Category: Assassinations

Newman Vol 3In Countdown to Darkness: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume II , author John M. Newman warned us that a storm was brewing.  President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) and his brother Robert F. Kennedy (19125-1963) had come to realize that not all who smile come as friends.  But what they could not have foreseen, was the depth of resentment towards them from the military, Cuban exiles and the intelligence community.  In the second volume, we learned about the demise of Patrice Lumumba (1925-1961), the relationship between the Kennedys and mobster Sam Giancana (1908-1975), Oswald’s alleged “defection” and the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion in April, 1961.  Newman resumes the story and takes us deeper behind the scenes in the Kennedy Administration which found itself in damage control to prevent rupturing at the seams.

The present volume revisits the Cuban situation and also focuses on the doomed Operation Mongoose.  The covert operation has gained traction in research circles as an example of the doomed efforts to remove Fidel Castro, but as we see here, there was far more to the story.  For several decades, the rumor of Robert Kennedy giving a green light to assassinate Fidel Castro has persisted.  The myth was pioneered by former CIA operative Samuel Halpern (d. 2005), who was not fond of either Kennedy brother.  Newman investigates that myth and finally separates fact from fiction.  And the story that emerges is one of deception, exemplified by the actions of many such as Bill Harvey (1915-1976), Richard Bissell (1909-1994) and Gen. Edward Lansdale (1908-1987).  Halpern’s tale is so convoluted that it even caught the attention of journalist Seymour Hersh who examined the Kennedy family in his book  ‘The Dark Side of Camelot‘, which does no favors to the Kennedy name. I do not know if Hersh has read this book but when or if he does, I am sure the facts revealed by Newman may cause him to revise his work.

If you have read Gaeton Fonzi’s The Last Investigation, then you are already familiar with one of the most peculiar characters in the JFK assassination story, Antonio Veciana.  As leader of the anti-Castro group Alpha-66, he was responsible for daring acts against the Castro regime.  The acts were so worrisome that Kennedy eventually ordered the military to have them cease and desist.  But just who was Veciana and did he really meet a contact named Maurice Bishop?  It is believed that Bishop was a cover name for David Atlee Phillips (1922-1986), a legendary CIA officer and founder of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.   The story of Veciana and Bishop can be quite confusing and for years Veciana played mind games with investigators.  Fonzi died before Veciana would make several changes to his story but Newman catches them all here and reveals the truth about Veciana’s recruitment into CIA activities and his alleged meeting with Bishop. To say it is puzzling would be an understatement.

Oswald’s “defection” to the Soviet Union is one of the most bizarre parts of his story.  While he never actually defected, his actions did catch the attention of the Russian KGB and the CIA.   Americans attempting to defect to Russia at the height of the Cold War was beyond comprehension and Oswald would have known this as a former Marine.  But the question remains, if Oswald really wanted to defect, then why didn’t he?  James Angleton (1917-1987) was the CIA Counterintelligence Chief from 1954-1975.  Undoubtedly, Oswald would have been of high interest to Angleton, whose hunt for Soviet moles within the CIA destroyed lives and damaged careers.  Until his final days in the CIA, he was convinced that there was a Soviet mole in the agency.  During his tenure, Soviet defectors did approach American officers.  One of them was Yuri Nosenko, whose story is another critical part of the Kennedy labyrinth.   However, Nosenko was a strange character and a career spy.  But was he a real defector?  Newman re-examines Nosenko’s story to show us what was really taking place in the spy war between the CIA and KGB.

An often misunderstood part of Kennedy’s election to office is the role of the Civil Rights Movement.  American politicians have known for decades that the Black American vote is crucial to winning a major election.   Kennedy faced an enormous hurdle in gaining the black vote primarily because he was Catholic and a Democrat.   The story of how he obtained the Black vote and why is critical to understand what he represented to millions of Americans.  His “New Frontier” program was advanced in many ways but sadly it never came into reality due to his death.  Newman wants us to understand how Kennedy was propelled to office and why the story is relevant to his death in 1963.  In 1960, Kennedy beat Richard Nixon (1913-1994) by an extremely slim margin.  Prior to the election, a series of events took place that changed the course of history.  They would involve both Robert and John Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968).

