Former JFK Secret Service Agent Describes Shocking Presidential Security Lapses, Current Implications

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Brave Former Law Enforcer Abraham Bolden Once Scorned, Now Honored

 

By Andrew Kreig and Wayne Madsen

Abraham W. Bolden, Sr., the first African American to serve on the White House Secret Service details guarding a president, helped launch the new investigative podcast District Insiders John F. Kennedy side profilewith his powerful memories of President John F. Kennedy, left, including disturbing security threats foreshadowing JFK’s 1963 assassination.

abraham bolden sr. new 2016Bolden, now 88 and living in Chicago (and shown at right in a file photo), described in rare detail several historically important interactions with JFK, Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) and such little-known intrigues as a planned 1963 assassination to target JFK in Chicago three weeks before a similar shooting killed the president in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.

Bolden, loyal to JFK during a period when the president’s background and policies enraged some Americans, sought to alert his chain of command to security threats he had witnessed. These included a volcanic 1961 temper tantrum by LBJ two years before JFK's death. Instead of pursuing his warnings, authorities instead framed Bolden with perjured testimony on corruption charges in 1964 and promptly imprisoned him with a six-year sentence.

 

joe biden 7 21 2022In 2022, President Joe Biden (shown in a file photo) pardoned Bolden on April 26 as one of just three to receive pardons in Biden's first presidential clemency order.

lee harvey oswald cuba passport applicationThe District Insiders hosts, both investigative reporters long based in Washington, DC, recognized during the show Bolden's remarkable courage and patriotism along with Biden’s boldness in granting a pardon. Most officials and mainstream media since 1963 have ignored, downplayed or otherwise suppressed any suggestion conflicting with the FBI’s steadfast contention, first expressed soon after JFK's murder in 1963, that former U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald, shown at left, killed JFK, acting alone. Rarely mentioned in standard accounts is Oswald's documented history of serving in the Marines with a high-level security clearance for work as a radar technician on the U-2 spy plane operation and also learning how to speak fluent Russian while serving in the Marines during the height of the Cold War.

Current implications of such experiences and relationships are worth exploring even today regarding key figures and such organizations as the Secret Service. The public, for example, has not been able so far to get clear-cut answers about Secret Service operations -- and massive missing text messages -- during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol that endangered the lives of Vice President Mike Pence, members of Congress and Capitol staff, including police officers. The Washington Post published a recent update on that, Probe widens into federal watchdog over missing Jan. 6 Secret Service texts, amplified in an appendix to this column.

 

Watch, share and like the Bolden interview at this site or others (via audio-only or video), and sign up for future shows!

Co-host Wayne Madsen provided the introduction to the show. During the interview, Bolden shared in his first-ever detailed public description how he overheard through a closed door while guarding the Oval Office in June 1961 that an JFK, RFK, J. Edgar Hooverenraged LBJ (shown below in a file photo on a separate occasion) threatened and cursed the president and his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (RFK), with language including, “You bastards trying to send me to jail?” RFK is shown at right in a photo of a separate meeting at the White House with his brother and then-FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, an ally and close neighbor of the vice president.

Bolden, who had experienced pioneering job hires as a Black Pinkerton detective and Black Illinois State policeman before JFK personally recruited him to integrate the White House Secret Service, said he was lyndon johnson points fingerso concerned about LBJ's outburst that he reported the remarks to a supervisor.

Only later, he said, did he understand from news accounts and history researchers that the vice president was probably concerned about then-ongoing state and federal investigations of the corrupt cotton broker Billy Sol Estes and the mysterious shooting death on June 3 that month in Texas of Henry Marshall, right, Henry Marshall, USDA  investigator of Billy Sol Estesthe U.S. Department of Agriculture agent leading the Estes probe. Authorities ruled Marshall’s death from five shots from a bolt-action rifle plus carbon monoxide poisoning as a suicide until Marshall’s family and a sympathetic U.S. marshal succeeded in more than two decades of advocacy in obtaining a 1985 court ruling of homicide, not suicide.

Estes, after serving a long prison sentence, filed an affidavit in 1984 with the Justice Department swearing that LBJ had recruited him to help arrange eight murders, including those of Marshall, LBJ’s estranged sister, Josefa Johnson (1961), her boyfriend John Kinser (1951) and JFK (1963).

U.S. Justice officials failed to prosecute in any of the cases. Bolden said he hesitated until now to discuss his overheard 1961 confrontation between LBJ, JFK and RFK because he wanted to ensure that explosive details could be sufficiently corroborated by others.

bill moyers lbj 1963The new details are highly significant because, along with other parts of Bolden's experiences, they tend to support scholars who argue that Johnson had means, motive and opportunity to assist if not enable the assassination or at least its cover-up despite a heavy focus by authorities and mainstream media on Oswald to the near-exclusion of other avenues of research. As further context, Johnson's press secretary as vice president and then president, Bill Moyers (shown at left with Johnson in a 1963 photo at the White House), promptly after the assassination led efforts to focus authorities and the media solely on Oswald as the killer, 1963 documents now reveal.

james wagenvoordThe late James Wagenvoord, left, a former executive at Life Magazine and later author of 43 books, has said the magazine spiked immediately after the assassination a major investigative story documenting corruption by the incoming president, Lyndon Johnson, involving Estes and other Johnson associates, including Bobby Baker and Fred Korth.

Wagenvoord said the already edited investigative story had been expected to run shortly after the Dallas trip but was killed to help the country adjust as smoothly as possible to a transition after JFK's murder and LBJ's succession. Robert Kennedy's Justice Department was helping Life Magazine's reporters prepare the story and LBJ, as the primary target, was well aware that the story was in the works and ready for publication, according to Wagenvoord in speaking at two research conferences of Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA) that were moderated by District Insider co-host and CAPA board member Andrew Kreig). JFK's former secretary Evelyn Lincoln wrote in her memoirs that the projected Life Magazine story, capping previous Life Magazine stories on LBJ's money-making schemes and henchmen, would have provided grounds for the Kennedys to remove LBJ from JFK's 1964 re-election ticket.

New: 

whistleblower summit logoOpEd News, Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival Announces Slate of Films and Screenplays for 11th Annual Film & Writing Competition, Michael McCray, June 29-30, 2023. Pentagon Papers Whistleblower to be Remembered During 11th Annual Event Featuring Film Screenings, Screenplay Contest, and a Tribute to Famed Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg at the National Press Club.

ACORN 8, in collaboration with the Justice Integrity Project, announced feature, documentary, short film, and screenplay selections premiering virtually at the Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival (www.WhistleblowerSummit.com). The hybrid event, set for July 22-33 in Washington, DC, will include live events and virtual screenings of featured films and panels. The theme for the annual conference is "Unraveling the Truth: 60 Years after the Assassination of JFK." The annual festival is a globally recognized platform amplifying free speech, social justice, and civil & human rights advocacy. Festival passes, and single tickets are on sale now.

For more information about the summit hosts and film festival, click here -.whistleblowersummit.com/tickets

The National Whistleblower Day (July 30) feature screenings include The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers. Additional screenings include District Insiders: Former JFK Secret Service Protector Describes Shocking JFK Assassination and other industry panels (filmmaker and screenwriter). This year's programming illuminates a wide array of storytelling that showcases the talent of writers and filmmakers alike.

"We are proud to be back live for the 11th year to bring audiences, both in-person and virtually, an inspiring selection of events celebrating free speech in all its forms "film, books, journalism, and advocacy," said Michael McCray, Managing Director. "We're thrilled to spotlight transformative storytelling that demonstrates the power of equity in entertainment media."

"We are honored to recognize Abraham Bolden (African American) an important JFK Secret Service Agent turned whistleblower at this year's summit," said Andrew Kreig, Executive Director for the Justice Integrity Project.

