Jump to content
The Education Forum

Hugh G. Aynesworth and the Assassination of JFK


John Simkin
 Share

Recommended Posts

Duke: Quote: "ROFLMAO! Touche! But where's the ankle photo?

I don't think that Mack has ever shied from his legal (or birth) name, any more so than I have from mine.

Latest I recall - correct me if I'm wrong - I'm not thinking he claims to be a witness to anything that is affected by what he's called, any more than I am when it comes to who wrote that book: my name is on my birth certificate; the author's name is not on his, so what's the point? "

*******************

Oh, I agree Duke:

Gary does not allow anything he claims to witness to affect him by any name he may be called.......

.....me thinks he may go on the old time principal of ,

......call him anything you want, just don't call him late for supper......so go ahead anything goes....

You mean Gary, Larry's ankles, sorry I have photos of his face, head, back, body etc, but he has not shown off those

ankles for any for us...pity.....we shall just have to wait till we catch him ......Strolling the Plaza....in his Bermuda's... :eek

B.........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 75
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Some further information on Hugh Aynesworth............

A Record from Mary Ferrell's Database

Record: AYNESWORTH, HUGH -----

Sources: WC 17 (778-80); CD 4, p. 672; CD 86, p. 497; CD 355, p. 10; CD 857-A; CD 1292; CD 1293; CD 1294; CD 1295 (9); CD 1408 (3-7); Dallas Downtown News, 9/20-26/82 (16); copy of Western Union Press message, 1967 or 1968, in Lyndon B. Johnson Library.

Mary's

Comments: DOB: 1931 Reporter for Dallas Morning News in 1963. Offered Oswald's Diary for sale to Life Magazine. His wife, Paula, actually sold diary to Life. Apparently money was split 3 ways: Hugh, Paula, and Bill Alexander (Asst. D.A.). In 1976, with Dallas Times Herald and "...On His Way to Cuba With Permission from the State Dept., and the Cuban Government to Write book for Penthouse Magazine." Researcher Kevin Walsh found a copy of a Western Union Press Message from Hugh Aynesworth to George Christian in the LBJ Library in Austin. The message was written in 1967 or 1968. Last line reads: "I intend to make a complete report of my knowledge available to the FBI, as I have done in the past."

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...sult&id=636

Information related in "Kennedy's Ghost"

by Rex Bradford.....

Hugh Aynesworth: " Refusing a Conspiracy is his Life's Work."..by Jim Di Eugenio is linked below..in notes..

""Spokespeople for the "other side" include Priscilla Johnson McMillan, author of Marina and Lee, and former newspaperman Hugh Aynesworth. It would be petty I suppose to mention that both of them had clandestine relationships with intelligence agencies in the past, CIA in McMillan's case [1] and FBI as well as CIA in Aynesworth's [2]. I do not mean to convey that this is sinister per se; simply that given the many documented failures of these agencies with respect to the JFK murder, it is not too much to expect an acknowledgment of these sources' potential biases.""

[2] Declassified documents show that Dallas reporter Hugh Aynesworth was in contact with the Dallas CIA office and had on at least one occasion "offered his services to us." The files are chock full of Aynesworth informing to the FBI, particularly in regard to the Garrison investigation. See for example an account of lengthy FBI meeting with Aynesworth on 26 Apr 1967 re: Garrison and 5 May 1967 Domestic Intelligence Division note. See also a CIA 27 Dec 1967 account of a phone call in which Aynesworth is said to have offered to secure documents "extracted" from Garrison's files (by William Gurvich). Also of note is a message Aynesworth sent to George Christian at LBJ's White House, in which Aynesworth wrote that "My interest in informing government officials of each step along the way is because of my intimate knowledge of what Jim Garrison is planning." See Jim DiEugenio's Hugh Aynesworth: Refusing a Conspiracy is his Life's Work. ..

http://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/..._Kennedys_Ghost

B.......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Duke claims that Mary Ferrell told him she did not believe Beverly's story

based on analysis of ANKLES in a photo. I doubt that. I daresay that I knew

Mary much better than Duke, and I never heard her express such an idea.

I do know that she and Beverly were friendly. I do know that Bev's strongest

supporters were Gary Shaw and Penn Jones, both very close friends of

Mary. I suggest that Duke supply proof of his allegation or withdraw it.

Mary kept elaborate notes on EVERYTHING, so her opinion of Bev may

be in the files of the Mary Ferrell Foundation. I suggest that Duke go to

the MFF website and find proof and get back to us. Misquoting the dead

is a common ploy.

Jack

Bernice...I doubt that Duke will search the MFF files for info on Beverly.

I'd be interested in any info Mary kept on Bev...so if you have time....

Thanks.

Jack

Edited by Jack White
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not that much, Jack....

NARA Finding Aid - Audio-Visual Listing

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...absPageId=70485

A Record from Mary Ferrell's Database

Record: OLIVER, BEVERLY (MRS. CHARLES MASSAGEE)

Sources: Dallas Morning News, Thurs, Feb 18, 1982, p. 9-A; Dallas Times Herald, Thurs, Feb 18, 1982, p. 1-C

Mary's

Comments: Claims she is the "Babushka Lady" taking a film of the assassination. Worked at Colony Club on 11/22/63 as singer. Married to an evangelist, Massagee, in 1980.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...ult&id=7092

A Record from Mary Ferrell's Database

Record: MCGANN, GEORGE ALBERT

Sources: Crossfire, Marrs, pp. 36-37, 562; High Treason, Groden & Livingstone, pp. 105, 123; Ruby Coverup, Kantor, pp. 393-394

Mary's

Comments: DOB: 3/15/36; POB: Wichita Falls, TX. 5' 11", 190 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes. FBI numbers: 961 364 E, DL 15-6383 and Bufile 15-60061 (15 = theft from interstate shipment). Member of Dixie Mafia, a group of organized criminals in Dallas area. After assassination, he married Beverly Oliver, a dancer at Abe Weinstein's Colony Club. Oliver allegedly took film of Kennedy assassination on 11/22/63 which was "taken away from her." McGann was killed in Big Spring, TX, in a mob-type execution in 1970.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...ult&id=6380

A Record from Mary Ferrell's Database

Record: CARROLL, ROGER C.

Sources: Who Was Jack Ruby, Kantor (35); Legacy of Doubt, Noyes (71, 73-5, 81); The Hoffa Wars, Moldea (160)

Mary's

Comments: Chief Probation Officer, United States District Court, Northern District of Texas, Dallas in 1963. Eugene Brading checked in with him 11/21/63. When George McGann was murdered in Big Spring, TX, in 1970, he had Roger Carroll's business card in his possession. (McGann was married to Beverly Oliver at the time of his death.)

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...ult&id=2030

On the main search page on Bev...from which I followed to the above......

also contains links to the Essays & Journals...Books.....

Witnesses at the AARB....where she is mentioned.......

That's it........

B......

Edited by Bernice Moore
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Duke claims that Mary Ferrell told him she did not believe Beverly's story based on analysis of ANKLES in a photo. I doubt that. I daresay that I knew Mary much better than Duke, and I never heard her express such an idea. I do know that she and Beverly were friendly. I do know that Bev's strongest supporters were Gary Shaw and Penn Jones, both very close friends of Mary. I suggest that Duke supply proof of his allegation or withdraw it. Mary kept elaborate notes on EVERYTHING, so her opinion of Bev may be in the files of the Mary Ferrell Foundation. I suggest that Duke go to the MFF website and find proof and get back to us. Misquoting the dead is a common ploy.

She did not tell me anything, and I didn't say that she did. Misquoting the living is fairly common, too, it seems.

Mary made this statement at that meeting in full view and hearing of everyone there. If anyone made a recording, your proof will be there; if not, it doesn't exist other than in the memories of those who witnessed it ... or not. I remember it so vividly because up to that point, I'd never paid any attention to anyone's ankles, ever; since then, I've always been curious about the difference or similarities between BO's ankles and TBL's, if any.

Mary, you will recall, had had her doubts - that is, she was not 100% convinced - about BO being TBL. She even related the story of BO coming to her house the first time - I'm thinking in the company of Larry Howard and Gary Shaw. It was that night that she declared herself "convinced" - or at least no longer in so much doubt. Had that not been the case, there'd have been no reason to parade her out to make a statement that everyone would've known about anyway, right?

You and I are the only people who post here who were at that deal. Anyone else who may have an opinion about it (e.g., Mack and Aynesworth) I'm sure is not to be trusted, ergo if my memory squares with theirs, you must be right because everyone else is wrong and a "CIA plant." As if.

I won't withdraw any "allegation" because I was there and witnessed it. While you claim to have known Mary much better than I, you will recall that no less a personage than Harry Livingstone stated in print that I was "one of Mary Ferrell's people" (KTT, 536 ... I think; check the index), a distinction not heaped often upon you. What's that mean? Well, probably about as much as the fact that Posner cited some of my work too. So?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Duke: Quote: "ROFLMAO! Touche! But where's the ankle photo?

You mean Gary, Larry's ankles, sorry I have photos of his face, head, back, body etc, but he has not shown off those

ankles for any for us...pity.....we shall just have to wait till we catch him ......Strolling the Plaza....in his Bermuda's...

Actually, I was referring to what you said in your original post:

Duke : Quote: ""So here's the challenge, capitulated to (seemingly reluctantly) by Mary Ferrell, but still uncertain as far as I'm concerned: post a similar photo of Beverly where we can see her ankles, and then let's compare the two sets. They're either the same or they're not, and if they're not, the Babuska Lady is still unknown. ""

Here you go Duke........below......Bev's ankles and Babuska's.........

No photos, no ankles. Did it not post? Were there no such images?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Duke: Quote: "ROFLMAO! Touche! But where's the ankle photo?

You mean Gary, Larry's ankles, sorry I have photos of his face, head, back, body etc, but he has not shown off those

ankles for any for us...pity.....we shall just have to wait till we catch him ......Strolling the Plaza....in his Bermuda's...

Actually, I was referring to what you said in your original post:

Duke : Quote: ""So here's the challenge, capitulated to (seemingly reluctantly) by Mary Ferrell, but still uncertain as far as I'm concerned: post a similar photo of Beverly where we can see her ankles, and then let's compare the two sets. They're either the same or they're not, and if they're not, the Babuska Lady is still unknown. ""

Here you go Duke........below......Bev's ankles and Babuska's.........

No photos, no ankles. Did it not post? Were there no such images?

See post #28 for ankle comparison. What is the point?

Jack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Regarding Duke's allegation that Mary Ferrell did not believe that Beverly Oliver was

the Babushka Lady, I emailed Bev and told her that some researchers allege that to

be so, and I asked her what her relationship with Mary was. Here is her reply in part:

"I never bother with annoying researchers. I know who I am and where I was 11-22-1963. Exactly where I say I was. If someone chooses not to believe me, that is their problem, not mine.

"As for Mary, she and I became close friends over the years. She told me herself that she believed me. I never knew Mary to be a xxxx. If she did not want to commit herself, she would just say nothing at all. There was a time when she questioned me until she saw the picture of me across the street, camera in hand, and the shoes I had on that day still in my possession.

"I did win the Mack debate hands down. I do not remember the exact vote, but I took something like 91% with 7 undecided.

"Hang in there and keep on keeping on."

If you choose to believe Duke and not Beverly, that is your problem.

Jack

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jack:

Beverly.......""I never bother with annoying researchers. I know who I am and where I was 11-22-1963. Exactly where I say I was. If someone chooses not to believe me, that is their problem, not mine..""

This above is very similar to what she has written to me some time ago, that many people have made up their minds years ago, and that's it.

Below for anyone who may not have read it, is Beverly's ARRB Testimony given in Dallas on 11/18/94....Her statement is very clear....

Testimony of

Beverly Oliver Massegee

ARRB in Dallas - 11/18/94

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

MR. MARWELL: Beverly Oliver Massegee.

