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The John F. Kennedy Assassination Documents

Like many individuals, I have spent a considerable amount of time studying the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I was thrilled when I heard that President Trump was going to release the secret files that have been sealed since 1963. I was hoping the truth would finally come out. Well, a large number of files were released last week. However, a few were still held back to be reviewed by national security personnel. That was disappointing but understandable—maybe. Supposedly, the redacting of documents was only to remove the names of all individuals still living.

It has been my long-held opinion that the Warren Commission was made up of officials with their own agendas; thus, information was overlooked and they arrived at their single gunman theory. Many still believe their conclusion: that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman who miraculously used an old Carcano (an Italian bolt action rifle) to fire three shots in under six seconds; the first of Oswald’s bullets was a through and through on the President’s neck; the second shot hit the curb to the left of the limousine and then the third shot—you know, the magic bullet— killed the President and wounded Governor Connelly. To believe this conclusion, Oswald was either the most skilled of shooters or the luckiest. I have watched a few documentaries where highly skilled marksman made these three shots in under six seconds and hit the 22 MPH moving target. This was to make the Oswald assassination story believable. Think about that.  However, all available information concerning Oswald’s shooting skills reveal he was not that good of a marksman. Did he sandbag when he was tested in the military? Did the Cubans or the Soviets or the Mexicans or our own CIA “train him up” when he was supposedly working with them? It doesn’t seem plausible.

Sadly, everyone with an agenda tends to look at the dreadful day with their respective slant on the facts. Admittedly, I am one of those individuals. I believe there was a conspiracy to assassinate the President. And, by definition, a conspiracy means there were at least two—probably more—individuals involved in the crime.

I have been to Dallas and I have walked around Dealey Plaza to see first-hand where the assassination took place. I can tell you, the area gives off an eerie vibe. I have read witness statements taken by the Dallas police and detectives. Many of these individuals were never questioned again by any other agency, nor was there any follow-up on their original statements. I believe there were more than one gunman at the scene. Now, I am not saying all the gunmen present took shots. The weakness of my conspiracy theory is that the conspiracy itself had to have very few co-conspirers, because it’s hard to believe everyone involved would have stayed silent after such a heinous act—especially after much time has passed.

Frankly, I was hoping the release of the documents would put “a bow on the package” of whatever really happened that day. But I don’t think that will happen. Earlier this week, I listened to an interview of FBI Special Agent Don Adams, who investigated Joseph Adams Milteer, who had made threats against the President. Milteer was interviewed on November 9, thirteen days before the assassination. Special Agent Adams claimed that after he filed his official report, his superiors asked him not to speak about some of the things he’d learned. Additionally, they ordered him to alter some of his original report. Adams believed that Milteer either knew about the assassination plot or was one of the co-conspirators, and that Oswald was set up to take the blame. Moreover, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover dictated a memo on November 24, 1963, saying: “The thing I am concerned about, and so is Mr. Katzenbach, is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin.” Hoover wanted the American public to believe Oswald acted alone.

Stories or interviews like those lead me to believe that the release of these files will do little to resolve the controversy. Some will review these new files and draw different conclusions. However, many on either side of this argument will not be swayed. Why, you ask? Because it appears that many of the real facts were either never written or were later altered, and are now buried in time. Will the American public believe that documents were not destroyed or altered? Some will say yes, many will not. All the release will do is create a conspiracy within a conspiracy.

Blaze Starr, One of a Kind Lady

This is not an obituary for Blaze Starr. On June 15, 2015, Fannie Belle Fleming passed away in Wilsondale, West Virginia. Why did the death of Fannie Belle Fleming, aka Blaze Starr, an elderly lady from Wayne County, West Virginia, catch my attention?

I am writing a series of books on the Vietnam Conflict; how and why it started, through how and why it ended. My first book begins just before the escalation of the Vietnam Conflict in early 1963. It focuses on the coup and death of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, followed immediately by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. So what is the connection? While reading DailyMail.com, a headline caught my attention: “Famed burlesque dancer Blaze Starr who said she slept with JFK and whose affair with a Governor was turned into a film starring Paul Newman dies aged 83.”

Fannie Belle Fleming , a buxom, fiery redhead, left her home in West Virginia and traveled to Washington DC seeking work. Soon she became a burlesque dancer (the term of the day for a stripper), using the stage name Blaze Starr, while working in a club in Baltimore, MD. Blaze Starr became famous, or should we say infamous, because of her affair with Louisiana Governor Earl K. Long. There was much more to her story, however. What caught my attention in the title of the article was her claim of having a sexual encounter with John F. Kennedy, before he became President. I investigated further. This was one more woman to add to my research of the late President Kennedy. His affairs with women were much, much more prevalent than I previously thought; ranging from Hollywood stars to foreign harlots.

