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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 92 ] --

October 2, 1996 Former SS agent, Rufus Youngblood dies of lung cancer. Youngblood was LBJ’s security agent n during the JFK assassination. He is 72 years old.

October 5, 1996 Pioneer assassination researcher, Larry Ray Harris, is killed in an automobile accident while traveln ing alone in Georgia on this date. He is 44 years old. Harris co-authored the book COVER UP with Gary Shaw. The Fourth Decade/ Nov. 1996 October 6, 1996 (By Michael Dorman. SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT. Michael Dorman, a freelance writer, covered President John F. Kennedy’s assassination for Newsday. His books include “The Secret Service Story.”) The chief CIA investigator of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination has testified that another high CIA official - noted for seeking conspiracies - disobeyed orders in repeatedly conferring with the Warren Commission shortly after the murder. The witness also said a colleague once told him that the CIA official, the late James Angleton,”has ties to the Mafia.” Almost 33 years after the assassination, the identity of the witness, who held various top-secret CIA jobs, is considered so sensitive that federal authorities insist on withholding his true name. He is known only by the alias “John Scelso.” While Scelso testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978, his 192-page testimony was kept secret until now. It has just been sent to the National Archives by the Assassination Records Review Board, a federal agency that screens assassination documents and makes public those that do not endanger national security. Scelso’s testimony, which criticized operations of the CIA, FBI, Secret Service and other agencies, will likely renew debates, especially among conspiracy theorists, on the assassination and how it was investigated. When Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, Scelso was chief of a CIA branch responsible for operations in Mexico and Central America. Richard Helms, the CIA chief of clandestine services and later the agency’s director, placed Scelso in charge of the assassination investigation. Angleton, a counterintelligence official with close ties to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, “immediately went into action to do all the investigating,” Scelso testified, criticizing the move sharply. “Helms called a meeting at which Angleton and a lot of others were present and told everybody that I was in charge and that no one should have any conversations with anyone about the Kennedy case without my being present - which was violated from the word `go’ by Angleton, who dealt with the FBI and the Warren Commission and [Warren Commission member and former CIA Director Allen ] Dulles himself... Angleton ignored Helms’ orders. I tried to get Helms to make him obey and Helms said, `You go tell him.’ “ Angleton, who died in 1987, spent much of his career searching for conspiracies - believing that there was a Communist mole in the CIA - and was presumed by other CIA officers to have tried to press a conspiracy theory on the Warren Commission. The commission found no evidence of a conspiracy. Angleton was fired in 1975. Years later, a mole was found - Aldrich Ames - but he had entered the CIA after Angleton’s dismissal. At one point in the 1978 House testimony, committee attorney Michael Goldsmith asked, “Do you have any reason to believe that Angleton might have had ties to organized crime?” “Yes,” replied Scelso, who is now retired and lives abroad, government sources said. He said the Justice Department once asked the CIA to determine the true names of people holding numbered bank accounts in Panama because the Mafia was hiding Las Vegas “skim” money there. “We were in an excellent position to do this and told them so

