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“Good evening, ignorant pigs. Put down your crack pipes and your beer bongs and pay attention!” – Pres. Richard M. Nixon’s Head, Futurama
Here it is, another long historical article. This time tackling a subject in the conspiracy world more done-to-death than the Roswell crash of 1947 (later, I promise).
The murder of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. This is one of my all-time favorites. Not only for its impact on American culture and the events of the late 20th century, but because it is fairly easy to prove.
In court? Not so much, those responsible have seen to that. Missing evidence, mysterious fires, and a body count to rival some South American revolutions. All the product of a haphazard clean up effort initiated by several different groups to sanitize any involvement they or their members had, real or perceived, in the events of November 22nd, 1963.
None of it would hold up in court, its all hearsay and speculation. None of the guilty parties are still alive. Their fellow conspirators and the ravages of time have dealt out as much justice as there ever will be.
If one peels away 40+ years of lies, faulty memories, disinformation, wild speculation, self-aggrandizement, and utter nonsense you get to the heart of it. The core of the thing, which is JFK was murdered, and more than one person was responsible.
Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
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"I remember a time when things were good. I remember steak dinners, and baked potatoes, and martini lunches, and comical drunks, and a cigarette after every course 'to aide digestion'. And the heart attacks, and the alcohol poisoning, and the lung cancer, well those were acceptable losses.
Once it seemed like we could live forever and nobody would mind." - Steve Darnall & Alex Ross , Uncle Sam
September 20th, 1963, nearly 3 months exactly before the death of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy a man named Richard Case Nagell robbed a bank. Or rather, he wanted very much to be arrested for robbing one.
Nagell, a former Army intelligence officer, non-paid confidential informant for the CIA, and decorated Korean War veteran walked into a bank branch in El Paso, Texas and fired a pistol twice into the ceiling. He then walked calmly outside and sat in his car waiting for the police.
When they arrived he said to them he was unhappy with the American judicial system. He also informed the police he wanted to be in federal custody because the President was about to be murdered, it was being orchestrated by a conspiracy within the CIA, and he didn't want to be the patsy.
Nagell was indeed the perfect patsy. He was unhappy with the state of the nation, his wife had left him and won sole custody of their children. He was emotionally disturbed after a plane crash during the war that he was the only survivor of. He had seen horror, and misery, and experienced loss and heartbreak in the course of his service to the country. He was repaid with brain damage, a 64% disability pension, and an empty home. The Army trained him to kill, and he was by all accounts good at it.
You could not ask for a better fall guy.
Except of course, for his conscience. Nagell claims he sent a registered letter to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover before his non-robbery of the bank, the same J. Edgar Hoover who later stressed the importance of presenting Oswald as a “Lone Gunman” to President Johnson. Having no response from the FBI and the day of the assassination drawing near he took desperate measures to be in federal custody when the event took place.
He spent 5 years in prison for armed robbery, despite having never attempted to rob the bank. The only words he spoke to the bank employees were to ask them to call the police.
In 1995 the Assassination Records Review Board decided to ask him to speak on the record about what he knew, to finally have his story officially looked at. They sent him a registered letter, not unlike the one he said was mailed to the FBI detailing what he knew of the plot. Richard Case Nagell was found dead in his apartment the next morning, an apparent heart attack.
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"Do you believe in magic? Do you believe that two men could be wounded seven times by two bullets? Do you believe that 18 witnesses could just magically up and die over the next three years?" - Steve Darnall & Alex Ross, Uncle Sam
In 1963 the country which we call the United States of America ceased in some small way to be what it once was. One sunny fall afternoon in Dallas, Texas a small group of people changed America with a hail of gunfire and a flimsy cover story. This group of people which we will be exploring shortly killed the President of the United States and got away with it.
Their reasons were varied, their objectives equally so. Some were involved for reasons of personal spite, a few for political or economic interests, some just because they were paid, and a few participated because they thought, morally, justifiably, it was the right thing to do.
In 1963 the country was wading deeper and deeper into the Vietnam War. The Cuban Missile crisis showed suburban America just how quickly our way of life could end, and be replaced by a vast radioactive wasteland and unimaginable death toll. There were race riots, civil unrest, and Russian cosmonauts in orbit. Despite all of that a sort of nervous optimism was the norm in much of the country. It was perceived as the Golden Age of the American Dream.
On November 22nd that changed. Everyone who was around on that day remembers where they were and what they were doing. Everyone, regardless of race or political affiliation remembers that day. Something changed in the national character on that day, the nervous optimism was gone, replaced with a resignation to events, a quiet sort of cynicism about things to come.
After all, if they could shoot the president in broad daylight and get away with it, then what can you do?
“I don't know why you are treating me like this. The only thing I have done is carry a pistol into a movie.” – Lee Harvey Oswald, while being arrested at the Texas Theater for the shooting of police officer J. D. Tippit.
Lee Harvey Oswald was a complicated man. If his childhood and military psychological evaluations are to be believed he was a somewhat disturbed man. Lee was prone to fantasizing and delusions of self-importance. He seemed all his life to want to be special, to need it.
We all know the sort, eager for attention or notoriety regardless of its slant. So the official story goes that this man who was generally not very noteworthy, but wanted desperately to be so, woke up one day and decided to kill the President.
He bummed a ride to work with a rifle he bought via mail order, with a damaged scope that was never sighted in with that gun. The scope actually required modification by a gunsmith to be used properly with that rifle, but had not received such. He brought the rifle, a .38 caliber pistol, no extra ammunition for either weapon, a brown-bag lunch, and enough money for a bus ride home and a soda pop.
There, from a store-room window at extreme distance, through a large tree with full foliage, he managed to hit a small moving target with two out of three shots. He wounded two men a total of seven times with those two shots.
Not bad for a man who alternately qualified two points above or below the bare minimum for Sharpshooter status in the marines, according to his official record. That’s the official story at least.
Nelson Delgado, a marine in Oswald’s unit testified to the Warren Commission that he (Oswald) most often missed, and did not care about his rifle scores as he was training to be a radar operator. Oswald did not want to be a ground soldier. Which sounds about right for a sharpshooting super-assassin, does it not?
“Those individuals [Lee Harvey Oswald & mass murderer Charles Whitman] showed what one motivated Marine and his rifle can do. And before you ladies leave my Island, you will all be able to do the same thing.” – Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, Full Metal Jacket
Oswald had left the marines and defected to the Soviet Union in 1959. He married the niece of a Lt. Colonel in the NKVD. He then renounced his US citizenship. Then managed to regain his citizenship and return to the United States after “getting bored” with life behind the Iron Curtain, citing a lack of bowling alleys and nightclubs in his letters. All of this he managed during the height of the Cold War. A time when being accused of communist sympathies was enough to get you blacklisted, or reading a socialist newspaper on your lunch break could get you fired (this allegedly happened to Oswald once).
He spent some time in New Orleans after that, hanging out with mafia hitmen, Cuban exiles & veterans of the disastrous Bay of Pigs campaign, CIA agents, and other assorted colorful characters. Oswald served in the New Orleans branch of the Civil Air Patrol, worked at a diner, and as a paid informant for the FBI. He even applied for a visa to take a trip to Cuba, from the Cuban embassy in Mexico and the State Department. He never took that trip.
