Saturday, December 19, 2009
Braden's Camden Arrest Report
VOLUNTARY STATEMENT. Not Under Arrest Form No. 86
COUNTY OF DALLAS, TEXAS
Before me, the undersigned authority, on this the 22 day of November A.D. 1963 personally appeared Jim Braden, Address 621 S. Barrington Drive Apt 6 Los Angeles Calf. Office 215 S. La Cienega Blvd. Beverly Hills, California, Age 49 , Phone No. 4725301 Home
Deposes and says:
I am here on business (oil business) and was walking down Elm Street trying to get a cab and there wasn't any. I heard people talking saying "My God the President has been shot." Police cars were passing me coming down toward the triple underpass and I walked up among many other people all watching them. I moved on up to the building across the street from the building that was surrounded and I ask [sic] one of the girls if there was a telephone that I could use and she said "Yes, there is one on the third floor of the building where I work". I walked through a passage to the elevator they were all getting on (freight elevator) and I got off on the third floor with all the other people and there was a lady using the pay telephone and I ask [sic] her if I could use it when she hung up and she said it was out of order and I tried to use it but with no success. I ask [sic] her how I can get out of this building and she said that there is an exit right there and then she said wait a minute here is the elevator now. I got on the elevator and returned to the ground floor and the colored man who ran the elevator said you are a stranger in this building and I am was [sic] notsuppose [sic] to let you up and he ran outside to an officer and said to the officer that he [sic] had just taken me up and down in the elevator and the officer said for me to identify myself and I presented him with a credit card and he said well we have to check out everything and took me to his superior and said for me to wait and we will check it out. I was then taken to the Sheriffs office and interrogated.
/s/ Jim Braden
Subscribed and sworn to before me on this the 22nd day of Nov A. D. 1963
/s/ Evelyn Cox
Notary Public, Dallas County, Texas
"Legacy of Doubt" by Peter Noyes was published in 1973 (Pinnacle Books, Oct. 1973) in a pulp paperback with a cover that screamed “A JOURNALISTIC BOMBSHELL! – Startling new evidence about the JFK and RFK deaths!”
Noyes, a veteran CBS TV producer and journalist wrote, “The assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, left a legacy of doubt in the minds of every American who lived through those horrifying moments in Dealey Plaza. For a time, the very structure of the Republic seemed threatened…”
Noyes book reads like an old fashioned Sam Spade detective novel, complete with gangsters, dames and cops on the take, as he describes meeting former FBI agent Bill Turner, who unsuccessfully tries to get Noyes and CBS to air his bootleg copy of the Zapruder film. On his way out the door, Turner throws Noyes a bone – check out this guy – Jim Braden, who reportedly lived in Beverly Hills and was taken into custody at Dealey Plaza.
Noyes went to the official records and discovered that on September 10, 1963, Eugene Hale Brading notified the motor vehicle department that he changed his name to Jim Braden and requested new identification under that name.
When Noyes asked then LAPD Chief of Detectives Bob Houghton about Eugene Hale Brading, and he asked the FBI (File #799431), they learned that EH Brading was a member of the La Costa Country Club and was in the vicinity of the Ambassador Hotel when RFK was murdered, besides being at Dealey Plaza.
As Noyes reports in his book, “Houghton,…eventually satisfied himself after several thousand man-hours of investigation that Eugene Hale Brading was not connected with the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy. Shortly after Houghton began working on the RFK case, he signed a contract with Random House to write a book about the assassination called ‘Special Unit Senator.’ That was the name Houghton had given the investigating task force looking into Robert Kennedy’s murder. In the police department, the task force was better known as the SUS detail…”
“The SUS task force compiled a comprehensive report on Gene Brading,” wrote Noyes, “then turned it over to the FBI. The investigators who made the report stressed to me that they regarded it as a matter of great importance and fully anticipated it would be turned over to U.S. Attorney Matt Byrne. Their paramount interest, or so they told me, was in the possible role organized crime might have played in the JFK assassination. By coincidence, at that time Matt Byrne’s office was conducting an extensive investigation of the Mafia. And I was quite interested in Byrne’s decision to subpoena one of the most powerful figures in the Cosa Nostra, the tough and vicious Carlos Marcello, of New Orleans, who had made no secret of his contempt and hatred for both John and Robert Kennedy.”
“But Byrne always insisted to me that he was never given the SUS report on Brading by the FBI…..” note Noyes. “Despite the official roadblocks set up by the FBI there was a great body of information available.”
From various sources, Noyes pieced together some basic background: “Eugene Hale Brading was one of three sons born to Charles and Millie Brading, a relatively poor but hard-working couple from the plains of Kansas. It was a closely knit family, and many years later, when Brading acquired a degree of affluence, he purchased a retirement home for his parents in the coastal cit of Santa Barbara, California.”
“Brading was only nineteen when hew as first sentenced to prison in Kansas for burglary in 1934…paroled…in 1938, (he) proceeded to moved to a much faster paced environment in Miami, Florida, where he quickly became associated with the hoodlum element. On February 24, 1941 he was arrested in Miami for running a gambling house. He was fined $200 after being convicted of bookmaking, and was given a suspended six-month jail sentence. On three different occasions he was arrested in Florida for selling World War II gasoline-ration coupons on the black market. The third time he was sentenced to one year in jail.”
“Intelligence information indicted that Brading was slowly weaving his way into the mob’s hierarchy and that he was a man who was going places. In 1948 while using the alias of Harry Eugene Bradley, he was arrested in Camden, New Jersey, as a material witness in a criminal case. (Camden police have since refused to divulge any details concerning that arrest, but it must be noted that there was considerable organized crime in the Camden area at the time, and Brading’s sudden appearance there came as no surprise to investigators who have studied his background.)…” [Legacy of Doubt, p. 40]
On reading that last passage, I gave Noyes’ book to my father, then a Lieutenant in the Camden, N.J. Police Department. While today Camden is recognized as America’s “most dangerous” city, it was not so then – in 1948, though organized crime and the Syndicate were getting organized. The Philadelphia “family,” later to be led by Angelo Bruno, was in 1948 headed by Marco Riginelli, who lived in the Walt Whitman Hotel in Camden. Then a close-knit operation, gambling, booze, prostitution and drugs were the main interests in a geographic area that encompassed Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, from Trenton to Atlantic City.
The next day my father handed me the 1948 Camden PD arrest file on “Harry Eugene Bradley” also known as Eugene Hale Brading, including a front and side mug shot, details of the arrest and a three page rap sheet of previous arrests, and an attachment from the FBI requesting they be notified of any information about this individual.
