Wednesday, June 20, 2018


“We now know what happened at Dealey Plaza to a fairly good degree of certainty.  The motives were piling up – the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam, the two-track backchannel to Cuba – the motives were piling up to the point they had to assassinate him. I think it’s now pretty obvious, with the information we have today, that the mechanism of it came out of the allegiance between the CIA and the Mafia. They already had an assassination apparatus set up for killing Castro, and they just switched targets and they killed JFK instead."

         -          Former FBI agent William W. Turner at Dallas COPA 2003

Keeping the CIA plots to kill Fidel Castro from the Warren Commission was one of the major deficits of their report and calls into question the primary conclusion that the assassination of President Kennedy was the work of a lone deranged gunman Lee Harvey Oswald.

It doesn’t matter whether the Cuban-connected Oswald was a lone shooter or a patsy since the CIA plots to kill Castro throw a major wrench into the deranged lone nut scenario, and adds a political motive to the murder.

Besides  the CIA-Mafia plots that began during the Eisenhower administration there were other CIA plans to kill Castro that came later in the game and have a much more serious bearing on what happened at Dealey Plaza, especially the Valkyrie plot.

In his new and important book "The Devil's. Chessboard" David Talbot mentions the role Allen Dulles and his agent-mistress Mary Bancroft played in the July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler - code named Valkyrie.  [1]

As Talbot points out, and Dulles suspected would become fodder for conspiracy theorists, Mary Bancroft was a close personal friend of the mother of Michael Paine, the chief patron and sponsor of Oswald and his family.

Besides that two degree of separation between Oswald and Dulles and Bancroft, the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler is mentioned a half-dozen times in the course of the assassination narrative, and while the significance of this has yet to be fully drawn out, the recurring Valkyrie theme that runs through the JFK assassination story certainly merits further scrutiny.

As mentioned in my review of  "Devil's Chessboard" [2]  when it comes to killing Castro the Valkyrie plot has been ignored - despite its numerous direct ties to what happened at Dealey Plaza, beginning with Lee Harvey Oswald and Volkmar Schmidt.


Phillip Shenon devotes a whole book “A Cruel and Terrible Act” [3] to the subject of a Mexico City Twist Party where Oswald was supposedly encouraged to kill JFK by some Cuban Communist diplomats. It's a party that Oswald could not have possibly attended as I have talked with two other Americans who were also reported present at the party and write about in my review of Shenon’s book – "A Cruel and Terrible Twist." [4]

But there was another party that was attended by Oswald where he was encouraged to commit political assassination - that of General Walker, which he is also accused of attempting to do. 

It was at a February 1963 gathering at Volkmar Schmidt's Dallas home, a party that George deMohrenschildts set up specifically for Oswald to meet Michael Paine. DeMohrenschilts later said he wanted Oswald and Paine to meet because of their mutual interest in political ideology. Michael Paine's father Lyman Paine was a founder of the Trotskyite communist party in America and Oswald subscribed to their magazine The Militant. While Michael Paine wasn’t at the party, his wife Ruth was and she met Marina and they became famously friends up until the assassination. It was at that party when Schmidt says he talked privately with Oswald for over two hours and first brought up the subject of the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler.

In a phone conversation with Schmidt [5] he told me that while talking with Oswald he used a reverse psychology technique he learned from a German doctor who knew some of those involved in the Valkyrie coup when Schmidt mentioned the plot to kill Hitler to Oswald.

While discussing right-wing general Walker, Schmidt said he compared Walker to Hitler and asked if Hitler had been assassinated how different the world would be? Schmidt implied Walker should be killed before he became another Hitler.

Born in Germany and raised in his formative years by the German doctor, Schmidt was an oil geologist, as was his friend George deMohrenschilts. Schmidt was recruited in Germany by Magnolia Oil company of Dallas - the company that used the red Pegasus sign as its logo and later merged with major conglomerates. [6]

Schmidt told me that when he learned that Oswald had been accused of taking a shot at Walker and killing JFK he felt terribly guilty, especially every time he drove through Dealey Plaza, as he believed he was responsible for planting the assassination seed in Oswald's mind.

Schmidt said, "naturally it was a terrible responsibility, and for years when I drove past the underpass I literally had to cry because, you know.... But I exonerate myself completely because I had the best intent, embarrass Kennedy...I may have triggered it. Actually, a few days after I talked with him, he bought his weapons."

Shortly after the Walker incident Oswald packed up all his family belongings and was about to suddenly and unexpectedly move his family to his home town of New Orleans. But Mrs. Paine, who was driving them to the bus station, suggested Marina and the daughter should stay with her in Texas while Oswald went on alone to New Orleans, find a job and apartment and then she would drive them there when he was settled in.

And that he did. While reconnecting with his mother's sister, his aunt Muriel and uncle Dutz Murret he got a job at Reily Coffee and an apartment on Magazine Street.

Ruth Paine then drove Marina, the daughter and the Oswald's belongings, including the rifle, to New Orleans, where they settled in. [7]

After an interesting and eventful summer in the Crescent City, the Oswalds considered returning to Texas when Ruth Paine wrote to the pregnant Marina and invited her to come and live with her in Texas until she had the baby. If she agreed, Ruth Paine wrote, Marina should write her a letter “in care of Arthur Young, Paoli, Pennsylvania,” where she would be visiting her husband's mother Ruth Forbes Paine Young. [8]

Ruth Paine was on a summer station wagon vacation with her kids driving to Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C. and Ohio visiting friends and family. Before driving to the suburban Philadelphia farm of her husband's mother, another one of the places Ruth Paine visited was the Forbes family Naushon Island off Massachusetts.

As described by yachtsman Walter Cronkite, “Just off Woods Hole is Hadley Harbor on Naushon Island, a favorite anchorage or cruising boats. At the end of a narrow twisting passage through huge rocks, it is a scene of bucolic bliss. The Forbes family (of whom publisher-adventurer-balloonist-sailor Malcolm Forbes is one) owns the island, and great mansions grace its hilltops like castles on a Scottish moor.”

“The harbor shore itself, besides the grassy shelf on which horses, cows, and sheep graze, is lined with the support mechanism for an island population – a slip from which the Forbes’ small private ferry runs over to Woods Hole, and a boatyard which cares for the fleet of pleasure craft. The gracious Forbes not only permit anchorage in their harbor, but they even have set aside one of their small islands on which visiting yachtsmen are invited to stretch their legs. Hadley’s quiet a welcome refuge on those many days when strong winds whip up the comparatively shallow waters of Buzzard’s Bay and justify its notoriety as perhaps the Atlantic Coast’s roughest sailing round.” [9]

An eccentric heiress and humanitarian member of Cord Meyer's World Federalists, Ruth Forbes Paine had married the equally eccentric Arthur Young, genius inventor of the Bell Helicopter 47A - the MASH helicopter with glass bubble and girders. [10 ]

Michael Paine and Ruth Hyde had met and were married in Philadelphia, and after apprenticing as a helicopter designer with his step-father-in-law, Arthur Young arranged for Michael Paine to get a job at Bell Helicopter in Texas. So it was in care of Arthur Young that Marina wrote to Ruth Hyde Paine agreeing to the new arrangements - Marina would go to Texas to have the baby and wait for Ruth Paine to pick her up in New Orleans.

Most significant however is Michael's mom Ruth Forbes Paine Young and her close association with Mary Bancroft, Allen Dulles's agent and mistress who was intimately involved in the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler. [11]

In the late 1930s Ruth Forbes Paine traveled with Mary Bancroft on a steamship to Europe when Bancroft met a Swiss businessman who she would marry, putting her in position, when the Second World War broke out, to meet and work in the OSS with Allen Dulles.

While with Dulles, the top OSS chef in Europe, Bancroft met Hans Bernd Gisevius, a Nazi officer who was deeply involved in the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler.

Years in the making the Valkyrie assassination and coup plan stemmed mainly from disgruntled military officers and fell to Claus Von Stauffenberg to carry out on July 20, 1944, leaving a briefcase bomb under a map table next to Hitler in the Wolfsschanze Wolf's Lair bunker in Bavaria.

In drawing up the Valkyrie plan Von Stauffenberg broke it into two parts - Phase One would be the order to have the home national army seize all key government and communication buildings in response to a revolt by the foreign slave labor, the part of the plan that would be approved by Hitler himself. Phase Two, the secret part, was the assassination of Hitler.

The control of the radio and media centers was an instrumental part of the plan, as Von Stauffenberg put it, "the conspiracy alone must speak."

A third part of the plan was a psychological warfare twist to blame the assassination on the SS and Gestapo, whose leaders would be rounded up by the real coup planners, the military generals.

