Jump to content
The Education Forum

Jean Souetre-Michael Mertz


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 45
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Well, Robert, are you 100% positive Souetre wasn't working for Castro, through Trafficante?  After all, the Corsicans were on the other end of that triangle or Hexagon whatever where East Asian dope was brought in through Marseille and Cuba(???) (I decided to fill in for Tim in his absence.)

Considering that politics [and greed] make for strange bedfellows, very little would surprise me at this point.  However, while Mertz was demonstrably active in international heroin smuggling - and no such allegation has been made against Souetre, to the best of my knowledge - I'd be more inclined to accept that anything to do with heroin trafficking involved Mertz, and not Souetre.

It's also entirely possible that it was Mertz in Dallas, impersonating Souetre, per Souetre's own claims.  However, that is purely speculation, made necessary by a maddening lack of details. 

Moreover, I find it odd that local Dallas INS personnel were instructed [per Dick Russell's book] to pick up a French national, yet he wasn't deported to France.  [Canada or Mexico, as I recall.]  If it was indeed Mertz, one wonders how the French themselves concluded it was Souetre who had been deported, unless that was what was reported to them by US officials.  Surely, INS staff were sufficiently well versed in genuine passports and travel documents - including the visas that this deportee would have needed to enter the US - to distinguish between the bona fide item and forgeries.  Hence, while impersonation cannot be ruled out definitively, I think it the least likely solution.

If the French authorities decided to ask CIA about "Souetre"'s whereabouts, rather than somebody more intimately familiar with the details such as INS [although they might have been asked and no documents from their files have yet surfaced], I can only conclude the French had reason to suspect that CIA had some relevant knowledge about "Souetre."   

Then there's the little issue of who ordered "Souetre"'s immediate deportation, and the basis used to justify this.  If the man had valid travel visas to enter the US, one surmises he had already met the requirements to be there.  Why the sudden reversal of attitude?  For the life of me, I just cannot understand the sudden decision to deport a reputed assassin from the scene of an assassination on the very day that this assassination occurred.  Why, it's almost as though somebody decided to order this man out of Dodge - free of any interference - at the precise time he might choose to escape, were he a part of the conspiracy to kill the President.

Perhaps you - in Tim's absence, and acting purely as the Devil's Advocate - would suggest that Trafficante had clout with the INS sufficient to achieve this?

Whereas I - suspicious bugger that I seem to be - am more inclined to ask awkward questions of CIA, the only body we know was certainly contacted by the French authorities for the particulars about "Souetre"'s last known whereabouts.  Seems to me that this might be a clue....    

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the posting, James.

That is the memo that started it all.

According to "Triangle of Death" that document was first discovered by Mary Ferrell in 1977 or so. It was discussed in Anthony Summer's "Conspiracy" published in 1980 and also in Henry Hurt's "Reasonable Doubt."

I consider "Triangle of Death" a fairly good book even though I disagree with its major premise implicating the South Vietnamese in the assassination. It contains several chapters discussing the OAS, the Algeria Crisis, Souetre and Michael Mertz.

One of the revelations in the book is an FBI memorandum dated 4/8/63 (the redacted document is printed in the book) requesting investigation of Dr. Lawrence Alderson. The book surmises that the FBI was investigating Alderson because he knew Souetre, raising the implication that the FBI was concerned about Souetre six months before the assassination. The book indicates that in the spring of 1963 the FBI conducted a fairly extensive investigation of Alderson, including records of his military service, his education, his civilian employment, his criminal record (none) and whether he had been traveling outside the US.

After the assassination Alderson told the FBI that he was a security officer in France in 1953 and lived with Souetre. Alderson was telephonically interviewed by Gary Shaw on October 5, 1977 and a transcript of that interview is reproduced in the book. Alderson stated he remained in mail contact with Souetre.

The document states that Souetre used the aliases Michael Roux and Michael Mertz. I will discuss Michael Roux in my next post.

Edited by Tim Gratz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to "Triangle of Death" a FBI teletype from Dallas to Washington indicated it had found a Frenchman named Michael Roux who had been in Texas on November 22, 1963.

