Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #892 The So-Called “Kennedy Curse”

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This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment

Intro­duc­tion: Polit­i­cal come­di­an Mort Sahl (who worked for New Orleans Dis­trict Attor­ney Jim Gar­ri­son) asked in his auto­bi­og­ra­phy; “How many lies can you allow your­self to believe before you belong to the lie?” With RFK assas­si­na­tion pat­sy Sirhan Sirhan hav­ing been denied parole for the fif­teenth time, the truth of Mort Sahl’s words res­onates.

The vio­lent mis­for­tunes that the Kennedy fam­i­ly has expe­ri­enced have been char­ac­ter­ized by our media estab­lish­ment as “the Kennedy Curse,” as though some sort of witch­craft or sor­cery were respon­si­ble for the skull­dug­gery, rather than lethal con­spir­a­to­r­i­al process on the part of key fed­er­al agen­cies and their asso­ci­at­ed polit­i­cal and cor­po­rate elites in, and out­side of, the Unit­ed States.

Begin­ning with analy­sis of the after­math of Sirhan Sirhan’s lat­est parole hear­ing, we note RFK asso­ciate Paul Schrade’s tes­ti­mo­ny and his attempts at get­ting the case re-opened. (We have cov­ered Schrade’s tes­ti­mo­ny in numer­ous past pro­grams, includ­ing AFA #9. For more about the RFK assas­si­na­tion, see, among oth­er pro­grams: FTR #‘s 582, 789, 809.) Schrade opined that the shot that hit him was fired by Sirhan, but that Sirhan could not have fired the fatal shot that killed RFK.

 “The truth is in the prosecution’s own records and the autop­sy, . . . . It says Sirhan couldn’t have shot Robert Kennedy and didn’t. He was out of posi­tion. . . . The LAPD and LA DA knew two hours after the fatal shoot­ing of Robert Kennedy that he was shot by a sec­ond gun­man and they had con­clu­sive evi­dence that Sirhan Bishara Sirhan could not and did not do it,” the state­ment said. “The offi­cial record shows that [the pros­e­cu­tion at Sirhan’s tri­al] nev­er had one wit­ness – and had no phys­i­cal nor bal­lis­tic evi­dence – to prove Sirhan shot Robert Kennedy. . . Evi­dence locked up for 20 years shows that the LAPD destroyed phys­i­cal evi­dence and hid bal­lis­tic evi­dence exon­er­at­ing Sirhan, and cov­ered up con­clu­sive evi­dence that a sec­ond gun­man fatal­ly wound­ed Robert Kennedy.” . . .

After review­ing some key aspects of the phys­i­cal evi­dence in the RFK assas­si­na­tion case, we high­light an illu­mi­nat­ing inci­dent that took place short­ly before Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion. The co-own­er of an avi­a­tion firm, Wayne Jan­u­ary sold a DC‑3 to an Air Force colonel, who effect­ed the trans­ac­tion on behalf of a CIA front com­pa­ny. A pilot and for­mer Cuban air force offi­cer worked with him on the air­craft, prepar­ing it for flight on the after­noon of Fri­day, Novem­ber 22nd of 1963. Dur­ing the course of their efforts, the pilot dis­closed to Jan­u­ary that:

  • He worked for the CIA on the Bay of Pigs project.
  • That his employ­ers blamed the Kennedys for the fail­ure of the project.
  • That they planed to kill JFK to pun­ish him for what they per­ceived as his betray­al.
  • That they also planned to kill Robert Kennedy and “any oth­er Kennedy who gets into that posi­tion.”

Events bore out the Cuban pilot’s pre­dic­tion.

As we have dis­cussed in numer­ous past pro­grams, Robert Kennedy was going to reopen the inves­ti­ga­tion into his broth­er’s mur­der after he became Pres­i­dent. His assas­si­na­tion, of course, pre­vent­ed that.

The pro­gram con­cludes with a recap of FTR #175, high­light­ing the death of JFK’s son.

Appar­ent­ly ful­fill­ing the prophe­cy of Wayne Jan­u­ary’s Cuban asso­ciate, JFK, jr.‘s death in the crash of a pri­vate plane may well have been an assas­si­na­tion, designed to pre­vent him from being nom­i­nat­ed as a pos­si­ble Vice-Pres­i­den­tial can­di­date on the 2000 Demo­c­ra­t­ic tick­et.

