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«NOVEMBER 22, 1963 (Friday) 12:00 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) Nine Secret Service agents drinking at Pat Kirkwood’s bar the “Cellar Door” in Fort Worth, ...»

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Although Dallas, like any other American city, is slowly being taken over by the well-groomed, image-conscious wonders rolling off our college assembly lines, there is still a lingering appreciation for the “characters”---the Bob Thorntons, the Jack Rubys, the Tom Howards---throwbacks to another age when the Old West values reigned supreme. Everyone around officials Dallas knew Tom Howard, that familiar figure in the white Stetson who always seemed to show up where the action was. He was a defense attorney in the old roughand-tumble Texas fashion, operating out of a storefront office, devoid of the usual law books, across from police headquarters. During his career he handled about 50 murder cases, and was more than once cited for contempt of court for fist fights and shouting matches with the prosecution. Howard was a friend of District Attorney Henry Wade, although they often opposed each other in court, and it was not uncommon for them to meet for a sociable drink after court adjourned. He was also close to Ruby and others on the fringes of the Dallas underworld. Like Jack 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. Nor was it unusual when Howard arrived there shortly after Ruby shot Oswald, two days later, asking to see his old friend. Howard was shown into a meeting room to see a bewildered Ruby, who had not asked for any lawyer, and for the next few days---until Ruby’s brother Earl soured on Howard and had him relieved---he was Jack’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 with a gun. He dickered with a national magazine about an Oswald-murder story. He got hold of a picture showing the President’s brains flying and tried to sell it to Life. Ruby’s sister even accused him of leaking information to the DA. All told, it was never quite clear whether Howard was working for Ruby or against him. Howard met frequently with his client in the days immediately following the death of Oswald. From this, along with his ties with both police and hoodlum circles in Dallas, and his presence at the Ruby-Senator apartment meeting that fateful Sunday, one would assume he was the repository of a wealth of privileged information about the events of November 1963. And we know he was an irrepressible talker, privy to the intrigues of petty criminality but hardly one to be trusted with any secrets surrounding the Kennedy assassination.

On March 27, 1965, Howard was taken to the 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 reporter friends of Howard’s are not so sure. They observed that for three days before his death, the normally gregarious Howard seemed preoccupied and uncommunicative, and did not appear to recognize friends.

One Dallas reporter says flatly that Howard was bumped off; others are more circumspect. “As far as I’m concerned the case is closed,” one of them says. “You’re not going to catch me messing in that hornet’s nest.” Penn Jones April 9, 1965 A plan to assassinate Vice President Hubert Humphrey is foiled tonight at the Jack Tar Capitol House Hotel in Baton Rouge. Undercover agent Joe Cooper discovers a Ku Klux Klan plan to kill Humphrey while he delivers a speech. Cooper immediately tips off the FBI. A trap is set by the FBI and Secret Service. Two would-be assassins are arrested before any violence takes place. By next year, Cooper will be off on his own JFK assassination investigation. Cooper will become convinced that LHO was a Naval Intelligence agent.

April 20 - 23, 1965 Hearing before United States District Court in Jacksonville, Florida, on defense counsel’s petition for a stay of Judge Davidson’s order to return Jack Ruby’s case to the Administrative Judge of the Dallas Court. Motion denied.

April 22, 1965 RFK writes a letter to Dr. George Burkley directing him to transfer the JFK autopsy material, now contained in a trunk, to JFK’s former personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, whose office is now in the National Archives. The letter also states that Mrs. Lincoln is being instructed that the material is not to be released to anyone without the written permission of Robert Kennedy.

April 25, 1965 Lady Bird Johnson honors Jackie Kennedy by naming the East Garden for her at a White House ceremony.

