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Deaths of Witnesses


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Might we add Rufus Taylor?

I was listening to Richard Helms' HSCA testimony and when he was on the topic of Yuri Nosenko, he mentioned that he had personally asked Rufus Taylor, who was Deputy Director of CIA when Helms was promoted to DCI, to intervene into the handling of Nosenko but that Rufus Taylor had just died the other day (September 1978). Seemed like kind of strange timing.

Taylor graduated from the Naval Academy in 1933 and studied in Japan from 1938-1941. He became Assistant Chief of Intelligence for the Pacific Fleet and was in Japan in 1959 when Oswald was at Atsugi Air Base and was involved with U2 work. During the time of Oswald's defection, Rufus became Director for Foreign Intelligence in the Soviet Union. He was then Director of Naval Intelligence in 1963 at the time of the assassination until 1966 when he became Deputy Director of CIA.

According to Victor Marchetti, who worked under Taylor in CIA, Taylor had personally come to him prior to the publication of CIA and the Cult of Intelligence to attempt to persuade Marchetti to halt its release.

Also, throughout Helms' testimony, when asked about why they didn't peruse Oswald further or debrief him when he returned to the US, he repeatedly says because it was Naval Intelligence's responsibility and to ask ONI.

Interestingly, Taylor's files from 1959 to 1964 "went missing."

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Thanks for sharing this, Brian. That's certainly one I missed in my book.

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I'm glad you liked it, Brian. Like I tell everyone, Amazon reviews are always appreciated. Thanks for reading.

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Even spookier, Thomas Karamessines died 10 days before Taylor on September 4, 1978 at age 61. He had been scheduled to testify before the HSCA. He, along with Helms, were responsible for investigated the activities of Oswald in the immediate aftermath of the assassination. So we have two Deputy Directors of the CIA, both with a great deal of knowledge about Oswald, dying within 10 days of each other during the HSCA. Kinda makes you go hmmm...

Also, in 1973, Victor Marchetti revealed that at the time of the Garrison investigation, then-Director Helms regularly queried senior officers at morning staff briefings whether "we are giving them [Clay Shaw and David Ferry] all the help we can." Present at these meetings were Deputy Director Admiral Rufus Taylor and Deputy Director of Plans Thomas Karamessines (the only two people the book mentions). When he asked why the Agency should be interested in a case in the domestic courts, Marchetti was informed that both Shaw and Ferrie had been contract agents, and further revelations about them could be "very embarrassing to the agency."

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