Springfield Sam Strikes Again

In all the years I worked in Las Vegas I was only harassed by only one want-to-be mob lackey, and only once physically by a legitimate member of organized crime. I went to work at the Dunes Hotel in 1968, when I was 22 years old and in top physical condition. My job was dealing blackjack and sometimes dealt the wheel (Roulette). After six months, I was transferred to the Baccarat Pit. I made a new set of friends that came from many different parts of the country and even from different countries. After Cuban casinos were shut down by Castro many Casino dealers came to Las Vegas to seek jobs. Several of the Dunes owners had investments in Cuba and knew these dealers and supervisors as good hard working employees which led to many of them getting employment at the Dunes Hotel.

A Dunes job was extremely hard to get for several reasons; 1) it was lucrative and 2) you basically had to know someone at the Dunes, or just get luck and get hired when they desperately in need of good croupiers. Mant people sought just a few positions that became available. However this type of nepotism was really not mandated because the person was known or related to someone at the Dunes, but more of having confidence in the employee that they presumed that he or she knew not to steal and keep your nose clean.

At 22, I was one of the youngest Baccarat dealers ever to work at the Dunes. Most of my coworkers were in their mid-thirties and older. It was lucrative because your tips were pooled 24/7, 365 days a year, and the supervisors had an equal share. Having the bosses in on the tokes, sometimes called zooks (tips), allowed the dealers to be a little more liberal in the cultivation of players. In other words we were allowed to hustle. And did we have some “Deluxe” hustlers.

The Baccarat Manager, Irwin Gordon, had just finished a Federal jail term for bookmaking. He was very close to Sid Wyman, a Dunes owner. (This is a story for another time) he was a character and an old school gambler. If you knew your job and could handle people well, and didn’t act like a wise guy, he liked you, otherwise good luck.

I was dating the cocktail waitress that serves the pit and Gordon liked to rib me because I had longer hair than all the rest of the employees. He would borrow a comb and get behind the dealers and try to comb my hair making a remark like, “Look at the beau-tee-ful hair on this young dealer”, in his native Brooklynese accent. He thought it was funny, because I was the youngest and could get away with it. The girl I dated was standing that afternoon and observed his actions and I just snapped. Very quietly and calmly turned to him and said so no one else could her me, “You do that again and I will knock you on your ass.”
‘Oh my gosh’, I thought. What did I say? I am going to be fired right on the spot. No one ever talked to this man like I just did. I panicked.

Nothing happened except that he stopped the stupid razzing and treated me like a king thereafter. He even promoted me to Floorman after a few years.
But while I was a dealer, my friend Dominic wanted to get into the Baccarat pit. I helped him in every way that I could and realized that he worked at the Dunes long before I received the job. His dad was a mob guy that hung around the place and associated with the Boston junkets. His name was Sam Manarite, also called Springfield Sam.

He was playing 21 one afternoon and his son Dominic was dealing on the table next to him. Dominic got into a beef with an unruly player and there were some words. The player was another wise guy and Sam heard the action. He jumped right into the middle of the argument and before you blinked an eye they got physical. The player was about to really hurt Sam, when Dominic set the deck down and came around the table to help his dad. The cocktail waitress had a coffee pot on her tray and standing right at the table serving drinks. Dominic grabbed the pot and hit the player over the top of the head. The fight was broken up eventually and Dominic went back to work like nothing happened. Can you imagine today what would happen?

Later that year I was walking into the coffee shop for a 20 minute break and Sam Manarite started walking next to me and started saying, “You better get Dom into the Baccarat or you won’t be to happy.”
He grabbed me by the collar, shoved me up against the wall and repeated the remark. I pushed him off and he walked away like nothing happened. Someone saw the incident, and I was asked what happened by Gordon. I never had another problem with Manarite again, and in fact never saw him around the Dunes again. And Dominic never had a chance to work the Baccarat pit.
Here is a story about Sam that appeared in the Las Vegas Review Journal:
Saturday, October 05, 2002
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Witnesses absent; hearing delayed in car lot shooting

84-year-old known as `Springfield Sam’ faces attempted murder
charges in incident


Two witnesses were not in court Friday to testify
against “Springfield Sam” Manarite, an 84-year-old reputed mobster
with a criminal record dating back six decades.

