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Question For Larry Hancock And Greg Parker


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Stan, I'm going to define "immediately before" as all the way back to the afternoon of November 22. First, we know that immediately following the assassination, certainly following the arrest of Oswald, a worker in Jack's club reported that Jack received a number of calls from the same individual who refused to identify himself. Upon being informed of the calls Jack became very nervous and gave the indication that he who had been calling and didn't want to discuss it.

Although we do not know who the caller was, we do know that the only long distance call on record that Ruby himself made to anyone other than relatives was to Al Gruber in L.A. This would be the same Al Gruber that went to Dallas to visit Ruby in mid November after having no contact with him for ten years prior. When asked the reason Gruber stated he dropped in to visit Ruby because he was in the neighborhood - on a trip to Arkansas. Ruby had called Gruber on Nov. 17 and folowing that call was reportedly sighted in Las Vegas - there are a number of reports to that effect but none solid enough for the WC to put him there.

Beyond that we don't know who he may have been in touch with on Saturday because Ruby was far to smart to use his personal or club phones for calls which would have created a record. We also don't know who Ruby may have been in contact with inside the DPD prior to the assassination although Kantor gives us a detailed record of his appearances in and around the DPD building where Oswald was being held. We can deduce he had at least one good source though because we know that he knew that a transfer of Oswald was planned and then called off on Saturday afternoon.

Beyond the Gruber contact its all speculation but combining the Gruber (L.A.) contacts before the assassination and immediately following the assassination with the reported call from Vegas which recruited Belli to defend Ruby - using his brother as the cover for the payment - it certainly looks like Ruby's chain was being pulled by someone with contacts on the L.A./Vegas nexus. For myself, as those who have read my book know, I speculate that would be Roselli.

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Query whether there may still be existent bank records which could trace the source of the retainer paid by the Belli firm? Also wonder why the HSCA did not consider this avenue of investigation. It is my understanding that who pays a law firm is not subject to any privilege.

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Tim, I am acquainted with one lawyer who has been researching Belli for

several years and who hopes to publish a book which would include his

long term relationships with organized crime figures. It's my understanding that he has been seeking access to the sort of records which would trace a paper trail for the money - with no success given that the folks who hold what remains of Belli's papers and records are not exactly happy with this train of inquiry. And as you can imagine, you would not expect any response other than denials from the Ruby family.

I haven't gotten an update on his progress lately, he gave us an initial presentation a couple of years ago at a Lancer conference - it involved many examples of Belli associate with organized crime elements and essentially being a syndicate "groupie." Of couse if you are going to make a living off defending those types of clients I suppose you would be accused of being a "mob lawyer" at some point in time in any event.

As to why the HSCA did not investigate this - simple - the information only surfaced in a book that was published in 1981. It wasn't something that was brought to the attention of any official investigation; just as Roselli's remarks to his own lawyer were known only to that individual's law partner until an interview conducted only a few years ago. That lawyer, although a former Justice Department organized crime prosecutor, also apparently failed to bring the remarks before any official body.

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Larry not to be a Monday morning quarterback but it seems like who paid Ruby's defense bills would be an obvious question; even the WC could have discovered that (of course it did not want to go that route).

To obtain access to the records now, I think, would require an official government investigation. But I think verification that the "mob" or a specific mobster paid the bills would certainly fill in at least one small piece of what still remains a big puzzle.

As you know, Belli was known as the "king of torts" but he also handled big ticket divorce cases.

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Tim, circa 1964 a great number of people were spending a lot of time

not facing up to many things about Jack Ruby. The DPD was busy

avoiding his extensive associations with its officers and personnel. The WC went so far as to abandon its only two field investigators, who were assigned to Dallas and had become immensely suspicious of Ruby. They were forced out and upon departing extracted a promise to be called and present once Ruby was formally interviewed by the WC, that didn't happen.

