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Did LBJ order the killing of Henry Marshall?


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#1 John Simkin

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 07:34 PM

Doug Caddy has kindly sent me a batch of documents (letters, newspaper articles, etc.) and a video on Billie Sol Estes. Over the next couple of weeks I will make postings based on these documents. First of all I want to look at the Henry Marshall case.

Henry Marshall, the son of a farmer, was born in Robertson County, Texas, in 1909. He studied chemistry at the University of Texas before becoming the only teacher at the Nesbitt Rural School. The school was forced to close in May, 1932, a victim of the Great Depression.

Marshall managed to find work at a Franklin gin company. However, in August, 1934, Marshall became a clerk with the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA). He worked at the agency's Robertson County office. Marshall was a good worker and it eventually held a senior post in the agency.

In 1960 Marshall was asked to investigate the activities of Billie Sol Estes. Marshall discovered that over a two year period, Estes had purchased 3,200 acres of cotton allotments from 116 different farmers. Marshall wrote to his superiors in Washington on 31st August, 1960, that: "The regulations should be strengthened to support our disapproval of every case (of allotment transfers)".

When he heard the news, Billie Sol Estes sent his lawyer, John P. Dennison, to meet Marshall in Robertson County. At the meeting on 17th January, 1961, Marshall told Dennison that Estes was clearly involved in a "scheme or device to buy allotments, and will not be approved, and prosecution will follow if this operation is ever used."

Marshall was disturbed that as a result of sending a report of his meeting to Washington, he was offered a new post in Washington. He assumed that Bille Sol Estes had friends in high places and that they wanted him removed from the field office in Robertson County. Marshall refused what he considered to be a bribe.

A week after the meeting between Marshall and Dennison, A. B. Foster, manager of Billie Sol Enterprises, wrote to Cliff Carter, a close aide to Lyndon B. Johnson, telling him about the problems that Marshall was causing the company. Foster wrote that "we would sincerely appreciate your investigating this and seeing if anything can be done."

Over the next few months Marshall had meetings with eleven county committees in Texas. He pointed out that Billie Sol Estes scheme to buy cotton allotments were illegal. This information was then communicated to those farmers who had been sold their cotton allotments to Billie Sol Enterprises.

On 3rd June, 1961, Marshall was found dead on his farm by the side of his Chevy Fleetside pickup truck. His rifle lay beside him. He had been shot five times with his own rifle. Soon after County Sheriff Howard Stegall arrived, he decreed that Marshall had committed suicide. No pictures were taken of the crime scene, no blood samples were taken of the stains on the truck (the truck was washed and waxed the following day), no check for fingerprints were made on the rifle or pickup.

Marshall's wife (Sybil Marshall) and brother (Robert Marshall) refused to believe he had committed suicide and posted a $2,000 reward for information leading to a murder conviction. The undertaker, Manley Jones, also reported: "To me it looked like murder. I just do not believe a man could shoot himself like that." The undertaker's son, Raymond Jones, later told the journalist, Bill Adler in 1986: "Daddy said he told Judge Farmer there was no way Mr. Marshall could have killed himself. Daddy had seen suicides before. JPs depend on us and our judgments about such things. we see a lot more deaths than they do. But in this case, Daddy said, Judge Farmer told him he was going to put suicide on the death certificate because the sheriff told him to." As a result, Lee Farmer returned a suicide verdict: "death by gunshot, self-inflicted."

Sybil Marshall hired an attorney, W. S. Barron, in order to persuade the Robertson County authorities to change the ruling on Marshall's cause of death. One man who did believe that Marshall had been murdered was Texas Ranger Clint Peoples. He had reported to Colonel Homer Garrison, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, that it "would have been utterly impossible for Mr. Marshall to have taken his own life."

Peoples also interviewed Nolan Griffin, a gas station attendant in Robertson County. Griffin claimed that on the day of Marshall's death, he had been asked by a stranger for directions to Marshall's farm. A Texas Ranger artist, Thadd Johnson, drew a facial sketch based on a description given by Griffin. Peoples eventually came to the conclusion that this man was Mac Wallace, the convicted murderer of John Kinser.

