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Dick Russell's On The Trail of the JFK Assassins


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#46 Robert Howard

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 11:52 PM

Do you still feel that Gilbert Le Cavelier was a credible source after all these years?
I have always been intrigued by his assertion that Hunt met Souetre in Madrid in March-April 1963.


I knew no more about Le Cavelier than I came across in Bud Fensterwald's files. He seemed credible at the time.

Thank You......On another note; In the original version of TMWKTM, in a section regarding Win Scott, you mentioned a connection between Winston Scott and Ray Leddy which revealed they had known each other for quite some time ie Latin America, and then some strange parallels linked to Win Scott's manuscript and Leddy's former wife.....Not the best description, but I am sure you are familiar with the topic.....
With that in mind, I thought you might find the following document interesting.....
More
104-10260-10443
Date: 30-Jun-1960
Title: CABLE- EVENING 23 JUNE COUNSELOR RAY LEDDY AND FIRST SEC JOE MONTLLOR HAD INTERVIEW WITH, AT HOME
To: DIRECTOR
From: MEXICO CITY
Subjects:LEDDY, RAY; AMHAWK
Comments: JFK64-6:F4A 1998.07.01.11:39:23:733108:
DIR CITE MEXI 5820
RYBAT JMNET
RE EMBTEL 3319 25 JUNE 60
http://www.maryferre...amp;relPageId=2
1. EVENING 23 JUNE COUNSELOR RAY LEDDY AND FIRST SECRETARY JOE MONTLLOR HAD INTERVIEW WITH AMHAWK AT HOME LEDDY. MEETING ARRANGED AND ATTENDED BY GULLERMO BELT FORMER CUBAN AMB PBPRIME, FRANCISCO ICHASO CUBAN WRITER ALSO PRESENT. RESULTS MEETING SET FORTH REF.
2. ON 30 JUNE GRAL MANUEL BENITEZ VALDEZ FORMER CUBAN SENATOR REPORTED MEETING ABOVE TO MONTLLOR WITH DETAILS. SAID ICHASO TOLD HIM ABOUT MEETING.
3. STATION HAS EVIDENCE AMHAWK UNDER TECHNICAL SURVEILLANCE [TELEPHONE CONTROLLED AT SWITCHBOARD] WHILE HOTEL. LIKELY PHYSICAL SURVEILLANCE ALSO MOUNTED AGAINST HIM WITH CONSEQUENT SECURITY BREACH. RECOMMEND FRD LEADERS BE WARNED AVOID OVERT U.S. GOVT. CONTACT.

END

I hope you don't mind me posting this here, I just thought you might find the document interesting if you hadn't already seen it......
I have come to the conclusion, that The Man Who Knew Too Much is probably the only book in the field of the Kennedy Assassination, that covers such a wide diversity of people/places/groups.
That is why I have both copies.
Yours in Research
Robert

#47 Dick Russell

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 08:40 AM

Hi Dick,

I vacillate between the L.B.J.-"Mac"Wallace scenario and the scenarios spelled out by researchers like you and Richard Sprague. Therefore, I do not ask this question to be argumentative; I just want to learn.

Without going into any detail (unless you want to), which of Sprague's "cast of characters" do you think were a particular "reach?"

Thank you,
--Thomas


I doubt very much that LBJ had any direct involvement in the assassination (the cover-up is another matter). After all these years, I can't recall specifics about which of Richard Sprague's "cast of characters" didn't hold up for me - only that I felt it was a bit too sweeping, and not based on firsthand information, which I then set out to find via interviews with whoever I could locate. So I have the late Mr. Sprague to thank for his inspiring me onto the trail.

#48 Gene Kelly

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 04:16 AM

Dick:
Your work is great... can't wait to get your book and read it.

#49 J. Raymond Carroll

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 12:08 AM

I doubt very much that LBJ had any direct involvement in the assassination


But do you agree that the killers wanted LBJ to be President?

