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Jim Braden

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Thanks for the background on Empire.

As for Braden's Dallas socialite wife, the spelling was done by the court reporter who

did the transcript, and is probably phonetic.

Another misspelling in the transcript is the name of his other wife: Mildred "Millie" Bollman, heiress to the Swift Meat Packing Compnay fortune. Her former husband, Bernard Bollman was a Teamster official.

I checked Peter Noyes' book and he doesn't seem to mention the Dallas socialite at all.


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Is this the same house?

From JFK Presidential Library and Muse, Daily agenda:

September 28, 1963

1:16 - Las Vegas Presentation.

Later "President Kennedy rests at the home of singer Bing Crosby in Palm Desert, Calf."

From Legacy of Doubt (Peter Noyes, p. 62):

"Following her husband's death, Mrs. Mildred Bollman moved to the exclusive Bel Airsection of Los Angeles, where she eventually met Brading, who had that special knack for ferreting out rich widows. According to Millie's acquaintances, it was love at first sight when she met Brading."

"Eventually they set up housekeeping in the desert resort of Palm Springs, California, in a mansion once owned by singer Bing Crosby and his wife, actress Kathy Grant. To intelligence officers it appeared that Eugene Hale Brading was slowly breaking off his connections with the organized underworld, although from time to time he would meet with some of his high-rolling associates in the oil industry. Life had improved considerably since those 'love bird' days in Dallas. This time Brading had te cushion of Mildred Bollman's immense fortune behind him, and he gave no indication that he would stage a repeated performance and fly the coop. Millie had just too much money, and besides she had even opened a joint bank account with him, a fact that would later prove to be Gene Brading's undoing and leave him almost penniless."

"During those salad days in Palm Springs Braden could frequently be found at the plush Thunderbird Country Club, where intelligence officrs observed that he regularly particpated in the all night poker games of chance that went on behind thelegal shelter of the private club at the desert apa. Millie confided to friends that she knew all about Gene's past and didn't care one iota. She had found true love."

[Note, Millie's ex, Bernard Bollman, (RIP July 19, 1958) was Sec./Tres. of Teamsters, Chauffeurs and Builders Union of McHenry County and owner of the McHenry Chemical Company.]



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His story sounds like BS to me. He and his associates had an appointment to see a son of H.L. Hunt, but Braden skips out on the meeting because he has to go see his parole officer, but he doesn't tell his associates where he's going. So what did he tell them? And what did they tell Hunt? "Our friend decided that this meeting isn't really that important." It doesn't make any sense. Why couldn't Braden just call his parole officer? The parole officer said in a letter that Braden promised to notify them of his departure from Dallas. All Braden had to do to notify them he was leaving that day was pick up the phone.

It also seems odd to me that Hunt would schedule a meeting with these guys at 12:30 pm when most people of his means would be out somewhere having a nice lunch. But I admit I know nothing about Dallas business practices or Hunt eating habits.

I would be willing to help determine the person's identity, but I need to understand a little more about the Company name involved. To the best of my knowledge Magnolia Oil is something of a dated term for post 11/22/63.

My understanding is that at some point Magnolia Oil/Magnolia Petroleum was purchased, or merged into Socony/Mobil Oil Co. eventually becoming Mobil Oil Co. A subsidiary of what was Magnolia Petroleum, [or a leftover, of sorts] Magnolia Pipeline Co is, I believe all that was left of the name Magnolia circa 1967/68; although I may be mistaken. So, in relation to Braden's wife are we taliking about Socony/Mobil or Magnolia Pipeline Co?

Incidentally, Mae Belcher is said to have been affiliated with Magnolia Petroleum Co. FWIW. Hope this helps.

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Is this the same house?

From JFK Presidential Library and Muse, Daily agenda:

September 28, 1963

1:16 - Las Vegas Presentation.

Later "President Kennedy rests at the home of singer Bing Crosby in Palm Desert, Calf."

From Legacy of Doubt (Peter Noyes, p. 62):

"Following her husband's death, Mrs. Mildred Bollman moved to the exclusive Bel Airsection of Los Angeles, where she eventually met Brading, who had that special knack for ferreting out rich widows. According to Millie's acquaintances, it was love at first sight when she met Brading."

"Eventually they set up housekeeping in the desert resort of Palm Springs, California, in a mansion once owned by singer Bing Crosby and his wife, actress Kathy Grant. To intelligence officers it appeared that Eugene Hale Brading was slowly breaking off his connections with the organized underworld, although from time to time he would meet with some of his high-rolling associates in the oil industry. Life had improved considerably since those 'love bird' days in Dallas. This time Brading had te cushion of Mildred Bollman's immense fortune behind him, and he gave no indication that he would stage a repeated performance and fly the coop. Millie had just too much money, and besides she had even opened a joint bank account with him, a fact that would later prove to be Gene Brading's undoing and leave him almost penniless."

"During those salad days in Palm Springs Braden could frequently be found at the plush Thunderbird Country Club, where intelligence officrs observed that he regularly particpated in the all night poker games of chance that went on behind thelegal shelter of the private club at the desert apa. Millie confided to friends that she knew all about Gene's past and didn't care one iota. She had found true love."

[Note, Millie's ex, Bernard Bollman, (RIP July 19, 1958) was Sec./Tres. of Teamsters, Chauffeurs and Builders Union of McHenry County and owner of the McHenry Chemical Company.]



When Kennedy stayed at Crosby's house, of course, it drove Sinatra up the wall. Sinatra had been remodeling his Palm Springs mansion in anticipation of Kennedy's visit.

Another frequent visitor to Palm Springs was Mr. John Rosselli. Does anyone know if Rosselli was a member of the Thunderbird Country Club?

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  • 2 years later...
I have just received some new records on Jim Braden and wanted to bring this thread back so I have a place to post them.


