Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Did Lyndon Johnson order the Assassination of John Kennedy?

I recently read Madeline Duncan Brown’s autobiography, Texas in the Morning, about being Lyndon Baines Johnson’s mistress. Published in 1997, this book has been difficult to get and yet there is a high demand for it; it is a collectible and a good copy goes for $200, a reading copy for $100. I had a hard time finding the book; there was only one on Cal Poly’s entire intra-library loan network and it was checked out when I first found it. She had help writing it and so the prose is well done; she comes across as a credible witness regarding the inner workings of high Texas society, but she makes factual errors when she comments on national history or politics. There is also an hour and a half interview with Brown on the Internet at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6962062879996612313

I am still looking into whether or not Lyndon Baines Johnson ordered the plot to assassinate John F. Kennedy and so I was interested to read that Madeline Brown “attended a social” at rich oilman Clint Murchison’s home on November 21, 1963, the night before the assassination. It was a tribute to honor the long time head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, J. Edgar Hoover who was present along with his companion and assistant Clyde Tolson and many other elites including Richard Nixon, John McCloy, H.L. Hunt and of course Lyndon Johnson.

As soon as Johnson arrived he went “behind closed doors” with many of the important men. “A short time later Lyndon, anxious and red-faced, reappeared…Squeezing my hand so hard it felt crushed from the pressure, he spoke with a grating whisper—a quiet growl into my ear not a love message, but one I’ll always remember: ‘After tomorrow those goddamn Kennedys will never embarrass me again—that’s no threat—that’s a promise.”[1]

Johnson was too busy to meet privately with Brown for one of their regular intimate sessions but he called her the next morning.

"It was evident that the tone of fury in his voice from last night had not dissipated. I had barely eked out the words, “About last night…” when his rage virtually went ballistic. His snarling voice jolted me as never before—“That son-of-a-bitch crazy Yarborough and that goddamn fucking Irish mafia bastard, Kennedy, will never embarrass me again!”[2]

A little while later she was on the phone with Jesse Kellam the manager of the Johnson family’s TV and radio station and also close confidant of Lyndon. Another of Kellam’s functions was to arrange meetings between Brown and Johnson. After making arrangements with Brown for a very brief sexual liaison with her lover she said, “Jesse, for any time I have with Lyndon, I’m grateful.’ Jesse added, ‘Lyndon is in a terrible mood, screaming about the Kennedys. All he can say is, ‘Those goddamn Kennedys will never embarrass me again after today.’” Brown assured Kellam that she knew this but that “after my fifteen minutes with him, he’ll love the world!”[3]

This account of Johnson before the assassination shows that he was quite animated with the foreknowledge of President Kennedy’s imminent demise. Johnson obviously knew about the assassination ahead of time and he worked himself up in anger over his previous humiliations to help himself rationalize his part in the crime. What exactly was said at the closed meeting at Murchison’s house the night before? It seems implausible that the upcoming assassination was talked openly of in this meeting because in her Internet interview Brown lists many people who were in the meeting room: George W. Owens, John Currington, John J. McCloy, P. Charles Cabal, J. Edgar Hoover, George Brown, Richard Nixon, Amin Carter Jr., Earl Cabal, John Connolly, R. L. Thornton, Joe Yarlborough, W. O. Bangston, Clint Peoples, Bill Decker, Cliff Carter, Mac Wallace, Carlos Marcello, Joe Civello, Jack Ruby, Larry Campbell, Clint Murchison, H. L. Hunt, R. L. Sheffield.[4]

It makes the most sense to me that nothing was said openly about the assassination in that room. I find it hard to believe that both John Connolly, wounded in the front seat of Kennedy’s car, and Joe Yarlborough were also told of the impending assassination, and much less all these people. Remember, all we know is what Johnson said to Brown and Kellam after the meeting. Maybe Johnson found out about the assassination before the meeting, but something said in the meeting or shortly before put it on his mind. Maybe he ordered the plot and was just getting worked up as the time neared. Robert D. Morrow, former contract agent for the CIA wrote:

"It was from his good friend Hoover that Richard Nixon learned of the pending assassination. Interestingly, on the eve of the assassination, Hoover and Nixon attended a meeting together at the Dallas home of oil-baron Clint Murchison. Among the subjects discussed at this meeting were the political futures of Hoover and Nixon in the event President Kennedy was assassinated."[5]

So, perhaps there was a smaller meeting inside the room including Nixon, Hoover and Johnson. Morrow is not clear and he does not give his source for this information, but in his book he confesses to his part in the assassination and gives many details from first hand knowledge. I will source him more when I finally deliver my promised post where I will detail all the names of the involved in the plot and what their roles were.