This is why Oswald was perfect. He had more fingerprints on his ass than a hooker at the annual Printer and Typesetters Union dance. His background was a quagmire of conflicting interests, organizations, and intelligence. Between his lackluster intellect, mediocre to poor shooting, history of problems with authority, arrogant attitude, abusive disposition (he was accused of beating his pretty young Russian wife on occasion) and uncertain national sympathies (he had a subscription to ‘The Worker’, a Marxist newspaper, while serving in the US marines, but his friends say all he ever read was paperback science-fiction “trash”) he was the perfect fall guy.
“Lesson number one: trust no one. The minute God crapped out the third caveman, a conspiracy was hatched against one of them.” – Col. Hunter Gathers, The Venture Brothers.
The conspiracy to kill Kennedy was larger than a single man, but not so large as others have postulated. Those who favor the lone gunman often state that if a large number of people were in on the plan to murder the President someone would have talked. But nobody talked, so there must have just been Oswald. Case closed. This is incorrect, several people did talk. All of whom did so died in fairly unnatural and suspect ways shortly there after.
No, this conspiracy at its core was fairly small, it only appears larger thanks to its members overlap with various organizations of sometimes conflicting ideologies. Lyndon Banes Johnson, Kennedy’s Vice President is often cited as the top man. From there he commanded the CIA to rub out his chief political rival. This is one of the more popular theories. Others say it was Jimmy Hoffa and the Mafia, or pro-communist agents of Cuban President Fidel Castro, or anti-communist agents of right-wing extremist groups like The John Birch Society, still others point to big business such as Permindex or Clay Shaw as the culprit, or even the Federal Reserve Bank.
In a weird sort of way it was all of them. Except, I think, the Federal Reserve. Those guys are pretty evil, but I don't think they killed the President.
The people involved were men on the fringes of society--not that most people would see it that way. Men and women whose lives were immersed to varying degrees in the worlds of espionage, organized crime, anti-government activities (ours and others), and other assorted weirdness. No one group contributed any more than another for the most part, but all of them were associated to some degree with that most rascally and unpredictable of entities, the CIA.
“With my mouth I speak slander, day and night. I spy on the houses of others - I am such a wretched low-life! Unfulfilled sexual desire and unresolved anger dwell in my body, like the outcasts who cremate the dead. I live as a wild hunter, O Creator!” - Guru Arjan Dev, from the Adi Granth, the final guru of the Sikhs
Am I saying then that the CIA killed Kennedy? Not so much, at least not the way you might think I am. It’s highly doubtful that a memo ever came down from Director James Jesus Angleton’s desk which included a budget and timetable for the murder of the President. I doubt it was ever a topic of discussion for the typing pool around the water coolers in Langley. CIA operatives did play a part, under no official orders I suspect. There may have been some unofficial orders from the top however.
"You can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you, Mr. President!” – Nellie Connally, wife of then-Texas Governor John B. Connally, believed to be the last words JFK heard before he was shot.
By 1962 John F. Kennedy and his little brother Robert had made a lot of enemies. The Russians hated JFK because they lost face during the Cuban missile crisis. Castro hated JFK for the CIA’s attempts on his life and the botched Bay of Pigs invasion attempt. The CIA hated JFK for the Bay of Pigs failure (for not authorizing US air support for the rebels), as well as his threats to “splinter the agency into a thousand pieces” over Allan Dulles’ attempts to dictate foreign policy. The mafia hated JFK and his brother Robert, then the Attorney General, for their crusade to break the mobs’ power (the only people who hated Teddy at this time were the waitresses at his favorite Capitol Hill bars). The failed Bay of Pigs invasion and a return to democracy or a friendly dictatorship in Cuba meant a re-opening of that market for La Cosa Nostra.
Depending upon who you talked to Kennedy was either a communist sympathizing liberal, or a fascist dictator. The man had enemies. As for who had the idea to kill him first, that’s really anyone’s guess.
At least one well-placed CIA agent, Cord Meyer, had a personal beef with the President. You see JFK, the handsome devil of a President that he was, was fucking Cord’s wife. Well, ex-wife, but he was still in love with her (she divorced him after the death of one of their children, citing emotional problems). Mary Pinochet Meyer was an artist living in DC who enjoyed dancing, nights on the town, painting, and doing powerful hallucinogenic drugs while screwing the President of the United States.
This did not sit well with Agent Meyer, or I suspect CIA Director James Jesus Angleton. Angleton had Mary's phone tapped after she and Cord Meyer divorced. He came around her home often to chat and would take her sons with him on fishing trips and other outings. She was divorced from one highly placed CIA agent, friend-zoned the agencies Director, and was keeping notes of conversations she had while doing the nasty with the President. She was on the wrong side of all the right people.
Cord Meyer may have had a hand in selecting the field operatives to get the Presidential assassination ball rolling. He was well connected, one of the agencies top spooks. He had a personal interest in seeing it go through. Though I doubt he would have if he had known the personal cost.
"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." - Phone call from Mary Pinochet Meyer to her friend, confidant, and LSD supplier Dr. Timothy Leary shortly after the news of JFK's death broke.
When a CIA agent moves into an area to start an operation they quickly recruit locals to act as their agents on the ground. The CIA case officer gives them material support for their operations and they do the agencies bidding and provide intel back. This is more or less what happened here. Someone, maybe Cord Meyer or maybe David Morales (CIA Chief of Operations, possibly, he was sort of “disavowed” and is not claimed officially by the agency for the most part) or someone else, was told to find some people who could find some people that might be up for killing the President.
While LBJ wanted Kennedy dead, I doubt he gave the go-ahead directly on this. His feelings were known, and he was not afraid to tell anyone how he felt (about wanting the entire Kennedy family dead). Not his wife, not Alan Dulles, not his mistress Madeleine Duncan Brown, nobody. He might have gotten wind of things. Some quotes from his mistress suggest that, as well as candid photos from that day both before and after the assassination. However I doubt he was told directly. After all, he was about to become the President. He needed “plausible deniability” on the subject.
That point, LBJ knowing directly, is disputed by E. Howard Hunt and Madeleine Duncan Brown. Hunt was a CIA agent who claimed shortly before his death in 2007 that Meyer, Morales, and William King Harvey (Americas answer to James Bond, apparently) were tasked directly by LBJ to have Kennedy killed. However he was approached by one or all of the above three men, and was not asked by LBJ directly. He was only told that Johnson wanted it done, and they needed men who would get things done, who didn’t mind getting their hands dirty.
As an aside, E. Howard Hunt would later do some time for breaking into the Watergate Hotel for President Richard Nixon. He was in Nixon's so-called "White House Plumbers Union" (they fixed leaks, clever CIA humor) along with then-CIA agent, current-conservative talk radio host and FOX News contributor G. Gordon Liddy. Liddy and Hunt did a few years for the break-in and illegal wire tapping, they were supposed to do 20, but their sentences were commuted by President Jimmy Carter.
