Jump to content
The Education Forum

Was William Sullivan Murdered?


Recommended Posts

Pat wrote:

Sullivan's book on Hoover was published postumously and states that the shooting was considered an accident by Sullivan's family. Evidently, his neighbor saw him in the woods and thought he was a deer.

Well, Mrs. Sullivan thought her husband was a dear, but she didn't shoot him!

SORRY, FOLKS!!

Kidding aside, clearly whoever wrote in Sullivan's book that it was an accident was not Sullivan himself.

Edited by Tim Gratz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 46
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • 1 year later...

William Sullivan carried out the original FBI investigation into the JFK assassination. It was this report that was used by the Warren Commission. You would therefore have thought that Sullivan was a strong supporter of the lone gunman theory. As I pointed out earlier, he was killed while writing his memoirs. These were edited by Bill Brown and appeared two years later. This is what he has to say about the assassination in his book: The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI (1979)

We got going on the case right away. Officially, the Criminal Division was in charge of the investigation, but there wasn't too much to investigate after Lee Harvey Oswald, the only suspect, was killed. On the other hand, over at my shop we had to untangle Oswald's myriad subversive connections. Were the Soviets behind it? Were the Cubans behind it? Was anyone behind it? It grew into a gigantic intelligence operation with over twenty-eight hundred agents working on the case.

Oswald had spent a lot of time in Mexico, so our Mexican office played an important part in the investigation. We also had agents in Canada, Central America, England, and Italy tracking down leads. We even got a note from a man in France who said he had six letters written by Oswald which would solve the case. He offered to sell us the letters for ten thousand dollars, but he turned out to be a well known European con man who didn't have any such letters. He was later arrested and prosecuted by the French police.

We didn't have much on Oswald in our files prior to the assassination. We knew that he had lived in Russia and that he'd come back with a Russian wife, which was unusual for a couple of reasons. First of all, we never found out just why the Russians allowed Marina to leave the Soviet Union at a time when they were not permitting any Russians to come out. Second, she was a woman of extraordinary intelligence, much smarter than Oswald. Oswald had tried to commit suicide while he was in Russia by slashing his wrists, and we developed evidence that the Soviets looked on him as a nut, a nuisance, and were anxious to get him out of the country. This information was not firm, but was reported to us from a number of sources. There were so many other more subversive characters in our files with worse records than Oswald's and we had so little on Oswald that his case was considered a "Pending Inactive" case. Lee Harvey Oswald was really a cipher, a nobody to the FBI. After the assassination, of course, he became our most important subject.

But even after we zeroed in on Oswald, there were huge gaps in the case, gaps we never did close. For example, we never found out what went on between Oswald and the Cubans in Mexico.

Although his Russian connection had alerted us to Oswald in the first place, the bureau really couldn't keep him under surveillance merely because he had been to Russia and married a Russian wife. I can imagine the reaction of the Civil Liberties Union if we had "Can't American citizens go to Russia without being hounded by the FBI?" Oswald wasn't a criminal, just a nut, and the FBI doesn't have the facilities to keep tabs on nuts.

I always tended to doubt that Oswald was a Russian or a Cuban agent because of his unsuccessful attempt on the life of General Edwin A. Walker. Walker was a right-winger, a John Bircher, but basically a nobody to the Russians or the Cubans. It would have been unnecessary for a valuable agent to take the chance of shooting Walker if Oswald had the assignment of killing the president. If I had to guess I'd say that Oswald acted alone, but I was puzzled by the accuracy of his shooting. Oswald didn't have a record of being an outstanding marksman and yet he hit the president with two shots while his car was moving slowly down the road. His third shot hit Governor Connally. I went to the book depository from which Oswald fired at the president and I looked out the window where he was positioned. I've been around guns all my life and I'm a reasonably good shot, but I must say that that would be quite a task for me. It was, tragically, damn good shooting.

