Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Jimi Hendrix Political Harassment, Kidnap and Murder Experience

From The Covert War Against Rock (Feral House, 2000)

By Alex Constantine

"I don't believe for one minute that he killed himself. That was out of the question." — Chas Chandler, Hendrix Producer

"I believe the circumstances surrounding his death are suspicious and I think he was murdered." — Ed Chalpin, Proprietor of Studio 76

"I feel he was murdered, frankly. Somebody gave him something. Somebody gave him something they shouldn't have." — John McLaughlin, Guitarist, Mahavishnu Orchestra


He didn't die from a drug overdose. He was not an out-of-control dope fiend. Jimi Hendrix was not a junkie. And anyone who would use his death as a warning to stay away from drugs should warn people against the other things that killed Jimi—the stresses of dealing with the music industry, the craziness of being on the road, and especially, the dangers of involving oneself in a radical, or even unpopular, political movements.

COINTELPRO was out to do more than prevent a Communist menace from overtaking the United States, or keep the Black Power movement from burning down cities. COINTELPRO was out to obliterate its opposition and ruin the reputations of the people involved in the antiwar movement, the civil rights movement, and the rock revolution. Whenever Jimi Hendrix's death is blamed on drugs, it accomplishes the goals of the FBI's program. It not only slanders Jimi's personal and professional reputation, but the entire rock revolution in the 60's.
John Holmstrom. "Who Killed Jimi?"(1)

As the music of youth and resistance fell under the cross-hairs of the CIA's CHAOS war, it was probable that Jimi Hendrix—the tripping, peacenik "Black Elvis" of the '60s—should find himself a target.

Agents of the pathologically nationalistic FBI opened a file on Hendrix in 1969 after his appearance at several benefits for "subversive" causes. His most cutting insult to the state was participation in a concert for Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden, Bobby Seale and the other defendants of the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial.(2)

"Get [the] Black Panthers," he told a reporter for a teen magazine, "not to kill anybody, but to scare [federal officials]....I know it sounds like war, but that's what's gonna have to happen. It has to be a war....You come back to reality and there are some evil folks around and they want you to be passive and weak and peaceful so that they can just overtake you like jelly on bread. ... You have to fight fire with fire."(3)

On tour in Liesburg, Sweden, Hendrix was interviewed by Tommy Rander, a reporter for the Gotesborgs-Tidningen." In the USA, you have to decide which side you're on," Hendrix explained. "You are either a rebel or like Frank Sinatra."(4)

In 1979, college students at the campus newspaper of Santa Barbara University (USB) filed for release of FBI files on Hendrix. Six heavily inked-out pages were released to the student reporters. (The deletions nixed information "currently and properly classified pursuant to Executive Order 11652, in the interest of national defense of foreign policy.") On appeal, seven more pages were reluctantly turned over to the UCSB students. The file revealed that Hendrix had been placed on the federal Security Index, a list of "subversives" to be rounded up and placed in detainment camps in the event of a national emergency.

If the intelligence agencies had their reasons to keep tabs on Hendrix, they couldn't have picked a better man for the job than Hendrix's manager, Mike Jeffrey. Jeffrey, by his own admission an intelligence agent,(5) was born in South London in 1933, the sole child of postal workers. He completed his education in 1949, took a job as a clerk for Mobil Oil, was drafted to the National Service two years later. Jeffrey's scores in science took him to the Educational Corps. He signed on as a professional soldier, joined the Intelligence Corps and at this point his career enters an obscure phase.

Hendix biographers Shapiro & Glebeek report that Jeffrey often boasted of ...

"undercover work against the Russians, of murder, mayhem and torture in foreign cities. ... His father says Mike rarely spoke about what he did—itself perhaps indicative of the sensitive nature of his work—but confirms that much of Mike's military career was spent in 'civvies,' that he was stationed in Egypt and that he could speak Russian."(6)

There was, however, another, equally intriguing side of Mike Jeffrey: He frequently hinted that he had powerful underworld connections. It was common knowledge that he had had an abiding professional relationship with Steve Weiss, the attorney for both the Hendrix Experience and the Mafia-managed Vanilla Fudge, hailing from the law firm of Seingarten, Wedeen & Weiss. On one occasion, when drummer Mitch Mitchell found himself in a fix with police over a boat he'd rented and wrecked, mobsters from the Fudge management office intervened and pried him loose.(7)

Organized crime has had fingers in the recording industry since the jukebox wars. Mafioso Michael Franzene testified in open court in the late 1980s that "Sonny" Franzene, his stepfather, was a silent investor in Buddah Records. At this industry oddity, the inane, nasal, apolitical '60s "Bubblegum" song was blown from the goo of adolescent mating fantasies. The most popular of Buddah's acts were the 1910 Fruitgum Company and Ohio Express. These bands shared a lead singer, Joey Levine. Some cultural contributions from the Buddha label: "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy," "Simon Says," and "1-2-3 Red Light."

In 1971, Buddha Records' Bobby Bloom was killed in a shooting sometimes described as "accidental," sometimes "suicide," at the age of 28. Bloom made a number of solo records, including "Love Don't Let Me Down," and "Count On Me." He formed a partnership with composer Jeff Barry and they wrote songs for the Monkees in their late period. Bloom made the Top 10 with the effervescent "Montego Bay" in 1970. Other Mafia-managed acts of the late 1960s were equally apolitical: Vanilla Fudge ("You Keep Me Hangin' On," "Bang, Bang"),(9) Motown's Gladys Knight and the Pips, and Curtis Mayfield.(10) In the '60s and beyond, organized crime wrenched unto itself control of industry workers via the Teamsters Union. Trucking was Mob controlled. So were stadium concessions. No rock bands toured unless money exchanged hands to see that a band's instruments weren't delivered to the wrong airport.(11)

Intelligence agent or representative of the mob? Whether Jeffrey was either or both—and the evidence is clear that a CIA/Mafia combination has exercised considerable influence in the music industry for decades—at a certain point, Hendrix must have seen something that made him desperately want out of his management contract with Jeffrey.

Monika Dannemann, Hendrix's fiancé at the time of his death, describes Mike Jeffrey's control tactics, his attempts to isolate and manipulate Hendrix, with observations of his evolving awareness that Jeffrey was a covert operator bent on dominating his life and mind:

"Jimi felt more and more unsafe in New York, the city where he used to feel so much at home. It had begun to serve as a prison to him, and a place where he had to watch his back all the time.

"In May 1969 Jimi was arrested at Toronto for possession of drugs. He later told me he believed Jeffrey had used a third person to plant the drugs on him—as a warning, to teach him a lesson.

"Jeffrey had realized not only that Jimi was looking for ways of breaking out of their contract, but also that Jimi might have calculated that the Toronto arrest would be an easy way to silence Jimi.... Jeffrey did not like Jimi to have friends who would put ideas in his head and give him strength. He preferred Jimi to be more isolated, or to mix with certain people whom Jeffrey could use to influence and try to manipulate him.

"So in New York, Jimi felt at times that he was under surveillance, and others around him noticed the same. He tried desperately to get out of his management contract, and asked several people for advice on the best way to do it. Jimi started to understand the people around him could not be trusted, as things he had told them in confidence now filtered through to Jeffrey. Obviously some people informed his manager of Jimi's plans, possibly having been bought or promised advantages by Jeffrey. Jimi had always been a trusting and open person, but now he had reason to become suspicious of people he didn't know well, becoming quite secretive and keeping very much to himself."(12)

Five years after the death of the virtuoso, Crawdaddy reported that friends of Hendrix felt "he was very unhappy and confused before his death. Buddy Miles recalled 'numerous times he complained about his managers.' His chief roadie, Gerry Stickells, told Welch, "he became frustrated ... by a lot of people around him."(13)

Hendrix was obsessed with the troubles that Jeffrey and company brought to his life and career. The band's finances were entirely controlled by management and were depleted by a tax haven in the Bahamas founded in 1965 by Michael Jeffrey called Yameta Co., a subsidiary of the Bank of New Providence, with accounts at the Naussau branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Chemical Bank in New York.(14) A substantial share of the band's earnings had been quietly drained by Yameta. The banks where Jeffrey opened accounts have been officially charged with the laundering of drug proceeds, a universal theme of CIA/Mafia activity. (The Chemical Bank was forced to plead guilty to 445 misdemeanors in 1980 when a federal investigation found that bank officials had failed to report transactions they knew to derive from drug trafficking.(15) The Bank of Nova Scotia was a key investor in the Bank of Commerce and Credit International, BCCI, once described by Time magazine as "the most pervasive money-laundering operation and financial supermarket ever created," with ties to the upper echelons of several governments, the CIA, the Pentagon and the Vatican.(16) BCCI maintained warm relationships with international terrorists, and investigators turned up accounts for Libya, Syria and the PLO at BCCI's London branch, recalling Mike Jeffrey's military intelligence interest in the Middle East. And then there were bank records from Panama City relating to General Noriega. These "disappeared" en route to the District of Columbia under heavy DEA guard. An internal investigation later, DEA officials admitted they were at a loss to explain the theft.(17)

Friends of Hendrix, according to Electric Gypsy, confiscated financial documents from his New York office and turned them over to Jimi: "One showed that what was supposed to be a $10,000 gig was in fact grossing $50,000."

"Jimi Hendrix was upset that large amounts of his money were missing," reports rock historian R. Gary Patterson. Hendrix had discovered the financial diversions and took legal action to recover them.(18)

But there was another factor also involving funds.

Some of Hendrix's friends have concluded that "Jeffrey stood to make a greater sum of money from a dead Jimi Hendrix than a living one. There was also mention of a one million dollar insurance policy covering Hendrix's life made out with Jeffrey as the beneficiary." The manager of the Experience constructed "a financial empire based on the posthumous releases of Hendrix's previously unreleased recordings."(19) Crushing musical voices of dissent was proving to be an immensely profitable enterprise because a dead rocker leaves behind a fortune in publishing rights and royalties.

Roadies couldn't help but notice that Mike Jeffrey, a seasoned military intelligence officer, was capable of "subtle acts of sabotage against them," reports Shapiro. Jeffrey booked the Experience for a concert tour with the Monkees and Hendrix was forced to cancel when the agony of playing to hordes of 12-year-old children, and fear of a parental backlash, convinced him to bail out.

As for the arrest in Toronto, Hendrix confidantes blame Jeffrey for the planted heroin. The charges were dropped after Hendrix argued that the unopened container of dope had been dropped into his travel bag upon departure by a girl who claimed that it was cold medicine.(20)

In July, 1970, one month before his death, at precisely the time Hendrix stopped all communications with Jeffrey, he told Chuck Wein, a film director at Andy Warhol's Factory: "The next time I go to Seattle will be in a pine box."(21)

And he knew who would drop him in it. Producer Alan Douglas recalls that Hendrix "had a hang-up about the word 'manager.'" The guitarist had pled with Douglas, the proprietor of his own jazz label, to handle the band's business affairs. One of the most popular musicians in the world was desperate. He appealed to a dozen business contacts to handle his bookings and finances, to no avail.(22)

Meanwhile, the sabotage continued in every possible form. Douglas: "Regardless of whatever else Jimi wanted to do, Mike would keep pulling him back or pushing him back. ... And the way the gigs were routed! I mean, one nighters—he would do Ontario one night, Miami the next night, California the next night. He used to waste [Hendrix] on a tour—and never make too much money because the expenses were ridiculous."(23)

The obits were a jumbled lot of skewed, contradictory eulogies: "DRUGS KILL JIMI HENDRIX AT 24," "ROCK STAR IS DEAD IN LONDON AT 27," "OVERDOSE." Many of the obituaries dwelt on the "wild man of rock" image, but there were also many personal commentaries from reporters who followed his career closely, and they dismissed as hype reports of chronic drug abuse. Mike Ledgerwood, a writer for Disc and Music Echo, offered a portrait that the closest friends of Jimi Hendrix confirm: "Despite his fame and fortune—plus the inevitable hang-ups and hustles which beset his incredible career—he remained a quiet and almost timid individual. He was naturally helpful and honest." Sounds magazine "found a man of quite remarkable charm, an almost old-world courtesy."

Hendrix biographer Tony Brown has, since the mid-'70s, collected all the testimony he could find relating to Hendrix's death, and finds it "predictable": "The official cause of death was asphyxiation caused by inhaling his own vomit, but in the days and weeks leading up to the tragedy anyone with an ounce of common sense could see that Hendrix was heading for a terrible fall. Unfortunately, no one close to him managed to steer him clear of the maelstrom that was closing in." Brown sent a report based on his own investigation to the Attorney General's office in February, 1992, "in the hope that they would reopen the inquest into Jimi's death. The evidence was so strong that they ordered Scotland Yard detectives to conduct their own investigation."

Months later, detectives at the Yard responded to Sir Nicholas Lyle at the Attorney General's office, rejecting the proposal to revive the inquest.(24)

The pathologist's report left the cause of death "open."

Monika Dannemann had long insisted that Hendrix was murdered. At the time of her death, she had brought media attention to the case in a bitter and highly-publicized court battle with former Hendrix girlfriend Kathy Etchningham. On April 5, 1996, her body was discovered in a fume-filled car near her home in Seaford, Sussex, south England. Police dismissed the death as a "suicide" and the corporate press took dictation. But the Eastern Daily Press, a newspaper that circulates in the East Anglian region of the UK, raised another possibility: "Musician Uli Jon Roth, speaking at the thatched cottage where Miss Dannemann lived, said last night: 'The thing looks suspicious. She had a lot of death threats against her over the years....I always felt that she was really being crucified in front of everybody, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.' Mr Roth, formerly with the group The Scorpions, said Miss Danneman 'is not a person to do something to herself.'" Roth threw one more inconsistency on the lot: "She didn't believe in the concept of suicide."

