Article 9237 of alt.conspiracy:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (dave "who can do? ratmandu!" ratcliffe)
Subject: Disappearing Witnesses: what does "justice" mean w.r.t. assassination?
Keywords: what does assassination in America say about the how justice is done?
Date: 17 Mar 92 15:40:42 GMT
Sender: email@example.com (Net News)
Organization: Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Summary: the following began with the "Disappearing Witnesses" article
by Penn Jones Jr., starting 314 lines below this one. But I
was moved to expand upon an idea I've considered for some time:
That the concept of (or the ideal we ascribe to) justice--
"justice ... for all," equal justice for all under the law
--is often quite a different thing from the application of
justice which our experiences in life teaches us about.
Whatever else can be said about the influence the Kennedy
Presidency had on our national consciousness and the sense of
possibility that JFK inspired in many people during that time,
the fact is his murder was never solved, i.e. there never was
any legal proceeding based on the evidence to ascertain--in a
court of law--whether Lee Harvey Oswald or anyone else was
judged to be guilty of the crime by a jury of his peers. The
statute of limitations on murder never expires. There has
never been a trail in the state of Texas for the murder of the
President. This crime has not been solved since the day it
was committed. Deep in everyone's mind there has at some
point been consideration of the contradiction "but if justice
is not done when the president of the country is violently
murdered, then what really *is it* being practiced in this
society up to the present day?" We need to more deeply
contemplate this riddle. Its solution offers the possibility
of once more finding ourselves collectively, as a society of
social beings, seeking to dedicate our energies toward the
realization of a genuinely just world. A world where children
are encouraged and included, a world where women and men can
experience their interactions with each other as equals, a
world where the elderly are once again able to live day-to-day
with their own and other grandchildren, a world where the
differences between cultures and races are not simply
tolerated, but where all our differences combine to form
beauty and meaning.
* * * * * * *
"Tragedy is the difference between what is and what might have been."
Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Abba Eban at
Tel Aviv, Israel, November 26th, 1963
In the last 30 years, a fundamental shift has occurred in the
way Americans think about justice. When John Kennedy was
assassinated, people felt as if the future had collapsed in on the
present. Since that time, the tragedy has been magnified a
hundred-fold as a result of the deep-rooted, pervasive cover-up
perpetrated by those very individuals whose duty and
responsibility it was to ascertain the truth about this event, no
matter where the finger might point. The fact that a thorough and
genuinely rigorous investigation was never conducted by those in
authority geometrically expanded the "unthinkable" implications of
the violent removal from office of the 35th president of these
United States. The effects of this abrogation of constitutional
authority--to uncover the truth about the nightmare of loss we as
a people experienced--have grown down through the decades and, in
the present day, manifest themselves in the rampant corruption and
bankruptcy of moral purpose that is everywhere evident in our
In 1970 a lawyer using the pen-name of William Torbitt (his
real name was David Copeland) wrote in an unpublished manuscript,
"Nomenclature of an Assassination Cabal,"
. . . during a few years following John Kennedy's murder,
the crime rate in the United States had more than doubled.
Public opinion surveys during the time reflected about 80% of
the people did not believe the Warren Commission Report. The
general public felt someone or some group had been behind the
murder of John F. Kennedy and the guilty ones had not been
punished. Such an attitude on the part of the public leads
to a gradual breakdown of law, order and morals of the
All Penal Codes in the history of nations have set out a
twofold purpose. The number one and cardinal purpose of a
Penal Code is to *deter crime*. The secondary purpose is to
*reform the offender*. There is a basic reason for
deterrence of crime to be the principal purpose of a criminal
code. That is, those who are inclined to commit crime view
the prosecution of all criminal acts of others and they are
not willing to face the consequences when their own
prosecution seems certain. Therefore, crime is reduced and
However, when the head of the National Police Agency joins
with a handful of other government leaders and they both in
turn throw in with crime to murder a president and the people
have an uneasy feeling that something of this nature has
taken place, it is only natural that crime and violence
increase. The basic deterrent to crime has broken down.
The absence of an honest investigation conducted by federal
authorities into the murder of their own chief executive has
created a legacy where the basic deterrent to crime has indeed
fundamentally broken down. The message, still resonating almost
thirty years later, is, "but if someone were elected president who
was actually some kind of true radical reformer she or he would
simply be killed--in fact they would be killed before they could
even secure the nomination of their party." This ultimate throttle
in the back of everyone's mind acts as a fire extinguisher aimed at
the collective hopes and desires people yearn for to dedicate their
lives to creating a just, humane, and compassionate society. This
underlying sense of murdered possibilities--that the democratic
ideals we grew up being taught to believe in *and to believe were
dynamically alive and active in our own society*--has exacted a
painful toll on our collective sense of purpose and reason to be.
