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I am interested in finding out more about the death of Dorothy Hunt. Can anyone recommend a good book on the subject?

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I am interested in finding out more about the death of Dorothy Hunt. Can anyone recommend a good book on the subject?

Carl Oglesby's Yankee Cowboy War does a very good job on this subject, you can get it used, but hard to find. Amazon maybe.

Chicago investigator Sherman Skolnick did a very thorough job investigating this case and I believe it's all still linked at his web site.

Dawn

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I am interested in finding out more about the death of Dorothy Hunt. Can anyone recommend a good book on the subject?

Carl Oglesby's Yankee Cowboy War does a very good job on this subject, you can get it used, but hard to find. Amazon maybe.

I agree. I have a copy of this excellent book. I thought that someone might have written a whole book on the case. Has anyone got a copy of James McCord's A Piece of Tape - The Watergate Story: Fact and Fiction (1974)? If so, does he have much to say on the death of Dorothy Hunt?

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John

I have a copy of the McCord memoirs "A Piece of Tape". No Index, but I don't see anything on Dorothy Hunt. It is mainly an indictment of Peterson, Mitchell and Nixon. Interesting chronologies, lots of testimony excerpts. You may be able to track one down on Amazon.

If I remember correctly the Chicago police found the satchel with $10,000 in the wreckage with Dorothy's body and Howard Hunt filed for the money, a strange scene when Hunt got the hush money back from the authorities..........

Also, Nixon put a crony (Egil Krogh?) in charge of the National Air Traffic Safety Board right after the crash, I believe, and this has set off quite a few suspicions.......

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. Has anyone got a copy of James McCord's A Piece of Tape - The Watergate Story: Fact and Fiction (1974)? If so, does he have much to say on the death of Dorothy Hunt?

I have the book. Doesn't talk about her death as I remember. No index. Book does shed a light on McCord's motivations and convinced me he was not part of a CIA master scheme to overthrow St. Nixon, the way some seem to believe. Book does have a passage about Mrs. Hunt detailing a conversation she had with McCord after giving him some of the "hush" money. She was the one who let him in on the CRP plan to blame the break-in on the CIA, in order to get the FBI to back off, as well as the White House plan to blame Liddy, claiming he stole the money from CRP to pay the burglars. This sleaziness rubbed McCord the wrong way and was a core reason for his eventual betrayal of Mitchell, Magruder, Haldeman, Dean etc. As Hunt said in the movie Nixon "You don't leave your men on the beach!"

The realization that McCord's lawyer was the late Bud Fensterwald, whose Coincidence or Conspiracy remains one of the best books on the JFK assassination, put to rest any thoughts in my head that McCord was part of a CIA conspiracy to get Tricky Dick. I just don't see the CIA giving money to Fensterwald, and thereby funding the Committee to Investigate Assassinations, under any circumstances.

Edited by Pat Speer

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The realization that McCord's lawyer was the late Bud Fensterwald, whose Coincidence or Conspiracy remains one of the best books on the JFK assassination, put to rest any thoughts in my head that McCord was part of a CIA conspiracy to get Tricky Dick.  I just don't  see the CIA giving money to Fensterwald, and thereby funding the Committee to Investigate Assassinations, under any circumstances.

Carl Oglesby is not so confident about Fensterwald's non CIA links. He admits that he has a penchant for cases involving the hypothesis of conspiracy. For example, he worked with Jim Garrison when he prosecuted Clay Shaw. We now know that other CIA assets got closely involved with Garrison during this period.

Oglesby also points out that Fensterwald was Andrew St. George's lawyer, another CIA asset (although not a very reliable one). He also represented James Earl Ray when he was trying to get a new trial in the Martin Luther King case.

Are you aware of the taped conversation between Richard Nixon and John Dean on 28th February, 1973 about Dorothy Hunt?

John Dean: Kalmbach raised some cash.

Richard Nixon: They put that under the cover of a Cuban committee, I suppose?

John Dean: Well, they had a Cuban committee and they - had-some of it was given to Hunt's lawyer, who in turn passed it out. You know, when Hunt's wife was flying to Chicago with $10,000 she was actually, I understand after the fact now, was going to pass that money to one of the Cubans - to meet him in Chicago and pass it to, somebody there.... You've got then, an awful lot of the principals involved who know. Some people's wives know. Mrs. Hunt was the savviest woman in the world. She had the whole picture together.

Richard Nixon: Did she?

John Dean: Yes. Apparently, she was the pillar of strength in that family before the death.