- whereupon Angleton vetoed it and said, `That is the bureau’s [FBI’s] business.’ “ Scelso said he discussed the situation with another CIA officer. “And he smiled a foxy smile and said, `Well, that’s Angleton’s excuse. The real reason is that Angleton himself has ties to the Mafia and he would not want to double-cross them.’ “ Asked for more specific information connecting Angleton with the Mafia, Scelso replied, “I do believe that I have heard that Angleton was one of those several people in the agency who were trying to use the Mafia in Cuban operations.” Previous investigations have dealt with reported CIA-Mafia operations involving Cuba, but Angleton has not been connected with them. Nor has he previously been identified with any Mafia operations. On another subject, Scelso gave Kennedy conspiracy theorists a slight piece of ammunition. A Soviet defector, Yuri Nosenko, was known to have told investigators that Lee Harvey Oswald - identified by the Warren Commission as Kennedy’s assassin - was not a Soviet agent. But Scelso said: “I later heard that Nosenko was discovered to have been dissembling, not being on the level. That information was imparted to me by CIA officers.” Based on the information CIA headquarters had on Oswald before the assassination - chiefly that he had been in the Marine Corps and defected to the Soviet Union, then returned - Scelso said he saw no reason to pay him special heed. “Oswald just seemed to me to be a small-potatoes defector,” he said. But he conceded that significant information about Oswald - known to CIA agents in Mexico City, for example - had not reached headquarters before the assassination. It dealt chiefly with Oswald’s visits to the Soviet and Cuban Embassies in Mexico City and his attempts to obtain a Cuban visa two months before the assassination. Scelso said the information failed to reach Washington because of simple overwork and bureaucratic delays in the Mexico City office. He revealed that all the outside telephone lines at the Soviet and Cuban Embassies were tapped by American agents and that calls Oswald made to them were recorded. After Oswald was arrested, Scelso revealed, agents compared audio tapes made while he was in custody with the wiretaps and determined that he was the same man who had visited the embassies.





October 23, 1996 Lawrence Brantley, who owned Ray’s Hardware and Sporting Goods store in Dallas, and who sold n Jack Ruby the gun he used to kill LHO, dies today in Dallas of complications from surgery at the age of 75.

November 22, 1996 Marina [Oswald] Porter appears on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

OPRAH: Marina, do you believe that your husband killed President Kennedy?

MARINA: I don’t want to believe it but I have too much facts, and facts tell me that, uh, Lee shot Kennedy.

-----------------------------OPRAH: You do not believe your husband killed John F. Kennedy?

MARINA: No -- and it’s not an overnight conclusion and it’s not because I read books, and this book and that book. It’s the responsible statement to make in front of the country that I’m grateful to -- and when I did say that I think Lee killed President Kennedy.

OPRAH: You said that 33 years ago. You believed he did.

MARINA: Absolutely. And the Warren Commission came to the conclusion and this question was asked after all the testimonies were done, “Mrs. Porter now with the evidence in front of you, what you know, what is your conclusion? Was your husband innocent or guilty? You cannot no because some evidence was there and in the middle of the table was a rifle which I identified as Lee’s rifle and I was a stupid young girl and right now if you show me my husband’s hunting rifle and I would be smart enough to say that I am not sure because up to this date I know nothing about this rifle. I’m not saying it was Lee’s or not, but I trusted so blindly that it must be his rifle

-- it was a stick with metal. That’s all a rifle is to me up to this day.

Transcript of show November 23, 1996 (By Michael Dorman / Newsday) On the 33rd anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination a federal agency yesterday released a brief home movie of events preceding the murder filmed by a Kennedy aide from the Secret Service car directly behind the presidential limousine in the fatal Dallas motorcade. The three-minute, 16-mm. film was made by presidential aide Dave Powers, one of Kennedy’s close confidants. It begins with the arrival of the president and Jacqueline Kennedy in San Antonio the morning of Nov. 21, 1963, and follows them through events in Houston and Fort Worth before their Nov. 22 arrival in Dallas. It includes scenes from the Dallas motorcade - among them Kennedy seated in the limousine, surrounded by excited spectators.

The last scene shows the presidential limousine on Dallas’ Main Street minutes before the assassination. At that point Powers ran out of film. The film was released by the Assassination Records Review Board, established to screen Kennedy assassination materials and release those that will not endanger national security. Powers donated the film to the National Archives. “This rare film is an important addition to the historical record of the assassination,” said federal Judge John Tunheim, the board chairman. “As a presidential aide, Powers had unique access to President Kennedy and the first lady. Much of the film is from a perspective that news photographers were not allowed.” Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and other family members observed the anniversary by visiting President Kennedy’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery.