It's been demonstrated at great length that Ruby's crime connections and probable connections to gun dealing were avoided. You will find lots of that in my book and in prior works like Kantors. I also go though the box of evidence that was turned over to DPD, seen by multiple officers and acknowledged by the DA prosecuting the Ruby case....who simply said that all the material contained in it connecting Ruby to Oswald and a conspiracy would not have helped him with his case so he wasn't interested.

Given that sort of context, does it really surprise you that the WC expressed no interest in Ruby's defense?

And will we come up with corroboration of all this much less definitive proof....after 40 plus years, not very likely.

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Larry, no, of course the WC had an agenda. Jack Ruby had to be portrayed as much a lone "nut" as LHO.

So too the FBI.

Am I correct that FBI HQ in DC ordered its agents in London, a few days after the assassination, not to pursue the report of the English journalist that in 1959 he had seen Ruby meeting with Trafficante at Trescornia? If I recall correctly, the stated reason was "we already know Ruby was in Cuba".

By the way, did the term "bellicose" have its origin through Mr. Belli?

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Whom do you think Ruby was in contact with just prior to his killing Oswald? 

My thanks to you both in advance.

Stan

Stan,

Ruby himself testified that the person he was trying very hard to contact was Gordon McLendon.

A little-known contact he did make between the assassination and his murder of Oswald by phone was with a bloke in California named Lyle Hazen Cameron. Cameron was a skydiver, and published a magazine on that subject. Some interesting discussions about him on a skydiving usernet group... eg he'd had many "amazing" adventures in South America; was "well-conected, thought not in a mafia sense" ; had been "commissioned as a temporary active duty

US NAVY Lieutenant for the purpose of studying and filming spheres in

freefall."

Cameron married a lady by the name of Joan Secord. Any relationship there to Richard Secord might be prove most interesting in view of Secord's known activities and associates.

A contact that occured on the morning of the assassination is one I am interested in as well. Ruby told the FBI he met a man named "Mr Payne" in Toni Zoppi's office. Trouble is, there was no one with that name employed by the DMN. However, a member of the Dallas Bar Association named Robert Payne had among his clients, those who paid for the Black Border ad. Ruby neglected to mention this meeting though, once before the WC - saying only that he'd been in Zoppi's office.

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Greg mentioned Gordon McLendon and since McLendon is not that often discussed I thought I'm mention a couple of things, keeping in mind that although Ruby was apparently trying to contact him he was doing it in a very transparent manner indicating that if McLendon was truly some sort of backchennel it wasn't one that was set up very effectively before hand.

One of the more interesting things about McLendon is that he seems to have been very well acquainted with David Phillips and (like Mrs. Pawley) supported the retired intelligence officer group largely organized by Phillips after his early retirement (and according to Phillips himself, with the goal of countering charges of illegal actions by former CIA employees), especially media charges.

I don't know that anyone has really brought out when the two men became acquainted but at one point after Phillip's retirement the two worked together on a project of McLendon's that would have fielded a TV series about the CIA very similar to the highly successful FBI series.

It would be very interesting to know more about the personal relationship and contacts (not to mention any shared political views) of Phillips and McLendon. McLendon himself appears to have been a fascinating and highly successful individual, some quick google searches on him will demonstrate that. Not the sort of fellow you would imagine hanging out at Jack's club though.

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After the assassination, Ruby conveyed the impression that his phone calls to a variety of peculiar persons were placed in a bid to find help in his on-going troubles with the American Guild of Variety Artists, the "union" governing the strippers and performers at his club.

This seems to have been swallowed whole by the WC, and largely ignored by HSCA and others thereafter. I've always had a problem with the WC's blithe acceptance of this, for two key reasons.

First, the persons called by Ruby had no connection with AGVA whatsoever, nor any broad experience with labour union protocols that might make them well placed to give him advice on the topic. [Moreover, the persons called by Ruby either denied the phone calls, or denied knowing Ruby, or depicted him as only a casual acquaintance. So, why the phone calls?]