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Welcome, Ms. Massegee.

MS. MASSEGEE: Thank you. First of all, I just wanted to thank you

for the privilege of appearing before you. I just want to say thank

you for the privilege of being here to appear before you. I know I

am out-classed and out-numbered, and Mr. Marwell I apologize for

my secretary's misspelling of your name when I sent you the letter.

I don't have the documents before me. I am not a researcher.

I was a 17-year-old girl that was at Dealey Plaza that day taking

pictures of the President when he was assassinated. I never

wanted to become a public figure over this. I never intended to.

Until my name was accidentally leaked to the press in 1972, I was

not a public figure. It has caused me great grief. It has caused

me a lot of concern in my life.

I have been called a xxxx as recently as today. I have been called

a hoax. I am neither a xxxx nor am I a hoax. I am who I say I am. I

was down there that day standing between 20 and 30 feet from

the President when he was shot. I was taking a movie film which

on the 25th of November was confiscated by a man who

identified himself as an FBI agent.

I have never until recently started trying to inquire about my film

because I am extremely patriotic, did not see that there was any

reason to because I had assumed all these years that it was

locked up until the year 2029 as evidence, and I am still not sure

that there is anything sinister about it, and that is why I am here.

I would just like an explanation as to what happened to my film

and where it is, and that is the only reason that I am here.

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Questions?

DR. HALL: Could you just briefly indicate to us what measures or

steps you have taken to secure your film?

MS. MASSEGEE: Well, I have not taken any other than questioning

people, but there have been people like a Mr. Woods, and Gary

Shaw, and different people who have made inquiries about my

film in the past. Like I said, I have never until recently felt any

need to until I began to be called a xxxx and a hoax and decided

that I needed to stand up for myself and my own rights and,

therefore, that is why I am here.

There have been documents making reference to my film that

Ms. Walko has sent me in the recent past. One of the document

that I remember that Gary Shaw and Mr. Woods wanted,

requested, it said that it is not in their possession at this time.

Another one was the film that was taken by Ms. Oliver has not

been retained by this office. So there is multiple reference to

my film, and I would just like to know where they are.

I am not here to cause trouble. I am not here to embarrass

anybody. I just want to know, and I think I have a right to that.

MR. JOYCE: Do you have any documentary evidence that this

film was taken by the FBI?

MS. MASSEGEE: No, because I was only 17 years old and I

wasn't smart enough to ask for a receipt. This is a man

representing my government. If he had asked me for my soul,

I would have tried to give it to him. Also, there are ulterior

motives, and I would go ahead and tell you that before

someone else does. Laying next to the camera in my makeup

kit was a Prince Albert can of marijuana, and I would have

done anything to keep him from looking in my makeup kit.

But also let me share this with you, I no longer use marijuana

or anything else. I am a born again Christian and I am married

to a preacher and have been for 23 years.

DR. GRAFF: Might I ask you if you would withdraw the word,

out-classed?

MS. MASSEGEE: Thank you.

DR. GRAFF: Ms. Oliver, were these still photographs?

MS. MASSEGEE: No, they were a movie camera.

DR. GRAFF: It was a movie camera?

MS. MASSEGEE: Yes. It was an 8 millimeter.

DR. GRAFF: Eight millimeter movie camera.

MS. MASSEGEE: Yes, I have been accused of saying it was a

Super 8, but I don't recall that, and to the House Select

Committee investigator Jack Moriarty I, in 1977, March the

12th, I told him it was a movie camera, not a Super 8 movie

camera. I just recently got my typed deposition. I was glad to

see that.

MR. MARWELL: Had you gotten the film developed?

MS. MASSEGEE: No, I had not. It was an experimental camera

that a friend of mine named Lawrence Taylor Roscoe, Jr., had

given me, and I had to send the film - and I don't recall why, but

I had to send it to Rochester, it was a magazine, and that may

be why. You know, you didn't roll it on, it was a magazine, and

I just had not done it. I found some film, and this is what I

brought with me because people are often curious about why

I didn't do it, I have film that I have no earthly idea how old they

are or how they are ever going to develop, and it is a movie film,

and I brought it. I am going to get somebody to look at it, and

see what I can do to get it developed, because it is old it

probably won't be able to developed. It is just a flaw in my

character.

But I would like to make one statement to you, and to anybody

else who is interested, when all the pictures or all the pieces of

this puzzle is put together, and I have faith enough in my

government and in my country to believe that eventually it will

be all out, all of it will be given to the researchers and the

research community unredacted, unedited, undamaged in any

manner, and whenever this is all put together and we really

have the honest picture of what happened that day, no one

more than Beverly Oliver hopes I have to stand up to America

and apologize.

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN TUNHEIM: Thank you very much.

B....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

The Strangest Story I Ever Covered - Hugh Aynesworth

The telephone interrupted my reverie. It was the fall of 1971, and I had just returned to Houston from New York City, where I had paid my yearly dues by working as a Newsweek writer for nearly a month. I was the bureau chief in Houston for Newsweek, but once a year the editors decreed that every bureau person should come "home" to see how the other half lived. I had vowed that I would take it easy for a couple of weeks. A single phone call changed all that.

It was from George Carter, a veteran Dallas Times Herald police reporter. He got straight to the point: "What would you say if I told you that John McKee was a criminal?" I wasn't sure I had heard Carter correctly-McKee was president of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission. I had. A private detective had compiled a dossier on McKee, Carter said, and had found that he probably wasn't John McKee at all, but a Navy deserter and a thief named James Kell Zullinger.

I was incredulous. McKee was the strongest law-and-order voice that Dallas had ever known. So why wasn't the Times Herald using the story? "They know all I know," Carter said, "but they won't touch it. Too hot, I guess." I asked Carter why he was calling me. "You're outside the local press, and maybe you can do something," he said.

The next day I was in Dallas, going over the investigator's report and visiting with Carter investigators in both the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas County district attorney's office. I met with Searcy L. Johnson, a well-known Dallas civil lawyer, who had initiated the private investigation and who tied together several loose ends. It was an interesting situation: Here was a dynamo of a man - a man who for more than 20 years had been involved in the highest echelons of Dallas' civic activities. McKee had carved out a rather enviable niche in the local power structure - he was the head of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission; president of Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children for more than 15 years; the number two man in the Texas Scottish Rite hierarchy; and a highly effective governmental-affairs representative for Ford Motor Co. He also was involved in at least 20 other civic and fraternal entities.

I recalled a well-publicized Sertoma Club speech in which he had lambasted the "laxness" of local law enforcement agencies and the district attorney's office and had added, "If I were a criminal, I'd come to Dallas to do my crime. Dallas is indeed the place for a crook to operate." Carter had indicated that there was more than just the Navy desertion, but he refused to elaborate over the phone. Once I got to Dallas, I began to understand how and why the McKee investigation had begun.

There was money missing-some people thought hundreds of thousands of dollars-from the hospital foundation. And there was a blackmail scheme. Many of the people I originally questioned were extremely reluctant to get involved. One simply told me, "I've spent my life working in the Masonic Order, and if McKee finds out I'm even talking to you, I'll be destroyed."

I began to feel some heat long before I knew where the kitchen was: warnings from McKee associates; anonymous telephone calls telling me that I "could get hurt." I began to realize just how powerful McKee was -and why. McKee's rise to power was no accident, though even then it seemed implausible. At 5-foot-6, he was not an imposing figure, and his voice was not that of a great orator. He had no family background or financial underpinnings, which, at the time, were almost prerequisites for leadership in the city. But he had worked hard, donating his time to myriad civic opportunities, and had slowly moved up the ladder of responsibility and respectability until, by the late Fifties, he had "arrived." My father-in-law was angry when he found out what I was working on. He had been a Mason with McKee for more than half his life. "He's the best man you could ever find," he said. And so it seemed - from the outside.

From records of the Masonic Lodge, I discovered that McKee had held practically every leadership role possible over the years, including Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas. At the end, McKee was second only to Waco financier Lee Lockwood, sovereign grand inspector general of Texas Scottish Rite. As such, it was McKee who determined which North Texas Masons received the coveted KCCH and 33rd-degree honors, something most Masons seek for a lifetime.

"Take a look at who McKee appointed," a longtime Scottish Rite member said, "and you'll understand why nobody here wants to get involved. You'll never get anywhere with this. He's too insulated." The list of honored names included congressmen, police chiefs, supreme court justices, newspaper editors and publishers, TV station general managers, bank presidents and other well-known corporate giants. And McKee had added a subtler power base through his Ford Motor Co. job by funneling considerable money to legislators and others influential enough to affect legislation concerning the automobile business. "You'd be surprised to know who all I've dealt with," McKee told me later. "Then you'd really have a big story!"

When I first told my Newsweek editors that I thought one of Dallas' most important leaders might be a Navy deserter, they weren't that interested. But when I began to uncover threads pointing toward embezzlement, they got more interested. One of the first questions I was asked was: "Why did they suspect him in the first place?"

That's one of the first questions I had asked. I was told to talk to the Rev. Guy Usher. Had it not been for Usher, McKee might never have been exposed - and later convicted -of embezzlement, though Usher, an Episcopal priest, would just as soon not have been involved. During the late Sixties, Usher (now the pastor at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church) was chaplain of Scottish Rite and a close McKee confidant. McKee, who wasn't an Episcopalian, had even attended Usher's church; and Usher had tried futilely for years to "save" him. Still, the two were extremely close. In fact, when McKee developed peritonitis after major surgery in 1969, Usher had spent hours at his side, often holding his hands and praying as McKee slipped in and out of consciousness. Some doctors had thought McKee might not make it. Apparently, he had known it was touch-and-go. Every hour or so, McKee would awaken, look at Usher and mumble. Often it would be more of a whine or plea.

What McKee told Usher that night would eventually change the lives of several people and some high-powered Dallas institutions. Usher recently said that he still recalls the night explicitly. He said that McKee was "vulgar in his remarks," but claimed that McKee didn't tell him "anything 1 didn't already know. I already knew he was somebody else - had known it for years."

Others who were in contact with Usher, however, claim that McKee told Usher that his real name was Zellinger or Zullinger, that he had fled a psychiatric unit and possible court-martial from the Navy and that he had family in Pennsylvania. Also, it was said McKee would sporadically cry out, "Will God forgive me for murder? Will God forgive me for murder?" Usher says that McKee told him nothing of importance. No matter what was said, McKee must have thought that he had said too much.

A few days later, after McKee had made a startling recovery, Usher said to him in jest, "John, I could write a book about what you told me that night." At that point, Usher was banished from McKee's inner sanctum and became as much of an outsider as one could be. On April 16, 1970, Guy Usher was handed a letter from McKee, written on Scottish Rite stationery, informing him that the Scottish Rite Executive Committee (McKee was chairman) had obtained "written and oral statements" claiming that "over a period of years you [usher] have had abnormal relations with members of both sexes." Usher was told that if he wanted to contradict the evidence and statements, he should appear five days later at the offices of M.R. Irion. Irion was McKee's lawyer. Usher says that he was shocked, but he appeared - with his lawyer. McKee and Irion wouldn't let Usher's lawyer inside the meeting, so Usher turned and left. He never saw McKee again.

But that was only the beginning. McKee did nothing with whatever "evidence" he had accumulated; instead, he set out to destroy Usher in a manner that didn't allow Usher much of a chance to fight back. McKee and several of his friends told church members that Usher was a sexual deviate. His bishop was notified, and Usher was told that if he signed a statement admitting the "crimes," he would be allowed to resign from Scottish Rite and leave town. "They even had other out-of-town dioceses offer me positions," Usher says. He says he took a lot of "pressure" from the church, but finally told the bishop that if it didn't stop, he would start filing lawsuits. "That put an end to that," Usher says. Then Usher went through a period in which anonymous callers would phone him at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning and threaten him. "Yes, I was afraid for my life for a time there," he says. "He had seen what McKee had already done to him," one of Usher's Masonic friends says, "and he wasn't sure just how much more might be forthcoming."

