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Loran E. Hall


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In his book, The Road to Dallas, David Kaiser claims that Loran Hall was involved in the assassination of JFK:

The murder of John F Kennedy emerged from two overlapping zones of illegality: American organized crime, which was defending itself against Robert Kennedy's relentless attack, and the U.S government-sponsored or tolerated anti-Castro movement. Illegality and secrecy go together, but enough information emerged both before and after the assassination to trace the essence of the organized crime conspiracy.

The most direct evidence points to Santo Trafficante, because of his connections to John Martino, who had advance knowledge of the plot, and to Loran Hall, who was evidently with Oswald at Silvia Odio's house and who spoke of protecting Trafficante in 1976-77. Trafficante's own lawyer, Frank Ragano, confirmed his boss's involvement and described giving encouragement from Jimmy Hoffa to both Trafficante and Carlos Marcello in the spring of 1963. Marcello bragged about his role at least twice. He was even more threatened by the government than Trafficante was, with deportation hanging over his head. Oswald and his family had lifelong connections with Marcello's mob, including David Ferrie, Oswald's Uncle Dutz Murret, and Guy Banister, who was working for Marcello by the summer of 1963.

Sam Giancana had also been fighting tremendous pressure from the government for three years and had spoken frequently about it. Jack Ruby's calls to Chicago mob figures such as Barney Baker and Irwin Weiner in the months before the assassination suggest that Giancana might have been involved in the conspiracy as well, as do the disinformation activities of his well-connected henchman, Richard Cain. Ruby had connections to all three of the most likely mob conspirators. He had visited Trafficante in jail in Cuba in 1959 and was still in touch with Trafficante's old friend Lewis McWillie. He had grown up with Giancana's Chicago mob and still kept up with some of its members. And he now operated strip clubs in Dallas, which appears to have been a subsidiary branch of Marcello's New Orleans empire. All three of these hoodlums knew that Jimmy Hoffa's endorsement of their enterprise could prove useful. And John Roselli, although he cannot be linked directly to the assassination itself, worked closely with Giancana and Trafficante in the anti-Castro plots, and he indicated many times to Edward Morgan and Jack Anderson that there was more to the assassination of President Kennedy than Lee Harvey Oswald. He evidently was murdered in 1976 because he knew too much.

Where did these men find the audacity to kill a president of the United States? G. Robert Blakey and Richard Billings speculated convincingly in the 1970s that John Kennedy, because he accepted women as favors through Frank Sinatra (and perhaps in other contexts as well), had lost the immunity from retaliation that truly incorruptible public officials generally enjoyed. By enlisting these very mob leaders to assassinate Fidel Castro in 1960, the CIA had inevitably "weakened any inhibition about killing a head of government In addition, Robert Kennedy's campaign against the mob-fought with every available weapon, and without many of the legal tools that later became available fell outside traditional rules as well. The attorney general indicted suspected mobsters for any offense, no matter how trivial. When he discovered in 1962 that he could not indict Giancana because of his CIA connection, he pushed the FBI surveillance of him even harder. All these men knew that Hoffa's comment about the attorney general - that Robert Kennedy would not rest until Hoffa was behind bars was true for them as well. These were desperate times that called for desperate measures.

That many anti-Castro Cubans, including one that had contact with Oswald, had very strong negative feelings about President Kennedy is also clear, but only a few pieces of evidence implicate any of them in the assassination itself. The first is the Rose Cheramie story of the two men who drove her from Miami to Louisiana on their way to Dallas to take part in the assassination, but there is no proof that they Were Cuban. The second is Tony Cuesta's reported identification of Sandalio Herminio Diaz and Eladio del Valle as having been present in Dallas on November 22, but that cannot be confirmed. And the last is the tip the Dallas sheriff received after the assassination about meetings between Cubans and Oswald on Harlandale Avenue, a key lead that was never pursued.

Lee Harvey Oswald did kill President Kennedy all by himself. If someone fired a shot from the grassy knoll, he missed. The mob and the anti-Castro Cubans were part of a much broader nationwide network of right-wing activists, anti-Communists operating privately or within congressional committees, conservative businessmen like William Pawley and H. L. Hunt, and a few paramilitaries like the Minutemen. Many if not all of these men regarded the Kennedys as a mortal threat to America as they understood it. Pawley was close to John Martino, and Hunt reportedly subsidized Martino's book tour and was in touch with him through his security chief, former FBI agent Paul Rothermel. But the only evidence that suggests such elements were directly involved in the assassination is Loran Hall's unconfirmed story of being offered $100,000 to kill Kennedy in Dallas in the summer of 1963.

