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John McAdams and Dorothy Kilgallen


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#1 John Simkin

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 10:47 AM

If you do any research of major figures in the JFK assassination via web search engines you will soon find yourself on John McAdams’ website. He is clearly the main disinformation source on the net. He adopts an academic tone and if one was not aware of the facts of the person or event he is writing about, one would think he has logically looked at the evidence available. He is therefore doing a successful job in misleading students about the JFK assassination. In fact, it could be argued that his impact has been as great as other disinformation agents such as David Atlee Phillips, G. Robert Blakey, Dick Billings, Jack Anderson, Gary Mack and Gerald Posner.

Macadams is reluctant to get involved in debate over these issues. Although he is a member of this forum he has so far refused to post. I thought that if we analyse his articles in great detail we can expose his disinformation strategy. We might even goad him into trying to defend himself (maybe another non-posting member, Gary Mack, will help him out).

Over the last few weeks I have been involved in researching Dorothy Kilgallen. John McAdams’ page is ranked number 2 at Google. I was appalled when I read his article and thought it might be good idea to analyse it paragraph by paragraph.

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/death4.htm

If you believe what the conspiracy books tell you, and know little else about the case, then the death of Dorothy Kilgallen, like many deaths of people tangentially connected to the case, seems "mysterious." Kilgallen, a gossip columnist for the New York Journal-American and a panelist on the popular game show "What's My Line" was found dead in her New York City apartment on November 8, 1965.

How was she connected to the Kennedy assassination, and why was her death "mysterious?" Conspiracy author Jim Marrs explains:

“Whatever information Kilgallen learned and from whatever source, many researchers believe it brought about her strange death. She told attorney Mark Lane: "They've killed the President, [and] the government is not prepared to tell us the truth . . . " and that she planned to "break the case." To other friends she said: "This has to be a conspiracy! . . . I'm going to break the real story and have the biggest scoop of the century." And in her last column item regarding the assassination, published on September 3, 1965, Kilgallen wrote: "This story isn't going to die as long as there's a real reporter alove (sic) - and there are a lot of them."

“But on November 8, 1965, there was one less reporter. That day Dorothy Kilgallen was found dead in her home. It was initially reported that she died of a heart attack, but quickly this was changed to an overdose of alcohol and pills. (Crossfire, p. 425)”


How much of this is true, and how much of what's true is "mysterious?"

As always McAdams starts off by giving the impression he is going to approach the subject with an open mind. He also puts forward the view that he has considered all the evidence available: “If you believe what the conspiracy books tell you, and know little else about the case, then the death of Dorothy Kilgallen, like many deaths of people tangentially connected to the case, seems "mysterious." People he disagrees with are always dismissed as “conspiracy theorists”.

McAdams selects a paragraph from Jim Marrs’ book Crossfire. One wonders why he has not started at the beginning and quoted from William Penn Jones, the first journalist to raise the issue of Kilgallen’s death. For example, this is what Jones wrote in The Midlothian Mirror (November 25, 1965):

“I have a concern for the strange things happening in America in recent months. With the passing of the second anniversary of the murder of President Kennedy, we take not of some of the strange things which continue to plague those around the principals.”

“Miss Dorothy Kilgallen joins the growing list of persons who have died after a private interview with one of the two members of the Jack Ruby-George Senator team. We have printed the strange deaths of Bill Hunter and Jim Koethe after they had a private interview with George Senator and Ruby’s attorney, Tom Howard. Hunter and Koethe were murdered. Lawyer Tom Howard died under strange circumstances...”

“Now Miss Kilgallen dies under clouded circumstances. During the Ruby trial in Dallas, Judge Joe B. Brown granted Miss Kilgallen a privilege given no other newsman. She had thirty minutes alone in a room with Jack Ruby. Even the guards were outside the door. Miss Kilgallen told some of what went of during the interview in her columns. But was someone afraid she knew more?”


It is clear why McAdams does not use this quote. For it provides a great deal of information that he would be unable to refute. Jones also provides a motive for Kilgallen’s death. Nor does McAdams refer to another part of Jones’s story, that Kilgallen’s friend, Florence Smith, who was given details of what she had discovered about the JFK assassination, died two days later.

Let's start with the story as reported in Kilgallen's own paper, the Journal-American.

Dorothy Kilgallen, famed columnist of the Journal-American, died today at her home, 45 E. 68th St. She was 52.

Miss Kilgallen died in her sleep. She was found by a maid and a hairdresser who came to the home to keep a 12:15 p.m. appointment. Alongside her bed was a book which she apparently had been reading before falling asleep.
She had written her last column, which appears in today's editions, early in the morning and had sent it to The Journal-American offices by messenger at 2:30 am.

Miss Kilgallen's husband, actor and producer Richard Kollmar, and their youngest child, Kerry, were sleeping in other rooms when she died.

The article notes that Kilgallen's father said that Kilgallen "apparently suffered a heart attack." Marrs makes this out to be a sinister "story," but it clearly was the speculation of a grieving father who knew his daughter had been found dead with no evidence of foul play.


McAdams seems to be suggesting that because this passage is from Kilgallen’s own newspaper it must be true. Do newspapers always get the facts right about recent events? Of course they don’t and this is no exception. McAdams implies that Kilgallen could not have been murdered because her son and husband were sleeping in other rooms. In fact, it is far from clear if Kollmar was in the house at the time of her death. He told Detective John Doyle he had not seen his wife when she came in that night. However, he told another policeman, Mike Ward, that she came in at 11.30 p.m. and they had a drink together. This was clearly untrue as Kilgallen was seen by several witnesses at the Regency Hotel after midnight. The police decided not to take action against Kollmar for giving false testimony. As Doyle later pointed out, when he interviewed Kollmar soon after Kilgallen’s body had been found: “He was completely inebriated. I don’t even think he knew his own name.” Kollmar was an alcoholic and if he had been in the house he would have been in a drunken stupor and would not have heard what was going on.

Nor does McAdams point out that Kilgallen’s home was a very large five story house. Servants and students also lived in the house. There was much coming and going and Kerry would have unlikely to have been woken up by visitors arriving in the early hours of the morning. If so, he would have been woken every night as both Kilgallen and Kollmar always arrived home in the early hours of the morning.
The newspaper account does not point out which bedroom she was found in. In fact it was the master bedroom on the third floor. That was the murderer’s first mistake. Kilgallen had not slept with her husband in the master bedroom for many years. What a coincidence that on the night she dies she decides to sleep in a different bedroom to the one she always used.

A week later, in the Nov. 15, 1965 number, the Journal-American quoted Assistant Medical Examiner James Luke on what happened:

The death of Dorothy Kilgallen, Journal-American columnist and famed TV personality, was contributed to by a combination of moderate quantities of alcohol and barbiturates, a medical examiner's report stated today.

As many personalities whose multiple duties and responsibilities demand unceasing attention, Miss Kilgallen experienced recurring tensions in meeting her deadlines for performances - both as a newspaperwoman and TV performer.

In his report today, Dr. James Luke, Assistant Medical Examiner, said that although Miss Kilgallen had only "moderate amounts of each," the effect of the combination had caused depression of the central nervous system "which in turn caused her heart to stop."


Once again, McAdams implies that this report must be true because it was in the Journal American. The implication is that Kilgallen committed suicide because she “experienced recurring tensions in meeting her deadlines for performances - both as a newspaperwoman and TV performer”. There is no truth in this statement at all. Kilgallen had no trouble with her deadlines or her attendance on “What’s My Line”. In fact she had appeared on the programme on the day she died. Far from not writing her column for the Journal-American she was doing extra work for the newspaper, including writing several articles on the JFK assassination.

However, if you are to believe the 3rd paragraph, what are you to make of the 4th paragraph. Dr. James Luke’s evidence suggests that Kilgallen has died as a result of an accident. Luke does not mention the fact that he also found 50 cubic centimetres of “pink fluid” in Kilgallen stomach. This liquid was sent to toxicology for analysis. For some reason Luke never published what this was.

McAdams does not inform the reader that Dr. Charles J. Umberger, director of toxicology at the New York City Medical Examiner Office, believed that Kilgallen had been murdered. This was because he identified what was in her stomach at the time of her death. This included amo, pento and secobarbitol. He also found quinine in the brain, bile, and liver. This is important as it had been used my murderers before to disguise the bitterness of secreted barbiturates. In 1968 Umberger told his assistant what had been found in these toxicology tests on Kilgallen. However he was told to keep the information secret: “Keep it under your hat. It was big.”

It could be argued that McAdams is unaware of this evidence. However, this is unlikely as he has obviously read Lee Israel’s book Kilgallen, where some of the other quotes he uses comes from.

The details of Kilgallen's death are recorded in documents produced by the office of the Medical Examiner. These are National Archives Record Number 1801007110433 — Agency File number 007250 from the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

This set of documents includes the "Report of Death" form from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, the "Autopsy Report" (with the autopsy being performed by Junior Medical Examiner James Luke with doctors Sturner and Baden present), a handwritten addendum to the "Autopsy Report" that gave the microscopic and chemical findings, and "Notice of Death" of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York.

Key points include:

1. Her husband was with her in her New York east side apartment, although not in the same bedroom.

2. Her husband said she returned from "What's My Line" feeling chipper. She went to her bedroom. The next day he found her dead.

3. The examination of the body at the scene found "no trauma" and "no signs violence" [sic].

4. The autopsy found no injuries whatsoever that could account for her death, nor any evidence of a struggle nor (say) pills being forced down her throat.

5. The cause of death in the autopsy says "PENDING FURTHER STUDY." A handwritten note below that says "Acute ethanol and barbiturate intoxication. Circumstances undetermined." This handwritten note was apparently based on the chemical findings, which were appended to the report. She had a blood alcohol level of 0.15, and barbiturate level that says "UV - 2.4 [illegible]" in the liver.


Point 1 is unproven. Point 2 is clearly false. As the Journal-American pointed out the day after Kilgallen died: “She was found by a maid and a hairdresser who came to the home to keep a 12:15 p.m. appointment.” As McAdams knows from reading Lee Israel’s book, the body was actually found by her personal maid, Anne Hamilton, and the hairdresser, Marc Sinclaire, at around 12.30 p.m. Richard Kollmar was still asleep in his room at this time (Kollmar was an alcoholic who always slept late).

It is noticeable that McAdams never refers to Marc Sinclaire in his article. This is understandable because Sinclaire provided the evidence that indicated Kilgallen was murdered.

It was Sinclaire’s regular duty to wake Kilgallen in the morning. Kilgallen was often out to the early hours of the morning and like her husband always slept late. Sinclaire knew immediately that foul play had taken place.

(1) Kilgallen was not sleeping in her normal bedroom. Instead she was in the master bedroom, a room she had not occupied for several years.

(2) Kilgallen was wearing false eyelashes. According to Sinclaire she always took her eyelashes off before she went to bed.

(3) She was found sitting up with the book, The Honey Badger, by Robert Ruark, on her lap. Sinclaire claims that she had finished reading the book several weeks earlier (she had discussed the book with Sinclaire at the time).

(4) Kilgallen had poor eyesight and could only read with the aid of glasses. Her glasses were not found in the bedroom where she died.

