s statement that perhaps a heart attack occurred as well, lacked rigor and did not explain any of the anomalies that Sinclaire had pointed out.
Mark Lane was an attorney turned writer and activist who had been loosely collaborating with Kilgallen specifically about the about the witnesses to the Tippit murder and other conflicting evidence. Lane is in little doubt that Kilgallen had been murdered. He said that “I would bet you a thousand-to-one that the CIA surrounded her (Kilgallen) as soon as she started writing those stories.”
However a David Welsh in Ramparts (November, 1966) contemporaneously to Lane, stated “We know of no serious person who really believes that the death of Dorothy Kilgallen, the gossip columnist, was related to the Kennedy assassination. Still, she was passionately interested in the case, told friends she firmly believed there was a conspiracy and that she would find out the truth if it took her all her life.” However Welsh had probably never heard of the CIA’s heart attack gun.
Jim Marrs, author of Crossfire, the basis of Oliver Stone’s JFK movie, states about Kilgallen’s death: “Whatever information Kilgallen learned and from whatever source, many researchers believe it brought about her strange death. [She said]: ‘They’ve killed the President, [and] the government is not prepared to tell us the truth . . . ‘ and that she planned to ‘break the case.’ To other friends she said: ‘This has to be a conspiracy! . . . I’m going to break the real story and have the biggest scoop of the century.’ And in her last column item regarding the assassination, published on September 3, 1965, Kilgallen wrote: ‘This story isn’t going to die as long as there’s a real reporter alive, and there are a lot of them.’ But on November 8, 1965, there was one less reporter. That day Dorothy Kilgallen was found dead in her home. It was initially reported that she died of a heart attack, but quickly this was changed to an overdose of alcohol and pills. (Crossfire, p. 425)
Jim Marrs point of view is directly contradicted by John McAdam in his 2011 book “JFK Assassination Logic: How to Think about Claims of Conspiracy”. He used Kilgallen’s case as an example of the “poor critical thinking” of conspiracy theorists. The book blurb stated “By putting the JFK assassination under the microscope, McAdams provides a blueprint for understanding how conspiracy theories arise and how to judge the evidence.” McAdams debunking website is one of the first hits returned when entering Dorothy Kilgallen’s name. According to McAdams: “It’s really impossible to believe some Oliver Stone scenario of hoods coming into her apartment and forcing a bunch of pills down her throat. Neither the alcohol nor the barbiturate level was absurdly high, as it would be with an intentional overdose… Her death was thus yet another tragedy trivialized by conspiracist ‘researchers.’”
McAdams, however, did not cover the full story and minimized the importance of key evidence from Sinclaire. By making lurid suggestions of hoods forcing pills upon Kilgallen, he seemed to have conveniently forgotten other means of murder that were available to determined assassins. McAdams is also, according to wikipedia, a self-confessed right wing conservative funded by big business which may indicate some er… bias.
The problem with McAdams’ website, like many conspiracy debunking websites, has been the selective use of evidence, the very method that such debunkers rage against so-called “conspiracy theorists” (a term created by the CIA and popularized through Operation Mockingbird, to denigrate anybody with curiosity… or at least anybody wanting to look into matters around big world events). Rather than taking the strongest evidence, debunkers attack areas of doubt, outrageous off-the-wall allegations, such as the “hoods” described above, which have been set up as a straw-man just to knock down and ignores other crucial evidence. Indeed the Intelligence Services across the world have a whole variety of named, pre-packaged propaganda techniques to obscure scrutiny of their activities: “limited hang out”, “poison the well”, “ad hominem”, “logical fallacies”, “appeal to ridicule”, “guilt by association”, and so on. And yet those same intelligence service also engage in covert assassinations using fast or slow murder techniques including accidents, simulated heart attacks and induced cancer! Hence in order to prove a death by natural causes where there is a possibility of doubt, the best professional conduct with absolute, assertive and irrefutable proof is required.
However the biggest reason to suspect murder were, not-only the missing notes on Jack Ruby, but also the death of Flo Pritchett. She died two days later. Flo’s autopsy read that the cause of death was unknown but officially announced that she died of a cerebral hemorrhage. There is a claim that she had leukemia: The New York Journal American (9th November, 1965) reported “Mrs Earl E T Smith, wife of the former US Ambassador to Cuba and columnist of The Journal-American, died today in her apartment at 1120 5th Ave. She was 45. Mrs Smith, the former Florence Pritchett, died of a cerebral hemorrhage. She had been in ill health since mid-August, and only recently had been discharged from Roosevelt Hospital. She and her husband were counted among the closest friends of the late President John F Kennedy and Mrs Kennedy. The Smiths often were included in the small intimate gatherings arranged by the Chief executive and Mrs Kennedy during their years in the White House.”
While she was a minor celebrity, she was not the same sort of public figure as Kilgallen and there little evidence to confirm the news story above and ill health leading up to her death. Of course, if like Mary Pinchot Meyer, it was known that she was one of JFK’s lovers then there would have been much more public interest. All we know is that she died two days later and the association with Kilgallen is significant because of the two-way flow of information between Pritchett and Kilgallen on matters pertaining to JFK. Flo was the wife of former US Ambassador to Cuba, Earl Smith, who was a leading figure in the anti-Castro community in Florida (and passed insightful, even provocative, details about the Cuban situation to Kilgallen). Pritchett was ideally placed to know what had been going on during 1963. Perhaps the greatest puzzle of all is why she was allowed to live as long as she did. Perhaps the cancer was induced but she had to be hurriedly dispatched hence via a “cerebral hemorrhage”. It is sad that charismatic Flo, an important person in JFK’s life, only receives a footnote in history.
If there was a conspiracy to assassinate JFK and that conspiracy group used Ruby to silence Oswald then there would have clear benefits in silencing Kilgallen, a well known celebrity with a proven track record of digging out the truth.
Despite debunkers trying to dissuade investigators and casual observers that there is “nothing to see here”, quite the reverse, there is more than enough doubt to conclude that Kilgallen was dogged researcher and loyal friend to Pritchett and JFK. The fact that debunkers want to cover the trail, just heightens the importance of her death.
Obviously the most probable cause of death for Dorothy Kilgallen would be natural causes, unless there has been evidence of foul play (which there was: the missing chapter of her book is the most significant) and motive, means and opportunity for murder (for which there is copious amounts).
Motive: Kilgallen could have been uncovering the identities of the real plotters behind JFK’s death using as her private primary source information from Jack Ruby.
Means: Use of saxitoxin to induced heart attack delivered by the CIA heart attack gun.
Opportunity: The killers knew the location of her house and knew she was due to return: she had just appeared on live TV. Copies of her keys could have been made while she was on live TV and killers let themselves into her home. After hours of surveillance the killers would know the husband and child had gone to bed. The killers killed her with a heart attack gun and arrange her dead body on the bed in the Master Bedroom (although selecting the wrong book, not providing glasses and not removing her false eyelashes). While rifling her papers for the notes on Ruby, the killer(s) could have uncovered the material that Kilgallen was planning on sending to her newspaper by a deadline, the killer(s) could have sent that on to the newspaper to make it appear she was still alive at 2:30am.
Probability that she was murdered estimated at 85%.
The much-loved celebrity has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard.
Her book “Murder One” was published posthumously in 1966. It did not have a chapter on JFK or Jack Ruby.
Her husband, Richard Kollmar, committed suicide on 7th January, 1971.
David William Ferrie was an American pilot who was alleged by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to have been involved in a conspiracy to assassinate JFK.
In the 1950s, he worked in New Orleans as a pilot for Eastern Air Lines (until losing his job in August, 1961) and also as a pilot instructor for the Civil Air Patrol in Louisiana, where it is alleged he met Lee Harvey Oswald.
Saturday Evening Post reporter James Phelan wrote this about Ferrie: “You had to see Dave Ferrie to believe him, and once you saw him you could never forget him.” Ferrie was 48, completely hairless due to a medical condition, and habitually wore glued-on eyebrows. He also had a long record of failure in a wildly disparate series of endeavors. Ferrie had been a teacher, studied for the priesthood, a pilot who had been discharged by Eastern Air Lines for homosexual activity, a “psychologist,” a private investigator, a self-proclaimed cancer-cure researcher and an amateur hypnotist. In New Orleans he had become enmeshed with a group of anti-Castro Cubans and had been training teams of “guerrilla jungle fighters”. In his spare time, Ferrie worked on a miniature submarine that he was trying to fashion out of an airplane fuel tank. “Like most of Dave’s projects,” said a friend, “it didn’t work.”
Ferrie described himself as a liberal on civil rights issues, but he was “rabidly anti-Communist,” often accusing previous US Presidential administrations of “sell-outs” to communism. Ferrie initially supported Fidel Castro’s campaign against Fulgencio Batista in Cuba, but by mid-1959 became convinced that Castro was a communist. According to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, Ferrie “…found an outlet for his political fanaticism in the anti-Castro movement.” By early 1961, Ferrie was working with right-wing Cuban exile Sergio Arcacha Smith, head of the Central Intelligence Agency-backed Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front in New Orleans. Ferrie soon became Arcacha Smith’s “eager partner in counterrevolutionary activities.” Both were involved in a raid in late 1961 on a munitions depot in Houma, Louisiana, “…in which various weapons, grenades and ammunition were stolen.”,
Ferrie had right-wing political views and was a strong opponent of Fidel Castro and his government in Cuba. In the early 1960s he was an associate of Guy Bannister and Carlos Bringuier (who had the fight with Oswald).
In February 1962, Banister assisted Ferrie in his dispute with Eastern Airlines regarding “…charges brought [against Ferrie] by the airline and local New Orleans police of crimes against nature and extortion.” Banister testified to Ferrie’s “good character” at an airline pilot’s grievance board hearing in the summer of 1963.
Ferrie and Banister also worked together in the fall of 1963 for lawyer G Wray Gill, on behalf of Gill’s client, New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello, who had been deported by RFK to Guatemala. Ferrie was the pilot who flew Carlos Marcello back to the United States.
On the afternoon of 22nd November, 1963, Guy Bannister and an investigator working Bannister, Jack Martin, went drinking together. On their return to Banister’s office the two men got involved in a dispute about a missing file containing confidential information. Banister became so angry that he drew his Magnum revolver and hit Martin with it several times. Martin was so badly injured that he had to be detained in the local Charily Hospital.
Over the next few days Martin told friends that Ferrie and Guy Bannister had been involved in the assassination of JFK. According to Martin, Ferrie was the getaway man whose job it was to fly the assassin out of Texas. He also claimed that Ferrie knew Lee Harvey Oswald from their days in the New Orleans Civil Air Patrol and had given him lessons on how to use a rifle with a telescopic sight. On 25th November, Jack Martin told the FBI that he thought Ferrie had hypnotized Oswald into assassinating Kennedy. The FBI considered Martin’s evidence unreliable and decided not to investigate Banister and Ferrie.
Immediately after JFK’s assassination, Ferrie went on a road trip with some friends researching a business opportunity investment (an Ice Skating Ring) with pay-out money from Eastern Air Lines. The road trip was planned two weeks beforehand.
Ferrie said he gave the FBI a “meticulous accounting” of his movements on the weekend of the assassination. A Washington source said, “The FBI squeezed Ferrie dry, found nothing there, and discarded him.”
When Garrison opened his own investigation, three years later, he ran Ferrie through a new interrogation. Ferrie denied any role in any plot, denied that he ever knew Lee Oswald and termed Garrison’s project “an utter waste of time.”
Four days after he made this statement, February 22, 1967, David Ferrie was found dead in his filthy, cluttered apartment at 3330 Louisiana Avenue Parkway. Although the New Orleans coroner flatly declared his death due to natural causes (massive brain hemorrhage from an artery failure), Garrison referred to it darkly as a suicide but hinted it might be murder.
While appearing to be a natural death, his involvement with Oswald, the timing of the death, Ferrie’s own prediction of his death and two suicide notes are deeply suspicious.
The alternative story of Ferrie’s role in the JFK assassination and death is from Jim Garrison, district attorney of New Orleans. Ferrie role is largely substantiated by a variety of people.
Ferrie first surfaced in the Garrison probe, from an unstable New Orleans character, Jack Martin. Jack Martin claimed that during the summer of 1963 Ferrie and Guy Bannister were involved in something very sinister with a group of Cuban exiles and that Ferrie knew Lee Harvey Oswald. He claimed that Ferrie knew Oswald from their days in the New Orleans Civil Air Patrol, and that Ferrie might have taught Oswald how to use a rifle with a telescopic sight. Martin also claimed that Ferrie drove to Texas on the day of Kennedy’s assassination, to serve as a getaway driver and pilot for the assassins.
Ferrie refuted Martin’s claims and denied any involvement in a conspiracy, he gave the FBI a “meticulous accounting” of his movements on the weekend of the assassination and said he never knew Oswald. Decades later, photos emerged establishing that Ferrie had been in the same Civil Air Patrol unit as Oswald.
Perry Raymond Russo, an insurance salesman for Equitable Life Assurance Society, testified in the trial of Clay Shaw, that “Clem Bertrand” (Clay Shaw), “Leon Oswald” (Lee Oswald) and David Ferrie plotted to kill JFK at a gathering at David Ferrie’s apartment. Russo stated that when he dropped in at Ferrie’s place, “around the middle of September 1963,” a party was just breaking up. As described in James DiEugenio’s book, “Destiny Betrayed (JFK,Cuba and the Garrison Case)”, These people reported Russo, discussed Cuban-American politics and everyone expressed their distaste for both Castro and Kennedy with Ferrie stating that since they could not get at Castro, they had to go for Kennedy. Ferrie postulated that the way to do it was in a “triangulation of crossfire”, shooting at Kennedy from three directions. Russo claimed that during the course of the conversation, the plan turned from hypothetical to actual. Russo was due to confirm his testimony to Assassination Records Review Board established by the JFK Act, signed into law by President George Bush and sworn in on April, 1994, but he unexpectedly died August 16th ,1995 just as the 5 member board arrived in New Orleans to collect Jim Garrison files on Clay Shaw.
According to Jim Garrison, Ferrie had a curious hobby: cancer research, not curing it but inducing it. Ferrie had filled his apartment with white mice, at one point around 2000, (which neighbors complained about) and wrote a medical treatise of inducing cancer in mice. Judyth Vary Baker confirmed Garrison’s (and Jack Martin’s) information and added further detail that Ferrie worked with Dr Alton Ochsner and Dr Mary Sherman in a CIA secret project to kill Castro. This ties Ferrie to Oswald, the Castro death plots and the unsolved murder of Mary Sherman.
On February 22, 1967, less than a week after the New Orleans States-Item broke the story of Garrison’s investigation, Ferrie was found dead in his apartment. The day the newspaper story first ran, Garrison aide Lou Ivon stated that Ferrie telephoned him to say: “You know what this news story does to me, don’t you. I’m a dead man. From here on, believe me, I’m a dead man…”
The New Orleans coroner officially reported that the cause of death was an intracranial berry aneurysm. Autopsy pathologist Ronald Welsh and coroner Nicholas Chetta had categorically declared Ferrie’s death a natural one, and flatly denied the possibility of suicide or foul play. Welsh emphasizes that the autopsy he conducted revealed the presence of scar tissue on the brain, indicating that Ferrie had suffered one or more “small bleeds” during the weeks or months prior to the fatal rupture, a common occurrence in such cases. This proves that Ferrie’s condition had been developing for some time.
However two unsigned typed letters were found. The first, found in a pile of papers, was a screed about the justice system, beginning with “To leave this life is, for me, a sweet prospect.” The second note was written to Al Beauboeuf, Ferrie’s friend.
The coroner’s “natural causes” explanation for Ferrie’s death contradicts the suicide explanation. Regarding this Garrison said, “I suppose it could just be a weird coincidence that the night Ferrie penned two suicide notes, he died of natural causes.” Both notes were undated. Garrison suspected that Ferrie had been murdered despite Ferrie’s notes and the coroner’s report to the contrary.
The timing of Ferrie’s death is certainly suspicious and helps any group that was conspiring to commit assassinations.
Garrison later was to describe this exotic loser as “one of history’s most important individuals.” However Ferrie is unlikely to have particularly significant role but was certainly seemed to be involved in the epicenter of world events.
Could Ferrie have been murdered? Considering the evidence of suicide notes and timing then yes. The coroner while finding evidence of earlier bleeds on his brain (implying a natural condition), had not investigated whether Ferrie had been attacked earlier in either failed secret assassination attempts or a clever attack to simulate a progressive, and seemingly natural death. Could this be achieved? Intracranial aneurysm is a common form of death in the population. And it can be induced (in mice) through the injection of enzymes. Considering the other forms of assassination being considered, death by cancer, death by heart attack, death by poisoned suppository etc, then could other forms murder be used to simulate a natural cause of death? Yes.
Considering his own warning of being killed, the suicide notes then certainly the possibility of being murdered is greater than zero. But the probability is no better than 50%.
William Guy Banister became famous after his death because of Jim Garrison’s investigation into the assassination of JFK. His involvement with (unreliable) David Ferrie and (unreliable) Jack Martin, and that he was a drunk with quite a temper, Banister is often dismissed as an incidental footnote in the JFK story. However Banister was, from 1934-1954, was an employee of the FBI. J Edgar Hoover knew him personally and was impressed by Banister’s work investigating the American Communist Party. Afterwards Bannister was an Assistant Superintendent of the New Orleans Police Department and then later a private investigator.
Working for the New Orleans Police Department, he was given the task of investigating organized crime and corruption within the police force. He was an avid anti-communist and supported various anti-Castro groups in the New Orleans area. It later emerged that he was also involved in looking at the role that left-wing political activists were playing in the struggle for civil rights in New Orleans. According to the New Orleans States-Item newspaper, “Banister participated in every anti-Communist South and Central American revolution that came along, acting as a key liaison man for the US government-sponsored anti-Communist activities in Latin America.” On the campuses of Tulane University and Louisiana State University, he ran a network of informants collecting information on “communist” activities. He submitted reports on his findings back to his old employer, the FBI.
In March 1957, Banister was suspended after pulling a gun in public in a bar and threatening a waiter and soon after he was dismissed from the force. Banister established his own private detective agency, Guy Banister Associates, Inc which ended up in a building which was co-located with the “Fair Play for Cuba Committee” whose leaflets were distributed by Lee Harvey Oswald. Banister’s office was within walking distance of the New Orleans offices of the FBI, CIA, Office of Naval Intelligence and the Reily Coffee Company.
Banister was implicated in weapon stealing and smuggling. The New Orleans States-Item newspaper reported an allegation that Banister served as a munitions supplier for the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion and continued to deal weapons from his office until 1963. In 1963, Banister and David Ferrie began working for a lawyer named G Wray Gill and his client, New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello, as described in the previous chapter.
On the afternoon of November 22, 1963, the day that JFK was assassinated, Banister and one of his investigators, Jack Martin, were drinking together at the Katzenjammer Bar, in New Orleans. On their return to Banister’s office, the two men argued. Banister believed that Martin had stolen some files and drew his .357 Magnum revolver, striking Martin with it several times.
Over the next few days, Martin told authorities and reporters that Banister and Ferrie had been involved in the assassination. He claimed that Ferrie knew Oswald from their days in the New Orleans Civil Air Patrol, and that Ferrie might have taught Oswald how to use a rifle with a telescopic sight. Martin also claimed that Ferrie drove to Texas on the day of Kennedy’s assassination, to serve as a getaway pilot for the assassins.
Witnesses interviewed by the House Select Committee on Assassinations indicate Banister was “aware of Oswald and his Fair Play for Cuba Committee before the assassination.”
The alleged activities of Banister, Ferrie and Oswald reached New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison who, by late 1966, had become very interested in the New Orleans aspects of the assassination. In December 1966, Garrison interviewed Martin about these activities. Martin claimed that Banister, Ferrie and a group of anti-Castro Cuban exiles were involved in operations against Castro’s Cuba that included stealing weapons and gun running.
As Garrison continued his investigation, he became convinced that a group of right-wing activists, including Banister, Ferrie and Clay Shaw, were involved in a conspiracy with elements of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to kill Kennedy. Garrison would later claim that the motive for the assassination was anger over Kennedy’s attempts to obtain a peace settlement in both Cuba and Vietnam. Garrison also believed that Banister, Shaw, and Ferrie had conspired to set up Oswald as a patsy in the JFK assassination.
Jim Garrison description of Guy Banister was that he was a “violent man” and a “heavy drinker,” who was “probably insane before he died.” Garrison noted, Banister “went all the way down before he died.”
Seven months after the assassination, Banister died of coronary thrombosis (June 6, 1964). He was 63. Banister was evicted from his office in June 1964 after being delinquent in his rent for nearly a year. He was in the process of moving into his mistress’s home when he died.
The main problem with the official story is the convenience of his death relatively soon after the JFK assassination.
David Reitzes in an article in 2001 “Who Was Guy Banister?” disputed Garrison’s assessment of Banister particularly taking issue with his relationship with the CIA. Yet the relatively well documented relationship between:
A) Banister and gun running to Cuba and other South American coups
B) Banister being ex-FBI, anti-Castro, anti-communist and McCathyism in general
C) Banister and Ferrie (and Oswald) and Ferrie’s other CIA-related activities (the mice, for instance)
D) Banister and Marcello and the Mafia
E) Banister’s office nearby to other significant locations (and Oswald)
F) Gun running to Cuba and Ruby (and Oswald)
All supports Garrison’s assertion that Banister was associated the CIA. Banister seems have the contacts with the Police and Mafia and other key figures to make him, at least knowledgeable of a plot against JFK.
Yet, Banister’s business was failing and he could not pay the rent. Surely if he was a key person within the plot then financial liquidity should not have been a major problem?
State agencies, particularly the FBI, would benefit from Banister’s death due to his previous relationship with Hoover and deep knowledge of state and mafia activities in the late 1950s. His failing mental health and poor finances could lead to problems: Banister either asking for money or leaking information. Stopping the risk of Banister spilling the information he knew would be of benefit to any group that had plotted JFK’s assassination. Perhaps someone took the opportunity to assist his poor health with a heart attack gun?
In Banister’s case there is no evidence except perhaps convenience that his death had any additional assistance. Probability of murder is therefore not good probably less than 10%.
Guy Banister and David Ferrie had starring roles in Oliver Stone’s JFK movie, played by great comedic actors: Ed Asner and Joe Pesci.
But were these two just set up to fail? A honey pot to lead everyone, particularly Jim Garrison, down a blind alley? Neither of Banister nor Ferrie could have played a significant role in the planning or implementation of the assassination.
Mary Pinchot Meyer was beautiful, talented woman with a large Georgetown Set social circle. She married Central Intelligence Agency agent Cord Meyer Jr from 1945-1958 and later became JFK’s lover and experimental drug partner.
Mary was the daughter of an affluent attorney who helped fund the radical journal, “The Masses.” Meyer’s father was also one the key players of the Progressive Party and Mary’s mother, Ruth Pinchot, was a journalist who wrote for several progressive publications including the “New Journalist.” She first met JFK in 1936 at a school dance but probably did not meet up again until the mid-1950s when they were neighbors in Washington DC.
She married war hero Cord Meyer in 1945 and they joined various socialist leaning international peace organizations. Cord Meyer began secretly working with the CIA around 1951 when Allen Dulles personally approached him. He became an employee of the CIA and became a “principal operative” of Operation Mockingbird, the CIA covert operation to introduce propaganda into the mainstream media. Cord and Mary moved to Washington DC to become highly visible members of Georgetown society. Their acquaintances amongst many others included Philip and Katharine Graham (who will be discussed later), Warren Commission board member, John Sherman Cooper and Washington Post reporter (and CIA asset) James Truitt and his wife, noted artist Anne Truitt. Their social circle also included CIA-affiliated people such as Richard M Bissell, high-ranking counterintelligence chief James Angleton, and Mary and Frank Wisner, Meyer’s boss at CIA.
In 1953, McCarthy publicly accused Cord Meyer of being a Communist and the FBI was reported to have looked into Mary’s political past. Allen Dulles and Frank Wisner aggressively defended Meyer and he remained with the CIA. However, by early 1954, Cord Meyer had become unhappy with his CIA career. He used contacts from his covert operations in Operation Mockingbird to approach several New York publishers for a job but was rebuffed. During the summer of 1954, JFK bought the house next door to the Meyers and Mary Pinchot Meyer and Jackie Kennedy became friends. By the end of 1954, Cord Meyer was still with the CIA and often in Europe, running Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty, and managing millions of dollars of government funds worldwide to support progressive-seeming foundations and organizations opposing the Soviet Union.
One of Pinchot Meyer’s close friends was her old school chum, Cicely d’Autremont, who married James Angleton. In 1955, Meyer’s sister Toni married Ben Bradlee who was then Washington bureau chief of Newsweek.
On December 18, 1956, her middle son Michael, aged nine, was hit by a car near their house and killed. Although this tragedy briefly brought Mary and Cord closer for a time, she filed for divorce in 1958 and moved to another Georgetown house with two remaining sons. By this time she had become friends with Robert Kennedy who had purchased JFK’s old house in 1957. Another friend of note was LSD guru, Timothy Leary.
She set up her artist studio in the garage at the home of her sister Toni and her husband, Ben Bradlee. It was Bradlee, who later became Washington Post editor, that confirmed Mary’s affair with JFK in his 1995 autobiography “A Good Life”. According to Bradlee, Pinchot Meyer visited JFK at the White House in October 1961 and their relationship became intimate. Timothy Leary claimed Pinchot Meyer influenced JFK’s views on nuclear weapons, the Cuba crisis and they used marijuana, cocaine and LSD together in the White House.
On October 12, 1964, Pinchot Meyer finished a painting and went for a regular daily walk along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath in Georgetown. She was shot twice. Once in her back and once through her temple, both at close range.
At 12:30, a man working on his car nearby heard a woman cry out, “Someone help me, someone help me” immediately before the two gunshots. He ran to a low wall looking upon the path where he saw “a black man in a light jacket, dark slacks, and a dark cap standing over the body of a white woman.”
Forty minutes after the murder, Police Detective John Warner spotted a soaking-wet African American man named Ray Crump about a quarter of a mile from the murder scene. Crump was arrested at 1:15 pm. No gun was found.
When Crump came to trial, the judge ruled Mary Pinchot Meyer’s private life could not be disclosed in the courtroom. Pinchot Meyer’s background was also kept from Crump’s lawyer, Dovey Johnson Roundtree. At trial, Roundtree demonstrated the lack of rigor in the prosecution case: no gun, Crump not owning a gun, no blood on Crump, no link to the victim and showed that the black man described by the two witnesses was approximately 50 pounds heavier and five inches taller than Crump. It seems that the police had picked up the first black man they came across and arrested him. Crump was acquitted of all charges on July 29, 1965.
The murder remains unsolved.
Crump went on to what has been described as a “horrific life of crime” but post-trial revelations, do corroborate his innocence of the Meyer murder. Roundtree, in her autobiography “Justice Older than the Law” stated that Crump had an alibi witness but she refused to give evidence. Apparently Crump and the married lady witness had a secret liaison beside the canal when the murder occurred.
The main problem with the official story is that the crime is unsolved. Pinchot Meyer was not just murdered, she was professionally eliminated. Two shots: a shot in the back to bring her down and a shot in the head at point blank range to ensure she would not recover. The blooded murderer then exited from the crime scene, probably to a waiting car for a clean escape. Certainly a sex attack murder is unlikely since sex attackers do not attack where they could be discovered and a robbery-gone-wrong murderer would not hang around for 40 minutes waiting for the police, which at least, exonerated Crump.
It seems the case against Crump appears to be just a delaying tactic by the authorities. The FBI Crime Report which was kept from Crump’s lawyer before the case went to trial, clearly showed that there was no forensic evidence linking Crump to the victim or murder scene.
Information of the existence of Pinchot Meyer’s diary was not discussed during Crump’s trial.
CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton, a family friend (he married one of Mary’s school friends) who took her sons on fishing outings, was caught attempting to steal Pinchot Meyer’s diary immediately after her murder.
Pinchot Meyer told Ann and James Truitt she was keeping a diary. A March 1976 issue of the National Enquirer quoted James Truitt as stating Pinchot Meyer had a two-year affair with JFK and kept record of the affair in her diary. The paper quoted Meyer’s sister, Toni Bradlee, as confirming the existence of the affair and the diary, stating that Bradlee found the diary in Meyer’s studio after her death, then turned it over to James Angleton who subsequently “burned it at CIA headquarters”. According to Ben Bradlee in 1995 his account: the day after the murder, the Bradlees started a search at Pinchot Meyer’s art studio (converted from Bradlee’s garage). He and his wife arrived at the studio with tools to obtain entry, since they had no key, and upon arriving they found Angleton in the process of picking the lock with special tools he had for that purpose. “The fact that the CIA’s most controversial counterintelligence specialist had been caught in the act of breaking and entering, and looking for her diary,” Bradlee claimed, was not something he considered appropriate for public disclosure. With respect to the diary itself, he added, he and his wife, upon finding that it revealed Pinchot Meyer’s affair with the late President Kennedy, “concluded this was in no sense a public document, despite the braying of the knee jerks about some public right to know.”
Ben Bradlee’s later revelations of finding the diary conflicted with the testimony he gave at the 1965 trial. Prosecutor Alfred Hantman and defense attorney Dovey Johnson Roundtree, as well as Police Detective Bernie Crooke all stated that knowledge diary would have materially affected the proceedings of the case. Crooke said “I’d have been very upset at the time if I’d known that the deceased’s diary had been destroyed.” Hantman said that he had been “totally unaware” of Mary Pinchot Meyer connections and that having that knowledge “could have changed everything.” Similarly defense counsel Dovey Johnson Roundtree expressed shock at learning of the diary’s significance from Bradlee’s later account.
Bradlee’s logic is clearly flawed and seemingly from a person unworried about catching the murderer of his sister-in-law. According to Roundtree: “How differently my line of cross-examination would have run had I been aware, on July 20, 1965, of the story Mr. Bradlee told thirty years later in his autobiography. James Angleton’s awareness of the diary’s existence and his interest in finding it, reading it, and destroying it… all of that unsettled me deeply when I read Mr. Bradlee’s 1995 account, as did his insistence that the diary was a private document! Had I been aware of it, I would have felt compelled to pursue it.”
James Truitt apparently learned of the affair between JFK and Pinchot-Meyer via Washington Post publisher and political insider Phil Graham (see further below) who was making these accusations in January 1963 at a newspaper editor convention. Truitt was able to confirm the allegations through his close personal associations with her friends and family. James Truitt’s mental health allegedly declined soon after Mary’s death. In 1969, Ben Bradlee forced him to resign from the Post because of his mental incompetence. Truitt and Anne divorced in 1971 and he moved to Mexico. His interview with the National Enquirer broke the news of JFK’s affair with Pinchot-Meyer. He committed suicide on November 18, 1981.
Peter Janney for his 2008 book “Mary’s Mosaic” interviewed journalist and Kennedy insider, Charles Bartlett, who emphasized the serious nature of Pinchot Meyer’s romance with JFK, stating, “That was a dangerous relationship. Jack was in love with Mary Meyer. He was certainly smitten with her, he was heavily smitten. He was very frank with me about it.” This is confirmed by a love letter Kennedy wrote to Pinchot Meyer one month before his assassination surfaced in June 2016 in the possessions of a Kennedy aide. The unsent letter, written on White House stationery, sold in June 2016 at auction for $89,000. The letter reads: “Why don’t you leave suburbia for once… come and see me… either here… or at the Cape next week or in Boston the 19th. I know it is unwise, irrational, and that you may hate it… on the other hand you may not … and I will love it. You say that it is good for me not to get what I want. After all of these years… you should give me a more loving answer than that. Why don’t you just say yes…” Signed “J.”