Ms. Brown stated that LBJ hatched the plan with Texas oilman H.L. Hunt in 1960, after Kennedy was picked for the top slot on the democratic ticket and Johnson was relegated to being 2nd banana to a younger man. This however must be considered along with the fact that Brown was his mistress, and LBJ never left his wife. He also never publicly, or privately, accepted responsibility for the son she claimed was his. So she either made these statements because they were true, or because she was pissed about being treated like a whore. Hell hath no fury…
Either way it sounds like he wanted it to happen, but its unclear if he actually gave the word. Others most likely “took the hint”, based on LBJ wanting it done and their own interests in seeing Jackie Kennedy become a widow.
"I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment that I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so far removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue, and a symbol for Cold War enemy propaganda.
We have grown up as a nation respected for our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position, and I feel that we need to correct it." – Former Pres. Harry S. Truman, one month after JFK was killed, from an article in the Washington Post.
Clay Shaw was a business man with the ways and means to get things done. His means were lots of money and a small cadre of loyal and capable associates. Shaw was in his own way a sort of 1960’s Lex Luthor. He cultivated an air of respectability by spearheading the campaign to restore and preserve the French Quarter of New Orleans, but instead of trying to kill Superman in his spare time, he set his sights on overthrowing communist governments in small island nations and murdering Presidents.
Shaw served on the board of directors of a Canadian company called Permindex. Permindex was, and is to this day, a CIA front. In March of 1962 his company sent one of his personal associates from New Orleans, Guy Banister, and a suitcase full of untraceable American money to a meet a group of French generals. These generals had an itch to murder French President Charles DeGualle and set up a fascist government, with them at the reigns.
Of course the plot failed, and the would-be assassin’s mysterious benefactors were discovered. No arrests of course, but the attention from the press lead to the company being barred from doing business in Italy. The Italians also threw them out because their investigation discovered they were a CIA front company, and did not deal so much in investments but in espionage and murder.
After one near miss it seems that someone from the CIA thought Clay Shaw deserved another shot at playing in the major leagues, so he got the Kennedy sanction.
So, cash in hand and henchmen at his beck and call he set about his terrible task. It needed to be public, Shaw didn’t have any means of getting someone to the President privately. So whomever pulled the trigger would be exposed to return fire from the authorities or arrest. Since nobody wants to go to jail for their friends or associates unless they have to they needed a fall guy. Someone who would unknowingly take the blame, and could then be eliminated.
They needed a patsy.
At this time Lee Harvey Oswald was in New Orleans, having recently returned to the United states under peculiar circumstances. He defected from the US several years earlier after getting a hardship (a sick mother, whom he stayed with two days. she outlived him) discharge from the marines. He split for Europe with his life savings and falsified college applications and made a break for the Soviet Union. He defected officially and renounced his US citizenship. There he got a job, grew bored with it, discovered that soviet Russia had little in the way of nightlife. He complained in letters of the lack of Bowling Alleys and Nightclubs.
However he still managed to score a hot young Russian wife. A pretty girl whose uncle happened to be highly placed in the NKVD. The young couple eventually fled back to the United States where Oswald had no trouble at all reclaiming his citizenship. During the cold war at that. A marine who defects to the USSR, then returns, and all is well. Sounds perfectly normal to me so far.
"You never know whats hit you. A gunshot is the perfect way." - Pres. John F. Kennedy, responding to a question about how he would choose to die.
While serving in the Civil Air Patrol (a perfect volunteer activity for a young communist, don't you think?) and occasionally passing out literature for the "Fair Play for Cuba" organization Lee Harvey Oswald met a man named David Ferrie. Ferrie was in charge of the Civil Air Patrol unit he was in, he owned the diner where Oswald would get a job, and Ferrie was on Clay Shaws permanent payroll.
Assuming the CIA didn't suggest Oswald on a short list of guys that you could blame a murder on (but were too crazy or stupid to screw up your actual plan) then Ferrie was the connection. Oswald liked to talk to anyone about his bizarre life thus far. After a little checking to confirm the facts Ferrie brought him into his little circle of friends.
Oswald was a go-getter with military training, intelligence contacts, and enough arrogance and swagger to ensure people were paying attention to him and not the real operatives.
Oswald was supposed to go to Cuba eventually, with a vial of experimental cancer cells to inject (somehow) into Fidel Castro. He was (supposedly) a communist, had defected to Russia, and was (apparently) sympathetic to the Cuban revolution. While this plan was far from perfect it was better than some of the CIA's other attempts to kill Castro. Exploding cigars comes to mind. However when Richard Case Nagell got himself arrested and Oswalds visa to Cuba got delayed he got moved to another project, that of murdering the President.
“I love talking about the Warren Commission, I love talking about the Kennedy assassination. The reason I do is because I'm fascinated by it. I'm fascinated that our government could lie to us so blatantly, so obviously for so long, and we do absolutely nothing about it. I think that's interesting in what is ostensibly a democracy. Sarcasm - come on in. People say "Bill, quit talking about Kennedy man. It was a long time ago, just let it go, alright? It's a long time ago, just forget it." I'm like, alright, then don't bring up Jesus to me. As long as we're talking shelf life here...” - Bill Hicks
When the smoke and dust cleared in Dealey Plaza the government, typically slow to act, knew that something had to be done. FBI Director Hoover insisted that his agency could handle any and all investigations into the assassination. That no special congressional committee's were required. No additional oversight was needed. He felt it was of the utmost importance to convince the public that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and that commies had nothing to do with it. Politics are a funny thing.
Newly anointed President Lyndon Banes Johnson, bowing to a tidal wave of pressure from congress, established the Warren Commission on November 29th. So named because at the head of this investigatory body was Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. The members of this veritable congressional Justice League are as follows.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren
Senator Richard Russell Jr. (D-GA)
Senator John Sherman Cooper (R-KY)
Senator Hale Boggs (D-LA)
Senator (and later President) Gerald Ford (R-MI)
Allen Welsh Dulles, former Director of the CIA
John C. McCloy, former President of the World Bank
and special Jr. Attorney gopher (Assistant) Arlen Spector, now Senator Spector (D-PA)
Mr. McCloy was an odd choice to say the least. With a resume that included the inexplicable pardoning of Nazi War Criminals while serving as US High Commissioner of Germany, being President of the World Bank, serving as chairman for Chase Manhattan Bank, a trustee for the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serving as a foreign policy consultant to then-President Lyndon Johnson.
According to the record he actually disagreed with the Lone Gunman theory, until he took a trip to Dallas with his old friend Allen Dulles. There, without anyone else present, Dulles apparently convinced him of the validity of the theory with a single trip to Dealey Plaza. I suppose you don't get to be head of the Central Intelligence Agency without being persuasive.
A more vocal dissenter in the group was Hale Boggs. He thought the CIA was pulling the commissions strings, and was of the opinion that both the "Lone Gunman" and "Magic Bullet" theories were total shit. Boggs advocated reopening the investigation right up until his death in 1974, when his plane disappeared somewhere in Alaska.
It was later said by members of the commission that the CIA withheld and outright destroyed evidence during the investigation. They claimed that certain classified operations would be compromised by revealing everything, so they gave up nothing. Even Gerald Ford complained about it, and he was responsible for altering the wording of the autopsy reports to better reflect the "Lone Gunman" and "Magic Bullet" theories.
“I am as innocent regarding any conspiracy as any of you gentlemen in the room.” – Jack Ruby, while being interrogated by federal agents.