Devon Wilson, another Hendrix paramour, in Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell's view, "died under mysterious circumstances herself a few years later."

Red, Red Wine

Was Hendrix murdered while under the influence? Stanton Steele, an authority on addiction, offers a seemingly plausible explanation: "Extremely intoxicated people while asleep often lose the reflexive tendency to clear one's throat of mucus, or they may strangle in their vomit. This appeared to have happened to Jimi Hendrix, who had taken both alcohol and prescription barbiturates the night of his death."(26)

Evidence has recently come to light clarifying the cause of death — extreme alcohol consumption aggravated by the barbiturates in Hendrix's bloodstream — drowning. Hendrix is said to have choked to death after swallowing nine Vesperax sleeping tablets. This is not the lethal dose he'd have taken if suicide was the intent—he surely would have swallowed the remaining 40 or so pills in the packets Dannemann gave him if this was the idea—as Eric Burdon, the Animals' vocalist and a friend of Hendrix, has suggested over the years.

Hendrix was not felled by a drug overdose, as many news reports claimed. The pills were a sleeping aid, and not a very effective one at that. The two Vesperax that Dannemann saw him take before she fell asleep at 3 am failed to put him under. He had taken a Durophet 20 amphetamine capsule at a dinner party the evening before. And then Hendrix, a chronic insomniac with an escalated tolerance level for barbiturates, had tried the Vesperax before and they proved ineffective. He apparently believed nine tablets would do him no harm.

At 10 am, Dannemann awoke and went out for a pack of cigarettes, according to her inquest testimony. When she returned, he was sick. She phoned Eric Bridges, a friend, and informed him that Hendrix wasn't well. "Half asleep," Bridges reported in his autobiography, "I suggested she give him hot coffee and slap his face. If she needed any more help to call me back." Dannemann called the ambulance at 18 minutes past eleven. The ambulance arrived nine minutes later. Hendrix was not, she claimed, in critical condition. She said the paramedics checked his pulse and breathing, and stated there was "nothing to worry about."

But a direct contradiction came in an interview with Reg Jones, one of the attendants, who insisted that Dannemann wasn't at the flat when they arrived, and that Hendrix was already dead. "It was horrific," Jones said. "We arrived at the flat and the door was flung wide open...."I knew he was dead as soon as I walked into the room." Ambulance attendant John Suau confirmed, "we knew it was hopeless. There was no pulse, no respiration."(27)

The testimonies of Dannemann and medical personnel at the 1970 inquest are disturbingly contradictory. Hendrix, the medical personnel stated, had been dead for at least seven hours by the time the ambulance arrived. Dr. Rufus Compson at the Department of Forensic Medicine at St. George's Medical School undertook his own investigation. He referred to the original medical examiner's report and discovered that there were rice remains in Hendrix's stomach. It takes three-four hours for the stomach to empty, he reasoned, and the deceased ate Chinese food at a dinner party hosted by Pete Cameron between the hours of 11 pm and midnight, placing the time of death no later than 4 am.(28) This is consistent with the report of Dr. Bannister, the surgical registrar, that "the inside of his mouth and mucous membranes were black because he had been dead for some time." Dr. Bannister told the London Times, "Hendrix had been dead for hours rather than minutes when he was admitted to the hospital."(29)

The inquest itself was "unusual," Tony Brown notes, because "none of the other witnesses involved were called to give their evidence, nor was any attempt made to ascertain the exact time of death," as if the subject was to be avoided. The result was that the public record on this basic fact in the case may have been incorrectly cited by scores of reporters and biographers. Tony Brown: "Even [medical examiner] Professor Teare made no attempt to ascertain the exact time of death. The inquest appeared to be conducted merely as a formality and had not been treated by the coroner as a serious investigation."(30)

In 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky (1996), Bill Henderson describes the inquest and its aftermath: "Those who followed his death....noticed many inconsistencies in the official inquest. It has been an open and shut affair that managed to hide its racist intent behind the public perceptual hoax of Hendrix as a substance abuser....As a result, millions of people all over the world thought that Hendrix had died that typical rock star's death: drug OD amid fame, opulence, decadence. But it seems that Hendrix could very well have been the victim not of decadence, but of foul play."(31)

Forensic tests submitted at the inquest have been supplemented over the years by new evidence that makes a reconstruction of the murder possible. In October, 1991, Steve Roby, publisher of Straight Ahead, a Hendrix fanzine, asked, "What Really Happened?": "Kathy Etchingham, a close friend/lover of Jimi's, and Dee Mitchell, Mitch Mitchell's wife, spent many months tracking down former friends and associates of Hendrix, and are convinced they have solved the mystery of the final hours." Central to reconstructing Hendrix's death is red wine. Dr. Bannister reports that after the esophagus had been cleared, "masses" of red wine were "coming out of his nose and out of his mouth." The wine gushing up in great volume from Hendrix's lungs "is very vivid because you don't often see people who have drowned in their own red wine. He had something around him—whether it was a towel or a jumper—around his neck and that was saturated with red wine. His hair was matted. He was completely cold. I personally think he probably died a long time before....He was cold and he was blue."(32)

Henderson writes:

The abstract morbidity of Hendrix's body upon discovery may indicate a more complex scenario than has been commonly held. Hendrix was not a red wine guzzler, especially in the amounts found in and around his body. He was known to be moderate in his consumption. If he was 'sleeping normally,' then why was he fully clothed? And how could the ambulance attendants have missed seeing someone who was supposed to be there? The garment, or towel, around his neck is totally mysterious given the scenario so widely distributed. But it is consistent with the doctor's statement that he drowned. Was he drowned by force? In a radio interview broadcast out of Holland in the early '70s, an unnamed girlfriend answered 'yes' to the question, 'Was Hendrix killed by the Mafia?'"(33)

Tony Brown, in Hendrix: The Final Days (1997), correlates the consumption of the wine to the approximate time of death: "It's unlikely that he drank the quantity of red wine found by Dr. Bannister.... Therefore, Jimi must have drunk a large quantity of red wine just prior to his death," suggesting that the quantity of alcohol in his lungs was the direct cause.(34)

The revised time of death, 3-4 am, contradicts the gap in the official record, and so does the revelation that Jimi Hendrix drowned in red wine. While it is common knowledge that Hendrix choked to death, it has only recently come to light that the wine—not the Verparex—was the primary catalyst of death. Hendrix was, the evidence suggests, forced to drink a quantity of wine. The barbiturates, as Brown notes, "seriously inhibited Jimi's normal cough reflex." Unable to cough the wine back up, "it went straight down into his lungs....It is quite possible that he thrashed about for some time, fighting unsuccessfully to gain his breath."(35) It is doubtful that Hendrix would have continued to swallow the wine in "massive" volumes had it begun to fill his lungs. One explanation that explains the forensic evidence is that Jimi Hendrix was restrained, wine forced down his throat until his thrashings ceased. All of this must have taken place quickly, before the alcohol had time to enter his bloodstream. The post mortem report states that the blood alcohol level was not excessive, about 20mg over the legal drinking limit. He died before his stomach absorbed much of the wine. Jimi Hendrix choked to death. That much of the general understanding of his demise is correct, and little else.

The kidnapping, embezzling and numerous shady deceptions would make Jeffrey the leading suspect in any proper police investigation. And his reaction at the news of Hendrix's death did little to dispel any suspicions that associates may have harbored. Jim Marron, a nightclub owner from Manhattan, was vacationing with Jeffrey in Spain when word of the musician's death reached him. "We were supposed to have dinner that night in Majorca," Marron recalls. Jeffrey "called me from his club in Palma saying that we would have to cancel....I've just got word from London. Jimi's dead." The manager of the Hendrix Experience took the news completely in stride. "I always knew that son of a bitch would pull a quickie," Jeffrey told Marron.

"Basically, he had lost a major property. You had the feeling that he had just lost a couple of million dollars—and was the first to realize it. My first reaction was, Oh my God, my friend is dead."(36) But Jeffrey reacted coldly, comparing the fatality to a fleeting sexual romp in the afternoon.

His odd behavior continued in the days following the death of Hendrix. He appeared to be consumed by guilt, and on one occasion "confessed." On September 20, recording engineer Alan Douglas received a call from Jeffrey, who wanted to see him. Douglas drove to the hotel where Jeffrey was staying. "He was bent over, in misery from a recent back injury. We started talking and he let it all out. It was like a confession."

"In my opinion," Douglas observed, "Jeffrey hated Hendrix."

Bob Levine, the band's merchandising manager, was perplexed by Jeffrey's response to the tragedy. First, Hendrix's manager dropped completely out of sight. "We tried calling all of Jeffrey's contacts....trying to reach him. We were getting frustrated because Hendrix's body was going to be held up in London for two weeks and we wanted Jeffrey's input on the funeral service. A full week after Hendrix's death, he finally called. Hearing his voice, I immediately asked what his plans were and would he be going to Seattle. 'What plans?' he asked. I said, 'the funeral.' 'What funeral?' he replied. I was exasperated: 'Jimi's!' The phone went quiet for a while and then he hung up. The whole office was staring at me, unable to believe that with all the coverage on radio, print and television, Jeffrey didn't know that Jimi had died." As noted, Jeffrey had been notified and almost grieved, in his fashion. "He called back in five minutes and we talked quietly. He said, 'Bob, I didn't know,' and was asking about what had happened. While I didn't confront him, I knew he was lying."(37)

It was reported that Michael Jeffrey "paid his respects" sitting in a limousine parked outside Dunlap Baptist Church in Seattle. He refused to go inside for the eulogy.(38) Hendrix was buried at the family plot at Greenwood Cemetary in Renton.

Screenwriter Alan Greenberg was hired to write a screenplay for a film on the life of Jimi Hendrix. He traveled to England and taped an interview with Dannemann shortly before her death in April, 1996. In that interview, Dannemann sketched in more details of Jeffrey's skullduggery, which continued after Hendrix's death and has long been concealed behind a wall of misconceptions. On the Greenberg tapes, Dannemann denied allegations of heroin use, as do others close to Hendrix: "You should put that into the right perspective since all of the youngsters still think he was a drug addict. The problem was, when he died, I was told by the coroner not to talk until after the inquest, so that's why all these wild stories came out that he overdosed from heroin." The coroner found no injection tracks on Hendrix's body. That he snorted the opiate, a charge advanced by biographer Chris Welch in Hendrix, is disputed by Jimi's closest friends. He indulged primarily in marijuana and LSD. The popular misconception that Hendrix was a heroin addict lingers on but should have been buried with him. One of rock's greatest talents was maliciously smeared by the press on this count.

At times, the public has been deliberately misled about Hendrix's drug habits. Kathy Etchingham, a former girlfriend, was deceived into giving an article about Jimi to a friend in the corporate media, and it was snatched up by a newspaper, rewritten, and the story that emerged depicted the guitarist as a violent and drug-infested lunatic. The editor later apologized in writing to Kathy for falsifying the record, but failed to retract in print.(39) Media swipes at Hendrix to this day are often unreasonably vicious, as in this transparent attempt to shape public opinion from London's Times on December 14, 1993:

Not only did [Hendrix] leave several memorable compositions behind him; he left a good-looking corpse. Kathy Etchnigham, a middle-class mother of two, who used to be one of Hendrix's lovers, still mourns his passing and is seeking to persuade the police that there is something suspicious about the circumstances in which he died. Quite why she should bother is hard to say. Perhaps she is bored.

Hendrix, we are advised, "lived an absurdly self-indulgent life and died, in essence, of stupidity."

Close friends of Jimi Hendrix suggest that Jeffrey was the front man for a surreptitious sponsor, the FBI, CIA or Mafia. In 1975, Crawdaddy magazine launched its own investigation and concluded that a death squad of some kind had targeted him: "Hendrix is not the only artist to have had his career sabotaged by unscrupulous sharks and leeches." The recent memory of the death of Average White Band drummer Robby McIntosh from strychnine-laced heroin circulating at a party in L.A. "only serves to update this fact of rock-and-roll life. But an industry that accepts these tragedies in cold blood demonstrates its true nature—and the Jimi Hendrix music machine cranks out, unencumbered by the absence of Hendrix himself. One wonders who'll be the next in line?"(40)

On March 5, as if in reply, Michael Jeffrey, every musician's nightmare, was blown out of the sky in an airplane collision over France, enroute to a court appearance in London related to Hendrix. Jeffrey was returning from Palma aboard an Iberia DC-9 in the midst of a French civil air traffic control strike. Military controllers were called in as a contingency replacements for the controllers. Hendrix biographer Bill Henderson considers the midair collision fuel for "paranoia." The nature of military airline control "necessitated rigorous planning, limited traffic on each sector and strict compliance with regulations. The DC-9 however was assigned to the same flight over Nantes as a Spantax Coronado, which 'created a source of conflict.' And because of imprecise navigation, lack of complete radar coverage and imperfect radio communications, the two planes collided. The Coronado was damaged but remained airworthy; no one was injured. The DC-9 crashed, killing all 61 passengers and seven crew . . . ." There are [theories] that Jeffrey was merely a tool, a mouthpiece for the real villains lurking in the wings, that he was "the target of assassination."(41)

A quarter-century after Hendrix died, his father finally won control of the musical legacy. Under a settlement signed in 1995, the rights to his son's music were granted to 76-year-old Al Hendrix, the sole heir to the estate. The agreement, settled in court, forced Hendrix to drop a fraud suit filed two years earlier against Leo Branton Jr., the L.A. civil rights attorney who represented Angela Davis and Nat King Cole. Hendrix accused his lawyer of selling the rights to the late rock star's publishing catalogue without consent.