The efforts to secure Kennedy’s claim to the White House by Sam Giancana is well-known to researchers and those with a keen ear for mafia tales.  But the relationship between the Kennedy family and Giancana was quite unusual in itself and had the public known of the connection, I can only imagine what the fallout would have been.  Giancana was a walking tomb of dark secrets and he is mentioned briefly in this volume again, along with Johnny Roselli (1905-1976) whose efforts to topple Castro are part of CIA-Mafia lore.

As Kennedy takes office, he soon finds that the battles in Washington are just beginning.  After the disastrous Bay of Pigs fiasco, he knew better than to trust the word of the CIA and Pentagon.  But what they did not know was that Kennedy had been changed by the Bay of Pigs and was determined to make sure the CIA and Pentagon never got away with such a ruse again.  This part of the book is where things get deeper and take a much darker turn.  Laos and Vietnam loom over Kennedy like a dark cloud and he soon finds himself on the defensive as military brass are demanding intervention in Southeast Asia.   Cuba is never far off the radar and once again it becomes a hot topic.  It became so hot that the Pentagon concocted plans that repulsed Kennedy and widened the gap between the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  If you have heard the name Operation Northwoods, then you have an idea of where the story is going.  The stage is slowly being set with tensions rising.  The Pentagon and CIA are hungry for a war but can they proceed with a President who is becoming increasingly distrustful of his own advisors?  As the book concludes, it becomes clear that the Kennedys are on a collision course with the military and intelligence community and the climax will be far more serious that Americans could have imagined.

Volume IV is still in the works but when it is released, I am sure that Newman will continue with this eye-opening assessment of one of America’s darkest moments.  Highly recommended.

ASIN: B07NJRY8WJ

Assassinations

darknessI recently reviewed Volume I in this exceptional review of the murder of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963).  Author John M. Newman returns in Volume II to the incredible story of the events leading up to Kennedy’s time in office and his untimely demise.  Here we change gears and take a deeper look at the alleged defection of Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963) to the Soviet Union,  the mob ties of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. (1888-1969), the role of Italian-American mobster Sam Giancana (1908-1975) and the foreign policy decisions in Cuba, the Congo and Southeast Asia.

The story of Lee Harvey Oswald is an open and shut case if you believe the government’s official story.   What we do know is that he did in fact travel to the Soviet Union and attempted to renounce his U.S. Citizenship.  But what is often left out of the discussion is did he actually renounce it?   To some the question might seem strange but if we take a closer look along with the author, we see that many of Oswald’s actions in Russia did not make sense. In fact, things were so confusing that his mother Marguerite Oswald (1907-1981) wrote to the State Department to verify if her son had given up his U.S. Citizenship.  If you eyebrows are now raised, you are on the right track and what follows in this book will change your perception of Oswald’s possible intentions in the Soviet Union.   Admittedly, Oswald is still a mysterious figure.  The amount of information known about him still pales slightly to the unknown information surrounding his career in the military and his actions in Dallas leading up to Kennedy’s murder.   The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has generally been quite vague about what it knew about Oswald’s attempted defection and his return to the United States.  The opening of the infmamous 201 file on Oswald has always been a topic of discussion in assassination researcher circles and for good reason. Newman explores the issue in detail and clears up some of the mysteries that have lingered for years.  But what may really rattle readers is his hypothesis as to why Oswald traveled to the Soviet Union in the first place.  Newman does not declare that his belief is what happened but his suggestion has plenty of traction and if it is ever proven to be correct, it would completely change what we knew about Lee Harvey Oswald.

As John F. Kennedy settled into office in January, 1961, his administration faced its first crisis as news of the murder of Patrice Lumuba (1925-1961) spread across the globe.  Kennedy publicly had believed in a free Africa policy and Lumumba’s murder dealt a heavy blow for his vision of Africa’s future.  Today we have the benefit of hindsight to look back on Lumumba’s death.  And what we can see is a story that is much darker than most could have ever imagined.  I should point out that there is no direct relationship between Lumumba’s death and Kennedy’s murder.  But what is revealed is the role of the CIA which was also discussed in Volume I.  The agency as it is known informally, became a foreign policy division of its own and by the time Kennedy took office, no one in Washington dared to challenge it.  In fact, the agency was so powerful, that several presidents were unaware of what the agency’s true mission actually was.  Author David Talbot discusses the agency in detail in his phenomenal book “The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government”, which is a thoroughly researched account of the rise of the CIA under its controversial director Allen Dulles (1893-1969).  Newman puts Dulles and the agency back in the spotlight, revealing a sinister web of deceit determined to engineer Lumumba’s downfall.  The story is critical to understanding what would follow from the agency in Cuba and eventually Southeast Asia.

