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For The Record  

FTR #1053 Interview #22 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

House Select Com­mit­tee on Assas­si­na­tions Assis­tant Coun­sel Jonathan Black­mer: “. . . . ‘We have rea­son to believe Shaw was heav­i­ly involved in the Anti-Cas­tro efforts in New Orleans in the 1960s and [was] pos­si­bly one of the high lev­el plan­ners or ‘cut out’ to the plan­ners of the assas­si­na­tion.’ . . . .”

Intro­duc­tion: This is the twen­ty-sec­ond in a planned long series of inter­views with Jim DiEu­ge­nio about his tri­umphal analy­sis of Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion and New Orleans Dis­trict Attor­ney Jim Gar­rison’s hero­ic inves­ti­ga­tion of the killing.

(Lis­ten­ers can order Des­tiny Betrayed and Jim’s oth­er books, as well as sup­ple­ment­ing those vol­umes with arti­cles about this coun­try’s polit­i­cal assas­si­na­tions at his web­site Kennedys and KingJim is also a reg­u­lar guest and expert com­men­ta­tor on Black Op Radio.)

This pro­gram con­tin­ues exam­i­na­tion of the House Select Com­mit­tee on Assas­si­na­tions.

Even­tu­al­ly, the col­lab­o­ra­tionist main­stream media began an assault on Richard Sprague and the work of the com­mit­tee. The New York Times, The Los Ange­les Times and The Wash­ing­ton Post began the assault, which quick­ly drew blood. . . .

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; pp. 333–334.

. . . . The only time he ever had his cre­den­tials ques­tioned was dur­ing the six months he agreed to swerve as coun­sel to the HSCA. And that is sim­ply because he was going to super­vise a real inves­ti­ga­tion of the JFK case. Yet, the same thing hap­pened to him as hap­pened to Jim Gar­ri­son. In fact, like Gar­ri­son, Sprague was also even accused of being in bed with the Mafia. When the first press attacks began. HSCA staffer Chris Shar­rett remem­bers think­ing, ‘It’s Gar­ri­son all over again.’ Or, as Joe Rauh, who knew Sprague from Philadel­phia and had a front row seat to the con­tro­ver­sy in Wash­ing­ton said, ‘You know, I nev­er thought the Kennedy case was a con­spir­a­cy until now. But if they can do that to Dick Sprague, it must have been.’ With Sprague’s res­ig­na­tion, the House Select Com­mit­tee sur­vived. The inter­im Chief Coun­sel was Tanen­baum with Al Lewis, a friend and col­league of Sprague’s as his deputy. . . .

Lee Har­vey Oswald: Ersatz Com­mu­nist

In the inter­im, between Sprague’s res­ig­na­tion and the ascen­sion of G. Robert Blakey to the Chief Coun­sel posi­tion, George DeMohren­schildt died of a shot­gun wound to the head.

DeMohren­schildt: was part of the fam­i­ly that man­aged the Nobel Oil Fields for the Czar; was the cousin of Baron Kon­stan­tin May­dell, in charge of Abwehr oper­a­tions in the Unit­ed States for a time (Abwehr was Ger­man mil­i­tary intel­li­gence); was a sus­pect­ed Nazi spy in World War II; was an asso­ciate of George H.W. Bush; was a long­time CIA asset; was a petro­le­um geol­o­gist.

DeMohren­schildt imple­ment­ed the Oswalds’ intro­duc­tion to the White Russ­ian milieu in Dal­las. Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance for our pur­pose is the fact that he made con­tact with the cou­ple at the sug­ges­tion of J. Wal­ton Moore, who was the pri­ma­ry CIA offi­cer in the Dal­las area!

The White Rus­sians appeared to be work­ing to sep­a­rate Mari­na and Lee, and were involved in han­dling Mari­na after the assas­si­na­tion.

Oswald the Pat­sy

A long-stand­ing CIA asset, DeMohren­schildt had worked with the agency on numer­ous projects in Yugoslavia, Haiti and else­where. Sus­pect­ed of hav­ing spied on the Aransas Pass Coast Guard Sta­tion (in Texas) for the Third Reich, DeMohren­schildt was the cousin of Baron Kon­tan­tin May­dell, who over­saw Abwehr oper­a­tions in the U.S. for a time. (The Abwehr was Ger­man mil­i­tary intel­li­gence.)

As dis­cussed in FTR #712we high­light­ed DeMohren­schildt’s links to for­mer CIA direc­tor George H.W. Bush, for whom CIA head­quar­ters is named. In that same pro­gram, we cov­ered Bush’s involve­ment  in the JFK assas­si­na­tion. LIke DeMohren­schildt and many of the White Rus­sians who asso­ci­at­ed with the Oswalds in the Dal­las area, Bush had roots in the petro­le­um indus­try.

Note­wor­thy in the con­text of Oswald’s pres­ence in Dal­las, is that this alleged trai­tor was employed by Jag­gars, Chiles and Sto­vall, a firm that did clas­si­fied work for the mil­i­tary, includ­ing projects asso­ci­at­ed with the U‑2 spy plane! That the “trai­tor” Oswald, who offered to dis­close clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion about the U‑2 and U.S. avi­a­tion oper­a­tions to the Sovi­ets could be employed by such a firm is unthink­able, IF we are to take the offi­cial ver­sion of Oswald at face val­ue.