Like he would be at Dealey Plaza as Jim Braden, Brading was taken into custody as a material witness, though in the Camden incident, he wouldn’t be asked to just make a statement and be released on his own recognizance, but would be mug shot, fingerprinted and held as a witness in a gambling operation of Dominic Mattia. I recognized the name of the arresting officer – Mr. Bobiac, who also ran a TV repair shop, but he had since past away.
Curious, I looked up Dominic Mattia in the phone book and found he lived in a new development in nearby Cherry Hill. Unabashed, I drover over and knocked on his door. When Mattia answered, and I asked him if he recalled the 1948 arrest in Camden, he did. Mattia explained that there was a card game going, a high stakes card game that was raided, and Mattia and Brading were just two of the guys in the room at the time. “It was a coincidence we were together,” Mattia said.
I was in my early 20s at the time and it was one of my first forays into the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy.
Making copies of Jim Braden’s Camden arrest file, I sent one to Peter Noyes, another to the Assassination Archives and Research Center in DC and others to a few independent researchers who I knew were interested. Later, in 1977, I hand delivered a copy to the Philadelphia law office of Richard Sprague, when he was appointed the first chief counsel to the HSCA, and I learned that he had his staff read Noyes’ book.
I knew Jim Braden’s testimony before the HSCA would be important, mainly because of his movements, residency at the Cabana Hotel and sharing an office in New Orleans on the same floor in the same building (Pere Marquette) as G. Ray Gill. Since Jim Garrison obtained the phone records of Gill’s office, and knew about some phone calls that established a pattern of evidence, I mistakenly believed that it would be properly investigated.
After Richard Sprague was forced out of the HSCA and G. Robert Blakely was appointed chief counsel, I thought Blakely’s academic background in the study of organized crime at Cornell, and his development of the RICO Act as a prosecution tool, that the Braden angle would be investigated.
When Braden was finally called to testify before the HSCA, he did so in executive session, for two days, even though, as a reading of his testimony shows, he wanted his story to be told so he could be publicly exonerated. Instead, when the HSCA concluded its business, it published a series of reports and exhibits, like the Warren Commission, but then sealed the rest of its records for 50 years as Congressional Records.
According to House Rule 36, all Congressional Records are sealed for 50 years, and Congress, unlike the CIA and every other branch of government, exempted itself from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
After the HSCA folded up its tent and sealed its records, I got a phone call from Michael Ewing, who worked with Blakely at the HSCA and was co-authoring a book with Blakely on how JFK was killed by the mob. I respected Ewing from his previous book, “Coincidence Or Conspiracy,” profiles of the major players in the JFK assassination, including one on Jim Braden, a book that he co-authored with Bernie Festerwald, Esq., founder of the Assassination Archives and Research Center.
Ewing had been talking with Peter Noyes and learned that I had obtained Jim Braden’s 1948 arrest report from the Camden, NJ PD, and wanted a copy.
I explained I had given a copy to Sprague and the HSCA, but Ewing said that Sprague didn’t turn over all his files to Blakely when he left, and I said I was glad he didn’t because they would now be locked away for 50 years. I did send him a copy, but made him aware of my anger at the records being sealed.
Although Blakley said that he was content to “Rest on the judgment of historians in 50 years,” others were not, and the JFK Act was passed in 1992 that ordered the release to the public of all government records related to the assassination of President Kennedy. The HSCA records of their investigation of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., which included evidence of conspiracy, continues to be withheld from the public.
In his testimony before the HSCA, Braden made it quite clear that he wanted his story to be told in public, but his DC attorney at the time does not know what became of him.
When I was in California, I checked in at La Costa Country Club, which was open to the public, and the golf pro recalled Braden but didn’t know where he went after being booted from the club. The address in Atlanta where he was living when he testified before the HSCA was no longer valid. The “Jim Braden” whose name and phone number are listed in the LA phone book, is a black guy who is not the Jim Braden from Dealey Plaza.
If Jim Braden is still alive, he would be in his upper 80s, probably living near a golf course, possibly near Atlanta, or close to Santa Barbara, California, where his mother was last known to be living.
It would be greatly appreciated if anyone could put me in contact with Jim Braden, aka Edgar Eugene Brading, aka Harry Eugene Bradley, as I am anxious to get his story out.
Feb. 1, 2006
Browns Mills, N.J.
THE BRADEN FILE
When Jim Braden checked into the Cabana Hotel in Dallas, Texas on November 21, 1963, there was no indication that anything spectacular was going to happen. Braden and his associates were in the oil business and had an appointment the next day with oil Texas oil baron H. L. Hunt, but Braden would miss the meeting. Destiny would intervene.
On Thursday, November 21, 1963, the same night Braden and friends checked in, Lawrence Meyers and Jean Aase (aka Jean West) were sitting at a table in the Bon Vivant Room of the same hotel, along with Meyers brother Ed and his wife. Ed Meyers was a Pepsi Cola soft drink bottler from New York and was in Dallas for a convention. They exchanged small talk, ostensibly ignorant of the cataclysmic events that would overtake them the next day.
Shortly before midnight Jack Ruby joined them for a short time. Ruby had earlier had a steak dinner with Meyers at the Egyptian Lounge, and Ruby knew Jean Aase, having met her earlier in the day at his Carousel Club.
Both Ruby and Larry Meyers were from Chicago, and they later said that was the basis of their friendship. Ruby had brought a “twist” exercise board with him and demonstrated it to Larry Meyers, who sold sporting goods equipment to department stores. Ruby was trying to convince Larry Meyers to market the devise for a friend of his.
Since Jim Braden used a credit card to pay for his drinks, it was later determined that Braden and his associates had a few drinks at the same Bon Vivant bar room, though he later claimed not to know Ruby or either of the Meyers brothers.
Jim Braden was there on oil business, Larry Meyers was mixing business and pleasure, Ed Meyers was there for the convention, and Ruby was just being his flamboyant self.
The next day, while Larry Meyers played golf, Ed Meyers went to his convention, Jean Aase went shopping with one of Ruby’s dancers, Betty McDonald, but Braden would miss the meeting his associates had with H.L. Hunt. Instead, Braden was taken into custody as a suspect in the murder of President John F. Kennedy.
Larry Meyers had a few conversations with his friend from the old neighborhood, Jack Ruby, who then proceeded to stalk, shoot and kill Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin, while the suspect was in the custody of the Dallas police.
