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Tim Gratz

A Trujillo Sponsored Assassination

91 posts in this topic

Gerry Hemming told Mark Howell and I several days ago that it was his understanding that there was a meeting in Haiti in February of 1963 in which two people from the Dominican Republic contributed funds toward the JFK assassination.

One person was Ramfis Trujillo, the son of Gen Rafael Trujillo, who was killed by an assassins' ambush in May of 1961. The second person was the former intelligence chairman of the Dominican Republican under Gen Trujillo, a man by the name of Johhny Abbes Garcia.

The motive of Trujillo and Abbes Garcia was revenge for the Trujillo assassination, which many believe was organized by the CIA. Some question whether the CIA did in fact kill Trujillo but one of Trujillo's associates published a book stating that the Trujillo assassination was encouraged by E Howard Hunt and Johnny Rosselli, who met with the plotters in the DR.

Ramfis Trujillo served as president of the DR for a few months after his father's murder. I understand he was somewhat of an international playboy and friend of Hollywood starlets.

If indeed Abbes Garcia helped finance the JFK assassination, he was not new to the business. He apparently funded Alexander Rorke in one of the first assassination attempts against Castro. James Richards provided an article by Andrew St. George re this 1959 attempt to kill Castro. It is an interesting read so I am posting it with this should you be interested.

The reason Trujillo wanted to kill Castro in 1959 was because efforts were being made from Cuba to destabilize his govermnent. That is another long story that I will not get into at this time, except to note that Hemming states that he had participated in that effort.

The St George article is below:

The U.S. government, worried about the Caribbean aftermath of a successful assassination, is not happy about such attempts. But American nervousness has not been able to do too much about it. Some of the attempts have come so close to success that Castro has been left with the apprehensive wariness of a lone fox in a hunting preserve.

An early try at an ambush was engineered by the formerly intelligence chief, the sinister Col. Johnny Abbes, of the Dominican Republic. Abbes, working on orders of Dominican strongman Rafael Trujillo-himself the victim of assassination-hired a swashbuckling American adventurer, Alex Rorke, son-in-law of New York's famed restauranteur, Sherman Billingsley, to pilot a speedboat that landed eight men before dawn in eastern Cuba. The plan was to ambush Castro on his way to speak at a service at the Santiago cemetery.

Through a pouring rain, Trujillo's Tommy gun team spotted Castro's chief bodyguard, Capt. Alfredo Gamonal, in the second jeep of a caravan.

The killers assumed Castro was in the back seat, and their bullets chewed up Gamonal, the superintendent of cemeteries and the jeep driver. Castro, riding in the next-to-the-last jeep, was unhurt.

"He may have nine lives," Abess told Rorke, who returned to Ciudad Trujillo complaining of Castro's charmed life. "But if so, I'll try a tenth time."

Abbes acquired an apartment in Havana overlooking the CMQ television studios, where Castro appeared frequently to deliver his nation-wide harangues. Another American adventurer, a one-time top competition sharpshooter, was retained by Trujillo on a down payment of $25,000 and the promise of a cool million if he managed to score a clean hit on his moving target.

The marksman said he could do it, but demanded a special weapon-a bench-adjusted telescopic carbine with a nondeflecting muzzle silencer.

(I added the emphasis on Abbes Garcia in the article.)

Edited by Tim Gratz

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For our newspaper story re the above, James supplied us of a great photo of Ramfis Trujillo with Kim Novak, vintage 1958. I am requesting James help to pust under this topic that photo; a photo of Alexander Rorke; ana a photo of the notorious Gen. Trujillo.

Thanks (as always, but this time in advance), James!

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As I am sure members are aware, Alex Rorke and his pilot Geoffrey Sullivan disappeared on a secret mission of some sort in late September of 1963. I think Geoffrey Sullivan's daughter Sherry is a Forum member. We had the privilege of meeting her, Christy Cox and several others at a Gordon Winslow sponsored meeting last May.

Hemming and his No Name Key colleagues and several others went on a week-long effort to find traces of the missing flight. Mark and I did a separate story just on the Rorke angle and we will post it as soon as I can translate the newspaper word-processor into a compatible format.

Edited by Tim Gratz

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The second person was the former intelligence chairman of the Dominican Republican under Gen Trujillo, a man by the name of Johhny Abbes Garcia.

