Thursday, January 7, 2016

William Weyand Turner 1927 - 2015

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William Weyand Turner 1927 - 2015

Bill Turner: “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 back channel 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 alliance 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.”

"The Cuban snipers were trained at Point Mary, north of Key Largo, Florida."

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    William Weyand Turner, 88, of San Rafael, CA passed away on Saturday, December 26th after a long struggle with Parkinson's.

     He was born April 14, 1927 in Buffalo, NY.

     He served in the Navy during WWII and then attended Canisius College in Buffalo, NY where he obtained a Chemistry degree and was their first goalie.

     He was drafted by the New York Rangers, but ended up working for the FBI as a Special Agent for 10 years.

     He "resigned" after testifying to Congress about problems at the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover.

     After leaving the FBI he worked as a journalist investigating the JFK assassination, then as an Investigator for Jim Garrison's inquiry into the JFK assassination.

     This led to his becoming an author and authority on both Kennedy assassinations.

     He wrote such books as Hoover's FBI, The Fish is Red, and the 10 Second Jailbreak that was made in to the movie "Breakout" with Charles Bronson.

     He loved tennis, golf, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

     He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Margaret, two children Mark and Lori, two sisters Janet and Maggie, 3 grandchildren Austin, Cassidy, and Kolton, and great grandson Michael.

     Assisted by Monte's Chapel of the Hills, San Anselmo, CA
 Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 3, 2016


William Weyland Turner was born in BuffaloNew York, on 14th April, 1927. At seventeen he enlisted in the United States Navy. During the Second World Warhe served on board an LST in the Pacific.

After the war Turner enrolled at Canisius College, a Jesuit school, and in 1949 obtained a degree in chemistry. Turner also played semi-professional baseball and ice hockey.

Turner joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1951. He worked for the FBI for ten years but grew increasingly concerned with the way J. Edgar Hoover ran the organization. Turner became convinced that Hoover was placing too much emphasis on the dangers of the American Communist Party. Instead, he felt he should be using more resources to tackle organized crime. In 1961 Turner was dismissed from the FBI. He hired Edward Bennett Williamsand sued the FBI but lost. However he did manage to get anti-Hoover testimony by other agents into the record.

Turner became a journalist. In 1963 he investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and concluded that he was the victim of a conspiracy. Later he worked with Jim Garrison, the district attorney of New Orleans. Turner and Garrison argued that a group of right-wing activists, including Guy BannisterDavid FerrieCarlos Bringuier and Clay Shaw were involved in a conspiracy with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to kill Kennedy. Turner and Garrison claimed this was in retaliation for his attempts to obtain a peace settlement in both Cuba and Vietnam.

Turner argued that the Kennedy assassination was a paramilitary operation, with riflemen firing from at least three angles. Stephen Rivele agreed with this viewpoint and in the television  documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy, named Lucien Sarti as being the gunman on the grassy knoll.

Turner later became senior editor of the radical magazine Ramparts. Under the editorship of Warren Hinckle, the magazine became the voice of the American New Left. It was also highly critical of theWarren Commission. In a series of articles he revealed abuses perpetrated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency. He also explored the assassinations of John F. Kennedy ,Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

Books by Turner include Hoover's FBI: The Men and the Myth (1970), Power on the Right (1973), The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy(1978), The Fish Is Red: The Story of the Secret War Against Castro(1981),Deadly Secrets (1992) (with Warren Hinckle), his autobiography, Rearview Mirror: Looking Back at the FBI, the CIA and Other Tails (2001). In his book he published details of wiretapping and bugging abuses by the FBI, its secret campaign against left-wing groups such as Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers Union and the stealth war against Cuba.

Turner also argues that John F. Kennedy was assassinated because he was planning to withdraw American forces from Vietnam. He also argued that Robert Kennedy was murdered because if he had been elected president he would have ordered a full investigation into his brother's death.

In 2004 Turner published Mission Not Accomplished: How Bush Lost the War on Terrorism (2004). His writing career came to an end when he developed Parkinson's disease.

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – On Friday Nov. 22, 1963, less than an hour after he had arrived in Dallas for a rally, President John F. Kennedy was gunned down.

Now, 50 years later, we’re hearing from a man who’s dedicated his entire life to figuring out what really happened that day, and he says he knows the truth.

“I smelled a rat,” said William Turner.

He has seen it more times than he cares to count. The grainy Zapruder film captured a pivotal moment in American history — the shot seen and heard around the world.

President Kennedy was shot in the head and rushed to a Dallas hospital. There was nothing doctors could to do save him.

Turner saw the aftermath first hand, arriving in Dallas just hours after the assassination.

“It was a somber and eerie situation,” he said. “It was half dark and people were crying.”