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

  • Review of the case of Thane Eugene Cesar, sus­pect­ed by many of being the actu­al assas­sin of RFK.
  • Review of the CIA/intelligence back­grounds of Manuel “Man­ny” Pena and Enrique “Hank“Hernandez, who were in charge of Spe­cial Unit Sen­a­tor, the LAPD’s “inves­tiga­tive” unit over­see­ing the RFK assas­si­na­tion case.
  • Dis­cus­sion of dis­crep­an­cies in the “offi­cial” ver­sion of JFK, jr.‘s death and the facts as report­ed by John Bryan: JFK, jr. was an expe­ri­enced pilot, the weath­er was not over­cast when he went down, his plane was cleared for land­ing and wit­ness­es saw an appar­ent explo­sion as the air­craft approached Martha’s Vine­yard.
  • Dis­cus­sion of Wayne Jan­u­ary’s dis­clo­sure of his expe­ri­ence to British author Matthew Smith.


1. Begin­ning with analy­sis of the after­math of Sirhan Sirhan’s lat­est parole hear­ing, we note RFK asso­ciate Paul Schrade’s tes­ti­mo­ny and his attempts at get­ting the case re-opened. (We have cov­ered Schrade’s tes­ti­mo­ny in numer­ous past pro­grams, includ­ing AFA #9.)

Schrade, RFK’s cam­paign labor chair­man who was shot by Sirhan, tes­ti­fied that, yes, Sirhan did shoot Schrade, but he couldn’t have shot Kennedy too and should be released. It’s the kind of tes­ti­mony that may be of lim­ited use at a parole hear­ing (“he shot me, but didn’t shoot the oth­er guy”), but at least Schrade got to once again raise ques­tions about lone-assas­sin con­clu­sion. Not that Schrade’s tes­ti­mony helped Sirhan at his parole hear­ing, but for the sake of pro­vid­ing key wit­ness tes­ti­mony to impor­tant events in Amer­i­can his­tory that future gen­er­a­tions will use to assess the like­ly truth of what hap­pened, it was quite help­ful:

“Sirhan Sirhan Denied Parole Despite a Kennedy Confidant’s Call for the Assassin’s Release” by Peter Hol­ley; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 2/11/2016.

 After decades of inves­ti­ga­tion, Paul Schrade has no doubt about the iden­tity of the man who shot him in the head short­ly after mid­night on June 5, 1968, in the kitchen of the Ambas­sador Hotel:

It was Sirhan Sirhan, the same gun­man con­victed of assas­si­nat­ing Robert F. Kennedy.

And yet, when Schrade came face to face with Sirhan for the first time in near­ly 50 years, at a parole hear­ing in San Diego on Wednes­day, he argued that the noto­ri­ous gun­man wasn’t Kennedy’s killer.

But the pan­el wasn’t swayed and Sirhan was denied parole for the 15th time, accord­ing to the Asso­ci­ated Press, which not­ed:

Com­mis­sion­ers con­cluded after more than three hours of intense tes­ti­mony at the Richard J. Dono­van Cor­rec­tional Cen­ter that Sirhan did not show ade­quate remorse or under­stand the enor­mity of his crime.

Still, the AP report­ed, Schrade for­gave his shoot­er dur­ing the hear­ing and apol­o­gized to Sirhan not doing more to win his release.

“I should have been here long ago and that’s why I feel guilty for not being here to help you and to help me,” Schrade said.

The AP not­ed that “Schrade’s voice cracked with emo­tion dur­ing an hour of tes­ti­mony on his efforts to untan­gle mys­ter­ies about the events of June 5, 1968.” He said he believed Sirhan shot him, the AP not­ed, but that a sec­ond uniden­ti­fied shoot­er killed Kennedy.

The 91-year-old Schrade, a Kennedy fam­ily friend, was work­ing as the labor chair­man of the senator’s pres­i­den­tial cam­paign in 1968. He was walk­ing behind Kennedy when the Demo­c­ra­tic can­di­date was shot four times.

In part because Kennedy was struck from behind, Schrade has long advanced the argu­ment that Sirhan fired shots that night — but not the ones that killed Kennedy.

The fatal bul­lets, Schrade argued, were fired from a dif­fer­ent shooter’s gun.