Second, and far more important to my mind, the WC knew - or certainly should have done - that AGVA was no mere labour union, but part of a larger criminal enterprise. We know this because in September 1963, the US Senate took extensive testimony from a variety of women from the US and Canada, in which it was alleged that AGVA lured women into white slavery by offering them good paying jobs as entertainers. Upon accepting the offers of work, the women were transported over state lines for stripping and prostitution purposes. Consequently, it is simply impossible that the WC was unaware of AGVA's sordid activities. However, the WC's acknowledgement of that fact would have placed Ruby squarely in the midst of that criminal enterprise, which the Commission gingerly eschewed.

How and why is this relevant to Stan's question?

On the morning of November 24, 1963, a telegram was sent to Jack Ruby in Dallas by somebody in Chicago - purporting to be an AGVA official - stating "Don't send the letter today. It would be embarrassing." [Or words to that effect.]

If we accept, as the Commission seems to have done, that there was nothing nefarious about Ruby seeking advice and intervention re: his alleged AGVA troubles, then this likely means nothing. [in order to accept this, we must also accept that the Commissioners knew nothing about the September '63 public testimony before the US Senate by those claiming to have been forced into prostitution by AGVA personnel. That's a rather glaring omission by WC staff.]

If we suspect, however, that Ruby's AGVA story was concocted to justify otherwise provocative contacts leading up to the assassination, then the AGVA telegram of 11/24/63 begins to smell like an order rescinding a prior command, perhaps even an order to kill Oswald.

Those interested in determining which is more likely should investigate Ruby's contacts with AGVA personnel in Dallas, and seek out a list of the other tenants in the Dallas office building where AGVA was located, which Ruby visited frequently per the extant record of testimony.

At the risk of ascribing more credibility to an author than is otherwise deserved, Robert Morrow's work gets into an aspect of this. While I largely discount what he has offered, he has proved correct [or very nearly so] in his assertions vis a vis Ruby and AGVA in Dallas.

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Since we have so many good sources on Ruby gathered on one thread, I'll go ahead and ask a question that's been nagging me for years. Is there any relationship between the Vincent Lee who upset Ruby in the fifties, and the Vincent T. Lee who ran the Fair Play for Cuba Committee? As I said, this has bugged me awhile (but not enough to fully research it). Most recently, it cropped up when I was browsing through Walt Brown's book where he analyzes the kinds of questions asked by the WC. It turns out, as I suspected, that virtually nobody was asked as few background questions as Lee, which seems strange. Since they were anxious to make sure the public made no connection between FPCC and Oswald, or their whole no-conspiracy claim would implode, you would think the WC would have asked Lee a lot of questions designed to show he was a leftist but not a conspirator, and that therefore the public should believe his testimony. Instead, they leave him a mystery. According to Brown's stats, the only person asked more questions than Lee who was asked as few questions about himself was Larry O'Brien. (And that's probably because they were scared O'Brien would let the cat out of the bag about LBJ's upcoming plan to set-up Nixon. Just kidding...)

Edited by Pat Speer
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Since I think we ALL agree there was a conspiracy, is there any one of us who does not think Ruby was part of it? He may be the only person we can all agree had to be part of the conspiracy. Therefore the points made and inquiries suggested above are, in my opinion, of very great importance. We should try to track from Ruby to the next step up the ladder.

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  • 3 years later...
Whom do you think Ruby was in contact with just prior to his killing Oswald? 

My thanks to you both in advance.

Stan

Stan,

Ruby himself testified that the person he was trying very hard to contact was Gordon McLendon.

A little-known contact he did make between the assassination and his murder of Oswald by phone was with a bloke in California named Lyle Hazen Cameron. Cameron was a skydiver, and published a magazine on that subject. Some interesting discussions about him on a skydiving usernet group... eg he'd had many "amazing" adventures in South America; was "well-conected, thought not in a mafia sense" ; had been "commissioned as a temporary active duty

US NAVY Lieutenant for the purpose of studying and filming spheres in

freefall."

Cameron married a lady by the name of Joan Secord. Any relationship there to Richard Secord might be prove most interesting in view of Secord's known activities and associates.

