The three men who visited Sylvia Odio were Hall, Seymour (Oswald impersonator) and Lawrence Howard, according to the Warren Commission Report and George Michael Evica’s And We are all Mortal (Cambridge, Mass., 1978) .
See also Dallas Morning News, 17 Sept. 1978, HSCA Report, and Ch X and XI. See also Rush to Judgment, Summers.
According to eyewitnesses, DPD Officer Hargis on his motorbike behind Kennedy, was ‘splattered with blood’. Hargis was hit so hard ‘he thought he’d been shot’.
Hargis gets particular coverage in the HSCA Report as well as Summers and Best Evidence and High Treason. See also the testimony of Roscoe White’s son.
Harrelson was an admitted and convicted hitman. He boasted on several occasions of having assassinated John F. Kennedy, and claimed to be one of the ‘Three Tramps’ hiding in a box car on the railroad tracks behind Dealey Plaza just after the shooting. (He also denied these claims on other occasions.) See also John Harlow, ‘Secrets of Woody’s Hitman Father’, The Times (UK) 8 April 2007.
A biography of Woody Harrelson’s murderous father can be found on the various ‘Harrelson’ websites.
For more details see High Treason, Marrs’s Crossfire and Davis’s Mafia Kingfish (1988) and the Times interview of 8 April 2007 ‘ Secrets of Woody’s Hitman Father.’
Dallas Policeman ‘Blackie’ Harrison is accused of complicity in Ruby’s murder of Oswald in Seth Kantor’s Who Was Jack Ruby? (New York, 1978). There are, however, numerous other Dallas policemen who have been accused of owing Ruby a favour: sixty, in fact, according to the testimony of Officer Revill and others of the DPD.
These can be found in detail on the McAdams website JFK Info in great detail under ‘Possible associations between Ruby and the DPD’. See also Michael Benson Who’s Who in the Assassination of JFK, p.174, for the charge that (like so many of the Dallas Police) Blackie Harrison knew Jack Ruby too well.
A full biography of CIA agent Harvey’s background is at the Spartacus Educational site.
He was replaced as Director of Cuban Ops by Desmond Fitzgerald, who took on much of the planning for the Kennedys’ scheme to start a coup in Cuba (‘AM/LASH’) (See HSCA testimony and Report and Ultimate Sacrifice).
See also Belin’s Final Disclosure, Evica’s many references to Harvey in And We Are All Mortal, and Summers.
Veteran JFK researcher John Simkin links Harvey and Mafiaman Roselli:
‘ . . . columnist Jack Anderson submitted a secret report to President-elect George Bush in which he provided more details about his initial 1967 disclosure of the anti-Castro assassination plots and Robert Kennedy’s links to them. Anderson informed the President [sic] that his sources included not only Johnny Roselli, but the CIA’s William Harvey, as well as other high-ranking Agency officers. Anderson also admitted that he was provided with copies of “two memos from the CIA’s most sensitive files, which summarize the whole operation”.
‘The disclosure of Harvey as a source comes as no surprise, because, according to the CIA’s own documents, Harvey was professionally associated with the law firm of Rosselli’s attorney, Ed Morgan.’
This secret Anderson report to President-Elect Bush is found on pages 444-445 of Live By the Sword: The Secret War Against Castro and the Death of JFK, by Gus Russo, Baltimore, 1998.
Hicks claims himself to have been in Dealey Plaza: see Michael Benson, Who’s Who in the JFK Assassination. (See also Hicks’s testimony to Garrison investigations and Bethell’s diary recording Hicks’s claims.)
Jim Hicks is believed by many researchers to have been the radio man for the assassins. (See Benson, Spartacus and gov.archives.) Interestingly, he was the one who pointed out the bullet hole in the ‘Stemmons Freeway’ road sign. Hicks openly boasted of his involvement in the shooting. See High Treason, The Kennedy Conspiracy, and the claims and their follow-ups at the JFK.fr research site.
The ‘A. J. Hidell’ identity alleged carried by Oswald when arrested is challenged by the curious fact that there is no record of any such ID being found and reported by Officer Bentley of the DPD when he first searched Oswald outside the Texas Theatre. See the DPD official police logs, 22 Nov. 1963.
Later claims that he and Sgt Hill radioed the Hidell ID in from the police car are not substantiated by the DPD radio logs. (See Benson and the Warren Commission testimony.)
When Marina Oswald was first interrogated by a Russian-speaking Federal agent called Gpoadze immediately after the assassination she said that she had never heard of ‘Alek Hidell’.
