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David Atlee Phillips book on Cullen Davis


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In David Atlee Phillips book "The Great Texas Murder Trials", he uses a fictional character named "Judge Matthew Willard. He stated, "Though in a sense a fictional character, he is based on a real person, who, though knowledgeable of the law, is not a judge".

Anyone have any ideas who this person might be?

Thanks

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Cullen Davis was the richest person ever tried for murder.

He and David Atlee Phillips attended the same Fort Worth

high school. I was unaware that Phillips wrote a book on

the Mansion Murders....which were the OJ murders of their

era. Except Cullen was MUCH richer than OJ. Like OJ, he

was acquitted. Victims were his wife's boyfriend and her

daughter...killed by a mystery man dressed in black and

wearing a woman's black wig. One (wild) rumor was that

he was framed by the CIA for not allowing use of his

overseas oil companies as CIA fronts. Cullen is now in

religious work in Fort Worth.

Jack

Edited by Jack White
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Cullen Davis was the richest person ever tried for murder.

He and David Atlee Phillips attended the same Fort Worth

high school. I was unaware that Phillips wrote a book on

the Mansion Murders....which were the OJ murders of their

era. Except Cullen was MUCH richer than OJ. Like OJ, he

was acquitted. Victims were his wife's boyfriend and her

daughter...killed by a mystery man dressed in black and

wearing a woman's black wig. One (wild) rumor was that

he was framed by the CIA for not allowing use of his

overseas oil companies as CIA fronts. Cullen is now in

religious work in Fort Worth.

Jack

Jack thanks for the response. The book was first published in 1979 by MacMillan Publishing out of New York.

In the beginning of the book, Phillips stated that the fictional chacacter Judge Willard, was based on a real person. Just thought you might have an idea who he was talking about.

I have always believed that Phillips had something to do with the assassination.

Thanks again

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Cullen Davis was the richest person ever tried for murder.

He and David Atlee Phillips attended the same Fort Worth

high school. I was unaware that Phillips wrote a book on

the Mansion Murders....which were the OJ murders of their

era. Except Cullen was MUCH richer than OJ. Like OJ, he

was acquitted. Victims were his wife's boyfriend and her

daughter...killed by a mystery man dressed in black and

wearing a woman's black wig. One (wild) rumor was that

he was framed by the CIA for not allowing use of his

overseas oil companies as CIA fronts. Cullen is now in

religious work in Fort Worth.

Jack

Jack thanks for the response. The book was first published in 1979 by MacMillan Publishing out of New York.

In the beginning of the book, Phillips stated that the fictional chacacter Judge Willard, was based on a real person. Just thought you might have an idea who he was talking about.

I have always believed that Phillips had something to do with the assassination.

Thanks again

0

Not having read the book, I am in no position to speculate. Was the judge connected

to the murder case?

On DAP...I think he was the "operations officer" of the assassination, in close contact

with the Oswald family. The Oswald family lived in the same Fort Worth neighborhood

(Arlington Heights) as the Phillips family. Marguerite once worked for a man named

Phillips. Just coincidences?

Jack

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Cullen Davis was the richest person ever tried for murder.

He and David Atlee Phillips attended the same Fort Worth

high school. I was unaware that Phillips wrote a book on

the Mansion Murders....which were the OJ murders of their

era. Except Cullen was MUCH richer than OJ. Like OJ, he

was acquitted. Victims were his wife's boyfriend and her

daughter...killed by a mystery man dressed in black and

wearing a woman's black wig. One (wild) rumor was that

he was framed by the CIA for not allowing use of his

overseas oil companies as CIA fronts. Cullen is now in

religious work in Fort Worth.

Jack

Jack thanks for the response. The book was first published in 1979 by MacMillan Publishing out of New York.

In the beginning of the book, Phillips stated that the fictional chacacter Judge Willard, was based on a real person. Just thought you might have an idea who he was talking about.

I have always believed that Phillips had something to do with the assassination.

Thanks again

0

Not having read the book, I am in no position to speculate. Was the judge connected

to the murder case?