On November 24th, 1963 an obscure strip club owner, gun runner, whoremaster, closet homosexual, and drug trafficker entered into the history books by being the most patriotic man in America. Jack Ruby walked downstairs into the basement of Dallas police HQ with a loaded revolver. Inside a secure area, available only to the police and select screened (and searched) members of the press. There, while the most high profile prisoner in Texas history was about to be transferred, surrounded by policemen, Jack Ruby pulled his pistol and gunned down Lee Harvey Oswald.
According to police this was a premeditated act, though one he was nervous about. This they said explained why he left his dog in his locked car outside. What it did not explain was why the people who spoke to him that day said he was not nervous or anxious at all. Notably there was Karren Bennet Carlin, who spoke on the phone with Ruby a few minutes before the shooting. He called her to discuss her work schedule and she asked him to advance her some cash to buy food and help pay her rent. He called her to confirm a wire transfer of $25 from a drug store Western Union office down the street from Dallas police HQ. She said he seemed like his typical self.
In his pockets at the time of his arrest for Oswalds murder was a “Get into the titty bar free for life” card for one E.R. "Buddy" Walthers. Walthers was a Dallas deputy sheriff and known associate of Jack Ruby’s. This seems like an odd thing to bring to a premeditated murder.
Jack Ruby was there to arrange for death by cop for Oswald, but he could not make it happen for one reason or another. Lack of funds, lack of connections, lack of a good opportunity (Oswald was being watched 24/7 by the local cops and feds). He could not manage to convince any of his police contacts to murder the most high profile criminal of the times right there in a police station.
He knew it had to happen, before Oswald talked. He maintained his innocence concerning JFK from the first moment it was brought up. When he was formally charged with the murder it was only a matter of time before Oswald gave up his fellow conspirators to avoid the electric chair.
“Guns are neat little things, aren't they? They can kill extraordinary people with very little effort.” – John W. Hinckley, would-be assassin of Pres. Ronald Reagan.
Ruby panicked. Here was the only chance he saw to eliminate Oswald. The sleazy strip club owner stepped up to seemingly play Captain America in a fit of amphetamine-fueled confidence. Knowing that should he fail, his contacts in the CIA (David Ferrie, Guy Bannister, Clay Shaw) were going to kill him.
Panic, bravado, phenmetrazine and a low IQ combined to propel Jack Ruby from historical obscurity into immortality.
Ruby was introduced to Oswald by David Ferrie most likely. Jack Ruby supplied guns to Shaws people, as well as muscle from time to time. He was like most of the mafia, decidedly anti-communist and supported the CIA’s efforts to overthrow the Cuban government. He was the perfect contact in Texas.
He must have assumed that his contacts would take care of him. His friends in the police, combined with the high authority his friends with the CIA seemed to have convinced him it would be all right. He came from a mafia background, where people are taken care of if they do time for the organization. Minimum sentences, minimum security prisons, no death penalty. All of these things were standard. He thought he would be taken care of.
Despite their close ties at the time, the CIA was not the mafia.
After his conviction and sentence to death via the Texas correctional systems infamous electric chair “Old Sparky”, Ruby had a change of heart. He offered to spill the beans as it were to the federal authorities. He had asked several times before his conviction for federal protection and to speak with the Warren Commission, but was denied. Jack Ruby told them he wanted protection, a new trial, and in exchange for laying it all out he wanted to avoid the death penalty.
The Warren Commission did eventually speak with him, but told him they were unable to provide him with federal protection.
He won a new trial, his lawyers argued that he could not receive a fair trial by jury in Dallas. His conviction and death sentence were overturned. While awaiting a new trial Ruby was taken to the prison infirmary for a cold. A doctor informed him he had pneumonia and gave him an injection to “clear it right up”. Shortly after this he was diagnosed with cancer. Cancer of the lungs, liver, and brain. No medical examinations before the unexplained injections showed any sign of any cancer, but there it was. Eating him alive at a rapid pace.
Ruby told the policeman who had been his guards to keep their eyes and ears open, and they would learn what was going on. He told the prison psychiatrist it was indeed a conspiracy, and he knew who was involved. He told his family and what few friends he had left that what was given to him was an injection of cancer cells.
This story would seem implausible, if not for the fact that David Ferrie was overseeing a lab in New Orleans doing clandestine cancer research for the CIA. Dr. Mary Sherman was attempting to reverse the effects of cancer caused by faulty polio vaccinations. As well as weaponize it as a tool of assassination (one of many attempts to kill Fidel Castro) for the CIA.
“Communism was just a red herring!” – Wadsworth the Butler, Clue
Going back to Oswald for a moment... One thing about him that strikes me as especially interesting is the amount of credible law-enforcement types that came forward to say he was a paid informant for the FBI, or even the CIA. Oswald had several dealings with the FBI on the official record before the assassination. Agents came to his house a few times to interview his wife Maria concerning an allegation of domestic violence. It seemed friends (the Paine family) reported (allegedly) to the FBI (!!!) that Lee Harvey was beating his pretty Russian bride.
So they of course investigated. Seems reasonable, except that beating your wife is not a federal crime nor does it interfere with interstate commerce. So why the FBI got involved is anyone’s guess.
When he was arrested he had the name, phone number, and home address of FBI Special Agent James Hosty in his wallet. Agent Hosty was also present when Oswald was interrogated by the police. Years later Agent Hosty would comment that the entire story of Oswald being an informant was made up by the press.
Oswald was not amused by what he considered the FBI harassing his wife, and is alleged to have delivered a note to the Dallas FBI building threatening to blow the place up if they didn’t leave his wife alone. He told them if they needed to know something about him, they could ask. However it is standard procedure to check out confidential informants and those given access to sensitive material. Its possible that what Oswald was mad about was the FBI asking his wife about his past, indicating they did not take him at his word. He was a rather intemperate man, and did not like being labeled a liar.
Oswald was allowed back into the country after his defection for one reason, he never really defected. His close friends from middle and high school never bought into the story about him being a commie traitor because he wasn’t. He was allowed back in because he was asked to go in the first place. Despite no intelligence training his defection plan was right out of the CIA playbook, get into the USSR on bogus student papers. There he married the daughter of a Lt. Colonel in the NKVD (later known as the KGB), and then returned to the states free and clear. It was said during his defection and then his un-defection that Oswald had been “coached” on what to say. That he was clearly using terms and words he did not understand the meaning of, but were never the less what he needed to say.
He was then shuffled off to New Orleans where he fell in with the Clay Shaw group, whipping up secret plans to off Castro. At that time he was photographed handing out papers for “Fair Play for Cuba” while attending barbecues with anti-communist activists and Cuban exiles. Yeah, that makes sense.
“I can't judge any of you. I have no malice against you and no ribbons for you. But I think that it is high time that you all start looking at yourselves, and judging the lie that you live in.” – Charles Manson
So there it is, the meat and potatoes of it from the best and most provable angles I know of. I could write more about this, and might, but this has eaten up a great deal of my time already. The blog is something I do for fun, and the deeper one goes down this particular rabbit hole the less fun it becomes.
