In 2011 a man came looking for me to obtain a special magic trick. Little did I know that he would be asking me to finish writing, what he called, “the incredible story of his life”. He was looking for—a special bridge-size deck of cards? It’s called a “stripper deck”, a specially prepared deck that can be used to cheat at poker and perform magic tricks.
This simple request would take me on a journey that spanned more than seventy-five years. As I plunged into the stories and names, it became so interesting that I quickly discovered it was going to be fun. Meyer Lansky, Johnny Rosselli, Sam Giancana, JFK, La Cosa Nostra, Las Vegas, and more.
After digging into his past, I found that I had met many of his acquaintances. I worked with some and could identify most of them without doing a major Google search. We understood the same lingo and think in much the same way. Many names I recognized from my own tenure in casinos fit in my puzzle—who they were and what they did. I always wondered, ‘Who is this guy? Who’s his juice? Which Syndicate, outfit or La Cosa Nostra family did he descend from? Who did he front for? Did this casino boss hold a hidden interest in the joint?’ I had many questions in my own mind from years of working in the casinos in Las Vegas and elsewhere. Little did I realize that I’d find the answers to my questions while at the same time having the privilege of researching and fact-checking this man’s story. Oh boy, what a story!
Bernie decided that he wanted to tell all—the good, the bad, and the ugly. I commend him for that. I also cautioned him; yet it was his decision and a true square deal of cards, so I set a few rules: 1) Tell the truth. 2) Tell the truth. 3) Tell the truth. He agreed. I asked him authorize and release to me his personal history via a FOIA request to the FBI. The FBI contacted him and wanted to verify his release to me. I thought that wasn’t unusual at the time and then after I read the information I found out why the FBI was concerned. I will get into this a little later.
I began my research and writing from a very weak outline that the man furnished me. I knew many of the people that were in this man’s periphery from family and friends. Robert Maheu, the CIA hired operative, went to my local church and bought my cousin’s home which was withing 400 feet of my home. I went to school with the children of his secretary Ceil Nolan. I was familiar with many of the owners of the Frontier Hotel, which plays a part in his story. Several of the characters had an arms length connection to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which I was very interested in after reading Mark lane’s, “RUSH to JUDGMENT.” My interest piqued.
So here I was in 2011 writing this book and a light turned on. I realized that I was surrounded by many characters at the Frontier Hotel that were directly involved in some way or another with the Kennedy assassination. I really started thinking about the Kennedy assassination after reading a copy of Mark Lane’s book, Rush to Judgment. Through a friend, I found out about another book, How Kennedy Was Killed by Joachim Joesten. After reading these two books, I was convinced that Lee Harvey Oswald was not a lone gunman who killed JFK. Then I read George Michael Evica’s book, And We Are All Mortal. Then I found a copy of The Assassination Tapes by George O’Toole. Then I read Jim Garrison’s book, A Heritage of Stone. These books were the final turning point that put it all together for me. The facts made sense and were consistent with what I’d learned and deduced throughout the years. So I’ve dived into the many theories and facts about Kennedy’s death and want to share my finding and conclusions.
These books were the final turning point that put it all together for me. The facts made sense and were consistent with what I’d learned and deduced throughout the years. So I’ve dived into the many theories and facts about Kennedy’s death and want to share my finding and conclusions.
Then after following the writings of Jim Garrison, I discovered John Barbour’s work on the assassination and his rare interviews with Jim Garrison. This eventually led me to assist Mr. Barbour in the making of his monumental and legendary movie, The American Media & the Second Assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Bart Whaley introduced me to the concept of incongruities when trying to solve a mystery.
Bart Whaley, a native of San Francisco, died on August 3, 2013. He took his BA in Chinese Studies in 1951 from the University of California, Berkeley. Bart then served with the intelligence section of U.S. Army Psychological Warfare headquartered in Tokyo during the Korean War. He attended London University School of Oriental and African Studies on the GI Bill for four years and, in 1969, took his Doctorate at MIT. Dr. Whaley wrote Stratagem: Deception and Surprise in War, Codeword Barbarossa, Covert German Rearmament, 1919-1939, Cheating, (co-authored under the name “J. Barton Bowyer”) and more.
Following his intellectual curiosity in deception and counter-deception, Dr. Whaley took to the study of conjuring as a deception operation. He was a lifetime magician member of the Magic Castle in Los Angeles and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Dr. Whaley produced four prize-winning books on magic and gambling cheaters, most notably The Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic 1585-1988 and The Man Who Was Erdnase. In 2004, he hosted a workshop on magic and the military at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
At the time of his death, Dr. Whaley was affiliated with the Department of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School and, in that capacity, this year collaborated with Dr. Hy Rothstein on a reader on military deception. He was also working for the Director of National Security’s Foreign Denial and Deception Committee (FDDC) of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Dr. Whaley’s most notable recent work for the FDDC is Detecting Deception: A Bibliography of Counterdeception Across Time, Cultures and Disciplines (4th Edition 2011). He also was concurrently working on his book The Maverick Detective or The Whole Art of Detection.
“Bart Whaley (2012) proposed a set of four skills for detectives (i.e., in-telligence and deception analysts) that must be used in sequence to solve any mystery: the ability to perceive incongruities; the ability to form a hunch or hypothesis that explains those incongruities; the ability to test the hypothesis to determine how closely it fits the current conception of reality; and the ability to weigh the relative merits of any alternative or competing hypotheses. If this four-step process successfully explains and eliminates all of the incongruities, then the mystery is solved. More likely, this process will uncover new incongruities, and the process iterates. Each cycle of this four-step process will produce either an increasingly close match with reality or an entirely new model of reality or a new point of view.”
The above from: Frank Stech – “Cyber Counterdeception: How to Detect Denial & Deception (D&D)”
(PDF) Cyber Counterdeception: How to Detect Denial & Deception (D&D). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264411704_Cyber_Counterdeception_How_to_Detect_Denial_Deception_DD [accessed Nov 27 2018].
When I worked in the gaming business in the first 20 years of adult employment and a problem arose in the casino I would ask questions and get all the facts about what happened. If somebody was involved in stealing from the casino, from the inside which would be a conspiracy, I looked into the matter completely. There was nothing worse than bearing false witness against somebody. A dealer, a floorman or anyone did not want the legendary description, “a jacket was put on him.” The term ‘having a jacket on you implied the person got caught stealing, or were accused of stealing.
So in this regard the idea that Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged shooter, had a jacket on him fascinated me, especially after him saying in his own words that he was a ‘patsy’. This term ‘patsy’ means the “fall guy”, a victim of a deception, which could be traced to Patsy Bolivar, a character created by Billy B. Van in a 1890s vaudeville skit who was blamed whenever anything went wrong. Remember in vaudeville, comedians do prat falls after being punched or slapped by the straight man. Another origin, possibly an alteration of Italian ‘potso’ or ‘pazzo’, meaning madman. Some Italian friends of mine from Detroit would use it to describe a fool or idiot.
There isn’t any record of Oswald remarking that he was a “patsy” after being apprehended in the Texas movie theater by the Dallas Police department. He was not aware of the charge or offenses against him. He did not protest about his arrest until after being paraded in front of the press.
The Church Committee went deeper into the actual eyewitness accounts in Dealy Plaza on Novemeber 22, 1963. I find these so interesting and enough circumstantial evidence for me to realize that there was a conspiracy to kill JFK. It was not just a function of Lee Harvey Oswald.
In addition to the information from witnesses regarding what they heard in Dealey Plaza at the time the shots were fired at the Presidential motorcade, the committee examined the statements of witnesses in the Plaza, who provided information about the possibility that other individuals were present in the area who may have been involved in the assassination.
The committee attempted to locate each of those persons; the search was hampered, however, to a great extent since the last known information on their addresses and whereabouts often dated back to 1963 or 1964. Could this hindrance have been man made by some intelligence agency that was intentionally creating disinformation? It is a possibility that whomever may have not wanted to rekindle this actual eyewitness testimony. Nevertheless, each witness who was located was asked to read all prior statements he had made to the Warren Commission or law enforcement officials in connection with the assassination and then to indicate in an affidavit prepared by the committee whether those statements were a complete and accurate record of the information related by the witness. Each witness was given the opportunity to either refute, correct or delete inaccurate information contained in the statements and testimony. In the case of those witnesses who could not be located, the committee still examined their existing statements to form an opinion about the nature of the information provided as it related to what had been verified by other witnesses.
Three witnesses gave statements to law enforcement agencies after the assassination that they saw two men at the sixth ﬂoor window of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD) from which they believed the assassin had fired.
This information just never made the evening news and the general public wasn’t aware that the CIA had news stories planted by reporters that would write their version of the news. An article in the Washington Post in 1978 said it all. (Washington Post, John Jacobs 1978)
Criticism of the Warren Commission, according to a 1967, CIA directive, “is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization,” which “itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation. “The aim of this dispatch,” the directive continued, “is to provide material for countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries.”
The CIA directive says that they are directly involved in the matters of the Warren Commission and that they had intent to counter and discredit conspiracy theories. This is in black and white! Can you imagine this? This is scary, and the scary part is there is no one around that t even is aware of this directive. It was published and never mentioned again, and for sure, it was never mentioned in the mainstream news. How much of the press does the CIA control? Is there a possibility they own CBS? Who says they can’t. They could keep it a secret for the normal reason, “national security”.
When former CIA Director William Casey set up a blind trust under pressure from Congress in 1983, he did not include 34,755 shares he owned in Capital Cities Communicalions. At that time Capital Cities Communications announced a proposed takeover of the American Broadcasting Company.
One of the most revealing acquisitions of Capital Cities was its purchase of The Wilkes Barre Times Leader in 1978. This episode in the company’s history is described in detail in the book by Thomas J. Keil entitled On Strike! Capital Cities and the Wilkes Barre Newspaper Unions. Like many major media companies, although Cap Cities had little difficulty paying executives like Burke and Murphy millions, it repeatedly denied union requests for higher wages, benefits, and better working conditions. Yet, it managed to keep negative publicity of these denials to a minimum. Except in the Wilkes Barre case.
As Keil wrote, the newspaper had to “control costs, increase productivity, improve the quality of the paper, and expand its market” in order to justify the Cap Cities expenditure. But the union in this small Pennsylvania town saw a secret agenda at work. They felt that by moving the paper’s editorial policy and news agenda in a more conservative direction, Cap Cities was attempting to lower wages and working conditions in the entire area, which was heavily unionized. (One of the company’s demands was for more “objective” journalistic practices.) Since the area had been historically involved in serious industrial strikes in coal and steel, it recognized a past corporate parallel in this case. From the conflict that followed, they seem to have been correct.
During the contract struggle, Cap Cities hired security guards, used surveillance cameras, tried to get local authorities involved on their side, and built a 12 foot high fence around the newspaper building. Predictably, it hired the infamous Wackenhut Corporation as its security and investigative arm. (Wackenhut is so tied into the national security state that it is sometimes called The CIA’s CIA.) Casey played a large role in this conflict by serving as the Cap Cities counsel and the former counsel for Wackenhut. Therefore Casey was probably key in implementing one of the more controversial practices Wackenhut used leading up to the strike: the employment of virtually all African-American guards over the nearly all-white union ranks. This, of course, tended to foment racial tensions and exacerbate labor-management problems. In addition, Cap Cities wanted to hire part-time workers and install a merit system, thereby weakening the hold the union had in the workplace and increasing their own.
When the strike escalated, and the inevitable violence broke out, Cap Cities grew angry that the local authorities did not help it end the strike by interceding on their side. So they used the newspaper to print a story that there was an FBI investigation pending of the local police for its failure to protect the replacement workers the company had hired. (Wackenhut employed many former employees of the Bureau.) The FBI looked into the matter yet ultimately took no action on the printed charge.
When Keil interviewed some executives on the scene they admitted that the company had badly mishandled the strike. They learned a valuable lesson though. Namely to use more clandestine surveillance in order to remove popular union leaders before the strike reached a crisis stage. This, of course, is what the CIA does for major American corporations abroad.
In an FBI interview on December 5, 1963, another eyewitness Mrs. Ruby Henderson related that at the time of the motorcade, she was standing on the east side of Elm Street “just north of Houston Street.” She said that right after an ambulance left the area with a man who had suffered an epileptic seizure, she looked up at the Texas School Book Depository. She saw two men in the window on one of the upper floors. She could not recall exactly which ﬂoor they were on, but -stated that she did not recall seeing any other persons on any ﬂoors above the two men.
Mrs. Henderson described one man as being dark-complexioned, possibly either Mexican or Negro. “That man had dark hair and a white shirt. The other man was taller and was wearing a dark shirt.” According to the FBI report, she also said that “she could not deﬁnitely state that one of the men was not a Negro.” Mrs. Henderson said she only saw the men from the waist up and therefore could not further describe their attire. They were standing back from the window, but looking out toward the motorcade. Mrs. Henderson said she saw the two men in the window before the motorcade reached the corner of Elm and Houston Streets, but did not know much before it reached the corner that she saw the men. Mrs. Henderson was not called to testify before the Warren Commission.
When I was working in a casino and we had a problem and there was an eye witness to the problem, we would call the person in and get their recollection of what happened. The only time we would not call a person in to talk about an incident would be to keep the incident under wraps. The Warren Commission did not have to answer to anyone or explain why Mrs. Robinson was not called into to testify by design.
The story of the man who had the epileptic seizure raised some eyebrows. The FBI investigated an ambulance call in Dealey Plaza at about the time of the shooting. At 10:15 p.m., on May 12, 1964, Dan Dawson called the FBI night clerk at the Dallas office of the FBI. Dawson spoke with Joseph Hersey. Dawson recalled that he formerly worked for Oneal Funeral Directors and that he received a telephone call requesting an ambulance be sent to the corner of Elm and Houston Streets.
Dawson stated he was furnishing this information to the FBI, since he felt it possible that this incident may have been planned to distract attention from the “shooting” that was to follow. He pointed out that this was prior to the passing of the Presidential motorcade and near the site where President Kennedy was assassinated.
Dawson sent an ambulance to the location and they picked up a victim of an epileptic seizure and brought him to Parkland Hospital. While in the process of registering the patient, Dawson said the patient disappeared. The FBI found the epileptic, Jerry Boyd Belknap. Belknap said he took the bus from Irving to Dallas and went to a point, about 100 North Houston Street, to watch the Presidential motorcade. He stood on the west side of the street.
About 12:10p.m., he said he felt a “fainting spell” coming on and attempted to move back away from the crowd. While in the process of moving, he fainted and fell to the sidewalk. Within minutes an ambulance arrived and took him to Parkland Memorial Hospital. He believed he did not loss consciousness.
The FBI reported: Belknap stated that, shortly after the ambulance attendants carried him on the stretcher into Parkland memorial Hospital, President Kennedy was brought into the hospital. He advised there was much confusion at the hospital and little attention was being paid to him. He said he got a glass of water from a nurse and took his medication, which he is required to take three times daily, but had neglected to do so on this particular day. After taking the medication, Belknap stated he felt much better, informed the nurse of this, and walked out of the hospital without ever registering as a patient. Belknap advised this was around 2:00 p.m. and stated he then returned to the Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, where he was employed working part time in the Mail Room.
Regarding the nature of his illness, Belknap explained that several years ago he was struck by a car and suffered a head injury. He stated since that time he has had fainting spells and is required to take medication three times daily to prevent this. He stated he does not believe his fainting spells are any type of epilepsy. He also told the FBI while he was at 100 North Houston Street awaiting the Presidential motorcade, he did not observe anything in the Texas School Book Depository Building, which was just north of where he was standing, that would arouse his suspicion. He said he left this location before the Presidential motorcade arrived.
Belknap advised he dis not know, nor has he ever had any contact with Lee Harvey Oswald or with Jack Ruby. He did say he has seen Ruby on one or two occasions, but has never met him or spoken to him. Belknap said that he had no information which would assist in the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy. Belknap did pay his ambulance bill of $12.50 on December 2, 1963.
I find that the initial dispatcher’s comments, who called the FBI office about this incident very interesting. This guy was no dummy. He said, ‘may have been planned to distract attention from the shooting’. He actually gave a method that an outside cheater, or an inside cheater would use to distract the bosses or floor man. We called it ‘rounding the dealer’. The crew would spill a drink or knock over a chair, even feint an illness, jut to distract the dealer or floor man’s attention to the game. At the same time a drink was spilled, the cheat has a chance to make his move. And remember prior to 1976, there were no surveillance cameras of any consequence. In Dealey Plaza there were no surveillance cameras except for those of the spectators there to watch the motorcade.
A cheating crew will go through elaborate lengths to make a move in a casino. That is why I am suspect in this seemingly innocent ambulance call.
Officer Joe Smith who was on patrol in this area was diverted by this incident, along with another policeman. So that makes at least two people who were “rounded” from the action.
Mr. Smith: I proceeded to the intersection of Elm and Houston, and it was
about 9:50 or 10 o’clock when I was on the corner there. At approximately
11 :50 or 12 o’clock, there was a white male that had an epileptic seizure
on the esplanade on Houston ‘Street between Main and Elm. Well, I went down to see if any assistance was needed, and I stayed there until the white male was loaded into an ambulance and sent to a hospital. Then I proceeded back to my assignment.
Mr. Liebeler. Were there any other officers there in connection with this
fellow that had the epileptic fit?
Mr. Smith. Yes; there was one more. He was a radio patrolman.
Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember his name?
Mr. Smith. I don’t remember his name. I swear, I was trying to think of it
before this even.
Mr. Liebeler. He was a radio patrolman? You mean he was driving a motor-
cycle or had a car?
Mr. Smith. No ; he was assigned, I think, if I am not mistaken, I think he was
assigned to Main and Houston, and he was down there with the man when I
arrived at the scene.
Mr. Liebeler. So you called an ambulance, or an ambulance was called and
this man was taken away, and you went back to the corner of Elm and Houston
Mr. Smith. Yes.
Mr. Liebeler. How many officers were assigned at Elm and Houston?
Mr. Smith. Three of us.
