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The Murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer
Future Freedom Foundation ^ | April 11, 2012 | Jacob G. Hornberger

Posted on 05/01/2012 9:25:50 AM PDT by robowombat

The Murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer

by Jacob G. Hornberger, April 11, 2012

In early 1976 the National Enquirer published a story that shocked the elite political class in Washington, D.C. The story disclosed that a woman named Mary Pinchot Meyer, who was a divorced spouse of a high CIA official named Cord Meyer, had been engaged in a two-year sexual affair with President John F. Kennedy. By the time the article was published, JFK had been assassinated, and Mary Pinchot Meyer herself was dead, a victim of a murder that took place in Washington on October 12, 1964.

The murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer is the subject of a fascinating and gripping new book by Peter Janney, who was childhood friends with Mary Meyer’s three sons and whose father himself was a high CIA official. Janney’s father and mother socialized in the 1950s with the Meyers and other high-level CIA officials.

Janney’s book, Mary’s Mosaic, is one of those books that you just can’t put down once you start reading it. It has everything a reader could ever want in a work of nonfiction — politics, love, sex, war, intrigue, history, culture, murder, spies, racism, and perhaps the biggest criminal trial in the history of our nation’s capital.

Just past noon on the day of the murder, Mary Meyer was on her daily walk on the C&O Canal Trail near the Key Bridge in Washington, D.C. Someone grabbed her and shot a .38-caliber bullet into the left side of her head. Meyer continued struggling despite the almost certainly fatal wound, so the murderer shot her again, this time downward through her right shoulder. The second bullet struck directly into her heart, killing her instantly.

A 21-year-old black man named Raymond Crump Jr., who lived in one of the poorest sections of D.C., was arrested near the site of the crime and charged with the murder. Crump denied committing the crime.

There were two eyewitnesses. One witness, Henry Wiggins Jr., said that he saw a black man standing over the body wearing a beige jacket, a dark cap, dark pants, and dark shoes, and then he identified Crump as the man he had seen. Another witness, William L. Mitchell, said that prior to the murder, he had been jogging on the trail when he saw a black man dressed in the same manner following Meyer a short time before she was killed.

When Crump was arrested, he was wearing dark pants and dark shoes. Police later found his beige jacket and dark cap in the water near the trail.

It certainly did not look good for Ray Crump, as he himself said to the police. Nonetheless, he steadfastly denied having anything to do with the murder.

Crump’s family retained one of D.C.’s most renowned and respected attorneys, an African American woman named Dovey Johnson Roundtree, who was around 50 years old at the time. (See Justice Older than the Law: The Life of Dovey Johnson Roundtree, an autobiography co-authored by Katie McCabe.) Roundtree met with Crump and became absolutely convinced of his innocence. She agreed to take the case for a fee of one dollar.

When the case came to trial, the prosecution, which was led by one of the Justice Department’s top prosecutors, called 27 witnesses and introduced more than 50 exhibits. Dovey Roundtree presented 3 character witnesses and then rested her case, without calling Ray Crump to the stand.

The jury returned a verdict of not guilty.

As Janney documents slowly and meticulously, the case against Ray Crump had all the makings of a good frame, but not a perfect one. For example, the two eyewitnesses had stated that the black man they saw was about 5 inches taller than Ray Crump and about 40 pounds heavier. Moreover, there wasn’t a drop of blood on Ray Crump’s clothing. Furthermore, there wasn’t a bit of Crump’s hair, blood, or bodily fluids on the clothing or body of Mary Meyer. Despite an extensive search of the area, including a draining of the nearby canal and a search of the Potomac, the police never found a gun.

After 35 years of researching and investigating the case, Janney pins the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer on the Central Intelligence Agency. What would have been the CIA’s motive? To silence an independent-minded woman who apparently did not accept the official lone-nut explanation for the assassination of John F. Kennedy — and who had apparently concluded instead that Kennedy was the victim of a high-level conspiracy involving officials of the CIA.

Immediately after Kennedy’s assassination, Meyer telephoned famed LSD guru Timothy Leary, with whom she had consulted regarding the use of LSD, not only for herself but also for unidentified important men in Washington to whom she wanted to expose the drug. Highly emotional, she exclaimed to Leary, “They couldn’t control him anymore. He was changing too fast. They’ve covered everything up. I gotta come see you. I’m afraid. Be careful.”

Meyer was referring to the dramatic shift that took place within President Kennedy after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the seminal event that had brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war. As James W. Douglass carefully documents in his book JFK and the Unspeakable, a book that Janney mentions with favor, Kennedy was seared by that experience, especially given that his own children might well have been killed in the nuclear holocaust.

After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy began moving America in a dramatically different direction; he intended to end the Cold War through personal negotiations with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, who desired to do the same thing. The idea was that the United States and the Soviet Union would peacefully coexist, much as communist China and the United States do today. Kennedy’s dramatic shift was exemplified by his “Peace Speech” at American University, a speech that Soviet officials permitted to be broadcast all across the Soviet Union. That was followed by the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which in turn was followed by an executive order signed by Kennedy that began the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.

Perhaps most significant, however, were Kennedy’s secret personal communications with Khrushchev and Kennedy’s secret personal outreach to Cuban president Fidel Castro, with the aim of ending the Cold War and normalizing relations with Cuba. Those personal communications were kept secret from the American people, but, more significantly, Kennedy also tried to keep them secret from the U.S. military and the CIA.

Why would the president do that?