Did Johnson order the plot or was he just privy to the plan? Even if he did not order it, he is guilty of knowing about it and not stopping it, even looking forward to it with relish. There is evidence that he did order the plot. Jack Ruby wrote while in prison that Johnson ordered the assassination.[6] E. Howard Hunt of Watergate fame made death-bed confessions to his son Saint John Hunt in 2007, in which he admitted his part in the plot and said that Johnson ordered the plot through long time CIA Cord Meyer.[7] Another man of Watergate fame, the attorney Douglass Caddy became the lawyer of Bille Sol Estes (Johnson’s business crony who made him illegal money) and wrote the Justice Department in 1984, in which he said that his client (Estes) was willing to testify that Johnson ordered the murder of JFK as well as many other people investigating Estes’ misdeeds.[8] Many people who threatened Johnson’s political career in Texas were murdered over the years, especially relating to the Estes scandal. Madeline Duncan Brown puts the count at 17 or 18.[9]

She relates one incident when her long time African-American nanny Dale Turner caught a glimpse of she and Johnson hugging in a hotel room with the door open. Johnson saw Dale see them and told Brown, “I’ll have Ragsdale replace her on Monday.” Despite Brown’s pleading Turner left work a few days later and never returned. Brown wrote that Turner, “disappeared without a trace. The boys cried for days. I notified the police, telephoned her family and friends—all to no avail. To this day, I have not seen or heard from Dale Turner. Never.”[10] In her 2006 interview she said that she believed Johnson had had her killed.

Shortly after the assassination, Madeleine Brown asked Lyndon Johnson why he sealed the records for 75 years. “He smiled his little boy smile and said humorously, ‘Remember Box 13?”[11] This of course was a reference to the 1948 senatorial election in Texas that was stolen for Johnson. It is interesting that Johnson compared the Kennedy Assassination to the stolen election of 1948. In the 1948 senate election, the vote was close and Johnson made frantic phone calls to the powerful South Texas political boss George Parr. Parr ordered the local election judge to make a vote “correction,” which threw the election to Johnson by only 87 votes. There was a long legal battle and the facts remained murky until the election judge, Luis Salas, confessed to doing it in court in 1977.[12] In this case, Johnson did not himself do the dirty deed, but he certainly pressured for it and in effect ordered it down through a political chain of command. So when Johnson answered Brown, “Remember Box 13,” was he saying to her that he ordered the Kennedy Assassination, but it was done by people way down below him in the authority chain?

Johnson was working against the Kennedys and in cooperation with the CIA from early in the Kennedy administration. Robert Morrow relates an incident in which he was shown a memo from Johnson to top CIA official Charles Cabal warning the CIA about Kennedy’s plan to replace them with the Defense Intelligence Agency after the Bay of Pigs disaster in April of 1961.[13] All through his vice presidential days, Johnson made regular reports to the CIA after his daily trips to the White House on the way to his office.

The threats to Kennedy’s life were well known to many people. All the democrats from Texas warned him against going to Dallas. Johnson was the only exception. He pushed hard for it.[14] Johnson had the most to gain from Kennedy’s death. In addition to retaining the presidency he could head off the Bobby Baker investigation that was on going in the Senate, which was sure to implicate him in corruption scandals with the mafia. It was a well known fact that the Kennedys were going to use this scandal as an excuse to drop him from the vice president position on the 1964 election ticket.[15]

Did Lyndon Baines Johnson order the assassination of President John F. Kennedy? You have read the evidence I have found. You decide. I would very much appreciate more evidence about this if any of you have it. My next post will be about who was part of the plot and what were their roles.

