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Aristotle Onassis and Jackie Kennedy


John Simkin
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This article appeared in today's Daily Mail by Peter Evans:

Aristotle Onassis knew that the man he hated - and feared - the most, the one man who could have thwarted his plans, would soon be in the crosshairs of an assassin's gun.

The deal had been done, and, determined to be someplace else when the shots were fired, he was beginning the slow voyage back to Europe aboard his yacht, Christina. He could not have been happier.

A few days earlier, Jackie Kennedy had disembarked after a six-day cruise in the Caribbean.

Each afternoon she had slipped into his stateroom to make love, and in the evenings, the woman known as the Holy Widow had encouraged her lover's reminiscences, allowed him to light her cigarettes and confessed to him her likes and dislikes.

'Do you mind taking off your glasses?' she asked one evening. 'Dark glasses are forbidding on a person at night.'

Now alone with Jackie's best friend, Joan Thring, he seduced her, too. After dinner, he and Joan would sit at the stern, listening to recordings of Maria Callas, yet another of Onassis's lovers.

Here, Joan asked Onassis how he had amassed his vast fortune. 'There is one thing you must understand about me, my dear: I am completely f*****g ruthless.'

It was a sinister response, and as the Christina crossed the Atlantic, it seemed to Thring that Onassis was on edge, as if he was waiting for something to happen.

Onassis heard the news while having breakfast on the morning of June 5.

Bobby Kennedy had been shot; he wasn't yet dead, but it looked bad, his aide Johnny Meyer told him.

'Somebody was going to fix the little b*****d sooner or later,' Onassis responded coldly. He told Meyer to call as soon as Kennedy had passed away - 'as if he wanted to know the result of the 4pm race at Santa Anita,' Meyer said.

Joan Thring also remembers the utter impassiveness with which Onassis took the news.

'I didn't expect Ari to be upset,' she told me. 'I knew that Bobby's death was vastly convenient for him. But it was as if he'd been told something he already knew.'

It is 40 years since Robert F. Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy's younger brother and attorney general, was shot in the crowded kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles by Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian immigrant.

It seemed like an open-and-shut case and Sirhan was convicted of murder.

The hotel has since been demolished; and Sirhan remains, aged 64, in a California state prison.

There is no doubt that Sirhan held the smoking gun that night - but did he act alone, or was he part of a highly organised plot?

Rumours surrounding the case have continued - and escalated - ever since.

A vociferous lobby in America continues to argue that the CIA masterminded the killing - he had, after all, been no admirer of the CIA.

In his autobiography A Fortunate Life, to be published in the U.S. next month, actor Robert Vaughn, who was a close friend of Bobby Kennedy, calls his murder 'the conspiracy that won't go away'.

Certainly, the assassination does not lose its fascination. Michael Sheen is shortly to play Bobby in a film based on Thurston Clarke's bestseller, The Last Campaign.

And, next month, Robert Lindsay opens at the Chichester Theatre in Aristo, the new play by Martin Sherman.

Based on my book Nemesis, it tells how and why Onassis paid for the bullets that killed Bobby Kennedy. I first met Onassis in 1968 at his apartment in Paris.

At that time, he was the most famous millionaire in the world - his affair with Maria Callas had made him sexy as well as notorious - and he wanted me to help him write a book about his life.

He started to tell his story: his childhood in Smyrna, now Izmir in Turkey; how he had become the head of his family when his father was thrown into prison by the Turks; their escape to Athens; and his flight to Argentina, where he made his first fortune in tobacco.

I worked with him for ten months before he cancelled the book deal. A week later, on October 20, 1968, he married Jacqueline Kennedy.

In the spring of 1974, I got a phone call from Onassis telling me that he wanted to resume work on the book. His marriage to Jackie had been a sham.

On paper, it lasted six years; in reality, it had been over within weeks. In fact, his life had become a catalogue of calamities.

The rest of the article can be found here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10...-law-Bobby.html

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  • 1 year later...
Guest Tom Scully

A year ago, actor Robert Vaughn stirred this subject up, and it is even more interesting because the Gemstone Files tie in Onassis, and Roy Cohn and the Ambassador Hotel where RFK was shot, tie in Cohn's buddy G. David Schine, anf thus, the Torbitt Documents, through Schine's sister, Renee's marriage to Henry Crown's son, Lester, and it is even more curious that Lester and his son, James, were two of Obama's earliest, big money campaign backers....

