Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Death of JFK: Was the Mob Involved?

The names or organized crime figures run throughout this story. They were unhappy with Bobby Kennedy and the president’s lack of gratitude. They saw the Bay of Pigs invasion as a way to recover their casions in Cuba. The mob had such a close working relationship with the C.I.A. that it is unthinkable that it would have attempted to take out the president without the agency’s consent and help.

Jimmy Hoffa, a mob and a target of persecution by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, hated the Kennedys and thought that the death of President Kennedy would diminish his problems. On July 23, 1963, he told Frank Ragano, his lawyer , “The time has come for your friend ( Santo Trafficante, Jr.) and Carlos ( Marcello) to get rid of him, kill that son-of-a-bitch John Kennedy.” Ragano passed on the message, and it was clear that Hoffa had siscussed this with the mobsters before. Speaking of the death of JFK, Hoffa later said, “I’ll never forget what Carlos and Santo did for me.” After Kennedy was shot, Hoffa called Ragano celebrating that the mob had killed Kennedy. Just before he died, Santo told Ragano, “I think Carlos fucked up in getting rid of Giovanni ( John)—maybe it should have been Bobby.” Santo has warned Rogano not to talk to Melvin Belli about Ruby’s reasons for killing Lee Harvey Osdwald, but it appearfs that Santos meant not to ask Belli about that, fefaring that Mel would somehow reveal a Trafficanti or Marcelllo link to the assassination. From what Santos said, it can be inferred that Marcello had some direct involvement in the aswsassination, but this would not mean it was completely a mob job.

Robert Kennedy who told associates that the mafia killed his brother but that there was nothing he could do about it. One of the witnesses against Bolden subsequently recanted. Waldron believed that the Mafia—namely godfathers Carlos Marcello, Santo Trafficante and Johnny Roselli-- alone engineered the death of Kennedy but used David Morales of the C.I.A. and the patsy Oswald. Robert Kennedy deported Marcello, the New Orleans mob boss, to Guatemalla in 1961, but the mob leader quickly returned to Louisiana aboard a small plane operated by David Ferrie. Ferrie had run Lee Harvey Oswald’s Civil Air Patrol Unit . Due to a condition called alope C.I.A., he had no hair, so he had false eyebrows and a red wig. Marcello, by all accounts, was furious with Bob by Kennedy. Ferrie was central to Jim Garrison’s theories about the assassination. But at the time, there was not conclusive evidence that Ferrie had not known Oswald. There is now a photograph and film footage that remove es all doubt about this.

Marcello and Ferrie’s alleged plot was to be covered by intertwining it with a secret plan to invade Cuba and set off a coup there. We know now that Morales ranked higher than David Attlee Phillips, who has often been mentioned in connection with the assassination. Maybe Morales was able to manipulate Phillips. Marcello had power in Dallas, where his underboss Joe Civello ran some rackets. The House Select Committee on Assassinations investigators thought they had good evidence that Phillips met with Oswald two months before the assassination, but Phillips testified that he did not know Oswald.

Roselli was a friend of William King Harvey, a shadowy C.I.A. agent known as “the American James Bond,” who has rarely been photographed. Very little is known or written about him. Harvey was instrumental in recruiting Roselli for the assassination of Fidel Castro, and the two had a small party after Bobby Kennedy pulled the plug on Operation Mongoose on June 20, 1963. Though the Kennedy brothers opposed the operation, Harvey continued his efforts to have Castro killed. Anthony Summers thinks Harvey tried to line up through the Corsican Mafia in Marseilles Thomas Davis, Christian David, and Lucien Sarti to assassinate John F. Kennedy. Noel Tyman thinks that in addition to this French squad, he organized a C.I.A. team and a US mafia hit squad. Tyman adds that Harvey’s motive was anger that JFK had stripped him of the power to order assassinations. According to the multiple team theory, the US mafia team consisted of Richard Cain, Chuckie Nicoletti, and Felix "Milwaukee Phil" Alderisio. There was a decoy team in the train yards to confuse the Secret Service, Alderisio. Peter Dale Scott believes the evidence against Harvey was part of a frame-up designed to protect some mafia biggies, J. Edgar Hoover, and James Jesus Angleton. One thing is certain, Harvey had been very effective in nailing Nazi networks and unearthing important Communist spies. After the assassination, he was moved to Italy to head the station there, and he hated Robert Kennedy for bringing about the transfer.