Mr. Liebeler. Who were the other two men?
Mr. Smith. W. E. Barnett, and E. L. Smith. I think that is his initials. I
know it is another Smith boy anyway.
Mr. Liebeler. How did you station yourself when you got there?
Mr. Smith. Just after we got the epileptic seizure en route to the hospital, I
hadn’t gotten back to the corner but just a few minutes until the motorcade was coming, so I stationed myself on Elm Street in the middle from the southeast curb of Elm and Houston and held traffic up.
Officer Smith encountered one of the conspirators after he heard the shots.
Mr. Smith. I heard the shots.
Mr. Liebeler. Did you turn to watch the motorcade? Did you turn to watch
the President as the motorcade went by?
Mr. Smith. Yes, sir ; I glanced around and was watching the crowd to make
sure they stayed back out of the way of the motorcade, and also to make sure none of the cars started up or anything. Then I heard the shots, and I
immediately proceeded from this point.
Mr. Liebeler. Point 4 on Commission Exhibit No. 354?
Mr. Smith. I started up toward this Book Depository after I heard the shots,
and I didn’t know where the shots came from. I had no idea, because it was
such a ricochet.
Mr. Liebeler. An echo effect?
Mr. Smith. Yes, sir; and this woman came up to me and she was just in
hysterics. She told me, “They are shooting the President from the bushes.” So I immediately proceeded up here.
Mr. Liebeler. You proceeded up to an area immediately behind the concrete
structure here that is described by Elm Street and the street that runs immediately in front of the Texas School Book Depository, is that right?
Mr. Smith. I was checking all the bushes and I checked all the cars in the
Mr. Liebeler. There is a parking lot in behind this grassy area back from Elm Street toward the railroad tracks, and you went down to the parking lot and looked around?
Mr. Smith. Tes, sir; I checked all the cars. I looked into all the cars and
checked around the bushes. Of course, I wasn’t alone. There was some deputy sheriff with me, and I believe one Secret Service man when I got there.
I got to make this statement, too. I felt awfully silly, but after the shot and
this woman, I pulled my pistol from my holster, and I thought, this is silly, I
don’t know who I am looking for, and I put it back. Just as I did, he showed me that he was a Secret Service agent.
Mr. Liebeler. Did you accost this man ?
Mr. Smith. Well, he saw me coming with my pistol and right away he showed me who he was.
Mr. Liebeler. Do you remember who it was?
Mr. Smith. No, sir : I don’t — because then we started checking the cars. In
fact, I was checking the bushes, and I went through the cars, and I started over here in this particular section.
Mr. Liebeler. Down toward the railroad tracks where they go over the triple
Mr. Smith. Yes.
Mr. Liebeler. Did you have any basis for believing where the shots came from, or where to look for somebody, other than what the lady told you?
Mr. Smith. No, sir; except that maybe it was a power of suggestion. But it
sounded to me like they may have came from this vicinity here.
It looks pretty obvious that the assassination team was pretty well planed out and had all the bases covered when a fake Secret Service agent flashed a badge at Officer Joe Smith. This simple deceptive action indicates that the use of false identity was a simple matter for this experienced team. Who was the false agent? Some suggest that whomever the agent was that the person certainly must have had the help of someone very familiar with Secret Service credentials. This does not necessarily follow. It is very possible that this false Secret Service document was not an exact replica of a genuine Secret Service document, but a facsimile or rendition of one. In the questioning of Officer Smith, it reveals that he did not stop and notate the agent’s name or number, nor did the line of questioning by the Warren Commission dig deeper into the identity or the physical description of the faux agent. Not one question was asked of his height, weight, hair color etc. The Warren Commission did not dig deeper into questioning of the vitals of this fake agent and this situation opens the possibility of that they knew or suspected the agent was fake already and they did not need these answers at the time. This then suggests that they knew the assassination was a conspiracy, and bits and pieces of information from the U.S. intelligence sources were still being collected and anylizied.
Another eyewitness, Mrs. Carolyn Walther was interviewed by the FBI on December 4, 1963, and stated that at the time of the motorcade, she was standing on the east side of Houston Street, about 50 or 60 feet south of the south curb of Elm Street. After the ambulance left with an the epileptic, Mrs. Walther looked up at the windows of the Texas
School Book Depository and saw a man in the southeast corner window of the fourth or ﬁfth ﬂoor; according to the FBI report, Mrs.Walther was “positive” the window was not as high as the sixth ﬂoor. She described the window as being the “most easterly” on the south side of the building. Mrs. Walther said the man was holding a rifle in his hands. The barrel of the rifle was pointing downward and the man was looking toward Houston Street. Both his hands were extended across the window ledge. She described the man as having light brown or blond hair and wearing a white shirt. She described the riﬂe as having a short barrel and being possibly a machine gun. She noticed no other features of the rifle.
Mrs. Walther said also that she saw at the same time a second man to the left of the man with the brown suit coat; she could only see his body from the waist to the shoulders and his head was hidden by part of the window. She also told the FBI that almost immediately after she saw the second man in the window, the presidential motorcade approached Houston Street. Mrs. Walther was not called to testify before the Warren Commission.
Arnold Louis Rowland testiﬁed before the Warren Commission that he and his wife standing near the corner of Houston and Main Streets at the time of the motorcade. Rowland said that at about 12:15 p.m. he looked up at the Texas Book Depository and saw a man in a sixth ﬂoor window in the west corner of the building holding a riﬂe. The man was standing back from the window. Rowland described the riﬂe as a “fairly high-powered riﬂe” with a
scope. He thought it might have been a .30 size six riﬂe. Rowland said he noted also that two windows were open where he saw the man standing. The man was holding the riﬂe in a “port arms” military position, with the barrel at a 45° angle downward across his body. Rowland described the man as being “tall and slender in build in proportion with his width.” He also said the man could have weighed 140 to 150 pounds and appeared to be light complexioned with dark hair, possibly “light Latin” or Caucasian, and his hair was closely cut. He said the man was wearing a very light colored shirt with an open collar and a T-shirt beneath, and he had on_ either dark slacks or jeans. The man appeared to be in his thirties. Rowland said that he mentioned to his wife that he had seen a man in the window, but the man was gone when they looked back. Rowland estimated the man was standing 3 to 5 feet back from the window.
Rowland testiﬁed also that before he saw the man with the riﬂe, he saw another man in another window of the sixth ﬂoor. He said that window was in the east corner of the building, “the one that they said the shots were ﬁred from.” Rowland said he believed it was
a “colored” man and that the man was “hanging” out the window. Rowland said that at that time he noticed there were several people hanging out of windows; it was then that he looked again and saw the man with the riﬂe in the western window. He said he saw both men at about 12:15 p.m. The man in the window of the southeast corner of the sixth ﬂoor as an “elderly Negro,” but could give no further details on the man’s appearance. Rowland said the Negro man in the window remained there until the motorcade reached the corner of
Main and Ervay Streets at about 12:30 p.m. Rowland said he last saw him about 5 minutes before the motorcade approached; when he looked a minute or 30 seconds before the motorcade had reached the corner of Main and Ervay, the man was gone.
In an FBI interview on November 22, 1963, Rowland repeated that as he stood on Houston Street at the west entrance of the sheriff’s office at approximately 12:15 or 12:20 p.m., he saw a man standing in the window of the “second ﬂoor from the top”; there was no further information in that report about the location of that window. The man was standing 10 or 15 feet back from the window and was holding a riﬂe which appeared to have a scope. The FBI report described the man’s position as “parade rest.” According to that report, Rowland described the man as a white male of slender build with dark hair. He was wearing a light-colored shirt which was open at the neck. Rowland told the FBI that he heard the ﬁrst shot about 15 minutes after he had seen the man with the riﬂe at the window. He
said he did not look at the window again after the shots began.
In an FBI interview on November 23, 1963, Rowland was quoted as saying that the window in which he saw the man with the riﬂe was in the southwest corner of the sixth ﬂoor, which is nearest the overpass on Elm Street. That report contains the description of the man as wearing a light-colored shirt and the riﬂe as being a .306 with a telescopic sight. Rowland said he was not close enough to identify the man and could not say if it was Lee Harvey Oswald. Rowland also gave a sworn statement to FBI agents on November 24, 1963. In that statement, Rowland again recounted that he saw a man with a riﬂe at about 12:15 p.m. on November 22, 1963. He described the location as the area of the two rectangular windows “at the extreme west end of the Texas School Book Depository on the next to the top ﬂoor. He said again that the man was standing 10 to 15 feet back from the window. The description he gave at this time was consistent with his earlier reports: Slender in proportion to his height, wearing a white or light-colored shirt, which was either collarless or open at the neck. The man had dark hair. Rowland also described the riﬂe as having a scope and said that the man was holding it in a “port arms” position. He also said again that he would not be able to identify the person because of the distance.
There is no mention in any of the FBI reports that Rowland said he also saw another man in a window on the eastern corner of the building.
Nevertheless, in his Warren Commission testimony, Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig stated that soon after the assassination on the afternoon of November 22, 1963, Rowland gave him a description of two men in sixth ﬂoor windows of the depository before the assassination. Craig testiﬁed that after the shots, he began talking to witnesses in the area of the depository.
This is Craig’s description of his conversation with Rowland:
I talked to a young couple and the boy said he saw two men on the, uh, sixth ﬂoor of the Book Depository Building over there; one of them had a riﬂe with the telescopic sight on it, but he thought they were Secret Service agents on guard and didn’t report it. This was about, uh oh, he said, 15 minutes before the motorcade ever arrived.
Craig said he remembered the boy’s name to be Arnold Rowland. He said the conversation with Rowland took place about 10 minutes after the shots were ﬁred at the motorcade. Rowland told him that the man with the riﬂe was located on the west end of the depository in the second window from the corner. Rowland also told him that the two men were “walking back and forth” on the sixth ﬂoor. Rowland related that when he looked back a few minutes later, only the man with the riﬂe remained. He was holding it at his side and looking out the window in a southerly direction. Craig said Rowland’s wife said she had not seen the men. Craig also said that at the time he talked to Rowland, there had not yet been a report that the shots had come from the depository. In fact, Craig testiﬁed that he had at ﬁrst assisted officers searching in the area of the railroad tracks before he returned to the area of the depository building to talk to witnesses.
Rowland also gave a report to the sheriff’s department on November 22. 1963. According to that report, Rowland said that at about 12:15 p.m. he saw a man with a riﬂe in a window on the second ﬂoor from the top of the depository. The man was about 15 feet back from the window and was holding the riﬂe at a “parade rest” position. He described the riﬂe as high powered because it had a scope on it. He described the man as white, wearing a light colored shirt which was open at the neck; he said the man appeared to be of slender build with dark hair. There is no mention in that report, that Rowland described a second man on the sixth ﬂoor before the shots.
From what I read and the evidence they gave these people were not lying or making up some cock-eyed story. What is really peculiar here is the fact that the Warren Commission did not have all of them testify. These were the only eyewitnesses of the possible shooters! This is incredible! It is also very relieving to have some assurance that none of the suspected assassins resembled Johnny Rosselli. This leaves even more evidence of a second shooter.
The Warren Commission also examined information about the presence of a man near the concrete structure on the grassy knoll near the area where some witnesses said they believed gunfire had originated. Investigators examined photographs made by Phillip Willis of the area of the grassy knoll and concluded that a photograph taken by Willis did show a person standing behind the concrete wall on the knoll. The investigative panel determined that that photograph was taken at approximately frame 202 of the Zapruder ﬁlm, which was after President Kennedy received the neck wound but before the fatal head shot. According to the results of the panel’s photographic enhancement and analysis, the figure in the Willis photograph was consistent with that of an adult approximately 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet in height and wearing dark clothing. The panel also noted that in another photograph by Willis, which was taken after the Presidential limousine had left Dealey Plaza, the ﬁgure standing behind the concrete wall had disappeared. The panel concluded that that movement by the object was consistent with the presence of a human being.
The photographic evidence panel also noted that in the ﬁrst Willis photograph, which shows the person standing behind the concrete wall, there is visible, near the region of the hands of the person at the wall, “a very distinct straight-line feature,” which extends from lower right to upper right. Nevertheless, because of the blur of the object in the photograph, the panel was not able to determine the actual length of the object and could not conclude whether it was or was not a weapon.
The committee interviewed Willis’ daughter, Rose Mary Willis, on November 8, 1978, at her home in Dallas. Ms. Willis stated that she was present with her father and a sister in the area of the grass section of the plaza at the time of the Presidential motorcade on November 22, 1963. Ms. Willis explained that as the President’s car approached, she ran alongside the limousine almost to the triple underpass.
Ms. Willis stated that during that time, she noticed two persons who looked “conspicuous.” One was a man near the curb holding an umbrella, who appeared to be more concerned with opening or closing the umbrella than dropping to the ground like everyone else at the time of the shots. The other was a person who was standing just behind the concrete wall near the triple underpass. That person appeared to “disappear the next instant.” Ms. Willis further described the location of this person as the corner section of the white concrete wall between the area of photographer Abraham Zapruder’s right side and the top of the concrete stairway leading up to the center of the grassy knoll.
Ms. Willis said she was aware of three shots being fired. She gave no information on the direction or location of the shots, but stated that her father became upset when the policemen in the area appeared to run away from where he thought the shots came from; that is, they were running away from the grassy knoll.
Committee investigators also interviewed Ms. Willis’ sister, Mrs. Linda Pites, on November 7, 1978, in Dallas. Mrs. Pites explained that she was also present in the plaza at the time of the shots. The only information she provided relevant to the shots was that she had a distinct impression that the head wound to President Kennedy was the result of a front-to-rear shot. She also heard three shots and saw the President’s head “blow up.”
Mrs. Pites testiﬁed before the Warren Commission on July 22, 1964. During her testimony, she said that she heard three shots and that she saw the President grab his throat after the ﬁrst shot. She was not asked by the Commission about any other activity she may have seen in the plaza at the time of the shots.
Phillip Willis also testiﬁed before the Warren Commission on July 22, 1964. He had positioned himself on the curb in front of the Texas School Book Depository at the time the President’s motorcade passed. Willis stated that he took 12 pictures of the motorcade. including one of President Kennedy when he was ﬁrst hit. Willis said he was certain that three shots were ﬁred and that they came from the direction of the depository.
During his testimony, Willis was asked if at the time of the shots he looked in the direction of the railroad tracks which go across the triple underpass. Willis stated that he saw policemen and spectators there, but that he saw no evidence of shots coming from that area. Willis was not asked during the testimony about his ﬁlm, which shows a ﬁgure behind the concrete wall on the knoll.
Richard Randolph Carr stated to the FBI on January 4, 1964, that he saw a man looking out of a window on the top ﬂoor of the depository a few minutes before Carr heard shots. He described the man as white, wearing a hat, tan sport coat, and glasses. He said that at the time of the motorcade, he was standing on about the sixth ﬂoor of the new courthouse that was under construction at Houston and Commerce Streets. Carr said that from that spot he could only see the top ﬂoor and roof of the depository building. It was from that location that he observed the man in the depository window.) Carr said that after the shots he was going toward the direction of the triple underpass when he got to the intersection of Houston and Commerce Streets, he saw a man whom he believed to be the same individual he had seen in the window of the depository. Carr was not called to testify before the Warren Commission.
He did testify on February 19. 1969, in the Parish County Criminal District Court in New Orleans in State of Louisiana v. Clay L. Shaw, a case involving charges of conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy. According to the transcript of his testimony, Carr stated that he saw the man in the ﬁfth ﬂoor window of the Texas School Book Depository. He said he later saw the man going down Houston Street then turning at Commerce Street. Carr described the hat worn by the man as felt and said his glasses were heavy-rimmed with heavy earpieces. He had on a tie and a tan sport coat. As the man ran, he was continually looking over his shoulder as though he was being followed.
During his testimony at the Clay Shaw trial, Carr also reported seeing men in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination who were not mentioned in the report of his FBI interview in January 1964. Carr was asked during the Shaw trial if he noticed any movement after the shots, which seemed “unusual.” Carr then said that he saw a Rambler station wagon with a rack on top parked on the wrong side of the street, heading north and facing in the direction of the railroad tracks, next to the depository.
Carr said that immediately after the shots he saw three men. He gave a description of one of them: he was “real dark-complected” and appeared to be Spanish or Cuban; he drove the car away, going north on Houston Street.
During the Shaw trial testimony, Carr said he had reported this information to law enforcement officers and that someone had told him not to repeat this information. At that point, defense counsel objected to hearsay by Carr, and no further details were elicited about the reported coercion of Carr, other than his statement that he did what the FBI told him to do, “I shut my mouth.” Committee investigators did not locate Richard Carr to discuss this information with him.
James Richard Worrell also reported to the FBI on November 23, 1963, that he saw a man leaving the TSBD and running from the area after the shots. Worrell told the FBI that he saw the man leave the depository building and run in the opposite direction at the time. Worrell said that he was running from Elm to Paciﬁc Street along Houston. He described the man as white, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches in height, with dark hair and wearing some type of jacket and dark clothing. According to the FBI report, when Worrell later saw Lee Harvey Oswald on television that night, Worrell believed Oswald was the person he had seen running from the depository.
In an affidavit for the Dallas Police Department on November 23, 1963, Worrell also related seeing the man run from the depository in the opposite direction from Worrell. At that time, he said the man was wearing a dark shirt or jacket that was open down the front and that he did not have anything in his hands.
When Worrell testiﬁed before the Warren Commission on March 10, 1964, he said he was running along Houston Street when he saw the man “come bustling out of the door” of the depository. At that time, Worrell described the man as 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 10 inches in height, weighing 155 to 165 pounds, in his early thirties, with brunette hair. He was wearing a dark sports jacket, which was open and light pants. Worrell said the man
came out of the “back entrance” of the depository building. Richard Worrell died on November 5, 1966, in Dallas from severe head injuries sustained when his motorcycle went out of control.