By the time she had been coached in the FBI’s ‘protective custody’ and appeared before the Warren Commission she’d changed her story, claiming that she now remembered Lee using the alias, and that she had also signed documents for him using that name. (See also Marina’s interview on the Oprah Winfrey programme 22 Nov. 1996 and the re-issued editions of the Warren Commission report.)
See also the Army Intelligence notes for confirmation of the ‘A. J. Hidell’ alias.
Jean Hill’s account of harsh treatment by (now Senator) Specter has – predictably – been attacked, but for 15 years she maintained her story.
Hill’s evidence gets extensive coverage in the Warren Commission, as well as Crossfire, Weisberg’s little-read Photographic Whitewash, Lane’s Rush to Judgment, Summers, and Garrison’s On the Trail of the Assassins.
In 1991 she addressed the 1991 JFK Symposium in Dallas, which attracted considerable media coverage, before co-authoring, with Bill Sloan, JFK: The Last Dissenting Witness (1992). See also Peter R. Whitney on the JFK in site and its links.
See also the obituaries in, for example, the Washington Post 11 Nov. 2000.
HOOVER J. EDGAR
There are so many references to J. Edgar Hoover that it is hard to be selective. The Wikipedia biography is a good start, listing as it does so many primary sources.
Hoover’s claim that he was not aware of a plot to assassinate the President defies belief, given the evidence to hand of both of the man and his methods. For a detailed exploration of this most corrupt and venal, out-of-control Secret Policeman, see Anthony Summers, Official and Confidential and his Conspiracy, plus Mark North’s explicit accusations in Act of Treason and the many websites on both Hoover, the assassination and the cover-up.
For additional reading see also: Curt Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets (New York, 1991); Max Lowenthal, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (Westport Conn., 1950), and Richard Powers, Secrecy and Power: The Life of J. Edgar Hoover(New York, 1986).
Bobby Kennedy believed that 60% of the ‘American Communist Party’ were in fact paid FBI informants. FBI documents released under the FOIA confirm this: nearly 6,000 of the 10,000-strong Party worked for the FBI and J Edgar Hoover.
Hoover and the Mafia: Hoover’s view of organised crime was astonishing, to say the least. As late as January 1962, Hoover denied its existence in the United States. He stated that ‘No single individual or coalition of racketeers dominates organized crime across the nation.’ It was not until gangster Joe Valachi was brought to Washington by Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s Justice Department to testify before the Senate that Hoover was forced to admit that his opinion about organised crime in American needed some serious re-thinking. (See Peter Maas, The Valachi Papers, New York, 1968.)
Hoover told the Warren Commission that he had forwarded every FBI agent’s notes on Oswald. He lied. He kept back the affidavit of Special Agent Milton Kaack who was the FBI agent who carried out the initial background checks when the Oswalds returned for the USSR. (Compare the Warren Report, the HSCA and Summers’)
For an objective discussion of his supposed sexuality, see, ‘J. Edgar Hoover: Gay marriage role model?’ in Salon, 1 May 2000.
For an interesting analysis of Hoover’s life and career, see the article by Mel Ayton of 19 July 2005 in Crime Magazine.
For Hoover, see also: Athan Theoharis, ed., From the Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover (Lanham, Md, 1991); Assassination Records Review Board – Final Report: 1998, and Zpub.: ‘J. Edgar Hoover – The Biography’.
The Teamsters Union website has a biography as do several TV production companies. The US Encyclomedia and other sites have good biographies of Jimmy Hoffa too. See also Ultimate Sacrifice; the HSCA Report;Conspiracy;The Kennedy Conspiracy; ‘Who Was Jack Ruby?’, Act of Treason et al.
The biography at Wikipedia lists good primary sources, for example his influence on the unions. See Hoffa and the Teamsters: A Study of Union Power, by Ralph James and Estelle James (New York, 1965); Arthur Sloane’s ‘Hoffa’ (Cambridge, Mass., 1991) is the standard biography.
There is a good account of the Justice Department’s deliberate targeting of Hoffa in The Fall and Rise of Jimmy Hoffa by Walter Sheridan (New York, 1972). As a result, Hoffa’s views on Robert Kennedy (many of them unprintable in a family book) can be found in his Hoffa, The Real Story (as told to Oscar Fraley) (New York, 1975)’
The Mob lawyer Ragano recorded a meeting with Jimmy Hoffa at his office in July 1963 where Hoffa said, ‘something had to be done, and soon, about Robert Kennedy’. He suggested that Ragano should talk to his friend ‘Santo T’ about killing the President in order to achieve this. The following day Trafficante and Ragano were lunching in a restaurant with someone else present.
Ragano brought up Hoffa’s conversation of the previous day and got the distinct impression that he should not have mentioned it in public. (See Ragano’s autobiography, Mob Lawyer: Including the Inside Account of Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa and JFK.) In 1979 one of Hoffa’s lieutenants in the Teamsters called Ed Partin testified on the record to the HSCA that Hoffa had openly discussed killing RFK. (See the HSCA Report.)
