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Martin Shackelford

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Posts posted by Martin Shackelford

  1. Question: Was JFK aware of the plots to kill Castro? If so, did he do anything to try and stop them?

    Apparently he was, and he endorsed some of them. It seems that the only ones he and his brother Robert tried to discourage were the ones which used organized crime.

    Martin Shackelford

  2. I would agree that there was never any real evidence of a communist conspiracy. Over the years, the media has repeatedly run articles on the "Pedro Charles letters" as new evidence of such, but they were exposed as fakes many years ago, and are very old news. Johnson tried to suggest Cuban involvement at times, but there is no real evidence for this.

    As for Lyndon Johnson, reports of his involvement have circulated ever since the assassination. Right-wing author J. Evetts Haley considered him responsible, as did left-wing playwright Barbara Garson, among others.

    One theory has Johnson's own organization in Texas, using their hit man Mac Wallace, committing the assassination, or being involved in it. This has been revived recently, as noted below.

    Another has Texas oil money behind it, with Johnson knowing ahead of time and helping to cover it up--this is what his mistress Madeleine Brown said.

    A third has the Carlos Marcello organized crime family, which had a subordinate organization in Dallas, and which made payoffs to the Johnson organization through Jack Halfen, committing the crime and Johnson covering it up.

    The latest theory, in Barr McClellan's book, and in the recently-suppressed History documentary, has a Johnson lawyer organzing the assassination, again using Mac Wallace in the plan.

    At one point, Johnson's press secretary George Reedy, in a taped phone call, suggested that Johnson tell the truth about his Texas activities, with Johnson reponding that if he did that, he would go to jail. There were plenty of other activities, of course, to which this could refer, so it doesn't necessarily relate to the assassination.

    Whether Johnson was involved remains a puzzle, but we seem to have more of the pieces than we once did.

  3. (2) Did Oswald introduce you to Ferrie or was it the other way round?

    Oswald introduced her to Ferrie.

    (3) Did Oswald ever mention David Atlee Phillips by name? Did he give you the names of any of his other CIA contacts?

    He did mention Phillips to her. She can probably respond in more detail.

    (4) Did Oswald ever give you any idea of who was behind the plans to assassinate JFK? If so, did he say anything about the reasons for the assassination?

    He didn't provide much information, certainly not enough upon which to take

    preventive action, though he did mention Texas funding.

    (5) Was the work you did with Dr. Sherman part of an “official” CIA operation or was it being run by “rogue” elements in the agency?

    Most likely an officially approved operation. If any rogue elements were

    involved, it would have been in the plot against JFK, not the one against


    Martin Shackelford

  4. Martin Shackelford

    B.A. in History, University of Michigan 1969, some graduate work.

    Student of the JFK assassination since 1973. Numerous articles on the subject, as well as contributions to a number of books, including volumes by Ian McFarlane, Harrison Livingstone and Michael Benson.

    Special focus is the photographic evidence, but I try to keep up with a general overall knowledge of the case as well.

    Extensive collection of the films and photos taken on November 22, 1963, as well as related films and images.

    Have attended quite a few JFK conferences, presenting at some of them.

    Have worked since 1999 with the witness Judyth Baker.

    Some television appearances regarding the case, including a 90-minute talk show in Lansing, Michigan.

    Occasional slide lectures and presentations on the case, high school and college, and assisting students with JFK-related projects.

    Have updated lists of JFK websites, JFK-related DVDs, etc., as well as an index to the unindexed Robert Groden book, The Killing of a President, among other reference materials.

  5. I'll add a few minor points to the matter of the Zapruder film, about which I've written more extensively elsewhere.

    The Zapruder film was viewed on the day of the assassination by lab employees after it was processed. It wasn't sold to LIFE until the following day, after being viewed by Secret Service agents and media representatives.

    Although Time-LIFE didn't allow public showings of the film, it was available for viewing at the National Archives following the Warren Commission Report's publication, and many researchers viewed it there.

    The film was also repeatedly publicly shown in 1969 at the Clay Shaw trial in New Orleans, after which bootleg copies circulated widely. The film was also shown at JFK conferences beginning in 1973.

    The idea that anyone had 12 years to "work on" the film is, of course, untenable. No one who saw in on November 22 or 23, 1963 has alleged alteration, and the film was readily viewable by researchers by late 1964, which would be a maximum of 12 months, not 12 years.

    Many of us had seen the film before it was shown on television in March 1975.

    I have examined the arguments alleging alteration of the film, and have found nothing convincing in them. I have also examined the Zavada Report, which seems to firmly establish the film at the Archives is the camera original. The two Secret Service copies of the film are also at the Archives (no missing frames).

    Although the limousine slowed considerably, it didn't stop. Witnesses alongside the limousine mostly support this - and most witnesses who report a stop were viewing the limo from behind. I don't recall any early statement by Moorman, Hill or the motorcycle officers that the limo stopped. Some confusion has resulted from the fact that the Warren Commission used an average speed, when the limo went both faster and slower than the average at various points.

    Noel Twyman's claims regarding the Greer head turn are without merit. I would say the same about the alteration claims of Jack White, David Mantik, David Lifton, John Costella and others.

    "McGoo" is correct in noting that the Zapruder film is consistent with the other films of the assassination. Jack White has responded to this by claiming that ALL of the films were altered, which only adds to the absurdities.

  6. Martin Shackelford obtained a B.A. degree in history from the University of Michigan, followed by some graduate work in the field. After leaving university he became a delinquency social worker in Michigan. He is currently retired from that position.

    Shackelford has investigated the assassination of John F. Kennedy for over 30 years. His primary focus has been on the photographic evidence. He has a large collection of books, slides, documents, videotapes, DVDs and audio recordings relating to the case.

    He has also written a large number of articles on the case and for many years was a major contributor to Fair Play Magazine. His JFK work has also appeared in The Continuing Inquiry, The Third Decade, The Fourth Decade, The Assassination Chronicles, The Investigator, Real Crime Book Digest and Review Magazine. His articles appear on the websites The Assassination Web, JFK Place, JFK Lancer and clintbradford.com.

    He has contributed to books by other researchers, including Ian MacFarlane, Harrison Livingstone and Michael Benson, and has attended many JFK research conferences, including those in Fredonia New York, Providence Rhode Island, Washington DC, Dallas Texas, Chicago Illinois, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor Michigan, and Sudbury Ontario, presenting papers at some of these.

    Additional materials and website links can be found at:


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