In the vacuum left by the limited hangout cover-story of the
the government "investigations," individual citizens who had
already begun their own private investigations, wrote and published
the results of their research providing the populace with critical
information the government and mainstream press simply would not
consider, or at least publically acknowledge or discuss.
One of the earliest and most tenacious of these individuals was
Penn Jones Jr., a small-town newspaper editor of the "Mirror" from
Midlothian, Texas, who began researching the assassination the day
it happened. He had been at the International Trade Mart where the
luncheon for JFK was going to be held. When he first heard the
brief news that the president had been shot in Dealey Plaza he
immediately drove to the scene and began to talk with people there
who had witnessed the assassination. One of the first critics of
the Warren Report, he was an aggressive, likeable and highly
opinionated populist who began to catalogue the disturbing pattern
among those people whose lives touched on the assassination of JFK,
and who all shared the same experience of meeting quick, unnatural
and untimely deaths. In the forward to his "Forgive My Grief,
Volume 3," (c) 1969, (there were four volumes in all) he wrote:
It has always been difficult for a democracy to return to
democracy after a prolonged period of dictatorship that
always comes with war. Few people remember or even know of
the great struggle which went on in the United States after
World War I when red baiting got its start. Civil rights
were violated on a mass scale during and after World War I
until civilian control of the country was again established.
We never made the return to democracy after World War II.
The changes were more subtle this time, but just as deadly.
Much of the take-over by the military was hidden behind the
attacks on the military by Senator Joe McCarthy. But the
military encroachment apparently is permanent.
The military power grab was the real key behind the
assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A struggle which
is already lost and is confirmed by the long list of strange
deaths which have been recorded in "The Midlothian Mirror," in
"Forgive My Grief," Vols. I and II, and in this book.
People in the United States pretend that President Kennedy
was killed by a lone individual. All the rest of the world
knows this is not true. It is really too late to continue to
debate whether or not a conspiracy does exist to kill liberal
leaders in this country. After the deaths of President
Kennedy, Senator Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Malcolm
X, Ambassador Stevenson (David Ferrie wrote, "Oh sure, we can
easily get Fulbright the same we got S. when he was
overseas--and nobody will ever suspect. They'll think it was
a natural death.") and Medgar Evers, conspiracy debates
should be ended.
A conspiracy does exist. Not only are liberal leaders
killed when they threaten the establishment, at least sixty-
eight others have had to die in order to keep the truth about
the assassinations from getting out. (See: "Forgive My
Grief" Vols. I and II, and "Saga Magazine," November 1968,
for a list of thirty-two deaths. Others are recorded in
later issues of "The Midlothian (Texas) Mirror.")
The really tragic fact in the United States is that the
citizenry is uninformed or misinformed. The public has not
read the record of these killings, therefore our people float
lethargically in ignorance. And ignorance is cancer to
Even attorneys have not bothered to read the 26 volume
record compiled by the Warren Commission. Honorable Charles
W. Halleck, Federal Judge in Washington, D.C., did not read
the record. Judge Halleck, who heard the case in which New
Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison attempted to obtain
the autopsy photographs and x-rays of President Kennedy,
complained that he had not had time to read the record.
All the news media cooperated and conspired in misleading
the people. Slanted coverage is the rule when any story is
written concerning these deaths.
Our government too, conspired to keep our country in
ignorance. Only 8,000 sets of the testimony and exhibits (26
volumes) were printed. How can 200,000,000 people know the
facts when only 8,000 sets of books are available? There are
10,000 libraries in this country.
Amateur photographer Abraham Zapruder and Life Magazine
conspired to maintain the ignorance of the public. Zapruder
sold his famous film of the assassination for $1,000,000 then
tried to pretend he only got $25,000. Life paid this
fantastic sum for the 23 second film, not to make money, but
to suppress the film. The original film is the most precious
possession of Life. Both Life and Zapruder could have made
millions by showing the film, but it has been shown only on
court order or very sparingly to individuals who wangle a
showing at the National Archives in Washington.
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison lost his battle
to convict New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw of conspiracy to
kill President Kennedy. But there was a positive "fringe
benefit" from the trial. Garrison, by court order, obtained
a copy of the Zapruder film and used it in the Shaw trial.
Garrison showed the film to the entire courtroom nine times
during the trial.
After viewing the film the most dogmatic newsman was
convinced of a conspiracy that killed the President. All
present in court heard repeatedly: "Yes, Garrison has proved
a conspiracy, but Clay Shaw was not involved." How can one
who cares for his country make such a statement in casual
conversation. It could just as properly be restated: "Yes,
Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States, and his six
associates on the Warren Commission lied and perjured
themselves, but Clay Shaw was not involved." When a
democracy has died, tears should be shed.
Showing the Zapruder film nine times to a crowded
courtroom was a record for the film up to that time. Now, a
small breakthrough has been made. One TV station in Los
Angeles has dared to oppose Life Magazine and the station
repeatedly showed a blackmarket, or stolen copy, of the
Zapruder film to its viewing audience.