After the assassination on November 22, 1963, Mrs. Jean Hill of Dallas gave a notarized statement to the sheriff’s department regarding what she had seen in Dealey Plaza at the time the shots were ﬁred at the motorcade. Mrs. Hill said that she was standing at the curb on the south side of Elm Street halfway to the triple underpass during the parade. After the last shot was heard and the Presidential limousine sped away, Mrs. Hill looked up the hill of the grassy knoll and saw a man running toward the monument. She said she began running toward the man; she was turned back by police officers who had arrived on the knoll when she got up to the railroad tracks. In the sheriff’s statement, there is no description or further details of the man seen by Mrs. Hill.
An interview report dated November 23, 1963, by the FBI gave only this account for its total report on Mrs. Hill:
Jean Hill, 9402 Bluff Creek, telephone EV 1-7419, stated that she on November 22, 1963, was standing on Elm Street in the vicinity of Texas School Book Depository observing the Presidential party composed of the President of the United States, his wife and Governor Connally of Texas, pass, and accompanying her was Mary Moorman, residing 2832 Ripplewood, telephone DA 1-9390, who with a camera – took pictures of the Presidential party passing down the street. Jean Hill advised she heard something like a riﬂe shot and observed President Kennedy crumple in his seat in the automobile. She was standing nearby, as the vehicle was passing the spot where she stood at the time.
The FBI interviewed Mrs. Hill on March 13, 1964. In that report, Mrs. Hill was quoted as saying that after the shots she noticed a white man in a brown raincoat and a hat running west away from the depository in the direction of the railroad tracks. The report states that Mrs. Hill said she was stopped by a motorcycle police officer and lost sight of the man. It also states that she did not get a good look at the man, but that she described him as being of average height and heavy build.
According to that report, Mrs. Hill said that men who were either FBI or (Secret Service agents were present later that afternoon when she was being questioned in the sheriff’s office. Mrs. Hill related that one of the men referred to a bullet hitting the ground near her feet; she told him she did not recall such an incident. When she told the men that she had heard four to six shots, one of them said: “There were three shots, three bullets, that’s enough for now.”
The report states that despite that remark, Mrs. Hill said no law enforcement ofﬁcers attempted to force opinions or statements from her.
Mrs. Hill testified before the Warren Commission 11 days after that FBI interview, on March 24, 1964. At that time, Mrs. Hill recounted again the events in Dealey Plaza at the time of the shots. As she discussed the reaction of the crowd to the shots, she volunteered that she saw a man “running, getting away or walking away or something—I would say he was running,” said the man was at the top of the slope near the west end of the depository building. She repeated that the man was wearing a brown raincoat. She said her attention was drawn toward him because he was the only thing moving after the shots rang out. Mrs. Hill also said that at the time she thought, “That’s the man that did it” and began running toward him. She did not recollect seeing his hands and did not see a weapon. Mrs. Hill testiﬁed that she ran up the hill toward the railroad tracks after the man. She said when she got in the area of the railroad tracks, she lost sight of him. At that point, she thought she heard someone say: “It looks like he got away” or words to that effect. She said that was consistent with the thought in her own mind that the man she saw running was involved in the assassination.
When Mrs. Hill was ﬁrst asked during her Warren Commission testimony by Counsel Specter if she could give a description of the man she saw running, Mrs. Hill said she did not want to. She was concerned because she had earlier given statements that the man looked like Jack Ruby in build and thought this would be viewed as “using a ﬁgure and converting it to her story.” Later in her testimony, Mrs. Hill said she had been bothered and laughed at because of the information she provided, speciﬁcally because she had once said she saw a dog on the seat in the limousine between President and Mrs. President. Nevertheless, she continued to say that the man was about Jack Ruby’s height and wasn’t any bigger than Jack Ruby in weight. She said also at that time that the man had been wearing a brown hat. She estimated that he was middle aged, approximately 40 years old, and Caucasian. When asked by Counsel Specter if she thought the man was in fact Jack Ruby, Mrs. Hill replied that she didn’t know.
Mrs. Hill explained in her testimony that when she mentioned to the law enforcement officers at the sheriff’s office that she had heard four to six shots, one of the men responded that he had also heard more than three shots, but that they had three wounds and three bullets, so they were not willing to say that more than three shots had been ﬁred. She repeated also at that time that a Secret Service man asked her about a bullet hitting the ground near her feet, but she had not seen a bullet hit the ground. She said she was not coerced into any statements by the law enforcement officials.
Mrs. Hill said she had been contacted by Attorney Mark Lane a few weeks before her Warren Commission testimony. Among the things she related to Lane was that she had been told by a man from the FBI or Secret Service not to mention the man she saw running in the area of the depository. At that point in her testimony, Mrs. Hill also said that a reporter named Featherstone from the Dallas Times Herald had told her she was wrong about seeing a man running up the hill from the depository, and not to mention it on the air. It was not further clariﬁed in her Warren Commission testimony whether it was in fact law enforcement officers or the reporter, or both, who advised her not to mention again seeing the man running.
Mrs. Hill said in her testimony that she had been re-interviewed by the FBI on about March 16 or 17, 1964 because of statements Mark Lane had made about her when he testiﬁed before the Commission. Mrs. Hill said she had talked to Lane about 4 or 5 weeks before; she said he took down correctly what she said, but that it was reported out of context because his account did not reﬂect his questions. Mark Lane had testiﬁed before the Commission on March 7, 1964. Lane gave this account in his testimony of information he had been given by Mrs. Hill of the events in Dealey Plaza: She said further that after the last shot was ﬁred, she saw a man run from behind the general area of a concrete facade on that grassy knoll, and that he ran on to the triple overpass. Mrs. Hill was not located by the committee.
In another voluntary statement to the sheriff’s department dated November 22, 1963, Jesse C. Price of Dallas was quoted as saying he also saw a man ﬂeeing from the plaza after the assassination. Price said in his notarized statement that at approximately 12:35 p.m. on November 22, 1963, he was on the roof of the Terminal Annex Building and saw the Presidential motorcade proceeding west on Elm Street until it was a short distance from the overpass. After hearing the volley of shots, Price saw a man run toward the passenger cars at the railroad siding. In the sheriff’s statement, Price described the man as about 25 years of age with long dark hair.(16’1) He was wearing a white dress shirt with no tie and khaki-colored trousers. Price said the man was carrying something in his hand and that it may have been a “head piece.” (57) Price was interviewed by the FBI in Dallas on November 24, 1963. However, that report quotes Price only as saying he looked in the direction of the overpass at the time of the shots, but “saw nothing pertinent.” The committee learned that Jesse C. Price was deceased.
Lee E. Bowers, Jr., reported to the FBI after the assassination on November 22, 1963, that he had observed three cars parked in the lot west of the depository building before the assassination. He said the ﬁrst arrived at about 11 :55 a.m.; it was a 1959 Oldsmobile station wagon, blue over white, with an out-of-state license plate consisting of six black numbers on a white background. He noted that the car was extremely dirty. There was one white male in it, who Bowers said could have been middle aged. The second car arrived at about 12:15 p.m. (168) It was a 1957 Ford Tudor, black with a gold stripe on the sides, and had a Texas license plate. Bowers said he thought the man in that second car was a police ofﬁcer because he was talking into a radio telephone or radio transmitter in the car. Bowers described him as white, about 30 years old. The third car was a 1961 or 1962 white Chevrolet Impala four-door and it arrived at approximately 12:22 p.m. Bowers said the license on the third car was like the out-of-state license on the ﬁrst, with six black numbers on a white background. That car, too, was very dirty. The man in it was a white male about 30 years old, with long, dirty blond hair, wearing a plaid sports shirt. Bowers told the FBI that after the shooting he did not see any of these cars in the parking lot.
Lee Bowers, Jr., testiﬁed before the Warren Commission on April 2, 1964, and gave the same account and descriptions of the three cars. Nevertheless, in his Warren Commission testimony, Bowers also stated that the ﬁrst car first drove in front of the depository, circled the area of the tower in the railroad yard “as if he were searching for a way out, or was checking the area,” and then left at the Elm Street outlet. Bowers stated also that he noticed the car had a “Goldwater” sticker on its bumper. About 15 minutes later, Bowers noted the second car; it drove in front of the depository, cruised around the area for 3 or 4 minutes, and then left. The third car appeared about 8 minutes before the President’s motorcade;
it circled the area and probed in the area of the tower, and then slowly cruised back in front of the depository, at which point Bowers lost sight of it.
Bowers testiﬁed that at the time of the motorcade on November 22, he was located in the Union Terminal Tower in the railroad yard. When asked what people he noticed standing between the tower and Elm Street at the underpass on the high ground, Bowers stated that he saw two men standing within 10 or 15 feet of each other. One of them was middle aged, heavy set, and was wearing a white shirt and dark trousers. The other man was in his mid- twenties, wearing either a plaid shirt or a plaid jacket. Bowers said those two men were directly in his line of vision toward the mouth of the underpass and appeared to be watching the progress of the motorcade. Bowers said he saw the man in the white shirt standing there at the time of the shots, but that he could not see the younger man in the plaid clothing because of the trees, which made him harder to distinguish.
Bowers said that at that point a motorcycle officer ran up the incline toward the trees in the general area of where the two men were standing; Bowers said there was some kind of commotion at that place, but that he did not know what had happened. The committee was told on November 11, 1978 by Bowers’ parents that he died from injuries sustained in a car accident 3 years ago. Mr. and Mrs. Bowers, Sr., were unable to provide any additional information about the events reported by their son; they mentioned that he was reticent by nature and told them practically nothing of what he had observed on November 22, 1963.
In a sheriff’s department notarized statement dated November 23, 1963, Malcolm Summers of Dallas reported that he saw a car speeding from the area of the plaza immediately after the shots. Summers stated that he was located on the terrace of the small park on Elm Street when the Presidential motorcade passed in front of him. After the shots and the President’s car had sped away, Summers went to the area of the railroad tracks because he “knew that they had somebody trapped up there.”
After about 20 minutes, Summers returned to his truck, which was parked on Houston Street. As he began to pull away from the curb an automobile traveling in what Summers described as a “burst of speed” passed his truck on the right, which Summers thought was dangerous. Summers said the car then slowed when it got in front of him, “as though realizing they would be conspicuous in speeding.”
Summers said there were three men in the car; he described them as of slender build. (197) He said they appeared to be “excited” and were motioning to each other. He described the car as a 1961 or 1962 Chevrolet sedan, which was maroon in color. The car went across the Houston Street viaduct, turned off on Marsalis Street, and continued in the direction of Zangs Boulevard. Summers said he did not believe he could identify the men again, but that he would recognize the car. Summers was not called to testify before the Warren Commission. No FBI files concerning this information have been located. Summers was contacted by the committee on October 30, 1978. At that time, he confirmed the substance of the information provided to the sheriff’s department and signed a statement indicating that the information was accurate and complete.
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department had also received another report of a car speeding from the direction of Dealey Plaza on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. In a report dated November 22, Deputy Sheriff Jack Watson reported that he had received information through the sheriff’s office radio about the car. Watson reported that the Carrollton, Tex., Police Department called in that they had received a citizen’s report that a car had been parked near the Harry Hines Circle for several days before November 22.
According to the information from the Carrollton police, “very shortly after the shooting” that car was seen traveling north on Harry Hines Boulevard “at a very high rate of speed.” The Carrollton police described the car as a red 1963 Chevrolet Impala with Georgia license plate, 52J1033. Watson’s report stated that the information on that car was broadcast to all stations north.
The committee was unable to locate Jack Watson to get further details of the car report received by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. According to an FBI report on the car with the Georgia license plate, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office had received the call on the radio between 1:54 and 2:11 p.m., and it reﬂected that the car had been spotted speeding along Harry Hines Boulevard just prior to that. The FBI was advised on March 27, 1964, by its Atlanta office that the 1963 Georgia license 52J1033 was listed to J. C. Bradley of Twin City, Ga. That license was issued for a four-door 1960 Chevrolet. The owner of the car and license, James Cecil Bradley, was interviewed by special agents of the FBI on May 14, 1964. At that time Bradley informed the FBI that he owned a 1960 Belair Chevrolet. The color of the car was not given, but Bradley stated that he has never owned a red 1963 Chevrolet Impala. Bradley said that in August or September 1963 his 1963 license plate was stolen from his car as it was parked overnight with a ﬂat tire on Highway 80 between Swainsboro and Twin City, Ga. Bradley said that he reported the theft to law officers in Twin City and Swainsboro.
The FBI interviewed the friend who was with Bradley when Bradley returned to his car to repair the ﬂat and noticed that the license plate was missing. That friend conﬁrmed that the plate was in fact missing from the car and that he had advised Bradley to report it stolen. Official records also conﬁrmed the report by Bradley. Charles Oglesby, the chief of police in Twin City, Ga., stated to the FBI that he recalled Bradley reporting the stolen license tag some time in 1963. According to records of the Georgia State Motor Vehicle Registration Bureau, the original 1963 license, 52J 1033, was issued to Bradley on March 28, 1963, for a 1960 Chevrolet with the vehicle identiﬁcation number 1619A154729. A duplicate or replacement tag was issued to Bradley on September 10, 1963, for use on the same
vehicle. The committee has been unable to locate any further identiﬁcation of the persons or car with whom that license was reported in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
In an interview in Dallas with committee investigators on August 26, 1978, Tom Tilson reported that he saw a man running from the plaza immediately after the shots. Tilson stated that on November 22, 1963, he was off duty from his job as a Dallas Police Department patrolman. At the time of the motorcade, he was driving east from Commerce Street and was approaching the triple underpass. He had already heard the report on his police radio that there had been shooting at the motorcade and had seen the Presidential limousine travel at high speed from the underpass. As he was in the area of the triple underpass, Tilson saw a man “slipping and sliding” down the embankment on the north side of Elm Street west of the underpass.(221) Tilson said the man appeared conspicuous because he was the only one running away from the plaza immediately after the shots. Tilson said that because of his speed, the man rammed against the side of a “dark” car which was parked there. Tilson said he then saw the man do something at the rear door portion of the car, like “throw something inside, then jump behind the wheel and take off very fast.”
Tilson told the investigators that his 17 years of experience as a policeman, combined with the radio broadcast of the shooting and this conspicuous man, caused him to “give chase” to the man speeding away from the direction of the plaza. (225) He then saw the same “dark car” going south on Industrial Boulevard, and he followed it. As the car approached a toll road toward Ft. Worth, Tilson was Within 100 feet and called out the license number, make, and model to his daughter, Dinah, who was riding with him. She wrote it down on a slip of paper.
Tilson described the man as white, 38 to 40 years old, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches in height, with a round face. Tilson said he had dark hair and was wearing dark clothing. Tilson said he knew Jack Ruby, and the man looked enough like Jack Ruby to be his “twin.” That impression was so strong in Tilson’s mind that he noted that Ruby showed a lot of “resourcefulness” in arranging to be identiﬁed in a newspaper office at the time of the assassination with a lot of influential witnesses. Tilson said he called the homicide office of the police department and reported the information on the car that afternoon. He said he never heard any more from the Dallas police homicide squad about his report. Tilson said he kept the slip of paper ‘with the information his daughter had written. Nevertheless, Tilson believes he threw it out about 3 & 1/2 years ago when he discarded many items in his home upon the death of his wife. Tilson explained that he never followed up on the report with the homicide squad because of his perception that the homicide office was run as a kind of “elite,” which resented any encroachment on its authority.
The House assassination committee also examined the allegation that other men were in Dealey Plaza before the shots were fired at the motorcade, which was related by Julia Ann Mercer. Ms. Mercer gave statements concerning the men, including one who was carrying a gun case, to law officers right after the assassination. Ms. Mercer’s report continued to receive much attention by writers, but has never been resolved. This committee has been unable to locate Ms. Mercer for further examination of the reports.
In a sheriff’s department notarized statement dated November 22, 1963, Ms. Mercer is quoted as saying that on November 22, she was driving in the area of the plaza going toward the overpass. When she got to a point just east of the overhead sign for the right entrance road to the overpass, she noticed a truck parked on the right-hand side of the street with its hood up. The truck was described as a green Ford pickup with a Texas license. According to the sheriff’s report, Ms. Mercer said the truck had a sign on the driver’s side in black letters which said “Air Conditioning.” In the report, Ms. Mercer was quoted further as saying that as white male, approximately 40 years of age, was “slouched” over the steering wheel, described as heavy set, with light brown hair, and wearing a green jacket.
The statement also describes another man who was standing at the rear of the truck; he was reaching over the tailgate into the truck and took out what appeared to Mrs. Mercer to be a gun case. She described the gun case as about 8 inches wide at its base, 3 1/2 to 4 feet long, and 4 or 5 inches thick; it was brown. The man walked up “the grassy hill which forms part of the overpass,” and that was the last Mrs. Mercer saw of him. As he walked up the hill with the gun case, the case appeared to become stuck momentarily in the grass. She described the man as a white male, 20 to 30 years old, wearing a gray jacket, brown pants, and plaid shirt. He had a wool stocking cap with a tassel on it. In the statement, no time is given for the incident observed by Ms. Mercer. Nevertheless, she noted also that at that time three policemen were standing near a motorcycle on the overpass bridge.
In a letter to committee staff dated July 15, 1977, former New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison stated that he had interviewed Julia Mercer and transcribed corrections made by her to the purported notarized sheriff’s statement. According to the corrections on Garrison’s copy of the statement, Ms. Mercer claimed she never said in the sheriff’s statement that the truck had “air conditioning” written on its side and the signature at the bottom of the statement was not hers. Further, she never said that she did not see the driver’s face too clearly. According to the corrections, Ms. Mercer said that she looked right in the man’s face. She also said that “this is why I was able to recognize him when I later saw him shoot Oswald on TV.” Garrison’s copy included Ms. Mercer’s signature at the bottom of the corrections. The corrections were dated January 18, 1968.
In an FBI report dated November 23, 1963, Ms. Mercer was again quoted as giving the account of the truck parked near the knoll and of the two men she had described in the sheriff’s report, including the same information of their physical descriptions and the gun case. That report also stated that Ms. Mercer said the truck had the words “air conditioning” printed on the side. The time given for the incident in the FBI report is 10:50 a.m. on November 22, 1963.