(5) Kilgallen was found wearing a bolero-type blouse over a nightgown. Sinclaire claimed that this was the kind of thing “she would never wear to go to bed”.
Conclusion? It's really impossible to believe some Oliver Stone scenario of hoods coming into her apartment and forcing a bunch of pills down her throat. Neither the alcohol nor the barbiturate level was absurdly high, as it would be with an intentional overdose. I suppose it's possible she committed suicide by mixing both alcohol and barbiturates intentionally, but this really looks like an accident.

As far as I am aware no researcher into this case has suggested a “scenario of hoods coming into her apartment and forcing a bunch of pills down her throat”. It is believed that Kilgallen arrived home with her young boyfriend, the man who Israel calls the “Out-of-Towner”. It is interesting that McAdams does not refer to this man.

Mark Lane said in 1976 that “I would bet you a thousand-to-one that the CIA surrounded her (Kilgallen) as soon as she started writing those stories.” I agree. Dick Billings played this role when Jim Garrison was working on his investigation. Billings was also called in to monitor Gaeton Fonzi and his team in 1976-78. Who did the CIA use against Kilgallen?

The only new person who became close to Kilgallen during this period was her new secret lover. Lee Israel calls him the “Out-of-Towner”. He arrived on the scene in June, 1964. According to Israel she met him in Carrara during a press junket for journalists working in the film industry. The trip was paid for by Twentieth Century-Fox who used it to publicize three of its films: The Sound of Music, The Agony and the Ecstasy and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. Israel claims that the “Out-of-Towner” went up to Kilgallen and asked her if she was “Clare Boothe Luce”. This is in itself an interesting introduction. Kilgallen and Luce did not look like each other. Luce and her husband (Henry Luce) however were to play an important role in the JFK assassination. Henry Luce, a CIA media asset, owned Life Magazine and arranged to buy up the Zapruder film. Life Magazine also successfully negotiated with Marina Oswald the exclusive rights to her story. This story never appeared in print.

I don’t believe “Out-of-Towner” did use this line when he met Kilgallen. I suspect that Kilgallen suspected he was a CIA spy. She therefore told her friends this is what he said so that if anything happened to her, a future investigator would realize that “Out-of-Towner” was a CIA agent with links to Clare Boothe Luce. Unfortunately for her, investigators missed this clue.

Why does Israel not name Kilgallen’s young lover? She knew who he was because she interviewed him for her book on Kilgallen. The story goes that she was worried that he would take her to court if he was named in the book. But why? Israel does not accuse him of murdering Kilgallen. All Israel does is to suggest that he met her on the night she was killed. I believe it was his employers, the CIA, who placed pressure on Israel not to name him. She also gives him a false identity by claiming he was a songwriter when in reality he was a journalist working for Columbus Citizen-Journal..

The man’s real name was Ron Pataky. He was interviewed by David B. Henschel in 1993. He admitted that he was the “Out-of-Towner” and that he worked on articles about the JFK assassination with Kilgallen. Pataky confessed to meeting Kilgallen several times in the Regency Hotel. However, he denied Lee Israel’s claim that he was with her on the night of her death.

The existence of Pataky creates problems for McAdams’ version of events so he is ignored. Pataky, who was almost certainly a CIA media asset sent to discover what Kilgallen had found out about the JFK assassination. He was with her at the Regency Hotel on the evening of her death. He probably introduced her to the killer and the three returned to the house together.

And she seemed to be in good spirits the night she died. Quoting the Journal-American:

A member for years of the panel on the nationwide CBS TV show "What's My Line," Miss Kilgallen appeared with the panel last night.

She was at her usual best, asking probing questions and guessing the occupation of two of the five persons who appeared on the show.

"She was in excellent spirits and, as usual, right on the ball," said John Daly, moderator of the show.

Of course, the Journal-American would have a vested interest in presenting their columnist in the best light. But it's also true that the "Report of Death" quoted her husband saying she was "chipper" after appearing on "What's My Line."


When it suits him McAdams claims that Journal-American must know the truth because it employed Kilgallen (depressed because she had not been meeting deadlines). However, when the Journal-American claims she was “at her usual best” the newspaper is lying in order to protect her reputation. All the evidence suggests that at the time of her death Kilgallen’s journalism and television performances were as good as they had ever been.

Interestingly, she was working on a book to be titled Murder One. It was to be a compilation and study of all the trials she had covered — including the Sam Sheppard trial, the Wayne Lonegan trial, the Dr. Bernard Finch trial, as well as the trial of Bruno Hauptman. There is no mention in the article that the book would include the Jack Ruby trial, although it's very logical to assume it would have done so, since she had covered it and it was even more celebrated than the others (Journal-American, Nov. 8, 1965).

In fact, in the November 15, 1965 article, it is claimed that she was particularly happy that she had completed the preface to her book and submitted it to Bennet Cerf, fellow panelist on "What's My Line" and "a book publisher."

McAdams is particularly badly informed about Murder One. Yet this is covered in some detail in Lee Israel’s book on Kilgallen. The book was commissioned by Bennett Cerf of Random House in 1961 while she was covering the murder trial of Bernard Finch and Carole Tregoff. The book was to contain a series of chapters on famous murder cases she had reported on over the years. The book was virtually finished by 1963. However, after JFK was assassinated she decided to include a final section on the “crime of the century”.

Kilgallen spent 18 months on this section of the book. Some of the material appeared in the Journal-American. For example, she appears to have had a good contact within the Dallas Police Department. He gave her a copy of the original police log that chronicled the minute-by-minute activities of the department in the immediate wake of the assassination, as reflected in the radio communications. This enabled her to report that Chief Curry’s first reaction to the shots in Dealey Plaza was: “Get a man on top of the overpass and see what happened up there”. Kilgallen pointed out that he lied when he told reporters the next day that he initially thought the shots were fired from the Texas Book Depository.

Kilgallen also had a source within the Warren Commission. This person gave her an 102 page segment dealing with Jack Ruby before it was published. She published details of this leak and so therefore ensuring that this section appeared in the final version of the report.

In another of her stories, Kilgallen claimed that Marina Oswald knew a great deal about the JFK assassination. If she told the “whole story of her life with President Kennedy’s alleged assassin, it would split open the front pages of newspapers all over the world.”

Kilgallen’s courageous reporting brought her into contact with Mark Lane who had himself received an amazing story from the journalist Thayer Waldo. He had discovered that J.D. Tippit, Jack Ruby and Bernard Weissman had a meeting at the Carousel Club eight days before the assassination. Waldo, who worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, was too scared to publish the story. He had other information about the assassination. However, he believed that if he told Lane or Kilgallen he would be killed. Kilgallen’s article on the Tippit, Ruby and Weissman meeting appeared on the front page of the Journal American. Later she was to reveal that the Warren Commission were also tipped off about this gathering. However, their informant added that there was a fourth man at the meeting, an important figure in the Texas oil industry.

Several conspiracy books point out that Kilgallen was the only reporter to get a private interview with Jack Ruby. As far as I know, none provide the full background details of this interview. It was set up by Ruby’s lawyer Joe Tonahill. Kilgallen went to Tonahill with a message for Ruby from a mutual friend. It was only after this message was delivered that Ruby agreed to be interviewed by Kilgallen. Tonahill remembers that the mutual friend was from San Francisco who was involved in the music industry.

The interview with Ruby lasted eight minutes. No one else was there. Even the guards agreed to wait outside. Officially, Kilgallen never told anyone about what Ruby said to her during this interview. Nor did she publish any information she obtained from the interview. There is a reason for this. Kilgallen was in financial difficulties in 1964. This was partly due to some poor business decisions by her husband, Richard Kollmar. The couple also lost the lucrative contract for their popular breakfast show (due to Kollmar’s heavy drinking). Kilgallen also was facing an expensive libel case concerning an article she wrote about a fellow journalist. In 1964 her financial situation was so bad she fully expected to lose her beloved house at 45 East 68 Street in New York.

Kilgallen was a staff member of Journal American. Any article about the Jack Ruby interview in her newspaper would not have helped her serious financial situation. Therefore she decided to include what she knew about the JFK assassination in Murder One. She fully expected that this book would earn her a fortune. This is why she refused to tell anyone, including Mark Lane, about what Ruby told her in the interview arranged by Tonahill. Just before her death Kilgallen told Lane that she had a new important informant in New Orleans. At this point Lane left the US for a meeting in Europe. When he returned he discovered that Kilgallen had died.

Still, if she had "broken open" the JFK assassination case, it's very hard to see why she would have relegated her earth-shaking information to a chapter in a book that covered a half-dozen or so murder cases, rather than writing a book on the assassination, or using her column to reveal the nature of the plot. In fact, she had written numerous columns on the assassination. None of the columns, however, contained any earth shaking information. Rather, they just repeated conspiracy factoids that had been, or soon would be, all over the JFK assassination literature.

As I have explained, there were financial reasons why Kilgallen kept the important information for the book. This also explains why she initially planned to include this information in Murder One. By the time she had completed a book on the assassination she would probably have lost her house in New York. Like many journalists, Kilgallen had difficulty writing something of book length. Except for a collection of her newspaper articles she had never published a book. This caused her some concern and was determined that Murder One would establish her reputation as a investigative writer. It has to be remembered that Dorothy idolized her father, Jack Kilgallen, who had a reputation of being the finest journalist of his generation.

McAdams claim is completely untrue that: “None of the columns, however, contained any earth shaking information. Rather, they just repeated conspiracy factoids that had been, or soon would be, all over the JFK assassination literature.” Kilgallen was the first to publish details of the original Dallas police log that chronicled the minute-by-minute activities of the department in the immediate wake of the assassination, as reflected in the radio communications. This revealed that Chief Chief had lied when he told reporters the next day that he initially thought the shots were fired from the Texas Book Depository.

Kilgallen also provided details of what the Warren Commission report would contain. This ensured that this section appeared in the final version of the report.
She also broke the story that Marina Oswald’s silence was being paid for by Life Magazine.

Finally, she was the first to publish details of the J.D. Tippit, Jack Ruby and Bernard Weissman meeting at the Carousel Club eight days before the assassination.

Her claim that she was going to "break the case" appears to be nothing beyond professional bravado. She never claimed to "have broken" the case, or said "I know who the conspirators were." Whatever her high hopes, there is no evidence that she had any information dangerous to any conspiracy, nor that she would have been able to do what no reporter has done since. Her death was thus yet another tragedy trivialized by conspiracist "researchers."

Kilgallen did in fact tell several of her friends that she would “break the case.” According to David Welsh (Ramparts - November, 1966): “Miss Kilgallgen's "What's My Line" makeup man said that shortly before her death she vowed she would "crack this case." And another New York show biz friend said Dorothy told him in the last days of her life: "In five more days I'm going to bust this case wide open." According to Lee Israel Kilgallen also told Mark Lane a similar story.

It is unlikely Kilgallen had the full story. However, she did know a great deal about the JFK assassination? To understand this you need to realise the way she worked. By the 1950s Kilgallen was the most important gossip columnist in America. She had achieved this position by developing a very good strategy for gaining secret information about famous people. This is how it worked. Kilgallen was swamped with requests by press agents to plug the activities of their clients. For example, an actor’s latest movie or a singer’s latest record. Kilgallen always refused these requests. Instead she offered a deal. Bring me three detrimental stories concerning other stars and I will include a good piece about your client. As these stars were usual rivals of their clients, they were only too willing to do so. Some of the information she received was political. She often wrote about political issues and developed a reputation for holding right-wing opinions.