The AP report­ed Wednes­day that Schrade “pro­vided much of the dra­ma” dur­ing Wednesday’s parole hear­ing.

He angri­ly ignored the commissioner’s admon­ish­ment to avoid direct­ly address­ing Sirhan and chas­tised the pros­e­cu­tion for a “ven­omous” state­ment advo­cat­ing that Sirhan stay in prison.

Schrade, who long advo­cated the sec­ond-gun­man the­ory, recalled how he became depressed and upset after the shoot­ing and vivid­ly described his exten­sive efforts to find answers. He stopped occa­sion­ally to apol­o­gize for being ner­vous and emo­tion­al.

The com­mis­sioner asked Schrade to wrap up after about an hour, say­ing, “Quite frankly, you’re los­ing us.”

“I think you’ve been lost for a long time,” Schrade shot back.

At one point, the com­mis­sioner asked if any­one want­ed a break.

“No, I want to get this over,” Schrade answered from the audi­ence. “I find it very abu­sive.”

It was the first time the shoot­er and Schrade had faced each since he tes­ti­fied at Sirhan’s 1969 tri­al, accord­ing to the AP, and Schrade apol­o­gized for not going to any of Sirhan’s 14 pre­vi­ous parole hear­ings.

Schrade told the Sarato­gian last year that even all these decades lat­er, each anniver­sary of Kennedy’s death renews his stub­born resolve to seek jus­tice.

“The truth is in the prosecution’s own records and the autop­sy,” Schrade told the New York news­pa­per. “It says Sirhan couldn’t have shot Robert Kennedy and didn’t. He was out of posi­tion.”

In a state­ment to Shane O’Sullivan, author of “Who Killed Bob­by? The Unsolved Mur­der of Robert F. Kennedy,” ahead of Wednesday’s parole hear­ing, Schrade out­lined the scope of his argu­ment.

“The LAPD and LA DA knew two hours after the fatal shoot­ing of Robert Kennedy that he was shot by a sec­ond gun­man and they had con­clu­sive evi­dence that Sirhan Bishara Sirhan could not and did not do it,” the state­ment said. “The offi­cial record shows that [the pros­e­cu­tion at Sirhan’s tri­al] nev­er had one wit­ness – and had no phys­i­cal nor bal­lis­tic evi­dence – to prove Sirhan shot Robert Kennedy.

“Evi­dence locked up for 20 years shows that the LAPD destroyed phys­i­cal evi­dence and hid bal­lis­tic evi­dence exon­er­at­ing Sirhan, and cov­ered up con­clu­sive evi­dence that a sec­ond gun­man fatal­ly wound­ed Robert Kennedy.”


Sirhan was sen­tenced to death in 1969, but his sen­tence was com­muted after the Cal­i­for­nia Supreme Court tem­porar­ily out­lawed cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment in 1972.

Now 71, Sirhan has stead­fastly main­tained that he has no mem­ory of the 1968 shoot­ing, while var­i­ous parole boards have assert­ed that he has not shown remorse for his crime or acknowl­edged the his­toric grav­ity of his actions.

“I don’t remem­ber pulling a gun from my body,” he told board offi­cials in 2011. “I don’t remem­ber aim­ing it at any human being. Every­thing was always hazy in my head. I don’t remem­ber any­thing very clear­ly.”

He added: “I’m not try­ing to evade any­thing.”

On Wednes­day, accord­ing to the AP, Sirhan said yet again that he didn’t remem­ber the shoot­ing at the Ambas­sador Hotel.

Sirhan recalled events before the shoot­ing in some detail — going to a shoot­ing range that day, vis­it­ing the hotel in search of a par­ty and return­ing after real­iz­ing he drank too many Tom Collins’ to dri­ve. He drank cof­fee in a hotel pantry with a woman to whom he was attract­ed.

The next thing he said he remem­bered was being choked and unable to breathe.

“It’s all vague now,” he said. “I’m sure you all have it in your records, I can’t deny it or con­firm it. I just wish this whole thing had nev­er tak­en place.”

Sirhan may not remem­ber what hap­pened that night, but Schrade says he does, in exquis­ite detail.

Before the shoot­ing began, he recalls walk­ing six to eight feet behind Kennedy through a hotel kitchen as the sen­a­tor stopped to shake hands with sev­eral bus­boys, accord­ing to O’Sullivan.