The copy of that FBI report provided to the committee by Jim Garrison also included corrections dated January 15, 1968, and the signature Julia Ann Mercer. In the corrections, Ms. Mercer was quoted by Garrison as saying that she did not tell the FBI that there was writing on the truck; she stated that she told them in each interview that there was no writing on the truck.
Her corrections contain this statement: “Furthermore, even before Ruby shot Oswald. When the FBI agents showed me pictures I selected Jack Ruby’s picture as one of those which appeared to be the driver. When one of the agents turned the picture over I saw “Jack Ruby” on the back.”
Dallas Deputy Sheriff Roger Craig reported on November 23, 1963, that after the shots, he saw a man run down the grassy knoll and get into a light-colored Rambler station wagon with a luggage rack on its roof. Craig said in the report that his attention had been drawn to the man because he heard a shrill whistle. The station wagon pulled up to the curb. Craig described the driver as a dark complected white male. There was no description of the man Craig reportedly saw running down the hill. Craig said he tried
to stop the car and talk with the two men, but was unable to reach it because of heavy traffic. Craig said he immediately reported it to a Secret Service agent in the area.
Later that afternoon, Craig was told to come to city hall; he said that when he arrived at city hall he identiﬁed the “subject” they had in custody as the same person he saw running down the hill and entering the Rambler station wagon. When Roger Craig testiﬁed before the Warren Commission on April 1, 1964, he repeated his account about the running man. Craig said that the man was in line with the southwest corner of the depository building, and he started to run toward Elm where it curves under the overpass. Craig said the station wagon was driving “real slow” on Elm Street and that the driver was leaning to his right looking up the hill at the running man.
During his testimony, Craig described the man running down the hill as a white male in his twenties, 5 foot 8 inches to 5 foot 9 inches in height with medium brown, sandy hair, wearing medium blue trousers and a light tan shirt. Craig described the driver of the car as very dark complected, with real short dark hair, Craig thought at ﬁrst that he was Negro. He was wearing a thin looking white jacket like a wind breaker. Craig said he did not get a good look at the driver. Craig said also that the car looked white and appeared to have a Texas license. Roger Craig reportedly committed suicide on May 15, 1975.
Another person also reported seeing a Rambler station wagon in Dealey Plaza immediately after the shots. In an FBI interview on November 23, 1963, Marvin Robinson said that he was traveling west on Elm Street toward Houston Street after the assassination. Just as he crossed the intersection of Elm and Houston and was in front of the depository, a light colored Nash station wagon appeared before him. He said the station wagon stopped, and he saw a white male come down the grassy hill between the building and the street and enter the station wagon. The car then headed toward the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. Robinson said he would not be able to furnish a description or identify the man who entered the station wagon. Robinson did not testify before the Warren Commission, and he has not been located by the committee.
The committee also attempted to pin down information about cars which were parked in the area of the depository at the time of the Presidential motorcade for any further identiﬁcation of cars reported ﬂeeing from Dealey Plaza.
Earle V. Brown was a Dallas Police Department patrolman at the time of the assassination who was assigned to stay on the railroad overpass over the Stemmons Freeway and to prevent any unauthorized persons from standing on the overpass at the time of the motorcade. In his testimony before the Warren Commission, Brown stated that he and Officer James Lomax had been ordered after the assassination to return to the area of the depository and list the license number of all cars parked in the vicinity. Brown was not asked during his testimony whether any further investigation resulted from the list of the license number or what had happened to the list.
Brown was interviewed by the committee in Dallas on October 26, 1978. At that time, he recalled the assignment to get the license plate numbers about an hour after the assassination. He said that about four to ﬁve officers were involved. He believed he turned the list in to Sergeant Howard, who was his supervisor. He gave no further details concerning the list or the cars parked near the Texas School Book Depository.
During the interview with the committee, Brown also added that soon after the Presidential motorcade passed, after the last shot was heard, Brown saw a man run down the stairs on the west side of the depository and then turn north away from the front of the building. Brown estimated that this occurred approximately 15 minutes after the shots. He said he was not able to follow the path taken by the man because of an obstructed view.
Brown described the man to the committee as young, of medium size, fair complexion, and not having dark hair. He said the man was dressed in light blue work pants and a shirt which was similar. He did not see anything in the man’s hands. Brown was shown a picture of Dealey Plaza and the depository during the committee’s interview. At that time, he noted that his view of the west door would have been obscured by an add-on shed section of the building. Investigation by the committee indicated that the section was added to the building prior to 1956. There is a door tlhere at the west side of the building, but the door is hidden by uncut bushes and trees; no determination was made of the age of the bushes and trees. The doorway does face the trestle on which Brown was standing at the time of the assassination; the estimated distance to the trestle is approximately 500 yards.
Brown told the investigators that he had not mentioned seeing the man leaving the building when he testiﬁed before the Warren Commission because he had not been asked by the Commission counsel and also because he was not able to identify the man as Lee Harvey Oswald, although the man was about Oswald’s size. Brown said he thought he had mentioned the incident to his wife and to his partner at the time. Officer Lomax. Brown also mentioned that he had experienced an “extrasensory” perception premonition before the assassination about the President being shot by a rifle barrel protruding from a window in a brick wall. The committee interviewed James Lomax in Dallas on October 27,1978. Lomax had never been interviewed by any law enforcement officers or the Warren Commission about events in Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination. During his interview, Lomax gave no information about the assignment to list the license numbers of cars parked in the area of the depository after the assassination. Lomax had no other information to report about persons ﬂeeing from the depository or Dealey Plaza. When asked by committee investigators about Earle Brown’s report of a man leaving the depository, Lomax stated that Brown never mentioned it to him and that he did not observe the reported incident. The committee was unable to locate a list by the Dallas Police Department of cars parked near the depository or any other reports relating to cars leaving the area.
Editor’s note: “I have read and read these important eyewitness accounts from people who where in Dealey Plaza when JFK was hit. These people are not all wrong! The Warren Commission just seemed to ignore this information.”
“This guy Spector, is an absolute joke to be even called a United States Senator. He alone created the “magic” bullet theory, or maybe he didn’t. Maybe someone told him what to say. In any event, it is disgusting to have someone bend the truth and have false testimony at something so important as the investigation of JFK.”
“If JFK was shot in the back of the neck with a single bullet having the force to penetrate JFK’s body, then Governor Connolly’s body and suddenly change directions and go into his thigh and then break into tiny pieces on the floor of the car, then why didn’t the President pitch forward at the impact instead of clutching his throat, like he was hit from the front, then snapping his head backward, then falling backward and to his left? Then the Governor said he turned to his right after the first shot, and when he he could not see the President slumped down to his left; he then turned to his left, and that was when he himself was hit.?”
“Another thing, the Warren Report says that Oswald was kneeling in the window, partially hidden by boxes. How could a witness identify Oswald’s height, weight, skin color and hairline from six stories down and across the street?
“Why didn’t the policeman who saw Oswald immediately seal off the building, but instead wait 25 minutes?”
“This is all a bunch of BS! Very scary”.
Robert Kennedy decided that Las Vegas would be the place to start fighting the criminal element. (Sacramento Bee interview 1975) The notion that Robert Kennedy came down on the Mafia may have been a valid reason to want to kill Robert F. Kennedy. The Mafia was definitely on the run; however more so in Las Vegas than anywhere else. In cities across the USA, hundreds, if not many hundreds of low level Mafiosi, Outfit members, and other Syndicate players were still in operation up into the 1990s. They certainly may have wanted to kill Robert Kennedy, so why would they want to kill John F. Kennedy? Some say that by killing JFK, it would be a sign to Robert Kennedy to back off. All this just does not make sense. John Kennedy was kind of amused by Giancana, Rosselli, and Giancana’s friend, Frank Sinatra, otherwise he would have never communicated with Rosselli and Giancana through Judith Exner. Exner was the gal pal of Rosselli and Giancana and later bed partner of JFK. If they wanted to stop Robert Kennedy, the Attorney General, they would have killed him. It would have been easier to do.
“I now fully realize that only the powers of the Presidency will reveal the secrets of my brother’s death,” said Robert Kennedy on June 3, 1968, two days before he was assassinated.
On June 3, 1968, Robert Kennedy said “I now fully realize that only the powers of the presidency will reveal the secrets of my brother’s death.” RFK was assassinated 3 days later on June 6, 1968 after winning the California Democratic primary. That tells us that Robert Kennedy knew exactly who was basically behind the killing of his brother. If he knew it was the Mafia, he would have not said that the “powers of the Presidency will reveal the secrets.” But he did know that to inquire into the CIA required Presidential approval.
Remember, not one single Mafia member, La Cosa Notra member, or Chicago Outfit associate has been charged with the murder of JFK. If the Mob had killed JFK, the government would have shut them down immediately and the word would be everywhere. In 50 years since Kennedy’s assassination, there has not been one conviction or solid piece of evidence that can pin the crime on a Mob member. “Big Tuna” Tony Accardo believed the saying, “the mob kills only its own.” According to Bill Roemer, a FBI agent that spent a career on his tails felt that Accardo was of the firm opinion that as long as good portion of the public believed that the mob was dangerous only to its own people, then the thinking of public officials would be similarly affected.
The Syndicate wanted to kill Thomas Dewey, the prosecutor that was closing in on a few lucrative operations for the underlining reason of running for political office, not for the oath of rounding up law breakers, however the cooler heads of the Syndicate had balanced the potential consequences of so rash a move against any advances to be gained. Lucky and Lepke dominated the discussion.
“….if we knock Dewey off,” they reasoned, “the Feds will jump in and and we’ll be chased right out of the country.”
The same holds true of the Russians and the Cubans. The CIA was very skillful in planting false information and giving false information to the various investigation teams looking at the JFK murder. Investigators had practically no cooperation with gathering documents from the CIA and the FBI concerning the investigation. Roadblocks and character assassinations of investigators were commonplace. It was beyond belief. Rosselli planted information about the Cuban connection to the JFK assassination to save himself from being deported; however, he well knew who the real players were and that the story of Cuban retaliation was a story people might believe. Rosselli knew the real secrets and that knowledge cost him his life. The one intriguing part of the JFK murder is the number of people who died that were direct witnesses or participants in the inside knowledge of the event.
At first, Judyth Vary Baker did not seem believable, after hearing news accounts about her relationship with Lee Oswald. I thought she might be just another person trying to cash in on the Kennedy assasination, but after actually listening to her account in a videotaped interview, her story made complete sense. Her facts were exactamente.
Oswald met Baker by chance on a bus ride in New Orleans. As fate would have it, it seemed like he was destined to meet her. She was intelligent, pretty, and the person Lee needed in his life at the time. Lee trusted her and slowly revealed to her who he really was and the mission he was on.
Not only did she learn of Oswald’s connection with the government as an infiltrator to uncover what the Communist party’s plans were—at one point Oswald actually mentioned that Jesus was his handler. In retrospect, Judyth realized that he was referring to Jesus Angelton. She also was privy to Davis Ferrie’s role in the nefarious plot. She learned early on that Ferrie was requested to participate in a study of Hypnosis at Tulane by the CIA. “Dave” (as Judyth referred to Ferrie), related that the CIA was intrigued with the legends of Zombies and how they became slaves under the influence of drugs, without any free will. Ferrie actually revealed to Baker that he was a consultant to the CIA, both about the subject of the Zombie state and later hypnosis. Dave Ferrie was eager to show that he was involved with MK-ULTRA and actually let Baker see his Master’s dissertation on the subject.
According to accounts of assassinations researchers, a woman known as Rose Cheramie, a heroin addict and prostitute with a long history of arrests, was found on November 20, 1963, lying on the road near Eunice, La., bruised and disoriented. She was taken to the Louisiana State Hospital in Jackson, La., to recover from her injuries and what appeared to be narcotics withdrawal. Cheramie reportedly told the attending physician that President Kennedy was going to be killed during his forthcoming visit to Dallas. The doctor did not pay much attention to the ravings of a patient going “cold turkey” until after the President was assassinated 2 days later.
ANONYMOUS TELEPHONE CALL
NOVEMBER 22 1963
PARKER SULLIVAN, President General Telephone
Company Santa Monica California telephonically advised Special Agent PAUL L MACS at 11:35 a.m. November 22, 1963 of receipt of anonymous telephone conversation at the Oxnard Exchange in Oxnard California at approximately 10:10 a.m this date.
Telephone operators Mrs.”DORIS E BLISS, six years experience and Mrs JEAN M SHORES, six and a half years experience advised SA JOHN E KEANE that Mrs BLISS operating a toll call board recording Trunk
No 42 thought someone had a receiver off as she heard a fuzzy sound and received no reply to her call of “operator”. Then on hearing whispering sounds asked Mrs SHORES to come in on the line as she thought party
might be in trouble Individual on line started to dial and after dialing a few numbers started whispering very faintly “the President is going to die at 10:10. (Pacific time which would be 12:10 Dallas time.)
Mrs BLISS and Mrs SHORES looked at the telephone company
clock located between them noting the time was 10:07 to
Two interesting and different opinions of Eugene Brading:
From Jim Garrison: Another man was arrested at the Dal-Tex Building. According to Dallas law enforcement authorities, he gave his name as Jim Braden and was released after being checked out. Astonishingly, this time the federal government offered a considerable amount of information about the suspect. His real name, it was said, was Eugene Hale Brading, and he was an ex-convict with a history of several dozen arrests. In the several months before the assassination he had begun using the name Jim Braden, under which his oil business in Los Angeles was listed. He explained to authorities that he had been in Dallas on business, with the approval of his parole officer. Only a few days earlier, he had had an appointment with one of the sons of H.L. Hunt, the oil billionaire. Braden had been in the Dal-Tex Building at the time of the assassination, he claimed, because he wanted to make a phone call. When he discovered the pay phone there was out of order, he walked out to find himself arrested. This story contained several provocative leads to what I now recognized as “false sponsors”* of the assassination. Not only had the man’s explanation for being in the Dal-Tex Building been vague, but he had a long arrest record with connections evocative of “organized crime,” the number one false sponsor that the media vaguely alluded to; and his trail led to H.L. Hunt, a representative of the “Southwest oil magnates,” the number two false sponsor that always seemed to come up. After sustained analysis, however, it was clear that Braden’s contribution to the assassination was a large zero. This, I concluded, was probably the reason why his name—and his alone of all the suspects—was made available to the public.
From noted author Anthony Summers:
Did Jim Braden know Jack Ruby?
Anthony Summers suggests that when Jack Ruby dropped by the Cabana to chat with Lawrence Meyers and company on the night before the assassination, he could have also had a little conspiratorial tête-à-tête with the Cabana’s “intriguing and undesirable guest,” Jim Braden.
The Mob-thirsty House Select Committee would have loved to connect Ruby to Braden, but try as they might, they could not do so. The HSCA questioned a number of Jack Ruby’s former acquaintances about Braden. None were familiar with him.
Summers himself can only regurgitate the one lone “linkage” the House committee could advance — a Ruby acquaintance named James Dolan, who was alleged to have been seen with Braden in 1951. Unlike the House committee, however, Summers neglects to tell his readers that Ruby and Dolan did not meet until 1957.
Writer Peter Noyes misses the “Cabana connection” between Ruby and Braden, Noyes does note that Braden is alleged to have paid a visit to the offices of the Hunt Oil Company the day before the assassination– the same day Jack Ruby drove a young woman named Connie Trammell to those same offices for a job interview with Lamar Hunt. Hunt security chief Paul Rothermel would later state that Ruby himself did not enter Hunt’s office that day, but Rothermel was certain that at some point, Braden did. Braden, however, has always maintained that only his associates visited with the Hunts.
Norman Redlich, Earl Warren and Senator Dominick: strange incongruities. You probably recognized Earl Warren but not the other two names. There is no question in my mind that they were hiding something from the American public. This rare recording is in the words of a sitting US Senator revealing that Earl Warren will never tell the American public the real truth in the JFK assassination.
And the staff lawyer, Norman Redlich, is one of the persons that helped develop Arlen Spector’s theory of the single bullet. This is a whopper! Listen to Senator Dominic who also went to Yale along with Redlich.
Norman Redlich was a staff lawyer on the Warren Commission that has an interesting background and was one of the staff members that assisted Arlen Specter in developing the single bullet theory in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
In 1963 J. Lee Rankin appointed Redlich as his special assistant on the Warren Commission in the investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Gerald Ford provided J. Edgar Hoover with information about the activities of staff members of the commission. Hoover ordered that Redlich’s past should be investigated. He discovered that Redlich was on the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, an organization considered by Hoover to have been set-up to “defend the cases of Communist lawbreakers”. Redlich had also been critical of the activities of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
This information was leaked to a group of right-wing politicians. On 5th May, 1964, Ralph F. Beermann, a Republican Party congressman, made a speech claiming that Redlich was associated with the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Beermann called for Redlich to be removed as a staff member of the Warren Commission. He was supported by Karl E. Mundt who said: “We want a report from the Commission which Americans will accept as factual, which will put to rest all the ugly rumors now in circulation and which the world will believe. Who but the most gullible would believe any report if it were written in part by persons with Communist connections?”
Gerald Ford joined in the attack and at one closed-door session of the Warren Commission he called for Redlich to be dismissed. However, Earl Warren and J. Lee Rankin both supported him and he retained his job. According to The New York Times: “In that job, he and several other staff lawyers, including Arlen Specter, the future Pennsylvania senator, devised the single-bullet theory – which explained how Gov. John B. Connally of Texas and President Kennedy could have been struck almost instantaneously at one point, without there having been a second gunman.”
In 1975 Redlich became Dean of New York University School of Law. He also served as Chair of the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar (1989 to 1990). Redlich was a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association.
“(Norman: Redlich his highest profile, however, was his appointment in 1963 as executive assistant to the Warren Commission’s chief counsel, J. Lee Rankin. In that job, he and several other staff lawyers, including Arlen Specter, the future Pennsylvania senator, devised the single-bullet theory — which explained how Gov. John B. Connally of Texas and President Kennedy could have been struck almost instantaneously at one point, without there having been a second gunman.