Kilgallen also had another sources. According to several of her close friends, Kilgallen received information from the CIA. Kilgallen was in fact an important CIA media asset. Kilgallen was given a great deal of information about the situation in Cuba. In 1959 and 1960 Kilgallen included a large number of anti-Castro stories in her column. According to her friends she was also receiving information from Cuban exiles based in Miami.

Kilgallen sometimes included highly subversive material in her column. For example, on 15th July, 1959, Kilgallen became the first journalist to suggest that the CIA and the Mafia were working together in order to assassinate Fidel Castro.

J. Edgar Hoover was fully aware that Kilgallen was not a loyal right-winger. The FBI maintained a dossier about Kilgallen’s activities. As a result of the Freedom of Information Act some of these files have been published. It shows that in the 1930s and 1940s Kilgallen was seen as being “cooperative”. However, concerns about her behaviour was raised by her behaviour in the late 1950s. Kilgallen was obviously considered an important figure The files that have been released shows that Hoover added his own handwritten comments in the margins of these FBI reports.

Kilgallen also received a lot of information from the CIA about JFK. However, she was a close friend of JFK. Kilgallen’s friendship with JFK was kept a secret. On one occasion Bobby Short was with Kilgallen at the Stock Club. JFK came over to Kilgallen and began talking to the couple. One of JFK first comments was: “Dorothy, do you remember the night we played charades at your house?” Up until that time, Short was not even aware that Kilgallen knew JFK.

Kilgallen was fully informed about JFK’s sexual affairs with women. One day she was gossiping about this with her friend Allen Stokes. He asked her why she did not write about it in her column. She replied “I couldn’t possibly”. It would indeed be a great scoop for her. But she decided to protect him.

However, Kilgallen broke this rule when on the 3rd August, 1962, she became the first journalist to refer to JFK relationship with Marilyn Monroe. She did not actually name him but left enough clues for the readers to identify JFK as the secret man in Monroe’s life (later Kilgallen claimed she was in fact referring to Robert Kennedy). One can only assume that she came under severe pressure from someone to write this story. My belief is that it was the FBI or CIA who had put her under pressure to print this information.

The following day Monroe was found dead. Kilgallen must have realised that the FBI/CIA had set her up to smear the Kennedy brothers. Rumours soon began circulating that RFK had arranged Monroe’s death to protect JFK. In reality, Monroe had been killed to implicate the Kennedy brothers in murder. At the time, the murderers must have been confident that JFK would be ousted from power. In fact, Hoover used the incident to get JFK to promise him the job as head of the FBI for life.

McAdams ends his article with the passage: “Whatever her high hopes, there is no evidence that she had any information dangerous to any conspiracy, nor that she would have been able to do what no reporter has done since. Her death was thus yet another tragedy trivialized by conspiracist researchers."

Kilgallen probably knew more about the conspiracy than any other writer. That is why she had to be killed. McAdams is completely wrong about her death being used by conspiracy researchers. In fact, her death is hardly ever referred to in conspiracy books. Those that do, tend to dismiss her death as being unconnected to the assassination.

Nor do conspiracy books have much to say about the friend who she passed on details of her chapter on the JFK assassination. She is often referred to as Mrs. Earl Smith. In fact her real name was Florence Pritchett (she married Earl Smith in 1947). None, as far as I know, have pointed out who Earl Smith was. He was in fact the US Ambassador to Cuba (June, 1957 to January, 1959). Smith held extreme right-wing views and was deeply involved in the CIA plots to overthrow Castro. It was probably Pritchett who was Kilgallen’s source on the CIA plots against Castro. Pritchett was also JFK’s long-term girlfriend (1944-63). In fact, they even had houses next to each other in Palm Beach.

According to one account: "JFK would elude the Secret Service on occasion in order to have trysts with women. He did this in Palm Beach when he hopped a fence to swim with Flo Smith. The Secret Service agents couldn't find him and called in the FBI. They finally turned to Palm Beach Police Chief Homer Large, a trusted Kennedy family associate. The Police Chief knew exactly where to find Jack - next door in Earl E. T. Smith's swimming pool. Jack and Flo were alone, and as Homer put it, "They weren't doing the Australian crawl."

Kilgallen and Pritchett were two people who were in a very good position to know about the CIA attempt to remove JFK from power in the months preceding his assassination. It is no coincidence that they died within two days of each other.

#2 Pat Speer

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 11:42 AM

In my own research I've discovered a few suspiciously mis-labeled Government exhibits on the McAdams website. I've also read a few essays there that are completely wrong. Although the website pretends to have no bias, virtually all the articles are written from the perspective that Lee Harvey Oswald is guilty until proven otherwise, and that we shouldn't suspect anyone else's involvement unless we can prove it. This approach is by nature dishonest. A supposed historian like McAdams should understand that history is not the study of what can be proved to have happened, but is instead the study and analysis of what is likely to have happened.

I'm not one who believes the CIA is planting disinformation at this late date, but it only makes sense that if someone or something were trying to prevent the truth from ever being uncovered, it would create or fund shows like Peter Jennings ABC special last year, and websites like McAdams' or Dale Myers'.

By the same token, I suppose, this website could be funded by Osama Bin Laden or Fidel Castro. Ha.

As a relative newbie, I must ask, has anyone ver challenged McAdams on his errors? Has he ever corrected any?? Maybe I'm being a little harsh on the man..

#3 Greg Parker

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 01:08 PM

As a relative newbie, I must ask, has anyone ver challenged McAdams on his errors?


Often.

Has he ever corrected any??


Not as far as am aware. If he has, it has probably been on some important issue, like a missing semi-colon.

Maybe I'm being a little harsh on the man..


For some reason, he doesn't annoy me as much as one or two others. He's freely admitted to me in the past he's a propagandist.

I believe one reason for his sites high ranking on google is the sheer number of links there are to it.

Despite its obvious high traffic, anyone who reads his website and takes any of it seriously (no matter how little they know about the assassination beforehand) is probably not worth fighting over. They're already a last cause. The giveaway that his site cannot be taken seriously is his use of language, for instance, check out the number of times he uses terms like "crackpot", "whacky" etc...

Edited by Greg Parker, 14 September 2004 - 01:09 PM.


#4 Pat Speer

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 07:17 PM

Despite its obvious high traffic, anyone who reads his website and takes any of it seriously (no matter how little they know about the assassination beforehand) is probably not worth fighting over. They're already a last cause. The giveaway that his site cannot be taken seriously is his use of language, for instance, check out the number of times he uses terms like "crackpot", "whacky" etc...[/b]

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

[/quote]

I disagree. When I began to look into this stuff early last year, I spent many hours on his website, because it came up first and had so much info (as well as disinfo). It wasn't for several months that I came across Historymatters and read the HSCA reports and the Warren volumes and REALLY began to understand what had occurred. I mean, if you tell the truth you don't have to remember the lie, right? The most logical explanantion for all the changes and inconsistencies between the two reports is that someone lied. But, of course, McAdams would never admit that this is likely, since it can't be proved...

But what if it can???

#5 Greg Parker

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 01:17 AM

[quote name='Pat Speer' date='Sep 14 2004, 06:17 PM']
Despite its obvious high traffic, anyone who reads his website and takes any of it seriously (no matter how little they know about the assassination beforehand) is probably not worth fighting over. They're already a last cause. The giveaway that his site cannot be taken seriously is his use of language, for instance, check out the number of times he uses terms like "crackpot", "whacky" etc...[/b]

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

[/quote]

I disagree. When I began to look into this stuff early last year, I spent many hours on his website, because it came up first and had so much info (as well as disinfo). It wasn't for several months that I came across Historymatters and read the HSCA reports and the Warren volumes and REALLY began to understand what had occurred. I mean, if you tell the truth you don't have to remember the lie, right? The most logical explanantion for all the changes and inconsistencies between the two reports is that someone lied. But, of course, McAdams would never admit that this is likely, since it can't be proved...

But what if it can???

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

[/quote]

Pat, my point was that, despite what John S has said, I think McAdams' website displays a lack of scholarship, and that the tell-tale signs that his articles are propaganda pieces are so obvious, anyone should be able to discern his purpose.

But hey, maybe it's just a cultural thing... Australians don't tend to refer to every second person as a "crackpot" - even when we disagree with them, or believe they are giving false testimony. To call people such names in what purports to be scholarly articles, might or might not be the death-knell to your teaching career, but either way, you certainly wouldn't be taken seriously by anyone...

Edited by Greg Parker, 15 September 2004 - 02:09 PM.


#6 John Simkin

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 02:00 PM

Martin Shackelford has pointed out that I was wrong to say that Life Magazine successfully negotiated with Marina Oswald the exclusive rights to her story. The exclusive rights went to Priscilla Johnson of UPI, and her book did (very belatedly) appear in print.

#7 John Simkin

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Posted 18 September 2004 - 04:43 PM

In her book, Kilgallen, Israel states that although Ron Pataky was a newspaper reporter, he really wanted to be a songwriter. Kilgallen helped him with this and “was able to convince at least one important recording artist to include a work by the Out-of-Towner in a forthcoming album. I have just found out that Pataky had one of his songs recorded by Johnny Mathis in 1965. This definitely proves that Pataky was the Out-of-Towner.

Here is a picture of Ron Pataky.

#8 John Simkin

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Posted 01 October 2004 - 07:13 AM

Ron Pataky has been unwilling to answer my questions by email? Anyone based in the United States willing to try and talk to him by phone?

By the way, an important witness has just joined the forum. Hopefully he will be willing to answer questions on the forum.

#9 Mark Oakes

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 06:47 PM

:P

If you do any research of major figures in the JFK assassination via web search engines you will soon find yourself on John McAdams’ website. He is clearly the main disinformation source on the net. He adopts an academic tone and if one was not aware of the facts of the person or event he is writing about, one would think he has logically looked at the evidence available. He is therefore doing a successful job in misleading students about the JFK assassination. In fact, it could be argued that his impact has been as great as other disinformation agents such as David Atlee  Phillips, G. Robert Blakey, Dick Billings, Jack Anderson, Gary Mack and Gerald Posner. 

Macadams is reluctant to get involved in debate over these issues. Although he is a member of this forum he has so far refused to post. I thought that if we analyse his articles in great detail we can expose his disinformation strategy. We might even goad him into trying to defend himself (maybe another non-posting member, Gary Mack, will help him out).

Over the last few weeks I have been involved in researching Dorothy Kilgallen. John McAdams’ page is ranked number 2 at Google. I was appalled when I read his article and thought it might be good idea to analyse it paragraph by paragraph.

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/death4.htm

If you believe what the conspiracy books tell you, and know little else about the case, then the death of Dorothy Kilgallen, like many deaths of people tangentially connected to the case, seems "mysterious."  Kilgallen, a gossip columnist for the New York Journal-American and a panelist on the popular game show "What's My Line" was found dead in her New York City apartment on November 8, 1965.

How was she connected to the Kennedy assassination, and why was her death "mysterious?" Conspiracy author Jim Marrs explains:

“Whatever information Kilgallen learned and from whatever source, many researchers believe it brought about her strange death. She told attorney Mark Lane: "They've killed the President, [and] the government is not prepared to tell us the truth . . . " and that she planned to "break the case." To other friends she said: "This has to be a conspiracy! . . . I'm going to break the real story and have the biggest scoop of the century." And in her last column item regarding the assassination, published on September 3, 1965, Kilgallen wrote: "This story isn't going to die as long as there's a real reporter alove (sic) -  and there are a lot of them."