Cuba once again comes into focus as Fidel Castro breaks ties with Washington and officials are left seeting with disdain towards the beared revolutionary.  This part of the book is perhaps the most chilling as it provides an inside look into the battle being waged behind the scenes to coach Kennedy into an all out war with Cuba.  Truths, half-truths and outright lies served to cause confusion and errant decisions that resulted in the distrastrous Bay of Pigs invasion in April, 1961.  The mission was a total failure and publicly, Kennedy excepted blame.  But behind the scenes, a war was looming between the White House, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and America’s intelligence community.   The stakes had been raised and Kennedy came to realize that the CIA was now an obstacle that had to be removed.  But what he did not know at the time was that the agency plays for keeps and waits patiently for the right moment to execute.

To say that these books are mesmerizing would be an understatement.  This is the history we are never taught in school.   The information revealed in these books should serve as the basis for history lessons given about the events during the Cold War and the CIA’s rise to power.  The author concludes the book with a snippet from the story of former CIA agent David Atlee Phillips (1922-1988), whose words  are an indication of what is come in Volume III of the series titled Into the Storm: The Assassination of President Kennedy.  A storm was definitely brewing and by the time it ended, America was never be the same again.

ASIN: B01N16W6E4

Assassinations

1The lone gunman theory remains the official position taken the United States Government with regards to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963).  The alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963) was convicted in the court of public opinion before standing trial in a Dallas courtroom. His assailant, Jack Ruby (1911-1967) permanently silenced Oswald forever and prevented Americans from knowing more about the former Marine that had once lived in the Soviet Union.   The big question surrounding Kennedy’s death is who did it?  The crime is similar to a black hole, puzzling even the most hardened researchers.  The late Jim Marrs (1943-2017) once said that we know who killed Kennedy, we just have to look at the evidence.  Author John M. Newman has joined the group of assassination researchers and has produced this first volume in what will be a multi-volume set about the deadly events in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.

In this first volume, Newman sets the tone for what will soon follow. In comparison to other books about the murder, this volume is not focused on Kennedy’s death.  In fact, the murder is only mentioned a handful of times.  The story that is presented here is of the revolution in Cuba, Fidel Castro (1926-2016) and Washington’s fears of  Soviet expansion.  As Fulgencio Batista (1971-1973) struggled to maintain control of Cuba,  the CIA was closely watching the events taking place in the streets of Havana.  Students, revolutionary groups and activists formed a nexus of opposition to Batista’s corrupt regime.  At first it might seem counterproductive to write about the Cuban Revolution if the book is about Kennedy’s murder.  But what is important to keep in mind is that Newman is slowly setting the stage for what would eventually happen in Dallas.   It is generally accepted by researchers that Kennedy’s death was by no means the actions of just one person.  In fact, the list of those who opposed the young president was long and for a good explanation of how many forces were conspiring against Kennedy, I strongly recommend Col. John Hughes Wilson’s JFK: An American Coup D’etat: The Truth Behind the Kennedy Assassination, which provides a clear picture of the looming threat to the occupant in the White House.

I strongly believe that to understand Kennedy’s murder, it is necessary to understand exactly what was happening in Cuba and how it played out during Kennedy’s presidency.   Newman’s focus is not on the mission in the jungles of Cuba by bearded revolutionaries.   His goal here is to uncover the actions of the CIA and finally reveal the characters involved and what purpose they played as Castro took power and led Cuba down the communist path.   Acronyms and code names become the norm but if we pay close attention, we come to realize that many of the figures are discussed in other books. However, there are two who stand out here and deserve special mention.  Newman goes into the complicated and mysterious stories of Catherine Taeffe and June Cobb (1927-2015).  The latter has been written about before and her story is still puzzling to this day.   Thousands of pages of records have been released giving us a better picture Cobb’s association with the CIA and Newman ties all of if together here providing a thorough back story as to who she really was.  Taeffe is yet another figure who has eluded scrutiny in many books but it is here that her importance to Washington becomes clear.  And by the time Newman is finished, the reader will surely realize that there was far more taking place in Washington with regards to Cuba than most Americans could have ever imagined.  To be even more frank, things in Cuba had heated up and it is truly a miracle that an all out invasion of the island never materialized.