As Kennedy turned to con­tinue walk­ing, Schrade saw more than one flash and heard “a crack­ling sound like elec­tric­ity,” accord­ing to O’Sullivan’s book, “Who Killed Bob­by?

“I got hit with the first shot,” Schrade told the Sarato­gian. “I was right behind Bob. It was meant for him and got me. I thought I had been elec­tro­cuted. I was shak­ing vio­lently on the floor and saw flash­es.”

Writ­ing for the Huff­in­g­ton Post in 2013, Schrade described his final moments with Kennedy and not­ed how close he came to death:

Bob knew I was hit first because he asked “Is every­body OK? Is Paul all right?” as he lay fatal­ly wound­ed — always more con­cerned about oth­ers than him­self.

I was lucky. If the bul­let that hit me in the fore­head had been a frac­tion of an inch low­er, I would have been killed instant­ly. Instead, I sur­vived and, after sev­eral years of recov­ery, I was asked to take part in legal efforts to dis­cover all the facts about the shoot­ings — specif­i­cally seri­ous ques­tions about whether Sirhan Sirhan had act­ed alone that night. As painful as it was for me to pur­sue, I knew that Amer­i­cans deserved to know the truth about what real­ly hap­pened to Robert Kennedy, whose death — like the death of Pres­i­dent Kennedy — changed the course of Amer­i­can his­tory for­ev­er.

For those skep­ti­cal of Sirhan’s guilt, the crux of the argu­ment rests on the num­ber of shots fired that night.

Accord­ing to O’Sullivan, Kennedy’s autop­sy revealed that the sen­a­tor was hit four times and that five oth­ers at the scene were wound­ed. If nine shots were fired, con­spir­acy the­o­rists main­tain, one must have been fired by some­one oth­er than Sirhan, who was car­ry­ing an eight-shot revolver.

Sirhan’s lawyers have also argued that their client was not in the right phys­i­cal posi­tion to fire the shot that killed Kennedy, accord­ing to Reuters.

Schrade told the Sarato­gian that while no live tele­vi­sion footage cap­tured the shoot­ing, he believes that a sec­ond gun­man could have used the chaos to con­ceal a weapon and fire from close range.

The news­pa­per not­ed that skep­tics’ argu­ments were seem­ingly bol­stered by a 2007 analy­sis of an audio record­ing of the shoot­ing. The analy­sis, the news­pa­per not­ed, “indi­cates a total of 13 shots fired, fur­ther strength­en­ing the argu­ment of those who believe a sec­ond gun­man was involved, Kennedy’s true assas­sin.”

“No wit­ness saw Sirhan’s gun close to Robert Kennedy or behind him,” Schrade told the Sarato­gian. “He was three feet in front of Kennedy. We need to take the evi­dence we have in the files and try to find out who the sec­ond gun­man was and if there was a con­nec­tion with Sirhan. If all else fails, I’m going to have to go pub­lic and accuse the jus­tice estab­lish­ment of not bring­ing jus­tice to RFK. He deserves it and the fam­ily deserves it.”


Sirhan will be eli­gi­ble for parole again in five years.

2. Wayne Jan­u­ary,  a Dal­las flight tech­ni­cian who pre­pared a DC3 for a flight out of Dal­las on 11/22/1963, heard asser­tions that JFK would be killed, and that his broth­er Robert and any oth­er Kennedy who aspired to the Pres­i­den­cy would be elim­i­nat­ed. The pre­dic­tion about JFK came true, as did his fore­shad­ow­ing of RFK’s killing five years lat­er.

JFK and the Unspeak­able: Why He Died and Why It Mat­ters by James W. Dou­glass; Touch­stone Books [SC]; Copy­right 2008 by James W. Dou­glas; ISBN 978–1‑4391–9388‑4; pp. 369–373.

. . . . The extent to which our nation­al secu­ri­ty state was sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly mar­shaled for the assas­si­na­tion of Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy remains incom­pre­hen­si­ble to us.  When we live in a sys­tem, we absorb a sys­tem and think in a sys­tem. We lack the inde­pen­dence need­ed to judge the sys­tem around us. Yet the evi­dence we have seen points toward our nation­al secu­ri­ty state, the sys­temic bub­ble in which we all live, as the source of Kennedy’s mur­der and imme­di­ate cov­er-up.

