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Malcolm Wallace: Part 1

Larry Hancock

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Malcolm Wallace: Part 1


Billie Sol Estes’ statements to the Marshall 1984 grand jury were ground breaking in some respects and an old story in others. Certainly offering Lyndon Johnson as a suspect in the Kennedy murder was not a novel suggestion. Those looking for a more tangible motive had turned to Johnson early on; from a perspective of pure motive and gain it was hard to avoid Johnson. And with the huge publicity of the Baker scandal of 1963 and the related Congressional investigations and testimony Johnson had been and was receiving considerable media attention up to the point of the evaporation of those investigations after his succession to the Presidency. And, although Johnson was never treated as a suspect by either the FBI or Warren Commission, according to a recently circulated document he and the FBI were both well aware of the popular speculation to that effect. The document appears to be a record of a request from Johnson’s office to investigate and deal with a “reputable” individual (Megill) who was circulating word that Johnson himself was an FBI suspect. Interestingly, Walter Jenkins (Johnson's personal aide) requested the FBI to act in a manner so as not to disclose their activities to the White House staff member (Pierre Salinger) who initially surfaced the remarks. 20 Exhibit 23-1

Estes’ contention that he had waited until after Johnson’s death to talk because of the danger to himself is not difficult to accept given the well known political/legal power and influence of the “Johnson group” in Texas. For many individuals this power translated into raw, long term fear. In a minor illustration of this power, when Caro began work on his first Johnson biography in the early 1980’s, he found many of Johnson’s college class mates (both the ones who had given favorable interviews for the Johnson Library and the others who were not invited) were still quite frightened about expressing their true feelings on Johnson from five decades earlier. No names, no quotes…because of the power still wielded by the Johnson group in Texas. (1)

However, Estes’ specific identification of Cliff Carter and Malcolm Wallace as being involved in the Marshall, Kennedy and other murders did send reporters running for background files since those names had never before surfaced in such a context. Cliff Carter was relatively well known from the initial Estes scandal, from his exchange of letters with Estes, offers of service and Estes’ phone calls to him.

It is these names which give us our first acid test of whether Estes’ direction really contributed anything new to an investigation of the Kennedy conspiracy. Is it really conceivable that Cliff Carter was an accessory to a Johnson conspiracy, that he knew enough about such an affair to communicate it to Estes, that there is reason to suspect Carter – not least why we would think that Carter would confide in Estes? Is there anything to demonstrate Malcolm Wallace was connected in any way with Cliff Carter or Lyndon Johnson, anything about Wallace would lead us to Henry Marshall’s death or the murder of President Johnson? Is there anything that indicates that Estes was not simply coming up with these names out of spite, in regard to Cliff Carter, or out of whole cloth in regard to Wallace?

The District Attorney involved in the 1984 grand jury felt that he lacked corroboration for Estes. He also felt that it was not possible to effectively revisit a crime committed 20 years before. The grand jury did find Estes and Peoples convincing enough to change Marshall’s death to murder but the D.A. left the murder as an unsolved case. Did the DA give up too easily?

30 Years with Lyndon Johnson

Cliff Carter began his association with Lyndon Johnson at the age of 18, volunteering to work in Johnson’s 1937 congressional campaign. (2) Carter was first personally introduced to Johnson in 1946 by Ed Clark, former Texas assistant Attorney General from 1935-37, personal advisor to Texas Governor Allred and Texas Secretary of State in 1937. Cliff Carter and Ed Clark had both been in the same Army reserve unit and had served together in WWII.

In the early 1940’s, Clark went on business retainer for Brown and Root and also became a long time political and legal advisor to LBJ. Clark’s specialty was knowing how to place money where it would do the most good in Texas politics and in over the years of all the men Johnson met in Austin, Clark would acquire and hold the most power. (3)

Over the years, Cliff Carter would become Johnson’s lead man for actually doing the leg work of collecting and disbursing the money in Texas and later in Washington D.C.

“He was a very sharp operator, Lyndon could trust him to pick up the money and keep his mouth shut.” (Ralph Yarborough quoted in The Killing of Henry Marshall by Bill Taylor)

After Carter served as an unpaid volunteer for a second time in 1946 (while Carter was operating and managing a 7-Up bottling company), Johnson personally contacted Carter in 1948 to join his campaign staff for Johnson’s Senatorial campaign. He served as Johnson’s campaign manager in the 6th Congressional District. After Johnson’s election, Johnson obtained a Presidential nomination and Congressional confirmation for Cliff Carter as United States Marshall in the Southern District of Texas. This was obviously a real commitment by Johnson to Carter since it represented a serious piece of Texas patronage; it also shows Johnson’s estimate of Carter’s value – especially given that Carter had absolutely no law enforcement experience or goals. Carter served as a U.S. Marshall for nearly five years, from 1949 to April of 1954 and left that job to go to work on Johnson’s 1954 campaign.

In 1954, Carter moved up to running Johnson’s campaign affairs for five districts in south-east Texas. After Johnson’s victory, Carter was invited to Johnson’s ranch and was offered a part time job heading up Johnson’s full twenty-one district political organization in Texas. Carter also moved into the role of handling all Johnson’s political appearances and by 1959, served as advance man for 70 different trips/appearances.

While serving as Johnson’s Texas Administrative Assistant, Carter describes traveling three weeks a month for four years, into all 270 counties in Texas. Part of his job was to leverage and promote every federal project or appointment made in Texas and to coordinate announcements between Johnson’s Senate office and each Congressman’s office. These activities ranged from postmaster appointments to major Federal project awards

After Johnson’s election to Vice President in 1960, Carter moved to Washington D.C. (according to Carter, Johnson “no longer needed an office in Texas or someone to do the work there”, p. 9 Carter oral history). Carter had continued to operate his bottling company during his work for Johnson and had expanded it into two other locations in Waco and Temple; however, he no longer managed the bottling operations himself.