Manarite, a bushy-haired, hunched-over senior, appeared before Las
Vegas Justice of the Peace Pro-Tem Nelson Segel. The preliminary
hearing was supposed to determine whether evidence supports sending
Manarite to District Court on charges he shot up the Astro Auto
Sales office Sept. 9, wounding the business’s owner.

But at the opening of the hearing, Clark County Chief Deputy
District Attorney Victoria Villegas said the two victims in the
case, Astro owner Dino Boggiano and co-worker John Pasqualone, were

“They are essential witnesses,” Villegas said. “They are not here
and they were aware of today’s hearing.”

Defense attorney James “Bucky” Buchanan immediately asked that the
charges against Manarite, which include counts of attempted murder
and ex-felon in possession of a firearm, be dismissed. Buchanan told
the judge his client acted in self-defense at the time of the

Instead, Segel granted a request from Villegas to delay the hearing
until Oct. 15.

“We have severe charges here,” Segel said. “Whether he was the
initial shooter or if he acted in self-defense, this is a serious

The unusual courtroom developments were the latest in Manarite’s
exposure to criminal prosecutions. Villegas said Manarite has prior
felony convictions dating back to the 1940s in several states,
including Connecticut, New York and, more recently, in Nevada.

Those convictions include assault with a deadly weapon, money
laundering, conspiracy, transporting obscene materials and
supporting perjury. In 1970, he was convicted of extortion in New
York, where the judge called him “the ultimate manifestation of
success for criminals.”

He was sentenced to a 15-year prison term.

In 1984, Manarite acknowledged in federal court in Las Vegas that he
was engaged in loan-sharking and that he paid someone to pour acid
in someone else’s eyes. Shortly before Manarite was sentenced to 10
years in prison, defense attorney Richard Wright predicted his
client would die in prison.

He was released, then sent back to prison for a chip-cashing scheme
at the Maxim and a series of California boat thefts. In 2001, he was
unexpectedly released from prison early.

On Sept. 9, Las Vegas police say Manarite stormed into Astro Auto
Sales at 1430 S. Main St., near Charleston Boulevard, and opened
fire. A motive has not been determined, but Buchanan confirmed that
Manarite’s son had purchased a car there.

Boggiano was shot in the wrist. Boggiano returned fire, wounding
Manarite in the shoulder.

Buchanan said Friday that if the hearing had not been delayed,
Manarite would have taken the witness stand to tell his side of the

“My client fired only in self-defense,” Buchanan said.

Buchanan also said he would have produced a witness to support
Manarite’s version of events.

“We also deny that he has any association with the mafia at all,”
Buchanan said.

Even if the charges had been dismissed against Manarite, he wouldn’t
have been released. Federal officials have placed a hold on
Manarite, alleging his possession of a firearm during the shooting
constituted a violation of parole.

Buchanan said that on the day of the shooting, Manarite didn’t
actually own a firearm. He said he happened to find a gun in an
alley and, knowing that Boggiano was a gun collector, Buchanan said
his client was simply “going to give the gun to Dino.”

Boggiano did not return a phone call seeking comment Friday.

Only at the Dunes.

The Secret Team by Col. Fletcher Prouty

The Secret Team, Col. L. Fletcher Prouty’s expose´ of the CIA’s brutal methods of maintaining national security during the Cold War, was first published in the 1970s. However, virtually all copies of the book disappeared upon distribution, having been purchased en masse by shady “private buyers.” Certainly, Prouty’s allegations—such as how the U-2 Crisis of 1960 was fixed to sabotage Eisenhower–Khrushchev talk—cannot have pleased the CIA.  READ THE WHOLE BOOK HERE.