Hendrix, Sr. filed the suit on April 19, 1993, after learning that MCA Music Entertainment—a company rife with Mafia connections—was readying to snatch up his son's recording and publishing rights from two international companies that claimed to own them. The MCA deal, estimated to be worth $40 million, was put on hold after objections were raised in a letter to the Hollywood firm from Hendrix. By this time, Experience albums generated more than $3-million per a Ênnum in royalties, and $1-million worth of garments, posters and paraphernalia bearing his name and likeness are sold each year. All told, Al Hendrix received $2-million over the next 20 years.(42)


1. John Holstrom, "Who Killed Jimi?" Lions Gate Media Works, Dont_Live_Today.html.

2. John Raymond and Marv Glass, "The FBI Investigated Jimi Hendrix," Common Ground, University of Santa Barbara, CA student newspaper, vol. iv, no. 9, June 7, 1979, P. 1.

3. "Jimi Hendrix, Black Power and Money," Teenset, January, 1969.

4. Tony Brown, Hendrix: The Final Days, London: Rogan House, 1997, p. 43.

5. On Mike Jeffrey's undefined politics, see: John McDermott with Eddie Kramer, Hendrix: Setting the Record Straight, New York: Warner, 1992, p. 180.

6. Harry Shapiro and Ceasar Glebbeek, Jimi Hendrix, Electric Gypsy, New York: St. Martin's, 1990, p. 120.

7. Bill Henderson, "IT'S LIKE TRYING TO GET OUT OF A ROOM FULL OF MIRRORS," Jimi Hendrix web page, http://www.rockmine. html.

8. Fredric Dannen, Hit Men: Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Industry, New York: Times Books, 1990, p. 164-5.

9. Shapiro and Glebbeek, Jimi Hendrix, Electric Gypsy, New York: St. Martin's, 1990, p. 294. The Fudge once booked a tour with Jimi Hendrixs, per arrangement between the band's mobbed-up management and Michael Jeffrey, Hendrix's manager.

10. Dannen, p. 165.

11. Shapiro and Glebbeek, p. 295.

12. Monika Dannemann, The Inner World of Jimi Hendrix, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995, pp. 76-8.

13, John Swenson, "The Last Days of Jimi Hendrix," Crawdaddy, January, 1975, p. 43.

14. Ibid., p. 488 ff.

15. "Banks and Narcotics Money Flow in Suth Florida," U.S. Senate Banking Committee report, 96th Congress, June 5-6, 1980, p. 201.

16. Jonathon Kwitny, The Crimes of Patriots: A True Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA, New York: Touchstone, 1987, p. 153.

17. Josh Rodin, "BANK OF CROOKS AND CRIMINALS?" Topic 105, Christic News, Aug 6, 1991.

18. R. Gary Patterson, Hellhounds on Their Trail: Tales from the Rock-n'-Roll Graveyard, Nashville, Tennessee: Dowling Press, 1998, p. 208.

19. Ibid.

20. Shapiro and Glebbeek, p. 473.

21. Shapiro and Glebbeek, p. 477.

22. Swenson. In Crosstown Traffic (1989), Charles Murray reports that Hendrix "began consulting independent lawyers and accountants with a view of sorting out his tangled finances and freeing himself from Mike Jeffrey" (p. 55).

23. Henderson Web site.

24. Brown, p. 7.

25. Mitch Mitchell with John Platt, Jimi Hendrix—Inside the Experience, New York: St. Martin's, 1990, p. 160.

26. Stanton Steele, "The Human Side Of Addiction: What caused John Belushi's death?" U.S. Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, April 1982, p. 7.

27. David Henderson, 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky, New York: Bantam, 1996, pp. 389-90.

28. Brown, p. 164.

29. Henderson, p. 392.

30. Brown, p. 163.

31. Henderson, p. 388.

32. Ibid., p. 392.

33. Henderson, 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky, p. 393. If the Mafia did indeed participate, Hendrix wasn't the first Afrifcan-American musician to have a contract on his head. In May 1955, jazz saxman Wardell Gray was murdered, probably by Mafia hitmen. Gray had toured with Benny Goodman and Count Basie in 1948. His remarkable recording sessions of the late 1940s, especially with Dexter Gordon, brought him fame. Bill Moody, a jazz drummer and disk jockey, published a novel in 1996, Death of a Tenor Man, based on the life and death of Grey. "It's strange," a publisher's press release comments, "that 1950s Las Vegas, a town in which the Mob and corrupt police worked hand in glove, became the home of the first integrated nightclub in the country. The Moulin Rouge was owned by blacks and had the honor of being the only casino hotel in Vegas that allowed African-Americans to mingle with white customers. On opening night, Nat 'King' Cole and Frank Sinatra sat in with Benny Carter's band. The second night, Wardell Gray, a black sax player in the Carter band with a growing reputation, was beaten to death. The police said he overdosed and 'fell out of bed,' dying later 'of complications.' Some suspected Gray's death was the Mob's way of telling the African-American businessmen who backed the Moulin Rouge that 'this town isn't big enough for the both of us.' Gray's murder has never been investigated. It "hung over the Moulin Rouge like a storm cloud" and remains unsolved. The casino went out of business a few months later.

And the 1961 attempt on the life of soul singer Jackie Wilson has never been rationally explained. Wilson was shot in the stomach by a fan supposedly trying to "prevent a fan from killing herself." He recovered from the assault and went on to release "No Pity (In the Naked City)," and "Higher and Higher."

The Halloween, 1975 murder of Al Jackson, percussionist for Booker T. and the MGs, at the age of 39, also appeared to be a premeditated hit. Barbara Jackson, his wife, was the sole eyewitness. She told police, according to Rolling Stone, that she "arrived home on the night of the shooting and was met by a gun-wielding burglar who tied her hands behind her back with an ironing cord." Al Jackson, who'd been taking in a closed circuit telecast of the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fight, arrived an hour later. Any burglar would have collected valuables in the house and fled by this time, but he waited a full hour for Jackson to return home. Babara Jackson was freed from the ropes and the "burglar" ordered her at gunpoint to open the door for him. "After confronting Jackson and asking him for money, the intruder forced him to lie on the floor. He then shot Jackson five times in the back and left." (Rolling Stone, November 1975)

34. Brown, p. 165.

35. Brown, pp. 165-66.

36. McDermott and Kramer, pp. 286-87.

37. Ibid.

38. Ibid.

39. Shapiro and Glebeek, p. 474.

40. Swenson, p. 45.

41. Henderson Web site.

42. Chuck Philips, "Father to Get Hendrix Song, Image Rights," Los Angeles Times (home edition), July 26, 1995, p. 1. Also named as defendants were producer Alan Douglas and several firms that have profited from the Hendrix catalogue since 1974 under contracts negotiated by Branton: New York-based Bella Godiva Music Inc; Presentaciones Musicales SA (PMSA), a Panamanian corporation; Bureau Voor Muzeikrechten Elber B. V. in the Netherlands; and Interlit, based in the Virgin Islands.

Branton negotiated two contracts in early 1974—signed by Al Hendrix—that relinquished all rights to his son's "unmastered" tapes for $50,000 to PMSA and all his stock in Bella Godiva, his son's music publishing company, for $50,000."PMSA and the other overseas companies were later discovered to be part of a tax shelter system created by Harry Margolis," reported the L.A. Times, "a Saratoga attorney whom federal prosecutors charged but never convicted of tax fraud. The tax shelter plan collapsed after Margolis' death in 1987, and also [prompted] complaints from the estates of other entertainment clients, including singer Nat King Cole, screenwriter Larry Hauben as well as from followers of New Age philosopher Werner Erhard, who allegedly stashed revenues from his EST enterprise in the foreign account."

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Majority of GOP Voters Think ACORN Stole the ‘08 Election for Obama

Greg Craig's Ties to Republican PR Firm

Also see: Karl Rove's buddy resigns post as WH Counsel

Obama's White House Counsel Has Ties to Republican PR Firm | August 5, 2009

The Obama administration's White House counsel has financial ties to a Republican-oriented government-relations firm in Washington, D.C., according to a whistleblower in the Don Siegelman case.

Greg Craig's most recent financial-disclosure form shows that he was paid by Ogilvy Government Relations, says Alabama attorney Jill Simpson. The firm had been known as the Federalist Group before changing its name in 2007 after Democrats took over the U.S. House of Representatives.

Simpson's revelations come on the heels of a report yesterday in the Wall Street Journal that Craig might soon step down from his role in the Obama White House.

Simpson has firsthand knowledge of Ogilvy/Federalist Group. She served as a Republican opposition researcher and participated in a conference call about GOP plans to coordinate a political prosecution of Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy. Simpson testified under oath that Alabama Republican operatives, led by Business Council of Alabama CEO Bill Canary, had worked out the plan with Bush White House strategist Karl Rove.

Simpson also has firsthand experience with Greg Craig. Then a lawyer with the D.C. firm of Williams & Connolly, Craig talked with Simpson about representing her prior to her testimony before the House Judiciary Committee in fall 2007. Simpson shared her story about Rove's role in the Siegelman case before Craig backed out, saying he had a conflict.

After learning that Craig had represented Rove professionally and been a longtime personal friend, Simpson wrote a letter to Craig, demanding that he step down from any matters in the Obama White House related to the Bush administration. Simpson also voiced her suspicions that Craig violated legal ethics by sharing her privileged information with Rove.

Craig's ties to Ogilvy/Federalist Group should be a concern to anyone who hopes to see the Obama administration govern in a progressive manner, Simpson says. In fact, she is quite familiar with the firm's two principals--Stewart Hall, an Alabama native, and Wayne Berman:

The Federalist Group had close ties to the Bush White House. In fact, the gentlemen who ran it are Stewart Hall and Wayne Berman, who are very close to Karl Rove and George W. Bush. In fact, (Berman's wife) worked as the social secretary to both Mrs Cheney and Mrs Bush.

Simpson has stated under oath that Hall is friends with Rob Riley, an Alabama attorney and son of Governor Bob Riley. In fact, Federalist Group played a major role in Bob Riley's 2002 campaign, the one that ended with Don Siegelman mysteriously losing votes overnight in south Alabama, giving Riley the victory. Says Simpson:

Many may remember my testimony about Mr. Hall being close friends with young Mr. Riley. Well basically it is that office that helped run Bob Riley for Governor in 2002, and it is where many got together to plan for Bob Riley to get elected.

At the time, Mr. Craig . . . was the lawyer for all of Richard Shelby’s business endeavors and apparently the lawyer for Stewart Hall and Mr. Berman. So when we aren't getting any help (from the Obama White House on justice issues), one only has to look at Mr. Craig’s financial statements to see that he was paid a large portion of his last year's (income) before going into the White House by the Alabama gang who work at Ogilvy and also who had an interest in Digital Fusion.

And what is Digital Fusion? Simpson explains:

Digital Fusion is a company in Huntsville that got a $117 million contract guarding missiles and is invested in by certain individuals out of the Federalist Group/Ogilvy PR firm. I suspect that is why we have not received to date any relief from the White House in the Siegelman matter. A sad reality in Washington is that often money speaks louder than words about truth and justice.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tea Party leader and regular CNN, Fox News guest Mark Williams repeatedly calls opponents "faggot"

Yes, Mark Williams has a "lefty-liberal lobe," ie. his ear is pierced and bejewelled with a tiny onyx stud. Pretty, witty and, ah, confirmation from Williams himself is here.

" ... In a December 26, 2007, post, Williams referred to former President Jimmy Carter as a 'creepy little faggot' ... "


Reverberations of the JF Kennedy Murder and Cover-Up: Karl Rove Link to the Connick Family

Law and order Republican, conservatively-principled Karl Rove

"And I shouted out: 'Who killed the Kennedys?' ... " - Rolling Stones

Explanatory note: This may be the first part of a series on reverberations from Dallas, 11-22-63, a day that saw the country derailed and sent on a corporate/fascist timeline that culminated with the Bush bund in the White House, and even some of Obama's key appointments (eg. Eric Holder & associates from Covington & Burling, a law firm nearly as relevant to the assassination as Mudge, Rose). If my readers are responsive, there will be more on contemporary consequences of the Dallas coup.

Every one of us pays - many in blood - for graciously permitting Kennedy's killers to get away with it. (Aren't we the good little "patriots?")

"He was a friend of mine ... " - The Byrds

Harry Connick succeeded Jim Garrison as district attorney in New Orleans, in which capacity he refused to release documents related to the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Connick even refused to comply with a subpeona for the official records (see second installment below).

Criers of "conspiracy theory" can kiss my a**.

- AC
Letter from a Blacklist reader:


I've been researching Karl Rove's Florida land/home. Interestingly a man named Edward Connick built Rove's house at Rosemary Beach, FL. It appears this Connick family originates in Louisiana, and there is/was a D.A. there (Harry Connick, Jr's father, Harry, Sr.) involved someway in the Kennedy coverup. The Connick family is Irish Catholic. I found it an interesting note. It appears they are "kinfolk." Harry Connick, Jr. has his businesses in Massachusetts.

Other customers of the Connick Construction Co:

Home in Walton County, Florida....