There are many names in the book and it is easy to get distracted as the author moves through the story.  I do think that a quick primer on the crime will help readers make it through the subject matter.  As a rule, I always recommend Jim Marrs ‘Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy‘, which still remains one of the best-selling books on Kennedy’s death.  With that being said, Newman does an excellent job of focusing on one aspect of the matter and exploring it into exhaustive detail.   I am now on to the second volume and his multi-volume approach will undoubtedly change the way Kennedy’s assassination is viewed through the eyes of even the most ardent researchers.   What I also found to be exceptionally valuable is that Newman does not put forth conspiracy theories, his conclusions are based solely on the evidence that was released.  And it is that approach that makes the book an even more exciting read.

I admit that the Kennedy murder is usually not at the top of the list of books to buy for a majority of readers.  But the crime still remains one of America’s darkest moments.   Perhaps one day we will finally know what really happened that day but until then, we can only reveal the truth layer by layer.  If the author is consistent, the volumes that follow will be nothing short of exceptional.  Good read.

ASIN: B00X3VZED6

 

Assassinations

Wilson -JFKLast week I was debating what book to read next and realized that I had not covered anything on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) in quite some time.  To many Americans, his death is in America’s past, and a crime never to be solved.  With that being said, his murder is a reminder of how easy it once was to remove a sitting president from the highest office in the land.  Kennedy’s death endures as one of America’s darkest moments and the unanswered questions surrounding the events in Dealey Plaza still send chills down the spines of even the most seasoned researchers.  Colonel John Hughes-Wilson has taken another look at the crime and lays out his case for what he believes was a coup d’état on November 22, 1963.  In the fifty-years since JFK’s death, researchers have been able to compile a staggering amount of revealing evidence throughout independent research and the release of government files under the Freedom of Information Act and the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992.  Incredibly, Hughes-Wilson has managed to compress thousands of pages of information into a book that is less than 400 pages.  But contained within the pages of this book is an excellent summary of what happened before, during and after Kennedy’s murder.

Some readers may be independent researchers in the crime or simply someone that has never believed the official story put forth by the government.  I warn the reader to be prepared for many shocking revelations and the introduction of facts that are simply unbelievable.   If you believe that Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963) was the lone killer,  you may find this book hard to accept.  But I do think that the author provides an incredibly strong position to support his believe that Kennedy’s murder was in effect a change in government by powerful sources hidden behind the scenes.  One of the book’s most interest parts is how the author sets the stage for Kennedy’s murder.  So much focus is often placed on November 22 but it is critical to understand the forces that raged against his administration and their culmination into a deadly web of enemies determined to have the president removed at all costs.  Author James Douglass does a great job of covering topic in his book on the murder “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why it Matters“.   The information provided therein if plentiful and highly enlightening.  Hughes-Wilson takes a similar approach but streamlines the information to keep the pace moving at a sufficient pace.

Any book on Kennedy’s murder is sure to contain a long list of characters relevant to the story at hand.  This book is no different and as one would expect, figures such as Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) and J. Edgar Hoover (1895-1972) are discussed throughout the book.  We also learn about the various groups that came to loathe the president such as Cuban exiles, Texas oil barons, Wall Street bankers, the government of Israel and the Italian American Mafia.   The connections between the various groups will raise eyebrows and cause mouths to drop open in surprise.   But what may truly shock many readers, is their connection to the White House, in particularly Kennedy himself.  I warn some that what is also revealed about Kennedy’s private life may change the way they see the former president.   But if you have read Seymour Hersh’s “The Dark Side of Camelot“,  some of the information may be repetitive.   Kennedy is long gone so we will never known what made him do some of the things that he did.   The author here does provide clues to his sometimes strange behavior but to a point, even his views are somewhat speculative.  Regardless, his assessment of the late president, puts the murder into clear context and also reveals that many great political figures also had a very dark side that the public was not privy to in the age before cell phones and social media.

Hughes-Wilson did an incredible job of staying focused and not straying too far from the main goal of the book.  One can easily spend hours on just one part of the murder.  Whether it is Oswald’s life or the murder of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippitt (1924-1963),  the amount of information to cover is exhausting.  The author here never lets the reader become overwhelmed with information but wisely keeps things moving along and provides enough information for the reader to continue to piece together the entire puzzle.  In short, I found the book to a collection of information covered separately in other books but told in a way that keeps the reader deeply intrigued.  And even for myself, the book was thoroughly enjoyable even though I have read at least a dozen books and several articles on the crime.

