The Mysterious Death of JFK Assassination Witness Dorothy Kilgallen

 

Denial of Justice: Dorothy Kilgallen, Abuse of Power, and the Most Compelling JFK Assassination Investigation in History

by Mark Shaw

Post Hill Press (2018)

I found this book a big disappointment. Over the last decade Shaw has compiled a massive amount of evidence related to journalist Dorothy Kilgallen’s suspicious 1965 death (see The Dorothy Kilgallen Story/). His evidence includes the complete transcript of Jack Ruby’s trial, which mysteriously went missing for 50 years. That being said, Shaw sorely needs a  editor. The style in which Denial of Justice is written is extremely convoluted, repetitive, and filled with maudlin, hyberbolic and sensationalist prose that has no place in an investigative expose.

One of the main weaknesses of the book is its failure to incorporate the immense body of academic research into the JFK assassination. Calling Kilgallen’s investigation into the JFK assassination “the most compelling in history” is pretty silly, when you contrast it with New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s efforts to prosecute CIA co-conspirator Clay Shaw in 1967.  Kilgallen was essentially a gossip columnist who covered Broadway stars, murder trials, celebrity weddings, and political scandals.It wasn’t her investigative prowess that posed a threat to the who assassinated JFK – it was her prominent public profile and influence over popular opinion.*

Nowhere in the book does Shaw provide a clear timeline of events immediately following Kilgallen’s death on Sept 17, 1965. This is divided up between four long rambling chapters dedicated to the the personal history and psychological motivations of potential suspects.

There is no question the actions of the NYPD, FBI and New York medical examiner’s of the day of Kilgallen’s death were highly suspect. As best as I can reconstruct, Kilgallen’s butler James Clement was the first to discover Kilgallen’s body a little before 9 am. He found her, still dressed in the cocktail dress she wore the night before, in the third floor bathroom. We know this indirectly from information he related to his wife and daughter.

By 9 am, someone had moved the body from the bathroom to the master bedroom. This is where her hairdresser, who had come to do her hair for an appointment at her son’s school, found her. By this time, her dress and underwear had been removed, and she was dressed in a fancy peignoir. However she was still wearing her hairpiece, false eyelashes and full make-up.

For some reason, the police weren’t notified until 12.30. The FBI barged in before the police arrived, seizing multiple boxes of files that included her notes on Jack Ruby’s trial, her two interviews with him, and the information she obtained from sources in the Dallas police and a recent visit to New Orleans. Random House had agreed to publish a book she was writing about her investigation, which she claimed would “crack the case wide open.”

The NYPD detective assigned to investigating her death wasn’t notified until 3 pm

Her autopsy report concludes she died from “accidental overdose,” despite blood tests revealing she had ingested the equivalent of 15-20 100 mg tablets of Seconal, in addition to the presence of alcohol, Tuinal and Nembutal.


*This related mainly to her 15-year stint on the TV game show “What’ My Line?”

 

 

The Mysterious Death of Investigative Journalist and JFK Witness Dorothy Kilgallen

Mark Shaw’s Denial of Justice

2019

Film Review

This is a presentation by author Mark Shaw regarding his latest book Denial of Justice: Dorothy Kilgallen, Abuse of Power, and the Most Compelling JFK Investigation in History.

I’m old enough to remember watching Kilgallen on the quiz program “What’s My Line” in the 1950s and 1960s. I was unaware she was also a celebrated investigative journalist who had covered every major US trial in the 20th century. Actively investigating the JFK assassination at the time of her death, she openly questioned Oswald’s role as the lone nut gunman in her columns in the New York Journal American. Moreover she had a contract with Random House to write a book based on her investigation.

Kilgallen attended the entirety of Jack Ruby’s trial (for the murder of Oswald) in 1964 and was the only journalist to interview him.

Several months before her death, she carried portions of Ruby’s leaked Warren Commission testimony in her column. A few days later, a posse of FBI agents invaded her home demanding the identity of the leaker. She refused to name her source.

In the months leading up to her 1965 death, she received several threats against her own and her children’s lives. The two hairdressers who were her closest confidants also complained of being followed and having their phones tapped.

One of them found her body, which was fully dressed with full make up sitting up in bed. The New York police dismissed her death as an “alcohol/seconal overdose. ” It would be three years before the blood sample taken at autopsy was tested. It was found to contain three different types of barbiturates (seconal, tuinal and phenobarbital).