[1] Madeleine Duncan Brown, Texas in the Morning: The Love Story of Madeleine Brown and President Lyndon Baines Johnson, (Baltimore: The Conservatory Press, 1997), 166.
[2] Ibid, 167.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Robert Gaylon Ross Sr. interview with Madeleine Duncan Brown, August 31, 2006 at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6962062879996612313.
[5] Robert D. Morrow, First Hand Knowledge: How I Participated in the CIA-Mafia Murder of President Kennedy, (New York: S.P.I. Books, 1992), 195n.
[6] Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy, (New York: Carroll & Graff Publishers, 1989), 430-431.
[7] Saint John Hunt, Bond of Secrecy, (Self Published, 2008), 51-54. Available on the web at http://www.saintjohnhunt.com/.
[8] Glen Sample and Mark Collom, The Men on the Sixth Floor, (Garden Grove, CA: Sample Graphics, 2003), 165-170.
[9] Gaylon interview with Brown.
[10] Brown, 133-134, 136-137.
[11] Ibid, 186.
[12] Marrs, 291-292.
[13] Morrow, 76-77.
[14] Joachim Joesten, The Case Against Lyndon B. Johnson in the Assassination of President Kennedy, (Europe: Self Published,1967), 33-48.
[15] See Joesten, 22-27 for details Johnson’s vulnerability in the Bobby Baker scandal.

17 comments:

Tim Fleming said...

Bill--

You've covered a lot of the bases, but, personally, I would not say that Johnson "ordered" the assassination. More like he facilitated it. Surely this could not have been done without his assent and cooperation...the plotters needed the succeeding president to be on board. However, he was not the only one who wanted him dead, and I don't think the idea originated with him.

There is other suspicious, post-assassination LBJ activity. Squirreled away in the LBJ Library was Transcript 1327-C, the news conference held at Parkland about two hours after the assassination. In it, Dr. Malcom Perry says, "There was an entrance wound in the neck...the wound appeared to be an entrance wound in the front of the throat." Though Perry, under enormous pressure, later modified his story, his original observations are powerful evidence of a shot from the grassy knoll. LBJ, accordingly, tried to hide the transcript of this press conference.

From pp. 296-297 of "Crossfire," by Jim Marrs, "Within 72 hours of Kennedy's death--at Johnson's order--the presidential limousine SX-100, which carried Kennedy through Dallas, was shipped to Detroit where the body was replaced and the interior completely refurbished. In any other case, this would have been destruction of evidence, since bullet marks on the windshield and blood traces could have provided essential clues as to the number and direction of shots."

"After arriving back in Washington, Jackie Kennedy explained to Robert Kennedy that the delay in returning was due to Johnson, who told her the attorney general had told him to take the oath of office in Dallas. Robert Kennedy was surprised and replied that he had made no such suggestion. Johnson repeated this lie months later in his deposition to the Warren Commission..."

Dr. Charles Crenshaw, in his book, "Conspiracy of Silence" (re-titled "Trauma Room One"), claims that LBJ called the operating room in Parkland to inquire about Oswald's condition after being shot. Crenshaw, who was attending physician, also claims that LBJ wanted the doctors to get a confession from Oswald before he died. (Note here: Crenshaw overstates his role in attending to JFK at Parkland. Nowhere is his name mentioned in Lifton's book, which is the Bible of the medical evidence.)

A couple other tidbits: Look into Mac Wallace, LBJ's personal assassin. He killed many people on orders from LBJ. A fingerprint expert, employed by the documentary "The Men Who Killed Kennedy," swore that a latent print found on a box on the sixth floor of the TSBD on Nov. 22 belonged to Mac Wallace.