Hoffa’s presumed role in the JFK murder is explored in Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, by John H. Davis (New York, 1989)
In 2001 US police forces confirmed that traces of Hoffa’s DNA were in Charles O’Brien’s car, but were unable to bring charges. The search for Jimmy Hoffa’s body continues without success. A convicted killer, Richard Powell, claimed that Hoffa was drugged, then murdered in Michigan. Attempts to locate his body have been unsuccessful.
See also: Hoffa’s autobiography, written with Donald I. Rogers, The Trials of Jimmy Hoffa (Chicago, 1970).
Contract Killer: The Explosive Story of the Mafia’s Most Notorious Hitman Donald ‘Tony the Greek’ Frankos, by William Hoffman and Lake Headley, looks at Hoffa’s disappearance, and The Hoffa Wars: Teamsters, Rebels, Politicians and the Mob, by Dan Moldea (second edition, New York, 1993) shows how Hoffa rose to power.
The deaf and dumb Ed Hoffman’s remarkable eyewitness account can be followed up in High Treason, plus the various websites – Spartacus Educational, which has his biography and discloses that his father warned him not to inform the authorities of what he had supposedly seen – and a brief account in Benson as well as Sloan’s 1993 JFK: Breaking the Silence.
Hoffman’s official FBI statements after he finally came forward are in the FBI Reports of June and July 1967.
His tale comes in for a serious rubbishing on the mcadams.pos.mu edu site, which staunchly attempts to downplay any suggestion that there was more to Dealey Plaza than the Warren Commission’s official version.
See the Wikipedia biography and its list of sources. Holt was a freewheeling adventurer who worked as a pilot, an accountant and a Mafia associate as well as claiming to have been a contract operative for the Central Intelligence Agency. He served organised-crime figures and, in 1953, was employed by Lansky as an accountant for the International Rescue Committee which, according to Holt, was a front organisation for the CIA.
Holt worked for Meyer Lansky and Peter Licovoli. (See Benson and the various Holt biographies)
However Holt’s story is disbelieved by some; for example, Waldron and Hartmann in Ultimate Sacrifice.
Holt is best known for his confession of involvement in the JFK assassination. He testified that he drove with mob hitmen Charles Nicoletti and Leo Moceri to Dallas from the Grace Ranch in Arizona. The ranch was owned by Peter Licavoli and allegedly served as a base for CIA operations, drugs and gun smuggling.
Holt was also carrying forged secret service badges and lapel pins to Dallas, on orders of his CIA contact Philip Twombly. Holt delivered the lapel pins and badges to anti-Castro Cuban exile Homer Echevarria. He also delivered handguns and IDs to a convicted hitman, Charles Harrelson, on the parking lot of Dealey Plaza behind the grassy knoll.
After the assassination, Holt, Harrelson and Rogers were supposedly apprehended from a boxcar in the railroad yard and detained by the Dallas Police. They were released the same afternoon. While they were escorted over Dealey Plaza, seven pictures were taken by press photographers. The subjects of these pictures became known in history as ‘the three tramps’.
Holt related that during the Warren Commission, he and other CIA operatives involved in the Kennedy assassination stayed in a luxurious CIA safehouse in Acapulco, owned by attorneys Frank Belcher and Joseph Ball – the latter just happened to be a Senior Counsel to the Warren Commission.
(See Holt’s confessions on the AOL video interview freely available on YouTube and DVD.)
Chauncey Holt’s old friend CIA agent Jim Bartell confirmed that he was recruited by Holt to help organise ‘contract killings’ for the CIA. He confirmed Holt’s close links with both organised crime and the CIA.
Holt’s daughter taped her father’s story before he died. According to her ‘my father wanted to vindicate Lee Harvey Oswald’. She also says that her father said just before his death that the American public should know the real truth.
HOSTY, FBI AGENT JAMES
According to the Dallas FBI receptionist, Nancy Fenner, Oswald stormed in on 6 Nov. 1963 with a note for Hosty, warning him off. Hosty later admitted to ‘flushing it down the toilet’ after the assassination.
Hosty’s name was in Oswald’s notebook when he was arrested. An FBI agent called Bob Gemberling deleted it from the list he submitted in evidence to the Warren Commission. (See the Warren Commission Evidence and Report and Don Moore’s interview for the Sun-Herald of 16 Nov. 2003.)
Commander Jim Humes USN was the lead autopsy surgeon/pathologist at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington. He had never done a full autopsy before and had no experience of bullet wounds. Nonetheless, as a competent doctor Humes had serious doubts about the corpse and thought that someone had tampered with it, but he was browbeaten by senior officers into doing what they said. See his testimony to the Warren Commission.
