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William Kelly

Dick Russell's On The Trail of the JFK Assassins

98 posts in this topic

Dick, I know you are aware of Armstong's book "Harvey and Lee." What evidence have you uncovered that tends to either support or refute his research?.......If his theory is correct and I tend to feel it is, which of the Oswalds was the victim of the MK/Ultra programing? If you believe it was "Harvey" (the accused assassin), what role do you think "Lee" played in this scenario? I believe Armstrong credited "Lee" with many of the actions that "Harvey" was later blamed for that allowed them to set him up as the patsy.....Do you think a double (Lee) as well as a programed "Harvey" were used in tandem? Any info on where "Lee" is today? Many believe he is Donald O. Norton.....Did you ever come across his name in your years of research?......Great book by the way, thanks.........

Yes, I was in touch with John Armstrong on a regular basis as he was working on research for what became his book "Harvey and Lee." I thought his material was quite remarkable, and I independently verified for example his interview with the Stripling Jr. High principal. It just gets curiouser and curiouser, as Lewis Carroll might say. I really can't comment which Oswald was victim of MK/ULTRA. It would make sense that it's the one who was taken into custody and shot by Ruby. That would have been "Harvey." Makes sense too that "Lee" was involved in setting him up as the patsy. I did come across the name of Donald Norton, and am aware of the visit paid him by John Judge some years ago, but don't know anything beyond that. I would tend to doubt that a "second Oswald" who was directly involved is still running around somewhere. Glad you enjoyed my book.

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Chapter 19 of your book is an article about George de Mohrenschildt that first appeared in New Times Magazine. You mention Willem Oltmans’ claim that de Mohrenschildt “served as a middleman between Lee Harvey Oswald and H.L. Hunt in an assassination plot involving other Texas oilman, anti-Castro Cubans, and elements of the FBI and CIA.”

In the article you write about two interviews with de Mohrenschildt in 1976. Did he give you any names of people involved in the plot? Did you have any contact with Willem Oltmans? Some people have argued that he might have been working for the intelligence services. George de Mohrenschildt seems to have lost confidence in him and appears to have believed he was being set-up in Amsterdam. However, he does seem to have had a good record of pursuing unpopular causes. It is also significant that in 2000 Oltmans won his legal case against the Dutch government. The jury agreed that the government conspired to keep him out of work, for which it had to pay him 8 million guilders in damages.

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Chapter 19 of your book is an article about George de Mohrenschildt that first appeared in New Times Magazine. You mention Willem Oltmans’ claim that de Mohrenschildt “served as a middleman between Lee Harvey Oswald and H.L. Hunt in an assassination plot involving other Texas oilman, anti-Castro Cubans, and elements of the FBI and CIA.”

In the article you write about two interviews with de Mohrenschildt in 1976. Did he give you any names of people involved in the plot? Did you have any contact with Willem Oltmans? Some people have argued that he might have been working for the intelligence services. George de Mohrenschildt seems to have lost confidence in him and appears to have believed he was being set-up in Amsterdam. However, he does seem to have had a good record of pursuing unpopular causes. It is also significant that in 2000 Oltmans won his legal case against the Dutch government. The jury agreed that the government conspired to keep him out of work, for which it had to pay him 8 million guilders in damages.

Unfortunately deMohrenschildt was not very forthcoming during our interviews, although his wife Jeanna said "Of course we know it was a vast conspiracy," at which point George told her to shut up. (Or maybe it was the other way around, but I think I told the story in my first book). As I recall, I tried to track down Oltmans at the time but either couldn't do it, or he didn't want to be interviewed. (My memory is a bit reluctant after 30-plus years away from this particular subject).

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Chapter 19 of your book is an article about George de Mohrenschildt that first appeared in New Times Magazine. You mention Willem Oltmans’ claim that de Mohrenschildt “served as a middleman between Lee Harvey Oswald and H.L. Hunt in an assassination plot involving other Texas oilman, anti-Castro Cubans, and elements of the FBI and CIA.”

Oltmans later withdrew his claim that H.L. Hunt was invloved. He claimed that deMohrenschildt was the one who gave him that information but a later investigation proved Hunt was in no way involved.

In a press conference, Oltmans also claimed that Jackie Kennedy and Gerald Ford were briefed on who was behind the Kennedy assassination.

JK

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Chapter 19 of your book is an article about George de Mohrenschildt that first appeared in New Times Magazine. You mention Willem Oltmans’ claim that de Mohrenschildt “served as a middleman between Lee Harvey Oswald and H.L. Hunt in an assassination plot involving other Texas oilman, anti-Castro Cubans, and elements of the FBI and CIA.”