#50 Dick Russell

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 04:57 PM

I doubt very much that LBJ had any direct involvement in the assassination


But do you agree that the killers wanted LBJ to be President?


I'm sure LBJ was more "palatable" than JFK. Look at how he reversed policy course on Vietnam almost immediately. Same with Cuba, where a rapprochement had been in the works. There would be no elimination of the oil depletion allowance under LBJ either. And no vigorous pursuit of the Mob.

#51 Ron Ecker

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 10:12 PM

I doubt very much that LBJ had any direct involvement in the assassination (the cover-up is another matter).


But no one benefited more from the assassination than LBJ. It appears there were only two possible paths ahead for him, either the White House or the big house. He was capable of anything, and it was easy enough for him to reach out and touch any number of powerful people who wanted JFK gone and could make it happen. So if LBJ wasn't directly involved in the assassination, I have to believe that he was as nearly directly involved as one can get.

#52 Charles Drago

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 10:42 PM

But no one benefited more from the assassination than LBJ.


I'm not sure about the bases on which to make a comparison, Ron, but I'd suggest that the benefits derived from killing JFK must be appreciated from a very deep perspective.

Those families and enterprises most threatened by a new New Deal, an end to the Cold War, the removal of Golden Triangle growing fields from the international drug trade, the elimination of a hemispheric bogeyman in Cuba, a true war on poverty, racial equality, and ultimately the spiritual rebirth of the United States of America had far more to loose than a murderous, venal Texas hack named Lyndon Baines Johnson.

#53 John Simkin

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 10:29 AM

Chapter 3 of your book is a review of a CBS Reports Inquiry into the assassination of John F. Kennedy, that appeared in the Village Voice on 8th December, 1975. In the article you mention that Richard Billings “resigned in outrage in 1968 when Life thwarted the investigation they’d assigned him”.

This suggests that Billings played a principled role in the investigation. However, there is another view of Billings that suggests that he was under the control of the CIA. His involvement with the CIA in the attempts to overthrow Castro dates back to before the assassination of JFK.

In the winter of 1962 Eddie Bayo claimed that two officers in the Red Army based in Cuba wanted to defect to the United States. Bayo added that these men wanted to pass on details about atomic warheads and missiles that were still in Cuba despite the agreement that followed the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bayo's story was eventually taken up by several members of the anti-Castro community including William Pawley, Gerry P. Hemming, John Martino, Felipe Vidal Santiago and Frank Sturgis.

William Pawley became convinced that it was vitally important to help get these Soviet officers out of Cuba. Pawley contacted Ted Shackley at JM WAVE. Shackley decided to help Pawley organize what became known as Operation Tilt. He also assigned Rip Robertson, a fellow member of the CIA in Miami, to help with the operation. David Sanchez Morales, another CIA agent, also became involved in this attempt to bring out these two Soviet officers. For some reason Billings and Life Magazine became involved in this operation.

In June, 1963, a small group made a secret trip to Cuba. They were unsuccessful in their attempts to find these Soviet officers and they were forced to return to Miami. Bayo remained behind and it was rumoured that he had been captured and executed. However, his death was never reported in the Cuban press.

In November, 1963, Billings, working under C. D. Jackson, an important figure in the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird, was a member of the Life Magazine team in Dallas that purchased the Zapruder Film of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Soon after the assassination they also successfully negotiated with Marina Oswald the exclusive rights to her story. This story never appeared in print.

Billings continued to took an interest in the John F. Kennedy assassination. In November 1966 Jim Garrison told a journalist, David Chandler, that he had important information on the case. Chandler told Billings and in January 1967, the Life Magazine reporter arranged a meeting with Garrison. Billings told Garrison that the top management at Life had concluded that Kennedy's assassination had been a conspiracy and that "his investigation was moving in the right direction". Billings suggested that he worked closely with Garrison. According to Garrison "The magazine would be able to provide me with technical assistance, and we could develop a mutual exchange of information".

