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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, ...»

-- [ Page 89 ] --

May 24, 1995 The Kennedy days in Palm Beach quietly ended with the sale of the oceanfront property that Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. bought in 1933 as a vacation spot and that later became his son’s winter White House and eventually a symbol of the family’s troubles. The house will become an historic landmark under an unusual deal struck by the Kennedys, the Palm Beach Town Council and John K. Castle, the New York banker who bought the house and its furnishings. The asking price was $7 million, although none of the parties would say what Castle and his wife, Marianne, paid. Official county records were not yet available. For the Kennedys, it was simply time to let go. With the death of Rose Kennedy this year, the house seemed more a part of history than a practical gathering place for a family that had grown large over three generations. In the early years it was where the patriarch taught the nation’s future leaders to swim, and where a young president chose his Cabinet. But later, the house became associated with tales of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s drinking and his nephew’s trial on charges he raped a woman by the pool. “Palm Beach is not a place where the youngest generation of Kennedys finds sustenance,” said Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., a historian who is a family friend. “They’re all off involved in good works of sorts, and Palm Beach is dedicated to frivolity.” The house was put on the market at the end of 1993, well before Rose Kennedy’s death at 104 in January, and family members have said the decision to sell had nothing to do with the highly publicized rape trial and acquittal of William Kennedy Smith in 1991. “It’s something that the family has looked at over a long period of time,” the associate said, adding that no one was talking about it. As part of the deal, the Castles will allow the town to make the house a landmark within five years. In exchange, the Castles will have those five years to make improvements - subject to town approval - that would otherwise be prohibited for a building with landmark protection.

June 7, 1995 The Assassination Records Review Board makes its first decision today regarding JFK assassination documents cited for postponed release. Sixteen CIA records have been released in redacted form, and the CIA wants to postpone full disclosure. The ARRB rules unanimously against them, and votes for full release.

June 29, 1995 New Orleans Parish District Attorney Harry Connick tells a federal board that most of the files compiled by Jim Garrison in his attempt to prove a conspiracy in the assassination of JFK have been “pilfered.” Connick indicates that four file cabinets full of material have disappeared.

July 12, 1995 A New Orleans newspaper carries the story that former prosecutor Jim Garrison, trying to prove his JFK conspiracy theory, attempted to reverse a corner’s report involving David Ferrie. According to records from Garrison’s assassination investigation, the prosecutor ordered an investigator to build a case to change the coroners findings, which suggested that Ferrie had committed suicide with a drug used to treat a thyroid condition.

July 31, 1995 The JFK Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) votes unanimously for full release of 15 records related to the JFK assassination. The FBI requests that release of these documents be postponed, and they appeal to President Clinton when the independent Review Board votes for release. The 15 FBI documents involved actually number 10 records due to duplications, and the FBI opposes release of all but one of them. The Coalition on Political Assassination calls for a public campaign to secure full release of these and other records relating to the assassination of JFK.

August 16, 1995 Perry Raymond Russo, star witness in former New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s failed n effort to prosecute Clay Shaw for conspiring to assassinate JFK, is found dead at his home in New Orleans. Russo’s body is discovered after a friend goes to Russo’s home on Navarre Avenue in the Lakeview area and no one answers the door. Russo, of course, was the witness at the Shaw trial who stated that David Ferrie, “Leon” Oswald”, and a man he later identified as Clay Shaw, discussed the assassination of President Kennedy at Ferrie’s apartment in New Orleans in September of 1963. Russo surfaced after David Ferrie’s death (Ferrie had threatened his life previously) and became a witness for Garrison at the preliminary hearing of Clay Shaw in March, 1967.

Perry was brutally maligned by local Shaw allies like Rosemary James, and national media reporters who ended up having government ties e.g. Walter Sheridan, Hugh Aynesworth, and James Phelan. Because he would not turn on Garrison he underwent a four year onslaught that altered his life permanently. He later became a taxi driver, working 80 hour weeks. In the summer of 1994, Perry got researchers Jeff Caufield and Romney Stubbs into Ferrie’s apartment and reconstructed the scene at Ferrie’s apartment that he testified to at the Shaw trial.

September 19, 1995 DALLAS, TX -- The largest collection of TV and radio recordings from among Dallas-Fort Worth area stations covering the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is donated to The Sixth Floor Museum. The recordings are given to the museum by KDFW TV/Channel 4, which was known as KRLD-TV/Radio in 1963. Included in the collection from 1963 and ‘64 are some 160 hours of video tapes, news film, kinescopes and audio recordings. Most of the TV footage has not been seen or heard since originally broadcast, although certain scenes have been shown many times. Some of the material was loaned to the Warren Commission for its investigations and portions were copied for a series of CBS News special reports in the 1960s and ‘70s. Jeff West, Executive Director of the museum, says he is “overwhelmed” by the generosity represented by the donation as well as its historic significance.





He adds “we will work to make the material accessible to the public as soon as possible.” Before that can take place, however, the TV material will have to be indexed and transferred from two inch “quad” video tape, no longer used in the industry, to a contemporary format. Also, there is currently no place in the museum where the general public can study materials from its archives. Channel 4 had the only live camera coverage of a midnight press conference at Dallas Police headquarters on November 22, 1963, where Lee Harvey Oswald spoke briefly with reporters and denied having shot anyone; their cameras twice caught Jack Ruby in police department hallways while Oswald was nearby; a photographer rushing up the “grassy knoll” looking for a suspect after the shots had been fired in Dealey Plaza; and, News Director Eddie Barker at the Trade Mart making the first public report that President Kennedy had died.