"We're excited to come together for the 11th year running to share unique and untold stories, showcasing diverse and inclusive content to the masses. This year's filmmakers are unmatched in their refreshing narratives," Marcel Reid, Festival Director. We are pleased to announce the 2023 Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival lineup.

New Documentation, Old Document Suppression

 

 

Dealey Plaza Panorama (Andrew Kreig Photo)

The former Texas School Book Depository, now site of the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, is shown at the far left of the buildings in the above. The FBI beginning in late 1963 and then the Warren Commission in 1964 asserted that former U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald fatally shot President Kennedy, acting alone, from a sixth floor window in the building. Among other evidence in the case not widely reported is that a Dallas policeman saw Oswald drinking a soda on the building's second floor 90 seconds after the shooting and that a secretary had given him change for the vending machine shortly before that. (Photo by  Andrew Kreig of the Justice Integrity Project, which has published a 50-part Readers Guide to the JFK Assassination, with links below. The car in the center lane is approximately at the spot where JFK was fatally shot in his presidential limo in 1963. Some in Dallas want to renovate the historic locale, as described below, thereby obscuring the crime scene from careful observation by future generations.)

 

douglas caddyIn recent years, considerable corroboration has surfaced in documents, witness accounts and books.

For example, former Estes attorney Douglas Caddy of Houston published the memoir Being There that reproduces what Caddy (shown at left in a Justice Integrity Project photo) describes as correspondence he filed with the Justice Department in 1984 that confirmed Estes and LBJ complicity in the eight murders.

The book ascribed blame also to the late Texas political operative Malcom “”Mac” Wallace, right, an expert marksman who had malcolm wallacereceived a suspended sentence from his murder conviction for the 1951 fatal shooting of John Kinser, a boyfriend of Lyndon Johnson's sister, Josefa Johnson, who was also involved with Wallace.

Wallace, a former student body president at the University of Texas in the 1940s, later worked as a Texas defense industry lobbyist for LTV, a major defense contractor owned by LBJ’s friend David H. "D.H." Byrd, a tycoon shown below at left. Byrd, co-founder of the Civil Air Patrol training program for teenagers nationally, owned the land in Dallas on the JFK parade route that housed the Texas School Book Depository (shown above). Oswald worked david harold byrdfor a little over a month at the book warehouse in downtown Dallas before the assassination. Oswald had been a member of a Civil Air Patrol unit in New Orleans before he joined the U.S. Marines at age 17 for military work that included his seldom-reported stint as a radar technician on the super-secret U-2 spy plane project.

JFK assassination researcher Robert Morrow is among those other researchers and other recent authors who have collected evidence supporting Bolden’s allegations, the Marshall murder and related fact patterns. Yet he questions whether Wallace was a participant in the Marshall murder, suggesting that a witness description seemed more like Estes (shown at right on a Time Magazine cover) than Wallace (who denied involvement before his death) and that the Estes track record as a billy sol estes time coverconniver and liar undercuts his credibility.

Whatever the case on that thread of mysteries surrounding the JFK assassination, there is no doubt that still-continuing government suppression of records blurs public understanding despite the clear mandate of the so-called JFK Records Act, passed unanimously by the U.S. House and Senate three decades ago and mandating the release of all JFK assassination records unless a president provides specific reasons to withhold any document.

Chicago and Tampa Plots Against JFK

Regarding Bolden's disclosures in his District Insiders interview: He described also his role as an investigator of the seldom-reported assassination plot against JFK during the president's scheduled trip to Chicago on Nov. 2, 1963, which the White House cancelled that morning following detention of suspects in an alleged plot that shaped up much like the successful assassination on Nov. 22 at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. That plot is not widely known by the public even though suspects were Lamar Waldrondetained and certain news reporters, most notably from the Chicago Daily News, prepared news stories that were suppressed.

Somewhat similarly, federal agents investigated allegations of a similar plot against the president suspected as planned for Tampa and also before JFK's scheduled trip to Dallas. Historian Lamar Waldron, left, and co-author Thom Hartmann described the Chicago and Tampa plots in multiple chapters of their book Ultimate Sacrifice (2005).

 

jfk limo dallas 31kb

During the District Insiders interview of Bolden, co-host Wayne Madsen drew on his varied investigative career to describe why former Texas Gov. John Connally, who received multiple gunshot wounds while sitting in front of JFK during the Dallas motorcade (as portrayed above at center), always insisted that more than one shooter had been active. Madsen said he spoke years after the shootings with Connally for about 15 minutes and the former governor told him that as a john connally time coverveteran of World War II he knew perfectly well when multiple guns were firing.

Connally, shown at right on a 1979 Time Magazine cover, carried to his grave bullet fragments from the shooting that raise additional questions among scholars about the "lone gunman" theory of the shooting. 

Madsen announced also during the webcast that he is publishing this spring a book for schoolchildren that will feature Bolden as one of two dozen modern civil rights heroes who deserve wide recognition. He says the A Woke Coloring Book: Re-Adding Color to a Whitewashed History was inspired by the efforts of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to prevent school boards from allowing books and other teaching that might make White parents and their children uncomfortable with historical events. 

 

JFK's Initiative To Integrate White House Protections

Bolden recapped during his interview his preparation for his pioneering law enforcement and security jobs. He then shared the powerful story of JFK's quick instincts to recruit him to break the color barrier that had always existed in the Secret Service protective details for presidents. 

Abraham Bolden book cover, The Echo from Dealey PlazaBolden, born in 1935 in East St. Louis, Illinois, graduated cum laude from Lincoln University with a B.A. in music composition. Later, as documented in his memoir The Echo from Dealey Plaza (2008), he became the first African-American detective with the Pinkerton National Detective Agency, which traces its roots to President Abraham Lincoln's security chief Alan Pinkerton.

Bolden then became a highway patrolman with the Illinois State Police and joined the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Secret Service in October 1960, based in Chicago. Like many Secret Service agents in a force he estimated as about 300 agents nationwide, much smaller than today, he spent much of his worktime investigating counterfeiting rings.

One day in April 1961, he was assigned to guard a basement washroom during a JFK speech at Chicago's McCormick Place convention center. Unexpectedly, the president and his entourage stopped by. Even more unexpectedly, the president took the time to ask Bolden's name and background and to encourage him to join the president's protective detail in Washington, D.C.

Later, JFK introduced him one time to others as "the Jackie Robinson of the Secret Service," a comment so touching that Bolden recalls as almost prompting him to break down in tears. 

Earl WarrenBolden felt motivated after the assassination to speak to superiors and if possible the Warren Commission led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, right, to share observations he felt would be helpful to inquiries. Instead, he was accused on May 12, 1964 of attempting to sell a government investigative file on counterfeiting to a chief suspect, Joseph Spagnoli, Jr., for $50,000. 

Bolden denied the charges during a press conference at his home and said he had been framed because he had planned to inform the commission "about the laxity and nonchalant attitude of Secret Service agents handling the President."

President John F. Kennedy with Secret Service Director James Rowley in 1963Secret Service Director James Rowley, shown in the adjoining photo with JFK but reportedly a political ally of Johnson, took a hostile viewpoint towards Bolden in public statements in 1964. 

The jury in Bolden's first trial remained hung even though the presiding judge, U.S. District Judge J. Sam Perry, had issued an "Allen charge" expressing his opinion that the defendant was guilty. The judge, a native of Alabama and its segregated society who had been active in Chicago's Democratic politics before nomination to the federal bench, promptly scheduled a new trial three weeks later.

A jury formed entirely of Whites despite Bolden's deep concern promptly convicted him. Perry sentenced Bolden to six years in prison, a remarkably speedy disposition of a case highly reliant on the word of a counterfeiter against an award-winning law enforcer.