Turner was a G-Man — an FBI agent from 1951 to 1961 — with counter espionage and major crime cases his specialty.

However, He grew increasingly concerned by the way J. Edgar Hoover was running the bureau. Hoover found out and cut Turner loose.

So, he parlayed his investigative talents into becoming a journalist. His very first assignment was to head to Dallas to cover the breakdown of security during the assassination.

He scoured Dealey Plaza, asking questions, and using former FBI colleagues as confidential sources.
“I conducted the investigation and had two pieces of information that I thought might be pertinent,” Turner said. 

Witnesses, including a police officer, told him they thought there was a second shooter.
“He thought he heard three shots from an upper area equally spaced,” said Turner. “A woman ran up to him from the direction of what we now know as the Grassy Knoll and the bushes there, and said ‘they were shooting from the bushes.’ ”

The Warren Commission concluded in the official government report there was a lone gunman — Lee Harvey Oswald.

“The bushes are a good distance from the supposed sniper perch of Oswald,” said Turner. “I tucked that in my bonnet and it demonstrated there were at least two shooters.”

Turner was one of the first to report that. Days then turned to hours, which turned to decades. A lifetime of research led Turner to a shocking conclusion — the Kennedy’s murder was choreographed by our own CIA.

“I think what happened was a capacity for assassination was set up by (a) CIA base in the Everglades called Point Mary. That’s where they trained Cuban snipers,” said Turner.

He says two of those Cuban snipers were sent to assassinate the president. The CIA and Kennedy had a falling out after the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. After the failed plan to oust Fidel Castro, it’s reported that Kennedy promised to smash the CIA into a thousand pieces.

But would the CIA really plot to kill a U.S. president?

“I believe the mafia was allied with the CIA in assassinating Kennedy, and I think we’ve proven that and should go ahead with closure — designating it a conspiracy and not a single man’s work,” said Turner.

It’s a tangled web. Turner believes President Lyndon B. Johnson worried a full investigation could reveal plans to assassinate Castro — a finding he feared could escalate into a nuclear war with Cuba and their soviet allies.

“National security is used as an excuse for all kinds of ridiculous activities and the failure to investigate the assassination of JFK was one of their worst failures,” said Turner.

He says there was one thing that kept him going all these years.

“I’m known as being very stubborn. I think that explains it all,” said Turner.

JFK experts credit Turner for the Cuban connection and the release of scores of once-top secret documents.

Although Turner doesn’t believe Americans will ever know the whole truth, even after 50 years in search of it, he has he wants those seeking to know.

“Keep the faith,” he said.


        In intelligence parlance dangling is sending out an operative to
pose as an opposition activist to see who is attracted to his cause.
During the McCarthy era, for example, the FBI trolled for Red fish.
This was the role that Oswald played out on the streets of New Orleans
during the cirtical summer of 1963 as he promoted his rump chapter of
the Fair Play for Cuba Committee

        Oswald's controller was W. Guy Banister, a former FBI official
whose New Orleans private detective agency covered for intelligence
activities.  During the 1961 CIA-organized Bay of Pigs invasion his
office was the nerve center for a provocative attack on Guantanemo by
Cuban exiles dressed as Castro regulars.  Afterwards, when the CIA
campaign shifted into a low-profile high-intensity mode, Banister's
operations became even livelier. Exile publicist Ricardo Davis has
disclosed that Banister proposed "putting poison in the
air-conditioning ducts in the Havana Presidental Palace and killing all

And Jerry Milton Brooks, a defector from the paramilitary
right-wing Minutemen, has revealed that Banister associate Maurice
Gatlin, who dubbed himself a "CIA transporter," in 1962 delivered
$100,000 to plotters against the life of Charles De Gaulle.

        It was into this murderous environment that Oswald was drawn. As
early as 1961, when he was still in the Soviet Union, his name was
used.  Three months before the Bay of Pigs two men, a Cuban and an
Anglo, asked Bolton Ford to bid on ten trucks for the Friends of
Democratic Cuba, a CIA front incorporated by Guy Banister.  The Cuban
instructed that the bid be put in the name of the e anti-Csatro action
groups.  A sheriff's informant reported that Oswald was there, 
that he belonged to the group. 

On November 22 after the shots were fired Oswald fled the Texas School
Book Depository Building and headed towards Oak Cliff.  There is
compelling evidence that he fled because he realized he had been set up
as a "patsy".  Paraffin tests conducted after he was captured
determined that there were no nitrates on his cheek from firing a rifle
but they were present on his hands, indicating a handgun.  Police
lieutenant Carl Day, who processed the Carcano rifle, identified a
partial palmprint as Oswald's.  But the print could only have been
placed when the rifle was disassembled and Day recently said that it
wasn't new, meaning it was placed days or weeks before.

