Who Killed JFK? – An Interview With Lamar Waldron

JFK and Jackie arriving at Love Field, Texas

Lamar Waldron is the author of Ultimate Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK.

So much has been written about JFK’s assassination–what in your book is new?
A tremendous amount. With the help of almost two dozen people who worked with John and Robert Kennedy–backed up by thousands of documents in the National Archives–we discovered that JFK and his brother had a never-before-revealed plan to stage a coup against Castro on December 1, 1963. The CIA’s code-name for their part of the plan–AMWORLD–has never appeared in print before, and was withheld from the Warren Commission and later Congressional investigating committees. As part of the coup plan, in the days and weeks before Dallas, Robert Kennedy even had a top secret committee making plans for dealing with the possible “assassination of American officials,” in case Castro found out about the coup plan and tried to retaliate.However, the Kennedy’s coup plan was infiltrated by three powerful Mafia bosses being targeted by Attorney General Robert Kennedy: Johnny Rosselli of the Chicago Mafia, Tampa godfather Santo Trafficante, and Carlos Marcello (godfather of Louisiana and east Texas). The Mafia dons used parts of the secret coup plan to try and assassinate JFK first in Chicago (on 11-2-63), then in Tampa (on 11-18-63, an attempt never revealed before), and finally in Dallas. By planting evidence implicating Castro, the mob bosses prevented Robert Kennedy and other key officials from conducting a thorough investigation, in order to protect the coup plan and prevent nuclear confrontation with the Russians.
While it’s been known since the early 1990s that Robert Kennedy eventually told close associates the Mafia was behind his brother’s death, the book finally explains how the Mafia did it, presenting a huge amount of new information.

Can you tell us more about these two attempts on JFK’s life just prior to Dallas and their connection to November 22nd?
As we were told by Chicago Secret Service Agent Abraham Bolden, they had uncovered a plot by four men to kill JFK during his Chicago motorcade planned for November 2, 1963. An ex-Marine (with several recent parallels to Oswald) was arrested, but the four men remained at large. So, JFK had to cancel his motorcade at the last minute, even as people were lining the motorcade route. Pierre Salinger told us about the two different excuses he gave for the cancellation. In addition, Salinger–who began his work for the Kennedys as a Mafia investigator–revealed that Jack Ruby had been in Chicago a week prior to the motorcade, where he had received $7,000 from someone who worked for an associate of Trafficante and Marcello. Salinger’s revelation was confirmed by two eye-witnesses and FBI reports in the National Archives.The Tampa attempt had more than a dozen parallels to JFK’s assassination in Dallas, including a male suspect in his early twenties linked to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. The Police and Secret Service warned JFK about the threat, but JFK bravely went ahead with the motorcade anyway, because of an important speech about Cuba he had to give in Miami that night, a speech that was part of the coup plan.
No news reports about the Tampa threat appeared while JFK was alive–just a tiny article the day after this death; by the following day the Tampa Chief of Police and Secret Service weren’t talking to the press about it. On the very day Secret Service Agent Abraham Bolden went to Washington to tell Warren Commission staff about the Tampa and Chicago attempts, and other Secret Service laxity, he was framed by the Chicago Mafia and arrested. He was sent to prison for six years, even though his main accuser later admitted committing perjury against Bolden. The book finally explains exactly who framed Bolden, and why.

Why did the three Mafia godfathers want to assassinate JFK?

Because Robert Kennedy was waging the biggest war against organized crime that America has ever seen, and the Mafia families of Chicago, Tampa, and Louisiana were under incredible pressure. Rosselli’s boss was under “lockstep surveillance” by the FBI, and even Trafficante’s family members were being prosecuted. Marcello himself was put on trial by Robert Kennedy’s prosecutors the day before the Chicago attempt. Marcello bribed a key juror to ensure his acquittal, which Marcello timed for 11-22-63, when JFK was shot in Dallas. Marcello had a big celebration that afternoon and the only other known celebration after JFK’s death was in Tampa, were Trafficante publicly toasted JFK’s murder at the very restaurant where JFK had given a speech, just four days earlier.The Kennedys had worked hard to keep the Mafia from having a role in their coup plan, and JFK’s plans for a democratic government in Cuba after the coup would have kept the Mafia from returning to reopen their casinos there. So, the Mafia dons had to kill JFK before December 1, 1963, because only the secrecy surrounding the coup plan could prevent a thorough, public investigation that could have exposed their involvement.