Authors note: Cliff Carter’s Austin American obituary of September 23, 1971, states that he was President of the American Bottlers Organization, a very significant post. No date or length of tenure in the office was given.

Interestingly enough, Carter said nothing for his oral history about his actual duties in Washington for Vice President Johnson other than stating that when he first went to work there, Johnson had the Army recall Carter to active duty as a Lt. Colonel (Johnson’s secretary Juanita Roberts was recalled as a WAC Major) and assigned to the Vice President’s offices for something like three months before he was discharged and put on the federal payroll. He did state that he handled many duties in conjunction with the Presidential inauguration.

Authors note: It is worth recalling that, as reported in Texas newspapers, whenever a Texan received an invitation to the inauguration to or contacted Johnson’s office; they received a call back from Billie Sol Estes within minutes offering them a ride to Washington in Carter’s private plane.

Because we have so little data on Carter’s role in Washington before the assassination, it may be helpful to get a better idea of his use and importance to Lyndon Johnson based on what we can see of Carter’s activities after Johnson became President. In that regard, an article from the Washington Evening Star seems especially important. In 1964, Cliff Carter was described in a Washington Evening Star article as “Mr. Johnson’s Man” and the “man to see” in the Johnson administration. The article describes a visit by Carter to New York and his visit with the deposed chairman of the Suffolk Country Democratic Organization.

The former chairman (Adrian Mason) had been ousted by a reform group backed by among others, Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Mason, Carter’s guide to New York was indicted by a county grand jury that charged him with attempted extortion, larceny and conspiracy. He was also alleged to have demanded kickbacks on Water Board projects (he was a Board member). The Washington Star article describes Cliff Carter as Johnson’s personal representative to the Democratic National Committee and goes on to take Carter’s associations as a “possible sign that the new President intends to abandon the efforts made while John Kennedy was alive to differentiate between the honest politicians and the less honest ones”; it also speculates that the Democrats will once more become regarded as “good fellows”. (4)

Johnson had indeed moved Carter over to the Democratic National Committee as his representative - replacing Bobby Baker who had been forced out in 1963 due to his wide spread influence peddling. Baker offered access to Johnson as well as to various agencies including the Department of Agriculture; he also associated widely with lobbyists of various stripes and had strong contacts with lobbyists in the aerospace industries.

The fact that both Baker and then Cliff Carter served Johnson as his representative on and Secretary for the Democratic National Committee is another strong suggestion of the strength of Carter’s association with LBJ. The DNC was Johnson’s second major campaign fund raising vehicle (as illustrated with Brown and Root, the quid pro quo of offering income producing services in return for contributions was the first) and its power and productivity was largely a creation of Johnson himself.

As Caro describes it, “One fact of Lyndon Johnson’s political genius was already obvious by 1940; his ability to look at an organization and see in it political potentialities that no one else saw, to transform that organization into a political force and to reap from that transformation personal advantage.” (5)

One of Johnson’s most notable successes in this regard was his transformation of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the predecessor to the Democratic National Committee. Caro takes two full chapters in Johnson’s biography to describe the process by which Johnson transformed a basically ineffectual (and weak) organization into one which generated huge amounts of money. More importantly for Johnson, the revitalized Committee was also restructured to allow money to be distributed in such a fashion as to provide a measure of control and influence over Democratic politicians.

To a certain extent, Johnson’s success in this effort was due to the fact that there was a new source of riches in America by 1940 and the newly rich “had a deep interest in national politics”. The new riches were based in oil; the rich were to a large extent in Texas and included names such as Richardson, Murchison and Hunt. The oil men enjoyed and needed federal favors such as the oil depletion allowance. Lyndon Johnson saw the potential and although Johnson always had a need to separate his campaign politics from the oilmen, the Democratic Campaign Committee seemed heaven sent as a vehicle to deliver cash with the direct taint of oil contributions.

In October of 1940, Johnson with the good offices of his mentor Sam Rayburn, had managed to bring in $45,000 from Murchison, Richardson and others. In a note from Johnson to Rayburn’s aide, Johnson reported that “We have sent them (Texas congressmen) more money in the last three days than Congressmen have received from any committee in the last eight years” and it was Johnson who had coordinated the distribution of checks from the committee by asking donors like George Brown to send a letter with their contribution stating who they wanted the money to assist. “Since the committee would hardly dare to disobey such specific instructions from the doners, it was Johnson rather than Drewry or Harding (or anyone else) who was determining who would get Texas money and how much.”

However, that was not enough for Johnson; he also immediately sent each Congressman receiving money a telegram with his signature stating, “As Result My Visit To Congressional Committee Few Minutes Ago, You Should Receive Airmail Special Deliver Letter From Them Which Is To Be Mailed Tonight.” This made it clear whose efforts were bringing new money into the Texas Congressional campaigns. (6)

By October 14, 1940, Lyndon Johnson had also obtained additional permission to “assist” the Congressional Campaign Committee. Johnson immediately proceeded to analyze 1938 vote totals and percentages by district throughout the country finding the Congressmen who were in the most danger and to the astonishment of many a Congressmen, they began to receive money from the Campaign Committee.