Because by that time, Kennedy had lost confidence in both the Pentagon and the CIA. He didn’t trust them, and he had no confidence in their counsel or judgment. He believed that they would do whatever was necessary to obstruct his attempts to end the Cold War and normalize relations with Cuba — which of course could have spelled the end of the U.S. national-security state, including both the enormous military-industrial complex and the CIA. Don’t forget, after all, that after the disaster at the Bay of Pigs and after Kennedy had fired CIA director Alan Dulles and two other high CIA officials, he had also promised to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”

Janney’s book places Meyer’s murder within the context of the Kennedy murder, which had taken place 11 months before, in November 1963. The book brilliantly weaves the two cases into an easily readable, easily understandable analysis.

In Janney's book, there are two revelations about Mary Meyer's murder that I found especially disturbing:

1. The eyewitness who claimed to be jogging on the trail when he saw a black man following Mary Meyer does not seem to be who he claimed to be.

The man told the police that his name was William L. Mitchell and that he was a U.S. Army 2nd lieutenant who was stationed at the Pentagon.

Janney relates that according to a contemporaneous “news clip” in the Washington Star, by the time the trial began, Mitchell was no longer in the military and instead was now serving as a math instructor at Georgetown University.

Janney’s investigation revealed, however, that Georgetown had no record of Mitchell’s having taught there. His investigation also revealed that the CIA oftentimes used Georgetown University as a cover for its agents.

Janney investigated the personal address that Mitchell gave both to the police and at trial. It turns out that the building served as a CIA “safe house.” What was Mitchell, who supposedly was a U.S. Army lieutenant and then a Georgetown math instructor, doing living in a CIA “safe house”?

Janney was never able to locate Mitchell. You would think that a man who had testified in one of the most important murder cases in D.C. history would have surfaced, from time to time, to talk about his role in the case. Or that friends or relatives of his would have popped up and said that he had told them about his role in the trial.

Nope. It’s as if William L. Mitchell just disappeared off the face of the earth — well, except for some circumstantial evidence that Janney uncovered indicating that Mitchell was actually an agent of the CIA.

For example, in 1993 an author named Leo Damore, who had written a book entitled Senatorial Privilege about the Ted Kennedy/Chappaquiddick episode, was conducting his own investigation into Mary Pinchot Meyer’s murder, with the aim of writing a book on the case. Damore ended up committing suicide before finishing his book. But in the process of his investigation, he telephoned his lawyer, a former federal judge named Jimmy Smith, telling Smith that after a long, unsuccessful attempt to locate Mitchell, Damore had finally received a telephone call from a man identifying himself as Mitchell. According to Smith’s written notes of the conversation, a copy of which are at the back of Janney’s book, the man purporting to be Mitchell admitted to having murdered Mary Pinchot Meyer as part of a CIA plot to silence her.

In 1998, an author named Nina Burleigh wrote her own book about Meyer’s murder, entitled A Very Private Woman, in which she concluded that Crump really had committed the murder despite his acquittal.

Just recently, Burleigh published a critical review of Janney’s book at The Daily Beast, in which she acknowledges the likelihood that given the large amount of evidence that has been uncovered over the past decade, the CIA did, in fact, play a role in the assassination of President Kennedy.

In her review, however, Burleigh ridiculed the notion that the CIA would use its assassin in the Meyer case to also serve as a witness to the murder. It’s a fair enough critique, especially given that the information is hearsay on hearsay and Damore isn’t alive to relate the details of his purported telephone conversation with Mitchell or to provide a tape recording of the exchange.

But what I found fascinating is that Burleigh failed to confront the other half of the problem: even if Mitchell wasn’t the assassin, there is still the problem of his possibly having been a fake witness who provided manufactured and perjured testimony in a federal criminal proceeding.

I couldn’t understand how Burleigh could fail to see how important that point is. I figured I’d go take a look at her book. Imagine my surprise when a search for “Mitchell” in the Kindle edition turned up no results. I asked myself, How is that possible? How could this author totally fail to mention the name of one of the two eyewitnesses in the case?

So, I decided to read through her book to see if I could come up with an answer. It turns out that she describes Mitchell simply as a “jogger” (without mentioning his name) who said that he had seen a black man following Meyer and described the clothing the man was wearing. What is bizarre is that while she did point out, repeatedly, the name of the other eyewitness — Henry Wiggins Jr. — not once does she mention the name of the “jogger.” The omission is conspicuous and almost comical, given sentences such as this: “Wiggins and the jogger both guessed the presumed killer’s height at five foot eight” and “The shoes gave Crump the extra inches of height to make him the size described by Wiggins and the jogger.”

Why this strange treatment of one of the two important eye witnesses in the case? Only Burleigh can answer that one. But given her extensive investigation of the case, I wish she would have included in her critique of Janney’s book a detailed account of the efforts, if any, she made to locate “the jogger” and the fruits, if any, of those efforts. Perhaps The Daily Beast would be willing to commission Burleigh to write a supplemental article to that effect.

We should keep in mind that a criminal-justice system depends on the integrity of the process. If one side or the other feels free to use fake witnesses and perjured testimony with impunity, knowing that no one within the government will ever investigate or prosecute it, then the entire criminal-justice system becomes worthless or, even worse, tyrannical.

Prior to the publication of his book at the beginning of April, Janney issued a press release in which he stated that he planned to mail a request to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to reopen the investigation into the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer based on the evidence that Janney uncovered as part of his research for the book.

He need not bother. In 1973, nine years after the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer, 31-year-old American journalist Charles Horman was murdered in Chile during the U.S.-supported coup that brought military strongman Augusto Pinochet into power. Twenty-six years later — 1999 — U.S. officials released a State Department memorandum confessing the CIA’s participation in Horman’s murder. The CIA’s motive? Apparently to silence Horman, who intended to publicly disclose the role of the U.S. military and the CIA in the Chilean coup. Despite the official acknowledgment by the State Department of CIA complicity in the murder of this young American, not one single subpoena has ever been issued by the Justice Department or Congress seeking to find out who the CIA agents who murdered Horman were, why they murdered him, and whether they did so on orders from above.

