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Death-bed confession: LBJ


John Simkin
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I have had this email. Can anyone help with this story?

I've been reading, Master of the Senate, the third book in Robert Caro's biography of LBJ and was curious to see that Bille sol Estes wasn't listed in the index although he certainly was dealing with LBJ during the time period that the book covers. Looks like I'll have to wait another five or ten years to see what Caro has to say about Estes and LBJ when his last book comes out. This absence of info led me to look up Estes on the web where I found the plentiful mentions of him in JFK conspiracy websites.

Reading through them reminded me of a remarkable news story I read 15 or 20 years ago but have subsequently lost track of. The story was about a death bed confession from a Texan who said he had participated in the murder of a man on LBJ's orders to prevent the man from disclosing politically embarrassing information about LBJ. I don't recall that this alleged murder was connected to JFK's assassination so much as it was connected to various Estes-like scams that Johnson didn't want revealed.

The JFK sites make Malcolm Wallace seem like a good candidate for Henry Marshall's murder but I'm not sure who the supposed victim in my lost news story was.

It was such an intriguing story I was surprised that I never saw a follow up story either confirming or discrediting the confession or the confessor. The murder victim in my lost news story could very well have been Marshall but I've found no reference to anyone having confessed to his murder.

Do you know anything about a death bed confession from the 70's or 80's which tied LBJ to a murder?

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After I sent you the email I realized that I probably saw the news story shortly after reading Robert Caro's first book in 1984 or 85. The news story must have come out between 1985 and 1990. Caro's book so impressed me with LBJ's mania to be President and his ties to Brown and Root that it enhanced the credibility of the death bed confession I'm trying to locate. It was such a potent accusation - US Senator/President orders the murder of a political threat - that I could never understand why it was never followed up by our newspaper.

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I've been reading, Master of the Senate, the third book in Robert Caro's biography of LBJ and was curious to see that Bille sol Estes wasn't listed in the index although he certainly was dealing with LBJ during the time period that the book covers.

Another noteworthy omission in Caro's tome: no mention at all of Madeleine Brown, whom LBJ (according to Brown) was also "dealing with" in this time period. (At least one LBJ mistress is named in the book.)

I wanted to point this out, but don't mean to divert the thread from its subject. (Brown has been dealt with enough elsewhere.)

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I've been reading, Master of the Senate, the third book in Robert Caro's biography of LBJ and was curious to see that Bille sol Estes wasn't listed in the index although he certainly was dealing with LBJ during the time period that the book covers.

Another noteworthy omission in Caro's tome: no mention at all of Madeleine Brown, whom LBJ (according to Brown) was also "dealing with" in this time period. (At least one LBJ mistress is named in the book.)

I wanted to point this out, but don't mean to divert the thread from its subject. (Brown has been dealt with enough elsewhere.)

John, I haven't read the book, and i dont know who the "confessor' could be, but from all knowledge of the muders Ed Clark and LBJ were suppossedly involved in, it doesnt surprise me that there were more people involved in them other than Mac Wallace. With all of the underhanded things LBJ was involved in, just using the 1948 "Box 13" scandal as a starting point, he had alot of people to shut up. Mac Wallace was his most well know enforcer, but im sure there had to be others he had to use over the years to take care of his dirty work. Not to mention all of the other things Ed Clark was involved in. They basically controlled all of Texas, but im sure they had to "expand" to other areas of the country as well. Using others that they had the goods on, in one way or another, they could get these "others" to take care of all of their "problems". Kinser, Marshall, and even his own sister Josefa, were only just a few of the many people who were needed to be silenced. Powerful people such as LBJ and Clark, couldnt go through all of their underhanded political moves, without having certain people knowing what they were up to. While he was on his way up the political ladder, he surely couldnt afford to have someone come forward and expose him for what he truly was. The terrible fear he had of someone ruining what he had worked so hard for all of those years, wheather legally or underhandedly, would have caused him to do "anything" to prevent that from happening.

Any thoughts on his sister death?

thanks-smitty

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I have had this email. Can anyone help with this story?

I've been reading, Master of the Senate, the third book in Robert Caro's biography of LBJ and was curious to see that Bille sol Estes wasn't listed in the index although he certainly was dealing with LBJ during the time period that the book covers. Looks like I'll have to wait another five or ten years to see what Caro has to say about Estes and LBJ when his last book comes out. This absence of info led me to look up Estes on the web where I found the plentiful mentions of him in JFK conspiracy websites.