Dulles and Gisevius had opposed the use of a bomb, preferring a pistol up close or a sniper in a motorcade ambush as more likely to succeed and their fears proved true. Gisevius supported the coup but was against the bomb plot, as he told Von Stauffenberg: "I just I have the feeling we'll never succeed. I'm not speaking through fear. But I have a feeling very few of us will be alive this time next year, regardless of what happens with your bomb."

The bomb failed to kill Hitler and hundreds, some say thousands were subsequently rounded up and executed, but Gisevius escaped with the assistance of Bancroft and Dulles, who provided him with fake credentials.

After the war Bancroft translated Gisevius' account of the Third Reich and following Gisevius’ testimony against the Nazi leadership at Nuremberg, which sent them to the gallows, Dulles brought Gisevius to Washington as a CIA consultant. In Washington Dulles arranged for the ex-Nazi officer to stay with his deputy Tom Braden, who lived with his wife and their eight children in a big house next to RFK's Hickory Hill. Braden would write a book "Eight Is Enough" that would be made into a popular family TV show and pattern for The Brady Bunch. An episode on the ex-Nazi living with all those kids would certainly be entertaining. And as Talbot notes, Braden also interviewed Allen Dulles for the Kennedy Presidential Library. [12]

So after visiting Michael's mother, Mary Bancroft's good friend in Philadelphia, where she got Marina's letter, Ruth Paine drove to DC and visited her sister, who worked at the CIA, and then went on to Ohio to see her father before picking up Marina in New Orleans. [13]

Arriving in New Orleans in late September Ruth Paine stayed the night and the next day took Marina, the daughter and the Oswald's belongings, including the rifle, and drove them to Texas. Early the following morning Oswald slipped out of New Orleans and went to Mexico City to visit the Cuban and Soviet embassies.

The same September 25th day in Washington DC CIA officer Desmond Fitzgerald briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were temporarily chaired by Air Force Chief Gen. Curtis LeMay while Gen. Taylor was on a special mission to Vietnam.

Fitzgerald reported to the Joint Chiefs on the CIA's Cuban covert operations with emphasis on how the military could support them, an assignment given USMC Gen. Victor H. "Brute" Krulak, Special Assistant for Counter Insurgency Activities, whose aide Colonel Walter M. Higgins, Jr. was in attendance. Higgins' memo of the meeting, released under the JFK Act, includes the bullet point that Fitzgerald mentioned the CIA was studying the Valkyrie plot and adapting it to use against Castro. [14]

As Higgins wrote in his memo on FitzGerald’s briefing: “He commented that there was nothing new in the propaganda field. However, he felt that there had been great success in getting closer to the military personnel who might break with Castro, and stated that there were at least ten high-level military personnel who are talking with CIA but as yet are not talking to each other, since that degree of confidence has not yet developed. He considers it as a parallel in history; i.e., the plot to kill Hitler; and this plot is being studied in detail to develop an approach.”

September 23-25, 1963 was a busy time on the Devil's Chessboard as there were many moves by key players besides Ruth Paine moving Marina and the rifle to Texas, Oswald leaving for Mexico and Fitzgerald briefing the Joint Chiefs.

On September 23, JFK signed National Security Action Memo 261 approving "Project Four Leaves," assigning the "highest national priority category for development and production" a military communications "in response to a recommendation from the Secretary of Defense," an order that remains classified. [15]


JFK then he left September 25 on a "Conservation Tour" with his Secretary of Interior, the first stop in northeast Pennsylvania to visit Mary Pinchot Meyer's mother in Milford, Pennsylvania. Mary Pinchot had met JFK thru his schoolmate William Attwood, who would later become an intermediary between JFK and Castro. Mary had married Cord Meyer, an ex-Marine who founded the World Federalists – an international organization in support of a strong United Nations, one that included Philadelphia college student Priscilla Johnson, Michael's mom Ruth Forbes Paine Young and Walter Cronkite. Cord Meyer joined the CIA in 1951 and became one of Dulles' top assistants, replacing Tom Braden as chief of the International Organizations Division. [17]

While Mary Meyer had separated from Cord Meyer, she maintained her friendship with JFK and she accompanied him on the first leg of the Conservation Tour that took JFK to her mother's house in Pennsylvania. JFK then moved on to Wisconsin and the Mid-West during which the details of the president's November trip to Texas were officially announced to the press. [18]

When Oswald returned to Texas from Mexico in early October he stayed at the YMCA before taking out a room at the Beckley Street rooming house, at both places using the same O. H. Lee alias he used to sign in at the hotel in Mexico City.

By mid-October Ruth Paine had made a phone call and helped arrange for Oswald to get a job at the Texas School Book Depository, a building owned by D.H. Byrd, a founder of the Civil Air Patrol in Texas, an organization Oswald was affiliated with in New Orleans. Byrd was a Texas oil man who was on the board of directors of LTV and good friends with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Curtis LeMay. [19]

At the time of the assassination, when Oswald was allegedly shooting at Kennedy from his building, Byrd was on an African Safari with a German Barron Werner von Alvensleben, who used a high powered Mannlicher rifle to hunt. [20]

His father was an assassination expert and an avid supporter of the Valkyrie plot. The father was sentenced to prison and concentration camps with those who were arrested for their participation in the plot. He also wrote a manifesto supporting the plot after it failed. [21]

So besides Volkmar Schmidt using the Valkyrie plot to instigate Oswald to shoot Walker, Michael Paine’s mother was a close personal friend of a key participant in the Valkyrie plot – Mary Bancroft, Allen Dulles’ mistress, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were briefed on the CIA’s adaption of the Valkyrie plot to use against Castro, and the owner of the TSBD building from which shots were fired was at the time on a safari in Africa with a German Barron who used a Mannlicher rifle to hunt with and was the son of an assassination expert who wrote a manifesto in support of the Valkyrie plot and served time in prison with some of its participants.


Based mainly on the Higgins Memo reference of the Desmond Fitzgerald briefing the JCS Washington attorney Jim Lesar, director of the Assassinations Archive and Research Center, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the CIA documents related to the CIA study of the Valkyrie plot that was to be used against Castro. [22]

But we don’t have to wait until we get those records as we can see for ourselves from other records how the CIA tried to adapt the Valkyrie plan to be used against Castro, as they did try to recruit some disenchanted Cuban military officers who were close to Castro including Rolando Cubella (AMLASH) and Gen. Almeida, both of whom have been reviewed and analyzed elsewhere. [23]

Among the differences in the Valkyrie plan and the post-Mafia CIA plans to kill Castro we find that the idea of using a bomb was discarded in favor of a sniper attack on Castro while he was riding in an open Jeep, a common situation.

Other aspects of the Valkyrie plan that were adopted to be used against Castro, besides using the military, the murder of Castro and the takeover of the Cuban government in a coup was the control of the media and the Northwoods style psych-war media campaign to blame the assassination on communists. [24]

When news of the CIA's plans to kill Castro were made public it was at first suggested that Castro retaliated and killed JFK before the CIA could kill him, and some like John Rosselli even claimed that one of the teams sent in by the CIA by boat was captured by the Cubans and turned and sent back to kill JFK. [25]

But others like Bill Turner claim it was more likely that one of the CIA plans to kill Castro was redirected to kill JFK instead, and that’s what former CIA officer David Atlee Phillips privately surmised. [26]

If that was the case then it must have been a CIA plan that utilized a sniper attack on an open car motorcade, one of a number the CIA had on the shelf ready to go, waiting for the right situation to present itself.

Among the CIA plans to kill Castro that utilized snipers attacking an open car in a motorcade were the Hemingway House affair [27] - discussions after the fact, and the Pathfinder plan to shoot Castro when he visited a north shore resort he was known to frequent. [28]

Both required accurate high powered rifles with scopes, similar to the ones they offered to Cubela and attempted to infiltrate into Cuba on October 31, 1963 when the CIA raider ship The Rex deposited anti-Castro commandos with high powered rifles with scopes who were captured and paraded on Cuban TV the next day. The story made the front page of the November 1, 1963 New York Times, and the names of the captured commandos are mentioned in "Red Friday," the book written by Carlos Bringuier, the DRE Cuban Oswald was arrested with in New Orleans. [29]

One important aspect of the Valkyrie plan was a psych war operation to blame the assassination of Hitler on the SS and Gestapo, and monitor and control the media so "only the conspiracy speaks," just as the Dealey Plaza operation included blaming the assassination on Castro and a psych war campaign using CIA media assets that continues today.

Besides the assassination and psych-war aspects of the Valkyrie plot that could have been adapted to use against Castro and may have been redirected to JFK at Dealey Plaza, there was one other important part of the Valkyrie plan that could have been used - getting the victim to sign off on the operation.

