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Micah Mileto

A Lie Too Big To Fail by Lisa Pease

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Micah: 

The Hearst film of the holes is not new. I found it at the UCLA Film & Television Archive in March 2006 and included it in my film RFK Must Die in 2007. I also wrote about Michael Wayne in my book Who Killed Bobby? in 2008, after speaking to him on the phone. Yes, his behaviour was odd that night but he was detained, handcuffed and no gun was found in his rolled-up poster. The video of him getting RFK to sign the poster before the speech and photographs of him before and after the shooting by Bill Eppridge and Steve Fontanini show nothing suspicious. I have read the 30-page section on Michael Wayne in Lisa's new book but nothing in that convinces me Wayne played any role in the assassination. 

Wayne after 4.jpg

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Its new for a book.

 

As per Wayne, consider just this one page:

On April 10, 1969, after the trial was long over, Lt. Hernandez administered a polygraph to Michael Wayne. One of the lie detector questions proposed for Michael Wayne was: “Were you truthful when you stated you couldn’t remember where you obtained Gilbert’s business card?” But this question was never asked.

Naturally, Hernandez told us Wayne’s answers showed “no pattern of decep- tion,” but the audio tape of the session tells a different story. You can hear the polygraph machine recording in the background. After a series of preliminary questions, Hernandez asked his official questions. “Mike, were you born in Cali- fornia?” Wayne answered “No” and the polygraph continued at its normal level.

“Other than Wayne, have you ever used a different last name?” Wayne responded “No,” but that was not entirely true, as he had gone by Wien. Perhaps that is why you can hear the polygraph making a bigger sound here, as if the needle is recording more stress on this answer.

“Did you come here intending to lie to any of my questions?” Hernandez asked. “No,” Wayne said, but the polygraph sound is even louder here. Perhaps knowing Wayne would react to this, Hernandez threw in an easy, meaningless question on his list that was not on the original list. “Do you own a dog?” Wayne said no and the polygraph machine quieted.

“Is there anything about the assassination of Senator Kennedy that you’re afraid to tell me about?” Wayne answered this and the next several questions “No,” but the sound of the polygraph grew louder again. So again, Hernandez asked a question of no consequence: “Are you married?”

The next question was the big one, and Wayne’s “No” response brought a lot of action from the polygraph machine. “Do you remember meeting Keith Gilbert?” The next question was asked differently from what Hernandez had written down. Hernandez had written, “Did you and Keith Gilbert know each other previously?” Instead, Hernandez asked, “Do you remember talking to Keith Gilbert?” Again, the polygraph sounded loud here, which is perhaps why Hernandez asked another question that was not on his list. “Did you lie to my last question?” The needle of the polygraph continued to be loud, as if swinging in a wide pattern.

Several other questions were asked, but the next one that drew a big reaction was “Do you remember ever giving one of your business cards to Keith Gilbert?” The needle appeared to swing widely here. Wayne explained he did have business cards in seventh grade. Perhaps that is the Wayne business card in the record, where Wayne spelled his last name Wien and gave an address that is not now in existence in Los Angeles (if it ever was). 

The reason this is important is because Gilbert was an extreme rightwing member of the Minutemen; the  group that was involved in all kinds of violent actions including illegal training camps for exiles against Cuba. In the early stages of his inquiry, Jim Garrison suspected them of having a role in the JFK murder.

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Gilbert was imprisoned in San Quentin in 1966 and was still there in April 1969 when LAPD interviewed him about this. A business card for a different Michael Wayne was found at Gilbert's apartment during a search for stolen dynamite in 1965, so when the LAPD thought it might be the same Michael Wayne, that's how the confusion started. I went through all of this many years ago and there is nothing there. 

Wayne was a strange guy, so it wouldn't surprise me if he gave evasive answers during a polygraph but I'm not sure how you can analyse his responses from the sounds of a polygraph on a cassette tape. If his polygraph charts are in the files, it would be better to have a polygraph expert examine them. 