Oltmans later withdrew his claim that H.L. Hunt was invloved. He claimed that deMohrenschildt was the one who gave him that information but a later investigation proved Hunt was in no way involved.

Can you provide more information on this? This is what Willem Oltmans told Robert Tanenbaum on 4th January 1977:

Robert Tanenbaum: What was the reason he told you about going to commit suicide?

William Oltmans: One of the reasons was, I found it in my notes, that he doesn't want his children to look upon, to their father for the rest of their life as having been involved, directly involved in the killing of President Kennedy. He would say - and I have notes - "I would rather kill myself than let my children" - and he called not only his daughter Alexandra, but also his brother, Professor de Mohrenschildt, who is in California. He said, "My brother and daughter, I don't want to have to live the rest of their lives by this thing." You know, that he was involved. "I would rather shoot myself." He told me that various times."

Robert Tanenbaum: All right, sir. So, up until the time that you left New York City from John F. Kennedy Airport, did you have any other conversations with him with regard to the assassination of the President?

William Oltmans: Yes, repeatedly.

Robert Tanenbaum: Now, again in substance, tell us what, if anything George de Mohrenschildt told you - this is up until the time you were in New York City - about the assassination.

William Oltmans: Sir, pages and pages. I will...

Robert Tanenbaum: In substance, will you tell us what he said, please.

William Oltmans: Each time he would reveal something else....

Robert Tanenbaum: Did you have any conversations of substance with him in New York?

William Oltmans: Not at all. New York, talked a bit, but not in London.

Robert Tanenbaum: Up until this time, had he ever mentioned Jack Ruby or H. L. Hunt?

William Oltmans: Yes.

Robert Tanenbaum: Up until this time?

William Oltmans: Yes, I forgot all about that.

Robert Tanenbaum: Would you please tell us that, then.

William Oltmans: O.K. You see, in Dallas, in the many talks I had with him about going, I asked him point blank, "Did you know Ruby?"

"Yes."

"Have you been in Ruby's Bar?"

"Yes."

"Then what happened to Oswald. If Oswald set up the Kennedy Assassination, he must have had a lot of money."

De Mohrenschildt, with a devilish laugh said "He wasn't long enough around to get the money."

Then I said, "But who would pay?"

You see, he talked in circles. He was still talking in circles. He was coming around to talking, but when I asked him, who would put up that kind of money, he said, well, he would reply, "Well, did you see the letter of Oswald, was released by the FBI, to Hunt? Now, why do you think Oswald would write to Mr. H. L. Hunt?"

Then I said "Do you know Hunt, have you known him?"

He said, "I knew him for 20 years. I was very close with him. I went to all his parties."

You see, de Mohrenschildt clearly indicated that the money had come from, that his contacts were "upwards to Hunt, and downwards to Oswald."

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In August of 1977, Oltmans held a series of press conferences in which he spoke of his so-called knowledge of what happened to JFK.

These events were reported by John Geddie from the Washington Bureau of The News and printed in most of the major papers at the time.

JK

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In one of the chapters--I am pretty sure it was an article from the 1970s-- Dick Russel is interviewing the recently replaced Chief Counsel of the HSCA investigation Richard Sprague. In speaking of the Rep. Henry Gonzalez, Sprague does not attribute any bad motives to the latter re: his role in getting Sprague replaced by someone who was controlled by the CIA.

I am wondering if Sprague held the same relatively friendly views of Gonzalez later on? This view of Gonzalez as benign, contrasts with other views I have read of him, can't remember where perhaps in The Last Investigation?

Nathaniel, the problems between Sprague and Gonzalez appear to have been strictly personal, and Gonzalez, upon reflection, appears to have been one of the conspiracy community's biggest supporters in Washington. In my research into the eyewitness evidence, I came across a number of quotes from Gonzalez, beginning on 11-22, in which he suggested Kennedy was killed by a right-wing conspiracy. He also wrote the forward to Weberman's book--one of the first books to point its finger at the CIA.