Ulti­mate­ly, DeMohren­schildt hand­ed the Oswalds–Lee and Marina–off to the “Quak­er lib­er­als” Michael and Ruth Paine.

DeMohren­schildt’s death was ruled a sui­cide, but the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing his demise are note­wor­thy.

At the time he died, DeMohren­schildt was net­work­ing with a Dutch jour­nal­ist named Willem Olt­mans, who began spread­ing dis­in­for­ma­tion after DeMohren­schildt’s demise. DeMohren­schildt was also net­work­ing with jour­nal­ist Edward Epstein, who pressed the “Sovi­ets did it” meme for a time and whose behav­ior vis a vis DeMohren­schildt is ques­tion­able.

Pri­or to his death, DeMohren­schildt was under­go­ing psy­chi­atric treat­ment, appar­ent­ly includ­ing elec­tro-shock ther­a­py, from a Dal­las physi­cian named Men­doza. DeMohren­schildt’s wid­ow thinks the treat­ments may have had some­thing to do with her hus­band’s death.

The phys­i­cal evi­dence in con­nec­tion with DeMohren­schildt’s death sug­gests the dis­tinct pos­si­bil­i­ty of foul play.

George DeMohren­schildt

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; p. 337.

. . . . Even though a coro­ner’s inquest ruled his death as self-inflict­ed, there are some seri­ous ques­tions about DeMohren­schildt’s demise. First, accord­ing to the crime scene report and the autop­sy, there was not any exit wound to the rear of the skull. Yet DeMohren­schildt alleged­ly placed a shot­gun in his mouth and pulled the trig­ger. It’s true that shot­gun shells dis­perse more quick­ly than jack­et­ed bul­lets. But his shot was almost with­in con­tact dis­tance. Nei­ther the maid nor the cook heard the shot­gun blast, even though both women were right below the room that DeMohren­schildt was in at the time. The police also had prob­lems explain­ing the blood spat­ter on the wall. When a blood spurt hits a flat sur­face, it cre­ates a dif­fer­ent pat­tern than if it hits a sur­face that is per­pen­dic­u­lar to it. In look­ing at pho­tographs of the spat­ter pat­tern, it appears that the bath­room door was closed at the time the shoot­ing took place, because the blood pat­tern looked con­tin­u­ous. But the police said this was not the case. The bath­room door was open at the time. The tes­ti­fy­ing offi­cer demeaned the jurors for ask­ing this ques­tion and then jumped to a new top­ic. But it would appear that some­one altered the crime scene after­wards. The final odd­i­ty about the scene is the posi­tion of the weapon after death. It fell trig­ger side up, par­al­lel to the chair DeMohren­schildt was in, with the bar­rel rest­ing at his feet and the butt of the rifle away from him and to his left. The police had a prob­lem with this issue and so did the inquest jurors. As author Jer­ry Rose has not­ed, this strange posi­tion­ing of the rifle sug­gests it was “placed” by some­one.

Ms. Tilton was not at home at the time of DeMohren­schildt’s death. But she had left strict instruc­tions for the maid to record her favorite TV pro­grams. The home had an alarm sys­tem which caused a qui­et bell to ring, any­time an out­side door or win­dow was opened. Dur­ing the hear­ing, the tape of the pro­gram was played. When it was the alarm bell went off and then the gun blast was heard. . . .

Sub­se­quent­ly, writer Jer­ry Poli­coff felt that Olt­mans was threat­en­ing him and that the Dutch jour­nal­ist was a male­fac­tor.

An ini­tial can­di­date to replace Richard Sprague was for­mer Supreme Court Jus­tice Arthur Gold­berg, who had been JFK’s Sec­re­tary of Labor.

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; p. 339.

. . . . For­mer Jus­tice of the Supreme Court Arthur Gold­berg was one can­di­date who turned down the job. Al Lewis had talked Gold­berg into fill­ing the posi­tion. But Gold­berg had one reser­va­tion. He want­ed to know if the CIA would coop­er­ate with him. Lewis sug­gest­ed call­ing up Stans­field Turn­er, Pres­i­dent Carter’s CIA Direc­tor. So Lewis called him and told him Gold­berg want­ed to talk with him. He put Gold­berg on the line and the can­di­date asked Turn­er if he could guar­an­tee the Agency would coop­er­ate if he became Chief Coun­sel. A long silence ensued. It got so long and so qui­et that Gold­berg turned to Lewis and said, ‘I’m not sure if he’s there any­more.’ Lewis sug­gest­ed that he say some­thing. So Gold­berg asked if he was still on the line and Turn­er said he was.  Gold­berg asked him for an answer to his ques­tion. Turn­er said, ‘I though my silence was my answer.’ . . . .

Even­tu­al­ly, the HSCA set­tled on G. Robert Blakey as Chief Coun­sel and Richard (Dick) Billings as a key aide. Both had been involved with tar­ring Jim Gar­ri­son with the Mafia brush in a 1967 Life Mag­a­zine series.