At that point, Usher went to attorney and fellow Mason Searcy L. Johnson. Johnson contacted a couple of longtime friends who were former FBI agents, and they started the background investigation of McKee. Once they had the information in hand, they didn't really know what to do with it. The people involved were all Masons, and no one in the lodge wanted to do anything about it. Usher's bishop wouldn't even return my calls. While I was struggling to put some pieces together, reporters at both Dallas papers had been tipped that McKee had a former life and that the Horatio Alger story he had fashioned about himself was far more fiction than fact. Editors at both papers took a "so what?" attitude, according to reporters at the time.Masonic leaders, fearful that the true story would adversely affect the Lodge and the hospital, tried to straighten out the financial mess quietly and secretly. There seemed little I could do-McKee wouldn't talk to me, and the several sources I had developed didn't know for sure what was missing.

As I returned to other Newsweek business, information was leaked to me. McKee had even mentioned to friends that "organized crime people" were out to get him. "If they can't kill me, they will try to destroy me," he told one man.

In December of 1971, I was back in Dallas so I called McKee again. This time, he spoke to me. I quickly told him that I had accumulated some "unsettling" allegations concerning him and asked if I could come by for an interview. "What the hell is Newsweek interested in this for?" he snapped. "I've talked to Joe Dealey at the News and Jim Chambers at the Times Herald, and they aren't interested.

They know who's out to destroy me." "Who?" I asked. "Organized crime, organized crime," he said. "They know I'm too tough for 'em, and they're trying to take me out. In fact, I just learned that there's a contract out on my life. I just talked to Chief Frank Dyson and ..." On it went.

He tried to make me feel un-American. He refused to meet with me. I promised I'd be in touch again. I knew I had to pin down the absolute, which meant starting over in Pennsylvania, where supposedly he had relatives.

I called on other Newsweek operatives to check facts in Washington, St. Louis and Detroit. Thanks to the investigator's report, I didn't have any trouble locating McKee's family, but obviously they had been warned not to talk about their brother. A sister in Orrstown, Pennsylvania, who had confirmed that McKee was her brother, James Kell Zullinger, told me point-blank: "I'm not talking about that at all. I think this is all tied up in national security." Another time, a brother locked the door and pulled the shades. I found out later that McKee had told his family that he had been involved in a sensitive government investigation in which he had saved some highly classified documents from a sunken submarine and was told by "top admirals" in Washington to just "get lost -disappear."

A young policeman in a small Pennsylvania town told me that he didn't know the man I was asking about, but that his grandmother knew everybody in three counties. As it turned out, she did. She told me the picture of McKee was the same man who had visited his brothers and sisters in Pennsylvania a few months before. He had been declared dead back in the Thirties, she said, after the death of his father and to satisfy probate matters concerning a small piece of land that went to the other brothers and sisters.

She said it was "a well-known fact" that James Zullinger had deserted from the Navy and had "stolen some money. Everybody in town knew." Within a few days, I had acquired Zullinger's Navy record and fingerprints.

In 1929, he served on the U.S.S. Camden as a mail clerk and was caught stealing money. Charged with forgery and misappropriation of funds, he was sent to a Norfolk, Virginia, hospital for a routine psychiatric examination pending a general court-martial. While at the hospital, he had picked a lock and walked away, never to be seen by the Navy again. He came to Dallas in 1930.

I thought it would be easy to match the Navy fingerprints with McKee's and solve this first part of the puzzle. I was wrong. A former friend of McKee's told me that the key was McKee's twin brother, John Zullinger, who lived in Pittsburgh. I called him. He wasn't home, so I left word that I wanted to talk to him about his twin. He returned the call. "Is my brother there?" he asked. "Who is this? Who is your brother?" I asked.

"This is John Zullinger in Pittsburgh, and my brother is James -but he goes as John McKee. Is he there?" "Is he supposed to be here?" "Yes, I was told..." "Can you describe him... tell me a little more about him?" "Well, he's 5-foot-6 or 5-foot-7, not very heavy, gray hair. He works for Ford Motor Co., and he's a good friend of the governor and Lyndon Johnson and..." I told him that his brother was not there, but that I would mention the call to him when I saw him -very soon. McKee was unavailable for a few days, so I spent the time interviewing others who knew snatches of the situation.

Usher, beleaguered by the threats and pressures, didn't want to see me, either. Finally, I called McKee and was surprised when he told me to come to his office. He greeted me with more warmth than I had expected. "You wanna take a ride in my new Lincoln?" he asked. He said that the crime commission had just awarded him a new car. He then apologized for keeping me waiting.

"I just called Lyndon," he said. "He wants me to handle something for him." He mentioned that he had a "straight line" to the former president -a fact I already knew. "It's hard to hang up when you're talking to the president," he said. McKee showed me other memorabilia, including a 1966 letter from Johnson in which the president had written that he was sorry he couldn't attend "the dinner," but would send a telegram. The dinner had been at the Baker Hotel's Crystal Ballroom; more than 1,000 leading citizens and politicians had honored McKee as "Texan of the Year" and, led by Lt. Gov. Preston Smith, had given McKee a standing ovation.

As McKee searched for other items to show me, I got straight to the point: "I know who you are, John, and I know where you came from and what you've done. I've talked to your brothers and sisters."

"No, you've got it all wrong," he said coolly, rustling some papers on his desk. "You've been taken in like all the others. What'd they pay you?"

Before I could answer, he launched into his story, claiming that he was being "shadowed" by Mafia hit men. "I'm too close to a lot of big things," he said. "We've got 'em on the run."

I told him that I was particularly concerned about the financial shortages at the hospital and that I knew he had skimmed more than $40,000 off the top of a stock deal in which he had bought and sold stock for Scottish Rite.

McKee looked stunned. He quickly reached into his right-hand top drawer and pulled out a menacing .38-caliber pistol. "Maybe I should use this," he said, looking me in the eye and pointing it at me.

"Noooooo," I said. "You shouldn't do that."

"Maybe on myself," he said as he turned it toward himself, his eyes blinking. Spit ran out the side of his mouth. I was stalling for time.

I told him how much good he had obviously done in the community and that sometimes people just get in a mess. "Why don't you just admit it and tell your friends you've made a mistake, and ..."

He tossed the gun back in the drawer. "Sheriff [Clarence] Jones gave me that," he said. When I had first set out to confront McKee, I had figured that it would be a bizarre scene. I had expected the threats of libel, but I had never dreamed I'd be facing the wrong end of a .38. I also had known that whatever he told me then he would probably deny later, so I had hidden a tape recorder on me.

"I've checked on you," he said. "You're an honest reporter, so I'm going to tell you something I've never breathed to another person on earth." I hoped the batteries in my recorder were good. "There is a period of time," he said, "way back in my early life, when I don't remember hardly anything. In fact, all that comes to me for these several years is my mother's face."

The immediate danger seemed over. Now he was drawing me into his latest conspiracy. We talked about amnesia, his brothers and sisters, his Navy career and whether or not he was Zullinger. I told him that if, indeed, he thought "they" were out to get him, he should let me take his fingerprints. If he wasn't really Zullinger, the whole story would shift. "If your fingerprints are different from Zullinger's," I told him, "I'll fight just as hard to prove who set you up and why."

"Oh," he said, "the FBI's got my fingerprints, the Dallas police have got 'em - they're all over. They've already checked that out." (In fact, he had refused to have them made.) McKee began to show me press clippings. I had seen many of them, but I didn't want to jar my newfound "relationship."

So I stayed as he leafed through a stack of clips -a newspaper article he had written about the extent of prostitution and drug dealing in Dallas high schools; how some judges weren't tough enough on criminals; how the Citizens Charter Association (which, at that time, was a strong oligarchical political organization) wanted him to run for mayor; how a "hit man" was after him; how he had charged that Police Chief Dyson should have had his men arrest "the scum protesters" in Lee Park.

He clearly considered himself the public conscience. If it wasn't the Communist threat, it was the liberal lawyers and courts, the Mafia or just plain "them." Later, I talked to District Attorney Henry Wade, who had told me weeks earlier that he had heard the rumors about McKee, but had nothing criminal to go on -yet. H.H. "Snooky" Davis, his chief investigator, had been put on the case. Davis had the Navy record, but no fingerprints. With subpoena power and the threat of a grand jury behind his efforts, Davis had made good inroads into the financial dealings. Both Wade and Davis were honest with me about their investigation. They didn't particularly care about the identity problem; they were trying to solve the embezzlement situation.

Assistant Police Chief Paul McCaghren told me that he had heard the "rumors" about McKee, but he hadn't been able to get McKee's prints to see whether they matched the Navy prints. "I don't have 'em now, but I'll have 'em before long," he said. A week later I again contacted McKee, who said I should meet with Irion, his lawyer, if I wanted to talk about his fingerprints. I met with the two of them at Irion's office.

At this point, I also had discovered that McKee's son-in-law, Paul Prasifka, had been involved in some mishandling of hospital funds (he was later indicted, pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence). And McKee, I had learned, had a "woman friend" whose son had been given a $l,000-a-month job at the hospital and severance of more than $2,500 when the board demanded he be replaced. Never before had I been put through the wringer like I was at Irion's office.

I was told that if I did such a story, Newsweek would be slapped with a multimillion-dollar libel suit and that "things could get tough" for me. Irion asked me for the names of my editors and those of the Newsweek lawyers.

"What's so bad about what he's done?" Irion asked. "A lot of people have changed their names. Look at all the good he's done." I told Irion that I thought that McKee had, indeed, been good for the city, but that taking money from the children's hospital didn't qualify along those lines. I mentioned that money for a new car for McKee's lady friend had come from that source. And, I said, "the way the Rev. Usher case was handled smacks of Nazi Germany." Irion was livid. He handed me a copy of the Texas libel laws and said that he had no intention of allowing McKee to be fingerprinted. I left and immediately called the Newsweek editors to tell them that I was forwarding a tape recording that they should keep intact in case of legal action. I was told they supported me totally; they asked if I needed a local lawyer.

"Not yet," I said. They also told me that we had to have the prints matched before the story could be used. A one-time co-worker of McKee's told me that McKee often ate lunch at the Insurance Club in the Statler-Hilton Hotel. I thought that if no one else could get his prints, perhaps I could get a water glass after he'd handled it, then force the issue. I got a guest pass and ate lunch there three times. Once, he didn't show up; another time, I raced to his table after he'd left and grabbed the glass, only to have it taken away from me by a large waiter. Another time, he saw me and left.

McCaghren finally figured out how to get McKee's fingerprints: He went to McKee's office and handed him a piece of paper with a note on it. McKee read it, then McCaghren quickly grabbed it back and returned to City Hall, where it was compared with the Navy deserter's prints.

They matched. On February 11,1982, Wade and Dyson issued a joint press release confirming that McKee was Zullinger. "Throughout the investigation," the release stated, "Mr. McKee had repeatedly refused to be fingerprinted at the Dallas Police Department. It has become increasingly apparent that bits and pieces of information about the probe were becoming public knowledge [not in any local press] and that many aspects were becoming distorted. The Dallas Police Department and the Dallas district attorney's office feel an obligation to set the record straight. The question of Mr. McKee's identity has been verified. His real name is James Kell Zullinger."

The results of the combined investigation, they said, had been presented to the county grand jury that morning, "for whatever action the grand jury may wish to take."

As expected, McKee refused to comment, but his secretary offered a statement for him: "This is ridiculous. I've been in Dallas for 50 years. If the Dallas police want my fingerprints, why don't they get them from the FBI? This is grounds for libel." Irion said simply, "They've crucified an innocent man, and you're gonna see the biggest libel suit you've ever heard of."