“But on November 8, 1965, there was one less reporter. That day Dorothy Kilgallen was found dead in her home. It was initially reported that she died of a heart attack, but quickly this was changed to an overdose of alcohol and pills. (Crossfire, p. 425)”


How much of this is true, and how much of what's true is "mysterious?"

As always McAdams starts off by giving the impression he is going to approach the subject with an open mind. He also puts forward the view that he has considered all the evidence available: “If you believe what the conspiracy books tell you, and know little else about the case, then the death of Dorothy Kilgallen, like many deaths of people tangentially connected to the case, seems "mysterious."  People he disagrees with are always dismissed as “conspiracy theorists”.

McAdams selects a paragraph from Jim Marrs’ book Crossfire.  One wonders why he has not started at the beginning and quoted from William Penn Jones, the first journalist to raise the issue of Kilgallen’s death. For example, this is what Jones wrote in The Midlothian Mirror (November 25, 1965):

“I have a concern for the strange things happening in America in recent months. With the passing of the second anniversary of the murder of President Kennedy, we take not of some of the strange things which continue to plague those around the principals.”

“Miss Dorothy Kilgallen joins the growing list of persons who have died after a private interview with one of the two members of the Jack Ruby-George Senator team. We have printed the strange deaths of Bill Hunter and Jim Koethe after they had a private interview with George Senator and Ruby’s attorney, Tom Howard. Hunter and Koethe were murdered. Lawyer Tom Howard died under strange circumstances...”

“Now Miss Kilgallen dies under clouded circumstances. During the Ruby trial in Dallas, Judge Joe B. Brown granted Miss Kilgallen a privilege given no other newsman. She had thirty minutes alone in a room with Jack Ruby. Even the guards were outside the door. Miss Kilgallen told some of what went of during the interview in her columns. But was someone afraid she knew more?”


It is clear why McAdams does not use this quote. For it provides a great deal of information that he would be unable to refute. Jones also provides a motive for Kilgallen’s death. Nor does McAdams refer to another part of Jones’s story, that Kilgallen’s friend, Florence Smith, who was given details of what she had discovered about the JFK assassination, died two days later.

Let's start with the story as reported in Kilgallen's own paper, the Journal-American.

Dorothy Kilgallen, famed columnist of the Journal-American, died today at her home, 45 E. 68th St.  She was 52.

Miss Kilgallen died in her sleep.  She was found by a maid and a hairdresser who came to the home to keep a 12:15 p.m. appointment. Alongside her bed was a book which she apparently had been reading before falling asleep.
She had written her last column, which appears in today's editions, early in the morning and had sent it to The Journal-American offices by messenger at 2:30 am.

Miss Kilgallen's husband, actor and producer Richard Kollmar, and their youngest child, Kerry, were sleeping in other rooms when she died.

The article notes that Kilgallen's father said that Kilgallen "apparently suffered a heart attack." Marrs makes this out to be a sinister "story," but it clearly was the speculation of a grieving father who knew his daughter had been found dead with no evidence of foul play.


McAdams seems to be suggesting that because this passage is from Kilgallen’s own newspaper it must be true. Do newspapers always get the facts right about recent events? Of course they don’t and this is no exception. McAdams implies that Kilgallen could not have been murdered because her son and husband were sleeping in other rooms. In fact, it is far from clear if Kollmar was in the house at the time of her death. He told Detective John Doyle he had not seen his wife when she came in that night. However, he told another policeman, Mike Ward, that she came in at 11.30 p.m. and they had a drink together. This was clearly untrue as Kilgallen was seen by several witnesses at the Regency Hotel after midnight. The police decided not to take action against Kollmar for giving false testimony. As Doyle later pointed out, when he interviewed Kollmar soon after Kilgallen’s body had been found: “He was completely inebriated. I don’t even think he knew his own name.” Kollmar was an alcoholic and if he had been in the house he would have been in a drunken stupor and would not have heard what was going on.

Nor does McAdams point out that Kilgallen’s home was a very large five story house. Servants and students also lived in the house. There was much coming and going and Kerry would have unlikely to have been woken up by visitors arriving in the early hours of the morning. If so, he would have been woken every night as both Kilgallen and Kollmar always arrived home in the early hours of the morning.
The newspaper account does not point out which bedroom she was found in. In fact it was the master bedroom on the third floor. That was the murderer’s first mistake. Kilgallen had not slept with her husband in the master bedroom for many years. What a coincidence that on the night she dies she decides to sleep in a different bedroom to the one she always used.

A week later, in the Nov. 15, 1965 number, the Journal-American quoted Assistant Medical Examiner James Luke on what happened:

The death of Dorothy Kilgallen, Journal-American columnist and famed TV personality, was contributed to by a combination of moderate quantities of alcohol and barbiturates, a medical examiner's report stated today.

As many personalities whose multiple duties and responsibilities demand unceasing attention, Miss Kilgallen experienced recurring tensions in meeting her deadlines for performances - both as a newspaperwoman and TV performer.

In his report today, Dr. James Luke, Assistant Medical Examiner, said that although Miss Kilgallen had only "moderate amounts of each," the effect of the combination had caused depression of the central nervous system "which in turn caused her heart to stop."


Once again, McAdams implies that this report must be true because it was in the Journal American. The implication is that Kilgallen committed suicide because she “experienced recurring tensions in meeting her deadlines for performances - both as a newspaperwoman and TV performer”. There is no truth in this statement at all. Kilgallen had no trouble with her deadlines or her attendance on “What’s My Line”. In fact she had appeared on the programme on the day she died. Far from not writing her column for the Journal-American she was doing extra work for the newspaper, including writing several articles on the JFK assassination.

However, if you are to believe the 3rd paragraph, what are you to make of the 4th paragraph. Dr. James Luke’s evidence suggests that Kilgallen has died as a result of an accident. Luke does not mention the fact that he also found 50 cubic centimetres of “pink fluid” in Kilgallen stomach. This liquid was sent to toxicology for analysis. For some reason Luke never published what this was. 

McAdams does not inform the reader that Dr. Charles J. Umberger, director of toxicology at the New York City Medical Examiner Office, believed that Kilgallen had been murdered. This was because he identified what was in her stomach at the time of her death. This included amo, pento and secobarbitol. He also found quinine in the brain, bile, and liver. This is important as it had been used my murderers before to disguise the bitterness of secreted barbiturates. In 1968 Umberger told his assistant what had been found in these toxicology tests on Kilgallen. However he was told to keep the information secret: “Keep it under your hat. It was big.”

It could be argued that McAdams is unaware of this evidence. However, this is unlikely as he has obviously read Lee Israel’s book Kilgallen, where some of the other quotes he uses comes from.

The details of Kilgallen's death are recorded in documents produced by the office of the Medical Examiner. These are National Archives Record Number 1801007110433 — Agency File number 007250 from the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

This set of documents includes the "Report of Death" form from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, the "Autopsy Report" (with the autopsy being performed by Junior Medical Examiner James Luke with doctors Sturner and Baden present), a handwritten addendum to the "Autopsy Report" that gave the microscopic and chemical findings, and "Notice of Death" of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York.

Key points include:

1. Her husband was with her in her New York east side apartment, although not in the same bedroom. 

2. Her husband said she returned from "What's My Line" feeling chipper. She went to her bedroom. The next day he found her dead.

3. The examination of the body at the scene found "no trauma" and "no signs violence" [sic].

4. The autopsy found no injuries whatsoever that could account for her death, nor any evidence of a struggle nor (say) pills being forced down her throat.

5. The cause of death in the autopsy says "PENDING FURTHER STUDY." A handwritten note below that says "Acute ethanol and barbiturate intoxication. Circumstances undetermined." This handwritten note was apparently based on the chemical findings, which were appended to the report. She had a blood alcohol level of 0.15, and barbiturate level that says "UV - 2.4 [illegible]" in the liver.


Point 1 is unproven. Point 2 is clearly false. As the Journal-American pointed out the day after Kilgallen died: “She was found by a maid and a hairdresser who came to the home to keep a 12:15 p.m. appointment.” As McAdams knows from reading Lee Israel’s book, the body was actually found by her personal maid, Anne Hamilton, and the hairdresser, Marc Sinclaire, at around 12.30 p.m.  Richard Kollmar was still asleep in his room at this time (Kollmar was an alcoholic who always slept late). 

It is noticeable that McAdams never refers to Marc Sinclaire in his article. This is understandable because Sinclaire provided the evidence that indicated Kilgallen was murdered.

It was Sinclaire’s regular duty to wake Kilgallen in the morning. Kilgallen was often out to the early hours of the morning and like her husband always slept late. Sinclaire knew immediately that foul play had taken place.

(1) Kilgallen was not sleeping in her normal bedroom. Instead she was in the master bedroom, a room she had not occupied for several years.

(2) Kilgallen was wearing false eyelashes. According to Sinclaire she always took her eyelashes off before she went to bed.

(3) She was found sitting up with the book, The Honey Badger, by Robert Ruark, on her lap. Sinclaire claims that she had finished reading the book several weeks earlier (she had discussed the book with Sinclaire at the time).

(4) Kilgallen had poor eyesight and could only read with the aid of glasses. Her glasses were not found in the bedroom where she died.

(5)  Kilgallen was found wearing a bolero-type blouse over a nightgown. Sinclaire claimed that this was the kind of thing “she would never wear to go to bed”.
Conclusion? It's really impossible to believe some Oliver Stone scenario of hoods coming into her apartment and forcing a bunch of pills down her throat. Neither the alcohol nor the barbiturate level was absurdly high, as it would be with an intentional overdose. I suppose it's possible she committed suicide by mixing both alcohol and barbiturates intentionally, but this really looks like an accident.

As far as I am aware no researcher into this case has suggested a “scenario of hoods coming into her apartment and forcing a bunch of pills down her throat”. It is believed that Kilgallen arrived home with her young boyfriend, the man who Israel calls the “Out-of-Towner”. It is interesting that McAdams does not refer to this man.

Mark Lane said in 1976 that “I would bet you a thousand-to-one that the CIA surrounded her (Kilgallen) as soon as she started writing those stories.” I agree. Dick Billings played this role when Jim Garrison was working on his investigation. Billings was also called in to monitor Gaeton Fonzi and his team in 1976-78. Who did the CIA use against Kilgallen?

The only new person who became close to Kilgallen during this period was her new secret lover. Lee Israel calls him the “Out-of-Towner”. He arrived on the scene in June, 1964. According to Israel she met him in Carrara during a press junket for journalists working in the film industry. The trip was paid for by Twentieth Century-Fox who used it to publicize three of its films: The Sound of Music, The Agony and the Ecstasy and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. Israel claims that the “Out-of-Towner” went up to Kilgallen and asked her if she was “Clare Boothe Luce”. This is in itself an interesting introduction. Kilgallen and Luce did not look like each other. Luce and her husband (Henry Luce) however were to play an important role in the JFK assassination. Henry Luce, a CIA media asset, owned Life Magazine and arranged to buy up the Zapruder film. Life Magazine also successfully negotiated with Marina Oswald the exclusive rights to her story. This story never appeared in print.