The widespread doubt cast on the theory in later years caused Mr. Redlich to tell a Congressional subcommittee reviewing the commission’s findings in 1977, “I think there are simply a great many people who cannot accept what I believe to be the simple truth, that one rather insignificant person was able to assassinate the president of the United States.”
Senator Dominic’s remarks
I recently discovered this tape recording that has a subtle, but very relevant, remark by Earl Warren, that is serious evidence to suggest that there is a certain piece of the puzzle in the assassination of President Kennedy that has been withheld from us. First a little biography on Senator Dominic:
Senator Peter H. Dominick (nephew of Howard Alexander Smith), a Representative and a Senator from Colorado; born in Stamford, Fairfield County, Conn., July 7, 1915; attended public schools; graduated from St. Mark’s School, Southborough, Mass., in 1933, Yale University in 1937, and Yale Law School in 1940; during the Second World War entered the Army Air Corps in 1942 as an aviation cadet and served until 1945.
I would say he was pretty well connected. Each week he delivered his weekly radio address. This address was recorded on May 21, 1964. Sen. Dominick discusses the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the establishment of the Warren Commission, headed by United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren. He also voices his concerns about the report of the commission being withheld from the public in the name of national security as well as the participation of Professor Norman Redlich, an alleged communist sympathizer, on the Commission. But really important here is the statement at about 2 minutes 45 seconds, wherein Senator Dominic says that he hopes Earl Warren’s comments were an oversight. Listen at 2:45 regarding Earl Warren’s comment and not being able to release information the commission had discovered about the assassination in our lifetime.
Earl Warren spoke up as best he could to give the public a subtle warning that there was much more to the assassination that his commission was “allowed” to reveal to the American public.
Sources: New York Times June 11, 2011; Spartacus
Jack Ruby at the Wadw-Oswald press conference
Ruby was seen in the halls of the Dallas Police Headquarters on several occasions after Lee Harvey Oswald’s arrest on November 22, 1963. Newsreel footage from WFAA-TV (Dallas) and NBC shows that Ruby impersonated a newspaper reporter during a press conference at Dallas Police Headquarters on the night of Kennedy’s death. 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.
MY QUESTION? If Oswald was going to assassinate the President with a rifle that he could not easily hide, why didn’t he take his pistol for extra protection with him the morning prior to the assassination? If he were the assassin, it would seem likely he could easily hide it in his pocket. This is a major incongruity. And isn’t strange that if only four bullets were fired into Tippit, why would the shooter empty those on the ground at the scene of the crime? This type of revolver holds six bullets and does not automatically eject them after each shot. Why would the shooter waste his time to empty them especially knowing that time is of the essence for an escape? It is also highly unlikely that he would waste time and reload four more when he had two bullets remaining in the cylinder. Another incongruity.
At 1.16 p.m. Tippit approached a man, later identified as Lee Harvey Oswald, walking along East 10th Street. Domingo Benavides, later testified that after a short conversation, Oswald pulled out a hand gun and fired four shots at Tippet. However, another witness, Acquilla Clemons, was sitting on a porch of a house close by, claimed that there were two men involved in the attack on Tippit.
Another witness, Helen Markham, also saw the killing. However, she described the killer as being short and somewhat on the heavy side, with slightly bushy hair.” Later, Markham identified Oswald in a police lineup, but this was after she had seen his photograph on television.
Warren Reynolds did not see the shooting but saw the gunman running from the scene of the crime. He claimed that the man was not Oswald. After he survived an attempt to kill him, he changed his mind and identified Oswald as the man he had seen.
Four cartridge cases were found lying on the ground near the scene of the murder. It would seem that the killer had opened the chamber of his gun and manually ejected the cases. Instead of immediately fleeing the scene of the crime, he deliberately stopped and discarded four vital pieces of evidence that could have been used against him. The four cartridge cases were traced to Oswald’s revolver, although they were never matched to the bullets.
According to the Warren Report, he did return to his apartment to retrieve his revolver.
Warren Commission Report
Appendix 12: Speculations and Rumors
Speculation.–Oswald’s landlady, Mrs. A. C. Johnson, said that Oswald never had a gun in the room.
Commission finding.–In her testimony before the Commission, Mrs. Johnson said that he “never brought that rifle in my house…. He could have had this pistol, I don’t know, because they found the scabbard.” 64 As shown in chapter IV, Oswald kept his rifle in the Paine garage in Irving while he was living in Dallas during October and November. The pistol was small and easily concealed.65
Speculation.–There was absolutely no place to hide a gun in Oswald’s room at 1026 North Beckley Avenue.
Commission finding.–In the search of Oswald’s room after his apprehension police found a pistol holster. Oswald’s landlady, Mrs. A. C. Johnson, stated that she had not seen the holster before. There is no reason to believe that Oswald could not have had both a pistol and the holster hidden in the room. Oswald’s pistol was a small one with the barrel cut down to 2.25 inches. It could have been concealed in a pocket of his clothes.66
Speculation.–Oswald did not pick up the revolver from his room at 1 p.m.
Commission finding.–There is reason to believe that Oswald did pick up the revolver from his room, probably concealing it beneath his jacket. This likelihood is reinforced by the finding of the pistol holster in the room after the assassination, since this indicates that
Oswald did not store the pistol at the home of Mrs. Paine where he spent the night before the assassination.67
One of the biggest discoveries was disproving a blatant lie that writer Edward N. Becker left in his book, Johnny Rosselli: The All American Mafioso.
Ed Becker alleged of being present when Mafia boss Carlos Marcello threatened the life of John F. Kennedy. I don’t think Ed Becker heard Carlos Marcello say anything in regards to harming John F. Kennedy, or was Ed Becker even present on a day in September, 1962 at Marcello’s Churchill’s Farms.
Scores of books and articles have constantly used the alleged threat of powerful Mafia boss Carlos Marcello as a connecting point to implicate the mafia, mob, outfit or syndicate to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Joe Segreto, a close associate and employee of Carlos Marcello was a co-worker of mine in my first casino job in Las Vegas. Joe Segreto started off in Las Vegas at the Sahara Hotel in the beverage department and learned everything there is to know about the food and beverage business. My cousin, Frank Schivo, a part owner in the Sahara Hotel and protege of founder Milton Prell, appreciated Joe’s work at the Sahara. Schivo left the Sahara after Prell sold his majority position to Del Webb in the early 1960s. Schivo and a few partners, including my uncle Al Munari, re-opened the California Club, and operated the Elwell Hotel and the Pioneer Club on Fremont Street, commonly called “downtown”.
I broke into the gambling business at the California Club, but had dealt on the tables at the Pioneer Club before I was 21 years old. I met many people and learned the ropes in gambling and life in a small casino. This opportunity allowed me to learn all facets of gambling including the business side that was a special secretly guarded set of operations shared only by the owners and licensees to persons they cared to share with. There were no schools or colleges that issued a degree in gaming business in 1966. There were a few dealing schools that would appear and disappear throughout the years and zero “casino operations” training centers. You had to learn by watching and pay close attention to what was offered you in the way of training. Asking too many questions was a no-no. It made many bosses suspicious of why you were asking.
I worked side by side with Joe Segreto on a daily basis and after years of studying the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, I suddenly remembered that Joe had worked for Carlos Marcello and after leaving the California Club he went back to work for him in New Orleans to manage a restaurant and handle some other business. At one point, Joe was the Business Manager for legendary performer Louie Prima.
I decided to call Joe and ask him in a very polite way if Marcello was in any way connected with the assassination of JFK. I thought about how I would approach Joe especially because I had not seen him in years and when I visited his restaurant in New Orleans in the early 1970s he was not in town to meet up.
I called Joe and told him about a book I was writing about a guy who claimed he was a close associate of Meyer Lansky. In this story were many names that had connections or some distant arm’s length relationship with Dallas, Texas, Jack Ruby, Johnny Rosselli, RD Matthews, Tony Giordano, Jonny Stone, TW Richardson, Richard Westbrook, Robert Maheu and others who I was seeking information about. I told Joe, “I did not want to smear my name by writing inaccurate information” , but wanted the low down on Carlos Marcello. I told him that if there was any connection that may have any connection with JFK’s death, to please tell me, because I don’t want to get it wrong and look like an idiot.
He started yelling, “Are you nuts? There is absolutely NO WAY he had anything to do with Kennedy’s death”. What could I say? I knew Joe would not lie to me but how could I prove Joe’s statement. I could not and let this alone for a long time until I discovered these facts I am about to reveal.
I knew many of these players and characters first hand and had some good insight to what their role in Las Vegas was. Maheu was a neighbor who purchased my cousin’s home. His son Billy was my paperboy and his secretary Ceil Nolan was the mother of my classmates from middle school in Burbank, Calif. I knew many of the so called wise guys from my roots in Burbank and the family-relationship with Richard Westbrook.
Westbrook was originally from Arkansas. He was a rough character in his early days and upon me doing some research about him, I found a story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A smiling picture of Richard popped up and I just chuckled. The picture was as I remembered him: laughing, good natured and full of life and fun, yet the story revealed a side of “Uncle Dick” I never heard.
Westbrook was side-swiped by another car and three shots were fired into his car about four miles south of Waterloo, Illinois. Both he and his lady companion were wounded and naturally he told police he knew of no reason why anyone would be shooting at him. Westbrook’s companion was Mary Blakely, 25 years old, was a dice dealer at the Regent Bar in Cairo operated by Roy Shaw.
Westbrook had a part interest in the drug store in the Jefferson Hotel in St. Louis, and was arrested there on the prior Christmas eve for possession of an unregistered machine gun. Westbrook announced to someone he planned: to take care of some people in Cairo.” Westbrook had permanent living quarters in the Jefferson Hotel. Westbrook was in the drug store and displayed a German make sub-machine gun and made the statement to someone about taking care of some people in Cairo. He then sauntered into the crowded hotel lobby, where a police captain saw the butt of the gun sticking out from under Westbrook’s topcoat, and arrested him.
Westbrook told the police captain he bought the weapon a short time before his arrest from a returned soldier for $30, and wanted a souvenir. Assistant United States District Attorney Herbert H. Freer said that no warrant would be issued in the case because Westbrook had not had time to register it.
It was common knowledge to the police that Westbrook was an operator of slot machines, juke boxes, and other catch-coin devices. He was known to the police as an old-time associate of the notorious Shelton brothers and also a friend and benefactor of “. Colbeck was the former leader of the Egan gang, who spent some time in federal prison and then after his stint there went into the coin-machine business. Colbeck later worked at the infamous Hyde Park Club, an East St. Louis gambling casino and later murdered in gangland fashion.
Previous to Westbrook’s arrest for having a Machine Gun he had been in conference in his hotel quarters with Frank “Buster” Wortman, an East Side gangster, and Elmer Dowling, who are reported to have gone into the “music business” with associates, including Gregory Moore, former chief deputy under Sheriff John F. Dougherty. Police determined that this group had hoped to revive the racket of placing “union labels” on most of the 6000 juke boxes in the St. Louis area, at $5 a label. The police however could not prove this allegation.
Westbrook insisted to police that he had turned over his Westbrook Amusement Company over to his nephew, Clyde Westbrook. The company had more than 60 juke boxes in operation that had a street value of about $800 to $900 each. This valuation however was of the machine itself and not of the potential earning power it had on a day to day basis.
Westbrook and others were trying to move in on the local juke box operators by offering the “union label”. Years later Teamster boss Bill Presser. Presser banded the Cleveland operators into the Phonograph Merchants Association, which cut up the routes among members, setting up a grid of illegal monopolies. The route owners agreed not to raid one another‘s lucrative jukebox stops. The route-owners association and the union recorded the locations of the jukeboxes on a courtesy list, which was more pernicious than its name suggests. The courtesy list indicated what bar belonged to which route operator and what brand of jukebox was allowed inside. A bar owner unhappy with the jukebox in his place couldn’t switch to a different route owner because the route owner, going by the association’s rules, would consult the courtesy list and learn that the bar already belonged to someone else. It didn’t matter that the barkeeper’s jukebox wasn’t promptly serviced, that its sound quality was poor or its records outdated. He couldn’t bring in a new jukebox unless he wanted trouble.
During this time frame Teamster boss Bill Presser tried to enforce coin machine monopolies. Presser used the members of Local 442, who delivered and serviced the machines. In 1951, he asked his members to vote to decertify their local from the Electrical Workers Union and switch over to the much more powerful and fast-growing International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), a catchall trade union that represented not only truck drivers but workers in oil fields, canneries, breweries, bakeries, dairies, and so on. They agreed, and he became president of Teamsters Vending Workers Local 410. Once a route owner joined the Phonograph Merchants Association, he paid dues of one dollar per jukebox per month. A Teamsters serviceman slapped a sticker on each jukebox to indicate union approval. A worker on a service call would look for the union label. Without it, he refused to make repairs or stock the machine. Also the other deliveries of food and supplies would not be delivered.
Los Angeles area bookmaker Hy Goldbaum, and a friend of Westbrook and R.D. Matthews, was also involved with the Teamsters and drew the ire of Robert Kennedy. Robert Kennedy Senate special Senate investigating committee brought forward a Portland, Oregon gambler, who said he once had the inside track with the Teamsters Union, testifying that a rival operator paid “$10,000 or more” to get back in the union’s good graces.
This payment, James B. Elkins told a special committee, spoiled his plan to get a $250,000-year monopoly in the pinball business in Oregon. Elkins testified that the money was paid by Stanley Terry, a Portland pinball operator, to Frank Brewster of Seattle, head of the eleven-state Western Conference of the Teamsters Union. Elkins testified that the arrangements for Terry to hook up with Brewster were made by Hy Goldbaum, identified by the Senate committee as a gambler and a friend of Brewster. Terry denied he had told William Capri a part owner of the Flamingo that he would “take care of Hy Goldbaum” if Goldbaum would arrange with Brewster for Terry to join the Teamsters Union.
Terry insisted he “never paid Brewster a cent.” He also denied that he paid or promised to pay Hy Goldbaum, Las Vegas gambler, $7,500 for getting him an appointment with Brewster.
This set the stage for the appearance of Goldbaum an authentic Damon Runyon character, who described himself as a “pit man” in the gaming rooms at Las Vegas’ flamboyant Flamingo Hotel. A “pit man” is a fellow who “stands around to watch that people don’t steal.” he explained. Goldbaum said he arranged an appointment with Brewster for Terry, but denied that the pinball man paid or promised to pay him $7,500 for the service.
In 1967 the New Frontier Hotel was opened by associates of Dick Westbrook with his old pal T.W. Richardson the acting Casino Manager and part owner of the operation along with a slew of regular investors and hidden owners from all parts of the spectrum. Johnny Rosselli was a part owner of the gift shop and was around all the time. I will get into this in the next chapter. I still was working at the California Club as a dealer/slot floorman for Frank Schivo and his partners that included Norm Jansen, my uncle Al Munari and a few other working point holders. There was some stealing and management issues at the California Club and the days there were numbered, so I started looking for some work that would be a good paying toke job.
Westbrook’s former wife Rosemary, was a cashier for my cousin Frank at the California Club, and a dear friend of his wife Shirlee Schivo, who once was courted by mobster Mickey Cohen. Rosemary Westbrook, Avis Jansen, wife of Norm Jansen, and Shirlee were definitely considered “top shelf lookers” to the gamblers and shakers in Las Vegas and could get any man they so desired. Rosemary was extremely kind and a pleasant person to work with, yet was known to take a drink on occasion. Her ex-husband Richard still loved her despite the fact that she probably gave the FBI a little too much information about his association with Johnny Stone, Dallas’s biggest bookmaker and associate of R.D. Matthews.
Rosemary asked me to pick up a TV from her apartment she was living in and drop it off for her at a local repairman for a minor issue. She gave me the keys to her apartment. She said she would not be home and described where the TV was and I did exactly as she asked. A few days later, she said all of her jewelry was missing and there was no signs of a break-in. I was a suspect. Another suspect, Bill Bickel, a gambler, hustler and golfing friend of Johnny Hicks, was also a suspect. I know I did not steal her jewelry, yet had to do a lot of explaining. Bickel was hanging with Rosemary quite a bit and I do believe he was the thief. A few years later, he was found dead floating in Lake Mead. His homicide is still unsolved.
I went to the Dunes in 1968 working in the blackjack pit and did not have much time to notice all the bosses hanging around the Dunes. I made the move to the Dunes on my own and did not ask anyone any favors to secure the job.
Dick Westbrook was having many problems with his son Bobby. A California judge gave Bobby an ultimatum: leave Burbank and his bad friends, or go to jail. So Westbrook made a deal with my dad about getting his son approved to live with my parents in Las Vegas, provided that both the local Burbank judge and a corresponding Las Vegas official approved of the residence change. Westbrook took care of the Burbank magistrate rather quickly and then got the approval of Las Vegas judge Moon Mullins. Judge Mullen was the Chief Probation Officer for Clark County. In 1973 Judge Mullen became the first African American elected to the Las Vegas Municipal Court (non-attorney judge). More than likely, Benny Binion took care of the matter with Moon Mullins.
It is amazing how many very significant historical incidents have connections to Las Vegas. “Following the money”, may be the reason there are so many inter-connections between the players and the shakers in the one American city that is a genuine mystery to the entire world. There are so many interesting branches that connect Hollywood, Congress, the CIA, the Kennedy assassination, Cuba, politics, the White House and many more. Browsing the newspaper morgues and connecting the dots via timelines and facts becomes a conspiracy theorist’s delight.
Johnny Rosselli has particular interest to this researcher for many reasons. Many years ago I had the privilege of meeting one of the driving authors of Rosselli’s story, Ed Becker. Little did I know then, I would eventually publish his book about Rosselli.
Enter: Ed Becker. I met him at a local Las Vegas hangout, Cafe Michele. He held court there regularly sprouting his involvement with the mob and working for Gus Greenbaum at the Riviera Hotel. Sid Wyman, my former Dunes boss, was the second largest shareholder of the Riviera Hotel when Greenbaum was the majority front man for the mob. I never can recall ever seeing ed Becker visiting Sidney Wyman at the Dunes from 1968 until 1976.