From patspeer.com, chapter 6:

Congressman Henry Gonzalez. (11-23-63 UPI article found in the San Antonio Light) ""I have misgivings about coming into this city... coming in Dallas." Gonzalez added: "The terrain was such that it must have been carefully selected by the assassin. The motorcade moved down an incline and went under an overpass. It had slowed to a halt at this point. Part of the entourage was excluded from view of the other cars. The terrain was well selected for the act. It must have been carefully thought out. The whole party drove rapidly then to the hospital. "Oh, this is a sad, sad day. I did not want this to happen." (3-16-64 UPI article found in the Brownsville Texas Herald) "Gonzalez said he was in the sixth car in the motorcade and was sitting on the left hand side of the car in the rear. The congressman said when the first shot was fired the car stopped just in the intersection of Houston and Elm streets." (8-25-75 UPI article found in the Fort Pierce Florida News Tribune) "Gonzalez said he was in the motorcade in Dallas when President Kennedy was slain. "I have never mentioned this to anyone before. But when the first shot sounded, the cars were already at a complete halt or just crawling. Odd that we should have come to a virtual stop even before the first shot, at the exact spot." (Introduction to Coup D'etat in America, 1992) " "I suppose I really had questions from the start as to why he died, who killed him, and what directions had the bullets come? I was in car number four of the motorcade, and distinctly heard three shots."

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Chapter 19 of your book is an article about George de Mohrenschildt that first appeared in New Times Magazine. You mention Willem Oltmans’ claim that de Mohrenschildt “served as a middleman between Lee Harvey Oswald and H.L. Hunt in an assassination plot involving other Texas oilman, anti-Castro Cubans, and elements of the FBI and CIA.”
Oltmans later withdrew his claim that H.L. Hunt was invloved. He claimed that deMohrenschildt was the one who gave him that information but a later investigation proved Hunt was in no way involved.
In August of 1977, Oltmans held a series of press conferences in which he spoke of his so-called knowledge of what happened to JFK.

These events were reported by John Geddie from the Washington Bureau of The News and printed in most of the major papers at the time.

JK

This is what Willem Oltmans told Robert Tanenbaum on 4th January 1977:

Robert Tanenbaum: Up until this time, had he ever mentioned Jack Ruby or H. L. Hunt?

William Oltmans: Yes.

Robert Tanenbaum: Up until this time?

William Oltmans: Yes, I forgot all about that.

Robert Tanenbaum: Would you please tell us that, then.

William Oltmans: O.K. You see, in Dallas, in the many talks I had with him about going, I asked him point blank, "Did you know Ruby?"

"Yes."

"Have you been in Ruby's Bar?"

"Yes."

"Then what happened to Oswald. If Oswald set up the Kennedy Assassination, he must have had a lot of money."

De Mohrenschildt, with a devilish laugh said "He wasn't long enough around to get the money."

Then I said, "But who would pay?"

You see, he talked in circles. He was still talking in circles. He was coming around to talking, but when I asked him, who would put up that kind of money, he said, well, he would reply, "Well, did you see the letter of Oswald, was released by the FBI, to Hunt? Now, why do you think Oswald would write to Mr. H. L. Hunt?"

Then I said "Do you know Hunt, have you known him?"

He said, "I knew him for 20 years. I was very close with him. I went to all his parties."

You see, de Mohrenschildt clearly indicated that the money had come from, that his contacts were "upwards to Hunt, and downwards to Oswald."

On 4th January 1977 Willem Oltmans tells Robert Tanenbaum that George de Mohrenschildt told him the money for the assassination of JFK came from H. L. Hunt.

In August 1977 he holds a press conference and says that de Mohrenschildt did not say that Hunt was not involved in the conspiracy.

If Oltmans lied about Hunt, we cannot take any of the other information he gave to the House Select Committee on Assassinations as being the truth. Why would he lie about this? Why would he retract just one piece of the evidence?

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It is my opinion that everything Oltmans says related to JFK's murder should be taken with a grain of salt.

Playing the part of George deMohrenschildt in Oliver Stone's film 'JFK', was the end of his 15 minutes.

JK

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It is my opinion that everything Oltmans says related to JFK's murder should be taken with a grain of salt.

What is your evidence for this view? I have carried out some research into Oltman's career and would argue that his reporting of events in Indonesia, Cuba and North Vietnam suggest he reflected a consistent left-wing position.

In 2000 Oltmans won his legal case against the Dutch government. The jury agreed that the government conspired to keep him out of work, for which it had to pay him 8 million guilders in damages. This dates back to reports that he was writing about Netherlands New Guinea in 1956. This upset Joseph Luns, the Dutch minister of foreign affairs. The court ruled that Oltmans was right when he claimed that Luns did what he could to sabotage his journalistic career. Luns was a close friend of the CIA and eventually was appointed Secretary General of NATO.