Someone asked me one day if Kennedy’s murder would ever be solved.  Well Jim Marrs once said that we already know who did it, but we just need to look closely at the evidence.  I think that we have many of the answers that have long been sought through the hard work of researchers and the deathbed confessions of individuals long suspected of being part of the plot.  The real question is whether Americans are ready to accept information that will change the way the see the United States Government and politicians many of them have long admired.   It is said that no one who was alive when Kennedy’s murder took place will forget where they were that day.  My father has told me the same thing many times and can easily recall that day from start to finish even at the age of 66.   For my generation, none of us will forget where we were on September 11th.  The future generation will have their own moment in history but what that is remains to be seen.  No matter how many generations pass, the murder of John F. Kenney will remain the biggest unsolved mystery in American history.  But with books such as this by Col. John Hughes-Wilson, we already have many of the answers needed to eventually find the truth.

For readers that are discovering new territory,  I strongly recommend reading the late Jim Marrs’ (1943-2017) “Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy“.  It remains one of the best sources for information on the assassination.  Having discovered this gem, I also strongly recommend this compendium as well for those who truly want to know what really happened.

ISBN-10: 1782198547
ISBN-13: 978-1782198543
ASIN: B00GF3MVUS

Assassinations JFK RFK

blanche-wiesen-cook-eventIn this third volume, we catch up with Eleanor in 1939 as German Chancellor Adolf Hitler is making his presence felt in Europe and threatening to turn the continent into a German Reich. Her husband and president, Franklin, finds himself at odds over the growing German menace. ER is right by his side serving as both a voice of reason and cabinet adviser as FDR determines the position of the United States in regards to the looming crisis across the Atlantic.  In this manner the book differs from Volume I and Volume II which focus on her early, the people who formed the core of close friends and FDR’s successful campaign.  The close nexus of friends return and once again we come across Hick, Esther Lape, Elizabeth Read, and Earl Miller.  Like characters in a novel, they all have their roles in her life and each makes their departure from the stage as Eleanor’s life comes full circle.  We also see up close the changes that occur in the relationship between husband and wife and how it shaped the policies of the government.  The stage had been set in volume two and in this volume, it comes to fruition in its entirety. Some of it is good, some bad and even more unfortunate.  But throughout the thick and then, they remained Franklin and Eleanor.

While readers may be tempted to think that Cook has strayed far off course in this third part, that is not the case.  In fact, the volume closes ER’s story appropriately for she was no longer First Lady following FDR’s death in 1945.  Cook does address her life post-Washington but it is clear that her highest moments came occurred during her tenure in the White House.  Nonetheless, this look into FDR’s administration and ER’s role in it, is fascinating and reveals the long process that eventually pulled the United States into the war.  Operating in a male dominated and openly discriminatory social climate, she became a beacon of hope as she wage the war for Jewish refugees, anti-discrimination legislation, ant-lynching legislation and equal rights for America’s women. Sadly, her efforts paid off many years after her death.  Had she lived, I believe she would have been in awe at the election of Barack Obama in 2008.  His election would have been seen by her as a testament to the cause for civil rights and the advancement of America’s African-American citizens who faced discrimination daily in their lives.

Following FDR’s death, she continued to work on behalf of all Americans and never wavered in her crusade for equality for everyone.  In 1962, she was appointed by President Kennedy to be the head of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. The appointment spoke volumes about her accomplishments and vision. She remained the chairwoman until the time of her death.  When she died on November 7, 1962, a shining light was extinguished that was one of America’s brightest.  She is no longer with us but her story is through the efforts of Blanche Wiesen Cook.  And through her words, we can relive the life of the pioneering former First Lady.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” – Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

ISBN-10: 0670023957
ISBN-13: 978-0670023950

Assassinations

 

515craojyrl-_sx319_bo1204203200_The murder of John F. Kennedy remains one of America’s darkest moments.  His assassination in Dealey Plaza and the murder of his alleged assassin two days later shocked the world and marked a turning point in American history.  The Warren Commission’s report is still the government’s official position on the murder.   It concluded that there was no conspiracy to murder John F. Kennedy and that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.  In 1966,  Mark Lane’s Rush to Judgment was released and became the first major book to challenge the Commission’s conclusions.  Lane became a pioneer in the process with his book being followed by more than 200 hundred others regarding the events of that day. Each has its strengths and weaknesses but all provide a window into what some have called the crime of the century.  There are literally dozens of theories as to how and why Kennedy was killed.  It is up to the reader to cross-reference the facts and reach a conclusion.  However, in the majority of the books regarding the murder, all tend to focus on the complicity of the U.S. Government and organized crime.  The Italian-American mafia has long been suspected in the assassination.  But like everything else regarding the murder, things are not always as they may seem.