Ed Meyers and his wife, who had been to Mexico City, where they had visited Larry’s son Ralph Meyers, returned to New York, while Larry Meyers flew back to Chicago with Jean Aase, who would never be seen, questioned or even located by government investigators who looked for her. Larry Meyers and Jack Ruby gave innocent explanations for their meeting at the Cabana the night before the assassination, and Jim Braden would be released by the police after making a simple statement.
Braden was never questioned by the Warren Commission or other investigations until the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) took his testimony over two days, and then locked it away for 50 years.
Jim Braden’s actions before and after the assassination are indeed suspicious, and even Braden, as he expressed in his HSCA testimony, was himself anxious to clear the record and his name.
In 1970, California television producer Peter Noyes came across Braden’s statement among the 26 volumes of Warren Commission Exhibits,
[See: Braden Statement of 11/22/63] which reads:
“I am here on business (oil business) and was walking down Elm Street trying to get a cab and there wasn’t any. I heard people talking, saying, ‘My God, the President’s has been shot.’ Police cars were passing me coming down the triple underpass and I was walking up among other people and this building was surrounded by police officers with guns and we were watching them.”
“I moved up to the building across the street from the building which was surrounded and I asked one of the girls if there was a telephone that I could use and she said, ‘Yes, there is one on the third floor of the building where I work.’ I walked through a passage to the elevator where they were getting on (the freight elevator) and I got off on the third floor of the building with all the other people and there was a lady using the pay phone and I asked her if I could use it when she hung up and she said it was out of order and I tried to use it with no success. I ask(ed) her how I can get out of the building and she said that there is an exit right there and then she said wait a minute here is the elevator now. I got on the elevator and returned to the ground floor and the colored man who ran the elevator said you are a stranger in this building and I was not suppose to let you up and he ran outside to an officer and said to this office that he had just taken me up and down in the elevator and the officer said for me to identify myself and I presented him with a credit card and he said well we have to check out everything and took me to his superior and said for me to wait and we will check it out. I was then taken to the Sheriff’s office and interrogated.”
Signed by Jim Braden, on Form 86, a Sheriff’s Department Voluntary Statement which noted, “Not Under Arrest.” Braden listed his age as 49, and home address as 621 S. Barrington Dr., Apt. 6, Los Angeles, California, and his office as 215 S. La Cienega, Blvd., Beverly Hills, California. His home phone was 472-5301.
Seven years later Peter Noyes, the television producer, tried to locate Braden as a potential witness, and tried to obtain his then current address by contacting the California Division of Motor Vehicles, who told Noyes that six weeks before the assassination, in September, 1963, Eugene Hale Brading legally changed his name to Jim Braden and had requested a new drivers license bearing that name.
The Los Angeles Police Department then told Noyes that Eugene Hale Brading, now also known as Jim Braden, had numerous arrests and was associated with organized crime activities. Born in Kansas and sent to a reformatory from school, he had been arrested on dozens of charges throughout his career, and was suspected of being a money courier for the Meyer Lansky syndicate.
Once, in Dallas, Braden was charged with embezzlement for bilking rich widows by marrying them and taking their money. The newspapers had branded him and his partner “the Honeymooners,” and Braden was literally run out of Dallas by Sheriff Bill Decker, who charged Braden for being a vagrant for living with the widow of the founder of Magnolia Oil Company. It would be Decker’s deputy “Lummie” Lewis who had taken Braden into custody at Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.
Contacting Braden’s parole officer, Noyes found that Braden had stayed at the Cabana Hotel in Dallas, where Jack Ruby was known to have visited the night before the assassination. Noyes also discovered that Braden and his two associates had an appointment at the offices of H.L. Hunt at the same time Jack Ruby was there, dropping off a young women who applied for a job with Hunt’s company.
While Braden was not at the meeting, his associates did sign the register at Hunt’s building and kept the appointment.
Not just such circumstantial evidence, which could be coincidence or happenstance, Noyes also found that Braden’s movements were suspicious because they matched some third-party records, specifically some telephone records.
After Braden made his statement in Dallas and the police released him, Braden returned to the Cabana, where he learned that his associates had already checked out and flew to Houston on their private plane. Braden flew to Houston on a commercial flight, met his associates in Houston, checked out a West Texas oil opportunity and then Braden went to New Orleans. In New Orleans Braden worked with oil geologist Vernon Main, Jr., who maintained an office where Braden often visited and received mail on the 17th floor of the Pierre Marquette office building.
Both the Pinkerton Detective Agency and attorney G. Wray Gill also had offices on the 17th floor of the Pierre Marquette building. In 1963 Gill represented New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello in his deportation case, which was resolved on November 22, 1963. David Ferrie, who was the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald’s Civil Air Patrol officer years earler, worked as a private investigator for Gill on the Marcello case and worked out of Gill’s office.
In 1968 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison obtained the telephone records of Gill’s office in connection with his investigation of David Ferrie, and Ferrie’s suspected involvement in a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. Gill furnished Garrison with his office phone records, complaining that Ferrie made many of the calls, some unauthorized.
A former Eastern airlines pilot and soldier of fortune, David Ferrie reportedly flew Marcello back into the United States after Marcello had been deported to Guatemala by attorney general Robert Kennedy. Ferrie also trained anti-Castro Cuban pilots for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in Guatemala and had been Oswald’s Captain in the Civil Air Patrol before Oswald enlisted in the Marines. Ferrie and Oswald were also seen together with World Trade Mart executive Clay Shaw in Clinton, Louisiana, where Oswald tried to register to vote and applied for a job at a mental hospital.
The Warran Commission investigators examined Jack Ruby’s phone records and some of his associates, including Larry Meyers, among whose phone records Jim Garrison discovered a phone number in Chicago also called by someone from Gill’s office in New Orleans.
It was assumed by Garrison and others that Ferrie made the call from Gill’s office on the 17th floor of the Pierre Marquette in New Orleans to the Chicago number used by Jean Aase (aka West), the women who accompanied Larry Meyers to Dallas from Chicago on the weekend of the assassination.
The phone number Chicago Whitehall 4 – 4970, was listed as Jean Aase’s address, 20 East Delaware Avenue, a hotel-apartment building owned by a Russian family and managed by Les Barker, a friend and business partner of Larry Meyers.
The call to that number from Gill’s office in New Orleans was made on September 24, 1963, the day Lee Harvey Oswald left his Magazine Street apartment for Mexico City.