Von Stauffenberg drew up the Valkyrie plan as a response to a possible revolt by slave laborers by mobilizing the home guard to quell the revolt and seize key government buildings and communications facilities.  Hitler approved and signed off on the plan without knowing the secret Phase that required his elimination. [30]

If this part of the Valkyrie plan was adapted for use against Castro it should be noted that the National Security Council and JFK did approve a number of violent covert operations against targets in Cuba, but JFK rejected the assassination plans. RFK however, did pressure Des Fitzgerald and others to step up their Cuban ops against Castro and RFK was personally introduced to some of the anti-Castro commandos who were being sent to Cuba to attack strategic installations and infiltrate rifle teams. [31]

The National Security Action memo authorizing a special military communications project Four Leaves could also be revealing once it is declassified.

The use of Phase One and Phase Two parts of the plan is another interesting parallel between Valkyrie and Dealey Plaza as they are the same terms used by Von Stauffenberg for Valkyrie and Peter Dale Scott to describe the official response to the assassination of JFK.

According to Scott's analysis the original Phase One is the disinformation cover story to blame the assassination of JFK on Castro, that could have instigated a full scale US military attack on Cuba, which was subsequently superseded by the Phase Two promotion of the deranged lone assassin being responsible for the act. [32]


As the CIA officer responsible for covert operations against Cuba, Des FitzGerald was the person who briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the CIA's "detailed" study of the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler. FitzGerald was also the case officer for Rolando Cubela (AMLASH), one of the military officers they were recruiting to kill Castro. 

So it is interesting that FitzGerald, like the military officers in the fictional "Seven Days in May" used a bet and a gamble on the Preakness stakes as a way of communicating their willingness to go along with the coup plans. 
In “The Very Best Men” – Four Who Dared: The Early Years of the CIA" Evan Thomas writes: “….Halpern, FitzGerald’s assistant, regarded him (Cubela) as an assassin and claims that FitzGerald did as well.” 

Sam Halpern: “Des was really more interested in starting a coup, and he hoped that Cubela could organize other army officers. But in coups, he understood, people die. The way to start a coup is to knock off the top man. Des felt it was a long shot, but it might work. We were desperate. Des was willing to try anything.” 

Evan Thomas writes: “FitzGerald did not think it was such a long shot that he was unwilling to make a small bet, giving reasonable odds. Just six days before he formally signed off on a high-powered rifle for AMLASH (Cubela), he accepted a little wager from Michael Forrestal, an official on the National Security Council staff who was a member of the Georgetown crowd (his father, James V. Forrestal, had been the first secretary of defense). A memo in FitzGerald’s personal files records a $50 bet with Forrestal on ‘the fate of Fidel Castro during the period 1 August 1964 and 1 October 1964. (Apparently, Fitzgerald saw a window of vulnerability for the Cuban leader that was roughly coincidental with the 1964 U.S. presidential election campaign.)”

“Mr. Forrestal offers two-to-one odds ($100 to $50) against Fidel’s falling (or being pushed) between the dates 1 August and 1 October 1964. In the event that such a thing should occur prior to 1 August 1964 the wager herein cancelled. Mr. FitzGerald accepts the wager on the above terms.”

Memo is dated November 13, 1963, “One day after FitzGerald briefed Kennedy on the progress of the Cuban operation and one day before the Special Group approved his plan of continued covert operations against the Castro Regime.”

Thomas: “Nine days later the assassination of John F. Kennedy dramatically increased the odds that FitzGerald would lose his bet.”

According to Thomas, “On November 22, 1963, Des FitzGerald had just finished hosting a lunch for an old friend of the CIA, a foreign diplomat, at the City Tavern Club in Georgetown, when he was summoned from the private dining room by the maître d’. FitzGerald returned ‘as white as a host,’ recalled Sam Halpern. Normally erect and purposeful, FitzGerald was walking slowly, with his head down. ‘The President has been shot,’ he said.”

“The lunch immediately broke up. On the way out the door Halpern anxiously said, ‘I hope this has nothing to do with Cubans.’ FitzGerald mumbled, ‘Yea, well, we’ll see.’ In the fifteen minute car ride back to Langley, FitzGerald just stared straight ahead. He was well aware that in Paris, at almost the moment Kennedy was shot in Dallas, one of his case officers had been handing a poison pen to a Cuban agent to kill Castro. It was at the very least a grim coincidence. FitzGerald knew that, in September, Castro threatened to retaliate against attempts to kill him. ‘United States leaders should think that if they are aiding in terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders, they themselves will not be safe,’ the Cuban leader had publicly declared.”

“The warning that Cubela might be a ‘dangle,’ that he might be secretly working for Castro, took on an ominous new meaning. Now FitzGerald had to wonder: Had Castro killed Kennedy before Kennedy could kill him?” [33]

Or, as WillIam Turner suggested, was one of the plans to kill Castro turned on Kennedy at Dealey Plaza?

In conclusion, if the CIA plans to kill Fidel Castro had anything to do with the assassination of JFK at Dealey Plaza then the CIA's detailed study and proposed adaption of the Valkyrie plot to be used against Castro is one that should be given close examination. 

Notes –  Valkyrie at Dealey Plaza Revisited - “The conspiracy alone must speak.”

1) Talbot, David. “The Devil’s Chessboard” (HarperCollins, 2015) Re: Valkyrie, p. 134. “Dulles arranged for Mary….to work with the tall, imperious double agent Hans Bernd Gisevious….(who) became involved in the July 20, 1944 bomb plot against Hitler, barely fleeing with is life to Switzerland when it failed.”

2) Kelly, William. Review of Devil’s Chessboard:  [   ]  

3) Shenon, Phil – “A Cruel and Shocking Act” (Picador, 2015)

4) Kelly, William. Review of Phil Shenon’s “Cruel and Shocking Act.” 

5) Kelly, William. January 1995 Telephone conversation with Volkmar Schmidt. Schmidt said that Dr. Wilhelm Keutemeyer of Heidelberg served as a foster father whose associates Frederick von Halen and Von Trott were directly involved in the Valkyrie plot. Schmidt: “….naturally it was a terrible responsibility, and for years when I drove past the underpass I literally had to cry because, you know. But I exonerate myself completely because I had the best intent, embarrassed Kennedy, and I certainly didn’t tell him to take a pot shot at him.”

6) Magnolia Oil. Jim Braden, who was arrested as a suspect at Dealey Plaza, and his associate Victor Pierre were evicted from Dallas by Sheriff Bill Decker and branded the “Honeymooners” for trying to swindle the heiress of a founder of Magnolia Oil. Volkmar Schmidt lived with two others who worked for Magnolia Oil, including the son of a Radio Free Europe administrator.

7)  Warren Report, p. 730. Ruth Paine drove Oswald’s family and belongings to New Orleans and back to Texas in late September. Also see Ruth Paine’s Summer Vacation report by Carol Hewett, Barbara Lamonica and Steve Jones, 1995 COPA Conference presentation.

8) Ford, Gerald, with John Stiles “Portrait of the Assassin” Re: Marina’s letter to Ruth Paine in care of Arthur Young, Paoli, Pa. (BK: This is the only published reference I know of that mentions this letter).

9) Cronkite, Walter. “North by Northwest” (Tabletop book) Also note that Woods Hole nautical acoustics lab was a very busy place on April 10, 1963 when Oswald was supposedly taking a shot at General Walker, the USS Thresher submarine went down. Later a group Justice for the Crew of the Thresher (JFCOTT) reportedly threatened JFK.

10) Young, Arthur. Inventor of the Bell Helicopter 47A.  (BK: I also have an extensive three hour tape recorded interview with Young from when I sat with him for hours in his library.)

11) Bancroft, Mary. “Autobiography of a Spy” (Wm. Morrow, 1983) p. 55, for Ruth Paine Forbes’ association with Mary Bancroft. (p. 202-240) for the roles Dulles, Bancroft and Gisevius played in the July 20, 1944 Valkyrie Plot to kill Hitler.

12)  Braden, Tom.  Talbot, David."Devil's Chessboard" (p. 369, p.547 JFK Library interview), p. 553 (Rockefeller financial support for covert ops). Bancroft, Mary. “Autobiography of a Spy” (Wm. Morrow, 1983)

13) Hewett, Lamonica, Barber. Ruth Paine’s Summer Vacation. – The Confessions of Ruth Paine- DPQ   / - RUTH

14) Higgins Memo:  - 13. "He commented that there was nothing new in the propaganda field. However, he felt that there had been great success in getting closer to the military personnel who might break with Castro, and stated that there were at least ten high-level military personnel who are talking with CIA but as yet are not talking to each other, since that degree of confidence has not yet developed. He considers it as a parallel in history; i.e., the plot to kill Hitler; and this plot is being studied in detail to develop an approach."