I don’t believe “Out-of-Towner” did use this line when he met Kilgallen. I suspect that Kilgallen suspected he was a CIA spy. She therefore told her friends this is what he said so that if anything happened to her, a future investigator would realize that “Out-of-Towner” was a CIA agent with links to Clare Boothe Luce. Unfortunately for her, investigators missed this clue.

Why does Israel not name Kilgallen’s young lover? She knew who he was because she interviewed him for her book on Kilgallen. The story goes that she was worried that he would take her to court if he was named in the book. But why? Israel does not accuse him of murdering Kilgallen. All Israel does is to suggest that he met her on the night she was killed. I believe it was his employers, the CIA, who placed pressure on Israel not to name him. She also gives him a false identity by claiming he was a songwriter when in reality he was a journalist working for Columbus Citizen-Journal.. 

The man’s real name was Ron Pataky. He was interviewed by David B. Henschel in 1993. He admitted that he was the “Out-of-Towner” and that he worked on articles about the JFK assassination with Kilgallen. Pataky confessed to meeting Kilgallen several times in the Regency Hotel. However, he denied Lee Israel’s claim that he was with her on the night of her death.

The existence of Pataky creates problems for McAdams’ version of events so he is ignored. Pataky, who was almost certainly a CIA media asset sent to discover what Kilgallen had found out about the JFK assassination. He was with her at the Regency Hotel on the evening of her death. He probably introduced her to the killer and the three returned to the house together.

And she seemed to be in good spirits the night she died. Quoting the Journal-American:

A member for years of the panel on the nationwide CBS TV show "What's My Line," Miss Kilgallen appeared with the panel last night.

She was at her usual best, asking probing questions and guessing the occupation of two of the five persons who appeared on the show.

"She was in excellent spirits and, as usual, right on the ball," said John Daly, moderator of the show.

Of course, the Journal-American would have a vested interest in presenting their columnist in the best light. But it's also true that the "Report of Death" quoted her husband saying she was "chipper" after appearing on "What's My Line."


When it suits him McAdams claims that Journal-American must know the truth because it employed Kilgallen (depressed because she had not been meeting deadlines). However, when the Journal-American claims she was “at her usual best” the newspaper is lying in order to protect her reputation. All the evidence suggests that at the time of her death Kilgallen’s journalism and television performances were as good as they had ever been. 

Interestingly, she was working on a book to be titled Murder One. It was to be a compilation and study of all the trials she had covered — including the Sam Sheppard trial, the Wayne Lonegan trial, the Dr. Bernard Finch trial, as well as the trial of Bruno Hauptman. There is no mention in the article that the book would include the Jack Ruby trial, although it's very logical to assume it would have done so, since she had covered it and it was even more celebrated than the others (Journal-American, Nov. 8, 1965).

In fact, in the November 15, 1965 article, it is claimed that she was particularly happy that she had completed the preface to her book and submitted it to Bennet Cerf, fellow panelist on "What's My Line" and "a book publisher."

McAdams is particularly badly informed about Murder One. Yet  this is covered in some detail in Lee Israel’s book on Kilgallen. The book was commissioned by Bennett Cerf of Random House in 1961 while she was covering the murder trial of Bernard Finch and Carole Tregoff. The book was to contain a series of chapters on famous murder cases she had reported on over the years. The book was virtually finished by 1963. However, after JFK was assassinated she decided to include a final section on the “crime of the century”. 

Kilgallen spent 18 months on this section of the book. Some of the material appeared in the Journal-American. For example, she appears to have had a good contact within the Dallas Police Department. He gave her a copy of the original police log that chronicled the minute-by-minute activities of the department in the immediate wake of the assassination, as reflected in the radio communications. This enabled her to report that Chief Curry’s first reaction to the shots in Dealey Plaza was: “Get a man on top of the overpass and see what happened up there”. Kilgallen pointed out that he lied when he told reporters the next day that he initially thought the shots were fired from the Texas Book Depository.

Kilgallen also had a source within the Warren Commission. This person gave her an 102 page segment dealing with Jack Ruby before it was published. She published details of this leak and so therefore ensuring that this section appeared in the final version of the report.

In another of her stories, Kilgallen claimed that Marina Oswald knew a great deal about the JFK assassination. If she told the “whole story of her life with President Kennedy’s alleged assassin, it would split open the front pages of newspapers all over the world.”

Kilgallen’s courageous reporting brought her into contact with Mark Lane who had himself received an amazing story from the journalist Thayer Waldo. He had discovered that J.D. Tippit, Jack Ruby and Bernard Weissman  had a meeting at the Carousel Club eight days before the assassination. Waldo, who worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, was too scared to publish the story. He had other information about the assassination. However, he believed that if he told Lane or Kilgallen he would be killed. Kilgallen’s article on the Tippit, Ruby and Weissman meeting appeared on the front page of the Journal American. Later she was to reveal that the Warren Commission were also tipped off about this gathering. However, their informant added that there was a fourth man at the meeting, an important figure in the Texas oil industry.

Several conspiracy books point out that Kilgallen was the only reporter to get a private interview with Jack Ruby. As far as I know, none provide the full background details of this interview. It was set up by Ruby’s lawyer Joe Tonahill. Kilgallen went to Tonahill with a message for Ruby from a mutual friend. It was only after this message was delivered that Ruby agreed to be interviewed by Kilgallen. Tonahill remembers that the mutual friend was from San Francisco who was involved in the music industry.

The interview with Ruby lasted eight minutes. No one else was there. Even the guards agreed to wait outside. Officially, Kilgallen never told anyone about what Ruby said to her during this interview. Nor did she publish any information she obtained from the interview. There is a reason for this. Kilgallen was in financial difficulties in 1964. This was partly due to some poor business decisions by her husband, Richard Kollmar. The couple also lost the lucrative contract for their popular breakfast show (due to Kollmar’s heavy drinking). Kilgallen also was facing an expensive libel case concerning an article she wrote about a fellow journalist. In 1964 her financial situation was so bad she fully expected to lose her beloved house at 45 East 68 Street in New York.

Kilgallen was a staff member of Journal American. Any article about the Jack Ruby interview in her newspaper would not have helped her serious financial situation. Therefore she decided to include what she knew about the JFK assassination in Murder One. She fully expected that this book would earn her a fortune. This is why she refused to tell anyone, including Mark Lane, about what Ruby told her in the interview arranged by Tonahill. Just before her death Kilgallen told Lane that she had a new important informant in New Orleans. At this point Lane left the US for a meeting in Europe. When he returned he discovered that Kilgallen had died.

Still, if she had "broken open" the JFK assassination case, it's very hard to see why she would have relegated her earth-shaking information to a chapter in a book that covered a half-dozen or so murder cases, rather than writing a book on the assassination, or using her column to reveal the nature of the plot. In fact, she had written numerous columns on the assassination. None of the columns, however, contained any earth shaking information. Rather, they just repeated conspiracy factoids that had been, or soon would be, all over the JFK assassination literature.

As I have explained, there were financial reasons why Kilgallen kept the important information for the book. This also explains why she initially planned to include this information in Murder One. By the time she had completed a book on the assassination she would probably have lost her house in New York. Like many journalists, Kilgallen had difficulty writing something of book length. Except for a collection of her newspaper articles she had never published a book. This caused her some concern and was determined that Murder One would establish her reputation as a investigative writer. It has to be remembered that Dorothy idolized her father, Jack Kilgallen, who had a reputation of being the finest journalist of his generation.

McAdams claim is completely untrue that: “None of the columns, however, contained any earth shaking information. Rather, they just repeated conspiracy factoids that had been, or soon would be, all over the JFK assassination literature.” Kilgallen was the first to publish details of the original Dallas police log that chronicled the minute-by-minute activities of the department in the immediate wake of the assassination, as reflected in the radio communications. This revealed that Chief Chief had lied when he told reporters the next day that he initially thought the shots were fired from the Texas Book Depository.

Kilgallen also provided details of what the Warren Commission report would contain. This ensured that this section appeared in the final version of the report.
She also broke the story that Marina Oswald’s silence was being paid for by Life Magazine.

Finally, she was the first to publish details of the J.D. Tippit, Jack Ruby and Bernard Weissman meeting at the Carousel Club eight days before the assassination.

Her claim that she was going to "break the case" appears to be nothing beyond professional bravado. She never claimed to "have broken" the case, or said "I know who the conspirators were." Whatever her high hopes, there is no evidence that she had any information dangerous to any conspiracy, nor that she would have been able to do what no reporter has done since. Her death was thus yet another tragedy trivialized by conspiracist "researchers."

Kilgallen did in fact tell several of her friends that she would “break the case.” According to David Welsh (Ramparts - November, 1966): “Miss Kilgallgen's "What's My Line" makeup man said that shortly before her death she vowed she would "crack this case." And another New York show biz friend said Dorothy told him in the last days of her life: "In five more days I'm going to bust this case wide open." According to Lee Israel Kilgallen also told Mark Lane a similar story.

It is unlikely Kilgallen had the full story. However, she did know a great deal about the JFK assassination? To understand this you need to realise the way she worked. By the 1950s Kilgallen was the most important gossip columnist in America. She had achieved this position by developing a very good strategy for gaining secret information about famous people. This is how it worked. Kilgallen was swamped with requests by press agents to plug the activities of their clients. For example, an actor’s latest movie or a singer’s latest record. Kilgallen always refused these requests. Instead she offered a deal. Bring me three detrimental stories concerning other stars and I will include a good piece about your client. As these stars were usual rivals of their clients, they were only too willing to do so. Some of the information she received was political. She often wrote about political issues and developed a reputation for holding right-wing opinions.

Kilgallen also had another sources. According to several of her close friends, Kilgallen received information from the CIA. Kilgallen was in fact an important CIA media asset. Kilgallen was given a great deal of information about the situation in Cuba. In 1959 and 1960 Kilgallen included a large number of anti-Castro stories in her column. According to her friends she was also receiving information from Cuban exiles based in Miami.

Kilgallen sometimes included highly subversive material in her column. For example, on 15th July, 1959, Kilgallen became the first journalist to suggest that the CIA and the Mafia were working together in order to assassinate Fidel Castro.

J. Edgar Hoover was fully aware that Kilgallen was not a loyal right-winger. The FBI maintained a dossier about Kilgallen’s activities. As a result of the Freedom of Information Act some of these files have been published. It shows that in the 1930s and 1940s Kilgallen was seen as being “cooperative”. However, concerns about her behaviour was raised by her behaviour in the late 1950s. Kilgallen was obviously considered an important figure The files that have been released shows that Hoover added his own handwritten comments in the margins of these FBI reports.

Kilgallen also received a lot of information from the CIA about JFK. However, she was a close friend of JFK. Kilgallen’s friendship with JFK was kept a secret. On one occasion Bobby Short was with Kilgallen at the Stock Club. JFK came over to Kilgallen and began talking to the couple. One of JFK first comments was: “Dorothy, do you remember the night we played charades at your house?” Up until that time, Short was not even aware that Kilgallen knew JFK.

Kilgallen was fully informed about JFK’s sexual affairs with women. One day she was gossiping about this with her friend Allen Stokes. He asked her why she did not write about it in her column. She replied “I couldn’t possibly”. It would indeed be a great scoop for her. But she decided to protect him.