As Caro describes it, “all at once, Democratic candidates who had given up hope of obtaining assistance from Washington were receiving help for which they had not even asked. Suddenly, Democratic candidates all across the country realized there was someone in Washington they could turn to, someone they could ask not only for money but other types of aid.” (7)

There is little doubt that the National Campaign Committees were one of the key elements in Lyndon’s Johnson’s rise to political power and to his eventual pinnacle of Senate Majority Leader. In 1955, Johnson had Bobby Baker nominated to the position of Secretary for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Baker described his role there as a “bag man”, “the official bag man for my party.” It was my job to solicit, collect, and distribute funds among deserving senatorial Democrats; I can guarantee you that very few disinterested parties go around giving money away to politicians. The assumptions of the quid pro quo, something for something, are there and make no mistake about it.” (8)

Baker’s role also involved treasurer duties and Johnson’s control through Baker can be seen in his ability to order Baker to pay for all airline tickets and the $100 Stetson hats that Johnson gave to notables who visited his Texas ranch. The recipients of course viewed these as coming personally from Johnson, not paid for from funds collected for senators’ campaigns or for Johnson’s personal whims. (9)

In 1964, this key behind-the-scenes position was given to Cliff Carter and if anything, Carter’s role was expanded. Johnson began to use Carter as his point man to stop the “Bobby for VP” movement in New Hampshire and then to purge Kennedy’s supporters from the Committee. (10)

Authors note: Johnson used his relationship with J. Edgar Hoover to provide ammunition for this effort, “Cliff Carter at the DNC bragged of a file seven inches thick” on one targeted RFK supporter’s un-American activities and background. (11)

As RFK’s political fortunes continued to improve though, Johnson dropped the budget ax on the committee in addition to purging Kennedy men. A week after the 1966 campaign a journalist pronounced the committee as a farce, isolated from the White House. As Shesol describes the situation in Mutual Contempt, “A weak national committee was no help to anyone and Johnson preferred it that way.” (12)

In the interim, Carter had developed a new mechanism for providing Johnson himself with money. Carter established the “President’s Club” and for donations of $1,000, individuals were assured that they would have direct access to the President. Actually in Carter’s own words donor/members “are assured of a direct relationship with President Johnson.” One prominent member of the club was Ling-Temco-Vought of Dallas – a corporation doing very well at the time with government contracts. Ling-Temco (the employer of Malcolm Wallace, the other name given by Estes to the Marshall grand jury) contributed $25,000 to the President’s club under the name “Citizens for Good Government”. (13)

In his oral history, Carter describes Johnson telling him “that he wanted me to plan on moving over to the Democratic National Committee to represent his interests over there.” In Carter typical fashion this seems a rather serious understatement of affairs for the man who Johnson had earlier selected to run his entire Texas political organization – an understatement in the same order of the Dallas Morning News referring to Cliff Carter as merely another Johnson “aide” in its October 28, 1962, article, “LBJ Aide Confirms Estes Call”.

Carter, described as an “assistant” to Vice-President Johnson, had confirmed that Estes had called him at Carter’s home in Washington the day prior to Estes’ arrest by the FBI. The article also stated that Carter “who handles many Texas matters for the Vice-President” had also received three other calls from Estes as well as an office visit in January of 1962. Carter responded to the press that the office visit was purely social and the telephone calls simply requests for help – to which Carter supposedly never responded.

The Dallas Morning News and the rest of the Texas media seem not to have realized that Cliff Carter was a bit more than a low level staff assistant or secretary to Vice-President Johnson. In the context of what we know about Carter’s history and roles with Johnson, it’s also seems likely that the Estes–Carter contacts were far more significant than Carter might have wanted to discuss with the press. (14)

If also seems clear that when Estes introduced the name “Cliff Carter”, he was identifying the specific individual who managed Johnson’s political network in Texas, who administered both patronage and politics (in his oral history Carter identifies his primary responsibilities for the Vice President as the political and patronage areas) and it is clear that Estes’ affairs crossed both these areas.

If Johnson had to rely on anyone for damage control of any sort it seems likely that it would indeed have been Cliff Carter and it is clear even from the limited and managed investigation that was done, Cliff Carter was right in the middle of Estes’ affairs as far as they involved trading political support for aid and assistance in Washington D.C.

Clearly there is a tie between Carter and the Estes scandal, the question is whether or not there is anything at all that corroborates Estes’ contention that the tie went as far as them being accessories to murder. Anything, for example, which corroborates that Cliff Carter even knew Malcolm Wallace and of course anything that suggests Cliff Carter might have had reason to know or suspect that Johnson was somehow involved in a conspiracy related to the murder of President Kennedy. We will explore the connection to Malcolm Wallace and his introduction to Lyndon Johnson by Cliff Carter in the next chapter.

Before we go there, it seems we should go further with Carter’s history and examine his connections and activities to the November Texas trip; we will also examine Carter’s own remarks in his oral history and to William Manchester to see if there is any reason to suspect that Carter might have “guilty knowledge” in regard to the events of the assassination.

Fall 1963, Carter goes back to Texas

Carter remained in Washington until August of 1963 when Johnson sent him back to Texas to begin preparations for the 1964 campaign – ostensibly the Presidential campaign. Carter provides no details on those preparations and Johnson’s call record shows no routine communication with Carter except in regard to trips within the United States, trips in which the advance work was done by Carter.

These included a Miami trip in July, a trip to Los Angeles in late August and trips to Ohio and Beaumont Texas in September. Carter also seems to have been involved with Johnson’s trip to Fort Worth earlier in the week of November 22 in which Johnson addressed the Bottler’s Convention which was in progress that week.

In regard to the Kennedy Texas Trip, Carter relates in his oral history that the Democratic National Committee had sent Jerry Bruno to Texas to do all the advance work and that Carter went along with Bruno to San Antonio, Houston, Fort Worth and to Dallas. He also mentions having daily coordination meetings with Governor Connally’s people. (15)

Although this leads the reader to believe that Carter did the Dallas advance work for the Kennedy visit that is not strictly true. The actual field advance man for Dallas was Jack Puterbaugh, described by Winston Lawson as a “civilian political advance man for the Democratic National Committee.” In his summary report to the HSCA, Lawson also stated that it was Jack Puterbaugh who “recommended the Trade Mart” for the noon-time Kennedy luncheon.