15) Four Leaves  - White House Diary - For Monday September 23 1963 – SUBJECT: Assignment of Highest National Security Priority to Project FOUR LEAVES. In response to a recommendation by the Secretary of Defense, the president, under the authority granted by the Defense Production Act of 1950, today established the program listed below as being in the highest national security priority category for development and production. “President Kennedy assigns the highest national security priority to Project FOUR LEAVES to develop and produce a military communications system.” FOUR LEAVES McGeorge Bundy THE WHITE HOUSE DIARY SEPTEMBER 23  1963 

17) Meyer, Cord. “Facing Reality: From World Federalism to the CIA.” Also see: [ ]

18) Texas Trip officially announced. “President Kennedy’s trip to Dallas was first announced to the public in September 1963.” – Associated Press Timeline.

20) Von Alvensleben, Werner. ‘‘Baron In Africa‘‘ - "Hunting history is rife with the tales of derring-do with 6.5mm cartridges. W.D.M. Bell whacked many elephants and Werner von Alvensleben slew hundreds of buffalo with what they termed a “small-bore rifle,” namely, the 6.5×54 Mannlicher-Schönauer." Read more:  
Dallas Morning News 1-9-64; 1-19-64; “Time Out From Safaris”
Also see: OSS X2 Report on Werner von Alvensleben (Code name DRAM - the father as assassination expert) [ ]

21) Metacas, Eric. "Bonhoeffer – Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy"(Thomas Nelson Pub. 2010 p. 502)

Among those there (in prison) were "....the nearly seventy year old Count Werner Von Alvensleben, who in 1934 had refused to take the infamous oath of allegiance to Hitler, and who had been persona non grata with the Nazis ever since." (p. 507) At Buchenwald "Count Von Alvensleben was in cell number four...was typical of many arrested after the July 20 plot in that he had done nothing more than be on friendly terms with some of the plotters. Thousands had been arrested for this crime. Anyone related by blood was guilty of Sippenhaft (liability of kin), whereby relatives of the accused were arrested and punished: wives, parents, and children too. Some small children were taken away from their parents, never to be seen again."

22) Lesar, Jim. AARC FOIA Request to CIA for records related to the study of the Hitler plot as mentioned in the Higgin’s report of Desmond FitzGerald’s briefing of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, September, 1963.

23) Waldron, Lamar. Series of books on JFK of how CIA plot to kill Castro was hijacked by mobsters – “Ultimate Sacrafice,” “Legacy of Secrecy” and “The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination.” Also note: “John Rosselli said it was also his theory that Castro was behind the assassination…He said he knew that a team had been sent to kill Castro, had been captured and tortured, and turned to kill Kennedy.” – Bayard Stockton in "Flawed Patriot – The Rise and Fall of CIA Legend Bill Harvey" (Potomac Books, 2006)

24) Psych War aspect to the plan. Dan Hardway: “You have to look at the JFK assassination as an operational plan….with disinformation. (If) the assassination was a mob hit, it wasn’t a mob hit like the ones they had done previously. They used a different MO in JFK, they used a patsy, and they used disinformation, both of these techniques they had learned from the Agency.”

Peter Dale Scott:  on Managed Oswald Stories: “In the days after the murders in Dallas, the U.S. Was flooded with dubious stories, most of them swiftly discredited, linking Oswald to either a Cuban or Soviet conspiracy. Those which most preoccupied the FBI and CIA all came out of Mexico. These stories exhibited certain common characteristics. 1. They all came from either directly from an intelligence source, or from someone in the hands of an intelligence agency. Nearly always the agency involved was the Mexican DFS or secret police. The DFS, along with the Nicaraguan intelligence service, which was also a source, were under CIA tutelage. 2. The Stories changed over time, to support either a pro-conspiratorial hypothesis (“Phase One”) or a rebuttal of this (“Phase Two”). 3. The Warren Commission was led to believe that the“Phase One”stories were without basis. In fact a number of unresolved anomalies suggest that behind them was some deeper truth, still not revealed. 4. As just noted, the two main sources, Silvia Duran and Gilberto Alvarado, gave varying stories while detained by the DFS. Of the two, Duran was actually tortured, and Alvarado reportedly threatened with torture… In retrospect, these stories should not have been taken seriously. In fact the CIA was able to rely on them, not as a source of truth, but as a source of coercive influence over the rest of the government. It will help us to understand what was going on if we refer to the stories, not as ‘information’ or even as ‘allegations,’ but as MANAGED STORIES."

25) The Rex. New York Times, November 1, 1963, page 1. [ ]

26) Phillips, David Atlee: “I was one of the two case officers who handled Lee Harvey Oswald. After working to establish his Marxist bona fides, we gave him the mission of killing Fidel Castro in Cuba. I helped him when he came to Mexico City to obtain a visa, and when he returned to Dallas to wait for it I saw him twice there. We rehearsed the plan many times: In Havana Oswald was to assassinate Castro with a sniper's rifle from the upper floor window of a building on the route where Castro often drove in an open jeep. Whether Oswald was a double-agent or a psycho I'm not sure, and I don't know why he killed Kennedy. But I do know he used precisely the plan we had devised against Castro. Thus the CIA did not anticipate the President's assassination but it was responsible for it. I share that guilt.” From unpublished novel.

27) Hemingway House; The Old Man and the CIA: A Kennedy Plot to Kill Castro? The Nation. [  ]

28) Pathfinder Documents. Dupont Estate. Re: Pathfinder records - ARRB interviews with NPIC employes stationed at JMWAVE, where the CIA officers kept the Pathfinder documents filed separately from regular station files by keeping them in the NPIC section. 
ARRB Memo: (a) A folder, stored in the Photo Interpretation...Area at JMWAVE contained materials related to a plan to assassinate Castro in the Bay of Pigs Resort area where he maintained a yacht and was known to vacation. The plan, possibly with the code word PATHFINDER...apparently had been disapproved and not under active consideration at the time. Our people did not participate actively in the plan in any regard. (b) While assigned to the Imagery Analysis Service, a number of our photo interpreters supported Carl Jenkins of the DD/P concerning a plan to assassinate Castro at the DuPont Veradero Estate, east of Havana. Castro was known to frequent the estate and the plan was to use a high powered rifle in the attempt. The photo interpreter support was restricted to providing annotated photographs and line drawings of the estate. To our knowledge this plan was never implemented

29) Bringuier, Carlos. "Red Friday" (C. Hallberg, 1969)

30) Forman, James. “Code Name Valkyrie – Count Von Staufenberg and the plot to kill Hitler,” who quotes Gisevius: “I just have the feeling we’l never succeed. I’m not speaing through fear. But I have a feeling very few of us will be alive this time next year, regardless of what happens with your bomb.”

31) Ayers, Bradley. “The War that Never Was” (Bobs-Merrell);“The Zenith Secret” (Vox Pop/Drench Kiss Media); [Excerpts: ]

32) Scott, Peter Dale. “Deep Politics” Series, the most recent being “Dallas ’63: The First Deep State Revolt Against the White House.” [ ]

33) Thomas, Evan. “The Very Best Men – Four Who Dared: The Early Years of the CIA"(Simon & Schuster, 1995 p. 303)

Valkyrie II at Dealy Plaza

As a research technique, while reading the HSCA volumes, I began opening files on subjects that came up repeatedly in diverse areas - more than twice - taking Ian Fleming's adage - "First time is happenstance, second time is coincidence, but a third time is enemy action."

That's how I got onto Collins Radio, Pan Am Bank of Miami, Southland Center, International Rescue Committee and now Valkyrie.

In the course of my research the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler has come up five times - in diverse areas and makes me think I may be on to something.

1) The first time the Valkyre plot came up was in a phone conversation I had with Volkmar Schmidt, who acknowledged that in his February 1963 conversation with Oswald at a party at his house, he mentioned the Valkyrie Plot and suggested to Oswald that General Walker should be assassinated as Hitler should have been. Schmidt said he personally knew some of the participants in the Valkyrie plot.

2) Then I read Mary Bancroft's "Autobiography of a Spy," in which she details her role in Valkyrie - assisting Dr. Hans Bernt Gisevius escape and then translating his memoirs.

3) In late September 1963 Ruth Hyde Paine visited her husband Michael's mother - Ruth Forbes Paine Young, who was Mary Bancroft's close friend and traveling companion to Europe. After leaving the Young's residence near Philadelphia Ruth Paine drove to New Orleans and picked up Marina and the rifle and drove them to Texas while Oswald went to Mexico.

4) On the same day Oswald left New Orleans for Mexico, the CIA's Desmond Fitzgerald briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff - Gen. LeMay presiding - on covert ops against Cuba that needed military assistance - including a plan to adapt the Valkyrie Plot to use against Castro.

(See Higgins Memo - )

5) The 11/22/63 alibi for the owner of the TSBD - D. H. Byrd was that he was on a hunting safari in Africa with a German "Baron" whose father was reported by OSS X-2 to possibly be an "assassination expert" and after World War II lived with one of the ministers selected for the new government after Hitler's overthrow and was a valuable double agent for OSS in Africa who co-authored a manifesto in support of the Valkyrie plotters.

