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Mystery Woman


John Simkin
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Can anyone identify the woman below? The photograph was taken at her wedding in 1960. She later became one of the girls used by Bobby Baker and Lyndon Johnson at the Quorum Club in Washington. This was a scam that enabled Johnson and Hoover to blackmail politicians. This included JFK.

In 1978 she announced that she had started work on her autobiography which would include details of her work for MI5. In November 1980 she claimed that her book would include details of a "plot to discredit Jack Kennedy". She added that the manuscript was "in the hands of the CIA".

The book never appeared. The woman was found dead in her bed in February 1983. It was claimed by the police that she had died of an overdose of drugs. Christine Keeler claims that she was murdered by either MI5 or the CIA.

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Can anyone identify the woman below? The photograph was taken at her wedding in 1960. She later became one of the girls used by Bobby Baker and Lyndon Johnson at the Quorum Club in Washington. This was a scam that enabled Johnson and Hoover to blackmail politicians. This included JFK.

In 1978 she announced that she had started work on her autobiography which would include details of her work for MI5. In November 1980 she claimed that her book would include details of a "plot to discredit Jack Kennedy". She added that the manuscript was "in the hands of the CIA".

The book never appeared. The woman was found dead in her bed in February 1983. It was claimed by the police that she had died of an overdose of drugs. Christine Keeler claims that she was murdered by either MI5 or the CIA.

Who is that kissing her? It almost looks like Jack Ruby!

Kathy C

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In October 1999 the FBI released 1,189 pages of declassified documents in the "Bowtie" file. Unfortunately, most of these documents were blacked out but it is still possible to get a great deal of interesting information from them. Some of these files refer to Mariella Novotny, the woman in the picture above. The man is Horace Dibben, a wealthy antique dealer and nightclub owner. He was 36 years her senior. She told a friend that: "I've met a lot of rich men in my time as a dancer, but none has shown me the care, love and attention that Hod (Dibben) has." On 29th January 1960 she married Dibben at Caxton Hall. Philip Knightley reported that: "As one hundred guests drank champagne at Dibben's West End club, The Black Sheep, and cut slices from an 18-tiered wedding cake, Dibben announced that he had given Mariella a 20-room, sixteenth-century mansion in Sussex and a luxury flat in Eaton Place for a wedding present. Her engagement ring was a 200-year-old diamond and sapphire antique."

Novotny was also a high-class prostitute controlled by Stephen Ward in London. In 1959 Novotny travelled to the United States with Suzy Chang. Both girls worked at the Quorum Club in Washington, run by Bobby Baker, and became involved in relationships with leading politicians. This included both John and Robert Kennedy. The FBI investigation also suggested that a "Hungarian madam in New York" was also involved in what was called the "Bowtie" case.

Under the protection of Dibben and Ward, Novotny held sex-parties in London that was attended by politicians, including some senior figures in the government. Also at these parties was Eugene Ivanov, a KGB agent working in the Soviet Embassy. We also know that MI5 were aware of what was going on at these parties. Roger Hollis, head of MI5 visited Ward's flat on several occasions but probably never attended the parties. Although some guests wore masks.

Mariella Novotny was born in the East End of London in 1942. The story was that her father came from Czechoslovakia and that she was related to a former president of that country. However, her real name was Stella Capes. According to Christine Keeler, she changed her name to Mariella Novotny because it "had a more whiplash ring to it."

After the death of her father she became a striptease dancer to support her widowed mother. Novotny also worked as a prostitute in London. Christine Keeler later recalled: "She had a tiny waist that exaggerated her ample figure. She was a siren, a sexual athlete of Olympian proportions - she could do it all. I know. I saw her in action. She knew all the strange pleasures that were wanted and could deliver them."

Why did Mariella Novotny create a person that suggested links with a communist county? The same goes for Suzy Chang, who claimed she came from China. In fact, her real name was Esther Sue Yan Chang, the daughter of two Chinese immigrants from New York. She moved to London where she was recruited by Stephen Ward.