Reading through them reminded me of a remarkable news story I read 15 or 20 years ago but have subsequently lost track of. The story was about a death bed confession from a Texan who said he had participated in the murder of a man on LBJ's orders to prevent the man from disclosing politically embarrassing information about LBJ. I don't recall that this alleged murder was connected to JFK's assassination so much as it was connected to various Estes-like scams that Johnson didn't want revealed.

The JFK sites make Malcolm Wallace seem like a good candidate for Henry Marshall's murder but I'm not sure who the supposed victim in my lost news story was.

It was such an intriguing story I was surprised that I never saw a follow up story either confirming or discrediting the confession or the confessor. The murder victim in my lost news story could very well have been Marshall but I've found no reference to anyone having confessed to his murder.

Do you know anything about a death bed confession from the 70's or 80's which tied LBJ to a murder?

John and Harry,

Nigel Turner once told me about someone who introduced himself as one of the former jury members on the Malcolm Wallace murder trial. He had carried with him a burden of guilt because of the outcome of the trial, but explained that the jury members, each one, had been threatened. Describing the period of time during the trial, he said that one evening during dinner, he and his wife were interupted by two well dressed men who knocked at his door. As he responded to the callers, he noticed that one of them held a shotgun in his hands. After cocking the gun, the visitor pointed the weapon and the man and pulled the trigger. Click. The weapon was empty. "This gun could just as easily have been loaded" warned the visitor. "Be very careful about your decision" And then the men were gone.

These kind of men were plentiful, and Johnson had the knack of finding them and keeping them loyal.

Glen Sample

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He had carried with him a burden of guilt because of the outcome of the trial, but explained that the jury members, each one, had been threatened.

The jury found Wallace guilty. Wasn't it the judge who gave him 5 years probation? That wouldn't be the fault of the jury. It looks to me like it was the judge who gave in to a threat (or accepted an offer he couldn't refuse).

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Nigel Turner once told me about someone who introduced himself as one of the former jury members on the Malcolm Wallace murder trial. He had carried with him a burden of guilt because of the outcome of the trial, but explained that the jury members, each one, had been threatened. Describing the period of time during the trial, he said that one evening during dinner, he and his wife were interupted by two well dressed men who knocked at his door. As he responded to the callers, he noticed that one of them held a shotgun in his hands. After cocking the gun, the visitor pointed the weapon and the man and pulled the trigger. Click. The weapon was empty. "This gun could just as easily have been loaded" warned the visitor. "Be very careful about your decision" And then the men were gone.

These kind of men were plentiful, and Johnson had the knack of finding them and keeping them loyal.

Welcome to the Forum. I am a great admirer of your work on Mac Wallace. (Would you be willing to discuss 'The Men on the Sixth Floor' on the Forum?).

The jury found Wallace guilty. Wasn't it the judge who gave him 5 years probation? That wouldn't be the fault of the jury. It looks to me like it was the judge who gave in to a threat (or accepted an offer he couldn't refuse).

True. The judge, Charles O. Betts, was clearly under the control of LBJ. According to Bill Adler of The Texas Observer, several of the jurors telephoned John Kinser's parents to apologize for agreeing to a "suspended sentence, but said they did so only because threats had been made against their families."

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Nigel Turner once told me about someone who introduced himself as one of the former jury members on the Malcolm Wallace murder trial. He had carried with him a burden of guilt because of the outcome of the trial, but explained that the jury members, each one, had been threatened. Describing the period of time during the trial, he said that one evening during dinner, he and his wife were interupted by two well dressed men who knocked at his door. As he responded to the callers, he noticed that one of them held a shotgun in his hands. After cocking the gun, the visitor pointed the weapon and the man and pulled the trigger. Click. The weapon was empty. "This gun could just as easily have been loaded" warned the visitor. "Be very careful about your decision" And then the men were gone.

These kind of men were plentiful, and Johnson had the knack of finding them and keeping them loyal.

Welcome to the Forum. I am a great admirer of your work on Mac Wallace. (Would you be willing to discuss 'The Men on the Sixth Floor' on the Forum?).

The jury found Wallace guilty. Wasn't it the judge who gave him 5 years probation? That wouldn't be the fault of the jury. It looks to me like it was the judge who gave in to a threat (or accepted an offer he couldn't refuse).