The film is convincing that there was a conspiracy. Proof
of such a conspiracy is frightening. The enormity of the
task for all of us is truly staggering. I do not know of a
single individual who has viewed the film who still believed
Lee Harvey Oswald alone killed President Kennedy. My
impressions, which were confirmed by letters from people in
the Los Angeles area, are reprinted below:
The Zapruder Film
FEBRUARY 20, 1969
I have seen the Zapruder film, and I can well
understand why it has not been shown to the American
people. No sane person can see that film and still
protest that Kennedy was shot only from the back.
Just before the fatal head shot, Mrs. Kennedy is
holding the President. She realizes he has been shot.
With the death shot, the head explodes, and the
President's whole body is propelled out of his wife's
hands so rapidly that Mrs. Kennedy is left with her
hands outstretched and empty. The body of the
President seems to be plunging down behind his wife
from the force of the bullet. He was dead the instant
of the massive head wound.
The movement of the President's body was so forceful,
so rapid, my mind immediately made two comparisons. I
thought of a hay baler plunger springing back to
position after a block of hay has been compressed. I
thought of the breech mechanism of a .45 automatic
pistol that kicks to full open and remains locked there
after the last shot in a clip is fired.
After seeing this short film, I sat stunned.
I thought of the first witness of the day, FBI Agent
Lyndal L. Shaneyfelt, a photography expert, who sat on
the stand with hands trembling and told the court that
he had seen the film many times and that he thought the
material from the President's head flew forward--
indicating a shot from the rear.
Then I thought of the two Assistant United States
Attorneys who escorted Shaneyfelt to the court room and
asked permission of the court to remain present while
Shaneyfelt testified. These men sitting on the same
bench with me stared at "their boy" with stone faces
all during the time he testified. That man seemed
under house arrest.
I beg all of you. Do everything you can to force this
government to take this film from Life Magazine and
show it to the nation. It is the most important little
piece of film ever exposed on this planet. And it
holds the key to the welfare of this country.
I repeat, only in the United States is the one man
assassination story accepted. The rest of the world knows
better. The world has much less respect for us for they
realize we too know the story is really not true, but we are
too self satisfied, too afraid, to dare do anything about the
lie told here and called the official story.
Historian Arnold Toynbee recently wrote: "The whole world
is concerned for the United States seems to have lost her
Penn Jones, Jr.
When I first saw "JFK" on December 20th, the theater was
primarily filled with younger people in their late teens or
twenties. When the entire Zapruder film is first shown during the
trial scene, the force of the collective gasp erupting from the
movie audience--when the fatal head shot blasts Kennedy upwards and
to the rear--reminded me of the degree to which the "uninitiated" are
affected when viewing the visual recording of the murder itself and
what a deep impression that initiation can make. Just *think* how
differently our country would have responded if this 23 seconds of
absolute reality was broadcast throughout the land on television,
Friday night, November 22, 1963, in the same way the public was
collectively bombarded by the Rodney King beating over a year ago!
It is time for us as citizens to seize this moment and re-commit
ourselves to be actively engaged in ongoing processes of social
interaction and interrelationship that can inspire compassion and
empathy for others and their struggles, and nurture and free-up the
growing expanded consciousness and awareness that will mould the
ninties and all of our lives and relationships.
The following article contains a subset of the list of over 100
known people who died mysteriously after the assassination covered
in detail in the four volumes of "Forgive My Grief." These deaths
are the manifestations of a culture attempting to live by the lies
doled out ever since that day when the feeling of humor, idealism
and youthfully enthusiastic energy and optimism evoked in the person
of John Kennedy, died.
the following appeared in the November 22, 1983 issue of "The Rebel":
by Penn Jones, Jr.
Shortly after dark on Sunday night, November 24, 1963, after
Ruby had killed Lee Harvey Oswald, a meeting took place in Jack
Ruby's apartment in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. Five
persons were present. George Senator and Attorney Tom Howard were
present and having a drink in the apartment when two newsmen
arrived. The newsmen were Bill Hunter of the "Long Beach
California Press Telegram," and Jim Koethe of the "Dallas Times
Herald." Attorney C.A. Droby of Dallas arranged the meeting for
the two newsmen, Jim Martin, a close friend of George Senator's,
was also present at the apartment meeting.
This writer asked Martin if he thought it was unusual for
Senator to forget the meeting while testifying in Washington on
April 22, 1964, since Bill Hunter, who was a newsman present at the
meeting, was shot to death that very night. Martin grilled and
said: "Oh, you're looking for a conspiracy."
I nodded yes and he grinned and said, "You will never find it."
I asked soberly, "Never find it, or not there?"
He added soberly, "Not there."