I don't believe so. In the forward of the book he just referenced it as, "Judge Matthew Willard is in a sense a fictional character, that is based on a real person, who, though knowledgeable of the law, is not a judge."

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In David Atlee Phillips book "The Great Texas Murder Trials", he uses a fictional character named "Judge Matthew Willard. He stated, "Though in a sense a fictional character, he is based on a real person, who, though knowledgeable of the law, is not a judge".

Anyone have any ideas who this person might be?

Thanks

John,

I have read the book, though I don't have it handy at the moment. I remember however, that through the course of the book, recounting the murders and trial, DAP takes these leasurely strolls with the "Judge," whose sage advice tries to explain "Texas Justice."

DAP's use of fictional composites, like Ian Fleming's, are thinly disguised and not difficult to decipher.

If anyone in Texas figures it out - and I would venture that if Jack White read the book, he could possibly pin the tail on the donkey, I too would like to know who this person might be.

Bill Kelly

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John,

I have read the book, though I don't have it handy at the moment. I remember however, that through the course of the book, recounting the murders and trial, DAP takes these leasurely strolls with the "Judge," whose sage advice tries to explain "Texas Justice."

DAP's use of fictional composites, like Ian Fleming's, are thinly disguised and not difficult to decipher.

If anyone in Texas figures it out - and I would venture that if Jack White read the book, he could possibly pin the tail on the donkey, I too would like to know who this person might be.

Bill Kelly

If Jack wants to read this book, I have an extra copy. Jack let me know if you have time to read it.

Thanks,

John

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John,

I have read the book, though I don't have it handy at the moment. I remember however, that through the course of the book, recounting the murders and trial, DAP takes these leasurely strolls with the "Judge," whose sage advice tries to explain "Texas Justice."

DAP's use of fictional composites, like Ian Fleming's, are thinly disguised and not difficult to decipher.

If anyone in Texas figures it out - and I would venture that if Jack White read the book, he could possibly pin the tail on the donkey, I too would like to know who this person might be.

Bill Kelly

If Jack wants to read this book, I have an extra copy. Jack let me know if you have time to read it.

Thanks,

John

Thanks, John...but I don't know when I would get time to read it. Thanks.

Jack

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JUDGE MATHEW WILLARD = X

David Atlee Phillips, in his book, tells us that the fictionalized, composite character of Judge Mathew Willard is based on a real person known to him.

Phillips tells us that this real person is not a judge, but is knowledgeable about the law.

Because it is set in the context of the trial of a Texas oilman, accused of a domestic homicide, we can look closely at local Texas legal minds - probably an attorney/lawyer, but not necessarily so.

If there is a DC connection, there is the historic Willard Hotel.

My first inclination is to think of DAP's brother, a featured character in Fonzi's lengthly article in Washingtonian Mag (and pix), who worked in a state law enforcment office in Texas in the 70s.

I don't think DAP would put his brother on such a pedistal of admiration, as brothers just don't do that.

My second suspect is Gordon McLendon, but he's a media/radio man, not a legal one.

I would consider, however, someone close to either of these men - as a cherished friend and advisor, especially in times of personal crisis.

Just as LBJ first called his personal lawyer J. W. Bullion as his first offical move as president, I would think DAP has a similar personal advisor, who it would be important to identify if you are accusing DAP of being a mastermind of the political intrigues.

I would think that, if not Jack White, Gary Mack would know of some possible suspects for Judge Matt Willard, but he is so admant about protecting McLendon, that I'm not sure he can be trusted.

There must be some open minded person from that neck of the woods who can put a real name on DAP's Judge.

BK

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"My first inclination is to think of DAP's brother, a featured character in Fonzi's lengthly article in Washingtonian Mag (and pix), who worked in a state law enforcment office in Texas in the 70s. "

The brother of Phillips was head of the Tarrant County Crime Commission, a quasi-official

group of citizens that administer the Crime Stoppers program and the like. It was not exactly

"law enforcement".