Intel­li­gence agen­cies in that state have advan­tages over us ordi­nary cit­i­zens in con­trol­ling our gov­ern­ment. The CIA, FBI, and their intel­li­gence affil­i­ates in the armed forces have resources and aspi­ra­tions, as revealed by the president’s assas­si­na­tion, that go far beyond our moral imag­i­na­tion. In his increas­ing­ly iso­lat­ed pres­i­den­cy, John Kennedy had a dimin­ish­ing pow­er over them. Part­ly because of our naivete as cit­i­zens, he was killed by covert-action agen­cies and the con­spir­a­cy cov­ered up by them, with rel­a­tive ease and legal impuni­ty. It was the begin­ning of a dead­ly process. Even before his assas­si­na­tion took place, there was evi­dence that those in com­mand of our secu­ri­ty agen­cies may have already been think­ing about whom they might have to kill next for the sake of the nation.

A prime can­di­date was the pres­i­den­t’s brother–his pos­si­ble suc­ces­sor in the White House in the years to come, Attor­ney Gen­er­al Robert F. Kennedy.

On Thurs­day, Novem­ber 21, as John and Jacque­line Kennedy were arriv­ing on Air Force One in Hous­ton to begin their Texas tour, Wayne Jan­u­ary was at Red Bird Air Field in Dal­las prepar­ing a DC‑3 air­craft for flight. In this nar­ra­tive, we have already encoun­tered Jan­u­ary, who the day before had refused to char­ter a flight for Novem­ber 22 to a sus­pi­cious young cou­ple, accom­pa­nied by a man Jan­u­ary lat­er iden­ti­fied as Lee Har­vey Oswald.

Wayne Jan­u­ary was work­ing on the DC‑3 all day Thurs­day with the pilot who was sched­uled to fly it out of Dal­las on Fri­day after­noon. It was their third day on the job. Work­ing togeth­er on a project they both enjoyed—preparing an extra­or­di­nary machine for flight—the two men had become friends. Wayne had also become curi­ous about the back­ground of his friend, who said he had been born in Cuba, though Wayne could detect no trace of an accent. The man said he had been in the Cuban Air Force, where he achieved a high rank.

Except for his work with Jan­u­ary, the pilot kept total­ly to him­self, refus­ing Wayne’s invi­ta­tions to eat out with him. The pilot con­fined him­self to eat­ing sand­wich­es with Wayne by the plane.

Wayne became more curi­ous. He asked the pilot about the well-dressed man who had bought the plane from a com­pa­ny Jan­u­ary co-owned. The man had car­ried out the trans­ac­tion with January’s part­ner by phone. The buy­er had made only one appear­ance at the air­field, when he came with the pilot on Mon­day.

The pilot described his boss as “an Air Force colonel who deals with planes of this cat­e­go­ry.” The colonel had bought the plane on behalf of a com­pa­ny known as the “Hous­ton Air Cen­ter.” Jan­u­ary would learn lat­er that the Hous­ton Air Cen­ter was a front for the CIA. As revealed by the plane’s archived papers, the air­craft had orig­i­nal­ly been a troop trans­port ver­sion of the DC‑3, also known as a C‑47, made in the Sec­ond World War and sold by the gov­ern­ment to a pri­vate air­line after the war. It was now being sold back to the gov­ern­ment for use as a covert CIA air­craft.

As Wayne and the pilot con­tin­ued talk­ing dur­ing their lunch break Thurs­day, Wayne sud­den­ly found him­self in a twi­light zone, learn­ing more about secret gov­ern­ment oper­a­tions than he ever want­ed to know. The moment of tran­si­tion came after a pause in the con­ver­sa­tion. The oth­er man sat lean­ing against a wheel of the plane, eat­ing his sand­wich. He was silent for a time, mulling over some­thing in his mind.

Then he looked up and said, “Wayne, they are going to kill your pres­i­dent.”

As Wayne Jan­u­ary described this scene three decades lat­er in a remark­able faxed let­ter to British author Matthew Smith, he tried to con­vey his utter incom­pre­hen­sion of the man’s words. When Wayne asked the pilot what he meant, the man repeat­ed, “They are going to kill your pres­i­dent.”

Wayne stared at him.