A contact that occured on the morning of the assassination is one I am interested in as well. Ruby told the FBI he met a man named "Mr Payne" in Toni Zoppi's office. Trouble is, there was no one with that name employed by the DMN. However, a member of the Dallas Bar Association named Robert Payne had among his clients, those who paid for the Black Border ad. Ruby neglected to mention this meeting though, once before the WC - saying only that he'd been in Zoppi's office.

For an important update on Lyle Hazen Cameron, see:

http://reopenjfkcase.dockearth.com/?q=node/7

It appears he not only knew Ruby, but also Harry Olsen and Jerry Hemming...

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Guest Tom Scully
....For an important update on Lyle Hazen Cameron, see:

http://reopenjfkcase.dockearth.com/?q=node/7

It appears he not only knew Ruby, but also Harry Olsen and Jerry Hemming...

Greg, the person you reference seems to be "Lyle Cameron Sr.". There are recently many references online to his son, Cameron Jr., who grants permission for

reuse of material and photos from his father's now defunct, "Skydivers Magazine".

http://books.google.com/books?q=skydiver%2...sa=N&tab=wp

Parachuting: The Skydiver's Handbook‎ - Page 104

by Dan Poynter, Mike Turoff - Sports & Recreation - 2003 - 408 pages

Lyle Cameron died while piloting an airplane in Honduras.

Account of June 19, 1993 crash from a passenger in Cessna 180 piloted by Lyle Cameron:

http://www.cajunvic.com/site/Planecrash.html

I've found this connection, and I assume it is Cameron Sr. His former partner might be someone who can provide useful information:

http://www.if1airracing.com/IF1_Bio.php?pilotID=422

....In the early ´50s, following service as a paratrooper, all the while adding to his pilot´s log, Maslen established and operated an air taxi service at Burbank, California. He subsequently joined friend, Lyle Cameron, in the opening of the first sky-diving school in California which he operated for the ensuing 10 years while concurrently flying helicopters for the Los Angeles Police Department.

These multi-faceted flying activities were terminated however by this married father of 2 in 1966 when he began a 31 year United Air Lines career, and a continuing follow-on venture as a Captain with Honduran air operator in Tegucigalpa....

I'll post anything related I find about Joan Secord.

Edited by Tom Scully
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Tom,

I just came across thisin Weberman's nodules:

INTERPEN IS BORN: MAY 1961

The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba failed in April 1961; at that point HEMMING put together INTERPEN, aka PATRICK'S Raiders. Many early INTERPEN members had previously been associated STURGIS and Rolando Masferrer. Others were attracted as a result of the publicity generated by STURGIS and HEMMING in the press. HEMMING'S crew lived at Nellie Hamilton's boarding house. HEMMING described the group as composed of young Americans "who had been upset as the result of the unsuccessful Cuban invasion." On May 11, 1961 and May 18, 1961 the FBI in Miami, Florida, generated a document about HEMMING titled "Anti-Communist Legionnaires, File 2-312."

In May 1961 this letter from HEMMING appeared in Sky Diver Magazine:

"Greetings Smogville Jumpers:

Thought I would pass on some scoop. Many of the East Coast Sky Divers are to be found presently in the ranks of certain active anti-Castro rebel groups. These same groups are the ones conducting the P.T. boat raids and are the only ones running the B-25, B-26 and light aircraft parachute missions..."

HEMMING told this researcher: "May 1961. I typed a document up and a guy came around six months later and said, 'a woman complained in Michigan that her son was being recruited for operations in Cuba and you sent out this.' I sent out a bulletin to the people directing them to go to their nearest skydiver club, or the reserves, and don't come to Miami. I would get tons of letters from these assholes and I had to crank something up to stop 'em. And that's what ANGLETON had a copy of cause ANGLETON approved the son-of-a..." Later, HEMMING said: "He was being made aware that it was being done, and the reasons it was being done, because it would appear that I was recruiting U.S. citizens."

A thorough analysis of Olsen's phone records may be in order.

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