Who is Ed Becker? Here is what the Washington Post said in a story WP: Rudy Maxa August 12, 1979)
“When the House Assassination Committee released its report last month, its most perplexing section concerned alleged organized crime involvement with the killing of John Kennedy. Santos Trafficante and Carlos Marcello were fingered as “the most likely family bosses” to have participated in any plot, but then the ambivalent report termed the notion “unlikely.”
Linking Marcello to JFK’s death was an obscure private eye named Edward N. Becker, a shadowy figure who has passed in and out of organized crime circles as a shamus and anonymous researcher of books. Who is Becker?
He’s a 57-year-old, soft-spoken man who today lives in Las Vegas with his second wife. He’s currently involved in business with a former assistant attorney general of the U.S., Washington-based attorney Jerris Leonard. And Becker is not delighted his name surfaced in the House report.
“I expect some kind of retribution,” Becker says today. “The committee said, “We’re doing everything in the world to protect you.” I didn’t believe it. Of course I’m worried.”
In 1955 Becker signed on as public relations director for the Riviera Hotel in Vegas. His milieu was gambling and men whose occupations were vague, he says, and he eventually helped piece together an NBC “White Paper” on organized crime in 1966. He also helped gather information for the books Green Felt Jungle and the Grim Reapers, both billed as exposes of organized crime.
Becker says he was in Louisiana in September of 1962 working undercover for a finance company investigating Billie Sol Estes when he struck up a friendship with Carl Ropolo, a Shreveport oil geologist well-liked by Marcello according to the House report. The two men visited Marcello at his estate near New Orleans. In the course of a long evening of drinking scotch, Becker remembers Marcello cursing the Kennedy brothers and talking vaguely of trying to kill the president.
Marcello denies that. Becker very well may be the reason the Marcello was suspected of killing JFK.
That scene (without Becker’s name) made its way into Ed Reid’s book, The Grim Reapders, which led the House committee to Becker, who talked with a committee staffer by phone but refused to testify because he feared the arm of organized crime as well as the wrath of the FBI. The Bureau, according to the House report, worked hard to discredit Becker instead of investigating the validity of his information.”
Back to the main point: Browsing through the newspaper files I found one of the mysterious conundrums. Enter the Robert Kennedy assassination, Sirhan Sirhan and his lawyer, Grant Cooper. A story published in 1969 told of the trial of Sirhan that might have to have one more postponement because Cooper had to appear in District Court to face a Grand Jury on charges of contempt of court. The Grand Jury wanted to know how he obtained secret transcripts in the infamous Friars Club cheating case, wherein another client, Johnny Rosselli, was one of five convicted in the cheating of club members.
Rosselli was a partner with Maury Friedman, TW Richardson, Anthony Zerilli, Michael Polizzi and Tony Giordano (St. Louis) in the Frontier Hotel. All but Richardson served time in jail. Zerilli, Polizzi and Giordano were identified as members of the mafia by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Roselli was recruited, along with Sam Giancana and Santos Trafficante, to assassinate Fidel Castro, by Robert Maheu, representing the CIA. Maheu was a former FBI Agent and special operative for the CIA, and later became the number one man in running Howard Hughes hotels in Las Vegas.
Rosselli was a powerful behind-the-scenes influence in Hollywood. According to Gaeton Fonzi: “The story goes that Rosselli . . . ‘suggested’ to Harry Cohn, then head of Columbia Pictures, that Frank Sinatra get the Maggio role in From Here to Eternity, the part that subsequently saved the crooner’s sinking career. Mario Puzo dramatized the incident in The Godfather’s horse’s-head-in-the-bed scene.
Several authors wrote entire books on the subject of the Mob and the killing of JFK and one of the key suspects was Carlos Marcello. Over the years I had acquired printing equipment for various business needs and developed a small publishing company which re-printed a second edition of the Edward Beckker’s tome, All American Mafioso: The Johnny Rosselli Story by Ed Becker and Charles Rappleye. The opportunity to print this book was made possible by Tony Montana, who claimed an interest in the book with Ed Becker’s widow. The book is an amazing tale in the life of Rosselli who lived in Las Vegas and was a very controversial individual and was considered the Chicago Outfit’s mouthpiece in Las Vegas in the Late 1950s and early 1960s.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s Café Michele on Flamingo road was the lunch and drink hangout. I frequented the establishment on a daily basis to catch up with friends and share and hear stories about the happenings in the world of gaming, deals and the mob. Ed Becker held court at Micheles a few times a week with his business companion and book advisor, Tony Montana. In fact Ed Becker introduced Tony Montana to me. Montana is not light weight wanna-be, he is a be. His uncle John Montana was a guest at the famed Appalachian Mafia convene in November of 1957, and Tony was an employee of the late Chicago boss, Tony Spilotro. Tony is an expert food and beverage manager who had the skills to turn profits in bars and restaurants. He was a sought after person and recognized to be loyal, efficient and a good problem solver.
Tony assisted Ed Becker in getting some interviews with top mafia bosses which Ed was unable to arrange. Ed’s claim to the mob was his association and work experience with Gus Greenbaum at the Riviera and Flamingo hotels. My former boss, Sidney Wyman from the Dunes Hotel, was the second biggest shareholder in the Riviera Hotel with Greenbaum. Becker was not on the inside position in management and therefore not connected so to speak, only by association. Becker wanted to interview Marcello in New Orleans but could never contact Marcello or his associates to arrange a meeting. Tony arranged this interview through Joe Pignatello owner of the once famous Villa d’Este Italian restaurant.
I read Becker’s book and read Ed’s recant of a meeting in 1962 with Carlos Marcello. It went as follows:
The same month, Carlos Marcello described a more detailed plan in the privacy of a farmhouse on his sprawling country estate outside New Orleans. Ed Becker, a private investigator and free-lance businessman, was meeting with Marcello and his longtime associates Carlo Roppolo and Jack Liberto when their boss pulled out a bottle and poured a generous round of Scotch. The conversation wandered until Becker made an offhand remark about Bobby Kennedy and Marcello’s deportation. The reference struck a nerve, and Carlos jumped to his feet, exclaiming the Sicilian oath, “Livarsi na pietra di la scarpa! (Take the stone out of my shoe!)”
Reverting to English, Marcello shouted, “Don’t worry about that Bobby son-of-a-bitch. He’s going to be taken care of.” Emboldened by the Scotch, Becker interrupted. “You can’t go after Bobby Kennedy. You’ll get into a hell of a lot of trouble.” In answer, Marcello invoked an old Italian proverb: “If you want to kill a dog, you don’t cut off the tail, you cut off the head.” Bobby was the tail, an adjunct, an appendage. If the President were killed then Bobby would lose his bite. Marcello added that he had a plan, to use “a nut” to take the fall for the murder, “like they do in Sicily.” Seated again, Marcello abruptly changed the subject, and the Kennedys were not mentioned again.
One afternoon I was recording some “Mob Moment” spots for the radio station KIYQ-LP (www.KiYQ.org) and interviewing Tony Montana. I was interested in the meeting Tony had arranged with Marcello, Becker and himself prior to the book, All American Mafioso, released. Tony told me that they stayed in a small hotel in the French Quarter and to be ready the next morning to be picked up by a driver. The pair waited in the outside dining area and soon after breakfast a car arrived with a driver approaching them and introducing himself as a representative of Carlos Marcello. After the pleasantries, Tony got in the front seat next to the driver and Ed sat in the rear seat. Ed was demonstrably very nervous sitting in the back seat after the driver said they were going out to the Farm in Metairie. Becker thought that the meeting would be in a nearby office. The trip to the Farm was more than 30 minutes. The driver with an obvious method to his madness remarked to Ed, “Don’t worry. If something was going to happen to you it would have already”, and grinned in a joking manner. Tony realized the driver was just being humorous and they continued to the Farm.
Tony continued the story, “They were brought into Marcello’s office and we met Carlos Marcello.”
That is when a light went on in my head. In Ed’s book he writes that they met in 1962. If that was the case and true, why would they have to be re-introduced? Something is wrong here. I asked Tony, did it appear to you that Ed was meeting Marcello for the first time. He said absolutely. That is consistent because if he had met Marcello through another friend in 1962, why would he need Tony to make the new introduction? Why would Marcello also appear to meet Becker for the first time and greet him like he was meeting him for the first time?
The answer is that Becker never was at a meeting with Marcello in 1962. It was fabricated. So there is also a good chance that the other evidence against Marcello is fabricated.
Here is the findings of the committee:
ALLEGED ASSASSINATION THREAT BY MARCELLO
As part of its investigation, the committee examined a published account of what was alleged to have been a threat made by Carlos Marcello in late 1962 against the life of President Kennedy and his brother, Robert, the Attorney General. The information was first set forth publicly in a book on organized crime published in 1969, “The Grim Reapers,” by Ed Reid. (160) Reid, a former editor of the Las Vegas Sun, was a writer on organized crime and the coauthor, with Ovid Demaris, of “The Green Felt Jungle,” published in 1963.
In a lengthy chapter on the New Orleans Mafia and Carlos Marcello, Reid wrote of an alleged private meeting between Marcello and two or more men sometime in September 1962. His account was based on interviews he had conducted with a man who alleged he had attended the meeting.
According to Reid’s informant, the Marcello meeting was held in a farmhouse at Churchill Farms, the 3,000-acre swampland plantation owned by Marcello outside of New Orleans. Reid wrote that Marcello and three other men had gone to the farmhouse in a car driven by Marcello himself. Marcello and the other men gathered inside the farmhouse, had drinks and engaged in casual conversation that included the general subjects of business and sex. After further drinks “brought more familiarity and relaxation, the dialog turned to serious matters, including the pressure law enforcement agencies were bringing to bear on the Mafia brotherhood” as a result of the Kennedy administration .
Reid’s book contained the following account of the discussion : It was then that Carlos’ voice lost its softness, and his words were bitten off and spit out when mention was made of U.S. Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who was still on the trail of Marcello.
“Livarsi na petra di la scarpa !” Carlos shrilled the Mafia cry of revenge: “Take the stone out of my shoe!” “Don’t worry about that little Bobby son of a bitch,” he shouted. “He’s going to be taken care of!”
Ever since Robert Kennedy had arranged for his deportation to Guatemala, Carlos had wanted revenge. But as the subsequent conversation, which was reported to two top Government investigators by one of the participants and later to this author, showed, he knew that to rid himself of Robert Kennedy lie would first have to remove the President. Any killer of the Attorney General would be hunted down by his brother; the death of the President would seal the fate of his Attorney General.
No one at the meeting had any doubt about Marcello’s intentions when he abruptly arose from the table. Marcello (lid not joke about such things. In any case, the matter had gone beyond mere “business”; it had become an affair of honor, a Sicilian vendetta. Moreover, the conversation at Churchill Farms also made clear that Marcello had begun to plan a move. He had, for example, already thought of using a “nut” to do the job. Roughly one year later President Kennedy was shot in Dallas-? Months after Attorney General Robert Kennedy had announced to the McClellan committee that he was going to expand his war on organized crime. And it is perhaps significant that privately Robert Kennedy had singled out James Hoffa, Sam Giancana, and Carlos Marcello as being among his chief targets. In an interview with the committee, Reid said that his informant stated that Marcello seemed to be “very serious” as he spoke of planning to assassinate President Kennedy. (169) He further told the committee- that while his informant had had great doubts at the time as to whether Marcello could or would have the President assassinated, immediately after the assassination occurred, he came to believe that Marcello was in fact the perpetrator.
Reid informed the committee that he believed his informant, a man with underworld associations, was credible and trustworthy and had in fact provided “unusually reliable” information about organized crime on past occasions, including during the writing of “The Green Felt Jungle .” Based on past association and contacts with the informant, Reid was “strongly inclined to believe his account of the Marcello meeting,” although he was “not sure what it all means in the final analysis.”
FBI investigation of the allegations
In early May 1967, over a year and a half before the book was published, senior officials of the FBI learned of the account of the alleged meeting.) According to an FBI memorandum of May, 1967, from Assistant Director Ales Rosen to Assistant Director Cartha DeLoach, the Bureau’s Los Angeles office had been contacted on May 6 by Reid. The memorandum stated that Reid, “who has written several books concerning the hoodlum element,” had contacted the Los Angeles office and had “indicated he had information concerning John Roselli.” The memorandum further stated that when Reid was interviewed, he showed his manuscript to the Bureau’s Los Angeles agents. The memorandum gave the following account of Reid’s information:
Reid refers to Carlos Marcello and indicated there was a meeting on September 11, 1963 at Churchill Farms, outside New Orleans, La., attended by several people including Marcello and Reid’s informant. Marcello was alleged to have said that in order to get Bobby Kennedy they would have to get the President, and they could not kill Bobby because the President would use the Army and the Marines to get them.
The result of killing the President would cause Bobby to lose his power as Attorney General because of the New President.
While the Bureau memorandum indicates that the agents who read that section of Reid’s manuscript believed it placed the meeting in September 1963, the actual account published by Reid in 1969 stated that the meeting had occurred in September 1962. In his committee interview, Reid said that he had “always stated that the meeting was in September 1962″because his informant had “clearly recalled” the time of the meeting and had been “traveling in Louisiana” that month.
The Bureau memorandum went on to state that Reid had informed the Los Angeles agents that “a person who attended this alleged meeting was interviewed by agents of our Los Angeles office and furnished them the information.” Further, Reid believed that “several days” after the informant had attended the meeting with Marcello, he “was interviewed concerning the Billie Sol Estes case, at which time he allegedly related to our agents what he heard at Churchill Farms.”
The memorandum goes on to note that a review of FBI files on Reid’s informant., whose name was Edward Becker, showed he had in fact been interviewed by Bureau agents on November 26, 1962, in connection with the Billie Sol Estes investigation. While “in this interview, Marcello was mentioned * * * in connection with a business proposition * * * no mention was made of” Attorney General Kennedy or President Kennedy, or any threat against them.
The memorandum said that the agents who read the part of Reid’s manuscript on the meeting told the author that Becker had not informed the Bureau of the alleged Marcello discussion of assassination. (187) In fact, “It is noted Edward Nicholas Becker is a private investigator in Los Angeles who in the past has had a reputation of being unreliable and known to misrepresent facts.”
The memorandum concluded by stating that Reid’s offer to provide the Bureau with information about Mafia figure John Roselli had been declined. In connection with John Roselli, Reid wanted to trade information concerning him, which offer was refused. He mentioned lie was concerned with Roselli’s association with attorney Edward -Morgan of Washington, D.C . As you recall, Morgan was previously interviewed at the request of the White House concerning alleged information in his possession regarding the assassination. Also, Roselli was the connecting link between CIA and Robert Maheu who was hired by the CIA to approach Sam Giancana to have Castro assassinated.
The memorandum went to Assistant Directors Rosen and DeLoach, and to the most senior officials in the Bureau, including Assistant Director William Sullivan and several of his deputies, and Assistant Director James Gales of the Inspection Division, all of whom had direct responsibility for the FBI’s investigation of President Kennedy’s murder. (190) No instructions of any kind to follow up on the information regarding Marcello, the alleged assassination discussion, and the informant, were issued subsequently.
(383) The only directive regarding the matter was a handwritten notation made on the memorandum by DeLoach : “We should discreetly identify the publisher” of the Reid book.
Two days later, in an FBI memorandum of May 17, 1967, the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Los Angeles office reported some additional information to Hoover. In the memorandum, the Los Angeles office set forth some alleged information it had learned regarding Becker, who, the memo noted, claimed to have heard “statements supposedly made by Carlos Marcello on September 11, 1963, concerning the pending assassination of President Kennedy.”
The FBI memo stated that 1 day after the Bureau first learned of the Reid information, its Los Angeles office received information regarding Edward Becker which was allegedly damaging to his reputation. (196) According to the information, Sidney Korshak had been discussing Becker and Sidney Korshak inquired as to who Ed Becker was and advised that Becker was trying to shake down some of Korshak’s friends for money by claiming he is the collaborator with Reid and that for money he could keep the names of these people out of the book.
The memorandum also stated that Sidney Korshak had further stated that “Becker was a no-good shakedown artist,” information which in turn became known to the Bureau. The memorandum did not mention the background of the person who was supplying the negative information and allegations about Becker-Sidney Korshak. He was a Los Angeles labor lawyer, who has been alleged to have underworld associations in Chicago, California, Las Vegas, and New York. The Bureau’s own files identified him as a continuing subject of numerous organized crime investigations, an associate of reputed Chicago Mafia executioners Gus Alex and Murray “The Camel” Humphreys, and a business associate of James R. Hoffa and Paul Dorfman. In an extensive four-part investigative series in 1976, the New York Times noted that a 1968 Justice Department report had described Korshak as perhaps “the most significant link in the relationship between the crime syndicate, politics, labor, and management.” The Times further reported that at a meeting in April 1976, senior officials of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Division had “reached a consensus that Mr. Korshak was one of the five most powerful members of the underworld .”
On June 5, 1967, in another memorandum to Director Hoover, the Los Angeles FBI office reported that the person who had provided the derogatory information on Becker had contacted Reid on May 26 in an effort to “discredit” Becker’s information about Marcello. This person had provided Reid with the information about Becker which had derived from Korshak. The memorandum went on to state that “The purpose [of this person] was to discredit Becker to Reid in order that the Carlos Marcello incident would be deleted from the book by Reid.
On May 31, 1967, according to the same memorandum, a special agent of the Los Angeles office was involved in a visit to Reid’s home(108) in a further effort to persuade him of Becker’s alleged untrustworthiness. During this visit, it was again pointed out to Reid that Becker had been interviewed by Bureau agents in November 1962 concerning the Billie Sol Estes case, but had not mentioned the reputed conversation or statements allegedly made ‘by Marcello on September 11, 1963 (almost a year later), at Churchill Farms, New Orleans.