On the other hand, it seemed extremely likely to me that Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner who knew a lot of low characters, who was a police buff, and who had a working relationship with the local police, could easily have been a police informer. That certainly could explain Ruby's presence at the jail where he shot Oswald.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

When JFK was assassinated in Dallas, Sullivan was put in charge of the bureau's in-house investigation. He was expected to work closely with John M. Whitten, who was running the CIA investgation of Lee Harvey Oswald. Whitten and his staff of 30 officers, were sent a large amount of information from the FBI. According to Gerald D. McKnight "the FBI deluged his branch with thousands of reports containing bits and fragments of witness testimony that required laborious and time-consuming name checks." Whitten later described most of this FBI material as "weirdo stuff". As a result of this initial investigation, Whitten told Richard Helms that he believed that Oswald had acted alone in the assassination of JFK.

However, on 6th December, Nicholas Katzenbach invited John M. Whitten and Birch O'Neal, Angleton's trusted deputy and senior Special Investigative Group (SIG) officer to read Commission Document 1 (CD1), the report that the FBI had written on Lee Harvey Oswald. Whitten now realized that the FBI had been withholding important information on Oswald from him. He also discovered that Richard Helms had not been providing him all of the agency's available files on Oswald. This included Oswald's political activities in the months preceding the assassination.

After talking to Winston Scott, the CIA station chief in Mexico City, Whitten also discovered that Lee Harvey Oswald had been photographed at the Cuban consulate in early October, 1963. Scott had not reported this matter to Whitten, his boss, at the time. Nor had Scott told Whitten that Oswald had also visited the Soviet Embassy in Mexico. In fact, Whitten had not been informed of the existence of Oswald, even though there was a 201 pre-assassination file on him that had been maintained by the Counterintelligence/Special Investigative Group.

Whitten had a meeting where he argued that Oswald's pro-Castro political activities needed closer examination, especially his attempt to shoot the right-wing General Edwin Walker, his relationship with anti-Castro exiles in New Orleans, and his public support for the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Whitten added that has he had been denied this information, his initial conclusions on the assassination were "completely irrelevant."

Richard Helms responded by taking Whitten off the case. James Jesus Angleton, chief of the CIA's Counterintelligence Branch, was now put in charge of the investigation. According to Gerald McKnight (Breach of Trust) Angleton "wrested the CIA's in-house investigation away from John Whitten because he either was convinced or pretended to believe that the purpose of Oswald's trip to Mexico City had been to meet with his KGB handlers to finalize plans to assassinate Kennedy."

The investigation by Sullivan and Angleton became the basis for the Warren Commission Report. However, it only emerged in his posthumous published autobiography that Sullivan had doubts about the guilt of Lee Harvey Oswald: "Oswald didn't have a record of being an outstanding marksman and yet he hit the president with two shots while his car was moving slowly down the road. His third shot hit Governor Connally. I went to the book depository from which Oswald fired at the president and I looked out the window where he was positioned. I've been around guns all my life and I'm a reasonably good shot, but I must say that that would be quite a task for me. It was, tragically, damn good shooting."

Sullivan had been scheduled to testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations. Along with John Whitten, he was the most important of all the HSCA witnesses. However, Sullivan was shot dead near his home in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire, on 9th November, 1977. An inquest decided that he had been shot accidentally by fellow hunter, Robert Daniels, who was fined $500 and lost his hunting license for 10 years.

Sullivan was one of six top FBI officials who died in a six month period in 1977. Others who were due to appear before the committee who died included Louis Nicholas, special assistant to J. Edgar Hoover and Hoover's liaison with the Warren Commission; Alan H. Belmont, special assistant to Hoover; James Cadigan, document expert with access to documents that related to death of John F. Kennedy; J. M. English, former head of FBI Forensic Sciences Laboratory where Oswald's rifle and pistol were tested; Donald Kaylor, FBI fingerprint chemist who examined prints found at the assassination scene.

