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Mary Haverstick's Important New Book on the JFK Assassination


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Last night I finished reading Mary Haverstick’s new book A Woman I Know: Female Spies, Double Identities, and a New Story of the Kennedy Assassination. I believe Haverstick has uncovered some truly historic information, and that her book is a serious work of scholarship that should be read by anyone who is interested in the JFK assassination.

I decided to create a new thread on the book because the other thread is unfairly dismissive and was started by someone who apparently had not even read the entire book and seemed to rely mainly on a brief article about it.

Here are the most important things that I get from the book:

-- Haverstick definitely proves that Jerrie Cobb was the CIA agent who used the identities of June Cobb and Catherine Taafe.

She proves, with photographic evidence, that Jerrie Cobb had the same “26” scar on her left forearm that two of Castro’s thugs carved into Catherine Taafe’s left forearm in February 1960.

She proves, again with photographic evidence, that Jerrie Cobb had the same circular, two-ring leishmaniasis scar on her left clavicle that June Cobb had on her left clavicle.

She proves that CIA records and other sources show an amazing activity overlap and checkerboard-like synchronicity between the lives of Jerrie Cobb and June Cobb and Catherine Taafe. Consider the amazing parallels between Jerrie Cobb and June Cobb:

Both came from Ponca City, Oklahoma. They were the same height and weight. Both lived for a time in Norman, Oklahoma. Both were in the Civil Air Patrol, a rare thing for women back then. Both were fluent Spanish speakers. Both lived extensively in Latin America. Both left home in their twenties for South America. Both lobbied on behalf of the Indigenous tribes at the Amazon headwaters. Both visited the isolated Andes mountains in the early 1950s, when almost no white people had ever been there. Both advocated for causes related to the coca-leaf-chewing habits of the Andean natives. Both exited the jungle from their expeditions burdened by a lifelong jungle-borne disease (leishmaniasis).

Once in South America, both worked for aviation firms serving identical countries—Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Peru. Both traveled into dark corners of the Amazon jungle, and both got there by flying with a new love who was also a pilot. Both considered their respective affairs to be the love of their lives, and both relationships ended tragically.

Both traveled the same geographic circuit of cities in perpetual motion. Both had indications of wealth but no visible means of support. Both disappeared for extended periods of time during their lives. Both were well connected to the national and international press.

Both opposed some of John F. Kennedy’s policies. Both were in Mexico City six weeks before Kennedy was killed. Both intersected with events surrounding Kennedy’s death.

-- Haverstick interviewed a person who knew the CIA June Cobb well, Fortuna Calvo-Roth. She showed Fortuna nine photos that included one alleged photo of the CIA June Cobb and two photos of Jerrie Cobb. Fortuna identified the two photos of Jerrie Cobb as the CIA June Cobb. When Haverstick asked her about the photo of the CIA June Cobb, she said it was not June Cobb.

-- Haverstick discovered that Jerrie Cobb was an experienced target shooter, and that she had excellent marksmanship skills.

-- Haverstick makes a strong case that Jerrie Cobb was QJWIN. No other proposed candidate for QJWIN comes close to Cobb’s qualifications for being QJWIN.

-- Haverstick makes a plausible case that Jerrie Cobb was the Babushka Lady.

Haverstick’s ID of Jerrie Cobb as the Babushka Lady is strengthened by Cobb’s admission to her that she was the pilot of the suspicious plane at Redbird Airport on 11/22/63. The ID is also strengthened by Jerrie Cobb’s statement to Haverstick that June Cobb knew who killed JFK.

-- Even if one rejects Haverstick’s Cobb-Babushka identification, she makes a very good case that the Babushka Lady’s conduct during and after the shooting was unusual and suspicious.

-- Haverstick’s theory that the Babushka Lady was holding a gun disguised as a camera is entirely plausible and feasible.

-- Haverstick’s research on Cobb’s use of multiple identities and on Cobb’s pretending to be pro-Castro and pro-Soviet gives us useful insight into Oswald’s pro-Castro/Soviet posturing.

-- Haverstick makes a credible case that the ZR/Rifle program’s primary target was JFK, and that William Harvey and Arnold Silver were two of the main drivers behind it.

-- Haverstick's segments on Oswald's activities in Mexico City and elsewhere, Ruth Paine, Michael Paine, and false defectors are valuable and insightful.