Jack Ruby is tied to Henry Crown and Crown's "executive hire", Patrick Hoy, in a number of ways.

Ruby's roommate, George Senator, came from the same small New York town, (Gloversville,, pop. 15,000), as the Schine family. Renee Schine married Lester Crown in 1950. The Schine's permitted Mickey Cohen to run a casino at the Ambassador in LA, and to handle the gambling concession at the Schine's Roney Hotel in Miami.

The FBI claimed that a phone call to Gloversville, NY billed to Ruby's phone, was a call made by Ruby, not by George Senator, to Joe "the wop" Cataldo, a mob figure married to Albert Anastasia's niece. The FBI accepted that Ruby's call to Cataldo was related to booking talent at the carousel club. It was at Cataldo's Manhattan Camelot club that the talent agent George Wood received a sudden and fatal head injury, resulting in a million dollar windfall for Alvin Malnik.:

http://ajweberman.com/nodule29.pdf

79/130

JOE 'THE WOP' CATALDO

On July 7, 1963, a call was placed from RUBY'S home telephone to Gloversville, New York.

George Senator, a close associate of RUBY'S during the Summer of 1963, was originally from

Gloversville and this led many researchers to believe that this call was placed by him. When

the FBI investigated this call the Bureau found that the telephone number in Gloversville

belonged to Joe "The Wop" Cataldo, who the Bureau described as "a top New York hoodlum."

A few days before the FBI traced the toll call, FBI informant number "KY-4003-C-TE" advised

that JACK RUBY obtained talent for his Dallas club through Joe "The Wop" Cataldo during the

late 1950's. On December 11, 1963, Joe Cataldo was exhibited a photograph of RUBY by the

FBI. He denied any relationship at any time with RUBY. The FBI never asked Joe Cataldo if he

knew George Senator, this despite the fact that in the Fall of 1963, George Senator was

RUBY'S roommate. In 1964 the Warren Commission, in it's report, stated: "It is difficult to know

with complete certainty whether Senator had any foreknowledge of the shooting of OSWALD."

On February 29, 1980, Joe Cataldo, who was described as a New York City loan shark, was

accused of participating in a million dollar plot to sabotage the "Black Tuna" drug smuggling

trial in Miami, Florida. This alleged plot involved plans to assassinate trial Judge James

Lawrence King, pay off key government witnesses, and otherwise disrupt the trial. [FBI NY-

1639-2396, NY44-974-152; NY 24016-655; NY 44-1639-1556; 44-1639 4p teletype 11.28.63

Dallas to Albany]

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/art...154/3/index.htm

May 29, 1972

Look What Louie Wrought

In Washington, a congressional committee is conducting hearings into the involvement of organized crime in sport.....

....In another episode, Louie financed the purchase by Russell Bufalino, a notorious eastern Pennsylvania hood, of four amusement parks in the Pittsburgh area in 1959. Patriarca provided the entree to Jacobs for Bufalino. In 1962 Gerardo (Jerry) Catena, the successor to Vito Genovese in the New York Mafia, arranged for Louie to fund an attempt by Joe (The Wop) Cataldo—a New York gangster currently in prison—to gain control of the Finger Lakes track....

Malnik sure has a set....he is openly telling his "story" this summer, in an interview:

http://www.miamibeachreflections.com/?tag=nancy-malnik

Al Malnik’s Lasting Legacy

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Any true South Florida aficionado has heard the legend of Al Malnik. But to hear it from the man himself is the rarest of opportunities.

Interview by Kamal Hotchandani

....“The trick of the year-this year or any year-has been pulled off by a 31-year-old Miami Beach lawyer who, in a matter of months, has developed holdings worth several million dollars.”

So begins a 1964 front-page story, titled “Success Story: He was a Millionaire in a Wink,” in the Miami Beach Daily Sun regarding Al Malnik. The story is accompanied by a photo of Malnik (he confesses, “I look like I’m taking my bar mitzvah photos in that story”) standing along with mentor Jake Ehrlich, but focuses on Malnik’s first major business venture: Scopitone.