At the time of his death Sullivan was working on a book with journalist Bill Brown about his experiences with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI was published posthumously in 1979.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are another two reasons why Sullivan was murdered in 1977.

(1) In 1968 Sullivan was the lead investigator into the assassination of Martin Luther King and was involved in the arrest of James Earl Ray. In his autobiography he wrote: "I was convinced that James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther King, but I doubt if he acted alone... Someone, I feel sure, taught Ray how to get a false Canadian passport, how to get out of the country, and how to travel to Europe because he could never have managed it alone. And how did Ray pay for the passport and the airline tickets?" Sullivan believes that Ray was paid to kill King. He quotes Ray's brother as saying: "My brother would never do anything unless he was richly paid."

(2) Sullivan was also involved in the FBI investigation of the assassination of Robert Kennedy. In his autobiography he argued that Sirhan Sirhan probably acted alone but "we never found out why". He added: "There were so many holes in the case. We never could account for Sirhan's presence in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel. Did he know Kennedy would be walking through? Intelligence work is exasperating. You can work on a case for years and still not know the real answers. There are so many unknowns. Investigating Sirhan was a frustrating job, for in the end we were never sure."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

William Sullivan carried out the original FBI investigation into the JFK assassination. It was this report that was used by the Warren Commission. You would therefore have thought that Sullivan was a strong supporter of the lone gunman theory. As I pointed out earlier, he was killed while writing his memoirs. These were edited by Bill Brown and appeared two years later. This is what he has to say about the assassination in his book: The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI (1979)

We got going on the case right away. Officially, the Criminal Division was in charge of the investigation, but there wasn't too much to investigate after Lee Harvey Oswald, the only suspect, was killed. On the other hand, over at my shop we had to untangle Oswald's myriad subversive connections. Were the Soviets behind it? Were the Cubans behind it? Was anyone behind it? It grew into a gigantic intelligence operation with over twenty-eight hundred agents working on the case.

Oswald had spent a lot of time in Mexico, so our Mexican office played an important part in the investigation. We also had agents in Canada, Central America, England, and Italy tracking down leads. We even got a note from a man in France who said he had six letters written by Oswald which would solve the case. He offered to sell us the letters for ten thousand dollars, but he turned out to be a well known European con man who didn't have any such letters. He was later arrested and prosecuted by the French police.

We didn't have much on Oswald in our files prior to the assassination. We knew that he had lived in Russia and that he'd come back with a Russian wife, which was unusual for a couple of reasons. First of all, we never found out just why the Russians allowed Marina to leave the Soviet Union at a time when they were not permitting any Russians to come out. Second, she was a woman of extraordinary intelligence, much smarter than Oswald. Oswald had tried to commit suicide while he was in Russia by slashing his wrists, and we developed evidence that the Soviets looked on him as a nut, a nuisance, and were anxious to get him out of the country. This information was not firm, but was reported to us from a number of sources. There were so many other more subversive characters in our files with worse records than Oswald's and we had so little on Oswald that his case was considered a "Pending Inactive" case. Lee Harvey Oswald was really a cipher, a nobody to the FBI. After the assassination, of course, he became our most important subject.

But even after we zeroed in on Oswald, there were huge gaps in the case, gaps we never did close. For example, we never found out what went on between Oswald and the Cubans in Mexico.

Although his Russian connection had alerted us to Oswald in the first place, the bureau really couldn't keep him under surveillance merely because he had been to Russia and married a Russian wife. I can imagine the reaction of the Civil Liberties Union if we had "Can't American citizens go to Russia without being hounded by the FBI?" Oswald wasn't a criminal, just a nut, and the FBI doesn't have the facilities to keep tabs on nuts.

