Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The Inheritance - Reconsidered

The Inheritance Reconsidered

The Inheritance – Poisoned Fruit of JFK’s Assassination By Christopher Fulton (Trinday, 2018)

When I was in Dallas in November 2018 I met Kris Milligan, publisher of the Oregon based Trinday books, who I had talked with on the phone many times, and he gave me a copy of Christopher Fulton’s new book “The Inheritance.”

I was impressed that the book has an introduction by Dick Russell, a researcher, writer and reporter who notes that the principle character of the book is not a person but a watch – the Cartier watch JFK was wearing when he was killed.

I began to read the book on the flight home and it wasn’t the watch that garnered my attention, but the Oval Office dictabelts tape recordings of Oval Office and phone conversations that JFK recorded with the idea of eventually writing an autobiography of his Presidential days. What’s on those tapes tell the true story of JFK’s important interactions in the days and weeks before his murder, the transcripts of which could fill a book unto itself.

I found The inheritance interesting and an easy read, and I later wrote what I thought was a fair review of the book that I posted at my blog - 

My primary problem with the book is that, as Kris Milligan says, it is written as a literary novel, with contrived conversations and characters whose names have been changed.  A copyright page disclaimer notes: “This is a memoir; it is sourced from memories, letters and recollections. Dialogue is reconstructed and some names and identifying features have been changed provide anonymity. There is some informed, educated supposition about how actions affected historical  events and meetings. The underlying story is based on actual happenings and historical personages.”

“Yes, some names have been changed,” Milligan writes, “some dialogue recreated, and there is some conflation of characters and minor events, but the story is very real. The question being: What will become of it? What will we do? There will be those who disparage, those who will throw cold water on Fulton’s tale, but then we have to deal, everyday with those who say, ‘Lee did it,” and those who wonder why anyone even cares about a murder that happened over 50 years ago.”

Well I don’t say “Lee did it,” and I certainly care about what happened, yet I will be disparaging and throw cold water on “Fulton’s Tale,” because those who claim there was a conspiracy and lie and tell tall tales, change names and redact legal documents to preserve anonymity are more harmful to the truth than those who claim “Lee did it.”

As a writer and journalist I have always held the policy that non-fictional accounts, especially concerning important historical events, are more incredible than anything that can be made up and contrived as fiction - so why not stick to the facts and try to tell the story in a convincing and believable way?

The only reason to “preserve anonymity” is to prevent others from checking sources to confirm or refute the information presented.

What I failed to mention in my original review is the fact that, as Fulton admits – his mother was a close friend of Lynda Tripp, the political dirty trickster who advised Monica Lowenski to secretly and illegally tape record her conversations with President Clinton. And it was Fulton’s mother he tells us, who advised him to place JFK’s Cartier watch at auction to give the Kennedy’s an opportunity to bid on it.

Many thanks to Australian researcher Greg Parker for pointing out the fact that both Fulton and his mother were embroiled in another court case over the sale of yet another controversial, though fake watch they sold over ebay for $50,000.

The story of the second controversial watch Fulton sold:

So now we have Fulton and his mother involved in two controversial watch sales, and when something happens twice I suspect it will happen a third time, and while there is another watch involved in the inheritance, it is the shenanigans surrounding them that makes the whole thing suspicious.

Fulton only refers to his mother as his mother, and doesn’t bother to mention her name – Wendy Woodhouse-McKerness,  a name we get from the case of the second controversial watch.

Although Fulton won the case of the second controversial watch, it is clear he sold a fake watch for $50,000 for his mother. But how could his mother be in court with him years after he got out of prison when he says she died while in was in the joint? Why would someone lie about the date of their mother’s death? If she did die while Fulton was in prison, an imposter must have appeared in court. The anomalies are piling up.

Getting down to the bare bones of the story I tried to separate the facts from the fiction.

And what is basically true is also amazing.

President Kennedy’s private secretary Mrs. Evelyn Lincoln was the daughter of a Nebraska congressman who met her husband at George Washington University Law School. After serving as a secretary for another Congressman, she was hired by JFK in 1953 and served him loyally until the day he died. She was riding in the motorcade when it happened, and back in Washington was given the task of clearing out the Oval Office of all of JFK’s belongings.

On the day after the assassination LBJ told her to speed things up and she was crying when she told that to RFK what LBJ had said to her. RFK confronted LBJ and got Mrs. Lincoln more time to clear out the office, and she took everything that belonged to JFK, including hundreds, possibly thousands of documents from his desk , the rocking chair, Lincoln’s wallet and the dictabelt tape recording of the President’s conversations and phone calls in the weeks before his murder. It was a treasure trove that she took home with her, ostensibly on the instructions of Robert F. Kennedy.

Mrs. Lincoln was later given an office at the Kennedy Library in Boston where she assembled and organized some of the records. Eventually she obtained the Cartier watch JFK was wearing when he was murdered.