Kaiser argues that research carried out by the FBI on behalf of the Warren Commission discovered that Leopoldo was Hall. However, Hall, claimed Leon was not Oswald. The author, Anthony Summers, suggests that the visit had "been a deliberate ploy to link Junta Revolucionaria, a left-wing exile group, with the assassination". Hall later gave evidence before the Select House Committee on Assassinations and denied he had told the FBI that he had visited Odio on 25th September, 1963.

What do members think about the involvement of Loran Hall?

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Kaiser writes: "The most direct evidence points to Santo Trafficante, because of his connections to John Martino, who had advance knowledge of the plot, and to Loran Hall, who was evidently with Oswald at Sivia Odio's house and who spoke of protecting Trafficante in 1976-1977."

Wow! The evidence connecting Trafficante to the assassination is simply that he had connections to Martino? IMO that is no evidence at all. One might as well state that Marina Oswald or Buell Frazier was involved because they had connections to Oswald. It is difficult to believe that logic comes from a professor at the Naval War College.

Later, Kaiser notes Trafficante's confession of his involvement to Ragano. Now if the confession indeed happened, that is certainly the most direct evidence of Trafficante's involvement.

But to get to John's point about the possible involvement of Loran Hall. Why does Kaiser think Hall was involved? Again, it is guilt by association: Kaiser's assertion that Hall was with Oswald at Odio's. Now I guess if Summer was right that the Odio incident was an effort to link a left-wing exile organization with the assassination, then the men who accompanied Oswald to Odio's were indeed involved with the plot. But the problem is that there is no evidence to support Summer' s speculation, which moreover makes little sense. Was there to be an effort to link both castro and one of his enemies, albeit socialist-oriented, to the assassination? That seems totally nonsensical. And it is worse than that. There is no evidence whatsoever that it was Hall at Odio's. As most know Odio was shown a picture of Hall and she said it was not him.

So Kaiser's logic baffles me.

All that being said, Hemming told me that Hall was in Dallas on November 22nd.

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Where did these men find the audacity to kill a president of the United States? G. Robert Blakey and Richard Billings speculated convincingly in the 1970s that John Kennedy, because he accepted women as favors through Frank Sinatra (and perhaps in other contexts as well), had lost the immunity from retaliation that truly incorruptible public officials generally enjoyed.

Double Cross spells out the exact opposite - it would be the cessation of receiving favors in addition to the snub of mob connected Sinatra which provided the 'message' that Kennedy would no longer being playing ball - and Sinatra was in all likelihood placed in a precarious position as well - since he would have been reassuring folks that he 'owned the customer.' I can't see how Billings and Blakey would reach that conclusion.

Loran Hall Interview thread:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...st&p=109157

One of the best threads on Hall which I considered resurrecting the other day, by coincidence:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.ph...ost&p=12978

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Kaiser writes: "The most direct evidence points to Santo Trafficante, because of his connections to John Martino, who had advance knowledge of the plot, and to Loran Hall, who was evidently with Oswald at Sivia Odio's house and who spoke of protecting Trafficante in 1976-1977."

Wow! The evidence connecting Trafficante to the assassination is simply that he had connections to Martino? IMO that is no evidence at all. One might as well state that Marina Oswald or Buell Frazier was involved because they had connections to Oswald. It is difficult to believe that logic comes from a professor at the Naval War College.

Later, Kaiser notes Trafficante's confession of his involvement to Ragano. Now if the confession indeed happened, that is certainly the most direct evidence of Trafficante's involvement.

I agree- the conneciton to Martino was simply a single thread in the web of connections- many far more intricate to any assasination conspiracy involving Trafficante. Well at least Kaiser spelled Santo's first name right!

As for the controversial Ragano confession. I initially thought it was bogus, but after repeated interviews with Frank's wife Nancy and son Chris, I think it more plausible. Now the question arises- was Santo merely pulling Frank's leg, or feeding him a line of bull. After Santo was a wiseguy and all the wiseguys I've talked to and know can bullxxxx with the best of them.