Garrison agreed to this deal and Billings was introduced to staff member, Tom Bethal. In his diary Bethal reported: "In general, I feel that Billings and I share a similar position about the Warren Report. He does not believe that there was a conspiracy on the part of the government, the Warren Commission or the FBI to conceal the truth, but that a probability exists that they simply did not uncover the whole truth." Billings managed to persuade Bethal that Clay Shaw was innocent. Later it was revealed by W. Penn Jones that "Bethal made the entire trial plan, a complete list of State's witnesses and their expected testimony and other materials available to the Shaw defense team."

In September, 1967, Billings told Jim Garrison that Life Magazine was no longer willing to work with him in the investigation. Billings claimed that this was because he had come to the conclusion that he had links to organized crime. Soon afterwards, Life began a smear campaign against Garrison. It was reported that Garrison had been given money by an unnamed "New Orleans mobster".

In my view Billings became involved in the Garrison investigation in order to undermine it. Billings seems to have been concerned with the links that Garrison was making between the CIA and the assassination.

The House Select Committee on Assassinations was established in September 1976. Billings was recruited by G. Robert Blakey, its chief counsel, as editorial director. Later Billings and Blakey were the co-authors of The Plot to Kill the President (1981). In the book Billings and Blakey argue that there was a conspiracy to kill JFK. Billings claims that Lee Harvey Oswald was involved but believes that there was at least one gunman firing from the Grassy Knoll. Billings comes to the conclusion that the Mafia boss, Carlos Marcello, organized the assassination. The book was reissued in paperback in 1993 as Fatal Hour: The Assassination of President Kennedy by Organized Crime.

Once again Billings appears to be directing researchers away from the involvement of the CIA in the assassination.

What are your thoughts on Billings? Have you interviewed him about the case? Robert Blakey tells me he is still alive.

#54 Nathaniel Heidenheimer

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 05:19 PM

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?

#55 Dick Russell

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 12:27 PM

Chapter 3 of your book is a review of a CBS Reports Inquiry into the assassination of John F. Kennedy, that appeared in the Village Voice on 8th December, 1975. In the article you mention that Richard Billings “resigned in outrage in 1968 when Life thwarted the investigation they’d assigned him”.

This suggests that Billings played a principled role in the investigation. However, there is another view of Billings that suggests that he was under the control of the CIA. His involvement with the CIA in the attempts to overthrow Castro dates back to before the assassination of JFK.

In the winter of 1962 Eddie Bayo claimed that two officers in the Red Army based in Cuba wanted to defect to the United States. Bayo added that these men wanted to pass on details about atomic warheads and missiles that were still in Cuba despite the agreement that followed the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bayo's story was eventually taken up by several members of the anti-Castro community including William Pawley, Gerry P. Hemming, John Martino, Felipe Vidal Santiago and Frank Sturgis.

William Pawley became convinced that it was vitally important to help get these Soviet officers out of Cuba. Pawley contacted Ted Shackley at JM WAVE. Shackley decided to help Pawley organize what became known as Operation Tilt. He also assigned Rip Robertson, a fellow member of the CIA in Miami, to help with the operation. David Sanchez Morales, another CIA agent, also became involved in this attempt to bring out these two Soviet officers. For some reason Billings and Life Magazine became involved in this operation.

In June, 1963, a small group made a secret trip to Cuba. They were unsuccessful in their attempts to find these Soviet officers and they were forced to return to Miami. Bayo remained behind and it was rumoured that he had been captured and executed. However, his death was never reported in the Cuban press.

In November, 1963, Billings, working under C. D. Jackson, an important figure in the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird, was a member of the Life Magazine team in Dallas that purchased the Zapruder Film of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Soon after the assassination they also successfully negotiated with Marina Oswald the exclusive rights to her story. This story never appeared in print.