However, Kilgallen broke this rule when on the 3rd August, 1962, she became the first journalist to refer to JFK relationship with Marilyn Monroe. She did not actually name him but left enough clues for the readers to identify JFK as the secret man in Monroe’s life (later Kilgallen claimed she was in fact referring to Robert Kennedy). One can only assume that she came under severe pressure from someone to write this story. My belief is that it was the FBI or CIA who had put her under pressure to print this information.

The following day Monroe was found dead. Kilgallen must have realised that the FBI/CIA had set her up to smear the Kennedy brothers. Rumours soon began circulating that RFK had arranged Monroe’s death to protect JFK. In reality, Monroe had been killed to implicate the Kennedy brothers in murder. At the time, the murderers must have been confident that JFK would be ousted from power. In fact, Hoover used the incident to get JFK to promise him the job as head of the FBI for life.

McAdams ends his article with the passage: “Whatever her high hopes, there is no evidence that she had any information dangerous to any conspiracy, nor that she would have been able to do what no reporter has done since. Her death was thus yet another tragedy trivialized by conspiracist researchers."

Kilgallen probably knew more about the conspiracy than any other writer. That is why she had to be killed. McAdams is completely wrong about her death being used by conspiracy researchers. In fact, her death is hardly ever referred to in conspiracy books. Those that do, tend to dismiss her death as being unconnected to the assassination.

Nor do conspiracy books have much to say about the friend who she passed on details of her chapter on the JFK assassination. She is often referred to as Mrs. Earl Smith. In fact her real name was Florence Pritchett (she married Earl Smith in 1947). None, as far as I know, have pointed out who Earl Smith was. He was in fact the US Ambassador to Cuba (June, 1957 to January, 1959). Smith held extreme right-wing views and was deeply involved in the CIA plots to overthrow Castro. It was probably Pritchett who was Kilgallen’s source on the CIA plots against Castro. Pritchett was also JFK’s long-term girlfriend (1944-63). In fact, they even had houses next to each other in Palm Beach.

According to one account: "JFK would elude the Secret Service on occasion in order to have trysts with women. He did this in Palm Beach when he hopped a fence to swim with Flo Smith. The Secret Service agents couldn't find him and called in the FBI. They finally turned to Palm Beach Police Chief Homer Large, a trusted Kennedy family associate. The Police Chief knew exactly where to find Jack - next door in Earl E. T. Smith's swimming pool. Jack and Flo were alone, and as Homer put it, "They weren't doing the Australian crawl."

Kilgallen and Pritchett were two people who were in a very good position to know about the CIA attempt to remove JFK from power in the months preceding his assassination. It is no coincidence that they died within two days of each other.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



For additional information-I sent the Commission Document# 1518 from the National Archives that shows they were after Kilgallen to say her source for information she got about Ruby and her Interview(with Ruby) and in the Document, she would only say the "source" was in a "high position" and she would,"Rather Die" then reveal it-(Which she did)--and Bill Miller should post it this week for me-(we can't leave out the "Hot" stuff)
Thank You
Mark Oakes
Researcher/Producer of Eyewitness Videos/DVD's

#10 Mark Oakes

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Posted 06 October 2004 - 06:47 PM

:P

If you do any research of major figures in the JFK assassination via web search engines you will soon find yourself on John McAdams’ website. He is clearly the main disinformation source on the net. He adopts an academic tone and if one was not aware of the facts of the person or event he is writing about, one would think he has logically looked at the evidence available. He is therefore doing a successful job in misleading students about the JFK assassination. In fact, it could be argued that his impact has been as great as other disinformation agents such as David Atlee  Phillips, G. Robert Blakey, Dick Billings, Jack Anderson, Gary Mack and Gerald Posner. 

Macadams is reluctant to get involved in debate over these issues. Although he is a member of this forum he has so far refused to post. I thought that if we analyse his articles in great detail we can expose his disinformation strategy. We might even goad him into trying to defend himself (maybe another non-posting member, Gary Mack, will help him out).

Over the last few weeks I have been involved in researching Dorothy Kilgallen. John McAdams’ page is ranked number 2 at Google. I was appalled when I read his article and thought it might be good idea to analyse it paragraph by paragraph.

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/death4.htm

If you believe what the conspiracy books tell you, and know little else about the case, then the death of Dorothy Kilgallen, like many deaths of people tangentially connected to the case, seems "mysterious."  Kilgallen, a gossip columnist for the New York Journal-American and a panelist on the popular game show "What's My Line" was found dead in her New York City apartment on November 8, 1965.

How was she connected to the Kennedy assassination, and why was her death "mysterious?" Conspiracy author Jim Marrs explains:

“Whatever information Kilgallen learned and from whatever source, many researchers believe it brought about her strange death. She told attorney Mark Lane: "They've killed the President, [and] the government is not prepared to tell us the truth . . . " and that she planned to "break the case." To other friends she said: "This has to be a conspiracy! . . . I'm going to break the real story and have the biggest scoop of the century." And in her last column item regarding the assassination, published on September 3, 1965, Kilgallen wrote: "This story isn't going to die as long as there's a real reporter alove (sic) -  and there are a lot of them."

“But on November 8, 1965, there was one less reporter. That day Dorothy Kilgallen was found dead in her home. It was initially reported that she died of a heart attack, but quickly this was changed to an overdose of alcohol and pills. (Crossfire, p. 425)”


How much of this is true, and how much of what's true is "mysterious?"

As always McAdams starts off by giving the impression he is going to approach the subject with an open mind. He also puts forward the view that he has considered all the evidence available: “If you believe what the conspiracy books tell you, and know little else about the case, then the death of Dorothy Kilgallen, like many deaths of people tangentially connected to the case, seems "mysterious."  People he disagrees with are always dismissed as “conspiracy theorists”.

McAdams selects a paragraph from Jim Marrs’ book Crossfire.  One wonders why he has not started at the beginning and quoted from William Penn Jones, the first journalist to raise the issue of Kilgallen’s death. For example, this is what Jones wrote in The Midlothian Mirror (November 25, 1965):

“I have a concern for the strange things happening in America in recent months. With the passing of the second anniversary of the murder of President Kennedy, we take not of some of the strange things which continue to plague those around the principals.”

“Miss Dorothy Kilgallen joins the growing list of persons who have died after a private interview with one of the two members of the Jack Ruby-George Senator team. We have printed the strange deaths of Bill Hunter and Jim Koethe after they had a private interview with George Senator and Ruby’s attorney, Tom Howard. Hunter and Koethe were murdered. Lawyer Tom Howard died under strange circumstances...”

“Now Miss Kilgallen dies under clouded circumstances. During the Ruby trial in Dallas, Judge Joe B. Brown granted Miss Kilgallen a privilege given no other newsman. She had thirty minutes alone in a room with Jack Ruby. Even the guards were outside the door. Miss Kilgallen told some of what went of during the interview in her columns. But was someone afraid she knew more?”


It is clear why McAdams does not use this quote. For it provides a great deal of information that he would be unable to refute. Jones also provides a motive for Kilgallen’s death. Nor does McAdams refer to another part of Jones’s story, that Kilgallen’s friend, Florence Smith, who was given details of what she had discovered about the JFK assassination, died two days later.

Let's start with the story as reported in Kilgallen's own paper, the Journal-American.

Dorothy Kilgallen, famed columnist of the Journal-American, died today at her home, 45 E. 68th St.  She was 52.

Miss Kilgallen died in her sleep.  She was found by a maid and a hairdresser who came to the home to keep a 12:15 p.m. appointment. Alongside her bed was a book which she apparently had been reading before falling asleep.
She had written her last column, which appears in today's editions, early in the morning and had sent it to The Journal-American offices by messenger at 2:30 am.

Miss Kilgallen's husband, actor and producer Richard Kollmar, and their youngest child, Kerry, were sleeping in other rooms when she died.

The article notes that Kilgallen's father said that Kilgallen "apparently suffered a heart attack." Marrs makes this out to be a sinister "story," but it clearly was the speculation of a grieving father who knew his daughter had been found dead with no evidence of foul play.


McAdams seems to be suggesting that because this passage is from Kilgallen’s own newspaper it must be true. Do newspapers always get the facts right about recent events? Of course they don’t and this is no exception. McAdams implies that Kilgallen could not have been murdered because her son and husband were sleeping in other rooms. In fact, it is far from clear if Kollmar was in the house at the time of her death. He told Detective John Doyle he had not seen his wife when she came in that night. However, he told another policeman, Mike Ward, that she came in at 11.30 p.m. and they had a drink together. This was clearly untrue as Kilgallen was seen by several witnesses at the Regency Hotel after midnight. The police decided not to take action against Kollmar for giving false testimony. As Doyle later pointed out, when he interviewed Kollmar soon after Kilgallen’s body had been found: “He was completely inebriated. I don’t even think he knew his own name.” Kollmar was an alcoholic and if he had been in the house he would have been in a drunken stupor and would not have heard what was going on.

Nor does McAdams point out that Kilgallen’s home was a very large five story house. Servants and students also lived in the house. There was much coming and going and Kerry would have unlikely to have been woken up by visitors arriving in the early hours of the morning. If so, he would have been woken every night as both Kilgallen and Kollmar always arrived home in the early hours of the morning.
The newspaper account does not point out which bedroom she was found in. In fact it was the master bedroom on the third floor. That was the murderer’s first mistake. Kilgallen had not slept with her husband in the master bedroom for many years. What a coincidence that on the night she dies she decides to sleep in a different bedroom to the one she always used.

A week later, in the Nov. 15, 1965 number, the Journal-American quoted Assistant Medical Examiner James Luke on what happened:

The death of Dorothy Kilgallen, Journal-American columnist and famed TV personality, was contributed to by a combination of moderate quantities of alcohol and barbiturates, a medical examiner's report stated today.

As many personalities whose multiple duties and responsibilities demand unceasing attention, Miss Kilgallen experienced recurring tensions in meeting her deadlines for performances - both as a newspaperwoman and TV performer.

In his report today, Dr. James Luke, Assistant Medical Examiner, said that although Miss Kilgallen had only "moderate amounts of each," the effect of the combination had caused depression of the central nervous system "which in turn caused her heart to stop."


Once again, McAdams implies that this report must be true because it was in the Journal American. The implication is that Kilgallen committed suicide because she “experienced recurring tensions in meeting her deadlines for performances - both as a newspaperwoman and TV performer”. There is no truth in this statement at all. Kilgallen had no trouble with her deadlines or her attendance on “What’s My Line”. In fact she had appeared on the programme on the day she died. Far from not writing her column for the Journal-American she was doing extra work for the newspaper, including writing several articles on the JFK assassination.

However, if you are to believe the 3rd paragraph, what are you to make of the 4th paragraph. Dr. James Luke’s evidence suggests that Kilgallen has died as a result of an accident. Luke does not mention the fact that he also found 50 cubic centimetres of “pink fluid” in Kilgallen stomach. This liquid was sent to toxicology for analysis. For some reason Luke never published what this was. 

McAdams does not inform the reader that Dr. Charles J. Umberger, director of toxicology at the New York City Medical Examiner Office, believed that Kilgallen had been murdered. This was because he identified what was in her stomach at the time of her death. This included amo, pento and secobarbitol. He also found quinine in the brain, bile, and liver. This is important as it had been used my murderers before to disguise the bitterness of secreted barbiturates. In 1968 Umberger told his assistant what had been found in these toxicology tests on Kilgallen. However he was told to keep the information secret: “Keep it under your hat. It was big.”