Bill Hunter, a native of Dallas and an award-winning newsman in
Long Beach, was on duty and reading a book in the police station
called the "Public Safety Building." Two policemen going off duty
came into the press room, and one policeman shot Hunter through the
heart at a range officially ruled to be "no more than three feet."
The policeman said he dropped his gun, and it fired as he picked it
up, but the angle of the bullet caused him to change his story. He
finally said he was playing a game of quick draw with his fellow
officer. The other officer testified he had his back turned when
the shooting took place.
Hunter, who covered the assassination for his paper, the "Long
Beach Press Telegram" had written:
"Within minutes of Ruby's execution of Oswald, before the eyes
of millions watching television, at least two Dallas attorneys
appeared to talk with him."
Hunter was quoting Tom Howard who died of a heart attack in
Dallas a few months after Hunter's own death. Lawyer Tom Howard
was observed acting strangely to his friends two days before his
death. Howard was taken to the hospital by a "friend" according to
the newspapers. No autopsy was performed.
"Dallas Times Herald" reporter Jim Koethe was killed by a karate
chop to the throat just as he emerged from a shower in his
apartment on Sept. 21, 1964. His murderer was not indicted.
What went on in that significant meeting in Ruby's and Senator's
Few are left to tell. There is no one in authority to ask the
question, since the Warren Commission has made its final report,
and the House Select Committee has closed its investigation.
Dorothy Kilgallen was another reporter who died strangely and
suddenly after her involvement in the Kennedy assassination. Miss
Kilgallen is the only journalist who was granted a private
interview with Jack Ruby after he killed Lee Harvey Oswald. Judge
Joe B. Brown granted the interview during the course of the Ruby
trial in Dallas--to the intense anger of the hundreds of other
We will not divulge exactly what Miss Kilgallen did to obtain
the interview with Ruby. But Judge Brown bragged about the price
paid. Only that was not the real price Miss Kilgallen paid. She
gave her life for the interview. Miss Kilgallen stated that she
was "going to break this case wide open."
She died on November 8, 1965. Her autopsy report took eight
days. She was 52 years old. Two days later Mrs. Earl T. Smith, a
close friend of Miss Kilgallen's, died of undetermined causes.
Tom Howard, who died of a heart attack, was a good friend of
District Attorney Henry Wade, although they often opposed each
other in court. Howard was close to Ruby and other fringes of the
Like Ruby, Howard's life revolved around the police station, and
it was not surprising when he and Ruby (toting his gun) showed up
at the station on the evening of the assassination of President
Kennedy. Nor was it unusual when Howard arrived at the jail
shortly after Ruby shot Oswald, asking to see his old friend.
Howard was shown into a meeting room to see a bewildered Ruby
who had not asked for a lawyer. For the next two days--until
Ruby's brother, Earl, soured on him, and had Howard relieved--he
was Jack Ruby's chief attorney and public spokesman.
Howard took to the publicity with alacrity, called a press
conference, wheeled and dealed. He told newsmen the case was a
"once-in-a-lifetime chance," and that "speaking as a private
citizen," he thought Ruby deserved a Congressional medal. He told
the "Houston Post" that Ruby had been in the police station Friday
night (Nov. 22, 1963) with a gun. Howard dickered with a national
magazine for an Oswald murder story. He got hold of a picture
showing the President's brains flying out of the car, and tried to
sell it to "LIFE" magazine. Ruby's sister, Eva Grant, even accused
Howard of leaking information to the DA. It was never quite clear
whether Howard was working for Ruby or against him.
On March 27, 1965, Howard was taken to a hospital by an
unidentified person and died there. He was 48. The doctor,
without benefit of an autopsy, said he had suffered a heart attack.
Some reporters and friends of Howard's were not so certain. Some
said he was "bumped off."
Earlene Roberts was the plump widow who managed the rooming
house where Lee Harvey Oswald was living under the name O.H. Lee.
She testified before the Warren Commission that she saw Oswald come
home around one o'clock, go to his room for three to four minutes
and walk out zipping his light weight jacket. A few minutes later,
a mile away, officer J.D. Tippit was shot dead.
Mrs. Roberts testified that while Oswald was in his room, two
uniformed cops pulled up in front of the rooming house and honked
twice--"Just tit tit," she said.
The police department issued a report saying all patrol cars in
the area, except Tippit's were accounted for. The Warren
Commission let it go at that.
After testifying in Dallas in April 1964, Mrs. Roberts was
subjected to intensive police harassment. They visited her at all
hours of the day and night. Earlene complained of being "worried
to death" by the police. She died on January 9, 1966 in Parkland
Hospital (the hospital where President Kennedy was taken). Police
said she suffered a heart attack in her home. No autopsy was
Warren Reynolds was minding his used car lot on East Jefferson
Street in Oak Cliff in Dallas, when he heard shots two blocks away.