According to Novotny, in December 1960 a television producer called Harry Alan Towers, invited her to join him in New York. Novotny was arrested on 3rd March 1961 by the FBI and charged with soliciting. Three days later Towers was charged with violation of the White Slave Traffic Act, alleging that he had transported Novotny from England to New York for the purpose of prostitution.

On 31st May 1961 Novotny boarded the Cunard liner, Queen Mary, using the false name of Mrs R. Tyson. By the time the ship reached Southampton, the British immigration authorities had received word from the FBI that Tyson was really Mariella Novotny and that she was wanted in the United States in a "sex-for-sale" case which involved men in "high elective office in the United States government."

The FBI case against Towers and Novotny was eventually dropped. Why?

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In October 1999 the FBI released 1,189 pages of declassified documents in the "Bowtie" file. Unfortunately, most of these documents were blacked out but it is still possible to get a great deal of interesting information from them. Some of these files refer to Mariella Novotny, the woman in the picture above. The man is Horace Dibben, a wealthy antique dealer and nightclub owner. He was 36 years her senior. She told a friend that: "I've met a lot of rich men in my time as a dancer, but none has shown me the care, love and attention that Hod (Dibben) has." On 29th January 1960 she married Dibben at Caxton Hall. Philip Knightley reported that: "As one hundred guests drank champagne at Dibben's West End club, The Black Sheep, and cut slices from an 18-tiered wedding cake, Dibben announced that he had given Mariella a 20-room, sixteenth-century mansion in Sussex and a luxury flat in Eaton Place for a wedding present. Her engagement ring was a 200-year-old diamond and sapphire antique."

Novotny was also a high-class prostitute controlled by Stephen Ward in London. In 1959 Novotny travelled to the United States with Suzy Chang. Both girls worked at the Quorum Club in Washington, run by Bobby Baker, and became involved in relationships with leading politicians. This included both John and Robert Kennedy. The FBI investigation also suggested that a "Hungarian madam in New York" was also involved in what was called the "Bowtie" case.

Under the protection of Dibben and Ward, Novotny held sex-parties in London that was attended by politicians, including some senior figures in the government. Also at these parties was Eugene Ivanov, a KGB agent working in the Soviet Embassy. We also know that MI5 were aware of what was going on at these parties. Roger Hollis, head of MI5 visited Ward's flat on several occasions but probably never attended the parties. Although some guests wore masks.

Mariella Novotny was born in the East End of London in 1942. The story was that her father came from Czechoslovakia and that she was related to a former president of that country. However, her real name was Stella Capes. According to Christine Keeler, she changed her name to Mariella Novotny because it "had a more whiplash ring to it."

After the death of her father she became a striptease dancer to support her widowed mother. Novotny also worked as a prostitute in London. Christine Keeler later recalled: "She had a tiny waist that exaggerated her ample figure. She was a siren, a sexual athlete of Olympian proportions - she could do it all. I know. I saw her in action. She knew all the strange pleasures that were wanted and could deliver them."

Why did Mariella Novotny create a person that suggested links with a communist county? The same goes for Suzy Chang, who claimed she came from China. In fact, her real name was Esther Sue Yan Chang, the daughter of two Chinese immigrants from New York. She moved to London where she was recruited by Stephen Ward.

According to Novotny, in December 1960 a television producer called Harry Alan Towers, invited her to join him in New York. Novotny was arrested on 3rd March 1961 by the FBI and charged with soliciting. Three days later Towers was charged with violation of the White Slave Traffic Act, alleging that he had transported Novotny from England to New York for the purpose of prostitution.

On 31st May 1961 Novotny boarded the Cunard liner, Queen Mary, using the false name of Mrs R. Tyson. By the time the ship reached Southampton, the British immigration authorities had received word from the FBI that Tyson was really Mariella Novotny and that she was wanted in the United States in a "sex-for-sale" case which involved men in "high elective office in the United States government."

The FBI case against Towers and Novotny was eventually dropped. Why?