Roux was a hotel clerk and restaurant student in Paris. Roux claimed to have been in the French army and stationed in Algeria. In Paris, Roux encountered and served as a tour guide for a successful businessman from Ft. Worth, Texas named Leon Gachman. Gachman invited Roux to visit him in Ft. Worth and Roux agreed to do so and he was in Ft. Worth on November 22, 1963.

According to an FBI interview, Roux and Gachman's son Arnold attended a class on the motning of November 22, 1963 and were having lunch in a Ft Worth cafe when Kennedy was killed.

Roux departed Texas for Laredo, Mexico on December 8, 1963.

Roux was in his mid twenties in 1963; he was six foot eight inches and weighed between 140 and 150 pounds. Query how closely he might have resembled Oswald?

The FBI had decided that this Roux was "clean".

Nevertheless, I am curious if any member has done any research on Michael Roux and/or Leon Gachman. I do not mean to imply that either Roux or Gachman should be considered suspects but additional information on them might be interesting.

I wonder how extensively the FBI checks "alibis". Did it take the word of Michael Roux and Arnold Gachman that they were in a Ft Worth cafe at noon on the 22nd, or did it attempt to obtain independent verification from employees of the cafe?

Later I will post on Michael Mertz.

Edited by Tim Gratz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW.

I spent some time researching Souetre, but I didn't get very far.

"(Release date: May 13, 2004. The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America's War on Drugs by Douglas Valentine. London: Verso Press, 2004. ISBN: 1-85984-568-1)

Consider, if you will, the JFK assassination in some ways rebounding off of the so-called French Connection. To most people, their idea of the French Connection is based upon the film, starring Gene Hackman. The film is based on a real case, handled by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN), however Valentine suggests that the French Connection case had ramifications far deeper than shown in the movie. One tangent of the French Connection involves former French colony Algeria. French president Charles DeGaulle collided with the Organization de l'Armee Secrete (OAS), which wanted to maintain French rule in Algeria. A complex series of offshoots, painstakingly detailed by Valentine in The Strength of the Wolf, branched into the July 1961 assassination plots against DeGaulle. Reportedly, the attempted overthrow by coup d'etat of French president DeGaulle was partly financed by about $200,000 in secret funds handled by none other than Permindex. (Recall that Clay Shaw was reportedly an employee of Permindex.)

Also connecting with the Organization de l'Armee Secrete (OAS) was former FBI agent Guy Banister, who reportedly sent the OAS $200,000 in 1962. That money allegedly went to Jean Rene Marie Souetre of the OAS. In early 1963, Monsieur Souetre had a sequence of clandestine meetings with, respectively, E. Howard Hunt, far-right General Edwin Walker, and Guy Banister. Souetre and unnamed Corsican assassins are shown by Valentine to have been the probable actual killers of John Kennedy. Corsican drug smugglers used as assassins were reportedly favored over U.S. Mafiosi due to ongoing Project Luciano-type entanglements between them and the CIA."

From William Harvey’s handwritten notes on setting up the ZR/Rifle Program

From ajweberman’s Coup d’etat in America Nodule 0

http://www.weberman.com/nodules/nodule0.htm

8. Use nobody who has never dealt with criminals; otherwise will not be

aware of pitfalls or consider factors such as freedom to travel, wanted

lists, etc. Exclude organization criminals, those with record of

arrests, those who have engaged in several types of crime. Corsicans

recommended. Sicilians lead to Mafia.

Souetre reportedledy met with E. Howard Hunt in Madrid to get CIA backing for the OAS. I belive the CIA turned them down.

From another 1998 posting by Stephane Risset:

"for you information, Jean Souetre was not in Dallas on 22/11/63, he was in jail in Oran ( algerie ), I met sou tre 2 years ago, he is not corsican, and a gangster, he his military man, back in 1961/2 he was under the order Salan/Jouhaud ( top general in alger) later it became an O.A.S men under the direction of pierre Sergant, and after so tre took the O.A.S direction for the spain.