Some believe that in addition to Oswald and Eugene Hale Brading ( Jim Braden), the other shooters were named Jimmy Frattiano and Johnny Roselli. Roselli, a Chicago Mafioso serving under Sam Giancano, later claimed he knew what had happened and he told Jack Anderson that Jack Ruby was ordered to make sure Oswald remained silent. We know that Brading and Roselli were in Dallas that day. Braden arrived on November 21 and took a room at the Cabana Motel. He, along with Jack Ruby, met with millionaire H.L. Hunt. The night after the assassination, Ruby went to the Cabana Motel. In 1968, the LA Police interviewed him because he was there at the time of the assassination of RFK. The claim that Frattiano was there is based upon a doubful but interesting source, The Gemstone Files, being notes compiled by a man who seems to have spent years in a San Francisco bar frequented by C.I.A. and ONI agents. Mob motives would be President Kennedy’s lack of gratitude for mob support in the election of 1960 and anger over Bobby Kennedy’s harassment of organized crime.


A standard hit would have involved the three professionals having a timer, who told when to fire, and a back-up man to pick up the spent shells. Frattiano was supposedly in Dal-Tex building, across from the Texas School Book Depository. It houses the Dallas Police. It makes some sense that the shooters were there and other places behind Kennedy. Professional assassins have said that it would have been easier to hit the moving target from behind, and an added advantage was there were no Secret Service screen men running behind the car. They were in front of the car and might have been able to spot a shooter.

Roselli was supposed to be behind a fence on the knoll and this contradicts the above theory. There were witnesses who swore they saw a shooter there. Others swore they encountered two fake Secret Service men, who were probably there to protect the shooter. Deputy Constable Seymour Weitzman ran toward the knoll and encountgered a man there who showed him Secret Service identification. Weitzman later identified the man as Bernard Barker, then a C.I.A. asset. The Secret Service said none of its people were there then. If there were a shooter there he would have to have been partially concealed. We will never know what happened since Kennedy’s brain was lost after it was moved from the National Archives.

Robert “Tosh” Plumlee was on the south knoll that day and did not see Roselli in D Plaza. Plumlee had often acted as a C.I.A. contract pilot over a 31 year period. He insists there is a Life photograph that shows him on the grassy knoll. At that time he was co-pilot and part of a military intelligence team that flew into Dallas aboard a Military Air Transport plane to abort the assassination. There were several Cubans who had worked for the C.I.A.. There were nine members of the team, one to look for each of the supposed nine people involved in triangulating Kennedy. Each of three units would have had a spotter, shooter, and break-down man. The abort team failed in its mission and left Dallas at 2 PM. Roselli did not return to the safe house on Bar Harbor Drive or to the plane. It is hard to believe that the military would have placed Roselli on the abort team given the fact that there were so many rumors afloat that the mob wanted to take Kennedy out. However, Plumlee stuck by his opinion that Roselli could be trusted and warned the F.B.I. that Roselli was slated for assassination two weeks before his death. In August, 1976, Roselli’s body was in a barrel. His legs were cut off also also stuffed in it.

Maybe Roselli was there to identify Charles Nicoletti, a Chicago mobster and ace hitman allegedly sent there to be one of the shooters. F.B.I. files show that Plumlee knew Roselli far better than he let on and that they had worked together since the late 50s on behalf of the C.I.A.. In 1963, Plumlee thought Roselli was working for the State Department. Perhaps the the plan was to have Roselli help find the shooters, but it is likely that he had other notions.

The House Select Committee on Assassinations was told by Colonel Robert E. Jones that there was an army intelligence team of about a dozen members in Dallas in plain clothes that day to protect Kennedy. The Pentagon denied this was true, saying it could find no records on Army personnel assigned to that duty. Perhaps Jones was talking about the abort team.

In 1994, James Files, an inmate in a Joliet prison, said that he shot John F. Kennedy from the grassy knoll. Later, a man and his son dug up a cartridge casing on the grassy knoll that Files later said was his. In fact, the casing was probably manufactured in 1971 or later. Files worked for David Atlee Phillips in training Cubans for the Bay of Pigs invasion and that he had met Oswald through Phillips. Through Phillips, he also met Clay Shaw, whom we now know had a history with the C.I.A.’s Special Operations Section. Some believe Phillips orchestrated the disinformation phase of the assassination plot because he was tied to so many anti-Castro Cubans.