He originally had problems with the throat and the back wound, but after a little ‘attitude adjustment’ from the senior officers and Federal intelligence agents present, changed his mind to call the throat wound an ‘exit wound’ and moved the back wound 5 inches up JFK’s body.
He later admitted to burning his original notes and substituting them with a more acceptable set. It is an interesting point that Humes was technically committing a serious Federal crime. (See the Warren Report and compare it with the detailed work in Lifton’s Best Evidence.) See also Humes’s later testimony to the 1997 ARRB; Summers; Menninger’s Mortal Error and Lane’s Rush to Judgment. Edward Epstein’s The Assassination Chronicles: Inquest, Counterplot and Legend (New York 1996) quite clearly charges that the autopsy report was changed for political reasons.
The original source material comes from the testimony at the three Federal enquiries: the Warren Commission, the HSCA and the ARRB. These run to over 1,000 pages (at least) of sometimes highly detailed medical testimony on oath.
The extracts from Humes’ sworn public testimony are of considerable importance in establishing the allegation that there was a major cover-up over the autopsy.
Extracts From the Testimony of Cdr James J. Humes, Md, Us Navy
Before the Warren Commission, 1964 (at which the evidence about the ‘magic bullet’ and Cdr Humes’ autopsy notes are discussed):
. . . Mr SPECTER: And what is your profession or occupation, please?
Commander HUMES: I am a physician and employed by the Medical Department of the United States Navy.
Evidence of Direction from Senior Officers
. . .Mr SPECTER: All right.
Commander HUMES: The photographs, to go back a moment the photographs and the X-rays were exposed in the morgue, of the Naval Medical Center on this night, and they were not developed, neither the X-rays or the photographs. They were submitted to the, and here, if I make a mistake I am not certain, to either the Federal Bureau of Investigation or to the Secret Service, I am not sure of those.
Mr SPECTER: Did you submit those yourself immediately after they were taken, Dr Humes?
Commander HUMES: Again, one of the senior people present, I believe my own Commanding Officer, Captain Stover, took care of tuning this material over to these authorities, and receiving a receipt for this information, for this material. It was – I supervised the positioning of the body for various of these examinations but as far as beyond that, I did not consider that my responsibility . . .
The Magic Bullet
. . . Mr DULLES: Could I ask a question about the missile, I am a little bit – the bullet, I am a little bit – confused. It was found on the stretcher. Did the President’s body remain on the stretcher while it was in the hospital?
Commander HUMES: Of that point I have no knowledge. The only—
Mr DULLES: Why would it – would this operating have anything to do with the bullet being on the stretcher unless the President’s body remained on the stretcher after he was taken into the hospital; is that possible?
Commander HUMES: It is quite possible, sir.
Mr DULLES: Otherwise it seems to me the bullet would have to have been ejected from the body before he was taken or put on the bed in the hospital.
Commander HUMES: Right, sir. I, of course, was not there. I don’t know how he was handled in the [Dallas] hospital, in what conveyance. I do know he was on his back during the period of his stay in the hospital: Doctor Perry told me that.
Mr DULLES: Yes; and wasn’t turned over.
Commander HUMES:That is right . . .
. . . Mr DULLES: Yes. I wonder if there is other evidence of this.
Mr SPECTER: There has been other evidence, Mr DULLES. If I may say at this point, we shall produce later, subject to sequential proof, evidence that the stretcher on which this bullet was found was the stretcher of Governor Connally. We have a sequence of events on the transmission of that stretcher which ties that down reasonably closely, so that on the night of the autopsy itself, as the information I have been developing indicates, the thought preliminarily was that was from President Kennedy’s stretcher, and that is what led to the hypothesis which we have been exploring about but which has since been rejected. But at any rate the evidence will show that it was from Governor Connally’s stretcher that the bullet was found.
Mr DULLES: So this bullet is still missing?
Mr SPECTER: That is the subject of some theories I am about to get into. That is an elusive subject, but Dr Humes has some views on it and we might just as well go into those now.
Dr Humes’ Autopsy Notes
. . . Mr SPECTER: Now, Doctor Humes, I hand you a group of documents which have been marked as Commission Exhibit No. 397 and ask you if you can identify what they are?
Commander HUMES: Yes, sir; these are various notes in long-hand, or copies rather, of various notes in long- hand made by myself, in part, during the performance of the examination of the late President, and in part after the examination when I was preparing to have a typewritten report made.
Mr SPECTER: Are there also included there some notes that you made while you talked to Doctor Perry on the telephone?