Oliver Fuselier - Hollywood, LA, Studio City, Santa Rosa Beach, age: 53
Exec produecr at Incubator Films.. Director Lance Kelleher, Exec Producer Oliver Fuselier

Locations, LA, Studio City, West Hollywood, Glendale, Santa Rosa Beach, Tarzana, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Woodland Hills,

Music video by The Triplets performing You Don't Have To Go Home Tonight with Jim Shea, Oliver Fuselier (C) Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Madonna Bad Girl producer Oliver Fuselier, written by M Ciccone, and S pettibone...
4/2006 Hugh J Stiel of 171 Audobon Blvd, New Orleans purchased the property..from Fuselier and Haynes.. PO Address 58 Gulf Ridge Drive< Santa Rosa beach for... 1,500,000.00

Stiel has a company: "Doctors Associates" which is, I think actually SUBWAY...
Company Name: Doctor's Associates Inc. dba Subway
Headquarters: 325 Bic Dr. [map]
Milford, CT, 06461-3059
Retail: Restaurants and Bars
Employees 10K - 50K
Revenue > $1B
Ownership Privately Held
Last Updated by angeleyz ( 85 ) 88% on 06/02/2009

Washington, D.C.

Press Release

JFK Assassination Records Review Board Subpoenas Garrison Records From New Orleans District Attorney

Washington, March 7, 1996: The Assassination Records Review Board announced today that it has subpoenaed records from the investigation into the assassination of President Kennedy conducted by former New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. The records are held by current New Orleans District Attorney Harry Connick. Connick has failed to comply with the subpoena. A federal judge in New Orleans did not grant a motion by the District Attorney to quash the subpoena, and ordered the parties to arrange for a convenient time for the transfer of documents to the Review Board. Connick has failed to comply with the judges order and the Board is now seeking enforcement of it.

The Review Board took this step to ensure that the public interest in these assassination records is protected, said the Honorable John R. Tunheim, Chair of the Review Board. It is still our hope and desire to resolve this matter without lengthy legal proceedings.

The subpoena required the District Attorney to produce all documents and records in [his] possession, custody or control relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, including but not limited to handwritten notes, memoranda, drawings, photographs, tape recordings, and correspondence that relate to the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Clay Shaw by former New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, with the exception of any grand jury materials still extant in the possession of the District Attorneys Office.

Connick did not produce the records by February 16, 1996, as required by the subpoena. On February 16, Judge Marcel Livaudais, Jr., of the U.S.

District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, ordered the Review Board and Connick to find a mutually agreeable time for production of the documents in New Orleans. Connick has failed to agree to a time to produce the documents. The Review Board filed papers today in the U.S. District Court in New Orleans seeking enforcement of Judge Livaudais order.

District Attorney Connick told the Review Board last summer that he would donate the files from Garrisons assassination investigation that remain in his office for inclusion in

the JFK Assassination Records Collection. The subpoena was issued after the District Attorney had failed to forward the Garrison-era records to the Review Board during the last eight months, despite the Review Boards repeated attempts to encourage Connick to do so. The records are defined as assassination records within the meaning of the Boards governing statute, The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 (JFK Act).

Another matter related to the Garrison assassination investigation records is pending between the Review Board and District Attorney Connick. In July 1995, the Board received an unsolicited shipment of records that allegedly are Grand Jury transcripts from the Garrison investigation. These records have not been made public by the Board. The law presumes that the Board will preserve assassination records, such as the Garrison Grand Jury records, in its possession for inclusion in the JFK Assassination Records Collection at the National Archives. District Attorney Connick has sought the return of these records. The Review Board has not returned the documents, citing its legal obligation under the JFK Act, but has repeatedly offered to seek a resolution of the matter with the District Attorney. Connick has refused to engage in any discussions with the Board. The Assassination Records Review Board was established by The President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, which was signed into law by President George Bush. The five members of the Board were appointed by President Clinton, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and sworn in on April 11, 1994. The law gives the Review Board the mandate and the authority to identify, secure, and make available all records related to the assassination of President Kennedy. It is the responsibility of the Board to determine which records are to be made public immediately and which ones will have postponed release dates.

Will Donor Scandals Doom Crist's Senate bid?

" ... Three of Crist's top fund-raisers have been hamstrung by federal investigations in the past nine months, and a fourth, Jupiter sports agent and real estate investor Marc Roberts, is facing a federal lawsuit alleging he defrauded a business partner out of $100 million to support his own 'lavish personal lifestyle.' ... "

What's Wrong with this RFID Chip?

RFID chip brought to you by the Carlyle Group and Matrics, Inc.

Baltimore: Cultist Withdraws Guilty Plea in Baby's Death

By BEN NUCKOLS (AP) | Oct 30, 2009

BALTIMORE — A former member of a defunct religious cult has backed out of a plea deal and will face trial on charges he and others starved a toddler to death.

Marcus Cobbs had agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of accessory after the fact. But his attorney abruptly withdrew the plea Friday morning after a dispute with prosecutors over the conditions of his release.

Cobbs will now face trial along with three other members of the cult on murder and child abuse charges in the death of 1-year-old Javon Thompson.

According to a statement read in court, Cobbs helped the cult members cover up Javon's death by destroying evidence and stuffing the toddler's body in a suitcase.

Cobbs would have received a five-year suspended sentence under the plea deal.
From: Guilty Plea Withdrawn In Cult Member Murder Case | Oct 30, 2009

... Marcus Cobbs, one of the four cult members charged in the toddler's death, had just entered a guilty plea to accessory after the fact. In return, no prison time, an outrage to Javon's grandmother. Under the plea deal, Cobbs agreed to testify against cult leader Queen Antoinette, that she ordered the boy be starved.

Also that the child's mother Ria Ramkissoon followed those orders, and her son died; that the body was kept propped up in a Baltimore home awaiting resurrection, and that Cobbs packed the boy's body in a suitcase and later helped hide it in a storage shed in Philadelphia.

Cobbs' attorney abruptly withdrew the plea Friday morning after a dispute with prosecutors over the conditions of his release. Cobbs now faces trial along with three other members of the cult on murder and child abuse charges in the death of 1-year-old Javon.

Prosecutors still have Ramkissoon. She's plead guilty and is expected to testify against the cult -- provided Queen Antoinette's hold over her has been broken.

Trial for the four cult members is set to begin January 27.
Circumstances of the Baby's Death

Police: 'Cult' Starved Boy Who Wouldn't Say 'Amen'
(AP) | Aug 12, 2008

The remains of a toddler were found inside a suitcase inside this shed in South Philadelphia in April of this year.

Ria Ramkissoon, the mother of Javon Thompson, was charged Sunday with first-degree murder in the boy's death, and Baltimore police said Monday that three other members of a group called 1 Mind Ministries have also been charged with first-degree murder. Police and Ramkissoon's family say the group is a cult.

Members did not seek medical care for Javon when he stopped breathing, and the boy died in his mother's arms, according to court documents that described police interviews with a confidential informant and two children.

He would have been about 15 months old when police say adults stopped feeding him in December 2006.

Ramkissoon, 21, was being held Monday in the psychiatric ward of Baltimore's Central Booking and Intake Center, and a bail review was postponed until Tuesday. Her public defender declined comment.

The three other people charged in Javon's death -- Queen Antoinette, 40, also known as Toni Ellsberry or Toni Sloan; Marcus Cobbs, 21; and Trevia Williams, who turns 21 Tuesday -- were already in custody.

They were arrested in May in New York City on warrants charging them with failure to appear in court in Baltimore. Those charges stemmed from a scuffle with police in a child custody dispute.

No one answered the phone Monday afternoon in the office of a public defender assigned to Antoinette, Cobbs and Williams.

A fifth alleged cult member, Steven Bynum, has been charged in a warrant with first-degree murder and remains at large, police said Monday. He was believed to be in New York.

Ramkissoon's family said she should not be held responsible for her son's death.

"She had no control over that situation at all," her stepfather, Craig Newton, said Monday.

Ramkissoon's mother, Seeta Khadan-Newton, told The (Baltimore) Sun on Sunday that it wasn't her daughter's decision not to feed the boy.

"My daughter was a victim, just like my grandson," Khadan-Newton said. "Somebody made that decision to not feed that child, and my daughter had to follow instructions."

Members of 1 Mind Ministries wore all white, swore off medical care and referred to some members with titles including queen and princess, according to court documents. The group was also accused of insisting that a pregnant woman give birth without access to doctors.

Ramkissoon joined 1 Mind Ministries after Javon was born. Ramkissoon's mother last saw her in April 2006; she later sued for custody of her grandson, writing in a letter to a judge that "the cult leaders" were preventing her from contacting her daughter. The documents show police interviewed two school-age children who had been part of the group but were taken away from members by Philadelphia police. The children told investigators that members stopped feeding Javon in December 2006, in part because the boy refused to say "amen" after dinner.

Members also viewed Javon as "a demon."

Another unnamed informant told police that after Javon died, Antoinette left the boy's body in a room for more than a week, claiming "God was going to raise Javon from the dead," the documents show.

Afterward, Antoinette burned the boy's clothing and a mattress and placed his body in a green suitcase, which she would periodically open and spray with disinfectant to mask the odor, police claim in the court documents.

In early 2007, the group members left Baltimore for Philadelphia. They left the green suitcase and other luggage inside a shed belonging to a man they befriended while there, police said, and then relocated to Brooklyn, N.Y.

Police recovered the suitcase in April after they got a tip from the confidential informant. The remains of a small child were inside. DNA tests are pending to confirm the boy's identity.

Celebrities Lead Charge against Scientology

Hollywood figures quit 'rip-off' church as Australian prime minister threatens parliamentary inquiry into its activities

Peter Beaumont in London, Toni O'Loughlin in Sydney, and Paul Harris in New York
The Observer | 22 November 2009

The security at the red-brick and glass-walled horseshoe of the John Joseph Moakley courthouse on Boston's waterfront was unusually tight. Anybody who was not a member of the city's bar association was swept with a search wand. Photo IDs were checked. Mobile phones were taken from guests, who included the Hollywood star Tom Cruise.

The occasion was a memorial service for Scientology's top legal adviser for a quarter of a century, Earle Cooley. The controversial head of Scientology worldwide, David Miscavige, delivered the eulogy, thanking his late friend for his contribution to the neo-religion during his career, much of which was spent pursuing journalists and former members who spoke out against it.

Miscavige may since have wondered privately what Cooley would have made of the events of last week. Scientology, founded in 1953 by the late science fiction pulp novelist, serial fantasist and inveterate self-publicist L Ron Hubbard, is under fire again across the globe, following years of struggle to be recognised – with some success – as a legitimate church.

The church has just been denounced in the strongest possible terms in the Australian parliament. Prime minister Kevin Rudd has expressed his concern over allegations of "a worldwide pattern of abuse and criminality" and is contemplating a parliamentary inquiry. The organisation is under police investigation and yesterday angry ex-Scientologists, spurred on by the claims, converged on its Australian headquarters calling for its tax-exempt status to be revoked.

And it is not only in Australia that Scientology is facing problems. A new book in America – Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of the Church of Scientology – by Marc Headley, an employee of the church's Los Angeles headquarters for 15 years, details – as others have – allegations of systematic abuse and bizarre episodes, such as the three weeks Headley claims he spent under instruction from Cruise in how to move bottles and other objects by concentrating on them.

Headley's book follows a year in which Scientology has been plagued by unwelcome revelations from high-profile defectors and fresh media investigation into its practices.

Last month the church narrowly avoided being banned in France after being prosecuted for fraud, following claims that four leaders – all given suspended jail sentences – had preyed financially on several followers in the 1990s. In Belgium, too, Scientology is embroiled in a long criminal investigation. Perhaps most embarrassing for an organisation that prides itself on its wealthy Hollywood followers, Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis, an adherent of 30 years, abandoned Scientology in October, accusing it of homophobia.

That is not all. Some of the worst damage done to Scientology in the past two years appears to have been self-inflicted. Earlier this year the official spokesman in the US, Tommy Davis, son of the actress Anne Archer, stormed out of an ABC TV interview with Martin Bashir when Bashir had the temerity to ask about one of its central beliefs – relating to an evil intergalactic warlord named Xenu.

More ridicule was invited, unwittingly, by Cruise, the church's most high-profile member, in a leaked video produced for the organisation last year that went viral on the internet. It showed a rambling Cruise laughing inexplicably while saying that Scientologists were uniquely equipped with the knowledge necessary to cure most of the world's ills, including crime, drugs, mental health problems and violence.

A religion to some, a business certainly, and a cult to many, whose innermost cadres wear pseudo naval uniforms, Scientology's religious tenets are a mixture of therapy-style self-improvement steps – at least at first – mixed with a weird space-opera metaphysics, which is revealed only to its highest acolytes. The church has frequently been accused of breaking up families and preying on the vulnerable. The history of Scientology and its critics has been a story played out in the courts in interminable proceedings that supported Cooley's very lucrative career, underwritten by a very lucrative religious practice in which followers pay large sums of money to progress through a series of training courses called "auditing".

In a quote attributed in the US courts to the late Hubbard himself, it is made clear that the court cases serve a useful purpose, even when they are lost. According to Hubbard, "law can be used very easily to harass... If possible, of course, ruin… entirely."

Scientology has attempted to sue newspapers, including the Washington Post. Time magazine beat off a court claim for $400m after describing the church on its cover as "the Cult of Greed". It has pursued authors, those who have campaigned against it, defectors and rivals. It has also made unsuccessful claims that details of its most secret practices should be regarded as both copyright and a trade secret.

The repeated attempts to use the courts to silence critics have been criticised in the judgments that have been upheld against Scientology, including one in 1996 that described its "documented history of vexatious behaviour" and abuse of "the [US] federal court system by using it, inter alia, to destroy their opponents, rather than to resolve an actual dispute over trademark law or any other legal matter".