I always tended to doubt that Oswald was a Russian or a Cuban agent because of his unsuccessful attempt on the life of General Edwin A. Walker. Walker was a right-winger, a John Bircher, but basically a nobody to the Russians or the Cubans. It would have been unnecessary for a valuable agent to take the chance of shooting Walker if Oswald had the assignment of killing the president. If I had to guess I'd say that Oswald acted alone, but I was puzzled by the accuracy of his shooting. Oswald didn't have a record of being an outstanding marksman and yet he hit the president with two shots while his car was moving slowly down the road. His third shot hit Governor Connally. I went to the book depository from which Oswald fired at the president and I looked out the window where he was positioned. I've been around guns all my life and I'm a reasonably good shot, but I must say that that would be quite a task for me. It was, tragically, damn good shooting.

On the other hand, it seemed extremely likely to me that Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner who knew a lot of low characters, who was a police buff, and who had a working relationship with the local police, could easily have been a police informer. That certainly could explain Ruby's presence at the jail where he shot Oswald.

____________________________________________

I don't understand why LHO was just a "nut" and a "cipher" to the FBI when they must have known that LHO had tried to renounce his U.S. citizenship in Russia and had threatened to tell the Russians certain secrets about the U-2 spyplanes flying out of Atsugi, Japan.

FWIW, Thomas

____________________________________________

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is William C. Sullivan's account of the death of Robert Kennedy (The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI, 1979):

Although Hoover was desperately trying to catch Bobby Kennedy red-handed at anything, he never did. Kennedy was almost a Puritan. We used to watch him at parties, where he would order one glass of scotch and still be sipping from the same glass two hours later. The stories about Bobby Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were just stories. The original story was invented by a so-called journalist, a right-wing zealot who had a history of spinning wild yarns. It spread like wildfire, of course, and J. Edgar Hoover was right there, gleefully fanning the flames.

When Bobby Kennedy was campaigning for the presidential nomination in 1968, his name came up at a top-level FBI meeting. Hoover was not present, and Clyde Tolson was presiding in his absence. I was one of eight men who heard Tolson respond to the mention of Kennedy's name by saying, "I hope someone shoots and kills the son of a bitch." This was five or six weeks before the California primary. I used to stare at Tolson after Bobby Kennedy was murdered, wondering if he had qualms of conscience about what he said. I don't think he did.

On 6 June 1968, the Los Angeles office called me at about two o'clock in the morning to tell me that Robert Kennedy had been killed. I had the damn phone in my hand, half asleep, and I asked the agent to repeat what he'd said. And then I woke up, really woke up.

There was another tremendous investigation of course, and we did finally decide that Sirhan acted alone, but we never found out why. Although he was fanatic about the Arab cause, we could never link Sirhan to any organization or to any other country. He never received a dime from anyone for what he did. We sometimes wondered whether someone representing the Soviets had suggested to Sirhan that Kennedy would take action against the Arab countries if he became president. But that was only a guess.

There were so many holes in the case. We never could account for Sirhan's presence in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel. Did he know Kennedy would be walking through? Intelligence work is exasperating. You can work on a case for years and still not know the real answers. There are so many unknowns. Investigating Sirhan was a frustrating job, for in the end we were never sure.

Hoover's dislike of Robert Kennedy continued even after Kennedy's death. We had a positive identification on James Earl Ray, the killer of Martin Luther King, Jr., a full day before Hoover released the news to the world that he had been caught in London. He purposely held up the report of Ray's capture so that he could interrupt TV coverage of Bobby's burial, on June 8.

Hoover was as fond of Ted Kennedy as he had been of his brothers. It was the FBI which circulated the story that Teddy Kennedy was a poor student and had cheated on an exam. By rights the FBI should have had nothing to do with the Chappaquiddick affair, but the Boston office was put on the case right away. Although Hoover was delighted to cooperate, the order did not originate with him. It came from the White House.