Lawson elaborated that Puterbaugh attended many of the Dallas Police and Secret Service planning meetings and was also “in charge of the protocol of the motorcade, the arranging of seating and vehicle sequence for Congressmen and other dignitaries. The motorcade was the primary focus of such protocol.” He also remarks that Puterbaugh was in touch with Washington and was also possibly getting instructions from Betty Harris who was the primary local contact. (16)

Authors note: In his report, Lawson does confirm that his comparison of the planned and actual vehicle sequence indicates that the intended sequence of vehicles was changed, noting the forward movement of the number 1 Congressional car to a slot immediately behind the Vice Presidential Secret Service follow-up car. It may be worthwhile noting that Cliff Carter was riding in the Johnson follow-on security car. In an interview conducted by researcher Vince Palamara, one of the two police motorcycle riders who moved from the rear of the President’s vehicle to much further back in the motorcade stated that the instructions for the move were given at the last minute at Love field and came from one of the Vice President’s security people.

The HSCA interviewed Jack Puterbaugh in 1978. His name had been given to them by Jerry Bruno, White House advance man. Puterbaugh stated that he had previously done one other advance for the President, in Minnesota during September 1963. In 1963, Puterbaugh was Assistant to the Deputy Administrator of State and County Operations of Agricultural Stabilization and Consumer Service (the same division of the Agriculture Department as Henry Marshall’s). Puterbaugh described being briefed by Jerry Bruno and outlined the problems which had risen to divide the three political factions in Texas. Puterbaugh described meeting Forest Sorrels and driving alternative motorcade routes with him (Lawson makes no mention of driving alternative routes or of Puterbaugh accompanying him and Sorrels during their drive of the route).

Puterbaugh “described himself as a foot soldier that only carried out orders.” (17) The origin of all the orders and instructions Puterbaugh received is left to question, Cliff Carter made no mention of Puterbaugh at all in discussing the advance work for Dallas and Puterbaugh made no mention of any of Carter’s advance work in Dallas.


November 22, 1963, Cliff Carter goes to Dallas

Carter joined the Johnson entourage in San Antonio where they had gathered to meet President Kennedy arriving in Air Force One. (18) They were also joined by Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr and by Governor Connally who had flown in at the last minute in a private Jetstar aircraft, borrowed from a friendly oil millionaire. (19)

Carter traveled with the Johnson group on Air Force Two to Houston and then on to Forth Worth for a late night 11:07 PM arrival. Upon arrival, the Kennedy’s would retire to bed while Johnson’s group met five floors above them in Johnson’s more spacious suite for some even later night (early morning) entertainment.

The next day, for the Dallas motorcade, Carter rode with Johnson’s Secret Service detachment in the security car behind Johnson’s limousine. After the shooting, he continued with Johnson and Lady Bird to Parkland and stayed with them and Federal Judge Homer Thornberry. They were in the area immediately adjacent to the emergency room entrance and entrance corridor. (20)

During their time there, Carter and Congressman Gonzalez were both given bags containing Governor Connally’s clothing and according to Carter’s interview with Manchester, he left his bag with the nurse upon departure. (21)

Authors note: This seems to conflict with Carter’s oral history remarks where he describes handing his bag of clothes to Henry Gonzalez and asking him to keep them. Parkland nurse Ruth Standidge testified to the Warren Commission that she gave the clothes to Cliff Carter; Carter’s own Commission statement makes no mention at all of clothes. This issue is of some interest since Connally’s clothes were dry cleaned before being entered into evidence, destroying all forensics opportunity to use them as a reference in determining issues of bullets and trajectories in the shooting.

Once on Air Force One, Carter assumed a position of control for Johnson, dictating Johnson’s minute by minute diary and passing orders from Johnson to Rusk, McNamara and Bundy. (22)

Authors note: Manchester comments in his book that he requested permission to reference the audio tapes of message traffic on Air Force One for the sake of historical accuracy. Johnson withheld permission at first and when Manchester finally received a version of the tape he found it had been edited. (23)

Upon arrival at Andrews, Carter went by a second helicopter behind President Johnson to the White House and then on to the second floor of the Executive Office Building to Johnson’s offices.

According to his interview there was no further contact between he and Johnson until Johnson, Carter, Bill Moyers, Jack Valenti and Judge Thornberry left later that evening for Johnson’s home at the Elms. Upon arrival they found Horace Busby and his wife as well as Doctor Wearst already there. (24)

Carter, Valenti, Thornberry and Moyers all stayed with Johnson that night, meeting with Johnson in his bedroom until around 3AM while he discussed political agendas and programs. In fact, Carter stayed at the Johnson home for several days afterwards.

Authors note: In neither the Manchester interview nor his oral history did Carter mention the series of telephone calls that he made to Dallas the evening of November 22; calls with Johnson’s orders to quash any charges of conspiracy for Lee Oswald and any discussion of conspiracy in general, regardless of what evidence or indications of conspiracy that might be offered. If we are to take Carter’s remarks about his lack of contact with the new President at face value he would have had to receive instructions to make those calls either on Air Force One during the flight back or earlier.

There is no doubt that Cliff Carter was involved in the Kennedy Texas trip, doing advance work and as part of the Dallas trip, the motorcade, the transition of power to the new President and the events of the evening and following days. He was certainly the closest person to Johnson who participated in preparations as well as in the trip itself. If any of Johnson’s staff had the exposure to know or suspect Johnson’s involvement in a conspiracy, Carter would have been the person.