But then, with the assassination of RFK in 1968, she was cut off from the Kennedy family, who thought that she took too many of the JFK’s personal items that belonged to the family, and she most certainly did. Mrs. Lincoln was extremely upset about not being invited to Caroline’s wedding, and “Hell hath no fury like a women scorned.”

When JFK was first elected President she received a letter from Robert White, a young man from Maryland who requested the President’s autograph, and Mrs. Lincoln sent it to him, beginning a correspondence that continued until Mrs. Lincoln died. 

When she was still alive she began to give White certain items and in her will she left him what she had from her extensive collection of JFK memorabilia. White’s idea was to create a museum to share everything with the public.

White then put together the collection and convinced Donald Trump to put it on display at Trump Towers in New York City, and after that it was moved to the Trump Plaza hotel and casino in Atlantic City, where I first learned about it.  A Trump PR person wanted me to write a news article about the collection – that they were charging people to see.

Knowing the Kennedy family did not like the idea that Mrs. Lincoln took off with their family’s personal effects, and now White was making a profit off it, I didn’t write the story as I believed everything belonged to the Kennedy family, not Mrs. Lincoln and especially none of it rightfully belonged to White. Now I am writing the true story as I am still learning it.

Eventually Robert White needed money, he said to make car payments, so he began to sell off parts of the collection, some of it to a Maryland acquaintance – Christopher Fulton, who obtained the Cartier watch, cassette copies of the Oval Office dictabelt conversations, as well as JFK’s wallet and medals and Lincoln’s wallet.

When word got out that Fulton had the watch and tape recordings of JFK’s Oval Office conversations, his lawyer told him he had a very big tiger by the tail.

I didn’t believe the story that the watch itself was proof of conspiracy – Fulton says because it contained traces of mercury from the bullet that inflicted the head shot that killed JFK.  Fulton claims the bullet contained mercury that could be detected on the watch and was proof of conspiracy. That’s total bullshit. Many watches of that period contained mercury, much like thermometers did.

In any case, JFK’s Cartier watch is at the center of the story. Fulton obtained it from White and Fulton offered the watch for sale to the Kennedy family, but as White was rebuffed by Caroline Kennedy when he offered to sell her a love letters JFK wrote to Jackie shortly before the Texas trip, the Kennedys believed the letters and the watch belonged to them and they weren’t going to pay six figures for something that was wrongfully if not illegally taken from them.

Fulton, on the advice of his mother, then placed the watch at auction where it was ostensibly obtained by John Kennedy, Jr. for $700,000. Fulton says that he met personally with Kennedy and signed off on a waiver for an article to be written in George Magazine. But like other conversations in this book, this appears unreal and there’s apparently no evidence it ever occurred or Fulton would give it to us.

Fulton says that John Kennedy, Jr. purchased the watch for $700,000, money he gave to his father  to deposit in a Swiss bank account out of the reach of U.S. authorities.

Fulton says that he moved to Canada to build skyscrapers. There he met a Russian who took him to Moscow where he met with the head of the KGB. They wanted the Oval Office tapes and other documents that Fulton had obtained from White, but he says he didn’t give them up.

Fulton says he was hounded by the federal government and was eventually arrested by the Canadian Mounted Police and extradited to the United States where he says he was wrongfully convicted for bank fraud and served eight years in federal prison, all because of his “inheritance.”

While I am only interested in the dictabelt and cassette tapes of the Oval Office conversations, the watch brings us to SS Agent Robert Bouck, an important character in the assassination story and this book. It was Bouck who installed the Oval Office taping system at the request of JFK.

In following the pedigree of the watch, it was taken off JFK’s wrist by a Parkland Hospital emergency room nurse who gave it to the head of security at the hospital. From there it was given to a Secret Service agent who passed it on to SS Agent Clint Hill who was to give it to Mrs. Kennedy, to whom it actually belonged.. Eventually it ended up with SS Agent Robert Bouck, the head of the Protective Service Division who was given responsibility for the custody of all of the evidence in the assassination as it arrived in Washington from Dallas.

Robert Bouck’s WC Testimony, Oral History from JFK Library and in regards to Oval Office taping system he installed, the tapes of which I am trying to track down:

Fulton says he met Bouck in Washington and accompanied him to JFK’s grave where they had a lengthly and unbelievable conversation.

Of all the issues presented in the book I narrowed it down to the Oval Office dictabelt tapes and the six cassette tapes White made of them and gave to Fulton, who quotes portions of them in the book.

I just want to know what became of the dicatabelt and six cassette tapes? That was the question I tried to ask Fulton, but he just said he would address the issue at a JFK conference at an Illinois conference in April.

Since I wasn’t there I don’t know if he did or not, but I will try to get a video tape of his presentation, and look forward to an interview with Fulton that Judyth Vary Baker is said to have recorded. Both Fulton and Baker share the same Trinday publisher, though Baker will be the subject of a new book with Walt Brown that should also be interesting.

I then emailed and asked his publisher Kris Milligan about the tapes. Do they still exist? Does Fulton still have them? If so can I have copies so that I could transcribe and share with everyone? And he too refused to respond.