Another story I stumbled upon, but I cannot confirm from more than one source, involves how LBJ managed to get from the hotel in ?Fort Worth to the Murchison party late on the night of Nov. 21. It has long been claimed by LBJ apologists that he was seen in the hotel and that night and never left. However, one source claimed that LBJ had a lookalike cousin named Jay Bert Peck who often "body-doubled" LBJ for security reasons. It was Peck who stayed at the hotel while LBJ sneaked off to Murchison's party to meet the cabal of plotters and his mistress. I dismissed this story as apocryphal, until I read a news story from 1974 which stated that the widow of Jay Bert Peck was murdered by a man named John Liggett. John Liggett was no ordinary guy. He was a skilled mortician, whom, it was said, was such a moaster of his profession that he could make the most horrible wounds disappear on a corpse or distort the cause of death. Liggett, it tuns out was in Lee Harvey Oswald's CAP unit in Louisiana with David Ferrie and James R. Bath. Liggett, it was said was an inveterate gambler, in debt to the Mafia. He also performed various services for the CIA. The Dallas news story stated that Liggett was shot and killed while trying to escape custody in 1974. However, Liggett's widow swears she saw him alive and well and working in Las Vegas years after the fact. Like I said, I cannot confirm the veracity of this story, but it's definitely worth looking into. Liggett's widow also said that during the assassination weekend, Liggett left work suddenly on Friday afternoon, and did not return home until the next day. He then took his wife and child on a road trip, acting worried all the while. Once Oswald was shot on Sunday, Liggett's demeanor changed. He calmed down, said "everything's OK now," and returned home.

Your information about LBJ's close alliance with the CIA pre-assassination is illuminating.

Bill Z. said...

I think you say it about right: facilitate, assent, cooperation, being on board. These are good words to describe Johnson's role in the plot before hand. It was very convienient for Johnson that he did not have to "order" all these murders that furthered his political career. People knew clearly what he wanted and took initiative with his facilitation, cooperation and assent.

Yes, I have written on this blog about the post-assassination behavior of Johnson. He is clearly guilty of covering up the plot. I have not written of Dr. Perry here yet so glad your brought it up.

Brown claims that Mac Wallace was involved in the murder of Kennedy and states in her book that his plumbing truck was parked in Dealey Plaza on the day of the assassination. I read on the internet about his fingerprints being found in the depository, on the Fairplay website. He must be in my next post about the people involved and what roles they had. Of course you know that several people saw two men in the 6th floor window with guns right before the shooting. It seems likely in light of the fingerprint evidence that Wallace was one of them. For those of you who don't know who he is, he was the man tried for the murder of Henry Marshall (the U.S. agricultural investigator who was looking into the Estes case). Brown called him, "Lyndon's hatchet man" and attributed many of the political murders in Texas to him.

I don't remember reading about John Liggett. Do you remember your source for this?

Thank you again for your comments and your help.

Tim Fleming said...

I first heard of Liggett while watching the Nigel Turner documentary "The Men Who Killed Kennedy." There are several parts to this documentary, and I can't recall which one deals with Liggett. (I used to have all six episodes on vide; if I find them I will gladly ship them to you. You can also probably order via amazon.) Anyway, Liggett's widow and stepchildren are interviewed. Liggett was a skilled embalmer who could reconstruct a face and head masterfully, even one which had been destroyed by gunshot wounds. Liggett's widow tells of the assassination weekend when Liggett was called away on a secret mission, one which she believes was connected to the JFK assassination. Liggett, it turns out, was in the Louisiana Civil Air Patrol (according to writer Wayne Madsen, author of "Jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops & Brass Plates: The Blood Politics of Bush & Co.") with Lee Harvey Oswald, David Ferrie, James R. Bath (Bush associate), Charles Rogers and Barry Seal. All of these people have been linked to the CIA. The LCAP was founded by D.H. Byrd, owner of the Texas School Book Depository. It received commendations from Curtis Lemay (hater of JFK), Air Force Chief of Staff under JFK. Though I have not read it, Russell Baker's new book "Family of Secrets" about the Bush family, also deals with this topic.

Another book to check out is "Barry and The Boys," by Daniel Hopsicker. This deals with Barry Seal, and his involvement with George Bush and the CIA.

The Dallas dailies, the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Times Herald, were my primary sources for the stories on Liggett's assault on Dorothy Peck, widow of Jay Bert Peck (LBJ's "body-double" cousin), and the reports of Liggett's "killing" at the hands of the Dallas cops. The Liggett assault on Peck appears in the March 27, 1974, editions. The shooting of Liggett appears in the Feb. 15, 1975, editions of both papers (photos included). Both stories claim that he died at Parkland Hospital. However, Liggett's widow swears she saw him alive years later in Las Vegas.

