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Joseph McBride

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  1. Dallas researcher Matt Douthit informed me that Susan Marie Thornton (born June 17, 1964) has died (on July 16 of this year). She lived in Hawkins, Texas, and was a daughter of Johnnie Maxie Witherspoon, who was Officer J. D. Tippit's mistress. Some have claimed that Susan was J. D.'s. child and that Johnnie Maxie informed him about that pregnancy shortly before he was murdered and that it had something to do with his killing. But I interviewed Johnnie Maxie in 1993, and she insisted Susan was not J. D.'s child and that she could not have been because he had had a vasectomy. Her father was listed as Stephen Thompson Jr. Johnnie Maxie told me Stephen was Susan's father. Larry Ray Harris, however, told me that Steve Thompson thought Tippit was Susan's father. Harris said that Steve told him and fellow researcher Ken Holmes Jr. "very frankly and forthrightly that the child was fathered by Tippit. They had separated, and then after Tippit was killed, they reconciled, she had the baby, and they raised the child like it was their own." Greg Lowrey, who has researched the Tippit case as intensively as Harris did, told me that when Harris and Holmes went to see Steve in Lubbock, Texas, and Holmes "confronted" Thompson, "Ken got pushed and beat up." Lowrey did not believe the "jealous husband" theory about Tippit's murder and thought it was disinformation. Johnnie Maxie also did not believe Steve killed Tippit. In INTO THE NIGHTMARE, I discuss various people who have been spoken about as suspects, and I ruled out, to the best of my knowledge, both Steve Thompson and Johnnie Maxie Witherspoon (as well as Oswald). Johnnie Maxie died in 2016; Steve is still alive. For obituary information on Susan Thornton: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/.../susan-thornton...
  2. You can clearly see a round notch from the bullet entrance wound at the top of the tracheotomy incision (artificially widened as that incision is).
  3. For what it's worth, the DHS memo on tomorrow's threatened violence at the Capitol: https://int.nyt.com/data/documenttools/read-the-memo-on-the-sept/66b1a39ce1bf4276/full.pdf
  4. What shooting by Oswald? Are you claiming he shot the photograph?
  5. There was no individual known to Woodward & Bernstein as Deep Throat. He did not appear in the first manuscript of the book, and its editor, Alice Mayhew, suggested adding it. The character was a composite of Woodward's intelligence sources. And that line "Follow the money" was written by screenwriter William Goldman.
  6. There's a lot of denial among some of the Kennedy family. The ones who look into the cases and speak out are admirable exceptions.
  7. I saw Sirhan's attorney, Angela Berry, react this morning on CNN. The network repeatedly called Sirhan RFK's assassin and only in passing mentioned that RFK Jr. questioned that he was guilty of that crime. Berry in her interview acknowledged the feelings of Ethel Kennedy and the children who oppose Sirhan's release but said we are a nation of laws, not emotions. The newsy takeaway was that Berry said even if Newsom rejects parole, they plan to challenge it in court.
  8. I liked the acerbic section of Thompson's book on my hometown, Milwaukee. Not as funny or scathing as Lenny Bruce's chapter in his autobiography on playing Milwaukee, but the part about Thompson getting picked up for jaywalking outside his hotel downtown in the wee hours is indelible in capturing the deadness of that burg. Back then, they rolled up the sidewalks on the main drag, Wisconsin Avenue, at 9 p.m. As for Bremer, look up the footnote in ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN by Bernstein and Woodward (as they were billed in those days) about how they investigated the possibility that the Wallace shooting was the "ultimate [Nixon] dirty trick." They should have kept digging into what that was about. If Wallace had stayed in the race, the odds are it would have gone into the House of Representatives, and Nixon would have won that way anyway. But before that, he was worried that Wallace was siphoning off a lot of his "Southern strategy" racist support.
  9. Although Rupert Allan was not Marilyn's press agent at the time of her death, he was well-connected with some of those who at least thought they knew what happened to her. I am not vouching for his information, since I have not dug into the case myself, but quoting what he said as an insider who knew some things others did not. He told me, for example, that Marilyn told him directly about her earlier suicidal impulse in New York and why she did not go through with it. That story was never printed until I reported what Rupert told me.
  10. I knew Marilyn's press agent Rupert Allan, a highly sympathetic and sophisticated man who also spent years as the press agent for Princess Grace. I asked Rupert what he thought caused Monroe's death. He said she had little bottles of Champagne all around her bedroom and would frequently drink them, often without thinking. He thought she popped too many pills on the night of her death while guzzling Champagne and lost track of the effect until she fell into a fatal unconsciousness. He said she was extremely upset at the time because Peter Lawford had invited her to a party at his Santa Monica beach house at which some call girls would be present; Marilyn was deeply wounded that Lawford and company thought of her in that category, Rupert said. He also reported to me that she had seriously considered suicide while in the hospital in New York in 1959 for a gynecological operation. She told Rupert that she went to the window of her eighth-floor suite to jump but when she looked down and saw a woman in a green coat waiting at a bus stop, realized she might kill the woman by jumping, so she desisted.
  11. I interviewed Terrence Malick in the 1970s before he became a recluse. He quoted Ben Hecht on how the worst danger facing Hollywood screenwriters is the impulse to self-censorship. It is often subconscious and sometimes conscious but brought on by the pressures of the system and must be resisted.
  12. Rory Kennedy has an op-ed in the NYT today demanding Sirhan be kept in prison. Governor Newsom, facing a recall election, hedged in an interview about what he would do, saying he will wait for the parole board report, but went out of his way to say what a great admirer of RFK he is. One of the RFK children said when she met Newsom, he recited five RFK speeches verbatim. People confuse their understandable admiration for RFK with unthinking acceptance of the untenable lone-nut theory that Sirhan shot him. It does not look promising for Sirhan with all this pressure from the ignorant and/or in denial children of RFK vs. their two siblings who understand the case and spoke out for parole. A further tragic situation for Sirhan.
  13. An FBI report of June 15, 1964, has this to say about Mentzel's use of a public telephone: "Officer MENTZEL stated at approximately 12:30 P.M. he stopped for lunch at Luby's Cafeteria, 430 West Jefferson, Oak Ciff. He advised he tried on several occasions to call the station by telephone, but did not get through to the operator until about 1:00 P.M., at which time he was told the President had just been shot. He stated he left the remainder of his lunch and went into service by car radio . . ." Of course, the idea of a Dallas police officer hanging around a public cafeteria for half an hour while the news of the president being shot would have been circulating there is a transparently absurd cover story.
  14. Watch how quickly the guy wraps up the interview once Stone tries to discuss 9/11: STONE; But if you go back and you look at the reasons for -- you have to think about the possibility that something like, for example, the Kennedy assassination was not the work of one man. And this, I firmly believe, that it was definitely -- there were reasons and motivations to get rid of that president. He was dangerous. So, I`m divided about that. You have to think, but, at the same time, you have to question. MELBER: Yes. Well, that`s part of why I wanted to ask you. And I love interviewing you. STONE: And 9/11. And 9/11. MELBER: Well, and you know what? I will tell you this. Let`s do it again in person sometime and even longer. Sometimes, we do -- with THE BEAT, we do digital interviews where we go an hour. We could get into all of it. STONE: Yes. MELBER: Because, as anyone could obviously tell, I`m a fan of your films, even if you and I might debate or disagree on certain things. That`s a healthy process. So, Mr. Stone, I appreciate your first time on THE BEAT. I hope you will come back. [18:50:01] STONE: Yes.
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