Now my threshold for bingo was three but here we have five separate cases where the Valkyrie plot to kill Hitler comes up in the course of events surrounding the assassination of JFK.

Also see:

Now these are not six degrees of separation- they are two degrees - and they are not happenstance or coincidence - but clearly enemy action.

Now I just got James Forman's book "Code Name Valkyrie - Count Von Stauffenberg and the plot to kill Hitler"

– that notes:

"The plan had a code name Valkyrie, and it would be developed at two levels with two sets of orders. Officially Valkyrie was a scheme to activate units of the Home Army to seize population centers in case of a rebellion by the foreign slave laborer sin Germany. Behind this facade the plan was to evolve into a complete takeover of the government by the Army.

"Phase One - plan for mobilizing the Reserve Army. Purpose: to crush mutiny of slave laborers.

This part of the plan was submitted through channels and approved by Hitler himself.

"Phase Two - the second, secret plan: Item 1- Disposal of Hitler. Item 2 - Preparation of orders upon Hitler's death...Direct the Reserve Army to undertake the following - Occupy first the city of Berlin...Principle objectives: Imprisonment of key Nazi and SS officials, occupation of vital government buildings, railroad stations and other government centers, especially broadcast stations. Immediate command of the mass media, newspapers, wireless radio - cannot be over stressed. The conspiracy alone must speak. Orders from Hitler's East Prussian HQ must be entirely isolated and contained."

"The conspiracy alone must speak."

Another twist to the Valkyrie plan was a Psychwar aspect to blame the assassination of Hitler on the Gestapo and SS as an excuse to round them up.

Forman says that while Dulles agent Gisevius  supported the coup he was against the bomb plot. He told Von Stauffenberg "I just I have the feeling we'll never succeed. I'm not speaking through fear. But I have a feeling very few of us will be alive this time next year, regardless of what happens with your bomb."

And he was right.

But the adaption of Valkyrie as carried out at Dealey Plaza succeeded.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Roselli Chronology File - RIF 157-10014-10236

Rosselli Chronology

Significant JFK Record 157-10014-10236

BK Notes: This record is significant for a number of reasons, although it should be read with a transcript of Rosselli's Church Committee testimony (That I haven't seen yet). 

The official documents spell the name as both Rosselli and Roselli, sometimes in the same document, I use the version in the document, but when writing my analysis I will resort to the version Jack Anderson used, as he apparently got it directly from Roselli. 

Without having read the Church Committee transcript yet, this record documents the chronology of Roselli's association with the CIA, beginning during "Eisenhower administration when Richard Nixon was vice president and Allen Dulles head of the CIA." 

While the early CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro have received the most publicity - my analysis will focus on the post Bay of Pigs - April 1961 era after William Harvey, just back from the Berlin Tunnel operation, took over the Cuban project - Task Force W and Harvey replaced James O'Donnell as Roselli's case officer. That is also the time when the planning for Castro's assassination switched from poisoning him to blowing him up and shooting him with high powered rifles. 

As this record documents in the Chronology, Roselli utilized the alias of "John Rawlston," also known as "Colonel Rawlston" or Colonel Roselli at the Florida JMWAVE training base where Roselli acknowledges to Jack Anderson that he supported a number of anti-Castro Cuban commando teams that operated two high speed boats, infiltrating Cuba with high powered rifles. Roselli himself paid for the gas and on one occasion had his boat shot out from under him. Roselli told Anderson he did not know what became of the anti-Castro Cubans he sent ashore, but none of them returned or reported back. 

Besides Roselli, two other rich Americans - William Pawley and Clare Booth Luce financially assisted their own teams of anti-Castro maritime commandos, and both became entwined in the assassination story in their own ways.

U.S. Army Ranger Bradley Ayers, who was cross posted to the CIA from the Army with another Army officer - Captain Roderick, were assigned by General Brut Krulak to train the Cubans in small arms, small boat maneuvering, and general operational procedures. Ayers said that Roderick trained Roselli's team in sniper tactics at the remote Point Mary off Key Largo, Florida. 

After the Oct.  1962 Cuban Missile crisis when Desmond Fitzgerald replaced William Harvey as head of Task Force W - Covert Cuban projects run out of the basement of the CIA HQ, Harvey's biography ("Flawed Patriot" written by a former CIA agent who died before the book was pyblished) says that Fitzgerald did not know about some of Harvey's covert ops that did continue outside of Fitzgerald's control, possibly including contact with Roselli. Harvey and Roselli formed a close personal bond, and remained friends, clearly outside of agency protocol until Roselle was killed. 

Since Ayers was a US Army officer who was assigned to the CIA, he never signed a CIA security oath and was permitted to publish his memoirs without prior CIA approval, as Victor Marchetti had to run his manuscript past CIA censors before it was published. Like they are doing with the JFK documents,  they redacted large portions of Marchetti`s book, redactions that have since been filed in. 

Ayers' first book The War That Never Was, was published by Bobs-Merrell, an Indiana publisher who maintained a fourth floor office at the Texas School Book Depository and hired William Harvey as their attorney for legal matters. Harvey ensured that certain items were edited out of the first hard cover edition. 

There is an on-going FOIA suit requesting William Harvey's official travel dates while he was posted as CIA Chief of Station in Rome at the time of the assassination. There is also an FOIA request for Roselle`s CIA operational file, not included under the JFK Act. 

In addition, former CIA pilot Tosh Plumbly testified to the Church Committee that he flew Roselli to Dallas' Red Bird airport from Florida on the day before the assassination. I know this because I wrote the history of Somers Point, N.J. and corresponded with former Somers Point mayor John McCann, Jr., who died in federal prison of cancer after being convicted of cocaine trafficking. McCann had also hired CIA pilots to fly cocaine from Columbia via Panama, personally paying off Panamanian dictator Noreaga for the right to refuel without drug sniffing dogs pestering him. I believe McCann when he testified that Noreaga had his - McCann's CIA file he must have obtained from sources in the CIA. And I believe Plumbly when he testified he flew Roselli to Dallas from Florida in November 1963. Both McCann and Plumbly testified before the Church committee. 

Someone else must think these Church Committee testimonies are significant because many of the tapes have disappeared or been erased. 

From these SSCIA Church committee  records, we find direct associations between the CIA-Mafua plans to kill Castro and the assassination. 

We also now have the knowledge that Roselli also pushed the story that one of his commando teams that infiltrated Cuba had been captured by Castro, tortured and sent back to Dallas to kill JFK. This fits quite clearly into the Phase One - Castro Cuban Commie cover-story that was built into the original plan to kill Castro that was redirected to JFK at Dealey Plaza.

Rather than a Castro plot,  more likely it was one of the CIA-Mafia plans to shoot Castro with a high powered rifle that was redirected to JFK. And the first class Army Ranger trained  snipers supported by Roselli, trained by Capt. Roderick at Point Mary,  are primary suspects,  and their names are listed among the CIA JMWAVE records released or redacted under the JFK Act. 

Roselli was also associated with John Martino, the Atlantic City gambler and electronic casino security expert who worked for Traficanti at his casino in Havana and expressed foreknowledge of the assassination. Roselli and Martino had shared an apartment in Florida together, and Martino's foreknoweldge of the Dealey Plaza operation possibly stemmed from Martino. 

Going forward, the legally unresolved and cold case murders of Sam Giancana, John Roselli and Eugene M. Carrafa are among the cold cases related to the assassination of President Kennedy that, if reopened and investigated properly today, could help resolve the murder of JFK.

According to this document, Eugene M. Carrafa, a Maryland associate of Giancana, disappeared on the same day (July 28) as Roselli, and was later found floating in New York harbor, strangled and chained to  two anchors, much like Roselli was killed.

Official local and federal investigators, armed with these newly released records, should reopen all three of these cases.

Released under the John F. Kennedy Assassinations Records Collection Act of 1992
(144 USC 2107)
Case #NW 53244
Date: 06-14-2017
RIF: 157-10014-10236

ORIGINATOR: SSCIA - Church Committee
DATE: 1976



To: Mike Madigan
From: Ed Greissing
Date: Sept. 16, 1976
Subject: Review of CIA documents presented the SCI by Jack Anderson

The documents recently received by this Committee, from Jack Anderson, had previously been reviewed by the Church Committee staff. The documents appear to be a few of those requested for FOIA review by David Belin. It is my understanding, after these documents were declassified, David Belin furnished copies to both David Martin (AP) and Jack Anderson.