How much trouble would it be for the Justice Department to issue subpoenas to the Pentagon and the CIA for all records relating to William L. Mitchell, including military and CIA service records and last known addresses? Or a subpoena for records relating to the CIA “safe house” in which Mitchell resided? Or a subpoena for records pertaining to the CIA’s use of Georgetown University as a cover for CIA agents? Or a subpoena to Georgetown University for records relating to William L. Mitchell and records relating to the CIA’s use of Georgetown University as a cover for CIA agents?

No trouble at all. But the chances of it occurring are nil.

2. The second especially disturbing part of Janney’s book relates to Mary Pinchot Meyer’s diary. On either the night of Meyer’s murder or the following morning, the CIA’s counterintelligence chief, James Jesus Angleton, burglarized Meyer’s home and art studio and stole her personal diary, which very likely contained detailed descriptions about her affair with President Kennedy. It also might have contained her suspicions that Kennedy had been the victim of a high-level assassination plot orchestrated by the CIA. Angleton took the diary with the aim of destroying it, but it’s still not certain what exactly he did with it.

Angleton later claimed that his actions were done at the request of Meyer’s close friend, Anne Truitt, whom Meyer had supposedly entrusted with the diary in the event anything happened to her. But Truitt had no legal authority to authorize Angleton or anyone else to break into Meyer’s house or studio and take possession of any of her personal belongings.

Unless the diary ever shows up, no one will ever know whether Kennedy and Meyer discussed the transformation that Kennedy was undergoing after the Cuban Missile Crisis. But one thing is for sure: given Meyer’s deep devotion to peace, which stretched all the way back to her college days, she and Kennedy were certainly on the same wavelength after the crisis. Moreover, given Meyer’s fearful statement to Timothy Leary immediately after the assassination, as detailed above, there is little doubt as to what Meyer was thinking with respect to who had killed JFK and why.

Angleton also arguably committed obstruction of justice by failing to turn Mary Meyer’s diary over to the police, the prosecutor, and the defense in Ray Crump’s case. After all, even if the diary didn’t point in the direction of the CIA as having orchestrated the assassination of John Kennedy, at the very least it had to have described the sexual affair between Meyer and the president. The police and the defense were both entitled to that information, if for no other reason than to investigate whether Meyer had been killed by someone who didn’t want the affair to be disclosed to the public. The fact that Angleton failed to disclose the diary’s existence to the judge, the prosecutor, and the defendant in a criminal proceeding in which a man was being prosecuted for a death-penalty offense speaks volumes.

One of the eerie aspects of this case is that prior to her murder, Meyer told friends that there was evidence that someone had been breaking into and entering her house. Now, one might say that the CIA is too competent to leave that type of evidence when it breaks into someone’s home. I agree. But the evidence might well have been meant to serve as a CIA calling card containing the following message to Mary Pinchot Meyer: “We are watching you, and we know what you are doing. If you know what’s good for you, cease and desist and keep your mouth shut.”

But Mary Pinchot Meyer wasn’t that kind of woman. She was independent minded, strong willed, and outspoken. In fact, when she attended CIA parties with her husband, Cord Meyer, she was known to make negative wisecracks about the agency. One of the other CIA wives commented that Mary just didn’t know when to keep her mouth shut.

If the CIA did, in fact, orchestrate the assassination of John F. Kennedy — and, as Nina Burleigh observes, the overwhelming weight of the circumstantial evidence certainly points in that direction — Mary Pinchot Meyer, given her relationship to the CIA, her close contacts within the Kennedy administration, and her penchant for being outspoken, could have proven to be a very dangerous adversary.

In his introduction to Mary’s Mosaic, Janney places the murders of John Kennedy and Mary Pinchot Meyer in a larger context:

The tapestry of President Kennedy’s killing is enormous; the tapestry of Mary Meyer’s, much smaller. And yet they are connected, one to another, in ways that became increasingly apparent to me as I dug ever more deeply into her relationship with Jack Kennedy and the circumstances surrounding her demise. To understand the complex weave of elements that led to her death is to understand, in a deeper way, one of the most abominable, despicable events of our country’s history.

Therein lies the cancerous tumor upon the soul of America. The CIA’s inception and entrance into the American landscape fundamentally altered not only the functioning of our government, but the entire character of American life. The CIA’s reign during the Cold War era has contaminated the pursuit of historical truth. While the dismantling of America’s republic didn’t begin in Dallas in 1963, that day surely marked an unprecedented acceleration of the erosion of constitutional democracy. America has never recovered. Today in 2012, the ongoing disintegration of our country is ultimately about the corruption of our government, a government that has consistently and intentionally misrepresented and lied about what really took place in Dallas in 1963, as it did about the escalation of the Vietnam War that followed, and which it presently continues to do about so many things.

Once revered as a refuge from tyranny, America has become a sponsor and patron of tyrants. Like Rome before it, America is — in its own way — burning. Indeed, the Roman goddess Libertas, her embodiment the Statue of Liberty, still stands at the entrance of New York harbor to welcome all newcomers. Her iconic torch of freedom ablaze, her tabula ansata specifically memorializing the rule of law and the American Declaration of Independence, the chains of tyranny are broken at her feet. She wears ‘peace’ sandals — not war boots. While her presence should be an inescapable reminder that we are all “immigrants,” her torch reminds us that the core principles for which she stands require truth telling by each and every one of us. As long as any vestige of our democracy remains, each of us has a solemn duty to defend it, putting our personal and family loyalties aside. “Patriotism” — real patriotism — has a most important venue, and it’s not always about putting on a uniform to fight some senseless, insane war in order to sustain the meaningless myths about “freedom” or “America’s greatness.” There is a higher loyalty that real patriotism demands and encompasses, and that loyalty is to the pursuit of truth, no matter how painful or uncomfortable the journey.