I'm not at home so I can't access my notes, but Hall turns up in a couple unique areas regarding Trafficant ein Miami. I'll see if I can dig those refernces out.

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Kaiser writes: "The most direct evidence points to Santo Trafficante, because of his connections to John Martino, who had advance knowledge of the plot, and to Loran Hall, who was evidently with Oswald at Sivia Odio's house and who spoke of protecting Trafficante in 1976-1977."

Wow! The evidence connecting Trafficante to the assassination is simply that he had connections to Martino? IMO that is no evidence at all. One might as well state that Marina Oswald or Buell Frazier was involved because they had connections to Oswald. It is difficult to believe that logic comes from a professor at the Naval War College.

Later, Kaiser notes Trafficante's confession of his involvement to Ragano. Now if the confession indeed happened, that is certainly the most direct evidence of Trafficante's involvement.

But to get to John's point about the possible involvement of Loran Hall. Why does Kaiser think Hall was involved? Again, it is guilt by association: Kaiser's assertion that Hall was with Oswald at Odio's. Now I guess if Summer was right that the Odio incident was an effort to link a left-wing exile organization with the assassination, then the men who accompanied Oswald to Odio's were indeed involved with the plot. But the problem is that there is no evidence to support Summer' s speculation, which moreover makes little sense. Was there to be an effort to link both castro and one of his enemies, albeit socialist-oriented, to the assassination? That seems totally nonsensical. And it is worse than that. There is no evidence whatsoever that it was Hall at Odio's. As most know Odio was shown a picture of Hall and she said it was not him.

So Kaiser's logic baffles me.

Christopher Lydon asks Kaiser what was the most important information he found from the declassified documents that convinced him that JFK had been killed as a result of a conspiracy. He replies that the key figure in the evidence is Loran Hall and his links to John Martino and Santo Trafficante.

This is also the main theme in his book. In the interview and in his book he gives the impression that he has found new evidence that shows that the Mafia was involved in the assassination. This is not the case. In fact, the only new evidence he provides is the phone interview he carried out with Martino’s son. However, this only repeats the story that was well told in Larry Hancock’s “Someone Would Have Talked”. Interestingly, Kaiser does not mention the use of Larry’s book in his research. In my view, an unforgivable crime for an historian to commit. I wonder if he allows his students to get away with this sort of thing with their essays.

He argues his case by reworking evidence that has been available for sometime. He focuses in on Loran Hall because of his imprisonment with Santo Trafficante and his meeting with John Martino in June 1963. It is these associations that Kaiser uses to claim that the Mafia was behind the conspiracy to kill JFK. However, during 1963 he also had meetings and did work for Rip Robertson, a CIA official. Yet, he does not use these evidence to suggest the CIA was involved in the assassination of JFK. Nor does he explore Martino’s relationship with the CIA. While he is willing to use the hearsay confessions of Mafia lawyers like Frank Ragano, he does not deal with the hearsay confession made by David Morales to a respectable and reliable businessman. This is very strange as Kaiser told us on the forum that historians should not use confessions as evidence. However, it is clear from his book, that it is alright to use confessions as long as it supports the theory you are peddling.

In fact, Morales does not appear anywhere in the book. How can anyone write a book about the assassination with mentioning Morales? Kaiser also does not mention the Carl Jenkins/Ch Chi Quintero confession. Again, they are two people who do not appear in the book. If Kaiser does not believe these confessions, he should at least explain why he does not believe them. It is not that he is unaware of these confessions because like me he attended Larry Hancock’s talk at the Lancer conference when he discussed this material and showed the filmed interview with Gene Wheaton. The reason he does not deal with Morales and Jenkins in his book is because they were both CIA officials. As he claims in the book and in the radio interview, he has not come across any evidence that the CIA was involved in the assassination. It is the same reason why Kaiser does not deal with the declassified information from Winston Scott and John Whitten concerning the assassination. George Joannides is also not looked at in any detail.

In the radio interview and in his book, Kaiser claims that it was undoubtedly Loran Hall and Lee Harvey Oswald who visited Sylvia Odio on 25th September 1963.

He quotes from the FBI interview of Hall carried out by Leon Brown on 16th September, 1964:

HALL stated that during the latter part of September, 1963, he was in Dallas, Texas in company with LAWRENCE HOWARD and WILLIAM SEYMOUR. HALL had gone to Dallas to solicit aid in the anti-CASTRO movement HALL said they contacted three professors at the university of Dallas who are Cuban refugees. One of these professor's name HALL recalled, was ODIO. These professors furnished HALL with a list of Cubans living in the Dallas area who could be contacted to solicit assistance in this movement.