After getting out of the Navy, Phil Cohen settled down in Camden, New Jersey, my hometown, and began posting Camden history and profiles, including items about my family http://www.dvrbs.com/Camden-HeartSoul.htm;

including my uncle Leo:


my father (with Thompson submachine gun during the capture of spree killer Howard Unrh):


and me:


Insterested in my writings on Jim Braden, Phil found a number of interesting records about Braden that had eluded me and wrote:

Concerning Eugene Brading .... He got arrested in a Love Swindle in NM in 52, the case ended up in the Supreme Court, and he did federal time at Atlanta, was paroled in 1959.

He married in Canada in 1938, Divorced in FL in 39, remarried and divorced again in Florida. It looks like maybe a son was born in 41... checkout the 1945 Florida Census and some other stuff I found. The swindle in NM caught a lot of press, There is more than what I sent.... the story actually went national at the time, and the case stayed in the papers until 54

Exact Search Results - Florida Divorce Index, 1927-2001

Historical Records Viewing 1-4 of 4

View Record Name Spouse Name Divorce Date County View Image

View Record

Blanche Brading Eugene H Brading 1943 Dade

View Record

Edith Brading Eugene H Brading 1939 Dade

View Record

Eugene H Brading Blanche Brading 1943 Dade

View Record

Eugene H Brading Edith Brading 1939 Dade

EH Brading Winnepeg FreePress 051138.jpg (106KB), EH Brading Winnepeg FreePress 050738.jpg (123KB), Eugene Brading - BentonHarborMI News-Palladium 01-07-1943.jpg (380KB), Eugene Brading - Albq NM Tribune 04-07-1959.jpg (329KB), Eugene Brading II - 1945 Florida Census.jpg (764KB), EH Brading 1940 marriage.jpg (874KB), eh brading d2.jpg (991KB), EHBarding D1.jpg (1672KB)

Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Brading have left to make their future home in Miami, Fla. Mrs. Brading was formerly Miss Edith J. McIntyre.


The marriage of Mrs. Edith McIntyre of Winnipeg to Mr. Eugene Brading, of San Francisco, Calif., took place in Crookston, Minn. April 19.

BrentonHarborMI News-Palladium, O1-07-1943.

Large Gasolene Black Market Racket Smashed (AP) Miami, Fla. June 7, 43

Braden arrested.

Alb. New Mex. 1959. (AP) Swindler of NM Women Released.

El Paso Tex. April 7. (AP) A man called one of the top confidence men in the nation has been released from the federal penetentary in Atlanta. Eugene H. Brading, 40, after serving five yeras of 12 year term...Brading and Victor E. Pereira, 42, were convicted of swindling Mrs. Gertrude Joyce, of Roswell, New Mexico. Pereira married Joyce...

"The Honeymooners," as Dallas Sheriff Bill Decker branded them, at work.

Thanks, Phil.

Now if someone can only find Jim Braden before he kicks off.


Edited by William Kelly
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  • 1 year later...

My Father's Connection with The Assasination of JFK

Jim Dolan tries to get a handle on his dad and does a pretty good job.

Check out the pix.


By James Dolan


Just like everyone else, I recall the day and time, the setting of when I first heard of JFK's death. I lived near downtown Dallas, in fact I lived on 10th Street, just a few blocks from where Officer Tippet was shot. I was sent home from school that day. I met friends who were also sent home, and we went to play on the vacant lot on Jefferson Boulevard. We were bewildered and frightened by the growing presence of black police cruisers flying by.

We did not know until later in the evening that Oswald had been caught at the Texas Theater several blocks east. Nor did I know that my father would be tightly bound by historians into the network of mysterious connections that all seemed to point away from Oswald as the only person with the intent to kill JFK. What follows is the abbreviated tale, as best I can tell it, of how my father came to be so connected to JFK's death

My connection comes through my father, James Henry Dolan. It was because of his imprisonment in the Seagoville Minimum Security Federal Corrections facility outside of Dallas that my family came to Dallas. He had been convicted on the charge of impersonating a federal official (an IRS officer) in one of the con games he played. He was a career con, always playing his scams in the grifter underworld, never preying, to my knowledge, on the 'straight citizens' of the world.

I believe that by the time he met her, he was a fully committed, career denizen of the 'underworld.' with some legit activities going on to protect him from too much scrutiny. On my birth certificate, his occupation is given as 'sports promoter.' He completely fooled my mother. They moved to Phoenix immediately after marriage and lived in a small rent house for a few months. While there, he met an individual named Eugene Hale Brading. More on him later.

From there, they moved to Evergreen Colorado, where I was born in 1951. He was apprehended in Denver for his involvement in some kind of underworld activity, but the judge agreed to drop charges, due to my birth, if he would leave the state. We did, going to Miami Beach, Florida. My sister was born there in late 1952. We left there while my sister was still an infant because my father burnt our house down in order to collect insurance money. We went to Chicago, where we lived in a brownstone apartment building and my father wore suits and large rimmed fedora hats. From there, it was down to Kansas City Missouri. My brother was born there in 1954.

I will now pause to ask the reader to consider the points of the compass I have mentioned. We are talking about the years 1950 to 1954. The compass points are: Chicago, Miami Beach, Kansas City. It would not be too hard to imagine who my father was working for, as these places are well known in American history as the outposts of the so-called Mob. In 1953 my father was apprehended on the charge that sent him to Seagoville. My mother gave birth to my brother, and then, with the help of my father's sister, we all moved to Dallas in 1954.