“You mean Pres­i­dent Kennedy?”

The man said yes.

While Wayne kept try­ing to make sense of his words, his co-work­er revealed that he had been a pilot for the CIA. He was with the CIA in the plan­ning of the Bay of Pigs. When many of his friends died there, the plan­ners and sur­vivors of the oper­a­tion bit­ter­ly blamed John and Robert Kennedy for not pro­vid­ing the air cov­er the CIA claimed they had promised.

Wayne asked if that was why he thought they were going to kill the pres­i­dent.

The man said, “They are not only going to kill the Pres­i­dent, they are going to kill Robert Kennedy and any oth­er Kennedy who gets into that posi­tion.”

Wayne thought he was begin­ning to catch on. His friend had gone off the deep end. Wayne tried to say so in a polite, cir­cum­spect way.

The pilot looked at him. “You will see,” he said.

The two men went back to work. They were behind sched­ule, with less than twen­ty-four hours left to com­plete the task. “My boss wants to return to Flori­da,” the pilot said. There was room in the plane for more pas­sen­gers than his boss. Wayne and the pilot were rein­stalling twen­ty-five seats in it.

The DC‑3 had to be ready to take off from Dal­las by ear­ly after­noon the next day, Fri­day, Novem­ber 22.

In the course of their work, the pilot made anoth­er mem­o­rable remark. “They want Robert Kennedy real bad,” he said.

“But what for?” Wayne asked.

“Nev­er mind,” the man said, “You don’t need to know.” Thanks to the two men’s joint efforts, they suc­ceed­ed in hav­ing the plane ready to go ear­ly Fri­day after­noon. By 12:30 p.m., all the DC‑3 lacked was fuel—and who­ev­er would soon get aboard it to depart from Dal­las.

As they fin­ished their work, there was a com­mo­tion by the ter­mi­nal. A police car took off at high speed. Won­der­ing what was up, Wayne walked back to the ter­mi­nal build­ing. The dri­ver of a pass­ing car slowed down and shout­ed at him, “The Pres­i­dent has been shot!”

Wayne went into the build­ing. He lis­tened to a radio until he heard the announce­ment that Pres­i­dent John F. Kennedy was dead.

He walked back to the DC‑3. It had received its fuel. The pilot was putting lug­gage on the plane. Wayne asked him if he had heard what had hap­pened. With­out paus­ing from his load­ing, the pilot said he had, the man on the fuel truck had told him.

Then he said, “It’s all going to hap­pen just like I told you.”

Wayne said good­bye to the pilot. With a sense of pro­found sick­ness, he left work to find a tele­vi­sion set where he could watch news of the president’s assas­si­na­tion unfold.

Until 1992, Wayne Jan­u­ary lived alone with the night­mare of what the pilot had told him. Because of what he knew, he feared for his life and the lives of his wife and fam­i­ly. When the FBI and a few researchers asked him ques­tions relat­ed to the assas­si­na­tion, he told them only about the cou­ple with Oswald whom he had turned down when they tried to char­ter a plane for Fri­day the 22nd. With­out his knowl­edge, the FBI then dis­cred­it­ed him by dat­ing the inci­dent four months ear­li­er, min­i­miz­ing its impor­tance and mak­ing a more delayed Oswald iden­ti­fi­ca­tion seem less plau­si­ble.

How­ev­er, Wayne remained silent about the CIA pilot who knew the pres­i­dent was going to be killed, the colonel rep­re­sent­ing “Hous­ton Air Cen­ter,” and the new­ly pur­chased CIA plane that took off from Red Bird Air Field the after­noon of Novem­ber 22. He also kept secret the pilot’s pre­dic­tion of what would hap­pen to Robert Kennedy, as ful­filled by his mur­der in June 1968, “and any oth­er Kennedy who gets into that posi­tion.”

In 1992, Wayne Jan­u­ary broke his silence about the pilot’s rev­e­la­tion. As we have seen, author Matthew Smith had already inter­viewed him the year before about the cou­ple with Oswald. After Smith showed him the FBI report that claimed false­ly the inci­dent occurred the pre­vi­ous July, the two men became good friends. Jan­u­ary real­ized he had final­ly found some­one he could trust with his long-held secret. He faxed to Smith at his home in Sheffield, Eng­land, a com­plete account of what the CIA pilot had said to him. Smith had been puz­zled in Dal­las at how Jan­u­ary could be so sure in say­ing the CIA was behind the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion. Now he knew.