Haverstick’s knowledge regarding the intelligence-related aspects of the JFK case is superb. However, her knowledge of certain other aspects of the case is somewhat faulty. She makes a few mistakes regarding non-intel elements of the assassination. She assumes that the initial police description of the sixth-floor gunman closely resembled Oswald. She appears to think that Oswald may have fired shots at JFK. And she assumes that Oswald shot Tippit. But, these errors constitute a very small segment of the book and do not detract from the historic information that she presents regarding Jerrie/June Cobb and the ZR/RIFLE angle of the assassination.

We should keep in mind that Haverstick knew little about the JFK case before she became interested in Jerrie Cobb’s identity as June Cobb. And, again, her mistakes on non-intel aspects of the case are understandable, brief, and relatively unimportant compared to all the other information in her book.

Mary Haverstick's background should cause any serious researcher to give her a fair hearing. She is a successful film director and writer. She has directed four movies, including the 2008 movie Home starring Oscar winner Marcia Harden and the 2018 movie The Last Horsemen of New York starring Oscar winner Liam Neeson.

Another thing that makes her JFK research worth a fair hearing is that she had no interest in the JFK case for most of her life and only became interested in the case accidentally as a result of her work on a film about Jerrie Cobb’s aviation career.

Edited by Michael Griffith
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The late Hank Albarelli, who passed away in 2019, wrote that he interviewed June Cobb twice-weekly for a two-year period in the early 2010’s. It is possible that a prominent author such as Albarelli interviewing one of the JFK assassination’s potentially most important witnesses, a celebrated spy who never gave an interview or was heard from for decades prior to that, for hundreds of hours over a two year period might have photos and tapes.

There are plenty of photos of Jerrie Cobb of Tampa, Florida in her later years. All it would take is for Albarelli photos of his June Cobb—if he took any photos, such as himself standing with her—to be disclosed. I have no idea who has Albarellis photos of June Cobb and Leslie Sharp does not seem inclined to respond well to being asked.

It would also be nice if somebody could identify where June Cobb is buried and if she has a tombstone.

So far as I can tell, there was no New York Times notice or obituary, or any other news reporting notice of any kind, at the time of the death of one of America’s most fascinating women spies, New York City’s June Cobb, announcing that fact.

Supposedly Albarelli at the time of his death had a manuscript on June Cobb from those hundreds of hours of late-life first-ever interviews of one of America’s most important Cold War woman spies.

That manuscript is controlled in high secrecy by somebody unknown whose identity Leslie is not disposed to disclose. Leslie has resolutely refused to either confirm or deny she is that person herself.

Lots of secrecy surrounding the celebrated Cold War spy who may have had knowledge of some Mexico City CIA operation involving Oswald in 1963, Ms. Cobb. 

(Or is this some rabbit hole Albarelli was lured into by some agency’s idea of an elaborate practical joke?)

Who knows. But the first step would be to ask the gatekeeper of Albarellis photos of June Cobb, whoever that might be, for permission to post one or two.

Maybe that could be done over the next few days if a gatekeeper might permit it.

Edited by Greg Doudna
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"That (June Cobb) manuscript is controlled in high secrecy by somebody unknown whose identity Leslie is not disposed to disclose. Leslie has resolutely refused to either confirm or deny she is that person herself.---GD

Oh, this is rich. 

I wonder how many more manuscripts, with thrilling revelations regarding the JFKA there are, but which cannot be authenticated, or even touched and seen, by outsiders? 

Evidently, even to ask why such manuscripts are permanently unauthenticated is considered offensive. 

I wonder what my ol' detective buddy, Mr. Bogus Ersatzi, would have to say. 

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On 12/1/2023 at 1:48 PM, Greg Doudna said:

The late Hank Albarelli, who passed away in 2019, wrote that he interviewed June Cobb twice-weekly for a two-year period in the early 2010’s. It is possible that a prominent author such as Albarelli interviewing one of the JFK assassination’s potentially most important witnesses, a celebrated spy who never gave an interview or was heard from for decades prior to that, for hundreds of hours over a two year period might have photos and tapes.

There are plenty of photos of Jerrie Cobb of Tampa, Florida in her later years. All it would take is for Albarelli photos of his June Cobb—if he took any photos, such as himself standing with her—to be disclosed. I have no idea who has Albarellis photos of June Cobb and Leslie Sharp does not seem inclined to respond well to being asked.

But that would be the most obvious and simplest way to check this and it could be done tomorrow if whoever has those photos would release a couple, maybe post one or two here if they know of someone on this forum willing to do so for them.

It would also be nice if somebody could identify where June Cobb is buried and if she has a tombstone. The Wikipedia article on June Cobb cites hearsay from a family member who said she’s buried in some county in Kentucky but no cemetery or gravesite identified, and there seems to be no public record documentation online that can assist in resolution of that little mystery.