The judge and a federal appellate court refused to order a new trial even though the counterfeiter Spagnoli confessed in court in 1965 that he had lied about Bolden under pressure from prosecutors who wanted that conviction. The system nonetheless forced Bolden to continue his six-year sentence, part of which was in solitary confinement and with required ingestion of drugs that he tried to spit out secretly to maintain his health.

A review of the gross irregularities in the trial and imprisonment leaves no doubt that the prosecution, marred by lost transcripts and other such problems, was highly improper and doubtless prompted by concerns involving race, cover-up and similar improper considerations.

Following Bolden’s release, he worked 35 years as a factory quality control supervisor. In 2008, he published The Echo from Dealey Plaza.

Major newspapers and leading researchers favorably treated his memoir and tended to concur in his important findings, including several rare insider insights voiced in this month's District Insiders interview.

barr mcclellan cover For example: Barr McClellan, author of  Blood, Money and Power (2011) based in part on McClellan's work as an attorney for Johnson from 1966 to 1971, is among the researchers Vincent Palamarawho have pursued such important strands of Bolden's revelations as the murder of Henry Marshall, the Agriculture Department investigator of Billy Sol Estes.

Among other important researchers and authors on these points during recent years have been James Douglass, James Tague, Lamar Waldron, Phil Nelson and Vincent Palamara, the latter being the leading expert on the Secret Service performance during the assassination period.

Palamara’s 493-page study, Survivor’s Guilt: The Secret Service and the Failure to Protect President Kennedy, is based on first-hand accounts of more than 70 former agents, including Bolden. Palamara portrays Bolden as one of the agents geuninely seeking to protect the president and hold accountable those who, at best, fell short in their duties.

 

Looking Ahead

 

JFK Wanted for Treason handbill 1963

We, the co-hosts of District Insider, encourage listeners and this column's readers to follow up this story's revelations in the spirit of Bolden's actions, which also parallel what we know of President Kennedy's. JFK knew from such matters as the Chicago plot and from other sources that his life was endangered by his speaking trips. But he proceeded anyway. Texas opponents distributed the above Dallas Morning News"Wanted for Treason" handbill during his visit, which was preceeded by a full-page newspaper ad in the Dallas Morning News, shown at right, with a similarly hostile tone. Dealey Plaza, where JFK was killed, is named for a former publisher of the Dallas Morning News, which through the years has helped suppress research questions about the assassination while also helping local interests benefit from the tourism prompted by enduring interest in the assassination and/or admiration for the JFK presidency.

Particularly in this 60th anniversary year of the murder and continuing controversies about current topics (such as civil rights cutbacks and such continuing mysteries as the disappeared Secret Service text messages during the Jan. 6 insurrection against Vice President Michael Pence and Congress), we see several ways to pursue civic truths and justice in relatively easy steps, as follows: 

  • First, please "Like" and "Share" this column and/or any version of the Bolden interview you may see on YouTube or by searching such other platforms as Apple and Spotify where it can be found via a name search for District Insiders. Please add your own insights or other comments also if warrented.
  • Second, we encourage you to consider reading his powerful memoir, The Echo from Dealey Plaza and possibly arranging for him to speak via Zoom to a suitable group. At 88, he is ailing with a painful back condition that prevents traveling but retains considerable knowledge as a living witness to history. Arrangements may be made via District Insider hosts, who will forward speaker requests as a courtesy to all concerned.
  • We encourage also interest in our forthcoming District Insiders episodes that will feature experts on other timely topics with enduring importance. The sessions are free but your click on the Subscribe button ensures alert to future sessions.
  • Distict Insiders co-host Wayne Madsen, left, this spring is publishing A Woke Coloring Book: Re-Adding Color to a Whitewashed History, his 23rd book and wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped Smallhis first for schoolchildren. The coloring book features biographies of some two dozen civil rights heroes, including Bolden, that children can colorize with crayons. The book was inspired by the autocratic actions of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to use allied government officials and their like-minded allies elsewhere around the United States to reduce or eliminate discussion in schools of civil rights proponents and others who voice what authorities regard as uncomfortable aspects of American history. Information about the book will be available here and on Amazon.com soon.

 

jfk historical group 2023 conference memphis

  •  Ranging more widely and into JFK research, we note the beginning of a significant research conference Thursday, April 13, focused on the assassinations of President Kennedy, his brother, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Medger Evers. The event (portrayed above) is located in Memphis and lasts until Sunday mornng. Most activities are available for viewing via Zoom as well as in person. The event is organized by The JFK Historical Group, a scholarly group chaired by history professor David Denton and based at Olney College in Olney, IL, where he teaches. Details are here.
  • Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), the research group founded and led by famed forensic pathologist Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., is cyril wecht capaplanning to support a major 60th anniversary research program on the JFK death to be held at the Wecht Institute at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where Dr. Wecht, now 92 and shown at right, has long been active as a medical examiner, medical school professor, author, lawyer and consultant over the course of his career. Details of the programs are not yet schedulede.
  • As a related matter, CAPA is monitoring and if necessary will oppose efforts by some in Dallas who want to reconstruct Dealey Plaza in ways that appear to destroy or obscure the original architecture at the time of the JFK assassination, thus fostering tourism but obscuring physical landmarks at the crime scene that illustrate why a majority of the American public has never supported the "lone Dealey Plaza Picket Fence (Andrew Kreig Photo)gunman" theory, according to students of relevant polling. Those who want to participate should contact District Insiders co-host Andrew Kreig, appointed by CAPA to co-chair its Dealey Plaza research effort on the issue. No formal proposal has been submitted to the city, we have been told. But we continue to monitor the possibility that the proposal will suddenly arise. The picket fence atop the grassy knoll, shown at left with an X spot painted by researcher Robert Groden on the spot where JFK was fatally shot, has long been regarded as especially vulnerable for destruction even though the area is designated as historic. The X mark, which through the years has often been erased by the city and repainted by Groden, is about 90 feet away from the waist-high picket fence that some reseachers believe was the launch site for the fatal bullet for JFK. A Dallas Morning News feature story last October by its archectual critic on his proposed renovation shows a potential replacement of the fence area with a mall concourse. CAPA is being told by Dallas authorities that no formal plan exists for renovation. But common sense dictates that vigilance by informed volunteers is merited when the historical stakes are high. 

  

 

U.S. Presidential Protection

 

allan pinkerton abraham lincoln john mcClernand

This photo shows, from left to right, Allan Pinkerton, President Abraham Lincoln, and Union Army Major General John A. McClernand. This photo (by Alexander Gardner, 1821-1882) and another very similar to it were taken not long after the Civil War’s first battle on northern soil in Antietam, Maryland on October 3, 1862, according to historical materials compiled on Wikipedia. In his role as head of Union Intelligence Services during the war, Pinkerton foiled an assassination attempt against Lincoln. His wartime work was critical in raising Pinkerton’s profile and helping to bolster the reputation of his Pinkerton National Detective Agency, which pioneered the American private detective industry.

 

abraham lincoln alexander gardner library of congress getty imagesPresident Abraham Lincoln (shown above in a  photo by Alexander Gardner) signed legislation creating the Secret Service on April 14, 1865, the day of his assassination. The service was commissioned on July 5, 1865, in Washington, D.C., as the "Secret Service Division" of the Department of the Treasury. Appointed by President Andrew Johnson, William P. Wood was sworn in as the first chief of the Secret Service on July 5, 1865.

 

About Abraham Bolden and His Memoir “The Echo from Dealey Plaza”

Abraham Bolden, who originally dreamed of a career in music, instead embarked on a journey illustrating law enforcement, presidential protection and civil rights issues with on historic dimensions starting in the Civil War era of President Abraham Lincoln. Bolden's involvement in these issues extended through the Civil Rights and assassination dramas of the JFK and LBJ eras in the 1960s -- and up to present times, when it fell to President Joe Biden to act on Bolden's plea for justice.