Buy Peter Janney’s book Mary’s Mosaic. But be sure to set aside a couple of days for reading it, because once you start, you won’t be able to put the book down.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS: benbradlee; benbradley; castro; cia; coldwar; jfk; johnfkennedy; khrushchev; marypinchotmeyer; peterjanney
Mary Meyer's murder is a classic inside the beltway mystery. She seems to be a case of a person 'who knew to much'. Hers was not the onlty such case in DC history.
1 posted on 05/01/2012 9:25:58 AM PDT by robowombat
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To: robowombat

Was there any women back then who weren’t engaged in an affair with Kennedy??? Just wondering


2 posted on 05/01/2012 9:34:35 AM PDT by slumber1 (Don't taze me bro!)
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To: robowombat

Kennedy left a lot of men on the beach during the bay of pigs fiasco..... Men with skills.

Conspiracy aside stuff happens.

Bttt !


3 posted on 05/01/2012 9:35:11 AM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: robowombat

I wonder if she was related to Gifford Pinchot. I live on Pinchot Ave, named after him. He was a Republican known for reforming the management and development of forests in the United States and for advocating the conservation of the nation’s reserves by planned use and renewal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gifford_Pinchot


4 posted on 05/01/2012 9:35:21 AM PDT by Beowulf9
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To: robowombat

The CIA was afraid that JFK was gonna make nice with the Soviets? So they killed him?

LBJ wanted to be President. Kennedy had a long list of dangerous affairs including one with a communist spy that was about to be revealed. I think that the Democrats murdered their own President. What would have happened to the Democrat party in 1964 if the country knew old Came-A-Lot was boffing communist spies? They had to make him a martyr.

This is just another red herring thrown out to protect JFK and the Came-A-Lot myth. Was Chris Matthews the co-author?


5 posted on 05/01/2012 9:35:42 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: robowombat
This is the introduction to Janney’s book. Unfortunately Janney spins this case into an example of grand conspiracy. What he doesn't want to address since it spoils his big story is that people who are potentially annoyingly embarrassing to certain persons in both intelligence agencies and certain military activities can on occasion end up dead. It just takes the right order to the right wet work guy and it gets done. No grand conspiracy, no world historical plot just really annoy the right person or people and see what happens:

Introduction to Mary's Mosaic by Peter Janney

History would be an excellent thing, if only it were true.

- Leo Tolstoy

So it was in 1964, just before 12:30 P.M. on a crisp, sunny mid-October day in Washington, D.C., that a beautiful, affluent middle-aged white woman was murdered on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal towpath during her accustomed walk after a morning of painting at her nearby Georgetown art studio. For more than five hours, her identity remained unknown to police – but not, I would discover many years later, to an elite high-level group of operatives within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). She was eventually officially identified by her brother-in-law, Benjamin C. Bradlee, at the D.C. Morgue shortly after 6:00 P.M. that evening. Mary Pinchot Meyer had been brutally put to death.

Nearly five decades have passed since I sat at my family’s dinner table on the night before Thanksgiving in 1964 where I first learned that my best friend’s mother had been murdered. In the intervening time span of nearly half a century, nothing has the dimmed the memory of what took place that night, nor the seminal childhood event of losing my best friend Michael eight years earlier in 1956. Sometimes tormented, even haunted, I came to realize the necessity of a deeper reckoning – and not just emotionally or psychologically, as my chosen profession dictated, but some final resolution of knowing a more complete, unvarnished piece of the truth, and the direction from which it lay.

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong,” wrote the author Carlos Castaneda. “The amount of work is the same.” As I meticulously attempted to unveil the facts surrounding Mary Meyer’s murder, I repeatedly took refuge in Castaneda’s words as the aftershocks of this event reverberated throughout my life in unimaginable ways. My journey – a rigorous, thorough research endeavor informed by my education as a Princeton undergraduate and later by my training as a clinical psychologist – began in 1976. It ended exactly 30 years later in shocking fashion.

There was nothing pretty or easy about waking up early one morning in 2006 and finally realizing that my own father – Wistar Janney, a career high-level CIA officer – had been involved in the “termination” of Mary Pinchot Meyer, someone I had grown to love and care about. Yet there is an another horror in the death of Mary Meyer, a horror that reaches far beyond the personal. It is the intimate and undeniable connection between her murder and that of her lover, President John F. Kennedy, on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. After more than twenty years of my own study, I share the belief – based on substantiated evidence and research by a host of dedicated researchers and historians – that President Kennedy was ambushed by elements of his own National Security apparatus in what amounted to a coup d’état. It is clear that a highly compartmentalized, elite segment of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the U.S. Military, the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as certain well-known organized crime figures, and finally Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, all colluded to overthrow the elected government of the United States.

Certainly, no one individual, or a group of disaffected anti-Castro Cubans, or even elements of the Mafia, could have undertaken such an a conspiracy independently, as some authors over the years have wanted to maintain. The forces behind President Kennedy’s assassination not only had the means and power to conduct such an operation, but the extraordinary mobility and reach to launch a second conspiracy of monumental proportions – a cover-up of enormous magnitude that included a secret autopsy to alter the forensic evidence of President Kennedy’s wounds, while staging the illusion of an “official” autopsy that amounted to a well-planned fraud – all of which has now been fully documented.1 No domestic or foreign entity, other than America’s own National Security apparatus, had the leverage, flexibility, mobility, and authority to orchestrate such a massive enterprise, which included the manipulation of all major media outlets.