Everything that came in on Kennedy and on Mary Jo Kopechne, the unfortunate young woman who drowned in his car, was funnelled to the White House. Hoover even assigned our local agent to dig into the affair. The White House asked Hoover to make the assignment and Hoover jumped through the hoop to do it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sullivan was one of six top FBI officials who died in a six month period in 1977. Others who were due to appear before the committee who died included Louis Nicholas, special assistant to J. Edgar Hoover and Hoover's liaison with the Warren Commission; Alan H. Belmont, special assistant to Hoover; James Cadigan, document expert with access to documents that related to death of John F. Kennedy; J. M. English, former head of FBI Forensic Sciences Laboratory where Oswald's rifle and pistol were tested; Donald Kaylor, FBI fingerprint chemist who examined prints found at the assassination scene.

At the time of his death Sullivan was working on a book with journalist Bill Brown about his experiences with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI was published posthumously in 1979.

Does anyone know if Donald Kaylor reached any conclusion re the prints?

Thanks

Dawn

ps John: Nice to see that you now believe Sullivan was murdered too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

William Sullivan carried out the original FBI investigation into the JFK assassination. It was this report that was used by the Warren Commission. You would therefore have thought that Sullivan was a strong supporter of the lone gunman theory. As I pointed out earlier, he was killed while writing his memoirs. These were edited by Bill Brown and appeared two years later. This is what he has to say about the assassination in his book: The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI (1979)

We got going on the case right away. Officially, the Criminal Division was in charge of the investigation, but there wasn't too much to investigate after Lee Harvey Oswald, the only suspect, was killed. On the other hand, over at my shop we had to untangle Oswald's myriad subversive connections. Were the Soviets behind it? Were the Cubans behind it? Was anyone behind it? It grew into a gigantic intelligence operation with over twenty-eight hundred agents working on the case.

Oswald had spent a lot of time in Mexico, so our Mexican office played an important part in the investigation. We also had agents in Canada, Central America, England, and Italy tracking down leads. We even got a note from a man in France who said he had six letters written by Oswald which would solve the case. He offered to sell us the letters for ten thousand dollars, but he turned out to be a well known European con man who didn't have any such letters. He was later arrested and prosecuted by the French police.

We didn't have much on Oswald in our files prior to the assassination. We knew that he had lived in Russia and that he'd come back with a Russian wife, which was unusual for a couple of reasons. First of all, we never found out just why the Russians allowed Marina to leave the Soviet Union at a time when they were not permitting any Russians to come out. Second, she was a woman of extraordinary intelligence, much smarter than Oswald. Oswald had tried to commit suicide while he was in Russia by slashing his wrists, and we developed evidence that the Soviets looked on him as a nut, a nuisance, and were anxious to get him out of the country. This information was not firm, but was reported to us from a number of sources. There were so many other more subversive characters in our files with worse records than Oswald's and we had so little on Oswald that his case was considered a "Pending Inactive" case. Lee Harvey Oswald was really a cipher, a nobody to the FBI. After the assassination, of course, he became our most important subject.

But even after we zeroed in on Oswald, there were huge gaps in the case, gaps we never did close. For example, we never found out what went on between Oswald and the Cubans in Mexico.

Although his Russian connection had alerted us to Oswald in the first place, the bureau really couldn't keep him under surveillance merely because he had been to Russia and married a Russian wife. I can imagine the reaction of the Civil Liberties Union if we had "Can't American citizens go to Russia without being hounded by the FBI?" Oswald wasn't a criminal, just a nut, and the FBI doesn't have the facilities to keep tabs on nuts.

I always tended to doubt that Oswald was a Russian or a Cuban agent because of his unsuccessful attempt on the life of General Edwin A. Walker. Walker was a right-winger, a John Bircher, but basically a nobody to the Russians or the Cubans. It would have been unnecessary for a valuable agent to take the chance of shooting Walker if Oswald had the assignment of killing the president. If I had to guess I'd say that Oswald acted alone, but I was puzzled by the accuracy of his shooting. Oswald didn't have a record of being an outstanding marksman and yet he hit the president with two shots while his car was moving slowly down the road. His third shot hit Governor Connally. I went to the book depository from which Oswald fired at the president and I looked out the window where he was positioned. I've been around guns all my life and I'm a reasonably good shot, but I must say that that would be quite a task for me. It was, tragically, damn good shooting.

