I first read about Rolf Mowett-Larssen in a Spy v. Spy feature story by Nina Burleigh about his presentation at a conference sponsored by Valarie Plame, a former CIA officer who holds an annual conference on intelligence related matters.
In the middle of the article it is mentioned that Larssen's presentation concerned the assassination of President Kennedy, and he put forth the idea that it could have been conducted by a small group of disenchanted rogue CIA agents and operatives.
....."On the conference’s closing day, the white-haired Mowatt-Larssen walked us through his theory on who killed JFK. He started out with a key idea — that if the CIA killed Kennedy, the plot would have necessarily involved three people: a mastermind and two others — one to handle Lee Harvey Oswald and one to deal with Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub owner who shot and killed Oswald before he could be interrogated."
"Then Mowatt-Larssen, using his access to classified CIA files, went looking for officers who would have had a motive, and access. 'It takes an agent to find a mole,” he said. “Who would betray his country? We were looking for a team of rogues.'"
"After going through the names of ranking officers during the years before the assassination, and then cross-referencing them, he settled on Jacob Esterline, the CIA’s project director on the failed Bay of Pigs assault on Cuba, as the likely mastermind, the man with the best motive, and the probable ringleader. In his role as the CIA’s director of Western Hemisphere, he would have had access to Oswald, as well."
“The rogues must be expert, and they need a motive,” Mowatt-Larssen explained. “To me, JFK is the motive. He pulled the plug on the Bay of Pigs. And he was reckless. He almost got us into a thermonuclear war with the Soviets.”
"Esterline went on to serve as chief of the CIA’s Miami office, and as deputy director of the CIA’s Western Hemisphere Division. He died in 1999. Of course, there is no shortage of conspiracy theories about the death of JFK, but Mowatt-Larssen currently serves as director of the Belfer Center’s Intelligence Project — at Harvard’s Kennedy School, no less — so his speculation carries some weight...."
I thought that if David Atlee Phillips were still alive I would call him on the phone and just say "Grandmothers on the Roof!" and he would know what I meant.
I also wrote a brief report on what I got from the article -
I sent the link to the Spy v. Spy article to Jefferson Morley with the salutation - WTF?
As the standard CIA line for the assassination is that it was either the work of the deranged lone gunman, as the Warren Commission concluded, or a conspiracy of Castro Cuban Commies, - the Phase One Cover-Story as Peter Dale Scott puts it, and the line preferred by dozens of CIA officers, agents and assets.
And Larssen is not your typical conspiracy theorists but a 20 year CIA veteran who rose up the ranks to become chief of the Moscow station, the most distinguished post in the agency, and his specialty was recruiting agents, targeted subjects, by any means necessary, including blackmail. So he knows what he is talking about when it comes to covert intelligence operations.
Tracking Larssen down to the Belfer Center of the JFK Library in Boston, I noticed on their web site that Larssen had previously gave a lecture there on the same theme,
Then I made sure that Larssen was invited to the CAPA Conference that year at the Dallas Marriott Courtyard Hotel near Dealey Plaza.
I listened intently to Larssen's hour long talk and slide show, took ten pages of notes, wrote about it on this blog, and responded to Jim DiEugenio's objections that Larssen was invited to talk at all.
After his presentation, outside in the hall, I introduced myself to Larssen, he gave me a business card and said he read my blog and it influenced his thinking. He then went into a long conversation with Morley that was filmed by a Japanese TV documentary film crew that was recording the whole conference.
Morley and Larssen kept in contact with each other and Larssen gave a remote talk during Morley's session of the National Press Club press conference to announce the Bill Simpich-Mary Ferrell civil suit against Joe Biden and the National Archives for not enforcing the JFK Act.
Morely also posted a four part series on CIA Tradecraft by Larssen at his JFKFacts blog that I think is very important, and will be using parts of it in my work.
Since then Larssen and Morley gave a joint presentation at the 2022 Valarie Plame Conference, a tape or transcript of which I am trying to obtain.
Larssen also gave a very interesting summery of his work to a TV news Breaking Points crew that is posted on YouTube -
The Times Record also did a long article on Larssen's hypothesis. in which he elaborates on a few of his suspects - Jactob Easterline, former chief of JMWAVE, Charles Ford, of the CIA office of Training who was assigned for one year to JMWAVE, and J. Walton Moore, the head of the CIA Domestic Contacts Division in Dallas who had dinners with George deMornschildt.
To those three Larssen suspects, I add William Harvey, case officer for Johnny Rosselli, Harvey's replacement after he was fired by RFK - Desmond FitzGerald, and CIA JMWAVE trainers US Army Ranger Captain Edward Roderick, John I.F. Harper and Carl Jenkins, all of whom were associated with the CIA's Miami JMWAVE station.
I recall John Judge saying that Lt. Col. Fletcher Prouty began at the top and worked his way down in JFK assassination research, and he started at the bottom and worked his way up, and they both met at the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Well I started at the bottom and Rolf Mowett-Larssen started at the top and we met at JMWAVE.
That's where they trained the anti-Castro Cuban commandos, that's where the plans were laid out to kill Fidel Castro, and that's where it was decided to redirect the Valkyrie and Pathfinder plans to kill Castro to JFK in Dallas.
JMWAVE will be my primary focus for awhile.