December 10, 1996 Judith Campbell Exner, who has long claimed to have been President John F. Kennedy’s mistress, says he made her pregnant in 1962 and that Mafia boss Sam Giancana helped arrange for the child’s abortion, according to syndicated columnist Liz Smith. The article in the January issue of Vanity Fair, also says Exner told Smith she never had an affair with Giancana, as she had formerly asserted, but instead slept with him only once after she told him she was carrying Kennedy’s child. Exner, who is dying of breast cancer, also said that Giancana offered to help her keep the child, as did the president, but she refused. No member of the Kennedy family has ever acknowledged Exner and her claims have never been substantiated. She says Giancana arranged to have the child aborted by doctors at Chicago’s Grant Hospital and that she has the hospital receipts and the doctor’s name. Exner, 63, published a book in 1977, “Judith Exner: My Life,” in which she spells out alleged details of her affair with the president, and her relationship with Giancana, who was murdered gangland-style in 1975. She now claims that much of the information in the book never took place.

The interview with Smith, whose syndicated column appears in some 60 newspapers, took place last summer at the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach, California. Smith, who has written about Exner before, says in the article that Exner arranged meetings between Kennedy and Giancana, whom she met at a party thrown by Frank Sinatra, and that she took messages to Giancana from Kennedy about eliminating Cuban President Fidel Castro. “I never, never intended to tell this story, but because of the release of new documents, I need to tell it,” Exner told Smith in the article. “But now, before I die, I think the Camelot myth should be demystified, and the Kennedy legend examined for its reality.” She is referring to documents that may be available under the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act.

January, 1997 Frank Sinatra suffers a heart attack and will seldom be seen by the public again.

March 27, 1997 Today, nearly 29 years after his father’s death, Dexter King meets with James Earl Ray in a small room at the Lois DeBerry Special Needs Facility, Ray’s current home. Dexter faces Ray, and after several awkward minutes of small talk comes to the question to which so many want the answer: “I just want to ask you for the record, did you kill my father?” “No I didn’t,” is Ray’s reply. And in a display of the grace and compassion for which his family has long been known, Dexter King replies, “I just want you to know that I believe you, and my family believes you, and we are going to do everything in our power to try and make sure that justice will prevail.” April, 1997 The Zapruder film of the JFK assassination is declared a permanent possession of the people of the United States by the Assassination Records Review Board. This action in late April takes the ultimate ownership of the film from the heirs of Abraham Zapruder, the Dallas dressmaker who chanced to make it on November 22, 1963. The Review Board says it intends to direct that the film become U.S. property on August 1, 1998. “By taking this action, the Review Board is attempting to insure the preservation of the original Zapruder film, guarantee its availability to the American people, and give the U.S. Congress a role in resolving the final disposition of the film,” says Judge John R. Tunheim, Chairman of the Review Board and U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Minnesota. The Board’s action leaves it up to Congress, and possibly the courts, to determine how much the Zapruder family will be compensated for the film. An attorney for the family said in an interview that the Zapruders already have offered to accept “very, very, very substantially less” than the appraised value of the 26-second film. He declines to say what value appraisers have put on the film, as did the board. James Lesar, president of the Assassination Archives and Research Center, a private collection of Kennedy assassination documents, says it is important that the government retain possession of the original. “This is paramount evidence,” he says, adding that it would be peculiar for the government to hold millions of other pieces of evidence but not the film. The Zapruder film was cited by the Warren Commission in its conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, killed Kennedy. But the film has also been cited by the commission’s critics, who say it proves that Oswald alone could not have fired three shots as quickly as the Warren Commission claimed. It is widely believed that Oswald either had help, or was not even involved. Some critics call the authenticity of the Zapruder film into question. That issue was the subject of an expert panel at a researcher’s symposium in Dallas last year. The question of the Zfilm’s authenticity was not, however, considered by the Review Board.

In its unanimously approved Statement of Policy and Intent, the Review Board says:

•The Zapruder film is recognized as an assassination record within the meaning of the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992;



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