Probably because J Edgar Hoover wanted to get together with other enemies, and brainstorm about options for the future.....

In case anyone doubts the ID'ing of the photograph, here is Maria Novotny with Hod.......

http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/hod

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The FBI case against Novotny and Harry Alan Towers was eventually dropped. Novotny returned to running sex parties in London. So many senior politicians attended that she began referring to herself as the "government's Chief Whip". As well as British politicians such as John Profumo and Ernest Marples, foreign leaders such as Willy Brandt and Ayub Khan, attended these parties.

In December 1961 Novotny held a party that became known as the "Feast of Peacocks". According to Christine Keeler, there was "a lavish dinner in which this man wearing only... a black mask with slits for eyes and laces up the back... and a tiny apron - one like the waitresses wore in 1950s tearooms - asked to be whipped if people were not happy with his services."

On 14th December 1962, John Edgecombe, fired a gun at Stephen Ward's Wimpole Mews flat, where Christine Keeler had been visiting her friend, Mandy Rice-Davies. Edgecombe was arrested and three months later he was jailed for seven years for having a gun with intent to endanger life. National newspapers reported that Keeler did not appear in court as the main prosecution witness and was believed to have fled the country.

On 21st March, George Wigg asked the Home Secretary in a debate on the John Vassall affair in the House of Commons, to deny rumours relating to Christine Keeler and the John Edgecombe case. Richard Crossman then commented that Paris Match magazine intended to publish a full account of Keeler's relationship with John Profumo, the Minister of War, in the government. Barbara Castle also asked questions if Keeler's disappearance had anything to do with Profumo.

The following day Profumo made a statement attacking the Labour Party MPs for making allegations about him under the protection of Parliamentary privilege, and after admitting that he knew Keeler he stated: "I have no connection with her disappearance. I have no idea where she is." He added that there was "no impropriety in their relationship" and that he would not hesitate to issue writs if anything to the contrary was written in the newspapers.

As a result of this statement the newspapers decided not to print anything about Profumo and Keeler for fear of being sued for libel. However, George Wigg refused to let the matter drop and on 25th May, 1963, once again raised the issue of Keeler, saying this was not an attack on Profumo's private life but a matter of national security.

On 5th June, John Profumo resigned as War Minister. His statement said that he had lied to the House of Commons about his relationship with Christine Keeler. The next day the Daily Mirror said: "What the hell is going on in this country? All power corrupts and the Tories have been in power for nearly twelve years."

Some newspapers called for Harold Macmillan to resign as prime minister. This he refused to do but he did ask Lord Denning to investigate the security aspects of the Profumo affair. Some of the prostitutes who worked for Stephen Ward began to sell their stories to the national press. Mandy Rice-Davies told the Daily Sketch that Christine Keeler had sexual relationships with John Profumo and Eugene Ivanov, an naval attaché at the Soviet embassy.

On 7th June, Keeler told the Daily Express of her secret "dates" with Profumo. She also admitted that she had been seeing Eugene Ivanov at the same time, sometimes on the same day, as Profumo. In a television interview Stephen Ward told Desmond Wilcox that he had warned the security services about Keeler's relationship with Profumo.

The following day Ward was arrested and charged with living off immoral earnings between 1961 and 1963. He was refused bail because it was feared that he might try to influence witnesses. Another concern was that he might provide information on the case to the media.

On 14th June, the London solicitor, Michael Eddowes, claimed that Christine Keeler told him that Eugene Ivanov had asked her to get information about nuclear weapons from Profumo. Eddowes added that he had written to Harold Macmillan to ask why no action had been taken on information he had given to Special Branch about this on 29th March. Soon afterwards Keeler told the News of the World that "I'm no spy, I just couldn't ask Jack for secrets."

The trial of Stephen Ward began at the Old Bailey on July 1963. Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, were both called as witnesses. Ward testified that he had informed MI5 about Keeler's affairs with John Profumo and Eugene Ivanov. This was denied by MI5.

