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Steve Czukas


Tim Gratz
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I am just pulling this information from another thread since, as James noted, it merits a thread of its own.

QUOTE(James Richards @ Apr 12 2005, 11:43 PM):

QUOTE(David Boylan @ Apr 12 2005, 04:54 AM)

Does anyone have anything on Steve Czukas? Czukas had reportedly mascaraded as a U.S. Customs Service Officer but was paid by the CIA.

Hi David,

I believe it was Czukas who put Marita Lorenz into protective custody after she told him that she was mixed up with the Dallas plot and the infamous car trip.

She also supposedly wrote the details in a notebook which Czukas locked away in Miami. If I remember correctly, wasn't Czukas FBI not CIA?

James

James,

There are indications that Czukas was supervising "Leopoldo" and "Angelo" prior to visiting Syliva Odio.

(David wrote)

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Who Angel and Leopoldo were and who were "running" them is of obvious importance to the discovery of the assassination, assuming of course that the Odio incident was related to the conspiracy and not a separate operation.

On a separate thread we posted that Hemming has identified Leopoldo as Bernardo deTorres and Angel as Angel Murgado, who was very close to the Kennedys. Since that posting Gerry tells us that he was informed of that fact by deTorres himself. deTorres did work with several members of Hemming's Interpen group.

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On a separate thread we posted that Hemming has identified Leopoldo as Bernardo deTorres and Angel as Angel Murgado, who was very close to the Kennedys. Since that posting Gerry tells us that he was informed of that fact by De Torres himself. De Torres did work with several members of Hemming's Interpen group. (Tim Gratz)

It should also recognized here that Angelo Murgado aka Angelo Kennedy was involved with many political exile groups right up until a few years ago. One of his associates was Alfredo Duran who back in the late summer of 1963, was involved in a low level operation out of Miami. Others on this op were none other than Bernardo De Torres and William Seymour. Murgado was also present.

I believe photographic evidence puts Alfredo Duran in Dealey Plaza just after the shooting.

James

Edited by James Richards
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James Richards Posted Today, 06:04 AM

  On a separate thread we posted that Hemming has identified Leopoldo as Bernardo deTorres and Angel as Angel Murgado, who was very close to the Kennedys. Since that posting Gerry tells us that he was informed of that fact by De Torres himself. De Torres did work with several members of Hemming's Interpen group. (Tim Gratz)

It should also recognized here that Angelo Murgado aka Angelo Kennedy was involved with many political exile groups right up until a few years ago. One of his associates was Alfredo Duran who back in the late summer of 1963, was involved in a low level operation out of Miami. Others on this op were none other than Bernardo De Torres and William Seymour. Murgado was also present.

I believe photographic evidence puts Alfredo Duran in Dealey Plaza just after the shooting.

James

James, could you kindly post the Duran photo comparison's, or refer us to a previous post, etc. so we may have a look. You certainly aroused my interest.

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From Gaeton Fonzi's The Last Investigation

"Who besides the dozen people I could name off the top of my head?" I asked.

"Marita Lorenz," he said.

That wasn't one of them. Then Moriarty told me he had been asked to take a report from a Customs agent named Steve Czukas who had come to Washington at the orders of his Miami chief to file a complaint with the Assassinations Committee about a member of its staff who was leaking information to Frank Sturgis. That information, said Czukas, came from a Customs informant named Marita Lorenz. She claimed that Sturgis had shown her a "classified Government document" which he said was given to him by a Committee staff member named Fonzi. As a result, said Czukas, Lorenz now does not trust that Committee staffer and will no longer deal with him. Or, as Moriarty's report would later put it, "her concern is of sufficient magnitude to preclude further contact with Fonzi."

Besides the complaint, however, Czukas brought new information he thought the Assassinations Committee should have directly. He said that the Customs Service had put Lorenz and her two children under protective custody in a Miami hotel for two months after she expressed fears that her life was in danger. While there, she admitted that she had been unwittingly involved in the plans to kill President Kennedy. She said she had driven from Miami to Dallas in two cars with a group of men, including Frank Sturgis and Lee Harvey Oswald, with high-power rifles. Two days before the assassination she was ordered to fly back alone to Miami.

It sounded like an incredible story, said Czukas, but there was some documentation. During the time that Lorenz was voluntarily sequestered in Miami, she filled sixteen pages of a green notebook with the details of her involvement. She subsequently gave him the notebook for safe keeping and he had it under lock and key in Miami.

I was stunned and then infuriated. It would take time and effort to deal with this development. I felt Customs was allowing itself to be manipulated by an informant.

I deliberately dawdled. It was more than three months before I put a response on the record. I had no concern about the reactions of my bosses, Chief Investigator Cliff Fenton and Chief Counsel Bob Blakey, because I had documented all encounters with both Sturgis and Lorenz. But in sending Czukas to the Committee, it seemed to me that Marita wanted attention and wanted to be called to testify at the public hearings. What was she trying to accomplish?