Some of President Kennedy’s various dalliances caused concern within the FBI and the CIA, as they wondered if he was potentially breaching national security. At some point during my research, I became overwhelmed by Kennedy’s extra-marital relationships. Which of the many affairs should I include in my story, and which should leave out? I didn’t want the focus to be on the President’s flings, but on his role in the Vietnam Conflict. Yet, might one have influenced the other?WP_20150308_001

In my soon-to-be-released historical thriller, I focused on only one of the women; otherwise, the many affairs would have distracted from the plot and objective of my series of books, which is to focus on how Vietnam became a conflict without a focused mission.

According to Blaze Starr, she met Massachusetts Congressman Kennedy in 1954, after he was married to Jacqueline. He liked to frequent her burlesque shows in a Maryland club. Then one night, after her relationship started with Governor Long, he brought Starr to the Roosevelt Hotel. There he introduced John Kennedy and Jacqueline. Both Starr and Kennedy acted as though they had never met. Starr claims that Jacqueline left, and Earl was someplace else when she and Kennedy slipped into a closet and had a quickie. Starr claimed to have several “meet and greets” with John Kennedy; however, the most interesting of their encounters was one that didn’t take place. . . .

Blaze Starr went to the White House in October 1962. She was going to have a liaison with Kennedy in the Lincoln Room, when the Cuban Missile Crisis began. She had to leave before there were any launches. Starr blamed Khrushchev for interrupting her fling!

One important thing was never written about Blaze Starr: she never forgot where she came from or how she grew up. A local West Virginian told me that, on many a Christmas, Starr would return to Southern West Virginia, go to the local hardware store (essentially a general store), buy a pickup truckload of toys, and distribute them to underprivileged children in the area. When Blaze was no longer able to show off her wares, she began a second career as a stonecutter, selling small jewels. When she retired, she returned to the small town in West Virginia where she grew up, which is where she died.

Vietnam Conflict’s Turning Point

My research into writing the series of books on the Vietnam Conflict has uncovered many facts that are not taught in school. I grew up while Conflict was building, and I have been interested in Vietnam from the beginning, because it was weaving itself into the very fabric of our society. Then several years ago, I was driving behind a car with a sticker on it that read, “When I Left Vietnam, We Were Winning! This sticker opened my eyes to how our proud servicemen felt who served in that far-away land, despite being sent on a mission without an objective. Those who served honorably and proudly never received their due gratitude from our country.

The year 1963 was the tipping point in the Vietnam Conflict; specifically, the murders of President Diem and President Kennedy. The removal of these two leaders resulted in an acceleration of the conflict. It is not a highly publicized fact, but President Kennedy was against putting large numbers of ground troops in Vietnam. He had wrestled with this decision for the first two years of his administration, while slightly increasing the number of “advisors” in South Vietnam and working with the South Vietnamese Army. The President had several conversations with retired Five Star General Douglas MacArthur, who knew the Pacific and Southeast Asia about as well as anyone alive. MacArthur advised President Kennedy that it was not a war conducive to ground troops. Late in 1963, President Kennedy started decreasing the number of troops in Vietnam. His actions should not be misinterpreted; he believed he could come up with a plan that would meet his objective of winning the Vietnam Conflict. His actions were not well received by the war hawks in his cabinet, at the Pentagon, or in the Military Industrial Complex. Based on the advice of MacArthur and other key advisors, Kennedy believed the conflict could be won by working with the South Vietnamese Army, utilizing Elite Forces’ surgical strikes, in conjunction with air and naval support. Silhouette fedora

The civilian government of South Vietnam at that time was run by President Ngo Dinh Diem. He was an enigma. He was a Catholic in a predominately Buddhist Country. From the beginning, there was almost constant conflict between the president, his family, and the Buddhists. Quickly, these conflicts accelerated to become a huge distraction that took their country’s focus from their real enemies, the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese. To present both sides of the argument, the South Vietnamese Army was not a very good fighting-army, and they were inferior to the Communist North Vietnamese Army, which was trained and funded by the Soviet Union and the Communist Red Chinese.

My first book in the series, PAWNS – MAGIC BULLET, details the murders of Diem and Kennedy, covering how this all played out and not only changed the way the Vietnam Conflict unfolded, but that it was the beginning of the change of an entire society. It is my opinion, based on years of research, that the murders of these two presidents were related. What are your thoughts?

Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis

Monday May 19 marked the twenty-year anniversary of the passing of Jacqueline (Jackie) Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Her death was the result of cancer. Jackie was born on July 28, 1929, in Southampton, NY. The reason I’m writing about her is two-fold; first, she is one of the most interesting people of the twentieth century; and, second, I have a novel coming out soon covering the months leading up to and the assassination of one of her husbands, President John F. Kennedy.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis was born into a very wealthy Catholic family and was raised as a very privileged child. As a young girl, she learned to speak French, while involved in horsemanship and ballet. Jackie spent her junior year in high school studying abroad in Paris. When she returned to the United States, she entered George Washington University, where she earned a degree in French Literature. After college, she landed a job at The Washington Times-Herald, which required her to take photographs of Washington residents, and then tie an interview to the pictures.

Jacqueline Bouvier met her future husband, John F. Kennedy, at a dinner party in 1952, and she married him one year later.

In 1961, with the inauguration of John F. Kennedy as 35th President of the United States, she became First Lady. To this day, many consider her to be the grandest of all of the first ladies to serve in that role. Kennedy became the youngest President and defeated the seated Vice President Richard M. Nixon. Clearly, part of her elegance was critical to President Kennedy’s election in one of the closest for President in US history.

In my novel about the period leading up to the Kennedy assassination, I rarely mention Mrs. Kennedy but her role in my novel was big part of the plot. I know this sounds like a conundrum, and, well, it is. There’s no way to be delicate: President Kennedy fooled around, and he fooled around a lot. I mean, his affairs were the stuff of legends. It is said that, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, he wanted to find someone to “relieve his stress.” Condone it or not (and I don’t), he saved the world from nuclear devastation and kept nuclear missiles from our very doorsteps. There is even the rumor (more than a rumor, but for now we’ll leave it at that),that he was going to divorce Jackie and marry one of the women he was messin’ around with, after serving out his second term in office.Silhouette fedora

Through all of this, Jacqueline Kennedy remained her dignified self. Some would say she liked the power trip and prestige, but if you study her personality, that doesn’t seem to fit. I think she felt that it was important to be dignified at all times, and dignified she was. Did she love President Kennedy? Yes, I believe so. Part of her reason for staying in the marriage was that it was the thing to do in that day and time, and divorce was not a part of her Catholic upbringing.

Five years after President Kennedy’s death, she married Aristotle Onassis, a Greek shipbuilder. At the time, there was a crazy rumor going around that she only married Onassis to hide former President Kennedy, who was alive but had no brain function. Personally, I believe she married Onassis to have some semblance of privacy.

The last image of Jackie Kennedy in my novel is her crawling out on the back of the Presidential Limousine, while bullets rained down, so she could retrieve part of the President’s brain. Her Secret Service bodyguard had to push her back into the car and cover her body with his own. Somewhere during all of this, it is said that, when the shot from the Grassy Knoll hit President Kennedy, she exclaimed “Oh, my God! I have his brains in my hand!”

Are you aware of more former rumors about President and Mrs. JFK that have since been proven to be fact? What opinions do you have of Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis?

 

 

November 22

Anybody who was born before the mid-1950s has that date tattooed on their brain. We remember where we were on that day at that time.

As for me, I was in third grade at Emerson Grade School in Parkersburg, WV. I had received permission from my teacher to go down the hall to the restroom. On my way back to class, I overheard two upset teachers in the hallway talking.

“President Kennedy has been shot.”

I went springing back into the classroom and made the announcement. My third grade teacher reprimanded me and put me back in the hall for telling a terrible lie.

In life, President Kennedy’s legacy was no different than any other President’s; there was some good and some bad. But due to Kennedy’s untimely death, many look at his presidency through rose-colored glasses. However, without question, through President Kennedy’s diplomacy, by giving Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev something in return for removing the missiles from Cuba, the world walked back from potential nuclear confrontation.

Many refer to that day as the day that began the end of the innocence for our society. The Warren Commission was set up to investigate and provide answers to the American public about what happened on that fateful day. How could our President be shot in broad daylight before a horrified public?

That can be explained by watching the old film from that day; an open top vehicle, people hanging out windows and on rooftops all along the way, Secret Service agents in the vehicle behind the President’s Lincoln, then the slow, 120-degree turn from Houston Street onto Elm Street, and the stage was set for that ugly day. The route was changed on November 19th and published in both Dallas city newspapers to include this turn and to pass many large buildings, in order to give more people the chance to view the President.

The conclusion of the Warren Commission, consisting of high-level government officials, was that Lee Harvey Oswald was the single gunman who was able to fire three shots, and one of those bullets killed President John F. Kennedy. Their conclusion only led to more questions with many conspiracies emerging as a result. For the moment, I will sidestep all of the theories or conspiracies. Whether or not you believe them, clearly, the investigation into President John F. Kennedy’s assassination was the beginning of the American public questioning the United States Government.

Still it is hard to believe that one bullet killed the President of the United States and changed society forever.

Where were you, and what were you doing on that fateful day? I would love to hear!