Most current discussions of the JFK assassination seem to focus on the events of the actual shooting in Dallas. Beyond that the dialog goes on to witnesses and TSBD employees – and whether or not they were reliable, coerced after the fact or even suspects as accessories. Conversations on trajectories, wounds, medical and autopsy issues are also endless.

As for myself, I’ve studied and written at length on the events following the assassination – over some 72 hours to two months – and what I find especially relevant about how matters were handled from both a command and control and damage control perspective, what you might call the national security response. That work led me to several conclusions, one of them being that a national security decision was made within some 48 hours to enforce a non-conspiratorial scenario and to literally quash investigation of anything beyond Lee Oswald as a “disconnected” assassin.

I won’t elaborate on that here, the work and my logic is all in Someone Would Have Talked. But beyond that, one topic that deals with things which happened “afterwards” doesn’t get much contemporary discussion – it did in earlier years when less concrete data was available but after the last couple of decades we have so much hard data that conversations have gotten much more focused and specific.

The topic I’m thinking of is that of potential “sponsors” or “instigators” for the attack.  There had never been a dearth of people who hated JFK and either wanted him dead or talked about making that happen.  Jim Marrs did an excellent survey of the “pack” in his JFK book issued in the early 1990’s. I was on a panel the other evening and we discussed JFK myths including trying to count the number of different types of sponsors and conspiracies raised over the years.

Some of the earliest were the most obvious – LBJ (jealousy, career protection), the ultra-right (H.L. Hunt, the Minutemen, KKK groups, etc), and the Mafia (various godfathers, take your pick) as well as Castro (not a general favorite outside the CIA and Cuban exile communities). The CIA has always been a favorite but in several menu options – the CIA (starting at the very top), the CIA (starting at the bottom), and the CIA (starting somewhere in the middle – that would be me).

But over the years things got even weirder with the list including Aliens (well actually humans covering for the aliens and the evil compact with them), homosexuals (think New Orleans and thrill killings). Jackie Kennedy was added (revenge), Mr. Onassis (jealousy), relatives of the Thresher crew (revenge but targeting Gov Connelly not JFK). The list is even longer, more recent years have seen science fiction authors (OK, Scientology leaders but his science fiction creations came much earlier), Howard Hughes (motive unclear), and most recently a resurgence of the ultra-right in the form of General Walker.

After entering the above (only a partial list) it again strikes me why most people either don’t take JFK research seriously or why they absolutely love it simply because one of the potential sponsors (bad guys) on the list is a perfect fit for their own suspicions or world view.

So, over the holidays I’ll continue my blogging on JFK with a couple of posts regarding potential sponsors – specifically based on the question of what they did immediately after the attack in Dallas and what that might reveal (or not) about their level of association.

In doing that I should acknowledge one of the few truths that I ever felt able to take away from the remarks of Gerry Hemming – he once said that immediately after the assassination several people were gravely concerned that things they had said or offers they had made actually had led to the murder. Those that had a guilty conscious behaved in certain ways; those that actually knew or were involved in the conspiracy behaved much differently.  I thought that was an important observation and I’ll continue that thought with my next post. I should note that Hemming was a really bright guy and I always found he could think and talk circles around virtually everyone including me.

Oh, and while I will cover a few of the potential sponsors – don’t expect to see L. Ron Hubbard, Howard Hughes or Aliens (even their human allies) discussed, you will have to go elsewhere for that.

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About Larry Hancock

Larry Hancock is a leading historian-researcher in the JFK assassination. Co-author with Connie Kritzberg of November Patriots and author of the 2003 research analysis publication titled also Someone Would Have Talked. In addition, Hancock has published several document collections addressing the 112th Army Intelligence Group, John Martino, and Richard Case Nagell. In 2000, Hancock received the prestigious Mary Ferrell New Frontier Award for the contribution of new evidence in the Kennedy assassination case. In 2001, he was also awarded the Mary Ferrell Legacy Award for his contributions of documents released under the JFK Act.

6 responses »

  1. Anthony M says:

    Looking forward to reading it. I have for some time thought that speed of reaction of people around LBJ such as Cliff Carter and Hoover’s rapid close down of serious investigation indicated prior knowledge, but open to persuasion otherwise.

    • You are certainly on the right trail with Carter, I’ll point out that his calls to Texas early Friday evening are one of the most anomalous things in Johnson’s behavior, leaving some suggestion of either at least some sort of forewarning or some national security level communication that has been removed. In contrast Hoover’s behavior is very much FBI/Hoover SOP especially after the Friday night call from Johnson to Hoover (which has been removed from the record). Standard practice was that once a suspect had been identified with some solid evidentiary tie to the crime Hoover would immediately order all investigative attention be paid to that lead. Part of that is good practice but of course the other part was purely good PR for the Bureau; the quicker you can show the press you have solved a major crime the better you look. And that had been Hoovers MO from his earliest days in Bureau leadership positions. We see exactly the same response in the MLK case where the investigation was closed down to Ray as soon as they could come up with physical evidence connecting him to the shooting. Hoover liked closure; loose ends were not good things unless they could be tied back to the prime suspect.

  2. James Stubbs says:

    Larry, I just saw the dvd of your presentation of the Gene Wheaton interview. How can I see the entire interview? Thanks!

    • Hi Jim, actually Debra Conway as a copy of the full interview and has plans to make it accessable via the Lancer web site. Her first priority was to get the conference DVD’s out and that happened last week in what was record breaking speed. I’m sure she will work on getting the Wheaton interview up after the holidays; I will ask her the next time we talk, which should be next week. She has also scanned and plans to make available my entire document collection related to Fred Crisman and Thomas Beckham but that may take a bit longer.

  3. James Stubbs says:

    Thanks Larry!

    • One of the things the DVD recording may not have captured is that while we were discussing Wheaton’s credibility, reference was made to certain legislators and influential public figures he had been in contact with – that comes up in the interview. At that point Russ Baker, who was attending, brought up the fact that he had just been checking Wheaton’s obituaries online and one of Wheaton’s relatives had posted about being taken to a party and given introductions in Washington to individuals Wheaton mentioned in his interview. Talk about instant confirmation…

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