Walk us through exactly what transpired in Dealy Plaza. Where did the shots come from and who were the shooters?
Very briefly: There is much evidence that Oswald was in the lunchroom of the Texas School Book Depository at the time of the shooting. Two men were seen behind the fence on the “grassy knoll.” Other witnesses saw two men on the sixth floor of the Depository. Riding in the limo directly behind JFK’s were his two closest Presidential Aides, Dave Powers and Kenneth O’Donnell. As Powers told my co-author Thom Hartmann, both men heard–and Powers saw–shots from the grassy knoll. That explains why JFK’s limo slowed at the sound of the first shot from the front, because they thought they were riding into an ambush. Powers and O’Donnell confirmed the shots from the knoll to former House Speaker Tip O’Neill, who wrote about it in his autobiography, Man of the House. Our book also explains why Powers and O’Donnell were pressured to alter their Warren Commission testimony “for the good of the country,” and which current US Senator was involved with that.
The book deals with evidence indicating that Mafioso present in Dealy Plaza that day could have included Johnny Rosselli, Chicago Mafia hitman Charles Nicoletti, French assassin Michel Victor Mertz, and a CIA operative working on the Kennedys’ coup plan who was (unknown to the Kennedys) also working for the Mafia.

As you state in your book, there are many credible witnesses who believe shots were fired from the grassy knoll and it certainly looks on the Zapruder film that Kennedy has been shot from the front, but isn’t the autopsy of President Kennedy proof that the bullet entered the rear of his skull? The entry wound on the back of his head was small, but the exit wound on the right side of his head was nearly six inches.
Many distinguished experts disagree with what you’ve just stated, including Dr. Cyril Wecht, one of the country’s leading forensic pathologists. Remember that what is visible in the remaining photographs doesn’t sometimes match what is in the surviving x-rays–and there is considerable testimony that photos and x-rays were taken that are not part of the evidence today. Plus, crucial evidence, like JFK’s brain, disappeared once it was in the custody of Robert Kennedy.Entire books have been written about the autopsy, so I won’t try to cover everything here. Suffice it to say that the wound descriptions by the Dallas doctors didn’t sometimes match those of the autopsy physicians at Bethesda, and vice versa. For example, in Dallas the small wound in JFK’s throat was described as an entrance wound. Because they made a neat tracheotomy incision over the wound, the doctors at Bethesda didn’t even realize it was a bullet wound. JFK’s back wound was almost six inches below the base of his neck–making it impossible for a bullet coming down from the steep angle of the sixth floor of the Book Depository to have entered there and emerged many inches higher, from the front of JFK’s throat. (where it would have been heading up, only to have to head down again to hit Gov. Connolly–that’s just one reason the pristine bullet is called the “magic bullet”).
In addition, new information declassified from the House Select Committee on Assassinations and the JFK Assassination Records Review Board casts further doubt on the Warren Commission theory of JFK’s wounds.
We present new information in the book, based on interviews with two people at Bethesda during the autopsy, including David Powers, a JFK aide who was also one of the closest eye-witnesses to the assassination.
Much evidence we cite shows that Robert Kennedy essentially controlled JFK’s autopsy. After the autopsy, control of JFK’s body was turned over to two officials who had been working with Robert Kennedy on covert Cuban operations. Even JFK’s personal physician, Admiral Burkley–the only doctor present in both Dallas and Bethesda–believed JFK was killed as a result of a conspiracy.
What were Oswald’s actions from the time of the assassination until he was arrested?
After reviewing all the evidence as part of seventeen years of research, we were stuck by how much of the conventional Warren Commission story is contradicted by other evidence, including earlier statements by many of their key witnesses. Thus, Oswald’s movements from shortly after the assassination until he returned to his rooming house can’t be pinned down with certainty.While Oswald was in his rooming house, a police car pulled up, honked its horn, then pulled away. A short time later, Oswald walked out of the rooming house.
The Warren Commission says then that Oswald was walking (since he didn’t drive or own a car) on a quiet street, when a patrolman drove up to him. According to the official story, the crazed ex-serviceman pulled out a pistol, shot the patrolman and fled. As our book points out for the first time, that exact scene (involving an ex-serviceman) is in a movie that Johnny Rosselli produced (uncredited, but confirmed by court documents) in 1948, called “He Walked by Night.”
Oswald next shows up at the Texas Theater, where he was arrested, though again, much evidence contradicts the conventional version of events. We present evidence (including some from secret Warren Commission memos not included in their final report) that Oswald thought he was going to Mexico City, on a “mission” that involved getting into Cuba on a mission in support of upcoming US action against Cuba. The theater was where Oswald had been told he would meet his contact.
The book presents a huge amount of evidence that Oswald was a low-level asset for a US intelligence agency, and not a communist. For example, the Warren Commission claimed Oswald was a Marxist as teenager, but how many communist teenagers join the Civil Air Patrol? And not only join the US Marines, but try to join before he’s even old enough? We uncovered new information showing that Oswald was under ‘tight” surveillance by Naval Intelligence from the time he returned to the US from Russia. Oswald’s role as an intelligence asset explains why US authorities weren’t concerned when Oswald–a seeming former defector with a Russian wife–got a job in Dallas at a firm that prepared material for maps created from U-2 spy plane photos, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Oswald had been looking for work in Dallas in October of ’63 and found the job at the School Book Depository through a friend of his wife’s. He started work there October 16th. It doesn’t sound like an active plot to kill the President is in place at that time (Kennedy’s motorcade route had not yet been planned) and it also wouldn’t give much time for anyone to set him up as a patsy – creating a bogus sniper’s nest, etc.
That’s a common misconception. JFK’s long-rumored Dallas visit had finally been announced on Sept. 26–right before Oswald tried to go to Cuba via Mexico City. It was well known by Jack Ruby and others in Dallas that any major motorcade would go through Dealy Plaza along Main Street. It’s not generally known, but 11-22-63 wasn’t the first time JFK had been through Dealy Plaza in a motorcade–JFK had been there in 1960, during the campaign. (Of course, Oswald was in Russia at that time, but Ruby and the Marcello associates he worked for were in Dallas then.)The mob bosses who’d been carefully planning to kill JFK had plenty of time make sure Oswald got a job near the motorcade route. In fact, Oswald applied for several jobs near and along the motorcade route.
It’s important to note that around the same time Oswald moved to a new city (Dallas, from New Orleans) and got a new job, so did the ex-Marine arrested at the time of the 11/2/63 Chicago attempt against JFK and the young man linked to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee who was investigated by authorities after the 11/18/63 Tampa attempt to assassinate JFK.