A few weeks after that call, in October 1963, Les Barker introduced Larry Meyers to Jean Aase, who lived in one of the hotel room apartments. Originally from Minnesotta, Aase was referred to by Meyers as “Miss West,” and characterized as “a party girl, playgirl, a dumb but accommodating broad and semi-professional hooker.”
Three days before the assassination Meyers and Aase flew to Dallas and stayed at the Ramada Inn near the airport. The next day they moved to the Cabana Motor Hotel, where Meyers had previously stayed on other occasions, including the gala grand opening.
Jim Braden and his associates from California were also registered at the Cabana at the time.
The Warren Report reads: “On Thursday, November 21, 1963 Ruby conversed for about an hour with Lawrence Meyers, a Chicago businessman. Between 9:45 and 10:45 p.m., Ruby had dinner with his financial backer Ralph Paul,….(then) about midnight Ruby rejoined Meyers at the Bon Vivant Room of the Dallas Cabana where they met Meyers’ brother and sister-in-law.”
By the end of the weekend the President was dead, Braden had been taken into custody and Ruby had killed the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Braden then left Dallas and went to the same floor of the same office building where Oswald’s former CAP Captain David Ferrie worked and a phone call was made to Jean Aase’s Chicago apartment before the assassination. The trail comes full circle. Chicago-Dallas-New Orleans – Chicago.
Robert F. Kennedy, in his book The Enemy Within, explained how such third-party telephone records are important evidence in gaining organized crime conspiracy convictions. “We find out who is in touch with whom and on what dates,” Kennedy wrote. “Say that A calls B; we get B’s calls; find that two minutes after he hung up from talking to A, he called C. Then we find from canceled checks, money going from A to C. Gangsters in Chicago all call the same barber shop in Miami Beach that gangsters in Detroit call – its being used as a syndicate message center. Records are far more important than witnesses.”
Peter Noyes, the California television producer who first uncovered Jim Braden’s name change and criminal records, wrote a book published in paperback, A Legacy of Doubt (Pinnacle Press, 1973), which details Braden’s background, associations with organized crime and possible involvement in the assassination. Shortly after Kennedy’s murder, in 1964, Braden became a charter member in the La Costa Country Club, near San Diego, California.
From Braden’s rap sheet of previous arrests, Noyes developed a profile of Braden, and knew that he had been arrested in Camden, New Jersey, in 1948. In his book Noyes reports that, “The Camden police have since refused to divulge any details concerning that arrest, but it must be noted that there was considerable organized crime activity in the Camden area at the time.”
Since my father was a Lieutenant in the Camden Police Department at the time (1973), I showed him this reference in Noyes’ book, and shortly thereafter he handed me the original 1948 Camden arrest report [C.P.D. # 5648 - 9837] for Harry Eugene Bradley, as a material witness in the gambling case of Dominic Mattia.
Including front and side view mug shot, the report notes he is a White, Mail, 6 foot 1 inch in height, 175 pounds, of medium build, hazel eyes and brown hair. His date and place of birth is noted as 11/30/14 and Fort Worth, Texas (Sic, actually Kansas). His occupation, Salesman. FBI # 799431 and SBI # 381026. FPC 23 1 A 10 14 – 1 A 10 18.
A small card details that on May 5, 1948, Harry Bradley, of 24 Benson St., Camden, N.J. an American, White, Mail, Salesman, age 33, not married, can read, condition-sober, was arrested by Detectives Conley, Bobiak and Trout as material witness in the case of Dominic Mattia, at 3:40 PM in the 4th Ward, and was lodged in Cell No. 2-N, as received by Sgt. Stanton. He was later released by “Carson” with the disposition of the case being dismissed on 5/7/48.
The FBI Record SB # 381026 is two pages long, listing the 14 times Eugene Hale Bradley (aka Eugene H. Brading) was arrested and fingerprinted before May 1948. The first was on 5-15-34 for burglary, while others were for running a gambling house, auto theft and war powers act, for selling Office of Price Administration (OPA) gas ration books, mainly in Miami, Florida.
There is also a note: “#4287-N USN, Miami, Fla., 1-7-43 Black Market gas coupons, 12-7-45 probation revoked. Taken into custody 12-7-45 for service of sentence originally imposed – 1 year in institution of penitentiary type.”
The Camden arrest record was kept in files in the basement. Rather than because the Camden PD was controlled by organized crime, as Peter Noyes suggested in his book, the reason he was never given the records is because the secretaries who received his request didn’t want to get dirty in the dingy basement records room. When my father attempted to obtain a current arrest report on Braden however, they FBI refused his request, something he said never happened before.
In the clipping morgue of the Camden Courier Post newspaper I located a small news report of the 1948 gambling arrest, and another larger story from many years later that mentioned Dominic Mattia’s involvement in a bankruptcy scheme. I obtained Mattia’s address from the public phone directory and visited him at his suburban Camden home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey [on Monday, June 2, 1975].
Mattia told me that he had been arrested for gambling with some friends and that Braden just happened to be in the store where they were raided at the time. “I remember the him,” Mattia said, “but I only knew the guy for one day. He was a drifter. It was just a coincidence that he was there at the time. He then left town and I never saw him again.”
It seems that Jim Braden has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In his book Noyes also notes that Jim Braden was in Los Angeles on the night Robert Kennedy was assassinated.
In 1977 Congress officially reopened the investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy by convening the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). When former Philadelphia prosecutor Richard Sprague was appointed chief counsel of the committee, I hand delivered a photo copy of the Braden file from the Camden PD to Sprague’s law office in Philadelphia, just across the Delaware River from Camden.
Sprague, who had successfully prosecuted the political assassination of a United Mine Workers union official, was not buying the lone-nut scenario for Kennedy’s murder and was quoted in the papers as saying, “I am not interested in whether Oswald was fed at his mother’s breast, my approach to motive is more direct.”
When it became apparent that Sprague was going to conduct a serious homicide investigation he was directly removed from his post in a political move that also led to the resignation of the HSCA chairman Rep. Henry Gonzalas (D. Tex.), also a witness to the assassination.
The Second Chief Counsel to the HSCA, G. Robert Blakey, was a former laweyer in RFK’s Justice Department, had founded the Cornell University Institute on Organized Crime and authored much of the RICO statutes that gave the government gang busting powers to attack organized crime.
Blakey cut back on the HSCA staff and scope of the investigation, failed to review any significant leads that implicated the intelligence agencies, relied on inconclusive scientific evidence and shifted the inquiry towards organized crime.