So far as I can tell, there was no New York Times notice or obituary, or any other news reporting notice of any kind, at the time of the death of one of America’s most fascinating women spies, New York City’s June Cobb, announcing that fact.

A simple photo of June Cobb with Albarelli would clear up forthwith whether Albarellis June Cobb was Jerrie Cobb or not (my guess is not).

Assuming it wasn’t Jerrie Cobb Albarelli was dealing with (probably wasn’t), then all that would be needed to be done would be to verify Albarellis June Cobb of no announced death and unknown burial spot was the same CIA June Cobb of 1959-1963 (and find out why June Cobb was totally silent in the intervening decades). Then this little mystery would be cleared up.

Supposedly Albarelli at the time of his death had a manuscript on June Cobb from those hundreds of hours of late-life first-ever interviews of one of America’s most important Cold War woman spies.

That manuscript is controlled in high secrecy by somebody unknown whose identity Leslie is not disposed to disclose. Leslie has resolutely refused to either confirm or deny she is that person herself.

Lots of secrecy surrounding the celebrated Cold War spy who may have had knowledge of some Mexico City CIA operation involving Oswald in 1963, Ms. Cobb. 

(Or is this some rabbit hole Albarelli was lured into by some agency’s idea of an elaborate practical joke?)

Who knows. But the first step would be to ask the gatekeeper of Albarellis photos of June Cobb, whoever that might be, for permission to post one or two.

Maybe that could be done over the next few days if a gatekeeper might permit it.

One, I repeat that Jerrie Cobb had the same left-clavicle leishmaniasis scar that the CIA June Cobb had, and had the same left-forearm "26" scar [not "69" scar, as I mistyped earlier] that Catherine Taafe had.

Two, as Haverstick explains in the book, there was a real June Cobb and a real Catherine Taafe, and their identities were used by Jerrie Cobb.

Three, the long list of remarkable similarities between the life actions and movements of Jerrie Cobb and the CIA June Cobb defy all odds of coincidence. 

Four, John Newman also interviewed a woman who claimed to be the CIA June Cobb, and she even sent Newman a photo. However, Fortuna Calvo-Roth, who knew the CIA June Cobb very well, said that Newman's photo of the CIA June Cobb was not the CIA June Cobb that she had known; but, Fortuna said that the two photos of Jerrie Cobb that Haverstick showed her were photos of the CIA June Cobb. 

Edited by Michael Griffith
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On 12/4/2023 at 6:13 AM, Michael Griffith said:

One, I repeat that Jerrie Cobb had the same left-clavicle leishmaniasis scar that the CIA June Cobb had, and had the same left-forearm "69" scar that Catherine Taafe had.

Two, as Haverstick explains in the book, there was a real June Cobb and a real Catherine Taafe, and their identities were used by Jerrie Cobb.

Three, the long list of remarkable similarities between the life actions and movements of Jerrie Cobb and the CIA June Cobb defy all odds of coincidence. 

Four, John Newman also interviewed a woman who claimed to be the CIA June Cobb, and she even sent Newman a photo. However, Fortuna Calvo-Roth, who knew the CIA June Cobb very well, said that Newman's photo of the CIA June Cobb was not the CIA June Cobb that she had known; but, Fortuna said that the two photos of Jerrie Cobb that Haverstick showed her were photos of the CIA June Cobb. 

In the interests of accuracy a couple of comments. On that left-clavicle scar published in a medical journal article with photos in the early 1950s for June Cobb, I know that author Haverstick asserts unequivocally that she saw a scar in the same location on Jerrie Cobb, and publishes a photo of Jerrie Cobb's neck in the book ... but, for what it is worth, I fail to see a scar in the photo Haverstick has published.

On the left-forearm "26” scar as identifying Jerrie Cobb with Catherine Taaffe, Haverstick publishes a photo from a contemporary newspaper story telling of an assault on Catherine Taafe and a carved "26” in her forearm by her Castro-Cuban assailants (apparent purpose: so that that person could never again infiltrate Castro-Cuban circles without being identified as a spy).

The "26” on the forearm of the contemporary published newspaper photo is not the same as the much larger "2" plus indeterminate small scars on Jerrie Cobb's forearm in the photo published by Haverstick. 

If the Miami newspaper photo of Taafe’s arm is accurate, they are not the same injuries or same woman.

Edited by Greg Doudna
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2 hours ago, Greg Doudna said:

I hope you realize Michael that nothing I wrote about Albarelli's June Cobb was intended to contest what you note here. Until evidence is presented showing otherwise, I assume at this point that Albarelli's June Cobb of early 2010s was no more June Cobb than Leslie Sharp is Leslie Sharp. I think Albarelli's June Cobb was an imposter pure and simple, with no bearing on the argument of Haverstick's work.  