True. The judge, Charles O. Betts, was clearly under the control of LBJ. According to Bill Adler of The Texas Observer, several of the jurors telephoned John Kinser's parents to apologize for agreeing to a "suspended sentence, but said they did so only because threats had been made against their families."

*********************

John, I would be happy to discuss anything you would like.

Let me also add to the mix this quote from my book concerning the Wallace trial and verdict:

(quote)

On November 18, 1951, Wallace was indicted for murder by the grand jury, and his ten day trial began February 18, 1952 in the 98th District Court of Travis County, with Judge Charles Betts presiding. Defending Wallace was none other than John Cofer and Polk Shelton, both with long-standing ties with Lyndon Johnson. Cofer had been legal counsel to LBJ in the legal maneuvering surrounding his questionable 1948 election to the U. S. senate. Strangely, it was also Cofer who "defended" Billie Sol Estes in his trial a decade later. The strange trial is described nicely in the J. Evetts Haley book: A TEXAN LOOKS AT LYNDON in this way:

The case went to trial. District Attorney Bob Long- notwithstanding the identity of the car, a bloody shirt and a cartridge of the same caliber as used in the shooting, found in Wallace's possession, and witnesses who heard the shots and saw the departure of a man who fit Wallace's description - described it as "a near perfect murder."

Wallace did not take the stand. No evidence was presented to suggest cause of extenuating circumstances. Cofer simply filed a brief, one-page motion for an instructed verdict, pleading that there was no evidence upon which the State could "legally base a judgment of guilt." Long said nothing whatever in rebuttal. After less than two hours of testimony which was shut off so "abruptly" that it "left the packed courtroom with jaws ajar." Long urged the jury to "punish Wallace in whatever degree you can agree upon."

Thus after one of the briefest and most perfunctory trials of a prominent murder case on record, even in Texas, the jury nonetheless found, March 27, 1952, (actually Feb.) that Wallace was, as charged, guilty "of murder with malice aforethought." Its penalty, a five-year suspended sentence - for murder in the first degree....

Wallace returned to his work in Washington and five years to a day later appeared back in the 98th District Court to have his record wiped clean, citizenship restored.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to read these accounts and not believe that Malcolm Wallace had friends in high places. Clint Peoples recounts that the prosecutor, Bob Long, had made the statement, "I lost it (the trial) because I let a sinker get on the jury."

A sinker is another word for "fixer," and rumors abounded in Austin for years that there had been a "fixer" on the jury to ensure that Wallace never served any time for the killing. But according to William Barrett, the rumor turned out to be true. In an article in the Dallas Times Herald, dated March 31, 1986, Barrett wrote:

One of the biggest mysteries in the Kinser killing is how the jury could convict Wallace of murder with malice, but recommend only a suspended sentence. In a recent Times Herald interview, juror D. L. Johnson, 68, a retired Highway Department employee, acknowledged he was the first cousin and good friend of Gus Lanier, who during the trial sat at the defense table of Wallace and his main lawyers.

D. L. Johnson, who is not related to LBJ, also said he alone among the jurors favored acquittal and that he forced the guilty-with-suspended-sentence verdict by threatening to cause a hung jury.

I was able to contact Mr. Barrett when I returned from Dallas. He confirmed the above information, and told me without hesitation that in his own mind, he is absolutely sure, beyond doubt, that Malcolm Wallace had the help of Lyndon Johnson in his legal battle.

Much later, we found The Texas Observer article (Nov. 7, 1986) by Bill Adler, which added further support to a "fixed" jury in the Wallace case:

"Not long after the trial, several of the jurors telephoned Doug Kinser's parents to apologize for voting for a suspended sentence, but said they did so only because threats had been made against their families, according to Al Kinser, a nephew of Kinser's who along with his father, still runs the Pitch and Putt golf course."

(end of quote)

I might add that I also have been contacted by John Douglas Kinser's daughter, who has sent me a copy of her mother's newspaper scrap book of the trial. She concurs with the above scenario.

Glen Sample

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Glen, Welcome to the forum. Does this mean you're getting back into the case?

Hope so.

Dawn

Thank you Dawn. I've been reading this forum for quite a while and hope to

contrubute more in the future. I think I feel more "at home" here than some

of the other forums.

I was not aware of Nathan Darby's death until I read some of your posts.