Ward took an overdose of sleeping tablets on the night before the last day of the trial. He was in a coma when the jury reached their verdict of guilty of the charge of living on the immoral earnings of Keeler and Rice-Davies on Wednesday 31st July. Three days later, Ward died in St Stephen's Hospital.

In his book, The Trial of Stephen Ward (1964), Ludovic Kennedy considers the guilty verdict of Ward to be a miscarriage of justice. In An Affair of State (1987), the journalist, Philip Knightley argues: "Witnesses were pressured by the police into giving false evidence. Those who had anything favourable to say were silenced. And when it looked as though Ward might still survive, the Lord Chief Justice shocked the legal profession with an unprecedented intervention to ensure Ward would be found guilty."

At the end of the Ward trial, Newspaper began reporting on the sex parties attended by Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies. The Washington Star quoted Rice-Davies as saying "there was a dinner party where a naked man wearing a mask waited on table like a slave." Dorothy Kilgallen wrote an article where she stated: "The authorities searching the apartment of one of the principals in the case came upon a photograph showing a key figure disporting with a bevy of ladies. All were nude except for the gentleman in the picture who was wearing an apron. And this is a man who has been on extremely friendly terms with the very proper Queen and members of her immediate family!"

The News of the World immediately identified the hostess at the dinner party as being Mariella Novotny. Various rumours began to circulate about the name of the man who wore the mask and apron. This included John Profumo and another member of the government, Ernest Marples. Whereas another minister, Lord Hailsham, the leader of the House of Lords at the time, issued a statement saying it was not him.

Novotny refused to comment on her activities and the man in the mask remained unidentified. However, in 1971 she published a book, King's Road a Novel of London's Turned-on Jet Set. In 1974 she published several articles in Club International in which she described her affairs with several famous people.

In 1978 Novotny announced that she had started work on her autobiography which would include details of her work for MI5. In November 1980 she claimed that her book would include details of a "plot to discredit Jack Kennedy". She added, "I kept a diary of all my appointments in the UN building. Believe me, it's dynamite. It's now in the hands of the CIA."

The book never appeared. Mariella Novotny was found dead in her bed in February 1983. It was claimed by the police that she had died of a drug overdose. Christine Keeler later wrote: "The Westminster Coroner, Dr Paul Knapman, called it misadventure. Along with People in Moscow, I still think it was murder. A central figure in the strangest days of my life always believed Mariella would be killed by American or British agents, most probably by the CIA."

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Guest Gary Loughran
The FBI case against Novotny and Harry Alan Towers was eventually dropped. Novotny returned to running sex parties in London. So many senior politicians attended that she began referring to herself as the "government's Chief Whip". As well as British politicians such as John Profumo and Ernest Marples, foreign leaders such as Willy Brandt and Ayub Khan, attended these parties.

In December 1961 Novotny held a party that became known as the "Feast of Peacocks". According to Christine Keeler, there was "a lavish dinner in which this man wearing only... a black mask with slits for eyes and laces up the back... and a tiny apron - one like the waitresses wore in 1950s tearooms - asked to be whipped if people were not happy with his services."

On 14th December 1962, John Edgecombe, fired a gun at Stephen Ward's Wimpole Mews flat, where Christine Keeler had been visiting her friend, Mandy Rice-Davies. Edgecombe was arrested and three months later he was jailed for seven years for having a gun with intent to endanger life. National newspapers reported that Keeler did not appear in court as the main prosecution witness and was believed to have fled the country.

On 21st March, George Wigg asked the Home Secretary in a debate on the John Vassall affair in the House of Commons, to deny rumours relating to Christine Keeler and the John Edgecombe case. Richard Crossman then commented that Paris Match magazine intended to publish a full account of Keeler's relationship with John Profumo, the Minister of War, in the government. Barbara Castle also asked questions if Keeler's disappearance had anything to do with Profumo.