As an expert witness on organized crime, Blakey had previously testified in court in California [La Costa vs. Penthouse Magazine] that Moe Daltz, who with Jim Braden, was a co-founder of the La Costa Country Club, was NOT involved in organized crime activity. Former FBI agent William Turner said, “How he could do that with all that is known about Dalitz, I don’t know.”
After two years of conducting hearings and interviews, including two days of secret, closed door testimony of Jim Braden, Blakey’s HSCA issued a report that concluded there is evidence of conspiracy in the assassination, and disbanded.
Blakely insured that the HSCA records, including Braden’s testimony, would be sealed from the public by classifying it as “Congressional Material,” which under rule #36, ensures that the records were locked away for 50 years, or until 2029. While all other branches of government must comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Congress exempted itself from the law, and Blakey was quoted as saying he’s okay with that and, “I’ll rest on the judgment of historians in 50 years.”
Six months after the release of the HSCA “Final Report,” I received a telephone call from G. Robert Blakey’s assistant Michael Ewing, who was working with Blakey on a book about the assassination. I knew Ewing from his co-authorship of a previous book on the assassination, the appropriately titled Conspiracy or Coincidence?, which profiles many of the witnesses and suspects involved in the JFK assassination drama.
Ewing said he had been talking with Peter Noyes, the California television producer, who mentioned that I had obtained Jim Braden’s Camden, N.J. arrest record, and wanted a copy of it.
I told him that I had given Sprague a copy when he first took the job, but Ewing said that Sprague didn’t share all of his records with Blakey.
I said that I was glad he didn’t because if I had given Sprague the original record, and he had passed it on, Blakey would have locked it away for 50 years so nobody would have it.
When I asked Ewing why he was interested in the Braden file now, after the committee had concluded its investigation, issued its report and disbanded, and failed to even mention Braden in its Final Report, Ewing replied that, “The most important evidence was not published in the report or publicly released and is locked away.”
“We expect the Justice Department to officially reopen the case,” Ewing said, “and we didn’t want to tip our hand by releasing the most incriminating evidence.”
This contradicts the statements of Rep. Lewis Stokes, the third chairman of the HSCA, who said that they did not lock away any evidence of conspiracy.
While Blakey did not want the records of the HSCA released to the public, he did use material he obtained there to write, with former Life magazine editor Richard Billings, a book The Plot To Kill The President (Times Books, 1981), which concludes President Kennedy was killed by an organized crime conspiracy involving the Mafia.
The plot to kill President Kennedy was most certainly an organized crime, and did include members of the mob, the Mafia didn’t engage in a psychological warfare campaign to blame the assassination on Fidel Castro, thwart the Secret Service, control the Dallas Police investigation, cover up the criminal and conspiratorial aspects of the crime, prevent a forensic autopsy of the victims and lock up the most significant evidence for 50 years.
The JFK ACT of 1992 released most of the HSCA records, including Jim Braden’s two days of executive testimony, a transcript of which was obtained and shared by Peter Noyes.
JIM BRADEN’S HSCA TESTIMONY AND DEPOSITION – A SYNOPSIS
By Bill Kelly (email@example.com )
Jim Braden appeared anxious to testify in Executive Session before the JFK Sub-Committee of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). He finally got the opportunity on Tuesday, May 16, 1978 at 11:30 a.m. in room 1310 of the Longworth House Office Building. The Honorable Richard Prior, chairman of the JFK subcommittee presided.
Representatives Dodd and Pithian were also present, as well as Michael Ewing, Gary Cornwall, Richard Billings and a half-dozen other staff members. The room was cleared of unauthorized personnel and the proceedings were recorded by a stenographer. Mr. Braden was represented by DC attorney Kenneth M. Trombly.
The recordings of what transpired at that session, and another subsequent sworn deoposition with Mr. Braden, were then locked away at the National Archives for 50 years from the termination of the committee in 1979. The second chief counsel to the committee, G. Robert Blakey, when asked about the secrecy, replied, “I’ll rest on the judgment of historians in 50 years.”
The American people did not however, and after intense pressure was placed on Congress, the JFK Assassinations Records Review Act was passed in 1993, which called for the release of all official records related to the assassination of President Kennedy. Among these records were the transcripts of the testimony that should have been public knowledge in 1978.
In 1978 Braden said his address was 3234 Peachtree Road, Northeast, Atlanta, Georgia, and his occupation was, “Pursuing the clearing of my name of the associations that have been made about me in books, magazines and newspapers.”
Among the accusations Braden had to explain was how he came to officially change his name shortly before he was taken into custody as a suspicious person at the scene of the murder of President Kennedy.
At that time, Braden was on parole and working in Los Angeles as an independent oil operator. Among the corporations he owned were the Matador Corporation of Texas and California. His main associate at the time was Roger Bowman, of Dallas.
He was on parole for violation of the Mail Fraud Act and the National Stolen Property Act. Braden explained, “This concerned a check that was transported from Texas to California by the bank. When the check went through the mails that was mail fraud. If the check was for more than $5,000, that constituted National Stolen Property Act.” The case was prosecuted in El Paso, Texas Federal Court.
In September of 1963 Braden said that he requested permission from his Los Angeles parole officer, Mr. Samuel Barrett, to travel to Houston for five days to discuss business. He was in Houston on September 16, 1963 when he left a note for the parole office there. He was to discuss business with Mr. D.D. Ford of the Tidewater Oil Company, but did not meet with him as planned, although Bauman may have met with Ford. Braden said he may have met with his production engineers, Paul Montgomery and Alan Hardy, who were with the Dixon Management Co., some oil geologists from Lafayette, La., and Vernon Main, Jr., an oil geologist from New Orleans. This mid-September trip to Texas was interrupted by a hurricane.
According to a letter to Braden dated November 18, 1963 from parole officer Barrett [Entered into the record as JFK Exhibit No. 109], Braden planned to return to Houston on October 27, 1963, but this trip was delayed to November 21. “It is understood that you will depart from Los Angeles via airlines on Wed. Nov. 20, 1963, and will travel directly to Dallas where you will remain until Monday, Nov. 21, (Sic Nov. 25) when you will continue your flight on to Houston, Texas, where you will remain until about Nov. 26th before continuing on to Opelousas, Louisiana. You are hearby instructed to contact the Probation Offices in Dallas and Houston, Texas after your arrival in those different cities and to follow any instructions given you in those cities….”