HALL said that he recalled that while in Dallas on this particular occasion, the three of them, HALL, HOWARD, and SEYMOUR, had gone to the apartment of a Cuban woman who lived in a garden style apartment located on Magellan Circle in Dallas. HALL said that he could not picture this woman in his mind now. He said that her name was possibly ODIO. He said that he seemed to recognize this woman's name as ODIO because of the association with the name of the Cuban professor who had the same name.

He also quotes from the Warren Commission Report on this event:

On September 16, 1964, the FBI located Loran Eugene Hall in Johnsondale, Calif. Hall has been identified as a participant in numerous anti-Castro activities. He told the FBI that in September of 1963 he was in Dallas, soliciting aid in connection with anti-Castro activities. He said he had visited Mrs. Odio. He was accompanied by Lawrence Howard, a Mexican-American from East Los Angeles and one William Seymour from Arizona. He stated that Seymour is similar in appearance to Lee Harvey Oswald; he speaks only a few words of Spanish, as Mrs. Odio had testified one of the men who visited her did. While the FBI had not yet completed its investigation into this matter at the time the report went to press, the Commission has concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald was not at Mrs. Odio's apartment in September of 1963.

The Warren Report was published itself on 27th September so you can see it was very difficult to get in anything at all from the Hall interview carried out on 16th September.

What Kaiser does not point out is that Hall said that he could not positively identify Odio without seeing a photograph of her. Four days later, the FBI returned with a photograph of Odio. He then said quite clearly that this was not the woman who he visited with Howard and Seymour. When the FBI traced Seymour he was able to prove that he was not able to have visited Odio on 16th September.

As Steve Thomas pointed out, the FBI report dated 9th November, 1964, reveals that when Sylvia Odio was shown photographs of Loran Hall, Lawrence Howard and William Seymour, she clearly stated that none of these men visited her apartment. This view was supported by her sister, Annie Odio, who was also shown these photographs.

Kaiser does not consider the photographic evidence referred to above. It cannot be because he was unaware of it as he tells us he read all the relevant declassified documents. The only possible reason for this omission is that it does not support his theory. This is not what you expect from a historian. As far as I am concerned, his reputation as a reputable historian is in tatters.

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Yo! Harry,

I think Harry Dean knew Hall.

I'd like to hear from Harry on this.

Also, it would be interesting to hear from others who have put in time trying to decipher the three visitors to the Odios apartment - Gaeton Fonzi, Dick Russell, Tony Summers, Bill Turner and hear what they have to say about it.

I personally don't care who they were, but at this point in time, it shouldn't be an issue. The exact identity of these individuals should have, could have and can still be made to a positive certainty, if only the effort was made.

One of the problems is, I think, the pawns can't move themselves around the board.

BK

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Yo! Harry,

I think Harry Dean knew Hall.

I'd like to hear from Harry on this.

Also, it would be interesting to hear from others who have put in time trying to decipher the three visitors to the Odios apartment - Gaeton Fonzi, Dick Russell, Tony Summers, Bill Turner and hear what they have to say about it.

I personally don't care who they were, but at this point in time, it shouldn't be an issue. The exact identity of these individuals should have, could have and can still be made to a positive certainty, if only the effort was made.

One of the problems is, I think, the pawns can't move themselves around the board.

BK

Hi, Bill

Of the few, post-assassination words spoken by Howard, Hall, Gabaldon I or others

were confined mainly to the threats by Howard to kill Hall if he did not change his

Odio/FBI statements. The trio, Lorenzo, Alonzo and Leon made several stops in

Dallas to raise desperately needed funds from anti-Castro sources, for their

intended trip to meet Gabaldon in Mexico.

Hall recanted his original FBI statements and accepted the position I had politley

rejected and recommended him as Gabaldon's political manager in his unsuccesful

run for US. Congress.

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Army Intelligence interviewed Roy Hargraves who was a member of Interpen on 7th August 1970.