Jack

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"My first inclination is to think of DAP's brother, a featured character in Fonzi's lengthly article in Washingtonian Mag (and pix), who worked in a state law enforcment office in Texas in the 70s. "

The brother of Phillips was head of the Tarrant County Crime Commission, a quasi-official

group of citizens that administer the Crime Stoppers program and the like. It was not exactly

"law enforcement".

Jack

Thanks Jack,

If I remember correctly, his brother's name was Edwin Phillips. I don't have my Fonzi book handy but I believe Fonzi met Edwin in Fort Worth when he was investigating for the HSCA. Also, I remember something to the effect, that Edwin was shown the photo that Veciana had made and Edwin believed it look alot like his brother, David. I tried looking up info on the internet about Edwin and got no info.

Thanks Jack and Bill

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"My first inclination is to think of DAP's brother, a featured character in Fonzi's lengthly article in Washingtonian Mag (and pix), who worked in a state law enforcment office in Texas in the 70s. "

The brother of Phillips was head of the Tarrant County Crime Commission, a quasi-official

group of citizens that administer the Crime Stoppers program and the like. It was not exactly

"law enforcement".

Jack

Thanks Jack,

If I remember correctly, his brother's name was Edwin Phillips. I don't have my Fonzi book handy but I believe Fonzi met Edwin in Fort Worth when he was investigating for the HSCA. Also, I remember something to the effect, that Edwin was shown the photo that Veciana had made and Edwin believed it look alot like his brother, David. I tried looking up info on the internet about Edwin and got no info.

Thanks Jack and Bill

From the internet:

James was born in 1915 in Fort Worth to a prominent Texas family, which later fell on hard times. His first novel, THE OUTSIDERS, was an expose about the Dallas country club set and is quite hard to find (read: suppressed.) It was published in the mid-1930s. Dallas Library keeps it under lock and key to this day.

James learned to fly when quite young. He worked as a publicist in New York for Walter Winchell and Billy Rose, wrote a detective novel in 1939, and joined Claire Chennault's Flying Tigers.

After Pearl Harbor he enlisted in the US Marines. After WWII he was a senior staffer for Leatherneck Magazine, then spent some time in intelligence work. He ran Amphibian Airways in Burma between '47 and '54, under contract to the Burmese Government, and we can guess who else. His very first Joe Gall novel, PAGODA, was based on these experiences, and was published in the 50s in hardcover long before the Fawcett paperback 'Contract' series started up. It was basically autobiographical. James' photo adorned many of the back covers of the Fawcett paperbacks.

It is unclear whether or not James recruited his younger brother David into the Agency or whether it was the other way around, or unrelated (unlikely!) David was recruited in Chile c.1950 where he had emigrated to, after purchasing a printing business and an English language newspaper. He had previously been a Army Air Corps NCO and was a POW in a German luftstalag. He wrote a play about his POW experienced, which was accepted for Broadway production, but 6 weeks before opening night STALAG 17 opened, and blew David's dramatic career out of the air...David strongly resembled James.

James also wrote two succesful screenplays. One was THUNDER ROAD, which starred Robert Mitchum as a moonshine runner and Gene barry as an Alcohol & Tobacco Tax Division (IRS) agent out to nail him. There was a famous theme song to this film.

The other was BIG JIM MCLAIN, and was John Wayne's first independent production. Wayne at first employed his house writer, James Edward Grant, best remembered for THE ALAMO. However, there were problems, Grant was a natorious drunk, and Wayne was shooting this turkey of a movie entirely on location in Hawaii at a cost of $50,000 a day (big money then.) Grant climbed into his bottles, sat in the hotel bar and wouldn't budge. Wayne pleaded with him to no avail, Grant told him (rather precognitively) to get cancer. Finally Wayne sent for James Atlee Phillips. Phillips agreed to write the script, which he did in 10 days with the film being shot as it rolled off his typewriter. Afterwards James refused to accept payment; he told me this frightened Wayne's lawyers so much that they met the Honolulu flight at LAX and insisted he sign a quit-claim.