Today, the CIA continues its efforts to cover up its role in the Kennedy assassination. According to author Joan Mellen, a special committee of archivists and librarians at the National Archives was convened in 2000 to examine a set of sealed records relating to the Kennedy assassination in order to determine whether they should be released to the public. Before any determination could be made, however, the group was visited by a man identifying himself as a representative of the Agency.

“He warned them that under no circumstances must they ever reveal to anyone what they had viewed in those documents,” said Mellen in her book A Farewell to Justice. So chilling had the CIA man’s threat been, “no one talked.”2

Twenty-five years earlier in 1975, Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania, half of a two-man subcommittee within the Senate Church Committee, authorized to investigate the Kennedy assassination, had reviewed yet unseen classified documents at the National Archives and came to this conclusion: “We don’t know what happened [in Dallas], but we do know Oswald had intelligence connections. Everywhere you look with him, there are the fingerprints of intelligence.”3 In 2007, referring to Oswald’s 1959 phony “defection” to Russia, Schweiker told author David Talbot that the ex- Marine Oswald “was the product of a fake defector program run by the CIA.”4 Schweiker was never convinced the CIA at any time came clean with what it knew. “I certainly don’t believe the CIA gave us the whole story,” said the former Senator.5

In 1979, the Congressional House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) concluded their three-year investigation with a finding of “probable conspiracy” in the assassination of President Kennedy, thereby calling into question the entire veracity upon which the foundation of the 1964 Warren Report had been built. Recommending the Department of Justice investigate further, nothing ever took place – except that the most sensitive, most revealing files uncovered by the House Committee were “lawfully” locked away until the year 2029.

A ‘shadow government,’ what Cold War intelligence historian L. Fletcher Prouty once called “The Secret Team,” (and what Winston Churchill once referred to as the “High Cabal” that ruled the United States 6), has eviscerated America’s fledgling experiment in democracy. “On top of this,” wrote Prouty in 1992, “we have now begun to realize that one of the greatest causalities of the Cold War has been the truth. At no time in the history of mankind has the general public been so misled and so betrayed as it has been by the work of the propaganda merchants of this century and their ‘historians.’”7

The tapestry of President Kennedy’s killing is enormous; the tapestry of Mary Meyer’s, much smaller. And yet they are connected, one to another, in ways that became increasingly apparent to me as I dug ever more deeply into her relationship with Jack Kennedy and the circumstances surrounding her demise. To understand the complex weave of elements that led to her death is to understand, in a deeper way, one of the most abominable, despicable events of our country’s history.

Therein lies the cancerous tumor upon the soul of America. The CIA’s inception and entrance into the American landscape fundamentally altered not only the functioning of our government, but the entire character of American life. The CIA’s reign during the Cold War era has contaminated the pursuit of historical truth. While the dismantling of America’s republic didn’t begin in Dallas in 1963, that day surely marked an unprecedented acceleration of the erosion of constitutional democracy. America has never recovered. Today in 2012, the ongoing disintegration of our country is ultimately about the corruption of our government, a government that has consistently and intentionally misrepresented and lied about what really took place in Dallas in 1963, as it did about the escalation of the Vietnam War that followed, and which it presently continues to do to about so many things.

Once revered as a refuge from tyranny, America has become a sponsor and patron of tyrants. Like Rome before it, America is – in its own way – burning. Indeed, the Roman goddess Libertas, her embodiment the Statue of Liberty, still stands at the entrance of New York harbor to welcome all newcomers. Her iconic torch of freedom ablaze, her tabula ansata specifically memorializing the rule of law and the American Declaration of Independence, the chains of tyranny are broken at her feet. She wears ‘peace’ sandals – not war boots. While her presence should be an inescapable reminder that we are all “immigrants,” her torch reminds us that the core principles for which she stands require truth telling by each and every one of us. As long as any vestige of our democracy remains, each of us has a solemn duty to defend it, putting our personal and family loyalties aside. “Patriotism” – real patriotism – has a most important venue, and it’s not always about putting on a uniform to fight some senseless, insane war in order to sustain the meaningless myths about “freedom” or “America’s greatness.” There is a higher loyalty that real patriotism demands and encompasses, and that loyalty is to the pursuit of truth, no matter how painful or uncomfortable the journey.

“Historical truth matters,” said the former Princeton historian Martin Duberman, now a Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at CCNY. “As a nation, we care little for it, much preferring simplistic distortions that sustain our national myths about ‘freedom,’ ‘opportunity,’ and ‘democracy.’ You can’t grow into adulthood when you’re fed pabulum all your life. And that’s why we remain a nation of adolescents, with a culture concerned far more with celebrityhood than with suffering.”8

Before this book, there has been only one published volume about the life and death of Mary Pinchot Meyer – Nina Burleigh’s A Very Private Woman (1998). Many people in Washington who had known Mary Meyer felt Burleigh’s account left out important details that were either overlooked or not considered, thereby creating more questions than answers. Some, like myself, having given Burleigh considerable input, were further disappointed by her conclusion that Mary had indeed been murdered by the downtrodden, helpless Raymond (“Ray”) Crump, Jr. This had not been the conclusion reached by two other attempts before the Burleigh volume was published.

Most outstanding was author Leo Damore’s book project Burden of Guilt, which had been scheduled for publication in 1993. Damore’s research for this manuscript was ground-breaking. With his 1988 publication of Senatorial Privilege – The Chappaquiddick Cover-Up, an incriminating exposé of Senator Ted Kennedy’s nightmare on Martha’s Vineyard and the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, Leo Damore established a reputation as a thorough, prodigious researcher. New York Times editorial columnist David Brooks, then writing in The Wall Street Journal, spoke of Damore as “a disciplined and relentless writer who makes his case more devastating because he never steps back and editorializes.”9 Senatorial Privilege landed Damore on the New York Times bestseller list for a number of weeks. Two of Damore’s previous books, In His Garden: The Anatomy of a Murder (1981) and The Crime of Dorothy Sheridan (1978), found renewed readership with the success of Senatorial Privilege.