Asked when and against whom, Irion said, "I can't tell you now." The disclosure, now covered with lengthy front-page stories and prime radio and TV spots sent shock waves across the nation. Some Washington and Austin bigwigs who once had praised McKee were now unavailable for comment. McKee wouldn't talk. The Scottish Rite leaders huddled to see how they could cut their losses; the Times Herald published a lead editorial saying that McKee should quit the crime commission post.

Jim McGovern of Atlanta, head of the National Association of Citizens' Crime Commissions, quickly suspended the Dallas commission. Less than a week after Dyson and Wade's public disclosure, McKee was indicted on two counts of embezzlement, which totaled about $6,700. Eleven days later, McKee's son-in-law was indicted for forgery and embezzlement of $27,000.

Neither spent a day in jail. Even with strong evidence, the indictments were hard to come by, says District Judge Richard Mays, then an assistant district attorney: "There was one old man on that grand jury that cried because McKee was his hero. But he did his duty. With tears running down his face, he voted for indictment."

McKee was tried in the summer of 1972 and was convicted of the embezzlement of the $6,700. Other charges were not considered. Judge John Mead assessed him a seven-year probated sentence. McKee was forced to relinquish some bank stocks worth nearly $100,000 that he had bought secretly from Scottish Rite for about $30,000. KRLD-TV (now KDFW-TV) produced some records that showed that McKee was named as independent executor of several estates left to the Scottish Rite Foundation or to the hospital itself. There have been no public disclosures of how and if these properties were disposed of or where the monies ended up.

At this point, McKee was a ruined man: His wife of 42 years had divorced him, and many of his erstwhile friends now avoided him. For a time, he worked as a cashier at a downtown parking garage. He claimed that he was writing a book that would "blow the lid off this town." Many men have risen to the heights, only to slip and fall into oblivion.

But few ever fall as far and as hard as did McKee. When he died in December of 1981, there wasn't even a funeral. Few of McKee's friends -or enemies-will comment publicly about him. Some just bow their heads and say, "Forget it." Others say that the hospital had to implement new accounting procedures and that the publicity about McKee did hurt for a while. One man says that McKee was such a "sick" man during his last few years that "he just wasn't himself-no pun intended."

http://www.dmagazine.com/Home/1983/08/01/T...er_Covered.aspx

The Education Forum Thread on the sinking of the Thresher How was, or how could the control of investigating the Assassination blunted, in the Dallas Fort Worth area? While at the time, few even probably gave it much thought, David Atlee Phillips brother, Edwin Philips was a banker in Fort Worth and head of the Tarrant County Crime Commisison, although the major news center was Dallas, Edwin could have come in handy if he had been utilized by is brother David. In Dallas the onus would have been on See Killing The Truth pages 546-553 and page 134-5, The Radical Right and The Assassination of President Kennedy

http://books.google.com/books?id=uCM7qCjyhnkC&pg

The Dallas County Crime Commission members first met in November 1946, to begin the process of organizing The Greater Dallas Crime Commission was formed in 1951. By the beginning of 1963, the head of the Dallas Crime Commission was James McKee. At the beginning of November, 1963, there appeared an ominous headline in the Dallas Morning News, it read ÒMcKee Sees Threat of Law Breakdown.

See JAN 5, 1963 DMN Crime Commission To Study Bail-Row. The head of the Dallas Crime Commission on November 1, 1963 was John McKee, who was still head of the Commission as of February 2, 1964 Tax Increase Cited If Prison Farm OKÕd Nov. 1, 1963 See DMN articles Feb. 2, 1964 Crime Hike Blamed on Public Apathy The Man In Charge: The Dallas Crime Commission on November 22, 1963

If there has ever been an incident in Dallas history that tarnished the image of Dallas involved in the posthumous conviction of Lee Harvey Oswald, Henry Wade would be a prime candidate. The revelations that the man who would have prosecuted Lee Harvey Oswald, had he not been slain by Jack Ruby in the light of Project Innocence, has cast Wade in a new light. For those not familiar with the background of Henry Wade, the Dallas District Attorney had, at the time of President Kennedy's assassination a pristine image in the city of Dallas as the prosecutor par excellence, who had obtained 24 out of 25 convictions. Those familiar with the current Dallas District Attorney, Craig Watkins no doubt are familiar that that legacy has been tarnished, to say the least. Conviction after conviction has been overturned due to the utilization of DNA evidence, that reveal that many innocent men spent decades in prison for crimes they have been found innocent of committing. Even a cursory glance shows that as of last summer 15 of Henry WadeÕs convictions were overturned. 1

There is however, another scandal from that same time period, which has just as much pertinence to the Kennedy Assassination as Henry Wade's record and the great what if, of considering that Ruby's actions in eliminating Oswald resulted in a trial that never happened, there has even been a book written regarding that subject entitled The People Versus Lee Harvey Oswald. The scandal involved the man who on the day of the President's assassination was the head of the Dallas Crime Commission, named James McKee.

Although no one knew, or cared too much about James McKee the day President Kennedy was assassinated. The role of the Dallas Crime Commission, ideally would have been to aid or assist in any way with the investigation into factual information that organization had in its possession, which could aid the investigatory agencies of the FBI, Secret Service or the Warren Commission in determining all the facts regarding Dallas links to the assassination.

It is also worth mentioning that Fort Worth also had the Tarrant County Crime Commission, which was headed by no other than the brother of David Atlee Phillips, James Olcott Phillips, James Phillips was born on October 19, 1918. The Warren Commission documents contain an interview of James McKee, who is listed as John McKee see CD 4 pages 701-703 also CE 1233.

That interview concerned Jack RubyÕs criminal background in some detail, including arrests of Ruby during the period from 1947 to 1953, of which Òno details were given.Ó McKee did give additional information of his own personal knowledge that two of RubyÕs associates known to him were Ralph Paul and Chris Tom Semos.1

Like many other facts that were never known until years after the assassination of JFK, the twin scandal which led to James McKeeÕs less than dubious legacy as head of the Dallas Crime Commission did not come to light until conviction for allegedly embezzling funds from a Masonic lodge. 2 But while he had been convicted in court for that crime, there was an even more than strange revelation that directly affected the integrity of his role as the man who in 1963 was head of the Dallas Crime Commission. If the claims of then Police Chief Frank Dyson and District Attorney Henry Wade were to be believed, James McKee wasnÕt even his real name but turned out to be a James Kell Zullinger, who in 1929 had deserted from the US Navy, ironically McKeeÕs attorney was William Alexander. 3 That James McKee and James Kell Zullinger were one and the same person seems definitively corroborated. An article in the Dallas Morning News stated that Òtwo sources, both fingerprint experts, told the NewsÓ that the fingerprints taken from McKee Òmatched those taken from Zullinger when he enlisted in the Navy in 1923. 4

While the events concerning the dual identity of James McKee and James Zullinger are not exactly unreported historically, the individual who appears to know more than the average person was Hugh Aynesworth, who wrote about the strange incident, in an article for D Magazine in, according to Latham in the August 1983 issue. This is chronicled in a thesis by H. Lee Latham entitled A Survey of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission and Its Effect on the Criminal Justice System. McKee was referred to in the Dallas Morning News as Òthe number two Scottish Rite Mason in Texas, who had allegedly embezzeled $6,772.98 from the the Dallas Lodge of Perfection of the Scottish-Rite. The embezzelment of the funds had allegedly been spent on partial payment of a car for Mrs. Charlotte Heller whom McKee had married in Mexico as well as a car thast belonged to a high Scottish-Rite official. 5

According to Latham, McKee wound up with a net result of a seven-year probated sentence for the embezzlement and being sued by the Masonic Order to repay the funds. Latham states that McKee's military desertion was mute by 1972 since the Navy had declared Zollinger, his true identity, legally dead in 1951. 6

But it must be noted that James McKee provided some very important information about organized crime despite the fact that there are murders which took place in both 1963 and 1964 in Dallas which have never been adequately resolved, at least to those intimately familiar with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In the January 12, 1964 Dallas Morning News, McKee duly noted the statistics regarding crimes for 1963 in the Dallas area.

Mckee said that Dallas stood ninth in the nation in the number of murders that year with 114, including President Kennedy, suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and Officer J.D. Tippit. There had been an average of 65 arrests per month for narcotics and the number of arrests per month for gambling averaged 133, while arrests for Prostitution stood at 414 for the entire year. The article also stated that 1002 cases overall had been dismissed for various reasons, which had mainly been due as a result of the time span between arrests and presentation of those cases to a grand jury. Elaborating on this aspect of dismissed cases McKee stated that Before the courts could schedule a trial, witnesses disappeared, which, made it impossible for the D.A.Õs office to prosecute. 7

While McKee has proven to have been less than the ideal candidate to head the Dallas Crime Commision the year President John F Kennedy was assassinated, his background of scandal even extended into the area of DallasÕ history of anti-union activities of the 1940Õs. In her book, Dallas The Making Of A Modern City Patricia Hill wrote, Dallas business leaders embraced Ford managers who either participated in or covered up the anti-union campaign (the Dispatch had merged with the Journal by 1940, so all three of the daily papers were owned by members of the [Dallas] Citizens Council). Rudolph Rutland had been promoted to the position of factory service foreman in late 1937 and, according to a prominent Dallas attorney enjoyed a great deal of social prestige during the 1940s.

The NLRB rejected the testimony of John McKee, Ford's employment officer who falsified records to cover up discrimination against union members, as "incredible," but McKee's subsequent promotions coincided with invitations to join the interlocking directorates through which the Citizens Council maintained its grip on urban institutions (during the 1950s, McKee was an active member of ten boards, leagues, and commissions). The Ford executive's ability to provide Lincoln limousines for out-of-town dignitaries was especially well received by Citizens Council leaders.

McKee took an active interest in the conservative wing of the state Democratic party, became one of the most powerful Masons in Texas, and presided over the locally influential Dallas Crime Commission from 1957 to 1972. His attempts to conceal evidence of Ford's anti-union activities were not isolated incidents but fit into a lifelong pattern of illegal activity and deception. After his retirement in 1971 as Ford's regional director of civic and governmental affairs (covering a nineteen-state area), McKee was convicted of embezzling Scottish Rite funds. A background check revealed that the Ford manager had deserted from the U.S. Navy in 1929 while charged with forgery and the misappropriation of funds. He obtained his position with Ford using a false name and claiming a bogus degree from New York University.

Even after his exposure, Citizens Council members stood by McKee. One prominent leader blamed McKee's legal troubles on a mysterious "injury" or "some kind of loss of memory. 8 Hugh Aynesworth has been alleged to know more about the Kennedy Assassination than any living person, it is not a fact that has been lost on many people intimately associated with research on that pivotal event.

Of course, it is also not inaccurate to say that he might be disinclined to say or mention anything that even hinted of conspiracy in the assassination, in Aynesworth's world anybody who believes there was a conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination, is ripe for a mental institution, I suppose it goes without saying we are all fortunate he never entered politics, or conspiracy buffs might really have something to worry about. For those who might be interested in his observations on the assassination his viewpoints can be readily accessed on Ken Rahn's website. 8 1.