So when Nick Xenophon stood up last week in the Australian parliament he was the latest critic in a long line. Xenophon made a carefully calculated decision – to use the protection of parliamentary privilege to denounce an organisation that he claims "abuses its followers, viciously targets its critics and seems largely driven by paranoia". Xenophon's aim was simple: to challenge the tax-exempt status of Scientology as a religion.

If the allegations Xenophon detailed – including the claims by former high-ranking members that David Miscavige physically assaulted senior Scientologists – were familiar ones to critics of the movement, Xenophon's speech brought to the widest audience possible a synthesis of the recent and not so recent claims against the leadership of Scientology, allegations picked up worldwide within minutes of him speaking.

He described claims of "false imprisonment, coerced abortions, embezzlement of church funds, physical violence, blackmail and the widespread deliberate abuse of information obtained by the organisation". At the centre of Xenophon's long, impassioned speech were the allegations of Aaron Saxton, who was "born" into Scientology and "rose to a position of influence in Sydney and the United States".

According to Xenophon, Saxton's abuse started as a child when his mother was coerced into signing over guardianship of him to the organisation and he was made a security guard at the age of 16. "In 1991 Aaron says he was sent to Scientology headquarters in Florida where he was involved in… putting five individuals under house arrest" and "ordered by superiors to remove documents that would link a Scientology staff member to murder".

"Aaron says women who fell pregnant were taken to offices and bullied to have an abortion. If they refused, they faced demotion and hard labour… Aaron says one staff member used a coat-hanger and self-aborted her child for fear of punishment. He says she was released from the organisation and the files were destroyed."

Saxton also "ordered more than 30 people to be sent to Scientology's work camps, where they were forced to undertake hard labour", Xenophon said.

He said another former Scientologist, Carmel Underwood, who worked as a financial officer in the organisation and claims to have been assaulted by another member, "witnessed a young girl who had been molested by her father being coached as to what she should say to investigating authorities in order to keep the crimes secret". In a letter described by Xenophon as "one of the saddest correspondences I have received", a father, Paul Schofield, admits to being part of a cover-up of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of his two daughters.

The Church of Scientology in Australia's response last week was to accuse Xenophon of abusing parliamentary privilege and adding that the allegations were "unquestionably false". "This was not free speech. It was abuse and slander protected by the forms of our parliament," spokesman Cyrus Brooks said in a statement. It did not, however, reply to a series of written questions from the Observer about the cases detailed.

But if something has changed in the past few years, it has been the emergence of an increasingly empowered and vocal global opposition to the Scientologists. The development has been fuelled in part by the internet's Anonymous movement – which posted the Tom Cruise video to YouTube last year – and has been behind a series of denial-of-service attacks on Scientology websites, protests and prank calls since the Scientologists had it removed it from the site, inevitably claiming copyright infringement. The Australian intervention by Xenophon was part of a wider and growing backlash against one of the world's most controversial movements.

If there has been a catalyst for many of the Scientologists' most recent problems it has been provided by a newspaper in Tampa, Florida – the St Petersburg Times – which covers the area including the organisation's spiritual headquarters in Clearwater. The paper ran an investigative series featuring interviews with former members of the church's leadership. These included Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder, two of the highest-ranking executives to leave Scientology.

According to the two men's accounts – denounced as "lies" by Miscavige and Tommy Davis – Miscavige routinely assaulted his lieutenants, including Rinder, 50 times. In one article, citing the testimony of four former members, the newspaper described Miscavige administering a vicious beating to another senior church figure, Tom De Vocht. The men described a complex system of internal justice, enforced by security checks and the threat of isolation as a so-called "suppressive person" or SP.

In the interviews the men admitted using violence against other members of the church, often, they claimed, at the behest of Miscavige, also alleging that the church used private information gathered on its members to bully them and force them to do its bidding.

At least some of the recent allegations will be familiar to Jason Beghe, the American actor. Last year he became the first of its celebrity followers – for whom the church maintains a "Celebrity Centre" – to break with it, after giving Scientology more than $1m in donations over 12 years.

These days Beghe prefers to warn that the church is "destructive and a rip-off". He claims that since his renunciation of Scientology he has been pursued to seminars in Europe – held to speak of its dangers – by private investigators employed by Scientology and "disconnected" from former friends who remain within it.

The decision of Beghe and Haggis to quit Scientology appears to have caused the movement its greatest recent PR difficulties, not least because of its dependence on Hollywood figures as both a source of revenue for its most expensive courses and an advertisement for the religion. The involvement of such high-profile figures as Haggis, Cruise and John Travolta has acted as a reassurance for potential recruits against the allegations of its critics.

And while Haggis quit the church over its attitude to gay marriage, his lengthy leaked letter of repudiation of Scientology, written to Davis, included another complaint: that he had lied on television about a key Scientology practice.

Haggis said he had been stunned to see a CNN clip of Davis denying that the church practises a policy of "disconnection" by encouraging members to cut ties with non-members who may disapprove of their beliefs.

"I was shocked," wrote Haggis. "We all know this policy exists. I didn't have to search for verification – I didn't have to look any further than my own home." He then detailed how his wife was ordered by the church to disconnect from her parents because they were themselves ex-members.

His wife followed the orders and did not speak to her parents for a year and a half. "That's not ancient history, Tommy. It was a year ago… To see you lie so easily, I am afraid I had to ask myself: what else are you lying about?"

The answer to that question may now be sought within the context of an Australian parliamentary inquiry. Notoriously litigious and undoubtedly secretive, Scientology is under the microscope again.

After a bad year for Cruise's church, things could be about to become a whole lot worse.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Two Fake Books on the Kennedy Assassination, Ultimate Sacrifice & Legacy of Secrecy, Move the Onus from CIA to Mafia

" ... remarkably unconvincing ... revisionist ... censorship and tortured logic ... nonsense ... fabricated ... outlandish ... not scholarship ... a pretext to do a new spin on a Mob did it book ... "

Legacy of Secrecy
Reviewed by James DiEugenio

Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann wasted little time in writing a sequel to their first book Ultimate Sacrifice. That long and portentous volume was originally published in November of 2005. Some authors take awhile to fill the tank between new entries in assassination research. But not them. Just three years after their original foray they have now come out with a new volume. This one is called Legacy of Secrecy. And, at 864 pages, it is almost as long as the first book. Taken together, the length of the two volumes begins to approach Vincent Bugliosi territory. Which, of course, is a dubious distinction. The authors write that the original length of this book was a little more than three hundred pages. The reason the book clocked in much longer was their desire to include the RFK and MLK cases. What is so odd about their attempt to do so is that, in their discussions of those two cases, they do not come close to relating them to their main thesis about the JFK case.

The reader will recall that this is the concept of C-Day. That is, the so-called plan for a coup in Cuba that was scheduled for December 1, 1963. This was to partly consist of a Cuban exile invasion from the USA organized by the Pentagon and CIA. The plan was to have the so-called "coup leader" — who was acting as a double agent on the island — murder Castro, blame it on the Russians, call a state of emergency, and arrange for a flotilla of Cuban exiles to invade Cuba. The Pentagon would wait in the wings in case they were needed. Since the sizeable Russian force remaining in Cuba would hardly take this laying down, they probably were going to be needed. Yet when David Talbot asked Kennedy's Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara if he was aware of the upcoming invasion, McNamara said he never knew about it. And as I mentioned in that earlier review, neither did the other two Cabinet level officers who not only should have known, but had to have known. Namely Secretary of State Dean Rusk and National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy. A truly fantastic state of affairs to present to the reader. But the authors proceeded anyway. Even presenting meetings at which some officials knew about C-Day and some did not.

Who was the so-called "coup leader" who was going to pull off bloody treason in the new socialist state? In the hardcover edition of the book, he was not actually named. But it was very strongly hinted that he was Che Guevara. For reasons I stated in my review, this was topping an incredible scenario with an incredible choice for a double agent. David Talbot also called them on this point in his review in Salon. So on the way to the soft cover edition, aided by Liz Smith, the name was now revealed to be Juan Almeida. But here's the problem. For such a daring and bold plan one needed a coup leader the size and stature of Guevara. If for no other reason, to galvanize the Cuban public into turning on their Russian allies. Which would be no easy feat. Almeida had no such outsize stature. And the possibility exists he would have been rolled over by a combination of the Russians plus the Cubans still loyal to Castro. Which, in light of the objective, would have made things even worse than before.

In this new volume, for the first three parts of the book, the authors essentially discuss the JFK case, with the accent on C-Day again. That is up until about page 470. From there until about page 700 they mainly discuss the Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy cases. Here's the problem with their presentation: I could find no credible linkage between the C-Day plotting and the other two cases. And since their argument about the other two cases is remarkably unconvincing, I really do not understand why they included King and RFK. But even the scope of those three epochal cases wasn't enough for these two radical - and insatiable - revisionists. The authors include a closing section on Watergate. Again, I don't know why. But I will make a guess later.


Although I have briefly summarized the key concept of Ultimate Sacrifice, I strongly recommend that the reader read the first section of my original review for a more detailed discussion of the concept of C-Day. (That can be read here.) One of the problems the authors have with their thesis is that writers who have since read these documents e.g. Jeff Morley and William Davy, do not agree with the spin Waldron and Hartmann place on them. (After my review came out, Davy told me, "Jim, those are contingency plans, and they are labeled as such.") Not even Peter Dale Scott, who had some praise for aspects of the book, buys into them as C-Day.

But perhaps the most devastating response to the book is by the writer who helped launch Lamar Waldron and his C-Day thesis into the research community. In my previous review, I detailed how Waldron was introduced by none other than Gus Russo at the 1993 Dallas ASK Conference. So one would think that the man who introduced the co-writer of the volume would stand beside the book. One would be wrong. Apparently, Russo got a bit perturbed at the authors for taking credit for revealing the documents to the world for the first time. Which they did on page two of the previous volume. Why did he feel like that? Because Russo discussed them in Live By the Sword eight years earlier.(Russo, pgs 176-179)

In fact, in his conversations with Vincent Bugliosi, Russo goes after the C-Day concept with abandon. Russo actually tackles one of Waldron's prime sources, Harry Williams. Russo questions how Williams could have known about these plans since it is "abundantly clear" that the documents refer to Manuel Artime's "Central American operation and have nothing to do with a December 'coup' or 'C-Day"' as Waldron refers to it." (Reclaiming History, End Notes, p. 762) In fact, parts of the plans actually refer to Artime's group, the MRR, in code. And right below this, Artime himself is also mentioned in code. (CIA record of 6/28/63) Waldron tries to counter this by saying that Williams told the authors that Artime was actually serving under him. But where is the documentary proof of this? Because to anyone who knows anything about Artime's special place in the CIA, it seems ridiculous on its face. This, I believe, is the beginning of a serious questioning of Williams as a source for the authors. It is an issue I will take up later.

Vincent Bugliosi, agreeing with Davy, quotes from parts of the plans to demonstrate their true nature. For instance, the CINCLANT (Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet) OPLANS 312 and 316 were prepared "in case of a revolt in Cuba." (op. cit. Bugliosi, p. 758, italics added) The plans were prepared by the US Army under the Joint Chiefs of Staff and are entitled "State-Defense Contingency Plans for a Coup in Cuba". (ibid) The fact that they are labeled State-Defense makes it even more incredible that neither McNamara nor Rusk knew about the upcoming invasion. But in light of the use of the word "contingency" in the title, that fact is made understandable. In other words, it was never a "go" project. In fact, one draft of the plan, under the above Contingency Plan title, was dated October 21, 1963. Just one month before the assassination. So it must have been clear to everyone what the nature of the project really was by the time of Kennedy's murder. In fact, one of documents even says that no invasion should be contemplated unless there is active aggression by Castro and/or the Soviets "that threaten the peace or security of the Hemisphere." (Undated Army memo to the President by Sterling Cottrell. Record No. 198-10004-10072) Since I have taken a lot of space in criticizing Reclaiming History, I am glad to give Bugliosi credit for this part of the book. Especially when he is backed up by the likes of William Davy.

Now let's get back to the late Harry Williams. Williams first surfaced on the JFK case through the work of William Turner and Warren Hinckle (especially the former) in their fine book The Fish is Red. Turner spent hours interviewing Williams for that book because the volume largely focused on American relations with Cuba during the Kennedy years. But when I talked to Turner about Waldron's thesis he told me that Williams never mentioned anything about the C-Day concept to him in any of their interviews. Further, when Waldron sent him a thank you note with a copy of Ultimate Sacrifice, Turner told me he wanted no thanks for that book. But with Legacy of Secrecy, this situation gets even worse. Because in this installment, Williams now talks about things that are not only not in The Fish is Red, but they are not even in Ultimate Sacrifice. Or at least, I don't recall them. And some of these belated revelations are so bombastic, I am sure I would have.

For instance, as I said, in the hardcover version of Ultimate Sacrifice Juan Almeida was not mentioned as the "coup leader". The emphasis was clearly on Che Guevara. But now, the authors write that Williams told them that Cyrus Vance of the Army was fully aware of Almeida's role. (Legacy of Secrecy, p. 22) Since Vance helped supervise plans that were labeled as "contingency", one might ask: His role in what? There is an incredible passage on page 287 that is supposed to describe a meeting that RFK had with President Johnson after Kennedy's assassination. The subject was C-Day. Since, conveniently, only Johnson and RFK were there, the source for this discussion is Harry Williams, allegedly channeling RFK.