JFK and Mary were already indulging in marijuana, Pinchot Meyer had also suggested cocaine and sought Timothy Leary’s help in obtaining the right dosage of LSD. According to Leary, Pinchot Meyer had a plan to give LSD to a small circle of high-ranking government officials in order to raise their consciousness and make them realize the futility of war. LSD was a legal drug in the USA at that time, and its use to facilitate artistic endeavors was not uncommon in Pinchot Meyer’s social circles. However, the plan was not achieved by the time of JFK’s assassination. However there is evidence from sources other than Leary that JFK and Pinchot Meyer did use LSD together.
In his 1983 biography “Flashbacks”, Leary claimed he had a call from Pinchot Meyer soon after the Kennedy assassination during which she sobbed and said, “They couldn’t control him any more. He was changing too fast…They’ve covered everything up. I gotta come see you. I’m afraid. Be careful.”
Pinchot Meyer was murdered three weeks after the release of the Warren Commission Report and since Pinchot Meyer knew a lot about JFK, could this be a problem? Yes! Pinchot Meyer was challenging the conclusions of the Warren Commission Report.
While making these challenges in private, unfortunately, Pinchot Meyer’s social circle was large and influential and they would not go unnoticed by the CIA because many of her social worked for them. Worst still, Nina Burleigh, in her book, “A Very Private Woman”, besides confirming the LSD use in the White House also claimed CIA spook-finder, James Angleton, had tapped Pinchot Meyer’s telephone after she left her husband.
Timothy Leary also claimed that Pinchot Meyer had asked him for help while in a state of fear for her own life after the assassination of President Kennedy. Considering that Leary was later revealed to be a CIA asset helping with the MK ULTRA program, this also means that the CIA, would be aware of her views, who she was talking to and what she was planning (that is, hallucinating the country’s political and military leaders).
Cord Meyer left the CIA in 1977. In his 1982 autobiography “Facing Reality: From World Federalism to the CIA,” he wrote, “I was satisfied by the conclusions of the police investigation that Mary had been the victim of a sexually motivated assault by a single individual and that she had been killed in her struggle to escape.” He stated he rejected “journalistic speculation” that said he believed his former wife’s death had some other explanation. But this statement was a ruse. In February 2001, on his deathbed, Meyer when he was questioned as to whom he thought had killed his wife, stated it was the CIA, adding “the same sons of bitches that killed John F Kennedy.”
Could Cord Meyer have been involved in Mary’s death? Watergate burglar and CIA operative, E Howard Hunt, related in his deathbed confession (which will be discussed later) that Cord Meyer was involved in the plot to kill JFK. Yale-educated Cord dreamed of a writing career but was partly blinded by a war injury. While starting with worthy aims of world peace the CIA drew him into the CIA’s propaganda department. Hunt claims that after Mary left him Cord became an increasingly embittered Cold Warrior and his disposition grew only gloomier when she became a mistress of JFK…
Pinchot Meyer was a “wild child” in the centre of the Washington elites with a crazy plot to undermine the country. Anybody wanting the status quo and their cozy life to continue, effectively the most of her social circle, would benefit from her death.
Perhaps the person most likely to have motive, means and opportunity would be her husband, already frustrated with his job, knowing that she was involved with drugs and sleeping with JFK, he may have worried about his children. However, he seemed genuinely sorry and angry about her death. Let us compare motive, means and opportunity for three scenarios: a random sex attacker, the angry ex-husband or state sponsored assassination.
Motive: Sex attacker (suggested by Cord Meyer) (say 1 in 100)
Means: Two shots when Pinchot Meyers resists (coincidence of being a professional kill) (say 1 in 10)
Opportunity: Randomly selected the woman that was previously JFK’s lover (a very, very conservative 1 in 1000)
Probability of Random Sex Attacker being the murderer: 1 in 1,000,000 or 0.0000001%
Motive: Jealousy, protection of his kids
Means: Use of CIA assassin (professional kill). Meyer somehow had access to CIA assassin list.
Opportunity: Knowledge of her routine.
Probability of jealous husband being complicit with the murderer: 40%
Conspiracy led by the CIA in general (suggested by Cord Meyer Jr on his deathbed).
Motive: Stop LSD plot against the military, removal of diary and possible scandal associated with Presidency, stop influential person dissing the Warren Commission’s conclusions.
Means: Use of CIA assassin (professional kill)
Opportunity: Knowledge of her routine from Bradlee (she just left her house), other contacts and phone taps.
Probability of being a CIA sponsored murder: 99%
As many other people have concluded, Mary Pinchot Meyer was almost certainly eliminated by a professional assassin on the CIA’s payroll.
A year later another of JFK’s lovers, Flo Pritchett, was also dead.
Philip Leslie “Phil” Graham was an American newspaper publisher and friend of JFK. While running the Washington Post and other parts of the Post Company, Graham played a backstage role in national politics. Graham married wealthy heiress Katharine Meyer, a woman later to be described as “the most powerful woman in America”. (Katharine’s father, the fabulously wealthy Eugene Meyer, a former governor of the Federal Reserve Board and President of the World Bank, bought the Washington Post at auction in 1933.) Phil Graham assumed control of the newspaper in 1946 from his father-in-law. He worked with CIA’s Frank Wisner to set up Operation Mockingbird in the late 1940s.
In 1960, he helped persuade JFK to take Lyndon Johnson on his ticket as the vice presidential candidate, personally talking with both men multiple times during the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. (This is discussed further in a later chapter). He continued to help the campaign even writing drafts for several speeches for LBJ. After Kennedy and Johnson were elected in November, he facilitated many appointments for the new administration. Afterwards he continued to write occasional drafts of speeches, primarily for LBJ, but also for the JFK and for Robert Kennedy.
Through the Post Company’s Newsweek arm, Graham met Australian journalist Robin Webb, and in 1962 they began an affair. In early 1963, he began telling friends that he was unhappy with the way that the CIA manipulated journalists. When Graham and Webb went to Arizona for a newspaper publishing convention, he appeared at the microphone inebriated and made a number of provocative comments, including the revelation that JFK was sleeping with Mary Pinchot Meyer. His assistant, James Truitt, apparently called his doctor, Leslie Farber, who flew in by private jet, as did Graham’s wife, Katharine. Graham was sedated, bound in a straitjacket, and flown back to Washington. He was committed for five days to Chestnut Lodge, a psychiatric hospital in Rockville, Maryland. Graham’s claim about JFK’s affair was not reported by the news media.
Graham then left his wife for Robin Webb, announced to his friends that he planned to divorce his wife and immediately remarry, stating he would take sole control of the Post Company. On March 22, 1963, Graham changed his will to leave his whole estate including the control of the Post company to Robin Webb. Graham hired attorney Edward Bennett Williams, the most expensive attorney in the USA to write the will.
In June, the affair was over and he returned home. On June 20, 1963, he entered Chestnut Lodge for the second time, and was formally diagnosed with manic depression.
On August 3, 1963, after Graham had made repeated requests of his doctors to be allowed a short stay away from the hospital, and “quite noticeably much better”, according to his wife, he was permitted to go to their farmhouse in Virginia for the weekend. While his wife was in another part of the retreat, Graham committed suicide with a 28-gauge shotgun.
Katharine Graham hired the same attorney as her husband, Edward Bennett Williams, to annul the will he himself had helped write, stating that Phil Graham was of unsound mind when creating it. Although this was disputed, the will was successfully annulled. Katharine Graham went on to run her father’s newspaper for several decades… all through the Watergate scandal where the Washington Post exposed the Republican Party’s dirty tricks. Apparently Katharine (and the CIA) had had a falling out with Nixon…
In Katharine Graham’s Pulitzer prize winning book “Personal History”, she notes that her husband was always intense and spontaneous, but occasionally lapsed into periods of depression. She noted that in 1957, he suffered a severe manic episode and, at the time, no medicines were available for effective treatment. He retired to the couple’s farm in Marshall, Virginia, to recuperate. Thereafter, periods in which he functioned brilliantly alternated with periods in which he was morose and erratic and isolated himself. He drank heavily and would become extremely argumentative and blunt.
In 1979, journalist Deborah Davis attempted to publish a book about Katharine Graham mockingly called “Katharine the Great”. Amongst other matters, the book looked at the connections between Philip Graham and the CIA. Davis claimed the Washington Post was an important instrument in distributing US propaganda in support of Operation Mockingbird. According to Davis, Cord Meyer was Mockingbird’s “principal operative”. But book was not released. The CIA (and specifically Ben Bradlee) persuaded the publishers to pulp the printed 20,000 copies of the book waiting to be shipped to the shops. Davis filed a breach-of-contract suit and the publisher settled out of court in 1983. The book has since become available from 1991.
Besides the CIA connections, the main problem with the official story of Phil Graham’s death is that is largely told by and orchestrated by the person that benefitted most from his death: ie Katharine Graham. As noted above she was a heiress with almost unlimited wealth at her disposal. By 1986, Katharine had to return to court to prove her husband had really died of suicide. No medical records were released at the time of Graham’s death and the suicide story could easily have been concocted to cover up a murder. Graham’s drink problem and desire to end the relationship with Katharine could have been greatly exaggerated to make it appear to be a mental illness; his murder could have been planned in advance for many months.
Graham wanted to convey the truth. Even if the truth was unpalatable. This may be at odds with the deal Graham had made with his friend CIA Deputy Director Frank Wisner (Cord Meyer’s boss) for Operation Mockingbird.
Washington Post reporter (and CIA asset) Carl Bernstein wrote in a 1977 Rolling Stone article ‘‘When Newsweek was purchased by the Washington Post Company, publisher Philip Graham was informed by Agency officials that the CIA occasionally used the magazine for cover purposes… It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from, said a former deputy director of the Agency. “ Frank Wisner dealt with Graham directly. They were close friends. However Frank Wisner was forced to resign from the CIA in 1962, and, er, committed suicide with a shotgun in October 1965.
An alternative narrative is that once Frank Wisner resignation from the CIA, Graham with his new girlfriend, may have seen the world in a different light, becoming unhappy with the spin and propaganda. Graham is famously quoted as saying: “Newspapers are the rough drafts of history.” Which may imply that he knew the newspapers were distorting the historical record and that the mainstream media would become the accepted facts of history. Hence his desire to drop “truth bombs?”
According to a September, 12, 1986 EIR News Service article entitled “Black Widow expose case comes to court” sheds an entirely angle to the whole story. The January 1962 Arizona conference story is different: while he was drunk and revealing secrets about JFK, Graham was not mentally ill. He was stopped from spilling too many beans by James Truitt reporting back to his CIA handlers about Graham’s drunken behavior. Perhaps back to Ben Bradlee or James Angleton. His doctor flew in not to help but to shut him up. He was effectively drugged and kidnapped with the doctor doing the bidding of either the CIA or his wife or both. The article implies that, later, when Graham made the will in his fiancee’s favor, he made a bad choice in selecting attorney Edward Bennett Williams since it is suggested in the article that he could have been in Katharine’s employ all along. Williams is reported to have first sabotaged the relationship between Graham and Webb. Then, after Webb went back to Australia, he then encouraged Graham to return to the sanitarium, perhaps as a way of reconciling the relationship with Katharine but actually as a ploy to demonstrate the mental illness narrative that was to be constructed to cover up the murder. Arranging the murder and death certificate would be child’s play for a wealthy woman. Apparently the medical certificate was only seen by Katharine Graham herself and Graham’s body was quickly cremated.
Williams favorite saying was “Washington burns a witch every month. It’s important not to be that witch.” Implicit in the plot to kill Phil Graham, if there was a plot, was legendary attorney Edward Bennett Williams. He is described in some detail by Evan Thomas’ 1992 book “The Man To See”: Williams worked with “Godfather” Frank Costello, Sam Giancana, Jimmy Hoffa, Frank Sinatra and… The Washington Post (amongst others). The book described how he coached witnesses, devised “traps” for his opponents and cut deals. Williams was a successful Washington insider too working on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board for years, where he was so impressive that President Gerald Ford offered him the top job in the CIA. His intellect and sneakiness were so respected in fact that both Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney preferred Williams, a Democrat, for the job over their fellow-Republican George HW Bush. However Williams refused and Bush got the job.
If ever there was a case that the government elite and mafia were joined at the hip then this legendary $1000 per hour attorney would be the evidence of that since he successfully defended Frank Costello, Jimmy Hoffa, Frank Sinatra on the mafia side and The Washington Post, Gerald Ford and others on the non-mafia side…
Would Williams be capable of managing to support the richest woman in the USA helping or covering up murder? Don’t worry about Saul, you better call Edward Bennett Williams…
Katherine Graham obviously benefited from Phil Graham’s death. Motive: Bitterness regarding Graham’s affair with Robin Webb and desire for control of the her father’s Washington Post newspaper; Means: Unlimited Wealth and a corrupt attorney with Mafia links; Opportunity: Seclusion of a private farmhouse in Virginia, with the victim “recovering from a mental illness”.
Katherine Graham made this comment: “We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.” This is almost the exact reverse of how democracy flourishes. When the people are kept ignorant, the leaders can and will get away with murder. Katherine Graham may have relished perhaps some other form of government: the type where there is a pretense of democracy masking a kafkaesque oligarchy.
It is highly unusual for a successful businessman to commit suicide even after a series of unhappy incidents. Since Graham knew the dirt in the Kennedy/LBJ administration, was undermining the activities of the CIA and Operation Mockingbird, a more likely scenario was that Katharine, her attorney and the Mafia, with the approval of the CIA, removed him from the matrix. Probability of assassination, greater than 80%.
Thomas Hale Boggs was a popular politician and US House majority leader. He was instrumental in helping pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He also sat on the Warren Commission.
Boggs had doubts that JFK and J D Tippit had been killed by Oswald and believed that Jack Ruby must have been part of a conspiracy and had major rows with both Hoover and Allen Dulles during the Warren Commission’s meeting. According to one of his friends: “Hale felt very, very torn during his work (on the Commission) … he wished he had never been on it and wished he’d never signed it (the Warren Report).” Another former aide argued that, “Hale always returned to one thing: Hoover lied his eyes out to the Commission… on Oswald, on Ruby, on their friends, the bullets, the gun, you name it.”
While in 1966 he defended the Warren Commission conclusions on TV, and again in 1971 and 1972, Boggs said that there were problems with the report and that J Edgar Hoover’s FBI not only helped cover up the JFK murder but blackmailed Congress with massive wire-tapping and spying. He named Warren Commission staff member Arlen Specter as a major cover-up artist.
Boggs, however, was no supporter of Jim Garrison calling him “a mental case”.
On October 16, 1972, Hale Boggs (58) was aboard a twin engine Cessna 310 with Representative Nick Begich (40) of Alaska when it disappeared during a flight from Anchorage to Juneau. Also on board were Begich’s aide, Russell Brown (37), and the “excellent” pilot, Don Jonz (38). The four were heading to a campaign fundraiser for Begich. Pilot Don Jonz was a military veteran with 17,000 hours of air time. The forecast included possible turbulent headwinds and icy rain. The six-seat plane, carrying some light luggage, followed a flight plan likely to take them across snowfields, islands, bays, ocean coastline, and Prince William Sound. The plane had six flight-hours of fuel for the three-and-a-half-hour trip. It was never seen again.
Coast Guard, Navy, and Air Force planes searched for the party. The search for Bloggs was the USA’s biggest search-and-rescue effort, involving 40 military aircraft and 50 civilian planes searching over 325,000 square miles for 39 days. On November 24, 1972, the search was abandoned. Neither the wreckage of the plane nor the pilot’s and passengers’ remains were found. The accident prompted Congress to pass a law mandating Emergency Locator Transmitters in all US civil aircraft.
After Boggs and Begich were posthumously re-elected, the first House Resolution, in January 3, 1973, officially recognized Boggs’s presumed death and opened the way for a special election.
His widow, Lindy Boggs, won that special election to replace him and went on to serve eight more terms. She died aged 97.
The plane is likely to have suffered an extreme event because of the lack of a mayday call. A two engined plane with plenty of fuel and an experienced pilot should not completely disappear especially considering the size of the search and rescue effort.
When Congressman Boggs’ plane disappeared on a flight to Alaska in 1972, the press, the military, and the CIA publicly proclaimed the plane could not be located but other investigators have said that was a lie, that the plane had been found, or that it was flown to Canada or… that it was bombed: blown apart into small fragments over the sea: anything that floated being dispersed quickly or being too small to see from the air.
Jon Walczak spent $30,000 interviewing dozens of people, searching through thousands of documents, and traveling twice to Alaska flying the Boggs plane route and for a long time there was little to support his suspicions of foul play. There were rumors that Boggs’ Cessna was sabotaged because Boggs disagreed with the single bullet theory and, worse, was about to disagree with the lone-gunman theory propounded in the Warren Report.
Walczak eventually uncovered an amazing story: the widow of a missing congressman, Nick Begich, later married Jerry Max Pasley, a murderer and bomber with Mafia ties, less than 17 months after her husband vanished. The marriage did not last and many years later, Pasley told the FBI the missing plane was bombed, yet the FBI failed to investigate this lead.
In a 1994 prison interview, Pasley, then 53, was doing life for gunning down a man in a Tucson motel, wanted to come clean about several other, unsolved, killings, including the death of Nick Begich, his ex-wife’s first husband. Pasley claimed, he was given a locked briefcase in Tucson and told to take it to Anchorage immediately before Begich and Boggs’ flight. It was much later that he discovered from a drunk mafia colleague said that it was a bomb and was put on the plane. Pasley named the primary perpetrators of the alleged bombing, and said he met the brother of one of the men in Anchorage. The brother was murdered in Anchorage 27 days after Pasley spoke in prison.
Walczak published his investigation on a pay-per-view ($2) website, a 40-page narrative, called Four Gone.
There were two main targets for the murder, if it was murder: either Boggs or Begich.
If the target was Boggs then the cui bono leads to the JFK assassination group conspiring to murder politicians and influential people.
If the target was Begich then the most obvious person that benefitted was the person running against him for the senate post. That would be Republican Donald Edwin “Don” Young. While Begich posthumously won the 1972 election (against Young), for the re-run of the election in1973, Young won. He has held it ever since (40 plus years) and is still in place today (2016). There is no evidence (or implication from the author) that Young was involved with murder but the gaff-prone senator has acted as a good partner to the Oil industry, backing the industry through several controversies and oil spills.
There are several aspects that work against the bombing theory, beginning with the fact that dozens of planes have crashed into the Alaska Bush and have yet to be found. The database of the National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) reveals more than 40 open cases of missing aircraft in 1962.
As for the discrepancy about who was the target, then there could be one further option: both! Assuming a Deep State conspiracy, a collaborating Mafia-CIA-Big Business, the opportunity to take out two useful politicians that were not in their corner may have been tantalizing and easily achieved with the right weapon.
However, if this was a crime, it could be considered an almost perfect one. If it was not the dogged determination of Jon Walczak and Pasley wanting to free his conscience then this story would have been forgotten entirely. Even so the probability that these deaths were the result of a conspiracy is less than 50%. Does the pattern of strange killings and assassination change this figure? You decide.
Martin Luther King Jr was a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.
In 1955, MLK led the Montgomery bus boycott, in 1962 led an unsuccessful struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia (the Albany Movement), and in 1963 helped organise the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama.
Montgomery bus boycott is now regarded as the start of the national Civil Rights movement. It is almost difficult to imagine now but it started with a very small act of civil disobedience. On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. MLK was waiting for such an incident in order to launch a pre-planned campaign involving nothing more than peaceful protests and a boycott of racially segregated services particularly the Montgomery bus service where blacks were overwhelming the main users of the service. The boycott lasted for 385 days and the situation became so tense that King’s house was bombed. King was also arrested during this campaign, which concluded with a United States District Court ruling in Browder v Gayle ruling that ended racial segregation on all Montgomery public buses. MLK’s role in the bus boycott transformed him into a national figure and the best-known spokesman of the civil rights movement.
The pinnacle of his career King was his involvement in the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, in front of the Lincoln Memorial, to a huge crowd, the most memorable portions of the speech were unprepared and spontaneous.
In the backrooms of the State, however, J Edgar Hoover pressed Attorney General Robert F Kennedy to tap King’s phone since he suspected MLK of communist allegiances and communist infiltration into the civil rights movement. While feeling compelled to issue the written directive authorizing the FBI to wiretap King, RFK also privately warned King to discontinue suspect associations.
In 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. Although the progress of Civil Rights was not smooth and black protestors were often opposed as much by the Police as by hostile locals. On a march through Marquette Park, Chicago, on August 5, 1966, protesting against segregated housing, marchers were met by thrown bottles and screaming crowds. King negotiated with the mayor to avoid a riot. On another march, King himself was seriously injured after being hit by a brick but he continued to lead marches in the face of such personal danger. He was arrested dozens of times and received many verbal and written death threats.
In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and War. LBJ and MLK collaborated in order to pass civil rights legislation. However that relationship soured about the time of a speech, April 4, 1967, at Riverside Church, NYC where MLK criticized both the Vietnam War and LBJ. (After this dramatic speech King was urged to run as a third-party presidential candidate in 1968). Hampton Sides in his 2010 book “Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King”, summarized the situation at that time: MLK had been working continuously for 12 years for civil rights, he had become extremely stressed and his marriage was teetering on collapse and now he had LBJ as an enemy!
In the early months of 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington DC to be called the Poor People’s Campaign. As Attorney William F Pepper pointed out: “If the wealthy, powerful interests across the nation would find Dr King’s escalating activity against the war intolerable, his planned mobilization of half a million poor people with the intention of laying siege to Congress could only engender outrage… and fear.”
King was assassinated on April 4th, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, one year on from his famous speech in New York. His death was followed by riots in many US cities.
On March 29, 1968, MLK went to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of the black sanitary public works employees who had been on strike since March 12. (In one incident, black street repairmen received pay for two hours when they were sent home because of bad weather, but white employees were paid for the full day).
On April 3, MLK addressed a rally and delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address at Mason Temple, the world headquarters of the Church of God in Christ.
MLK was booked in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel. He was shot at 6:01 pm, April 4, 1968, as he stood on the motel’s second-floor balcony. A single bullet entered through his right cheek, smashing his jaw, then traveled down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder. He died at St Joseph’s Hospital at 7:05 pm.
Shortly after the shot was fired, witnesses saw a white man (believed to be James Earl Ray) fleeing from a rooming house across the street from the Lorraine Motel. Ray, an escaped convict, had been renting a room there. In the room was a city map when locations relevant to MLK had been ringed. Police found a package dumped close to the site, which included a rifle and binoculars, both marked with Ray’s fingerprints. Ray bought the Remington Model 760 Gamemaster .30-06-caliber rifle and a box of 20 cartridges from the Aeromarine Supply Company on March 20 using an alias he had used in Mexico. An examination of the rifle containing Ray’s fingerprints also determined that at least one shot was fired from the firearm at around the time of the assassination. The FBI investigation found Ray’s fingerprints on various objects left in the bathroom from where the gunfire had come.
Two months after King’s death, Ray was captured at London Heathrow Airport while trying to leave the United Kingdom on a false Canadian passport in the name of Ramon George Sneyd on his way to white-ruled Rhodesia. Ray was extradited to Tennessee and charged with King’s murder. He confessed to the assassination on March 10, 1969, though he recanted this confession three days later. On the advice of his attorney Percy Foreman, Ray pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to a 99-year prison term without a full trial. Ray later briefly broke out of jail with three other inmates but was recaptured within three days.
Ray’s background provides an insight to possible motive for the murder. After leaving the Army, in 1952, he served two years for armed robbery of a taxi driver in Illinois. In 1955, he started another three years term for mail fraud. In 1959, he was sentenced to twenty years armed robbery. He escaped from Missouri State Penitentiary in 1967 by hiding in a truck transporting bread from the prison bakery and eventually drove to Mexico. He attempted to establish himself as a pornography director but failed.
He returned to Los Angeles and by the start of 1968 was following George Wallace’s presidential campaign and supposedly drawn to Wallace’s segregationist platform. He spent much of his time volunteering at the Wallace campaign headquarters.
While in jail he was stabbed by an inmate and then contracted hepatitis C from a blood transfusion. In 1998, Ray died in prison, aged 70 years old, from hepatitis C complications.
The FBI led the investigation into King’s death. J Edgar Hoover, who had previously made efforts to undermine King’s reputation, pledged to find the culprit. However many documents related to this investigation remain classified, and are sealed until 2027.
Ray fired his first attorney and his confession was given under pressure, not only from the threat of the death penalty but also the pursuit of his family: both his father and brother could have been prosecuted for crimes which carried long sentences. He has since claimed he was a scapegoat and that he did not “personally shoot King,” he may have been “partially responsible without knowing it,” but he was not the murderer. Ray admitted buying the gun but it was bought for an accomplice, a man met in Montreal with the alias “Raul” who travelled with him. Raul has never been found or identified. Ray also initially implicated his own brother Johnny, that he met up with the day before the assassination.
While Ray was a thief, burglar, ex-convict and had committed armed robbery, there is no record of him killing anyone else or even using a sniper rifle. Ray had no training in sharpshooting and little time to prepare (only a few days after buying the rifle).
In a similar fashion to the Oswald rifle, the scope on Ray’s rifle was uncalibrated and would not be able to shoot straight. A full ballistics test was not undertaken and the bullet and rifle have not been compared.
Witnesses of the shooting have said that the shot did not come from Ray’s room but instead believe the sniper was behind thick shrubbery near the boarding house. The shrubbery was cut away in the days following the assassination and not forensically examined. However a shot from the ground contradicts the autopsy evidence indicating the sniper was at a higher elevation. Other researchers have suggested the “man in the bush” could have been coordinating the assassination involving one or two snipers (located on roofs of nearby buildings).
The map found in Ray’s room has never been seen.
Ray worked for the remainder of his life attempting (unsuccessfully) to withdraw his guilty plea and secure a full trial. The King family did not believe that Ray was responsible, but that there was a conspiracy by elements of the government against King.
In 1989, Morton Downy Jr presented a TV talk show expose of the MLK assassination including clips with James Earl Ray which demonstrated the weakness of the case against Ray. According to Attorney (and JFK researcher) Mark Lane interviewed for the program, Ray was forced into a guilty plea by Percy Foreman who was part of a conspiracy to hide the details of the assassination.
In December 1993, Loyd Jowers, a white man from Memphis, appeared on ABC’s Prime Time Live. He had gained attention by claiming an alleged conspiracy involving the Mafia, the US government, and himself to kill King. According to Jowers, Ray was a scapegoat, and not directly involved in the shooting.
According to the Department of Justice, Jowers had inconsistently identified different people as King’s assassin since 1993. The Department does not consider Jowers’ accusations credible. However, in 1999, the King family filed a civil case against Jowers and unnamed co-conspirators for the wrongful death of King. Attorney William Francis Pepper, representing the King family, presented evidence from 70 witnesses and 4,000 pages of transcripts. Pepper alleged in his book, “An Act of State” (2003), that the evidence implicated the FBI, the CIA, the US Army, the Memphis Police Department, and organized crime in the murder of King. While the suit alleged government involvement, no government officials or agencies were named so there was no defense or evidence presented to refute the accusations. The jury found defendant Loyd Jowers and unknown co-defendants liable for conspiracy to assassinate King.
In 2008, James Earl Ray’s brother, John Larry Ray, also wrote a book “Truth at Last: The Untold Story Behind James Earl Ray & the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr” in conjunction with MLK historian, Lyndon Barsten, to show evidence that James Earl Ray could not have assassinated Dr. King. They offered a highly alternative version of Ray’s life including encounters with State and Mafia operatives based on personal interviews and 4,000 Freedom of Information Act requests —including Rays Army unit records. They claim that Ray was inducted into the CIA as a young man in the US Army and subjected to mind control experimentation— (drugs are known to have been administered by the armed services to unknowing recruits in the same era). Two years prior to the King assassination, while he was in jail, it was claimed that Ray was under the influence of several government-connected hypnotists with the implication he was enabled or allowed to escape from jail in 1967.
In 2015 Phillip F Nelson and Roger Stone wrote an article in OpEdNews describing Hoover obsession with “destroying” MLK right from the start of the civil rights movement. “In 1961 he called on his Special Agents in Charge (SACs) of his field offices to cull their files for all the subversive information they could gather and send it to the SOG (as he called himself, the Seat of Government). Hoover’s assistant, Deke DeLoach, was put in charge of compiling this assortment of innuendo, half-truths and whole lies, sprinkled with sufficient facts to make it salable.” Hoover blackmailed RFK to sign the bugging order on MLK after all, he did have details of JFK’s many infidelities and may have even mentioned the Marilyn Monroe murder coverup where RFK was implicated…
Robert Sherrill in his 1968 book “The Accidental President” about LBJ noted that circulating within the executive branch was a secret FBI report intended to discredit Dr Martin Luther King. An entire section of this report was devoted to the details of King’s personal life and sexuality preferences (confirmed by a Senate Intelligence Committee report in 1976). This clearly shows that the state was taking more than a passing interest in MLK and not in a positive way.
The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr was a blow against the Black Civil Rights movement and many vested interests benefitted from his death. James Earl Ray while he may have had a political motive through association with the Wallace Campaign and racist connotations, in one to one interviews and meetings with Ray, the King family felt this was not a factor.
While Attorney William Francis Pepper did not solve the crime, he implied that MLK was a victim of a State Sponsored Assassination, a view supported by other evidence. The state has the means and opportunity and within the State that had previously raged at MLK not only for his Civil Rights stance but also his anti-war rhetoric, were Lyndon B Johnson and J Edgar Hoover. Both of these two had an apparent motive.
The official and unofficial stories of MLK’s assassination accusing James Earl Ray as the Lone Gunman is far from open and shut. However, it is inconceivable that Ray could have undertaken the attack without better preparation, killing MLK with a single shot; Ray did not have the skill or training to do this. His hasty getaway and evidence left behind support the argument that he was set up as a scapegoat. The poor investigation and haste to hide the details of the assassination all point to a stated-sponsored cover-up especially since classified documents of the case will not be revealed until 2027. The probability of a state sponsored assassination with Ray as a useful patsy, is greater than 98%.
Robert Francis Kennedy was JFK’s younger brother. He went to Harvard University but his studies were interrupted by the Second World War where after a stint in the Navy, he returned to finally graduate in 1948. A law degree from the University of Virginia followed. In 1950 Kennedy married Ethel Shakel and their first child, Kathleen, was born on 4th July, 1951 (the first of 11 children). Joe McCarthy, the controversial senator from Wisconsin, was asked to be the child’s godfather. The same year, Kennedy joined the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice. Then in 1952, he helped JFK in his successful campaign to be elected to the Senate and returned to legal work in 1953 with Joe McCarthy appointing him as one of the 15 assistant counsels to the Senate subcommittee on investigations. On 29th July, 1953, Kennedy resigned from McCarthy’s office. In his book, “The Enemy Within”, RFK claimed he resigned because he “disagreed with the way that the Committee was being run”. While some claim it was for petty reasons, it seems that RFK had good political antenna since in 1954 Joe McCarthy was ousted from his job and RFK rejoined the same subcommittee. By 1957 he was appointed as head of the team investigating the Trade Union movement emerging as a national figure when RFK’s investigation of Teamster Union Boss, Jimmy Hoffa, was televised. Hoffa was eventually charged with corruption. RFK claimed that Hoffa had misappropriated $9.5 million in union funds and closed corrupt deals with employers. However, the jury found Hoffa not guilty.