The film, which is a potboiler about a House Un-American Activities Committee investigator chasing Commies in Hawaii, was a low point in everyone's careers. Worth a mention was a very young Peter Graves as Wayne's assistant who is murdered by the sinister forces from Moscow Center.

As James related to me, he collected on the favor John Wayne owed him. A buddy from the Flying Tigers days in China ended up in a Taiwanese prison for smuggling opium. This n'eer-do-well appealed for help from James, who squeezed John Wayne, who squeezed Dwight D.Eisenhauer, who squeezed Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek -- who James utterly despised. The sentence was commuted. And that's how John Wayne paid for the script to BIG JIM MCLAIN. The fellow in question was the model for 'Captain Nash', in James' novels PAGODA and THE STAR RUBY CONTRACT also set in Burma.

James had at least one child, Shawn Phillips, the folk rock singer. Shawn described his father as being a 'secret agent' on several of his album blurbs.

James lived in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where his wife was an executive for the phone company. He travelled a lot on tramp steamers, where he did most of his writing, often sailing out of New Orleans, and he always dropped by Mother's Restaurant when he passed through town, it's a famous USMC haunt.

We were still in touch when he quit writing the Gall novels, he felt that Joe Gall was getting 'a little long in the touth'. (His own words.) The final novel was set in South Korea.

While the Contract series was occasionally uneven, the best of the series are as good as anything James ever wrote. I once did a critique of the series and james told me it agreed uncannily with his own self-assesments. The best of the series were THE GREEN WOUND (later reissued with 'Contract' appended to the title; THE SILKEN BARONESS (likewise retitled); THE STAR RUBY CONTRACT, THE ILL WIND CONTRACT, and that great one where Gall taken on heroin addiction as part of his cover. I can't recall the name. The weakest were THE IRISH BEAUTY CONTRACT, and that one set in Haiti with the exploding teddy bears, which James admitted was written for film but the option was never picked up. Just as well...

His two novels where Gall goes up against black revolutionaries in US and the Carribean were in between, as were the two in which he operated in Canada. THE SKELETON COAST CONTRACT was good, good enough to get the author blacklisted by South Africa's apartheid regime!

James was a hard case, just like his character Joe Gall. I always thought Lee Marvin would be the only choice to play Gall.

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"My first inclination is to think of DAP's brother, a featured character in Fonzi's lengthly article in Washingtonian Mag (and pix), who worked in a state law enforcment office in Texas in the 70s. "

The brother of Phillips was head of the Tarrant County Crime Commission, a quasi-official

group of citizens that administer the Crime Stoppers program and the like. It was not exactly

"law enforcement".

Jack

Thanks Jack,

If I remember correctly, his brother's name was Edwin Phillips. I don't have my Fonzi book handy but I believe Fonzi met Edwin in Fort Worth when he was investigating for the HSCA. Also, I remember something to the effect, that Edwin was shown the photo that Veciana had made and Edwin believed it look alot like his brother, David. I tried looking up info on the internet about Edwin and got no info.

Thanks Jack and Bill

From the internet on James Atlee Phillips:

James was born in 1915 in Fort Worth to a prominent Texas family, which later fell on hard times. His first novel, THE OUTSIDERS, was an expose about the Dallas country club set and is quite hard to find (read: suppressed.) It was published in the mid-1930s. Dallas Library keeps it under lock and key to this day.

James learned to fly when quite young. He worked as a publicist in New York for Walter Winchell and Billy Rose, wrote a detective novel in 1939, and joined Claire Chennault's Flying Tigers.

After Pearl Harbor he enlisted in the US Marines. After WWII he was a senior staffer for Leatherneck Magazine, then spent some time in intelligence work. He ran Amphibian Airways in Burma between '47 and '54, under contract to the Burmese Government, and we can guess who else. His very first Joe Gall novel, PAGODA, was based on these experiences, and was published in the 50s in hardcover long before the Fawcett paperback 'Contract' series started up. It was basically autobiographical. James' photo adorned many of the back covers of the Fawcett paperbacks.