Mrs. Kennedy does not attend. TKAT April 26, 1965 Secret Service transfers JFK autopsy photos, X-rays, brain, and slides of tissue sections to RFK. It is noted that the detailed inventory includes: 1 stanless steel container, 7 by 8 inches in diameter. It it suggested that this container may have held JFK’s brain. What it known is that RFK takes possession of a brain (purportedly JFK’s) at the National Archives on this date. On October 29, 1966 a second transfer occurrs when the Kennedys transfer the autopsy materials to the National Archives. Two days later, on October 31, 1966, a group of officials will meet at the Archives to open the footlocker that holds the autopsy materials. The inventory list [dated on this date] is also still inside the footlocker. It is quickly evident, however, that on October 31, 1966, six boxes of slides and the brain are missing. It will not be until August 1972 that the public first learns the brain is gone. Frank Mankiewicz, former press secretary for Robert F. Kennedy, will later recall that the brain was interred with the body at a later date. JFK’s burial site will be moved and the coffin reinterred on March 14, 1967 - almost five months aftedr the brain will be first noted to be missing, and while RFK is still alive.

May 24, 1965 THE STATE OF TEXAS vs. JACK RUBENSTEIN -- Hearing before Judge Holland on Jack Ruby’s choice of counsel. Joe Tonahill, hired by Belli, is removed as Ruby’s counsel.

May 29, 1965 (The 48th anniversary of JFK’s birth) The Texas House of Representatives defeats on a record vote of 72 - 52 (with Governor Connally’s brother voting with the majority) a bill passed unanimously in the State Senate proposing to rename the state school for the mentally retarded at Richmond in JFK’s honor.

June 1, 1965 THE STATE OF TEXAS vs. JACK RUBENSTEIN -- Defense counsel files amended motion to disqualify Judge Brown.

June 8, 1965 LBJ authorizes commanders in Vietnam to commit US ground forces to combat.

Also this month, David Sanchez Morales is assigned as a CIA deep-cover operative, working as a public safety officer for the Agency for International Development (AID), in Lima, Peru.

June 21, 1965 THE STATE OF TEXAS vs. JACK RUBENSTEIN -- Judge Brown requests that he be removed from any further duty in the case of The State of Texas vs. Jack Ruby.

June 23, 1965 On this day, the dismembered bodies of the parents of Charles Frederick Rogers are discovered in Houston, Texas. Rogers has been positively identified by Houston police forensic artist Lois Gibson as “Frenchy,” the shortest of the three tramps apprehended in Dealey Plaza moments after the JFK assassination, hiding in a railroad car behind the grassy knoll. According to private detective John R. Craig, Charles F. Rogers has worked for the CIA since 1956. He is a physicist with graduate training in nuclear physics, a linguist and was a close personal friend of assassination suspect David Ferrie. He was born in 1921. He graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in physics and was a member of Sigma Phi Sigma fraternity. He was also a member of the Civil Air Patrol in the mid-1950’s. He was a seismologist for Shell Oil for nine years after World War II. Officially, Rogers will disappear this year and will not be seen again. It is Craig’s theory, however, that Rogers is alive and still active as a secret agent. Craig claims that “He has been active with the CIA since he murdered his parents. The last place we have [placed] him is in 1986 in Guatemala where he was still working in the Iran-Contra program. He is a pilot and flew for Air America.” July, 1965 While walking through Grosvenor Square in London this month, Adlai Stevenson has a heart attack and dies n at age sixty-five.

Also this month, Harold Russell attends a party with a female friend. (Russell was with Warren Reynolds when the J. D. Tippit n shooting took place. Both men saw the Tippit killer escape.) He seemingly goes out of his mind at the party and starts telling everyone he is going to be killed. He begs friends to hide him. Someone calls the police. When the policemen arrive, one of them hits Russell on the head with his pistol. Russell is then taken to a hospital where he is pronounced dead a few hours later: cause of death is listed as “heart failure.” July 5, 1965 David Atlee Phillips is made station chief in Dominican Republic following LBJ’s decision to send the U.S.

Marines to bolster the right-wing government’s fight against leftist rebels. Serving as CIA adviser to the Dominican Republic’s military is Mitchel Livingston WerBell III, an OSS veteran and CIA supplier of sophisticated assassination devices.

July 14, 1965 LBJ walks into a staff meeting, takes a seat, listens for a while, and then says: “Don’t let me interrupt. But there’s one thing you ought to know. Vietnam is like being in a plane without a parachute, when all the engines go out. If you jump, you’ll probably be killed, and if you stay in, you’ll crash and probably burn. That’s what it is.” Then, without waiting for a response, LBJ walks out of the room. During this period of time, both Bill Moyers and Richard N. Goodwin privately consult with psychiatrists concerning what they perceive to be LBJ’s growing irrational behavior.