Then there was the matter of the "classified Government document" that Frank Sturgis said I had given him. Actually it was an unclassified memorandum written in 1964 by Al Tarabochia, an investigator with the Senate Security Committee, then headed by Mississippi's notorious Commie hunter, George Eastland. The memorandum concerned a rumored visit to Cuba by Jack Ruby. (As mentioned earlier, Sturgis himself had also given me a story about a Ruby visit to Cuba, this one a detailed account of a meeting to plot Kennedy's assassination.) A copy of Tarabochia's memorandum was in Schweiker's working files and, one night, Sturgis called me and asked if he could have a copy, saying he had Tarabochia' s permission. I called Troy Gustavson in Schweiker's office, Troy got the OK from Tarabochia and a copy of the memo was sent to Sturgis directly from Schweiker's office.

So much for the "leak." When I called Marita Lorenz, she admitted that Sturgis had shown her "that Tarabochia thing," but denied she said it had come from me. She also denied that she had ever told Czukas she no longer trusted me or that she didn't want to speak with me. On the contrary, she was delighted to hear from me.

"I was down in Miami for a while and was looking for you," she said. I didn't tell her I knew that Customs had picked up her tab for a couple of months and I didn't mention anything about her reported trip to Dallas with Frank Sturgis and Lee Harvey Oswald. Neither did she.

What I found fascinating, however, was that Sturgis was still in such close contact with her, and how much she knew about his current activities. She said, for instance, that Sturgis had recently called, telling her he was "doing something" in Africa. "He was with some heavy people over there," she told me, "some major and some wealthy people who are sponsoring his thing there, raising an army to fight Castro's army in Angola." Sturgis also said he had been in Paris, Switzerland and London, in addition to Africa, and that he had asked her to go to Europe to work with him. "He sent me a first-class, round-trip plane ticket on TWA," she said. She discovered, however, that she couldn't go because on her last trip to Madrid to see her daughter's father, General Jímenez, she didn't have the return fare. Until she repaid the State Department, she couldn't travel abroad.

After I spoke with Marita, I called Steve Czukas, who confirmed she was behind his trip to Washington. She had pressed him very hard, he said. "I went up there just to get them to talk with her. What I'd like to do is get rid of her story, whether she's got something concocted or not. I'd just like to get rid of it, and I'm sure my Service would too. I don't know what's going on, it's so far out of my field, but the sooner she gets to Washington the happier I'll be, I tell you that -- however she gets there."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, was Czukas and Lorenz trying to set up Fonzi and get rid of him? Or was she trying to feed disinfo?

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At the risk of sounding cynical I would say that Lorenz at least was being

very consistent in maximizing her mystery and melodrama in order to

continue being of value as a source to any and all parties. I doubt it

was anything as structured as "disinformation" or even getting at Fonzi.

Lorenz and Sturgis were made for each other, Fonzi's investigation and

chapters on both of them should be read by everyone with an interest in

this subject.

From Gaeton Fonzi's The Last Investigation

"Who besides the dozen people I could name off the top of my head?" I asked.

"Marita Lorenz," he said.

That wasn't one of them. Then Moriarty told me he had been asked to take a report from a Customs agent named Steve Czukas who had come to Washington at the orders of his Miami chief to file a complaint with the Assassinations Committee about a member of its staff who was leaking information to Frank Sturgis. That information, said Czukas, came from a Customs informant named Marita Lorenz. She claimed that Sturgis had shown her a "classified Government document" which he said was given to him by a Committee staff member named Fonzi. As a result, said Czukas, Lorenz now does not trust that Committee staffer and will no longer deal with him. Or, as Moriarty's report would later put it, "her concern is of sufficient magnitude to preclude further contact with Fonzi."

Besides the complaint, however, Czukas brought new information he thought the Assassinations Committee should have directly. He said that the Customs Service had put Lorenz and her two children under protective custody in a Miami hotel for two months after she expressed fears that her life was in danger. While there, she admitted that she had been unwittingly involved in the plans to kill President Kennedy. She said she had driven from Miami to Dallas in two cars with a group of men, including Frank Sturgis and Lee Harvey Oswald, with high-power rifles. Two days before the assassination she was ordered to fly back alone to Miami.

It sounded like an incredible story, said Czukas, but there was some documentation. During the time that Lorenz was voluntarily sequestered in Miami, she filled sixteen pages of a green notebook with the details of her involvement. She subsequently gave him the notebook for safe keeping and he had it under lock and key in Miami.

I was stunned and then infuriated. It would take time and effort to deal with this development. I felt Customs was allowing itself to be manipulated by an informant.

I deliberately dawdled. It was more than three months before I put a response on the record. I had no concern about the reactions of my bosses, Chief Investigator Cliff Fenton and Chief Counsel Bob Blakey, because I had documented all encounters with both Sturgis and Lorenz. But in sending Czukas to the Committee, it seemed to me that Marita wanted attention and wanted to be called to testify at the public hearings. What was she trying to accomplish?