It is unclear whether or not James recruited his younger brother David into the Agency or whether it was the other way around, or unrelated (unlikely!) David was recruited in Chile c.1950 where he had emigrated to, after purchasing a printing business and an English language newspaper. He had previously been a Army Air Corps NCO and was a POW in a German luftstalag. He wrote a play about his POW experienced, which was accepted for Broadway production, but 6 weeks before opening night STALAG 17 opened, and blew David's dramatic career out of the air...David strongly resembled James.

James also wrote two succesful screenplays. One was THUNDER ROAD, which starred Robert Mitchum as a moonshine runner and Gene barry as an Alcohol & Tobacco Tax Division (IRS) agent out to nail him. There was a famous theme song to this film.

The other was BIG JIM MCLAIN, and was John Wayne's first independent production. Wayne at first employed his house writer, James Edward Grant, best remembered for THE ALAMO. However, there were problems, Grant was a natorious drunk, and Wayne was shooting this turkey of a movie entirely on location in Hawaii at a cost of $50,000 a day (big money then.) Grant climbed into his bottles, sat in the hotel bar and wouldn't budge. Wayne pleaded with him to no avail, Grant told him (rather precognitively) to get cancer. Finally Wayne sent for James Atlee Phillips. Phillips agreed to write the script, which he did in 10 days with the film being shot as it rolled off his typewriter. Afterwards James refused to accept payment; he told me this frightened Wayne's lawyers so much that they met the Honolulu flight at LAX and insisted he sign a quit-claim.

The film, which is a potboiler about a House Un-American Activities Committee investigator chasing Commies in Hawaii, was a low point in everyone's careers. Worth a mention was a very young Peter Graves as Wayne's assistant who is murdered by the sinister forces from Moscow Center.

As James related to me, he collected on the favor John Wayne owed him. A buddy from the Flying Tigers days in China ended up in a Taiwanese prison for smuggling opium. This n'eer-do-well appealed for help from James, who squeezed John Wayne, who squeezed Dwight D.Eisenhauer, who squeezed Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek -- who James utterly despised. The sentence was commuted. And that's how John Wayne paid for the script to BIG JIM MCLAIN. The fellow in question was the model for 'Captain Nash', in James' novels PAGODA and THE STAR RUBY CONTRACT also set in Burma.

James had at least one child, Shawn Phillips, the folk rock singer. Shawn described his father as being a 'secret agent' on several of his album blurbs.

James lived in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where his wife was an executive for the phone company. He travelled a lot on tramp steamers, where he did most of his writing, often sailing out of New Orleans, and he always dropped by Mother's Restaurant when he passed through town, it's a famous USMC haunt.

We were still in touch when he quit writing the Gall novels, he felt that Joe Gall was getting 'a little long in the touth'. (His own words.) The final novel was set in South Korea.

While the Contract series was occasionally uneven, the best of the series are as good as anything James ever wrote. I once did a critique of the series and james told me it agreed uncannily with his own self-assesments. The best of the series were THE GREEN WOUND (later reissued with 'Contract' appended to the title; THE SILKEN BARONESS (likewise retitled); THE STAR RUBY CONTRACT, THE ILL WIND CONTRACT, and that great one where Gall taken on heroin addiction as part of his cover. I can't recall the name. The weakest were THE IRISH BEAUTY CONTRACT, and that one set in Haiti with the exploding teddy bears, which James admitted was written for film but the option was never picked up. Just as well...

His two novels where Gall goes up against black revolutionaries in US and the Carribean were in between, as were the two in which he operated in Canada. THE SKELETON COAST CONTRACT was good, good enough to get the author blacklisted by South Africa's apartheid regime!

James was a hard case, just like his character Joe Gall. I always thought Lee Marvin would be the only choice to play Gall.

Edited by Jack White
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James' photo adorned many of the back covers of the Fawcett paperbacks....

...and that one set in Haiti with the exploding teddy bears, which James admitted was written for film but the option was never picked up. Just as well...

Looks like this is the one with the exploding bears ...and that looks like a "Phillips" on the front cover.

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