After a brief period of time in an apartment near Love Field, we moved to a part of town called Oak Cliff. An old, turn of the century, inner city neighborhood, close to downtown. A few years later, Oak Cliff would be home to Lee Harvey Oswald. In Oak Cliff's business district, the Texas theater anchored a strip of shops, and would of course be the site of Oswald's capture in 1963. A few blocks to the east of my home at 10th and Edgefield, also on that strange day, Officer Tippet would be shot by an unknown assailant, at the corner of 10th and Patten. That assailant later proved to be Oswald.

After my father was released from Seagoville in 1956, he went into a period of itinerant grifting. He and a friend, Bobby O'Dowd, also a mick from Chicago, traveled about the state selling pen and stamp machines in little towns. On the side, they would set up poker games that involved all the little town's dignitaries, with all of their money on the table. My father would then appear as an 'IRS agent', and confiscate the money. Would the town's dignitaries seek recourse, believing their funds had been confiscated by the IRS? I think my mother raised enough hell with him to bring him in off the road at some point, and he briefly took a job down on Jefferson at the Sears, Roebuck store selling carpet.

I recall seeing him on the job once, and actually felt sorry for him. It was like seeing a tiger at the circus, sitting on a ball and swatting at a lure dangling from a contraption being held in front of him by the trainer. Not long after, he got a 'real job' working for the American Guild of Variety Artists, know as AGVA. It was 1958 or 1959, and I was 8 years old.

AGVA was an entertainers union, representing the interests of night club entertainers. That is, the circus acts, jugglers, strippers, stage hypnotists, comics, etc. that plied the networks of nightspots in towns in between New York, Chicago, Los Angeles. My father was to be the head of the local office. In Dallas, the stages were the circuses that came through town, and the downtown strip clubs.

This is where the Mob / Kennedy connection thickens, because it appears that AGVA was a 'front' organization for the mob. That is, it was a way for them to establish a seemingly legit connection to the nightclubs, allowing their enforcers to establish relationships inside the clubs with the people that owned/operated them. It appears that the real business of AGVA in those days was a protection racket. I speculate that my father's job was to offer 'protection' to the owners of the clubs in return for using AGVA strippers and entertainers.

When we lived in Miami Beach, my father worked for the organization of Santos Trafficante, probably doing enforcement and collections. He had also done work for Sam Giancana. In the late 50s, I believe that Carlos Marcello of the New Orleans mob wanted to make a move to take over the underworld rackets in Dallas.

Dallas in those days was known as a 'wide open' town. Meaning, that if you were gutsy enough, and criminal enough, you could set up your rackets operation, and not expect too much opposition from the law enforcement. Your only problems would come from the vested interests of the local 'good ole boy' mob. They were local, born and bred bad guys that pretty much owned the rackets.

The mob wanted a piece of this, if not the whole thing, which would have been their style. I believe my father was either recruited by, or approached himself, Marcello, and took the contract to turn over rackets in Dallas to the New Orleans don and his organization. In carrying out this contract, my father naturally was put in contact with the downtown strip club owners, which included Abe and Barney Weinstein. The Weinsteins were owners of clubs called the Theater Lounge and the Colony Club. Jack Ruby owned the infamous Carousel Club.

My father's clients were people like Kris Kolt and her 45s, and Harry Vine, the stage hypnotist. In pressing the interests of AGVA performers, 'Doc' Dolan was the connection between Jack Ruby and the mob. And therefore, the point at which the assassination of JFK was connected to the mob, because of my father's attempts to forcibly represent their interests in the Dallas underworld of the late 50s, early 60s.

He was unsuccessful in his efforts to 'turn over' Dallas to Marcello. His exact whereabouts were unknown to me at the time of the Kennedy assassination. I know he was not with us. In the period of time shortly after JFK's death, the FBI came to our house, with a warrant, and asked to search the house for him. We lay in bed as they ransacked the house. Later that holiday period, I recall my father being with us for a very brief period. In hindsight, I realize he was probably very scared, and very depressed. Soon after, he was gone. I do not know how he was able to fail on his promise to turn over Dallas and live, if indeed he ever made the promise.

All I know is that suddenly, he did not work for AGVA anymore, and the period of 'normalcy' that had prevailed in our home came to an end. He was gone, and soon my mother, having had her fill, and with the encouragement of our parish priest, divorced him. He disappeared from our home and lives for a number of years. Somehow, I don't recall how, I learned that in the time after he left, he had tried one of his old arson frauds, having destroyed an aviation cargoliner. He was convicted, and sent to Leavenworth until the late 60s.

In the early 70s, Doc was back on the grift. He was caught getting off a plane with a briefcase full of cash he had lifted from a mark in a game of 3 card monte. 3 card monte was one of his favorite old scams. He had also enjoyed marketing counterfeiting machines to unscrupulous individuals stupid enough to purchase such things. His favorite marks were people who themselves were grifters, cons, criminals. He had no respect for hooligans who foisted their criminality on the ordinary populace. He loathed gunplay, and he always had others who would carry the guns for him. He hated 'cowboy' criminals.

Anyway, caught with the cash, Doc was back in the hands of the law. He checked himself into the Dallas VA Hospital, and got a continuance of his trial while his prostate was removed. He absconded from the hospital in the middle of the night, and remained on the lamb for another several years. During this time, my contact with him became sporadic, but he made an effort to support my college education by showing up every now and then and slipping me a few hundred dollars. He also started turning over his veteran's benefits to me. The check for $56 dollars a month was sent to the workroom of an old Italian tailor who worked in downtown Dallas named Al Simone. I would go down there and pick the check up, and make brief conversation with Mr. Simone.

Doc was apprehended again in the middle 70s on the same federal charge of interstate transport of criminal proceeds. This time he somehow persuaded a federal magistrate in Chicago to release him to his own recognizance to appear in Atlanta in federal court. Needless to say, he never made it. By this time, the FBI were following me closely, as they knew he was likely to turn up near me. An agent was assigned to follow me, and he tagged me closely for several months. I was terrified, as I never knew when my father would appear. I had a fear of a gun battle or some such. The FBI asked me to come downtown to their offices across the street from the Statler Hilton Hotel.