The Secret Team, or ST, is a phrase coined by L. Fletcher Prouty in 1973, alleging a covert alliance between the United States’ military, intelligence, and private sectors to influence political decisions. He suggests the existence of a covert alliance between certain people within the U.S. intelligence community, the United States military, and American private industry who use their collective wealth, influence, and resources to manipulate current events to steer public policy and maximize profits. The term is pejorative since he accuses the organizations of prioritizing their personal fortunes above the national interest, as well as eliminating any opposition, whether through targeted propaganda or assassination.
Eisenhower’s alleged prediction.
According to Prouty, the existence of ST was predicted and warned of by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address to the nation in 1961 when he spoke of the military-industrial complex. Prouty states that after eight years of exposure to the American defense establishment as President, Eisenhower knew that a disproportionate amount of influence rested in the hands of the ST, and he warned the public that this influence threatened the purity of American democracy.


Did the Mafia blackmail J. Edgar Hoover?

The mysterious Gordon Novel, who was entrenched in a cloud of mystery with his association in District Attorney Jim Garrison’s office in the investigation of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, surfaced again in an allegation against J. Edgar Hoover.  Read more in the following article:  https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=BFUyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=H-YFAAAAIBAJ&pg=6736%2C1050727

Warren Commission Lawyers Strike Back

Friday, December 30, 2016

Warren Commission Lawyers Strike Back

Murray J. Laulicht (Top) – Donald Trump, Ivanka and Jared Kushner

By William E. Kelly

The story was familiar – a group of former Warren Commission lawyers meet in Washington D.C. to plot their media strategy in the face of another looming threat to their dubious legacy – the Warren Report conclusion that one man alone was responsible for the murder of President Kennedy.

As reported in the American Scholar (Summer 2016), “On a sunny day in Washington last October,” seven former Commission colleagues met to reflect, in their words, “on our investigation and the report we wrote.”

The discussion of the issues has recently shifted from “Who killed Kennedy?” to “What’s in the secret and soon-to-be-released records?”, and  whether the next president will release them or acquiesce to the intelligence agency requests to keep the documents secret for reasons of national security.

Actor, assassin or fall guy, Oswald’s role in what happened at Dealey Plaza is taking a back seat in the debate as the controversy over the release of the records increases in intensity.

Of all the surviving former Warren Commission lawyers, none will be more influential in the new administration than Murray Laulicht, a New Jersey attorney whose wife, Linda Kushner, is the sister of Charles Kushner, the father of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law.

Jared Kushner is a sometimes hatchet man for Trump who got Chris Christie removed from the Trump transition team for jailing his father Charles Kushner when Christie was the Attorney General of New Jersey.

Christie jailed Charles Kushner in 2005 for witnesses tampering, as well as tax evasion and making illegal campaign donations. Charles Kushner had arranged for a prostitute for his brother-in-law, a witness in the case. Paybacks are a bitch, and Karma plays a hand, but it just goes to show how policy may be conducted in the White House next October.

Former Warren Commission attorney Murray Laulicht, whose wife is a Trump family insider, will certainly be able to influence the president’s decision to release the assassination records or to skirt the law and overwhelming public opinion, by keeping some of the documents sealed.

Which way will it go?

We will just have to wait and see how it plays out, but the stage is set and the actors are in place for a bewildering drama or comic farce.

At an early conference of researchers in Dallas over twenty-five years ago, the late, esteemed researcher Mary Ferrell quoted a US News & World Report item about a similar meeting of former Warren Commission colleagues who met to decide how to respond to expected criticism stemming from the release of Oliver Stone’s movie JFK. Before it was even released Stone’s movie had already whipped-up a firestorm of controversy, not only on the matter of a conspiracy, but by calling attention to the still-sealed and secret government records on the assassination.

Back then in the early 1990s their numbers were stronger.  The surviving Warren Commission attorneys then included Arlen Spector, the senior Senator from Pennsylvania, David Berlin, Albert Jenner, and Richard Mosk – all high powered lawyers with rich and powerful clients.  According to the news report, they quickly raised pledges totaling millions of dollars, a war chest that was used on special programs to oppose the media blitz expected with the release of the film.