The break down of the thing is pretty simple. The government in a sense did kill Kennedy, though not in the sense that everyone from the Postmaster General to the Secretary of Agriculture knew about it. A small group of CIA agents, acting outside of official channels, initiated an overthrow of a government, our government. Just like they do on a semi-annual basis in banana republics and other small countries around the world. A leader, in this case JFK, became too inconvenient to interests beyond his control and had to be silenced.
The operation bears so many hallmarks of CIA operations that one can use their manuals as a Kennedy Assassination Facts scorecard. Confused assassins? Check. Using proxies to recruit proxies to recruit proxies to do the dirty work? Check. Eliminate any lose ends after the fact? Check. Use agents of conflicting and contradictory allegiances to obfuscate the true motives at work? Check.
Over 80% of the American public, regardless of political or cultural leanings, believes we have been lied to about the murder of President Kennedy. That the government has hid the real facts, and may have even played a part.
“The death of one man is a tragedy; the death of millions is just a statistic. - Kurt Tucholsky, a German journalist, commonly mis-attributed to Joseph Stalin
The Death List: A reckoning of the casualties of JFK's murder. Some were in on it. Some knew about it. Some talked. Some just knew too much. Some just knew the wrong people. With so many dead one can only assume that the murders were initiated by different groups acting independently. Each one trying to cover their involvement, or someone else's, or even to eliminate any imagined involvement. Nobody wanted to be left holding the bag, so a lot of people had to die.
11/63 Karyn Kupcinet: Daughter of Irv Kupcinet, a sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Times. She overheard someone at a party telling of JFK's death prior to 11/22/63.
[Murdered, broken hyoid bone/crushed neck]
12/63 Jack Zangretti: Told friends "A man named Ruby will murder Oswald before his trial" and "Three men, not Oswald, killed the President".
[Murdered, shot in the chest and dumped in a lake, unsolved]
2/64 Eddy Benavides: Look-alike brother of Tippit shooting witness, Domingo Benavides. Likely a botched attempt on his brothers life.
[Murdered, shot in the head, unsolved]
2/64 Nancy Mooney aka Betty Mcdonald: Former Jack Ruby employee, arrested by Dallas police after providing an alibi to Warren Reynolds shooting suspect.
[Suicide, hanged in her cell a few hours after arrest]
3/64 Bill Chesher: Suspected of having information proving Oswald and Ruby knew each other.
[Heart Attack, before he could be officially questioned]
3/64 Thomas Henry "Hank" Killam: Husband of Jack Ruby employee Wanda Joyce Killam, friend of Lee Harvey Oswald, worked as a painter with a neighbor of Oswalds.
[Murdered, throat cut, unsolved]
4/64 Bill Hunter: Journalist who was in Jack Ruby's apartment on 11/24/63 meeting George Senator, Attorney Tom Howard, Jim Koethe, Attorney C. A. Droby, and Jim Martin.
[Accidental gunshot to the head, by Creighton Wiggins a Dallas police officer, inside the Dallas Public Safety building]
5/64 Gary Underhill: OSS agent during WW2, later a civilian contractor for the CIA. Claimed to friends while preparing to flee to Spain that the CIA was behind the assassination and he had evidence or at least knew who was directly responsible.
[Suicide, shot behind the left ear, Underhill was right handed]
5/64 Hugh Ward: Private investigator working with Guy Bannister and David Ferrie, did odd jobs for the Mafia and Clay Shaw.
[Plane Crash in Mexico, attributed to fog but witnesses described the engines as sputtering as if out of fuel, ruled accidental]
5/64 Delesseps Morrison: Former Democratic Mayor of New Orleans.
[Passenger in Hugh Wards plane, along with his son and others]
6/64 Guy Bannister: Ex-FBI agent working as a P.I. in New Orleans with Hugh Ward and David Ferrie. Had connections to the CIA, Mafia, and Clay Shaw, as well as Anti-Castro groups. He served in the New Orleans Civil Air Patrol with Lee Harvey Oswald. When police arrived at his office responding to news of his death, his files had been ransacked and all information pertaining to his Anti-Communist activities was missing.
7/64 Dr. Mary Sherman: Acclaimed doctor and scientist working on cancer research, a vaccine for soft tissue cancers caused by faulty batches of the Polio vaccine. She was also allegedly contracted by the CIA to develop a drug that would insure a target (Castro, they said) developed fast-acting cancer. She met David Ferrie (and allegedly Lee Harvey Oswald) through this clandestine project. He owned property being used for one of the labs. She was found dead on the day Warren Commission investigators arrived in New Orleans to speak with some potential witnesses.
[Murdered, stabbed multiple times and set on fire, unsolved]
8/64 Karren Bennet Carlin aka Teresa Norton aka Little Lynn: An employee of Jack Ruby's. They spoke on the phone and he Western Union wired a $25 advance to her to buy food and make rent. He did so from a drug store down the street from Dallas police headquarters.
[Shot to death in a hotel room, though it could have been another woman, which would then make Karren Carlin a missing person, either way her death/fate is unsolved]
9/64 Jim Koethe: Journalist who was in Jack Ruby's apartment on 11/24/63 with Bill Hunter and others. He decided to write a book about the assassination detailing their findings on a conspiracy being responsible.
[Murdered, strangled to death in his apartment, unsolved]
9/64 Charles Douglas Jackson: Life Magazine Senior Vice President who purchased the Zapruder Film and locked away/destroyed the original, not-doctored version. OSS psychological warfare specialist in WW2, continued as a paid agent after it was re-branded the CIA. Documents prove he was an active agent at least as far back as 1948, and until his death. He was a participant in Operation Mockingbird.
[Cause of death unknown, never publicly revealed]
10/64 Mary Pinchot Meyer: Ex-Wife of CIA agent Cord Meyer, and mistress of JFK. She spent many nights at the White House dropping acid with JFK, screwing like bunnies, and talking about the horror of nuclear war. The affair was known to her husband, who hated Kennedy both personally and professionally. Her diary was stolen from her home and burned by CIA Director James Angleton after her death.
[Raped and Murdered, a career felon Roy Crump was accused then acquitted of the crime. Six weeks before his death of cancer in 2001 Cord Meyer said his wife was murdered by "the same son's of bitches who killed John F. Kennedy"]
1/65 Paul Mandal: Life Magazine writer who penned an article which suggested the copy of the Zapruder Film they had was different from the one released to the public. He cited for example images that could only appear in the missing frames of the film.
2/23/65 Paul Dyer: Police lieutenant in New Orleans. He was the first person to question David Ferrie about his connection to Oswald. Got sick a few days later and died shortly there after.
[Cancer, at the ripe old age of 33]
3/65 Tom Howard: Jack Ruby's friend and lawyer for ten years, was in Ruby's apartment on 11/24/63 meeting with others.
5/65 Maurice Brooks Gatlin: Pilot and Attorney for Guy Banister, associate of Clay Shaw. Hand delivered the budget ($200,000) on behalf of Permindex to a group of fascist French generals for the 1962 assassination attempt on French President Charles DeGaulle. He was also a member of the steering committee for the World Anti-Communist League, and legal council for the Anti-Communist League of the Caribbean.