They threatened me with being charged with harboring a federal fugitive. They told me I was defrauding the government by accepting my father's vet's benefits. They fingerprinted me and made me promise I would turn him over to them the next time I saw him. They scared the crap out of me. I was a 22 year old college student, working in the afternoon, newly married. I agreed, but Doc never gave me the chance. He was too smart

One night, we received a call. The caller introduced himself as Agent X, from the FBI, wanting to ask whose car was parked in the driveway. We had had a minor accident, and a rental car was parked in the driveway. Their man on surveillance had reported a car similar to the one Doc was driving. I was shaken. On another occasion, my wife and I visited a friend in Washington DC. After we left, he was swarmed with agents wanting to know about his visitor, whose name matched that of Federal fugitive James Henry Dolan.

He was finally caught for good in a setup in a bar in downtown Dallas in late 1977. This time they kept the clamps on him and transferred him to the max facility in Atlanta. He stayed there until final adjudication sent him to the El Reno facility outside Oklahoma City. Sometime in 1979, while still in Atlanta, he phoned me at home and said, "Hey look, I want you to know that some guy has written a book about how the mob whacked Jack Kennedy. They say I knew something about who whacked Jack Kennedy, and I want you to know that I don't know nothing about who whacked that Kennedy. You hear me?"

"Uh yeah, Dad, I hear you...." and then we went on to have a few small moments of light chit chat. I discovered later, many years later, that he had been part of a group of people interviewed by the Federal committee called the HSCA. The House Select Committee on Assassinations. Much of this material has formed the research base by which it is asserted that my father is the connection point between the Mob, Ruby, and therefore Oswald and Kennedy.

Back to Eugene Hale Brading. Remember back at the beginning, when my father and mother had just moved to Phoenix? Brading was one of the people known to have contacted my father during his time there in the early 50s. Brading was also one of the first people apprehended and interviewed by the police when he was caught leaving the Texas School Book Depository in the moments after the shots rang out at Dealey Plaza. What the nature of their relationship was is unknown to me. It is just one of the many connections that Doc has to that whole nexus of people, places, events, that are suspicious, circumstantial, suggestive, but ultimately inconclusive.

I have never been certain of the book he was referring to in that phone call. Books connecting the mob to the assassination began to appear at that time. An example is Mafia Kingfish, by John Davis. Davis' thesis is that Kennedy was hit in a vendetta against him by the Marcello organization. That book, in the 1989 paper back Signet edition, on page 451, establishes my father as a "connection to the Marcello organization" and "the representative of the Mob controlled American Guild of Variety Artists."

The same book makes mention of an ultra-right wing John Birch Society individual named Major General Edwin Walker. It is a piece of unverified apocrypha that Oswald is supposed to have taken a pot shot at him in his Dallas home some time prior to the Kennedy shots. I have a childhood memory of my father becoming enthusiastically involved in the political campaign of a General Walker. I recall helping staple together his campaign yard signs. Beyond that there are no more details in my memory, but again it shows my father in that mix of people bound together by JFK's death

Doc was released from El Reno in 1983. He moved to San Antonio Texas. He resumed his grifting, scamming, and conning. He visited me and my family fairly regularly. By then he was almost 70, but in good condition. He lived by himself in a retirement community. He let me know in his sideways manner that he was still grifting, still playing the loaded dice and the setup card games. I had accepted that he would never change. I had a good time with him. We drank together and then slowly drove around the city at night while he told me the old stories. We laughed and laughed. It was a good time. In December, the 4th, I got a call from one of his old cronies telling me that he had been shot dead and a brief case with $30,000 grand was missing.

There is no way to prepare for the shock of murder, even when you know in the back of your mind that it is coming. Lt. Urbanek of San Antonio homicide and I spent a day together running down various items in his possession that Urbanek wanted to ask me about. He told me that he would let me know when he had something. I was able to find out that Doc was being asked to testify to a commission investigating organized crime in the South Texas/Mexico region at the time of his death. I know that he knew James Harrelson, who had been convicted in the murder of John Wood. I knew that his attorney was also Harrelson's attorney. I speculated that Doc had been hit. I did not hear one more word from Urbanek for 15 years.

In the fall of 1999, Richard Urbanek answered one of my emails out of the blue. None had been answered previously. He told me that my father had in fact, but not enough fact to make a case against the murderers, been killed in an argument initiated by his killers in an attempt to rob him. They knew of the 30 grand, and hatched a plan to con him out of it. He was too smart for them, and they killed him, grabbed the loot and ran. As simple as that.

If you think that you may know something to add the information and educated guesses I have amassed over the years regarding James Henry 'Doc' Dolan, I would appreciate your email to me.

Coup d'Etat in America Database (Nodule 27 - Page 15) concerns James Henry Dolan (my father)'s connections with mob characters, including Jack Ruby, with mention of several rap sheets.

Edited by William Kelly
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  • 5 years later...



When Jim Braden checked into the Cabana Hotel in Dallas, Texas on November 21, 1963, there was no indication that anything spectacular was going to happen. Braden and his associates were in the oil business and had an appointment the next day with oil Texas oil baron H. L. Hunt, but Braden would miss the meeting. Destiny would intervene.

On Thursday, November 21, 1963, the same night Braden and friends checked in, Lawrence Meyers and Jean Aase (aka Jean West) were sitting at a table in the Bon Vivant Room of the same hotel, along with Meyers brother Ed and his wife. Ed Meyers was a Pepsi Cola soft drink bottler from New York and was in Dallas for a convention. They exchanged small talk, ostensibly ignorant of the cataclysmic events that would overtake them the next day.

