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Dick Russell's On The Trail of the JFK Assassins


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In your book you republish an article that first appeared in The Village Voice (15th December, 1975). It includes an interview with Richard Schweiker. He says he was one of the millions who believed the Warren Report “until a CIA agent came before our committee and testified he’d made arrangements with the Mafia to make a hit on Castro.”

Another reason Schweiker gives is the way the FBI compiled “secret dossiers on seven prominent commission detractors”. As you point out: “If the federal government would go to such lengths to vilify its opponents what could it possibly have been hiding?”

You have been one of those writers who have been for a long time trying to discover the real story of the assassination of JFK. What tactics have the authorities used against you?

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In your book you republish an article that first appeared in The Village Voice (15th December, 1975). It includes an interview with Richard Schweiker. He says he was one of the millions who believed the Warren Report “until a CIA agent came before our committee and testified he’d made arrangements with the Mafia to make a hit on Castro.”

Another reason Schweiker gives is the way the FBI compiled “secret dossiers on seven prominent commission detractors”. As you point out: “If the federal government would go to such lengths to vilify its opponents what could it possibly have been hiding?”

You have been one of those writers who have been for a long time trying to discover the real story of the assassination of JFK. What tactics have the authorities used against you?

I am directly aware only of what Richard Case Nagell told me once over the phone (1979 I believe), indicating that two CIA men had sat at an adjacent table to us in a bar in LA and tried to convince him afterwards that I was secretly tape-recording him. I wasn't, and told Nagell so. He said he didn't think so, because they were so adamant and clearly trying to sever our relationship. But I'm sure I was followed that night, when he dropped me off at my house.

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Anyone who's not yet gotten this book...do so now and may I suggest you make your very first read the last chapter. There, Russell has laid out [once again] definitive proof, IMO, that the official version is a total lie and deception - something many here know all to well - but that seems to have evaided the MSM and many of the citizens of our demented polity. The title of this chapter is: Two Caskets, Two Autopsies, Two Brain Exams: The Disappearing Evidence - and for me - tied togther a few loose ends on the body snatchers as well as their doctor/morticians and the attendant photographers, x-ray techs et al. Bravo! I hope this chapter can be sold to a major magazine or newspaper in some form; for the widest possible distribution. All the apogists for the official fiction should now crawl back into your holes and ponder what to do with the rest of your lives. Let me guess - your book will not be sold at the TSBD Museum.....and will not get a NYT review....etc. Well done, as was TMWKTM!

Peter, thank you for your enthusiastic response to my new book, especially the last chapter. Once a book is published, it's too late to sell excerpts to a magazine. But please spread the word however you can!

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Dick, If you haven't yet, you might file a FOIA for what various agencies have on you - it could provide some interesting materials related to your investigations - and a spine-chilling laugh. Speaking of which, did Nagell ever file, or have someone else file a FOIA on him; or now that he's dead [likely murdered....], has anyone tried again? I'm sure most will be heavily redacted or said to be missing - or just denied as ever existing - but one does from time to time get a few good leads from such.

Peter - I did file a FOIA some years ago with CIA and FBI for whatever files they might possess about me, and received nothing whatsoever concerning my JFK investigations (except for CIA having collected most of my published articles, which were sent to me with comments excised).

I also tried on Nagell, and received a rather large file from Army Intelligence related to his years in Japan, relevant parts of which I included in the 2003 edition of MWKTM. The other agencies sent a few things but little of substance, not surprisingly.

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I found your interview of Richard A. Sprague on 25th May 1978 very interesting. He obviously learnt a great deal from his experience as acting counsel and drector of he HSCA. As he said: "There was total dishonesty in the reporting of newspapers that I would otherwise have confidence in, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post... as a result, this attitude by the press was most successful in taking advantage of the attitude of Congress in general, and by individual Congressmen wh were manipulated such that the press could achieve a tone to help kill the investigation."

Do you think that Sprague would have got to the truth if he had remained as director of the HSCA? What are your views on his replacement, Robert Blakey? Has Sprague made any recent comments on the JFK assassination?

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I found your interview of Richard A. Sprague on 25th May 1978 very interesting. He obviously learnt a great deal from his experience as acting counsel and drector of he HSCA. As he said: "There was total dishonesty in the reporting of newspapers that I would otherwise have confidence in, such as the New York Times and the Washington Post... as a result, this attitude by the press was most successful in taking advantage of the attitude of Congress in general, and by individual Congressmen wh were manipulated such that the press could achieve a tone to help kill the investigation."

Do you think that Sprague would have got to the truth if he had remained as director of the HSCA? What are your views on his replacement, Robert Blakey? Has Sprague made any recent comments on the JFK assassination?

I'm pretty certain we would have gotten a LOT closer to the truth had Sprague remained HSCA counsel, because he was tough and uncompromising and ready to travel roads that his successor, Blakey, was not. (I'm specifically talking about the CIA's role in the Oswald saga). I'm not out to impugn Blakey's integrity, but let's face it - the Mob-fellas-did-it scenario is a bit too pat and in keeping with America's good guys-bad guys mentality that avoids the harsher realities. I am not aware of any recent comments Sprague may have made about the HSCA or the assassination.