In the spring of 1962, Bille Sol Estes was arrested by the FBI on fraud and conspiracy charges. Soon afterwards it was disclosed by the Secretary of Agriculture, Orville L. Freeman, that Henry Marshall had been a key figure in the investigation into the illegal activities of Billie Sol Estes. As a result, the Robertson County grand jury ordered that the body of Marshall should be exhumed and an autopsy performed. After eight hours of examination, Dr. Joseph A. Jachimczyk confirmed that Marshall had not committed suicide. Jachimczyk also discovered a 15 percent carbon monoxide concentration in Marshall's body. Jachimczyk calculated that it could have been as high as 30 percent at the time of death.

On 4th April, 1962, George Krutilek, Estes chief accountant, was found dead. Despite a severe bruise on Krutilek's head, the coroner decided that he had also committed suicide. The next day, Estes, and three business associates, were indicted by a federal grand jury on 57 counts of fraud. Two of these men, Harold Orr and Coleman Wade, died before the case came to court. At the time it was said they committed suicide but later Estes was to claim that both men were murdered by Mac Wallace in order to protect the political career of Lyndon B. Johnson.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations also began to look into the case of Billie Sol Estes. Leonard C. Williams, a former assistant to Henry Marshall, testified about the evidence the department acquired against Estes. Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman also admitted that Marshall was a man "who left this world under questioned circumstances."

It was eventually discovered that three officials of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration in Washington had received bribes from Billie Sol Estes. Red Jacobs, Jim Ralph and Bill Morris were eventually removed from their jobs. However, further disclosures suggested that Orville L. Freeman, might be involved in the scam. In September, 1961, Billie Sol Estes had been fined $42,000 for illegal cotton allotments. Two months later, Freeman appointed Estes to the National Cotton Advisory Board.

It was also revealed that Billie Sol Estes told Wilson C. Tucker, deputy director of the Agriculture Department's cotton division, on 1st August, 1961, that he threatened to "embarrass the Kennedy administration if the investigation were not halted". Tucker went onto testify: "Estes stated that this pooled cotton allotment matter had caused the death of one person and then asked me if I knew Henry Marshall". As Tucker pointed out, this was six months before questions about Marshall's death had been raised publicly.

However, the cover-up continued. Tommy G. McWilliams, the FBI agent in charge of the Henry Marshall investigation, came to the conclusion that Marshall had indeed committed suicide. He wrote: "My theory was that he shot himself and then realized he wasn't dead." He then claimed that he then tried to kill himself by inhaling carbon monoxide from the exhaust pipe of his truck. McWilliams claimed that Marshall had used his shirt to make a hood over the exhaust pipe. Even J. Edgar Hoover was not impressed with this theory. He wrote on 21st May, 1962: "I just can't understand how one can fire five shots at himself."

Dr. Joseph A. Jachimczyk also disagreed with the FBI report. He believed that the bruise on Marshall's forehead had been caused by a "severe blow to the head". Jachimczyk also rejected the idea that Marshall had used his shirt as a hood. He pointed out that "if this were done, soot must have necessarily been found on the shirt; no such was found."

The Robertson County grand jury continued to investigate the death of Henry Marshall. However, some observers were disturbed by the news that grand jury member, Pryse Metcalfe, was dominating proceedings. Metcalfe was County Sheriff Howard Stegall's son-in-law.

On 1st June, 1962, the Dallas News reported that President John F. Kennedy had "taken a personal interest in the mysterious death of Henry Marshall." As a result, the story said, Robert Kennedy "has ordered the FBI to step up its investigation of the case."

In June, 1962, Billie Sol Estes, appeared before the grand jury. He was accompanied by John Cofer, a lawyer who represented Lyndon B. Johnson when he was accused of ballot-rigging when elected to the Senate in 1948 and Mac Wallace when he was charged with the murder of John Kinser. Billie Sol Estes spent almost two hours before the grand jury, but he invoked the Texas version of the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer most questions on grounds that he might incriminate himself.

Tommy G. McWilliams of the FBI also appeared before the grand jury and put forward the theory that Henry Wallace had committed suicide. Dr. Joseph A. Jachimczyk also testified that "if in fact this is a suicide, it is the most unusual one I have seen during the examination of approximately 15,000 deceased persons."