All the best plans sometimes go astray, and it just wasn’t going to play out that way. Braden recalls arriving in Dallas on Thursday, the 21st of November, though there is some discrepancy as to whether he took a commercial flight or private plane. Braden remembers the private plane. He traveled from Los Angeles with Mr. Morgan Brown, Mr. Duane Nowlan and Mr. Myron Routt. Brown was an oil consultant, and friend of Braden who gave him a job when he got out of the penitentiary. Nowlan owned and piloted the private air plane, and Routt was a wealthy, political investor.
At noon, shortly after checking in at the Dallas Cabana Moter-Hotel, Braden checked in with the Dallas probation office in the federal building. Mr. Robert Carroll sent a letter that day to Mr. Joseph N. Shore, Parole Executive at the U.S. Boar of Parole, First and D Streets, N.W. Washington, D.C., “as per Barrett’s instructions, Brading reported to this office at noon today stating that he planned to see Lamar Hunt and other speculators while here…Brading promised to notify us of his departure from Dallas…” [JKK Exhibit 110]. That Thursday, November 21, Brading and his associates had dinner at an Italian restaurant.
Braden recalled his interlude with Sheriff Bill Decker when he briefly lived in Dallas in 1952. While a guest at the home of Mrs. Lee Little, the widow of the founder of Magnolia Oil Co., and her husband, Braden’s good friend Victor Perrera, the Chief of the University Park police called Braden and asked him to come to the station. He was locked up for vagrancy, taken downtown “to see the sheriff,” fingerprinted, photographed, booked for vagrancy and locked in a broom closet until bailed out by Mr. Perrera. Sheriff Decker ordered Braden out of town, and he was photographed by news photographers while leaving.
On November 22, 1963 Braden recalled being taken into custody by one of Sheriff Decker’s deputies. Braden had breakfast with Bauman, Brown, Nowlin and Rout somewhere in a little café in downtown Dallas. Although they intended to stay another day, they decided to leave for Houston that afternoon instead. Braden then ad to inform the parole office of his change in itinerary and early departure. He did not however, tell his associates he had to do this.
“I ate breakfast and went over to see my probation officer,” Braden explained. He did not recall making or receiving any telephone calls while at the Cabana, nor did he see Mr. Hunt, as expected. Braden went to see his parole officer while the others went to see Hunt.
Walking to the federal parole office, Braden said, “…the street that the President’s motorcade was coming down was completely lined with people. I walked across the street and stood in front of the Tiches Department Store. There was a little ledge higher than the street. I stood on that. I watched the motorcade as it went by me…. I saw it in the papers, heard it on TV. It was well known he was going to be there.” But he said he did not intentionally plan his visit downtown so that he could see the President’s motorcade.
Braden made a sketch of downtown Dallas and mapped out his walk. [JFK Exhibit No.111 was entered into the record.] It is a sketch of downtown Dallas, making the points where Braden was at various times during the hour of the assassination. Recreating his walk, Braden said that after leaving the restaurant where he had breakfast with his associates, he stopped on the steps of Titches Department Store to watch the motorcade approaching. “The streets were completely lined with people waiting for the motorcade to come through. I crossed the street. While I was there I waited to see the President’s motorcade….I watched the motorcade come by ( and then proceeded to the Federal Building).”
“While I arrived, I cannot recall what floor the Probation Department is on, but as I arrived a the door the Chief Probation Officer, Mr. Roger Carroll had his keys out and was going to open the door, his receptionist standing there and me – this was the three of us. And he opened the door and I went in, signed the registry and went into his office and we sat there and discussed the motorcade momentarily and the President….I advised him I was leaving and going to Houston. We passed the time of day. He said good bye and I left.” They did not discuss whether or not Braden had seen Hunt.
Braden was asked about his interview years later with Los Angeles Detective Manuel Guterres, who attempted to obtain a photograph of Braden from his ex-wife, Mrs. Bauman of Palm Springs, California. (No one asks if she was also related to Braden’s associate Duane Bauman.) Guterres wanted to know how Braden came to be in Dealey Plaza when JFK was killed and was in LA when RFK was murdered. At the time RFK was killed, Braden said, “I was in bed with my wife (at the Century Plaza Hotel) at the time. We were watching television and saw Bobby Kennedy shot.”
When Guterries asked him where he was when President Kennedy was shot, Braden replied, “I was in the United States Probation Office checking in with Mr. Flowers…As I recall there wasn’t any Mr. Flowers….I had…forgotten Mr. Roger Carroll’s name. It could have been an honest mistake. I did not intentionally do it.”
So after visiting Mr. Carroll at the Probation office, Braden said, “I walked out, started down the street. I stopped, as I recall and got a sandwich, I believe at a little restaurant there. When I left there I was walking, I was looking for a taxi cab and these people were running up the street towards me…I distinctly recall this fellow had a camera over his shoulder saying, “My God, they have shot the President.”
Walking further on he came across Dallas Police cars with their doors open, and he could hear the police radio, “They were telling on the radio, everybody get to that building….I walked along the edge of what I later learned was the Texas School Book Depository Building. I recall the railroad tracks ran off this way and up to the edge of the building where all the people were there with the officers completely circling the building I was looking across the street. [The Sheriff’s report, Braden’s 11/22/63 statement is entered into the records as JFK Exhibit No. 112].
Braden continued, “I walked up alongside this building which is now known as the Dal-Tex Building. I was peeking around the corner, I asked somebody what is happening. They said they have somebody up there who shot the President and these officers had their guns up there pointing to this building….As I proceeded along – there were crowds of people on the sidewalk and I asked one of the ladies who was walking along in my direction, I said, ‘Is there a telephone in the area?’ She said, ‘ There is one in my building on the third floor’ and we passed through this walkway to a freight elevator.”
Asked whom he wanted to call, Braden said, “My family in Santa Barbara, my mother and father. I thought this was quite a news events to call and tell them what occurred in Dallas. And I went up to the third floor. There was a women standing there who tried to use the telephone. She hung up. I started using it. She said, ‘It is out of order.’ I turned around. ‘How do I get out of here?’ She says, ‘There is an exit right over there.’ Because I didn’t know where I was in this building I was looking for an exit. I came up in a freight elevator. I was looking for an exit. I was on the third floor….She says, ‘There is a freight elevator there now.’ With this I went over and got back on and started to descend. This was at the time when this old gentleman who was steering the elevator began to look at me a little askance. He had a radio there in the elevator and it was blaring the Kennedy matter out and whatnot. He became more concerned as we were riding this elevator down. I no more than got on the ground floor, he ran back up this runway to an office in uniform and I am following the fellow right along because what can I do? I could not run away. If I ran away they would probably shoot me on the spot.”