At the time, he was 21 years old and using his real name, James Sutton. He was the driver for Chuck Nicoletti and drove a vehicle with weapons to Dallas. He claims to have spent a little time with Oswald, but never discussed the assassination of Kennedy with him. , Files claimed he was with Oswald in Mesquite, Texas, and he added that Oswald may not have had a drivers license but he could drive an automobile. He also described some men giving Jack Ruby and others Secret Service identifications. According to Files, the assassination was first planned for Chicago. He knew that Roselli had been flown into Dallas as part of an effort to abort the hit. He claimed to be a friend of anti-Castro leader Antonio Ve C.I.A.na and said that his friend was not involved in the assassination. Before the assassination David Atlee Phillips of the C.I.A. recruited him to train Cuban exiles for the Bay of Pigs invasion. Files claimed that George H.W. Bush was his supervisor at another point in his career. At that time, Bush was a Texas businessman, and it is possible that he was also serving as a part-time C.I.A. agent. Former C.I.A. agent wrote that in the 1950s the agency used some business men on a part time basis and others on an on-call basis. In other cases, they agents used business activity as a cover.

Files also implicates Johnny Roselli. Giancana had been contracted by Robert Maheu of the C.I.A. and F.B.I. to kill Castro. Giancana gave the task to Roselli. When the House Select Committee questioned him in 1978 he hinted that he had also been contyracted to kill Kennedy and that wealthy Cuban exiles put up the money. His body then turned up floating in a drum off the Florida Coast. Maheu was also Howard Hughes’ right hand man, and it is likely that Howard Hughes was used as a cover for the Castro hit. Hughes has long used the PR firm Carl Byoir Associates, which many have tied to Nazi interests.

Shortly before the assassination, Nicorelli recruited him as one of the shooters, and he was paid $30,000. Files said he was on the knoll and used redesigned Remington XD-100 Fireball pistol that used .221 long rounds. Files said he aimed to an eye but that Kennedy was hit from behind and that the Files mercury bullet went into the left temple. The sequence of those shots fits the Zapruder film and what some witnesses saw, particularly Lee Bowers, who operated the railroad tower. Nicoletti , firing from a building across the street from the Texas School Book Depositiory. To his knowledge the shooters were himself, Roselli, and Nicolett. Joe Granati, who was also connected to the Giancana organization, said that Nicoletti twice told him the shooters were : Nicoletti, Roselli, Marshall Caifano, and Jimmy Sutton (Files). More than a decade later Files was guarding Nicoletti after Roselli and Sam Giancana had been killed. Chuck allegedly gave Files a pasckage to hide, which included Secret Service identifications, a map of the parade route, and Nicoletti’s diary. Files claims he has stashed the diary and will not talk about it.

Nicoletti told interviewers that he had as habit of biting bullet casings after they were used and that he bit the Kennedy casing and set it on a fence on the Knoll. Seven years before that John Rademacher found a casing there five inches under ground. It was oval. Eventually four dental experts agreed that it had been bitten. Files did not reach out to investigators. Led by a tip from a retired F.B.I. agent, Joe West found Files, who refused to talk for a long time. West did not learn that much before his strange death in a hospital after a successful operation. His last attending physi C.I.A.n cannot be identified or found. Bob Vernon followed up where West left off, but there is much Files will not discuss. Files decided to say more when he concluded that West was murdered. He had written a note for his family urging them to get him out of the hospital before he was killed. Oliver Stone visited him thrice trying to get him to sign a contract. Files disliked the man and refused to sign or say anything.

There have been many attacks on Files, but his account his account does fit those of Chauncey Holt and Plumlee. A subtle attack says he said he drove Nicoletti to Dallas, whereas he clearly states that Nicoletti came in from an Arizona ranch. The main line of attack has been his weapon. Some said it did not exist yet, that it could not hit a moving target without a bipod, or that there was too much recoil. None of these claims hold up. As for the mercury bullet; that claim cannot be tested because Kennedy’s brain post mortem material has disappeared from the National Archives. The Soviet Intelligence Study of the assassination concludes that this bullet was filled with mercury which exploded and spread when it stopped. His claim to have met Richard Helms is bothersome, but it could have happened when he was helping prepare for the Bay of Pigs invasion. He said he did some intelligence work in Laos while in the service but all of those records have disappeared. It is a puzzle how he knew about the Plumlee abort flight, but it is now well documented. He did have conversations with Roselli in later years.