Scopitone, a sort of movie jukebox, was a new-fangled invention dripping with promise, and Malnik, riding a wave of success a mile high, bought in. Malnik acquired the U.S. rights to Scopitone, started a movie production company, and hired former Paramount head Irving Briscoe to head up the operation. Debbie Reynolds, then a famous singer-actress, assisted in the film-making, and soon enough, Malnik merged his company in 1963 with another and was paid $2 million for his interest. “I thought, well, I never have to work anymore, a young guy with that kind of money,” Malnik says, laughing.

Luckily for Malnik, his well-connected relationships and reputation as a hard working, innovative business mind left him with several lasting friendships that helped shape new businesses. Through his work with Scopitone, Malnik ended up representing Las Vegas-area hotels such as The Sands, and quickly formed bonds with members of the Rat Pack like Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Though his law practice slowed, Malnik’s business practice picked up with gusto and panache. “I liked business, I had moved my mom and dad down here, and my brother, because he was ill in St. Louis. At this point, I had four kids, and we lived on Miami Beach on Collins Avenue, and life was good,” he says.

Malnik’s business savvy led to a deep-rooted interest in the South Beach area, which was ripe for opportunity despite having an entirely different continuity at the time....

http://popsleibold.blogspot.com/2006/12/sc...azy-things.html

...Terribly popular in France, the rest of the world began to take notice, and in 1963, George Wood from the William Morris Agency started a development deal to license the machines in the U.S., the Agency's first foray into multimedia.

Alas, Wood, up to his neck in gambling debts, also included in the deal a cobweb of Mafia up and down the East Coast. He didn't last out the deal, and one of his younger associates took over with a cleaner proposition. The completed negotiations included the importing of 200 machines, with a guarantee that 5200 machines would be built in the U.S. over the next 10 years. Optimists! The Scopitone's potential even swayed a young Francis Ford Coppola, who invested a big chunk of his money from some early screenwriting gigs. But America's embrace of the medium never came. Something between 1,000 and 1,500 machines were produced in the U.S. before the Scopitone "craze" fizzled out entirely, around 1967....

http://books.google.com/books?id=T8JQmqUBa...one&f=false

Sh-Boom!: The Explosion of Rock 'n' Roll (1953-1968)

By Clay Cole, David Hinckley

...In addition, there was the stigma affixed to the nefarious entanglements of Georgie Wood and his shady partners, the jukebox distributors.

The final nail in Scopitone's coffin came with the sudden death of Georgie Wood, himself. As I heard the story, Georgie was brutally beaten by the mob-boys in a scuffle at The Camelot Club and, battered and bloody, he checked himself into the safety of Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died the next morning of a massive coronary. Georgie had been William Morris' chief troubleshooter since 1940, and as Abe Lastfogel's right hand man, was one of the family. The family all turned out for his funeral at Campbells--

Ed Sullivan, Frank Costello, "Jimmy Blue-Eyes" Alo, Joe "Socks" Lanza, and the plainclothes boys from the Central Investigation Bureau, across the street, jotting down license plates.....

http://news.google.com/archivesearch?um=1&...*%22&cf=all

George Wood, Theatrical Agent For Many Stars, ls Dead at 63

- New York Times - Nov 11, 1963

George Wood, a theatrical agent who represented many leading performers, died Saturday of a heart ailment in Mount Sinai Hospital.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/...,876072,00.html

Leisure: Scooby-Ooby Scopitone

Friday, Aug. 21, 1964

In some 500 bars, restaurants and servicemen's clubs throughout the U.S., the center of attention these days is a monstrous new machine called Scopitone. It is a cross between a jukebox and TV. For 250 a throw, Scopitone projects any one of 36 musical movies on a 26-in. screen, flooding the premises with delirious color and hi-fi scooby-ooby-doo for three whole minutes. It makes a sobering combination.

Scopitone, which has been the rage of France for the past four years, was invented by a firm that sounds as if it had been founded by Jules Verne;....

...Rights to Scopitone for the U.S. and South and Central America were snapped up for $5,000 last year by Alvin I. Malnik, 31, a Miami Beach attorney, who will soon start distributing machines manufactured in Chicago. He already has installed them in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas and dozens of military bases, and has a backlog of 2,500 orders. If Malnik has his way, every public place from the hoitiest cocktail lounge to the toitiest pizza parlor will be swinging to musies, all of which are eventually to be produced by Malnik himself. Meanwhile, Scopitone screens are filled by French films. ....