Richard Nixon: Great sadness. As a matter of fact there was discussion with somebody about Hunt's problem on account of his wife and I said, of course commutation could be considered on the basis of his wife's death, and that is the only conversation I ever had in that light.

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The realization that McCord's lawyer was the late Bud Fensterwald, whose Coincidence or Conspiracy remains one of the best books on the JFK assassination, put to rest any thoughts in my head that McCord was part of a CIA conspiracy to get Tricky Dick. I just don't see the CIA giving money to Fensterwald, and thereby funding the Committee to Investigate Assassinations, under any circumstances.

Carl Oglesby is not so confident about Fensterwald's non CIA links. He admits that he has a penchant for cases involving the hypothesis of conspiracy. For example, he worked with Jim Garrison when he prosecuted Clay Shaw. We now know that other CIA assets got closely involved with Garrison during this period.

Oglesby also points out that Fensterwald was Andrew St. George's lawyer, another CIA asset (although not a very reliable one). He also represented James Earl Ray when he was trying to get a new trial in the Martin Luther King case.

Are you aware of the taped conversation between Richard Nixon and John Dean on 28th February, 1973 about Dorothy Hunt?

Fensterwald, by virtue of his Committe to Investigate Assassinations, definitely had his fingers in the conspiracy jar. He took on Ray because he believed there was something bigger behind Ray. St. George was the one who did the interview with Sturgis where Sturgis admitted knowing Hunt since back in the day. You should try to find a copy of Coincidence or Conspiracy? which dug through the implications of the CIA/mob hits, Howard Hughes, and Watergate years before Summers. Oglesby probably didn't trust him because Fensterwald was a Washington lawyer, an insider, who not unlike Harold Weisberg was nevertheless a major pain to the powers that be. I have no doubt that the CIA considered Fensterwald one of its worst enemies.

Edited by Pat Speer

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This message can be found on Sherman Skolnick's website:

http://www.skolnicksreport.com/

In November, 1972, Richard M. Nixon was re-elected President. One month later, on behalf of the Nixon White House, America's secret political police, the American Gestapo, the FBI, and the American CIA, arranged to sabotage a commercial airplane headed for Chicago. On board were twelve Watergate figures, including Dorothy Hunt, wife of the Watergate burglar, E.Howard Hunt. They had reportedly blackmailed two million dollars out of Nixon threatening, among other things, to publicize documents they had showing Tricky Dick, along with top officials of the FBI and the CIA, had planned and carried out the political assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

We received a mysterious phone call. "You should look into the crash near Midway Airport. They murdered Mrs. Hunt and the others." From various circumstances we determined that the call came from an official in Midway Airport Tower, Chicago. We started our own investigation. In 1973, I wrote a book, "The Secret History of Airplane Sabotage". So far as I could find out, there never was an authoritative book on the subject up to that time. And even now, I know of no other such book. A sizeable book publisher undertook to publish my work. The book, however, was stopped in the print cycle and no copies became available. The book was suppressed by the Rockefellers, at the time the major owners of UAL, Inc., the parent firm of United Air Lines, with the United Air Lines crash near Midway Airport being a major section of the book.

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I have now created a page on Dorothy Hunt (anyone got a picture I could use?)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKhuntD.htm

One of the interesting things I found out about her was that she worked for the CIA in the late 1940s (Hunt met her in China where they were both working for the CIA).

It appears that the Hunts were blackmailing Nixon and the CIA in the last few months of 1972. According to investigator Sherman Skolnick, Hunt also had information on the assassination of JFK. He argued that if "Nixon didn't pay heavy to suppress the documents they had showing he was implicated in the planning and carrying out, by the FBI and the CIA, of the political murder of President Kennedy"

James W. McCord claimed that Dorothy told him that at a meeting with her husband's attorney, William O. Buttmann, she revealed that Hunt had information that would "blow the White House out of the water".

In October, 1972, Dorothy Hunt attempted to speak to Charles Colson. He refused to talk to her but later admitted to the New York Times that she was "upset at the interruption of payments from Nixon's associates to Watergate defendants."

On 15th November, Colson met with Richard Nixon, H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman at Camp David to discuss Howard Hunt's blackmail threat. John N. Mitchell was also getting worried by Dorothy Hunt's threats and he asked John Dean to use a secret White House fund to "get the Hunt situation settled down". Eventually it was arranged for Frederick LaRue to give Hunt about $250,000 to buy his silence.