Issues with Carter as a historical source

If Cliff Carter was indeed involved as an accessory to conspiracy in the Kennedy assassination as charged by Billie Sol Estes, we might expect some effort on his part to “sanitize” his actions related to the Texas trip. Two indications of such actions are noted above in his handling of Governor Connally’s clothing and in his calls to Texas authorities the night of November 22, 1963. In addition, his oral history contains the following indications that Carter either withheld information from his interviewer or made questionable comments:

* Carter went to some length state that all the elements of the Dallas events and motorcade were planned entirely by Kennedy staff. Kennedy staff selected the Trade Mart and insisted on the motorcade, setting the route. This is in direct conflict with Jerry Bruno’s description of events in his book Advance Man, especially in regard to the selection of the Trade Mart for the luncheon.

* Carter stated that there were absolutely no reports that President Kennedy should not go to Dallas, that it was a hostile environment and that he certainly did not report any potential problems with Dallas himself. In fact, when asked if he had followed through on any reports of that nature, Carter quite specifically said “No, I didn’t have any reports of anything like that. I never heard anything like that. However, William Manchester quotes Barefoot Sanders as having said he told Cliff Carter personally that a visit by Kennedy to Dallas was “inadvisable”, obviously expecting that Carter would pass on the information. (25)

* Carter described that when the shooting started, one of the Secret Service men in the President’s security car pulled out an automatic weapon and pointed it towards the upper floor of the Texas School Book Depository because it was obvious that all the shooting was from there. He did not fire because he could not pick out exactly the right window in time to shoot. This is contradicted by all available films and Secret Service agent accounts.

* Carter stated that Johnson and Katzenbach decided that Johnson should stay in Texas until Johnson could take the oath of office. This is contradicted by numerous sources including Attorney General Kennedy.

* Carter stated that Kenny O’Donnell and Larry O’Brien determined that Johnson should return to Washington using the Presidential Air Force One aircraft. This is contradicted by numerous sources including O’Donnell and O’Brien.

Of course none of this is suggestive of conspiracy per se, it does however suggest that Cliff Carter could be expected to repeat the Johnson version of affairs in Dallas rather than serve as an independent historical source. Certainly he goes to great effort in his statements to support the “lone nut” version of the assassination. Which of course brings us back to Carter’s purported private remarks to Billie Sol Estes.

Testing Estes’ story

Billie Sol Estes claimed to have personally participated in discussions with Lyndon Johnson and Malcolm Wallace in which the possible need to eliminate Henry Marshall was discussed. He described these occurring in Washington D.C. while he was there for the Presidential inauguration. In addition, he described the killing of Marshall in great detail – detail supposedly obtained directly from Malcolm Wallace after the murder - including the description of the struggle in which Marshall received a series of injuries, the attempt to gas him using a plastic bag and Wallace’s panic at hearing what he thought was an approaching vehicle causing him to shoot Marshall and flee. The rest of Estes’ information about murders and most specifically about the Kennedy assassination came from Cliff Carter after the fact.

In 2003, William Reymond helped Estes produce a book and video tape documenting a variety of information from Billie Sol Estes and others. 26

In the video, Estes describes Johnson as frightened that Marshall would disclose to the Agriculture Department investigators that he had been pressured to approve Estes’ cotton allotments and that Marshall would identify Carter as the one applying the pressure and Johnson as the source. It was this fear that drove Johnson to order Wallace to eliminate Marshall. We do know that Marshall approved the first set of Estes’ allotments even though he was suspicious of them from the first and with Marshall’s death, there is no way to explore whether there was pressure or not.

It is clear that sort of exposure would have been far more dangerous to Johnson than anyone else. It is also clear that Johnson had good reason for fear that Attorney General Robert Kennedy might have aggressively used the Justice Department to probe a public scandal of the sort that eventually emerged.

Estes himself states that after the local newspaper reporting moved the scandals to a national forum, RFK later offered him a deal if he would provide information on Johnson’s involvement. There is no way to verify that offer, but former Texas Attorney General Will Wilson has stated that U.S. Attorney Barefoot Sanders was in constant communication with the Justice Department during the Estes hearings and trial. Wilson personally believed that Sanders was sent to monitor the possibility of any information emerging that would connect LBJ. (27)

One test for Estes hinges on his contention of a meeting between himself, Johnson, Wallace and Carter. At this point, there is no doubt at all that Estes was personally acquainted with Johnson and with Carter. In fact, the record shows he definitely was in Washington in January for the inauguration. Indeed he visited with Johnson who had written a letter thanking Estes for the holiday roses, closing with “It’s wonderful to have friends like you”, signed “Lyndon”. Estes definitely knew Cliff Carter, had written and called Carter at his home and according to the telephone company at an unlisted number.

As will be explored in much more detail in the following chapter, we do know that Malcolm Wallace knew Lyndon Johnson – he stated that he had worked for Johnson at one time. We know from Horace Busby, long time associate and speech writer for Lyndon Johnson that Cliff Carter had initially brought Malcolm Wallace to Washington D.C. and introduced him to Lyndon Johnson at Johnson’s home. (28)

We know from Lucianne Cummings Goldberg that Malcolm Wallace had been in Washington D.C. in the summer of 1960 during the Kennedy/Johnson campaign, that he had frequented the campaign headquarters and was seen at least three times at campaign functions accompanied by Cliff Carter. (29) Based on this background, it is certainly impossible to write off Estes’ story.

A second test is whether Estes himself knew Cliff Carter well enough for Carter to communicate with him about Marshall’s murder, other murders and most importantly President Kennedy’s murder. To that extent, as of 2004 we actually have a witness not only to that association but to an actual meeting in which Carter confessed his involvement in the murders as well as that of Wallace and Johnson.