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In your book, On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, you make a couple of references to the work of Richard E. Sprague (pages 25 and 102). What did you make of his research into the assassination? Have you read the Taking of America where he claims that William Seymour, Clay Shaw, David Ferrie, Guy Banister, Louis M. Bloomfield, Loran Hall, Lawrence Howard, Harry Dean, Richard Case Nagell, Sergio Arcacha Smith, Carlos Prio, Herminio Diaz Garcia, Jim Braden (alias Eugene Hale Brading), John Howard Bowen (alias Albert Osborne), Ronald Augustinovich, Mary Hope, Emilio Santana, Fred Lee Crisman and Jim Hicks were involved in the assassination?

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In your book, On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, you make a couple of references to the work of Richard E. Sprague (pages 25 and 102). What did you make of his research into the assassination? Have you read the Taking of America where he claims that William Seymour, Clay Shaw, David Ferrie, Guy Banister, Louis M. Bloomfield, Loran Hall, Lawrence Howard, Harry Dean, Richard Case Nagell, Sergio Arcacha Smith, Carlos Prio, Herminio Diaz Garcia, Jim Braden (alias Eugene Hale Brading), John Howard Bowen (alias Albert Osborne), Ronald Augustinovich, Mary Hope, Emilio Santana, Fred Lee Crisman and Jim Hicks were involved in the assassination?

Richard E. Sprague was a very decent man, without whose initial inspiration I would never have gotten into my own research on the assassination. Having never done in-the-field interviews, much of his information was based on other researchers and the "cast of characters" in his Taking of America turned out to be somewhat of a stretch. Be that as it may, his work on the photo evidence was landmark at the time.

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Chapter 33: “JFK and the Cuban Connection” was originally published in High Times Magazine (August 1996). On page 219 of the book you write about Felipe Vidal Santiago being arrested on a 1964 sabotage mission. He was later executed by the Cuban government but before he died he provided information on his anti-Castro activities. What is interesting is that he admitted that was an information conduit for General Edwin Walker. This provides an important link between the anti-Castro Cubans and right-wing elements in Dallas.

On page 223 you add that Felipe Vidal Santiago told Cuban intelligence that on the weekend before the assassination, he was invited to a meeting in Dallas by the CIA’s Colonel William Bishop. You add that just before his death Bishop told you he’s had knowledge of the assassination plot against JFK. Do you think it is possible that Bishop and Vidal were actually involved in the organization of the assassination?

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Chapter 33: “JFK and the Cuban Connection” was originally published in High Times Magazine (August 1996). On page 219 of the book you write about Felipe Vidal Santiago being arrested on a 1964 sabotage mission. He was later executed by the Cuban government but before he died he provided information on his anti-Castro activities. What is interesting is that he admitted that was an information conduit for General Edwin Walker. This provides an important link between the anti-Castro Cubans and right-wing elements in Dallas.

On page 223 you add that Felipe Vidal Santiago told Cuban intelligence that on the weekend before the assassination, he was invited to a meeting in Dallas by the CIA’s Colonel William Bishop. You add that just before his death Bishop told you he’s had knowledge of the assassination plot against JFK. Do you think it is possible that Bishop and Vidal were actually involved in the organization of the assassination?

I don't know any more about Felipe Vidal than Cuban intelligence officials said in Nassau or than Bishop told me when I interviewed him (as well as the government files linking the two of them). But based on what I learned from and about these two individuals, I would say it is "conceivable" that they were involved at some level in JFK's assassination.

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Do you still feel that Gilbert Le Cavelier was a credible source after all these years?

I have always been intrigued by his assertion that Hunt met Souetre in Madrid in March-April 1963.

With each passing day I grow more certain that EHH was responsible for the creation and maintenance of false leads and false sponsorships -- pre- and post-killing.

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In your book, On the Trail of the JFK Assassins, you make a couple of references to the work of Richard E. Sprague (pages 25 and 102). What did you make of his research into the assassination? Have you read the Taking of America where he claims that William Seymour, Clay Shaw, David Ferrie, Guy Banister, Louis M. Bloomfield, Loran Hall, Lawrence Howard, Harry Dean, Richard Case Nagell, Sergio Arcacha Smith, Carlos Prio, Herminio Diaz Garcia, Jim Braden (alias Eugene Hale Brading), John Howard Bowen (alias Albert Osborne), Ronald Augustinovich, Mary Hope, Emilio Santana, Fred Lee Crisman and Jim Hicks were involved in the assassination?

Richard E. Sprague was a very decent man, without whose initial inspiration I would never have gotten into my own research on the assassination. Having never done in-the-field interviews, much of his information was based on other researchers and the "cast of characters" in his Taking of America turned out to be somewhat of a stretch. Be that as it may, his work on the photo evidence was landmark at the time.

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Hi Dick,

I vacillate between the L.B.J.-"Mac"Wallace scenario and the scenarios spelled out by researchers like you and Richard Sprague. Therefore, I do not ask this question to be argumentative; I just want to learn.

Without going into any detail (unless you want to), which of Sprague's "cast of characters" do you think were a particular "reach?"

Thank you,

--Thomas

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Do you still feel that Gilbert Le Cavelier was a credible source after all these years?

I have always been intrigued by his assertion that Hunt met Souetre in Madrid in March-April 1963.

I knew no more about Le Cavelier than I came across in Bud Fensterwald's files. He seemed credible at the time.

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