When JFK was elected in 1960, he appointed RFK as US Attorney General. The two men worked closely together on a wide variety of issues including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the struggle to get Civil Rights legislation passed by Congress and the Vietnam War. RFK also attempted to tackle organized crime but, as already noted, he found it difficult working with head of the FBI, J Edgar Hoover. One of the few things Hoover and RFK had in common was keeping tabs on Black Civil Rights Leaders, particularly Martin Luther King Jr, where RFK signed the secret bugging of his home. Apparently Hoover, RFK and LBJ all liked to play the secret recordings of King’s sexual trysts for their own amusement and sometimes at cocktail parties for others as well (Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes described such in his memoir).
On the public side of life, though RFK made some powerful progressive speeches some of which resonate with a distinct Kennedy brothers style which is hard to be unimpressed by. Take, for example, his speech to the Missouri Bar Association (27th September, 1963): “Right now, all over the nation, the struggle for Negro equality is expressing itself in marches, demonstrations, and sit-ins. It seems very clear to me that these people are protesting against something more than the privations and humiliations they have endured so long. They are protesting the failure of our legal system to be responsive to the legitimate grievances of our citizens. They are protesting because the very procedures supposed to make the law work justly have been perverted into obstructions that keep it from working at all.”
Soon after the assassination of John F Kennedy, RFK ran a successful campaign to be elected to the Senate as a New York senator.
Throughout LBJ’s term in office (from 1963 to 1968), the Vietnam War become the focal point of discontent within the US. Even before Martin Luther King’s April, 1967 “After Vietnam” speech, according to Richard N Goodwin, Hoover told Lyndon B Johnson that “Bobby Kennedy was hiring or paying King off to stir up trouble over the Vietnam War.” Johnson became convinced that RFK was leaking information to the press about his anti-war stance. At a meeting on 6th February, 1967, there was a heated exchange between the pair. Johnson told Robert Kennedy: “I’ll destroy you and everyone one of your dove friends. You’ll be dead politically in six months.” RFK soon went on to make a speech where he raised the issue of morality and backing South Vietnam against communist North Vietnam. “We’re going in there and we’re killing South(sic) Vietnamese, we’re killing children, we’re killing women, we’re killing innocent people… Do we have the right, here in the United States, to say we’re going to kill tens of thousands, make millions of people refugees, as we have.”
RFK took a stand on another civil rights issue. On 19th February, 1968, Cesar Chavez, the trade union leader, began a hunger strike in protest against the violence being used against his members in California. RFK went to the San Joaquin Valley to give Chavez his support and told waiting reporters: “I am here out of respect for one of the heroic figures of our time, Cesar Chavez. I congratulate all of you who are locked with Cesar in the struggle for justice for the farm worker and in the struggle for justice for Spanish-speaking Americans.”
RFK successfully linked the campaign against the war with the plight of the disadvantaged. On 16th March, 1968, Robert Kennedy announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States. “I do not run for the presidency merely to oppose any man but to propose new policies.” RFK’s anti-war stand seemed at the time, risky. While there was noisy, mostly young protesters, the silent majority of Americans, it was assumed, supported the President’s policy. However the combination of RFK and MLK both against the Vietnam War was about to change the dynamics of politics in the USA.
The night Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated, RFK was due to attend a rally in Indianapolis with a mainly black audience. The Chief of Police in Indianapolis advised RFK that he could not provide protection and he and some of RFK’s aides were worried about a riot when they heard of MLK’s death. RFK decided to go ahead and gave a short but powerful speech without notes. He was the first to tell the audience that King had died. While there was a commotion and grief, there was no riot. When the noise level fell, RFK acknowledged their anger. He said: “For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.” These remarks surprised his aides, who had never heard him speak publicly of his brother death. RFK said that the country needed and wanted unity between blacks and whites, and asked the audience members to pray for the King family and the country. RFK’s speech was credited with preventing post-assassination rioting in Indianapolis, on a night where such events broke out in other major cities across the USA.
RFK was deeply shocked by the assassination of Martin Luther King and further radicalized his policies. While at the Indiana University Medical Center, one of the students called out to him in response to the progressive policies he had outlined: “Where are we going to get the money to pay for all these new programs you’re proposing?” RFK replied: “From you! Part of a civilized society is to let people go to medical school who come from ghettos. I don’t see many people coming here from the slums, or off of Indian reservations. You are the privileged ones here. It’s easy for you to sit back and say it’s the fault of the Federal Government. But it’s our responsibility too. It’s our society too… It’s the poor who carry the major burden of the struggle in Vietnam. You sit here as white medical students, while black people carry the burden of the fighting in Vietnam.” The students reacted by booing Kennedy. He was advised that being perceived as an extremist would lose him the election. But RFK was determined to say what he believed. Kennedy told Jack Newfield that he would probably not win the nomination but “somebody has to speak up for the Negroes and Indians and Mexicans and poor whites.” RFK took a huge political risk and it paid off. He won the Indiana primary with 42% of the vote.
J Edgar Hoover leaked a report to the media to spoil the upcoming California primary. The report showed that when RFK was attorney general he had authorised a wiretap on MLK. Despite this news, RFK continued to receive the backing of the black community. Robert Kennedy won the primary in California obtaining 46.3% (Eugene McCarthy received 41.8%).
More information on RFK’s life can be found in the documentary “Ethel” made by RFK’s youngest child Rory who was born six months after RFK was murdered.
On June 5, 1968, hearing the result of the California primary, RFK went to the ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel to speak to his supporters. RFK by this time was an assured communicator and the short speech he gave reeked of sincerity and hope, mending fences between black and white, the poor and “the more affluent”, between generations and, of course, ending the war in Vietnam. He stated the ideals of the United States as “a great country, an unselfish country and a compassionate country” and that he demonstrated in this short speech that truly he did have the ability to bring people together and create a better society.
A few minutes after this speech he was shot and fatally wounded.
To reach a press conference from the ballroom, it was suggested that RFK took a short cut through the kitchen. Security guard Thane Eugene Cesar took hold of Kennedy’s right elbow to escort him through the room when there was gunfire.
At 12:15am, when RFK entered the kitchen, a Jordanian citizen of Palestinian descent called Sirhan Sirhan climbed onto a table and fired a .22 caliber Iver-Johnson Cadet revolver at the crowd surrounding RFK. Bedlam ensued. George Plimpton, Rosey Grier, author Pete Hamill, and 1960 Olympic gold medalist, Rafer Johnson, were among several men who jumped onto Sirhan to subdue him.
RFK was shot three times, twice in the back and once in the head, with a fourth bullet passing through his jacket. All bullets found were .22 calibre.
He died 26 hours later. He was 42 years old.
After a funeral service in New York, St Patrick’s church on June 8th, RFK’s body was put onto a privately scheduled train for the trip to Washington and Arlington Cemetery. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the railway line to show their last respects.
Sirhan’s trial did not start until seven months later where he pleaded Not-Guilty to the judge, Herbert V Walker. The judge refused to accept the plea because of Sirhan’s admission of guilt, recorded in a confession made while in police custody four days after the shooting. The judge, however, also did not accept his confession. On February 10, 1969, Sirhan agreed and wanted to withdraw his original plea of not guilty in order to plead guilty as charged on all counts. He also asked that his counsel “dissociate themselves from this case completely”. When the judge asked him what he wanted to do about sentencing, (the lawyers had previously suggested a plea-deal to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment), Sirhan replied, “I will ask to be executed.”
Judge Walker denied the motion, denied Sirhan’s request for his counsel to withdraw and when Shiran’s counsel asked to withdraw from the case of their own volition, Walker denied that as well.
The trial proceeded, and the prosecution was able to show examples of Sirhan’s deliberate preparations to kill Kennedy. Two nights before the attack, on June 3, Sirhan was seen at the Ambassador Hotel, apparently attempting to learn the building’s layout. On June 4 Sirhan visited a gun range. Sirhan’s garbage collector claimed that Sirhan had told him a month before the attack of his intention to shoot Kennedy. Sirhan had kept a journal where it was shown that the murder was not only premeditated, but also “quite calculating and willful.”
Sirhan’s defense counsel had hoped to demonstrate that the killing had been an impulsive act of a man with a mental deficiency. During the trial, the defense primarily based their case on the expert testimony of Bernard L Diamond, MD, a professor of law and psychiatry at University of California, Berkeley, who testified that Sirhan was suffering from diminished capacity at the time of the murder. Sirhan’s behavior throughout the trial was bizarre, and at one point, becoming outraged about a discussion on his childhood. On March 3, 1969, his defense counsel asked Sirhan if he had shot Senator Kennedy. Sirhan replied immediately: “Yes, sir,” but then stated that he did not bear any ill-will towards him. Sirhan also testified that he had killed RFK “with 20 years of malice aforethought.” (He explained in an interview with David Frost in 1989 that this referred to the time since the creation of the state of Israel). Clearly the legal defense strategy was not working.
Sirhan was convicted on April 17, 1969, and was sentenced six days later, to death in the gas chamber. However the State of California abandoned the use of the death penalty before the execution was carried out.
Sirhan Sirhan is still in prison today (2016).
The main problem with the official story is that Sirhan Sirhan could not have fired the shoots that killed RFK since he had been shot at point-blank range from behind. Two shots entered his back and a third shot entered directly behind RFK’s right ear. Sirhan Sirhan was a few feet away and to the front.
According to Los Angeles County coroner Thomas Noguchi, who performed the autopsy, all three bullets that hit RFK entered from the rear, in a flight path from down to up, right to left. “Moreover, powder burns around the entry wound indicated that the fatal bullet was fired at less than one inch from the head and no more than two or three inches behind the right ear.”
An eyewitness, Donald Schulman, went on CBS News to say that Sirhan “stepped out and fired three times; the security guard hit Kennedy three times.” As Dan E. Moldea pointed out: “The autopsy showed that three bullets had struck Kennedy from the right rear side, traveling at upward angles; shots that Shiran was never in a position to fire.”
None of the eyewitness claim that Sirhan was able to fire his gun from close-range. One witness, Karl Uecker, who struggled with Shiran when he was firing his gun, provided a written statement in 1975 about what he saw: “There was a distance of at least one and one-half feet between the muzzle of Shiran’s gun and Senator Kennedy’s head. The revolver was directly in front of my nose. After Shiran’s second shot, I pushed the hand that held the revolver down, and pushed him onto the steam table. There is no way that the shots described in the autopsy could have come from Shiran’s gun. When I told this to the authorities, they told me that I was wrong. But I repeat now what I told them then: Shiran never got close enough for a point-blank shot.”
Nina Rhodes-Hughes was standing only a few feet away from RFK when the shooting started. In 2012, she came forward to insist that Sirhan was not the only gunman firing shots when RFK was murdered. There were two gunmen firing from separate positions and more than 8 shots were fired. She stated that the authorities altered her account of the crime.
In 2004, a poor quality audio recording of the event was uncovered where gunshots can be easily heard. Sirhan’s gun held eight bullets but 13 shots can be heard on the tape. There were two “double shots” and frequency anomalies to show that the shots came from two guns. The audio recording was made by freelance newspaper reporter Stanislaw Pruszynski, a Polish journalist covering the RFK presidential campaign for Canadian newspapers. The audio was analyzed by forensic experts Robert J. Joling and Philip Van Praag in Tucson, Arizona, in 2005. The analysis showed that in addition to convicted gunman Sirhan, there was a second gunman and along with other forensic evidence proved that none of Sirhan’s bullets hit Kennedy. All eight bullets fired by Sirhan missed RFK and instead hit bystanders and woodwork inside the kitchen pantry.
A young John Pilger, now a famous investigative journalist, was at the scene of the crime. In 2012, he confirmed more than 12 shots and more than one assassin. He also saw a woman wearing a polka dot dress in the kitchen (this will become relevant later).
Forensics were able to recover 9 bullets, all .22 calibre, from the kitchen pantry. Sirhan’s gun had a magazine capacity of 8.
Nina Rhodes-Hughes claimed that two FBI investigators purposefully failed to record the information that there were two gunman. The FBI reports and LAPD records show many witnesses reported more than eight shots but these reports were either ignored or changed. In 2012, Rhodes-Hughes reviewed her 1968 FBI interview summary for the first time and found it contained more than a dozen inaccuracies.
The implication is that the LAPD only recorded information that supported official story for the attack, that Sirhan Sirhan was a lone gunman. (Even Shiran’s defense counsel, Grant Cooper, went along with this narrative). Sirhan was convicted and sentenced before William W Harper, an independent ballistics expert, proved that the bullets removed from RFK and newsman William Weisel, were fired from two different guns. The Police also seized photographs of the murder and these photos have never appeared in court.
Scott Enyart, at the time a high-school student, followed RFK from the ballroom and took photographs of the murder, a whole reel of film. Enyart was standing slightly behind RFK when the shooting began and captured the event prior, during and after the attack. As Enyart was leaving the pantry, two LAPD officers accosted him at gunpoint and seized his film. Later, he was told by Detective Dudley Varney that the photographs were needed as evidence. The photographs were not presented as evidence but the court ordered that all evidential materials had to be sealed for twenty years. In 1988 Enyart requested that his photographs be returned. Initially the State Archives claimed that the photos were lost presumed destroyed. Enyart filed a lawsuit which finally came to trial in 1996. During the trial the Los Angeles city attorney announced that the photos had been found in its Sacramento office and would be brought to the courthouse by courier. The following day it was announced that the courier’s briefcase, that contained the photographs, had been stolen and that there were no duplicates! Scott Enyart was awarded $450,000 in damages but this is little consolation for the truth that could have been revealed by the images.
RFK had his own fears of being assassinated. He recognized the mob connection to his brother’s assassination as soon as Jack Ruby killed Oswald and kept his investigation into his beloved brother’s murder to himself. In his book “Brothers”, David Talbot said that while refusing to cooperate with the Warren Commission, RFK intended to reopen the investigation if he became president. Talbot speculated that, in Los Angeles, in 1968, White House hopeful Robert Kennedy may have been gunned down by the same conspirators who killed his brother Jack in Dallas rather than by a deranged Lone Gunman.
The horror of RFK’s murder is magnified by the fact that many people (Family, FBI, the media and his own staff) expected an assassination attempt.
A) Jackie Kennedy. RFK’s decision to take on LBJ caused Jackie Kennedy great concern. A few days after Kennedy announced his candidacy, Jackie said to Arthur Schlesinger at a dinner party in New York: “Do you know what I think will happen to Bobby?” When Schlesinger replied that he didn’t, she said: “The same thing that happened to Jack.”
B) FBI. It is the view of William W Turner, former FBI agent that assisted Garrison on the JFK case, that RFK intended to reopen the investigation into the death of his brother once he had been elected president, stating he would control the investigation himself: “RFK was a pragmatist, if anything, knowing that he had to control the Justice Department to launch a new probe.” The FBI had picked up reports of an overheard conversation between Jimmy Hoffa and a fellow prisoner in the Lewisburg penitentiary about a contract to kill Kennedy.
C) The Media. Reporter Jimmy Breslin asked several colleagues around a table whether they thought Kennedy had “the stuff to go all the way”. One of the men at the meeting, John J. Lindsay replied: “Yes, of course, he has the stuff to go all the way, but he’s not going to go all the way. The reason is that somebody is going to shoot him. I know it and you know it, just as sure as we’re sitting here. He’s out there waiting for him.”
D) RFK Campaign Aide. The night before the attack, Harold Weisberg, former senator, U.S. State Department intelligence analyst, writer and vocal critic of the Warren Commission, appeared on television in Washington where he discussed the possibility of Robert Kennedy being assassinated. Weisberg recalled a meeting with an RFK aide. Weisberg asked why RFK had supported the conclusions of the Warren Commission Report. He replied: “it is simple, Bobby wants to live” adding that there were “too many guns between Bobby and the White House”. Weisberg asked who controlled these guns and the aide indicated that he implied the CIA.
William C Sullivan writing in 1979, “The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover’s FBI” was scathing about Hoover and his relationship with RFK. Hoover’s dislike of Robert Kennedy continued even after his death: Hoover delayed the release of news on new developments on MLK’s murder for more than a day so that he could interrupt TV coverage of Bobby’s burial. Sullivan pondered whether the FBI had a helping hand in the murder. Sullivan claimed that:
A) Hoover had tried to find dirt to blackmail RFK but had come away with nothing.
B) Stories about Bobby and Marilyn Monroe were invented and then promoted by Hoover.
C) High ranking FBI official, Clyde Tolson, stated a few weeks before the California Primary, “I hope someone shoots and kills the son of a bitch.”
Sullivan was on the Sirhan investigation and while concluding that Sirhan acted alone could never found out why Sirham’s motive or how he accessed the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel or how he knew RFK would walk through. He suspected that he was missing parts to the puzzle.
The Pruszynski recording, ballistics evidence and witness testimony clearly reveal a second gunman, RFK’s real killer. The assassin was firing a .22 caliber 9-shot H&R 922 handgun at the same time that Sirhan was firing his .22 caliber 8-shot Iver Johnson Cadet 55 handgun. The hidden H&R weapon fired at least five shots from the rear while Sirhan fired all eight of his bullets from the front; the first two shots Sirhan fired missed RFK and last six shots were fired wildly while he was being bundled to the floor. Only the second gunman had a clear shot at RFK from behind, and like a magic trick, unseen by most witnesses, because all attention had shifted to Sirhan.
After the murder and despite the pantomime of Sirhan’s trial, many people suspected that there was a second gunman. The forensic analysis by ballistics expert, William W Harper, completed after Sirhan trial, led Joseph P. Busch, the Los Angeles District Attorney, to announce he would reopen the case. The chief suspect was RFK’s security officer, Thane Eugene Cesar, who led RFK out of the ballroom and into the Pantry and was right next to him the whole way. Cesar’s statement said that while he did pulled a gun, a Rohm .38, it was not a .22 (the caliber of the bullets found in RFK). He claimed that he got knocked down after the first shot and did not get the opportunity to fire his gun. The LAPD decided to believe Cesar rather than eye witnesses Donald Schulman and Karl Uecker and the incriminating forensic evidence. The case was closed.
Former FBI man and Jim Garrison associate, William W Turner, was unsatisfied with this outcome. Combing through the evidence presented to the LAPD, Turner noted that Cesar admitted to owning a .22 H & R pistol but he had sold the gun before the assassination. Cesar claimed to sold it to a man named Jim Yoder. Turner tracked down Yoder in October, 1972 and found that Yoda still had the receipt for the sale of the pistol. It was dated 6th September, 1968, three months after the assassination. Cesar had lied, he did have the pistol at the time of the assassination. Yoder also said that Cesar said that the gun had been involved in an incident “something about going to the assistance of an officer and firing his gun.” Cesar added, “there might be a little problem over that.”
Since then the Pruszynski recording and acoustic evidence has confirmed the second killer. This evidence has been presented in Sirhan’s parole hearings but this information alone does not absolve him from the killing or wounding of four other people at the crime scene.
So could Sirhan Sirhan just be an accomplice to murder? The story of Sirhan being an accomplice only makes sense if he was a patsy. A hypnotized patsy! For some decades now, Sirhan has repeated at parole boards the same thing: that he had no memory of the shooting or his subsequent trial or his confession of guilt. He has been denied parole 15 times. His attorney, New York attorney William Pepper, argued that Sirham had been hypnotized to carry out the crime, asserting that he was an unwitting shill whose Arab name made him an easy scapegoat and drew attention from the killer and true architects of the assassination. He was rendered unable to consciously control his thoughts and actions at the time the crimes were being committed. Pepper stated that “the public has been shielded from the darker side of the hypnosis. The average person is unaware that method can and is used to induct antisocial conduct in humans.”
According to Dr Richard Kluft, a clinical professor of psychiatry at Temple University, a scenario where Sirhan had a post-hypnotic suggestion to react in the way he did is “certainly within the realm of plausibility.” Kluft noted that undisputed and freely available information shows that US government has extensively researched the possibility of creating so-called “hypnotic assassins” through the CIA’s human experimentation program MK-ULTRA. Kluft stated that while it is not possible to hypnotize someone to do something that obviously violates their beliefs or desires, the context of their actions can be changed by hypnotic suggestion allowing a vegetarian to eat meat or make a pacifist a killer.
The implications of Sirhan being a Manchurian Candidate is that there must have been considerable planning in order to select and “program” Sirhan. This seems improbable? How was Sirhan programmed? How was he activated to start shooting at Kennedy?
In 2011, famed hypnotist Derren Brown decided to create a Manchurian Candidate experiment for his TV show, obviously with the RFK case in mind since he used Sirhan’s image in the end credits. He wanted to see whether it was possible to hypnotize an innocent person to kill a famous celebrity. The chosen celebrity was actor, and British National Treasure, Stephen Fry. Brown selected a suitable candidate who was suitably receptive to suggestion from a sample of just four people. The candidate, Chris, in his twenties was chosen without his knowledge to be the guinea pig. Brown arranged for Chris to be taken to a firing range for training in the use of firearms and used hypnosis supposedly to turn him into a marksman but in fact he was being trained to start shooting upon a signal. The signal was a polka dot handkerchief. Chris was subjected to further hypnosis to determine whether he would forget his actions while carrying out his hypnotic suggestion. For example, Chris was persuaded to give Brown his bank account PIN number but could not remember revealing the information. Chris was subjected to lie detector tests and an expert said the graphs showed no sign that he had lied. So the final test Chris was given the commands to shoot Stephen Fry. They arrived at a theatre, where Fry was performing and pre-warned Fry so that he could play along. Chris was given a gun which was supposed to be a present for Derren Brown after the show. As the show started, a woman approached Chris. She was wearing polka dots (which triggered a post-hypnotic suggestion to receive commands) and told him “Stephen Fry is the target”. Chris then used the gun, using blanks, of course, to shoot at Stephen Fry. Fry pretended to collapse on stage. After a short period, Fry rose to his feet and carried on his show. Chris sat there enjoying the show and, as revealed by lie detector later on, had forgotten he had shot Fry. When confronted with his actions on video he had no recall and such was his disbelief, thought the actions were undertaken by a double or some other trickery. While it was a TV show, Derren Brown has consistently stated that there was no TV-fakery. Nobody has come forward to refute Brown’s experiment.
Investigative journalist Dan Moldea in his 1997 book “The Killing Of Robert F Kennedy” thought that the mystery of the assassination remains the unidentified “girl in a polka dot dress” was central to understanding the killing. Moldea interviewed Sirhan in jail to find that Sirhan had hardly any memory of even being in the hotel let alone anyone who accompanied him. He went to the kitchen for coffee, he recalled. Yet several witnesses who saw Sirhan in the pantry next to a tray stacker with a girl wearing a polka dot dress. But the eyewitness testimony is not consistent or reliable especially considering the bedlam of the event. The Los Angeles Police Department murder investigation team tried to track the girl down and searched the news film archives in their attempts to find photographic evidence but they could they find any photographic evidence which put Sirhan together with the girl, although judging by the way the LAPD filtered out other evidence, that may not be surprising. In conclusion, while Sirhan is likely to have had a handler for the Manchurian Candidate scenario, the polka dots or the girl may not be relevant.
The implications of the use of Manchurian Candidates as assassins or patsies requires a review of all high profile attacks over the last 50 years. Two attacks stand out immediately as being very strange: the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan by a son of a friend of the head of the CIA and the assassination of Beatle and Peace campaigner, John Lennon, by a supposed killer that seemed in a dreamlike state.
Who benefits from RFK’s death? His political opponents and military Industrial Complex that wished to continue the war in Vietnam. Having effectively won the Democratic Nomination, RFK’s republican rival in the presidential race, would be Richard M Nixon. No doubt Nixon would not relish running against another Kennedy. Could Nixon have called on some favors perhaps?
There is a high degree of certainty not only was there a conspiracy but we also have the name of the assassin of this crime. It is not Sirhan Sirhan but RFK’s security officer, Thane Eugene Cesar. There is forensic evidence (from ballistics analysis and autopsy) and witness evidence to determine it was Cesar and Cesar has been proven to have lied about the .22 gun that he owned. The LAPD had either colluded or were negligently biased towards his story.
So who was Thane Eugene Cesar? Cesar was a Cuban American who had registered to vote for George Wallace’s American Independent Party (that is a right wing party at the opposite end of the political spectrum as RFK). He had been employed by Ace Guard Service to protect RFK at the Ambassador Hotel but that was not his full-time job which was as a security officer at the Lockheed Aircraft plant in Burbank. Lockheed made spy planes for the CIA (U2, A-11, SR-71). Jim Yoder claimed that Cesar appeared to have no specific job at Lockheed and had floating assignments and often worked in off-limits areas which only special personnel had access to. According to Yoder, these areas were under the control of the CIA. According to Lisa Pease, Cesar had formerly worked at the Hughes Aircraft Corporation. Hughes Aircraft was owned by Howard Hughes who had interests not only in aircraft, helicopters and spacecraft but also scientific and medical research, movie production, hotels, restaurants and casinos. While some people say that Hughes faked his own death to escape public attention, perhaps it was police attention, since the mysterious Howard Hughes, was certainly at the crossroads of many spheres of influence especially between politics, mobsters, intelligence agencies and big business. According to news reporter Jack Anderson, Howard Hughes was a financial sponsor to Richard Nixon…
Whether Sirhan Sirhan was a Manchurian Candidate cannot be proven but it appears to be the only rational explanation for all the information provided since even if determined to be crazy, he was not a Lone Gunman and would not have otherwise been in the hotel kitchen except as being a patsy and part of a diversionary tactic for a dastardly master plan. The plan would require a team of people, to select and program Sirhan, select the assassination venue, manage Sirhan, coordinate with the real killer and collude with the people in charge of the investigation.
Motive: Keeping RFK from running for the presidency.
Means: Use of State apparatus for sophisticated assassination techniques and cover-up by using hypnotized patsy to take the blame.
Opportunity: Use of known public event and government controlled assassin, Eugene Cesar.
Conclusion: State Sponsored Assassination: 99.9%.
Finally, a eulogy to RFK from his brother Ted delivered the funeral: “My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world. As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him: ‘Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not.’”
Dorothy Hunt is most famous for being the wife of E Howard Hunt, one of the planners of the Watergate burglaries who eventually served 33 months in prison. She died in a plane crash in 1972.
Born Dorothy Wetzel in 1920, Dorothy was an employee for the CIA after the WW2 stationed in Shanghai where she met her future husband. She had an exciting career in the CIA which is lovingly told in the book “Dorothy, An Amoral and Dangerous Woman” written by her son St John Hunt and published in 2014.
In the 1950s, E Howard Hunt spent much of his time involved in covert operations in Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Cuba while Dorothy raised their children in Maryland.
E Howard Hunt, G Gordon Liddy, and James McCord masterminded the famous Watergate break-in. Hunt was a member of the insiders’ circle of old boys, close to former CIA director Allen Dulles; and Hunt’s protégé was David Atlee Phillips. Hunt was Chief of Cuban Operations and Covert Action at the Mexico City station at the time of the Kennedy assassination and had been involved in an effort to falsely sell the idea that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for the Soviets. Hunt was in Mexico City during August and September, 1963, then became Chief of Covert Operations for the Domestic Operations Division. There are controversial allegations that Hunt was in Dallas on November 22, 1963 because of a 1966 memo initialed by Richard Helms and James Angleton stated it was important to conceal Hunt’s presence in Dallas that day. Helms was another member of the charmed circle of CIA insiders. Helms and Dulles worked together to prevent the Warren Commission from knowing about the plot between the CIA and Mafia to kill Castro. Hunt’s presence in Dallas on November 22, 1963 was confirmed Hunt himself in a confession to his son.
The Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram photographed three transients under police escort near the TSBD shortly after the assassination of JFK. The men later became known as the “three tramps”. Jim Garrison took up the suggestion that they may have been involved in the assassination mainly because of their shiny shoes and fresh haircuts despite being dressed as tramps. It was not until 1975 that comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory brought national attention to the similarities of two of these tramps to E Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis. Were they there to somehow provide logistical support to the assassination? Yes, but probably not as one of the three tramps. In 1992, journalist Mary La Fontaine discovered in records released by Dallas Police Department for November 22, 1963 contained three men “taken off a boxcar in the railroad yards right after President Kennedy was shot”, described as unemployed and passing through Dallas. The three tramps appear to be nothing more than three tramps.
Hunt officially left the CIA in 1970 and became part of a secret White House Investigative Unit that carried out break-ins and phone taps. Dorothy was given the job of flying around the country paying off officials and politicians (and she was not happy about that!).
On 3rd July, 1972, Frank Sturgis, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez, Bernard L Barker and James W McCord were arrested for burglary at the Watergate building which housed the Democratic Party campaign offices. The phone number of E Howard Hunt was found in address books of two of the burglars. By a complex set of investigations by Washington Post Reporters, Woodward and Carl Bernstein, as outlined in their book “All the President’s Men”, Hunt was connected to Gordon Liddy and others which formed a secret team of operatives, so-called “plumbers” that fixed “leaks” (real or perceived causes of confidential Administration information being leaked to outside parties). Hunt and Liddy engineered the Watergate burglaries and other undercover operations for the Nixon Administration.
Realizing that he was to be made a scapegoat, Hunt threatened to reveal details of who paid him to organize the Watergate break-in. Hunt also claimed he had information on the assassination of JFK and wanted Nixon to pay out substantial money to stop Hunt revealing “documents implicating the CIA to the political murder of President Kennedy”. Or as Nixon described it on the White House Tapes, “the whole Bay Of Pigs thing”.
In the White House tapes, Nixon talked to his chief-of-staff, H R Haldeman: “…this fellow Hunt, ah, he knows too damned much, if he was involved. You happen to know that? If it gets out that this is all involved, the Cuba thing, it would be a fiasco. It would make the CIA look bad, it’s going to make Hunt look bad, and it is likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs thing which we think would be very unfortunate, both for the CIA and for the country…”
In his memoir, “The Ends of Power” (1978), Haldeman claimed that all the references in the tapes to “The Bay of Pigs thing”, were code: “In those Nixon references to the Bay of Pigs [in the White House tapes] he [Nixon] was actually referring to the Kennedy assassination… After Kennedy was killed, the CIA launched a fantastic cover-up… The CIA literally erased any connection between Kennedy’s assassination and the CIA… in fact, Counter Intelligence Chief James Angleton of the CIA called Bill Sullivan of the FBI (Number Three man under J Edgar Hoover) and rehearsed the questions and answers they would give to the Warren Commission investigators.” However by 1990, Haldeman repudiated the entire book claiming his ghost writer, Joseph Di Mona, made up these claims. However Nixon fired Haldeman in 1973 and the two did not speak until December 1978, since Haldeman was in jail. Even with a ghost writer, Haldeman had the time to review every word of his memoir before it was published.
Hunt was unable to negotiate directly with Nixon and used his clever wife and White House aide, Charles “Chuck” Colson, as the negotiation conduit. Whitehouse aide, John Wesley Dean, told Nixon, and caught on the Watergate tapes, that Mrs. Hunt was “the savviest woman alive.” Colson was also no intellectual slouch being President Nixon’s Special Counsel, but had earned a reputation as a “hatchet man” because he directly employed Hunt and Liddy on a number of plumber operations. One specific raid he authorized (and later jailed for) was on the psychiatrist’s office of Daniel Ellsberg’s shrink in order to obtain material to defame Ellsberg. (Ellsberg was the person that leaked the Pentagon Papers, detailing the military disasters within the Vietnam War, to the media making front page headlines in the New York Times in 1971.)