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; p. 276.

. . . . But [David] Chandler’s most seri­ous blast against Gar­ri­son and his inquiry was a two-part arti­cle writ­ten for Life in the fall of 1967. This appeared in the Sep­tem­ber 1 and Sep­tem­ber 8 issues of the mag­a­zine. The pieces mas­quer­ad­ed as an expose of Mafia influ­ence in large cities in Amer­i­ca at the time. But the real tar­get of the piece was not the mob, but Gar­ri­son. The idea was to depict him as a cor­rupt New Orleans DA who had some kind of neb­u­lous ties to the Mafia and Car­los Mar­cel­lo. There were four prin­ci­pal par­tic­i­pants in the pieces: Chan­dler, Sandy Smith, Dick Billings, and Robert Blakey. Smith was the actu­al billed writer. And since Smith was a long-time asset of the FBI, it is very like­ly that the Bureau was the Bureau was the orig­i­nat­ing force behind the mag­a­zine run­ning the piece. . . .

. . . . It was the work of Chan­dler, a friend of both Clay Shaw and Ker­ry Thorn­ley, which was the basis of the com­plete­ly pho­ny con­cept that Gar­ri­son was some­how in bed with the Mafia and his func­tion was to steer atten­tion from their killing of Kennedy. . . .

Blakey:

  1. Effec­tive­ly eclipsed the New Orleans leads devel­oped by Jim Gar­ri­son.
  2. Bought into the Mag­ic Bul­let The­o­ry.
  3. Eclipsed evi­dence about “Oswald’s” sniper’s nest in the Texas School Book Depos­i­to­ry.

Most impor­tant­ly, Blakey gave the intel­li­gence ser­vices the right to veto what infor­ma­tion would go into the com­mit­tee’s report.

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; p. 350.

” . . . . When Robert Blakey took charge of the House Select Com­mit­tee on Assas­si­na­tions, he agreed to do some­thing that Richard Sprague would not. In return for access to clas­si­fied mate­ri­als, mem­bers and employ­ees f the com­mit­tee signed agree­ments pledg­ing not to dis­close any infor­ma­tion they gar­nered while doing their work. Then, when Blakey, Gary Corn­well, and Dick Billings edit­ed the report and vol­umes, the agen­cies they made agree­ments that [the agen­cies] were allowed to veto what infor­ma­tion was includ­ed in the pub­lished vol­umes. This is the rea­son that the HSCA report on Mex­i­co City–assembled by two law stu­dents of Blakey’s from Cornell–was not part of the pub­lished vol­umes in 1979. For when it came time to vet the report for release, Blakey, Ed Lopez and Dan Hard­way met with the CIA rep­re­sen­ta­tives. The Agency made so many objec­tions, it took four hours to get through the first two para­graphs. The report is over 300 pages long. It was there­fore clas­si­fied until the ARRB was cre­at­ed. And then it had to go through sev­er­al reviews. But even today, an annex to the report, ‘Was Oswald an Agent of the CIA’ has not been released. This long clas­si­fied report con­firms that, as Gar­ri­son wrote in 1968, the Com­mis­sion ver­sion of what hap­pened in Mex­i­co City was delib­er­ate­ly cov­ered in mist. . . .

Near the end of his inves­ti­ga­tion, Blakey was on the receiv­ing end of some ques­tion­able behav­ior from CIA liai­son Reg­is Blahut:

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse Pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; p. 340.

. . . . Toward the end, when CIA liai­son Reg­is Blahut was caught mis­han­dling Kennedy’s autop­sy pho­tos while they were secured in a safe, the Agency offered Blakey four ways to do an inquiry of what had hap­pened. The main object being to see if Blahut was part of  a larg­er oper­a­tion to under­mine the HSCA. One option was to do the inquiry through the D.C. police, anoth­er was through the FBI, and the third was an inter­nal HSCA inquiry. The last was to have the CIA do it. Even though the Agency offi­cers at this meet­ing strong­ly encour­aged Blakey not to choose them to do the inves­ti­ga­tion, he still did. The report­ing offi­cer, Hav­i­land Smith, made the only con­clu­sion he could from this meet­ing He wrote that his inter­pre­ta­tion of what Blakey want­ed was the Agency ‘to go ahead with the inves­ti­ga­tion of Blahut and that he expects us to come up with a clean bill of health for the CIA.’ Which, of course, they did despite the fact that Blahut flunked three poly­graph tests. When the author talked to HSCA staffer Eddie Lopez about this mat­ter, I told him that in read­ing these mem­o­ran­da, I was struck by  how friend­ly Blakey was with these CIA offi­cers. That is, what a  seem­ing­ly easy rap­port he had with them. I said, ‘You know, Eddie he talks to them . . . “Lopez inter­rupt­ed me in mid-sen­tence and com­plet­ed the thought for me: ‘He talks to them like he’s one of them.’ . . . .”

We note that, dur­ing the ear­ly phase of the HSCA’s inves­ti­ga­tion, George H.W. Bush was in charge of the CIA. George Joan­nides, who man­aged the DRE for CIA, was the Agen­cy’s main liai­son to the HSCA.

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