Shortly before midnight Jack Ruby joined them for a short time. Ruby had earlier had a steak dinner with Meyers at the Egyptian Lounge, and Ruby knew Jean Aase, having met her earlier in the day at his Carousel Club.

Both Ruby and Larry Meyers were from Chicago, and they later said that was the basis of their friendship. Ruby had brought a “twist” exercise board with him and demonstrated it to Larry Meyers, who sold sporting goods equipment to department stores. Ruby was trying to convince Larry Meyers to market the devise for a friend of his.

Since Jim Braden used a credit card to pay for his drinks, it was later determined that Braden and his associates had a few drinks at the same Bon Vivant bar room, though he later claimed not to know Ruby or either of the Meyers brothers.

Jim Braden was there on oil business, Larry Meyers was mixing business and pleasure, Ed Meyers was there for the convention, and Ruby was just being his flamboyant self.

The next day, while Larry Meyers played golf, Ed Meyers went to his convention, Jean Aase went shopping with one of Ruby’s dancers, Betty McDonald, but Braden would miss the meeting his associates had with H.L. Hunt. Instead, Braden was taken into custody as a suspect in the murder of President John F. Kennedy.

Larry Meyers had a few conversations with his friend from the old neighborhood, Jack Ruby, who then proceeded to stalk, shoot and kill Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin, while the suspect was in the custody of the Dallas police.

Ed Meyers and his wife, who had been to Mexico City, where they had visited Larry’s son Ralph Meyers, returned to New York, while Larry Meyers flew back to Chicago with Jean Aase, who would never be seen, questioned or even located by government investigators who looked for her. Larry Meyers and Jack Ruby gave innocent explanations for their meeting at the Cabana the night before the assassination, and Jim Braden would be released by the police after making a simple statement.

Braden was never questioned by the Warren Commission or other investigations until the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) took his testimony over two days, and then locked it away for 50 years.

Jim Braden’s actions before and after the assassination are indeed suspicious, and even Braden, as he expressed in his HSCA testimony, was himself anxious to clear the record and his name.

In 1970, California television producer Peter Noyes came across Braden’s statement among the 26 volumes of Warren Commission Exhibits,

[see: Braden Statement of 11/22/63] which reads:

“I am here on business (oil business) and was walking down Elm Street trying to get a cab and there wasn’t any. I heard people talking, saying, ‘My God, the President’s has been shot.’ Police cars were passing me coming down the triple underpass and I was walking up among other people and this building was surrounded by police officers with guns and we were watching them.”

“I moved up to the building across the street from the building which was surrounded and I asked one of the girls if there was a telephone that I could use and she said, ‘Yes, there is one on the third floor of the building where I work.’ I walked through a passage to the elevator where they were getting on (the freight elevator) and I got off on the third floor of the building with all the other people and there was a lady using the pay phone and I asked her if I could use it when she hung up and she said it was out of order and I tried to use it with no success. I ask(ed) her how I can get out of the building and she said that there is an exit right there and then she said wait a minute here is the elevator now. I got on the elevator and returned to the ground floor and the colored man who ran the elevator said you are a stranger in this building and I was not suppose to let you up and he ran outside to an officer and said to this office that he had just taken me up and down in the elevator and the officer said for me to identify myself and I presented him with a credit card and he said well we have to check out everything and took me to his superior and said for me to wait and we will check it out. I was then taken to the Sheriff’s office and interrogated.”

Signed by Jim Braden, on Form 86, a Sheriff’s Department Voluntary Statement which noted, “Not Under Arrest.” Braden listed his age as 49, and home address as 621 S. Barrington Dr., Apt. 6, Los Angeles, California, and his office as 215 S. La Cienega, Blvd., Beverly Hills, California. His home phone was 472-5301.

Seven years later Peter Noyes, the television producer, tried to locate Braden as a potential witness, and tried to obtain his then current address by contacting the California Division of Motor Vehicles, who told Noyes that six weeks before the assassination, in September, 1963, Eugene Hale Brading legally changed his name to Jim Braden and had requested a new drivers license bearing that name.

The Los Angeles Police Department then told Noyes that Eugene Hale Brading, now also known as Jim Braden, had numerous arrests and was associated with organized crime activities. Born in Kansas and sent to a reformatory from school, he had been arrested on dozens of charges throughout his career, and was suspected of being a money courier for the Meyer Lansky syndicate.

Once, in Dallas, Braden was charged with embezzlement for bilking rich widows by marrying them and taking their money. The newspapers had branded him and his partner “the Honeymooners,” and Braden was literally run out of Dallas by Sheriff Bill Decker, who charged Braden for being a vagrant for living with the widow of the founder of Magnolia Oil Company. It would be Decker’s deputy “Lummie” Lewis who had taken Braden into custody at Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.

Contacting Braden’s parole officer, Noyes found that Braden had stayed at the Cabana Hotel in Dallas, where Jack Ruby was known to have visited the night before the assassination. Noyes also discovered that Braden and his two associates had an appointment at the offices of H.L. Hunt at the same time Jack Ruby was there, dropping off a young women who applied for a job with Hunt’s company.

While Braden was not at the meeting, his associates did sign the register at Hunt’s building and kept the appointment.

Not just such circumstantial evidence, which could be coincidence or happenstance, Noyes also found that Braden’s movements were suspicious because they matched some third-party records, specifically some telephone records.

After Braden made his statement in Dallas and the police released him, Braden returned to the Cabana, where he learned that his associates had already checked out and flew to Houston on their private plane. Braden flew to Houston on a commercial flight, met his associates in Houston, checked out a West Texas oil opportunity and then Braden went to New Orleans. In New Orleans Braden worked with oil geologist Vernon Main, Jr., who maintained an office where Braden often visited and received mail on the 17th floor of the Pierre Marquette office building.