In October, 1972, Dorothy Hunt attempted to speak to Colson, in order to secure the payment they wanted. He refused to talk to her but later admitted to the New York Times that she was “upset at the interruption of payments from Nixon’s associates to Watergate defendants.” James McCord states that Dorothy told him E Howard Hunt had information that would “blow the White House out of the water”.
On 15th November, Colson met with President Nixon, Haldeman and John Ehrlichman (Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs) at Camp David to discuss Howard Hunt’s blackmail threat. Attorney General, John N Mitchell, was also getting worried by Dorothy Hunt’s threats and he asked John Dean to use a secret White House fund to “get the Hunt situation settled down”. Eventually it was arranged for Frederick LaRue, an aide to Mitchell, to give Hunt $250,000 to buy his silence.
On December 8, 1972, Dorothy Hunt took a flight from Washington to Chicago. The United Airlines Flight 553 Boeing 737 was diverted to a less used approach to the runway. But it never made it, the plane hit a suburban neighborhood some miles short of the runway. The three-man flight crew died, along with 43 passengers. Two people on the ground were also killed. The plane crashed in a suburb destroying five houses. 18 passengers survived the crash.
Dorothy Hunt was killed, as too was Chicago Congressman George Collins.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was notified of the accident at 14:40 CST and immediately dispatched an investigation team to the scene. However FBI Agents were on the scene within 45 minutes of the crash, before any investigators from the NTSB.
The Flight Data Recorder on board the aircraft was not functioning at the time of the crash due to a mechanical failure. A reconstruction of the flight was possible from recorded radar data and the Cockpit Voice Recorder.
Congress, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated the crash, and found it to be an accident caused by crew not responding appropriately to equipment malfunctions. No evidence was found of sabotage or foul play.
The coincidence of this crash with the Watergate crisis is stunning. The crash is known as the Watergate Crash: “the dam was about to break” according to many commentators. And onboard was a troubling link with the Watergate incident: Dorothy Hunt. She was accompanied on the flight by Michelle Clark, a journalist working for CBS. Clark was working on a story on the Watergate case and was hoping to get a scoop since she had heard from her boyfriend, a CIA operative, that the Hunts may be about to go public with an insider view of the story.
As the plane approached the airport the Boeing 737 was diverted to a different approach path. This was a special maneuver for this one aircraft on that day.
An anonymous call from a self-described radio ham was made to the WBBM Chicago (CBS) talk show. He claimed that he had monitored ground control’s communications with 553, and he reported an exchange which exposed either gross error on the part of the control tower error or sabotage. CBS, the employer of Michelle Clark, kept this information from the authorities investigating the accident.
The FBI reached the crash site faster than the fire engines and long before the NTSB. The usual chain of governance is for the fire service to arrive first, followed by the NTSB with the FBI only invited if the NTSB finds evidence of a crime. It is completely irregular for the FBI to get involved in investigating a crash until invited in by the NTSB. While the FBI at first claimed that 12 agents reached the scene of the crash, it was later revealed that there were over 50 agents searching through the wreckage.
One FBI agent went straight to the airport control tower and confiscated the tape containing the dialog between ground and aircrew. The FBI did this before the NTSB were on site; an illegal intervention.
The day after the crash, White House aide Egil Krogh was appointed Undersecretary of Transportation, supervising the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Association: the two agencies charged with investigating the airline crash. A week later, Nixon’s deputy assistant Alexander P Butterfield was made the new head of the FAA and a few weeks after that Nixon’s appointments secretary, Dwight Chapin, was made an executive in the Chicago office of United Airlines where he threatened the media to steer clear of speculation about sabotage in the crash.
(Krogh would later be convicted of complicity in the break-in of Daniel Ellsberg’s Psychiatrist’s office along with Hunt, Liddy and other CIA trained operatives.)
The day after the crash, the airplane fuselage was disposed of in a Chicago dump. With a supposedly unknown aircraft crash, all components are supposed to be kept for review and analysis especially considering the loss of the Black Box data and the apparent NTSB Crash Report conclusion of equipment failure.
Officially some $10,000 in cash was found in Dorothy Hunt’s handbag in the wreckage. Some claim as much more $100,000 in cash and $2 million money orders. This large sum of money supports the story that Dorothy was traveling around the country paying off operatives and witnesses in the Watergate operation. David Talbot in his book the “Devil’s Chessboard” stated that some of the money was traced to President Nixon’s reelection campaign.
Just before Dorothy Hunt boarded the aircraft, apparently purchased $250,000 in flight insurance payable to E Howard Hunt. This purchase had not been discussed her husband beforehand. Some people have speculated that the insurance was arranged by someone other than Dorothy as a cruel joke.
The FBI director justified the immediate response of the FBI agents at the crash scene as he considered the accident to have been the result of sabotage. But this has raises two particular issues: Firstly, how were they able to get to the crash scene so quickly, and secondly, why did they believe Flight 553 had been sabotaged?
The accident became known as “the Watergate crash.” Several writers, including Robert J Groden, Peter Dale Scott, Alan J Weberman, Sherman Skolnick and Carl Oglesby, have suggested that Dorothy Hunt was murdered.
Wheelchair-bound, Chicago reporter Sherman Skolnik received a telephone call urging him to look into the crash soon after it happened. He found proof that 150 federal personnel converged on the accident site and prevented anyone else from getting to the wreckage. An ambulance driver was outraged that rescuers were held back. He published this information in the “The Secret History of Airplane Sabotage” in 1973. Until June 13, 1973, other mainstream media outlets which had previously just parroting the official story, went further to claim that Skolnich had lied about all the federal personnel being there. But on that date, John Reed, chairman of the NTSB, told the House Government Activities Subcommittee that about 150 federal personnel were at the scene after the crash. Reed added that he complained to the FBI that they had kept rescue personnel away and confirmed the details of the number of FBI agents and their seizure of control tower tapes. House Government Activities Subcommittee later heard Skolnich’s testimony, and that of his eight witnesses, that the plane had been sabotaged. Skolnich’s case was based on a leaked copy of 1300 page NTSB document on the crash from which he had concluded that the that tower instruments monitoring the plane’s approach were turned off just before the approach and some of the plane’s key instruments had been disabled (at the very least the instruments, including altimeter, was not working). The sabotage theory was that the plane was deliberately moved to an approach where the glide path had been altered, key landing instruments had been disabled both on the ground and in the aircraft. The air crew were fed with false information so they misjudged their height and distance from the runway.
Some time later Skolnich learned two other bits of information that confirmed his theory. Firstly that according to one reliable source, the DIA and CIA had orders to arrest Dorothy Hunt. Secondly black activist and establishment-mocking comedian, Dick Gregory, told Skolnich that there had been several efforts to get him onto that flight.
In 1974, Skolnick interviewed Hunt’s boss, Chuck Colson, who, at this time was having a radical change of heart, said that Dorothy Hunt “was murdered by the FBI and the CIA.” Colson added that he had said too much but Colson later told Time Magazine, “I think they killed Dorothy Hunt.”
Writers who agree with Skolnick are Robert J Groden, Peter Dale Scott, Alan J Weberman and Carl Oglesby.
In his book, Secret Agenda, James Hougan claimed that Dorothy Hunt was visiting Michael Stevens, owner of Stevens Research Laboratories, to make payment for services and silence. The company made highly sophisticated eavesdropping devices. Hougan related a claim by Stevens that his own life had been threatened anonymously and that Dorothy Hunt’s death was a homicide.
Lalo J Gastriani’s 1994 article “The Strange Death of Dorothy Hunt” stated that witnesses living in the working-class neighborhood in which the plane crashed said that moments after impact, a battalion of plainclothes operatives in unmarked cars parked on side streets pounced on the crash-site. These men-in-black took control of the scene and immediately began sifting through the wreckage looking for… something. One survivor recognized a “rescue worker” as an operative of the CIA.
Barboura Morris Freed also raised several issues in her article, “Flight 553: The Watergate Murder?” She claimed that perhaps there was another target. Attorney General John N Mitchell was under investigation for corruptly helping the El Paso Natural Gas Company against its main competitor, the Northern Natural Gas Company. Mitchell had decided to drop anti-trust charges against El Paso and that was worth an estimated $300 million to the company. Two attorneys, Ralph Blodgett and James W Kreuger, working for Northern Natural Gas Company were part of the investigation into Mitchell. Both were killed in the crash.
If E Howard Hunt was threatening to “blow the White House out of the water”, that threat was gone and the White House benefits. As described in his son’s book, Hunt was in prison and feared for the safety of his children. Even if the crash was an accident, Hunt believed his wife was murdered.
Using the tool of motive, means and opportunity…
A) Motive: Nixon is known to have worried about Hunt’s involvement in the Whole-Bay-Pigs-Thing. He would have a motive for keeping Mr and Mrs Hunt quiet.
B) Means: Special operatives within the CIA could have devised this murder scenario for removing multiple targets with a secret assassination. The CIA had experts that were used to designing state of art aircraft systems (such as for the U-2 and SR-71 spy planes), they were used to operating aircraft (through Air America and other “Black Flights”) both as aircraft and runway operator and finally, they were used to killing people. They could have easily devised a plot for secret assassination using aircraft misdirection and sabotaged avionics.
C) Opportunity: Nowadays, the state can quickly find out who is traveling where through the use of computerized information. Back in 1972 it was not so easy and Human Intelligence (HUMINT) was required. In this case, the HUMINT could have been supplied by Clarke’s boyfriend or Clarke’s employer, CBS (all media organizations are affiliated with the CIA through Operation Mockingbird). Either source could have willingly or accidentally leaked the information on Dorothy Hunt’s travel plans to the CIA.
Hunt said he was bitter that he was sent to jail while Nixon was allowed to resign while avoiding prosecution for any crimes he may have committed, and later Nixon was fully pardoned in September, 1974, by former Warren Report Commissioner, President Gerald Ford. Hunt himself applied for a presidential pardon but was turned down by Ronald Reagan in 1983.
Could it be done?
There is certainly plenty of circumstantial evidence that Dorothy Hunt was killed by aircraft sabotage. The CIA certainly had the technical expertise to make the crash superficially look like an accident.
Would they do it?
Would somebody kill dozens of innocent victims in order to achieve their objective? While such decisions are impossible for a sane individual, the decision-making by sociopaths and the group-think mentality shown in 1963 Milgram experiment (showing that people mindlessly carry out orders of Authority figures) and 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment (where people effectively adopt the role of prisoner or guard based on context) show that, yes, these decisions can be made and plans achieved.
Would they purposefully murder just Dorothy Hunt? Could they have not just killed E Howard Hunt? Hunt was a high profile figure at that time languishing in jail. The Powers That Be had him where they wanted him. Dorothy however was a free agent and was capable of causing serious trouble. She had authority from her marriage and capability too: she was ex-CIA herself. She was also carrying around “evidence”: money and bonds.
Would they kill her? Yes, especially if they could factor in the resolution of other problems too: sealing the lips of a potential leak, namely Michelle Clark, allowing Attorney General Mitchell to escape justice (see above) and also, remembering the endemic racism in society at the time, taking out an effective black Congressman, (George Collins).
Probability of state sponsored murder: 85%
Mary Jo Kopechne was an American teacher, secretary, and political campaign specialist who died in a car accident at Chappaquiddick Island on July 18, 1969.
In 1964, she worked as secretary for Senator Robert F Kennedy following his election to the Senate. During the 1968 Presidential election, Kopechne helped with the wording of RFK’s speech announcing his presidential candidacy. During his campaign, she was one of six of the “Boiler Room Girls” who tracked and compiled data on voter intentions. Kopechne was devastated by RFK’s assassination, taking six months off to recover. As much as she worshipped RFK, she was a serious, professional activist and she started forging ahead with her career in late 1968/early 1969. A devout Roman Catholic with a cool demeanor, she rarely drank much and had no known dalliances with married men.
The story of her death received as much coverage in the US press as Apollo 11, the first manned moon landing, that was occurring at the same time…
On July 18, 1969, Kopechne attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island, off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The celebration was in honor of the dedicated work of the Boiler Room Girls, and was the fourth such reunion of the RFK campaign workers. There were six young women and six older, married men. Robert’s brother Ted Kennedy was there, whom Kopechne did not know well.
Ted Kennedy was the youngest of Joe Kennedy Senior’s family. He became a senator in 1962 filling the space left vacant by JFK. He was not as gifted academically as Jack or Robert but he did well enough and was a robust sportsman. By 1969, the expectations of Kennedy political ambition rested on Ted’s shoulders and he was feeling the strain: politically and domestically: his marriage was in bad shape, due apparently to his womanizing and he was drinking heavily.
According to the official story, Kopechne reportedly left the party at 11:15pm with Ted, after he, according to his own account, offered to drive her to catch the last ferry back to Edgartown, on the mainland. She did not tell her close friends at the party that she was leaving, and she left her purse and keys behind.
Kennedy then apparently “got lost” on the journey back to the mainland, there was effectively just one junction he a left/right decision. Left to the ferry along the made up road or right down Dike Road down a dirt road. Apparently he took the wrong road away from the ferry head.
Christopher “Huck” Look was a deputy sheriff, off-duty at the time, came across Kennedy’s car in a side road by the only main junction on the whole island. He testified that between 12:30am and 12:45am he had seen the car containing a man driving and a woman in the front seat approaching the intersection with Dike Road. The car had gone first onto the private Cemetery Road and stopped there. Thinking that the occupants of the car might be lost, Look approached the car by foot. When he was 25 to 30 feet away, the car started backing towards him. When Look called out to offer his help, the car moved quickly eastward, towards the ocean, along the unpaved Dike Road in a cloud of dust at about 20mph and not heading towards the ferry head.
Apparently the 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 drove off a narrow, unlit bridge, which was without guardrails. The Oldsmobile landed in Pocha Pond and overturned in the water. Kopechne’s dead body was found in the car 10 hours later.
Kennedy failed to report the incident to the authorities until the car and Kopechne’s body were discovered the next morning. Kopechne’s parents said that they learned of their daughter’s death from Kennedy himself, before he informed authorities of his involvement. However, they learned Kennedy had been the driver from wire press releases some time later.
A week after the incident, Kennedy pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury. He received a two-month suspended sentence. On a national television broadcast that night, Kennedy said that he had not been driving “under the influence of liquor” nor had he ever had a “private relationship” with Kopechne. Kopechne was buried the next day with no autopsy. Some months later Massachusetts officials pressed to have Kopechne’s body exhumed for an autopsy, but in December 1969 a Pennsylvania judge sided with the parents’ request not to disturb her burial site.
The Chappaquiddick incident and Kopechne’s death became the topic of at least 15 books factual and fictionalized. Questions remained about Kennedy’s timeline of events that night, specifically his actions following the incident. The quality of the investigation has been scrutinized, particularly whether official deference was given to a powerful and influential politician and his family. The events surrounding Kopechne’s death damaged Ted Kennedy’s reputation and are regarded as a major reason that he was never able to mount a successful Presidential campaign. Kennedy died in 2009. He expressed remorse over his role in her death in his posthumously-published memoir, True Compass, where he wrote of his fear and regrets surrounding the fateful events on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969, when the car accident left a woman dead. In it he states his actions were “inexcusable.” He says he was afraid and “made terrible decisions” and had to live with the guilt for more than four decades.
Kennedy recalled later that he was able to swim free of the vehicle, but Kopechne was not. Kennedy claimed at the inquest that he called Kopechne’s name several times from the shore, then tried to swim down to reach her seven or eight times, then rested on the bank for around fifteen minutes before returning on foot to Lawrence Cottage, where the party had occurred.
His route back to the cottage would have taken him past four houses from which he could have telephoned and summoned help. However, he did not do so. The first of those houses, referred to as “Dike House”, was 150 yards away from the bridge and apparently illuminated through the night.
According to Kennedy’s testimony, he sought help from cousin Joe Gargan and party co-host and Kennedy aide, Paul Markham. They returned to the waterway with Kennedy to try to rescue Kopechne. Both of the other men also tried to dive into the water and rescue Kopechne multiple times. When their efforts to rescue Kopechne failed, Kennedy testified, Gargan and Markham drove with Kennedy to the ferry landing, (the ferry had stopped running several hours earlier). Both insisting multiple times that the crash had to be reported to the authorities. According to Markham’s testimony Kennedy was sobbing and on the verge of becoming crazed. Kennedy went on to testify that “I had full intention of reporting it. And I mentioned to Gargan and Markham something like, ‘You take care of the other girls; I will take care of the accident!’ That is what I said and I dove into the water” [to swim back to the mainland]. Kennedy had already told Gargan and Markham not to tell the other women anything about the incident “because I felt strongly that if these girls were notified that an accident had taken place and Mary Jo had, in fact, drowned, that it would only be a matter of seconds before all of those girls, who were long and dear friends of Mary Jo’s, would go to the scene of the accident and enter the water with, I felt, a good chance that some serious mishap might have occurred to any one of them”. Gargan and Markam would testify that they assumed that Kennedy was going to inform the authorities and thus did not do so themselves.
According to his own testimony, Kennedy swam across a 500 foot channel, back to return to the mainland and to his hotel room, whereupon he removed his clothes and collapsed on his bed. Hearing noises, he later put on dry clothes and asked someone what the time was: it was something like 2:30am, the senator recalled. He testified that, as the night went on, “I almost tossed and turned and walked around that room … I had not given up hope all night long that, by some miracle, Mary Jo had escaped from the car.”
Back at his hotel, Kennedy complained at 2:55am to the hotel owner that he had been awoken by a noisy party. By 7:30am the next morning he was talking casually to the winner of the previous day’s sailing race, with no indication that anything was amiss. At 8am Gargan and Markham joined Kennedy at his hotel where they had a “heated conversation.” According to Kennedy’s testimony, the two men asked why he had not reported the crash. Kennedy responded by telling them “about my own thoughts and feelings as I swam across that channel … that somehow when they arrived in the morning that they were going to say that Mary Jo was still alive”. The three men subsequently crossed back to Chappaquiddick Island on the ferry, where Kennedy made a series of telephone calls from a pay telephone near the crossing. The telephone calls were to his friends for advice and again, he did not report the crash to authorities.
Earlier that morning, two amateur fishermen saw the submerged car in the water and notified the inhabitants of the cottage nearest to the scene and the authorities were notified at 8:20am.
The police arrived at the scene about 10 or 15 minutes later. A diver arrived at 8:45am equipped with scuba gear, discovered Kopechne’s body and extricated it from the vehicle within ten minutes. Police checked the car’s license plate and saw that it was registered to Ted Kennedy. When Kennedy, still at the payphone by the ferry crossing, heard that the body had been discovered, he crossed back to Edgartown and went to the police station while Gargan went to the hotel where the “boiler room girls” were staying to inform them about the incident.
At 10am, Kennedy entered the police station in Edgartown, made a couple of telephone calls, then dictated a statement to his aide Paul Markham, which was then given to the police. The statement was as follows:
“On July 18, 1969, at approximately 11:15pm in Chappaquiddick, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, I was driving my car on Main Street on my way to get the ferry back to Edgartown. I was unfamiliar with the road and turned right onto Dike Road, instead of bearing hard left on Main Street. After proceeding for approximately one-half mile on Dike Road I descended a hill and came upon a narrow bridge. The car went off the side of the bridge. There was one passenger with me, one Miss Mary [Kopechne], a former secretary of my brother Senator Robert Kennedy. The car turned over and sank into the water and landed with the roof resting on the bottom. I attempted to open the door and the window of the car but have no recollection of how I got out of the car. I came to the surface and then repeatedly dove down to the car in an attempt to see if the passenger was still in the car. I was unsuccessful in the attempt. I was exhausted and in a state of shock. I recall walking back to where my friends were eating. There was a car parked in front of the cottage and I climbed into the backseat. I then asked for someone to bring me back to Edgartown. I remember walking around for a period and then going back to my hotel room. When I fully realized what had happened this morning, I immediately contacted the police.”
Ted Kennedy’s escape from the car is unexplained. How did he managed to escape and yet Kopechne could not? In fact Kopechne’s body was found in the back seat with her head in the footwell of the backseat as if she was breathing in an air pocket of the inverted car. John Farrar, the diver who recovered Kopechne’s body asserted that Kopechne did not die from the vehicle overturn or from drowning, but rather from suffocation, based upon the posture in which he found the body in the overturned vehicle. Farrar also asserted that Kopechne could have been rescued since he estimated that she survived for about two hours in that air pocket. There was no autopsy on the body. Kopechne’s cause of death is officially drowning. We do not know the relative state of intoxication or otherwise of either Kennedy or Kopechne. Blood found on Kopechne’s long-sleeved blouse and in her mouth and nose also was not explained.
By Ted Kennedy’s own admission his conduct during the hours immediately after the accident “made no sense to [him] at all”. His doctors had informed him that he had suffered cerebral concussion and shock, but he did not seek to use his medical condition to escape responsibility for his actions. He “regard[ed] as indefensible that fact that [he] did not report the accident to the police immediately.” Instead of notifying the authorities immediately, Kennedy “requested the help of cousin, Joe Gargan, and aide, Paul Markham, and directed them to return immediately to the scene with [him] (it then being sometime after midnight) in order to undertake a new effort to dive down and locate Miss Kopechne”. We do not have any details from Gargan or Markham (or even Kennedy) what efforts they made to locate Mary Jo. Clearly in the dead of night without underwater torches, any amateur effort would have been pathetic.
Kennedy’s apparent impulsive swim back to the mainland is bizarre. Almost as-if it was quickly stuck into the story (it was not in his original statement) to account for witnesses seeing Kennedy at 2:30am and 2:55am on the mainland and Kennedy not being with Gargan and Markham on the island at the same time. Remember that the accident occurred on the opposite side of the two mile wide island from the ferry head which had the shortest distance across to the mainland. The ferry had closed down for the night some hours before.
Why did a sensible girl like Kopechne leave her purse and keys behind? Kopechne had an excellent reputation, not a party girl at all but even-so, she could have fallen under the spell of a Kennedy, since she was known to have hero-worshipped RFK. Ted Kennedy’s marriage had by this time come under severe strain and he was known to be womanizing and drinking heavily because of the stress of the job and assassination of two of his brothers. Kopechne, pretty as she was, seemed an unlikely choice for a dalliance.
The immediate gossip after the event that Kennedy and Kopechne were about to have some private sexual encounter. They had eyes for each other rather than for the road…
A BBC Inside Story episode, “Chappaquiddick”, broadcast on the 25th anniversary of the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, advanced a theory that Kennedy and Kopechne had gone out from the party in Kennedy’s car, but that when Kennedy saw off-duty policeman, Huck Look, in his patrol car, he got out of the car, fearing the political consequences of being discovered by the police late at night with an attractive woman. According to the theory, Kennedy then returned to the party while Kopechne, unfamiliar both with the large car and the local area, drove the wrong way and crashed off the bridge. The documentary argued this explanation would account for Kennedy’s lack of concern the next morning (because he was unaware of the crash).
Best-selling investigative writer Jack Olsen had earlier advanced a similar theory in his book “The Bridge at Chappaquiddick”, published early in 1970. Olsen’s book was the first full-length examination of the case. Olsen wrote that if she was the driver, 5’ 2” Kopechne may not even have seen the bridge as she drove Kennedy’s big car over unfamiliar roads. Olsen noted that Kopechne normally drove a small Volkswagen. But how did she end up in the back seat?
Both the Jack Olsen and BBC Inside Story are more plausible than Ted Kennedy’s official statements and goes some way to explain the evidence and exonerates Ted Kennedy from the failure to call for help and let Kopechne die. However it still fails on some aspects of the evidence: Kopechne still left her keys and purse behind (perhaps she was expecting to come back?), it ignores the fact that Huck Look was close enough to Kennedy’s car to see whether anyone got out or why Kopechne drove in the wrong direction, she had been to Chappaquiddick before and it is not a large island, she would know the difference between the made-up road going to the ferry and the unmade road going to the ocean side of the island. Finally it does not explain why Kennedy or somebody else has not “come clean” and told the truth.
One scenario does explain all these facts: Kopechne’s death was a deliberate set up to perform a character assassination on Ted Kennedy. Kennedy left the party at around 11:15pm and since he was too intoxicated or tired to drive, was taken back to the mainland in someone’s car on the last ferry. Wall flower Kopechne was also preparing to leave the party before the ferry closed but was separated from the party by one or more assassins. This would explain the blood discovered on her body. The assassins then stole Kennedy’s car and drove it to the far end of the island. The assassin stopped briefly to make arrangements for the supposed accident and this brief hiatus was observed by Huck Look. The assassins drove down Dike Road and then rigged the car to drive off into the pond. The assassins waited until they were sure Kopechne was dead before escaping. A warning was then sent to Gargan and/or Markham stating that Kennedy either took the full blame for the death or they would target his family or the other Boiler Room Girls. He would look bad in either scenario but one route could lead to considerable risk to loved ones. Essentially he was blackmailed into silence, forever, to his death and beyond, since he could never know who the killers are or when they would strike! This explains why Kennedy was on the mainland in dry clothes at 2:30am, being unaware of events in the morning, his slow acceptance of responsibility in his telephone calls and statement in the morning and his changing and, frankly, ridiculous story of swimming across to the mainland in the early hours of the morning.
However, in order to consider this murder theory, would all the people at the party: six single women and six married men need to be considered as potential killers? The scenario becomes like a giant game of Clue or the plot of an Agatha Christie novel… but there is not enough detail in order to arrive at any definitive conclusion. This Murder / Character Assassination scenario is very fanciful but consider two more key facts:
A) Kopechne may not have just been a random victim but especially targeted because of the knowledge she had.
B) Richard Nixon had Ted Kennedy tailed.
Kopechne was living with Nancy Carole Tyler at the time of the JFK assassination in 1963. Tyler worked as secretary to Bobby Baker who was in the center of a scandal associated with LBJ… while Kopechne who worked for George Smathers, a friend of JFK, who apparently had been privately offered the job of vice-president in the 1964 presidential election. According to JFK researcher William Penn Jones Jr, it was Tyler and Kopechne who informed Baker (and hence to LBJ) that JFK planned to replace LBJ with Smathers as Veep. Tyler later appeared before the United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration investigating Baker’s business and political activities and refused to testify, citing her Fifth Amendment rights. On May 9, 1965, Tyler died when a single-engine two person biplane in which she was a passenger crashed the sea near Ocean City, Maryland. The cause of the crash being pilot error after an improper execution of a low-level aerobatic maneuver. Or another bizarre state-sponsored murder? In which case, Kopechne is equally as likely to also have been targeted.
Richard Nixon was President at the time of the Chappaquiddick incident. He hated the Kennedys and even had Ted Kennedy under a 24-hour-a-day Secret Service surveillance in an effort, in Nixon’s own words, “to catch him in the sack with one of his babes.” Was this surveillance team replaced with a “Dirty Tricks” team that engineered Kopechne’s death? The timing with the climax of the Apollo Space program, conceived by JFK, seems suspiciously coincidental… Was this Nixon’s way of spoiling any rosy-eyed view of the Kennedys and JFK’s initiation of the manned moon mission?
Who benefits from Mary Jo’s death? The ability to smear the Kennedy’s reputation and expose the drinking and womanizing that undoubtedly was going on… isn’t reminiscent of another murder? That of Marilyn Monroe? The circumstances have an uncanny parallel but this time the weapon used was clearly associated with the target: Ted Kennedy’s Oldsmobile.
All of Kennedy’s political rivals, principally, Richard Nixon, benefitted from not having a Kennedy in the presidential race.
It is sad that we will never hear Kopechne’s side of the story. She had deep insight into the events surrounding the JFK and RFK assassinations and now her only place in history is the unfortunate victim of Chappaquiddick. Probably nobody will ever know what happened July 18, 1969 on that small island. All we do know is that Ted Kennedy’s explanation has too many holes to be true. It seems that the network and pattern of murders around the Kennedys indicates that there really was a curse… not a supernatural one… but a coordinated set of assassinations carried out by people frightful of the Kennedy’s popular appeal and progressive agenda. Whether this was another example of such cannot be easily determined. So the likelihood of Kopechne being victim of a State Sponsored Assassination is probably no more than 40%.
Ted Kennedy, the youngest of the brothers and least academically gifted, became the “The Lion of the Senate” through his long tenure at the US Senate. More than 300 bills that Kennedy and his staff wrote were enacted into law. Unabashedly liberal, Kennedy championed an interventionist government emphasizing economic and social justice, but was also known for working with Republicans to find compromises between senators with disparate views. He tried a run to be elected as the Democratic nominee for President in 1980 running against incumbent President Carter. But the Chappaquiddick incident would forever block his chances at the top office. He died in 2009 from a brain tumor aged 77.
Returning back to JFK, one of the key figures in the 1950s and 1960s associated with JFK is Lyndon Baines Johnson “LBJ”, the most obvious beneficiary of the JFK’s assassination. LBJ has gone down in history as the President that established Black Civil Rights and ending the racial segregation in the USA, and effectively carrying on most of JFK’s policies. All, that is, except the Vietnam War…
LBJ grew up in a modest family in Texas and after graduation became a teacher although quickly entered into politics and started worked as legislative secretary to the local Congressman. Noted then and constant throughout his career, he became involved in many schemes with great vigor. He was described by associates and historians as motivated by an exceptional lust for power and control. Johnson’s biographer Robert Caro observes, “Johnson’s ambition was uncommon, in the degree to which it was unencumbered by even the slightest excess weight of ideology, of philosophy, of principles, of beliefs.”
Probably the best decision LBJ ever made was marrying Claudia “Lady Bird” Taylor in 1934 after a short ten week engagement. (Johnson proposed on their first date.) Lady Bird Johnson had an amazing career and by shrewd investments in radio and television stations made the Johnsons millionaires by the early 1950s. Of course it helps when as senator LBJ passed a law ensuring Lady Bird’s company had monopoly rights to TV in Texas.
In 1937 LBJ was elected to office as a congressman running on a New Deal platform where President Franklin D Roosevelt found Johnson to be a welcome ally. LBJ worked for various schemes including rural electrification and other improvements for his district where Johnson steered the projects towards contractors that he personally knew, such as the Brown Brothers (later to be part of Kellogs, Brown and Root (and Halliburton)). The Brown Brothers would finance much of Johnson’s future career. In 1941, he ran for the Democratic Senate nomination in a special election, his main opponent was the sitting Governor of Texas, businessman and radio personality W Lee O’Daniel. Johnson narrowly lost the Democratic primary, which was then tantamount to election, with O’Daniel receiving 175,590 votes (30.49%), and Johnson 174,279 (30.26%).
During the war, Johnson was appointed a Lieutenant Commander in the US Naval Reserve as well serving as a US congressman. In the spring of 1942, President Roosevelt assigned Johnson to a three-man survey team of the Southwest Pacific to survey the real condition of the US forces in terms of combat readiness. On June 9, 1942, Johnson volunteered as an observer for an air strike mission on New Guinea by eleven B-26 bombers. That mission was attacked by Japanese fighters and one bomber was shot down. All the eight men crew of the plane were killed including the pilot that had been Johnson’s roommate and minder while he was on the air base. Johnson, for reasons that must be political, received the Silver Star for gallantry in action from General McArthur.