Robertson Davies, one of Canada’s foremost men of letters, once remarked that Damore’s work spoke to “a strong moral backbone. He writes of the moral choices people must make in their lives and the consequences of these choices – made or not made.”10 A graduate of Kent State University School of Journalism and a reporter for the Cape Cod Times from 1969-1974, Leo Damore first published The Cape Cod Years of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1967. Drawing on anecdotes from neighbors, employees, friends, and acquaintances, the book sought not to sensationalize or focus on Kennedy’s politics, sex life, or even his presidency, but to focus on capturing the flavor of the area where the young John Kennedy and his family spent their summers. “Leo wrote his simple but eloquent biography in a scholarly fashion,” noted fellow Cape Cod journalist Frances I. Broadhurst, “painstakingly drawing from all local sources available in print or through hundreds and hundreds of interviews.”11

After the release of Senatorial Privilege, Damore returned to his research on Mary Pinchot Meyer that had originally been sparked by President Kennedy’s longtime friend and closest advisor Kenneth (“Kenny”) P. O’Donnell. Kenny O’Donnell and Dave Powers were President Kennedy’s two closest aides and confidantes, part of the “Irish Mafia” that served the political careers of both Jack and his brother Bobby. In 1966, Damore had the good fortune to be introduced to O’Donnell by attorney James (“Jimmy”) H. Smith, Esq. of Falmouth, Massachusetts. Both would work for O’Donnell’s unsuccessful Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign in 1970. Shortly before O’Donnell’s death in 1977, Leo Damore did a favor for the ailing Kennedy insider, having located an estranged family member. In appreciation, O’Donnell agreed to allow Damore to interview him in depth about Mary Pinchot Meyer, her involvement in the Kennedy White House, and her love affair with the President. That interview would inspire Damore’s fascination with what he termed “the Goddess behind the throne . . .”

I first met Leo Damore in the winter of 1992. He had already been researching Mary Meyer’s life for nearly three years. Our friendship grew quickly. For nearly two years, we spent hours talking on the phone, interspersed with my visits to his Connecticut residence. Knowing Mary Meyer’s family and some of her community as I did, I was often able to assist in his understanding certain dynamics of some of the people in Washington. While Leo shared with me a good deal of what he had uncovered, it was by no means everything, as I discovered many years later.

In the spring of 1993, a groundbreaking event occurred in the course of Damore’s research. It allowed him, he told me, to finally solve the murder of Mary Meyer and uncover why certain forces within our government had targeted her for “termination.” However, late that same year, Leo began a mysterious downward spiral of paranoia and depression, the causes of which may never be fully known. Several of his closest friends reported he believed his phone had been wire-tapped, and that he was being followed. He told one close friend that he was convinced he’d been poisoned. In October of 1995, Leo Damore shot himself in the presence of a nurse and policeman. An autopsy later revealed an undiagnosed brain tumor, but this was not without suspicion. Damore never completed a finished manuscript for his book Burden of Guilt, but his research – most of which eventually came into my possession – became one of the cornerstones for my own sojourn, as did my friendship with him.

As news of Leo’s death spread, two well-known authors and one newcomer would begin vying to pick up what Damore had started. The first was the prominent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh. In November of 1995, less than a month after Leo’s death, Hersh wrote to Damore’s principal research assistant Mark O’Blazney, seeking Damore’s materials, saying that he knew how “active and very diligent Damore had been in his research – some of those he sought to interview told me of his requests, not only for his book Senatorial Privilege but in his current pursuit about the story of Mary Meyer. I also know from his earlier work that few had come to understand the [Kennedy] family as he had, essentially from his earlier book on Ted [Kennedy].”12 Hersh’s courtship of O’Blazney, who closely guarded Leo’s vault, was short-lived, however. O’Blazney rightly claimed that Damore had bequeathed his research to him, since the author had been unable to remunerate O’Blazney for the work he had done during the last year of his life. As members of the Damore family considered mounting a legal battle for ownership, Hersh decided it was too big a bother, though he always suspected the real story behind Mary Meyer and her death to be a giant bombshell.13

Within a year, two other journalists came upon the scene almost simultaneously. The first was John H. Davis, an author of six books, who was a well-known, respected Kennedy assassination researcher, himself a Kennedy insider and a first cousin to Jackie Kennedy. Davis had an inside track to the Kennedy family that gave him a unique perspective. As a relative who had ingratiated himself, he knew many of the confidential workings of the Kennedy clan, including some family members’ real beliefs about the Kennedy assassination. Davis himself had absolutely no confidence whatsoever in the Warren Report. In particular, his book Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (1988) has remained a highly respected work with regard to the role of organized crime in JFK’s assassination. With the assistance of attorney James (“Jimmy”) H. Smith, Davis acquired access to Leo Damore’s research on Mary Meyer. In May 1996, editor Fred Jordan at Fromm Publishing International offered Davis a hefty book contract that included an immediate advance of $110,000. The book was to be titled John F. Kennedy and Mary Pinchot Meyer: A Tale of Two Murdered Lovers, and was scheduled to be completed by June 30, 1997. Davis took the same position in his attempt as his predecessor Leo Damore: namely, that Mary Meyer hadn’t been wantonly murdered, but assassinated because ‘she knew too much.’