Where does Ruby fit in to all of this? Why would he kill Oswald knowing that he would spend the rest of his life in prison or be sentenced to death?
Ruby was a long-time Mafia associate who was in desperate financial straits at the time. In addition, the book documents for the first time that Ruby (who ran guns to Cuba) had been part of the 1959 CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro. Ruby had also been an informant for the FBI at that time–and for other law enforcement agencies later–which would also insure the various agencies couldn’t dig too deeply into Ruby’s background or share key information with those investigating JFK’s assassination. As if to drive the point home to authorities, even the pistol Ruby used to shoot Oswald came from Ruby’s time in the first round of CIA-Mafia plots against Castro.Ruby’s job–in Chicago and probably Tampa, as well as Dallas–was to get a policeman to quickly kill the patsy, since Ruby had numerous friends in law enforcement. Failing to do that, Ruby had to do the job himself, though Congressional (and even Warren Commission) investigators felt he had the help of one or more policemen. One of them let Ruby know when Oswald was heading to the basement, the day he was shot.
Under Texas’s “sudden passion” murder defense at the time, Ruby could have received as little as five years, and with good behavior, had to serve less than three years. Ruby’s mob-linked lawyer chose not to use that defense, and instead used a bizarre “psycho-motor” defense that had never worked before.

But once Ruby’s in jail for life, and particularly after his diagnosis of cancer, what would prevent him from telling the truth about his role in the assassination?
One reason the Jewish Ruby had been able to work with the Mafia for so long was that he’d shown he could keep his mouth shut, even when it came to murder. Robert Kennedy wrote in his book “The Enemy Within” about a Mafia murder in 1939 that was important in forging a link between the Mafia and the Teamsters–and police records show that one of the mobsters who kept his mouth shut about that hit was Jack Ruby. By 1963, Ruby was a long-trusted lower-level mob associate, part of a tight-knit Mafia heroin network that went through Dallas.
The night before the assassination, Ruby dined at the restaurant of a long-time Marcello associate. After Ruby’s arrest, he was visited by the same Marcello associate. As we cite in the book from Warren Commission testimony, there are indications that the lives of Ruby’s family (sister, brothers, their children) had been threatened, that Ruby had been told they could face death or torture if he didn’t cooperate. One of the Chicago mobsters that framed Abraham Bolden was known for the same type of brutal torture murders that gave Ruby nightmares.
In addition, it’s been said that for much of the time of Ruby’s incarceration, Dealy Plaza was visible from Ruby’s jail cell in Dallas. That’s the ultimate reminder of what could happen to those who angered the Mafia, even a President. In the same way Ruby’s close connections to hundreds of Dallas police made him valuable to the Mafia, Ruby knew that it would be just as easy for the Mafia to take action against Ruby, even in prison.
Ruby didn’t have that much time to talk after his sudden diagnosis of cancer. Ruby had received a clean bill of health from a medical exam not long before. As I write in the book “Ruby had been diagnosed with cancer three days after winning a December 7, 1966 appeal for a new trail, to be held in Wichita Falls.” Just over three weeks later, he was dead. By not talking after his cancer diagnosis, Ruby probably felt he had insured the safety of his family.

Will we ever find a definitive answer to this mystery? Is there anyone alive who was involved and could provide important information?
The answer to both questions is “yes” and “yes.” NBC News and a government watchdog group, OMB Watch, both reported that well over a million documents remain secret, possibly until the year 2017. Everyone we have uncovered who was knowingly involved in JFK’s death (less than a dozen) is either dead (most of those confessed to associates prior to their death), in prison, or has served time for a crime related to the assassination. With so much still secret, and so much time having passed, further prosecutions for the assassination would be difficult if not impossible. That’s why we recommend a South African-style truth commission about the assassination. They could review and release the vast majority of the million still-secret files, and take testimony from those who were involved.
We also feel strongly that Abraham Bolden–who had a sterling service record before his arrest and was America’s first black Presidential Secret Service agent– deserves to finally have his name cleared.

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