Henry Crown and Jake Arvey were real estate partners, and Patrick Hoy partnered in the opening of a Chicago Bank with Arvey. Ruby claimed he tried to involve himself in a Jeep export venture to Cuba with Arvey's son. Patrick Hoy spent part of every evening for 15 years in the Pump Room with Irv Kupcinet, and Kupcinet's newspaper column co-writers, Ira and Jimmy Colitz, knew Ruby since boyhood and owned a bar next to the Hotel Sherman, where Hoy was VP and then President for 15 years, a hotel where Ruby was a resident after WWII, where he stayed when he visited from Dallas, next door to the Colitz's Clover Bar, where he stopped by, into the 1960's.

http://news.google.com/archivesearch?q=Ari...&lnav=hist3

Miss Onassis Denies Her Father Planned Divorce

- New York Times - Apr 18, 1975

PARIS, April 17 (AP) Christina Onassis, daughter of the late Aristotle Onassis ... on Dec. of last year, an associate lof Mr. Onassis called Roy M. Cohn, ...

Dispute over Onassis' will denied .

Daily News - Google News Archive - Apr 13, 1975

PARIS The daughter- of Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis has denied ... the New York Times last weekend which said Onassis asked lawyer Roy Cohn last ...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11...ert-Vaughn.html

I know who was behind Bobby Kennedy's murder, by his actor friend Robert Vaughn

By Robert Vaughn

Last updated at 10:57 AM on 12th January 2009

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11...l#ixzz0frQLIAaO

...Finally, there are reasons to believe the Los Angeles police obstructed or neglected aspects of the case.

For example, although an armed security guard stated he was standing behind Kennedy at the time of the shooting - the location from which the fatal shots must have come - and even admitted dropping down and pulling his gun when the shooting began, his weapon was never checked to see if he might have fired any of the bullets that killed Kennedy, whether deliberately or accidentally.

New evidence has recently come to light. Dr Robert Joling, a past president of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists, and sound expert Philip Van Praag concluded that, based on exhaustive analysis of audio tapes from that fateful night, at least 12 shots were fired using at least two guns.

What about the mental state of Sirhan? Is it possible he could have been programmed to take the fall for Bobby's murder?

This may sound implausible, but Dr Herbert Spiegel, a New York psychiatrist who teaches at Columbia University and is considered an expert on hypnosis, supports this theory. He believes Sirhan was probably acting in response to hypnotic directives when he fired at Kennedy.

Sirhan appeared badly disorientated after his arrest, and when he was given a psychiatric examination before his trial, he was found to be susceptible to hypnotic suggestion, even climbing the bars of his cell like a monkey upon command.

In all probability, Dr Spiegel suggests, Sirhan was still in a state of hypnotically induced amnesia.

These questions continue to attract interest from a few intrepid researchers. Was there a second or even a third gunman? If so, who was it? Could the security guard behind Kennedy who admitted pulling his gun have had something to do with the killing? And, assuming that more than one gunman was involved, who was the mastermind behind the plot?

Even those most eager to blame the crime on Sirhan do not pretend he had the intellect, resources or the organisational ability to pull together an assassination conspiracy.

Investigative journalist Peter Evans suggested in his 2004 book Nemesis that Onassis was responsible in part for Kennedy's murder.

According to Evans, Onassis and Bobby first crossed paths in 1953, when Bobby became assistant counsel to Roy Cohn, the chief investigator working for Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist crusade.

One of Bobby's assignments was to study what McCarthy called the 'blood trade' between certain American allies and Red China, whose soldiers were fighting US troops in Korea.

Bobby found that more than 300 New York Greek shipping families were trading regularly with China. None of Onassis's vessels was involved, but he was afraid anyone prying into his business would discover he was secretly negotiating with Saudi Arabia to supply tankers to transport oil under the Saudi flag.

Onassis's fears were realised in October 1953 when sealed indictments were handed down to seize any ships owned by Onassis that came into an American port. He blamed Bobby for his predicament.

Despite - or perhaps because of - his resentment of Bobby, Onassis gradually became socially and romantically entangled with the Kennedy family.

He met then-Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife Jackie in 1956 when he invited them aboard his yacht, the Christina. Shortly after JFK became President, Onassis began an affair with Lee Bouvier Radziwill, Jackie's sister.