The following day Profumo made a statement attacking the Labour Party MPs for making allegations about him under the protection of Parliamentary privilege, and after admitting that he knew Keeler he stated: "I have no connection with her disappearance. I have no idea where she is." He added that there was "no impropriety in their relationship" and that he would not hesitate to issue writs if anything to the contrary was written in the newspapers.

As a result of this statement the newspapers decided not to print anything about Profumo and Keeler for fear of being sued for libel. However, George Wigg refused to let the matter drop and on 25th May, 1963, once again raised the issue of Keeler, saying this was not an attack on Profumo's private life but a matter of national security.

On 5th June, John Profumo resigned as War Minister. His statement said that he had lied to the House of Commons about his relationship with Christine Keeler. The next day the Daily Mirror said: "What the hell is going on in this country? All power corrupts and the Tories have been in power for nearly twelve years."

Some newspapers called for Harold Macmillan to resign as prime minister. This he refused to do but he did ask Lord Denning to investigate the security aspects of the Profumo affair. Some of the prostitutes who worked for Stephen Ward began to sell their stories to the national press. Mandy Rice-Davies told the Daily Sketch that Christine Keeler had sexual relationships with John Profumo and Eugene Ivanov, an naval attaché at the Soviet embassy.

On 7th June, Keeler told the Daily Express of her secret "dates" with Profumo. She also admitted that she had been seeing Eugene Ivanov at the same time, sometimes on the same day, as Profumo. In a television interview Stephen Ward told Desmond Wilcox that he had warned the security services about Keeler's relationship with Profumo.

The following day Ward was arrested and charged with living off immoral earnings between 1961 and 1963. He was refused bail because it was feared that he might try to influence witnesses. Another concern was that he might provide information on the case to the media.

On 14th June, the London solicitor, Michael Eddowes, claimed that Christine Keeler told him that Eugene Ivanov had asked her to get information about nuclear weapons from Profumo. Eddowes added that he had written to Harold Macmillan to ask why no action had been taken on information he had given to Special Branch about this on 29th March. Soon afterwards Keeler told the News of the World that "I'm no spy, I just couldn't ask Jack for secrets."

The trial of Stephen Ward began at the Old Bailey on July 1963. Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, were both called as witnesses. Ward testified that he had informed MI5 about Keeler's affairs with John Profumo and Eugene Ivanov. This was denied by MI5.

Ward took an overdose of sleeping tablets on the night before the last day of the trial. He was in a coma when the jury reached their verdict of guilty of the charge of living on the immoral earnings of Keeler and Rice-Davies on Wednesday 31st July. Three days later, Ward died in St Stephen's Hospital.

In his book, The Trial of Stephen Ward (1964), Ludovic Kennedy considers the guilty verdict of Ward to be a miscarriage of justice. In An Affair of State (1987), the journalist, Philip Knightley argues: "Witnesses were pressured by the police into giving false evidence. Those who had anything favourable to say were silenced. And when it looked as though Ward might still survive, the Lord Chief Justice shocked the legal profession with an unprecedented intervention to ensure Ward would be found guilty."

At the end of the Ward trial, Newspaper began reporting on the sex parties attended by Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies. The Washington Star quoted Rice-Davies as saying "there was a dinner party where a naked man wearing a mask waited on table like a slave." Dorothy Kilgallen wrote an article where she stated: "The authorities searching the apartment of one of the principals in the case came upon a photograph showing a key figure disporting with a bevy of ladies. All were nude except for the gentleman in the picture who was wearing an apron. And this is a man who has been on extremely friendly terms with the very proper Queen and members of her immediate family!"

The News of the World immediately identified the hostess at the dinner party as being Mariella Novotny. Various rumours began to circulate about the name of the man who wore the mask and apron. This included John Profumo and another member of the government, Ernest Marples. Whereas another minister, Lord Hailsham, the leader of the House of Lords at the time, issued a statement saying it was not him.

Novotny refused to comment on her activities and the man in the mask remained unidentified. However, in 1971 she published a book, King's Road a Novel of London's Turned-on Jet Set. In 1974 she published several articles in Club International in which she described her affairs with several famous people.