As noted above, Bolden graduated from Lincoln College with a degree in music. He evolved from his first work performing to joining the Pinkerton Agency, ascending to a position as a detective, a pioneering achievement for an African-American with that leading company. He then became an Illinois state patrolman, again pioneering as a Black in that role and a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service beginning in October 1960.

secret service logoAs a Secret Service agent within the U.S. Treasury Department, Bolden like many colleagues focused heavily on investigating counterfeiting as well as security protection. At times, he traveled with President Kennedy. But he became disenchanted with the assignment when his fellow agents used racial slurs in his presence and engaged in a pattern of conduct that, in Bolden's opinion, endangered the president.

He described in his District Insiders interview how he voiced his concerns as early as mid-1961, when the Secret Service was led by Urbanus E. "U.E." Baughman before he was succeeded in September of that year by James J. Rowley, who would remain in charge until 1973, into the presidencies of Kennedy's successors, Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon.

Bolden's well-received memoir in 2008, The Echo from Dealey Plaza, recounted his experiences in compelling fashion since JFK's murder at a downtown Dallas plaza, and the implications for current times. A publisher's description of his memoir describes what happened:

Abraham Bolden book cover, The Echo from Dealey PlazaFrom the first African American assigned to the presidential Secret Service detail comes a gripping and unforgettable true story of bravery and patriotism in the face of bitter hatred and unthinkable corruption. Abraham Bolden was a young Secret Service agent in Chicago when he was asked by John F. Kennedy himself to join the White House Secret Service detail. For Bolden, it was a dream come true —and an encouraging sign of the charismatic president’s vision for a new America.

But his dream turned sour when Bolden found himself regularly subjected to open hostility and blatant racism. He was taunted, mocked, and disparaged but remained strong, and he did not allow himself to become discouraged. More of a concern was the White House team’s irresponsible approach to security. Both prior to and following JFK’s assassination, Bolden sought to expose and address the inappropriate behavior and negligence of these agents, only to find himself the victim of a sinister conspiracy that resulted in his conviction and imprisonment on a trumped-up bribery charge.

A compelling memoir substantiated by recently declassified government documents, The Echo from Dealey Plaza is the story of the terrible price paid by one man for his commitment to truth and justice, as well as a shocking new perspective on the circumstances surrounding the death of a beloved president. Details: www.EchoFromDealeyPlaza.com

His story has been extensively chronicled also by others. After the 1963 assassination Bolden told colleagues he planned to discuss security lapses. He was then indicted and convicted on corruption charges after two trials marred by such gross irregularities as a chief witness admitting he had perjured himself at abraham bolden medical center daughterthe demand of prosecutors.

Originally sentenced to a six-year term, Bolden, shown at left in a recent photo, was imprisoned more than three years, including solitary confinement limiting his access to media and lawyers. Now 80, he speaks by Skype because age and infirmity make travel impossible from his Chicago home.

Vincent PalamaraVincent Palamara featured Bolden prominently in Survivor's Guilt, Palamara's comprehensive study published in 2013 of Secret Service officers relevant to the Kennedy death. Based on his extensive interviews of surviving Secret Service personnel and related research, Palamara assessed their security views and performance during critical junctions. He quoted former chiefs Baughman and Rowley, for example, as stating their powers could override even a president's in decision-making regarding presidential security.

Bolden's courage and unmerited ordeal have been positively portrayed in several other recent books and opinion pieces. These include the comprehensive books JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James Douglass and Ultimate Sacrifice by Lamar Waldron with Thom Hartmann. Hartmann published a Huffington Post column in 2009 about Bolden, After 45 Years, a Civil Rights Hero Waits for Justice.

Biographical profiles on Bolden have been published by Spartacus Educational, Wikipedia and by a special site, Abraham Bolden, created by the Secret Service historian Palamara, whose books are indispensable for understanding the role of the agency, particularly in the decades after the JFK assassination.

 

About District Insiders Co-Hosts

Wayne Madsen, below left, is an investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist based for many years in Washington, DC. A former U.S. Navy officer, Madsen has wayne madesen report logowayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped Smallwritten 22 books on various topics, most relating to national security and world affairs. He edits WayneMadsenReport.com, an investigative news website. His next book (with publication expected this spring) will be A Woke Coloring Book for schoolchildren describing the oft-suppressed or neglected life stories (especially now in Florida) of historically important patriots and professionals of color, including Abraham Bolden.

Andrew Kreig photoAndrew Kreig, shown at left, is a non-profit executive, investigative reporter, author and attorney based in Washington, DC. After careers in journalism, law and business, he became a founding director of both the Justice Integrity Project and of Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), where he helps lead its public outreach focused this year on the 60th anniversary of President Kennedy’s murder in Dallas, TX. He began his career as a newspaper reporter for the Hartford Courant in Connecticut and then earned law degrees at Yale and the University of Chicago before serving as law clerk to a U.S. District judge in Boston and working at a national law firm's office in Washington, DC. He then became vice president and then president/CEO of the Wireless Communications Association before becoming a research fellow at two universities and co-founding the Justice Integrity Project in 2010.
 
Watch, share and like the Bolden interview on YouTube or others (via audio-only or video), and sign up for future shows!

Contacts for “District Insiders” hosts for guests, interviews, lectures, questions:

• Andrew Kreig, Andrew [at] justice-integrity.org
• Wayne Madsen, wmadsen777 [at] aol.com

 

About Abraham Bolden and “The Echo from Dealey Plaza”: Publisher's Description

chicago skyline

From the first African American assigned to the presidential Secret Service detail comes a gripping and unforgettable true story of bravery and patriotism in the face of bitter hatred and unthinkable corruption. Abraham Bolden was a young Secret Service agent in Chicago when he was asked by John F. Kennedy himself to join the White House Secret Service detail. For Bolden, it was a dream come true —and an encouraging sign of the charismatic president’s vision for a new America.

Abraham Bolden book cover, The Echo from Dealey PlazaBolden had earned his advancement by being the first African American detective to be employed by the historic Pinkerton Agency. He then became an Illinois state patrolman and a member of the U.S. Secret Service in October 1960.

But his dream turned sour when Bolden found himself regularly subjected to open hostility and blatant racism. He was taunted, mocked, and disparaged but remained strong, and he did not allow himself to become discouraged. More of a concern was the White House team’s irresponsible approach to security.

illinois mapBoth prior to and following JFK’s assassination, Bolden sought to expose and address the inappropriate behavior and negligence of these agents, only to find himself the victim of a sinister conspiracy that resulted in his conviction and imprisonment on a trumped-up bribery charge.

A compelling memoir substantiated by recently declassified government documents, The Echo from Dealey Plaza is the story of the terrible price paid by one man for his commitment to truth and justice, as well as a shocking new perspective on the circumstances surrounding the death of a beloved president. Details: www.EchoFromDealeyPlaza.com

 

JFK Assassination Readers Guide

John F. Kennedy side profileTo help researchers of President John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination and its current implications, the Justice Integrity Project began publishing a Reader's Guide in 2013 to coincide with the shooting's 50th anniversary providing lists of important books, films, archives and commentaries reflecting all significant points of view.

 

News, Commentary On Recent Secret Service Scandal, Secrets

July 24

washington post logoWashington Post, Perspective: He was there when JFK was shot, and he’s over the conspiracy theories, Petula Dvorak, July 24, 2023. Joe Carter has been listening with dismay as JFK’s nephew, 2024 presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr., amplifies conspiracy theories about his uncle’s assassination.

Those three shots — and the conspiracy theories that followed — have haunted him for decades.

Now 91, Joe Carter was on the press bus in the Dallas motorcade that day in 1963. He has struggled in the 60 years since, troubled by people whose wild ideas clashed with the dogged reporting he did in those early, raw moments after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

“I didn’t know at that moment how deadly those shots were,” Carter said. And by deadly, he’s talking about more than the clanging violence, more than the blood and brain matter he saw on Jackie Kennedy’s clothes in the hospital, more than the nation’s massive spasm of grief at his death.