 - BK Notes: Former WC and Church Committee attorney David Belin requested CIA records on Castro plots in order to make a case for Castro retaliation, not to determine the truth. -

The Church Committee was permitted to review the entire Oswald 201 file, the AMLASH file, Garrison files and selected Office of Security files, Garrison files and selected Office of Security files. The Committee primarily concerned itself with the early period of the investigation (November 1963 – October 1964), as it believed the information to be received from this time period to be more relevant in evaluating the performance of the intelligence agencies with respect to their investigation.

Dan Niescher, the Church Committee contact at the CIA, was the individual responsible for the declassification of documents relating to the assassination of President Kennedy. 

During this declassification process, Dan Niescher consulted the Committee staff to make sure that we were aware of certain documents. In addition, Mr. Kaleras had given the staff unlimited access to all files believed necessary to conduct our investigation.


Yet, the possibility still remains that the staff was not shown everything. The CIA has maintained throughout that the Oswald 201 file was a complete compilation of the material related to the assassination of President Kennedy. However, information relating to who Lee Harvey Oswald was, and what he was doing are not included in their files. The Oswald 201 does not attempt to question Oswald’s connection to both pro-Castro and anti-Castro groups or any of the AMLASH information. The most notable subject missing was information relating to CIA/US Government attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro.

PAGE 5-6: Portions of unnamed testimony.


Miami Herald, December 24, (1976)
Trafficante Made Secret Appearance At Senate Investigation, Sources Say
By Ron LaBrecque

Florida’s reputed organized crime boss, Santos Trafficante of Tampa and Miami, made a secret, four-hour October appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee to answer questions about his role in a CIA assassinations plot, investigation sources have disclosed.

Trafficante, 62, had not previously been questioned by the committee or its staff in the two-year-old investigation of CIA activities.

Of the three Mafia figures involved in the early 1960s plot to kill Cuban Premier Fidel Castro, only Trafficante is still alive. Both Sam Giancana and John Rosselli were murdered within the last `6 months. The murders are unsolved.

Investigators also said that Trafficante had dinner with Rosselli at The Landings, a Fort Lauderdale restaurant, in mid-July, less than two weeks before Rosselli disappeared. Rosselli’s body, stuffed in an oil drum, floated to the surface of Dumfounding Bay the first week of August…….

PAGE 8 – 9 – Repeated PAGES 10-13

Rosselli Probe
By RON LaBRECQUE – Miami Hearld

Sen. Gary Hart (D. Col.) made an unannounced trip to Miami Friday for a private meeting with homicide detectives to underscore the strong interest of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee in the John Rosselli murder investigation and to insure that federal agencies cooperated with local police.

The FBI was ordered into the case last week by Attorney General Edward Levi after pressure from the Senate committee.

“We’re not here to solve the crime,” Hart said, “we want to find out if there is any connection between (Rosselli’s) death and his testimony before our committee.”

[NOTE: They investigated the possible connections between Rosselli’s murder and the similar murder on the same day (July 28) of Eugene M. Carrafa, 37, of Rockville, Md., whose body was found in New York harbor, Carrafa having been strangled and weighted down by anchors, much like Rosselli. Carrafa was an associate of Sam Gancana.]

PAGE 14 - 15

To: Rick Inderfurth
From: Mike Madigan
Date: August 13, 1976
Re: Miami Interview

Hart interviews in Miami on Rosselli matter and subpoena for Santos Trafficante, signed by Sen. Baker….need approval of majority of committee….
Detective Wolf and Zatrepallek – Dade County Sheriff’s Office, 305-547-7456 (are the detectives investigating the Rosselli murder for the locals)

PAGE 16 – Repeated – 18 -22


– Senate investigator said Rosselli feared for his life because of his testimony.
Michael Madigan
August 13, 1976
……my recollections of the pre-testimony interviews with Mr. John Rosselli prior to Rosselli’s testifying under oath in June of 1975…..Rosselli and his attorneys expressed on numerous occasions fear for the well-being of Rosselli….He was worried about retaliation and particularly worried about his relatives with whom he was living in Florida…..he declined to testify about Giancana (until after Giancana’s death), refused to identify any of the Cubans who were involved in assassination plots, and was reluctant to mention Santo Trafficante by name….Rosselli told the Senator (Baker) he was concerned for his safety and his life and that he was risking his well-being by testifying before the committee….Throughout his testimony Rosselli declined to give his exact address in Florida for reasons of safety. It is also my recollection that Rosselli’s demeanor was visibly affected whenever testimony or interview focused or attempted to focus on Santos Trafficante.

PAGE 24 –

Newspaper Report

Rosselli’s Body Found in Floating Drum



The Washington Merry-Go-Round  THE WASHINGTON POST –Monday, Jan. 18, 1971
By Jack Anderson

6 Attepts to Kill Castro Laid to CIA

Locked in the darkest recesses of the Central Intelligence Agency is the story of six assassination attempts against Cuba’s Fidel Castro.

For 10 years only a few key people have known the terrible secret. They have sworn never to talk. Yet we have learned the details from sources whose credentials are beyond question.

We spoke to John McCone, who headed the CIA at the time of the assassination attempts. He acknowledged the idea had been discussed inside the CIA but insisted it had been “rejected immediately.” He vigorously denied that the CIA had ever participated in any plot on Castro’s life. Asked whether the attempts could have been made with his knowledge, he replied: “It could not have happened.”

We have complete confidence, however, in our sources.

The plot to knock off Castro had been part of the Bay of Pigs operation. The intent was to eliminate the Cuban dictator before the motley invaders landed on the island. Their arrival was expected to touch off a general uprising, which the Communist militia would have had more trouble putting down without the charismatic Castro to lead them.

After the first attempt failed, five more assassination teams were sent to Cuba. The last team reportedly made it to a rooftop within shooting distance of Castro before they were apprehended. This happened around the last of February or first of March, 1963.

Nine months later, President Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald, a fanatic who previously agitated for Castro in New Orleans and had made a mysterious trip to the Cuban embassy in Mexico City.

Among those privy to the CIA conspiracy, there is still a nagging suspicion – unsupported by the Warren Commission findings – that Castro became aware of the U.S. plot upon his life and somehow recruited Oswald to retaliate against President Kennedy.

To set up the Castro assassination, the CIA enlisted Robert Maheu, a former FBI agent with shadowy contacts, who had handled other undercover assignments for the CIA out of his Washington public relations office. He later moved to Las Vegas to head up billionaire Howard Hughes’ Nevada operations.

Maheu recruited John Rosselli, a ruggedly handsome gambler with contacts in both the American and Cuban underworlds, to arrange the assassination. The dapper, hawk-faced Rosselli, formerly married to movie actress June Lang, was a power in the movie industry until his conviction with racketeer Willie Bioff in a million-dollar Hollywood labor shakedown. The CIA assigned two of its most trusted operatives, William Harvey and James (Big Jim) O’Connell, to the hush-hush murder mission. Using phony names, they accompanied Roselli on trips to Miami to line up the assassination teams.
The full story reads like the script of a James Bond movie, complete with secret trysts at glittering Miami Beach hotels and midnight powerboat dashes to secret landing spots on the Cuban coast. Once, Roselli’s boat was shot out from under him.

For the first try, the CIA furnished Roselli with special poison capsules to slip into Castro’s food. The poison was supposed to take three days to act. By the time Castro died, his system would throw off all traces of the poison, so he would appear to be the victim of a natural if mysterious ailment.
Roselli arranged with a Cuban, related to one of Castro’s chefs, to plant the deadly pellets in the dictator’s food. On March 13, 1961, Roselli delivered the capsuls to his contact at Miami Beach’s glamorous Fontainebleau Hotel.

A couple of weeks later, just about the right time for the plot have been carried out, a report came out of Havana that said Castro was ill. But he recovered before the Bay of Pigs invasion on April 17, 1961.

Four more attempts were made on Castro’s life.
Bell-McClure Syndicate


The Washington Merry-Go-Round THE WASHINGTON POST -  Tuesday, Feb, 19XX
By Jack Anderson

The mystery man whom the Central Intelligence Agency recruited to assassinate Cuba’s Fidel Castro has been laid up in the sick ward of the Los Angeles County jail.

He is handsome, hawk-faced John Roselli, once a dashing figure around Hollywood and Las Vegas, now a gray, 66-year-old inmate with a respiratory ailment.

Confidential FBI files indentify him as “a top Mafia figure” who watched over “the concealed interests in Las Vegas casinos of the Chicago underworld.”

Roselli has admitted to friends that he was a rum runner during the Roaring Twenties. Operating along the East Coast, he learned how to evade Coast Guard cutters and police patrols.

His name later became linked with the biggest names in the Chicago and Los Angeles underworlds. He also developed contacts in the Cuban underworld before Castro took over the Havana gambling casinos.

He had the right background for a hush-hush mission that the CIA was planning in 1961. As part of the Bay of Pigs invasion, the CIA had hoped to knock off Castro and leave Cuba leaderless.