In 1978 Novotny announced that she had started work on her autobiography which would include details of her work for MI5. In November 1980 she claimed that her book would include details of a "plot to discredit Jack Kennedy". She added, "I kept a diary of all my appointments in the UN building. Believe me, it's dynamite. It's now in the hands of the CIA."

The book never appeared. Mariella Novotny was found dead in her bed in February 1983. It was claimed by the police that she had died of a drug overdose. Christine Keeler later wrote: "The Westminster Coroner, Dr Paul Knapman, called it misadventure. Along with People in Moscow, I still think it was murder. A central figure in the strangest days of my life always believed Mariella would be killed by American or British agents, most probably by the CIA."

All sounds a lot like adventures a few years later brought to the screen as 'The Bank Job' - Max Mosley comes to mind more recently and more locally Kincora was run on a similar basis for those who had less honourable sexual appetites.

All of course essentially honey traps and as you have frequently stated and it is fact, blackmail is the goal. Those less able to be blackmailed or become liabilities tend to have their lives ruined either through smear campaigns or death. This list is endless.

Thanks for continuing to highlight these cases as they continually reinforce the murky world I don't know much about. It also serves as a useful basis to understand why politicians etc. tend to act against the will of the people and, seemingly, their own ethics so often.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKnovotny.htm

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All of course essentially honey traps and as you have frequently stated and it is fact, blackmail is the goal. Those less able to be blackmailed or become liabilities tend to have their lives ruined either through smear campaigns or death. This list is endless.

Thanks for continuing to highlight these cases as they continually reinforce the murky world I don't know much about. It also serves as a useful basis to understand why politicians etc. tend to act against the will of the people and, seemingly, their own ethics so often.

Thank you. I am currently carrying out a detailed investigation of the John Profumo Scandal. The role played by MI5 and the CIA in this is amazing. More on this later.

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All of course essentially honey traps and as you have frequently stated and it is fact, blackmail is the goal. Those less able to be blackmailed or become liabilities tend to have their lives ruined either through smear campaigns or death. This list is endless.

Thanks for continuing to highlight these cases as they continually reinforce the murky world I don't know much about. It also serves as a useful basis to understand why politicians etc. tend to act against the will of the people and, seemingly, their own ethics so often.

Thank you. I am currently carrying out a detailed investigation of the John Profumo Scandal. The role played by MI5 and the CIA in this is amazing. More on this later.

More along the lines of munitiae; but would that happen to be the same Michael Eddowes who wrote, what many consider to be a disinformation-type book entitled Khruschev Killed Kennedy? I know Eddowes wrote the book that arguably, generated the posthumous exoneration of Timothy Evans....Would you say there was any pattern in his activities that is a common denominator between the JFK Assassination "investigatory" role he played and the Profumo scandal?

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKeddowes.htm

Edited by Robert Howard
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All of course essentially honey traps and as you have frequently stated and it is fact, blackmail is the goal. Those less able to be blackmailed or become liabilities tend to have their lives ruined either through smear campaigns or death. This list is endless.

Thanks for continuing to highlight these cases as they continually reinforce the murky world I don't know much about. It also serves as a useful basis to understand why politicians etc. tend to act against the will of the people and, seemingly, their own ethics so often.

Thank you. I am currently carrying out a detailed investigation of the John Profumo Scandal. The role played by MI5 and the CIA in this is amazing. More on this later.

More along the lines of munitiae; but would that happen to be the same Michael Eddowes who wrote, what many consider to be a disinformation-type book entitled Khruschev Killed Kennedy? I know Eddowes wrote the book that arguably, generated the posthumous exoneration of Timothy Evans....Would you say there was any pattern in his activities that is a common denominator between the JFK Assassination "investigatory" role he played and the Profumo scandal?

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKeddowes.htm

It is definitely an interesting connection when you consider who paid Eddowes to write the book on the assassination.

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