The witness is Kyle Brown and he is on record and on video stating that as a young man he often carried cash between Estes and Carter – cash destined for Lyndon Johnson. The cash itself was a minor element of their much quid quo pro but did involve amounts from $50,000 to $100,000 dollars. Because of this history, Brown was a familiar element to Cliff Carter and when Estes invited him to an impromptu meeting with Carter in 1971. Brown simply went and listened – listened to Carter say that he regretted assisting Johnson in the criminal activities including murder. Brown describes Carter as remorseful, very sad, and very much “down”, apparently attempting to clear his conscious but also indirectly warning Estes that Johnson was becoming more and more paranoid.

In addition, Estes has long claimed that he actually had prepared tape recordings of some of his conversations with Carter and we now have a witness, Tom Bowden, who Estes has permitted to listen to one of the tapes. Bowden has not provided any detail on the tape other than to affirm it does contain what Estes has maintained and can be taken to implicate Lyndon Johnson as a murderer. (26 and 27 p. 120)

Authors note: Brown also confirms the existence of tapes and has listened to them to verify that they present the same story Estes relates. Actually, Kyle Brown was offered to the Justice Department in 1984 as a living witness who was present at Estes’ meeting with Cliff Carter and who would be willing to testify and corroborate Estes’ story. There is no indication that Justice ever approached Brown during their dialog with Estes.


Billie Sol Estes gave us a direction to individuals who were involved in deaths ranging from that of Henry Marshall in 1961 to President John Kennedy in 1963. He also gave us specific names and a sequence of events. To this point it seems that the direction and names are both worth serious investigation. There seems little doubt that Johnson and Estes were associated in a manner which traded access to Johnson and his leverage in return for political support, political donations and very possibly personal cash contributions as well. It also seems very possible that if Henry Marshall had not been killed, he might well have provided information pointing to pressure from Washington D.C. in Agriculture Department affairs.

In that regard it seems clear that Marshall’s death did not stop the Agricultural Department’s investigation of Estes but rather Estes’ political influence in Washington neutralized it. It was only the action of the local newspaper that revived matters and produced the nationally known Estes scandal. Marshall’s death did ensure that the cotton allotment side of the scandal could not be resolved and indeed Estes was never convicted for fraud in that arena. It was his fertilizer tank and other affairs that sent he and others to prison and after examining Estes confidential grand jury disclosures in detail, we do find a great number of things that the District Attorney missed by not moving for a criminal investigation.

We find that Cliff Carter was Johnson’s key man for handling Texas patronage and Texas money, a role perfectly consistent with Estes’ assertions. We find that Johnson had a well documented history for providing his services in a quid quo pro manner and then moving aggressively to cover up the matter when things went wrong as they had in the potentially explosive Brown/IRS tax fraud affair.

Perhaps more importantly, we find a variety of evidence that Malcolm Wallace was associated with Lyndon Johnson and with Cliff Carter in 1960/61 just as Estes maintained. Finally, we find that Billie Sol Estes does have corroboration for his information from Cliff Carter – corroboration he offered to the Justice Department in 1984 but kept to himself when he could not negotiate the deal and immunity he demanded.


1. The Path To Power, Robert A. Caro, p. 196, Alfred Knopf, New York, 1982

2. Unless otherwise noted, material on Cliff Carter’s history and background is taken from the Personal Statement of Clifton C Carter to the Johnson Library, October, 1968 – available from the Johnson Library.

3. The Path To Power, Caro, p. 362, p. 584 and p. 627.

4. New York Politics and Texans, Mr. Johnson’s “Man” Stirs Controversy, Charles

Bartlett, Washington Evening Star, February 1964.

5. The Path To Power, Caro, p. 607

6. Ibid, pp. 628-629.

7. Ibid, readers are referred to Chapters 31 and 32 of The Path To Power.

8. Wheeling and Dealing, Bobby Baker, p. 51, Norton, 1978.

9. Ibid., pp. 84-85

10. Mutual Contempt, Jeff Shesol, pp. 184-185, Norton, 1997.

11. Ibid, p. 188.

12. Ibid., pp. 409-410

13. The Men On The Sixth Floor, third edition, Sample and Collom, p. 200a, Garden Grove Ca. 2003 also The Accidental President.

14. LBJ Aide Confirms Estes Call, Dallas Morning News, October 28, 1962.

15. Johnson Library Clifford Carter Oral History, p. 23.

16. Lawson summary memorandum to HSCA, RIF 180-10074-10396, Jan 31, 1978

17. HSCA interview with Jack Puterbaugh, RIF 180-10080-10069, April 14, 1978.

18. Unless otherwise noted, all descriptions of activities the day of the assassination And the days immediately following are from The Death of a President, William Manchester, Harper and Row, New York, 1967 and Manchester’s personal interview of Clifford Carter.

19. Ibid. pp. 70-71.

20. Ibid. pp 229-230. and Parkland diagram at rear of book.

21. Ibid. p. 239

22. Ibid. pp. 344-345

23. Ibid. p. 371

24. Carter Oral History, p. 13 of Tape two

25. Death of a President, Manchester, p. 40.

26. The Last Remaining Witness, Estes and Reymond, 2003

27. The Men on the Sixth Floor, p. 126 Sample and Collum.

28. Ibid., p. 120

29. The Killing of Henry Marshall, p. 18, Bill Adler, The Texas Observer.

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Good stuff, Larry.

The Wallace/Busby connection is a fascinating one indeed.



Great job Larry. Now we just need the updates from Kyle Brown and Tom Bowden.