After D.A.'s Death 19 convictions overturned Associated Press July 29, 2008 Nineteen convictions Ñ three for murder and the rest involving rape or burglary Ñ won by Wade and two successors who trained under him have been overturned after DNA evidence exonerated the defendants. About 250 more cases are under review.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25917791//

1. http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...p;relPageId=713 2. The People Versus Lee Harvey Oswald - Walt Brown - 1992 - Carroll Graf & Publishers

3. DMN July 30, 1972 - McKee Convicted of Embezzlement

4. DMN February 20, 1972 - McKee Prints Checked

5. page 74, A Survey of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission and Its Effect on the Criminal Justice System - Thesis by H. Lee Latham see http://www.digital.library.unt.edu/permalink/meta-dc-2792:1

6. DMN January 12, 1964 McKee Warns of Crime Rate

7. see pages 157-158 Dallas The Making of A Modern City - Patricia Evridge Hill 1996 - Publ. University of Texas Press Austin For More information See clippings in John McKee's biographical file, Texas/Dallas, Collection Dallas Public Library. See also Richard Pruitt, "John McKee: Man in a Glass Booth," Dallas Morning News Scene Magazine, 20 March 1977 and Hugh AynesworthÕs D Magazine article August 1983

8. http://www.kenrahn.com/jfk/History/The_dee...Aynesworth.html

9. http://jazgenealogy.org/wc_src.htm AINSWORTH, HUGH (ALSO SEE AYNESWORTH) Sources: CD 4, p. 672; CD 86, p. 497; CD 355, p. 10; JFK Collection List, pg. 37 (AMKW 75) Mary's Comments:

Reporter for Dallas Morning News. Had known Ruby for a long time. Saw Ruby around the Dallas Morning News building around noon on the day of the assassination. His article on Zullinger may be entitled The Strangest Story I Ever Covered 6. DMN February 2, 1972 - McKee Son-In-Law Let Out

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

From mywesttexas.com

by Stewart Doreen

Midland Reporter-Telegram

December 3, 2010

ODESSA -- For the past 47 years, Hugh Aynesworth has talked a lot about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

"Somebody asked me recently if I ever got tired of talking about the assassination, and I honestly said yes," said the former Dallas Morning News reporter.

He spoke Friday at a lecture at the Presidential Museum and Leadership Library at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin as part of the John Ben Shepperd Distinguished Lecture Series.

Very few people ever had such a front-row seat for such a dramatic event in American history, so people continue to ask Aynesworth about the assassination. History tells us people love conspiracies and Aynesworth, by his own count, has investigated more than 75 different conspiracies. He said they all had one thing in common.

"There have been 200 conspiracies and not one scintilla of evidence," Aynesworth said. "At some point and time, we have to be honest. There is nothing there."

Complete story: http://www.mywesttexas.com/top_stories/article_38b31e0a-eb9b-5a22-9dc6-21674b814a2e.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Michael:

I love that last statement by Mr. CIA/FBI himself.

Hugh should be in jail for obstruction of justice during the Garrison inquiry. And probably as an accomplice to assault and battery. I have little doubt that he was the guy tracking the witness location for the attacks on Garrison's witnesses toward the time of the trial.

Anyone who calls this guy "misguided' does not know what on earth he is talking about.

Former Reporter Recalls Kennedy Assassination and Morehttp://www.kwes.com/Global/story.asp?S=13614704

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Robert Morrow

Here is some stuff from Part Five of my Bugliosi series on Garrison about Hugh the government hack:

"One of the very few sources more questionable than Connick on Jim Garrison is pseudo journalist Hugh Aynesworth. Bugliosi doesn't mind using him either. Which is kind of shocking. Mainly because the smelly trail on this self-confessed double agent is even wider than Connick's. Let me just hit some of the lowlights. (For a longer treatment of the sordid details, click here.) At the time of the assassination, Aynseworth was located in Dallas and working for the Dallas Morning News. He quickly tried to make a career out of Kennedy's murder: He was going to out Warren Commission the Warren Commission. Oswald's alleged shooting of Kennedy wasn't enough for Hugh. He actually tried to incriminate Oswald in an attempted murder of Richard Nixon. Well, even the Commission would not buy that one. And Hugh was also out to profit from the tragedy. Aynesworth somehow got hold of Oswald's "diary" from the Dallas Police Archives. It then began to appear throughout the country in at least three magazines. In a long FBI report on the heist, it appears that Assistant DA Bill Alexander pulled an inside job for his pal Aynesworth. (Bugliosi cannot reveal this FBI report because, in addition to Aynesworth, the indiscriminate Bugliosi also uses Alexander as a frequent source.) Aynseworth, his wife Paula, and Alexander supposedly split the take. The trio reportedly cut Marina out of their haul, even though Aynesworth was said to be sleeping with her at the time.

In late 1966, Aynseworth became part of Life magazine's secret re-entry into the JFK case. This is when he began being a stoolie to the FBI. He was hell-bent on informing Mr. Hoover of any discovery that might upset the Bureau's verdict that Oswald did it alone. On December 12, 1966 he informed the Bureau that they had uncovered a man who connected Ruby with Oswald. After Mark Lane's Rush to Judgment became a bestseller, he told the Bureau Lane was a homosexual. But in his contacts with the Bureau, Hugh did something that all these fake reporters do: He requested total anonymity. He did not want anyone to know he was a secret government agent.

This Life inquiry eventually ran into the probe being conducted by Jim Garrison. And the unwitting DA granted an interview request to the FBI informant masquerading as a reporter. After the interview Aynseworth told his boss at Life, Hollis McCombs, that they should not let Garrison know they were playing "both sides." Recall, this is the first time he met the DA. To understand what that phrase meant to Hugh one must refer to an interview he did with a local Dallas TV station in 1979. On that show he said, "I'm not saying there wasn't a conspiracy. I know most people in this country believe there was a conspiracy. I just refuse to accept it and that's my life's work." (Destiny Betrayed, by James DiEugenio, p. 163) I couldn't find this quote in Reclaiming History, even though I know Bugliosi has read my book. In light of this, Bugliosi then does something unintentionally funny. He goes ahead and quotes a reporter friend of Hugh's who says he and Aynseworth really wanted to break the story that there was conspiracy behind the murder of President Kennedy. You know, they would be heroes and all that. (p. 1113) So the author presents the true motivation about a participant in the cover up in the exact opposite light it should be in. Whew.

With the Garrison investigation, Aynseworth became an informant for both the FBI and the White House. (Destiny Betrayed pgs. 163-164) He was sending cables to Washington about his upcoming stories and actually sending final drafts of those stories to the FBI office in Dallas. According to another local colleague, Lonnie Hudkins, Aynseworth also had ties to the CIA. (Joan Mellen, A Farewell to Justice, p. 152) In fact, he actually applied for work for the CIA in 1964 and was referred to a recruiter. (The Assassinations, edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, p. 25) By going through his personal reporting files, I also show that its clear he had CIA access due to the incredible amount of background information he had about the witnesses and suspects in Garrison's investigation. (Ibid, pgs. 24-29). Aynseworth was supposed to be working for Newsweek at the time, but he was really working for Shaw's defense team and his articles were being distributed by the CIA. (William Davy, Let Justice Be Done, p. 133) Clearly, he was tied into certain double agents inside the DA's office like Garrison investigator Bill Gurvich. And with their information, he went ahead and talked to certain witnesses when he knew Garrison was about to approach them. Why? He was trying to talk them out of their stories or smearing the DA in advance. (And, as we shall see, probably even more.) Aynseworth was so wired into Garrison's office and Shaw's defense that he would relay his taped phone calls with prospective Garrison witnesses to defense lawyers, like Ed Wegmann (The Assassinations, p. 27). But Aynseworth was worse than that. One example: after Gurvich got him a purloined copy of a trial brief, Aynseworth went up to the Clinton-Jackson area to talk those strong witnesses out of their stories before the Shaw trial. (Destiny Betrayed, p. 367) A key witness up there was Sheriff John Manchester who identified Shaw as the driver of the car carrying David Ferrie and Lee Oswald. When the agent/reporter could not talk the local lawman out of his story, Hugh did what James Phelan and Walter Sheridan later did. He tried to bribe him with the offer of a well paying and easy job. I rather like Manchester's reply: "I advise you to leave the area. Otherwise I'll cut you a new asshole." (Mellen, p. 235)

Recall what Bugliosi said at the beginning of his book. He said he would not knowingly omit or distort anything (p. xxxix). So in 21 years of research, we are to believe Bugliosi could not find the following liabilities of these two witnesses:

Attempted destruction of Grand Jury testimony

Actual destruction of DA records. (Connick later admitted to this, Probe 7/95, p. 4)

Cover up of a child abuse ring inside the church

Defiance of a federal agency, the ARRB

Theft and sale of police property

Suborning perjury (Aynseworth tried to get Marina to go along with the Nixon fable. The Assassinations, p. 26)

A government agent masquerading as a reporter

Witness tampering in a homicide investigation

Attempted bribery of a witness in a murder case

It's almost embarrassing for me to have to enumerate this list. Because we must recall the obvious: Bugliosi is a lawyer. The above acts are not just unethical. Most of them are illegal. But this is what happens to otherwise respectable people when they enter the JFK case. They pass through a Bermuda Triangle zone in which they somehow lose their balance and compass."

Was Hugh Aynsworth having sex with Marina Oswald in the 1963-1964 time period? That is the SECOND time I have heard that rumor from someone credible. You know, I would not doubt it. More info on this ... maybe that is how all those very implausible stories from Marina about Oswald started appearing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Robert Morrow

Here is some stuff from Part Five of my Bugliosi series on Garrison about Hugh the government hack:

"One of the very few sources more questionable than Connick on Jim Garrison is pseudo journalist Hugh Aynesworth. Bugliosi doesn't mind using him either. Which is kind of shocking. Mainly because the smelly trail on this self-confessed double agent is even wider than Connick's. Let me just hit some of the lowlights. (For a longer treatment of the sordid details, click here.) At the time of the assassination, Aynseworth was located in Dallas and working for the Dallas Morning News. He quickly tried to make a career out of Kennedy's murder: He was going to out Warren Commission the Warren Commission. Oswald's alleged shooting of Kennedy wasn't enough for Hugh. He actually tried to incriminate Oswald in an attempted murder of Richard Nixon. Well, even the Commission would not buy that one. And Hugh was also out to profit from the tragedy. Aynesworth somehow got hold of Oswald's "diary" from the Dallas Police Archives. It then began to appear throughout the country in at least three magazines. In a long FBI report on the heist, it appears that Assistant DA Bill Alexander pulled an inside job for his pal Aynesworth. (Bugliosi cannot reveal this FBI report because, in addition to Aynesworth, the indiscriminate Bugliosi also uses Alexander as a frequent source.) Aynseworth, his wife Paula, and Alexander supposedly split the take. The trio reportedly cut Marina out of their haul, even though Aynesworth was said to be sleeping with her at the time.

In late 1966, Aynseworth became part of Life magazine's secret re-entry into the JFK case. This is when he began being a stoolie to the FBI. He was hell-bent on informing Mr. Hoover of any discovery that might upset the Bureau's verdict that Oswald did it alone. On December 12, 1966 he informed the Bureau that they had uncovered a man who connected Ruby with Oswald. After Mark Lane's Rush to Judgment became a bestseller, he told the Bureau Lane was a homosexual. But in his contacts with the Bureau, Hugh did something that all these fake reporters do: He requested total anonymity. He did not want anyone to know he was a secret government agent.

This Life inquiry eventually ran into the probe being conducted by Jim Garrison. And the unwitting DA granted an interview request to the FBI informant masquerading as a reporter. After the interview Aynseworth told his boss at Life, Hollis McCombs, that they should not let Garrison know they were playing "both sides." Recall, this is the first time he met the DA. To understand what that phrase meant to Hugh one must refer to an interview he did with a local Dallas TV station in 1979. On that show he said, "I'm not saying there wasn't a conspiracy. I know most people in this country believe there was a conspiracy. I just refuse to accept it and that's my life's work." (Destiny Betrayed, by James DiEugenio, p. 163) I couldn't find this quote in Reclaiming History, even though I know Bugliosi has read my book. In light of this, Bugliosi then does something unintentionally funny. He goes ahead and quotes a reporter friend of Hugh's who says he and Aynseworth really wanted to break the story that there was conspiracy behind the murder of President Kennedy. You know, they would be heroes and all that. (p. 1113) So the author presents the true motivation about a participant in the cover up in the exact opposite light it should be in. Whew.