It could be argued that McAdams is unaware of this evidence. However, this is unlikely as he has obviously read Lee Israel’s book Kilgallen, where some of the other quotes he uses comes from.

The details of Kilgallen's death are recorded in documents produced by the office of the Medical Examiner. These are National Archives Record Number 1801007110433 — Agency File number 007250 from the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

This set of documents includes the "Report of Death" form from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, the "Autopsy Report" (with the autopsy being performed by Junior Medical Examiner James Luke with doctors Sturner and Baden present), a handwritten addendum to the "Autopsy Report" that gave the microscopic and chemical findings, and "Notice of Death" of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York.

Key points include:

1. Her husband was with her in her New York east side apartment, although not in the same bedroom. 

2. Her husband said she returned from "What's My Line" feeling chipper. She went to her bedroom. The next day he found her dead.

3. The examination of the body at the scene found "no trauma" and "no signs violence" [sic].

4. The autopsy found no injuries whatsoever that could account for her death, nor any evidence of a struggle nor (say) pills being forced down her throat.

5. The cause of death in the autopsy says "PENDING FURTHER STUDY." A handwritten note below that says "Acute ethanol and barbiturate intoxication. Circumstances undetermined." This handwritten note was apparently based on the chemical findings, which were appended to the report. She had a blood alcohol level of 0.15, and barbiturate level that says "UV - 2.4 [illegible]" in the liver.


Point 1 is unproven. Point 2 is clearly false. As the Journal-American pointed out the day after Kilgallen died: “She was found by a maid and a hairdresser who came to the home to keep a 12:15 p.m. appointment.” As McAdams knows from reading Lee Israel’s book, the body was actually found by her personal maid, Anne Hamilton, and the hairdresser, Marc Sinclaire, at around 12.30 p.m.  Richard Kollmar was still asleep in his room at this time (Kollmar was an alcoholic who always slept late). 

It is noticeable that McAdams never refers to Marc Sinclaire in his article. This is understandable because Sinclaire provided the evidence that indicated Kilgallen was murdered.

It was Sinclaire’s regular duty to wake Kilgallen in the morning. Kilgallen was often out to the early hours of the morning and like her husband always slept late. Sinclaire knew immediately that foul play had taken place.

(1) Kilgallen was not sleeping in her normal bedroom. Instead she was in the master bedroom, a room she had not occupied for several years.

(2) Kilgallen was wearing false eyelashes. According to Sinclaire she always took her eyelashes off before she went to bed.

(3) She was found sitting up with the book, The Honey Badger, by Robert Ruark, on her lap. Sinclaire claims that she had finished reading the book several weeks earlier (she had discussed the book with Sinclaire at the time).

(4) Kilgallen had poor eyesight and could only read with the aid of glasses. Her glasses were not found in the bedroom where she died.

(5)  Kilgallen was found wearing a bolero-type blouse over a nightgown. Sinclaire claimed that this was the kind of thing “she would never wear to go to bed”.
Conclusion? It's really impossible to believe some Oliver Stone scenario of hoods coming into her apartment and forcing a bunch of pills down her throat. Neither the alcohol nor the barbiturate level was absurdly high, as it would be with an intentional overdose. I suppose it's possible she committed suicide by mixing both alcohol and barbiturates intentionally, but this really looks like an accident.

As far as I am aware no researcher into this case has suggested a “scenario of hoods coming into her apartment and forcing a bunch of pills down her throat”. It is believed that Kilgallen arrived home with her young boyfriend, the man who Israel calls the “Out-of-Towner”. It is interesting that McAdams does not refer to this man.

Mark Lane said in 1976 that “I would bet you a thousand-to-one that the CIA surrounded her (Kilgallen) as soon as she started writing those stories.” I agree. Dick Billings played this role when Jim Garrison was working on his investigation. Billings was also called in to monitor Gaeton Fonzi and his team in 1976-78. Who did the CIA use against Kilgallen?

The only new person who became close to Kilgallen during this period was her new secret lover. Lee Israel calls him the “Out-of-Towner”. He arrived on the scene in June, 1964. According to Israel she met him in Carrara during a press junket for journalists working in the film industry. The trip was paid for by Twentieth Century-Fox who used it to publicize three of its films: The Sound of Music, The Agony and the Ecstasy and Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines. Israel claims that the “Out-of-Towner” went up to Kilgallen and asked her if she was “Clare Boothe Luce”. This is in itself an interesting introduction. Kilgallen and Luce did not look like each other. Luce and her husband (Henry Luce) however were to play an important role in the JFK assassination. Henry Luce, a CIA media asset, owned Life Magazine and arranged to buy up the Zapruder film. Life Magazine also successfully negotiated with Marina Oswald the exclusive rights to her story. This story never appeared in print.

I don’t believe “Out-of-Towner” did use this line when he met Kilgallen. I suspect that Kilgallen suspected he was a CIA spy. She therefore told her friends this is what he said so that if anything happened to her, a future investigator would realize that “Out-of-Towner” was a CIA agent with links to Clare Boothe Luce. Unfortunately for her, investigators missed this clue.

Why does Israel not name Kilgallen’s young lover? She knew who he was because she interviewed him for her book on Kilgallen. The story goes that she was worried that he would take her to court if he was named in the book. But why? Israel does not accuse him of murdering Kilgallen. All Israel does is to suggest that he met her on the night she was killed. I believe it was his employers, the CIA, who placed pressure on Israel not to name him. She also gives him a false identity by claiming he was a songwriter when in reality he was a journalist working for Columbus Citizen-Journal.. 

The man’s real name was Ron Pataky. He was interviewed by David B. Henschel in 1993. He admitted that he was the “Out-of-Towner” and that he worked on articles about the JFK assassination with Kilgallen. Pataky confessed to meeting Kilgallen several times in the Regency Hotel. However, he denied Lee Israel’s claim that he was with her on the night of her death.

The existence of Pataky creates problems for McAdams’ version of events so he is ignored. Pataky, who was almost certainly a CIA media asset sent to discover what Kilgallen had found out about the JFK assassination. He was with her at the Regency Hotel on the evening of her death. He probably introduced her to the killer and the three returned to the house together.

And she seemed to be in good spirits the night she died. Quoting the Journal-American:

A member for years of the panel on the nationwide CBS TV show "What's My Line," Miss Kilgallen appeared with the panel last night.

She was at her usual best, asking probing questions and guessing the occupation of two of the five persons who appeared on the show.

"She was in excellent spirits and, as usual, right on the ball," said John Daly, moderator of the show.

Of course, the Journal-American would have a vested interest in presenting their columnist in the best light. But it's also true that the "Report of Death" quoted her husband saying she was "chipper" after appearing on "What's My Line."


When it suits him McAdams claims that Journal-American must know the truth because it employed Kilgallen (depressed because she had not been meeting deadlines). However, when the Journal-American claims she was “at her usual best” the newspaper is lying in order to protect her reputation. All the evidence suggests that at the time of her death Kilgallen’s journalism and television performances were as good as they had ever been. 

Interestingly, she was working on a book to be titled Murder One. It was to be a compilation and study of all the trials she had covered — including the Sam Sheppard trial, the Wayne Lonegan trial, the Dr. Bernard Finch trial, as well as the trial of Bruno Hauptman. There is no mention in the article that the book would include the Jack Ruby trial, although it's very logical to assume it would have done so, since she had covered it and it was even more celebrated than the others (Journal-American, Nov. 8, 1965).

In fact, in the November 15, 1965 article, it is claimed that she was particularly happy that she had completed the preface to her book and submitted it to Bennet Cerf, fellow panelist on "What's My Line" and "a book publisher."

McAdams is particularly badly informed about Murder One. Yet  this is covered in some detail in Lee Israel’s book on Kilgallen. The book was commissioned by Bennett Cerf of Random House in 1961 while she was covering the murder trial of Bernard Finch and Carole Tregoff. The book was to contain a series of chapters on famous murder cases she had reported on over the years. The book was virtually finished by 1963. However, after JFK was assassinated she decided to include a final section on the “crime of the century”. 

Kilgallen spent 18 months on this section of the book. Some of the material appeared in the Journal-American. For example, she appears to have had a good contact within the Dallas Police Department. He gave her a copy of the original police log that chronicled the minute-by-minute activities of the department in the immediate wake of the assassination, as reflected in the radio communications. This enabled her to report that Chief Curry’s first reaction to the shots in Dealey Plaza was: “Get a man on top of the overpass and see what happened up there”. Kilgallen pointed out that he lied when he told reporters the next day that he initially thought the shots were fired from the Texas Book Depository.

Kilgallen also had a source within the Warren Commission. This person gave her an 102 page segment dealing with Jack Ruby before it was published. She published details of this leak and so therefore ensuring that this section appeared in the final version of the report.

In another of her stories, Kilgallen claimed that Marina Oswald knew a great deal about the JFK assassination. If she told the “whole story of her life with President Kennedy’s alleged assassin, it would split open the front pages of newspapers all over the world.”

Kilgallen’s courageous reporting brought her into contact with Mark Lane who had himself received an amazing story from the journalist Thayer Waldo. He had discovered that J.D. Tippit, Jack Ruby and Bernard Weissman  had a meeting at the Carousel Club eight days before the assassination. Waldo, who worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, was too scared to publish the story. He had other information about the assassination. However, he believed that if he told Lane or Kilgallen he would be killed. Kilgallen’s article on the Tippit, Ruby and Weissman meeting appeared on the front page of the Journal American. Later she was to reveal that the Warren Commission were also tipped off about this gathering. However, their informant added that there was a fourth man at the meeting, an important figure in the Texas oil industry.

Several conspiracy books point out that Kilgallen was the only reporter to get a private interview with Jack Ruby. As far as I know, none provide the full background details of this interview. It was set up by Ruby’s lawyer Joe Tonahill. Kilgallen went to Tonahill with a message for Ruby from a mutual friend. It was only after this message was delivered that Ruby agreed to be interviewed by Kilgallen. Tonahill remembers that the mutual friend was from San Francisco who was involved in the music industry.

The interview with Ruby lasted eight minutes. No one else was there. Even the guards agreed to wait outside. Officially, Kilgallen never told anyone about what Ruby said to her during this interview. Nor did she publish any information she obtained from the interview. There is a reason for this. Kilgallen was in financial difficulties in 1964. This was partly due to some poor business decisions by her husband, Richard Kollmar. The couple also lost the lucrative contract for their popular breakfast show (due to Kollmar’s heavy drinking). Kilgallen also was facing an expensive libel case concerning an article she wrote about a fellow journalist. In 1964 her financial situation was so bad she fully expected to lose her beloved house at 45 East 68 Street in New York.

Kilgallen was a staff member of Journal American. Any article about the Jack Ruby interview in her newspaper would not have helped her serious financial situation. Therefore she decided to include what she knew about the JFK assassination in Murder One. She fully expected that this book would earn her a fortune. This is why she refused to tell anyone, including Mark Lane, about what Ruby told her in the interview arranged by Tonahill. Just before her death Kilgallen told Lane that she had a new important informant in New Orleans. At this point Lane left the US for a meeting in Europe. When he returned he discovered that Kilgallen had died.