“To me, it unleashed an ugliness in the American people,” he said. For decades, he would not mention his role. “When I did, very often some nitwit would tell me what really happened. Shouting loudly. Not daring to call me a liar, but insinuating.”

The cancer has metastasized in recent years, fueled by the MAGA movement’s embrace of “alternative facts” and denial of election results. Amplified by keyboard warriors who’ve never heard fatal gunshots or knocked on a door to ask questions, the lies rage on — resulting in a different type of harm. And now the flash of conspiracy theories is being reignited by Kennedy’s own nephew, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is challenging President Biden to become the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in 2024.

A vocal anti-vaxxer who suggested the coronavirus was engineered to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people, equated mask mandates with the Holocaust, and said chemicals in the nation’s water supply are turning people transgender, Kennedy is also reviving the theory that the CIA had something to do with his uncle’s assassination, that Lee Harvey Oswald was working for them.

Justice Integrity Project Editor Andrew Kreig left a reader comment on Post site:

Just because RFK Jr. is acting like a self-centered deranged grifter and stooge for the ultra-right these days doesn't mean that retired reporter Joe Carter has any particular credibility either on the complex topic of the JFK assassination.

Carter's presence in the press bus and effort to track down leads right after the assassination says nothing about his knowledge of the more than 2,000 books, vast numbers of whistleblowers and millions of pages of declassified documents since then. Much of this evidence shows there was a lot covered up by the Warren Commission from both reporters and the public. As just a tiny sample, how does Joe Carter and his analysis explain why expert forensic medical experts say it was impossible that Oswald could have killed JFK, certainly acting alone? And how to explain how Oswald worked on the U-2 spy plane project in the 1950s and learned how to speak fluent Russian while in the Marine Corps except if there was something else going on with his career.

It happens that I spent 40 minutes earlier today with one of Oswald's best friends, Prof. Ernst Titovets, MD, Ph.D., who wrote a memoir "Oswald: Russian Episode" available on amazon.com based on their shared experiences. Prof. Titovets writes that Oswald was a nice guy who loved JFK and wouldn't have killed anyone. Why isn't that kind of viewpoint ever reported by the Post? Instead, readers have to choose between someone like Mr. Carter who doesn't seem to know much aside from the happenstance of being in Dallas and the obviously incredible RFK Jr.

At the 11th Annual Whistleblower Summit & Film Festival now occurring on Capitol Hill, a featured video July 30 (which I co-produced) features former JFK Secret Service agent Abraham Bolden describing for the first time the dark secrets that led to Bolden being framed and imprisoned -- and fortunately pardoned last year by President Biden, allowing him to tell his story. Why can't it be news when people who know something want to talk?

Researchers also pointed out that more than 50 million Americans have yet to get an initial coronavirus vaccine, and reasons often extend “beyond political beliefs or party affiliation alone.” Surveys have shown Republicans lagged in vaccination rates, including for booster shots. KFF estimated that between June 2021 and March 2022, at least 234,000 covid-19 deaths could have been prevented if people had received a primary series of vaccinations.

April 16

Robert Morrow Political Research Blog, Opinion: Mildred Stegall files prove Lyndon Johnson was supportive of FBI efforts to destroy Martin Luther King, Robert Morrow, April 16, 2023. The reputation of Lyndon Johnson has been taking some major, major body blows this year. Message to fellow JFK Assassination researchers:

First, Abraham Bolden has come forward with an explosive anecdote he has been sitting on for 62 years although in the past he has told several of his close personal friends about it. This anecdote was his witnessing a VOLCANIC ARGUMENT between Lyndon Johnson and the Kennedys (JFK and RFK) in the White House Oval Office on June 29, 1961 at 7PM at night.

LBJ was telling the Kennedys [Editor's note: Bolden's recalled words are here provided by Morrow], "Are you bastards trying to send me to prison about some goddamn cotton!" as he entered the Oval Office and something like, "You bastards had better stop fucking with me, you motherfuckers" -- and LBJ's face was puffed up like someone who was ANGRY beyond imagination and Abraham Bolden immediately recognized that the life of President Kennedy was in jeopardy. Bolden told this to the Chief of the Secret Service who did absolutely nothing about this "serious threat on the life of the president of the United States."

This explosive argument obviously was related to the June 3, 1961 murder of Henry Marshall, which had occurred 26 days before. Marshall was murdered because he was investigating LBJ cash cow king Billie Sol Estes who later told an IRS investigator that he had given Lyndon Johnson $10 million in cash over the years -- an amount of money equal to more than $100 million in 2023 dollars.

Moreover, this Bolden anecdote on the June 29, 1961 volcanic argument between LBJ and the Kennedys, which is so critically important, is NOT in his book The Echo from Dealey Plaza. Nor is it in any of the books of any major or even minor LBJ biographer. This story needs to get out to the mainstream media and I am counting on you people to make this happen.

On top of all this -- which has not yet hit the MSM -- we learn in an NYT Op-Ed that the files of LBJ secretary Mildred Stegall prove that Lyndon Johnson was acutely aware of and supportive of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI campaign to tightly surveil and hopefully destroy civil rights leader Martin Luther King. It is like a cannonball has been blasted directly into LBJ's belly after all these years.

I am asking people to download and spread this 4/7/23

all over the internet. We must preserve this for the historical record and cannot count on a YouTube video staying up online for 200 years. The only solution for this is for people to copy and download this video -- get it on a lot of computers -- and post this Andrew Kreig interview of Abraham Bolden all over the internet.

I also suggest contacting any Media Morons that you people may know and see if these controlled idiots and cowards can actually write a story on something as historically important as this and is classic NEWS. I am not hopeful but we should give it a try.

April 8

 

joseph cufari testimony

washington post logoWashington Post, Probe widens into federal watchdog over missing Jan. 6 Secret Service texts, Lisa Rein, April 8, 2023 (print ed.). A nearly two-year investigation into allegations of misconduct by the Department of Homeland Security’s chief watchdog expanded this week to include his role in missing Secret Service text messages from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

On Monday, investigators demanded records related to the deleted texts from the Office of Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari, above, an appointee of President Donald Trump whose office shut down an inquiry into the Secret Service messages last year amid the House’s probe of the insurrection.

The records request, which was revealed in a federal lawsuit this week filed by Cuffari and his staff against the panel of inspectors leading the probe, suggests new urgency in a high-profile investigation that began in May 2021 and has since evolved into a wide-ranging inquiry into dozens of allegations of misconduct, including partisan decision-making, investigative failures and retaliation against whistleblowers.

us dhs big eagle logo4Democratic lawmakers have previously sought answers from Cuffari about when he learned of the missing texts, information that could shed light on what happened on Jan. 6 and during the days leading up to the attack, and why he did not more aggressively try to recover them.

Cuffari has denied any improper conduct and argued that his efforts to improve what he describes as a dysfunctional office he inherited have been met with resistance from employees.

The probe has paralyzed the inspector general’s office, alienated Cuffari from the watchdog community and led to calls for President Biden to fire him. The president has signaled that he intends to stay out of the process until the panel from the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) completes its work. When a federal watchdog is accused of misconduct and the organization decides that it warrants attention, another inspector general is assigned to investigate, under a system set up by Congress.

Susan Ruge-Hudson, special counselor to CIGIE, said in an email that the organization “is reviewing the complaint and we look forward to working with the Department of Justice on this matter.”

Cuffari, his chief of staff, Kristen Fredericks, and his general counsel, James Read, as well as a former government official, Joseph Gangloff — the four who filed the federal lawsuit — declined to comment through a spokesman for the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a group representing them that is funded by conservative legal scholars that is devoted to fighting the “unconstitutional administrative state within our U.S. government,” according to its website.