Then there was the matter of the "classified Government document" that Frank Sturgis said I had given him. Actually it was an unclassified memorandum written in 1964 by Al Tarabochia, an investigator with the Senate Security Committee, then headed by Mississippi's notorious Commie hunter, George Eastland. The memorandum concerned a rumored visit to Cuba by Jack Ruby. (As mentioned earlier, Sturgis himself had also given me a story about a Ruby visit to Cuba, this one a detailed account of a meeting to plot Kennedy's assassination.) A copy of Tarabochia's memorandum was in Schweiker's working files and, one night, Sturgis called me and asked if he could have a copy, saying he had Tarabochia' s permission. I called Troy Gustavson in Schweiker's office, Troy got the OK from Tarabochia and a copy of the memo was sent to Sturgis directly from Schweiker's office.

So much for the "leak." When I called Marita Lorenz, she admitted that Sturgis had shown her "that Tarabochia thing," but denied she said it had come from me. She also denied that she had ever told Czukas she no longer trusted me or that she didn't want to speak with me. On the contrary, she was delighted to hear from me.

"I was down in Miami for a while and was looking for you," she said. I didn't tell her I knew that Customs had picked up her tab for a couple of months and I didn't mention anything about her reported trip to Dallas with Frank Sturgis and Lee Harvey Oswald. Neither did she.

What I found fascinating, however, was that Sturgis was still in such close contact with her, and how much she knew about his current activities. She said, for instance, that Sturgis had recently called, telling her he was "doing something" in Africa. "He was with some heavy people over there," she told me, "some major and some wealthy people who are sponsoring his thing there, raising an army to fight Castro's army in Angola." Sturgis also said he had been in Paris, Switzerland and London, in addition to Africa, and that he had asked her to go to Europe to work with him. "He sent me a first-class, round-trip plane ticket on TWA," she said. She discovered, however, that she couldn't go because on her last trip to Madrid to see her daughter's father, General Jímenez, she didn't have the return fare. Until she repaid the State Department, she couldn't travel abroad.

After I spoke with Marita, I called Steve Czukas, who confirmed she was behind his trip to Washington. She had pressed him very hard, he said. "I went up there just to get them to talk with her. What I'd like to do is get rid of her story, whether she's got something concocted or not. I'd just like to get rid of it, and I'm sure my Service would too. I don't know what's going on, it's so far out of my field, but the sooner she gets to Washington the happier I'll be, I tell you that -- however she gets there."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, was Czukas and Lorenz trying to set up Fonzi and get rid of him? Or was she trying to feed disinfo?

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James,

I don't have any info of a Czukas/Sturgis link. Sturgis (and Reinaldo Pico) were reporting to Bernard Barker. (David Boylan)

Thanks, David.

For anyone who is interested, there are some photos of Barker and Sturgis at this link.

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

BTW, have you come up with anything more on Pico since we last spoke about him? I scrounged this poor quality image below which shows Pico on the far left.

James

Edited by James Richards
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I agree with James, I have no doubt in my mind that is Alfredo Duran in those photo's in DP after the shooting. (Ryan Crowe)

Hi Ryan,

There seems to be a collection of guys (Angelo Murgado included) who associated themselves with De Torres in the early days and stayed with him over the years. The origin seems to be that they were all part of Brigade 2506 and then Agency recruited as various assets.

If we can just find out who this guy is below, we may step a bit closer to the truth.

James

Edited by James Richards
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I agree with James, I have no doubt in my mind that is Alfredo Duran in those photo's in DP after the shooting. (Ryan Crowe)

If we can just find out who this guy is below, we may step a bit closer to the truth.

James

I noticed that both your Duran look-alike and Big chin man look-alike in Dealey Plaza appear several years older, and have their hair cut shorter, than in your training camp photos. Are your training camp photos from 60-61, and could this represent normal aging? Or are the photos taken too close together in time to account for the apparent differences in age? What are the dates of the photos?

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James Richards Posted Yesterday, 08:37 PM

  James, could you kindly post the Duran photo comparison's, or refer us to a previous post, etc. so we may have a look. You certainly aroused my interest. (Antti Hynonen)

Hi Antti,

Here you go.

James

Thanks!

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I noticed that both your Duran look-alike and Big chin man look-alike in Dealey Plaza appear several years older, and have their hair cut shorter, than in your training camp photos. Are your training camp photos from 60-61, and could this represent normal aging? Or are the photos taken too close together in time to account for the apparent differences in age? What are the dates of the photos? (Pat Speer)

Hi Pat,

The photos of Alfredo Duran I used in the comparison were taken in the late summer of 1963. The image of De Torres and Big Chin guy was mid September 1963.

I don't see a major difference in age but both guys in Dealey Plaza have close cropped hair. I am trying to secure an image of De Torres which was taken in early December of 1963 which shows him with a buzz cut. Maybe there was a special on at the Flagler Street barber. :D

James

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