Still, if she had "broken open" the JFK assassination case, it's very hard to see why she would have relegated her earth-shaking information to a chapter in a book that covered a half-dozen or so murder cases, rather than writing a book on the assassination, or using her column to reveal the nature of the plot. In fact, she had written numerous columns on the assassination. None of the columns, however, contained any earth shaking information. Rather, they just repeated conspiracy factoids that had been, or soon would be, all over the JFK assassination literature.

As I have explained, there were financial reasons why Kilgallen kept the important information for the book. This also explains why she initially planned to include this information in Murder One. By the time she had completed a book on the assassination she would probably have lost her house in New York. Like many journalists, Kilgallen had difficulty writing something of book length. Except for a collection of her newspaper articles she had never published a book. This caused her some concern and was determined that Murder One would establish her reputation as a investigative writer. It has to be remembered that Dorothy idolized her father, Jack Kilgallen, who had a reputation of being the finest journalist of his generation.

McAdams claim is completely untrue that: “None of the columns, however, contained any earth shaking information. Rather, they just repeated conspiracy factoids that had been, or soon would be, all over the JFK assassination literature.” Kilgallen was the first to publish details of the original Dallas police log that chronicled the minute-by-minute activities of the department in the immediate wake of the assassination, as reflected in the radio communications. This revealed that Chief Chief had lied when he told reporters the next day that he initially thought the shots were fired from the Texas Book Depository.

Kilgallen also provided details of what the Warren Commission report would contain. This ensured that this section appeared in the final version of the report.
She also broke the story that Marina Oswald’s silence was being paid for by Life Magazine.

Finally, she was the first to publish details of the J.D. Tippit, Jack Ruby and Bernard Weissman meeting at the Carousel Club eight days before the assassination.

Her claim that she was going to "break the case" appears to be nothing beyond professional bravado. She never claimed to "have broken" the case, or said "I know who the conspirators were." Whatever her high hopes, there is no evidence that she had any information dangerous to any conspiracy, nor that she would have been able to do what no reporter has done since. Her death was thus yet another tragedy trivialized by conspiracist "researchers."

Kilgallen did in fact tell several of her friends that she would “break the case.” According to David Welsh (Ramparts - November, 1966): “Miss Kilgallgen's "What's My Line" makeup man said that shortly before her death she vowed she would "crack this case." And another New York show biz friend said Dorothy told him in the last days of her life: "In five more days I'm going to bust this case wide open." According to Lee Israel Kilgallen also told Mark Lane a similar story.

It is unlikely Kilgallen had the full story. However, she did know a great deal about the JFK assassination? To understand this you need to realise the way she worked. By the 1950s Kilgallen was the most important gossip columnist in America. She had achieved this position by developing a very good strategy for gaining secret information about famous people. This is how it worked. Kilgallen was swamped with requests by press agents to plug the activities of their clients. For example, an actor’s latest movie or a singer’s latest record. Kilgallen always refused these requests. Instead she offered a deal. Bring me three detrimental stories concerning other stars and I will include a good piece about your client. As these stars were usual rivals of their clients, they were only too willing to do so. Some of the information she received was political. She often wrote about political issues and developed a reputation for holding right-wing opinions.

Kilgallen also had another sources. According to several of her close friends, Kilgallen received information from the CIA. Kilgallen was in fact an important CIA media asset. Kilgallen was given a great deal of information about the situation in Cuba. In 1959 and 1960 Kilgallen included a large number of anti-Castro stories in her column. According to her friends she was also receiving information from Cuban exiles based in Miami.

Kilgallen sometimes included highly subversive material in her column. For example, on 15th July, 1959, Kilgallen became the first journalist to suggest that the CIA and the Mafia were working together in order to assassinate Fidel Castro.

J. Edgar Hoover was fully aware that Kilgallen was not a loyal right-winger. The FBI maintained a dossier about Kilgallen’s activities. As a result of the Freedom of Information Act some of these files have been published. It shows that in the 1930s and 1940s Kilgallen was seen as being “cooperative”. However, concerns about her behaviour was raised by her behaviour in the late 1950s. Kilgallen was obviously considered an important figure The files that have been released shows that Hoover added his own handwritten comments in the margins of these FBI reports.

Kilgallen also received a lot of information from the CIA about JFK. However, she was a close friend of JFK. Kilgallen’s friendship with JFK was kept a secret. On one occasion Bobby Short was with Kilgallen at the Stock Club. JFK came over to Kilgallen and began talking to the couple. One of JFK first comments was: “Dorothy, do you remember the night we played charades at your house?” Up until that time, Short was not even aware that Kilgallen knew JFK.

Kilgallen was fully informed about JFK’s sexual affairs with women. One day she was gossiping about this with her friend Allen Stokes. He asked her why she did not write about it in her column. She replied “I couldn’t possibly”. It would indeed be a great scoop for her. But she decided to protect him.

However, Kilgallen broke this rule when on the 3rd August, 1962, she became the first journalist to refer to JFK relationship with Marilyn Monroe. She did not actually name him but left enough clues for the readers to identify JFK as the secret man in Monroe’s life (later Kilgallen claimed she was in fact referring to Robert Kennedy). One can only assume that she came under severe pressure from someone to write this story. My belief is that it was the FBI or CIA who had put her under pressure to print this information.

The following day Monroe was found dead. Kilgallen must have realised that the FBI/CIA had set her up to smear the Kennedy brothers. Rumours soon began circulating that RFK had arranged Monroe’s death to protect JFK. In reality, Monroe had been killed to implicate the Kennedy brothers in murder. At the time, the murderers must have been confident that JFK would be ousted from power. In fact, Hoover used the incident to get JFK to promise him the job as head of the FBI for life.

McAdams ends his article with the passage: “Whatever her high hopes, there is no evidence that she had any information dangerous to any conspiracy, nor that she would have been able to do what no reporter has done since. Her death was thus yet another tragedy trivialized by conspiracist researchers."

Kilgallen probably knew more about the conspiracy than any other writer. That is why she had to be killed. McAdams is completely wrong about her death being used by conspiracy researchers. In fact, her death is hardly ever referred to in conspiracy books. Those that do, tend to dismiss her death as being unconnected to the assassination.

Nor do conspiracy books have much to say about the friend who she passed on details of her chapter on the JFK assassination. She is often referred to as Mrs. Earl Smith. In fact her real name was Florence Pritchett (she married Earl Smith in 1947). None, as far as I know, have pointed out who Earl Smith was. He was in fact the US Ambassador to Cuba (June, 1957 to January, 1959). Smith held extreme right-wing views and was deeply involved in the CIA plots to overthrow Castro. It was probably Pritchett who was Kilgallen’s source on the CIA plots against Castro. Pritchett was also JFK’s long-term girlfriend (1944-63). In fact, they even had houses next to each other in Palm Beach.

According to one account: "JFK would elude the Secret Service on occasion in order to have trysts with women. He did this in Palm Beach when he hopped a fence to swim with Flo Smith. The Secret Service agents couldn't find him and called in the FBI. They finally turned to Palm Beach Police Chief Homer Large, a trusted Kennedy family associate. The Police Chief knew exactly where to find Jack - next door in Earl E. T. Smith's swimming pool. Jack and Flo were alone, and as Homer put it, "They weren't doing the Australian crawl."

Kilgallen and Pritchett were two people who were in a very good position to know about the CIA attempt to remove JFK from power in the months preceding his assassination. It is no coincidence that they died within two days of each other.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



For additional information-I sent the Commission Document# 1518 from the National Archives that shows they were after Kilgallen to say her source for information she got about Ruby and her Interview (with Ruby) and in the Document, she would only say the "source" was in a "high position" and she would,"Rather Die" then reveal it - (Which she did) - and Bill Miller should post it this week for me - (we can't leave out the "Hot" stuff)

Thank You
Mark Oakes
Researcher/Producer of Eyewitness Videos/DVD's

#11 Bill Miller

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Posted 10 October 2004 - 08:53 AM

[attachment=453:attachment][attachment=454:attachment]Courtesy of Mark Oakes:


If the attachment is too small - a larger version can be seen at -

http://www.jfklancer.../dc/dcboard.php

#12 John Simkin

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Posted 10 October 2004 - 08:17 PM

Does anyone know who provided Dorothy Kilgallen with this information? Could it have been Norman Redlich? He was J. Lee Rankin's principal aides. Around the time this story came out there was an attempt led by Gerald Ford to get rid of Redlich. Ford leaked information to two right-wing senators, Ralph F. Beermann and Karl E. Mundt, that Redlich was sympathetic to Oswald. Both men claimed in speeches that Redlich was a member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (and several communist-front organizations) and that he was using his position to disguise the fact that JFK had been killed as a result of a communist conspiracy.

Redlich survived because he was Earl Warren's man. According to Seth Kantor (Who Was Jack Ruby) Redlich was responsible for removing important details from the report that suggested that Oswald had links with Ruby. This included information that Oswald was on the way to Ruby's home at the time Tippit was killed.

Has anyone done any research on Norman Redlich?

#13 John Simkin

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Posted 10 October 2004 - 08:28 PM

Just found this on the web:

Norman Redlich
Dean Emeritus
Judge Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law Emeritus

Curriculum Vitae

New York University School of Law
Vanderbilt Hall
40 Washington Square South, Room 416-A
New York, NY 10012-1099
Telephone: (212) 998-6314
Email: redlichn@juris.law.nyu.edu

Norman Redlich (LL.M. '55), former dean of the Law School has always been a leader. First in his class at Yale Law School and an LL M. in Taxation at NYU, Redlich joined the NYU School of Law School faculty in 1960, was promoted to full professor in 1962, and served as the director of the Law School's Project on Urban and Poverty Law until he became Associate Dean in 1974. He was named Dean in 1975 and served in that capacity until 1988. Redlich's written work has addressed issues of professional responsibility, legal education, and constitutional law. But his commitment went beyond words. In 1963 and 1964, he served as Assistant Counsel on the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy (the Warren Commission), and later he served as a member of the NYC Board of Education. He served for seven years in high positions in New York City's Law Department, and, in 1972, was named by Mayor John Lindsay as Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, the City's highest legal office. He has also been active in the organized bar, having served as Chair of the American Bar Association's Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar in 1989 to 1990. He is presently a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association.

Dean Redlich remains active in many civil liberties and civil rights causes. He is a member of the board, and of its executive committee, of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and is Co-chair of the Commission on Law and Social Action of the American Jewish Congress. He was the only law professor to serve as a Co-chair of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and received that organization's highest award--The Whitney North Seymour Award--in 1993. He is Chair of Justice-PAC, a political action committee to support candidates for public office in New York State who oppose the death penalty. This represents a modern refrain of his earlier efforts in the same area; in 1959, as counsel to the New York Committee to Abolish Capital Punishment, he organized a group of NYU professors who were probably the first lawyers ever to litigate against the death penalty. Redlich currently serves as counsel to the law firm of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. He continues to teach at the Law School as an adjunct professor, offering a course in professional responsibility.

#14 John Simkin

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 08:51 AM

If you type in the name “Dorothy Kilgallen” into Google you get these first four results:

http://en.wikipedia....rothy_Kilgallen

http://www.jfkresear.../killgallen.htm

http://www.spartacus...FKkilgallen.htm

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/death4.htm

It is interesting to see that it is the McAdams page that is most used by the Wikipedia entry than the other two articles.




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