Both the Pinkerton Detective Agency and attorney G. Wray Gill also had offices on the 17th floor of the Pierre Marquette building. In 1963 Gill represented New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello in his deportation case, which was resolved on November 22, 1963. David Ferrie, who was the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald’s Civil Air Patrol officer years earler, worked as a private investigator for Gill on the Marcello case and worked out of Gill’s office.

In 1968 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison obtained the telephone records of Gill’s office in connection with his investigation of David Ferrie, and Ferrie’s suspected involvement in a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. Gill furnished Garrison with his office phone records, complaining that Ferrie made many of the calls, some unauthorized.

A former Eastern airlines pilot and soldier of fortune, David Ferrie reportedly flew Marcello back into the United States after Marcello had been deported to Guatemala by attorney general Robert Kennedy. Ferrie also trained anti-Castro Cuban pilots for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in Guatemala and had been Oswald’s Captain in the Civil Air Patrol before Oswald enlisted in the Marines. Ferrie and Oswald were also seen together with World Trade Mart executive Clay Shaw in Clinton, Louisiana, where Oswald tried to register to vote and applied for a job at a mental hospital.

The Warran Commission investigators examined Jack Ruby’s phone records and some of his associates, including Larry Meyers, among whose phone records Jim Garrison discovered a phone number in Chicago also called by someone from Gill’s office in New Orleans.

It was assumed by Garrison and others that Ferrie made the call from Gill’s office on the 17th floor of the Pierre Marquette in New Orleans to the Chicago number used by Jean Aase (aka West), the women who accompanied Larry Meyers to Dallas from Chicago on the weekend of the assassination.

The phone number Chicago Whitehall 4 – 4970, was listed as Jean Aase’s address, 20 East Delaware Avenue, a hotel-apartment building owned by a Russian family and managed by Les Barker, a friend and business partner of Larry Meyers.

The call to that number from Gill’s office in New Orleans was made on September 24, 1963, the day Lee Harvey Oswald left his Magazine Street apartment for Mexico City.

A few weeks after that call, in October 1963, Les Barker introduced Larry Meyers to Jean Aase, who lived in one of the hotel room apartments. Originally from Minnesotta, Aase was referred to by Meyers as “Miss West,” and characterized as “a party girl, playgirl, a dumb but accommodating broad and semi-professional hooker.”

Three days before the assassination Meyers and Aase flew to Dallas and stayed at the Ramada Inn near the airport. The next day they moved to the Cabana Motor Hotel, where Meyers had previously stayed on other occasions, including the gala grand opening.

Jim Braden and his associates from California were also registered at the Cabana at the time.

The Warren Report reads: “On Thursday, November 21, 1963 Ruby conversed for about an hour with Lawrence Meyers, a Chicago businessman. Between 9:45 and 10:45 p.m., Ruby had dinner with his financial backer Ralph Paul,….(then) about midnight Ruby rejoined Meyers at the Bon Vivant Room of the Dallas Cabana where they met Meyers’ brother and sister-in-law.”

By the end of the weekend the President was dead, Braden had been taken into custody and Ruby had killed the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Braden then left Dallas and went to the same floor of the same office building where Oswald’s former CAP Captain David Ferrie worked and a phone call was made to Jean Aase’s Chicago apartment before the assassination. The trail comes full circle. Chicago-Dallas-New Orleans – Chicago.

Robert F. Kennedy, in his book The Enemy Within, explained how such third-party telephone records are important evidence in gaining organized crime conspiracy convictions. “We find out who is in touch with whom and on what dates,” Kennedy wrote. “Say that A calls B; we get B’s calls; find that two minutes after he hung up from talking to A, he called C. Then we find from canceled checks, money going from A to C. Gangsters in Chicago all call the same barber shop in Miami Beach that gangsters in Detroit call – its being used as a syndicate message center. Records are far more important than witnesses.”

Peter Noyes, the California television producer who first uncovered Jim Braden’s name change and criminal records, wrote a book published in paperback, A Legacy of Doubt (Pinnacle Press, 1973), which details Braden’s background, associations with organized crime and possible involvement in the assassination. Shortly after Kennedy’s murder, in 1964, Braden became a charter member in the La Costa Country Club, near San Diego, California.

From Braden’s rap sheet of previous arrests, Noyes developed a profile of Braden, and knew that he had been arrested in Camden, New Jersey, in 1948. In his book Noyes reports that, “The Camden police have since refused to divulge any details concerning that arrest, but it must be noted that there was considerable organized crime activity in the Camden area at the time.”

Since my father was a Lieutenant in the Camden Police Department at the time (1973), I showed him this reference in Noyes’ book, and shortly thereafter he handed me the original 1948 Camden arrest report [C.P.D. # 5648 - 9837] for Harry Eugene Bradley, as a material witness in the gambling case of Dominic Mattia.

Including front and side view mug shot, the report notes he is a White, Mail, 6 foot 1 inch in height, 175 pounds, of medium build, hazel eyes and brown hair. His date and place of birth is noted as 11/30/14 and Fort Worth, Texas (Sic, actually Kansas). His occupation, Salesman. FBI # 799431 and SBI # 381026. FPC 23 1 A 10 14 – 1 A 10 18.

A small card details that on May 5, 1948, Harry Bradley, of 24 Benson St., Camden, N.J. an American, White, Mail, Salesman, age 33, not married, can read, condition-sober, was arrested by Detectives Conley, Bobiak and Trout as material witness in the case of Dominic Mattia, at 3:40 PM in the 4th Ward, and was lodged in Cell No. 2-N, as received by Sgt. Stanton. He was later released by “Carson” with the disposition of the case being dismissed on 5/7/48.