[Murdered, pushed from the 6th floor of a hotel in San Juan, Puerto Ricco, unsolved. His son claimed in his obituary his father had a heart attack and fell, but the autopsy made no mention of coronary distress]
8/65 Mona B. Saenz*: Texas employment clerk who interviewed Oswald.
[Accident, Hit by a bus]
?/65 David Goldstein: Owner of "Dave's House of Guns" in Dallas. Helped the FBI trace Oswald's pistol to a gun store (George Rose & Co.) in Los Angeles.
[Reported as Natural Causes]
9/65 Melba Christine Marcades aka Rose Cheramie: Taken to the hospital in Louisiana on November 20th, 1963 claiming to have been thrown from a moving car by two mob leg breakers working for her employer, Jack Ruby. She told the police and hospital staff that Jack Ruby, a friend (according to her a possible homosexual lover) of his named Lee Harvey Oswald, and two men of Cuban heritage (among others) were involved in a plot to murder JFK. She was re-questioned 3 days later after the assassination but the police again dismissed her story.
[Murdered, shot in the head then her head was run over multiple times with a car tire to disguise the wound, unsolved]
11/65 Dorothy Kilgallen: The only journalist who managed a one-on-one interview with Jack Ruby after he murdered Lee Harvey Oswald. She was writing a book/article that she promised was going to "break the JFK case wide-open." She was also known for breaking the story that the CIA used mafia hitmen in an attempt to kill Fidel Castro a few years earlier. As well as leaking classified British intelligence data concerning the nature of UFOs.
[Usually attributed to drug overdose, her death certificate lists the cause as "undetermined" however, her autopsy took eight days to perform]
11/65 Mrs. Earl T Smith (Florence Pritchett): A close friend and confidante to Dorothy Kilgallen. Also the wife of Earl Smith, former US ambassador to Cuba. She was suspected of having back up copies of Kilgallens notes. She and her husband were friends with the Kennedy family, and vacationed with them often.
[Cerebral Hemorrhage at the age of 45]
12/65 William Whaley: Cab driver who picked up Oswald after the assassination. Asserted until his death that Oswald said nothing in the cab, and tipped a meager 5 cents. He was the only Dallas cab driver to die while on duty until that time.
[Car accident, while driving Navy Lt. Cmdr. Maurice R. Barnes, Jr. along the Hampton Road Viaduct. A car driven by an 83 year old man crossed the median and collided head-on with Whaley, the man allegedly had a heart attack]
2/66 Albert Bogard: A Dallas car salesman who said Oswald test drove new car on November 9th, 1963 and was "imminently expecting funds with which to purchase a new car." The Warren Commission ruled that he must have been mistaken, and that it must have been another man who looked exactly like Lee Harvey Oswald (using the name "Lee Oswald" as well) that he took for a test drive.
[Suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in his parked car, in a cemetery in Louisiana. His parents indicate he had borrowed the hose he used from them a few days before, but also that he thought "people were out to get him"]
6/66 Capt. Frank Martin: Dallas police captain who witnessed Oswald's murder. He stated to the Warren Commission "there's alot to be said but it would probably be better if I don't say it.". They accepted that, but would not accept any off the record testimony.
[Cancer, age 56]
8/66 Lee Bowers, Jr.: Witnessed several suspicious and as-yet unidentified men milling around the infamous Grassy Knoll area.
[Car accident on a deserted road, run off the road into a concrete bridge embankment]
9/66 Marilyn April Walle aka "Delilah": Employee of Jack Ruby's. She was planning to write a book about the JFK assassination, Jack Ruby, and what she knew of his association with Lee Harvey Oswald.
[Shot to death by her husband after less than a month of marriage, Leonard Walle was convicted of 2nd Degree Murder despite the crime being in cold blood, he spent 20 years in prison]
10/66 William Bruce Pitzer: Autopsy photographer at the National Naval Medical Center who documented JFK's autopsy. He described what he witnessed as "horrific", and was said to have a copy of the original, unaltered photographs from the autopsy and forensic examination of the President.
[Gunshot, ruled a suicide. He died the same day the Kennedy family decided to release materials relating to the investigation to the public]
11/66 James Worrell: Testified that he saw a man that was not Oswald fleeing the rear of the Texas schoolbook depository.
[Motorcycle accident involving no other cars or adverse road conditions]
1966 Clarence Oliver: Dallas District Attorney investigator who worked the Jack Ruby case. Considered one of the few honest men in the office at the time.
[Unknown causes, attributed to either a heart attack or cancer. Surprise, surprise]
1967 Leonard Pullin: Civilian Navy employee who worked on "The Last Two Days", one of the earliest in-depth documentaries about the assassination.
[Car Accident, involving just his car on a deserted road in good weather]
Right about here in the time line is where New Orleans DA Jim Garrison starts seriously probing the events of the assassination and the possible connections to organized crime/big business interests in Louisiana. The focus of his investigation was a man named Clay Shaw, his associates, a company called Permindex, and all of their ties to the CIA.
Also at this time Jack Ruby's lawyers argue successfully that he could not be given a fair trial in the city of Dallas. His conviction is overturned and a new trial was set. During this time he changes his story from "I killed Oswald to redeem Texas, the country, and to spare Jackie Kennedy from having to testify at his trial" to "I was set up to kill him, I was told by my paymasters I had no choice, either kill him or have him killed".
After he changes his story he is treated for possible pneumonia in the jail infirmary with an undocumented injection, and found shortly there after to have advanced cancer of the liver, lungs, and brain.
1/67 Jack Ruby: Mafioso, strip club owner, and Oswald’s murderer. Detailed above. He had his conviction and death sentence overturned and had won a new trial. He told the police he had been put up to killing Oswald and had information about who might have killed Kennedy. He told his family "they" had injected him with cancer cells.
[Complications relating to Lung cancer, a pulmonary embolism]
2/22/67 David Ferrie: Friend of Lee Harvey Oswald, associate of Guy Bannister, Dr. Mary Sherman, Clay Shaw, and Hugh Ward. Anti-Castro activist who smuggled weapons into Cuba for anti-communist groups. Jim Garrison listed him as a person of interest in the assassination and wanted him for questioning. He was found dead a week later. Died the same day as Eladio Del Valle.
[Cerebral Hemorrhage, though he had two neatly typed but unsigned suicide notes on his desk]
2/22/67 Eladio Del Valle: Cuban Anti-Communist and associate of David Ferrie. Participated in guerrilla activities in Cuba, and was a trained and highly proficient marksman. FBI undercover operative (not an agent however) Harry Dean claimed that while he was infiltrating right-wing political group The John Birch Society he learned that Del Valle was one of the snipers that shot Kennedy. Died the same day as David Ferrie.
[Murdered, shot in the heart and then possibly struck in the head with an axe, unsolved]
1/68 Assistant District Attorney Jim Bowie: One of the prosecution team during Jack Ruby's first trial.
4/68 Hiram Ingram: Dallas deputy sheriff, close friend to Roger Craig. Craig witnessed Oswald leaving the depository and getting into a green rambler station wagon (not a Taxi) as well as the recovery of the Carcano rifle (the empty shells he testified were laying perfectly together, spaced an inch apart on the floor next to the window).