With the Garrison investigation, Aynseworth became an informant for both the FBI and the White House. (Destiny Betrayed pgs. 163-164) He was sending cables to Washington about his upcoming stories and actually sending final drafts of those stories to the FBI office in Dallas. According to another local colleague, Lonnie Hudkins, Aynseworth also had ties to the CIA. (Joan Mellen, A Farewell to Justice, p. 152) In fact, he actually applied for work for the CIA in 1964 and was referred to a recruiter. (The Assassinations, edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, p. 25) By going through his personal reporting files, I also show that its clear he had CIA access due to the incredible amount of background information he had about the witnesses and suspects in Garrison's investigation. (Ibid, pgs. 24-29). Aynseworth was supposed to be working for Newsweek at the time, but he was really working for Shaw's defense team and his articles were being distributed by the CIA. (William Davy, Let Justice Be Done, p. 133) Clearly, he was tied into certain double agents inside the DA's office like Garrison investigator Bill Gurvich. And with their information, he went ahead and talked to certain witnesses when he knew Garrison was about to approach them. Why? He was trying to talk them out of their stories or smearing the DA in advance. (And, as we shall see, probably even more.) Aynseworth was so wired into Garrison's office and Shaw's defense that he would relay his taped phone calls with prospective Garrison witnesses to defense lawyers, like Ed Wegmann (The Assassinations, p. 27). But Aynseworth was worse than that. One example: after Gurvich got him a purloined copy of a trial brief, Aynseworth went up to the Clinton-Jackson area to talk those strong witnesses out of their stories before the Shaw trial. (Destiny Betrayed, p. 367) A key witness up there was Sheriff John Manchester who identified Shaw as the driver of the car carrying David Ferrie and Lee Oswald. When the agent/reporter could not talk the local lawman out of his story, Hugh did what James Phelan and Walter Sheridan later did. He tried to bribe him with the offer of a well paying and easy job. I rather like Manchester's reply: "I advise you to leave the area. Otherwise I'll cut you a new asshole." (Mellen, p. 235)

Recall what Bugliosi said at the beginning of his book. He said he would not knowingly omit or distort anything (p. xxxix). So in 21 years of research, we are to believe Bugliosi could not find the following liabilities of these two witnesses:

Attempted destruction of Grand Jury testimony

Actual destruction of DA records. (Connick later admitted to this, Probe 7/95, p. 4)

Cover up of a child abuse ring inside the church

Defiance of a federal agency, the ARRB

Theft and sale of police property

Suborning perjury (Aynseworth tried to get Marina to go along with the Nixon fable. The Assassinations, p. 26)

A government agent masquerading as a reporter

Witness tampering in a homicide investigation

Attempted bribery of a witness in a murder case

It's almost embarrassing for me to have to enumerate this list. Because we must recall the obvious: Bugliosi is a lawyer. The above acts are not just unethical. Most of them are illegal. But this is what happens to otherwise respectable people when they enter the JFK case. They pass through a Bermuda Triangle zone in which they somehow lose their balance and compass."

Was Hugh Aynsworth having sex with Marina Oswald in the 1963-1964 time period? That is the SECOND time I have heard that rumor from someone credible. You know, I would not doubt it. More info on this ... maybe that is how all those very implausible stories from Marina about Oswald started appearing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

While Hugh Aynesworth is justly criticized for his coverage of the JFK Assassination, that wasn't the strangest story he ever covered, or uncovered, but this one was. And it is quite bizarre.

quote name='William Kelly' date='18 November 2009 - 10:12 PM' timestamp='1258575146' post='174680']

The Strangest Story I Ever Covered - Hugh Aynesworth

The telephone interrupted my reverie. It was the fall of 1971, and I had just returned to Houston from New York City, where I had paid my yearly dues by working as a Newsweek writer for nearly a month. I was the bureau chief in Houston for Newsweek, but once a year the editors decreed that every bureau person should come "home" to see how the other half lived. I had vowed that I would take it easy for a couple of weeks. A single phone call changed all that.

It was from George Carter, a veteran Dallas Times Herald police reporter. He got straight to the point: "What would you say if I told you that John McKee was a criminal?" I wasn't sure I had heard Carter correctly-McKee was president of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission. I had. A private detective had compiled a dossier on McKee, Carter said, and had found that he probably wasn't John McKee at all, but a Navy deserter and a thief named James Kell Zullinger.

I was incredulous. McKee was the strongest law-and-order voice that Dallas had ever known. So why wasn't the Times Herald using the story? "They know all I know," Carter said, "but they won't touch it. Too hot, I guess." I asked Carter why he was calling me. "You're outside the local press, and maybe you can do something," he said.

The next day I was in Dallas, going over the investigator's report and visiting with Carter investigators in both the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas County district attorney's office. I met with Searcy L. Johnson, a well-known Dallas civil lawyer, who had initiated the private investigation and who tied together several loose ends. It was an interesting situation: Here was a dynamo of a man - a man who for more than 20 years had been involved in the highest echelons of Dallas' civic activities. McKee had carved out a rather enviable niche in the local power structure - he was the head of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission; president of Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children for more than 15 years; the number two man in the Texas Scottish Rite hierarchy; and a highly effective governmental-affairs representative for Ford Motor Co. He also was involved in at least 20 other civic and fraternal entities.

I recalled a well-publicized Sertoma Club speech in which he had lambasted the "laxness" of local law enforcement agencies and the district attorney's office and had added, "If I were a criminal, I'd come to Dallas to do my crime. Dallas is indeed the place for a crook to operate." Carter had indicated that there was more than just the Navy desertion, but he refused to elaborate over the phone. Once I got to Dallas, I began to understand how and why the McKee investigation had begun.

There was money missing-some people thought hundreds of thousands of dollars-from the hospital foundation. And there was a blackmail scheme. Many of the people I originally questioned were extremely reluctant to get involved. One simply told me, "I've spent my life working in the Masonic Order, and if McKee finds out I'm even talking to you, I'll be destroyed."

I began to feel some heat long before I knew where the kitchen was: warnings from McKee associates; anonymous telephone calls telling me that I "could get hurt." I began to realize just how powerful McKee was -and why. McKee's rise to power was no accident, though even then it seemed implausible. At 5-foot-6, he was not an imposing figure, and his voice was not that of a great orator. He had no family background or financial underpinnings, which, at the time, were almost prerequisites for leadership in the city. But he had worked hard, donating his time to myriad civic opportunities, and had slowly moved up the ladder of responsibility and respectability until, by the late Fifties, he had "arrived." My father-in-law was angry when he found out what I was working on. He had been a Mason with McKee for more than half his life. "He's the best man you could ever find," he said. And so it seemed - from the outside.

From records of the Masonic Lodge, I discovered that McKee had held practically every leadership role possible over the years, including Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas. At the end, McKee was second only to Waco financier Lee Lockwood, sovereign grand inspector general of Texas Scottish Rite. As such, it was McKee who determined which North Texas Masons received the coveted KCCH and 33rd-degree honors, something most Masons seek for a lifetime.

"Take a look at who McKee appointed," a longtime Scottish Rite member said, "and you'll understand why nobody here wants to get involved. You'll never get anywhere with this. He's too insulated." The list of honored names included congressmen, police chiefs, supreme court justices, newspaper editors and publishers, TV station general managers, bank presidents and other well-known corporate giants. And McKee had added a subtler power base through his Ford Motor Co. job by funneling considerable money to legislators and others influential enough to affect legislation concerning the automobile business. "You'd be surprised to know who all I've dealt with," McKee told me later. "Then you'd really have a big story!"

When I first told my Newsweek editors that I thought one of Dallas' most important leaders might be a Navy deserter, they weren't that interested. But when I began to uncover threads pointing toward embezzlement, they got more interested. One of the first questions I was asked was: "Why did they suspect him in the first place?"

That's one of the first questions I had asked. I was told to talk to the Rev. Guy Usher. Had it not been for Usher, McKee might never have been exposed - and later convicted -of embezzlement, though Usher, an Episcopal priest, would just as soon not have been involved. During the late Sixties, Usher (now the pastor at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church) was chaplain of Scottish Rite and a close McKee confidant. McKee, who wasn't an Episcopalian, had even attended Usher's church; and Usher had tried futilely for years to "save" him. Still, the two were extremely close. In fact, when McKee developed peritonitis after major surgery in 1969, Usher had spent hours at his side, often holding his hands and praying as McKee slipped in and out of consciousness. Some doctors had thought McKee might not make it. Apparently, he had known it was touch-and-go. Every hour or so, McKee would awaken, look at Usher and mumble. Often it would be more of a whine or plea.

What McKee told Usher that night would eventually change the lives of several people and some high-powered Dallas institutions. Usher recently said that he still recalls the night explicitly. He said that McKee was "vulgar in his remarks," but claimed that McKee didn't tell him "anything 1 didn't already know. I already knew he was somebody else - had known it for years."

Others who were in contact with Usher, however, claim that McKee told Usher that his real name was Zellinger or Zullinger, that he had fled a psychiatric unit and possible court-martial from the Navy and that he had family in Pennsylvania. Also, it was said McKee would sporadically cry out, "Will God forgive me for murder? Will God forgive me for murder?" Usher says that McKee told him nothing of importance. No matter what was said, McKee must have thought that he had said too much.

A few days later, after McKee had made a startling recovery, Usher said to him in jest, "John, I could write a book about what you told me that night." At that point, Usher was banished from McKee's inner sanctum and became as much of an outsider as one could be. On April 16, 1970, Guy Usher was handed a letter from McKee, written on Scottish Rite stationery, informing him that the Scottish Rite Executive Committee (McKee was chairman) had obtained "written and oral statements" claiming that "over a period of years you [usher] have had abnormal relations with members of both sexes." Usher was told that if he wanted to contradict the evidence and statements, he should appear five days later at the offices of M.R. Irion. Irion was McKee's lawyer. Usher says that he was shocked, but he appeared - with his lawyer. McKee and Irion wouldn't let Usher's lawyer inside the meeting, so Usher turned and left. He never saw McKee again.

But that was only the beginning. McKee did nothing with whatever "evidence" he had accumulated; instead, he set out to destroy Usher in a manner that didn't allow Usher much of a chance to fight back. McKee and several of his friends told church members that Usher was a sexual deviate. His bishop was notified, and Usher was told that if he signed a statement admitting the "crimes," he would be allowed to resign from Scottish Rite and leave town. "They even had other out-of-town dioceses offer me positions," Usher says. He says he took a lot of "pressure" from the church, but finally told the bishop that if it didn't stop, he would start filing lawsuits. "That put an end to that," Usher says. Then Usher went through a period in which anonymous callers would phone him at 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning and threaten him. "Yes, I was afraid for my life for a time there," he says. "He had seen what McKee had already done to him," one of Usher's Masonic friends says, "and he wasn't sure just how much more might be forthcoming."

At that point, Usher went to attorney and fellow Mason Searcy L. Johnson. Johnson contacted a couple of longtime friends who were former FBI agents, and they started the background investigation of McKee. Once they had the information in hand, they didn't really know what to do with it. The people involved were all Masons, and no one in the lodge wanted to do anything about it. Usher's bishop wouldn't even return my calls. While I was struggling to put some pieces together, reporters at both Dallas papers had been tipped that McKee had a former life and that the Horatio Alger story he had fashioned about himself was far more fiction than fact. Editors at both papers took a "so what?" attitude, according to reporters at the time.Masonic leaders, fearful that the true story would adversely affect the Lodge and the hospital, tried to straighten out the financial mess quietly and secretly. There seemed little I could do-McKee wouldn't talk to me, and the several sources I had developed didn't know for sure what was missing.

As I returned to other Newsweek business, information was leaked to me. McKee had even mentioned to friends that "organized crime people" were out to get him. "If they can't kill me, they will try to destroy me," he told one man.