Soutre was a specialist of terrorism, and anti-terrorism, he belonged a

commando now : delta ( service action de l'O.A.S )

but the thing his this: Soutre was a friend of Michel Merzt ( died in july 1997) Merzt was military men, working for the nazi in second war.after the war, he became a spy and a gangster very dangerous,in the event of alger and O.A.S matter

Merzt infiltrate the O.A.S organisation, for the french secret service.

there are lots of physicals apparence between the 2 guys.

Soutre tell me that it was Merzt who was in Dallas,with his passports.

i see lot of document belong to Soutre, I think there is no doute that

Soutre was not involving in Dallas, I can't says the same thing for Merzt. Merzt was a very dangerous person,with lot of murderer, it was also involving in drug traffic knowing at the name of " FRENCH CONNECTION " back 1970/76.

for a long time ago I was very concern about this connection.

Lucien Sarti died in 1973 in Mexico city.

if you want more details tell me what do you about him?

Stephane"

Searches in the NARA database reveal about a dozen of these kind of entries:

AGENCY INFORMATION

AGENCY : FBI

RECORD NUMBER : 124-10224-10058

RECORDS SERIES : HQ

AGENCY FILE NUMBER : 105-128529-1

DOCUMENT INFORMATION

ORIGINATOR : FBI

FROM : LEG, PA

TO : DIRECTOR, FBI

TITLE : [No Title]

DATE : 03/04/1964

PAGES : 1

DOCUMENT TYPE : PAPER, TEXTUAL DOCUMENT

SUBJECTS : [RESTRICTED]

CLASSIFICATION : CONFIDENTIAL

RESTRICTIONS : 1C; 4

CURRENT STATUS : RELEASED WITH DELETIONS

DATE OF LAST REVIEW : 04/09/1996

OPENING CRITERIA : INDEFINITE

Steve Thomas

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm afraid this is an amazingly convoluted subject - a reading of the FBI and CIA files in which the names Mertz and Soutre are constantly intermingled illustrates that certainly the FBI was equally confused.

I wish I could contribute something solid but at this point I can only offer the observation that a number of pre-assassination leaks suggest that Cuban exiles perhipherally associated with elements of the the crime scene (in particular drug and arms smuggling networks) in the southern U.S. were aware of a plan to strike at the President. These leaks seem to have been picked up by certain French individuals who were involved with feeding drugs from Marseille into these networks....Mertz is probably a leading candidate for knowing about the plot. And Mertz was also someone totally dedicated to penetrating anything that might present a threat against DeGaulle.

It is highly speculative but not impossible that Mertz may have been in Dallas to further investigate the rumored threat and any individuals whom he suspected might be associated with it. It is clear that in 1964 there was a "bidding" war going on between the OAS and French government for the attentions and support of the CIA - there was widespread suspicion in France that the CIA or other elements of the U.S. including its military had supported various OAS efforts against De Gaulle. Concrete knowledge of the plot could have been a significant negotiating tool as it would have proved the value of either party. It is also clear that CIA and FBI might both have been eager to get either Mertz or Soutre out of the country based on their general undesirability (drugs in Mertz case and being a violent revolutionary in Soutre's) - given that they could ever track them down. Catching up with either one of them in Texas could have resulted in a quick and very low key expulsion unrelated to the assassination.

....Larry

I do not recall that there has been a separate thread on this man, a reported French assassin, who was deported from Dallas a few days after the assassination. He may be of sufficient significance to deserve a thread of his own.

Larry Hancock provided some very interesting details on this case during his seminar in Canterbury on Sunday. Hopefully he will post this information when he gets back to his computer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If anyone is wondering what the CIA would have against DeGaulle (I know I used to), let me just throw in that by 1963 the great anti-fascist DeGaulle was seen by the American and French right wing as a bit soft on communism, to put it mildly. He'd called for negotiations in Vietnam and was in the process, I believe, of recognizing "red" China.