McWilliams did admit that it was "hard to kill yourself with a bolt-action 22". This view was shared by John McClellan, a member of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He posed for photographs with a .22 caliber rifle similar to Marshall's. McClellan pointed out: "It doesn't take many deductions to come to the irrevocable conclusion that no man committed suicide by placing the rifle in that awkward position and then (cocking) it four times more." (see picture below)

Despite the evidence presented by Jachimczyk, the grand jury agreed with McWilliams. It ruled that after considering all the known evidence, the jury considers it "inconclusive to substantiate a definite decision at this time, or to overrule any decision heretofore made." Later, it was disclosed that some jury members believed that Marshall had been murdered. Ralph McKinney blamed Pryse Metcalfe for this decision. "Pryse was as strong in the support of the suicide verdict as anyone I have ever seen in my life, and I think he used every influence he possibly could against the members of the grand jury to be sure it came out with a suicide verdict."

In 1964 the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations reported that it could find no link between Marshall's death and his efforts to bring to an end Billie Sol Estes' cotton allotment scheme. The following year Estes went to prison for fraud relating to the mostly nonexistent fertilizer tanks he had put up for collateral as part of the cotton allotment scam. He was released in 1971 but he was later sent back to prison for mail fraud and non-payment of income tax.

Clint Peoples retired from the Texas Rangers in 1974 but he continued to investigate the murder of Henry Marshall. In 1979 Peoples interviewed Billie Sol Estes in prison. Estes promised that "when he was released he would solve the puzzle of Henry Marshall's death".

Billie Sol Estes was released from prison in December, 1983. Three months later he appeared before the Robertson County grand jury. He confessed that Henry Marshall was murdered because it was feared he would "blow the whistle" on the cotton allotment scam. Billie Sol Estes claimed that Marshall was murdered on the orders of Lyndon B. Johnson, who was afraid that his own role in this scam would become public knowledge. According to Estes, Clifton C. Carter, Johnson's long-term aide, had ordered Marshall to approve 138 cotton allotment transfers.

Of course, the authorities have never re-investigated the Henry Marshall case. In fact, attempts have been made to prevent these charges entering the public domain (see the way the television documentary on LBJ was banned).

I believe that Henry Marshall's death is linked to the assassination of JFK. Remember, in 1963, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations were still investigating the Henry Marshall case. We also know that JFK and RFK were taking a close interest in the case. The Marshall murder was only one of three Senate investigations that was linking LBJ with serious crimes. Bobby Baker and the TFX contract were also being investigated in 1963. When LBJ became president he was able to control the reports that came out of these investigations.

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#2 J. Raymond Carroll

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 01:47 AM

Doug Caddy has kindly sent me a batch of documents (letters, newspaper articles, etc.) and a video on Billie Sol Estes. Over the next couple of weeks I will make postings based on these documents. First of all I want to look at the Henry Marshall case.

Even J. Edgar Hoover was not impressed with this theory. He wrote on 21st May, 1962: "I just can't understand how one can fire five shots at himself."



John, can you please give the source for this quotation from Hoover?

Thank you.

#3 Dawn Meredith

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 02:24 AM

John:

Great to see the forum looking at the Tx. aspect to this case. Henry Marshall and Clint People's murders are examples of what happens to public officals of integrity who attempt to stem the tide of horrific corruption.

I have believed that LBJ killed JFK since day one and studying the the lives and murders of Marshall and Peoples has only solidified this belief.

Dawn

#4 Tim Gratz

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:00 AM

John, I hate to think that LBJ did it (even though I thought he was a crook in 1964) but I must say there is a lot more to possibly link LBJ to the assassination than most of the people whose names are flung around here with abandon.

Clearly LBJ had a strong motive. And there is of course the possible Wallace fingerprint.

But why if LBJ was involved would he use someone so clearly connected to him? Even if Wallace was caught but silenced like LHO his connections to LBJ would have surfaced.

I think Larry Hancock has suggested that Wallace may have been employed by someone else to deliberately link LBJ to the assassination to force a cover-up. Is it possible that someone engaged Wallace by telling Wallace (falsely) that he was doing it under the orders of LBJ?

#5 John Simkin

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:24 AM


Even J. Edgar Hoover was not impressed with this theory. He wrote on 21st May, 1962: "I just can't understand how one can fire five shots at himself."



John, can you please give the source for this quotation from Hoover?


It appeared on a memo from Hoover to Tommy G. McWilliams. It was quoted on page 14 of an article entitled "The Killing of Henry Marshall" by Bill Adler that appeared in The Texas Observer (7th November, 1986).

#6 Tim Gratz

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:28 AM

See, I knew J. Edgar could be a good detective when he really wanted to be.

Who is Tommy G. McWilliams? (Excuse me if I missed it in a previous post.)