Wallace killed Marshall and Tx Ranger Clint Peoples. Did he shoot (at) JFK??? We have two books that say he did. And the fingerprint evidence.

But I don't see Billie sol getting any grants of immunity from the present Justice Dept.

I have always found the date that Billie Sol's attorney wrote to the Justice Dept detailing all these Mac Wallace alleged murders a bit interesting : Aug 9/84, the ten your anniversary of Watergate.* And who was Billie Sol's atty? Doug Caddy, lawyer to the Watergate burglars. (Another "Dallas to Watergate" connection, or merely co-incidence?)


*"The Men onthe Sixth Floor" Sample and Collom

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Hi Dawn, yes indeed we need the affidavits or notorized statements of those two individuals. Both of them were interviewed by William Remond but that seems to have taken them into isolation and neither William's Estes book, the related video or any documents supporting it are available in the US (or even English). Unfortunately that seems to have had the effect of locking up what had seemed to be a hot trail a year ago.

Worse yet, there have been no published reports of fingerprint experts either corroborating or rejecting Darby's work on the purported Wallace print. There are rumors of both positive and negative reports but absolutely nothing has surfaced in the two or more years since the Darby identification (I don't recall forget the actual date on that).

It's a little amazing that something which seems to have as much potential for resolution one way or another has seemingly gone nowhere.

On another note though, while I also initially thought that the Douglas Caddy sent out to aid the Watergate guys was Estes former lawyer, my reading of some of the books from Watergate participants I got the impression that the DC Caddy was a young fellow who was picked to respond to the call to the law firm based on his lack of experience and visiblity. I don't know if anyone has really confirmed that link or not but it may be a coincidence (although that would be a heck of a coincidence).

-- Larry

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Hi Dawn,  yes indeed we need the affidavits or notorized statements of those two individuals.  Both of them were interviewed by William Remond but that seems to have taken them into isolation and neither William's Estes book,  the related video or any documents supporting it are available in the US (or even English).  Unfortunately that seems to have had the effect of locking up what had seemed to be a hot trail a year ago. 

Worse yet,  there have been no published reports of fingerprint experts either corroborating or rejecting Darby's work on the purported Wallace print.  There are rumors of both positive and negative reports but absolutely nothing has surfaced in the two or more years since the Darby identification (I don't recall forget the actual date on that). 

It's a little amazing that something which seems to have as much potential for resolution one way or another has seemingly gone nowhere.

On another note though,  while I also initially thought that the Douglas Caddy sent out to aid the Watergate guys was Estes former lawyer,  my reading of some of the books from Watergate participants I got the impression that the DC Caddy was a young fellow who was picked to respond to the call to the law firm based on his lack of experience and visiblity.  I don't know if anyone has really confirmed that link or not but it may be a coincidence (although that would be a heck of a coincidence).

  -- Larry

Larry: They are the same Doug Caddy.

And why the print evidence has not gone further is because since Glen Sample obtained Wallace's print from Doug Kinser's murder to do the comparison to the latent, that "channel" has been blocked. As in no one can get access to that print now from Austin DPS. You "need a case to attach it to". I don't think Nathan Darby himself can even get it at this point.


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Dawn, I had heard some discussion that the Austin channel was closed but what about what Darby had to work from and what Sample got? If Darby had something to do the first comparison from can't that be given to someone else - and what about what Glen has?

Could you please give me a reference on the Caddy thing, I'd like to add that to my paper but I need a source for it - with an old experienced Caddy in Texas and a young, novice Caddy described by the Watergate guys I was hesitant to insert it but if you have a confirmed source that would be a great addition.

- thanks, Larry

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Worse yet,  there have been no published reports of fingerprint experts either corroborating or rejecting Darby's work on the purported Wallace print.   There are rumors of both positive and negative reports but absolutely nothing has surfaced in the two or more years since the Darby identification (I don't recall forget the actual date on that).  

Walt Brown called a press conference in Dallas in May 1998 to discuss a previously unidentified fingerprint at the "sniper's nest".

You might find this report by John Kelin interesting (Fair Play Magazine, JFK Breakthrough?, July, 1998):

A Texas-based assassination research group has publicly named a man believed to have left a previously unidentified fingerprint on a box making up the so-called "sniper's nest" on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository.

At a May 29 press conference in Dallas, researcher and author Walt Brown said that the fingerprints belong to Malcolm E. "Mac" Wallace, a convicted killer with ties to Lyndon Baines Johnson. The fingerprints have been officially unidentified since President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.

Brown presented data showing a 14-point match between Wallace's fingerprint card, obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the previously unidentified print, a copy of which was kept in the National Archives. The match was made by A. Nathan Darby, an expert with certification by the International Association of Identifiers.

The Texas researchers forwarded their findings to the Dallas Police Department, who passed it on to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Copies have also gone to Assassination Records Review Board, the federal panel created to oversee the identification and release of records relating to the JFK assassination.

Malcolm Wallace, convicted in a 1951 murder and suspected in others, has been linked to the 1961 death of U.S. Department of Agriculture investigator Henry Marshall. Marshall was reportedly close to connecting Lyndon Johnson to fraudulent activities involving businessman and convicted swindler Billy Sol Estes.

Estes alleged in 1984 that LBJ ordered the killings of Marshall, President Kennedy, and half a dozen others, and that Wallace carried them out. A grand jury decided that same year that Henry Marshall was murdered as a result of a conspiracy involving then-Vice President Johnson, his aide Clifton Carter, and Wallace. No charges were possible since all three men were by then deceased...

The Wallace fingerprint match by Darby has been disputed by Glen Sample, who represents California-based researchers whose investigation parallels the Texas research. While Sample says the California group still believes Wallace "was one of the shooters" of President Kennedy, they do not believe his fingerprints are those from the TSBD box.