Johnson reported back to Roosevelt, to the Navy leaders, and to Congress that conditions for US forces in the South West Pacific were deplorable and unacceptable. Johnson prepared a twelve-point program to upgrade the effort in the region which he then helped to implement.
LBJ having failed in 1941 to be elected as the Texas Democratic Senator tried again in 1948. During the war he had met Thomas Corcoran (of Flying Tigers fame) and together Johnson and Corcoran set out a charm offensive with the union bosses in Texas. However his rival Coke Stevenson was a popular retiring Governor who presided over the economic revival in Texas over WW2. Only deciding seven weeks before the election, LBJ and campaign manager, John Connally, wondered how to get Johnson’s message in front of voters throughout the enormous state. Texas, in case anyone forgets, is huge, with most people living in small, well-separated, rural communities…
One of the main innovations LBJ instigated for his campaign was the use of a helicopter to fly to him to rallies. A helicopter offered two advantages. First, it could take him anywhere, even places without an airstrip. Second, novelty. In the late 1940s, helicopters were a new addition to the world of aircraft. Most Americans had only seen helicopters in action on newsreels. LBJ’s campaign set off in a three man Sikorsky S-51 but the aircraft soon needed an overhaul and was replaced by the lightweight Bell 47, provided to the campaign free of charge. He flew and gave speeches six days a week, visiting anywhere from 13 to 30 communities. Time magazine called his plan, Johnson City Windmill, the “first new gimmick to hit Texas politicking since the hillbilly band and the free barbecue.” (In fact use of a helicopter, had been done before on a small scale in New Hampshire.)
LBJ’s arrival was advertised by cars screaming from town to town at blistering speeds (to keep up with the helicopter) with horns blaring as they arrived at the location where Johnson was due to land. LBJ appreciated that people wanted to see the new flying machine rather than hear him so he devised another gimmick to keep the crowds to stay. He would say “My good pilot Joe tells me it’ll be too dangerous if I take off with him because we wouldn’t have enough power to clear those 30,000-volt high-tension wires over there… [or whatever] He’s going to have to take off alone. And it’s going to be a might tight. I just hope and pray he’ll be able to make it.” Then he would make his speech while his audience watched the helicopter.
The helicopter ploy was big hit. LBJ’s poll rating went to within 10 points of Steveson within one week after the start of his flying circus show. (Ten years later, Ike Eisenhower instigated use of the Presidential Helicopter and, as President, Johnson routinely traveled by helicopter, especially to and from his ranch in Texas.)
Johnson campaigned hard and “behaved like a man with demons snapping at his heels” but he was still behind in the polls come the election. But LBJ was not going to let matters be decided by chance, he was expecting that they would be a runoff to secure the 50% vote share needed to win, so he had another secret weapon, the "Duke of Duval County," George Parr. Parr controlled the votes in southern Texas and his support was available to the person able to cut the best deal. In 1941, Parr had ensured Johnson lost the election but in 1948, suitably paid off and with no offers from the Stevenson camp, he delivered the election to Johnson. Six points ahead in the polls, Stevenson was expected to win, but six days after the polls had closed, the winner was still not decided. But then something strange happened. In the district of Alice, Texas, 202 additional votes suddenly appeared in the Precinct 13 voting box. All but 2 of these were cast for Lyndon Johnson. Suspicious officials noted many discrepancies: the names had curiously been listed in alphabetical order with the same pen and handwriting, just at the close of polling. Some of these voters insisted that they had not voted that day. One writer alleges that Johnson's campaign manager John Connally was the person who “found” these 202 ballots in Precinct 13. Stevenson cried foul, but Johnson with George Parr and other friends’ help, won the election.
Right after he won the Senate seat, LBJ met Madeline Brown while celebrating his victory in a Texas hotel. Slipping her his hotel room key, the two continued their affair until 1967, mainly due the appearance of a love child, and their “meetings” were often arranged with the help of Johnson’s assistants. LBJ is also known to have taken other lovers as well as Brown.
As Robert Bryce pointed out in his book, “Cronies: Oil, the Bushes, and the Rise of Texas, America’s Superstate,” Senator Johnson grew friendly with oil companies since he worked a tax avoidance law known as the Oil Depletion Allowance to increase their wealth. The tax break was nearly triple an oil company’s initial investment and it was available for the life of the well. The state was effectively subsidizing oil companies. Such a system was clearly unfair since it only benefited a small group of businessmen in Texas who then used some of their great wealth to manipulate the politicians in Washington.
Once in the Senate, Johnson was appointed to the Senate Armed Services Committee, and later in 1950, he helped create the Preparedness Investigating Subcommittee. Johnson became its chairman and conducted investigations of defense costs and efficiency. Johnson gained headlines and national attention through his handling of the press, the efficiency with which his committee issued new reports, and the fact that he ensured that every report was endorsed unanimously by the committee.
Historians Caro and Dallek consider Lyndon Johnson the most effective Senate majority leader in history. He was unusually proficient at gathering information. One biographer suggests he was “the greatest intelligence gatherer Washington has ever known”, discovering exactly where every Senator stood on issues, his philosophy and prejudices, his strengths and weaknesses and what it took to get his vote. This intelligence gathering could have been coupled with LBJ’s management technique known “The Treatment”; this was a headmaster-like dressing down where LBJ answered recipients unasked questions in a manner where the victim could hardly breathe, let alone respond, unless it was in agreement.
Johnson’s success in the Senate rendered him a potential Democratic presidential candidate. He was the favorite candidate of the Texas delegation in 1956, and was in a strong position to run for the 1960 nomination. Jim Rowe repeatedly urged Johnson to launch a campaign in early 1959, but Johnson waited, expecting JFK’s campaign would create a division in the party which he would then exploit. Clearly that strategy failed. LBJ’s late entry into the campaign in July 1960 allowed JFK’s campaign a substantial early advantage. LBJ underestimated JFK’s charm and intelligence against his own pugnacious reputation.
It is impossible to reconstruct the precise manner in which LBJ’s vice-presidential nomination took place. Officially LBJ was brought onto the ticket in order to carry the votes from the southern states. Seymour Hersh stated that Bobby Kennedy (who hated Johnson for his attacks on the Kennedy family) said that JFK offered the Veep position to Johnson merely as a courtesy, expecting him to decline. Joe Kennedy apparently told his sons that signing Johnson as running mate was the smartest thing that they had ever done. However everyone agrees that negotiations were a delicate matter and Washington Post publisher Phil Graham acted as an intermediary between the Kennedys and LBJ during the DNC convention when JFK’s running mate was decided.
Unofficially though the deal was blackmail. JFK’s personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, states that Johnson demanded to be on the 1960 Presidential ticket: “It was blackmail… the malicious rumors were fed to LBJ by J Edgar Hoover… Kennedy was boxed into a hole.” Hoover was a close friend LBJ and Hoover and his vast sleaze sieving machine, was easily able feed LBJ details of JFK’s weaknesses: his addiction to IV “meth” (methamphetamine) (because of his severe back pain) and his extra-marital affairs. LBJ’s relationship with Hoover would explain why LBJ is regarded as “the greatest intelligence gatherer Washington has ever known”: he had access to Hoover’s dossiers!
After the 1960 election, Johnson realized the ineffective nature of his new office, and sought to increase his influence within the Executive Branch. He drafted an executive order for Kennedy’s signature, granting Johnson “general supervision” over matters of national security, and requiring all government agencies to “cooperate fully with the vice president in the carrying out of these assignments.” JFK’s response was to sign a non-binding letter requesting Johnson to “review” national security policies instead.
Many other members of the Kennedy White House, not only Bobby, did not like LBJ. Congressman Tip O’Neill recalled that the Kennedy men “had a disdain for Johnson that they didn’t even try to hide….They actually took pride in snubbing him.”
Since LBJ knew every reporter in Washington, so JFK intended to keep him busy “I can’t afford to have my vice president going around saying we’re all screwed up, so we’re going to keep him happy.” Kennedy appointed him as head of the President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunities which was developing Civil Rights legislation. Kennedy may have intended this to remain a more nominal position, but Johnson’s doggedness can be credited for pushing the Kennedy administration’s actions further and faster in this area than any administration before or since. The Memorial Day 1963 speech at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania given by LBJ (rather than one of the Kennedys) is seen as the catalyst that directly led to more civil rights action. The irony of Johnson, the favorite son of conservative southern voters, being the advocate for civil rights cannot be underestimated.
In August 1963, Bobby Baker, the Secretary to the Majority Leader of the Senate and a protégé of Johnson’s, came under investigation by the Senate Rules Committee for allegations of bribery and financial malfeasance. One witness alleged that Baker had arranged for the witness to give kickbacks to LBJ. Baker resigned in October, and the investigation did not expand to Johnson. The negative publicity from the affair fed rumors in Washington circles that Kennedy was planning on dropping Johnson from the Democratic ticket in the upcoming 1964 presidential election. Both JFK and RFK reportedly agreed that dropping Johnson from the ticket could produce heavy losses in the South in the 1964 election, and they agreed that Johnson would stay on the ticket. However LBJ could have believed that the Kennedys were still planning on dropping him.
Johnson took the oath of office just 2 hours and 8 minutes after JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963. In the days following the assassination, LBJ renamed NASA’s Apollo Launch Operations Center and the NASA/Air Force Cape Canaveral launch facilities as the John F Kennedy Space Center. He assured congress of the continued passage of the Civil Rights Bill, using cunning tactics and influence on Southern States to ensure that it became law before the 1964 election.
LBJ was alert to the public demand for answers to the JFK assassination, he created a panel headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, known as the Warren Commission, which reported in the summer of 1964.
LBJ was now in a state where he would be in perfect position for the 1964 Presidential Election. He launched his campaign with the slogan “The Great Society” which encompassed policies for urban renewal, modern transportation, clean environment, anti-poverty, healthcare reform, crime control, and educational reform
In August 1964, allegations arose from the military that two US destroyers had been attacked by some North Vietnamese torpedo boats in international waters 40 miles from the Vietnamese coast in the Gulf of Tonkin, naval communications and reports of the attack were contradictory. The Gulf of Tonkin event is nowadays regarded as a false flag operation. The North Vietnamese attack never happened, the whole story was a concocted as a pretext for war. LBJ could be seen as being reluctantly drawn into the war, forced to respond to the supposed aggression by the Vietnamese. The public’s reaction to LBJ’s “limited war” to preserve South Vietnam’s independence was positive. Only 14 percent of the people polled wanted to negotiate a settlement and leave.
In 1965, he achieved passage of a second civil rights bill called the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discrimination in voting thus allowing millions of southern blacks to vote for the first time. After the murder of civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo, Johnson went on television to announce the arrest of four Ku Klux Klansmen implicated in her death. He angrily denounced the Klan as a “hooded society of bigots,” and warned them to “return to a decent society before it’s too late.” Anyone with expectation that these policies would ease race relations would be disappointed. There were urban riots and disruptions all through LBJ’s term of office. LBJ, himself, was unruffled by the riots, saying: “What did you expect? I don’t know why we’re so surprised. When you put your foot on a man’s neck and hold him down for three hundred years, and then you let him up, what’s he going to do? He’s going to knock your block off.”
LBJ, whose own ticket out of poverty was a public education in Texas, promoted the belief that education was a cure for ignorance and poverty, and was an essential component of the American dream, especially for minorities who endured poor facilities and tight-fisted budgets from local taxes. He made education the top priority of the Great Society agenda, with an emphasis on helping poor children. LBJ launched the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 which doubled federal spending on education from $4 billion to $8 billion. This multi-billion dollar bill passed into law in just 87 days. Other programs addressed poverty and during Johnson’s years in office, national poverty declined significantly, with the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line dropping from 23 percent to 12 percent.
Despite the success of the majority of his Great Society plans, Johnson’s approval ratings stayed below 50 percent and by January 1967 was down to 16%. Johnson’s presidency took place during a healthy economy, with steady growth and low unemployment. Regarding the rest of the world, there were no serious controversies with major countries. Attention therefore focused on domestic policy, and, after 1966, on the Vietnam War.
The decline in LBJ’s popularity is disputed by several historians but it is clear in hindsight, the key factor was the war. By 1966 the press had sensed a “credibility gap” between what Johnson was saying publicly and what was happening on the ground in Vietnam. At JFK’s death, there were 16,000 American military personnel in Vietnam but LBJ expanded the numbers and roles of the American military particularly following the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident”. By the end of 1964, there were approximately 23,000 military personnel in South Vietnam. US casualties for 1964 totaled 1,278.
By Feb 1965, the US Air Force started systematic bombing of North Vietnam. By the middle of June the total US ground forces in Vietnam were increased to 82,000 or by 150 percent. The same month, Ambassador Taylor reported that the bombing offensive against North Vietnam had been ineffective, and that the South Vietnamese army was outclassed and in danger of collapse. So US ground troops rose from 82,000 to 175,000. By October 1965 there were over 200,000 troops deployed in Vietnam. Until the Tet Offensive of 1968, LBJ downplayed the war: Americans were either hawks or doves and he didn’t want to ruffle the feathers of either.
On April 2, 1965, the Canadian Prime Minister, Lester B Pearson, gave a speech in the USA where he voiced his support for a pause in the American bombing of North Vietnam to allow a diplomatic solution. LBJ summoned Pearson to Camp David the next day where he was given the “treatment”. LBJ reportedly grabbed Pearson by the lapels and shouted, “Don’t you come into my living room and piss on my rug.”
In the fall of 1966 it was reported that the air bombing campaign was making progress against the North Vietnamese logistics and infrastructure and LBJ was urged from every corner to begin peace discussions. By year’s end it was clear that peace efforts and the air campaign were equally ineffectual. LBJ authorized another 70,000 troops in 1967 to be added to 400,000 already committed.
February 1967 Ho Chi Minh declared that the only solution was a unilateral withdrawal by the US.
In March, RFK started his public opposition to the war in a Senate speech. Johnson’s anger and frustration over the lack of a solution to Vietnam and its effect on him politically was exhibited in a statement to Kennedy. Having received reports predicting military progress by the summer, LBJ warned RFK, “I’ll destroy you and every one of your dove friends in six months”. However by the summer there was 70,000 Americans killed or wounded and a troop total of 525,000.
By March 1968, Johnson’s popularity had plummeted and RFK withdrew his support. Protesters in Washington DC burned draft cards and chanted, “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” On March 31, Johnson spoke to the nation of “steps to limit the war in Vietnam”. He announced an immediate unilateral halt to the bombing of North Vietnam and his intention to seek out peace talks anywhere at any time. At the close of his speech he said, “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your President”.
After he left office in January 1969, LBJ returned to his Texas ranch where he died of a heart attack on January 22, 1973. He was 64. He died less than a year after J Edgar Hoover. Was he tested for saxitoxin?
According to wikipedia, historians argue over LBJ’s presidency legacy. He is generally favorably regarded because of his domestic policies promoting civil rights, gun control, wilderness preservation, and Social Security.
This chapter describes the case that LBJ had some pre-knowledge and involvement in the JFK Assassination.
Returning to the day of the assassination, Johnson and former campaign manager and now Texas Governor John Connally were both in the parade and in Dealey Plaza. Connally and his wife were in the same car as Jack and Jackie while LBJ was two cars behind. Connally was nearly killed with two wounds from the magic bullet. After Connally was hit, he shouted, “Oh, no, no, no. My God. They’re going to kill us all!”
LBJ was quickly sworn in as President on Presidential Jet, Air Force One, on November 22, 1963, just 2 hours and 8 minutes after JFK was assassinated in Dallas. He was sworn in by US District Judge Sarah T Hughes, a family friend. In the rush, a Bible was not at hand, so Johnson took the oath of office using a Roman Catholic missal from President Kennedy’s desk. Cecil Stoughton’s iconic photograph of Johnson taking the presidential oath of office as Mrs. Kennedy looks on is the most famous photo ever taken aboard a presidential aircraft.
It was outside normal security practice to have a parade attended by both the president and the vice president. The presence of the vice president two cars behind the president in the parade in Dallas was a fundamental breach of the level of security normally adhered to by the Secret Service. If this assassination was the work of a foreign intelligence agency rather than just a Lone Gunman, which have already discussed is most improbable, then why just stop at JFK? Why not have snipers targeting LBJ? Imagine the chaos that would be caused if both President and Vice President were assassinated!
On November 22, 1963, Connally was seriously wounded while riding in President Kennedy’s car at Dealey Plaza in Dallas when the president was assassinated. He recovered from wounds in his chest, wrist and thigh. Connally did not dispute the Warren Commission’s Lone Gunman theory but for the rest of his life, he questioned the single bullet theory. In 1966, he told the press, “I am convinced beyond any doubt that I was not struck by the first bullet,” adding, (not realising how crucial the three bullets limit is to the Lone Gunman Theory), “but just because I disagree with the Warren Commission on this one finding does not mean I disagree with their overall findings.” However it is widely reported that when Connally was hit he shouted, “Oh, no, no, no. My God. They’re going to kill us all!” Did Connally’s outburst indicate an awareness of a plan and/or multiple shooters? He certainly had good reason to doubt the official story. Perhaps he knew when to keep his mouth closed since in April 1959 Connally’s teenaged daughter (Kathleen Connally Hale) was shot. She had been married 44 days at the time of her death. It is still an unsolved murder. Was she shot as a warning to Connally?
The famous picture of LBJ being sworn in on Air Force One is one of a series of pictures from the event. Almost unknown but easily found on the internet is the another picture of the event with LBJ turning to Congressman Albert Thomas, another LBJ protege, and receiving a wink and a smile from him. Jackie is also in the picture; she is looking distraught. This wink and smile is incomprehensible unless LBJ and Thomas were part of a putsch.
Leroy Fletcher Prouty served as Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff under JFK and was the inspiration for the character “Mr. X” in Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK”. Prouty was a severe critic of the CIA and has made many incisive comments about the JFK assassination. “Who had the power to call off or reduce the usual security precautions that are always,” he said with emphasis, “always in effect whenever a president travels? Only powerful insiders, not outsiders, have this power.” He goes on to relate how the Secret Service violated rule after rule of presidential protection, the blatantly slow 110 degree left-hand turn in Dealey Plaza, no motorcycle escorts alongside the presidential limo, no shield of Secret Service agents on limo running boards, unchecked people in the streets and in open upper-story windows, the presidential limo braking during the shooting and even coming to a complete halt as shooters finished their work, secret service agents reacting slowly during and after the shooting. The whole plaza was a set up as a killing field with Lee Harvey Oswald set up in the TSBD to take the blame.
In fact according to Vince Palamara’s “59 Witnesses”, the motorcade virtually came to a standstill before the shooting, and a security guard on the back of the President’s who would have been in the line of fire, was asked to step down, and bizarrely, during the shooting itself, JFK’s car slowed to a crawl, right in front of Zaprude and the grassy knoll.
Who could have had the authority to change secret service procedures?
When the police stormed the Texas School Book Depository and located a rifle near an open window. The so-called “sniper’s nest” had been made by arranging several cardboard boxes to hide the shooter from anyone who might have been on the 6th floor at the time. Investigators scoured the scene for fingerprints but the rifle and the boxes had apparently been wiped clean. The only forensic element that could possibly identify the killer was a partial fingerprint that was lifted from one of the cardboard boxes.
In an attempt to identify this print, officials took the prints of everyone who worked at the Book Depository, including Lee Harvey Oswald. They also compared this print to police and FBI agents who had access to the crime scene, but the print remained an enigma.
Until 1998, when fingerprinting expert A Nathan Darby concluded that previously unidentified fingerprints were matched “blindly” (that is, without his knowing the identity of the match) with police records. Despite the furore that this analysis caused, the method and results still stand. The print, it turns out, belongs to Malcolm Wallace, the long time friend and, ah, “associate” of LBJ.
Malcolm “Mac” Wallace was born and educated at University of Texas and recruited by Lyndon Johnson for a job at the Federal Department of Agriculture. He first came to the attention of authorities when he was arrested in 1951, tried and convicted(!) of killing a professional golfer named John Douglas Kinser. At the time, Kinser was having an affair with Lyndon Johnson’s sister, Josefa, who was an alcoholic and drug user. It was feared that she might have disclosed some illegal activities about LBJ to Kinser, specifically election rigging in his race for the Senate.
Kinser was gunned down in his golf club. Shortly after, Wallace was arrested and found guilty of First Degree Murder. During his 10 day trial, Wallace was represented by LBJ’s own lawyer. LBJ himself took a room near to the courthouse and had runners to keep him updated on the testimony and proceedings. To everyone’s surprise, the trial concluded with Wallace’s guilt but then receiving a 5 years suspended sentence!
In 1962 rumors began circulating that Bobby Baker was involved in corrupt activities. Although officially his only income was that of an aide to LBJ, he was clearly a very rich man. Investigated by RFK, it was discovered that Baker had links to Clint Murchison (see below) and several Mafia bosses. Evidence also emerged that Baker was also involved in political corruption. This included the award of a $7 billion contract for a fighter plane, the TFX (aka the swing wing F1-11), to General Dynamics, a company based in Texas. On 7th October, 1963, Baker was forced to leave his job and the Navy Secretary was also forced to resign because of the TFX contract. The replacement Navy Secretary was John Connally(!)
According to LBJ mistress, Madeleine Brown, in a 1988 interview, on the evening of November 21, 1963, there was a dinner party at the Clint Murchison mansion in Dallas, Texas. The special guest was J Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon, George Brown (of Brown Brothers fame), John McCloy (who would later join the Warren Commission), Texas Senator John Tower and richest man in America H L Hunt (of Hunt Oil). Hunt (the inspiration for the character J R Ewing in the Dallas TV series) was especially interested in preserving the Oil Depletion Allowance and, being staunchly conservative, disliked the social programs proposed by the Kennedy administration. He reportedly said to fellow guests that the only way to get “communists” like the Kennedy brothers out of office is to “shoot ‘em out.”
LBJ joined the group after dinner. That night, Madeline remembers being surprised to see Johnson, as he was not scheduled to be at the dinner party. “When Lyndon arrived they all went into a conference room and you could just feel the atmosphere. When Lyndon came out… he was red in the face… he took my hand and said, ‘Those god-damned Kennedys will never embarrass me again. That’s not a threat, that’s a promise!’ “
Six weeks later, Madeline realized how troubled Johnson had become and knowing the rumors circulating in Dallas that LBJ had JFK killed, she asked the question: was it true? Johnson became angry but eventually blamed the assassination on “Big Oil” and the CIA. While not taking responsibility, he definitely admitted he knew of the plot and he was a major beneficiary of it.
Madeleine documented her own story very credibly in her own 1997 book “Texas in the Morning”. If you can find her book in hardcover then buy it; it is a collector’s item.
LBJ was friendly with Texan oilmen, principally Clint Murchison. This link enabled not a set of interesting relationships with the rich and powerful but also a venue.
Clint Murchison was an oil millionaire whose wealth was made in the wildcat oil business, nurtured and preserved by the Oil Depletion Allowance. He owned about 500 different companies and controlled just about everything and anything in Texas. He extended his influence to Washington DC and other powerful venues through a very special hotel that he ran: the Del Charro Hotel, La Jolla, California.
The Del Charro was no ordinary hotel. In the 1950’s the room rate officially started at $150 per night. Multi-millionaire Murchison was not expecting it to make a profit. Guests often stayed there for free. The reward was power and influence. The frequent guests included J Edgar Hoover, Carlos Mossello (New Orleans Mafia head), Richard Nixon, Bobby Baker (Johnson’s right hand man and secretary of the US Senate) and DH Byrd (the owner of the Texas Book Depository).
Murchison also owned the Del Mar Race Track. Hoover was fond of gambling so Murchison set him up with a box seat overlooking the finish line. He also let Hoover invest in his oil ventures and would give him his money back if a well did not strike oil.
The Del Charro provided a social atmosphere where organized crime, the FBI chief, big oil money and political power could mingle.
However by early 1963, the Attorney General, RFK, had declared war on the Mafia and organized crime was finally being prosecuted by a zealous Justice Department. This may have put Hoover in an extremely anxious predicament.
Journalist Joachim Joesten in his books, “The Dark Side of Lyndon Baines Johnson” (1968) and “How Kennedy was Killed: The Full Appalling Story” (1968) pins LBJ directly to the planning of JFK’s assassination and that it was as a direct result of the scandals involving Billie Sol Estes and Bobby Baker.
Mac Wallace was again implicated in another murder. This time the victim was Henry Marshall, an official with the local Agriculture Department who had been investigating an illegal source of LBJ’s funding. Marshall was investigating a broad series of fraudulent government subsidies, figures in the seven or eight digits, allotted to Billie Sol Estes, a close personal friend of Veep LBJ. The paper trail was leading ever closer towards Johnson himself. It is reported that the guilty parties held a meeting at which LBJ gave the order, “Get rid of him.”
On June 3, 1961, Wallace knocked Henry Marshall unconscious with a blunt object, fed the unconscious man carbon monoxide from a hose attached to Wallace’s pick-up truck, then shot him five times with a bolt-action .22 caliber rifle and dumped him in a remote corner of Marshall’s farm near Franklin, Texas. When the Police arrived, they took no photos of the scene and did no forensic examination. Justice of the Peace Lee Farmer pronounced the death a suicide and ordered Marshall to be buried without an autopsy despite the protests of his widow.
All this information was given by Billie Sol Estes since the 1980s in a series of interviews and recorded in the Federal Government Assassination Records Review Board (September 30, 1998). For example, On August, 9, 1984, Estes’ lawyer, Douglas Caddy, wrote to the US Department of Justice. In the letter Caddy claimed that Wallace, Billie Sol Estes, LBJ and LBJ’s “Bag man” Cliff Carter had been involved in the murders of Henry Marshall, George Krutilek (an FBI informant who worked for Estes), Harold Orr (an FBI informant who worked for Estes), Ike Rogers (No information here), Coleman Wade (an FBI informant who worked for Estes), Josefa Johnson (LBJ’s sister), John Kinser (LBJ’s sister’s boyfriend) as well as JFK. Caddy added: “Mr. Estes is willing to testify that LBJ ordered these killings, and that he transmitted his orders through Cliff Carter to Mac Wallace, who executed the murders.”
When the Department of Justice asked for more information, Estes responded that he would in exchange for immunity from prosecution and a pardon. The DoJ refused.
Estes claimed that LBJ had his sister, Josefa Johnson, murdered by Wallace on Christmas Day, 1961. He apparently feared his sister could embarrass him and threaten his political career; the same reasons as Kinser was killed. The cause of death was stated to be a brain hemorrhage. However there was no autopsy and no inquest; the death certificate was given by a doctor who was not present to examine the deceased. Ms. Johnson was embalmed and buried on December 26th.
Estes reiterated his claims in a book he co-wrote with a French writer, William Reymond, in 2003 and published only in France although his allegations have been “rejected by prominent historians, Johnson aides and family members.” Billie Sol Estes died in 2013 aged 88.
After JFK’s assassination, Jackie Kennedy relied heavily on RFK. He became a surrogate father for her children. RFK in turn credited Jackie for convincing him to stay in politics, and she supported his 1964 run for the United States Senate. In 1968 when RFK’s advisors urged him to enter the presidential race he replied, “That depends on what Jackie wants me to do.” Despite her concerns for his safety, Jackie campaigned for her brother-in-law. After RFK’s death, she became depressed and defensive. She stated: “If they’re killing Kennedys, then my children are targets … I want to get out of this country”. On October 20, 1968, Jackie married her long-time friend Aristotle Onassis, a wealthy Greek shipping magnate. Dubbed in the media as Jackie O, she kept her opinions very quiet and avoided public events. She continued to support progressive policies for the rest of her life. In November 1993, she was found to have contracted an aggressive cancer. She died May 18, 1994, aged 64.
In December 2013, tapes recorded by the Jackie months after the husband’s death, were broadcast on TV. She revealed her belief that Johnson and a cabal of Texas tycoons orchestrated the murder of JFK claiming that the Dallas murder was part of a larger conspiracy to allow LBJ to become American President. Leading historian Arthur Schlesinger Jnr recorded the tapes with Jackie Kennedy and stored them in a sealed vault at the Kennedy Library in Boston after orders from Mrs Kennedy that should remain secret for 50 years after her death. Daughter Caroline opted to release the tapes early in a deal with the ABC network in return for the network to cancel their Kennedys drama series (starring Tom Cruise) which had upset the surviving Kennedy family.
LBJ was an obvious beneficiary to Kennedy’s death. He became President within a couple of hours. While publicly LBJ praised JFK, behind the scenes both before and after the assassination, many people report that LBJ used foul language to describe what he thought of the Kennedys. This was not just policy differences but real hatred.
LBJ had motive, means and opportunity and there is a lot of incriminating evidence. This will be put together in the next few chapters. Much of this information has been compiled into a 2003 book by Barr McClellan “Blood, Money & Power: How LBJ Killed JFK” which was made into a documentary for the History Channel. The book and documentary was inevitably condemned with an apology issued by the TV network to Lady Bird Johnson. Interestingly Barr McClellan’s son, Scott, became the White House spokesperson for George W Bush’s Administration the same year.
G Robert Blakey, a professor at Notre Dame Law School, who served as the chief counsel for the House Select Committee on Assassinations dismissed McClellan’s book and the LBJ connection as “highly implausible.” He pointed out that Johnson was in the motorcade that day. “You’d have to believe he paid someone to fire at a car in front of him, knowing the potentiality for a gunfight. What rational person would draw gunfire down upon himself?” Ignoring all the commentary about LBJ’s seedy involvement in vote rigging and murder, a historical fact in LBJ’s background contradicts that opinion: his Silver Star medal received when he volunteered to be on a B.24 mission in a war zone. He had already demonstrated that he could handle such situations.
And of course McClellan’s book was written before the revelations contained within the Jackie Kennedy Tapes. E Howard Hunt, “Last Confessions” (2007), also identified LBJ with a chain of command including Cord Meyer, David Atlee Phillips, William Harvey and David Sanchez Morales. These accusations are coming from people who were there rather than armchair critics… Even Jack Ruby, who was in the position to know, asserted that, if someone else had been Vice President, the assassination would never have happened.
Johnson was obviously a complex man, highly driven to make a name for himself; without a doubt he did help enable some worthwhile changes in society, but his dark side enabled by willing accomplices is shocking. Do the means justify the end? Murder, blackmail, hypocrisy and burning ambition, morally and legally: no, it doesn’t. Even with JFK’s deep flaws, the world would have been a better place with an un-murdered President. LBJ should have been just a footnote in history rather than the “Accidental President”. To be clear, LBJ was not solely responsible for planning and organizing JFK’s murder. That will be discussed later.
The Dallas Police wasted no time in announcing their conclusion on the JFK assassination: Oswald did it. Even the most competent police force could not have solved the murder of the century overnight. Yet the Dallas Police, all friends of LBJ, told the world that Oswald was beyond doubt the lone assassin. However doubts were expressed immediately especially after Oswald was killed while in Police custody. LBJ sought to quash any rumors by announcing an investigation into JFK’s assassination.
A memorandum, written by Hoover seven days after the assassination of President Kennedy set out the remit for the “proposed group” to investigate the assassination. In the memo, Hoover had the story all worked out: 3 seconds, 3 shots, TSBD sixth floor, they had the gun and the shells. It essentially set out the constraints of the Warren Commission and enable it to be steered to fit LBJ’s requirements: a very tightly controlled “how did Oswald do it” rather than investigate wider aspects, such as a conspiracy or even a “why”! The Commission was announced by LBJ the same day as Hoover’s note: initiated by Johnson to prevent an independent investigation by Congress which would have had a different scope and might actually find the truth!