#7 John Simkin

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:32 AM

See, I knew J. Edgar could be a good detective when he really wanted to be.

Who is Tommy G. McWilliams? (Excuse me if I missed it in a previous post.)


Another example of you commenting without reading my posting. If you read the posting on Henry Marshall, how can you be unaware of Tommy G. McWilliams?

#8 Tim Gratz

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:36 AM

John, your post implies that McWilliams was an FBI agent investigating the case. I'd hoped you'd elaborate a bit more on his role (if you are aware of his role in the investigation).

Thanks.

#9 John Simkin

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 12:17 PM

To finish the story off:

Billie Sol Estes told the grand jury that he had a meeting with Johnson and Carter about Henry Marshall. Johnson suggested that Marshall be promoted out of Texas. Estes agreed and replied: "Let's transfer him, let's get him out of here. Get him a better job, make him an assistant secretary of agriculture." However, Marshall rejected the idea of being promoted in order to keep him quiet.

Estes, Johnson and Carter had another meeting on 17th January, 1961, to discuss what to do about Henry Marshall. Also at the meeting was Malcolm Wallace. After it was pointed out that Marshall had refused promotion to Washington, Johnson said: "It looks like we'll just have to get rid of him." Mac Wallace, who Estes described as a hitman, was given the assignment.

Billie Sol Estes also told the grand jury that he met Carter and Wallace at his home in Pecos after Marshall was killed. Wallace described how he waited for Marshall at his farm. He planned to kill him and make it appear as if Marshall committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. However, Marshall fought back and he was forced to shoot him with his own rifle. He quoted Carter as saying that Wallace "sure did botch it up." Johnson was now forced to use his influence to get the authorities in Texas to cover-up the murder.

The grand jury rejected the testimony of Billie Sol Estes. Carter, Wallace and Johnson were all dead and could not confirm Billie Sol's testimony. However, the Grand Jury did change the verdict on the death of Henry Marshall from suicide to death by gunshot.

On 9th August, 1984, Estes' lawyer, Douglas Caddy, wrote to Stephen S. Trott at the U.S. Department of Justice. In the letter Caddy claimed that Estes, Lyndon B. Johnson, Malcolm (Mac) Wallace and Cliff Carter had been involved in the murders of Henry Marshall, George Krutilek, Harold Orr, Ike Rogers, Coleman Wade, Josefa Johnson, John Kinser and John F. Kennedy. Caddy added: "Mr. Estes is willing to testify that LBJ ordered these killings, and that he transmitted his orders through Cliff Carter to Mac Wallace, who executed the murders."

Four days later, the Texas Bureau of Vital Statistics ruled that there was now "clear and convincing" evidence to prove Henry Marshall was murdered and State District Judge Peter Lowry ordered that the death certificate should be changed to "homicide by gunshot wounds".

http://www.spartacus...FKmarshallH.htm

#10 J. Raymond Carroll

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 02:37 PM

To finish the story off:

Billie Sol Estes told the grand jury.......".


John, this looks like a very important essay. Can I be so bold as to ask that you repost it as a single piece with footnotes to the sources, if not for my sake then for posterity's? For example, the quote above refers to Grand Jury testimony, and Grand Jury testimony, by definition, is secret. Of course there are rare occasions when Grand Jury testimony is made public (as in the Republican attempt to destroy the Clinton Presidency). Even as I ask the question it occurs to me that the source must be Billie Sol himself, and if so when and to whom did he reveal the substance of his testimony?

Thank you.

#11 Mark Stapleton

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 06:07 PM


To finish the story off:

Billie Sol Estes told the grand jury.......".


John, this looks like a very important essay. Can I be so bold as to ask that you repost it as a single piece with footnotes to the sources, if not for my sake then for posterity's? For example, the quote above refers to Grand Jury testimony, and Grand Jury testimony, by definition, is secret. Of course there are rare occasions when Grand Jury testimony is made public (as in the Republican attempt to destroy the Clinton Presidency). Even as I ask the question it occurs to me that the source must be Billie Sol himself, and if so when and to whom did he reveal the substance of his testimony?

Thank you.


Ray,

You should check out Larry Hancock's pieces on Mac Wallace and Billy Sol in the online seminars section. Also, the comprehensive thread dealing with Larry's book "Someone would have talked" (2003) in the History Books section is highly recommended.