The FBI Record SB # 381026 is two pages long, listing the 14 times Eugene Hale Bradley (aka Eugene H. Brading) was arrested and fingerprinted before May 1948. The first was on 5-15-34 for burglary, while others were for running a gambling house, auto theft and war powers act, for selling Office of Price Administration (OPA) gas ration books, mainly in Miami, Florida.

There is also a note: “#4287-N USN, Miami, Fla., 1-7-43 Black Market gas coupons, 12-7-45 probation revoked. Taken into custody 12-7-45 for service of sentence originally imposed – 1 year in institution of penitentiary type.”

The Camden arrest record was kept in files in the basement. Rather than because the Camden PD was controlled by organized crime, as Peter Noyes suggested in his book, the reason he was never given the records is because the secretaries who received his request didn’t want to get dirty in the dingy basement records room. When my father attempted to obtain a current arrest report on Braden however, they FBI refused his request, something he said never happened before.

In the clipping morgue of the Camden Courier Post newspaper I located a small news report of the 1948 gambling arrest, and another larger story from many years later that mentioned Dominic Mattia’s involvement in a bankruptcy scheme. I obtained Mattia’s address from the public phone directory and visited him at his suburban Camden home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey [on Monday, June 2, 1975].

Mattia told me that he had been arrested for gambling with some friends and that Braden just happened to be in the store where they were raided at the time. “I remember the him,” Mattia said, “but I only knew the guy for one day. He was a drifter. It was just a coincidence that he was there at the time. He then left town and I never saw him again.”

It seems that Jim Braden has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

In his book Noyes also notes that Jim Braden was in Los Angeles on the night Robert Kennedy was assassinated.

In 1977 Congress officially reopened the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy by convening the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). When former Philadelphia prosecutor Richard Sprague was appointed chief counsel of the committee, I hand delivered a photo copy of the Braden file from the Camden PD to Sprague’s law office in Philadelphia, just across the Delaware River from Camden.

Sprague, who had successfully prosecuted the political assassination of a United Mine Workers union official, was not buying the lone-nut scenario for Kennedy’s murder and was quoted in the papers as saying, “I am not interested in whether Oswald was fed at his mother’s breast, my approach to motive is more direct.”

When it became apparent that Sprague was going to conduct a serious homicide investigation he was directly removed from his post in a political move that also led to the resignation of the HSCA chairman Rep. Henry Gonzalas (D. Tex.), also a witness to the assassination.

The Second Chief Counsel to the HSCA, G. Robert Blakey, was a former laweyer in RFK’s Justice Department, had founded the Cornell University Institute on Organized Crime and authored much of the RICO statutes that gave the government gang busting powers to attack organized crime.

Blakey cut back on the HSCA staff and scope of the investigation, failed to review any significant leads that implicated the intelligence agencies, relied on inconclusive scientific evidence and shifted the inquiry towards organized crime.

As an expert witness on organized crime, Blakey had previously testified in court in California [La Costa vs. Penthouse Magazine] that Moe Daltz, who with Jim Braden, was a co-founder of the La Costa Country Club, was NOT involved in organized crime activity. Former FBI agent William Turner said, “How he could do that with all that is known about Dalitz, I don’t know.”

After two years of conducting hearings and interviews, including two days of secret, closed door testimony of Jim Braden, Blakey’s HSCA issued a report that concluded there is evidence of conspiracy in the assassination, and disbanded.

Blakely insured that the HSCA records, including Braden’s testimony, would be sealed from the public by classifying it as “Congressional Material,” which under rule #36, ensures that the records were locked away for 50 years, or until 2029. While all other branches of government must comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Congress exempted itself from the law, and Blakey was quoted as saying he’s okay with that and, “I’ll rest on the judgment of historians in 50 years.”

Six months after the release of the HSCA “Final Report,” I received a telephone call from G. Robert Blakey’s assistant Michael Ewing, who was working with Blakey on a book about the assassination. I knew Ewing from his co-authorship of a previous book on the assassination, the appropriately titled Conspiracy or Coincidence?, which profiles many of the witnesses and suspects involved in the JFK assassination drama.

Ewing said he had been talking with Peter Noyes, the California television producer, who mentioned that I had obtained Jim Braden’s Camden, N.J. arrest record, and wanted a copy of it.

I told him that I had given Sprague a copy when he first took the job, but Ewing said that Sprague didn’t share all of his records with Blakey.

I said that I was glad he didn’t because if I had given Sprague the original record, and he had passed it on, Blakey would have locked it away for 50 years so nobody would have it.

When I asked Ewing why he was interested in the Braden file now, after the committee had concluded its investigation, issued its report and disbanded, and failed to even mention Braden in its Final Report, Ewing replied that, “The most important evidence was not published in the report or publicly released and is locked away.”

“We expect the Justice Department to officially reopen the case,” Ewing said, “and we didn’t want to tip our hand by releasing the most incriminating evidence.”

This contradicts the statements of Rep. Lewis Stokes, the third chairman of the HSCA, who said that they did not lock away any evidence of conspiracy.

While Blakey did not want the records of the HSCA released to the public, he did use material he obtained there to write, with former Life magazine editor Richard Billings, a book The Plot To Kill The President (Times Books, 1981), which concludes President Kennedy was killed by an organized crime conspiracy involving the Mafia.

The plot to kill President Kennedy was most certainly an organized crime, and did include members of the mob, the Mafia didn’t engage in a psychological warfare campaign to blame the assassination on Fidel Castro, thwart the Secret Service, control the Dallas Police investigation, cover up the criminal and conspiratorial aspects of the crime, prevent a forensic autopsy of the victims and lock up the most significant evidence for 50 years.

The JFK ACT of 1992 released most of the HSCA records, including Jim Braden’s two days of executive testimony, a transcript of which was obtained and shared by Peter Noyes.