However, on 8th December, 1972, Dorothy Hunt had a meeting with Michelle Clark, a journalist working for CBS. According to Sherman Skolnick, Clark was working on a story on the Watergate case: "Ms Clark had lots of insight into the bugging and cover-up through her boyfriend, a CIA operative." Also with Hunt and Clark was Chicago Congressman George Collins.

Dorothy Hunt, Michelle Clark and George Collins took the Flight 533 from Washington to Chicago. The aircraft hit the branches of trees close to Midway Airport: "It then hit the roofs of a number of neighborhood bungalows before plowing into the home of Mrs. Veronica Kuculich at 3722 70th Place, demolishing the home and killing her and a daughter, Theresa. The plane burst into flames killing a total of 45 persons, 43 of them on the plane, including the pilot and first and second officers. Eighteen passengers survived." Hunt, Clark and Collins were all killed in the accident.

The following month E. Howard Hunt pleaded guilty to burglary and wiretapping and eventually served 33 months in prison. Hunt kept his silence although another member of the Watergate team, James W. McCord, wrote a letter to Judge John J. Sirica claiming that the defendants had pleaded guilty under pressure (from John Dean and John N. Mitchell) and that perjury had been committed.

The airplane crash was blamed on equipment malfunctions. Carl Oglesby (The Yankee and Cowboy War) has pointed out that the day after the crash, White House aide Egil Krogh was appointed Undersecretary of Transportation, supervising the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Association - the two agencies charged with investigating the airline crash. A week later, Nixon's deputy assistant Alexander Butterfield was made the new head of the FAA, and five weeks later Dwight Chapin, the president's appointment secretary, become a top executive with United Airlines.

The airplane crash was blamed on equipment malfunctions. Several writers, including Robert J. Groden, Peter Dale Scott, Alan J. Weberman, Sherman Skolnick and Carl Oglesby, have suggested that Dorothy Hunt was murdered. In 1974, Charles Colson, Howard Hunt's boss at the White House, told Time Magazine: "I think they killed Dorothy Hunt."

There are some interesting documents on the case. Here is an exchange of letters between John Reed, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board and FBI Director William Ruckelshaus:

(1) Letter from John Reed, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board to FBI Director William Ruckelshaus (5th June, 1973)

As you may know, the National Transportation Safety Board is currently investigating the aircraft accident of the United Air Lines Boeing 737, at Midway Airport, Chicago, on December 8, 1972. Our investigative team assigned to this accident discovered on the day following the accident that several FBI agents had taken a number of non-typical actions relating to this accident within the first few hours following the accident.

Included were: for the first time in the memory of our staff, an FBI agent went to the control tower and listened to the tower tapes before our investigators had done so; and for the-first time to our knowledge, in connection with an aircraft accident, an FBI agent interviewed witnesses to the crash, including flight attendants on the aircraft prior to the NTSB interviews. As I am sure you can understand, these actions, particularly with respect to this flight on which Mrs. E. Howard Hunt was killed, have raised innumerable questions in the minds of those with legitimate interests in ascertaining the cause of this accident. Included among those who have asked questions, for example, is the Government Activities Subcommittee of the House Government Operations Committee. On the basis of informal discussions with the staff of the Committee, it is likely that questions as to what specific actions were taken by the FBI in connection with this aircraft accident, and why such actions were taken, will come up in a public oversight hearing at which the NTSB will appear and which is now scheduled for June 13, 1973.

In order to be fully responsive to the Committee, as well as to be fully informed ourselves about all aspects of this accident so as to assure the complete accuracy of our determination 'of the probable cause, we would appreciate, being advised of all details with respect to the FBI activities in connection with this accident. We would like to have, for example, the following information: the purpose of the FBI investigation, the reasons for the early response and unusual FBI actions in this case, the number of FBI personnel involved, all investigative actions taken by the agents and the times they took such actions (including the time the first FBI agents arrived on the scene), and copies of all reports and records made by the agents in connection with their investigations (we already have copies of 26 FBI interview reports; any other documents should be provided, therefore).

While we have initiated action at the staff level between our agency and yours to effect better liaison and avoid engaging in efforts which may be in conflict in the future, we have determined that some more formal arrangement - in the nature of an interagency memorandum of agreement of understanding, for instance would seem appropriate. It would clearly delineate our respective statutory responsibilities and set forth procedures to eliminate any future conflicts. We would therefore appreciate it if you would designate, at your earliest convenience, an official with whom we may discuss this matter and with the authority to negotiate such a formal agreement with the Safety Board.