While John Davis was at work on his Mary Meyer book, author Noel Twyman published Bloody Treason – The Assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1997. The book was exhaustive in its research, ultimately laying the blame for the President’s assassination at the front (and back) door of the CIA. Davis was unequivocal: Twyman had “completely solved the crime of the century.” Bolstered by Damore’s research, Twyman’s book further substantiated for Davis why the CIA had a keen interest in Mary Meyer after the Warren Report was made public.

But like Leo Damore, John Davis would never complete his book about Mary, despite his access to Damore’s discoveries and what certain members of the Kennedy family had shared with him. There may be several explanations for this. Both John Davis and Leo Damore ultimately linked the murder of Mary Meyer to the assassination of President Kennedy, which Davis had firmly come to believe had been masterminded by the CIA. Was it just mere coincidence that the two attempts to demonstrate a CIA conspiracy in the demise of Mary Meyer would never be published during this period? I don’t think so. John H. Davis was a cum laude graduate of Princeton, and like Leo Damore, a prolific author and respected researcher. It was possible that Davis’s alcoholism, well known to his close friends, prevented the book’s publication, and the fact that he eventually suffered a severe stroke, though that didn’t occur until 2002. When I interviewed Davis in New York in 2004, his disorientation and confusion were apparent; intermittently, he was incoherent. But his friend Jimmy Smith, who had been Damore’s attorney and close friend, recalled a chilling telephone conversation with Davis in early 1999.

“John,” inquired Jimmy Smith, “what the hell is going on with the book on Mary Pinchot Meyer?” “Oh, I’m not doing that,” replied Davis. “I decided I wanted to live . . .”14 When I queried Smith about this remark, he said he was sure Davis’s life had been threatened, that an attempt would have been made on his life had he published John F. Kennedy and Mary Pinchot Meyer: A Tale of Two Murdered Lovers. Davis’s previous books on the Kennedy assassination and the Mafia made him no stranger to the world of organized crime. He likely would have been able to discriminate between a serious threat and one that wasn’t.

Journalist Nina Burleigh contacted me in 1996 to talk about Mary Meyer. Our initial interview lasted several hours. I was heartened at the time by some of her insights, and for the next two years or so, continued to offer suggestions when asked. Though Nina would eventually acknowledge my assistance, as well as quote me throughout, I was very disappointed by her conclusions in A Very Private Woman. Despite some well-researched biographical information on Mary’s early life, Burleigh’s portrayals of Mary’s relationship with Timothy Leary, the nature of her relationship with Jack Kennedy, and her final disposition toward Mary’s alleged assailant Ray Crump, Jr. and his attorney Dovey Roundtree were not only short-sighted, but ultimately inaccurate and misinformed.

Who then bears the “burden of guilt,” as Leo Damore once coined it, for the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer? And who among us would weep for the ruined life of the wrongfully prosecuted Raymond Crump, Jr. – a defenseless, meek young African-American man scapegoated for a crime he couldn’t have possibly committed? Who would dare to step forward to undertake the journey for the deeper truth of what really occurred? Author Leo Damore may well have given his life for this story. It is his burden – and Mary Meyer’s – that I have ultimately endeavored to shoulder.

Members of my immediate and extended family, as well as Wistar Janney’s remaining friends and community, may find my conclusions all too outrageous and troublesome. Everyone is, of course, ultimately entitled to his own opinion – but not to his own set of facts. And the hidden history of this narrative – the true facts beneath the surface – much of which is revealed here for the very first time, strongly support the conclusions that I have established.

Whatever remaining anguish – mine, as well as the blemish upon the soul of America – my faith dictates that eventually it will have a redemptive impact – only because truth, when it is confronted and finally understood, has the power to heal.

Chapter Notes: Introduction
________________________
1 Lifton, David S. Best Evidence – Disguise and Deception in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. New York: Dell Publishing Company, 1982. See also, Horne, Douglas P. Inside The Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government’s Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK., Vols. I-V. Published privately (ISBN-13: 978-0-9843144-0-9).
2 Mellen, Joan. A Farewell to Justice. Dulles, Virginia: Potomac Books, 2005. pp. 383-384. Author Mellen further discussed and confirmed this event in an interview with this author on November 19, 2006.
3 Fonzi, Gaeton. The Last Investigation. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press, 1993. p. 31. Also: Fonzi, Gaeton, interviewed by the author. February 24, 2010.
4 Summers, Anthony. Conspiracy. New York: Paragon House, 1989, pp. 143-149. That Lee Harvey Oswald was part of a 1959 false defection program administered through the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) in Nags Head, North Carolina was first discussed in an interview that Summers conducted with former CIA officer Victor Marchetti, who confirmed this account in an interview with this author on October 4, 2007. According to author Joan Mellen, the ONI program was overseen by the CIA’s counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton. Upon Oswald’s return to the U.S. in 1962, he was, in fact, “debriefed” by a CIA officer named Aldrich (“Andy”) Anderson. The debriefing report was read by CIA officer Donald Deneseyla who confirmed this in an interview for this book on May 25, 2007, as well as in the 1993 PBS Frontline program, “Who was Lee Harvey Oswald?”
5 Talbot, David. Brothers - The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years. New York: Free Press, 2007. p. 381.
6 Prouty, L. Fletcher. JFK – The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy. New York: Citadel Press, 1996. p. 81.
7 Ibid. p. xxii.
8 Duberman, Martin. Waiting to Land – A (Mostly) Political Memoir, 1985-2008. New York: The New Press, 2009. p. 288.
9 Brooks, David. “Bookshorts: Kennedy’s Big Mess; Savitch’s Sad Life.” Wall Street Journal. August 16, 1988. p. 26.
10 Gale Reference Team. “Biography – Damore, Leo J. (1929-1995).” Contemporary Authors (Biography). Thomson Gale, 2004.
11 Broadhurst, Francis I. “A refreshing view of Kennedy.” Cape Cod Times, November 18, 1993.
12 Letter from Seymour Hersh to Mark O’Blazney dated November 1, 1995.
13 Ibid.
14 Smith, James H., interviewed by the author. April 6, 2004. Smith recounted verbatim the conversation with his friend John H. Davis.