“I just took this man up and down in the elevator,” Braden quoted the elevator operator as saying. “With this, the officer says, “Well, we have to check out everything.” With this the officer takes me and we walk out in the center of this area here where there were all these vacant areas where all these policeman were surrounding the building. I definitely recall at the time that I looked over and I could see men coming out. They had a gun on a string or a rope or something. Whatever time that was, I don’t know…about thirty minutes (after he left the Federal Building).”
When the Sheriff’s Deputies asked him for identification Braden first showed them some credit cards. “I pulled out the first thing that was in my wallet. I had my driver’s license too…We went over to the Sheriff’s Office…There we walked into this room where there were many other people sitting around. I sat down,….told two detectives what happened….Then I saw for…say three or four hours. Two Secret Service agents asked me how I was to get home. They asked if I signed a statement…With this I went to a girl who had a typewriter in the desk. She typed it out as I spoke and I signed it…As I understand it they told me they were Secret Service Agents. That is how I knew that…It was pretty hectic time in the Sheriff’s office, people running in and out of there all the time.” The two Secret Service Agents then gave him a ride back to the Cabana Motor Hotel, where he found his associates had already checked out, so he caught a commercial flight to Houston to catch up with them.
As for Braden’s early life, he told the HSCA he was born in Kansas, left home at nineteen, spent time in a reformatory. His parents moved to California during WWII. He bought them a house in Santa Barbara in 1960, and calls home every Sunday.
His mother once asked him, “Is it true, son, what these people say about you, about all this bad notoriety that came out?”
“Even my own mother questioned me, and that hurt,” Braden said, acknowledging that he never did call her that day.
As for Braden’s associates, “I saw them the next day in Houston at the Sheraton-Lincoln Hotel. We all gathered there. They asked what happened and I didn’t tell them anything because it was embarrassing to me.”
Braden reiterates that they all flew to Dallas from LA on Nowlin’s plane and not by commercial airline (a fact disputed by Brown). Braden flew by commercial airline to Houston while the others left earlier on Nowlin’s plane (possibly out of Redbird AP). From Houston they flew to West Texas, possibly San Angelo to meet an oil speculator named Charlie W., last name unknown. They never went to Opelousas, La., as planned, and returned to Los Angeles. Braden went on to New Orleans.
Braden’s excuse for getting caught in the Dealey Plaza dragnet: “When the event came up of Mr. Kennedy’s assassination, I had a curiosity which apparently I shouldn’t have had and I became involved.”
Braden said that he later returned to Dallas some years after the assassination, and “married a young women from Dallas, Texas (Jeanne Dicentis) and I was in Dallas society after that.” He also admitted having, “laid out my whole story to Hugh Hainesworth, who was with the Dallas Times Herald….He was in the plaza when the president was shot. If anybody he would know anything that transpired there. I would have to say that he would know more than anybody else.”
Braden said that he went to Cuba in 1937-38 and lived in New Orleans in the summer of 1963, under U.S. Parole supervision. At the time he lived in New Orleans he was married to Mrs. Mildred Bauman of Palm Springs, California, “and was living off the considerable income from my oil production.”
In New Orleans he lived in an apartment complex on Saint Charles Avenue, past the Pontchartrain Hotel to be closer to his oil wells, and companies, the Empire Oil and Royalty Corporation, of Lafayette, Louisiana. His attorney was Duncan Smith. His closest friend and associate in New Orleans was Vernon Main, Jr., and oil geologist who kept an office in Room 1701 in the Pierre Marquette building, where Braden frequently visited.
A Dec. 23, 1977 letter to the probation office requesting dates Braden was under parole supervision in New Orleans was entered into the record [Exhibits 114, 115, 116]. Braden testified that he did not know G. Ray Gill or recognize photo [Exhibit No. 71]. He did not know Col. Blueford Balter or William Monteleon, although he was entertained at the Monteleon Hotel nightclub, possibly in June, 1963. Braden did not know Mike or William McLaney, nor did he visit a hunting cabin on Lake Ponchartrain. Nor did he know David Ferrie, Carlos Marchelloo, Lawrence Meyers, Jean Aase/West, and while a social Baptist, he has “not gone to church in awhile.”
Braden did not recall using the alias Edgar Eugene Bradley, even though his arrest record [JFK Exhibit 117] indicated he used the name Harry Eugene Bradley when arrested in Camden, N.J. on March 5, 1948.
Braden was not familiar with Jeannette Porforto, aka Jada, although Candy Barr “rang a bell.” Nor did he recognize a photo of Guy Bannister, did not know Nofio Pecora, and only recognized Clay Shaw’s photos from the newspapers. He did not know Harold Tannenbaum, Jack Martin or “the United Cuban Catholic Missionary Friends or Forces.”
Braden had been a member of the Petroleum Club of LA, “until the book came out and I resigned.” He once had dinner at the Dallas Petroleum Club with his wife Jean Dicentis and the former President of the Republic Bank and his wife (circa 1967). Braden said he may have met Jim Garrison once, “on a street corner or something, said hello to him.”
Braden said he first met Mr. Victor Perrera around 1949. They had interest in two oil wells in Matagora County, Texas, with Perrera’s interests under the name of Velco Products. Braden did not know of Delco Oil Products, was never associated with World Oil Company, formed in Beverly Hills in 1963.
Morgan Brown hired him out of the penitentiary. Braden did known Earl Scheib, who Perrera worked for, and whom he knew socially through Brown. He did not know Scheib’s associate Robert Barney Barker.
A letter from Braden to Ed Davis, LAPD [JFK Exhibit No. 120] is quoted, “Of the many misrepresentations made by agents and officers of the LAPD as reflected in the book [By Noyes] are and were my associations with James Fratianno, Charles Rhodes, Stephen Sambor, Harry Meltzer, Joe, George and Fred Issica and Meyer Lansky.
JIM BRADEN DEPOSITION
Jim Braden returned for a second appearance before the Select Committee on Assassinations on July 26, 1978. For the record, Braden now gave his address as Eugene H. Braden, 2028 East 7th St., Charlotte, North Carolina, 28201. (704) 376-9055.
Having taken the testimony of Morgan Brown since Braden gave his earlier testimony, the committee counsel tried to clear up some discrepancies, such as Braden saying he flew with Brown in a private plane from LA to Dallas, while Brown recalls flying a commercial airline. Brown also recalled the Cabana Motel being booked solid that Thursday night, so Brown recalled staying with his sister while Braden stayed at a motel near the airport.