He thought it was a marital quarrel. Then he saw a man having a
great difficulty tucking "a pistol or an automatic" in his belt,
and running at the same time. Reynolds gave chase for a short
piece being careful to keep his distance, then lost the fleeing
man. He didn't know it then, but he had apparently witnessed the
flight of the killer (or one of the killers) of patrolman Jefferson
David Tippit. Feeling helpful, he gave his name to a passing
policeman and offered his cooperation. Television cameras zeroed
in on him, got his story, and made him well known. Warren
Reynolds, the amiable used car man, was making history.
Reynolds was not questioned until *two months after the event*.
The FBI finally talked to him in January l964. The FBI interview
report said, ". . . he was hesitant to definitely identify Oswald
as the individual." Then it added, "He advised he is of the
opinion Oswald is the person."
Two days after Reynolds talked to the FBI, he was shot in the
head. He was closing up his car lot for the night at the time.
Nothing was stolen. Later after consulting retired General Edwin
Walker (the man Oswald allegedly shot at before he assassinated
President Kennedy), he told the Warren Commission Counsel that
Oswald was definitely the man he saw fleeing the Tippit murder
A young hood was arrested for the murder attempt. Darrell Wayne
Garner had called a relative bragging that he shot Reynolds. But
Garner had an alibi. Nancy Jane Mooney, alias Betty McDonald, said
Garner was in bed with her at the time he was supposed to have shot
Reynolds. Nancy Jane had worked at Jack Ruby's Carousel Club.
Garner was freed.
Nancy Jane was picked up a week later for fighting with a
girlfriend. She was arrested for disturbing the peace. The
girlfriend was not arrested. Within hours after her arrest, Nancy
Jane was dead. Police reports said she hanged herself with her
Reynolds and his family were harassed and threatened. But upon
giving the Warren Commission a firm identification of Oswald as
being the Tippit murder fugitive, he said, "I don't think they are
going to bother me any more."
Hank Killam was a house painter who lived at Mrs. A.C. Johnson's
rooming house at the same time Lee Harvey Oswald lived there. His
wife, Wanda, once pushed cigarettes and drinks at Jack Ruby's club.
Hank was a big man, over six feet and weighing over 200 lbs.
After the assassination federal agents visited him repeatedly,
causing him to lose one job after another.
Killam was absorbed by the assassination, even obsessed. Hours
after the event, he came home, "white as a sheet." Wanda said he
stayed up all night watching the television accounts of the
assassination. Later he bought all the papers and clipped the
stories about Kennedy's death.
Before Christmas, Killam left for Florida. Wanda confessed
where he was. Federal agents hounded him in Tampa, Florida where
he was working selling cars at his brother-in-law's car lot. He
lost his job.
Killam wrote Wanda that he would be sending for her soon. He
received a phone call on St. Patrick's day. He left the house
immediately. He was found later on a sidewalk in front of a broken
window. His jugular vein was cut. He bled to death en route to
There is no mention of Killam by the Warren Commission. A
number of FBI documents on Killam relating to the assassination
were withheld, along with documents prepared by the CIA. What is
clear is that *somebody* considered Hank Killam a very important
William Whaley was known as the "Oswald Cabbie." He was one of
the few who had the opportunity to talk alone with the accused
killer of President Kennedy. He testified that Oswald hailed him
at the Dallas Greyhound bus station. Whaley said he drove Oswald
to the intersection of Beckley and Neches--half a block from the
rooming house--and collected a dollar. Later he identified Oswald
as his fare in a questionable police line-up.
Whaley was killed in a head-on collision on a bridge over the
Trinity River, December 18, 1965; his passenger was critically
injured. The 83-year-old driver of the other car was also killed.
Whaley had been with the City Transportation Company since 1936 and
had a perfect driving record. He was the first Dallas cabbie to be
killed on duty since 1937. When I went to interview the manager of
the cab company about Whaley's death, he literally pushed me out of
the office. "If you're smart, you won't be coming around here
Domingo Benavides, an auto mechanic, was witness to the murder
of Officer Tippit. Benavides testified he got a "really good view
of the slayer." Benavides said the killer resembled newspaper
pictures of Oswald, but he described him differently, "I remember
the back of his head seemed like his hairline went square instead
of tapered off . . ."
Benavides reported he was repeatedly threatened by the police
who advised him not to talk about what he saw.
In mid-February 1964, his brother Eddy, who resembled him, was
fatally shot in the back of the head at a beer joint on Second
Avenue in Dallas. The case was marked "unsolved."
Benavides' father-in-law J.W. Jackson was not impressed by the
investigation. He began his own inquiry. Two weeks later, J.W.
Jackson was shot at in his home. As the gunman escaped, a police
car came around the block. It made no attempt to follow the
speeding car with the gunman.
The police advised that Jackson should "lay off this business."