#12 James Richards

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 10:56 PM

Just to add an interesting association, this image below shows a young Malcolm (Mac) Wallace and Molly O'Daniel. Molly was the daughter of Texas Governer W. Lee O'Daniel who was seriously opposed to UT President Homer Rainey. Rainey by the way was strongly supported by both Wallace and Horace Busby.

James

#13 John Simkin

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 12:09 PM

Texas Ranger Clint Peoples interviewed Nolan Griffin, a gas station attendant in Robertson County. Griffin claimed that on the day of Marshall's death, he had been asked by a stranger for directions to Marshall's farm. A Texas Ranger artist, Thadd Johnson, drew a facial sketch based on a description given by Griffin. Peoples eventually came to the conclusion that this man was Mac Wallace.

Thought members of the Forum would like to make their own judgement on this.

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#14 John Simkin

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 04:11 PM

John, I hate to think that LBJ did it (even though I thought he was a crook in 1964) but I must say there is a lot more to possibly link LBJ to the assassination than most of the people whose names are flung around here with abandon.

Clearly LBJ had a strong motive. And there is of course the possible Wallace fingerprint.

But why if LBJ was involved would he use someone so clearly connected to him? Even if Wallace was caught but silenced like LHO his connections to LBJ would have surfaced.

I think Larry Hancock has suggested that Wallace may have been employed by someone else to deliberately link LBJ to the assassination to force a cover-up. Is it possible that someone engaged Wallace by telling Wallace (falsely) that he was doing it under the orders of LBJ?


This point has always bothered me. I believe it was me (on my online seminar) that first suggested that Wallace might have been used to set-up LBJ. However, the more I have read on LBJís past, the more I have come to believe that LBJ (or someone representing the Suite 8F Group) would have recruited Wallace for this job. After all, it could not have been easy to find someone willing to carry out such a hit. Wallace had done it, according to Billie Sol Estes, seven times before. Such was LBJís power, he had been able to prevent Wallace from being punished for these crimes. In the one case it was caught (John Kinser case), he was able to get Wallace a suspended sentence. Given this record, LBJ was probably convinced he would get away with it. And he did.

#15 Pat Speer

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 07:59 PM


John, I hate to think that LBJ did it (even though I thought he was a crook in 1964) but I must say there is a lot more to possibly link LBJ to the assassination than most of the people whose names are flung around here with abandon.

Clearly LBJ had a strong motive. And there is of course the possible Wallace fingerprint.

But why if LBJ was involved would he use someone so clearly connected to him? Even if Wallace was caught but silenced like LHO his connections to LBJ would have surfaced.

I think Larry Hancock has suggested that Wallace may have been employed by someone else to deliberately link LBJ to the assassination to force a cover-up. Is it possible that someone engaged Wallace by telling Wallace (falsely) that he was doing it under the orders of LBJ?


This point has always bothered me. I believe it was me (on my online seminar) that first suggested that Wallace might have been used to set-up LBJ. However, the more I have read on LBJ’s past, the more I have come to believe that LBJ (or someone representing the Suite 8F Group) would have recruited Wallace for this job. After all, it could not have been easy to find someone willing to carry out such a hit. Wallace had done it, according to Billie Sol Estes, seven times before. Such was LBJ’s power, he had been able to prevent Wallace from being punished for these crimes. In the one case it was caught (John Kinser case), he was able to get Wallace a suspended sentence. Given this record, LBJ was probably convinced he would get away with it. And he did.



Whether Wallace was a shooter or whether he had simply moved boxes in the sniper's nest, his fingerprint is indeed hard-to-explain. If there was ANY record of LBJ sending "his man" to oversee the police inspection of the Depository, we might have reason to believe he'd merely placed his grimy hands where they shouldn't have been.

If he was up there, still, there was a second problem. Since it seems fairly obvious that LBJ, on his own, couldn't have set up Oswald, the question becomes who else was involved?

Has anyone EVER established a link between Phillips and LBJ? Wallace? Carter? Connally? Was Phillips in an acting troupe with any of Hunt's security men? Was there any contact between LBJ and Maheu prior to his becoming President? With anyone in Johnson's inner circle and Maheu? With Johnson and Hughes? How close was Johnson with Helms? Could there have been a cadre of SS men and CIA who worked together to put the BIG Texan in power? If so, who was involved?

If Wallace was up there, the picture is still far from complete.

Edited by Pat Speer, 03 February 2006 - 08:00 PM.





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