Sadly, my good friend and co-author Mark Collom passed awy also, on Nov. 9th.

He lived in Burleson, Tx, and our last trip together was to Austin to visit Nathan.

Glen

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Glen, Welcome to the forum. Does this mean you're getting back into the case?

Hope so.

Dawn

Thank you Dawn. I've been reading this forum for quite a while and hope to

contrubute more in the future. I think I feel more "at home" here than some

of the other forums.

I was not aware of Nathan Darby's death until I read some of your posts.

Sadly, my good friend and co-author Mark Collom passed awy also, on Nov. 9th.

He lived in Burleson, Tx, and our last trip together was to Austin to visit Nathan.

Glen

Glen

My sincere condolence to you on the passing of your friend and co-author Mark Collom. Yes, Nathan told me all about your visit and he was most pleased that you changed your mind about the print match based upon your meeting with him. Wish I'd known you were here. It was because of you that I even met Nathan. J Harrison had told me that you said there was "No Nathan Darby in the Austin phone book". So I pulled out my book and discovered that there was such an individual and that he lived a block from me. So I called him. This was in 1998. We became fast friends on the phone that day and remained so until his death.

I very much miss both Nathan and J.

Dawn

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Glen, Welcome to the forum. Does this mean you're getting back into the case?

Hope so.

Dawn

Thank you Dawn. I've been reading this forum for quite a while and hope to

contrubute more in the future. I think I feel more "at home" here than some

of the other forums.

I was not aware of Nathan Darby's death until I read some of your posts.

Sadly, my good friend and co-author Mark Collom passed awy also, on Nov. 9th.

He lived in Burleson, Tx, and our last trip together was to Austin to visit Nathan.

Glen

Glen

My sincere condolence to you on the passing of your friend and co-author Mark Collom. Yes, Nathan told me all about your visit and he was most pleased that you changed your mind about the print match based upon your meeting with him. Wish I'd known you were here. It was because of you that I even met Nathan. J Harrison had told me that you said there was "No Nathan Darby in the Austin phone book". So I pulled out my book and discovered that there was such an individual and that he lived a block from me. So I called him. This was in 1998. We became fast friends on the phone that day and remained so until his death.

I very much miss both Nathan and J.

Dawn

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Glen:

Re your fingerprint expert out there who said there was no match. I have a couple of questions: Everything I know about your work on the print came from J. Harrison. The times we spoke on the phone I meant to ask you these questions but got sidetracked. (Should have made notes to self :up

1. How was your guy's study done? By this I mean was he presented with the latent and the known Wallace print, in a "blind" fashion, like Nathan Darby was? Or did he know exactly what he was observing?

2. What were his credentials? You know of course that Nathan was not only a top certified expert, but that he taught the science of fingerprinting to police officers in Austin for many years. Did your guy even remotely compare?

3. J told me many times that because you obtained this known Wallace print from Austin's Department of Public Safety "with no case to which to attach said print" (J. Harrison) , that this consitituted a violation of DPS' policy, which has since rendered a dead end for anyone else to now obtain this print. I tried, at Nathan's request, many avenues to obtain a second print for him after his home was illegally entered and this entire Wallace file was stolen. (A burglar alarm was bypassed and nothing else was taken, causing Nathan to fear that his life may have been in danger). Can you comment on how you obtained the print? And the alleged ramifications of same?

4. When you visited Nathan what was it that caused you to change your mind and agree that there was indeed a match?

I probably have more questions, but thank you, in advance, for responses to these.

Dawn

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Glen:

Re your fingerprint expert out there who said there was no match. I have a couple of questions: Everything I know about your work on the print came from J. Harrison. The times we spoke on the phone I meant to ask you these questions but got sidetracked. (Should have made notes to self :rolleyes:

1. How was your guy's study done? By this I mean was he presented with the latent and the known Wallace print, in a "blind" fashion, like Nathan Darby was? Or did he know exactly what he was observing?

2. What were his credentials? You know of course that Nathan was not only a top certified expert, but that he taught the science of fingerprinting to police officers in Austin for many years. Did your guy even remotely compare?