In the interim, however; we would like to receive, in advance of the scheduled June 13, 1973, public oversight hearing, the specific information concerning the actions of the FBI in connection with the Midway - accident and the reasons therefore, in order to enable us to be as fully responsive as possible to the House Subcommittee.

(2) Letter from FBI Director William Ruckelshaus to John Reed, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (11th June, 1973)

Your letter dated June 5, 1973, concerning the FBI's investigation into the crash of a United Air Lines Boeing 737 at Midway Airport, Chicago, Illinois, on December 8, 1972, has been received.

The FBI has primary investigative jurisdiction in connection with the Destruction of Aircraft or Motor Vehicles (DAMV) Statute, Title 18, Section 32, U.S. Code, which pertains to the willful damaging, destroying or disabling of any civil aircraft in interstate, overseas or foreign air commerce. In addition, Congress specifically designated the FBI to handle investigations under the Crime Aboard Aircraft (CAA) Statute, Title 49, Section 1472, US Code, pertaining, among other things, to aircraft piracy, interference with flight crew members and certain specified crimes aboard aircraft in flight, including assault, murder, manslaughter and attempts to Commit murder or manslaughter.

FBI investigation of the December 8, 1972 United Air Lines crash was instituted to determine if a violation of the DAMV or CAA Statutes had occurred and for no other reason. The fact that Mrs. E. Howard Hunt was aboard the plane was unknown to the FBI at the time our investigation was instituted.

It has been longstanding FBI policy to immediately proceed to the scene of an airplane crash for the purpose of developing any information indicating a possible Federal violation within the investigative jurisdiction of the FBI. In all such instances liaison is immediately, established with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) personnel upon their arrival at the scene.

Approximately 50 FBI Agents responded to the crash scene, the first ones arriving within 45 minutes of the crash. FBI Agents did interview witnesses to the crash, including flight attendants. Special Agent (SA) Robert E. Hartz proceeded to the Midway Airport tower shortly after the crash to determine if tower personnel could shed any light as to the reason for the crash. On arriving at the tower, SA Hartz identified himself as an FBI Agent and explained the reason for his presence. He was invited by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) personnel at the tower to listen to the recording made at the tower of the conversation between the tower and United Air Lines Flight 553. At no time did SA Hartz request to be allowed to listen to the tapes. After listening to the tapes, SA Hartz identified a sound as being that of the stall indicator on the aircraft. The FAA agreed that SA Hartz was right and immediately notified FAA Headquarters at Washington, D.C.

The FBI's investigation in this matter was terminated within 20 hours of the accident and on December 11, 1972, Mr. William L. Lamb, NTSB, was furnished with copies of the complete FBI investigation pertaining to this crash after it was determined there was apparently no violation of the DAM or CAA Statutes.

In order to avoid the possibility of any misunderstanding concerning our respective agencies' responsibilities and to insure continued effective liaison between the NTSB and the FBI, I have designated SA Richard F. Bates, Section Chief, Criminal Section, General Investigative Division, FBI Headquarters, Washington, DC, telephone number 324-2281, to represent the FBI concerning any matters of mutual interest.

There is a good passage in Carl Oglesby's book, The Yankee and Cowboy War (1976) that discusses these two letters.

Based on the facts agreed upon by both sides, it is at least apparent from these letters that the FBI was all over Dorothy Hunt at the time of the crash, despite Ruckelshaus's, protest that Dorothy Hunt's presence on 553 was "unknown to the FBI at that time." There is no obvious way such a large response as fifty agents within the hour could have been generated from a standing start as of the moment of the crash itself. The closest FBI office is forty minutes from the crash site and there are never fifty agents available at once without warning. It is tradition that FBI agents do not gather in offices waiting for calls but stay in the field. When a really obvious intelligence agent, Hungarian Freedom Fighter Lazlo Hadek, died in a crash the next summer at Boston's Logan Airport, leaving a trail of secret NATO nuclear documents strewn down the center of the runway, the FBI was barely able to get a solitary agent to the scene on the same day as the wreck. That this same FBI could get fifty agents to the scene of the Chicago crash within an hour is to my mind an arresting piece of information. How could the FBI have done this if it had not had Dorothy Hunt's airplane, for whatever reason, under full company-scale surveillance before the crash ever happened? And why might the FBI have been doing that?

