Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bob Sirkin checks in on O'Reilly's JFK Story

BK Notes - this message previously gave the wrong date -  it has been corrected. Also, since writing this Bob Sirkin has called to say that he was an associate to not an assistant to O'Reilly on the story and that O'Reilly was with  him in Florida before, during and after the suspicious dearth of George deMohrenschildt.

While Bob Sirkin does not know about the other questionable stories O'Reilly is being accused of exaggerating or fabricating, he was working with O'Reilly in Florida at the time of deMohrenschildt's death, though he wasn't with him at the time O'Reilly claims to have heard the shotgun blast that killed him.  Sirkin believes the Fonzi tape has O'Reilly calling Fonzi from Florida, not Dallas. He also notes they won award for the story they did - the Dallas Press Club's Katie ? Award.

I think this story is important - not because it may harm the reputation of O'Reilly but because the story is still relevant today and of the opportunity to present the intelligence associations of the accused assassin's best friend. Like Posner and McAdams before him - their fall from professional grace also derails their central thesis - that the president was killed by a deranged loner.


Subject: Re: Gaeton Fonzi Dead

Correction:  Haag dispatched O'Reilly and ME!   
On Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 5:01 PM, 

Bob Sirkin wrote:

In the spring of 1977 at WFAA-TV Dallas, my boss, the legendary Marty Haag, disptached Bill O'Reilly and I to Palm Beach, Florida on a midnight Braniff Airlines flight.  Our mission; to find a missing Bishop College professor, a former Russian petrolium engineer and CIA operative, a white Russian Baron named George deMorenschieldt  A man who befriended Lee Harvey Oswald and wife Marina upon their return to Dallas from Russia. 

OReilly and I, along with WFAA-TV Reporter Doug Fox, had been on the trail of deMorenchieldt for weeks, since his suspicious disappearance from the campus of Bishop College, where deMorenschieldt taught and lived.  It was Doug Fox who dug up the fact that Bishop College, a small, black libreal arts school, had received funding from the C-I-A.    

Bill O'Reilly had been tipped by his friend, Gaeton Fonzi, Investigator for the House Committee on Assassinations (JFK and MLK) that deMohrenschildt was at the famous Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach being interviewed by author Edward Jay Epstein.  Epstein was writing a book on the JFK Assassination. 

Just hours after landing, O'Reilly and I, along with our cameraman, arrived at The Breakers.  We paid a bell hop $25 to get the number of Epstein's suite.   With camera rolling, I knocked on the door.  Epstein came to the door and went ballistic!  You could see deMohrenschildt, in the background, sitting at a dining room table.  Eptstein called hotel security.  Within moments, we were all bodily removed from the premises.   Just the beginning of our caper!

The next day, Gaeton Fonzi shows up in nearby Manalapan, Florida carrying a subpoena for deMohrenschildt to appear before the House Committee on Assassinations.   The Committee wanted to grill deMohrenschildt on his and Oswald's clandestine meeting with a CIA operative in Mexico City, about a month before the assassination.  But deMohrenschildt never appeared before the committee. 

Shortly after receiving his subpoena, deMohrenschildt retreated to a bedroom inside a mansion owned by a Mafia connected family from Arizona.  He was found dead from a massive shotgun wound to his head.  The cororner, to my recollection, couldn't say for sure that deMohrenschildt took his own life because of the length of the shotgun barrell placed in deMohrenschildt's mouth.  Some story...to say the least!

Before leaving Florida, O'Reilly and I made one more stop.  We drove to North Miami Beach, the Hallendale area.  About 10pm, we paid a visit to former convicted Watergate figure, E. Howard Hunt.  He too was the focus of the House Committee's investigation into the JFK Assassination.   When we rang Hunt's doorbell, he opened a small peephole.  In total darkness, I remember Hunt's eerie voice saying:  "I strongly suggest that you gentlemen leave RIGHT NOW!"   

We did and flew back to Dallas continuing to pursue the alleged cover-up to the assassination.  

Bill O'Reilly's contact; the late Gaeton Fonzi, made our award winning story.


2 comments:

Lee Stephenson said...

On JFK facts the date mentioned for the suicide is march 1977 ... This storey says spring 1976 ...who is correct?

Bill Kelly said...

1977