According to the roundabout sourcing LBJ told RFK he was not continuing with the C-Day plans, but he would continue to fund some of RFK's favorite Cuban groups. This paragraph is actually not footnoted at all. But since the authors date other interviews that they did with Williams as taking place in 1992, they had to have known this for the first book. But yet it appears here for the first time. As does the following information (p. 296). RFK made sure that the CIA provided for Almeida's family members after LBJ decided to halt the C-Day plans. (How one can halt a contingency plan remains the authors' secret.) This bit of information comes from 1992 interviews with Williams. Again, it first surfaces here. Finally, through an unnamed RFK aide, Williams kept in contact with RFK all the way up to 1968 - even during the presidential campaign (p. 621). They even met privately during this hectic campaign time. And when they did, amidst all the swirling campaign pressures and furious updates, the subject of Almeida and his family "always came up". (The entire paragraph that contains this information has no footnotes.)

But there is one last bit of belated info from Williams that needs to be noted. In Ultimate Sacrifice, I discussed and criticized the authors' treatment of Oswald in Mexico City. One of the reasons I did so is that the authors seemed to accept the CIA's story that it was Oswald there the entire time. Well, in Legacy of Secrecy they surface a relevant piece of belated information from Williams in that regard. According to Waldron and Hartmann, Harry Williams saw a picture of Oswald entering the Mexico City Cuban Embassy. (p. 234) Somehow, this wasn't deemed important enough to include in their previous discussion of Oswald in Mexico City in 2005. Even though the discussion then was much more detailed than it is here. How did Williams see this photo? Through an unnamed Cuban exile linked to Artime. The reason he showed the photo to Williams is not mentioned. And worse, the authors apparently never were curious enough to ask that question of Williams. What makes it odd is that very, very few people have ever mentioned any picture of Oswald. Or claimed to have seen it. And when they have, it is described as shot from an angle and behind. So the identification is not really probative. The only person who has ever stated that such a photo definitely did exist was Winston Scott, the Mexico City station chief at the time of Oswald's visit. Why he, or anyone else inside the CIA's surveillance operation, would show such a photo to some unnamed Cuban exile escapes me. And why this exile would be allowed to keep such a photo is even more of a mystery. Especially in light of the fact that the CIA, under intense pressure by the investigators for the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), could produce no such picture. Which, of course, fed suspicions that Oswald never really entered the Cuban Embassy. But somehow, over lunch or a baseball game, an anonymous exile showed Williams this invaluable photo.

With what the authors have now done to Williams' credibility, plus the near universality of agreement on the true nature of the "C -Day plans," the end should be spelled out for this entire "second invasion" thesis. Because the only other "on the record" source they had for it the first time around was Dean Rusk. Yet Rusk made it clear that he only heard of such a plan after he left office. Which makes me believe that, while in office, the contingency plans were so contingent that they never even made it to the Secretary of State's desk. And with the collapse of the C-Day scenario, their use of it is now seen as what I argued it was before: a pretext to do a new spin on a Mob did it book.


Let's return to the frequent and disturbing use of unnamed sources in the book. This kind of sourcing for crucial and controversial pieces of evidence is something that recurs throughout Legacy of Secrecy. For instance, the authors just happened to have an unnamed Naval Intelligence source who was monitoring Oswald. And guess what? This anonymous source also saw this photo of Oswald in Mexico City! (ibid) So, by accident, Waldron and Hartmann have found almost as many people who have seen this photo as are mentioned in the entire Lopez Report. How do the authors know that it was the Mafia that killed JFK? Well, an unnamed top Kennedy aide revealed to them "the leading roles of Marcello, Trafficante, and Roselli in JFK's murder". And guess what? This top Kennedy aide knew all about C-Day. Must be nice to have sources like that.

But its even better to have one like the following. Every serious commentator on the JFK autopsy (e.g. Gary Aguilar, David Mantik) has noted the overwhelming evidence that the military controlled that medical procedure and not the Kennedys. (I used many of these sources in Part Four of my review of Reclaiming History.)

These sources extend to the autopsists themselves, and even to Commander Galloway of the Bethesda Medical Center. The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), and the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) both did extensive investigations about what happened that night. Every significant witness was talked to at least once. And many were talked to twice. In fact, there is a road map to follow in this regard. The FBI agents on hand, Jim Sibert, and Frank O'Neill, had a list of those people present. But apparently they missed someone. Because the authors have yet another crucial unnamed source who says he was at the autopsy. And, you guessed it, this guy also knew about C-Day. And contrary to dozens of other witnesses, including the autopsists themselves, this mysterious source — who escaped the HSCA and ARRB dragnet — knew that RFK had full knowledge of what happened that night. And further, that RFK probably even directed the autopsy. (p. 184) Hmm. Then why did Bobby Kennedy sign a document that granted "no restrictions" during the procedure? Why did Galloway testify that there were no instructions coming into the autopsy room from the Kennedy suite above? Why did Pierre Finck testify that it was the military that interfered with the autopsy during his famous appearance at the trial of Clay Shaw? But most importantly, in regard to the value of Legacy of Secrecy, why do the authors not mention any of the above proven and pertinent facts? Maybe because it brings into question the information rendered by their unnamed source?

But the prolific use of unnamed sources for crucial information does not end with the JFK case. It also figures importantly in this volume for the King case.

According to the authors, prior to the King assassination, a man named Hugh Spake collected money used in the King plot from workers at an Atlanta auto plant. And further, the authors posit that James Earl Ray called Spake the morning of the assassination. (pgs. 496-498) What is the basis for these rather dramatic revelations? Well if one turns to page 814 in the footnotes, the following sourcing appears:

" ... from confidential interviews conducted from early 1976 (when author Lamar Waldron was briefly employed at the Lakewood General Motors Auto Plant) to 2007."

This does not inspire confidence. Especially in light of the fact that Spake passed away three years ago. Therefore I don't understand the need to shield these sources after the subject is dead. Further, the southern rightwing racist groups the authors say he was associated with have gone into eclipse. Secondly, the author never explains why he was doing an investigation of the King case 34 years ago. I know Waldron says he has been studying the JFK case for a long time. But the King case?

In addition to the ready use of unnamed sources, there is an all too frequent use of unreferenced information in general. It is almost as bad here as it was with Joan Mellen's A Farewell to Justice. The authors have always been desperate to bring Carlos Marcello into the nexus of the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro. So here they say that some recently declassified files relating to Cuban operations reveal that a certain unnamed case officer was a liaison between the CIA and Marcello. (p. 102) The entire paragraph in which this is revealed lacks footnotes. A few pages later (p. 106), we are informed that three unconfirmed reports place Roselli in Dallas on 11/22/63. This information is also not footnoted. But since the sources they do use also say that a woman drove Roselli and a Miami sharpshooter to the grassy knoll at the far end of Dealey Plaza, we can imagine what the unconfirmed reports are like. In mentioning CIA officer John Whitten and his investigation of Mexico City, the authors write that Richard Helms "knew that Oswald was also linked to his unauthorized Castro assassination operations ... "

This is an extremely puzzling statement. This information does not appear in the Inspector General report on the subject. It also does not appear in the Church Committee volumes. To my knowledge, neither Helms nor the CIA has ever uttered a word to this effect. So from where did the authors garner this? Its almost like they are indulging in posthumous mindreading. (As we shall see, they do this with Helms in another instance.)

It gets worse. According to Legacy of Secrecy, LBJ learned about the C-Day plans in the aftermath of the assassination from Hoover and CIA Director John McCone. (pgs. 171-172) Again, this goes unsourced. And it does not appear in the declassified phone transcripts made available by the ARRB. According to even more secret sources, Naval Intelligence began to shred files from its "tight surveillance" on Oswald on the afternoon of November 24, 1963. ONI also did their own secret investigation of the JFK murder. The authors' anonymous source actually saw the summary report and its "hundreds of supporting documents". (p. 247) And another anonymous source, independently vouched for this report. (ibid) Finally in this unfootnoted, anonymous sourcing field, the authors state that RFK knew about David Ferrie's relationship to Carlos Marcello back in 1963, maybe even earlier (p. 403). Again, this is strange. Not even Jim Garrison knew about this in 1963. And as everyone knows, when Garrison passed the Ferrie lead onto the FBI, they at first dropped it. And they then covered it up for the Warren Commission. But RFK knew about it before all this. But the prize in this regard goes to a paragraph on page 404. This paragraph deals with New Orleans matters. Mainly an alleged connection between Marcello and Dean Andrews, plus Clay Shaw's ties to the CIA. The attached footnote to this information reads as follows:

1994.05.09.10:43:33:16005 (p. 810, footnote 19).

That's right. Just a line of numbers related to nothing. And no one noticed this pre-publication. Maybe because they didn't care?

The continual use of this unscholarly practice — I could have named a dozen other similar instances — is a grievous shortcoming. Especially in a book that is attempting to revise the historical record on a serious subject. It indicates that, unlike with John Newman's JFK and Vietnam, the writers do not have the factual data to fulfill their new paradigm. Probably because the paradigm doesn't exist.

Another sure sign of this lack of a factual basis is their recurrent use of the assumptive mode. When they need something to happen, they just assume it did. As I demonstrated in my earlier review, one of their aims is to shift the cause of the JFK cover-up. It did not occur because Oswald was some kind of intelligence operative. Oh, no. The main reason was fear of exposing C-Day. Now, since Hoover was the mainspring of the cover up, the authors must write that, "over the coming days, Hoover would no doubt learn more about the ... coup plan ... " (p. 171)

They offer no evidence for this and no source I have ever read on Hoover refers to it. After JFK is assassinated, Santo Trafficante is carefree and smiling. Why? Because "Trafficante knew Jack Ruby, and he apparently felt confident that Ruby would be able to take care of silencing Oswald." (p. 180) Yet I could find no evidence in the book to certify Trafficante's arrangement with Ruby in advance.

Why is the tape of the Hoover/LBJ call on November 23rd, at 10:01 AM missing? According to the authors, "one possibility" is that if LBJ had been briefed on C-Day he could have mentioned it in passing to Hoover on this call. (p. 225) Even though, as I said earlier, there is no evidence that Hoover-or LBJ for that matter-ever knew about C-Day. And certainly nothing would indicate that these plans caused the FBI or Warren Commission cover-up. When RFK met with Helms after the 1967 Jack Anderson story first publicly exposed the CIA-Mafia plots, they "probably discussed" not just that subject, but the 1963 C-Day plan and "the current status of Almeida and his family." (p. 419) Even though there is no mention of C-Day in the CIA's Inspector General Report on those plots.

The most objectionable part of this whole fatuous C-Day cover-up story is that it detracts from the real cause of the cover-up. As demonstrated by writers like John Newman and John Armstrong, that would be the fabricated Mexico City tapes that were sent to Washington and Dallas the evening of the assassination. And which were then made to disappear. Why? Because the voice on the tapes was not Oswald's. And that would have exposed the whole charade in Mexico City. And as both Newman and the Lopez Report reveal, the three main culprits in that pre-planned charade were James Angleton, David Phillips, and Anne Goodpasture. Which completely vitiates what the authors write at the end of Chapter 17. Namely, that no evidence exists implicating any CIA official above David Morales in the JFK murder.

They also write that there is no confession to indicate any CIA officer's participation besides Morales' either. They neatly avoid David Phillips' teary-eyed, deathbed confession about being in Dallas on the day of the assassination. Which he himself made to his own brother. (Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much, 2003 edition, p. 272) And, if you can believe it, in the entire volume there is not one mention of Richard Case Nagell. In fact, I don't recall his name being in Ultimate Sacrifice either. So in 1,700 pages of writing about the JFK assassination Waldron and Hartmann choose to profusely quote liars like Frank Ragano and Ed Partin. But they couldn't find the space to mention the man who Jim Garrison called, "the most important witness there is".


Which brings us to their discussion of Jim Garrison, who was largely avoided in Ultimate Sacrifice. Although they mention aspects of Garrison's inquiry earlier, the main part of this discussion leads off at Chapter 29. Their first page makes for an interesting intro. They try to disarm the reader by saying they have reviewed all the "books, articles, and documents" about the DA and have come to the conclusion that he "emerges as neither devil nor saint". (p. 373) The implication being that after a long and painstaking review, Waldron and Hartmann are going to be fair-minded and objective about a controversial subject. As we shall see, that doesn't happen. They also add that they will focus on things not talked about previously that reveal the Garrison investigation in a new light. Again, that is not done. With the agenda the authors have, how could it?

I should note, the Garrison inquiry is mentioned prior to this chapter and its earlier treatment foreshadows what will come. For instance, the authors try to explain David Ferrie's trip to Texas on the day and night of the assassination as an attempt to retrieve his library card from Oswald. (p. 177) This is odd. It is true that Ferrie was asking for that card from Oswald's former landlady in New Orleans. But as Dick Russell notes in On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, Ferrie told his friend Ray Broshears that he was waiting for a phone call at the skating rink concerning flying participants in the plot out of Texas. (Russell, p. 107) Secondly, wouldn't it be kind of stupid for Ferrie to look for that card in Dallas? I mean, was he going to go to Ruth Paine's house and ask her if the police found it yet? Or walk into the Dallas jail and ask Chief Curry if he could have his card back? With those greased eyebrows and that mohair wig?

A second instance prior to Chapter 29 indicates the quality of their scholarship on the Garrison inquiry. They say that in 1964 Garrison called Robert Kennedy to talk to him about some of his ideas on the JFK case. But RFK hung up on him after some desultory conversation. (p. 254) The source for this piece of nonsense? None other than trashy biographer C. David Heymann. The authors never realize that Garrison could not have any theories to discuss with RFK at the time of this call because he was not investigating the JFK case in 1964. As I thoroughly demonstrated in my review of the book Regicide, Heymann cannot be trusted on anything concerning the JFK case. As is likely here, he has been shown to manufacture interviews. (This reliance on untrustworthy writers is another problem with the book that I will address later.)