By appointing the Warren Commission, LBJ warded off an investigation by Congress for over a decade. Earl Warren did NOT want the job, sending a memo to the Oval Office to that effect. But when push came to shove, Johnson’s formidable powers of persuasion changed Warren’s mind.
Besides Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States (chairman) (1891–1974), the following people were the key board members of the Warren Commission:
John J. McCloy, former President of the World Bank (1895–1989)
Richard Russell, Jr. (D-Georgia), US Senator, (1897–1971)
Gerald Ford (R-Michigan), US Representative, House Minority Leader (1913-2006)
John Sherman Cooper (R-Kentucky), US Senator (1901–1991)
Allen Welsh Dulles, former head of the CIA (1893–1969)
Hale Boggs (D-Louisiana), US Representative, House Majority Whip (1914–1972)
Chief Justice Earl Warren was a close friend of the Kennedy family, and he is known to have suppressed evidence to the Commission itself because it was too “disturbing”. The most famous instance of this was banning a review of Kennedy’s autopsy photos (noted before as being very controversial). He also later refused to allow the Commission to interview certain witnesses whom Lee Harvey Oswald may have known in Mexico, and even tried to stop an interview with Jackie Kennedy because he “didn’t want to invade her privacy.” Warren also apparently had direct communication with Fidel Castro in order to seek out a connection with the assassination. Castro denied any involvement in the murder.
John J McCloy, at the first meeting of LBJ-appointed Warren Commission stated, in retrospect somewhat awkwardly, “It is of paramount importance to show the world that America is not a banana republic, where a government can be changed by conspiracy.” Notably, he was initially skeptical of the Lone Gunman Theory, but a trip to Dallas with old friend Allen Dulles, also serving on the Commission, convinced him of the case against Oswald. To avoid a minority dissenting report, McCloy brokered the final consensus and the crucial wording of the primary conclusion of the final report. He stated that any possible evidence of a conspiracy was “beyond the reach” of all of America’s investigatory agencies, principally the FBI and the CIA as well as the Commission itself. McCloy stuck with the Warren Commission’s findings in a 1975 CBS interview, McCloy stated, “I never saw a case that I thought was more completely proven than… the assassination.” Considering that he was specifically linked to November 21, 1963, dinner party at Clint Murchison’s mansion, this may not be entirely surprising.
Richard Russell was a well respected senator that had a track record of doing the right thing and a good reputation. LBJ was advised by his aide, Bobby Baker, when he first joined the senate that all senators were “equal” but Russell was more equal than others, meaning he was the most powerful. LBJ assiduously cultivated Russell through the 1950s gaining his support to allow first-term senator LBJ to become Senate Majority Leader. Russell often dined at LBJ’s house during their Senate years. Wikipedia has a picture of LBJ and Russell when LBJ was President with Russell receiving “the treatment”, obviously times had changed! Russell was frequently absent from the Commission’s meetings and may not have understood or wanted to understand the implications of the single-bullet theory, its relationship to the Lone Gunman Theory and constricting investigation into a wider conspiracy.
Future President Gerald Ford, but then a Congressman, appears to have been a snitch, acting as an inside informant for J Edgar Hoover, by secretly providing information on the Commission Members. In 2006, a few months after Ford’s death, a cache of documents were exposed showing that Ford was leaking the Commission’s deliberations to the FBI. One of the many leaks was the revelation that two members of the Commission, Richard Russell and Hale Boggs, remained unconvinced by FBI evidence that the all shots had been fired from the TSBD. Which is interesting because in 1993 it was revealed by the Assassination Record Review Board that Ford had changed a key sentence in the Warren Report stating the bullet in the single bullet theory entered Kennedy’s body ‘‘at the back of his neck’‘ rather than in his uppermost back, as originally written. Ford’s handwritten notes were contained in 40,000 pages of records kept by J Lee Rankin, chief counsel of the Warren Commission.
Republican Senator, John Sherman Cooper, was an effective politician and opposed LBJ on many issues. LBJ may have nominated him onto to the Warren Commission for supposed political balance and perhaps also to distract him from the Cooper’s investigation into the Bobby Baker scandal. Cooper lived in Washington where he associated with a group of journalists, politicians and government officials, the Georgetown Set, including Frank Wisner, Richard Bissell, Philip Graham, Cord Meyer, James Angleton, John McCloy, Allen Dulles and many others. Most men brought their wives to these gatherings, the Georgetown Ladies’ Social Club including Katharine Graham, Mary Pinchot Meyer, Polly Wisner, Annie Bissell and many others. Journalist, C David Heymann, argued: “Of JFK’s many friends and admirers none was more anguished by his death than John Sherman Cooper…. Regarding his service on the Warren Commission, Senator Cooper publicly expressed dissatisfaction with the commission’s findings, terming the group’s 1964 report ‘premature and inconclusive.’” In no uncertain terms he informed Robert and Teddy Kennedy, that, having personally examined thousands of pages of evidence, he felt strongly that Lee Harvey Oswald had not acted alone. Heymann claims that when Cooper expressed these thoughts to Jackie Kennedy, she responded: “What difference does it make? Knowing who killed him won’t bring Jack back.” Cooper replied: “No, it won’t… But it’s important for this nation that we bring the true murderers to justice.” Regardless of these discussions, Cooper was still a part of the Georgetown Set elite and signed up to the report’s conclusions.
LBJ made public the telephone call he made to Allen Dulles asking him to join the Warren Commission. He did not have to worry about Dulles turning down the offer. LBJ had met with Dulles a few days before the assassination and was a shoo-in onto the Warren Commission. It was Dulles that proposed the Lone Gunman theory within the first half an hour of the first meeting of the Commission members. Dulles worked with Richard Helms to prevent the Warren Commission from knowing about the plot between the CIA and Mafia to kill Castro.
Hale Boggs has been discussed earlier. He did not subscribe to the Single Bullet Theory and went on to say some years later that FBI Director J Edgar Hoover “lied his eyes out” to the Commission’s investigators.
The Warren Commission’s terms of reference basically was to just affirm the original story outlined by the Dallas Police and J Edgar Hoover: Oswald acted alone. Any alternative would mean that the Commission would have to conduct a real independent investigation, unlikely given the members, and announce that the FBI had failed. In 1964, given the FBI’s world class reputation and the genuine fear of J Edgar Hoover, this was an unthinkable alternative. In effect, the FBI ran the show. So the Commission presumed Oswald guilty and threw out any contradictory evidence.
There are numerous examples of the Commission manipulating the evidence to fit its preconceived conclusions: asking witnesses leading questions, ignoring witness testimony which did not fit their storyline, disposing of inconvenient documents by classifying them secret or “too distressing”, and reaching conclusions that were blatantly contradicted by the balance of the evidence.
Both the FBI and the CIA intentionally misled the Commission. Both organizations were monitoring Oswald in the months before the assassination, and failed to give full details to the Warren Commission. The CIA tracked Oswald’s trip to Mexico but the agency repeatedly denied any connection to the alleged shooter. Oswald had apparently even left out a threatening note for an FBI agent at the Bureau’s office in Dallas, surely just the evidence to support the Lone Gunman case, but no, the FBI destroyed the note so the exact contents of which will never be known. (Of course it could have been fake evidence since other fake evidence is known to have been used: the photos and rifle packaging, for instance.)
Only two chapters of the Warren Report actually dealt with the assassination; the rest was padded out by peripheral material, such as biographies of Lee Oswald and Jack Ruby. While the 888-page Warren report described how Lee Harvey Oswald could have killed Kennedy, it gave little explanation of why he did it stating since Oswald was an isolated individual plagued by a life of failure and disappointment, his actions could not be explained if “judged by the standards of reasonable men.” Concluding “the Commission does not believe that it can ascribe to him any one motive or group of motives.”
Some of the Warren Commissioners, notably Senator Richard Russell, did not agree with its conclusions; Russell reluctantly signed the Warren Report stating that he could not rule out the possibility of a conspiracy, and had “lingering dissatisfaction” with the report. Congressman Hale Boggs doubted the “single bullet theory.”
Despite widespread media praise for the report and the backing of the Commission members and government leaders (even RFK publicly commended the Warren Report) upon its release in September 1964, only 56% of Americans agree with its Lone Gunman Theory. By 1966, after the critics had got to work on the subject, another poll would show that only 36% had confidence in the report and that figure has largely remained unchanged since.
LBJ, always the clever politician, privately would point out holes in the report and distracted any listener with insinuations that the Cubans had engineered the assassination.
Interestingly Jim Garrison, the New Orleans district attorney who challenged the Warren Commission’s conclusions, recalled a telephone conversation he had with RFK in 1964: “I told him some of my theories. He listened carefully, then said, `Maybe so, maybe you’re right. But what good will it do to know the truth? Will it bring back my brother?’ I said, `I find it hard to believe that as the top lawman in the country you don’t want to pursue the truth more ardently.’ With this he hung up on me.” This appears to parallel the same response given by Jackie Kennedy to Warren Commision member Senator John Sherman Cooper. This must have been an agreed Kennedy family response especially since Jackie Kennedy’s tapes revealed her opinion in 2013 where she laid the blame on LBJ. Perhaps the tactic was to lay low in order to protect friends (some had already died) and family. Through fresh interviews, newly released documents and gripping words, David Talbot makes a compelling case in his book “Brothers” that RFK’s reluctance to publicly discuss his brother’s death was a ruse. To family members, Bobby said, “[JFK] had been killed by a powerful plot that grew out of one of the government’s secret anti-Castro operations. There was nothing we could do at that point… we were facing a formidable enemy…”
A 1979 US House Committee inquiry found Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy” and that there was a “high probability” a second gunman as well as Oswald fired at the president. The committee did not believe that the Soviet government, Cuban government, the FBI, the CIA or Secret Service were involved in the assassination. The committee also concluded that there was no evidence to conclude anti-Castro Cuban groups or a national syndicate of organized crime were involved, but said that did not preclude the possibility that individual members of either may have been involved. As already mentioned, this inquiry satisfied no-one and was just yet another politically expedient extra layer of whitewash.
In 1992, the Assassination Records Review Board was created by the JFK Records Act to collect and preserve the documents relating to the assassination. In its final report: “Doubts about the Warren Commission’s findings were not restricted to ordinary Americans. Well before 1978, President Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and four of the seven members of the Warren Commission all articulated, if sometimes off the record, some level of skepticism about the Commission’s basic findings”.
According to a report by the CIA Chief Historian David Robarge released to the public in 2014, the CIA were “complicit” in a “benign cover-up” by withholding information from the Warren Commission. CIA officers had been instructed to give only “passive, reactive, and selective” assistance to the commission, in order to keep the commission focused on “what the Agency believed at the time was the ‘best truth’, that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in killing [JFK].” The CIA covered up evidence that the CIA was in communication with Oswald before 1963 as well as earlier CIA plots to assassinate Castro with help from the Mafia. Robarge report’s concluded “In the long term, the decision… in 1964 not to disclose information about CIA’s anti-Castro schemes might have done more to undermine the credibility of the commission than anything else that happened while it was conducting its investigation.” Of course, that is one interpretation… Any time that an investigation starts off with a preconceived conclusion demonstrates something other than a benign motive.
Proof that JFK’s death was an inside job, and not “benign” is the systematic destruction of evidence, fabricated evidence and omissions in gathering evidence and dead witnesses. This being just the tip of the iceberg…
There has been a lack of official evidence for the official story: even Oswald’s ownership of the rifle is lacking credibility due to the fake photos and paper rifle cover and unreliability of Ruth Paine’s testimony of the rifle storage in her garage.
There are unresolved contradictions between the number of shots and the number of wounds the supposed number of shots and their direction with the autopsy (and the multiple wounds on Connally).
The official story relied on evidence that was not collected in a forensic manner, for example exhibit 339, the virtually undamaged bullet that supposedly went through JFK being found at Park Hospital. Such fake evidence actually demonstrates collusion and conspiracy.
Witness testimony that contradicted the Official Story, for example, dismissing witnesses that informed the Commission that Oswald could not have carried in the rifle that day, was dismissed.
The circumstantial evidence relating to Oswald himself and timeline of his location both within the TSBD and at the Tippet shooting remains unconvincing.
Fabricated Evidence, such as the exhibit 339, the paper rifle case and fake photos all point to a mammoth conspiracy.
Oswald was shot within two days on live TV.
JFK’s medical data were criminally tampered with to hide the evidence of the frontal shots and the huge hole shot out the back of the president’s head. The limousine was immediately sent to Michigan for a makeover, covering up the multiple shots sustained in the body and windshield: all crucial evidence for the ballistics analysis and deliberately destroyed.
Eyewitnesses were intimidated and their testimony distorted and inverted beyond recognition. Specialists were either ignored or contradicted or subverted by partisan stooges. New Orleans prosecutor Jim Garrison was first stonewalled then fed breadcrumbs for him to discover only a minor subplot of the event and even then thwarted.
There is copious evidence destroying the validity of the rifle, the bullets fired, the rifle wrapping bag, Oswald’s photos even the Zapruder movie. The official story has next to nothing in terms of physical proof.
In September 1966, an article by Lawrence R Brown stated that bullet trajectories could be traced back to a second floor window in the Dal-Tex Building which was the next block along from the TSBD and indeed had a clear view down Dealey Plaza’s Elm Street, straighter than the view from the TSBD. Jim Garrison told Playboy in September 1967 that the building was “in all probability” one of four locations in which assassins fired at Kennedy. Garrison would later claim that there were four assassination teams, each consisting of a rifleman and a lookout. In November 1967, Josiah Thompson stated that his study led him to conclude that there were four shots from three firing positions during the assassination. Thompson concluded that the Dal-Tex Building was included within a zone that also included the Dallas County Records Building and parts of the Dallas Criminal Courts Building that Thompson determined could have been the location source of the second shot.
In the May 1970 issue of Computers and Automation, Richard E Sprague said he used computer analysis of still photographs and movie film from Dealey Plaza to implicate four gunmen and at least 50 conspirators in Kennedy’s assassination, he concluded that two shots originated from the Dal-Tex Building. Five years later in September 1975, Sprague and L Fletcher Prouty stated that their study of still photographs and film of the assassination revealed that the fourth floor of the Dal-Tex Building was one of three or four firing positions during the assassination. (Abraham Zapruder had his office on the fourth floor of the Dal-Tex Building…)
There is still more evidence that has not even been seen by the public. This is the list of files still retained by the CIA.
Bill Harvey was a highly regarded CIA officer, the so-called American James Bond. One colleague described him as “a man without sentiment, considerable stamina, great determination [and] high-skilled”. The CIA created an assassination group in 1960, code name of ZR-RIFLE and put Harvey in charge. However his contempt for President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy was not disguised. According to the National Archives online JFK data base, the CIA retains a 123-page file on Harvey’s operations. According to David Talbot, Harvey was in Dallas for the whole of November 1963.
David Phillips won a medal for his work in the CIA’s overthrow of the government of Guatemala in 1954. As such he would have worked with Allen Dulles who had a personal interest in the Guatemala coup. He maybe had read the Assassination Manual discussed earlier. In April 1961, he worked with Howard Hunt, on the plans for the CIA’s invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. By 1963, Phillips worked undercover in Mexico City in 1963 apparently part of the surveillance of Oswald. But questions remain about whether he was watching Oswald or working with him. Phillips went on to become the chief of CIA operations in Latin America where working for Nixon arranged CIA assassinations in Chile according to the National Security Archive. Upon his retirement in 1975, he established himself as one of the most prominent public defenders of the CIA, founding the Association of Foreign Intelligence Officers, which still exists today. When Congress re-opened the JFK investigation in 1976, Phillips’s inconsistent, inaccurate, and evasive answers to questions about Oswald prompted JFK investigator Gaeton Fonzi to allege that Phillips was guilty of perjury. Phillips has since said that he thought JFK was killed by unnamed “rogue” CIA officers. The CIA retains four files containing 606 pages of material on Phillips,
Anne Goodpasture was a career CIA officer who served in 1963 as the top aide to Winston Scott, the longtime chief of the agency’s station in Mexico City. She also worked closely with David Phillips. When the CIA’s photo and audio surveillance monitors picked up on a man identifying himself as “Lee Oswald” in September and October 1963, the reports were sent to Goodpasture. Goodpasture catalogued Oswald’s political views, personal history and contacts seven weeks before JFK was killed. Although when quizzed in the 1970s, Goodpasture denied that the Mexico City station had tapes of Oswald’s phone calls. She later changed her story and admitted, under oath, her role in disseminating the tapes after the assassination. The CIA has a 286-page file of Goodpasture’s operational activities that has never been made public.
Yuri Nosenko was an officer in the Soviet KGB who defected to the United States in April 1964, shortly after the assassination of JFK. Nosenko said that he had seen the files that the KGB compiled on Lee Harvey Oswald in his two and a half year residence in the Soviet Union between 1959 and 1962. The Soviet intelligence service had not recruited or used him as an agent, Nosenko said. However, this statement was used to brand Nosenko as a false defector sent by the Soviet Union to obscure its role in JFK’s assassination. According to the CIA’s website, “it would be a great mistake for the Warren Commission to shape its findings on the basis of a statement made by a man whose bona fides we could not establish.” Yet what the CIA learned from its interrogation of Nosenko still remains secret 50 years later. The CIA has 36 files on the interrogation of Nosenko, amounting to 2,224 pages of material.
E Howard Hunt was a career CIA officer known for his prolific prose and conservative politics. In 1961, he was a leader of the CIA’s failed effort to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. Embittered by what he regarded as JFK’s failure to support the invasion, Hunt wrote a book “Give Us This Day,” which castigated JFK’s Cuba policy as “shame-faced.” In 1963 he worked at CIA headquarters in Washington. He was close to David Phillips. Hunt became famous in 1972 when he was arrested for running a burglary team breaking into the offices of the Democratic Party in the Watergate office complex in Washington. Hunt and the burglars were paid and apparently directed by President Richard Nixon and his aides. In the resulting scandal, Hunt all but blackmailed the CIA by threatening to talk in court about what he described as “numerous highly illegal conspiracies” in which he had participated. He made cryptic remarks about a possible CIA plot to kill JFK in 1963. His wife died in a strange plane crash and he made a deathbed confession about the CIA’s involvement in JFK’s assassination. The CIA retains six files containing 332 pages of material on Hunt, according to the National Archives’ online JFK database,
David Morales was a career CIA officer who served as the chief of operations at the CIA’s Miami station in 1963 where he worked with David Phillips and Howard Hunt. He later served in Laos and Vietnam where he gained a reputation as a skillful and deadly soldier. In retirement, Morales remained tight lipped but when a friend referred to Kennedy’s assassination, he reportedly said, “We took care of that son of a bitch, didn’t we?” The CIA has a 61-page file on Morales that has never been made public.
In 1963, Joannides, an undercover officer, worked for David Phillips and David Morales. His job title was chief of psychological warfare operations at the CIA’s Miami station. Joannides handled the CIA’s contacts with the Cuban Student Directorate, an anti-Castro exile group whose members tangled with Oswald in New Orleans in the summer of 1963. When Congress reopened the JFK investigation in 1978, the CIA called Joannides out of retirement to serve as liaison to investigators. He revealed nothing about what he knew of contacts between Oswald and his agents, which HSCA general counsel G. Robert Blakey said constituted obstruction of Congress. In 1981 Joannides received the Agency’s Career Intelligence Medal. He died in 1990. The New York Times reported in 2009, the CIA did not tell the Warren Commission that the CIA, via Joannides, had a financial relationship with Oswald’s anti-Castro antagonists. The CIA has acknowledged that it retains more than 50 documents about Joannides’s actions between 1963 and 1978 that it will not make public for reasons of “national security.”
Many writers who have investigated the assassination of JFK claim that a large number of witnesses to the event have died in mysterious circumstances. The Sunday Times reported that “the odds against these witnesses being dead by February, 1967, were one hundred thousand trillion to one.” This is not unlike the approach maintained within this book however the probability estimated within chapter 10 is only 5 billion to 1. However when the Select Committee on Assassinations questioned the newspaper reporter who wrote the article, he backed down and stated he had made a “careless journalistic mistake”.
Jim Marrs, book “Crossfire” listed 103 people that died in mysterious circumstances between 1963 and 1976. As discussed within this book the deaths can be explained by natural causes and accidents, but such events can be arranged by covert assassination. In order to really determine whether there was a murder, motive, means and opportunity also need to be considered. Many of the people that died in the JFK Network as described in previous chapters of this book did have hard evidence or leadership skills that could have changed the course of investigations. Here are a few more…
Grant Stockdale, a close friend of JFK died on 2nd December, 1963 when he fell (or was pushed) from his office on the thirteenth story of the Dupont Building in Miami. Stockdale did not leave a suicide note. While obviously depressed what may be important is that the day before, he spoke to his attorney, William Frates stated: “He started talking. It didn’t make much sense. He said something about ‘those guys’ trying to get him. Then about the assassination.” What did he know? The Mary Pinchott Meyer connection? The Marilyn Monore murder cover up? The Kennedy relationship with LBJ, Dulles and Hoover? He probably knew a lot of the key players.
John Garrett “Gary” Underhill was a Harvard graduate, linguist, and self-taught military affairs expert, that served in WW2 as a Captain in staff headquarters. For five years he was a military correspondent for Life magazine and helped to make their Foreign News Department one of the most knowledgeable centers of military intelligence in the world. After the assassination of JFK, Underhill told a friend that he was convinced that JFK had been killed by members of the CIA. He also said: “Oswald is a patsy. They set him up. It’s too much. The bastards have done something outrageous. They’ve killed the President! I’ve been listening and hearing things. I couldn’t believe they’d get away with it, but they did!” Underhill believed there was a connection between Executive Action, Fidel Castro and the death of JFK: “They tried it in Cuba and they couldn’t get away with it. Right after the Bay of Pigs. But Kennedy wouldn’t let them do it. And now he’d gotten wind of this and he was really going to blow the whistle on them. And they killed him!” He told friends that he feared for his life: “I know who they are. That’s the problem. They know I know. That’s why I’m here. I can’t stay in New York.” Underhill was found dead on 8th May 1964. He had been shot in the head and it was officially ruled that he had committed suicide. However, in his book, Destiny Betrayed (1992), James DiEugenio claimed that the bullet entered the right-handed Underhill’s head behind the left ear.
There has been a significant number of people who have died who did appear to have important information about JFK’s assassination. This includes journalists: Bill Hunter, Jim Koethe and attorney Tom Howard. On 24th November, 1963, Hunter of the Long Beach Press Telegram and Koethe of the Dallas Times Herald interviewed George Senator. Earlier that day Senator and Howard had both visited Jack Ruby in jail. That evening Senator arranged for Koethe, Hunter and Howard to search Ruby’s apartment. It is not known what the journalists found but on 23rd April 1964, Hunter was shot dead by Creighton Wiggins, a policeman in the pressroom of a Long Beach police station. Wiggins initially claimed that his gun fired when he dropped it and tried to pick it up. In court this was discovered that this was impossible and it was decided that Hunter had been murdered. Wiggins finally admitted he was playing a game of quick draw with his fellow officer. The other officer, Errol F. Greenleaf, testified he had his back turned when the shooting took place. In January 1965, both were convicted and sentenced to three years probation. Jim Koethe was writing a book about the assassination of JFK. However, he died on 21st September, 1964. It seems that a man broke into his Dallas apartment and killed him by a “karate chop” to the throat. Tom Howard died of a heart-attack, aged 48, in March, 1965. Natural cause? At that time no-one would have suspected saxotoxin. These three people died before crime reporter, gossip columnist and JFK friend, Dorothy Kilgallen, obtained a private interview with Jack Ruby. She told friends that she had information that would “break the case wide open”. Aware of what had happened to Hunter and Koethe, she handed her interview notes to her friend and long term JFK lover, Flo Pritchett. On 8th November, 1965, Kilgallen, 52, was found dead and Flo Pritchett, 45, died two days later, as described earlier in this book.
The “reckless” CIA officer Desmond FitzGerald died of a heart attack while playing tennis in Virginia on 23rd July, 1967, aged 57. FitzGerald was a long term associate of Allen Dulles and part of the Georgetown Set. In 1963, was in charge of the CIA’s Cuban Task Force where he personally organized three different plots to assassinate Fidel Castro. According to Dick Russell, FitzGerald had a meeting in France with a Cuban code-named AM/LASH, finalizing a plan to eliminate Castro, at the same time JFK was assassinated.
Winston Scott was the CIA’s station chief in Mexico. Scott retired in 1969 and wrote a memoir about his time in the FBI, OSS and the CIA. He completed the manuscript, “It Came Too Late”, and made plans to discuss the contents of the book with CIA director, Richard Helms, in Washington on 30th April, 1971. But four days before the meeting Scott died of a heart attack. His son, Michael, told Dick Russell that James Angleton, the same guy that took away Mary Pinchot Meyer’s diary, took away his father’s manuscript. Angleton also confiscated three large cartons of files including a tape-recordings of Lee Harvey Oswald. Michael Scott was also told by a CIA source that his father had not died from natural causes but from saxitoxin. He eventually got his father’s manuscript back from the CIA but everything after 1947 had been removed on grounds of national security.
Lisa Howard was a successful actress in her twenties and became a radio correspondent and then an ABC news anchor. She died at East Hampton, Long Island, on 4th July, 1965. Officially reported as suicide after had taken one hundred phenobarbitals. It was claimed she was depressed as a result of losing her job and suffering a miscarriage. At first no one associated Howard’s death with the Kennedy assassination. However, it has recently emerged that Howard was involved in secret negotiations with Fidel Castro on behalf of JFK, starting as a freelance activity in the spring of 1963, using the cover of documentary work in Cuba. JFK encouraged negotiations but the CIA strongly advised against it. When LBJ heard about Howard’s negotiations in December 1963 he told her to stop contact. However Howard persisted and in December, 1964, Howard met with Che Guevara. Apparently this caused panic in the White House. As a result she was fired by ABC because she had “chosen to participate publicly in partisan political activity contrary to long established ABC news policy.”
Roger D Craig was on duty in Dallas on 22nd November, 1963. After hearing the firing at JFK he ran towards the Grassy Knoll where he interviewed witnesses to the shooting. About 15 minutes later he saw a man running from the back door of the TSBD down the slope to Elm Street. He then got into a Nash station wagon. Craig saw the man again in the office of Captain Will Fitz. It was the recently arrested Lee Harvey Oswald. When Craig told his story about the man being picked up by the station wagon, Oswald replied: “That station wagon belongs to Mrs Paine… Don’t try to tie her into this. She had nothing to do with it.” Craig was also with Seymour Weitzman when the rifle was found on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository. He insisted that the rifle was a 7.65 Mauser and not a Mannlicher-Carcano. Craig became unpopular with senior police officers in Dallas when he testified before the Warren Commission. He insisted he had seen Lee Harvey Oswald get into the station wagon 15 minutes after the shooting. This was ignored by Earl Warren and his team because it showed that at least two people were involved in the assassination. Craig, unlike Seymour Weitzman, refused to change his mind about finding a Mauser rather than a Mannlicher-Carcano in the TSBD. Craig was fired from the police department in 1967 after he was found to have discussed his evidence with a journalist. In 1967 Craig went to New Orleans and was a prosecution witness at the trial of Clay Shaw. Later that year he was shot at while walking to a car park. The bullet only grazed his head. In 1973 a car forced Craig’s car off a mountain road. He was badly injured but he survived the accident. In 1974 he survived another shooting in Waxahachie, Texas. The following year he was seriously wounded when his car engine exploded. Craig told friends that the Mafia had decided to kill him. Craig was found dead from on 15th May, 1975. It was later decided he had died as a result of self-inflicted gunshot wounds.
When the Select Committee on Intelligence Activities and Select Committee on Assassinations began investigating Kennedy’s death in the 1970s the deaths of potential witnesses increased dramatically. This included several criminals with possible links to the assassination of JFK. Those who were killed or who died in suspicious circumstances during this period included Malcolm Wallace (1971), Lucien Sarti (1972), Charles Willoughby (1972), Thomas Davis (1973), Richard Cain (1973), Dave Yarras (1974), Sam Giancana (1975), Jimmy Hoffa (1975), Roland Masferrer (1975), Johnny Roselli (1976), George De Mohrenschildt (1977), Charlie Nicoletti (1977) and Carlos Prio (1977).
William Sullivan, a major investigator in the FBI involved JFK, RFK, MLK assassination cases, was shot dead near his home in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, on 9th November, 1977. Sullivan had been scheduled to testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Sullivan was one of six top FBI officials who died in a six month period in 1977. Others who were due to appear before the committee but died included Louis Nicholas, special assistant to J Edgar Hoover and his liaison with the Warren Commission; Alan H Belmont, special assistant to Hoover; James Cadigan, document expert with access to documents relating to the JFK assassination; J M English, former head of FBI Forensic Sciences Laboratory where Oswald’s rifle and pistol were tested and Donald Kaylor, FBI fingerprint chemist who examined prints found at the assassination scene.
Several important figures in the CIA died before they could give evidence to the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Sheffield Edwards, a CIA official who attempted to organize the assassination of Fidel Castro, died in July, 1975. William Harvey, head of the ZR/RIFLE project, died as a result of complications from heart surgery in June, 1976. William Pawley, who took part in Operation Tilt, died of gunshot wounds in January, 1977. David Morales, who some believe helped organize the assassination, died aged 53, on 8th May, 1978. Another important figure in CIA covert operations, Thomas Karamessines died of a heart attack on 4th September, 1978.
John Paisley was deputy director of the Office of Strategic Research. On 24th September, 1978, Paisley, took a trip on his motorized sailboat on Chesapeake Bay. Two days later his boat was found moored in Solomons, Maryland. Paisley’s body was found in Maryland’s Patuxent River. The body was fixed to diving weights. He had been shot in the head. Police investigators described it as “an execution-type murder”. However, officially Paisley’s death was recorded as a suicide. According to the journalist and ex-CIA man, Victor Marchetti, Paisley was a close friend of Soviet defector, Yuri Nosenko, who files will remained sealed until 2029. Marchetti also claimed that Paisley knew a great deal about the assassination of JFK and was murdered during the House Select Committee on Assassinations investigation because he was “about to blow the whistle”.
Fletcher Prouty served as Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff under JFK and was the inspiration for the character “Mr. X” in Oliver Stone’s film JFK. Prouty has outlined in detail how the Military Industrial Complex and CIA controls the agenda for covert operations around the globe using Need-To-Know and skillful inside knowledge to escape the political control and checks and balances that it is expected in a democratic republic. He stated “the CIA works powerfully, deftly, and with great assurance at any level of our government to get anything it wants done… It is not the President who instructs the CIA concerning what it will do. And in many cases it is not even the Director of Central Intelligence who instructs the CIA. The CIA is a great, monstrous machine with tremendous and terrible power. It can be set in motion from the outside like a programmer setting a computer in operation, and then it covers up what it is doing… And in a majority of cases, the power behind it all is big business, big banks, big law firms and big money. The agency exists to be used by them.”