In his 1975 Argosy interview with Dick Russell, Hemming identified Arturo Espaillat as Trujillo's chief of intelligence. In his HSCA deposition Hemming stated that Espaillat, based in Montreal in 1963, was in Dallas at the time of the assassination. And Hemming told the 1996 November in Dallas Conference that Espaillat in Montreal had gathered funds from Canada and Europe and sent them to Dallas to fund a French team.

So what is the relationship between Espaillat and Abbes Garcia, both said by Hemming to be Rafael Trujillo chiefs of intelligence contributing funds for the JFK hit?

Ron

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For our newspaper story re the above, James supplied us of a great photo of Ramfis Trujillo with Kim Novak, vintage 1958.  I am requesting James help to pust under this topic that photo; a photo of Alexander Rorke; ana a photo of the notorious Gen. Trujillo. 

Thanks (as always, but this time in advance), James!

Here are the photos as requested.

Abbes was a very interesting character indeed. He died in 1967. Ramfis Trujillo was involved in a car crash in France in 1967 where his female companion was killed. There was a suggestion that this was an assassination attempt.

In mid December of 1969, Ramfis was involved in another car crash this time in Spain. He survived but died of Pneumonia only a few weeks later on the 28th of December.

FWIW.

James

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Abbes was a very interesting character indeed. He died in 1967.

How and where did he die? Hemming told Russell in 1975 that Arturo Espaillat "died in an accident in Lisbon a few years ago."

Ron

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Abbes was a very interesting character indeed. He died in 1967.

How and where did he die? Hemming told Russell in 1975 that Arturo Espaillat "died in an accident in Lisbon a few years ago."

Ron

Johnny Abbes was killed in a house explosion in Haiti. The theory is that Joaquin Balaguer was behind it.

James

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Ron wrote:

In his 1975 Argosy interview with Dick Russell, Hemming identified Arturo Espaillat as Trujillo's chief of intelligence. In his HSCA deposition Hemming stated that Espaillat, based in Montreal in 1963, was in Dallas at the time of the assassination. And Hemming told the 1996 November in Dallas Conference that Espaillat in Montreal had gathered funds from Canada and Europe and sent them to Dallas to fund a French team.

So what is the relationship between Espaillat and Abbes Garcia, both said by Hemming to be Rafael Trujillo chiefs of intelligence contributing funds for the JFK hit?

Ron, I will check with Gerry re this matter. Thanks for calling it to my attention. BTW, Hemming did tell me the Dominican funds were to finance French assassins.

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Another component here that may be of interest is an individual named Porfirio Rubirosa. Rubirosa was a playboy who had at one time been married to Tujillo's daughter and had shared several women with JFK including Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Rubirosa and Ramfis were very close after Trujillo's assassination. Both men hunted down and executed those who they believed responsible.

When it was revealed that the White House was aiding the government of the Dominican Republic with quite some considerable funds; and the chinless wonder Ramfis was jet setting around the world spending up big, some serious questions were being asked by Congress.

A secret meeting supposedly took place between JFK and Rubirosa on a boat. What the outcome was, is up for historical debate.

There is no doubt that Rubirosa had an in with the Kennedys. Researching Rubirosa's background is a worthwhile exercise as it relates to the death of Galindez. I urge those interested to Google this aspect as I believe it to be significant.

The image below shows Rubirosa's wife Odile Rodin, Perfirio Rubirosa, Patricia Kennedy and Peter Lawford.

BTW, Rubirosa died in a car accident in Paris in 1965.

FWIW.

James

Edited by James Richards

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James' information that Ramfis Trujillo hunted down and killed his countrymen whom he believed were responsible for his father's murder is most interesting.

If he believed (probably with justification) that the CIA was also involved with his father's assassination, then he may very wanted to have Kennnedy killed, presuming (rightly or wrongly) that the President would have had to authorize a CIA assassination.

So I think James' post is significant indeed.

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James' information that Ramfis Trujillo hunted down and killed his countrymen whom he believed were responsible for his father's murder is most interesting.

If he believed (probably with justification) that the CIA was also involved with his father's assassination, then he may very wanted to have Kennnedy killed, presuming (rightly or wrongly) that the President would have had to authorize a CIA assassination.