Roselli was recruited for the job by Robert Maheu, a former FBI agent, who admitted to us that he had handled uncover assignments for the CIA. He refused, however, to discuss the details. His is the same Maheu, incidently, who is now involved in a legal battle over phantom billionaire Howard Hughes’ Nevada operations.

Roselli was so flattered over being asked to perform a secret mission for the U.S. government that he paid all his expenses out of his own pocket and risked his neck to land the assassination teams on the Cuban coast.

In James Bond fashion, he whispered meetings in Miami Beach hotels with Cubans willing to make an attempt on Castro’s life. Once, he called on Chicago racket boss Sam Giancana to line up a contact. The confidential files report that Giancana had “gambling interests and an interest in the shrimp business in Cuba.” However, the Chicago gangster took no direct part in the assassination plot.

Roselli made midnight dashes to Cuba with his hired assassins in twin powerboats. Once a Cuban patrol ship turned its guns on his darkened boat, tore a hole in the bottom and sank the boat. Roselli was flushed out of the water by the other boat, which escaped into the shadows.

In earlier columns, we reported how the CIA furnished Roselli with deadly poison capsules which he tried through a relative of Castro’s chef to plant in the dictator’s food. Later, marksmen armed with high powered Belgian rifles attempted to infiltrate close enough to gun Castro down.

All told, six assassination attempts were made, the last in the spring of 1963. Through-out this period, Roselli worked under the direct supervision of two secret CIA agents, William Harvey and James (Big Jim) O’Connell.


The FBI which got wind of the assassination plot, has tried to pump Roselli for information. But he was sworn to silence by the CIA, and up to this moment, he hasn’t broken it.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department, as part of its crackdown on organized crime, tried to nail Roselli. The FBI discovered that his Chicago birth records had been forged, that his name was really Filippo Sacco and that he had come to this country from Italy as a child. He was convicted for failing to register as an alien.

He was also convicted for conspiracy to rig card games at Los Angeles’ exclusive Friar’s Club.
Of Roselli’s own CIA associates, Harvey has now retired to Indianapolis and O’Connell is still on the CIA payroll. Both admitted to us a friendship with Roselli but refused to discuss their CIA activities. Harvey said he had a “high regard” for Roselli and called the Friar’s Club indictment a phony. Roselli’s lawyers are now trying to get clemency for their client, citing our stories about his secret CIA service.


Under pressure from the firearms lobby, the Treasury has failed to enforce a vital section of the 1968 federal firearms act.
The law was passed after the murders of Sen. Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King. It authorizes the Treasury Secretary to require full reports of all firearms and ammunition sales…….


1975 Jack Anderson Press Release (handwritten)


Four and a half years ago, I broke a story that is now belatedly rocking Washington. I reported that the Central Intelligence Agency had recruited two Mafia figures, John Roselli and Sam Giancana, to assassinate Cuban Premier Fidel Castro.

I tracked down Roselli and questioned him about the story. He had nothing to say. He promised me, however, that he would give me his exclusive story if he should ever be free to talk.

Yesterday, John Roselli told his story - - first to the Senate Intelligence Committee in secret session, then to me as he had promised four and a half years ago.

Roselli is a dapper, hawk-faced man with a thatch of white hair. He has been disciplined all his life to keep his mouth shut. His Mafia partner Sam Giancana, was slain before Senate investigators could serve him with a subpoena.

So it was obviously painful for Roselli to talk. I promised I would make clear that he revealed no names, except CIA contacts whose identities the Senate already knew.

So here is Roselli’s own account of a real-life “Mission Impossible” - - the attempt to kill Castro. It is a story of cash payments, poison pellets, high-powered rifles and powerboat dashes to Cuba.

The plot against Castro, Roselli said, began in 1960 - - when Dwight Eisenhower was President, Richard Nixon was Vice President and Allen Dulles was the CIA chief.

Roselli was recruited in Los Angeles, he said, by Robert Maheu, then an aide to billionaire Howard Hughes. Previously, Maheu had operated a CIA front in Washington.

According to Roselli, the murdered mobster, Sam Giancana, never became involved in the assassination plot. He knew about it; he may even have suggested a Cuban contact; nothing more.
Roselli identified the CIA project officer, in charge of the Castro assassination, as “Big Jim” O’Connell. Maheu put Rosselli in contact with O’Connell, as Roselli remembers it, in New York City on September 14, 1960.

Thereafter, Roselli flew to Miami and recruited the assassination squads. At first, they plotted to poison Castro. Poison pellets were supplied by the CIA. They were delivered  to the plotters in a Miami hotel room, according to Roselli, by Maheu. He dramatically opened his briefcase, revealing $10,000 in cash and the fatal pellets.

The money was distributed to the Cuban plotters. Roselli swore he never took any money from the CIA, except some incidental expenses. He paid the big expenses, he said, out of his own pocket.
The poison pills were supposed to take three days to work. Supposedly, this would give the poison time to work its way out of Castro’s system before he died, and his death would be attributed to natural causes.

Roselli never found out what happened to the plotters or the pellets. But they tried again later with a stronger dose of poison. Not long afterward, reports reached them that Castro was desperately ill. Roselli doesn’t know whether the illness was caused by the poison or a virus. But Castro survived, and the plotters apparently did not.

Roselli said he also picked up intelligence, which he submitted to the CIA both during the Bay of Pigs planning and later Cuban missile crisis. After the Bay of Pigs, Roselli said, Maheu was cut out of the plot. Thereafter, Roselli reported to a CIA agent named William Harvey.

There were four more assassination attempts, the plotters were smuggled into Cuba with high-powered rifles. The last assassination squad, Roselli heard, made it into Cuba with high-powered rifles. The last assassination squad, Roselli said, made it to a Havana rooftop before they were caught.

This was around March 1, 1963. Then the project was abandoned. Roselli saw Harvey for the last time in June, 1963. Five months later, Lee Harvey Oswald gunned down President Kennedy in Dallas. Oswald had been active in the pro-Castro movement. Shortly before that dreadful day in Dallas, Oswald took a mysterious trip to Mexico where he visited the Cuban embassy. The Warren Commission found no evidence, however, that Oswald was in the hire of Havana.

Yesterday, Rosellli made no apology for his CIA role. U.S. authorities call him a mobster. He regards himself as a patriot.

Page 30 – 34

THE WASHINTON POST – Sunday, September 12, 1976

The Calculated Rise And Abrupt Descent Of Johnny Roselli
By Rudy Maxa

Until last month, Johnny Roselli lived comfortably with his sister and brother-in-law in a Miami suburb. A friend estimated he earned about $25,000 annually from a gift shop he owned in the lobby of Las Vegas’ Frontier Hotel.

He shrugged last year when his attorney suggested he hire a bodyguard, after the murder of Chicago mobster Sam Giancana, his partner in CIA plots to kill Castro. If anybody wants to kill me at my age, the 71-year-old Roselli said, what difference does it make? So he played golf several times a week, sipped white wine with dinner, and – until somebody decidied Johnny Roselli should wind up in an oil barrel in Miami’s Dumfoundling Bay – considered employment in the new gambling casinos beginning to open in the oil-rich Middle East……

PAGE 35 – REPEAT OF August 13, 1976 Rick Inderfurth – Mike Madigan – memo re: Miami Interviews with Gary Hart.

PAGE 36 -


Who Killed John Roselli? – Editorial



1955 - Meets Maheu at insurance friend’s home.
1960 – Late July / early August. Maheu calls. Working for government. Recruit Rosselli only. Meet Brown Derby, L.A. for lunch. Long talk about project in Cuba. Rosselli wants verification……
2ND meeting, L.A., discuss further details, no discussion of specifics techniques. Plan to meet in N.Y. for verification.
Sept. 14, 1960. First meeting in N.Y. at old Plaza Hotel. Rosselli introduced by Maheu to O’Connell. Rosselli “knew” O’Connell worked for the CIA. Rosselli agrees to work on Cuban project.
Sept. 25, 1960. Maheu and Rosselli travel to Miami to begin making contact with Cubans to be recruited for mission.
(Between Sept. 25 and the Bay of Pigs [April 17], a series of recruitments, meetings and arrangements were made. The following is an outline of events that is not necessarily in chronological order.)
--- Meeting where Maheu is introduced to Trafficanti. Meeting where Maheu is introduced to Giancana. Giancana was, according to Rosselli, to only be a “back up man.” Rosselli states Giancana had nothing to do with the actual operation. Trafficanti was used, according to Rosselli, as a translator.
--- Meeting with O’Connell, Maheu, Rosselli, [note, “and two Admirals to” is crossed out] discuss the Cuban project.
--- Rosselli, in his contact with the Cubans, “invents” the cover story that he represents some Wall Street business interests who want to see Castro eliminated. Rosselli trusts Cubans he has recruited beause they are part of the Bay of Pigs operation.
--- 1st attempt at assassination involved the use of pills. Maheu and Rosselli met with Cuban #1 and #2 (?). Maheu opened up his briefcase and gave pills with instructions for their use to Cuban #1. Maheu also had $10,000 he gave the Cubans for doing the project. Rosselli did not know of the money. Rosselli states he received no remuneration for his work on the project, in fact, he paid out $800 for gas for a speed boat to deliver two or three man parties for guerrilla raids into Cuba.
--- Prior to the Bay of Pigs there was no discussion of using guns to assassinate Castro.
---Rosselli’s cover name was “John Ralston.”
--- At different times, Cuban #1, #2, or #3 would propose different projects. These would range from using plastic explosives to booby trapping Castro’s desk. Rosselli would relay these on to Maheu, who, in turn, would contact the CIA. Most projects were vetoed, but the CIA did supply short wave radio to the Cubans in Florida, to try and make contact with their people in Havana.
--- Eventually, Rosselli felt the project had failed. There was no specific point when it was announced. But, at sometime Rosselli assumed the project, for whatever reason, had not succeeded.