July 23, 1965 THE STATE OF TEXAS vs. JACK RUBENSTEIN -- Hearing before Judge Holland on defense counsel’s petition formally to disqualify Judge Brown. No decision.

July 28, 1965 LBJ announces he is sending 50,000 more men to South Vietnam -- increasing American troop strength from the present 75,000 to 125, 000.

August -- 1965 Mona B. Saenz dies today -- hit by a bus. She is the Texas State Employment clerk who interviewed n LHO during his search for work in Dallas.

Early this month at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, Daniel Marvin is asked by the CIA to kill US Navy Lieutenant Commander William Bruce Pitzer. Marvin is told that Pitzer is a traitor who is about to give States secrets to the enemy. Marvin refuses the offer.

September 3, 1965 In a newspaper column item regarding the assassination, syndicated columnist Dorothy Kilgallen writes:

“This story isn’t going to die as long as there’s a real reporter alive -- and there are a lot of them.” This month Clay Shaw resigns as Director of the International Trade Mart. He is 52 years old.

September 9, 1965 THE STATE OF TEXAS vs. JACK RUBENSTEIN -- Today in Judge Louis Holland’s court, Jack Ruby disregards his lawyers who are telling him to be quiet and declares that there was a conspiracy in high places behind JFK’s assassination. As his lawyers try to push TV microphones away, Ruby says: “The world has the right to hear the truth.” Second hearing before Judge Holland on defense counsel’s petition to disqualify Judge Brown. Judge Holland passes the defense counsel’s petition up to the Court of Criminal Appeals.

September 4, 1965 Melba Marcades (Rose Cheramie) is found dead beside a highway near Big Sandy, Texas -- a small n town in East Texas about midway between Dallas and Louisiana. A man tells authorities that Cheramie was lying in the roadway, apparently after being thrown from a car, and that he drove over hear head while trying to avoid her. Police can find no relationship between the woman and the driver and the case is closed. A later attempt to contact the driver indicates that his Tyler, Texas address is nonexistent.

September 18, 1965 Roscoe White resigns from the Dallas Police Department. H&L November 2, 1965 A young Quaker named Norman R. Morrison, father of three and an officer of the Stoney Run Friends Meeting in Baltimore, burns himself to death within 40 feel of Robert McNamara’s Pentagon window, protesting the Vietnam War. When he sets himself on fire, he is holding his one-year-old daughter in his arms. Bystanders scream, “Save the child!” and he flings her out of his arms. She survives.

Public Law 89-318 is enacted. Among other provisions, the law makes it clear that the Kennedy autopsy materials are evidence and that they rightfully belong to the U.S. government. Further, the materials have to be returned within one year of the law’s enactment.

At this point, Attorney General Ramsey Clark initiates discussions with the Kennedy family attorneys, who clearly want to stall Clark indefinitely.

November 8, 1965 Reporter and columnist, Dorothy Kilgallen, is found dead in her home. It is initially ren ported she has died of a heart attack, but this is quickly changed to an overdose of alcohol and pills. Kilgallen is only reporter to have been granted an unsupervised interview with Jack Ruby and has stated she has evidence that will blow the case wide open. No notes are ever found. Dr. Charles Umber of the New York Medical Examiner’s Office discovered three types of barbiturates in Dorothy’s glass but kept his findings secret due to the politics and internecine rivalry in the NYMEO. No vial was ever found or recorded by the NYPD.

Seconal had been the only barbiturate prescribed for her according to the NYPD report.

November 10, 1965 Mrs. Earl Smith dies. Close friend of Dorothy Kilgallen. (It is suggested that Mrs. Smith n may have kept Kilgallen’s notes.) November 20, 1965 RFK’s fortieth birthday. Ethel Kennedy throws him a party in Sao Paulo. Some of the guests begin to pop party favors. Hearing the loud pops, RFK sinks his head into his hands and says, “Oh no, please don’t.” RK

–  –  –

December 18, 1965 William Whaley is killed in an automobile collision. He was cab driver who allegedly n picked up Lee Harvey Oswald on the day of the assassination at the Greyhound Bus Station at Lamar and Jackson Streets.

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