We also know that during this period the CIA was working with Luns in an attempt to overthrow President Sukarno of Indonesia. The head of this CIA operation was Al Ulmer, who ran the agency's Far East operations. In fact, Ulmer lost his job after the failure of the CIA backed coup in May 1958. As Thomas Powers, the author of The Man Who Kept The Secrets (1979), a book about Richard Helms, points out: "The result, of course, was a humiliation for the United States, but it was a quiet humiliation. The Indonesians knew who had been behind the rebels, of course, but they elected to treat the matter calmly... and the American press somehow never got wind of the CIA's role."

Oltmans, who enjoyed a good relationship with Sukarno, did know what was going on and reported this in the Dutch press. This does not sound like someone under the control of the CIA. In fact, by 1962, this journalist who was reporting on events in Cuba and North Vietnam in the early 1960s, was seen as a hero by left-wing students. It is during this period that his network was infiltrated by CIA agent Werner Verrips.

Oltmans also claims that he was supplying President Kennedy with information about the situation in New Guinea. Whatever the truth of this statement, Kennedy, against CIA advice, applied pressure on the Dutch government to hand over the territory to a temporary UN administration (UNTEA). On May 1, 1963, Indonesia took control of the country. It was not only over the policy towards Cuba that the CIA was angry with Kennedy.

Without the testimony of Oltmans I don’t think the story about George de Mohrenschildt claims about the assassination would have entered the public domain. Nor would much attention have been paid to his suicide three months after Oltmans’ testimony to the HSCA.

What is significant is that at the time of his death he was taking part in a planned four-day interview at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach with Edward Jay Epstein on behalf of the Reader's Digest magazine. In my view, this was an attempt by the CIA to discover just how much de Mohrenschildt knew about the assassination. We now know that de Mohrenschildt had given an interview to Dick Russell in June 1976.

I know I would trust the evidence of Willem Oltmans and Dick Russell over that of Edward Jay Epstein.

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In April 1976 you published an interview with Gerry Hemming in Argosy Magazine (pages 59-68 in On the Trail of the JFK Assassins). In the interview Hemming claims that he was approached as leader of Interpen “more than two dozen” times to assassinate JFK. He also named Loran Hall as one of the people who were possibly involved in the assassination. He also claimed to know Oswald who he says he thought was on the “Naval Intelligence payroll.”

What was your impression of Hemming? One source with intelligence connections told me that he was a CIA paid disinformation agent. Do you think this is a possibility?

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In April 1976 you published an interview with Gerry Hemming in Argosy Magazine (pages 59-68 in On the Trail of the JFK Assassins). In the interview Hemming claims that he was approached as leader of Interpen “more than two dozen” times to assassinate JFK. He also named Loran Hall as one of the people who were possibly involved in the assassination. He also claimed to know Oswald who he says he thought was on the “Naval Intelligence payroll.”

What was your impression of Hemming? One source with intelligence connections told me that he was a CIA paid disinformation agent. Do you think this is a possibility?

My take on Hemming is mixed. I don't think he was a paid disinformation agent. However, he was someone whose credibility I certainly did not swallow whole-hog, especially the more I got to know him. (In my earlier, more innocent days when I did the Argosy interview, I was more gullible). Gerry just "knew too much" and along too many different avenues, to have stayed alive if it was all factual. So it was always difficult to sort out truth from fiction with Gerry. And he may have had a personal grudge against Hall, whom I doubt very much had direct involvement other than the FBI setting up him & Howard at Sylvia Odio's as scapegoats. I thought what he said about meeting Oswald in 1959 was most likely accurate.

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Although this book is not yet available, it can be pre-ordered and will be available soon.

On the Trail of the JFK Assassins – A Revealing Look at America's Most Infamous Unsolved Crime, By Dick Russell (Herman Graf/Skyhorse, NY, 2008)

In his new book On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, Dick Russell recaps his experiences and republishes important articles he wrote over the course of decades on the JFK assassination trail. For most career journalists, writing about the political assassinations of the Sixties has also been the kiss of death, a subject matter that marks you, but one you can't touch and move on to another but one that you must follow to the end.

On the Trail of the JFK Assassins is one of two new books by Russell, the other being Don't Start the Revolution Without Me (with Jesse Ventura), both published by Skyhorse, who also recently reissued Russell's Black Genius as well as a new edition of John Newman's Oswald & the CIA.

While we look forward to Horne's book, we also hope that this isn't the end of the trail of the assassins for Russell, as we haven't yet arrived at the final destination where the full truth is known and justice is achieved.