"Don't go around asking questions; that's our job." Jackson and
Benavides are both convinced that Eddy's murder was a case of
mistaken identity and that Domingo Benavides, the Tippit witness,
was the intended victim.
Lee Bowers' testimony is perhaps as explosive as any recorded by
the Warren Commission. He was one of the 65 witnesses who saw the
President's assassination, and who thought shots were fired from
the area of the Grassy Knoll. (The Knoll is west of the Texas
School Book Depository Building.) But more than that, he was in a
unique position to observe some pretty strange behavior in the
Knoll area before and during the assassination.
Bowers, then a towerman for the Union Terminal Co., was
stationed in his 14 foot tower directly behind the Grassy Knoll.
He faced the scene of the assassination. He could see the railroad
overpass to his right. Directly in front of him was a parking lot
and a wooden stockade fence, and a row of trees running along the
top of the Grassy Knoll. The Knoll sloped down to the spot on Elm
Street where the President was killed. Police had "cut off"
traffic into the parking lot. Bowers said, "so that anyone moving
around could actually be observed."
Bowers made two significant observations which he revealed to
the Warren Commission. First, he saw three unfamiliar cars slowly
cruising around the parking area in the 35 minutes before the
assassination; the first two left after a few minutes. The driver
of the second car appeared to be talking into a "mike or
telephone;" "he was holding something up to his mouth with one
hand and he was driving with the other." A third with out-of-state
license plates and mud up to the windows, probed all around the
parking area. Bowers last remembered seeing it about eight minutes
before the shooting, pausing "just above the assassination site."
Bowers also observed two unfamiliar men standing on the top of
the Knoll at the edge of the parking lot, within 10 or 15 feet of
each other. "One man, middle aged or slightly older, fairly heavy
set, in a white shirt, fairly dark trousers. Another man, younger,
about mid-twenties, in either a plaid shirt or plaid coat or
jacket." Both were facing toward Elm and Houston in anticipation
of the motorcade. The two were the only strangers he remembered
seeing. His description shows a remarkable similarity to Julia Ann
Mercer's description of two unidentified men climbing the Knoll.
When the shots rang out, Bowers' attention was drawn to the area
where he had seen the two men; he could still make out the one in
the white shirt: "The darker dressed man was too hard to
distinguish from the trees."
Bowers observed "some commotion at that spot . . . something out
of the ordinary, a sort of milling around . . . which attracted my
eye for some reason which I could not identify." At that moment, a
motorcycle policeman left the Presidential motorcade and roared up
the Grassy Knoll, straight to where the two mysterious gentlemen
were standing. Later, Bowers testified that the "commotion" that
caught his eye may have been a "flash of light or smoke."
On the morning of August 9, 1966, Lee Bowers, vice president of
a construction firm, was driving south of Dallas on business. He
was two miles south of Midlothian, Texas when his brand new company
car veered from the road and hit a bridge abutment. A farmer who
saw it, said the car was going about 50 miles an hour, a slow speed
for that road.
Bowers died in a Dallas hospital. He was 41. There was no
autopsy and he was cremated. A doctor from Midlothian who rode to
Dallas in the ambulance with Bowers noticed something peculiar
about the victim. "He was in some strange sort of shock." The
doctor said, "A different kind of shock than the accident victim
experiences. I can't explain it. I've never seen anything like
When I questioned his widow, she insisted there was nothing
suspicious, but then became flustered and said, "They told him not
Harold Russell was with Warren Reynolds when the Tippit shooting
took place. Both men saw the Tippit killer escape. Russell was
interviewed in January 1964, and signed a statement that the
fleeing man was Oswald.
A few months after the assassination, Russell went back to his
home near David, Oklahoma. In July of 1965, Russell went to a
party with a female friend. He seemingly went out of his mind at
the party and started telling everyone he was going to be killed.
He begged friends to hide him. Someone called the police. When
the policemen arrived, one of them hit Russell on the head with his
pistol. Russell was then taken to a hospital where he was
pronounced dead a few hours later: cause of death was listed as
Among others who died strangely were James Worrell, who died in
a motorcycle accident on November 9, 1966. He saw a strange man
run from the back door of the Texas School Book Depository shortly
after the assassination.
Gary Underhill was shot. This death was ruled suicide on May 8,
1964. Underhill was a former CIA agent and claimed he knew who was
responsible for killing President Kennedy.
Delilah Walle was a worker at Ruby's club. She was married only
24 days when her new husband shot her. She had been working on a
book of what she supposedly knew about the assassination.
William "Bill" Waters died May 20, 1967. Police said he died of
a drug overdose (demorol). No autopsy was performed. His mother
said Oswald and Killam came to her home before the assassination
and her son tried to talk Oswald and Killam out of being involved.