Commander HUMES: Yes, sir; there are.
Mr SPECTER: Are there any notes which you made at any time which are not included in this group of notes?
Commander HUMES: Yes, sir; there are.
Mr SPECTER: And what do those consist of?
Commander HUMES: In privacy of my own home, early in the morning of Sunday, November 24th, I made a draft of this report which I later revised, and of which this represents the revision. That draft I personally burned in the fireplace of my recreation room.
Mr SPECTER: May the record show that the Exhibit No. 397 is the identical document which has been previously identified as Commission No. 371 for our internal purposes. Is the first sheet then in that group the notes you made when you talked to Doctor Perry?
Commander HUMES: That is correct. sir.
Mr SPECTER: And do the next 15 sheets represent the rough draft which was later copied into the autopsy report which has been heretofore identified with an exhibit number?
Commander HUMES: That is correct. sir.
Mr SPECTER: And what do the next two sheets represent?
Commander HUMES :The next two sheets are the notes actually made in the room in which the examination was taking place. I notice now that the handwriting in some instances is not my own, and it is either that of Commander Boswell or Colonel Finck.
Mr SPECTER: And was that writing made at the same time that the autopsy report was undertaken; that is, did you review all of the markings on those papers and note them to be present when you completed the autopsy report?
Commander HUMES: Yes, sir. From the time of the completion of this examination until the submission of the written report following its preparation, all of the papers pertinent to this case were in my personal custody.
Mr SPECTER: Have you now described all of the documents which were present in that 397, Exhibit No. 397?
Commander HUMES: Yes, sir; with the exception of the certification to the fact that I, in fact, detailed them in my custody, and a certification that I had destroyed certain preliminary draft notes.
Mr SPECTER: And those represent all the notes except those you have already described which you destroyed?
Commander HUMES: That is correct, sir.
Mr SPECTER: Now, just one point on the notes themselves. Page 14 of your rough draft, Doctor Humes, as to the point of origin, the notes show that there was a revision between your first draft and your final report.
Commander HUMES: Yes, sir.
Dr Humes’ sworn testimony at the Assassinations Records Review Board (1996)
Cdr Humes again admitted burning his original autopsy notes at home (see below) and under what became a fairly intense cross-examination, admitted that he had no rational explanation for doing so. He also changed his story given at the Warren Commission, 33 years earlier, at which he had claimed that it was because ‘they were stained with JFK’s blood’. However the ARRB drew out of him an admission that some of his material he had submitted was blood-stained anyway and that he had only destroyed the more important contemporaneous notes and draft report, including Dr Finck’s contribution.
Humes (again on Oath) at the ARRB:
An interesting excerpt from the later (1996) ARRB testimony is below. Dr Humes had to be subpoenaed to attend and under pressure admits to burning not just his autopsy notes, but the draft autopsy report as well:
Q. (Counsel for the ARRB): Could you explain or describe briefly the process that you went through in drafting the autopsy protocol? So explain the number of drafts that you wrote, for example.
A. (Dr Humes): The decision was made somebody had to take responsibility to write it. We couldn’t do it as a troika. So I took the notes home with me, these, I presume, and the notes that I had made, some of which I had made were stained with the President’s blood. I wrote a little bit about this in that AMA Journal article . . .
Q. Now, I presume that the notes that you took during the autopsy did not resemble in any way the document that you have in your hand now, Exhibit 2.
A. Well, they did, yes. I mean, I didn’t dream this up out of whole cloth.
Q. And I assume that the notes that you made while you were at Bethesda during the autopsy were not written in sentence and paragraph form.
A. No. They were shorthand.
Q. So when you wrote down the information – well, when you were drafting what is now Exhibit 2, would it be fair to say that you had in your hand two or three pages, approximately – of handwritten notes—
A. And I converted the shorthand information there to that document.
Q. Was there any information that was contained on the handwritten notes that was not included in the document that’s now Exhibit 2—
A. I don’t believe so.
Q. Did you ever make a copy that – a copy of the notes that contained the same information as was on the original handwritten notes that was in any form other than the form that appears in Exhibit 2?
Q. Have you ever observed that the document now marked Exhibit 1 in the original appears to have bloodstains on it as well?
A. Yes, I do notice it now. These were J’s. I’m sure I gave these back to J. I presume I did. I don’t know where they came from.
Q. Did you ever have any concern about the President’s blood being on the
document that’s now marked Exhibit 1?
A. I can’t recall, to tell you the truth.
Q. Do you see any inconsistency at all between destroying some handwritten notes that contained blood on them but preserving other handwritten notes that also had blood on them?