Prouty outlined the exact moment when US interest in Indochina became mainstream and it was because of the Military Industrial Complex. He stated “In 1959 there were very few helicopters in all of the services, and military procurement of those expensive machines was at an all-time low. The Bell Helicopter Company was all but out of business… Meanwhile, the shrewd Royal Little, President of the Providence-based Textron Company, [the “Father of Conglomerates”] had a good cash position and could well afford the acquisition of a loser. Textron and the First National Bank of Boston got together to talk helicopters. Neither one knew a thing about them. But men in First Boston were close to the CIA, and they learned that the CIA was operating helicopters in Laos. What they needed to know now was, “What would be the future of the military helicopter, and would the use of helicopters in South East Asia escalate if given a little boost…”
Textron did acquire the Bell Helicopter Company and the CIA had its Air America operation start to use helicopters. The CIA had more than four thousand men on each of two bases where helicopters were maintained. Most of those men were involved in the maintenance of Bell Helicopters. Orders for Bell Helicopters for use in Vietnam exceeded $600 million.
Prouty concluded “Anyone wanting to know more about how the U.S. got so heavily ($200-billion and the loss of 58,000 American lives) involved in Indochina need look no further. This was the pattern and the plan.”
An interesting perspective on responsibility is given by other of Prouty remarks: “Let no one misunderstand what I mean. It was President Lyndon B Johnson who on more than one occasion said that the CIA was ‘operating a damn Murder Inc in the Caribbean.’ In other words, he knew it was doing this.. and he was the President! This knowledge has been recently confirmed by Defense Secretary James Schlesinger (who is a former head of the CIA) and others by their admission that they told the agency to end all “terminations.” But Lyndon Johnson was powerless to do anything about it. This is an astounding admission from a President, the very man from whom, the CIA says, it always gets its instructions… [what is] important to you and me… is not important to the CIA. It can easily dispense with a James Angleton or even a Helms or a Colby. Just look at the list of CIA bigwigs who have been fired, Allen Dulles, Frank Wisner, Dick Bissell, Dick Helms… but the great machine will live on… the agency cares little about giving away ‘secrets’ in the form of cleverly written insider books such as those by Victor Marchetti and Philip Agee. The CIA just makes it look as though it cared with some high-class window dressing. Actually the real harm to the American public from those books is to make people believe that certain carefully selected propaganda is true.”
Vincent Marchetti served as an active-duty American soldier and engaged in espionage activities against East Germany in 1952. He joined the CIA in 1955 and worked as a specialist on the USSR and Third World aid. In 1966, Marchetti was an assistant to CIA Director Richard Helms. He resigned in 1969 despondent with the organization. His controversial book “The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence” came out in 1974. It is the first book the US government went to court to censor before its publication. The CIA demanded the removal 399 passages, but Marchetti resisted and finally only 168 passages were censored. The book discussed the CIA its original purpose, the collection and analysis of data about foreign countries in order to inform US policy maker. But Marchetti contended that the CIA had been subverted by corporate obsession with clandestine operations.
In 1978, as the House Select Committee on Assassinations were completing their review of the JFK assassination Marchetti published an article in the far-right newspaper, The Spotlight. He focused on a 1966 CIA memo, revealed with the House Select Committee, that named E Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis and Gerry Patrick Hemming in the JFK assassination. Marchetti wrote that the CIA had decided the assassinations committee was creeping towards the truth, and were now planning a classic “limited hangout” strategy, to place the blame of the whole JFK assassination on Hunt. But that subtlety of message was lost in the furore caused by the article and in 1981, Hunt sued the Spotlight’s publishers, Liberty Lobby, and Marchetti for defamation and won $650,000 in damages. Liberty Lobby recruited lawyer (and JFK Researcher), Mark Lane appealed the case. Marchetti, Liberty Lobby and Lane won the appeal. This will be further discussed below.
E Howard Hunt is obviously involved at some level and many years later, he gave his “deathbed confession” narrated to his son Saint John. This was his story: sometime in 1963, Hunt-senior met with CIA agent (and later to be Watergate burglar), Frank Sturgis in Miami. Also in attendance at the Miami meeting was CIA heavy, David Morales. “Morales did dirty work for the agency… If he were in the mob, he’d be called a hit man… People were afraid of him. He was big and aggressive, and he had this mystique. Stories about him permeated the agency. If the agency needed someone action-oriented, he was at the top of the list. If the U.S. government as a matter of policy needed someone or something neutralized, Dave would do it.” At the meeting Morales and Sturgis informed Hunt the mission was to assassinate President Kennedy. They referred to the murder as “the big event.” To Morales, Kennedy was “that no good son of a bitch motherfucker” who was responsible for the deaths of the men he had trained for the Bay of Pigs mission. Being prepared to hire the snipers was CIA’s “James Bond”, Bill Harvey. Hunt was wary of men like Harvey and Morales, but he shared their venomous attitudes toward President Kennedy and Sturgis persuaded Hunt to join the operation. The Miami conspirators made it clear that Harvey was playing a central role in “the big event,” they assured Hunt that the orders for the mission come from much higher. Vice President LBJ himself had signed off on the plot, Morales insisted. Hunt found this plausible. As he observed in his memoir, “Lyndon Johnson was an opportunist who would not hesitate to get rid of any obstacles in his way.” But no paper would be signed for such a mission and because Hunt reckoned that LBJ would not have talked directly to Harvey about the operation, the hierarchical chain of command would prevent that so the order would have to be relayed through the CIA through Allen Dulles, a back door, because at that time Dulles was supposedly retired (but still involved in super secret covert operations). In fact, Hunt knew that in the pecking order around the Washington Roundtable, Dulles outranked LBJ, because he was not dependent on politically approved funds and had an established army at his command. In this rarefied circle, Hunt concluded that LBJ was at the minimum a passive accessory but no more than an active accomplice, to the crime of the century. LBJ was not the mastermind.
In his memoir, Hunt, in addition to Harvey and Morales, named David Atlee Phillips and Cord Meyer as part of the conspiracy. Hunt refrained from naming Dulles in his confessions, but nearly every CIA official whom he implicated led directly to him. Dulles had recruited them or promoted them or given them the agency’s most delicate assignments. Meyer was particularly beholden to Dulles; he had saved his career in 1953 from Joe McCarthy’s purges. In addition, during the weeks leading up to the Kennedy assassination, Meyer was a guest at Dulles’s home on more than once, along with James Angleton.
So in August 1978, after Victor Marchetti published his article felt he had nothing to do with JFK’s murder. But over ten years later Hunt lost the case! Famed JFK researcher Mark Lane pulled apart Hunt’s “cover” and succeeded in convincing the jury that Hunt might indeed have been in Dallas in November 1963. During the trial, Lane uncovered the surprising identities of Marchetti’s sources: James Angleton and William Corson, a former Marine officer who had served with Dulles’s son in Korea and later worked for the spymaster. Marchetti was clearly a conduit for the deep rumblings from within Langley. His article was a fascinating window into the CIA’s organizational psychology during a period of the agency’s greatest distress.
Marchetti himself was troubled by the unanswered questions swirling around the JFK assassination. “This is a thing in my mind that is not 100 percent certain,” he said. And much of Marchetti’s suspicion focused on Hunt. “[Some of the evidence about Hunt that came out during the Liberty Lobby trial] was just very, very strange.”
Mark Lane was an attorney turned writer and activist who had been loosely collaborating with Dorothy Kilgallen (see earlier chapter). Four weeks after the assassination of JFK, Lane published an article in the National Guardian dealing with questions regarding statements by public officials about the murders of J D Tippit and JFK from the perspective of a defense attorney. The statements were about the witnesses, the paraffin test, conflicting claims about the type of the rifle (which at first was, as the police announced, a German Mauser and afterwards a Mannlicher–Carcano), the Parkland Hospital doctors announcement of an entrance throat wound, and the role of the FBI and the media, who convicted Oswald before proven guilty. His first book on the JFK Assassination was called “A Rush to Judgement” first published in 1966 but using earlier material.
In 1991, Lane published “Plausible Denial” using information from the little-publicized libel trial Liberty Lobby and Victor Marchetti versus E Howard Hunt as described above. Lane working as defense counsel proved the truth of the fundamental allegations against Hunt and the CIA in court. His investigation uncovered a web of conspiracy and coverup that involved anti-Castro Cubans, Watergate conspirators, and public officials, reaching into the highest levels of the intelligence community. Lane obtained sworn statements from past CIA heads Stansfield Turner and Richard Helms, as well as David Atlee Phillips, G Gordon Liddy and Hunt himself. The forewoman of the jury, Leslie Armstrong, stated “Mr Lane was asking us to do something very difficult. He was asking us to believe that John Kennedy had been killed by our own government. Yet when we examined the evidence, we were compelled to conclude that the CIA had indeed killed President Kennedy.” In the end, the jury found in favor of Lane and his client.
Lane, tired of decades of effort in researching the murder, described Plausible Denial as his “last word” on JFK and told San Francisco Chronicle: “I’ll never write another sentence about the assassination”. In November 2011, Lane published a third major book on the JFK assassination titled “Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK”. And… er, his 1966 book, “A Rush to Judgement” was also updated in 2013.
Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has been writing about “Deep Politics” since 1993. He uncovered the system that allowed the Banks, Military Industrial Complex, the War Machine to communicate using a separate, secret and robust communications system built for the “Continuity of Government” in the event of new world war. He also authored “Drugs Oil and War, The Road to 9/11”, “The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War” and “American War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan.” Scott’s meticulously documented investigation examining the deep politics of early 1960s presents the case that JFK’s death was not just an isolated case, [just as proposed in this book] but a result hidden processes. Scott described these as “structural defects” within the American government that allowed such a crime to occur and to go unpunished.With copious references to original sources, he found ample reason to doubt the prevailing mainstream interpretations of the assassination especially the Lone Gunman theory and the investigations undertaken by the House Committee on Assassinations.
Revisiting the controversy popularized in Oliver Stone’s movie JFK, Scott probed the link between Kennedy’s assassination and the escalation of the US commitment in Vietnam: LBJ secretly annulled JFK’s plans to withdraw troops from Vietnam and so effectively offering proof of the effectiveness of the military-industrial complex.
David Talbot, co-founder of the salon.com website has written several books surround JFK. In 2015, he published “The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government,” which is a biography of CIA chief Allen Dulles (and of his Secretary of State brother, John Foster Dulles). These right wing brothers both felt they could blunder outside the rules of law in order to achieve, in their minds, worthy goals of defending the USA against the Soviets and encourage the rich and powerful to become richer. In the process, making themselves not only very rich but also with the strength of their own private army behind them, immensely powerful.
Of note within the book, Talbot writes: “Those resolute voices in American public life that continue to deny the existence of a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy argue that ‘someone would have talked.’ This line of reasoning is often used by journalists who have made no effort themselves to closely inspect the growing body of evidence and have not undertaken any of their own investigative reporting… The official version of the Kennedy assassination, despite its myriad improbabilities, which have only grown more inconceivable with time, remains firmly embedded in the media consciousness, as unquestioned as the law of gravity. In fact, many people have talked during the past half of a century, including some directly connected to the plot against Kennedy. But the media simply refused to listen. One of the most intriguing examples of someone talking occurred in 2003, when… Howard Hunt began unburdening himself to his eldest son, Saint John. But before Hunt died in 2007, he left behind video interviews, audiotapes, and notes in his own hand, as well as a somewhat revealing memoir called American Spy. Hunt’s confessional trove amounts to a tortured effort to reveal what he knew, while still guarding his family’s sensitivities, old professional loyalties, and whatever was left of his good name. After his father died, Saint John would make a valiant effort to get Hunt’s confessions, which should have been headline news, into the hands of the major media gatekeepers. A 60 Minutes producer spent days pouring over Saint John’s rich material, but he was finally forced to apologize that the story had been spiked from above. In the end, only Rolling Stone, along with a scattering of alternative media outlets, covered the story of Howard Hunt’s astonishing final statements about the crime of the century…”
Finally, with selected evidence presented in previous chapters, this chapter points to the probable responsible people in JFK’s assassination. There is no one person that killed JFK. Or RFK or MLK… but a system. Like all systems it will have obvious and not so obvious processes and characteristics.
The system model proposed in this book is as follows:
Client – the people and organization(s) generating demand for particular wants and demands
Broker – the people and organization(s) facing off to the clients and agreeing to particular services
Managers – the people and and organization(s) arranging to implement the services
Suppliers – the people and and organization(s) actually implementing the services.
Taking the example of Rainforest Destruction; nobody wants rainforest destruction but it happens. Why? Taking the simple model described above, the process can be observed: Clients want cheap beef-burgers, brokers are agents that sell them, the managers go out and seek cheap meat supplies and manages the suppliers and the suppliers supply the meat: in this case, cheap meat on essentially “free” land taken from the rainforest destroyed with no consequence, actually, with the government’s encouragement and blessing.
Applying that simple model Client, Brokers, Managers, Suppliers to the assassination system reveals culpability at many levels. This section is really about the model rather the specific names. More work would be required to define a definitive list.
A sample of the “clients” involved in the JFK assassination could be:
A)The Oilmen – JFK was planning on removing Oil Depletion Allowance
B)The Banks – JFK planned to stop the federal reserve printing money for profit
C)The Military Industrial Complex – JFK had planned to stop the war.
There are more “clients” but these are three most likely groups initiating a demand for action.
JFK wanted to eliminate the 27.5% Oil Depletion Allowance which would have raised taxes on the Oil Industry, well at least on the Texan Oil Industry, by hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Texas oilmen like H L Hunt and Clint Murchison already hated JFK for other reasons but this the final straw for them. It is proposed by many researchers that it is likely that the Oil men supplied the money to pay the Mafia, the Police and other people that needed to come into line. Peter Dale Scott who has conducted much research into US foreign policy, interconnection with secret services and economic policy in general has called the JFK assassination, “the Dallas Plot”.
There is a school of thought that the rich men people behind the banks: the Rothschilds and Rockafellers have been closely associate with war, assassinations and strife for many centuries; The assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the Napoleonic Wars, the start of War World One and the Great Depression have all been laid at the feet of the bankers, who of course only watch from the sidelines accumulating wealth which ever side wins the battle regardless of the consequences on the rest of humanity. Since JFK had inserted himself in the operation of the Federal Reserve Bank and effectively decreed to “end the fed”, this is likely to have put him on a collision path with some powerful people. On June 4, 1963, Executive Order 11110, was signed with the authority to strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government meaning that the privately owned bank would soon be out of business. The Christian Law Fellowship has exhaustively researched this matter through the Federal Register and Library of Congress and states “We can now safely conclude that this Executive Order has never been repealed, amended, or superseded by any subsequent Executive Order. In simple terms, it is still valid.” However, it has never been acted upon.
The link to the banks is very tenuous, from Warren Commission member, John J McCloy, former head of the World Bank, who was seen with Allen Dulles immediately before JFK’s assassination. Also attended the Clint Murchison mansion meal with the immensely well connected Richard Nixon, protege of Henry Kissinger… and the Rockafellas.
JFK was opposed to the escalating Vietnam conflict while LBJ had produced a report to expand it. Kennedy signed a National Security Document (NSA #263) to withdraw all of the troops by 1965. However, with 16,000 military advisors in Vietnam, the military industrial complex, in particular aircraft and helicopter manufacturing companies, wanted the war since it generated a lot of income. It was also a source of wealth creation for the CIA through their secret drug running operations.
The Pentagon and the military industrial complex were agitated because JFK had already signed a National Security memorandum to begin a phased withdrawal of American military from Vietnam. In addition, JFK had rejected the Joint Chiefs proposal to stage a false-flag attack using Operation Northwoods to provide a pretext to invade Cuba. In general, the Military Industrial Complex did not like JFK’s drive for peace and perceived “softness” on communism. JFK was doing the right thing for the world but the wrong thing for the small number of people that profited hugely from war.
One company that was a huge beneficiary of the Vietnam War was Bell Helicopter. Soldiers were commuted to and from the battlefield using Bell Huey helicopters. Vietnam sealed the fortune of Bell Helicopter company. For Royal Little of Textron, his investment in Bell Helicopter paid off handsomely. Close friends of the Bell family, LBJ and Lady Bird Johnson had invested heavily in Bell Helicopter stock. They, too, made a fortune from the Vietnam War.
There is an interesting connection to Oswald since he and Marina were friends with Ruth and Michael Paine (both of whom, as of 2016 are still alive). Michael Paine worked for Bell Helicopters and he was not just a factory worker. He was the stepson of Arthur M Young the inventor of the Bell Helicopter. (Young after inventing the concept then invested all his time and effort into the study of consciousness.) Paine personally helped develop Young’s initial models and prototypes, so his insight must have been invaluable to the company. Michael Paine had an amicable split from wife, Ruth, in September 1962 and Ruth went on to meet the Oswalds in February 1963. Michael did not like LHO because he was rude to Marina and was stopping her from learning English yet he stated on the PBS Frontline special “Who Was Lee Harvey Oswald” in 2013 that they had “shared interests”. Unspecified shared interests! What could they be? Central to Warren Commission’s report was Ruth Paine’s testimony concerned the storage of some of Oswald’s possessions in the Paine’s garage, including a supposed rifle wrapped in a blanket (which Ruth Paine first thought to be camping equipment.) The photos of Oswald holding the gun were found at the Paine’s house. Ruth Paine, interestingly, spoke Russian (hence how she and Marina became friends). Ruth directed Oswald towards the job at the Texas School Book Depository and, according to witness Police Officer Roger D Craig, may have picked Oswald up from the TSBD immediately after the shooting. The Paines were portrayed in Oliver Stone’s JFK as characters called “Bill and Janet Williams,” presumably to avoid legal action.
The immediacy of Oswald’s friends and connection to benefit from the Vietnam War (and hence benefit from JFK’s death) is disconcerting and obviously adds an extra coincidence factor into the already strained probability calculations.
Howard Hughes’s life is famously celebrated in the movie “The Aviator”: pioneer aviator, business man, aircraft builder and TWA airline owner. Most people know that he lived out the most of the 1950s and 1960s away from the media glare and he eventually died alone. Most people do not know that his business moved into the heart of Military Industrial Complex, building less high profile but still highly profitable technical systems including missile, satellite systems and avionics. And helicopters. Howard Hughes’ behaviour became increasingly strange from the mid-1950s onwards. He used body doubles in meetings (such as Brucks Randell in 1957), started working behind physical screens in supposedly face to face meetings but usually conducted business by telephone. So the theory goes: Hughes introduced a fake version of himself, apparently a penniless drug addict, to live at his apartment and when he died, he effectively faked his own death. Implausible? It certainly seemed plausible to researchers Mark Musick and Douglas Wellman who spent four years investigating Eva McLelland’s story of how she had spent her reclusive upper middle class life married to a mystery man (who died in 2001) that she claimed was Howard Hughes…
Howard Hughes was a known financial sponsor to Richard Nixon according to news reporter Jack Anderson in 1971. (This is recorded in Mark Feldstein’s 2010 book “Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture” about how Nixon plotted to kill Anderson.) Hughes also had ties to RFK’s assassin and mixed with Mafia bosses in Las Vegas.
Could Hughes reclusive and strange behavior in the 1950s and 1960s be associated with a guilty conscience rather than just a compulsive-obsessive disorder? Was he a “client” campaigning for JFK’s death since JFK had stopped his preferred candidate, Nixon, becoming President and was planning to stop the profitable Vietnam War?
Having a desire is insufficient; a banker or an oilman or a businessman cannot just purchase an assassination. An enabler, a shop window, a facilitator… a broker is required to catch the desire and translate it into a service. In this case, the desire was to stop JFK. In an earlier chapter, the example of the Guatemalan Coup showed how the CIA “enabled” United Fruits, just a few people’s interests, to crush a whole country. In the same way, it is proposed that the CIA was the broker for JFK’s assassination. How can this be, if the CIA was itself a government agency? Peter Dale Scott addresses that point: “Conventional political analysis claims that the CIA is limited by the constitutional system of checks and balances in which Congress controls by its power of the purse. Congress maintains the power of the purse, which gives lawmakers the ability to defund specific programs the federal agency holds dear”… but the CIA maintains the secret documents of the their covert operations and so Congress does not see the complete picture to conduct much oversight. Scott continues: “…since its outset, the CIA has always had access to large amounts of off-the books or offshore funds to support its activities. Indeed, the power of the purse has usually worked in an opposite sense, since those in control of deep state offshore funds supporting CIA activities have for decades also funded members of Congress and of the executive, not vice versa.” The point being made is that the CIA does not need any funds from central government and since it has editorial control of the media, it controls the politicians rather than the other way around! All any covert operation needed was the attention and sponsorship of the spymaster chief, Allen Dulles.
Examples of CIA’s sources of offshore and off-the-books funding include:
A) Over $10 million in captured Axis funds to influence the Italian election of 1948.
B) Under the Marshall Plan, Allen Dulles and James Forrestal had a legal source for off-the-books CIA funding to enable the “capability to conduct political warfare” which amounted to millions of dollars (worth billions in today’s money).
C) Drug money to support anti-communist armies in the Far East, the “American War Machine.“
D) CAT Inc (later called Air America) partly owned by KMT bankers in Taiwan (to allow the CIA to deny responsibility) which ferried drugs and money.
In Laos, the CIA supplied airstrips and planes to support a 30,000-man drug-financed Laotian army. And issues with the CIA were not raised since the CIA provided donations to both political parties to keep the politicians sweet.
All the while, the CIA were researching new and novel ways of murdering people (supplementing the methods and processes recorded in the 1950’s Assassin’s Manual) or controlling them via drugs and hypnosis via Operation MK-ULTRA, whilst ensuring they covered up any scrutiny because they had the cover “National Security” and control of the media and message via Operation Mockingbird.
The CIA had access to people and resources to ensure the means of assassination. These were the Managers of the Big Event. The managers can be split into three conspiracy groups: the High Level Players including LBJ, Dulles and Hoover providing a key “governance” stakeholder group. Middle ranking managers within Mafia and other government organisations providing operational and logistical support. Finally there were the management team directly managing the suppliers.
LBJ whose ambition, pride and ruthlessness were unexcelled, after three years of inside ridicule at the hands of the Kennedy crowd, was listening to the rumors that he was going to be dumped from the ticket especially with the knowledge of the Billy Sol Estes and Bobby Baker scandals were about to crash his political career. LBJ never matters happen by chance. There are a string of other murders that he has been associated not only technically but also legally. There is photographic proof of his glee at JFK’s death (the wink), countless reports of his hatred of the Kennedy’s and association with other key players. He has admitted to key witnesses his involvement in the murder.
But Johnson could not do this alone. JFK was, after all, the President of the United States, shielded by secret service men and a population overwhelmingly on his side. JFK was completely relaxed in crowds. There are many photos of him smiling happily with hordes of people surrounding him.
LBJ would require more than his usual trigger-man, Wallace. It would require a people who could coordinate the intelligence community, the FBI and organized crime.
Dulles, as well as brokering the deal with vested interests, is the number one suspect for top supervisor of the JFK ambush. Dulles hated JFK for his subversion of the Bay of Pigs scheme and his hands-off-Cuba pact with the Soviets after the missile crisis. JFK fired him. Although he never lost power because he had control of the CIA’s money making operations. Top CIA officials still met up with Dulles as though he had never left office. He still had access to CIA files and advised on the CIA operations such as the lucrative, super-secret Air America operations in Indochina. These plans were so secret that probably only Dulles knew them all. That’s how he kept himself in the loop of power. Anyone unconvinced of Dulles’ ability to manipulate events should read David Talbot’s 2015 book “The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government”.
A Fort Worth Press front page photo a few days before the assassination showed Allen Dulles at the LBJ Ranch.
LBJ nominated him Dulles to the Warren Commission a few days after JFK’s assassination and it was Dulles that proposed the Lone Gunman theory within the first half an hour of the first meeting of the Commission members, no doubt using a pre-conceived cover story selected from the CIA Assassination Manual. All evidence was then allocated to that theory and anything that did not fit was thrown out; hence the inclusion of the Single Bullet, aka Magic Bullet, theory, suppression of the Zapruder movie (through his Life magazine-owning friend, Henry Luce), the doctoring of the Zapruder movie at CIA offices and other speculation masquerading as fact.
Jim Garrison’s conclusion in his investigations was that it was the CIA that killed Kennedy even if his evidence trail was a dead end, he knew where it would lead. For “CIA”, read “Allen Dulles”.
E Howard Hunt does not name Dulles at the key plotter, Dulles recruited him and apparently Hunt was still loyal to him, but he did list numerous CIA employees and every one whom he implicated led directly back to Dulles.
Dulles went on to live a long life before finally dying at the age of 75 at home just before a family dinner. Such was the love between Dulles and his long suffering wife, that his wife ignored his death, preferring to have a nice meal with the family and then feigned surprise of his death afterwards. Thereafter she cared more for the bed linen that he was wrapped in for his journey to the morgue than for her husband’s carcass.
J Edgar Hoover and his FBI hated everything about the Kennedys, including their boss, RFK, attorney general of the United States, and Hoover knew that JFK planned to “retire” him (he was in his late sixties, after all). Hoover was essential for the cover-up of the whole assassination. It was Hoover that drew up the scope and limits of the Warren Commission. Hoover and LBJ were good friends. He had been feeding LBJ with information since the 1950s. Hoover himself had been compromised by the Mafia from his homosexuality and gambling habits. Hoover was also associated with trouble making for many politicians and prominent people (MLK, for instance). He was the perfect person to maintain the Lone Gunman storyline of the assassination since the FBI controlled the evidence.
LBJ allowed Hoover to run the FBI “for life”.
Nixon feared firing him but fortunately he died of a heart attack in 1972. Helped along with a CIA Heart Attack gun perhaps?
The bigwigs commissioned the plot but they did not plan it in detail. So who did? Extracted by journalist Dan Evans in 2011, the following is taken from the testimony of Billy Sol Estes, a close associate of LBJ… Billy Sol Estes claims that the plot was planned and coordinated by a man named Clark. Edward Aubrey Clark was the assistant to Governor James Allred since 1935 where he met LBJ and they became friends. Clark later set up a law practice and also worked as a political lobbyist for the oil industry. One of his main clients was Big Oil, a company owned by Clint Murchison. He was often a guests at the Murchison’s Del Charro Hotel. Clark was known as “The Arranger.”
According to Barr McClellan’s controversial book “Blood, Money & Power: How LBJ Killed JFK”, a few years after the assassination, a partner in Clark’s law firm actually bragged about Clark’s involvement in the affair by saying, “I’m the only living man who knows what happened in Box 13…” (Referring to Johnson’s rigged senate election) “But Clark took care of things in Dallas.”
It was Clark that decided the murder would be best done on their own turf in Dallas. They could use LBJ’s own men in the Police, legal firms and judiciary to manage events. Through Clark’s many contacts at the Del Charro Hotel, he had access to the Mafia, the FBI and the CIA. The latter was involved through the mob’s association with William King “Bill” Harvey, a former FBI man who worked with the CIA’s foreign assassination projects.
Edward Clark, acting on orders from LBJ, had arranged for all the parties who wanted Kennedy killed to contribute either manpower or resources. Oswald was the CIA’s contribution. Malcolm Wallace was Johnson’s. The mob contributed expert hit men to take the head-on shot. Big oil, namely Murchison, put up the cash. In return, big oil retained their Oil Depletion Allowance. The CIA maintained their Air America operation, the mob besides money would gain easement from the FBI. LBJ avoided being indicted for his corruption with Billy Sol Estes and Bobby Baker, almost certain imprisonment, and gained his ambition of becoming POTUS.
Richard Nixon was also a major beneficiary of the JFK assassination and there is plenty of evidence that through his dealing with other plotters he may have had hands-on management of various events.
Nixon was in Dallas at the time of the assassination, attending the meal at Murchison’s mansion the night before the Big Event. When he was pressed many years later what he was doing at the time of the JFK assassination, he claimed he could not recall. Unlike the rest of the people on the planet whose flashbulb memory can instantly recall where they were and what they were doing. Nixon did not refer to the JFK assassination on the Watergate Tapes, he referred to it as “The Whole Bay of Pigs Thing” also mentioning Hunt and his wife by name. Hunt’s and Nixon’s relationship went back to 1947. In the late 1950s Nixon (as VP) and Hunt worked together on the plans for the actual Bay of Pigs fiasco; Hunt had modeled it on the “successful” Guatemalan Coup.
In 1972, five Hunt-recruited former CIA men, all veterans of the Bay of Pigs invasion planning, were caught by police while breaking into Democratic headquarters at the Watergate office building in Washington. Fearing the burglary would be traced back to the White House, Nixon immediately started a cover up, essentially blackmailing CIA Director Richard Helms via Haldeman: “Hunt knows too damned much … If this gets out that this is all involved … it would make the CIA look bad, it’s going to make Hunt look bad, and it’s likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs thing … which we think would be very unfortunate for both the CIA and the country … and for American foreign policy.” Haldeman confirmed that Nixon’s threat and that it was real: the CIA had reason to fear Hunt’s possible disclosure of “Bay of Pigs” secrets. Many of the censorship blanks “for national security reasons” on Nixon’s Whitehouse Tapes are apparently associated with conversations about the Whole-Bay-Of-Pigs-Thing, codeword for the JFK assassination.
Nixon knew the Warren Commission was a farce despite publicly endorsing (even before it was published). On a tape recorded in the White House in 1972, Nixon told two top aides that the Warren Commission Report pulled off “the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated.”
In fact, Nixon had connections to the Mafia both with Jimmy Hoffa and Sam Giancana. Nixon and Jack Ruby even knew other and Ruby was in Nixon’s debt of honor! (As described in an earlier chapter). Nixon confidant Robert Maheu fronted for the CIA on the Mob plots to kill Castro providing the go-between from US intelligence services and organized crime. Maheu had performed previous “dirty tricks” for both Nixon and Sam Giancana. Nixon was also connected to the Rockefeller bankers via his mentor Henry Kissinger and to the Military Industrial Complex via funding from Howard Hughes.
Nixon was connected to a plot to kill reporter Jack Anderson because he was breaking too many stories about Nixon and his Mafia links. This would be achieved by CIA poison using his Washington Plumbers, according to Mark Feldstein’s 2010 book “Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington’s Scandal Culture”.
Nixon resisted the calls for a new JFK assassination and when he resigned handed over the Presidency to recently selected Veep, Gerald Ford, ex-Warren Commission Board member (probably not a coincidence).
In a generally overlooked revelation in a post-Watergate book, Nixon’s Chief of Staff, H R Haldeman suggested when Nixon first entered the White House an investigation into the Kennedy assassination but Nixon turned it down. Haldeman went onto to say that the CIA pulled off a “fantastic cover-up” that “literally erased any connection between the Kennedy assassination and the CIA. Don Fulson wrote in 2003, “Richard Nixon’s greatest Cover-Up: His Ties to the Assassination of President Kennedy!”
Cord Meyer, CIA officer and former husband to JFK lover, Mary Pinchot Meyer, was particularly beholden to Dulles, who had saved his career in 1953, when Joe McCarthy tried to purge the agency of those agents who had once been youthful idealists. In the fall of 1963, during the weeks leading up to the Kennedy assassination, Meyer was a guest at the Dulles’s home on more than one occasion as well as James Angleton.
In 1963 James Jesus Angleton was Chief of the Counterintelligence in CIA reporting to Allen Dulles. His main role was to spot Soviet Spies in the USA and western nations, but since he lunched with British (and Soviet) spy Kim Philby each week for 15 years, there is suspicion that Angleton himself was a double agent. Even if he was not, he was certainly in a compromised position and should have handed the role over to someone new. But he continued to be held in high regard until his retirement in 1975. Only then was the true extent of his paranoia became apparent. He had by then accumulated dozens of heavy weight safes in CIA offices containing over 40,000 files; these safes were only accessible to him. When they were finally busted open, it revealed a file on Oswald confirming that the CIA were tracking before him before the assassination.