The lawsuit, an unusual broadside against the federal watchdog community by one of its own, accuses the panel of exceeding its authority and of “illegal interference” in the operations of one of the government’s largest oversight offices.

It has set off hand-wringing and anger in the inspector general community. CIGIE leaders met by Zoom on Wednesday to discuss how to proceed and notified the Justice Department, which will represent them.

“He’s challenged the structure of a body statutorily created by Congress,” said one inspector general, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. “We’re appalled and exhausted by him.”

Cuffari, confirmed by the Senate in July 2019, has faced questions from lawmakers and advocates since last summer over his agency’s handling of the missing text messages from the Jan. 6 attack.

After learning that the messages had been erased as part of a migration to new devices, Cuffari waited months to disclose to Congress that his office had discovered the deletions and did not press Homeland Security officials to explain why they did not preserve the records. The Secret Service later provided the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack with thousands of records after reviewing its communications databases from the time of the attack, but nearly all of the records had been shared previously with Cuffari’s office and Congress.

 

President Biden's Pardon Of Abraham Bolden

June 10, 2022

toni preckwinkleCook County Government, Abraham Bolden Press Conference, June 10, 2022 (8:41 min. video). Cook County Government President Toni Preckwinkle, right, joined Commissioner Stanley Moore and Abraham Bolden to acknowledge Mr. Bolden's pardon by President Joe Biden and celebrate his contributions to the country.

 

Secret Service Agent Abraham Bolden, then 29, in 1964 after being charged with trying to sell prosecution documents to a counterfeiting defendant.

Secret Service Agent Abraham Bolden, then 29, in 1964 after being charged with trying to sell prosecution documents to a counterfeiting defendant.

Chicago Sun-Times, Biden pardons Chicagoan Abraham Bolden, first Black Secret Service agent on White House detail, Lynn Sweet, April 26, 2022. President Joe Biden on Tuesday pardoned Abraham Bolden, the Chicago man who was the first Black Secret Service agent to serve on a White House detail, who maintained charges against him that led to prison time were trumped up.

Bolden “has steadfastly maintained his innocence, arguing that he was targeted for prosecution in retaliation for exposing unprofessional and racist behavior within the U.S. Secret Service,” the White House said in announcing Biden’s clemency actions.

Biden pardoned three people, including Bolden and commuted the sentences of 75 other people serving long sentences for nonviolent drug offenses, who under current guidelines would be serving less time.

“Today, I am pardoning three people who have demonstrated their commitment to rehabilitation and are striving every day to give back and contribute to their communities,” Biden said in a statement to mark “Second Chance Month.”

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell made the case for a pardon in a January column headlined “It’s long past time to finally clear first White House Black Secret Service agent’s name,”

Bolden, Mitchell noted, “chronicled his journey from a ‘first’ to a ‘disgraced’ Secret Service agent in his 2008 memoir The Echo from Dealey Plaza.”

As Mitchell wrote, “After he complained about agents drinking on the job and showing up unfit for duty and after he threatened to reveal the agency’s shortcomings in protecting the president, he was charged with bribery in a case involving a counterfeiting defendant. After being tried twice, he was convicted in 1966 and was sentenced to six years in federal prison. He served three years and nine months behind bars.”

In an April 2021 column, Mitchell noted that “an assignment that should have brought Bolden great honor ended up causing him greater harm. In his memoir, Bolden describes overt racist acts that began upon his arrival. His assignment became a nightmare after he complained about agents drinking on the job, chasing women and showing up unfit for duty.

“But he became a real problem for the Secret Service when he threatened to reveal the agency’s shortcomings in guarding the president. After doing that, he was charged with bribery in a case involving a counterfeiting defendant, tried twice, convicted and sentenced to six years in prison.

“While Bolden’s life story might sound like a conspiracy theory to some, Black Americans will identify with the brand of injustice that buries its victims under false accusations and legal documents.”

The White House, in a document detailing Biden’s clemency actions, described the Bolden case this way:

“In 1964, Mr. Bolden was charged with offenses related to attempting to sell a copy of a Secret Service file. His first trial resulted in a hung jury, and following his conviction at a second trial, even though key witnesses against him admitted to lying at the prosecutor’s request, Mr. Bolden was denied a new trial and ultimately served several years in federal custody.

“He has steadfastly maintained his innocence, arguing that he was targeted for prosecution in retaliation for exposing unprofessional and racist behavior within the U.S. Secret Service. Mr. Bolden has received numerous honors and awards for his ongoing work to speak out against the racism he faced in the Secret Service in the 1960s, and his courage in challenging injustice. Mr. Bolden has also been recognized for his many contributions to his community following his release from prison.”

Mitchell reported in her January column, Bolden “sought a pardon from three presidents — Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama — and others have worked on his behalf as well.”

A pardon in the federal system is defined, according to the Department of Justice, as an “expression of the President’s forgiveness and ordinarily is granted in recognition of the applicant’s acceptance of responsibility for the crime and established good conduct for a significant period of time after conviction or completion of sentence. It does not signify innocence. It does, however, remove civil disabilities — e.g., restrictions on the right to vote, hold state or local office, or sit on a jury — imposed because of the conviction for which pardon is sought, and should lessen the stigma arising from the conviction.”

BBC News, Abraham Bolden: Ex-Secret Service agent pardoned by Biden, Staff Report, April 26, 2022. The first African American to serve on a presidential bbc news logo2security detail is among three people to have been pardoned by US President Joe Biden.

Abraham W Bolden Sr, 86, was convicted in 1964 on bribery charges.

The White House also announced that the prison sentences of 75 others -- most of whom were serving time on low-level drug offences -- have been shortened.

secret service logoThe US constitution grants presidents the authority to forgive convictions or shorten sentences.

Tuesday's grants of clemency are the first of the Biden administration.

"America is a nation of laws and second chances, redemption, and rehabilitation," the president said.

"Helping those who served their time return to their families and become contributing members of their communities is one of the most effective ways to reduce recidivism [repeat offending] and decrease crime."

The three people to be pardoned are Mr Bolden, from Chicago, Illinois; Betty Jo Bogans, 51, from Houston, Texas; and, Dexter Eugene Jackson, 52, from Athens, Georgia.

Bolden was appointed to President John F Kennedy's Secret Service detail in 1961, aged 26.

That made the former highway patrolman the first black man to guard a US president.

According to him, Mr Kennedy once introduced him as "the Jackie Robinson of the Secret Service" -- a reference to the first African American to play Major League Baseball in the modern era.

In 1964, Mr Bolden was fired from the Secret Service after being charged with trying to sell a government file in exchange for a $50,000 bribe.

He denied the allegations, asserting he was being framed for attempting to expose misconduct within the agency.

Among his accusations were that Secret Service agents drank heavily on the job, missed shifts, and used their official vehicles to transport women or visit bars. He also said he had faced racial abuse from co-workers.

He raised money for his legal defence through a series of piano recitals in Chicago.

Following a hung jury in his first trial, he was convicted at his second and sentenced to 15 years -- even though some witnesses said they had been pressured into lying by prosecutors. Mr Bolden served 39 months in federal prison, with a two-and-a-half year probation.

 

Historical Record: Henry Marshall's 1961 Death and a 'Volcanic' White House Dispute

 

Henry Marshall, USDA  investigator of Billy Sol Estes

The Texas Observer, The Killing of Henry Marshall, Bill Adler, Nov. 7, 1986. Death By Gunshot, Self-Inflicted (excerpted below). Henry Marshall, a Texas-based employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture investigating corruption at the time of his death in 1961, is shown above.