A. Well, only that the others were of my own making. I didn’t – wouldn’t have the habit of destroying something someone else prepared. That’s the only difference that I can conceive of. I don’t know where these went. I don’t know if they went back to J or where they went. I have no idea. I certainly didn’t keep them. I kept nothing, as a matter of fact.
Q. I’d like to show you the testimony that you offered before the Warren Commission. This is in Exhibit 11 to this deposition. I’d like you to take a look at pages 372 to the top of 373, and then I’ll ask you a question.
A. All right.
Q. I’ll read that into that record while you’re reading it yourself. Mr Specter asked the question: ‘And what do those consist of?’ The question is referring to some notes.
‘Answer: In privacy of my own home, early in the morning of Sunday, November 24, I made a draft of this report, which I later revised and of which this represents the revision. That draft I personally burned in the fireplace of my recreation room.’
Do you see Mr Specter’s question and your answer?
Q. Does that help refresh your recollection of what was burned in your home?
A. Whatever I had, as far as I know, that was burned was everything exclusive of the finished draft that you have as Exhibit – whatever it is.
Q. My question will go to the issue of whether it was a draft of the report that was burned or whether it was –
A. I think it was –
Q. handwritten notes –
A. It was handwritten notes and the first draft that was burned.
Q. Do you mean to use the expression ‘handwritten notes’ as being the equivalent of draft of the report?
A. I don’t know. Again, it’s a hair-splitting affair that I can’t understand.
Everything that I personally prepared until I got to the status of the handwritten document that later was transcribed was destroyed. You can call it anything you want, whether it was the notes or what, I don’t know. But whatever I had, I didn’t want anything else to remain, period. This business, I don’t know when J got that back or what. . . .
Q. Dr Humes, let me show you part of your testimony to the HSCA . Question by Mr Cornwell – I’ll read this into the record. It’s from page 330, and it is Exhibit 21 to this deposition.
‘Mr Cornwell: And you finally began to write the autopsy report at what time?’
‘Dr Humes: It was decided that three people couldn’t write the report simultaneously, so I assumed the responsibility for writing the report, which I began about 11 o’clock in the evening of Saturday November 23rd, having wrestled with it for four or five, six hours in the afternoon, and worked on it until 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning of Sunday, the 24th.’
‘Mr Cornwell: Did you have any notes or records at that point as to the exact location of the –
‘Dr Humes: I had the draft notes which we had prepared in the autopsy room, which I copied.’
Now, again, the question would be: Did you copy the notes so that you would have a version of the notes without the blood on them but still notes rather than a draft report?
A. Yes, precisely. Yes. And from that I made a first draft, and then I destroyed the first draft and the notes.
Q. So there were, then, two sorts of documents that were burned: one, the draft notes, and, two, a draft report?
Q. Why did you burn the draft report as opposed to the draft notes?
A. I don’t recall. I don’t know. There was no reason – see, we’re splitting hairs here, and I’ll tell you, it’s getting to me a little bit, as you may be able to detect. The only thing I wanted to finish to hand over to whomever, in this case Admiral Burkley, was my completed version. So I burned everything else. Now, why I didn’t burn the thing that J wrote, I have no way of knowing. But whether it was a draft or whether it was the notes or what, I don’t know. There was nothing left when I got finished with it, in any event, but the thing that you now have, period.
Q. Well, the concern, of course, is if there is a record related to the autopsy that is destroyed, we’re interested in finding out what the exact circumstances—
A. I’ve told you what the circumstances were. I used it only as an aide-memoire to do what I was doing and then destroyed it. Is that hard to understand?
Q. When I first asked the question, you explained that the reason that you had destroyed it was that it had the blood of the President on it.
Q. The draft report, of course, would not have had the blood of . . .
A. Well, it may have had errors in spelling or I don’t know what was the matter with it, or whether I even ever did that. I don’t know. I can’t recall. I absolutely can’t recall, and I apologize for that. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I didn’t want anything to remain that some squirrel would grab on and make whatever use that they might. Now, whether you felt that was reasonable or not, I don’t know. But it doesn’t make any difference because that was my decision and mine alone. Nobody else’s.
Q. Did you talk to anyone about your decision to—
A. No, absolutely not. No. It was my own materials. Why – I don’t feel a need to talk to anybody about it.
Q. Did the original notes that you created have any information with respect to the estimated angle in which the bullet struck the President?
A. Nothing different than what’s in the final version.
Q. Did the original notes that you took identify the location of the posterior thorax entrance wound with respect to which of the vertebra of the President the wound was closest to?
A. No. The measurements were taken from bony landmarks. As I recall, one was a mastoid process, the bottom of the – behind the ear, and the other was a midline of the vertebral column, not how many vertebrae down it was. So the up-and-down measurement would be the distance from the mastoid process down.