On the other hand, it seemed extremely likely to me that Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner who knew a lot of low characters, who was a police buff, and who had a working relationship with the local police, could easily have been a police informer. That certainly could explain Ruby's presence at the jail where he shot Oswald.

____________________________________________

Why was LHO just a "nut" and a "cipher, according to Sullivan, when the FBI probably knew that LHO had tried to renounce his U.S. citizenship in Russia and had threatened to tell the Russians certain secrets about the U-2 spyplanes flying out of Atsugi, Japan? (Or was it, by definition, more of a CIA "thang?")

FWIW, Thomas

____________________________________________

Comments, anyone?

--Thomas

____________________________________________

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...
Sullivan's book on Hoover was published postumously and states that the shooting was considered an accident by Sullivan's family. Evidently, his neighbor saw him in the woods and thought he was a deer.

John Hawkins interviewed Robert Novak for the Right Wing News (20th August, 2007)

http://www.rightwingnews.com/mt331/2007/08...obert_novak.php

John Hawkins: Now in 1977, during the Carter administration, you seem to have implied in the book that Bill Sullivan, a FBI source of yours, was murdered. In fact, you said that he told you if he was killed in an "accidental shooting," not to believe it. (Later), he was mistaken for a deer and shot to death. You think he was murdered and if so, by whom?

Robert Novak: ....That was in his retirement. He was fired by Hoover and he had an awful lot of enemies both on the Left and Right. He was the number three man in the FBI and a great source of mine.

I don't know, I just tell the story as it is. He told me the last time I saw him -- he had lunch at my house -- he had been fired by Hoover and he was going into retirement -- he said that, "Someday you will read that I have been killed in an accident, but don't believe it, I've been murdered," which was a shocking thing to say.

...Some years later, I read in the paper that he was out at dawn hunting in New Hampshire and a young man, a fellow hunter, with a long range rifle, killed him. He shot him in the neck, mistook him for a deer. The story was that the police investigated, said it was an accident, and Mr. Sullivan's family, and the man who was ghostwriting his memoirs, accepted that.

I just tell you the story straight out. There's a lot of strange things in the world that we never know the answer to.

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From Sullivan's "memoirs":

For example, we never found out what went on between Oswald and the Cubans in Mexico.

That was because the CIA and FBI were each ordered by their respective HQ in DC to stop that kind of investigation, over the objections of the agents in Mexico City. The investigation was aborted by the "powers that be".

Let me offer one suggestion. What do you think went through the mind of Richard Helms when he heard about a report to FBI in London by a journalist who claimed he had seen Jack Ruby in a Cuban jail, visiting an American gangster named "Santo" or "Santos", a gangster Helms knew had been deeply involved in the CIA/Mafia partnership to kill Castro? Had the FBI or WC investigated Trafficante, Helms must have known it probably would have led to the discovery of the CIA plots to assassinate Castro. Even worse, it might have led to evidence that one of the gangsters the CIA recruited to kill Castro had instead killed the President.

The spectre of a Ruby link to Trafficante so early on in the game could be sufficient in and of itself to initiate the cover-up.

Remember the report of a possible Ruby-Trafficante link came before the creation of the WC and the appointment of Allen Dulles to it. Perhaps the title of Powers' bio of Helms more properly belonged to Mr. Dulles.

Edited by Tim Gratz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

William C. Sullivan, The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover's FBI (1979)

We got going on the case right away. Officially, the Criminal Division was in charge of the investigation, but there wasn't too much to investigate after Lee Harvey Oswald, the only suspect, was killed. On the other hand, over at my shop we had to untangle Oswald's myriad subversive connections. Were the Soviets behind it? Were the Cubans behind it? Was anyone behind it? It grew into a gigantic intelligence operation with over twenty-eight hundred agents working on the case.