According to Braden, “Morgan Brown was the one who I think more or less engineered this trip and that he knew, this is his hometown from years back, and he knew everybody in the oil business there. He was seeking oil deals as I was, as I recall.” Braden did not remember going to the Cipango Club, a private club, for dinner.
The Hunt offices were located in the Merchantile Building, 1704 Main Street. Braden did not recall Jimmy Kemp, who brown visited in an office in the same building. Titches Department Strore [Braden Photo No. 1, the Dallas Federal Building Braden Photo No. 2].
Braden reiterated the fact that he checked in with a parole officer, “I definitely spoke to Mr. Carroll….I am absolutely positive and absolutely positive of the approximate time that I was in his office” – 12:30 pm on November 22, 1963, though committee counsel notes, “Mr. Carroll at this time is not able to recall whether or not you came in that day or whether or not you saw him that day.”
Braden asked, “Now, what does Miss Sands have to say about it? She was the receptionist for him at the time and she was there at the door when he was at the door unlocking the door to go in,” Braden said as they discussed the circumstances of the motorcade, “how handsome the President was and how he looked and the circumstances of the motorcade.”
Braden comes across as a completely innocent person who, by coincidence and happenstance became involved in the assassination and who has been slandered by journalists who have taken advantage of his criminal past.
Then he mentioned two items that completely contradict that portrait. Braden said that he received a death threat in August, 1976, shortly after the murder of John Rosselli. Braden said that he was in Atlanta, Georgia, “in the Hyatt House…sitting in the lobby one day, my name was paged and I asked for a phone and some guy said, ‘You are next,’ and hung up. What he meant by it I don’t know. But this is the time they found a body down there in Florida and whether it was a joke or not, I don’t know…I don’t know if I am being followed or not. I only know one thing, from what I read in the magazines and newspapers and all, there were 18 that started out and there are only two left, - and that is (Loren) Hall and Braden…we are the only two left. I feel that I am physically endangered over this assassination matter.”
The second significant item he mentioned concerned an attempt to get his parole supervision lifted through contacts with J. Edgar Hover at the Del Mar racetrack.
Braden said Leon Snyder, “was going to come to Washington and get our parole restrictions lifted, or that effect, through a Presidential pardon.” This attempt involved a Mr. John Manaraino [phonetic spelling], of who Braden said, “I met him at the race track…We called him ‘Joe’ or ‘Joey’ or something to that effect. I met him at the Del Mar race track and he was aware of Pereira’s and my situation that we had. How he was aware of it I don’t know. He was going to get our parole supervisor lifted, and the only way I knew the man is that J. Edgar Hover used to go to the races considerably and Mr. Clyde Tolson, and I had the occasion to meet them there at the race track. They didn’t know who I was and they didn’t know that I had my case, so to speak, but anyway I know he and Mr. Hover were very close friends and so I assumed that the man was a nice fellow or Mr. Hover wouldn’t be friendly with the man. I saw Joey and Hover conversing considerably around the track there,….I think that I met them there at the track, and it was only briefly…They were at all of the meetings. They would come out to California for those meetings – race meetings I’m talking about.”
Braden said he did not know Gordon McClendon, although he did know Merve Adelson, from the La Costa Country Club. “Around 1963 or 1964 when they started building it, I was invited to join by a professional golfer from Palm Springs,…Eddie Sullesa [Phonetic spelling], from Inland Country Club…He moved over to La Costa and I visited him there one day while they were building the clubhouse and he said, ‘you ought to join this,’ and I said, ‘I will,’ and so I did…And for the record, the cost, I think, was $100 to join and the dues were $17.50 a month.”
Braden said he was a member, “up until the time of the book (Legacy of Doubt) releases had come down and they took my name off the board and I was no longer a member. It was 1873 when the book came out.”
Braden may have known a man named “Rosanova” and Chicago mob point man in Las Vegas, Anthony Splitro, and he admitted to possibly meeting Allen Dorfman once, but claimed he never met or knew Murry Chotiner, the American Volunteer Group, Paul Roverman (sic Rothermel) of Hunt Security, or Robert DePUgh, who served time, as did Braden, at Leavenworth. He did not know Reverend Wesley Swift, was not familiar with the Defense Industrial Security Command of the Redstone Arsenal, Michael McCawon or members of the John Birch Society.
In his closing statement, Braden said, “I am going to request again that Mr. Roger Carroll, Chief Probation officer in Dallas be pinned down as to why he made statements to the press that were not true…He knew the day before exactly when I was in his office and the following day, then he didn’t happen to remember… And why is he covering up and why is the Chief U.S. Probation officer stonewalling and covering this matter up? None of them want to be involved, but they want to involve me immediately. Authors and journalists involved me and that is how I became involved in this. Whatever this Committee can do to straighten the matter out and to get at the truth of it, I would appreciate because I want my name cleared and I want the stigma removed from my name and my family’s name.”
“I have waited a long time and spent a lot of money on it and I am still trying to clear my name and I haven’t read one sentence anyplace in any newspaper where it says I didn’t do it or didn’t have any reason to do it or the statements made in these publications are false.”
In a prepared statement entered into the record, Braden wrote: “Let the record show that Peter Noyes…and Earl Golz, by their publications…dug my grave and completely ruined my life….(by)...creating the charges I was connected in a sinister conspiracy to assassinate former President John F. Kennedy…and completed my execution and burial….Mr. Carroll and Ms. Sands…have not voluntarily come forward with the truth and they refuse to tell the facts regarding my whereabouts when Kennedy was shot….I have written over 150 letters to U.S. Congressmen and urged them to vote for the resolution which established this very House Select Committee on Assassinations in order for the American people to learn the truth regarding the assassination of former President Kennedy, and for confidence to be restored in the Government by the American people.”
“This House Select Committee must put to rest many of the issues, theories and speculations as possible, dreamed and stated by authors and journalists in their incorrect and libelous publications.”
So even though Braden maintained his innocence, and that it was just a coincidence that he was taken into custody as a suspicious person at the scene of the President, his association with Magnolia Oil Company, his living in New Orleans in the summer of 1963, his association with Vernon Main, Jr., his brush with J. Edgar Hover and Clyde Tolson at the Del Mar race track, and the threat to this life shortly after the murder of John Rosselli are all indications that there is more to the Jim Braden file than what has been accumulated and released so far.
A telephone call (Oct. 23, 1993) to his 1978 DC attorney Kenneth Trombly, Trombly said that he had no idea where Braden is today.