DATE                   EVENT OR ITEM                           SOURCE (Where Necessary)

1959                 Richard Bissell becomes DDP  (head of Plans Directorate)

October  1960
Tap on Dan Rowan phone in Las Vegas (allegedly: (a) favor to Giancana, and (b) done by Rosselli)   SOURCE: Date and Rosselli role from Government Oposition paper to Rosselli motion for reduction in sentence, 1971.

1961 Feb.  Lumumba mysteriously killed during Congolese strife.   - Wash. Post & Star contemporaneous accounts. News reports of CIA consideration of Lumumba plot, but claim it was done by others, e.g. Belgians?  Wash. Post 2/6/75 story by Lardener and Greider Tab A

Early 1961     Attempts to kill Castro before Bay of Pigs landing by Rosselli team.-  Jack Anderson 1967, 1971 and 1975 columns; Watergate Helms memcon

April 1961    Bay of Pigs Landing

May 31, 1961  Trujillo assassinated; charge of U.S. involvement – Jack Anderson column (1/19/71) on Smathers conversation with JFK. Agee book (obviously suspect in some respects)

Rest of 1961 and 1962 -  Possibly ongoing efforts to kill Castro by Rosselli team  - last attempt by Rosselli team in 1963, infra.

Sometime in early 1960’s   - RFK quashes prosecution of Giancana for Rowan Las Vegas tap – Watergate memcons on Keeney and Wilson interviews

October 1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis – (date for background reference )

Early 1963  - Rosselli training a team in Miami area -  Wash. Post Greider/ Lardener story, supra., states Army Ranger Capt Ayers saw him.

March 1963 – Rosselli’s last effort to kill Castro – J. Anderson 1971 column

November 1963 – Diem killed in Saigon coup JFK told Smathers later he thought CIA involved – J. Anderson, 1/19/71 column

Colby head of DDP Far East Division at the time. – articles on Colby.

Early 1964 – Howard Hunt and others from Bay of Pigs effort begin plot on another Castro assassination – reported by Tad Szulc in book on Howard Hunt (1974)


(more on Hunt Castro project)

Assassination alleged to have been planned as part of a smaller invasion effort and preparations were allegedly made in Costa Rica – Szulc, supra

May 1965  - Hunt Castro scheme “aborted when Dominican Republic strife broke out (scheme also allegedly involved McCord, Barker and Sturgis) – Szulc

May 1965 (or later)  As Katzenbach/Helms/LBJ meeting on Dominican Republic ended, LBJ asked Helms if CIA had ever been involved in assassination (of a leader) and Helms said “no.”

1966= CIA poisoning plot against Haitian Pres. Duvalier; bombing place in ’68.  – Anderson col.,. 4/7/75

1967- Rosselli indicted for alien law and interstate gambling crimes (Friars Club card game rigging) – Government Opposition to sentence reduction, suprs.

March 3 1967 – First Anderson column on Rosselli – We don’t have, but Anderson referred to in Hersh NY Times story 3/10/75

In response to Anderson story RFK tells Walinsky and Edelman he shut it off;  - Hersh story, supra.

Rosselli sentenced to 5 years – Government Opposition,

Early 1969 - Asst. Atty Gen Wilson asks for Justice Dept. Rosselli file – Keeney Watergate memcon

1970 - Rosselli goes before grand jury under immunity re: Giancana – Government Opposition, supa

1971- Jan. 18 – First of three Anderson columns.

Jan. 19 – Maheau (scheduled to go before grand jury on Las Vegas skimming) calls AG John Mitchell. – Lenzner memo to Sen. Ervin on Rosselli (and phone )

Same day: Haldeman asks Dean to inquirer into Hughes/O’Brien/Maheu ties

Jan. 27 – Maheu interviewed by Wilson and Peterson on Rosselli matter.

Feb. 1 – Caulfield to Dean memo that Maheu was involved in covert activity for CIA in early 1960’s.
Rosselli files motion for reduction in sentence, citing Anderson stories and presenting memorandum to Court



1961   After the Bay of Pigs (April 1961)

Rosselli felt “sorry for the poor bastards left on the beach.” [Crossed out: Rosselli felt indirectly responsible for their deaths since he had encouraged many of them to participate in the invasion.] Two or three weeks after the invasion, Rosselli was contacted in Los Angeles by O’Connnell, a meeting was arranged for at the airport hotel in Miami. Rosselli went there and was introduced to Harvey. O’Connell said Harvey was now in charge of the Cuban project. Harvey told Rosselli he was to cease all contact with Maheu and Giancana. Further, Harvey stated that the government was still interested in using Rosselli for intelligence-gathering operations. Rosselli would report information from the Cubans to Harvey about personalities and events in Cuba. Rosselli would also relay on to his Cuban contacts requests for specific information from the CIA.

Sometimes between the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis [October 1962] Harvey gave Rosselli six poison capsules. Rosselli, in turn, gave them to his Cuban contacts who were to take them to Cuba, where another Cuban or Cubans would use them to assassinate Castro. Rosselli never learned the details of what happened, but the project obviously failed. At one point, Rosselli remembers hearing over the radio hat Castro was very ill. A short time later, he recovered.
Sometime before the Cuban missile crisis, Rosselli arranged, pursuant to Cuban #1 request, for a van loaded with rifles and ammunition to be delivered to Florida. O’Connell and Rosselli watched the Cuban contact pick up the van and return it empty. Rosselli assumed that these guns were going to be used by the two or three-man raiding parties in Cuba to assassinate Castro and overthrow the government.

During the Cuban missile crisis, Rosselli was in Chicago. He contacted Harvey at Harvey’s mother’s home in Indianapolis and left his number in Chicago. Harvey then called him, told him to go to Washington D.C. From Washington, D.C., Rosselli traveled to Florida where he stayed for the duration of the Cuban missile crisis. He, at times, would, through his Cuban contacts, attempt to verify the location of the Russian missiles in Cuba. Rosselli claimed that this had been successful. After the Cuban missile crisis, Harvey called Rosselli and told him to stop all contacts with any and all persons involved in past Cuban missions. Harvey never stated why the missions were being called off.

Rowan Tap

Rosselli said that he understood that Giancana had asked Maheu for a  tap on Dan Rowan. Maheu gave Rosselli two stories. The first was that he was doing Giancana a favor and the second was that there was a real intelligence value in that Maheu was afraid that Giancana or Rowan might be giving out intelligence information that would be of value to enemies of the United States. Rosselli had not heard of the names Dubois or Belotti or Fred Harrison. He admitted that Harvey had discussed the tap with him, but both Harvey and Rosselli were mad that the operation had gone on. Giancana obvioiusly knew about the tap. Maheu did ask Rosselli to get bail money for the two tappers who were caught and thrown in jail. Maheu suggested that Rosselli could get a hotel to turn over the bail money. Finally, Rosselli arranged to have a man with a green carnation in his lapel meet and transfer the bail money. He never received any of this money back. Rosselli claims that he did not know what type of tap went on. He admitted that he had been questioned by the FBI but he gave no answers. Rosselli knew that Mahu had been questioned by the FBI.

Early 1961 – Attempts to kill Castro before Bay of Pigs landing by Rosselli team.

April 1961 – Bay of Pigs Landing

Rest of 1961 and 1962 – Possibly ongoing efforts to Kill Castro by Rosselli team.  Last attempt by Rosselli team in 1963, infra.

Early 1963 – Rosselli training a team in Miami area. Wash. Post Greider/Lardener story, supra., states Army Ranger Capt. Ayres saw him.

March 1963 – Rosselli’s last effort to kill Castro.

Sometime in 1963 – RFK stopped further efforts.

August 9 1976 -  Rosselli’s body discovered in oil drum in Dumfounding Bay, Florida.