. . . Q. I’d like to show you a document that’s marked Exhibit 6, which appears on its face to be a death certificate for President John F. Kennedy, signed by George Gregory Burkley on November 23, 1963?
A. Right. Never saw it before.
Q. I’d like to draw your attention to the first sentence of text on the second page and ask if you would read that, please.
THE WITNESS: He’s (Admiral Burkley) sort of mixing his metaphors. He’s mixing the wounds up in here, but I presume when he says the wound was shattering type, it’s the wound of the skull.
BY MR GUNN:
Q. You’re welcome to read as much as you would prefer.
Q. It’s just I have a question for you on the first sentence only.
Q. You see that Dr Burkley identifies the posterior back (wound) at about the level of the third thoracic vertebra. Do you see that?
Q. Was that correct?
A. I don’t know. I didn’t measure from which vertebra it was. It’s sometimes hard to decide which vertebra, to tell you the truth, by palpation. Maybe you can do it accurately because the first and second – did I say the third? Oh, he says third thoracic. I think that’s much lower than it actually was. I think it’s much lower than it actually – you have seven cervical vertebrae. I don’t know. I mean, he’s got a right to say anything he wants, but I never saw it before, and I don’t have an opinion about it.
Q. Did you ever discuss which vertebra—
A. I never discussed anything about it with George Burkley, period, or anybody else.
I mean, with all due respect, you seem to have come to me from left field. You know, I just – they’re not things of which I’m aware. The measurements I made, as far as I’m concerned, were accurate. You could debate whether they were wise choices to be made or not, but they were accurate.
Q. When did you sign the autopsy protocol that is now marked Exhibit 3?
A. Late Sunday afternoon.
Q. Where was it that you signed it?
A. In Admiral Galloway’s office. His personal – it was decided his secretary was an appropriate person to – she normally wouldn’t do . . . this work for me at all because I had my own people. But I guess he felt that it was – she was a good person to do it. That’s all. It didn’t make a difference to me who did it. It was a mechanical chore, as far as I was concerned.
Q. Who else was in the office at the time that you signed the protocol?
A. Pierre and J.
Q. And they were the only two others there?
Q. Was anyone in the room immediately next to where you were?
A. Admiral Galloway was in and out that afternoon. I don’t know if he was there or not at that point, to tell you the truth.
Q. Was he waiting for you to sign the document, or you were just in his office?
A. I can’t tell you what he was doing there. When we were working on it, we made some minor changes in it. He came in and told us that Ruby shot Oswald, which was the shock of the day, of course. And I don’t know how long he stayed, to tell you the truth. I don’t know if he was there when I left or not.
Q. Did anyone at any point, other than Drs Finck and Boswell, make any suggestions to you about the content of the autopsy report?
A. It seems to me that Admiral Galloway made some comments, but I don’t recall precisely what they were, because he was there while we were doing it.
Q. Did he ask you to make any changes in the autopsy protocol?
A. I don’t think so.
Q. Did he ask you to make any changes that would be of any substantive importance?
A. Certainly not. I think he made a suggestion – and it wasn’t a bad one – to insert the word ‘presumably’ a couple of times, because they were presumptions.
We didn’t know who shot who or anything about it, you know. But our conclusions were that this was probably the entrance wound, this was probably the exit wound. I think he thought – he said it would be wise to use that verbiage, and I didn’t have any problem. That’s the only suggestion I recall he made.
Q. After you signed the autopsy protocol, what did you do with it physically yourself?
A. Physically, got a staff car and carried it to the White House.
Q. How many did you take to the White House?
A. I think the original and six, it says. I mean, I don’t keep that number in my mind, but whatever it was.
Q. Original and a few copies?
A. Leaving one in Admiral Galloway’s office, which was subsequently taken there.
Q. Okay. And was there more than one signed original?
Q. Was there any draft protocol that you had written prior to that time that had
A. Nothing other than what you have.
Q. So the one we have is the only signed protocol?
A. Yes, sir.
HUNT, E HOWARD
The CIA officer E. Howard Hunt was a long-term senior (rank, GS-15) CIA Clandestine Operations Division (read ‘dirty tricks’) operator and had close links to Richard Helms, General Charles Cabell and many others associated with the JFK assassination, including Frank Sturgis.
In the early 1960s, he worked closely with Dave Attlee Phillips and Dave Morales. Together they ran the Cuban Special Operations group under ‘Wild Bill’ Harvey. His legacy is his memoirs, American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond, published just before his death. He unhesitatingly points a finger at the conspirators.
However, given his past trade (as a disinformation specialist for US intelligence) even a ‘deathbed confession’ from such a source should be taken with a pinch of salt and checked out carefully.