The Bureau’s possible confusion over the time periods involved in the matter was further evidenced in the memorandum, which said that “in November 1962” Becker had “not mentioned the reputed * * * statements allegedly made by Marcello on September 11, 1963.” Again, both Reid and Becker have maintained consistently that they made clear that the meeting was in September 1962, rather than September 1963,(111) and that the specific reference in the Reid book stated “September 1962.” Additionally, the Bureau’s own files on Becker (while not containing any references to assassination) clearly indicated that Becker had been interviewed by agents in November 1962, following a trip through Louisiana that September.
Committee investigation of the allegation
The committee carefully examined the FBI’s files relating to Becker and the Bureau’s contact with him in late 1962. The first Bureau reference to Becker appeared in a report of November 20, 1962, regarding a private investigator working on the Billie Sol Estes case, the famous multimillion-dollar fraud investigation of the early 1960’s. The report noted that Becker, then 42, was associated with an investigator being employed by one of the oil service companies that had allegedly been swindled by Estes. (216) Becker was said to have had first met with the investigator in Brownswood, Texas., on September 18, 1962, and that they had traveled to Shreveport, La., on business on September 21. Becker was associated with an oil geologist in Shreveport, Carl Roppolo, who was alleged to be a close acquaintance of Carlos Marcello .
The report noted that one person had told the Bureau that “Roppolo had said that his mother is Carlos Marcello’s sister, and that Roppollo is the favorite nephew.” As is discussed later, Becker informed the committee that Roppolo, a close friend of his, was the man who allegedly set up the September 1962 meeting with Marcello and attended the meeting along with Becker for the purpose of seeking Marcello’s support for a proposed business venture of theirs.
Becker was referred to in a second FBI report of November 21, 1962, which dealt with an alleged counterfeiting ring and a Dallas lawyer who reportedly had knowledge of it. This report noted that Becker was being used as an “informant” by a private investigator in the investigation and was assisting to the extent that he began receiving expense money. The Los Angeles FBI office noted that the investigator working with Becker had “admitted that he could be supporting a con game for living expenses on the part of Becker * * * but that he doubted it,” as he had only provided Becker with limited expenses.
The November 21, 1962, Bureau report noted further that Becker had once been associated with Max Field, a criminal associate of Mafia leader Joseph Sica of Los Angeles. According to the report “It appears that Becker * * * has been feeding all rumors he has heard plus whatever stories lie can fit into the picture.”
On November 26, 1962, Becker was interviewed by the FBI in connection with its investigation of the Billie Sol Estes case on which Becker was then also working as a private investigator. Becker told the Bureau of his recent trips to Dallas, Tex., and Louisiana, and informed them of the information he had heard about counterfeiting in Dallas. At that point, Becker also briefly discussed Carlos Marcello.
He [Becker] advised that on two occasions he has accompanied Roppolo to New Orleans, where they met with one Carlos Marcello, who is a longtime friend of Roppolo. He advised that Roppolo was to obtain the financing for their promotional business from Marcello. He advised that he knew nothing further about Marcello.
Becker was briefly mentioned in another Bureau report, of November 27, 1962, which again stated that he allegedly made up “stories” and invented rumors to derive “possible gain” from such false information.
Three days later, on November 30, 1962, another Bureau report on the Billie Sol Estes case made reference to Becker’s trip to Dallas in September and his work on the case. The report noted that Becker was apparently associated with various show business personalities in Las Vegas. Further, a man who had been acquainted with Becker had referred to him as a “small-time con man.”
In an April 11, 1963, FBI report, Becker and his friend Roppolo were referred to once again. The report had been written by agent Regis Kennedy of the New Orleans office in response to a directive issued shortly after Becker informed the Bureau that Roppolo had accompanied him to two business meetings with Marcello.
The New Orleans office had been instructed to determine if Roppolo was in fact acquainted with Marcello, as advised by Becker. The April 11, 1963, report concluded that Roppolo did in all likelihood know the New Orleans Mafia leader. A source had informed the New Orleans office that the Marcello and Roppolo “families were quite close at one time as they came from the `old country’ at approximately the same time and lived as neighbors in New Orleans.”
This report further stated that the same source doubted whether Roppolo himself could secure financial backing from Marcello for a business venture, due to Roppolo’s alleged reputation as someone “rather shiftless.” Roppolo was regarded as “a problem,” a person who “is always trying to promote something.”
(398) While the committee was unable to develop more specific information regarding the relationship between Becker’s associate, Roppolo, and Marcello, the committee did receive information indicating a closer relationship than was indicated in the April 1963 FBI report . The New Orleans Crime Commission, in various analyses andcharts of the Marcello organization, had for years been identifying Lillian Roppolo as an associate of Carlos Marcello . (242) Aaron Kohn, notc.d the reported relationship between the two families and stated that Lillian Roppolo “was considered to be something of a courier for Marcello .” A Crime Commission file on the Roppolos indicates that she had an even closer personal relationship with Marcello, in addition to the alleged courier and business activities. (244) During his appearance before the committee on January 11, 1978, Marcello himself brought up his apparent familiarity with the Roppolos when he was questioned about his knowledge of a person having a similar sounding surname.
Becker’s statement to the committee. During its examination of Reid’s published account of the alleged Marcello discussion about assassinating President Kennedy, the committee received a more detailed account from Becker of the allegations and information he originally provided in Reid. Becker, 1979, told the committee that his account of the meeting and discussion with Marcello in 1962 “is truthful. It was then and it is now. I was there.” He maintained that “the FBI-their agents in Los Angeles-have tried to discredit me. They’ve done everything except investigate the information I gave Reid. They apparently have always said it was not the truth, but they’ve never investigated it to arrive at that judgment.” Becker indicated a willingness to support his truthfulness in other ways.
Becker stated that lie was born in California and raised in New Haven, Conn. His early years of employment had included publicity work for several San Francisco nightclubs and, subsequently, writing a column for two California newspapers . During later years he had done further work in the entertainment field, managing a singer, as well as writing and producing programs for television in Los Angeles during the early 1950’s .
Becker said he became a public relations man for the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in 1955, working closely with Gus Greenbaum, the Riviera manager and well-known gambling figure who was the victim of a much publicized underworld killing in 1957. (253) Becker stated that he “was then traveling in some pretty fast circles. I was certainly not the cleanest person around.” (254) He further maintained that while he “was always out to make a buck,” he was never engaged in any significant criminal activity . (255) Becker noted that he had twice become the subject of criminal investigations, (256) the first resulting in his conviction on misdemeanor charges for having stolen “around $200” from a nightclub photographer with whom he was acquainted. He was in his twenties at the time and served 60 days in jail.)
Becker stated that in 1959 he had also become involved with two men who were “running a con deal involving laundromats and stolen credit cards” and that one of the two men was an associate of Los Angeles Mafia leader Joseph Sica. He was the subject of an SEC desist order in conjunction with the 1959 investigation.
Becker told the committee that he had worked as a private investigator during the years since, coordinating undercover investigative work for corporate clients, as well as working on various organized crime cases. During the early 1960’s, he was doing investigative work for Julian Blodgett, a private investigator and former FBI agent.
Becker told the committee that he and Roppolo had met with Marcello in late 1962 to seek his financial backing for an oil additive product they were planning to market. Due to Roppolo’s close relationship with Marcello, the meeting was arranged without difficulty.
Becker stated that he and Roppolo met with Marcello on three or four occasions in connection with the proposed business deal and that Marcello made his comments about President Kennedy during the first or second meeting. The meetings transpired between sometime in September 1962 and roughly January 1963. Only the three of them had been present during two or three of the meetings, but a Marcello aide named “Liverde,” a barber, had also been present once.
Becker stated that Marcello had made his remarks about the Kennedy brothers after Becker said something to the effect that “Bobby Kennedy is really giving you a rough time.” He could not recall the exact words Marcello used in threatening President Kennedy, but believed the account in Reid’s book “is basically correct.” Marcello was very angry and had “clearly stated that he was going to arrange. to have President Kennedy murdered in some way.” Marcello’s statement had been made in a serious tone and sounded as if he had discussed it previously to some extent .
Becker commented that Marcello had made some kind of reference to President Kennedy’s being a dog and Attorney General Robert Kennedy the dog’s tail, and had said “the dog will keep biting you if you only cut off its tail,” but that if the dog’s head were cut off, the dog would die.
Becker stated that Marcello also made some kind of reference to the way in which he allegedly wanted to arrange the President’s murder. Marcello “clearly indicated” that his own lieutenants must not be identified as the assassins, and that there would thus be a necessity to have them use or manipulate someone else to carry out the actual crime.
Becker said that Marcello’s alleged remarks about assassinating the President lasted only a few minutes during the course of the meeting, which went 1 to 2 hours. Marcello had spoken in Sicilian phrases during parts of the meeting and had grown angry at one point in the discussion of their proposed business deal.
Becker said that although he and Roppollo met with Marcello on two or three occasions following this meeting, they never again discussed President Kennedy. (Becker added that the oil additive business deal never came to fruition.
Becker told the committee that while he believed Marcello had been serious when he spoke of wanting to have the President assassinated, he did not believe the Mafia leader was capable of carrying it out or had the opportunity to do so. He emphasized that while he was disturbed by Marcello’s remarks at the time, he had grown accustomed to hearing criminal figures make threats against adversaries.
Becker stated that the only error in Reid’s published account of the meeting related to the statement that Becker had informed two Government investigators of it. Becker said that he never told any Government investigator of Marcello’s remarks about President Kennedy ; he “would have been afraid” to repeat Marcello’s remarks to anyone during that period, out of concern that Marcello or his associates might learn he had done so. Becker suggested that Reid may have incorrectly inferred that he told the FBI of the alleged Marcello threat when he was interviewed by agents regarding the Billie Sol Estes case in November 1962. Becker also stated that he was never interviewed by the FBI about the alleged Marcello meeting in the years since Reid first reported it, a fact borne out by the committee’s examination of Bureau files on Becker.
Becker further stated that the only person other than Reid whom he might have informed of Marcello’s remarks was his close associate Julian Blodgett, who employed him during that period as an investigator.
Blodgett, a former FBI agent and chief investigator for the district attorney of Los Angeles County, informed the committee that he can “vaguely remember something” about Becker’s having met with Marcello. Blodgett stated that he “can verify” that Becker traveled to New Orleans in September 1962, but could not recall any specific account of Becker’s meeting with Marcello . Blodgett told the committee he regarded Becker as an honest person who was one of “the most knowledgeable detail men” in the private investigation business. While noting that Becker “has been a controversial guy,” Blodgett stated that he personally would believe Becker’s account of the alleged Marcello meeting.
Becker further told the committee that following President Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, he quickly came to believe that Carlos Marcello had in fact probably been behind it. He reached this opinion because of factors such as Lee Oswald having been from New Orleans, as well as Jack Ruby’s alleged underworld associations.
Becker stated that “it was generally thought in mob circles that Ruby was a tool of some mob group.” Becker further stated that he had learned after the assassination that “Oswald’s uncle, who used to run some bar, had been a part of the gambling network overseen by Marcello . He worked for the mob in New Orleans.”
During his appearance before the committee on January 11, 1978, Marcello was questioned about Reid’s account of the meeting at which he allegedly spoke of assassinating President Kennedy. Marcello firmly denied that the meeting and discussion ever took place and stated that he was familiar with the Reid book : “The way the paper puts it and the books put it in there, it makes it like you had some kind of secret meetings, because I have heard the book about what you are telling me.”
Marcello testified that while he had heard that Robert Kennedy was a strong advocate of intensifying the investigation of organized crime figures, and had been so even before becoming Attorney General, “I didn’t pay no attention to it at that time.” Asked when he did begin to pay attention to Robert Kennedy’s intentions, Marcello testified, “When he got to be Attorney General.” While recalling that Attorney General Kennedy “said he was going to get organize crime and all that kind of stuff,” Marcello stated that “the only time I really knew about it” was when he was arrested and deported from the Country.” Asked if he placed any particular blame on the Attorney General for his deportation, Marcello testified, “No, I don’t, he just done what he thought was right, I guess.”
Marcello further testified that he could not recall having any discussion at his Churchill Farms estate about the Kennedy administration’s intensification of Federal efforts against organized crime. Marcello stated that Churchill Farms was not a place where he would conduct a meeting ; that the estate was only used for hunting and was the location of various duck blinds.
Marcello further testified that he did not have to discuss his deportation with associates because “Everybody in the United States knowed I was kidnaped. I didn’t have to discuss it . . . I told the whole world that it was unfair. Anybody who talked to me said it was unfair.”
When asked if he had ever made any threat against Attorney General Kennedy or had spoken of taking any physical action against him, Marcello stated, “No sir; I never said anything like that.” When asked if he had ever spoken of taking such action against President Kennedy or had threatened him in any way, Marcello stated, “Positively not, never said anything like that.”
ANALYSIS OF THE EVIDENCE
The account of the alleged Marcello discussion set forth by Becker and Reid presented a number of serious issues, some of which had highly disturbing implications regarding the performance of the FBI in investigating the possibility of Mafia complicity . The evidence indicates that the FBI’s handling of the allegations and information about Marcello was characterized by a less than vigorous effort to investigate its reliability, as well as a strong desire to “discredit” the information without having actually to investigate it.
Upon learning in 1967 of the Becker account of the alleged Marcello remarks about assassinating President Kennedy, the Bureau did not make any effort to interview Becker about the information, nor did it institute any actions to seek elaboration, clarification, or corroboration of the information. Instead, the allegation was merely circulated to the Bureau’s most senior officials, including Director J. Edgar Hoover, while the Bureau’s own files on Becker contained several pieces of information that should have been the subject of careful review. The Bureau’s files from November 1962 noted that Becker had in fact traveled through Louisiana during that period and had also traveled to Dallas. The Bureau’s own November 26, 1962, interview report on Becker noted that he had informed the Bureau of two business meetings with Marcello that he had attended with Carl Roppolo in recent weeks. A subsequent report, dated April 11, 1963, concluded that Roppolo may well have known Marcello and that the Roppolo and Marcello families had long been associated.
In 1967, in noting that Becker had not told the Bureau of the alleged Marcello threat during his 1962 interview with agents, the Bureau seemed to reach the conclusion that the significance of the alleged Becker information was greatly undermined as a result. Likewise, the Bureau’s apparent view that Becker’s background ofcriminal associations undermined the possibility that he had in fact met with Marcello-rather than strengthened that possibility-was indicative of the Bureau’s deficient approach to the matter. In its handling of the allegations about Marcello, the Bureau did not carry out any substantive examination and evaluation of the source who had set forth the information; only the standard examination of various criminal informants and underworld sources was made to determine the specific nature of their motivations, credibility and activities.
Similarly, there was no evidence that the FBI made any effort to investigate the allegations from the other direction-from the specific travels and activities of Marcello during the period or periods in question. Patrick Collins, the agent covering Marcello’s activities at the time, informed the committee that he “was never asked to investigate it in any way.” While he later read of the alleged Marcello threat in the press, he “never saw any directive on it” or heard of any Bureau interest in the matter. He stated that he would in all likelihood have been aware of any such Bureau directives or interest had there been any.
The evidence shows another aspect of the Bureau’s performance. FBI files clearly indicate a high level awareness that the Bureau was involved in trying to “discredit” (the term used in a Bureau memorandum the source of the information, Edward Becker.
As noted earlier, the ales show that a Los Angeles FBI agent participated in the effort, and without having ever investigated the Marcello allegations. Further, the June 5, 1967, FBI memorandum on the matter (which went to Director Hoover himself, as well as to his closest aides clearly indicated that the “purpose” of the visit to Reid was “to discredit Becker to Reid in order that the Carlos Marcello incident would be deleted from the book by Reid.”
The FBI files also contain repeated references to the Bureau’s use of allegations about Becker received from Sidney Korshak, an alleged associate of various organized crime leaders. The files indicate a high level awareness at Bureau headquarters that the Los Angeles FBI office was using the information received from Korshak in an effort to persuade Reid not to publish the Marcello allegations. There was, however, no reference in the files to Korshak’s own possible background and activities, nor to his possible motives in supplying the information at that time.
The evidence shows that the FBI’s failure to investigate the allegation that Marcello had discussed assassinating President Kennedy constituted a violation of the Director’s promise to investigate all circumstances surrounding the President’s murder even after the official Warren Commission investigation had ended in 1964. In his appearance before the Commission on May 6, 1964, FBI DirectorJ. Edgar Hoover had personally affirmed that promise, stating I can assure you so far as the FBI is concerned the case will be continued in an open classification for all time. That is, any information coming to us or any report coming to us from any source will be thoroughly investigated, so that we will be able to either prove or disprove the allegation.
The FBI’s failure to take seriously the alleged Marcello threat was all the more disturbing given the time at which the Bureau learned of and discarded the allegation-less than two months after the leadership of the Bureau had been faulted by President Johnson himself for not pursuing another allegation by an underworld informant that Mafia figures and Cuban agents might secretly have been involved in President Kennedy’s assassination. In that instance, as detailed by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 1976, FBI Director Hoover and his top deputies had learned of the information from Los Angeles Mafia figure John Roselli’s lawyer, Edward P. Morgan, only to decide on February 15, 1967, that “no investigation will be conducted regarding the allegations.”
On March 17, 1967, upon learning of the Roselli allegation and of the Bureau’s failure to investigate it, Persident Johnson personally intervened and ordered the Bureau to interview Morgan, pursue the information and report its findings to him.
Chief Counsel and Staff Director.
GARY T. CORNWELL
Deputy Chief Counsel.
Becker’s words about Marcello became a seeding point of growth for other authors that liked a conspiracy twist. This vicious rumor was spread like wildfire and mentioned in the final report of the Select Committee on Assassinations in 1979.
The findings of the committee, among others are: A. Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots at President John F. Kennedy. The second and third shots fired struck the President. The third shot he fired killed the President.
President Kennedy was struck by two rifle shots fired from behind him.
The shots that struck President Kennedy from behind him were fired from the sixth fioor window of the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository building.
Lee Harvey Oswald owned the rifle that was used to fire the shots from the sixth fioor window of the southeast corner of the Texas School Book Depository building.
