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John Simkin

Nina Burleigh: A Very Private Woman

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I would highly recommend that all members read Nina Burleigh’s book, “A Very Private Woman: The Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer”. It provides a comprehensive account of the life of Mary Meyer and her relationship with JFK. It also includes a detailed look at the murder of Meyer and the trial of Ray Crump. Nina’s book is very objective and she is reluctant to make judgements about the people involved in the killing of Meyer. I have a few questions that hopefully she will be willing to answer.

(1) Do you believe Timothy Leary’s account of his relationship with Mary Meyer?

(2) During your research into the Meyer killing did you ever come across the names of Herminio Diaz Garcia and Bernardo de Torres? I have been told that they might have been responsible for her death.

(3) Did you find any evidence that the killing was a CIA operation?

(4) Did you read Leo Damore’s manuscript on Mary Meyer?

(5) What do you make of this passage in C. David Heymann’s book, The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club (2003)

Cord Meyer gave expression to his support of Angleton in, "Facing Reality," an autobiography subtitled, "From World Federalism to the CIA." In the same volume, he comments briefly on the murder of his wife: "I was satisfied by the conclusions of the police investigation that Mary had been the victim of a sexually motivated assault by a single individual and that she had been killed in her struggle to escape." Carol Delaney, a family friend and longtime personal assistant to Cord Meyer, observed that, "Mr. Meyer didn't for a minute think that Ray Crump had murdered his wife or that it had been an attempted rape. But, being an Agency man, he couldn't very well accuse the CIA of the crime, although the murder had all the markings of an in-house rubout."

Asked to comment on the case, by the current author (C. David Heymann), Cord Meyer held court at the beginning of February 2001 - six weeks before his death - in the barren dining room of a Washington nursing home. Propped up in a chair, his glass eye bulging, he struggled to hold his head aloft. Although he was no longer able to read, the nurses supplied him with a daily copy of The Washington Post, which he carried with him wherever he went. "My father died of a heart attack the same year Mary was killed , " he whispered. "It was a bad time." And what could he say about Mary Meyer? Who had committed such a heinous crime? "The same sons of bitches," he hissed, "that killed John F. Kennedy."

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I've read Ms. Burleigh's book, but I don't have it with me at the moment. I'm trying to remember if she theorizes on the whereabouts of Mary Meyer's diary. Supposedly, Angleton destroyed it, but if he was gonna destroy it, why didn't he destroy it right away? And why wouldn't Ben Bradlee have destroyed it himself? I'm curious as to Ms. Burleigh's thoughts on what really happened to the diary, and what its political usage was, if any. Thanks.

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(1) Do you believe Timothy Leary’s account of his relationship with Mary Meyer?

Up to a point, yes. I think he knew her and possibly did drugs with her or shared his drugs with her or talked to her about them. LSD was a very trendy drug with the artsy edgy people then. My problem is that he had no corroborating evidence - not a single eyewitness, not a hotel bill, no contemporaneous notes, to back up his claims. Given his lifetime drug use, I felt I needed that to be certain of his memories.

(2) During your research into the Meyer killing did you ever come across the names of Herminio Diaz Garcia and Bernardo de Torres? I have been told that they might have been responsible for her death.

I did not, but I'd be very interested to hear more. Please fill me in.

(3) Did you find any evidence that the killing was a CIA operation?

No. I can't say I disproved that theory though. There remains, in my mind, a ten percent chance that someone besides Crump did it.

(4) Did you read Leo Damore’s manuscript on Mary Meyer?

An assistant of his shared his papers, and notes with me, I have since learned that he did not share everything however.

(5) What do you make of this passage in C. David Heymann’s book, The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club (2003)

Asked to comment on the case, by the current author (C. David Heymann), Cord Meyer held court at the beginning of February 2001 - six weeks before his death - in the barren dining room of a Washington nursing home. Propped up in a chair, his glass eye bulging, he struggled to hold his head aloft. Although he was no longer able to read, the nurses supplied him with a daily copy of The Washington Post, which he carried with him wherever he went. "My father died of a heart attack the same year Mary was killed , " he whispered. "It was a bad time." And what could he say about Mary Meyer? Who had committed such a heinous crime? "The same sons of bitches," he hissed, "that killed John F. Kennedy."

Absolute utter hogwash. Cord Meyer was apparently enraged at my well-researched book, and I cannot believe he would sit down with Heymann, no matter how near death.

At the end of his life, Cord had a very disfigured visage from mouth and jaw cancer - you would think Heymann would have mentioned that fact if he had seen him in the flesh.

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Guest Tom Scully
http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/b/burleigh-private.html

CHAPTER ONE

A Very Private Woman

The Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer

By NINA BURLEIGH

MURDER IN

GEORGETOWN

One man sobbed unconsolably throughout the ceremony. Cord Meyer was a wounded World War II hero now overseeing a network of CIA front groups, and until that day many in Georgetown had not realized how much he still loved the woman who had divorced him seven years before. Meyer was a tall man whose boyish handsomeness had hardened into a gray statue of itself. The glass eye that replaced the one destroyed by shrapnel from a Japanese grenade stared always straight ahead. He was a man who had started life with a map, and only in middle age had he begun to realize that the map didn't fit the terrain. Instead of the life of public service and acclaim he had envisioned for himself, he was buried deep in the secret bureaucracy of the CIA, his service to his country forever classified. Throughout the early 1960s, including in newspaper articles about his ex-wife's murder, when Cord Meyer was mentioned he was always referred to simply as a "government employee." Within a month of her death he left on a trip abroad, identifying himself on his passport application as a "writer" on a "pleasure" trip. There was some truth to the cover. Cord Meyer considered himself a writer whose novels were forever delayed by the demands of his government job. ....

I am truly weary of the hype and inaccurate embellishment. I guess New York newspapers were not available in DC in October, 1964? Who edits these books and articles?

Woman Painter Shot and Killed On Canal Towpath in Capital;...

New York Times - Oct 14, 1964

The victim was the divorced wife of CordIeyer Jr., a writer and founder of the United World Federalists, now era: ployed here by the Central Inteiligence ...

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Worse as one reviewer pointed out and I confirmed via the "Look Inside" feature she indicated Dean Acheson was a "former UNDER Secretary of State".

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