3. J told me many times that because you obtained this known Wallace print from Austin's Department of Public Safety "with no case to which to attach said print" (J. Harrison) , that this consitituted a violation of DPS' policy, which has since rendered a dead end for anyone else to now obtain this print. I tried, at Nathan's request, many avenues to obtain a second print for him after his home was illegally entered and this entire Wallace file was stolen. (A burglar alarm was bypassed and nothing else was taken, causing Nathan to fear that his life may have been in danger). Can you comment on how you obtained the print? And the alleged ramifications of same?

4. When you visited Nathan what was it that caused you to change your mind and agree that there was indeed a match?

I probably have more questions, but thank you, in advance, for responses to these.

Dawn

Hey Glen:

Just hoping you might find time to answer these few questions.

Merci,

Dawn

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Glen:

Re your fingerprint expert out there who said there was no match. I have a couple of questions: Everything I know about your work on the print came from J. Harrison. The times we spoke on the phone I meant to ask you these questions but got sidetracked. (Should have made notes to self :rolleyes:

1. How was your guy's study done? By this I mean was he presented with the latent and the known Wallace print, in a "blind" fashion, like Nathan Darby was? Or did he know exactly what he was observing?

**********************************

I e-mailed a regional fingerprint organization called SCAFO http://www.scafo.org/ and requested assistance in identifying a

print from an old crime scene. My request was answered by a young Police officer from San Bernardino P.D. The prints I had were horrible. The young officer and his superior did what they could do with what I had. To that point, I had not mentioned the

JFK case. Later, I did mention the circumstances of the prints, something I now realize to be unprofessional and counterproductive.

However, the intrigue moved these two officers to request a better fingerprint from Austin. When they received the print, they again examined for a match, but to no avail. I was not permitted to keep the print. No mention was made to me about any violation of department rules, but I got the impression that they were stretching something to get this print. I was totally convinced by these men that the print was not a match, although they did admit that there were several points that did match.

As they explained it, there were also several points that did not match.

*************************************

2. What were his credentials? You know of course that Nathan was not only a top certified expert, but that he taught the science of fingerprinting to police officers in Austin for many years. Did your guy even remotely compare?

*************************************

I am well aware of Nathan's career and his experience. Brilliant indeed! My guys were fingerprint officers, who routinely investigated crime scenes. Nothing spectacular, but I was totally convinced that we had reached a dead end with the prints.

What's more, I had nothing to go on, since the austin print was kept by the S.B. officers and they later told me that they were ordered not to go any further with the case. Eventually I later came into possession of clearer prints from various individuals involved with J. and his group. How I wish that I would have made contact with Nathan Darby a long time ago.

**************************************

3. J told me many times that because you obtained this known Wallace print from Austin's Department of Public Safety "with no case to which to attach said print" (J. Harrison) , that this consitituted a violation of DPS' policy, which has since rendered a dead end for anyone else to now obtain this print. I tried, at Nathan's request, many avenues to obtain a second print for him after his home was illegally entered and this entire Wallace file was stolen. (A burglar alarm was bypassed and nothing else was taken, causing Nathan to fear that his life may have been in danger). Can you comment on how you obtained the print? And the alleged ramifications of same?

***************************************

That may be true, I'm not aware of any of these ramifications, but I'm pretty sure that the Wallace print we now have, the one

nathan worked with, is clear enough. What is NOT clear, however, is the box print latent. That is, in my opinion, where the problem is. Nathan told us about the break in of his home. I felt bad for him as he was home alone for much of the time and

this would be disturbing to anyone.

By the way, J and I had many wonderful dialogues for quite a long period of time. What a splendid researcher! Did he ever tell you that it was I who put him in touch with Stephen Pegues? J. was terribly upset and shaken the day Stephen died, as was I. Pegues was one of the sources of the "Estes" letters that Mark and I made public and later included in a later edition of "The Men on the Sixth Floor." The other source of those long secret files is a member of this forum........

***************************************

4. When you visited Nathan what was it that caused you to change your mind and agree that there was indeed a match?

******************************************

Well, first and foremost was Nathan's 100% positive assurance that there was a match. I first noticed that in the "Guilty Men" documentary, and then again when I reached him by phone. When Mark and I visited him, he was no less confident in his work.

Step by step he took us through the process. I still have many pages of his hand written notes and diagrams. And while I am

convinced that there is a match, the quality of the box 29 print is such that we may never get a concensus. But in my mind, Nathan IS the concensus!

Let me also appologize for not answering sooner. I could not find this thread.

Glen

I probably have more questions, but thank you, in advance, for responses to these.

Dawn

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