Lee Harvey Oswald, shortly before the assassination, had excess to and was present on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building.
Lee Harvey Oswald’s other actions tend to support the conclusion that he assassinated President Kennedy.
Scientific acoustical evidence establishes a high probability that two gunmen fired at President John F. Kennedy. Other scientific evidence does not preclude the possibility of two gunmen firing at the President. Scientific evidence negates some specific conspiracy allegations.
The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee is unable to identify the other
gunman or the extent of the conspiracy.
The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the Soviet Government was not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.
The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the Cuban Government was not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.
The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that anti-Castro Cuban groups, as groups, were not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, but that the available evidence does not preclude the possibility that individual members may have been involved.
The committee believes, on the basis of the evidence available to it, that the national syndicate of organized crime, as a group, was not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, but that the available evidence does not preclude the possibility that individual members may have been involved.
The Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Central Intelligence Agency, were not involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.
Agencies and departments of the U.S. Government performed with varying degrees of competency in the fulfillment of their duties. President John F. Kennedy did not receive adequate protection. A thorough and reliable investigation into the responsibility of Lee Harvey Oswald for the assassination of President, John F. Kennedy was conducted. The investigation into the possibility of conspiracy in the assassination was inadequate. The conclusions of the investigations were arrived at in good faith, but presented in a fashion that was too definitive.
The Secret Service was deficient in the performance of its duties.
(a) The Secret Service possessed information that was not properly analyzed, investigated or used by the Secret Service in connection with the President’s trip to Dallas; in addition, Secret Service agents in the motorcade were inadequately prepared to protect the President from a sniper.
(b) The responsibility of the Secret Service to investigate the assassination was terminated when the Federal Bureau of Investigation assumed primary investigative responsibility.
The Department of Justice failed to exercise initiative in supervising and directing the investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the assassination.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation performed with varying degrees of competency in the fulfillment of its duties.
(a) The Federal Bureau of Investigation adequately investigated Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the assassination and properly evaluated the evidence it possessed to assess his potential
to endanger the public safety in a national emergency.
(b) The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a thorough and professional investigation into the responsibility of Lee Harvey Oswald for the assassination.
(c) The Federal Bureau of Investigation failed to investigate adequately the possibility of a conspiracy to assassinate the President.
(d) The Federal Bureau of Investigation was deficient in its sharing of information ·with other agencies and departments.
The Central Intelligence Agency was deficient in its collection and sharing of information both prior to and subsequent to the assassination.
The Warren Commission performed with varying degrees of competency in the fulfillment of its duties.
(a) The Warren Commission conducted a thorough and professional investigation into the responsibility of Lee Harvey Oswald for the assassination.
(b) The Warren Commission failed to investigate adequately the possibility of a conspiracy to assassinate the President. This deficiency was attributable in part to the failure of the Commission to receive all the relevant information that was in the possession of other-r agencies and departments of the Government.
(c) The Warren Commission arrived at its conclusions, based on the evidence available to it, in good faith.
(d) The Warren Commission presented the conclusions in its report in a fashion that was too definitive.
The committee wrote about their findings on Carlos Marcello:
The committee found that the quality and scope of the investigation into the possibility of an organized crime conspiracy in the President’s assassination by the Warren Commission and the FBI was not sufficient to uncover one had it existed. The committee also found that it was possible, based on an analysis of motive, means and opportunity, that an individual organized crime leader, or a small combination of leaders, might have participated in a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. The committee’s extensive investigation led it to conclude that the most likely family bosses of organized crime to have participated in such a unilateral assassination plan were Carlos Marcello and Santos Trafficante.
While other family bosses on the commission were subjected to considerable coverage in the electronic surveillance program, such coverage was never applied to Marcello and almost never to Trafficante.
Carlos Marcello.-The committee found that Marcello had the motive, means and opportunity to have President John F. Kennedy assassinated, though it was unable to establish direct evidence of Marcello’s complicity.
I find that they created a motive for Marcello because as they say in the preamble to the Congressional Report, “The zeal of the Kennedy brothers signified the roughest period for organized crime in Department of .Justice history. Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., wrote in “Robert Kennedy and His Times” that, as a result of the Attorney General’s presence, “the national Government took on organized crime as it had never done before.”
Schlesinger observed: “In New York, Robert Morganthau, the Federal attorney, successfully prosecuted one syndicate leader after another. The Patriarca gang in Rhode Island and the De Cavalcante gang in New Jersey were smashed. Convictions of racketeers by the Organized Crime Section and the Tax Division steadily increased, in 1961, 101 in 1962, 373 in 1963. So long as John Kennedy sat in the White House, giving his Attorney General absolute backing, the underworld knew that the heat was on.”
“The Attorney General focused on targets he had become acquainted with as counsel for the Rackets Committee. He was particularly concerned about the alliance of the top labor leaders and racketeers as personified by Teamster President .James R. Hoffa. Schlesinger wrote that. “The pursuit of Hoffa was an aspect of the war against organized crime.”
He added: “The relations between the Teamsters and the syndicates continued to grow. The FBI electronic microphone, planted from 1961 to 1964 in the office of Anthony Giacalone, a Detroit hood, revealed Hoffa’s deep if wary involvement with the local mob. For national purposes a meeting place was the Rancho La Costa Country Club near San Clemente, Calif., built with $27 million in loans from the Teamsters’ pension fund; its proprietor, Morris B. Dalitz, had emerged from the Detroit-Cleveland underworld to become a Las Vegas and Havana gambling figure. Here the Teamsters and the mob golfed and drank together. Here they no doubt reflected that, as long as John Kennedy was President, Robert Kennedy would be unassailable.”
The statement: “Here they no doubt reflected that, as long as John Kennedy was President, Robert Kennedy would be unassailable”, is a big assumption that sets up any mob guy that has any connection to Ruby, Ferrie or Oswald. This is a big assumption. It is like putting your last name and Oswald in a Google search, it is almost 100% you will find some connection or combination of the words to be found.
In its investigation of Marcello, the committee identified the presence of one critical evidentiary element that was lacking with the other organized crime figures examined by the committee: credible associations relating both Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby to figures having a relationship, albeit tenuous, with Marcello’s crime family or organization.
At the same time, the committee explicitly cautioned: association is the first step in conspiracy; it is not identical to it, and while associations may legitimately give rise to suspicions, a careful distinction must always be drawn between suspicions suspected and facts found. It is interesting that District Attorney Jim Garrison who resided in New Orleans never found one connection with Marcello and the assassination, yet Edward Becker claims to be an eye witness to Marcello threatening President Kennedy. There is something wrong with this picture.
As the long-time La Cosa Nostra leader in an area that is based in New Orleans but extends throughout Louisiana and Texas, Marcello was one of the prime targets of Justice Department efforts during the Kennedy administration. He had, in fact, been temporarily removed from the country for a time in 1961 through deportation proceedings personally expedited by Attorney General Kennedy.
In his appearance before the committee in executive session, Marcello exhibited an intense dislike for Robert Kennedy because of these actions, claiming that he had been illegally “kidnaped” by Government agents during the deportation, of which this is true.
While the Warren Commission devoted extensive attention to Oswald’s background and activities, the committee uncovered significant details of his exposure to and contacts with figures associated with the underworld of New Orleans that apparently had escaped the Commission. One such relationship actually extended into Oswald’s own family through his uncle, Charles “Dutz” Murret, a minor underworld gambling figure. The committee discovered that Murret, who served as a surrogate father of sorts throughout much of Oswald’s life in New Orleans, was in the 1940’s and 1950’s and possibly until his death in 1964 an associate of significant organized crime figures affiliated with the Marcello organization. As they said “associate” is just what that implies. In the Warren Commission Murret was portrayed as a steamship clerk. However, the House Select Committee on Assassinations discovered that Murret was an illegal bookmaker. Murret was also an associate of Sam Saia, one of the leaders of organized crime in New Orleans. Saia was also a close friend of Carlos Marcello. Another of Murret’s associates, Nofio Pecora, was linked to Jack Ruby. According to a FBI informant in 1979 Marcello admitted having known both Murret and Lee Harvey Oswald. Being a bookmaker it is his normal course of business to associate with other bookmakers and lines makers, as well as bettors who may be mobsters as well as ordinary citizens.
The committee established that Oswald was familiar with his uncle’s underworld activities and had discussed them with his wife, Marina, in 1963. Additionally, the committee found that Oswald’s mother, Marguerite Oswald, was acquainted with several men associated with lieutenants in the Marcello organization. One such acquaintance, who was also an associate of Dutz Murret, reportedly served as a personal aide or driver to Marcello at one time.
In another instance, the committee found that an individual connected to Dutz Murret, the person who arranged bail for Oswald following his arrest in August 1963 for a street disturbance, was an associate of two of Marcello’s syndicate deputies. One of the two, Nofio Pecora, as noted, also received a telephone call from Ruby on October 30, 1963, according to the committee’s computer analysis of Ruby’s phone records. However this is a ridiculous connection to think that if Marcello had some doing in the assassination. There are also eyewitness accounts that are not covered in the Warren Commission about the sightings of Ruby and Oswald together.
During the course of its investigation, the committee developed several areas of credible evidence and testimony indicating a possible association in New Orleans and elsewhere between Lee Harvey Oswald and David W. Ferrie, a private investigator and even, perhaps, a pilot for Marcello before and during 1963. From the evidence available to the committee, the nature of the Oswald-Ferrie association remained largely a mystery. The committee established that Oswald and Ferrie apparently first came into contact with each other during Oswald’s participation as a teenager in a Civil Air Patrol unit for which Ferrie served as an instructor: although Ferrie, when he was interviewed by the FBI after his detainment as a suspect in the assassination, denied any past association with Oswald. This denial still has not relevance to Marcello. Ferrie and Oswald could very well have been involved in the assassination as Jim garrison believed however that does not connect the dots to Marcello.
In interviews following the assassination, Ferrie stated that he may have spoken in an offhand manner of the desirability of having President Kennedy shot, but he denied wanting such a deed actually to be done.
Ferrie also admitted his association with Marcello and stated that he had been in personal contact with the syndicate leader in the fall of 1963. He noted that on the morning of the day of the President’s death he was present with Marcello at a courthouse in New Orleans. In his executive session testimony before the committee, Marcello acknowledged that Ferrie did work for his lawyer, G. Wray Gill, on his case, but Marcello denied that Ferrie worked for him or that their relationship was close. And in all due respects for Ferrie and his homosexual lifestyle, it makes sense that Marcello would not really “hangout” with Ferrie or consider him a close trusted friend.
Ferrie died in 1967 of a ruptured blood vessel at the base of the brain, shortly after he was named in the assassination investigation of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison.
The committee also confirmed that the address. 5114 Camp Street that Oswald had printed on some Fair Play for Cuba Committee handouts in New Orleans was the address of a small office building where Ferrie was working on at least a part-time basis in 1963. The Warren Commission stated in its report that despite the Commission’s probe into why Oswald used this return address on his literature, “investigation has indicated that neither the Fair Play for Cuba Committee nor Lee Oswald ever maintained an office at that address.”
The committee also established associations between Jack Ruby and several individuals affiliated with the underworld activities of Carlos Marcello. Ruby was a personal acquaintance of Joseph Civello, the Marcello associate who allegedly headed organized crime activities in Dallas; he also knew other individuals who have been linked with organized crime, including a New Orleans nightclub figure, Harold Tannenbaum, with whom Ruby was considering going into partnership in the fall of 1963. This is also ludicrous as Dave Goldberg, a big time bookie I worked with at the Dunes Hotel also new Ruby. Does that make Goldberg a suspect as well? Ruby tried to be a half-ass bookie according to Goldberg who said Ruby was a little “Mishuug”, meaning a little crazy in Yiddish.
The committee examined a widely circulated published account that Marcello made some kind of threat on the life of President Kennedy in September 1962 at a meeting at his Churchill Farms estate outside New Orleans. Ed Becker furnished information to the FBI that Marcello shouted an old Sicilian threat, “Livarsi na petra di la scarpa !” “Take the stone out of my shoe!” against the Kennedy brothers, stating that the President was going to be assassinated. He spoke of using a “nut” to carry out the murder.
The committee established the origin of the story and identified the informant who claimed to have been present at the meeting during which Marcello made the threat. The committee also learned that even though the FBI was aware of the informant’s allegations over a year and half before they were published in 1969, and possessed additional information indicating that the informant may in fact have met with Marcello in the fall of 1962, a substantive investigation of the information was never conducted.
Director Hoover and other senior FBI officials were aware that FBI agents were initiating action to “discredit” the informant, without having conducted a significant investigation of his allegations. (288) Further, the committee discovered that the originating office relied on derogatory information from a prominent underworld figure in the ongoing effort to discredit the informant.
An internal memorandum to Hoover noted that another FBI source was taking action to discredit the informant, “in order that the Carlos Marcello incident would be deleted from the book” that first recounted the information.
The committee determined that the informant who gave the account of the Marcello threat was in fact associated with various underworld figures, including at least one person well-acquainted with the Marcello organization. The committee noted, however, that as consequence of his underworld involvement, the informant had a questionable reputation for honesty and may not be a credible source of information.
Edgar Hoover would have been delighted to learn of this writer’s discovery and it is a delight for this writer to know the Hoover pegged Becker as a liar.
More than that, I wish my friend Joe Segreto was alive to read about what I asked him about a few years back. The truth will always come to the surface.
 myBurbank.com Dick Dornan
 Andrew Hamilton (Coronet, May, 1956), Small Cities Can Lick Crime, Too!
 St Louis Post Dispatch, Jan. 11, 1947
 James Neff, Mobbed Up
 St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Mar. 1957
 Hy Goldbaum was a bookmaker that once ran the “commission house” inside the Flamingo Hotel for Bugsy Siegel and an associate of Westbrook and Johnny Stone.
 Drew Pearson, Jack Anderson, Washington Merry Go Round
 Department of Justice FBI file #162-1066, 1964
 ALL AMERICAN MAFIOSO The Johnny Rosselli Story, 1991
 Geno Munari NOTE: This seems to be a subjective theory as to Marcello suggesting using a “nut”. There is no account or eyewitness statement to verify this.
 ibid: Informant in this instance is Edward N. Becker, as informant to Reid the writer of the book. Becker may have used this method to start the rumors and garner interest in himself.
 Ibid: Becker claimed to Reid that he had “underworld associations”. What could those associations be other than working in a mob operated hotel in which his boss was murdered? The remaining partners did not recruit him to work in their future operations and it would be logical if he was a trusted and loyal associate the would have employed him elsewhere. This did not happen.
 Ibid: This is an interesting point that Reid contacted the FBI in the appearance he has an independent secret source. Reid and Becker where friends at this time and had worked on other projects. It is very possible that Reid and Becker planned the meeting with the FBI to make it appear that Reid was coming forward with the information secretly without the permission of Becker. It very well could been the part of a plan to promote the book they were working on.
 Ibid: Why wouldn’t Becker mention this to the FBI on this Nov. 26, 1963 interview, just after the President was killed? This information would have been very relevant and useful to the FBI. This is consistent behavior if in fact the meeting in 1962 between Becker and Marcello did not occur.
 Geno Munari Note: Marcello stated that the meeting with Becker never took place which is consistent with the first meeting and introduction in the 190s by Tony Montana.
 Spartacus International
The hook that snagged me to write the book for Mr. BS, which coincidentally is an acronym for “bull shit” was his guarantee that he had information about mobster Johnny Rosselli that no one was aware of. BS said that he fronted for a piece of the Silver Slipper Casino for Rosselli and that he paid for the percentage of hidden ownership for him out of card winnings at the Las Vegas Country Club. My research said that this wasn’t possible and I confronted BS and after many denials to my accusations, he finally confessed that it was untrue and he used this lie to effectuate more interest in the book.
In my research writing about the different characters I knew in Las Vegas that could be tied or connected in some way was Robert Maheu who was hired by the CIA to contact members of the mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro. It is very probable that the CIA did this so the blame of killing Castro would be that of the mafia as a plausible denial to our own government’s wishes. John Meier in his book, The Age of Secrets, talks about Maheu and sheds new light on the activities of Maheu and the CIA.
Here is what New York Times Bestselling Author Jim Hougan says about John’s book:
“John Meier’s story is really interesting and, I believe, important. I’ve spent a number of years studying the American cryptocracy and there is no question in my mind that Meier is dead-right when he says that the CIA was running the Hughes empire. So, too, with Intertel. I was the first journalist to write about the firm (in Harper’s), and it’s apparent to me, as it is to Meier, that its business plan was drawn up in Langley.
That said, this is complicated stuff. The way I see it, American politics from 1954-74 is a continuum defined by the struggle between the Richard Nixon apparat and the Kennedy machine, with the Howard Hughes empire serving as a fulcrum in what amounted to a secret war for the country’s soul. CIA spooks, mobsters on three coasts and a coven of Texas oligarchs built the “magic box”. *
John Meier’s story is a fungible one in the sense that it could serve as the basis for a rock-’em-sock-’em tv series, motion picture or documentary about the Deep State. By that, I mean the cryptocracy that has evolved since the Cold War along a political continuum defined by assassination, surveillance and cover-up.
The Howard Hughes organization, with its ties to Texas oil, Las Vegas gambling, Hollywood and the CIA was the secret fulcrum of that continuum, mediating a political struggle that, by turns, saw the Kennedy’s devastated by murder and the Nixon camp destroyed by what looks, increasingly, like a soft coup d’etat. In this, John Meier was a Zelig-like figure, at once a witness and a participant, so well-connected – and so deeply involved – that it could only have ended in exile or a grave.
The focal point of that tale, from which everything else proceeds, is obviously the secret war for the Hughes empire.
If it were a film, it would be as exciting as The Bourne Identity, and I think it would pull in the same audience (and for many of the same reasons) that both The Bourne Identity and JFK did.”
Mr. BS was a point holder in the Silver Slipper and the Frontier Hotel, which was sold to Howard Hughes. Mr. BS was a business partner with Maheu and which piqued my interest in Hughes, Maheu, Rosselli and John Meier.