According to Jerry Hemming, both Howard and Hall met with Lee Harvey Oswald in Texas while en route to Florida prior to the John Kennedy assassination. After President Kennedy was killed, Hemming related to Source that he felt that the assassination was a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plot to do away with Kennedy since Howard and Hall were believed to have been connected with the CIA. Source, at a later date, confronted Howard with the question concerning his part in the alleged connection with the Kennedy assassination. Howard "clammed up" and became nervous concerning the matter and avoided the subject completly.

It seems that Hall was very angry with Hemming. In an interview with Alan J. Weberman in April 1977, about Gerry P. Hemming, Hall stated that "Hemming is a CIA punk, OK? I've known the SOB for fourteen years. He turned his own goddam crews in so he wouldn't have to go to Cuba. He's fingered me on my own goddam deals and caused me to get arrested." Does anyone know what Hall meant by this?

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Hall still confuses me. There is a lot of coincidental info that points to him as being up to his neck in the assassination but other info that points away...

But how many people in the world:

1. Knew Oswald

2. Knew Martino

3. Knew Trafficante

4. Knew Fiorini aka Sturgis

5. Was in Dallas during the relevant time

6. Visited the apartments on Magellan (home of Odio) supposedly visiting Kiki Masferrer brother of Rolando

7. Was offered $50,000 to kill JFK

8. Knew Rip Robertson

9. Had in his possession a letter from Manolo Ray, head of JURE. Odio said one of the reasons for the visit was they wanted a letter translated from spanish to english for fund raising efforts.

Has Willaim Seymour's HSCA interview been released yet?

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Re Mr. Boylan's post, it is very interesting.

David, I am not sure of the basis for your first point and your last. Could you elaborate on those please.

Also, is your point that he was in Dallas on the day of the assassination based on any other infoermation than Hemming's claims to that effect? I think Hall claimed he was in LA on November 22nd.

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Has Willaim Seymour's HSCA interview been released yet?

I don't think it has. It is due to be released in 2017. Seymour is still alive but unlike Hemming and he has never been willing to talk to researchers although he does read this forum.

I think the hostility shown by people like Hall, Seymour and Plumlee towards Hemming is significant. In an interview with Alan J. Weberman in April 1977, about Gerry P. Hemming, Hall stated that "Hemming is a CIA punk, OK? I've known the SOB for fourteen years. He turned his own goddam crews in so he wouldn't have to go to Cuba. He's fingered me on my own goddam deals and caused me to get arrested."

I suspect that Hemming was involved in setting-up Hall and Seymour. I wonder what he meant when he said: "He turned his own goddam crews in so he wouldn't have to go to Cuba."

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Re Mr. Boylan's post, it is very interesting.

David, I am not sure of the basis for your first point and your last. Could you elaborate on those please.

Also, is your point that he was in Dallas on the day of the assassination based on any other infoermation than Hemming's claims to that effect? I think Hall claimed he was in LA on November 22nd.

Tim,

Hall mentioned twice (that I'm aware of) that he was going to harrass LHO. He told Dick Russell in The Man Who Knew Too Much and during his HSCA testimony.

And if my memory is not failing, he was asked by Harold Weisberg when Weisberg interviewed Hall in 1968, about the last time he saw Larry Howard. He replied that he hadn't seen Howard in a long time because Howard was mad at him for not returning the letter from Ray.

Hall did say he was not in Dallas on November 22. He was in Dallas 6 or 7 times previously during 1963. He was there during the end of September and came back again in October. He had picked up a trailer full of rifles in California from Clint Wheat. He, Howard and Celio Castro Alba left the rifles with oil geologist Lester Logue in Dallas then proceded on to Miami. He came back in Oct with Seymour to retrieve them. My educated guess is that he left the rifles in Dallas so that they could converted rfom semi-auto to full auto by John Thomas Masen. Oh and they had medical supplies from California.

The med supplies were stored in Harry Dean's garage. I'm sure Harry could add some detail here.

Edited by David Boylan
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David, thanks for the quick reply.

I assume most are fam,iliar with the story of the Johnson 30.06 rifle that Hemming had left in LA with a man named Hathcock. Hall picked it up, without hemming's permission, before he returned to Miami via Dallas.

The curious thing is that the day after the assassination the FBI was at Hathcock's door in LA asking about that rifle. Why the FBI was on to that rifle so soon after the assassination has not been established. The only alternatives I can imagine is that the FBI found it in Dallas or that someone tipped them off about its existence. I think the latter alternative is the more likely.

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