In December of 1971, I was back in Dallas so I called McKee again. This time, he spoke to me. I quickly told him that I had accumulated some "unsettling" allegations concerning him and asked if I could come by for an interview. "What the hell is Newsweek interested in this for?" he snapped. "I've talked to Joe Dealey at the News and Jim Chambers at the Times Herald, and they aren't interested.

They know who's out to destroy me." "Who?" I asked. "Organized crime, organized crime," he said. "They know I'm too tough for 'em, and they're trying to take me out. In fact, I just learned that there's a contract out on my life. I just talked to Chief Frank Dyson and ..." On it went.

He tried to make me feel un-American. He refused to meet with me. I promised I'd be in touch again. I knew I had to pin down the absolute, which meant starting over in Pennsylvania, where supposedly he had relatives.

I called on other Newsweek operatives to check facts in Washington, St. Louis and Detroit. Thanks to the investigator's report, I didn't have any trouble locating McKee's family, but obviously they had been warned not to talk about their brother. A sister in Orrstown, Pennsylvania, who had confirmed that McKee was her brother, James Kell Zullinger, told me point-blank: "I'm not talking about that at all. I think this is all tied up in national security." Another time, a brother locked the door and pulled the shades. I found out later that McKee had told his family that he had been involved in a sensitive government investigation in which he had saved some highly classified documents from a sunken submarine and was told by "top admirals" in Washington to just "get lost -disappear."

A young policeman in a small Pennsylvania town told me that he didn't know the man I was asking about, but that his grandmother knew everybody in three counties. As it turned out, she did. She told me the picture of McKee was the same man who had visited his brothers and sisters in Pennsylvania a few months before. He had been declared dead back in the Thirties, she said, after the death of his father and to satisfy probate matters concerning a small piece of land that went to the other brothers and sisters.

She said it was "a well-known fact" that James Zullinger had deserted from the Navy and had "stolen some money. Everybody in town knew." Within a few days, I had acquired Zullinger's Navy record and fingerprints.

In 1929, he served on the U.S.S. Camden as a mail clerk and was caught stealing money. Charged with forgery and misappropriation of funds, he was sent to a Norfolk, Virginia, hospital for a routine psychiatric examination pending a general court-martial. While at the hospital, he had picked a lock and walked away, never to be seen by the Navy again. He came to Dallas in 1930.

I thought it would be easy to match the Navy fingerprints with McKee's and solve this first part of the puzzle. I was wrong. A former friend of McKee's told me that the key was McKee's twin brother, John Zullinger, who lived in Pittsburgh. I called him. He wasn't home, so I left word that I wanted to talk to him about his twin. He returned the call. "Is my brother there?" he asked. "Who is this? Who is your brother?" I asked.

"This is John Zullinger in Pittsburgh, and my brother is James -but he goes as John McKee. Is he there?" "Is he supposed to be here?" "Yes, I was told..." "Can you describe him... tell me a little more about him?" "Well, he's 5-foot-6 or 5-foot-7, not very heavy, gray hair. He works for Ford Motor Co., and he's a good friend of the governor and Lyndon Johnson and..." I told him that his brother was not there, but that I would mention the call to him when I saw him -very soon. McKee was unavailable for a few days, so I spent the time interviewing others who knew snatches of the situation.

Usher, beleaguered by the threats and pressures, didn't want to see me, either. Finally, I called McKee and was surprised when he told me to come to his office. He greeted me with more warmth than I had expected. "You wanna take a ride in my new Lincoln?" he asked. He said that the crime commission had just awarded him a new car. He then apologized for keeping me waiting.

"I just called Lyndon," he said. "He wants me to handle something for him." He mentioned that he had a "straight line" to the former president -a fact I already knew. "It's hard to hang up when you're talking to the president," he said. McKee showed me other memorabilia, including a 1966 letter from Johnson in which the president had written that he was sorry he couldn't attend "the dinner," but would send a telegram. The dinner had been at the Baker Hotel's Crystal Ballroom; more than 1,000 leading citizens and politicians had honored McKee as "Texan of the Year" and, led by Lt. Gov. Preston Smith, had given McKee a standing ovation.

As McKee searched for other items to show me, I got straight to the point: "I know who you are, John, and I know where you came from and what you've done. I've talked to your brothers and sisters."

"No, you've got it all wrong," he said coolly, rustling some papers on his desk. "You've been taken in like all the others. What'd they pay you?"

Before I could answer, he launched into his story, claiming that he was being "shadowed" by Mafia hit men. "I'm too close to a lot of big things," he said. "We've got 'em on the run."

I told him that I was particularly concerned about the financial shortages at the hospital and that I knew he had skimmed more than $40,000 off the top of a stock deal in which he had bought and sold stock for Scottish Rite.

McKee looked stunned. He quickly reached into his right-hand top drawer and pulled out a menacing .38-caliber pistol. "Maybe I should use this," he said, looking me in the eye and pointing it at me.

"Noooooo," I said. "You shouldn't do that."

"Maybe on myself," he said as he turned it toward himself, his eyes blinking. Spit ran out the side of his mouth. I was stalling for time.

I told him how much good he had obviously done in the community and that sometimes people just get in a mess. "Why don't you just admit it and tell your friends you've made a mistake, and ..."

He tossed the gun back in the drawer. "Sheriff [Clarence] Jones gave me that," he said. When I had first set out to confront McKee, I had figured that it would be a bizarre scene. I had expected the threats of libel, but I had never dreamed I'd be facing the wrong end of a .38. I also had known that whatever he told me then he would probably deny later, so I had hidden a tape recorder on me.

"I've checked on you," he said. "You're an honest reporter, so I'm going to tell you something I've never breathed to another person on earth." I hoped the batteries in my recorder were good. "There is a period of time," he said, "way back in my early life, when I don't remember hardly anything. In fact, all that comes to me for these several years is my mother's face."

The immediate danger seemed over. Now he was drawing me into his latest conspiracy. We talked about amnesia, his brothers and sisters, his Navy career and whether or not he was Zullinger. I told him that if, indeed, he thought "they" were out to get him, he should let me take his fingerprints. If he wasn't really Zullinger, the whole story would shift. "If your fingerprints are different from Zullinger's," I told him, "I'll fight just as hard to prove who set you up and why."

"Oh," he said, "the FBI's got my fingerprints, the Dallas police have got 'em - they're all over. They've already checked that out." (In fact, he had refused to have them made.) McKee began to show me press clippings. I had seen many of them, but I didn't want to jar my newfound "relationship."

So I stayed as he leafed through a stack of clips -a newspaper article he had written about the extent of prostitution and drug dealing in Dallas high schools; how some judges weren't tough enough on criminals; how the Citizens Charter Association (which, at that time, was a strong oligarchical political organization) wanted him to run for mayor; how a "hit man" was after him; how he had charged that Police Chief Dyson should have had his men arrest "the scum protesters" in Lee Park.

He clearly considered himself the public conscience. If it wasn't the Communist threat, it was the liberal lawyers and courts, the Mafia or just plain "them." Later, I talked to District Attorney Henry Wade, who had told me weeks earlier that he had heard the rumors about McKee, but had nothing criminal to go on -yet. H.H. "Snooky" Davis, his chief investigator, had been put on the case. Davis had the Navy record, but no fingerprints. With subpoena power and the threat of a grand jury behind his efforts, Davis had made good inroads into the financial dealings. Both Wade and Davis were honest with me about their investigation. They didn't particularly care about the identity problem; they were trying to solve the embezzlement situation.

Assistant Police Chief Paul McCaghren told me that he had heard the "rumors" about McKee, but he hadn't been able to get McKee's prints to see whether they matched the Navy prints. "I don't have 'em now, but I'll have 'em before long," he said. A week later I again contacted McKee, who said I should meet with Irion, his lawyer, if I wanted to talk about his fingerprints. I met with the two of them at Irion's office.

At this point, I also had discovered that McKee's son-in-law, Paul Prasifka, had been involved in some mishandling of hospital funds (he was later indicted, pleaded guilty and received a suspended sentence). And McKee, I had learned, had a "woman friend" whose son had been given a $l,000-a-month job at the hospital and severance of more than $2,500 when the board demanded he be replaced. Never before had I been put through the wringer like I was at Irion's office.

I was told that if I did such a story, Newsweek would be slapped with a multimillion-dollar libel suit and that "things could get tough" for me. Irion asked me for the names of my editors and those of the Newsweek lawyers.

"What's so bad about what he's done?" Irion asked. "A lot of people have changed their names. Look at all the good he's done." I told Irion that I thought that McKee had, indeed, been good for the city, but that taking money from the children's hospital didn't qualify along those lines. I mentioned that money for a new car for McKee's lady friend had come from that source. And, I said, "the way the Rev. Usher case was handled smacks of Nazi Germany." Irion was livid. He handed me a copy of the Texas libel laws and said that he had no intention of allowing McKee to be fingerprinted. I left and immediately called the Newsweek editors to tell them that I was forwarding a tape recording that they should keep intact in case of legal action. I was told they supported me totally; they asked if I needed a local lawyer.

"Not yet," I said. They also told me that we had to have the prints matched before the story could be used. A one-time co-worker of McKee's told me that McKee often ate lunch at the Insurance Club in the Statler-Hilton Hotel. I thought that if no one else could get his prints, perhaps I could get a water glass after he'd handled it, then force the issue. I got a guest pass and ate lunch there three times. Once, he didn't show up; another time, I raced to his table after he'd left and grabbed the glass, only to have it taken away from me by a large waiter. Another time, he saw me and left.

McCaghren finally figured out how to get McKee's fingerprints: He went to McKee's office and handed him a piece of paper with a note on it. McKee read it, then McCaghren quickly grabbed it back and returned to City Hall, where it was compared with the Navy deserter's prints.

They matched. On February 11,1982, Wade and Dyson issued a joint press release confirming that McKee was Zullinger. "Throughout the investigation," the release stated, "Mr. McKee had repeatedly refused to be fingerprinted at the Dallas Police Department. It has become increasingly apparent that bits and pieces of information about the probe were becoming public knowledge [not in any local press] and that many aspects were becoming distorted. The Dallas Police Department and the Dallas district attorney's office feel an obligation to set the record straight. The question of Mr. McKee's identity has been verified. His real name is James Kell Zullinger."

The results of the combined investigation, they said, had been presented to the county grand jury that morning, "for whatever action the grand jury may wish to take."

As expected, McKee refused to comment, but his secretary offered a statement for him: "This is ridiculous. I've been in Dallas for 50 years. If the Dallas police want my fingerprints, why don't they get them from the FBI? This is grounds for libel." Irion said simply, "They've crucified an innocent man, and you're gonna see the biggest libel suit you've ever heard of."

Asked when and against whom, Irion said, "I can't tell you now." The disclosure, now covered with lengthy front-page stories and prime radio and TV spots sent shock waves across the nation. Some Washington and Austin bigwigs who once had praised McKee were now unavailable for comment. McKee wouldn't talk. The Scottish Rite leaders huddled to see how they could cut their losses; the Times Herald published a lead editorial saying that McKee should quit the crime commission post.

Jim McGovern of Atlanta, head of the National Association of Citizens' Crime Commissions, quickly suspended the Dallas commission. Less than a week after Dyson and Wade's public disclosure, McKee was indicted on two counts of embezzlement, which totaled about $6,700. Eleven days later, McKee's son-in-law was indicted for forgery and embezzlement of $27,000.

Neither spent a day in jail. Even with strong evidence, the indictments were hard to come by, says District Judge Richard Mays, then an assistant district attorney: "There was one old man on that grand jury that cried because McKee was his hero. But he did his duty. With tears running down his face, he voted for indictment."