Jan­u­ary told Smith that send­ing his faxed state­ment after thir­ty years of silence “seems to be a release of some kind that I don’t under­stand,” “a relief that seems to make me more relaxed.” He gave the British author per­mis­sion to pub­lish the sto­ry on the con­di­tion that he not be iden­ti­fied because “he still feared for his life and for that of his wife.” Smith agreed. He used a pseu­do­nym for Jan­u­ary’s name and changed a few details to avoid iden­ti­fy­ing him.

The sto­ry of “Hank Gor­don’s” expe­ri­ence with the CIA pilot at Red Bird Air Field sub­se­quent­ly appeared in Matthew Smith’s books Vendet­ta: The Kennedys (1993) and Say to Good­bye to Amer­i­ca (2001). After Wayne Jan­u­ary died in 2002, Smith obtained per­mis­sion from his wid­ow to reveal his name. He did so at a Novem­ber 2003 con­fer­ence in Dal­las and in his book, Conspiracy–the Plot to Stop the Kennedys (2005.)

Thanks to Wayne Jan­u­ary’s friend­ship with a CIA pilot who risked con­fid­ing in him, and to Jan­u­ary’s deep­er friend­ship with Matthew Smith, in whom he risked con­fid­ing, we can now see more than we may want to see. We can see a pos­si­ble com­mit­ment to a chain of covert-action mur­ders that would extend from JFK to RFK and any oth­er Kennedy liable to become pres­i­dent: “They are not only going to kill the Pres­i­dent, they are going to kill Robert Kennedy and any oth­er Kennedy who gets into that posi­tion.”

The Kennedy fam­i­ly has been well aware since John F. Kennedy’s mur­der as pres­i­dent, mir­rored by Sen­a­tor Robert F. Kennedy’s mur­der as a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, how dan­ger­ous it is for one of them to aspire to the pres­i­den­cy. . . .

3. As we have dis­cussed in numer­ous past pro­grams, Robert Kennedy was going to reopen the inves­ti­ga­tion into his broth­er’s mur­der after he became Pres­i­dent. His assas­si­na­tion, of course, pre­vent­ed that.

The Dev­il’s Chess­board: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of Amer­i­ca’s Secret Gov­ern­ment by David Tal­bot; Harp­er [HC]; 2015; Copy­right 2015 by The Tal­bot Play­ers LLC; ISBN 978–0‑06–227616‑2; p. 608.

. . . . The Gar­ri­son camp implored Kennedy to speak out about the con­spir­a­cy, argu­ing that such a pub­lic stand might even pro­tect his own life by putting the con­spir­a­tors on notice. But RFK pre­ferred to play such deeply cru­cial mat­ters close to the chest. He would reopen the case on his own terms, Kennedy con­fid­ed to his clos­est aides–suggesting that day would come only if he won the exec­u­tive pow­ers of the White House. . . .

4. The con­clu­sion of the show is FTR #175, about the death (and prob­a­ble mur­der) of JFK, jr.

The descrip­tion of the pro­gram:

When John F. Kennedy, Jr. died in the crash of a pri­vate plane in July of 1999, media pun­dits rumi­nat­ed at length about the reck­less­ness of the Kennedys and “the Kennedy curse”. This pro­gram explores the strik­ing con­tra­dic­tions between the offi­cial ver­sion of JFK, Jr.‘s death and the facts con­cern­ing his demise. The avail­able data sug­gest that JFK, Jr. may have been the vic­tim of foul play.

The pro­gram con­sists of an inter­view with vet­er­an jour­nal­ist John Bryan, who worked for the San Fran­cis­co Exam­in­er (among oth­er papers). John’s expe­ri­ence with the Exam­in­er led him to begin ques­tion­ing the offi­cial ver­sion of the sto­ry. Famil­iar with the Exam­in­er’s week­end pub­lish­ing prac­tices, John became con­vinced that the Exam­in­er (for what­ev­er rea­son) was delib­er­ate­ly with­hold­ing the sto­ry. (Kennedy’s plane crashed on a Fri­day evening.) Sens­ing a pos­si­ble cov­er-up, Bryan reli­gious­ly combed the print and elec­tron­ic media for the truth about the deaths of Kennedy, his wife and sis­ter-in-law.