6 posted on 05/01/2012 9:35:50 AM PDT by robowombat
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To: blueunicorn6
Yes, see my comment with Janney’s introduction. I am convinced this was a wet work job but the leftists always go off on the grand conspiracy track. There are people within some parts of the US government you do not want to get seriously annoyed. Ms Meyer annoyed the wrong people.
7 posted on 05/01/2012 9:39:24 AM PDT by robowombat
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To: robowombat
“...Kennedy had fired CIA director Alan Dulles and two other high CIA officials, he had also promised to 'splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.'”

One does not look upon the face of the Gorgon and live.

8 posted on 05/01/2012 9:44:08 AM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (I will not comply. I will NEVER submit.)
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To: robowombat

Mary Meyer was only one of thousands of drug addicted socialists and one of thousands of women who had sex with Kennedys. Trying to make her into someone unique is quite a stretch.


9 posted on 05/01/2012 9:52:10 AM PDT by iowamark
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To: slumber1
Answer to your question...


10 posted on 05/01/2012 9:56:52 AM PDT by Pharmboy (She turned me into a Newt...)
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To: robowombat
In 1998, an author named Nina Burleigh wrote her own book about Meyer’s murder, entitled A Very Private Woman, in which she concluded that Crump really had committed the murder despite his acquittal.

Nina Burleigh proclaimed in 1998 that she would gladly drop to her knees and service Bill Clinton (and presumably at least half of the male members of Congress) for protecting a woman's right to choose partial birth abortion.

True fact.

11 posted on 05/01/2012 9:57:17 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: robowombat

The author lost me right here:

“Immediately after Kennedy’s assassination, Meyer telephoned famed LSD guru Timothy Leary, with whom she had consulted regarding the use of LSD, not only for herself but also for unidentified important men in Washington to whom she wanted to expose the drug. Highly emotional, she exclaimed to Leary, “They couldn’t control him anymore. He was changing too fast. They’ve covered everything up. I gotta come see you. I’m afraid. Be careful.”

You don’t bother to kill someone that screwy.


12 posted on 05/01/2012 9:59:13 AM PDT by Andrei Bulba
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To: robowombat

bm


13 posted on 05/01/2012 10:00:00 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (WA. DC E$tabli$hment; DNC/RNC/Unionists...Brazilian saying: "$@me $hit; with different flie$". :^)
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To: robowombat
Interesting article, if, ... we” knew the evil that lurks in the hearts of men,” we would be more fearful than we are.
Just a few years ago the murders surrounding the Clinton's, were also too much to be coincidences ... lots of skullduggery's there.

Nothing was ever thought worthy of bring to trial. Even the impeachment failed. Amazing how power seems to get away with evil. And the people naively ignore it. (to our own loss and enslavement). We live in illusion.

14 posted on 05/01/2012 10:01:58 AM PDT by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
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To: geologist
Yes Clintigula understood this sort of means of communication. As he was prepping the stage to unveil the dirt he had on BHO’s citizenship issues (and probably some things as well) the Bill Gwatney murder took place reminding Bill that he or anyone in his family could be reached out to and ‘touched’. Bill and Hildabeast immediately shut up and shut down the BHO revelation operation.
15 posted on 05/01/2012 10:25:23 AM PDT by robowombat
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To: blueunicorn6
My guess is that Ms. Meyer was thought to possess evidence that she and JFK had dropped acid together during some of their trysts. This was back before the Exner revelations and all the JFK bimbo eruptions. The New Frontiersmen had a big vested interest in keeping the shine on Camelot and the JFK myth. They certainly were starting to undermine LBJ and were looking forward to a future triumphal return to power under RFK. Meyer had a big mouth and her wealth had always protected her from any consequences of her actions. She didn't know who she was messing with. My nomination for the arranger of her demise is this gentleman:

http://www.google.com/search?q=kenneth+o’donnell&hl=en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=

Ken O'Donnell was the man JFK looked to to handle ‘sensitive issues’. He was a classic big city political machine thug operative. The Boston mob had plenty of fellows who were good at wet work and O'Donnell certainly had good contacts in the East End. The actual murder of Mary Meyer is a straightforward mob style hit.

O'Donnell became a mean angry drunk who died young.

16 posted on 05/01/2012 10:34:43 AM PDT by robowombat
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To: Beowulf9
yes, she is related. Just read the book, very good.
17 posted on 05/01/2012 10:55:30 AM PDT by cajungirl
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To: robowombat

The Federal Reserve and IRS...were the shackles...the Kennedy Assassination snapped them shut around the wrists of the American People....


18 posted on 05/01/2012 11:00:27 AM PDT by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: cajungirl
Yes, this case and the murders of Nicholas Deak and Bill Gwatney are all classic examples of some set of insiders dealing with perceived ‘problem’ persons or issues.
19 posted on 05/01/2012 11:31:45 AM PDT by robowombat
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To: robowombat

This is a re-hash of various authors’ conspiracy theories. If the same story is repeated over and over, someone might believe it.


20 posted on 05/01/2012 11:41:41 AM PDT by popdonnelly (Socialism isn't going to work this time, either.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts
It's not so much the CIA, as what's behind the CIA. The long history of the CIA had them recruiting primarily from places like Yale. the OSS also had a fondness for Yale.

If you were an upper-class family, whose income stream came from investments, there would be tremendous advantages in having somebody having a good amount of non-public inside information.

21 posted on 05/01/2012 11:49:04 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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