In support of this, Sample offers fingerprint experts of his own. "Both of our experts are working police I.D. officers," he wrote on his web page. "They go to court on a regular basis, testifying as expert witnesses. They said that the print was clearly not a match. But what about the 14 points? They said that it is not uncommon to have a set of prints that have many matching points, but when they find points that do not match, these negate the matching points." Sample characterized this finding by his experts as "bad news."

Walt Brown countered by saying that Sample's experts "were local i.d. bureau guys from San Bernadino, and not in the category of either Nathan Darby or the people that it was hoped would examine the originals within the law enforcement communities charged with the proper investigation."

Darby is a Certified Latent Print Examiner with many years experience. He affirmed in a notarized affidavit that he found 14 matches between a National Archives "unknown" print, taken from what the Warren Commission designated Box A in the Texas School Book Depository, and a fingerprint card submitted "blindly" for comparison, which bore the fingerprints of Malcolm Wallace. That card was obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety in July of 1996.

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The District Attorney involved in the 1984 grand jury felt that he lacked corroboration for Estes. He also felt that it was not possible to effectively revisit a crime committed 20 years before. The grand jury did find Estes and Peoples convincing enough to change Marshall’s death to murder but the D.A. left the murder as an unsolved case. Did the DA give up too easily?

It's wrong. The D.A thought he had a very strong case but because Cliff Carter, LBJ and Malcolm Wallace were dead he didn't have any way to revisit the crime. The 'lack of corroboration" theory was planted in the medias by people who were not involved in the grand jury. The D.A, the witnesses and the grand jury itself were not allowed to comment.

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On another note though, while I also initially thought that the Douglas Caddy sent out to aid the Watergate guys was Estes former lawyer, my reading of some of the books from Watergate participants I got the impression that the DC Caddy was a young fellow who was picked to respond to the call to the law firm based on his lack of experience and visiblity. I don't know if anyone has really confirmed that link or not but it may be a coincidence (although that would be a heck of a coincidence).

As Dawn wrote, they are the same. i did interview Doug back in 1998 and he did confirm it to me.

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Welcome to the forum. Is your book on Estes going to be published in English?


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Thanks William, very good to see you here! Looks like some definite dis-information from at least one of the Watergate folks writing a youthful Mr. Caddy being selected as a sort of potential human sacrifice to represent the Watergate guys because noboty else in the firm wanted to get involved - certainly not an accurate description for the very veteran Texas lawyer who served in both the Wallace and Estes legal battles. Also interesing to see that he landed in a DC law firm....wonder if that move occured while Johnson was in office?

On another note though, while I also initially thought that the Douglas Caddy sent out to aid the Watergate guys was Estes former lawyer, my reading of some of the books from Watergate participants I got the impression that the DC Caddy was a young fellow who was picked to respond to the call to the law firm based on his lack of experience and visiblity. I don't know if anyone has really confirmed that link or not but it may be a coincidence (although that would be a heck of a coincidence).

As Dawn wrote, they are the same. i did interview Doug back in 1998 and he did confirm it to me.

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certainly not an accurate description for the very veteran Texas lawyer who served in both the Wallace and Estes legal battles. Also interesing to see that he landed in a DC law firm....wonder if that move occured while Johnson was in office?

Caddy was not a veteran lawyer back in 1984. When I met him back in 1998, he was on his mid 50's, maybe early 60's. That's mean that he was pretty young during the Watergate. And if I remember well, Caddy was the guy who tipped Bernstein about the case.

Back in 1984, one interesting tidpit is about the provenance of the money to pay him. Estes was in jail and moneyless. Doug Caddy was paid by the Moody foundation.

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Just when I thought I was in over my head and had nothing to contribute, this Douglas Caddy character comes up.

Fred Emery, (Watergate; Touchstone 1994) had this to say about Caddy:

"(immediately after the burglary arrests)...Hunt and Liddy left an amazing haul of easily traceable material behind in [Howard Johnson hotel] Room 214. More was in Room 314, the key to which was also seized from the break-in team ['Macho' i.e., Bernard Barker]. This blunder wrecked whatever strategy they had for maintaining deniability.... Liddy recalled one further detail: Before parting he told Hunt to get in touch with "Caddy" and use the money. Douglas Caddy was a lawyer who had worked at Mullen with Hunt... Hunt drove to Caddy's apartment and related what had happened. Caddy was a very right-wing young man, according to Hunt's associate Robert Bennett. He, too, had worked for Mullen but Bennett arranged Caddy's transfer to the law firm where he was now working...

[at the jail after fingerprinting] "Frank Carter" turned out to be Bernard Barker; "Jene Valdez" was Eugenio Rolando Martinez; "Raoul Godoy" was Virgilio Gonzalez. Two of those arrested carried fake CIA identification "Edward J. Hamilton" (one of Hunt's old aliases) and "Joseph di Alberto" were the same man, Frank Sturgis, and "Edward Martin" was McCord, who also carried Hunt's alternative "Edward Warren"...

{Later Caddy withdrew from the defense of Liddy and Hunt and refused the $25,000 in hush money which then went to Hunt's new lawyer, William Bittman.}

Small world, ain't it?

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JFK, le dernier témoin was published in France (and avaible in Blegium, Swizterland and Quebec), Spain, Japan, Estonia and Bulgaria but not in the States or the UK. And to be very honest, I don't think that it will happen soon.

Is the book available in English? With your reputation as an investigative journalist, I am very surprised you have been unable to find a publisher in the USA and the UK. Is it because of the subject matter?

By the way, great work on the Drummond case.

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