Turning directly to what you note, I believe the case is very strong for the identification, referring to ca. 1959-1963. 

However in the interests of accuracy a couple of comments.

On that left-clavicle scar published in a medical journal article with photos in the early 1950s for June Cobb, I know that author Haverstick asserts unequivocally that she saw a scar of similar description in the same location on Jerrie Cobb, practically stand-alone decisive if true, and publishes a photo of Jerrie Cobb's neck in the book ... but, for what it is worth, try as I might I fail to see any scar in the photo Haverstick has published. I see only neck and the neckline of a dress. I am not necessarily questioning Haverstick's claim it was there, only that I cannot see it in the published photo.

On the left-forearm "62" scar as identifying Jerrie Cobb with Catherine Taafe (interestingly, Haverstick notes that John Newman separately, earlier, and independently had presented at a conference argument that CIA operative persona Catherine Taafe who was succeeded by CIA operative persona June Cobb may have been one and the same person...):

Yes, that is extremely convincing. But note this: Haverstick publishes a contemporary newspaper photo from a contemporary newspaper story telling of an assault on "Catherine Taafe" and a carved "62" in her forearm by her Castro-Cuban assailants (apparent purpose: so that that person could never again infiltrate Castro-Cuban circles without being identified as a spy).

The "62" on the forearm of the contemporary published newspaper photo is not the same as the much larger "2" plus an indeterminate small circle scars actually on Jerrie Cobb's forearm, clear photo published by Haverstick. 

The match of the highly striking and unique carved "2" into both left forearms (even if different in sizes and appearance) establishes the identification. Jerrie Cobb was that CIA operative at that time going by the identity of "Catherine Taafe" (which as you note from Haverstick, was distinct from a real Catherine Taafe whose body, per prediction, if exhumed would not be found to have a "62" scar on her forearm).

But someone appears to have put out for publication a misleading photo at the time of a different "62" on a forearm of "Catherine Taafe", differing in appearance from the larger "2" and small circle actually carved into Jerrie Cobb's forearm and remaining on her forearm for the rest of her life until witnessed and photographed by Haverstick. And following that reported assault on "Catherine Taafe", CIA quickly ended further use of "Catherine Taafe" and instead the same operative (Jerrie Cobb per thesis) began use of persona "June Cobb".  

That is Haverstick's argument. 

Unexplained what became of the real June Cobb; was she lost in the Amazon, remains never found? Did she die of a jungle disease? Can any family members of verified identity be found who can speak to when they or other family members last knew and saw their family member the real June Cobb?

Or maybe the June Cobb said to have died in 2015 and to be buried now in an unidentified cemetery somewhere in Kentucky is after all the real June Cobb (who never was the 1959-1963 CIA spy or Albarelli's June Cobb imposter)?

A sizzling investigative story waiting to be done for some motivated journalist to run down all this. (Won't be me.) 

Thanks, Greg. For some inexplicable reason, I mistakenly typed "69" as the number carved into the left forearm--it was 26, not 69, as I stated in the first post of the thread. 

Mary Haverstick recently told me that she has a lot of information that she had to omit from the book for the sake of space. She would be glad to present this additional information in podcasts. I'm trying to arrange some podcast appearances for her. If anyone here does a podcast and would like to have Mary on as a guest, please message or email me.

Edited by Michael Griffith
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On 12/4/2023 at 9:55 AM, Leslie Sharp said:

@Greg Doudna i’ll respond to your wild assertions shortly. This now transcends logic. We’re entering new territory.

Looking forward to any facts you can disclose and/or verify. Please do. 

Edited by Greg Doudna
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3 hours ago, Greg Doudna said:

Looking forward to any facts you can disclose and/or verify. Please do. 

Anyone listening in, take careful note: when Leslie responds, will it be responsive to issues and questions on topic, such as witness, document, or photo identification of Albarelli's June Cobb, or will it be ad hominem and deflection and "how dare you?" outrage at being asked, threat of lawsuit etc. and etc for good measure. Pay attention to that. 

Get off the stage, Greg. I'll respond to you directly in due course.

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4 hours ago, Leslie Sharp said:

@Greg Doudna i’ll respond to your wild assertions shortly. This now transcends logic. We’re entering new territory.

@Michael Griffith if you’re in contact with Mary, would you ask if she is willing to take my phone call? 

Leslie,

I can certainly ask Mary about taking a call from you. Please email me to work out the details. michael.t.griffith@gmail.com.

 

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