William Kelly

June, 2006



Brading was born 11/30/14 and he died 03/25/94. He is buried in the state where he was born (Kansas):


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  • 4 months later...

http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg Subject Index Files/N Disk/Newsreal/Item 01.pdf

Newsreal Magazine article by Tom Lutz, 1977 (Newsreal Magazine issue #3)

Eugene Hale Brading tells me he had nothing to do with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy or his brother, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
Brading, who also goes by the name Jim Braden, told me he has alibis for his whereabouts the moment both John and Robert Kennedy were gunned down.
Brading says that the moment John Kennedy was shot in Dealey Plaza, he was in the office of his federal probation officer, Roger Carroll, in Dallas, Tex.
Brading says that at the moment Robert Kennedy was shot in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, he was in bed with his wife at the Century Plaza in the same city.
The problem is that neither of Brading's alibis hold any water.
Roger Carroll, still a probation officer in Dallas, said he could not deny or confirm Brading's story to me:
"He (Brading) reported to our office some time during the day of the assassination," Carroll said. "Our report shows that. As for the exact time he was here, I can't confirm or deny that."
However, pressed to be more specific, Carroll did recall that employees at the Federal Building in Dallas, which housed Carroll's office, were released from their work to watch President Kennedy's motorcade pass by the building, which is some 12 blocks or so from the location in Dealey Plaza where the President was shot.
Carroll said that the probation offices were closed about 15 or 20 minutes before Kennedy's car passed.
Carroll himself boarded a bus after Kennedy's car passed the Federal building and the bus moved toward the scene of the assassination. It was on that bus that Carroll learned that the President had been shot. A passenger who boarded the bus told Carroll and the other riders.
While Carroll was firm in his conviction that he could not recall the exact time Brading visited the probation office, he said, "I think it would have been in the morning. If I were to guess, I'd say it was a short time before the assassination." Carroll said he did not believe Brading showed up at his office after the assassination because "everyone in Dallas was all upset then." Brading was arrested in Dealey Plaza after the assassination. He was questioned by police and released.
Brading reported to Carroll in a "casual visit" that was required of someone on probation or parole who had traveled from one state (California, in this case) to another (Texas).
Carroll could not recall specifically who Brading came to Texas to visit, but he believes that Brading's stay was connected with some "oil business." Logic would require that Brading visited Carroll sometime before the assassination.
Brading's ex-wife, with whom he was supposedly in bed at the Century Plaza Hotel the night Bobby Kennedy was assassinated, said she could not have been with him at the Century Plaza. She said she separated from him in February of 1968 and was either in New York or Dallas in June of that year, at the time Bobby Kennedy was killed...

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http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg Subject Index Files/N Disk/Noyes Peter/Item 10.pdf

Article in The Village Voice by Earl Golz, 11/29/73

Federal agents are now investigating reports that Brading has an important role of courier for laundering the mob's illegitimate money to Amsterdam and Zurich...
While Brading waited two to three hours in the sheriff's office for the quizing, his hotel roommates beat it and checked out at about 2 p.m. on November 22, leaving Brading behind. This was 90 minutes after the assassination. Why did they leave so abruptly? When they had registered on November 21 the desk clerk noted they would stay until November 24...
A former Hunt Oil Company official, however, said he recalls seeing Braden and the others in the receptionist's office November 21, waiting to see Lamar's brother, Nelson Bunker Hunt. He said he didn't know if they ever got an audience with the oilman.

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Braden appears to have had a daughter, Rebecca, with Margaret Berry, who became Margaret Little:


"I'm living in Pittsburgh with my Mother, as you may have guessed. I'm working, and my mother is taking care of Rebecca. She's 10 months old now. She's a darling baby and so cute. You'd like her Jim. She has some of your features. I haven't had a picture taken yet, but when I write again, I'll send you one."

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On 1/30/2006 at 1:09 AM, William Kelly said:

Jim Braden was taken into custody as a suspicous person at Dealey Plaza shortly after the assassination.

A suspicious elevator operator in the Dal Tex building called him to the attention of Sheriff Deputy Lummie Lewis, who took Braden in and took a statement from him before releasing him.

Years later, California TV producer Peter Noyes read Braden's statement in the Warren Commission records, and tried to locate him through the California motor vehicle records. Noyes discovered that Eugene Hale Brading had officially changed his name to Jim Braden and obtained a new drivers license under that name a few weeks before the assassination, and was known as a money courier for the mob. He had served time, had been accused of bilking rich widows and was once thrown out of Dallas by Sheriff Bill Decker for being a vagrant while living at the Turtle Creek home of the widow of the President of Magnolia Oil Company.

Braden said he was in the oil business, and while registered at the Cabana Hotel with two other oil men who had visited the Hunt Oil offices on the day of the assassination, he was in the federal parole office at the same time, and after leaving there, saw the motorcade from the federal office steps. He then walked to the Dal Tex building where he tried to phone his mother from a pay phone on an upper floor, and took the elevator down. The elevator operator, thought him suspicious.

From Dallas, Braden went to New Orleans where he lived the previous summer, operating out of the offices of Vernon Main, Jr., on the 17th floor of the Pierre Marquette building, just down the hall from attorney G. Ray Gill.

Jim Braden testified for two days in executive sesssion, behind closed doors before the House Select Committee on Assassinations, but the testimony was sealed until the JFK Act released the transcript of his tesimony.

Does anyone know if Braden's HSCA testimony is available on line?

Does anyone know if Jim Braden is still alive - he would be in his 80s - and if so, where he is today?

Bill Kelly

Bill, If you haven’t seen this yet, great information on Braden. I believe it could be Gaeton Fonzi’s? starting on page 21 is an exhaustive look into his ties to the family, Ruby, etc. https://www.archives.gov/files/research/jfk/releases/additional/docid-32423629.pdf

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