What is the "new light" that Waldron and Hartmann shed on the Garrison investigation? Well they hint at it early on, before they even discuss Garrison in a systematic way. They say that the FBI backed off the investigation of David Ferrie and Guy Banister not because of their ties to Oswald and Clay Shaw. But because of their links to Marcello. This is bizarre since no one knew about any Banister-Marcello tie until 15 years later. And it wasn't what the authors present it as anyway. As I pointed out in my review of Ultimate Sacrifice, the HSCA stated that Ferrie got Banister some investigative work through Wray Gill, one of Marcello's lawyers. And Waldron and Hartmann shorthanded this into a Banister-Marcello connection. They continue this eccentric characterization here. Yet, as anyone knows who has studied what Garrison called the "Banister Menagerie", Banister did not do investigative work. This was just a front for his Cuban exile/CIA missions and other intelligence work he did e.g. planting infiltrators into college campuses. The people around his office who actually did investigative work were hangers-on like Jack Martin and Bill Nitschke. By this kind of logic, Martin and Nitschke were tied into the Mafia.

Why is it important to note this bizarre interpretation? Because when all is said and done, the "new light" the authors shed on the Garrison inquiry is really a hoary and disproven platitude. By about the middle of Chapter 37 Waldron and Hartmann are merely echoing the likes of their trusted authorities like John Davis, Dan Moldea, and David Scheim. They say that by 1968 Garrison's inquiry and his pursuit of Clay Shaw became a "grotesque sideshow" (p. 466). Why? Because it was a diversion away from the true perpetrators of the crime. Who of course were Marcello, Trafficante and Roselli. (pgs. 405, 421, 465) The origins of this discredited concept actually goes back almost forty years. To the infamous Life magazine hatchet job penned by FBI toady Sandy Smith. (William Davy, Let Justice Be Done, p. 162)

One of the strongest indicators of their faulty scholarship about Garrison is their use of some questions that allegedly the New York Times sent to the DA. (p. 370) They say they found a copy of these questions in Garrisons' files. One of the questions was about Ferrie's rumored, at that time, association with Marcello. The questions were dated November 21, 1966. What the authors do with these questions and Garrison's famous airplane trip with Senator Russell Long has to be detailed to understand their agenda on the subject. They actually try and say that because Long allegedly had ties to Marcello, and because Long's trip with Garrison came after the date of the questions, therefore Long convinced Garrison not to go after Marcello. (ibid) This is fevered John Davis propaganda of a virulent strain. And they have nothing of substance to back it except the NY Times questions. And they then cheat on this. How? By moving the Long/Garrison plane ride back to December of 1966. This way Garrison's discussion with Long about the JFK case comes after the alleged letter from the Times. But there is a big problem with it all. They are wrong about the date of the trip. The function that Garrison attended in New York occurred on November 13, 1966. In other words, it was before the date of the letter. (Davy, p. 57) But this is silliness anyway. Garrison had briefly investigated Ferrie back in 1963. And there are indications that he had intermittently started back onto the JFK case prior to the Long conversation. But his primary focus at these early points was on Oswald. And in 1966 and early 1967 it was on Oswald's connections as an agent provocateur being run by Banister. Which Marcello had nothing to do with.

What the authors do with Garrison and Bernardo DeTorres is even worse. De Torres is an incredibly intriguing personage who the HSCA showed a strong interest in. In fact, he was actually questioned in Executive Session. Gaeton Fonzi writes about DeTorres in his fine book, The Last Investigation. Except he conceals his name by calling him by the pseudonym "Carlos". DeTorres had been a military coordinator for the Brigade 2506 part of the Bay of Pigs invasion. (Davy, p. 148) He was strongly suspected of being in Dallas on 11/22/63. And even of having pictures of Kennedy being killed in Dealey Plaza. He had been offered a large sum of money for the photos by Life magazine. (See Probe Vol. 3 No. 6) Further, DeTorres claimed to know that Oswald was not involved in the assassination since he knew who actually was involved. And he knew this because "they were talking about it before it even happened." (Fonzi, p. 239) Later on, DeTorres worked with legendary CIA arms specialist Mitch Werbell, who some suspect of being involved in designing the weaponry used in Dealey Plaza. (See Spooks, by Jim Hougan, pgs 35-36)

What few people knew prior to the ARRB process is that DeTorres first surfaced as a suspect during the Garrison investigation. He was one of the very early infiltrators sent in by the CIA. Allegedly recommended to the DA by a policeman, he told Garrison that he had important information about the murder. He also used Miami DA Richard Gerstein as a reference. (Davy, ibid) Since he was from Miami, Garrison gave him the assignment of questioning Eladio Del Valle, Ferrie's colleague who Cuban G-2 strongly suspected of being part of the JFK plot. Not very long after DeTorres was sent to question him, Del Valle's mutilated corpse was found near the front stairs of DeTorres' Miami apartment. (ibid) This was at the same time that Ferrie was mysteriously found dead in his apartment. The HSCA later developed evidence that DeTorres was filing reports on Garrison for the Miami CIA station JM/WAVE as he was serving as a double agent in his office. By the time he worked with Werbell, the Cuban exile community knew that Bernardo was the man to see if you had a problem. Why? Because he had "contacts on a high level with the CIA in Washington D.C." (ibid)

All of this is absolutely riveting information. And it was not readily available until the time of the ARRB. The backward light it shines on Garrison is nearly blinding. Why? One reason is that Clay Shaw defenders sometimes say that the CIA was "monitoring" Garrison because he was accusing them in the press of being involved in the JFK conspiracy. But the DeTorres penetration occurred before the Garrison inquiry was even made public. And it also occurred before the DA had decided on the CIA as his prime suspect. So before Garrison made any public comments about the CIA, a highly connected Agency plant was sent in and was filing reports with JM/WAVE. And further, DeTorres may have been involved in the setting up of Del Valle because of his association with Ferrie. And it should be noted here that Richard Case Nagell was on the trail of both Ferrie and Del Valle in the spring of 1963 (Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much, 2003 edition, p. 182). Which, of course, is months before the assassination.

What Waldron and Hartmann do with all this remarkable information about DeTorres is kind of shocking. (pgs 387-88) They do refer to him as a spy in Garrison's camp. But they never mention him by name! Then, differing with Garrison authority Bill Davy, they say he was recommended to the DA not by the police, but by another Cuban. And finally Del Valle, "Garrison's [unnamed] investigator", and Rolando Masferer (What?) all had ties to Santo Trafficante. So the implication is that the Florida Don had Del Valle killed. Why? Because if he was linked to the JFK assassination, his empire would collapse. That's what they write. (p. 387) How he would be linked to the Kennedy assassination at this point in time is never explained. In fact, I don't think we are supposed to ask. But by concealing DeTorres' name, his background, his ties to JM/WAVE, and the circumstances of Del Valle's murder, it reverses the logical deduction of what happened to Del Valle. In other words, the censorship and tortured logic conceals a CIA operation and deliberately disguises it as Mafia oriented. The exposure of the above information about DeTorres proves this could not have been by accident. So does their concealment of his name. They didn't want you to know his name because then you would find out how tied in with the CIA he was. It's the same thing they did with Edwin Black's work on the Chicago plot. And as before, this had to have been done by design. ( I will return to Black's work later.)

Predictably, the flip side of the coin is also manifest here. If the deluded DA was being led astray, his attacker Walter Sheridan was on the right track. Because, of course, Sheridan suspected the Mafia, especially Carlos Marcello. (p. 465) A lot of their material about Sheridan and Garrison is drawn from David Talbot's book Brothers. In my review of that volume I minutely examined why Talbot was wrong about his depiction of what Sheridan was doing in New Orleans for NBC, and why he was doing it. The idea that Sheridan strongly suspected that Marcello was behind the JFK killing was brought into question by a conversation that Irving Davidson had on the day the HSCA report was issued. Lobbyist Davidson was a lifelong friend of Marcello's who also knew Sheridan. And Sheridan, who is sourced in those HSCA volumes, told Davidson that the HSCA report was a piece of crap. (Bugliosi, op. cit., p. 1175) As I said in my review of Brothers, the question now becomes: What did Sheridan actually believe about the JFK case? And further: Was he deliberately leading the HSCA astray? This is a question that Talbot sidestepped. And so do the present authors.


As in the first book, the authors make some truly unbelievable statements that are almost perverse in their logic and sense. For instance, they write that if the idea behind the assassination was to provoke an invasion of Cuba, the conspirators would have kept Oswald alive longer so he would have been the focus of an outcry against Fidel. (p. 239) In reality, the longer Oswald was kept alive, the higher the risk was that he would betray who he really was to the authorities. In fact, this risk was seriously broached while he was being held. First, through his attempted call to Raleigh, North Carolina, and second, when the FBI listened to the Mexico City tapes and discovered the voice on them was not Oswald's. And at this point, Oswald did not even have a lawyer. So the longer he was held, the higher the risk he would declare himself an undercover agent.

Why did suspicion fall upon Oswald after the assassination? Legacy of Secrecy poses a novel approach to that mystery. Waldron and Hartmann posit that it was due to Oswald's friendly relations with minority employees. This created suspicion about him in the aftermath of the crime. (p.121) Of course, they present no evidence for this rather strange and revolutionary theory.

The Tom Tilson story about a man escaping down the railway embankment behind the grassy knoll has been discredited for many years (p. 116), most notably by Canadian author Peter Whitmey. But it gets trotted out here again. And in fact, it gets embellished. They say the man running to a car and throwing something in the back resembled Jack Ruby.

The interpretation that Waldron and Hartmann put on the alleged attempt by Oswald to shoot General Edwin Walker is startling-even for them. It begins with an incredible report that Oswald was in a New Orleans jail around April 1, 1963. (p. 263) Yet, he had not moved there yet. The authors insinuate that this was somehow part of the congressional investigations into the ordering of weapons through the mail. They then imply that somehow the Walker shooting was manipulated by Walker and his allies to divert attention away from themselves and also people like Marcello, Banister and Joseph Milteer. (p. 265) Conveniently left out of how the Walker tale was manipulated are two key elements. The first is Ruth Paine. She produced the note about the escapade allegedly left by Oswald, which had no fingerprints on it. This was turned over to the police on November 30, 1963. So even though the police had searched the Paine residence twice, they did not find it. It was this note that first caused the FBI to look at Oswald as a suspect in the Walker shooting. (John Armstrong, Harvey and Lee, p. 512) Second, it was this note which caused the FBI to switch both the caliber and the color of the bullet the Dallas Police retrieved from the Walker residence to match the ammunition of the Mannlicher Carcano. (Gerald McKnight, Breach of Trust, p. 49) Incredibly, the authors do not even mention Ruth Paine's role in this charade and they minimize what the FBI did to transform the bullet. Even though McKnight shows that the FBI knew they were participating in a deception. (ibid pgs 49-50)

In this regard I must note that the authors pay me a backhanded compliment in this book. My review of Ultimate Sacrifice was fairly coruscating and it received some notoriety within the research community. Waldron and Hartmann clearly read it and took it seriously because they try and counteract several of my criticisms. One of the most serious ones was my relating of an anecdote in Richard Helms' autobiography entitled A Look Over my Shoulder. On November 19, 1963 Helms visited Robert Kennedy's office and told him that Castro was shipping a large amount of arms into Venezuela in order to upset their upcoming elections. (Helms, pgs 226-27). Helms has RFK saying nothing. He looks at the evidence the CIA took in—a foreign made submachine gun allegedly retrieved from an arms cache-and told Helms to go see President Kennedy. Helms and his assistant do so and JFK asked a couple of questions about how that large a shipment of weapons got through. They then left and later that day, Helms asked Kennedy's assistant, Ken O'Donnell, for a picture.

Now, in my original critique I posed the question that if C-Day was coming up in 12 days, and if all the principals involved in this episode were knowledgeable about it i.e. RFK, JFK and Helms, why would the CIA Director of Plans even bother to see the Kennedys if he knew we were invading Cuba shortly? This story shot a harpoon into the guts of their whole C-Day scenario. Because the authors maintained that even though McNamara, Rusk, and Bundy did not know about C-Day, Helms did. And it would be impossible for all four not to know. But this story, in Helms' own book, indicates he did not. When they relate this tale in Legacy of Secrecy (p. 36), they leave out the capper. In his book, Portrait of a Cold Warrior (p. 383), CIA analyst Joseph B. Smith mentions this specific arms seizure. And from the reports on it, he deduced that the CIA planted the weapons. So if Helms knew about C-Day, why did he go to the trouble of planting those weapons if he knew we were invading Cuba anyway?

This is their hapless reply to that question: Helms was testing JFK to see if he was getting cold feet about the invasion. But the problem is there is not any indication of this in Helms' book. On anyone's behalf. But further, the authors now contradict themselves in another important way to give their phony spin a pretext in reality. In their first book, they characterized JFK's back channel to Castro through people like Lisa Howard, Jean Daniel, and William Attwood as going nowhere. In my review, I showed this was false. There was progress being made and JFK was very interested in that progress continuing. I postulated that what Helms was actually trying to do with the planted arms cache was to scuttle those talks since he knew that JFK did not want Cuba interfering in Venezuela's elections. Now, sit down before you read the next sentence. Waldron and Hartmann have stolen my explanation and try and make it work for them! Now they say that Helms was doing all this to ensure the invasion against the back channel's imminent success. Without noting that in their previous volume they said there would be no point in doing such a thing since the talks were useless.