But Onassis wasn't satisfied with Lee - he wanted Jackie herself. He took advantage of the First Lady's vulnerability in August 1963, shortly after the devastating death of her two-day-old son, Patrick. Jackie accepted his invitation to stay on the Christina while she recuperated.

For Bobby, the way Onassis thrust himself into the Kennedys' personal drama heightened the hostility between them. Onassis, of course, went on to marry Jackie in October 1968, five years after JFK's death.

According to Evans, the notion of killing a Kennedy did not take shape in Onassis's mind until early 1968 when he met Mahmoud Hamshari, a follower of Yasser Arafat and a fanatical anti-American and anti-Israeli activist.

Enraged by US support for Israel during the Six Day War in 1967, Hamshari suggested killing 'a high-profile American on American soil' would make the US government 'think twice about backing the Jews'.

When Hamshari had an opportunity to meet Onassis, he used it to shake down the Greek magnate for money to carry out the plot.

Evans provides extensive detail about the dealings between Onassis and Hamshari. He describes the apparent involvement in the conspiracy of Dr William Bryan, an expert in hypnosis based in Los Angeles.

He quotes a defence witness from the trial of Sirhan describing the accused killer as being 'out of control of his consciousness and his own actions [and] subject to bizarre disassociated trances in some of which he programmed himself to be the instrument of assassination'.

And he describes pages from Sirhan's notebook, once in the possession of Christina Onassis, that seem to implicate Onassis not just in Bobby's killing but also in two other business-related murders.

Then there is Hélène Gaillet, one of the players in Evans's story, whom I have interviewed myself. On an autumn afternoon in 2007, I met Helene at her apartment on New York's Upper West Side.

Statuesque and elegant, Hélène had worked as a photographer for The New York Times and New York magazine.

Hélène met Onassis for the first time at the Coach House restaurant in New York in the early Seventies. As the dinner came to a close, he raised the palms of her hands to his lips and said: 'The next time you are in Paris and need a place to stay, call me.'

In 1973, she was due to cover the fight between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali in Zaire. But when it was postponed for a month, she found herself in Paris with time on her hands.

Hélène remembered Onassis's invitation and called him. Fifteen minutes later, he invited her to his estate on the Greek island of Skorpios.

Onassis's daughter Christina was there. She was worried about her father's welfare and made Hélène promise not to take any pictures of him. Onassis was dealing with some difficult business issues, Christina said, and she was worried that any unflattering pictures would make him more vulnerable to his enemies.

During her visit to Skorpios, Hélène stayed on Onassis's yacht while he remained at his estate. One day, they went skinny-dipping and he came on to her. Helene reciprocated enthusiastically. It was the first and last time that happened between them.

A few days later, Hélène dined with Onassis at his beach house. They talked about many things, including religion. Hélène had been raised a Catholic and Ari questioned her closely, saying he was fascinated by confession and absolution.

In the course of the conversation, she asked Ari whether he agreed with Hemingway's famous remark about the difference between rich people and the rest of us - 'They have more money'.

With a laugh, Onassis replied: 'The rich get laid more, I know that ... Even that little runt Bobby Kennedy got laid more.'

More disturbingly, Onassis went on to speak freely about Bobby. According to Hélène, Onassis's hatred for him was still vivid and intense.

In the small hours, Onassis walked Helene to the beach from where a launch would take her back to the Christina. They stood together, gazing out to sea, for a long time.

After a while, Hélène realised Onassis was talking to himself, in low, murmuring tones, like someone deep in prayer.

Finally, as she strained to hear what he was saying, he turned to her and, clearly and simply, said: 'You know, Hélène, I put up the money for Bobby Kennedy's murder.'

I spent almost two hours with Hélène at her apartment. I was most impressed with her ability to place herself in the time and emotions of some of the world's most powerful and famous people and her conversations with them.

Not once did I feel that Hélène, now in her 70s, was anything but honest. I'm convinced her story is a faithful rendition of what happened to her.

Does Hélène's story settle forever the question of who killed Bobby Kennedy? Not in a legal sense and perhaps not even in a moral sense. But along with the other evidence, it makes abundantly clear that one of the greatest crimes of the 20th Century remains unresolved by the official verdict, even to this day.

Edited by Tom Scully
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