Note in this connection that it was specifically the airplane itself that was being followed; and not the person of Dorothy Hunt. That is, no FBI agent was aboard the plane. If the FBI was tailing Dorothy Hunt, why was she not being followed on the plane? Was it that her flight was too sudden? But it was delayed on the ground for fifteen minutes. Michelle Clark of CBS, who was on the same flight, knew she was going to be on it and may have been her companion in the first-class cabin. The Hunts took enough time at the airport to buy $250,000 worth of flight insurance.

Ruckelshaus does not meet Reed's main questions. He reads the book with a straight face as though Reed had asked him what were the statutory grounds of the FBI intervention instead of why, suddenly, this time and no other time, and so massively, and hence with such a semblance of advance contrivance, were these grounds taken up and acted upon. One understands that the FBI will always be able to - demonstrate a rudimentary legal basis for whatever it takes it its head to do. What we want to know is where these whims arid fancies bubble up from.

We wonder finally what in the world made the FBI think S53's crash might have been a case of "willful disabling of a Civil aircraft," or of "crimes aboard aircraft, in flight including assault, murder, and manslaughter"? Not that any of this necessarily happened or did not, but the FBI does not usually behave as if it might have. Does it? How does Ruckelshaus account for this, especially in view of his assertion that the FBI acted with no knowledge of Dorothy Hunt's presence? What was the chain-of-command activity and what were the reasons that had so many FBI agents waiting to move when that plane came down?

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I have now created a page on Dorothy Hunt (anyone got a picture I could use?) (John Simkin)

John,

Here is a photo of Howard and Dorothy Hunt.

James

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I have now created a page on Dorothy Hunt (anyone got a picture I could use?) (John Simkin)

John,

Here is a photo of Howard and Dorothy Hunt.

James

Thanks a lot for that. The page has now been updated.

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I have now created a page on Dorothy Hunt (anyone got a picture I could use?) (John Simkin)

John,

Here is a photo of Howard and Dorothy Hunt.

James

Thanks a lot for that. The page has now been updated.

William BITTMAN (not Buttman!)

Thanks for clearing up the Egil Krogh angle, very fishy to put a top domestic dirty tricks and plumber's helper in the FAA executive slot at that exact time.

(A similar thing happened when Vince Foster "committed suicide" in the park.

Swarms of federal officials were there immediately.)

Ruckleshaus was unresponsive, almost arrogant in his answer to Reed.

What about the reference to 12 watergate conspirators on the plane?

This was evidently staged to silence Hunt, the carrot and the stick.

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Shanet said...

William BITTMAN (not Buttman!)

Thanks for clearing up the Egil Krogh angle, very fishy to put a top domestic dirty tricks and plumber's helper in the FAA executive slot at that exact time.

(A similar thing happened when Vince Foster "committed suicide" in the park.

Swarms of federal officials were there immediately.)

Ruckleshaus was unresponsive, almost arrogant in his answer to Reed.

What about the reference to 12 watergate conspirators on the plane?

This was evidently staged to silence Hunt, the carrot and the stick.

-------------------

During the Watergate Hearings, I watched quite a bit of it. I was interested in what Hunt would have to say when he was questioned. I do recall that he was asked about that plane crash, which killed his wife. He was also asked if he had any suspicions about it and he said, "No".

I did wonder what he really thought or knew about it though.

Incidently, just for extra unrelated info, I was also surprised to see John and Yoko sitting in the viewing section several times, during the hearings.

Dixie

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We now know that all the Watergate burglars, except G. Gordon Liddy, had ties to the Kennedy assassination.

Bernard Barker flashed false Secret Service papers while operating behind the grassy knoll fence.

Howard Hunt was CIA domestic executive sanction chief and could not find an alibi when pressed in civil court by Mark Lane.

Frank Sturgis is placed in Dallas, with Jack Ruby, and had weapons in his trunk.

Vergilio Gonzalez and Eugenio Martinez are implicated, and James McCord is a lookalike in a clear photo of Dealey.

Watergate and the JFK assassination share a cast of characters, and this shows me that pressure was being applied to Nixon.

Of course, Warren Commissioner Jerry Ford and his henchman Al Haig benefitted most.

This is dirty business right out of Shakespeare or the Roman Empire..........

Edited by Shanet Clark

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Incidently, just for extra unrelated info, I was also surprised to see John and Yoko sitting in the viewing section several times, during the hearings. (Dixie Dea)

Hi Dixie,

I don't think Lennon was any fan of Nixon, to state the obvious. The song, 'Gimme Some Truth' is scathing toward government lies.

James

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