Michael Collins Piper has composed this incredibly well researched account of what he calls the missing link in the JFK assassination.  As can been seen on the cover, the book has faced strong opposition resulting in enormous challenges faced by the author to have it published.   To some it may seem strange that a book on a crime that has been written about hundreds of time should face such stonewalling. But as the reader descends into the deep subject at hand, it becomes evidently clear why the book has had so much trouble going to press.  Piper’s missing link is the role of Israel and the Mossad in the murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Because Israel is a close ally of the United States and has a strong lobby with American borders, any discussion regarding a possible Israeli link to the murder of a U.S. President is bound to raise suspicion and cause adverse reactions.  Piper has been called a traitor and anti-Semite.  But if the reader has an open mind and considers the many angles to the crime, the book is an invaluable asset for anyone seeking to learn the truth about the forces behind Kennedy’s assassination.

What makes the book stand out is the revelation that takes place early in the book.  Piper is not the first to cover the material as he freely admits. But he is the first to connect many of the dots that have gone unnoticed by other researchers.  What we learn early in the book is a once hidden fact that President Kennedy had been involved in a behind-the-scenes war with Israel over its ability to develop nuclear weapons.  Kennedy had been pressuring Israel to dismantle its nuclear stockpile and made no attempt to hide his disdain.  This serves as the crux of the book and Piper does an incredible job of putting all of the pieces together to give the reader a picture of who benefited from Kennedy’s removal.

For some readers it will be hard to accept that Israel could have played a role in the crime or even that the Mossad is as dangerous as alleged.  But the key to understanding the authors contention is to read while having an open and highly attentive mind.  It should be pointed out that the author is by no means anti-Semitic.  He has simply researched a critical angle of a horrible crime that changed world history.  Through Piper’s work, we can see the spider-web of connections from some of the darkest figures in history.  He takes a closer look at the lives and actions of several well-known figures such as Jack Ruby, David Ben-Gurion, Mickey Cohen and Meyer Lansky, the legendary crime figure.  But he also reveals critical information about lesser-known figures that held parts of the world in an iron-grip which in turns exposes the underlying connections between the CIA, Mossad and even the SAVAK, the Iranian intelligence faction. We are introduced to Tibor Rosenbaum,  Max Fisher, Shaul Eisenberg and Louis Bloomfield.  All of these men are critical to the author’s story and the facts surrounding their actions will prove to be hard to refute.   But Piper does not stop there. In fact, the amount of notorious figures and interconnections between them is nothing short of staggering.  And forces us to reexamine everything we thought we knew about Kennedy’s death.  The book is not for the faint at heart but if the reader thinks clearly and rationally while reading this incredible book, it will become clear why this is indeed the final judgment.

ISBN-10: 0935036539
ISBN-13: 978-0935036534

Assassinations

polka dot fileEach time I drive across the Robert F. Kennedy memorial bridge as I pass from Queens to the Bronx and sometimes Manhattan, I think about his importance to the State of New York and the United States.  The former attorney general, senator and presidential candidate was one of the most polarizing figures of his time.  His murder on June 5, 1968, shocked the world leaving millions of people speechless about what they had just learned. A young Jordanian immigrant named Sirhan Sirhan was later tried and convicted for the murder and the case is considered solved in Los Angeles County.  Similar to the murder of John F. Kennedy 5 years earlier in Dallas, Texas, upon closer examination, many disturbing facts emerge that cast a chilling doubt over the official story.

Fernando Faura worked for the Hollywood Citizens News at the time of the murder, and subsequently began his own investigation into one aspect of the crime that has never been solved; the identity and role of the woman in the polka dot dress seen exiting the Ambassador Hotel while declaring “we shot him”.   To this day she remains a mystery.   What we do know is that several witnesses all confirmed that not only was she there but that she did in fact make the declaration of Kennedy having been shot.  Unsatisfied with the LAPD’s official story, Faura began his own research into the crime and his incredible journey to find the truth is documented in this excellent account that he calls the polka dot file.