McKee was tried in the summer of 1972 and was convicted of the embezzlement of the $6,700. Other charges were not considered. Judge John Mead assessed him a seven-year probated sentence. McKee was forced to relinquish some bank stocks worth nearly $100,000 that he had bought secretly from Scottish Rite for about $30,000. KRLD-TV (now KDFW-TV) produced some records that showed that McKee was named as independent executor of several estates left to the Scottish Rite Foundation or to the hospital itself. There have been no public disclosures of how and if these properties were disposed of or where the monies ended up.

At this point, McKee was a ruined man: His wife of 42 years had divorced him, and many of his erstwhile friends now avoided him. For a time, he worked as a cashier at a downtown parking garage. He claimed that he was writing a book that would "blow the lid off this town." Many men have risen to the heights, only to slip and fall into oblivion.

But few ever fall as far and as hard as did McKee. When he died in December of 1981, there wasn't even a funeral. Few of McKee's friends -or enemies-will comment publicly about him. Some just bow their heads and say, "Forget it." Others say that the hospital had to implement new accounting procedures and that the publicity about McKee did hurt for a while. One man says that McKee was such a "sick" man during his last few years that "he just wasn't himself-no pun intended."

http://www.dmagazine.com/Home/1983/08/01/T...er_Covered.aspx

The Education Forum Thread on the sinking of the Thresher How was, or how could the control of investigating the Assassination blunted, in the Dallas Fort Worth area? While at the time, few even probably gave it much thought, David Atlee Phillips brother, Edwin Philips was a banker in Fort Worth and head of the Tarrant County Crime Commisison, although the major news center was Dallas, Edwin could have come in handy if he had been utilized by is brother David. In Dallas the onus would have been on See Killing The Truth pages 546-553 and page 134-5, The Radical Right and The Assassination of President Kennedy

http://books.google....uCM7qCjyhnkC

The Dallas County Crime Commission members first met in November 1946, to begin the process of organizing The Greater Dallas Crime Commission was formed in 1951. By the beginning of 1963, the head of the Dallas Crime Commission was James McKee. At the beginning of November, 1963, there appeared an ominous headline in the Dallas Morning News, it read ÒMcKee Sees Threat of Law Breakdown.

See JAN 5, 1963 DMN Crime Commission To Study Bail-Row. The head of the Dallas Crime Commission on November 1, 1963 was John McKee, who was still head of the Commission as of February 2, 1964 Tax Increase Cited If Prison Farm OKÕd Nov. 1, 1963 See DMN articles Feb. 2, 1964 Crime Hike Blamed on Public Apathy The Man In Charge: The Dallas Crime Commission on November 22, 1963

If there has ever been an incident in Dallas history that tarnished the image of Dallas involved in the posthumous conviction of Lee Harvey Oswald, Henry Wade would be a prime candidate. The revelations that the man who would have prosecuted Lee Harvey Oswald, had he not been slain by Jack Ruby in the light of Project Innocence, has cast Wade in a new light. For those not familiar with the background of Henry Wade, the Dallas District Attorney had, at the time of President Kennedy's assassination a pristine image in the city of Dallas as the prosecutor par excellence, who had obtained 24 out of 25 convictions. Those familiar with the current Dallas District Attorney, Craig Watkins no doubt are familiar that that legacy has been tarnished, to say the least. Conviction after conviction has been overturned due to the utilization of DNA evidence, that reveal that many innocent men spent decades in prison for crimes they have been found innocent of committing. Even a cursory glance shows that as of last summer 15 of Henry WadeÕs convictions were overturned. 1

There is however, another scandal from that same time period, which has just as much pertinence to the Kennedy Assassination as Henry Wade's record and the great what if, of considering that Ruby's actions in eliminating Oswald resulted in a trial that never happened, there has even been a book written regarding that subject entitled The People Versus Lee Harvey Oswald. The scandal involved the man who on the day of the President's assassination was the head of the Dallas Crime Commission, named James McKee.

Although no one knew, or cared too much about James McKee the day President Kennedy was assassinated. The role of the Dallas Crime Commission, ideally would have been to aid or assist in any way with the investigation into factual information that organization had in its possession, which could aid the investigatory agencies of the FBI, Secret Service or the Warren Commission in determining all the facts regarding Dallas links to the assassination.

It is also worth mentioning that Fort Worth also had the Tarrant County Crime Commission, which was headed by no other than the brother of David Atlee Phillips, James Olcott Phillips, James Phillips was born on October 19, 1918. The Warren Commission documents contain an interview of James McKee, who is listed as John McKee see CD 4 pages 701-703 also CE 1233.

That interview concerned Jack RubyÕs criminal background in some detail, including arrests of Ruby during the period from 1947 to 1953, of which Òno details were given.Ó McKee did give additional information of his own personal knowledge that two of RubyÕs associates known to him were Ralph Paul and Chris Tom Semos.1

Like many other facts that were never known until years after the assassination of JFK, the twin scandal which led to James McKeeÕs less than dubious legacy as head of the Dallas Crime Commission did not come to light until conviction for allegedly embezzling funds from a Masonic lodge. 2 But while he had been convicted in court for that crime, there was an even more than strange revelation that directly affected the integrity of his role as the man who in 1963 was head of the Dallas Crime Commission. If the claims of then Police Chief Frank Dyson and District Attorney Henry Wade were to be believed, James McKee wasnÕt even his real name but turned out to be a James Kell Zullinger, who in 1929 had deserted from the US Navy, ironically McKeeÕs attorney was William Alexander. 3 That James McKee and James Kell Zullinger were one and the same person seems definitively corroborated. An article in the Dallas Morning News stated that Òtwo sources, both fingerprint experts, told the NewsÓ that the fingerprints taken from McKee Òmatched those taken from Zullinger when he enlisted in the Navy in 1923. 4

While the events concerning the dual identity of James McKee and James Zullinger are not exactly unreported historically, the individual who appears to know more than the average person was Hugh Aynesworth, who wrote about the strange incident, in an article for D Magazine in, according to Latham in the August 1983 issue. This is chronicled in a thesis by H. Lee Latham entitled A Survey of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission and Its Effect on the Criminal Justice System. McKee was referred to in the Dallas Morning News as Òthe number two Scottish Rite Mason in Texas, who had allegedly embezzeled $6,772.98 from the the Dallas Lodge of Perfection of the Scottish-Rite. The embezzelment of the funds had allegedly been spent on partial payment of a car for Mrs. Charlotte Heller whom McKee had married in Mexico as well as a car thast belonged to a high Scottish-Rite official. 5

According to Latham, McKee wound up with a net result of a seven-year probated sentence for the embezzlement and being sued by the Masonic Order to repay the funds. Latham states that McKee's military desertion was mute by 1972 since the Navy had declared Zollinger, his true identity, legally dead in 1951. 6

But it must be noted that James McKee provided some very important information about organized crime despite the fact that there are murders which took place in both 1963 and 1964 in Dallas which have never been adequately resolved, at least to those intimately familiar with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In the January 12, 1964 Dallas Morning News, McKee duly noted the statistics regarding crimes for 1963 in the Dallas area.

Mckee said that Dallas stood ninth in the nation in the number of murders that year with 114, including President Kennedy, suspected assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and Officer J.D. Tippit. There had been an average of 65 arrests per month for narcotics and the number of arrests per month for gambling averaged 133, while arrests for Prostitution stood at 414 for the entire year. The article also stated that 1002 cases overall had been dismissed for various reasons, which had mainly been due as a result of the time span between arrests and presentation of those cases to a grand jury. Elaborating on this aspect of dismissed cases McKee stated that Before the courts could schedule a trial, witnesses disappeared, which, made it impossible for the D.A.Õs office to prosecute. 7

While McKee has proven to have been less than the ideal candidate to head the Dallas Crime Commision the year President John F Kennedy was assassinated, his background of scandal even extended into the area of DallasÕ history of anti-union activities of the 1940Õs. In her book, Dallas The Making Of A Modern City Patricia Hill wrote, Dallas business leaders embraced Ford managers who either participated in or covered up the anti-union campaign (the Dispatch had merged with the Journal by 1940, so all three of the daily papers were owned by members of the [Dallas] Citizens Council). Rudolph Rutland had been promoted to the position of factory service foreman in late 1937 and, according to a prominent Dallas attorney enjoyed a great deal of social prestige during the 1940s.

The NLRB rejected the testimony of John McKee, Ford's employment officer who falsified records to cover up discrimination against union members, as "incredible," but McKee's subsequent promotions coincided with invitations to join the interlocking directorates through which the Citizens Council maintained its grip on urban institutions (during the 1950s, McKee was an active member of ten boards, leagues, and commissions). The Ford executive's ability to provide Lincoln limousines for out-of-town dignitaries was especially well received by Citizens Council leaders.

McKee took an active interest in the conservative wing of the state Democratic party, became one of the most powerful Masons in Texas, and presided over the locally influential Dallas Crime Commission from 1957 to 1972. His attempts to conceal evidence of Ford's anti-union activities were not isolated incidents but fit into a lifelong pattern of illegal activity and deception. After his retirement in 1971 as Ford's regional director of civic and governmental affairs (covering a nineteen-state area), McKee was convicted of embezzling Scottish Rite funds. A background check revealed that the Ford manager had deserted from the U.S. Navy in 1929 while charged with forgery and the misappropriation of funds. He obtained his position with Ford using a false name and claiming a bogus degree from New York University.

Even after his exposure, Citizens Council members stood by McKee. One prominent leader blamed McKee's legal troubles on a mysterious "injury" or "some kind of loss of memory. 8 Hugh Aynesworth has been alleged to know more about the Kennedy Assassination than any living person, it is not a fact that has been lost on many people intimately associated with research on that pivotal event.

Of course, it is also not inaccurate to say that he might be disinclined to say or mention anything that even hinted of conspiracy in the assassination, in Aynesworth's world anybody who believes there was a conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination, is ripe for a mental institution, I suppose it goes without saying we are all fortunate he never entered politics, or conspiracy buffs might really have something to worry about. For those who might be interested in his observations on the assassination his viewpoints can be readily accessed on Ken Rahn's website. 8 1.

After D.A.'s Death 19 convictions overturned Associated Press July 29, 2008 Nineteen convictions Ñ three for murder and the rest involving rape or burglary Ñ won by Wade and two successors who trained under him have been overturned after DNA evidence exonerated the defendants. About 250 more cases are under review.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25917791//

1. http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...p;relPageId=713 2. The People Versus Lee Harvey Oswald - Walt Brown - 1992 - Carroll Graf & Publishers

3. DMN July 30, 1972 - McKee Convicted of Embezzlement

4. DMN February 20, 1972 - McKee Prints Checked

5. page 74, A Survey of the Greater Dallas Crime Commission and Its Effect on the Criminal Justice System - Thesis by H. Lee Latham see http://www.digital.l.../meta-dc-2792:1

6. DMN January 12, 1964 McKee Warns of Crime Rate

7. see pages 157-158 Dallas The Making of A Modern City - Patricia Evridge Hill 1996 - Publ. University of Texas Press Austin For More information See clippings in John McKee's biographical file, Texas/Dallas, Collection Dallas Public Library. See also Richard Pruitt, "John McKee: Man in a Glass Booth," Dallas Morning News Scene Magazine, 20 March 1977 and Hugh AynesworthÕs D Magazine article August 1983

8. http://www.kenrahn.com/jfk/History/The_dee...Aynesworth.html

9. http://jazgenealogy.org/wc_src.htm AINSWORTH, HUGH (ALSO SEE AYNESWORTH) Sources: CD 4, p. 672; CD 86, p. 497; CD 355, p. 10; JFK Collection List, pg. 37 (AMKW 75) Mary's Comments:

Reporter for Dallas Morning News. Had known Ruby for a long time. Saw Ruby around the Dallas Morning News building around noon on the day of the assassination. His article on Zullinger may be entitled The Strangest Story I Ever Covered 6. DMN February 2, 1972 - McKee Son-In-Law Let Out

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...