Waters called FBI agents after the assassination. The FBI told him
he knew too much and to keep his mouth shut. He was arrested and
kept in Memphis in a county jail for eight months on a misdemeanor
Albert Guy Bogard, an automobile salesman who worked for
Downtown Lincoln-Mercury, showed a new Mercury to a man using the
name "Lee Oswald." Shortly after Bogard gave his testimony to a
Commission attorney in Dallas, he was badly beaten and had to be
hospitalized. Upon his release, he was fearful for his safety.
Bogard was from Hallsville, La. He was found dead in his car at
the Hallsville Cemetery on St. Valentines day in 1966. A rubber
hose was attached to the exhaust and the other end extending into
the car. The ruling was suicide. He was just 41 years old.
Jack Ruby died of cancer. He was taken into the hospital with
pneumonia. Twenty-eight days later, he was dead from cancer.
David Ferrie, of New Orleans, before he could be brought to
trial for his involvement in the Kennedy assassination, died of a
brain hemorrhage. Just what caused his brain hemorrhage has not
been established. Ferrie was to testify in the famous Jim Garrison
trial, but death prevented him.
Dr. Mary Stults Sherman, age 51, was found stabbed and burned in
her apartment in New Orleans. Dr. Sherman had been working on a
cancer experiment with Ferrie.
Another Ferrie associate, Eladio Cerefine de Valle, 43, died on
the same day as Ferrie. His skull was split open; he was then
shot. DeValle had used Ferrie as a pilot. DeValle had been
identifying some men in a photo taken in New Orleans for Jim
Garrison. One of the men in the photo was Lee Harvey Oswald.
Paul Dyer, of the New Orleans Police force, died of cancer. He
was the first police officer to interview Ferrie. Dyer got sick on
the job and died a month later of cancer. He had just interviewed
News reporters were not exempt either. Two lady reporters died
strangely. Lisa Howard supposedly committed suicide. She knew a
great deal about the "understanding" which was in the making after
the Bay of Pigs, between President Kennedy and the Cubans.
Marguerite Higgins bluntly accused the American authorities of
the November 2nd, 1963 killing of Premier Diem and his brother Nhu.
A few months after her accusation, she died in a landmine explosion
On Saturday, November 23, 1963, Jack Zangetty, the manager of a
$150,000 modular motel complex near Lake Lugert, Oklahoma, remarked
to some friends that "Three other men--not Oswald--killed the
President." He also stated that "A man named Ruby will kill Oswald
tomorrow and in a few days a member of the Frank Sinatra family
will be kidnapped just to take some of the attention away from the
Two weeks later, Jack Zangetty was found floating in Lake Lugert
with bullet holes in his chest. It appeared to witnesses he had
been in the water one to two weeks.
Lou Staples, a radio announcer who was doing a good many of his
radio shows on the Kennedy assassination, lost his life sometime on
Friday night, May 13, 1977. This was near Yukon, Oklahoma. He had
been having radio shows on the assassination since 1973 and the
response to his programs was overwhelming.
Lou's death was termed suicide, but the bullet ending his life
entered behind his right temple and Lou was left-handed. He joined
Gary Underhill, William Pitzer and Joe Cooper whose "suicides" were
all done with the "wrong hand" shots to the head.
Lou had been stating that he wanted to purchase some property to
build a home. He was lured out to a wheat field and his life ended
there. I have been to the spot where Lou died.
Karyn Kupcinet, daughter of Irv Kupcinet, was trying to make a
long distance call from Los Angeles. According to reports, the
operator heard Miss Kupcinet scream into the phone that President
Kennedy was going to be killed. Two days after the assassination,
she was found murdered in her apartment. The case is unsolved.
She was 23.
Rose Cherami, 40, was an employee of Jack Ruby's club. She was
riding with two men on a return trip from Florida carrying a load
of narcotics. She was thrown from the car when an argument began
between her and one of the men. She was hospitalized for injuries
and drug withdrawal. She told authorities that President Kennedy
was going to be killed in Dallas. After her release from the
hospital, she was a victim of a hit-and-run accident on Sept. 4,
1965 near Big Sandy, Texas.
Robert L. Perrin was a gun runner for Jack Ruby. His wife,
Nancy testified before the Warren Commission that Robert took a
dose of arsenic in August 1962.
Guy Bannister was a private detective who was closely involved
in the Jim Garrison trial. Guy and his partner Hugh Ward, died
within a 10-day period as the Warren Commission was closing its
hearings. Guy supposedly died of a heart attack, but witnesses
said he had a bullet hole in his body.
George de Mohrenschildt was another man who was to give
testimony but never made it. De Mohrenschildt, in his final days,
became suspicious of everyone around him, even his wife, and was
nearing a nervous breakdown some thought. He died of gunshot
wounds. The verdict was suicide. But de Mohrenschildt was a
member of the White Russian society and very wealthy. He visited
Lee Harvey Oswald and Marina Oswald when they lived on Neely
Street. Marina visited the de Mohrenschildts when she and Lee
Harvey Oswald were having some of their disagreements.