Edited by Shane O'Sullivan

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2 hours ago, Shane O'Sullivan said:

Micah: 

The Hearst film of the holes is not new. I found it at the UCLA Film & Television Archive in March 2006 and included it in my film RFK Must Die in 2007. I also wrote about Michael Wayne in my book Who Killed Bobby? in 2008, after speaking to him on the phone. Yes, his behaviour was odd that night but he was detained, handcuffed and no gun was found in his rolled-up poster. The video of him getting RFK to sign the poster before the speech and photographs of him before and after the shooting by Bill Eppridge and Steve Fontanini show nothing suspicious. I have read the 30-page section on Michael Wayne in Lisa's new book but nothing in that convinces me Wayne played any role in the assassination. 

Wayne after 4.jpg

I've never seen this picture.  Which doesn't mean much, most likely a lot I've never seen.  Thanks for posting it.  In Lisa's book a witness in the pantry, a member of the press, mentions Wayne wanting to trade press passes with him (for a different color/level of access) and that Wayne was wearing both of the ones that he had managed to obtain that night, without being a member of the press, as well as two PT 109 tie clasps (I believe he obtained a second one from a volunteer in Kennedy's suite before they all came down for the speech).  I see the two small stickers or pins on the right collar of his sweater.  I thought press passes were larger than this.  If I remember right the witness said  he had the press passes clipped on with the tie clasps.  She says he was a political junkie.  Even though he was the "polar opposite of Kennedy" regarding politics, where are his precious collectors items?

Did he give them away to others in need of them?

Why was he running out of the Colonial room, looking for a phone when there were several working ones in it, elbowing people out of the way, not stopping at calls of "stop him, he's getting away" until he's tackled?  Why did he lie to authorities and tell them he was a reporter and ran up to the security guard looking for a phone, when in fact he was tackled then handcuffed, as shown in the picture? 

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2 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

I've never seen this picture.  Which doesn't mean much, most likely a lot I've never seen.  Thanks for posting it.  In Lisa's book a witness in the pantry, a member of the press, mentions Wayne wanting to trade press passes with him (for a different color/level of access) and that Wayne was wearing both of the ones that he had managed to obtain that night, without being a member of the press, as well as two PT 109 tie clasps (I believe he obtained a second one from a volunteer in Kennedy's suite before they all came down for the speech).  I see the two small stickers or pins on the right collar of his sweater.  I thought press passes were larger than this.  If I remember right the witness said  he had the press passes clipped on with the tie clasps.  She says he was a political junkie.  Even though he was the "polar opposite of Kennedy" regarding politics, where are his precious collectors items?

Did he give them away to others in need of them?

Why was he running out of the Colonial room, looking for a phone when there were several working ones in it, elbowing people out of the way, not stopping at calls of "stop him, he's getting away" until he's tackled?  Why did he lie to authorities and tell them he was a reporter and ran up to the security guard looking for a phone, when in fact he was tackled then handcuffed, as shown in the picture? 

He does look a little like Sirhan, curly dark hair, facially?

Maybe a little fearful at the time of his capture?

Edited by Ron Bulman

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2 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

I've never seen this picture.  Which doesn't mean much, most likely a lot I've never seen.  Thanks for posting it.  In Lisa's book a witness in the pantry, a member of the press, mentions Wayne wanting to trade press passes with him (for a different color/level of access) and that Wayne was wearing both of the ones that he had managed to obtain that night, without being a member of the press, as well as two PT 109 tie clasps (I believe he obtained a second one from a volunteer in Kennedy's suite before they all came down for the speech).  I see the two small stickers or pins on the right collar of his sweater.  I thought press passes were larger than this.  If I remember right the witness said  he had the press passes clipped on with the tie clasps.  She says he was a political junkie.  Even though he was the "polar opposite of Kennedy" regarding politics, where are his precious collectors items?

Did he give them away to others in need of them?

Why was he running out of the Colonial room, looking for a phone when there were several working ones in it, elbowing people out of the way, not stopping at calls of "stop him, he's getting away" until he's tackled?  Why did he lie to authorities and tell them he was a reporter and ran up to the security guard looking for a phone, when in fact he was tackled then handcuffed, as shown in the picture? 