So I called Milligan, who I had many pleasant conversations with in the past, and he knew what I wanted and shouted into the phone, “why should he give you the tapes?”

If I get a copy I will transcribe them, I said. But Milligan hung up on me in a fit.

What was that all about? I wondered.

I soon found out.

In the back of Fulton’s book there are dozens of pages of documents that he says supports most of his story, including the interesting fact that a box of assassination records from the files of an Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) staff member Kim Hurd are missing, a fact that I confirmed from the National Archives. Fulton says the missing records reflect on him, his story and Robert White’s inheritance of Mrs. Lincoln’s JFK effects.

I also noticed that most of the “supporting” documents in the back of Fulton’s book contain redactions – names, dates, places, addresses, and they are redactions that Fulton made.

All avid researchers try to fill in the redacted blanks in government documents and if Fulton says he wants to put out the truth, why redact anything? The only answer I can come up with is to keep people from checking his sources.

For instance there’s a letter to Fulton from Robert White’s Atlantic City attorney discontinuing their book deal and ordering Fulton not to use the photos of the collection that White had given him. Since I lived at the Jersey Shore for many years, I probably know White’s lawyer and would like to talk to him about his former client Robert White, but the lawyer’s name is redacted.

In some of the documents Fulton redacted his middle name.

Why would Fulton redact his own middle name in the records?  We soon found out.

As we learned his mother’s full name from the reports of the trail of the fake watch – Wendy Woodhouse-McKerness, a search of her name comes up with the names of her relatives, including her son - Christopher Scott Fulton. And when you Google Christopher Scott Fulton you come up with some pretty interesting items.

A Washington Post article pops up with the headline:

Man Pleads Guilty to Financial Fraud Charges.

While there’s no record of Christopher Scott Fulton ever being in federal prison, Jon Dallas Holden, aka Christopher Scott Fulton did serve time, but not eight years as he claims. According to federal prison records he only served 27 months.

“A former Potomac man has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt to fraudulently obtaining approximately $800,000 in bank loans and credit card charges and making structured withdraws from bank accounts, U.S. Attorney Lynne A. Battaglia said yesterday”

“Jon Dallas Holden, 33, pleaded guilty to a three-count criminal indictment. He was arrested in August as he reentered the United States from Canada and has been in custody ever since. According to a statement of facts in the court record, Holden was born Christopher Scott Fulton and legally changed his name in 1991. He obtained a new Social Security number, lying that he had never been issued one, and opened checking and savings accounts. Holden used false documents and lied about his income to obtain credit cards and loans, buying a Rolls-Royce, a Ferrari and there Mercedes-Benzes, the statement said. In 1994, he made a number of withdraws of just less than $10,000 to avoid having banks report the withdraws under federal law, the statement said. The maximum penalty for the bank fraud charge is 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The other charges carry maximum terms of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Holden is to be sentenced in April.”

Apparently Fulton purchased the watch and other items from White using money he obtained in the course of his bank fraud, so the money he obtained from the sale of the watch could have been confiscated by the feds in restitution for the money he obtained by fraud. That’s probably why he had his father deposit it in the Swiss bank account.

I know and like Kris Milligan, as he has published a number of important books that no other publisher would even consider, and I hope he continues to do so.

I don’t know Christopher Fulton but from the tone of his book he seems like a nice guy who got mixed up in some serious shit. And I don’t hold his bank fraud conviction against him – as I have a close personal friend who was convicted of bank fraud and did serve eight years in federal prison. I visited him often and we are still friends now that he is out.

I understand that Fulton may be a bit embarrassed by the real details of his bank fraud conviction, but he should come clean, and he can do by making the real conversations on the Oval Office tapes available to everyone. They are real, not contrived.

Why would Fulton not tell the true story of his conviction and incarceration? 

Then he wouldn’t have had to redact all those names in his book. The true story, as we are still learning it, is just as fascinating as the one he invented.

And the six cassette tapes of the Oval Office dictabelt recorded conversations are extremely significant. They should be transcribed, posted on line for everyone to hear and read, and Kris Milligan should publish them, crediting Chris Fulton with preserving them for posterity.

But I don’t think that will happen, as this evidence was poisoned, not by the government or Deep State but by Mrs. Lincoln, Robert White and Christopher Fulton.

BK NOTES: In a text book on the investigation of homicide from my father's bookshelf they say that in the case of homicides in which Elimination is the motive - as in this case - then it isn't the triggermen who lead to the resolution of the crime, but rather the victim, whose background, associations and connections in the days and weeks before the murder provide the clues to crime. That is why these Oval Office conversations are so significant. 

 As a related item, also see: Mrs. Lincoln’s Trunks. Besides leaving the bulk of her White House JFK memorabilia to Robert White in her will, she also sent two sealed trunks to her cousin, a Nebraska attorney who secured them with the local Polk County Sheriff. When contacted the former sheriff said that he knows what became of the trunks but would not divulge that information unless he was subpoenaed by Congress or a court.


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