Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Death of JFK: Oswald and Judyth Baker

Judyth Vary Baker, briefly Oswald’s lover and a C.I.A. contract scientist, appeared on The History Channel’s The Men Who Killed Kennedy ( 2003), claiming that Oswald knew that the oil men and some mafia figures were putting up money to help finance the assassination of Kennedy. She did not have the names of the oil men but was sure the Chicago and Louisiana mobs were involved as well as anti-Castro Cubans, and some in the C.I.A. and Secret Service. Oswald thought he was penetrating that ring to expose it. There was a terrible uproar over the documentary, and the History Channel promised to never show it again.

There is no question she worked at the Reily Coffee Company in New Orleans ( as a front) at the same time Oswald did. She was working on the “Project Freedom” aimed at creating a bioweapon cocktail to knock out Castro’s immune system and infect his with cancer. . The Warren Commission printed a photograph of Baker and Oswald standing together, and one mutual acquaintance confirmed that she and Lee dated. After the assassination, David Ferrie called to warn her to keep quiet. Ferrie, who knew Oswald since 1955 , had joined Oswald in teaching Cuban exiles combat techniques at a Lake Pontchartrain camp run by the C.I.A.. ,Ferrie later committed suicide in 1964. Ferrie, often called “the professor,” worked for New Orleans mob leader Carlos Marcello, was overheard in March 1963 by F.B.I. informer Eugene De Lapparra, talking about the purchase of a foreign-made rifle to “get the President.” Much of her story is difficult to confirm. We do know that mobster Charles “Dutz” Murret, Oswald’s maternal uncle, worked under Marcello as a bookmaker. Lee Oswald spent the first four years of life in Murret’s home and sometimes borrowed money from him.

A few investigators agree with Baker that some in the Secret Service were in on the plot. Much depends upon one frame in the Zapruder film which this aging writer simply cannot see very well. The official records show that the motorcade route was changed and then published in the Dallas Morning News.. Before the Kennedy limousine approached the Texas School Book Depository, it executed a slow 120 degree turn, which placed the car in a perfect position to be fired upon. There were no agents on the back bumper as was customary. As they left Love Field, the two back agents were ordered not to follow. One of those agents, Henry J. Rybka, was obviously confused and extended his hands in confusion while looking at his boss, Emory P. Roberts. He was left at the airport. The other agent did not question the order and got into the Roberts’ car. As they stood down, they deprived Kennedy of protection from the rear. The right side of the back of the president’s head was then blown off. As the first rifle shots rang out, Roberts then ordered agent John D. Ready not to run to the president’s car, later claiming that he could not have caught up with it. Roberts told the other agents not to move, but one Secret Service agent rushed to the limousine and covered Kennedy’s body. Roberts and three other on the shift had been drinking in Fort Worth the night before, but he wrote there was no doubt they were ready for duty. Rybka was not mentioned in the preliminary report.

William Manchester later wrote that an agent told him Kennedy told the two agents to withdraw, but that agent said he had never spoken to Manchester. Ten agents told historian Vincent Palamara that JFK did not order the agents off the car at that time. Historians have blamed the F.B.I. for stripping the usual 6 motorcycles surrounding the car, but there is really no evidence explaining why this happened. Four of the agents and the DNC advance man later said the president died due to a conspiracy.

Abraham Bolden, the first African American Secret Service agent, had helped prevent assassinations before November 22, and was sent to prison for 6 years after he tried to get on the witness list of the Warren Commission to tell them of previous efforts to kill Kennedy. Agent Bolden also wanted to talk about on-duty drinking by Secret Service agents. Bolden was involved in investigating an earlier plot in Chicago ( November 2), three weeks before the assassination. Kennedy was to have been in a parade prior to the Army-Navy game. Thomas Vallee, a known opponent of Kennedy, was to be the patsy and was found with an M1 rifle. There were also four suspicious Cuban nationals who were not apprehended. The chief investigator for the Chicago police then was a made member of the mafia who also had C.I.A. ties. Later, a plot was found in Tampa ( November 18). Lee Harvey Oswald had met with one of the Tampa plotters. The F.B.I. destroyed records of both investigations. When prisoner Bolden tried to arouse interest in his case, he was placed in solitary confinement In Ultimate Sacrifice, Lamar Waldron and Thjom Hartmann wrote that the Chicago mob had framed Bolden. They did not want the story to get out that there were efforts to kill Kennedy in Chicago and Tampa. After a report on the Tampa attempt was shown on the History Channel, the Secret Service destroyed its records on it.


Dennis Bartholomew said...

What is the background regarding William Manchester's book? Likely he was commissioned by someone to write the "preferred" account of the Kennedy assassination. Your article suggests that he told an untruth regarding the removal of secret service coverage. I've skimed through Manchester's book briefly and it is written with the assumption that Oswald was the actual shooter and the lone assassin.

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