Oswald had spent a lot of time in Mexico, so our Mexican office played an important part in the investigation. We also had agents in Canada, Central America, England, and Italy tracking down leads. We even got a note from a man in France who said he had six letters written by Oswald which would solve the case. He offered to sell us the letters for ten thousand dollars, but he turned out to be a wellknown European con man who didn't have any such letters. He was later arrested and prosecuted by the French police.

We didn't have much on Oswald in our files prior to the assassination. We knew that he had lived in Russia and that he'd come back with a Russian wife, which was unusual for a couple of reasons. First of all, we never found out just why the Russians allowed Marina to leave the Soviet Union at a time when they were not permitting any Russians to come out. Second, she was a woman of extraordinary intelligence, much smarter than Oswald. Oswald had tried to commit suicide while he was in Russia by slashing his wrists, and we developed evidence that the Soviets looked on him as a nut, a nuisance, and were anxious to get him out of the country. This information was not firm, but was reported to us from a number of sources. There were so many other more subversive characters in our files with worse records than Oswald's and we had so little on Oswald that his case was considered a "Pending Inactive" case. Lee Harvey Oswald was really a cipher, a nobody to the FBI. After the assassination, of course, he became our most important subject.

But even after we zeroed in on Oswald, there were huge gaps in the case, gaps we never did close. For example, we never found out what went on between Oswald and the Cubans in Mexico.

Although his Russian connection had alerted us to Oswald in the first place, the bureau really couldn't keep him under surveillance merely because he had been to Russia and married a Russian wife. I can imagine the reaction of the Civil Liberties Union if we had: "Can't American citizens go to Russia without being hounded by the FBI?" Oswald wasn't a criminal, just a nut, and the FBI doesn't have the facilities to keep tabs on nuts.

I always tended to doubt that Oswald was a Russian or a Cuban agent because of his unsuccessful attempt on the life of General Edwin A. Walker. Walker was a right-winger, a John Bircher, but basically a nobody to the Russians or the Cubans. It would have been unnecessary for a valuable agent to take the chance of shooting Walker if Oswald had the assignment of killing the president. If I had to guess I'd say that Oswald acted alone, but I was puzzled by the accuracy of his shooting. Oswald didn't have a record of being an outstanding marksman and yet he hit the president with two shots while his car was moving slowly down the road. His third shot hit Governor Connally. I went to the book depository from which Oswald fired at the president and I looked out the window where he was positioned. I've been around guns all my life and I'm a reasonably good shot, but I must say that that would be quite a task for me. It was, tragically, damn good shooting.

On the other hand, it seemed extremely likely to me that Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner who knew a lot of low characters, who was a police buff, and who had a working relationship with the local police, could easily have been a police informer. That certainly could explain Ruby's presence at the jail where he shot Oswald.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

More on Sullivan.

From patspeer.com

According to both Acting Attorney General Katzenbach (in his testimony before the HSCA) and Assistant FBI Director William Sullivan, J. Edgar Hoover wanted to close the investigation into President Kennedy's assassination with the issue of the FBI's report and was behind the leaking of this report to the media.

Sullivan actually went further than that. A memo on a 4-21-75 interview of Sullivan by the staff of the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations reports "Sullivan offered that Hoover didn't like the Warren Commission because Hoover didn't want any organization going over the grounds that the FBI had already investigated in fear that the Warren Commission would discover something else that the FBI might have forgotten or ignored. In this connection, Sullivan said that Hoover had leaked the results of the FBI investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy to the press in December 1963, in order to preempt the Warren Commission's findings. Sullivan said that the leak to the press was done via Deloach, who gave the story to a cooperative news source at the Chicago Tribune and also the Washington Evening Star. Sullivan said that the allegation was then leaked that it was Acting Attorney General Katzenbach who had leaked the FBI's findings. Sullivan said that the Bureau personnel who would have been aware of the leak were Mohr, Tolson, Edward Clayton, and Belmont. Sullivan added that this was not an unusual practice of Hoover's."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...