And he was a "minutemen" like General Walker?

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One part of the story I don't find credible is RFK supposedly giving

Michael Wayne his own PT-109 tie clasp at another event a couple of weeks before RFK was shot. Why would RFK give his own tie clasp to some stranger?

I received one of those tie clasps for being a volunteer on the 1960 Wisconsin primary

campaign (they became a totemic item of shared experience and comradeship

among people who worked for the Kennedys), but JFK or RFK did not take off his pin and hand it to me. 

My mother, who was active in the Wisconsin Democratic Party, got one for me when we both worked in the campaign,

on which RFK was campaign manager.

 

Edited by Joseph McBride

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3 hours ago, Micah Mileto said:

And he was a "minutemen" like General Walker?

No, he wasn't. Keith Gilbert was and LAPD found no connection between Gilbert and the Michael Wayne at the Ambassador

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3 hours ago, Micah Mileto said:

restated

On 2/2/2019 at 11:36 AM,  Micah Mileto said:

That's disputed. I agree this is the least convincing of the alleged bullet holes photographed that night. The four holes in the pantry doorframe and centre divider are the ones of most interest to me and are featured in the Hearst film. 

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5 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

I've never seen this picture.  Which doesn't mean much, most likely a lot I've never seen.  Thanks for posting it.  In Lisa's book a witness in the pantry, a member of the press, mentions Wayne wanting to trade press passes with him (for a different color/level of access) and that Wayne was wearing both of the ones that he had managed to obtain that night, without being a member of the press, as well as two PT 109 tie clasps (I believe he obtained a second one from a volunteer in Kennedy's suite before they all came down for the speech).  I see the two small stickers or pins on the right collar of his sweater.  I thought press passes were larger than this.  If I remember right the witness said  he had the press passes clipped on with the tie clasps.  She says he was a political junkie.  Even though he was the "polar opposite of Kennedy" regarding politics, where are his precious collectors items?

Did he give them away to others in need of them?

Why was he running out of the Colonial room, looking for a phone when there were several working ones in it, elbowing people out of the way, not stopping at calls of "stop him, he's getting away" until he's tackled?  Why did he lie to authorities and tell them he was a reporter and ran up to the security guard looking for a phone, when in fact he was tackled then handcuffed, as shown in the picture? 

Sure. I think Wayne was trading press passes to gain access as a collector, not as part of the plot. As a conspirator, his posters and memorabilia would have drawn too much attention to him and why would a conspirator get Kennedy to autograph his poster before playing a part in killing him? There is no proof he was a Minuteman or that his views were the polar opposite to Kennedy because the link to Gilbert was mistaken. He ran out of the room in a panic and behaved oddly but the key point is there's no evidence he had a gun in the poster.

The day after the shooting, Patricia Nelson told the FBI she saw a slightly-built Mexican or Cuban man running out the Embassy Room after the shooting with what looked like ‘the stock of a gun protruding from a package.’ Two friends were with her and one of them spotted the same individual in footage replayed on an ABC newscast later that evening. The FBI made arrangements for Nelson and her friends to view the newscast at ABC. In the meantime, ‘ABC film editors, in searching video tapes on the Kennedy affair had frozen a frame of the person carrying the package…[thinking it] could have been Sirhan Sirhan.’ The tape shows Kennedy signing rolled-up campaign posters for a Sirhan lookalike later identified as Michael Wayne, on his way to the stage. Seeing the rolled-up posters again on tape caused Nelson to doubt her initial impression that a gun was hidden in them and the FBI took no further action. 

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As Lisa wrote in The Assassinations, and in her current book, the whole "wrong Wayne" thing was improbable because there is evidence Wayne had GIlbert's card also. Lisa exposed this back in 2003.