In February of 1961, four months before Henry Marshall's death, Mac Wallace transferred from Garland to Ling Electronics in Anaheim, California, a subsidiary of Ling-Temco-Vought, where he worked as a manager in the purchasing department. Wallace's transfer from Texas to California prompted a 1961 background check by the Office of Naval Intelligence.

malcolm wallaceThe investigation was to determine whether he qualified for a military contracting job that required a security clearance. Because he investigated the Kinser murder, Clint Peoples was interviewed about Wallace, right, by the intelligence officer, A.J. Sullivan, in November of 1961. Peoples told Sullivan he considered Wallace "a bad security risk."

Nevertheless, Wallace was issued the security clearance. Peoples said Sullivan told him that Lyndon Johnson may have played a role in Wallace's employment with Ling-Temco-Vought. "I was furious they would even consider a security clearance for Wallace with the background he had," Peoples said to the Observer. "I asked him how can you give a guy like this a clearance? He said, 'politics,' " Peoples said. "I asked who'd be so strong in politics to cause you to give this guy a clearance. He said, 'the vice president.' "

Sullivan said he does not recall the comment and said no one forced him to write a favorable report on Wallace. In any event, he added, he wasn't the one to decide whether to grant the security clearance. James J. Ling, Ling-Temco-Vought's founder, told the Observer he was friendly with Lyndon Johnson, but could not recall the name Malcolm Wallace nor whether Johnson may have recommended anyone for a job. Wallace's four brothers and one sister, who live in Dallas, have denied Mac had any dealings with Lyndon Johnson or Billie Sol Estes.

But Wallace's last wife, Virginia Ledgerwood of Anaheim, in 1984 told the Dallas Times Herald that Wallace had told her he knew the Johnsons. "Mac had been acquainted with the Johnsons," she said. "He told me he knew Mrs. Johnson better than Mr. Johnson." In a conversation with the Observer, Ledgerwood, a schoolteacher, said, "If he knew Lyndon Johnson, it was before I ever knew him. We lived our lives in the present here in California." She said she met Wallace in the fall of 1962, married him in March 1963, and divorced him in June 1970. By then, Wallace had been laid off from the company and had moved back to Texas. He died in January of 1971 at the age of 49, when he apparently lost control of his car and ran into a bridge abutment near Pittsburg in East Texas.

….

THE TRUTH ABOUT Henry Marshall's death, caught up in years of noisy inquiries about a West Texan's business scandals and years of silence from people who might have been in a position to offer answers, may never be known. For every fact uncovered a new mystery accompanies it. The puzzle is full of intriguing pieces, but their sum still does not yield a satisfactory answer to the question: who killed Henry Marshall?

Twenty-five years after his death, there is the lingering suspicion that Marshall's death was a political murder, that the circumstances of his death were covered up by government officials — from the local authorities in Franklin to Washington — who seemingly were more preoccupied with their own public images, their own reputations, than they were with the baffling details of the murder of a federal employee.

The 1984 Robertson County grand jury decided unanimously to overturn the 1961 suicide ruling. "With the evidence we were presented with," said County Attorney John Paschall, "we know it not to be a suicide but a homicide. That's what it should have been all along."

What "should have been" declared a homicide back in 1961 most certainly would have been if Henry Marshall was killed by a deer poacher or cattle rustler — theories served up at one time or another by local officials and the FBI, who in their darkest moments may have begun to doubt whether anyone could commit suicide by pointing a rifle at himself, firing, turning the gun around, throwing back the bolt, and then repeating the process four times' — after inhaling an incapacitating dose of carbon monoxide.

Around Henry Marshall's life swirled the gale forces of national power politics in its rawest form: greed, ambition, corruption, and cover-up. Around his death swept the winds of small-town justice the rush to judgment, the shoddy investigation, the lack of an autopsy, the clubby grand jury. procedures . The legacy of Robertson County's peculiar brand of justice in the early 1960s lived on into this decade: by overturning the suicide ruling, the 1984 grand jury scored a victory for common sense and common decency. But still there was one piece of unfinished business..

On August 13, 1985, after 24 years of prayer and torment and struggle, Henry Marshall's family overcame a once seemingly insurmountable legal hurdle: by successfully suing the state's Bureau of Vital Statistics, Sybil Marshall and her only son, Donald, managed at last to set straight the official record of Henry Marshall's death.

In ruling that the Marshalls' lawyer, Philip C. Banks of Bryan, presented "clear and convincing" evidence to prove Henry Marshall was murdered, State District Judge Peter Lowry of Austin finally,, mercifully, put an end to their 'story 'by ordering the death certificate changed to "Homicide by gunshot wounds."

When Lowry issued his ruling from the bench, it stunned Sybil Marshall. She sat down on a courtroom bench and wept, her face buried in her hands. "It's been a long time;" she whispered. ❑

United Press International, 1961 suicide ruling changed to homicide, Staff Report, Aug. 14, 1985. A government official who died 24 years ago was a victim of murder, not suicide, a state judge has ruled in a case sparked by allegations former President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered the killing.

Tuesday's ruling by District Judge Peter Lowry changed the official cause of death on the death certificate of Henry Marshall, a U.S. Agriculture Department worker found dead in 1961.

Lowry issued the order after hearing two days of testimony, including that of a Texas Ranger who investigated Marshall's death.

When he died, Marshall was investigating the convoluted business dealings of Texas swindler Billie Sol Estes, who was later convicted and served a federal prison term for fraud.

Estes, 60, was arrested Tuesday in Abilene, Texas, on charges he sexually assaulted a woman he had hired as a maid. He posted a $10,000 bond and was released.

Estes built a paper empire and associated in the 1960s with the politically powerful, including Johnson.

lyndon johnson phone 1 10 64 lbj libraryThe Texas financier was convicted in 1963 of cheating Texas banks by using nonexistant fertilizer tanks as loan collateral and was sent to prison. After he was paroled, Estes was convicted in 1979 in another case of fraud and tax evasion and again sent to prison.

After his second parole in December 1983, Estes told a Robertson County grand jury that Johnson had ordered Marshall killed because he feared the investigator might turn up damaging links between himself and Estes.

Johnson, shown at left, was vice president at the time of Marshall's death.

Marshall's body was found June 3, 1961, on his family farm north of Bryan, Texas. He had been shot five times in the side with a .22-caliber rifle, had a deep cut in his head and a 15 percent concentration of carbon monoxide in his lung.

 

History and An Oval Office Argument

JFK Assassination researcher Robert Morrow, who argues that Vice President Lyndon Johnson was the central planning of the assassination, points to Bolden's statements as historically significant in illustrating Johnson's role. Morrow points to language in an email he received from Bolden on Jan. 26, 2023, excerpted below and with no attempt to adjust spelling or other details:

During my employment as a Special Agent of the United States Secret Service, I witnessed activities by government agencies that had the motive and design to hoodwink the Americana Peoples. It is our prerogative to determine whether or not these facts would cause a reasonable man to reach an affirmative conclusion:

1. On or about June 28, 1961, a secret service agent guarded the main door leading into the Oval Office. At about 7 pm, Vice President LYNDON B.Johnson entered the office shouting vulgarities toward President John Kennedy and Attorney General ROBERT KENNEDY, who were waiting inside.

LBJ was livid.

"You bastards trying to send me to jail"? He shouted as he closed the door. The voices became muffled, but it was clear that Johnson was furious. The three engaged in a heated discussion, mostly between Bobby Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. The meeting lasted for about 20 minutes. As he left the office, Johnson turned toward the Kennedys, who were standing next to the Oval Office desk, and shouted," Yall better stop fucking with me, you son of a bitches."

As he left the office, Johnson made eye contact with the agent. Johnson's driver was meandering in the hallway leading to the Oval Office.

"Who is that boy standing over there by that goddammed door?" Johnson asked the driver.

The driver explained that he did not know the person but the person would have to be an FBI or Secret Service Agent to stand there.