Some researchers into the murder of John F. Kennedy have said that the murder of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippitt is the Rosetta Stone of the crime. Like Dallas, the woman in the polka-dot dress is the Rosetta Stone of this crime and as we see through Faura’s notes, finding her was similar to looking for a needle in a haystack.  The crime occurred in the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Police Department, but as Faura points out, more than 400 FBI agents worked the case.  The FBI’s investigation contradicted some of the LAPD’s findings and remain disputed.  Witnesses to the crime were badgered and coerced into changing their stories by the LAPD and photographs of the crime taken as it happened by a 15-year-old fan of Kennedy, disappeared while in police custody. The originals have never been found.  The LAPD made a mockery of the investigation, ignoring many clues and witnesses and in the process, allowed Sirhan to be convicted while the other conspirators escaped.

But just why is the woman in the polka dot dress so important?  It is alleged that three prior to the murder, she was seen in Sirhan’s company and even on the night of the murder. Further, it is also alleged that she was seen in the company of Anne Chennault, the wife of the late Claire Chennault, founder of the Flying Tigers.  Chennault has long been suspected of helping Richard Nixon with getting the South Vietnamese government to refuse to attend the Paris Peace Talks to the chagrin of President Johnson.  At this point in his life, Kennedy was fiercely against the war and the possibility that his assassin was in the company of a woman linked to Chennault, friend of Nixon and acquaintance of many in the South Vietnamese government, would have added a mind-blowing and treasonous element to the investigation.  The results would have been far-reaching, possibly all the way to the White House.

Faura’s pursuit of the woman resulted in several important interviews that shed light on the events of that night.  It should be noted that the witnesses stuck to their stories and one of them, John Fahey, even took a polygraph examination, passing on all but two questions asked of him. Sandra Serrano, castigated by the LAPD, is vindicated here and her testimony is corroborated by others.  Sadly, Serrano and many other witnesses were either discounted or ignored by investigators.  The chance to learn exactly who the woman in the polka dot dress was, had been lost to history.  We can only speculate as to who she might have been or what her motives were or if she’s still alive.  She was seen in the company of at least one male companion. His identity is also unknown.  Faura was on the right path in his investigation.  The refusal of the LAPD to be more cooperative and their efforts to sabotage his investigation are regrettable and disheartening for the truth about Kennedy’s murder might never be known in full.  If things had gone different, perhaps history would be telling a different story surrounding the murder of Robert Francis Kennedy.

 

ISBN-10: 1634240596
ISBN-13: 978-1634240598

Assassinations Investigative Report Uncategorized

lbj blood money powerPrior to his death from cancer, Jack Ruby, the convicted murdered of Lee Harvey Oswald who executed his prey live on national television, once remarked that to get answers in the murder of John F. Kennedy, it would wise to ask the man currently in office.  That man as we all know was Lyndon B. Johnson.   In most history classes, Lyndon Johnson or LBJ for short, is seen as a pioneering president, responsible for the passage of the monumental Civil Rights Act of 1964.   However, what is often looked over is his role in the escalation of the U.S. military in southeast Asia resulting in the Vietnam War.   As the body count of American soldiers climbed, his approval rate dropped to absurdly low levels, possibly the worst in recent history.  And the announcement of Robert Kennedy for candidacy for president served as a final nail in the coffin forcing Johnson to withdraw his name in the 1968 presidential race.  Many years after his death, the true story of the life of Lyndon Johnson has come to light in dozens of books.  And what we learn through each of these books is that there was a very dark side to the 36th President of the United States.

Barr McClellan worked as an attorney at the firm of Clark, Thomas and Winters, the firm that worked intimately with Johnson, handling many of his private affairs.  This book is McClellan’s recollections of the things he saw, heard and took part in over a multi-decade service to the firm under Johnson’s primary attorney and close friend, Edward A. Clark.  The cover of the book alludes to a smoking gun in the book.  Having read dozens of books on the Kennedy murder, I wouldn’t quite go that far.  And as McClellan points out, many of the discussions that took place among some of the partners and various nefarious figures associated with Clark were never put on record as an official transcript.  While he presents to us a picture of what might have been said, the participants are lone gone and can neither confirm of deny the statements in the book.  Also, the allegations regarding Lee Harvey Oswald are direct but gloss over many important details that not only cast doubt on him being Kennedy’s assassin, but also being the murderer of Officer J.D. Tippit and the attempted assassin of Gen. Edwin Walker.