(See, The Assassinations, p. 599.  A Lie too Big to Fail p. 321)

Nelson was not the only one who saw Wayne with a rolled up poster running away from the scene.  And she was not the only one who thought there was a weapon inside it. (So did Joe Klein.) There were actually several people who witnessed Wayne running away.  And Nelson sure as heck was not the one who tackled Wayne.  The guy who tackled him said he had seen Wayne previously that night with a girl and three other men, one of whom resembled Sirhan. (The Assassinations, p. 598) Wayne was arrested because of his suspicious behavior running from the scene of the shooting. Why would he be doing that?

Wayne's excuse was he wanted to use a phone.  Steve Fontanini, a newsman himself who also ran after Wayne, did not buy that for a simple reason.  Wayne was running out of the press room, a room full of telephones. (ibid)  Fontanini did not buy this excuse but the LAPD did.

Manny Guittierez of SUS thought there was really something remiss with the Gilbert/Wayne association.  And he though Wayne was lying about it.  He is the one who pushed for the polygraph.  Unfortunately, it was done by Hernandez with the above odd results.  Some funny air condidtioning I guess back in those days.

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On ‎2‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 2:36 AM, James DiEugenio said:

Micah:

In the chapter on Too Many Holes, its at around Figure 9.

 

Ron:

Is it not amazing that no one until Lisa ever dug into this guy even though he simply radiates suspicion?

Yes, not just radiating suspicion about Wayne, but amazing to me is what the book brings out about the contrast of the handling of him by the LAPD and in particular Sandy Serrano, among others.  As Lisa says, the polygraph examiner/interrogator Hernandez "bent over backwards" accommodating and accepting Wayne's statements as truthful.  Yet she demonstrates over several pages how Hernandez badgered and intimidated Serrano continuously, threatening her repeatedly with ongoing harassment as long as it took to finally get her to lie about what she saw and heard.

A real eye opener for me was reading about Pena and Hernandez.   Both former LAPD for years, rising through the ranks.  Both then working for the CIA in foreign countries.  Hernandez being trained by them in interrogation.  Pena brought back to head the investigation, selecting Hernandez to ascertain the truthfulness of witnesses and they determining the importance of and whether their statements were useful, ignored, buried or lost.

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Manuel Pena has connections to both the JFK and RFK murders. It was Pena who traced Oswald's telescopic sight to a California gun shop.  After the assassination, Senator Dodd helped a Senate Internal Security Subcommittee publish a story that Oswald bad been trained at a KGB assassination school in Minsk. Two mail-order houses were the center points from which Oswald ordered his Smith and Wesson .38 revolver (Seaport Traders of Los Angeles) and his Mannlicher-Carcano rifle (Klein's of Chicago). Oswald ordered his pistol two days before Senator Christopher Dodd's subcommittee began hearings in January 1963. The subcommittee’s statistics later showed a purchase in Texas made from Seaport Traders. One of the groups being investigated for firearm purchases was one that Oswald had in his address book ... the American Nazi Party.  An investigator looking into interstate firearms sales at this time was Manuel Pena, the LAPD lieutenant who was later one of the officers investigating Robert Kennedy's assassination.

Pena had an interesting background; he served in the Navy during WWII and in the Army during the Korean War, and was a Counterintelligence officer in France.  He spoke French and Spanish, and had connections with various intelligence agencies in several countries. In 1967, Pena "retired" from the LAPD, leaving to join AID, a cover for political operations in foreign countries.  Roger LeJeunesse, an FBI agent who had been involved in the RFK investigation, told author William Turner that Pena had performed special assignments for the CIA for more than ten years.  After his retirement from the LAPD (and a public farewell dinner) in November of 1967, Pena inexplicably returned to the LAPD in April 1968 ...  just in time to head the LAPD group called Special Unit Senator that controlled the RFK investigation two months later. Pena was the trusted courier of key evidence being supplied to the FBI ... and he was affiliated with the same mercenaries and cut-outs used by JMWave operatives in various operations -- Saigon, El Salvador, Uruguay, Phoenix -- who were employed by cover with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

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"...why would a conspirator get Kennedy to autograph his poster before playing a part in killing him? "

Mark David Chapman might have the answer to this kind of question.

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