So I think James' post is significant indeed.

I consider the Trujillo connection a possibility. The Guatemala CIA documents released in 97 revealed that Trujillo had given funds to Castillo-Armas to kill Dominican dissidents living in Guatemala. The documents also revealed that some of the assassinations were to be performed by CIA cut-outs. A few years later a Dominican dissident named Galindez was kidnapped right off the streets of New York and murdered, and Maheu (a CIA cut-out) was tied to the plane used to fly him to Florida, and was seen in the company of Dominican intelligence officer Espailat. A few years after that Maheu was the CIA's first choice to kill Castro. Around this same time, Trujillo tried to kill Betancourt of Venezuela and was written off as a madman by the CIA and the U.S. Government. His attempts at invading Cuba had come to nothing, and his repression in the Dominican were creating a possible communist backlash so he no longer served their purpose. After taking office, JFK turned off the Eisenhower-backed assassination of Trujillo, only Tracey Barnes of the CIA went behind the back of the State Department and kept it on track. After the Bay of Pigs, JFK wanted to make sure the assass attempt was totally turned off, but the assassins were determined to go through with it anyhow. So when Trujillo was killed, we washed our hands of the situation and allowed his son to enact horrible deaths on the assassins we'd encouraged. We then cut a deal with Ramfis that he could keep all his loot and move to Europe if he left peacefully and allowed us to install a Democracy.

I believe it's possible he wanted even more revenge, and found it by having JFK killed and Castro framed for his murder. He knew that the CIA would cover its own ass and involvement and that no real investigation would occur. The man hired to orchestrate the killing: Robert Maheu...with the help of course of his ole pal Johnny Rosselli. Another interesting tidbit is that the Domican Republic's publicist in Washington was I. Irving Davidson, who also repped Carlos Marcello and Clint Murchison. In 1967 Davidson was to go to Clyde Tolson to let him (and Hoover) know that Hugh McDonald was asking people about George De Mohrenschildt. This was obviously a way of warning LBJ.

Between these characters something certainly could have taken place.

Edited by Pat Speer

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Interesting post, Pat.

I do not believe there is sufficient information to link Maheu to the assassination and I think we should be cautiuous making allegations about people who are still alive. I think Maheu had been backed out of the anti-Castro stuff by the CIA (along with Giancana) when William Harvey arrived. It then became a Harvey-Rosselli operation.

It has been reported that Rip Robertson and David Morales were both drinking buddies of Rosselli. I'm sure you are aware of this.

One question I have for you is support for the statement that JFK tried to call off the Trujillo plot. It has been a while since I read the Church Committee's summary of the Trujillo plot. Do you havce support for the fact that: (1) JFK was aware of it in the first place; (2) that he tried to call it off; and (3) that it was Tracey Barnes that kept it going?

I think there may have been a number of different groups that coalesced in the Kennedy assassination. Certainly Davidson could have been, as you suggest, a link between the Trujillo forces and Marcello and the organized crime forces.

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James wrote:

Ramfis Trujillo was involved in a car crash in France in 1967 where his female companion was killed. There was a suggestion that this was an assassination attempt.

In mid December of 1969, Ramfis was involved in another car crash this time in Spain. He survived but died of Pneumonia only a few weeks later on the 28th of December.

. . .

Rubirosa died in a car accident in Paris in 1965.

Were all these guys just bad drivers? Perhaps it was just the Paris traffic!

Edited by Tim Gratz

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Were all these guys just bad drivers? Perhaps it was just the Paris traffic! (Tim Gratz)

Tim,

Rubirosa was quite a successful racing car driver behind the wheel of a Ferrari. The crash that claimed his life was one of those single car ones where he made a 100mph dent in a tree.

James

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James, are there any more details of the accident, e.g. witnesses, that might prove it was actually an accident (as opposed to his being forced off the road)?

How about any further information of the house explosion in which Abbess Garcia died in 1967? That certainly seems suspicious although houses do sometimes explode because of gas leaks, etc.

The issue of the potential involvement in the Kennedy assassination of people upset over the Trujillo assassination seems a plausible theory at least worthy of additional research. GPH mentioned that there was a book by an author named, as I recall, Diederich, that discussed this. Anyone have a reference to this book by chance?

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