To me, the rearranging of facts, recasting of events, and posthumous mindreading into Helms' psyche, all this is not scholarship. Plain and simple, it is CYA.

Another instance where they try and counteract my critique is in regards to their alleged "confession" from Santo Trafficante about his role in the JFK assassination. Using Tony Summers' work (Vanity Fair, 12/94), I showed that the originator of this tall tale, Mafia lawyer Frank Ragano, was almost surely lying. Why? Because Ragano placed Trafficante in Tampa on the day of his phony confession. He could not have been there since 1.) He was undergoing dialysis treatments and was using a colostomy bag, 2.) Summers interviewed two witnesses who placed him in Miami on the day, 3/13/87, he made the ersatz confession in Tampa. 3.) His doctor in Tampa did not see him on the day in question, and 4.) His relatives said he had not been to Tampa in months. In the face of all this, the authors still vouch for Ragano's veracity. (p. 757) But they do not tell the reader about the colostomy bag, which would make the 280 mile drive or flight to Tampa ludicrous. And they leave out the two witnesses who placed him in Miami, and the fact he did not see his doctor while in Tampa.

A third effect of my review is that now the authors properly source Edwin Black's groundbreaking work on the attempt to kill President Kennedy in Chicago. If one recalls, in Ultimate Sacrifice they tried to disguise the proper source of this essay by footnoting that magazine article to a book by one George Black. A book that did not even discuss JFK's assassination. Here, they properly source it but incredibly, they never even note how they failed to do so in the first book. They then indirectly confirm my worst fears about why they did not. On page 787, in the Acknowledgments, they write the following sentence: "The work of the following people was useful in our research, even though at times we may differ with some in our conclusions". The first name listed of people they disagree with in conclusions is Edwin Black's. In other words, they didn't like what Black did with the Chicago plot. So they apparently wanted no one to find his work since it would contradict their own. With no thanks to Waldron and Hartmann, you can read Black's essay here.

What can one say about this kind of scholarship and honesty? Except that in each instance I mention, the evidence indicates that the authors knew about the information that I used. They chose to ignore it. And in the case of Black, they tried to bury it.


One of the reasons they desperately hang on to the Ragano/Trafficante fantasy is because they want to ballyhoo this "confessional" motif as evidence that they were right about the actual JFK culprits in Ultimate Sacrifice. That is, the Mafia killed JFK. So they hang on to the specious Ragano declaration because they need it for the Trafficante part of their confessionals. Even though it almost certainly did not happen.

They also use "confessions" by John Martino and David Morales. These are also dubious. In the case of Morales (p. 97), how can you call what he said a "confession"? After raging against what JFK did at the Bay of Pigs, he then said "Well, we took care of that son of a bitch didn't we." (Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation, p. 390) As John Simkin, among others, has commented, this can be fairly interpreted as being nothing but cheap braggadocio. Going further than that, I would be willing to wager that you could have heard dozens of remarks by both the Cuban exiles and CIA operators about JFK down through the years. Does that mean they were all involved in his assassination? But further, Morales was a CIA man all the way. So how does this prove their Mob-did-it thesis?

In my review of Larry Hancock's Someone Would Have Talked, I commented on the case of John Martino. The information Martino allegedly conveyed through friends and relatives — which is hard to keep track of since, 35 years later, it keeps on growing — does not connote Martino being part of a plot. To quote myself in my critique of that book, "As summarized above, the information Martino had could have been communicated to him through several of his Cuban exile friends. None of it connotes Martino being part of the plot. And Hancock advances no affirmative evidence to prove that point." And as I noted in that review, the other person Hancock uses, Richard Case Nagell, is a much more valuable witness than Martino. For me, and in practical terms, Nagell is worth ten times what Martino is worth.

Another "confession" Waldron and Hartmann use is allegedly by John Roselli. This one they source to Richard Mahoney's book Sons and Brothers. This is the sum and substance of the "Roselli confession" as it appears on page 229 of that book: "Washington attorney Tom Wadden, a longtime friend and attorney of Roselli's, subsequently confirmed Roselli's role in plotting to kill the president." One natural question in response to this single sentence is: What plotting was he talking about? What exactly did Roselli do? Because if there are no details, there is no confession. But it's actually worse than that. Because Mahoney never even interviewed Wadden. He got this from Bill Hundley, a former Justice Department lawyer under RFK. Wadden is mentioned exactly one other time in Mahoney's book. That is on page 333 along with a group of other Mafia attorneys like Jack Wasserman. Before I read about this "startling confession" I wondered why I did not recall any other author sourcing it in the ten years since the Mahoney book had been published. Now I know.

Obviously, in light of the above, the authors were getting desperate to come up with something of substance. So early on in the book, they foreshadow what will be their "crown jewel" in this regard. (pgs 46-51) That is a confession by Carlos Marcello. They refer to this as the "CAMTEX documents" since Carlos Marcello was in a Texas prison when they originated. And they mischaracterize them at the start. They say that these documents were discovered at the National Archives in 2006 (p. 47) The implication being that no one ever saw them before. Which is false. Ace Archives researcher Peter Vea sent them to me in 1997. Which is ten years before Waldron and Hartmann found them. They also write that the contents are being published in Legacy of Secrecy for the first time. (p. 46) Again, this is misleading. Vincent Bugliosi referred to them in Reclaiming History. (See the End Notes file, pgs. 658-659)

Both of the above shed light on why no one used them before. When Peter sent me the documents, he titled his background work on them as "The Crazy Last Days of Carlos Marcello." Peter had done some work on Marcello's health while he was incarcerated. And between that, and the reports that came out at the time of his 1993 death, he and I concluded that at the time of the CAMTEX documents Marcello was suffering from the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Today, the accepted gestation period for the disease is about seven years. There is little doubt that by 1988-89 Marcello's Alzheimer's was in full and raging bloom. And at this time period, Marcello's general health was beginning to collapse through a series of strokes. Now, the time period of Marcello's talks with the jailhouse informant who is one of the sources for the CAMTEX documents begins in 1985. So if you do the arithmetic you will see that Marcello's Alzheimer's was very likely well along by then. And later on, when told about the jailhouse informant's accusation that he had Kennedy killed, Marcello replied that this was "crazy talk". (Bugliosi op cit p. 658)

And in fact it is. The CAMTEX documents actually have Marcello meeting with Oswald in person and in public at his brother's restaurant. (p. 50) But that's nothing. According to CAMTEX, Marcello set up Ruby's bar business and Ruby would come to Marcello's estate to report to him! And so after being seen in public with both the main participants, he has the first one kill Kennedy and the second kill Oswald. But yet, the authors are so intent on getting the CAMTEX documents out there that they don't note that these contradict their own conclusion written elsewhere in the same book. Namely that Oswald didn't shoot Kennedy. (p. 121)


This is already too lengthy to go into any long discussion of the parts of the book devoted to the King case, the RFK case, and Watergate. But, in my view, these are even worse than the JFK section of the book. Which is saying something. For instance, they conclude that James Earl Ray killed King. Without telling the reader that the rifle he allegedly used needed to be properly calibrated by machine. And it wasn't. Who put Ray up to it? Well it was Joseph Milteer, with the help of Carlos Marcello. (Talk about the Odd Couple.) What's the evidence for this? Almost all of it is the unnamed sources I noted above. ( In fact, Chapter 52 about Milteer and Spake meeting Ray in Atlanta comes off as near self-parody.)

And what these two do with Grace and Charlie Stephens is simply appalling. They actually smear her and try and rehabilitate him! This is the woman who, when the authorities went to her to get an ID on Ray, refused to sign the papers because the man she saw in the boarding house the day of the murder was smaller and older. She still refused when they offered her a 100,000 dollar reward. Even though she was poor. When they took the same deal to her husband Charles, he readily made the identification. Even though he was falling down drunk at the time of the shooting. When he tried to collect on the money, the offer was withdrawn. He sued and his efforts failed. So this drunk became the witness that got Ray extradited back for his phony trial. Just so his lawyer Percy Foreman could sell him down the river.

And what happened to Grace? She got stashed away in a mental institution for ten years. When Mark Lane finally found her there he asked her if he could talk to her about the King case. She agreed. But she told him she was not going to lie about the man she saw at the boarding house. Lane said that was fine. He just wanted her to tell the truth. She did, and the man she saw was not Ray.

Attempting to rehab Charlie Stephens is like rehabbing Howard Brennan in the JFK case. (All this information on the Stephens matter is reported in Code Name Zorro by Lane and Dick Gregory.) Further, if you can believe it-which you probably can by now-they ignore all the new material generated on the MLK case in the nineties. That is during the attempt by Judge Joe Brown to get the case retried at the time. But yet this is the newest material generated on that case. But it doesn't fit their agenda. So they ignore it.

They also strongly imply that Sirhan shot RFK (p. 686). Yep, hypnotized himself into doing it at the request of the Mafia. (p. 666) And that night at the Ambassador Hotel, Sirhan had those drinks to steel himself to kill RFK. (p. 629) See, Sirhan was a compulsive gambler who was losing hundreds of dollars. (p. 626) And ... you get the drift by now, don't you? Incredibly, in the entire section on the RFK case there is not one mention of either MK/Ultra or William J. Bryan. And Bryan is the man who most suspect of programming Sirhan. In fact, there is much evidence to show this is the case. Further, they say it was not Thane Cesar who shot RFK. (p. 641) Even though he was the only person in perfect position to deliver the fatal shot. In fact, any of the RFK shots. Shane O'Sullivan disconnected Michael Wayne from Khaiber Khan in Who Killed Bobby? to minimize that conspiracy angle. Waldron and Hartmann do the opposite: they discount Khan and do not even mention Michael Wayne. (pgs. 660)

What was the reason for the RFK cover-up? According to them one of the reasons was whether or not drug trafficking played a role in the case. (Read it yourself on p. 680) See, the LAPD acted then and now "not as part of a massive orchestrated cover-up, but to avoid embarrassment and scandal for the department." (p. 686) If you read Lisa Pease's review of An Open and Shut Case, you will see that what caused the cover-up. It was the probable 14 shots fired that night when Sirhan's weapon could only fire eight. Further, the acoustics tape indicates the shots came from two directions and therefore from at least two assassins. And Sirhan was not one of the assailants of RFK. Because if he was, they would not have had to substitute the bullet evidence at the Wenke Panel hearings. Which is what the evidence indicates happened. Incredibly, the book does not even mention those proceedings supervised by Judge Wenke. Which would be like discussing the JFK case and never mentioning the HSCA. Further, and perhaps even more shocking, the work done on the newly discovered audio tape of the shooting by sound technician Phil Von Pragg is also never discussed. Even though the cable TV special based on this key discovery was broadcast a year before the book came out.

And how do the authors support the nonsense they write about these two cases? By using authors like Gerald Posner in the King case and Dan Moldea in the RFK case.

Their section on Watergate is just as outlandish. They say that the whole motivation behind the two year scandal was Nixon's attempt to get the Inspector General's Report on the CIA-Mafia plots. When that seems like thin gruel (because Nixon is not in the report), they shift over to the Inspector General's Report on the Bay of Pigs operation. (pgs 716-17) The point of all this thrashing about? The usual. The arrests at the Watergate were not engineered by Helms and the CIA. (p. 720) Even though, as Jim Hougan has proven in Secret Agenda, CIA agents James McCord and Howard Hunt deliberately sabotaged the break-in that night. And there are two sources-one through Hougan and one through Washington lawyer Dan Alcorn— that say Helms was alerted to the arrests as they happened.

I don't want to leave the impression that the book is utterly worthless. It's not quite that horrendous. There are some good tidbits in it. For instance, a CIA agent actually reviewed Edward Epstein's book Inquest when it was published. And this became the model for the famous "Countering the Critics" CIA memorandum prepared for Helms. (p. 380) There is a good description of how LBJ, Earl Warren, and Hoover plotted against the critical movement. (pgs 356-61) The authors note how quickly Johnson shifted the tone and attention in South Vietnam after Kennedy's death. (p. 275) Finally, they show that it was Arlen Specter who actually composed Dave Powers' false affidavit about where the direction of the shots came from in Dealey Plaza. (p. 308)

Unfortunately, that's about it for the positives. Which is a really bad batting average for a book of over 800 pages. Yet none of the travesty listed above stops people like Rex Bradford and John Simkin from having Waldron do interviews on their web sites. Which makes me think the assassinations are really more of a business interest for these two entrepreneurs than a pursuit of historical truth.

Let me conclude with one last point. One which I actually was not going to bring up at all. But I have to. Because, near the end, the authors bring it up themselves. Some of the supporters of Ultimate Sacrifice, like Mark Crispin Miller, have said that I accused Waldron of being some kind of agent in my review of that book. I did not. If you read the review carefully, I was talking about Gus Russo in that regard. And I have analyzed the Russo issue at length in my essay "Who is Gus Russo?" But the authors go out of their way to address this charge by saying that they "want to make it clear that they have never worked for the CIA." (p. 768) This may be technically true. But it is not the whole story. And we know this from the proverbial Horse's Mouth. A few years ago, Hartmann was giving a talk in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania about one of his many other books. Two JFK researchers were in attendance, Jerry Policoff and Steve Jones. They were both taken aback by one of his early statements. He admitted quite openly to having past ties to both the CIA and corporate America. The question then becomes: If he was open about that then, why is he being disingenuous about it now? To give Legacy of Secrecy the credibility it does not have on its own? Another question: Does Waldron know about this? Or is he just along for the ride?