Let me know if my memory has failed me again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pat, you are certainly right on with those items; a couple of additional points are that the French military belived that the OAS had received either intelligence or some other tacit support in their actions for Algerian independence as part of a hard line reaction of anything resembling compromise with revolutionary movements. Also, there is concrete evidence that the OAS and Soutre in particular were pitching the story that DeGaule's government was widely infiltrated with Soviet supporters and communists. As usual Angleton bought into this and personally became very involved in trying to determine how wide much of a risk this posed - Angleton could never pass up suspicions of Soviet moles. Because of this French intelligence absolutely knew that at last some in in a high level at CIA was talking with the OAS.

-- Larry

If anyone is wondering what the CIA would have against DeGaulle (I know I used to), let me just throw in that by 1963 the great anti-fascist DeGaulle was seen by the American and French right wing as a bit soft on communism, to put it mildly.  He'd called for negotiations in Vietnam and was in the process, I believe, of recognizing "red" China.

Let me know if my memory has failed me again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Larry (or anyone)

If Mertz was associated with the Corsican mob, might his presence in Dallas indeed have been associated with the assassination?

As you know Steve Rivele concluded that Trafficante had imported "hit men" from the Corsican mob to kill Kennedy. Although his investigation did not identify Mertz it is possible Mertz was present in some supporting role.

Mertz could have been using Souerte's name to either muddy the waters or to make Souerte a patsy.

The possible presence in Dallas of a man associated with the Corsican mob, combined with the work Rivele did with "the Corsican connection" certainly raises some interesting questions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tim, as far as I know Mertz was not a "mob guy" in the general sense but rather a drug smuggler for a couple of brothers who ran one of the larger herion distribution networks out of Marseille. I would refer you to a book called the Herion Trail for details on him and Soutre as well. In addition to that he had been a resistance fighter and served as an active agent for French counter counter intelligence for a number of years.

I don't think he fits the "hit man" paradigm although he certainly was capable of violence in his wartime and intelligence duties.

-- Larry

Larry (or anyone)

If Mertz was associated with the Corsican mob, might his presence in Dallas indeed have been associated with the assassination?

As you know Steve Rivele concluded that Trafficante had imported "hit men" from the Corsican mob to kill Kennedy.  Although his investigation did not identify Mertz it is possible Mertz was present in some supporting role.

Mertz could have been using Souerte's name to either muddy the waters or to make Souerte a patsy.

The possible presence in Dallas of a man associated with the Corsican mob, combined with the work Rivele did with "the Corsican connection" certainly raises some interesting questions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tim, as far as I know Mertz was not a "mob guy" in the general sense but rather a drug smuggler for a couple of brothers who ran one of the larger  herion distribution networks out of Marseille.

These would be the Guerini brothers?

Paul Mondolini from Montreal was Antoine Guerini's adopted son.

http://spot.acorn.net/jfkplace/09/fp.back_...Issue/misc.html

What follows are some notes on Rivele's published account of the alleged Corsican connection to the Kennedy assassination. Rivele's book was published in French; what we now publish are a university professor's notes on what he had read.

p. 75 "...Trafficante maintained close ties with Antoine Guerini via a Corsican criminal based in Havana named Paul Mondoloni....Educated, multilingual, courteous and dignified in appearance, he seemed to belong more to the diplomatic corps than to the bloody Marseilles hampa.(Mafia)" [He then moved to Montreal after leaving Cuba].

Steve Rivele: 163: I asked him some of Jim Lesar's questions. I asked if David knew whether Antoine Guerini had participated in the CIA conspiracies to assassinate Fidel Castro. To my surprise, he told me that Guerini was involved. "I believe that the intermediary was Paul Mondoloni," he said. Mondoloni used to spend a lot of time in the US."

It is also worth noting that U.S. Army Pfc. Eugene Dinkin, who claimed to have advance knowledge of the JFK assassination (he was diagnosed by the Army as having a mental condition called "schizo-assassination prognostication") presumably learned of the JFK plot through his work as a military code breaker in France.

Steve Thomas

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...