This story cannot be verified. Just to confuse things more, Files said that he had briefly worked for the C.I.A. in the early 1960s, training opponents of Castro. Perhaps this is when he met David Atlee Phillips. Files claims he was pressured by the F.B.I. to say Oswald was the lone shooter, and one agent was threatened with a loss of his pension if he told what he knew about Files and Nicoletti. Hoover argued, as did some subsequent researchers, that the mob had enough on Kennedy that a hit was unnecessary. However, this would not have prevented the mob from accepting payment for assisting in an effort initiated by others.

Witnesses have turned up who claim Files was at Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963. A former C.I.A. agent/Army officer has also said Files ( then Sutton) was part of the Miami C.I.A. operation in 1961. Though Files knew many details concerning the event, some aspects of his story seem inconsistent. It would make good sense for someone connected with the C.I.A. to place Files at the murder scene. Likewise, the image of the mob as a powerful organization can only be enhanced by such claims.

Years later Sam Giancana bragged to relatives that he was in Dallas to supervise the assassination. He said "Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson knew about the whole damn thing” and added that he met with both of them just prior to the shooting. According to his son Sam and half brother Chuck, Nixon was doing favors for Sam, Sr. since he was a young Congressman. The older Sam told them, "Nixon's done me some favors, all right, got us some highway contracts, worked with the unions and overseas. And we've helped him and his C.I.A. buddies out, too. Shit, he even helped my guy in Texas, (Jack) Ruby, get out of testifying in front of Congress back in forty-seven … By sayin' Ruby worked for him." There is a 1947 memo from an F.B.I. official to a Congressional committee that states: "It is my sworn testimony that one Jack Rubenstein of Chicago ... is performing information functions for the staff of Congressman Richard Nixon, Republican of California. It is requested Rubenstein not be called for open testimony in the aforementioned hearings." Giancana once remarked that the mob and the C.I.A. are “two sides of the same coin.” Sometimes that was also true of the Outfit and the F.B.I..

In 1995, agent Gene Wheaton approached the Assassinations Information Review Board with the claim that he knew Cuban C.I.A. assets participated in the assassination. He was boarding in the home of a retired agent, Carl E. Jenkins, who had been helping Cubans get in and out of Cuba and his host as well as several Cubans talked about their roles. In 2005, he said both Jenkins and Rafael ‘Chi Chi’ Quintero were involved. Jenkins had been made head of the Cuban project in 1960.

There were many reports about mob discussions of impending death of John F. Kennedy. On November 20, 1963, Melba Christine Marcades (Rose Cheramie) was thrown out of a car in Louisiana. State Police Lieutenant France Fruge.interviewed her, found she might have been under the influence of a drug, and reported that two mafia members told her they were on the way to Dallas to kill Kennedy. Fruge informed Captain Will Fritz of the Dallas police, who did not follow up. Eunice, Louisiana authorities requestioned her after the assassination and she said Ruby was so close to Oswald they were in bed together. No record of that interrogation survives. She died September 4, 1965 after again being thrown from a car in Big Sandy, Texas. Speaking of strange deaths, Jim Koethe, who was with Ruby in his apartment before Jack killed Oswald, was murderes several months later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insight.

For over 47 years no credible evidence has surfaced that support your theories.The motives were there but because Oswald was silenced,it became an National Security issue.Oswald was ex military and no credible witnesses were ever found,just plausible connections.Many objective researchers have supported your views but again, no credible witnesses have come forward.Hearsay theories don't stand up in court.When Clay Shaw was found not guilty,this closed your viewpoint years ago.The biggest problem was Oswald.If this was a Mob hit as you suggest,where does Oswald and Jack Ruby fit in ?
The Mob had to know the exact parade route and know it months in advance.Besides that,they had to place a shooter in a perfect location.The MOB couldn't have done that without top secret intelligence.Then you have Jack Ruby.If Ruby was the hired hitman against Oswald,he also had to have top secret intelligence.If you examine Rubys movements, he was on the telephone talking with an employee minutes before walking down a ramp and then shoots Oswald just at the Time Oswald is moved to an armored car....only a short minute timeline.MISSION IMPOSSIBLE but it happened.In the end,no "credible" evidence has surfaced but it remains plausible....thoughts