 

The Intelligence Career of Lee Harvey Oswald

Agent Oswald

Dark Journalist (2013)

Film Review

This documentary, filmed for the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, starts with a brief summary of the physical evidence indicating that Lee Harvey Oswald played no role whatsoever in Kennedy’s murder.

It then reviews the major evidence that Oswald was a long time CIA operative at the time of his arrest. This includes archival interviews of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison (who investigated and prosecuted one of the actual co-conspirators), Oswald’s New Orleans paramour Judyth Vary Baker, the late L. Fletcher Prouty (who served with Oswald in Japan at a top secret U2 spy base), late CIA asset George DeMohrenschildt (Oswald’s CIA babysitter in Dallas), and Cuban exile Antonio Veciano (a CIA operative in the Alpha 66 paramilitary group) and the recorded deathbed confessions of David Atlee Phillips (who ran all CIA western hemisphere operations in 1963) and E Howard Hunt (who was chief of CIA covert operations in 1963).

Meet Allen Dulles: Fascist Spymaster

Meet Allen Dulles: Fascist Spymaster

James Corbett (2015)

Film Review

A comprehensive biography of infamous CIA director Allen Dulles, this film is a treasure trove of hidden history. Dulles ran the CIA from 1953 until Kennedy fired him (in 1961) over the disastrous CIA invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs.

Prior to watching this documentary, I was unaware of Dulles’ long time collaboration with fascists of all stripes. For example, Dulles

  • (with his brother John Foster Dulles) was a founding member of the corporate elite round table group the Council on Foreign Relations (1921).
  • collaborated with George W’s grandfather Prescott Bush and W Averell Harriman to use Union Bank Company to launder Wall Street monies that financed Hitler’s military arsenal.
  • as a member of the Office of Strategic Services (the CIA’s precursor), served as the primary architect of the program to secretly bring Nazi war criminals to the US – where they became CIA spies, military analysts and space and mind control scientists.
  • with John Foster, represented the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and the United Fruit Company as partners in the powerful Wall Street law firm Cromwell and Sullivan.
  • instigated coups against Iran (1953) and Guatemala (1954) as a personal vendetta when their democratically elected leaders acted contrary to the financial interests of corporate clients.
  • as a Warren Commission member following the JFK assassination, demanded records destroyed relating to Oswald’s CIA employment.*

*The order was foiled by a Warren Commission staffer who secretly retained a copy.

 

Meet Noam Chomsky: Academic Gatekeeper

Meet Noam Chomsky: Academic Gatekeeper

James Corbett (2012)

Film Review

This documentary explores prominent dissident Noam Chomsky’s peculiarly pro-corporate neoliberal positions on the Federal Reserve, the JFK assassination and 9-11.

Using archival footage of Chomsky presentations, Corbett begins by outlining issues in which he (and most of the activist community) share Chomsky’s political views.

  • Obama was for worse (ie anti-democratic) than Bush.
  • Drone strikes are terror weapons.
  • Bush merely tortured people, Obama assassinated them without trial.
  • The military Industrial Complex only survives thanks to corporate welfare.
  • The ruling elite exerts control over the US population mainly via propaganda and indoctrination.

Corbett continues by examining other areas of activist concern that Chomsky totally refuses to address – specifically the Federal Reserve and the role of private banks in money creation, the JFK assassination and government insider involvement in 9-11.

Corbett, like many of us, finds the arguments Chomsky advances on these issues totally irrational and contradictory.

For example, it’s totally mystifying to hear an “anarcho-syndicalist” like Chomsky sing the praises of private central banks and their control of money creation.

In contrast, his dismissal of any “conspiracy” in the JFK assassination seems to be based on a deliberate lie. He claims to have never “looked at” any of the evidence. A prominent JFK researcher disputes, based on a four-hour face-to-face meeting during which he shared a selection of assassination research with Chomsky.

Chomsky’s dismissal of insider involvement in 9-11 is just plain bizarre. His disingenuous claim that the 9-11 Trust movement is made up of non-activists who have spent an hour studying physics, architecture and engineering on the Internet is a slap in the face to the over 2,500 professional architects and engineers who make up Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth. As his claim that the 9-11 Truth movement diverts attention from “more serious activism.”