Billings continued to took an interest in the John F. Kennedy assassination. In November 1966 Jim Garrison told a journalist, David Chandler, that he had important information on the case. Chandler told Billings and in January 1967, the Life Magazine reporter arranged a meeting with Garrison. Billings told Garrison that the top management at Life had concluded that Kennedy's assassination had been a conspiracy and that "his investigation was moving in the right direction". Billings suggested that he worked closely with Garrison. According to Garrison "The magazine would be able to provide me with technical assistance, and we could develop a mutual exchange of information".

Garrison agreed to this deal and Billings was introduced to staff member, Tom Bethal. In his diary Bethal reported: "In general, I feel that Billings and I share a similar position about the Warren Report. He does not believe that there was a conspiracy on the part of the government, the Warren Commission or the FBI to conceal the truth, but that a probability exists that they simply did not uncover the whole truth." Billings managed to persuade Bethal that Clay Shaw was innocent. Later it was revealed by W. Penn Jones that "Bethal made the entire trial plan, a complete list of State's witnesses and their expected testimony and other materials available to the Shaw defense team."

In September, 1967, Billings told Jim Garrison that Life Magazine was no longer willing to work with him in the investigation. Billings claimed that this was because he had come to the conclusion that he had links to organized crime. Soon afterwards, Life began a smear campaign against Garrison. It was reported that Garrison had been given money by an unnamed "New Orleans mobster".

In my view Billings became involved in the Garrison investigation in order to undermine it. Billings seems to have been concerned with the links that Garrison was making between the CIA and the assassination.

The House Select Committee on Assassinations was established in September 1976. Billings was recruited by G. Robert Blakey, its chief counsel, as editorial director. Later Billings and Blakey were the co-authors of The Plot to Kill the President (1981). In the book Billings and Blakey argue that there was a conspiracy to kill JFK. Billings claims that Lee Harvey Oswald was involved but believes that there was at least one gunman firing from the Grassy Knoll. Billings comes to the conclusion that the Mafia boss, Carlos Marcello, organized the assassination. The book was reissued in paperback in 1993 as Fatal Hour: The Assassination of President Kennedy by Organized Crime.

Once again Billings appears to be directing researchers away from the involvement of the CIA in the assassination.

What are your thoughts on Billings? Have you interviewed him about the case? Robert Blakey tells me he is still alive.



You just told me a whole lot more about Billings than I had any idea. I have never spoken to him, though I did peruse the interesting notes he did for the Garrison investigation, at Jim Lesar's archive in DC. Other than that, I really don't have anything further to base an opinion on.

#56 William Kelly

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 04:46 PM

Dick,

What about Eugene Dinkin?

Did you track him down and find out what his story was all about?

Thanks,

Bill Kelly

#57 John Simkin

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 01:17 PM

Chapter 5 of your book includes a long interview with Richard Schweiker in 1975. For example, on page 44 you refer to “152 secret and top-secret documents still salted away in the National Archives… Citing reasons of national security, in 1964 Lyndon Johnson issued an order to keep these particular documents hidden for 75 years, until 2038.” Do you know if these documents have ever been declassified?

#58 Walt Rollins

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 08:17 PM

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.........

#59 Dick Russell

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 04:09 PM

Chapter 5 of your book includes a long interview with Richard Schweiker in 1975. For example, on page 44 you refer to “152 secret and top-secret documents still salted away in the National Archives… Citing reasons of national security, in 1964 Lyndon Johnson issued an order to keep these particular documents hidden for 75 years, until 2038.” Do you know if these documents have ever been declassified?



I don't know anymore where that list of documents is, I would imagine quite a few were declassified by the ARRB but there may be some still salted away.

#60 Dick Russell

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 07:40 AM

Dick,

What about Eugene Dinkin?

Did you track him down and find out what his story was all about?

Thanks,

Bill Kelly


I interviewed Eugene Dinkin in 1976 at Grand Central Station, where he showed me some of his "evidence" - mostly news clips with lots of circles on them, as I recall. I had the feeling he was pretty "out there," that someone had done a number on his head - a likeable fellow though, and one whose initial story out of France I believed then, and still believe. I've no idea if he might still be around somewhere.




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