2. On November 1, 1963, the country's leading generals launched a coup d'ét against the catholic President of Vietnam, NGO Diem. The United States and its industrial complex had already hatched plans to maintain a longstanding and profitable presence in Vietnam. President Kennedy disagreed with the Central Intelligence Agency. Diem and his younger brother, Nhu, initially escaped but were recaptured the following day and assassinated on the orders of Minh. Dương Văn Minh succeeded Diem as President.

President Kennedy was to attend Chicago for the Army-Air Force football game set for noon on November 2, 1963. During an agent security meeting, the Acting Special agent in Charge received a telephone from the FBI office in Chicago. The ASAIC told the gathered agents that the FBI received information from an informant named Lee.

Lee had contacted the FBI with news that there would be an attempt to assassinate President Kennedy during the President's visit to Chicago. There was a discussion between the two regarding the jurisdiction and workforce needed to prevent the attempt. During the meeting, the ASAIC gave each agent a photo and the name of the man displayed in the picture. The person in the photo was phenotypically Hispanic and a member of a gun-running team that had arrived in Chicago from Detroit, Michigan in the latter half ofOctober 1963. Orders were to follow the suspect and report his whereabouts but not attempt to arrest or detain him for any reason.

An agent at the meeting reminded the Acting Special Agent In Charge that the mayor's event manager, Colonel Jack Reilly, and Sergeant Bob Linsky of the Chicago Police Department were enroute to the forum. When one of the agents suggested that we discuss the problem further before calling the United States Secret Service Chief with a recommendation, the ASAIC angrily replied that the only requests he had were that the agent sits down, shut the fuck up and operate in the agent's pay grade. After further discussion with the mayor's representatives and the Chief of the Secret Service, the President canceled the trip. The American press reported that the cancellation was due to the illness of the President.

After Kennedy's assassinated, all reports and references to the circumstances of the cancellation were removed from the office files.

3. During the administration, before the election of President Kennedy, a false flag operation was proposed by anti-Castro elements within the U.S. Government.

A catastrophic event orchestrated by internally trained government sponsored forces, was to occur in America and blamed on Fidel Castro. Like Diem, Castro was Catholic and ruled over a predominantly catholic population ". America wanted control of Cuba for the potential of cheap labor and natural resources. In the meantime, the American mafia wanted to turn Cuba into a competitor of Las Vegas and a replica of "sin city."

After Kennedy was assassinated, FBI agents seized all records regarding the alleged rifle purchase from Klein's gun shop in Chicago. Secret Service agents sent to investigate the purchase were told that the FBI had warned him not to discuss the purchase with the Secret Service. According to later information obtained by the SS from the FBI, the rifle was ordered by "A.Hidell." Immediately following the assassination, three shell casings were discovered under a window on the sixth floor of the School Book Depository.

A Dallas police officer told SS investigators that two rifles were found on the sixth floor. A shipping bag long enough to hold a gun was also discovered. Since Oswald had been employed at the depository for several months, the palm print could have no significance.

Below are facts,known by high government officials and security agencies,that support a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy:

a. The Acting U.S. Attorney General sent a memorandum to the White House advising that Lee Harvey Oswald must be named as a lone assassin of President Kennedy;

b. In October 1963, the Florida office of the secret service received information that President Kennedy was going to be assassinated by use of a high-power rifle fired from a warehouse building and that a Patsy was being used to take the blame;
" ' '''
c. In October 1963, a member of the anti-Castro Dre told the Chicago officials of the secret service that Kennedy would have killed and " Jews are financing the operation”The Secret Service case agent complained that an FBI agent destroyed his case by revealing the true identity of the secret service informant.

d. There was no ballistic, forensic, or indisputable evidence heard by the Warren Commission that tended to incriminate Oswald to the exclusion of other suspects detained in Dallas' Texas, on November 22, 1963.

The FBI forensics found Oswald's palm print on a box near the window where rifle shots were allegedly fired near the partially opened window. Attached to the bag was a label addressed to Lee Oswald. These items were photographed and taken into custody by the Dallas police.

5. Was there a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy? For over 50 years, many books have been written that delve into this question.

Some researchers deny a conspiracy. Many researchers and media label those who disagree as conspiracy kooks and theorists. Facts must answer such an important question. A reasonable mind must evaluate, classify, organize and analyze discoverable facts to arrive at Truth. Truth is "that which is," and falsehood is "the illusion that seems to be." Here is the irrefutable evidence that a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy and deprive the citizens of the world and this great country, America:

(a) In mid-October 1963, the Florida office of the United States Secret Service received information that "President Kennedy was about to be assassinated”.The assassin will fire a high-powered rifle from a warehouse building. A Patsy is being set up to take the blame for the murder of the President.

(b) In mid-October "1963, an informant of the Chicago office of the United States Secret Service successfully infiltrated the anti-Castro Cuban DRE organization. One of its leaders told the informant that "President Kennedy will be assassinated" and that the "Jews were financing the operation."

(c) The agent in Charge of the Chicago investigation complained that an FBI agent sabotaged his case by revealing the informant's relationship with the Secret Service.

(d) During the week of November 22, 1963, an agent stationed in Florida passed through Chicago from Austin, Texas. The agent complained about the President's racial integration policies. The agent ended his rant against the President by saying," Somebody should blow his fucking head off"!

7. On 11-24-63, Jack Ruby assassinated Oswald while he was being moved to an unknown location by members of the county sheriff and Dallas Police Department.

On November 26, 1963, two secret service agents in Charge of the Dallas investigation arrived in the Chicago office with the Acting Special agent in Charge. Later, three men entered the U.S.Secret Service office. Two men signed the log book as agents of the FBI. According to a secretary, the third person neither identified himself nor signed the entrance book. After the six men concluded their meeting, Agents assigned to Chicago were called to an emergency meeting and told:

a. To turn in ALL reports and notes regarding President Kennedy's visits to Chicago;

b. Do not discuss the Kennedy assassination with news media;

c. Any agent violating the above orders would "find his ass in a ringer."

8. In January 1964, ALL secret service agents were required to turn in their secret service identification commission books and update agent photographs. Newly engraved identification books were issued in March 1964.

9. Parafin tests performed on the face and hands of Lee Harvey Oswald were "inconclusive" as to the firing of a rifle or handgun on the day of the murder of President Kennedy.

10. An AR-15 automatic rifle, possessed by a secret service agent, was accidentally fired toward the presidential limousine during the assassination.

11. Two highly damaged bullet fragments were found on the floor of the presidential limousine. They were unrelated in caliber and unrelated to either weapon owned by Oswald.

Below are facts that support a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy:

a. A secret service witnessed an argument between LBJ, JFK, AND RFK inside the Oval Office in June 1961. LBJ accused Kennedy of trying to send LBJ to prison about some goddam cotton. Upon leaving the office, LBJ issued a veiled threat to the two Kennedy. The threat was reported to the witness agent's supervisors to no avail.

b. After the assassination, the Acting sent a memorandum to the White House stating that Lee Harvey Oswald had to be named as the lone assassin of President Kennedy

c. In October 1963, the Florida office of the secret service received information that President Kennedy was going to be assassinated by use of a high-power rifle fired from a warehouse building and that a Patsy was being used to take the blame.

d. In October 1963, a member of the antiCastro Dre told the Chicago officials of the secret service that Kennedy would bee killed and that the Jews were financing the operation. The secret service case agent complains that ab FBI agent destroyed his case by revealing the true identity of the secret service informant.

e. There was no ballistic, forensic, or indisputable evidence heard by the Warren Commission that tended to incriminate Oswald to the exclusion of other suspects detained in Dallas' Texas, on November 22, 1963.

f. There is not, nor has there ever been any ballistic, forensic tests or indisputable evidence heard by the Warren Commission that tended to incriminate Oswald to the exclusion of other suspects detained in Dallas' Texas, on November 22, 1963.