There is more information on another LCAP member. Charles Rogers (whom I believe is the lead tramp in the infamous "3 Tramps" photos taken in Dealey Plaza just minutes after the assassination) is the subject of the book, "The Man On The Grassy Knoll," by John R. Craig and Philip A. Rogers (1992, Avon Books).

The man who made the Wallace fingerprint ID is also featured in the documentary, "The Men Who Killed Kennedy." If I ever find my old videotapes of that program, I have half a mind to make copies and send them to you.

I can't tell you how refreshing it is to communicate with a history professor who genuinely wants to research the true history of America. Most I ran across in my career as an educator just regurgitated the history-textbook lie that Oswald acted alone. Keep up the good work.

Bill Z. said...

I have read about Nigel Turner's video. It is high time I ordered it through Netflix. I don't believe I have read of Charles Rogers yet either. That would answer the question of mine: who was the third tramp? I will get Craig's book.

Thank you again for your guidance and your appreciation of what I am doing. I recently ran an Ebsco check for academic journal articles on the Kennedy assassination and was grieved to find that there as been nothing published in the last 26 years, but a few apologetics for the Warren Commission. It makes me think I should try to submit something, but I wonder what kind of resistance I might encounter? Academia has self-censored on this topic just like the press. I am sure others have tried and failed. Is now the time to try again?

Tim Fleming said...

Bill, I encourge you to do this. The 50th anniversary of this event is just a few years away, and it is my belief that a torrent of pro-conspiracy literature is going to, once and for all, wash away the CIA, Warren and lone-nut apologists. The truth is nigh, and you have the chance to break gound for history academicians everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Amiable fill someone in on and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.

Bill Z. said...

Your welcome. I have a big post coming soon with all the names of the men involved in killing him. Almost done.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

hi, new to the site, thanks.

Mike from Los Angeles said...

"The Men Who Killed Kennedy" documentary can be found on YouTube. The segment dealing with John Liggett is Episode 7 (The Smoking Guns), while Episode 9 (The Guilty Men) implicates LBJ. Per Wikipedia, Episodes 7, 8 and 9 have been banned from airing on the history channel, apparently because of pressure from powerful people with ties to LBJ.

Bill Z. said...

Thank you for your post Mike. I am now firmly convinced that he supplied one of the four shooting teams to cement his part in this. See my most recent post. I have seen this documentary, but perhaps I will give it another view now that I have published by "big paper."

Anonymous said...

It's funny now that a book about a conspiracy to kill Kennedy is, due to more conspiracy(?), hard to get.

What is to be said for the person who photographed LBJ in the hotel lobby at 11:50 and the people who said they saw him there, that he stayed at the hotel all night? And the people who said Nixon was at a different hotel and not the party that night? and that NOBODY else claimed to be a witness to that party?

I guess they're part of the conspiracy, too, eh?

Boy I'm gonna need a much bigger score card.

- joe

Anonymous said...

BTW - "Texas in the Morning" sells new unread hard cover on Ebay for $43.

- joe

Bill Z. said...

Thanks Anon, actually you don't have to be part of the conspiracy to kill Kennedy to try to hush up Madeline Brown. Her exposure of Johnson's bedroom habits is enough to make some very powerful people upset.

Anonymous said...

Nice and thanks!

Anonymous said...

LBJ was funded to get onto the JFK ticket in 1960 by the Mil/Ind Texas lobby, and that was all about the potential of the Catholic JFK to take apart the Masonic involvement of Masons, especially those from Texas, being so involved in supplanting the US Govt at the highest levels so as to be able to control it.

LBJ knew his role in the JFK in 1960, but the Texas Anti-Communist types ordered the hit on JFK and LBJ played along with exactly what they wanted. The hit knowledge involved all the Masonic anti-Communist factions in Govt., from Hoover, LeMay, Lemnitzer, Dulles, and on down to the big money in Texas type Masons, like Clint Murchison and the Lamar 8F Mason gang. In NO is was Guy Banister, which included his connections to Marcello and Ferrie.

Bill Z. said...

This is the first I have heard that any of these folk were masons. What is your source for this?