Stone’s film sparked Congress to pass the JFK Act of 1992, which requires all the agencies of government to release all of their records on the assassination 25 years after President George Herbert Walker Bush reluctantly signed the bill on October 26, 1992.

Now that date is fast-approaching and people are anxiously waiting to see why so many thousands of records on the assassination have been kept secret, especially if the assassination was merely the work of a lone nut.

As the sunset provision of the law creeps closer every day, the remaining Commission lawyers met in Washington at the invitation of a documentary film maker to reassess their report and looming legacy.

Although most of the Warren Commission heavyweights have passed away, those remaining are the junior counsel, younger lawyers, law clerks and assistants who performed the bulk of the investigation and wrote the report.

In the past, the never-ending debate focused on whether JFK was killed by one man alone or by a conspiracy, and polls have shown a strong majority of the public sides with conspiracy.

But now the debate has shifted even more against the government to a new focal point: whether the need for secrecy outweighs the need for open government, a full enforcement of the JFK Act, and a complete release of all the records, and even the Warren Commission defenders and staff attorneys are calling for the complete release of all the records.

An example of this shift can be seen in a recent open letter to the president’s lawyer requesting complete enforcement of the JFK Act of 1992, a letter that is remarkable because it is signed by two dozen authors of books on the subject. These authors include not only respected conspiracy theorists like Joan Mellen, Peter Dale Scott, Dick Russell and Russ Baker, but also former HSCA lawyers G. Robert Blakey and Dan Hardway and Warren Commission defenders Gerald Posner and Howard Willens. The signatories also include Brian Latell (a former CIA officer), and former New York Times reporter Phil Shenon, who have written books promoting the original cover story that Fidel Castro was behind the Dealey Plaza operation.

The authors want the remaining records released for varying reasons, some because they believe the records will support their own particular theory.

But despite the overwhelming consensus to release all of the remaining records, there are some categories already being contested, such as tax records, William Manchester’s private deed of gift, CIA Operational records,  official “Working Papers” that are except from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA); and there are more.

What takes precedence: the tax laws, a deed of trust, CIA security, National Archives official policy or the JFK Act?

As former Commission lawyer Howard Willens mentions in the American Scholararticle, the remaining few who met in Washington included Willens, David Slawson, Stuart Pollack, Sam Stern, Murray Laulicht and Alfred Goldberg.  All are high powered lawyers except for Goldberg, a recently retired Army historian who worked out of an office in the Pentagon and was brought in to substantially re-write the investigative reports and chapter drafts to give the Warren Report a readable and believable narrative, an exercise that was only partly successful.

Willens, Slawson, Pollack, Stern and Laulicht were each responsible for drafting different aspects of the case, while Goldberg substantially re-wrote their drafts to form the basic narrative.

Sam Stern, for instance, served as a liaison to the Secret Service for access to film and tapes, questioned witnesses like S. M. Holland and Forrest Sorrels, and prepared a history of American political assassinations.  Stern’s duties also included “handling the investigation of Oswald’s background, especially the intelligence agencies’ awareness of Oswald prior to the assassination. Secondly, Stern had been in charge of the evaluation of the efficiency of the President’s protection.”

In an August 22, 1978, House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) interview at his D.C. law office, Stern said that the Warren Commission staff began with no illusions.

“At the outset we realized that there was no possible way to penetrate any official involvement in a cover-up which no one would ever penetrate.”

With the caveat he adds, “We of course did not believe that was so. But we realized what we were dealing with the power of the agencies. Fortunately, we believed they were on our side.”

As Stern later learned, the agencies were not on the side of the total truth.

“I am less certain now, than at the time we wrote the Report,” he said. “Less certain that Oswald acted alone. Actually, I wasn’t all that certain at the time. I thought the best evidence supported the final findings, and I agreed with them, but I wasn’t tremendously immovable in that. In my own mind, I just thought there were a lot of straws left.”

“I accepted the forensics, the rifle, the bullets, Tippit and everything, but I hadn’t been involved in the hard physical evidence at all,” he added.