September 20, 1995 The ARRB discloses the possible existence of a long-sought CIA tape recording that might shed light on one of the mysteries in the murder of JFK. This disclosure comes as the Records Review Board releases 39 CIA documents that the agency had initially withheld in part, citing its duty to protect sensitive sources and methods. The recording in question is one made of a caller who identified himself as LHO to the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City on October 1, 1963. The released material discloses that the CIA referred to “the possible existence of another copy of that intercept that was discovered after the assassination.” This tape could help to settle the question of whether someone impersonated LHO in the Mexican capital, as some theories suggest. The CIA is begrudgingly complying with the orders of the Clinton-appointed JFK Review Board to release everything in its vaults pertaining to the JFK murder.

November 1, 1995 Richard Case Nagell dies today, reportedly of heart disease in Los Angeles, California. He n is 65 years old. Nagell was the subject of the 1992 book, “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” by Richard Russell. Nagell was a former U.S. Army Captain who purportedly worked for both he CIA and the Soviet KGB. Russell asserted in his 824-page treatise that Nagell had known JFK’s accused killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, before the murder in Dallas and believed that Oswald was duped into thinking he was working for Fidel Castro. Nagell, a native of Greenwich, N.Y., was never interviewed by the Warren commission or the House Select Committee, but Russell maintained that he should have been a key witness. The Assassination Records Review Board had written to him the previous day, inquiring about documentation that Nagell claimed to possess. The Board is planning to subpoena Nagell to testify, and the timing of his death causes alarm.

November 4, 1995 A lone Jewish gunman assassinates Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on this date as he n leaves a peace rally in Tel Aviv.

November 6, 1995 Earth taken from the burial ground of JFK and RFK is poured onto the casket of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, says Sen. Edward Kennedy. “Before leaving the United States, my son Patrick, who is a senator from Rhode Island, gathered some earth from Arlington cemetery, in the area of the graves of President Kennedy and Senator Robert Kennedy... and then we distributed that over the coffin for the prime minister.” Kennedy, part of a U.S. delegation led by President Clinton to Rabin’s funeral on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl, has received widow Leah Rabin’s permission to make the tribute.

December 12, 1995 James W. “Ike” Altgens is found dead in his Dallas-area home today. The body of his wife, n Clara, is also found. The couple has reportedly died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty furnace.

Altgens took a series of photographs of the presidential motorcade as it drove through Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.

His fifth photograph was taken at the moment the first shot was fired. Years later, Altgens told author Richard Trask, “My first instinct was ‘Well, they’re shooting firecrackers up there,’ or some kind of celebration on behalf of the President. And then I hear it again as the car comes on down. No one had the foggiest idea that something was taking place.” The fifth photograph became important when it was noticed that a man in the doorway of the Texas School Book Depository bore a striking resemblance to Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin. Obviously he could not simultaneously be in the doorway and firing from the sixth floor. The FBI concluded the man in the doorway was Billy Nolan Lovelady, another TSBD employee. Oswald himself told police he was in the building’s lunchroom at the time of the assassination. When the shooting stopped, Altgens raced to a telephone and provided the first word to the AP that Kennedy had been shot and seriously wounded. In a bylined story later that day, he wrote, “There was a burst of noise---the second one I heard---and pieces of flesh appeared to fly from President Kennedy’s car. “Blood covered the whole left side of his head. Mrs. Kennedy saw what had happened to her husband. She grabbed him exclaiming, ‘Oh, no!’” Altgens also took a famous photo of Mrs. Kennedy on her hands and knees on the trunk of the car, and an agent climbing onto its rear bumper. He later testified before the Warren Commission, although he was not called until eight months after the assassination. According to Richard Trask in Pictures of the Pain, Altgens was subpoenaed by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison to testify at the Clay Shaw trial in the late 1960s. The reluctant Altgens received a $300.00 check for air fare, but at the suggestion of former Texas Governor John Connally, cashed the check and spent the money. He ended up not testifying. Trask also quotes Altgens as saying, in regard to conspiracy theories in the JFK case, “Until [researchers] come up with solid evidence to support their claims, I see no value in wasting my time with them.” Altgens, a lifelong Dallas-area resident, worked for the AP for more than 40 years. He retired in 1979.

Also this month, Hershel Jacks, the Texas state trooper who guarded Vice President Lyndon Johnson on November 22, 1963, n dies at the age of 66. After the shots were fired on the presidential motorcade, Jacks “drove to Parkland Hospital right on the bumper of the car in front of him,” says his widow, Bobbie Jacks, of Dallas. Mrs. Jacks adds that he did so --- at high rates of speed --- “because it was a car full of Secret Service agents.” Trooper Jacks joined the Texas Department of Public Safety in 1956 and retired as a DPS corporal in 1991. He was often called on to escort VIPs during his career. “His life was very different from the ordinary highway patrolman’s life,” says Mrs. Jacks. “He met dignitaries, governors, and movie stars. He was pleased with that, but he never thought it was any great big deal.” December 20, 1995 WASHINGTON (Reuter) - A previously censored FBI document made public Wednesday shows the bureau had secret ties to the father of an anti-Castro Cuban leader once investigated in the assassination of President John Kennedy.



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