5/68 Dr. Nicholas Chetta: Coroner in New Orleans who autopsied some of Jim Garrisons perspective witnesses including David Ferrie, Dr. Mary Sherman, and Robert Perrin (a gunrunner who worked for Ruby, committed suicide by poisoning in August of 1962). He was preparing to testify at Clay Shaw's trial that David Ferrie had been murdered.
[Murdered/Heart Attack, the House Select Committee on Assassinations noted
that it was artificially induced and thus murder, but it was never
investigated beyond that, so unsolved]
8/68 Philip Geraci: Knew Oswald from interactions with Cuban exiles in
[Accidental death, electrocuted]
1/69 Henry Delaune: Dr. Nicholas Chetta's brother-in-law and co-worker at the coroners office. He assisted on some of the Jim Garrison autopsies.
1/69 E.R. "Buddy" Walthers: A Dallas deputy sheriff who was photographed picking up and handing off a small object to unidentified men in suits. Speculation is that it was a .45 bullet that was fired at the President. Walters testified that he found no bullet (though he claimed he had before he was called to testify to the Warren Commission), and that presumably the photos of him picking it up and handing it off were also mistaken. He was a friend of Jack Ruby, and even had a personally signed lifetime pass to one
of Ruby's titty bars (The Carousel Club), which was found in Ruby's pocket when he was arrested.
[Murdered, shot by escaping felon James Walter Cherry]
4/69 Mary Bledsoe: Lee Harvey Oswald's former landlady. Her son served in the Civil Air Patrol with David Ferrie. She claimed that she rode the bus with him after the assassination and that he "looked like a maniac". This was after he left the depository and was described by his employer and a police officer as completely calm, drinking a soda, and otherwise not nervous.
4/69 John Crawford: Friend and alleged gay lover of Jack Ruby, also a close friend of Wesley Frazier (the friend of Lee Harvey Oswald's who gave him a ride to work on 11/22/63).
[Private airplane crash]
1970 George Mcmann: Organized crime figure connected to Jack Ruby. His wife shot film of the assassination in Dealey Plaza.
8/70 Bill Decker: A Dallas sheriff riding in the lead car of the Presidential motorcade. He gave a mid-interrogation briefing to Wil Fritz (the officer questioning Oswald) that required Fritz to leave for city hall to meet Decker in his office. What was discussed and who else was there has never been revealed. In 1969 he sent Buddy Walthers and his partner to a hotel room to question an escaped convict named William Cherry about a double murder. This was after Jim Garrison had contacted Buddy about testifying in the Clay Shaw trial.
12/70 Salvatore Granello: Mobster linked to CIA/Mafia murder-for-hire
shenanigans. Linked to James Plumeri, Jack Ruby, Jimmy Hoffa, etc.
1971 James Plumeri: Organized crime figure involved in several CIA/Mafia murder-for-hire plots. Associate of Jack Ruby, and Jimmy Hoffa, among others. Had owned a racetrack in Havana, and was deeply anti-communist.
[Murdered, strangled in his car, unsolved]
3/71 Clayton Fowler: Jack Ruby's chief defense attorney, for his first trial.
4/71 Gen. Charles Cabell: Former CIA deputy director connected to anti-Castro Cuban groups and activities. He was fired from the agency by JFK personally.
[Collapsed and died after a physical exam]
1972 Sen. Hale Boggs: House majority leader, member of the Warren Commission who began to publicly express doubts about its official findings.
[Vanished in a small plane, somewhere over Alaska, after he started going public with his doubts and calling for a new investigation]
9/73 Thomas Davis: Another of Jack Ruby’s gun runners. He was connected to several CIA plots involving the mob.
[Electrocuted, claimed to have happened while he was stealing wire, ruled accidental]
1974 Dave Yaras: Close friend to Jimmy Hoffa and Jack Ruby.
8/74 Clay Shaw: Jim Garrisons prime suspect in his assassination probe. A member of the Permindex board of directors. He was involved in the failed assassination of French President Charles DeGaulle. Shaw was a known civilian subcontractor for the CIA. Associate of David Ferrie, Guy Bannister, Jack Ruby, E. Howard Hunt, Lee Harvey Oswald, Hugh Ward, etc.. Clay Shaw was likely the man who organized the Kennedy assassination, though not the originator of the plan/idea.
6/75 Sam Giancana: Chicago mafia boss set to testify to a Senate committee about CIA-Mob connections. Specifically times when the Agency contracted the mafia to murder people.
[Murdered before he could testify]
7/75 Allan Sweatt: Chief of the Dallas Sheriffs Office that stated Oswald was an FBI informant being paid $200 a week as part of an investigation into subversive activities. He was never called to testify by the Warren Commission.
Here in the time line starts the House Select Committee on assassinations. Again a special team of congressional freedom fighters hunker down on Capitol Hill and attempt to assess if the government had any involvement in the murder and/or cover-up. After many a power lunch, lots of missing evidence, dying witnesses, and a complete failure on the part of the CIA and FBI to fully co-operate the Committee came to the ground-breaking view of “Maybe there was a conspiracy”.
They still concluded that Oswald did it.
1976 Ralph Paul: Jack Rubys business partner.
6/76 William King Harvey: CIA legend. He was the coordinator for CIA-Mob operations, anti-Castro projects, and more. Known as “Americas James Bond”.
[Complications from heart surgery]
7/76 John Roselli: Mobster who worked with CIA Agent Bill King Harvey in Florida, on anti-Castro projects. He was alleged to have flown into Dallas on the morning of the assassination by CIA pilot William Robert Plumee (who continued to fly for the Agency until the Iran-Contra affair) to abort the plan. Testified to a Senate committee on what he knew of the assassination plot, but was murdered before he could be called for additional testimony.
[Murdered, shot in the head, legs removed, and stuffed in a steel drum, unsolved]
3/77 George De Mohrenschildt: Close friend to both Lee Harvey Oswald and the Bouvier family (including Jackie Kennedy as a young woman). CIA contract agent. Was concerned about being friends with Oswald, and contacted the CIA about it. He received a personal response about his concerns post Warren Commission from CIA director George HW Bush (which also plainly stated that he could not tell him everything that was going on concerning the Oswald matter).
[Suicide/Murder, shotgun to the face while home alone, though according to witnesses and a tape recording the maid and gardener were present as well, unsolved]
5/77 Lou Staples: A popular Dallas radio talk show host who did a lot of shows about the assassination. He claimed he was about to “break the case wide open” and had a very large audience. He was planning to buy some property and build a house when he died.
[Suicide/Murder, ruled a suicide, he drove to an empty wheat field that he was considering to buy and shot himself in the right temple, he was left handed, unsolved]
1/77 William Pawley: Former Brazilian ambassador. Connections to anti-Castro groups and the mafia.
[Gunshot, ruled a suicide]
3/77 Carlos Prio Soccaras: Former Cuban President, money man for a lot of anti-Castro groups.
[Gunshot, ruled a suicide]
6/77 Louis Nichols: Former high ranking agent in the FBI. Worked on the assassination and may have known Lee Harvey Oswald.
8/77 Alan Belmont: FBI Deputy Director who stated in a memo bullet locations inconsistent with what the Warren Commision reported. He issued this memo while the autopsy was still taking place. He also persuaded the Commision of the authenticity of a palm print taken from the rifle, which was disputed as being a genuine latent print of Lee Harvey Oswalds.