Begin­ning with dis­cus­sion of Kyle Brady (a vet­er­an pilot who flew from the same air­port Kennedy depart­ed from), Bryan relates Brady’s obser­va­tion that JFK, Jr.‘s pre­flight actions indi­cat­ed that Kennedy seemed to feel that some­thing was wrong with the plane.

Next, Bryan dis­cuss­es the real­i­ty of the con­di­tions around Martha’s Vine­yard at the time of Kennedy’s dis­ap­pear­ance. Con­trary to news reports at the time, the weath­er was clear and the vis­i­bil­i­ty was from between two and five miles. Kennedy was about four min­utes from the air­port, was with­in visu­al con­tact radius of the island and had radioed the air­port to get per­mis­sion to land. He did not broad­cast a “May­day” dis­tress call. Eye­wit­ness­es report­ed Kennedy’s plane approach­ing the air­port at an alti­tude of less than 100 feet. (This con­trasts marked­ly with the “radar track” which was leaked to the media, show­ing Kennedy’s plane begin­ning its “grave­yard spi­ral” at an alti­tude of 1800 ft. It is extra­or­di­nar­i­ly unlike­ly that Kennedy would have been at that alti­tude when com­ing in for a land­ing. Con­trary to press reports at the time of Kennedy’s death, he was an excel­lent pilot with over 300 hours of fly­ing time. Some reports erro­neous­ly said he had as lit­tle as 35 hours.)

Mr. Bryan also reports eye­wit­ness reports of see­ing a “flash” or explo­sion over the water when Kennedy’s plane dis­ap­peared. Most impor­tant­ly, John recounts numer­ous obser­va­tions by media polit­i­cal pun­dits that Kennedy was going to be offered either the Pres­i­den­tial or, more like­ly, the Vice-Pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion, in an attempt to assure vic­to­ry for the Democ­rats in the elec­tion of 2000. His death elim­i­nat­ed that pos­si­bil­i­ty. In addi­tion, Mr. Bryan dis­cuss­es the extra­or­di­nary secre­cy that sur­round­ed the retrieval and dis­pos­al of the plane’s wreck­age and the bod­ies of the deceased. Reporters were not allowed to view the wreck­age or the autop­sy. No autop­sy pho­tographs were tak­en, in direct con­tra­ven­tion of Mass­a­chu­setts law. The bod­ies were cre­mat­ed with­in 10 hours of dis­cov­ery and buried at sea. John points out that the Kennedys are Catholic and Catholics tra­di­tion­al­ly bury their dead. Cre­ma­tion was com­plete­ly for­bid­den by the Catholic Church until 1963, and since then only under cer­tain extra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances. Scat­ter­ing ash­es at sea is strict­ly for­bid­den. Bryan ques­tions this extra­or­di­nary secre­cy and depar­ture from accept­ed pro­ce­dure and points out that the tail sec­tion of the plane appears to have dis­ap­peared.

The dis­cus­sion fea­tures sev­er­al obser­va­tions by Mr. Emory, includ­ing the fact that the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion was back on the polit­i­cal front burn­er after Boris Yeltsin pub­licly gave Pres­i­dent Clin­ton the KGB files on Oswald (which demon­strat­ed that they felt Oswald was prob­a­bly an Amer­i­can agent). Mr. Emory also points out that the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion was part of a law­suit that was pro­ceed­ing through the courts in 1999.

The pro­gram con­cludes with a read­ing of the obit­u­ary of Antho­ny Stanis­laus Radzi­will, JFK, Jr.‘s best friend. (They were best men at each oth­ers wed­dings.) Radzi­will died of can­cer about three weeks after the death of Kennedy. (The intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty has been able to assas­si­nate peo­ple via can­cer for decades.) A broad­cast jour­nal­ist, Radzi­will had cov­ered the O.J. Simp­son case and had received a Peabody award for his work on the emer­gence of “neo”-Nazism in Amer­i­ca. (There are numer­ous evi­den­tiary trib­u­taries between the O.J. Simp­son case and the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty, includ­ing the Kennedy assas­si­na­tion. The killing of Ron Gold­man and Nicole Brown Simp­son appears to have been the work of Nazi ele­ments.)




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