[William Kelly is the co-founder of the Committee for an Open Archives (COA) and the Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA). He can be reached at bkjfk3@yahoo.com ]

By the end of next month, a digital CD version of my manuscript should be completed:

"Big Daddy" Warbucks (Wickliffe P. Draper) and "Little Orphan" Annie (Anastase Vonsiatsky)

Reich Wing Extremism in the 20th Century.

Google Draper, Vonsiatsky and now Carleton S. Coon who was the pardigm for "Indiana Jones" because they

were both Anthropology Professors, Egyptologists, served in the OSS/CIA, were interested in paranormal UFO's, and reports

of Alien sightings. Carleton S. Coon and Ulius Amoss worked with Hoyt Vandenburg on Alien issues and UFOs as well

and Colonel Corso died during an investigation of "alien autopsies" he claims to have witnessed which is very hard to believe.

It was just probably another one of Corso's experiments in "Mind Control" and story-telling like he practiced with the Papal Nuncio

Giovanni Battista Montini which resulted in the RatLines success. Too much to digest at once, right?

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Although this book is not yet available, it can be pre-ordered and will be available soon.

On the Trail of the JFK Assassins – A Revealing Look at America's Most Infamous Unsolved Crime, By Dick Russell (Herman Graf/Skyhorse, NY, 2008)

In his new book On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, Dick Russell recaps his experiences and republishes important articles he wrote over the course of decades on the JFK assassination trail. For most career journalists, writing about the political assassinations of the Sixties has also been the kiss of death, a subject matter that marks you, but one you can't touch and move on to another but one that you must follow to the end.

On the Trail of the JFK Assassins is one of two new books by Russell, the other being Don't Start the Revolution Without Me (with Jesse Ventura), both published by Skyhorse, who also recently reissued Russell's Black Genius as well as a new edition of John Newman's Oswald & the CIA.

While we look forward to Horne's book, we also hope that this isn't the end of the trail of the assassins for Russell, as we haven't yet arrived at the final destination where the full truth is known and justice is achieved.

[William Kelly is the co-founder of the Committee for an Open Archives (COA) and the Coalition on Political Assassinations (COPA). He can be reached at bkjfk3@yahoo.com ]

By the end of next month, a digital CD version of my manuscript should be completed:

"Big Daddy" Warbucks (Wickliffe P. Draper) and "Little Orphan" Annie (Anastase Vonsiatsky)

Reich Wing Extremism in the 20th Century.

Google Draper, Vonsiatsky and now Carleton S. Coon who was the pardigm for "Indiana Jones" because they

were both Anthropology Professors, Egyptologists, served in the OSS/CIA, were interested in paranormal UFO's, and reports

of Alien sightings. Carleton S. Coon and Ulius Amoss worked with Hoyt Vandenburg on Alien issues and UFOs as well

and Colonel Corso died during an investigation of "alien autopsies" he claims to have witnessed which is very hard to believe.

It was just probably another one of Corso's experiments in "Mind Control" and story-telling like he practiced with the Papal Nuncio

Giovanni Battista Montini which resulted in the RatLines success. Too much to digest at once, right?

Nope. Do you have anything to say about The Black Prince, Angleton, Anzio and Gladio?

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Dick,

Chapter nine of your book is an excellent article concerning the identification of the rifle found in the alleged sniper’s nest that was originally published in The Village Voice on 26th April 1976.

You point out that the first police reports described the weapon as a German 7.65 Mauser bolt-action rifle. However, the Warren Commission concluded that the only rifle that Oswald owned was a “6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano”.

The article deals with the release of 1,466 pages of CIA files in April 1976. It includes a CIA analysis of the rifle that was used dated 28th November, 1963: “The weapon which appears to have been employed in this criminal attack is a Model 91 rifle, 7.35-caliber, 1938 modification.”

The CIA report goes on to say that “the Italian military authorities decided to eliminate all the Model 91’s (6.5 and 7.35 calibers)”. The report goes on to say that an American company undertook to purchase and modify some 100,000 of these rifles: “The first lot of 7,000 Model 91s which Adam (Company) put on the American market had disastrous results. Many of them burst, with frequently fatal consequences, and many did not fire. This forced Adam to withdraw all the rifles from sale and check them before putting them back on the market.”

As you point out: “If Lee Harvey Oswald really assassinated the president with a 6.5 Mannlicher-Carcano, he couldn’t have made a poorer choice of weaponry….”

It is over 30 years since you wrote this article. Has anymore information emerged during this period to explain the confusion over the rifle found in the Texas School Book Depository building?

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