Stern said that, “Had the commission learned of the CIA-Mafia plots to assassinate Castro we would have gone much more into Cuba, the CIA, and Mafia. We would have a whole host of new avenues calling for investigations.”

These “straws” and avenues have since been investigated by others, and there has been much discussion over the possible release of a “smoking gun” document that will prove conspiracy.

Rex Bradford, the curator at the Mary Ferrell archives says, “I’ve given up on finding the smoking gun record.”  Nevertheless, there have been a number of “smoking” documents already released under the JFK Act, notably the Higgins Memo (September 1963 on briefing to Joint Chiefs from CIA on Cuban operations), HSCA interview transcripts, and the November 1963 CIA memo that says the CIA seriously considered using Oswald as an intelligence operative.

When shown the document establishing that the CIA seriously considered using Oswald as an intelligence operative during his HSCA interview in 1978, Stern was taken aback, saying, “I have never seen this. I have never been given this, and we had asked for and we’re supposed to be given everything of relevance, like this. That would have been definitely relevant. If they [the CIA] were taking him seriously, then you might think others could or did also. If we found that [the memo] would have been withheld, that would have been a major explosion also.”

When Stern was shown the 1960-61 memo regarding an Oswald imposter, he was incredulous and despondent, saying, “They said I had everything.”

“If there were a conspiracy,” Stern said, “that would mean Oswald was a consummate actor.”

But now the debate has gone past Oswald and beyond conspiracy to the expected release of the remaining records on October 26, 2017, when the last pieces to the Dealey Plaza puzzle are expected to be released, so everyone can make up their own minds as to what really happened.


American Scholar:



Mary Ferrell’s Dallas Speech – October 1992


Linda Kushner – Murray J. Laulicht


Kushner pleads guilty: NY Times

Smoking Doc #1 – Higgins Memo: Mary Ferrell Archives


Sam Stern HSCA Interview:

http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg Subject Index Files/A Disk/Agent Oswald Office Files/Agent Oswald Office Official Records Subject File/Item 07.pdf

Smoking Doc #2 – Oswald an Agent Doc Redacted:

http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=73114 – relPageId=5

Oswald as Agent Doc without Redactions:


Special thanks to Jeff Morley, Bill Simpich and Patrick McCarthy for their assistance on this story.

Is there a shadow government?

The Shadow Government
Copyright © 1994 Constitution Society. Permission is hereby granted to copy for noncommercial use.
Secret Rule
It is becoming increasingly apparent to American citizens that government is no longer being conducted in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, or, within states, according to state constitutions. While people have recognized for more than 150 years that the rich and powerful often corrupt individual officials, or exert undue influence to get legislation passed that favors their interests, most Americans still cling to the naive belief that such corruption is exceptional, and that most of the institutions of society, the courts, the press, and law enforcement agencies, still largely comply with the Constitution and the law in important matters. They expect that these corrupting forces are disunited and in competition with one another, so that they tend to balance one another.
Mounting evidence makes it clear that the situation is far worse than most people think, that during the last several decades the U.S. Constitution has been effectively overthrown, and that it is now observed only as a façade to deceive and placate the masses. What has replaced it is what many call the Shadow Government. It still, for the most part, operates in secret, because its control is not secure. The exposure of this regime and its operations must now become a primary duty of citizens who still believe in the Rule of Law and in the freedoms which this country is supposed to represent.<1>
Transition to Oligarchy
It is difficult to identify a single date or event that marks the overthrow, but we can identify some critical steps.
The first was the Dick Act of 1903, which repealed the Militia Act of 1792 and tried to relegate the Constitutional Militia to the National Guard, under control of what is now the U.S. Defense Department. The second was the Federal Reserve Act, which established a central bank only nominally under the control of the government.
Further erosion of constitutional governance was motivated by several challenges which the powerful felt required them to put aside their differences and unite. The first was the Great Depression of 1933-1941. The second was World War II and the threat from fascism, followed by the Cold War and the threat from Soviet imperialism and from communism.
The third defies credibility, but cannot be avoided. UFOs and aliens. Despite the lack of hard evidence accessible to ordinary citizens, there is enough testimonial evidence to compel a reasonable person to conclude three things: UFOs exist, they are intelligently directed, and they are not ours.<2> Even if that were all that the government knew about them, minds already paranoid from the Cold War could hardly help but perceive such things as a significant potential threat, one that required secrecy, preparation, and disregard for provisions of a Constitution that were inconvenient. There are, however, enough leaks from government officials to indicate that the government knows a great deal about them that it is concealing from the public.