Nonetheless, E Howard Hunt is a serious suspect and his deathbed confession confirms this.
Hunt sued Weberman and Canfield for their 1992 allegation in Coup d’Etat in America: The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy that he had been in Dallas on 22 November 1963 (although there was a CIA memo asking for this to be covered up) .
He was later heavily implicated in the Watergate affair with Richard Nixon, and also with CIA black operations in Vietnam and Central America. (See the numerous sites and his deathbed autobiography, American Spy.) Hunt effectively blackmailed Richard Nixon into paying him $1million as hush money after Watergate.
The subsequent death of his wife in a mysterious plane crash revealed that she too was on contract to the CIA and was carrying $100,000 at the time. See also Tad Szulc, Compulsive Spy (New York, 1974) and Victor Marchetti’s ‘CIA to admit Hunt Involvement in JFK killing’, Spotlight 14 Aug. 1978.
CIA man E Howard Hunt was almost certainly in Dallas on the day: see the admission by CIA officer S. Helperan that he had initialled a CIA memo from Richard Helms assistant that expressed concern that ‘Hunt’s presence in Dallas on 22 Nov would leak out’.
See also the extract from the New York Post of 14 Jan. 2007:
‘HUNT BLAMES JFK HIT ON LBJ
‘January 14, 2007
‘E. HOWARD Hunt – the shadowy former CIA man who organized the Watergate break-in and was once eyed in the assassination of President Kennedy – bizarrely says that Lyndon Johnson could be seen as a prime suspect in the rubout.
‘Only the most far-out conspiracy theorists believe in scenarios like Hunt’s. But in a new memoir, American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate & Beyond, due out in April, Hunt, 88, writes: “Having Kennedy liquidated, thus elevating himself to the presidency without having to work for it himself, could have been a very tempting and logical move on Johnson’s part. LBJ had the money and the connections to manipulate the scenario in Dallas and is on record as having convinced JFK to make the appearance in the first place. He further tried unsuccessfully to engineer the passengers of each vehicle, trying to get his good buddy, Gov. [John] Connolly, to ride with him instead of in JFK’s car – where . . . he would have been out of danger.”
‘Hunt says Johnson also had easy access to CIA man William Harvey, who’d been demoted when he tried to have Fidel Castro poisoned in defiance of orders to drop covert operations against Cuba. Harvey was “a ruthless man who was not satisfied with his position in the CIA and its government salary,” Hunt writes. “He definitely had dreams of becoming [CIA director] and LBJ could do that for him if he were president . . . [LBJ] would have used Harvey because he was available and corrupt.”’
HUNT, H. L. (HAROLDSON LAFAYETTE)
Haroldson Lafayette Hunt, the boss of the immensely rich Hunt Oil Company of Dallas was not only by far the richest of all the Texas oil millionaires but he is also, and more importantly, the one who hated Kennedy most. H. L. Hunt was also a longtime friend, admirer and financial ‘angel’ of the most prominent Texas politician of the time, Lyndon B. Johnson, the man who was destined to automatically become President of the United States the moment Kennedy died.
H. L. Hunt was a prominent member of the Suite 8F Group and an oil billionaire. He spent a fortune bankrolling ‘anti-Communist’ groups and was a supporter of Richard Nixon. His son Lamar Hunt met both Jack Ruby and Eugene Brading the day before the assassination.
He has been accused of being one of the ‘committee behind the crime’ by LBJ’s mistress, Madeline Brown’
See the usual clutch of research websites, plus the Warren Report, Summers, Lane’s Rush to Judgment, and Coincidence or Conspiracy by Fensterwald and Ewing (New York, 1977).
HSCA (House Select Committee on Assassinations)
The HSCA was set up in 1976 to look at the JFK and Martin Luther King assassinations, and reported in 1979 (after RFK’s murder). The HSCA met in secret and was a reluctant government response to the public outcry following the public showing of the Zapruder film and a torrent of books, articles and video commentaries pointing out the obvious flaws and lies in the Warren Commission’s Report.
The HSCA concluded that there had been a conspiracy and that four shots, not three as claimed by Warren, were fired. After the Committee had reported, it was discovered that the CIA evidence had been rigged and that the CIA’s liaison to the Committee, George Joannides had actually been heavily involved with several of the anti-Castro groups in 1963 and may have known – or even run – several of the suspects in the Cuban Exiles DRE group. (See report of the HSCA, 29 March 1979.)
CIA officer Joannides’s dirty tricks role at the HSCA only came to light after his death in 2007; see the Real History Archives of 22 Oct. 2007 and the stories by Gerald Posner in Newsweek of November 2003, and the full exposure by Jefferson Morley in Salon of December 2003.