Angleton was a member of the Georgetown Set and bugged Mary Pinchot Meyer’s home and took her diary (and apparently destroyed it.) He also had links to E Howard Hunt and Bill Harvey. In 1975, when he was asked about the failure of the CIA to destroy its stocks of dangerous saxitoxin, he replied that: “It is inconceivable that …[the CIA]… has to comply with all the overt orders of the government!” When pressed, he reiterated his statement. He was no doubt expressing the common attitude within the CIA that they were beyond any form of external political control.
Richard Helms helped Dulles with the cover up to the Warren Commission later become head of the CIA. On the Watergate Tapes when Nixon confronts Helms with Watergate going on to expose the whole-bay-of-pigs thing, Helms loses his temper. Why he do that unless he knew that the CIA were intimately involved? Helms was apparently “scared to death of this guy [E Howard] Hunt… because he knows where a lot of the bodies are buried.”
Almost unbelievably GWH “Poppy” Bush has been associated with the JFK assassination based on his relationship to the CIA (both during the the 1960s and later when he ran the CIA between 1976-77), his father Prescot Bush was involved in the 1930s Business Plot to overthrow Roosevelt (according to General Smedley Butler) and his co-founding of an off-shore Oil Company, Zapata Oil that explored the Caribbean.
Joan Mellen, author of 22 books, many of which cover the CIA and JFK, has established links between George HW Bush to the CIA in 1963 and to George de Mohrenschildt and Lee Harvey Oswald. George de Mohrenschildt was the rich Russian oilman who was a friend to Oswald. He and his wife defended Oswald’s character and stated that he could not have been a Lone Gunman Assassin. In the late 1970’s, shortly before the first meeting of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, de Mohrenschildt became paranoid and began having hallucinations. Was he being subjected to an MKULTRA program? On the same day that the Committee tried to contact him about testifying, he was found dead of a gunshot wound, supposedly this was suicide. In his personal address book was an entry for George HW Bush and Zapata Oil.
Jim Fetzer in 2013 found a picture of GHWB with LBJ’s personal hitman, Mac Wallace and also discovered that both Bush and Wallace belonged to the same secret society: Skull and Bones. So GWHB and Wallace knew each other.
E Howard Hunt as described in an earlier chapter. In 1963 he was acting as paymaster to Sturgis, Morales and Philips. He gave a deathbed confession to his son which minimised his own involvement but clearly he was in the thick of the it. His files are still classified. It would be unlikely that he was a shooter.
Implicated by Hunt. Known as the CIA’s James Bond and hitman for the CIA. His files are still classified. In 1963 he acted as the go-between from LBJ’s aide, Edward “The Arranger” Clarke, to the CIA team in Dallas: Hunt, Philips, Sturgis, Morales, Gonzalez and Barker. He was apparently known as the Head of Assassins within the CIA, although it is doubtful this was an official title. Harvey was so familiar with the CIA’s assassination machinery, that he was subpoenaed by the Church Committee to testify about the CIA’s assassination plots. At the time fake news was being circulated about him “going rogue” and Harvey felt that he was the target of character assassination. Harvey’s consistently glowing CIA reports show that there was nothing rogue about Bill Harvey: he was described as a dedicated and highly valued professional. Harvey always vehemently denied that he was a reckless maverick despite countless stories of the strong-armed tactics he employed. Testifying before the Church Committee, he insisted that he had never done anything that was “unauthorized, freewheeling or in any way outside the framework of my responsibilities and duties as an officer of the agency.” In the words of his daughter, Sally, the CIA “threw him under the bus.”
Watergate burglar and undercover operative involved in many CIA operations in 1950s. E Howard Hunt implicated Sturgis in the JFK Assassination in his deathbed confession. Sturgis was well connected to the mob-linked former casino owners in Havana as well as high ranking officers in the USAF making him a lethal conduit of information between vested interests and political power for more than two and half decades. If not a shooter than he was part of the Management.
Implicated by Hunt. Known heavy and hitman for the CIA. His files are still classified.
E Howard Hunt’s protege, was the CIA counterintelligence specialist who had worked closely with Hunt on the Guatemala coup and the Bay of Pigs invasion. Like Harvey and Morales, Phillips did not belong to the Ivy League elite. Phillips had been a nose gunner during World War II, not an OSS spy. He was recruited by the CIA in Latin America where he had gone to make his fortune. His covert work won the admiration of Richard Helms, who made him chief of the agency’s Cuba operations after Harvey was whisked off to Rome soon after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. In that position, Phillips intermingled with the anti-Castro/Mafia set, particularly Carlos Marcello.
Hunt also implicated Baker, another of the Washington Plumbers. A Cuban from a Russian family, he was involved the training of mercenaries for the Bay of Pigs invasion. On the day of the assassination, Barker is believed to be on the Grassy Knoll ordering people out of the area. According to a police officer in Dealey Plaza, Baker flashed a Secret Service identification badge.
There should be a special mention to the famed cameramen for the JFK assassination, high ranking and well connected freemason, Abraham Zapruder, who was in exactly the right position to capture the murder and did not flinch as the snipers bullets started flying. His office was on the fourth floor of the Daltex building, where some JFK researchers have indicated that the Mafia hit team shot at JFK. (The Daltex building while one block along from the TSBD building had a perfect straight line view down Elm Street.) He gave his movie film to the CIA for the weekend after the assassination and on the following Monday sold the rights to movie to Life magazine, owned by Allen Dulles’ chum, Henry Luce. The movie was not seen by the public until 1975.
The suppliers do the dirty work. In this case, it would be done with Mafia, CIA and other for-hire hitmen. The CIA for their part would have liked potential assassins to be recruited from Mafia ranks, so that if any of their activities were disclosed, organized crime could be blamed.
Organized crime, which had worked with the CIA since it began as the OSS in World War II, wanted its lucrative casinos back in Havana, plus its drug-and-gun-running and money laundering profits from Cuba. The mob thought they had helped get Kennedy elected and showered him with molls to bed, and for their troubles Bobby cracked down on them. Resentment can be traced back to Joe Kennedy Senior, who made his fortune running booze during Prohibition, generating plenty of underworld enemies.
According to mob lawyer Frank Ragano, various heads of the Mafia were consulted on the plan, including Jimmy Hoffa who passed a message on July 24, 1963 to Marcello and Trafficante which read [Hoffa] “wants you to do a little favor for him. You won’t believe this, but he wants you to kill John Kennedy. He wants you to get rid of the president right away.” However, this and other stories regarding Giancana, Roselli, Costello and so on appears to be a claim to “bragging rights”. Sam Giancana told relatives he was in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963 to supervise that plot claiming that he had met with both Nixon and LBJ “immediately prior to the assassination” and that they “knew about the whole damn thing!” Arguably the Mafia could also be a “client” for JFK’s assassination since they would have liked Cuba back under their control, but Dulles would not have accepted such demand from any of the Mafia bosses (even if they did have Hoover in their back pocket with incriminating evidence). No, the Mafia bosses approved their own participation and promoted the murder but in essence they could not have carried it out without the instigation and assistance of government agencies.
There is evidence that Carlos Marcello worked at the same level as CIA officer David Atlee Phillips and they coordinated resources for JFK assassination and subsequent cover up. Marcello bragged about his role in the assassination and this was captured on tape when he was jailed in a bugged prison cell.
So that dinner on November 21, 1963, at Murchison mansion in Dallas, Texas, to ratify the plans to murder Kennedy the next day, were the Mafia bosses invited? There is little evidence to confirm that they were. The mob had plenty of assassins but they did not have the experience for a military-style triangulation that killed JFK: it was not their style, they favored up-close-and-personal techniques like garroting and hand guns. The ultimate shooter was most likely a Mafia man but the Mafia were not the decision makers that they thought (and even claim) they were, even though.
As one commentator put it summarized: “There’s at least three different groups that claim independently they did it: There’s the Chicago mob, the Miami mob, and the New Orleans mob. But it’s all hearsay.”
There are no shortage of shooters of JFK other than Oswald including:
A) Charles Voyde Harrelson (estranged father of actor Woody Harrelson) who was a known assassin and died in jail (of a heart attack) in 2007. Claimed (and renounced) his involvement in the assassination. Researchers have linked Harrelson to the tallest and youngest looking of the “Three Tramps”. (However, as pointed out before this is not strong evidence).
B) Jean Souetre, French OAS commando, who was connected to the plots against President de Gaulle. Souetre was arrested in Dallas after the JFK assassination and expelled to Mexico. Souetre’s expulsion brought an urgent inquiry from French intelligence officials to the CIA about the dangerous outlaw’s likely whereabouts, since de Gaulle was about to travel to Mexico for a state visit.
C) Malcom “Mac” Wallace. LBJ hitman, Mac Wallace, was not only successfully prosecuted for one murder and tied to multiple other murders that helped LBJ but also, by fingerprints, (actually a palm print) to the boxes forming the sniper’s nest at the TSBD. In 1970 Wallace returned to Dallas and began pressing Edward Clark for more money for his part in the assassination of JFK. According to Barr McClellan, Clark had him eliminated by rigging part of exhaust into his car on a day when he knew that Wallace undertaking a long journey to visit his daughter. January, 7, 1971, Wallace died in a car crash apparently having fallen asleep at the wheel.
D) Virgilio Gonzalez, Cuban Watergate burglar and undercover operative involved in many CIA operations in 1950s. Associate of David Morales. E Howard Hunt implicated Gonzalez in the JFK Assassination in his deathbed confession. Some researchers claim he was the shooter located in the Dal-Tex building (which had a clear shot at JFK on Dealey Plaza).
E) Eugenio Martinez, Cuban Watergate burglar and associate of Virgilio Gonzalez, also implicated by E Howard Hunt. Some researchers claim he was the spotter working with Gonzalez in the Dal-Tex building on the day of assassination.
F) Charles “Chuckie” Nicoletti, a hitman for Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana. James Files (see below) claims he was a shooter in the Dal-Tex building. Files claims that one of his shots hit JFK.
G) Johnny Roselli, the Mafioso that was originally connected the CIA with the Mob Bosses, Sam Giancana and Joe Trafficante via Nixon confident, Robert Maheu. After Bill Harvey took control of the Castro hit squad, Johnny Roselli was the only person he retained in the original team. James Files (see below) claims he supported Nicoletti in the Dal-Tex building.
H) James Files. The most likely killer of JFK.
James Files was a US military advisor, a veteran of the Vietnam war where he initially taught Laotian soldiers and then helped train the mercenaries for the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion, both for the CIA. For the Cuban operation, he mixed with the Mafia Castro assassination squad recruited by the CIA. When JFK halted the Cuban operations, he became directly employed by the Mafia. Controversially, Files stated there was continued collusion between the Mafia and the CIA on other operations including eventually the mission to kill JFK. He claimed that CIA men felt betrayed over JFK’s failure to back the Bay of Pigs invasion and feared the agency would be shut down.
Files joined the “Outfit” in Chicago, becoming a right-hand man to Mafia chief hitman Charles “Chuckie” Nicoletti, who worked for mob boss Sam Giancana. While working for the mob, Files continued to have a CIA handler.
In November 1963, Files was one of several Mafia hitman recruited for the JFK assassination. He claimed Lee Harvey Oswald knew all about the plot and that the two of them fired weapons together and checked out positions at the Dealey Plaza and that was the reason why Oswald was supposedly given the job in the TSBD in the first place. Oswald though thought he had finished his job and had not appreciated he was being set up until after he was arrested. There is evidence that Oswald attempted to warn the Authorities about the plot.
On the morning of the assassination Files stated he was joined by Nicoletti, who took up a sniper’s position with another Mafia sniper, Johnny Roselli, in the Daltex office building, next block along from the TSBD. The Daltex had straight clear view down Elm Street where the motorcade had been re-routed. Files role was a back-up shooter since the plan required JFK to be shot from behind. Files took up position behind a fence at the top of the infamous grassy knoll.
As a weapons expert, Files had access to and selected to use a “prototype” weapon not available to the public at the time, a Remington XP-100 fireball. It was short (so easily hidden), reliable, accurate, certainly at the short range from the grassy knoll to the road. Files stated that he used a mercury tipped bullet that would explode on impact and would guarantee a kill. His instructions were to go for a headshot if JFK had survived the initial volley. Files said: “I fired one shot and one shot only. Mr Nicoletti hit him as I squeezed off my round. I hit him and blew the head backwards.”
Files’ story could have been easily confirmed or denied by an examination of JFK tissue samples. The mercury bullet would have left widespread evidence of its use which could be easily detected even years after the event. Such evidence would have been available: JFK’s brain and other tissue samples were taken and stored in a secure room the National Archives in 1965. But just six months later, according to James Swanson in his 2013 book “In End Of Days: The Assassination Of John F Kennedy”, archivists found that JFK’s brain, 84 slides of the brain and boxes full of tissue from Kennedy’s body were gone: stolen!
Many people involved in the crime of the century were highly successful in the years that followed. It was the reward for their complicity and silence. Nixon, Ford and Bush (Senior) went on to become President.
Hoover continued his position and avoided embarrassment about his homosexuality. When LBJ assumed the Presidency, Hoover’s direct links into the White House were re-established. Johnson praised Hoover warmly, even writing an executive order exempting Hoover, then sixty nine, from compulsory retirement at seventy, Johnson hailed him as “a quiet, humble and magnificent public servant… an anathema to all evil men… The nation cannot afford to lose you. No other American, now or in our past, has served the cause of justice so faithfully and so well.”
Dulles had his revenge. The CIA was not broken up, the CIA-Mafia Castro murder plot was suitably blurred and the organization built on his pattern went from strength to strength.
E Howard Hunt, of course, went on to become President Nixon’s chief dirty trickster and secret intelligence operative. However when push came to shove, Nixon was prepared to let Hunt take the blame, he was expendable. Hunt did not figure out how these men really saw him until many years later. “I thought, mistakenly, that I was dealing with honorable men,” he said near the end of his life. To the Georgetown set, there would always be something low class about men like Hunt, Harvey, Phillips, Sturgis and Morales. They would never mix socially with Dulles or Helms or even Cord Meyer. They were indispensable but only until they became expendable.
Hunt et al were the indispensable “managers” sent to Dallas in November 1963 to coordinate and organize the dirty work with both deep pockets and the gonads to stand up to the Mafia men supplying services to the CIA. In the end they were all expendable… but the most expendable of all was a young ex-marine with a troubled past named Lee Harvey Oswald.
The implications of State Sponsored Assassinations upon not only foreign aggressors but also political opponents are profound.
It is clearly morally wrong and illegal.
How do they get away with it?
What should we, as citizens, do next?
One of the main differences between the East or the West has been the focus on individual liberty and democracy and this makes the West try harder than the East to develop a compelling narrative for world events. This official narrative has aspects of the truth that are genuine and this is usually enough to assuage the public’s curiosity into a state of narcolepsy. The vast majority of people in the West believes their own state-run and privately run media is more honest and their governments more honorable than in the East. And while this is undoubtedly the case in many respects, the assumption of free and completely honest media has been dispelled multiple times even before the internet-enabled fact checking became accessible to anyone with a personal computer. The mainstream media in the West is in fact carefully and effectively controlled as much in the West as in the East when it comes to matters of national security. The effect of this media control grid is that the vast majority of the people in the West buy into the official story of world events, whatever it is. They believe what their government and their media tell them and when confronted with contrary evidence will reject it completely because of “cognitive dissonance”: it upsets their life-long worldview.
The impact of this control is that Western governments have no fear of exposure in the media for any heinous state crime including political assassinations or false flag attacks. In fact, for many crimes, all The Powers That Be need is a simple, often flimsy, cover story which is effectively seized upon by the mainstream media and amplified (and never analyzed).
Returning to JFK, although the Warren Commission’s conclusions were in place before it began its investigation, the majority of commentators in the mainstream media considered it to have made a convincing case that Oswald was guilty. Newspapers and television stations have consistently supported the Warren Commission’s verdict and continue to do so. The flimsy assertions from the The Powers That Be are good enough because the overwhelming majority people will not do any analysis or research the truth.
Sam Giancana stated “On November 22, 1963, the United States had a coup; it’s that simple. The government of this country was overthrown by a handful of guys who did their jobs so damned well…not one American even knew it happened.”
Sam Giancana was right. But who would listen to Mafia Boss? When President Nixon was recorded saying in 1972 that the Warren Commission Report pulled off “the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated.” People shrugged it off, thinking “if Nixon was involved in the JFK Assassination, I would have heard about by now.” Documentaries about Nixon will damn him for many policy mistakes but will make no mention of his role planning the Bay of Pigs invasion or other aspects of the JFK assassination: his watergate cover-up is a just another cover-up. Few people digs deeper.
Although that’s not quite true. Even without digging too deep, 60% of Americans doubt the official story of JFK’s assassination, although this skepticism has never translated into anything tangible. There are so many loose ends and what-ifs and new distractions that no progress is ever made. For instance, on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death, a new set of propositions were touted: that a secret service agent accidentally fired his gun. Yet more fluff from the mainstream media on the minutiae of the event rather than focusing on the big picture and glaring holes in the official narrative. It is so easy to disprove the lone assassin theory, yet under the threat of litigation and perhaps even high level control, they do not venture to stray outside of the official orthodoxy.
Why care today since most, if not all, the perpetrators are dead? It is the fact that the crime has been covered up. The government and the mainstream media has lied. Having lied without restraint about the death of a President, can it be seriously believed about anything of any importance? And the JFK network of deaths show the systematic murder of anybody that challenges the system. Murder for truth telling!? Such evil politics has grown more audacious since JFK, taking out good men and women: inspired leaders such as MLF, RFK and many others. The world has lost so much and continues to lose out. The Powers That Be have now escalated to mass murders like the (obvious false flag) Oklahoma City bombing and the (obvious false flag) World Trade Center with a complicit mainstream media pointing at some politically useful external bogeyman. How is this style of government ultimately going to work out for you, your children and grandchildren?
We should not tolerate a system of government based on lies, secrets and assassinations which has been allowed to be incorporated and solidified into the culture of the US government. While obviously such badness has been around for centuries and in many countries, we can trace the current regime and trail of blood back to one day, the day that JFK was murdered. Even if that day itself was the culmination of a trail of events that go back to World War 2 and probably before.
The system model proposed in the previous chapter: Client, Broker, Managers, Suppliers. Action at every level is required to stop the corruption of Democracy by Deep Politics. Here is a starter for ten as an agenda:
Rather than wait for “trickle-down economics” to work, multi-billionaires should have their assets frozen and examined for nefarious activities of warping the political process in their favor. We are probably only talking about a 1000 people at most. Each one of these multi-billionaires should judged by a randomly selected audience. Let the billionaires be examined in public. If they have legitimately earned the money and using it wisely then good on them. But if their fortune is “inherited” or “unearned” then let’s tax them properly on these “lucky” developments. Allow them to keep one of their luxury houses, the rest should be sold off to developers and their billions re-distributed.
Brokers for assassination? In the JFK case, it is clear. It was the CIA. It was Allen Dulles: he is the most guilty of the band of conspirators. The CIA was very much moulded upon direction from Allen Dulles and it systematically follows the same plan. Dulles, considered the creator of the modern United States intelligence system and was the instigator to clandestine operations during the Cold War, but it seems he was only interested in the wealth and power of his position. He established intelligence networks worldwide to check and counter the Soviets but he also set up his own untaxed income from illegal drugs… (And it still continues: Heroin from Afghanistan for instance…) Such evil is not easy to fix, where there is money there will be people to provide the required service: legal or illegal. But there is one quick fix: split the CIA between information gathering and covert operations, just as JFK and others have suggested! If covert operations are required then let the military arrange it under political control and not allow the CIA to run another private military force.
The CIA and FBI should be on the side of the people not the politicians or (in Hoover’s case) organized crime. Institute education programs in such services and measure the results of the training. Test the “managers” for competency by an independent panel of citizens to try to stop the paranoid incompetence of, say, a James Angleton, ever to be in a position of power again.
We need to stop the glamorization of assassins in movies, TV shows and computer games. Remove Police Officers made of the wrong stuff. De-militarize the Police and celebrate non-violent policing success. To break up criminal gangs, make all drugs legal (but taxable) and provide much more health advice.
Just because the West appears to be “better” than the likes of Russia, China and the myriad of other even more compromised governments does not mean that we should overlook patent evil and criminal behavior. We must strive for better outcomes not just for the Oligarchy, the likes of the Georgetown Set, the bankers or the Oil companies but for all non-psychopaths of the world. We do not want the world set on a trajectory envisioned by HG Wells “The Time Machine” of Morlock’s farming and praying upon the innocent Eloi. It must be stopped.
John “John John” Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr was JFK’s second child born two weeks after JFK was elected President, his older sister is Caroline Kennedy. JFK was assassinated three days before JFK-Jr’s third birthday. Robert Kennedy then took a leading role as the father figure in JFK-Jr’s childhood until his assassination. He then moved of the USA for a while with his mother and new stepfather.
From his early childhood onwards, John-John was the subject of great deal of media scrutiny, and he became a popular social figure of Manhattan. Trained as a lawyer, he worked as a New York City Assistant District Attorney for four years. Always in the media spotlight, he was celebrated for the good looks that he inherited from his parents. In 1988, he was named the “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine. He was linked romantically with several celebrities, including the actress Daryl Hannah, whom he dated for five years. In September 1996, he married girlfriend Carolyn Bessette, a fashion publicist. The two shared an apartment in New York City, where Kennedy was often seen ice skating in public. Known for his adventurous nature, he nonetheless took pains to separate himself from the more self-destructive behavior of some of the other men in the Kennedy clan. In 1995, he launched George magazine, using his political and celebrity status to publicize it. The magazine circulation grew to more than 400,000. JFK Jr. was the only Kennedy to ever acknowledge a conspiracy in his father’s death, publishing an article by Oliver Stone in his magazine about assassination conspiracies, and lying history books.
For many years Kennedy was asked if he was interested in politics as a career and he replied “not for the time being”. Back in 1988, Kennedy addressed the Democratic National Convention, introducing his uncle, Senator Ted Kennedy and received a two-minute standing ovation. Later, he also supported his cousin Patrick J Kennedy’s campaign for local office. Before the days of the selfie, John sat outside the polling booth to have his polaroid picture taken with would-be voters; People queued up to pose next to the handsome, charismatic Kennedy. The polaroid ploy worked so well that Patrick Kennedy used it again in 1994. Uncle Ted Kennedy believed that politics was John’s destiny and various polls between 1996 to 1999 showed Kennedy Jr as the most popular Democrat in New York. John was reportedly considering a run for Senate in 2000 to replace retiring Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a seat that was later won by President Clinton’s wife, Hillary.
On July 16, 1999, Kennedy took off in his single engined Piper Saratoga aircraft from Essex County airport in New Jersey and to fly to Martha’s Vineyard en-route to his final destination, Cape Cod’s Hyannis Port for the marriage of Rory Kennedy, the youngest child of the late Robert F Kennedy. He had turned down an offer by one of his flight instructors to accompany him. To reach his destination of Martha’s Vineyard, he would have to fly 200 miles, the final phase over the ocean. Kennedy was not qualified for a license to fly “instruments only” (but was qualified to fly at night). In addition, Kennedy was recovering from a broken ankle, which might have affected his ability to pilot his plane.
On board were two passengers: wife Carolyn and her sister Lauren Bessette. But the aircraft never made it to Martha’s Vineyard. Radar data examined later showed the plane plummeting from 2,200 feet to 1,100 feet in a span of 14 seconds, a rate far beyond the aircraft’s safe maximum. It then disappeared from the radar screen. But a search for the plane was not immediately launched…
In fact, Kennedy was reported missing by friends and family members (not the authorities), but soon afterwards an intensive rescue operation was launched by the Coast Guard, the navy, the air force, and civilians. After two days of searching, it was clear that they would not find any survivors. Americans mourned the loss of the “crown prince” of one of the country’s most admired families.
On July 21, navy divers recovered the bodies of JFK Jr, his wife, and sister-in-law from the wreckage of the plane, found under 116 feet of water about eight miles off the Vineyard’s shores. The next day, the cremated remains of the three were buried at sea during a ceremony on the USS Briscoe, a navy destroyer. This distressed Carolyn and Lauren’s mother who wanted her daughters to be buried close to her home.
Investigators studying the wreckage of the Piper Saratoga found no problems with its mechanical or navigational systems. In their final report released in 2000, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the crash was caused by an inexperienced pilot who became disoriented in the dark and lost control.
When the story was first reported by United Press International, John F Kennedy Jr on approach to Martha’s Vineyard in 8 mile (good) visibility, was in radio contact with the ground, calmly informing them of his intentions to drop off a passenger before proceeding to Hyannis airport. Then, according to ABC News, JFK Jr’s plane went into a steep dive, and crashed.
Before the wreckage was found, the story being put out in the media began to change. Gone was the previously reported radio conversation of a calm JFK Jr with ground personnel just before the plane fell out of the sky, replaced by a declaration from the NTSB that JFK Jr had not used his radio at all as he approached Martha’s Vineyard. Gone also was the originally reported 8 mile visibility while the media began to hammer home the claim that Martha’s Vineyard had been totally blanketed with a haze so heavy that pilots in the air would have been blind.
News stories stated that JFK Jr was lost when in fact JFK Jr radioed controllers on the Cape (as reported on Boston TV News) to announce his approach to Martha’s Vineyard, radar showed him to be just where he stated he was and at the correct altitude for the approach.
News stories stated that JFK Jr was in “over his head” when JFK Jr’s conversational tone on the radio reveals that he was calm. He did not indicate he had any problem at all. He was clearly on track and confident he was going to find the airport and land.
News stories stated that JFK Jr stalled the plane when in fact the radar track shows that he was well above stall speed.
News stories stated that JFK Jr went into a steep turn and lost his horizon when in fact he was already lined up with the main runway at Martha’s Vineyard airport.
News stories stated that JFK Jr didn’t know his altitude and simply “flew into the ocean” when again the radar track shows him flying at the proper altitude, then (as ABC News put it) “falling out of the sky”.
News stories stated that JFK Jr lost his instruments, and that he could not handle the emergency when in fact that the radar was getting good data from his transponding altimeter proving his instruments were operating normally.
News stories stated that JFK Jr was a reckless pilot and his wife was afraid to fly with him. Attributed to an “unnamed source”, this claim was planted everywhere in the media. However interviews with individuals familiar with JFK Jr’s flying ability confirmed that he was a highly skilled and careful pilot. His wife had no problem flying with him and flew with him often.
News stories stated that JFK Jr had only 40 hours experience when in fact he had 40 hours in that specific aircraft. His total experience was about 300 hours, more than enough to qualify him for a commercial pilot’s license.
News stories stated that the weather was very hazy and the horizon easily lost when in fact the FAA issued VFR weather conditions that night, and the weather report (mentioned in the UPI story) stated 8 mile visibility. One witness on shore reported that there was very little haze and that standing on the shore, he could see airplanes out over the ocean on approach to the island, proof that airplanes on the approach could see the shore. This claim is backed up not only by the weather report of 8 mile visibility, but by a weather radar image taken at about the time of the crash. This radar image is showed some mild haze and fog along New York and Long Island but none at all at Martha’s Vineyard. On the morning after the crash, CNN reported that weather could be ruled out as a factor in the crash!
News stories stated that Martha’s Vineyard was very dark and the runway could not be seen through the haze, which, as mentioned, was non-existent, but in fact Martha’s Vineyard runway had recently installed new runway lights so bright that the local paper ran a set of complaint letters from the island residents.
This deliberate disinformation points to a cover-up. New York Post reporter Cindy Adams claimed that David Heymann (author of numerous books on the Kennedys and the Georgetown set) for deliberately planting false information with the press, information which implied that JFK Jr was an incompetent pilot. New York Observer reporter Andrew Goldman agreed.
Who would benefit if there was not a Charismatic Kennedy entering politics? Especially since JFK Jr was intent of exposing the people and the system that allowed his father and uncle to be assassinated… Well…
JFK Jr was in all probability assassinated by aircraft sabotage, set off by a timer, barometric pressure change or remote control.
Many unbiased researchers have spent the years carefully gathering the facts about what really happened, and this investigation leads them to only one conclusion: murder, from a bomb placed aboard his aircraft. Their painstaking investigations reveal a massive cover up by the mainstream media. The FBI and the NTSB covered up the bombing of the aircraft plane. Sherman Skolnick, the same person that investigated Dorothy Hunt’s air crash, obtained the details of the secret FBI report into JFK Jr’s death. He claims that the report is not due to be publicly disclosed until July 2029. While at the time, the NTSB released a report claiming the plane crash was due to “pilot error”, over the years, the federal crash investigators have covered up several sabotaged plane crashes, for example, TWA Flight 800 (where cover up is now clearly admitted), and Dorothy Hunt’s Flight 587 where the evidence and the report do not tie up.
Here are the raw, cold facts that they have come up with: Contrary to what the media claim, JFK Jr was a good, experienced pilot who always played it safe when operating his plane. Visibility was good as he made his approach to Martha’s Vineyard, his destination point. Kennedy’s plane had autopilot, capable of flying itself to within 100 feet of the airport. Kennedy made contact with the airport at 9:39 pm, and stated that that everything was normal, and that he was commencing his descent to the airport. Seconds later, radar indicated his plane started making a nose dive into the ocean at 6,000 feet per minute. At least three witnesses reported seeing an explosion in the sky at that time, and in exactly that part of the sky where the plane disappeared from radar. The media were not allowed to get anywhere near the scene of the recovered wreckage, and no photographs were permitted of the recovered bodies. Kennedy’s emergency locator had been removed, the cockpit recorder was disabled, and the flight log was never recovered. The autopsies were done in less than four hours then the bodies were cremated and burial at sea. With all evidence destroyed there is a strong case that there was a criminal conspiracy to cover up a crime scene.
JFK Jr was murdered before he could announce his political plans. Such is the shadow cast by JFK’s ability to enthuse the population and that threatens The Powers That Be, the Oligarchy that is manipulating democracy. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. It must be stopped.
See my other book on Shakespir: “The Planner 9/11” written as a spy novel based on the premise: what if the CIA planned it all. With dramatic license, it still strangely fits the events of the day better than the official narrative…
There is so much written about the JFK assassination that it is difficult to separate all the plot details. It is weighed down by minutiae, long histories, conspiracy theories and counter-conspiracy theories, a veritable “poisoned well” of dis-information. Many people feel that the competing theories have come to a stalemate and that the official story of the Lone Gunman is just as probable as the gunmen in the grassy knoll. Actually nothing can be further from the truth. While Kennedy's assassination is still the subject of widespread debate and has spawned numerous conspiracy theories and alternative scenarios, there is little in the official story that is authoritative and unambiguous. Worse still, the evidence used by the official story is tainted. Even one of the major pieces of evidence supporting conspiracy theories, the Zapruder 8mm movie film of the event has a strange set of stories surrounding its chain of custody which would leave any inquirer into the subject feeling uneasy about its validity. So it is with good reason that polling in 2013 showed that 60% of Americans believe that a group of conspirators was responsible for the assassination. There is copious evidence against the official story available to the public and yet more evidence being withheld by the CIA.