The fourth is the eco-crisis, which combines both the ecological and economic crises. Many leaders have recognized for a long time that we are headed for disaster, not a kind of cyclical downturn like the Great Depression, but an irreversible decline brought about by a combination of resource depletion, environmental degradation, and overpopulation, playing out in an anarchic international system of disparate nation- states, national currencies, national banks, and multinational corporations, exacerbated by traditional tribal rivalries, class conflict, and different languages and religions.<3>
Confronted with the political fact that to deal with the problems faced in the last half of the 20th century, it was difficult enough to pass legislation thought to be needed, without having to also adopt the amendments to the U.S. Constitution necessary to make such legislation constitutional, it became too easy to just adopt more and more legislation without worrying about its constitutionality, and depend on compliant officials and judges to go along with it, which for the most part, they have done. This was facilitated by the lack of sufficiently strong protests from the people, many of whom, ignorant of constitutional rights and limitations on governmental powers, and focused on the problems to be solved, supported much of the legislation.<4>
We can also identify several insidious developments which seemed necessary and harmless at the time, but which led to the present situation. One was the rise of military and civilian intelligence organs during World War II. The need to prevent leaks of military secrets brought a censorship apparatus that gained substantial control over the flow of information through the press, the broadcast media, telephonic and telegraphic communications, and the mail. However, instead of dismantling that apparatus when the war was over, we immediately transitioned to the Cold War, and the information control apparatus only went underground and became somewhat less obtrusive. This led to the present situation in which the intelligence apparatus maintains effective control over the major media, can tap anyone’s phone without a court order, reads people’s mail, monitors their finances, and gathers information on citizens and their activities that threatens their privacy and liberties.
1947 was a critical year. It was the year in which UFOs became a matter of public concern, and in which it appears we recovered at least one crashed vehicle and perhaps at least one of its occupants. It is also the year that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was established, ostensibly to bring together the disparate intelligence agencies that had often been operating at cross-purposes. It was also the beginning of the use of “black budgets” for government programs, the existence of which was kept secret from both the public and most if not all members of Congress. This led later to the establishment of more agencies, such as the National Security Agency, whose entire budget was black, thus preventing effective oversight.
The situation had evolved to the extent that, at the end of President Eisenhower’s second term, he warned in a speech of the potential danger to our freedoms from a “military-industrial complex”. In fact, by that time, it had become a “intelligence- military-industrial-financial-political-media- criminal” complex, which reached into almost every institution in this country, and into many around the world.
What had developed was beginning to look more and more like the system of political control that prevailed in the Soviet Union, in which real decisions of government were made not by the official organs of government, but by the parallel structure of the Communist Party, backed by the KGB. In competing with the Soviets, we had taken on their methods and attributes of political control.
But this apparatus did not seem to function as an effective Shadow Government, able to make and enforce decisions apart from the official government, until it came together to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. That was the watershed event. After that, too many people had too much to hide to allow the situation to return to governance as usual.
Since then, the Shadow Government has grown and tried to strengthen its grip on every sector of the society, motivated in part by honest concern about the very real threats we have faced, and in part by venality and greed, which brought increasing corruption and the effective incorporation of organized crime into the mainstream of government.
It appears that 1963 is also the year in which the Establishment Media sector of the Shadow Government was given effective control over computerized voting in the United States, through its National Election Service, as part of a deal in which they went along with the coverup of the Kennedy Assassination through the Warren Commission. While campaign money continued to buy influence over elected officials, if it was not sufficient, the Shadow Government had other options. It put officials in compromising situations, then used its evidence to blackmail them into compliance. Failing that, it could easily select the winner of any election, and suppress the support which third-party candidates might attain.