The beauty in the book are the revelations about the relationships between Johnson, Clark, Thomas, Mac Wallace, Bobby Baker, Clifton Carter and Billie Sol Estes.  This close group of conspirators, pulled off some of the biggest scams in Texas history and are complicit in the murders of several individuals, possibly including John F. Kennedy. Of all of the players, Baker is the only one still alive and has disclosed a lot of what he did for Johnson and other politicians in Washington during his career. However, out of all of these mysterious and fascinating figures, the two that stand out in the book as the most interesting are Edward Clark and Mac Wallace.  Johnson, while complicit in many illegal activities,  always maintained a safe distance in the event that a scandal arose.  However, when problems did come up and people need to be taken care of, Clark and Wallace would prove to be the most loyal and deadly associates of Lyndon Baines Johnson.  Wallace has been long known to assassination researchers and people familiar with Johnson’s activities in Texas.  And if McClellan’s account is correct, then it shows the assassination into an entire different perspective.  Clark is lesser known to those outside of the State of Texas but McClellan clues us in to another major participant of the crime of the century in the United  States of America.

While I do believe that LBJ did have foreknowledge of the crime, I do not think that the law firm of Clark, Thomas and Winters had the sole role they did as described by McClellan. Did they play a part? Absolutely.  But I also believe that there were many things transpiring in Dallas that day that went far beyond the control of both Edward Clark and Lee Harvey Oswald. A conspiracy of that magnitude needs many participants with plans made far in advance in many different sectors of government.  Of interesting note, McClellan does shows that the plan to remove Kennedy began as early as 1961 which coincidentally is when multiple Oswald sightings first began.  Was there a plan to remove JFK from office? Undoubtedly.  Was a sole lawyer the mastermind behind the entire plot? You be the judge.

ISBN-10: 161608197X
ISBN-13: 978-1616081973

Assassinations

q1As November slowly approaches this year, the anniversary of one of America’s darkest moments will be upon us once again as we remember the tragic death of the late John F. Kennedy.  His murder continues to stay with us and to this day it is technically an unsolved murder in that his alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was never convicted in a court of law.  He had been accused of murdering both President Kennedy and Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit, and convicted in the court of public opinion through misstatements and so-called evidence that wouldn’t hold up in a court of law.  And as author Gary Fannin points out, for over 50 years, lies, deception and deceit continue to be propagated making the truth of the matter seemingly harder and harder to unravel.

This book is not a smoking gun about the assassination.  Fannin examines the major parts of the story, holding them up to the light so to speak, to be examined thoroughly and in the process sheds light on the many contradictions and shortcomings on the official story.  He does point clearly that he does not believe in any way, that Lee Harvey Oswald murdered anyone on November 22, 1963 or even fired a rifle that day.   Oswald was murdered in cold blood by Jack Ruby before he had a chance to tell his side of the story taking any information he could have offered with him to the grave.   Nevertheless, the U.S. Government stands by the conclusion the Warren Report that Oswald as indeed the long gunman.  But upon closer examination as Fannin shows us, the case against him has serious flaws and there were many suspicious events that took place that were beyond Oswald’s control.

Acting as sort of a public defender of Oswald, Fannin methodically tackles each piece of alleged “evidence” against Oswald and refutes each one by one.  And in the process, Fannin brings to our attention, the many fingerprints on the crime of U.S. Intelligence agencies and he even gives a highly plausible scenario of how the shooting might have been carried out.  Fannin points out that he will probably become and an enemy of the government for the book but published it regardless as he believes the American public is owed more than what we’ve been told all of these years.  The next release date for the remaining records held on the assassination are scheduled to be released in October, 2017.  In those records are thousands of pages of documents on many individuals long suspected by researchers as being complicit in Kennedy’s death.

Anyone who’s read books on this subject will know that they tend to be quite large and the information contained in them can be staggering.  The crime itself  is so complex that just one part of it is enough to fill up a shelf on a bookcase.  Fannin did an excellent job of keeping the book straight to the point and it never loses pace.  The information is exactly the right amount to get the reader to ask questions and do their own research. But at no point, does the book feel as if it’s information overload.  For those just starting to dive into the Kennedy assassination, this is a good place to start. And even for those, who are advanced researchers have read dozens of books on the crime, it’s a welcome addition the ever-growing collection of incredible books on this heinous crime.

ISBN-10: 0692532242
ISBN-13: 978-0692532249

Assassinations Uncategorized