        In 1966 I interviewed three attendants at a gas station on the
Oak Cliff end of the Houston Street Viaduct that the fleeing Oswald
traveled in a taxi.  They said that Office J.D. Tippit, who had been
parked at the station watching traffic come off the viaduct, suddenly
sped off towards Oak Cliff.  Landlady Earlene Roberts reported that
when Oswald was temporarily in his room -- presumably arming himself
with his revolver --- a police car pulled up in front and honked.  She
said it was car number 107 and that two officers were in it.  The
Warren Commission dismissed her testimony because Tippit was alone in
car 10.  But Roberts had poor vision and could easily have added a
number and mistaken Tippit's uniform  jacket on a hanger in the car's
window for a second officer.   Ten blocks away, Tippit ran Oswald to
ground and was shot.  If Oswald was headed for the Alpha 66 location,
which was the direction he was taking, he would have found it vacated.

        The inevitable conclusions are that Tippit knew Oswald bysight
and was stalking him.  Jack Ruby then stalked Oswald and got his chance
two days later.  Oswald went from dangling to dead, never to identify
his controllers.

The Cuban Connection: Nixon, Castro, and the Mob

Prometheus Books
Publication date: May 2013
ISBN: 9781616147587   Digital Book format: ePub (Adobe DRM)

A former FBI agent and investigative journalist examines the fateful meeting between Castro and Nixon and the murky connections that existed between official Washington, the CIA, and organized crime in Cuba. His vivid narrative provides insider information that many in power never wanted the public to know. In April 1959, Fidel Castro toured the United States at the invitation of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Though he was wary, Castro entertained some hope of establishing an approchement with Washington. But after being snubbed by President Eisenhower and receiving a less-than-cordial reception from Vice President Richard Nixon, Castro got the strong impression that US intentions toward his new Cuban government were hostile. Based on firsthand interviews with many of the key players involved in Cuban-American relations of that era, plus thorough background research, Turner raises a host of disturbing questions. Before the ouster of the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista by Castro, why did Vice President Nixon often socialize at Havana casinos with his Cuban friend Bebe Rebozo? How was the rabid anti-Communism of the Eisenhower administration, especially its instant dislike of Castro, connected to its cozy relationship with the former mob-controlled dictatorship? How did all of this set the stage for the Bay of Pigs fiasco and, ultimately, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the JFK assassination?


Jim Lesar: He donated papers to the AARC.  As soon as time and resources permit, I plan to have them digitized and placed on the AARC's website. 

Peter Dale Scott: Bill Turner was one the last survivors from the first generation of isolated researchers into the Kennedy assassination. In addition his book Hoover’s FBI(1970) was an important record in breaking down the wall of protection that once surrounded the reputation of J. Edgar Hoover. His books on the actions of the Cuban anti-Castro exiles are still invaluable resources. 

In that early era when not all researchers were easy to work with, I remember Bill in part for his equanimity and good humor, as well as for his courage and commitment. He was also a great raconteur, and will be missed by many.

John Simkin: Sorry to hear about the death of William Weyland Turner. I never met him but he was always helpful by email. It should not be forgotten that Turner was the senior editor at Ramparts when several articles appeared on the subject of the assassination of JFK. Books by Turner includeHoover's FBI: The Men and the Myth (1970), Power on the Right (1973), The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy (1978), The Fish Is Red: The Story of the Secret War Against Castro (1981) and Deadly Secrets (1992) (with Warren Hinckle). He also wrote a great autobiography, Rearview Mirror: Looking Back at the FBI, the CIA and Other Tails (2001). In his book he published details of wiretapping and bugging abuses by the FBI, its secret campaign against left-wing groups such as Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers Union and the stealth war against Cuba.

Lamar Waldron: Sad news – – Bill was a great guy!

Bill was a very brave guy, who went up against Hoover at a time when even Presidents and Senators were afraid of Hoover's power.

Bill was very helpful to me in my early research, starting in the late 1980s.  He provided all of his notes for key interviews he had done with people like Harry Williams, which let Thom and I get much much farther with those people on very sensitive subjects.

It has been a year or two since I had spoken with Bill, but he remained very helpful.  He told me about the time he was with Jim Garrison in New Orleans, and Carlos Marcello's brother seemed very friendly with Garrison, and invited them both out.  (I can't remember if I had room for that story in my last book.)

I think Bill's best book was probably Deadly Secrets, the updated version of The Fish is Red.

He will be missed.

Bill Kelly: During the ASK conference in Dallas Bill Turner was one of the two dozen participants at the very first meeting of the group that would form COPA - the Coalition on Political Assassinations, held at the West End Pub. He was a very inspirational leader who gave us good advice and always spoke at the COPA conferences.