Cliff Carter, LBJ's aide who rode in the vice president's follow
up car in the motorcade in Dealey Plaza where President Kennedy was
gunned down, was LBJ's top aide during his first administration.
Carter died of mysterious circumstances. Carter died of pneumonia
when no penicillin could be located in Washington, D.C. in
September 1971. This was supposedly the cause of death.
Buddy Walthers, Deputy Sheriff, was at the kill site of
President Kennedy. He picked up a bullet in a hunk of brain matter
blown from the President's head. Walthers never produced the
bullet for evidence. Walthers was also at the Texas Theater when
Oswald was arrested. In a January 10th, 1969 shooting, Walthers
was shot through the heart. In a shootout Walthers and his
companion Deputy Alvin Maddox, were fired upon by Cherry, an
escaped prisoner they were trying to capture. Walthers' widow
received $10,000 for her husband dying in the line of duty.
Clay Shaw, age 60, died five years after he was charged by Jim
Garrison for his involvement in the Kennedy assassination. Some
reports have it that he had been ill for months after surgery for
removing a blood clot. Other newspaper reports of his death stated
he had cancer. It was revealed that Shaw was a paid contact for
the CIA. A neighbor reported that an ambulance was seen pulling up
to the Shaw home. Then a body was carried in and an empty
stretcher brought out. A few hours later, Shaw was reportedly
found dead in his home. Then he was given a quick embalming before
a coroner could be notified. It was then impossible to determine
the cause of death.
On May 15, 1976, Roger Dean Craig died of a massive gunshot
wound to the chest. Supposedly, it was his second try at suicide
and a success. Craig was a witness to the slaughter of President
Kennedy. Only Craig's story was different from the one the police
Craig testified in the Jim Garrison trial. Before this, Craig
had lost his job with the Dallas Police Dept. In 1961, he had been
"Man of the Year." Because he would not change his story of the
assassination, he was harassed and threatened, stabbed, shot at,
and his wife left him.
Craig wrote two manuscripts of what he witnessed. "When They
Kill A President" and "The Patient Is Dying."
Craig's father was out mowing the lawn when Craig supposedly
shot himself. Considering the hardships, Craig very well could
have committed suicide. But no one will ever know.
John M. Crawford, 46, died in a mysterious plane crash near
Huntsville, Texas on April 15, 1969. It appeared from witnesses
that Crawford had left in a rush. Crawford was a homosexual and a
close friend of Jack Ruby's. Ruby supposedly carried Crawford's
phone number in his pocket at all times. Crawford was also a
friend of Buell Wesley Frazier's, the neighbor who took Lee Harvey
Oswald to work on that fatal morning of Nov. 22, 1963.
Hale Boggs was the only member of the Warren Commission who
disagreed with the conclusions. Hale Boggs did not follow Earl
Warren and his disciples. He totally disagreed. Hale Boggs was in
a plane crash lost over frozen Alaska.
Nicholas J. Chetta, M.D., age 50, Orleans Parish coroner since
1950, died at Mercy Hospital on May 25, 1968. Newspaper reports
were sketchy. It was said he suffered a heart attack. Dr. Chetta
was the coroner who served at the death of David Ferrie. Dr.
Chetta was the key witness regarding Perry Russo against Clay Shaw.
Shaw's attorney went into federal court only after Dr. Chetta was
Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered, then his assassin not
captured until over a year later. Dr. King was the only hope this
country had for bringing about equality.
The death of Robert Kennedy, only shortly after Dr. King's death
on June 5th, 1968, was a brazen act which gave notice to this
entire nation. It became imperative, when Senator Kennedy became a
threat as presidential candidate, that he had to be killed.
There is evidence that two persons, a man and a woman, were with
the accused killer, but authorities have found no trace of them.
Coroner, Dr. Thomas Noguchi told the Grand Jury the powder burns
indicated the murder gun was fired not more than two to three
inches from Kennedy's right ear. Witnesses testified that Sirhan
was never closer than four or five feet to the Senator.
I have not, by any means, listed "all" of the strange deaths. I
have a complete list in my books. I have listed the most
significant ones that occurred after the assassination. The
strange deaths after the assassination of President John F.
Kennedy, in my estimate, number over 100, but I am certain I know
of only a fraction.
Many strange deaths occurred after the assassinations of Dr.
Martin Luther King and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. No one knows the
(Penn Jones, Jr. resides in Waxahachi, Texas, publishes a monthly
newsletter on the assassination of JFK, Robert Kennedy and Martin
Luther King and is the author of numerous books on the subject.)
yer friendly neighborhood ratman
ko.yan.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language) n. 1. crazy life. 2. life
in turmoil. 3. life out of balance. 4. life disintegrating.
5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.