[Succumbed to a "long illness", likely cancer]
8/77 James Cadigan: FBI document expert who testified to Warren Commission.
[Accident, fell down and died in his home]
78 David Sanchez Morales: The CIAs top assassin in Latin America. Contact of David Ferrie and Clay Shaw. Possibly one of the other gunmen in Dealey Plaza.
[Heart attack, shortly before has was to testify to the House Select Committee on Assassinations]
8/82 Will Griffin: FBI agent who said Oswald was "definitely an informant".
1995 Richard Case Nagell: Expressed detailed foreknowledge of the assassination, and claimed he was the first choice for patsy (with Lee Harvey Oswald being first alternate). CIA contract worker and Korean war veteran. Passed away the same day he was asked to finally go on the record about what he knew.
Honorable Mention - Warren Reynolds: Witnessed the shooting of officer J.D. Tippit, and gave a statement that he witnessed another man who was not Lee Harvey Oswald fleeing the scene. He was shot in the head and the man accused was released thanks to an alibi from Betty Mcdonald. His shooter was never found. When he was later questioned by the Warren Commission he changed his story and said he witnessed Oswald fleeing the scene. Perhaps the only recorded instance of being shot in the head and having it aide your memory.
Editors Note: *Mona B. Saenz is usually included in the list of "mysterious deaths" and she is included here for posterity, but I personally do not think the CIA pushed her in front of a bus because she had spoken to Oswald about finding a job. Unless of course he put down "Presidential Assassin" or "Fall guy for CIA conspiracies" under the category of employment he was looking for.
The victims of time, bad diets, and not-suspicious accidents: Here are some other people connected to this tangled mess whose deaths are often considered "suspicious" but I consider "not suspicious" or at least "less suspicious".
?/66 Judge Joe Brown: Presided over Jack Ruby's first trial.
1/66 Earline Roberts: Oswald's landlady.
11/66 Jimmy Levens: Fort Worth nightclub owner who hired a lot of Jack
12/66 Hank Suydam: Life Magazine editor in charge of all JFK stories.
2/67 Harold Russell: Witnessed the escape of Officer Tippits killer (Oswald).
[Beaten to death by an off-duty Dallas police officer in a barroom brawl]
1969 Charles Mantesana: Filmed what is thought to be a rifle other than the mannlicher-carcano being taken from the depository. However a cursory examination of the film and still frames from it shows that it is a policeman holding a shotgun, likely a Remington 870. Very popular with the
police, not so popular with assassins at long distances.
7/69 Rev. Clyde Johnson: Scheduled to testify about Clay Shaw/David Ferrie/Oswald connection in Garrisons probe, but was never called. Likely due to his extreme unreliability as a witness. Johnson would make false claims about his candidacy for public office or status as a police officer, union representative, etc.. on an almost daily basis.
[Murdered, shotgun blast to the back from his wife's cousin, Ralph McMillan]
1/70 Darrel Garner: Arrested for shooting Warren Reynolds, he was released
after Betty Mcdonald provided an alibi.
8/70 Abraham Zapruder: Shot the infamous film the assassination.
5/72 J Edgar Hoover: Legendary FBI director who pushed the "lone assassin"
[Heart attack, but no autopsy was performed]
2/74 J.A. Milteer: Wealthy right-wing activist and unapologetic racist who some say predicted JFK's death. He speculated on Kennedy being shot while visiting Miami. From an office building with a high-powered rifle during a speech. No mention of any sort of conspiracy or multiple gunmen or any connection to anything else, except maybe the John Birch Society tenuously.
[Accidental Death, heater explosion]
1974 Earle Cabell: Mayor of Dallas on 11/22/63 natural causes. His brother was Gen. Charles Cabell, whom was fired by JFK from his position.
7/74 Chief Justice Earl Warren: Chief Justice who reluctantly chaired the Warren Commission.
1975 Clyde Tolson: J. Edgar Hoovers assistant and, *ahem* roommate.
12/75 Gen. Earle Wheeler: Army Chief of Staff for JFK.
4/76 Dr. Charles Gregory: Gov. John Connally's physician.
3/77 Paul Raigorodsky: Business associate and friend of George De Mohrenschildt. Wealthy oilman.
8/77 Joseph Ayres: Chief Steward on JFK's Air Force One, may have kept JFK’s bible after it was used to swear in LBJ.
8/77 Francis Powers: U-2 pilot from the 1960 Russia/U-2 incident.
[Helicopter crash, while fighting forest fires in California he ran out of fuel]
77 Kenneth O’Donnel: JFK’s closest aide.
10/77 Donald Kaylor: FBI fingerprint chemist.
11/77 William Sullivan: Former head of the FBI’s counter-intelligence division.
1978 C. L. "Lummie" Lewis: Dallas deputy sheriff who arrested mafia man Braden in
Dealey Plaza, while his wife was filming the motorcade.
10/77 J. M. English: Former head of the FBI forensic sciences laboratory.
9/78 Garland Slack: A man who said Oswald fired at his target at a rifle range.
1/79 Bill Lovelady: Depository employee said to be the man in the doorway in AP newswire photo.
6/80 Dr. John Holbrook: Psychiatrist who testified Ruby was not insane.
6/80 Jesse Curry: Dallas Police Chief at time of the assassination.
1/81 Marguerite Oswald: Lee Harvey Oswalds mother.
1/82 Peter Gregory: Original Russian translator for Marina Oswald and the Secret Service.
5/82 Dr. James Weston: Pathologist who reviewed JFK autopsy material for HSCA.
[Died while jogging, ruled natural causes]
10/82 W. Marvin Gheesling: FBI official who helped supervise the JFK investigation.
3/84 Roy Kellerman: Secret Service agent in charge of JFK’s limousine.
Picture Parade: Forensic Edition!
Here is an example of a 7.62 round penetrating about 12 inches of standard ballistic gelatin. This round is similar to the 6.5 mm round that Oswald's Mannlicher-Carcano (would have) fired. Please note the mangling of the bullet, without it having hit any bone or metal.
This is the "Magic Bullet", as it appeared after falling out of the Governor of Texas onto his stretcher at the hospital. Sure looks like its passed through the bodies of two men, striking bone several times, and enter/exiting multiple times.
Here is an illustration of the path the "Magic Bullet" had to take in order for the Warren Commissions findings on a "Lone Gunman" to make sense. Please note how many times it had to strike bone, and exit/enter the bodies of JFK and Gov. Connally.
Here is LBJ, moments before his swearing in as President getting a wink and a smile from Texas Senator Albert Thomas. Seems like they both were overwhelmed by the gravity of the situation, don't you think?
Here are LBJ and Lady Bird Johnson making Jackie Kennedy feel loved by insisting she stand there for the swearing in. She refused to change out of her soiled pink dress, so LBJ became President next to JFK's brain-smeared-weeping-hysterical widow.
JFK and LBJ a short while before what was to be the last leg of the Dallas parade. Seems like LBJ has something on his mind, don't you think?
+ + +Well, that is that. Maybe next time something more fun and/or contemporary. Nobody seems to like these long historical articles, but I like working on them, so suffer my dear readers. Suffer.
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