In 2018, Chomsky further solidified is neoliberal credentials with his call for US military involvement in Syria: Chomsky Among Progressives Calling for US Intervention in Syria

Caveat: Several readers have cautioned me that Corbett himself (a prominent climate denier) may also be controlled opposition. In this case, I think his analysis of Chomsky’s neoliberal contradictions are spot on.

 

Oral History: CIA Contractor Reveals Role in JFK Assassination

Inside the JFK Assassination

Secret History Productions (2003)

Film Review

This fascinating documentary is the oral history of Chauncy Holt, one of the infamous three tramps arrested in Dealey Plaza plaza following the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Although it was recorded in 1997, it would be six years before Holt’s interview was released. He died eight days after its filming. Assassination researcher Jim Fetzer has uncovered evidence that Holt, while hospitalized, was deliberately overdosed on Coumadin by someone posing as a doctor.

The first hour of the video focuses on Holt’s early life as a bootlegger and petty criminal in Kentucky. He was a mathematical genius and firearms expert, with a pilot’s license and expertise in oil painting and forgery. It was his math skills that brought him to the attention of Florida mobster Meyer Lansky. After a brief spell as Lansky’s accountant, the latter referred him to the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division. Holt’s primary function was to oversee the Los Angeles  Stamp and Stationary Company, a CIA front that produced fake IDs and reconditioned firearms for Operation Mongoose, the CIA/Mob operation formed to invade Cuba and overthrow Castro. His immediate CIA supervisor was William King Harvey.

In April 1963, he was ordered to produce fake IDs for Lee Harvey Oswald under various aliases and deliver them to Guy Bannister, who Holt identifies as Oswald’s New Orleans control.

On November 22, 1963, Holt was ordered to deliver forged Secret Service IDs and lapel pins and refurbished rifles and ammunition to Dealey Plaza. He was also ordered to deliver fake Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco (ATF) IDs and handguns to CIA operatives Charles Harrelson (father of actor Willy Harrelson) and Richard Montoya.

Holt identifies Harrelson and Rogers as the two other tramps. The FBI ordered them released as they were carrying forged ATF IDs.

Holt claims he had no foreknowledge of the assassination prior to arriving in Dealey Plaza. His CIA handlers told him that Operation Mongoose had organized a violent pro-Castro protest to drum up popular support for a US invasion of Cuba.

Lee Harvey Oswald: US Intelligence Operative

From Dallas to Raleigh: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Fingerprints of Intelligence

Allen City TV (2015)

Film Review

This presentation, featuring assassination researchers Grover Proctor and Jim Marrs, focuses on a fascinating chain of evidence shedding new light on “lone assassin” Lee Harvey Oswald’s role as a US intelligence operative. The new evidence revolves around the mysterious Raleigh North Caroline “cutout” named John Hurd, who Oswald attempted to call from the Dallas jail. Hurd first came to the attention of assassination researchers during the extensive 1978 investigation by the House Committee on Assassinations.

Proctor, who interviewed Hurd prior to his death, has assembled strong circumstantial evidence that Hurd was linked to the Naval Intelligence Unit in Nagshead North Carolina that trained recruits in the fifties and sixties to “defect” to the Soviet Union as double agents. Following his enlistment in the Marines at 17, Oswald underwent training at Nagshead and was initially deployed to Japan, where he had top secret clearance to monitor U2 spy plane flights over the Soviet Union. In 1959, he would “defect” to the Soviet Union in an attempt to fool the Russians into offering him a sensitive intelligence role. After the Russians failed to take the bait, the US repatriated him in 1961.

The second hour of the documentary, in which Jim Marrs comments on Proctor’s work, is the most illuminating. Marrs briefly sums up other compelling evidence linking Oswald to Naval Intelligence and the CIA, including his CIA 201 (employment) file and the Minox spy camera he had on his person at the time of his arrest. Marrs also refers to important evidence regarding Oswald’s intelligence activities in New Orleans – uncovered by New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison ** and corroborated by Oswald’s former mistress Judyth Baker in  Lee and Me


*A “cutout” is an intermediary a undercover operative can safely contact in emergency situations without exposing the identity of their control (ie the official operative directing their intelligence activities).

**Jim Garrison was the only prosecutor to indict and try (in 1967) a prominent assassination co-conspirator named Clay Shaw. Shaw was ultimately acquitted owing to the CIA’s refusal to release records documenting his extensive history in intelligence (which would be released to the House Committee on Assassinations in 1978).