Structure and Decision making
A key question about the Shadow Government is how does it make decisions and carry them out. Where is the center? Some think it lies in a few major financial institutions. Others that it lies in the intelligence apparatus. Still others that it has no permanent center, but operates by consensus, with shifting factions that confer through various mechanisms. Some think that those mechanisms are reflected in public associations such as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Tri- lateral Commission, the Bilderbergers, the Federal Reserve, the World Bank, or the International Monetary Fund.<5>
That the key personalities in every major institution should associate and confer through various associations is not in itself a matter of concern, if all that was involved was the development of a consensus. But there is evidence that a centralized decision making process exists, because too much is done that could not otherwise occur, and that the process is contemptuous of the Constitution and increasingly willing to violate it. That suggests a permanent apparatus, a bureaucracy, and that points to the intelligence and financial bureaucracies. Therefore, the real decisions may be made not by public figures, but by faceless persons operating in secret.
Most available evidence indicates that the center is in the intelligence apparatus, and that it largely controls all the other components of the system, including the financial. However, it also appears that the control is imperfect, subject to resistance if it tries to go too far.
It also appears that there are some distinct factions involved, the two major contenders being those more highly motivated persons concerned about meeting the challenges we face, the other being the more corrupt ones trying to expand their power and wealth. The alliance between these factions appears to be increasingly strained as growing corruption begins to impair the effectiveness of the institutions of society to meet the perceived challenges.
An analogy might be to a sinking ship, in which some want to build and equip lifeboats and others who want to make sure they are the ones who get to go in them. Each needs the other, for the time being, but the latter are beginning to threaten the production and seaworthiness of the lifeboats.
What we have is in many ways a classic oligarchy, with multiple components in an uneasy alliance with one another. No one individual is paramount, and anyone can be replaced if he gets too far out of line, by some combination of the others, each of whom derives his power from the institutions and assets under his influence.
Of course, the ones who get trampled under this regime are the ordinary people, who receive just enough under the deal to keep them quiet. The Powers That Be fear above all that the people might rise up and overthrow them, something that the people could still do if they could ever act in concert. Social control therefore becomes a matter of keeping them placated, divided, and misinformed.
Unfortunately for their scheme, they face the same problem the Roman Empire did. To keep the people placated, they are forced to pay them off, and meet increasing demands for such payoffs, while growth of the productive sector falters, or even shrinks relative to the population. Economic growth and the solutions to our social problems are being impaired by the depredations of the corrupt elements of the Shadow Government, who are concentrating assets in a way and at a rate that threaten the viability of the economy. The Romans solved the problem of keeping their citizens supplied with bread and circuses by predation of outlying provinces. Modern capitalist nations tried the same thing, but that imperial order is breaking down, and the only thing left is economic growth. If that growth falters, the welfare state fails, and with it the social stability on which the Established Order depends.
Shadow Finance
Some of the best indications that the Shadow Government is not centered in the financial sector are the things it has to do to finance itself. Shadow Government is expensive. We can identify the main sources of its revenue:
(1) Black budgets. This is the core of its operations, but is not enough to secure its control over the country and the world.
(2) Drug trade. It has seized control of the major part of the illegal traffic in addictive substances, in part by using the organs of law enforcement to eliminate competition, and by gaining control of the money and the ways it gets re-introduced into the economy.
(3) Raiding financial institutions. This is what was done with the S&Ls, and is being done, more slowly, with the banks. It involves several aspects: diversion of the funds, seizure of smaller institutions by a few large ones under Shadow Government control, with the seizure financed by the taxpayers, and acquisition under distressed prices of the assets of those institutions, many of which are well-positioned business enterprises that give the Shadow Government both control of the key enterprises in most business sectors and sources of revenue. The Savings & Loan raid was used to finance a major expansion of the Shadow Government. However, it is not a method that can be repeated.
(4) Public authorities. These are quasi- governmental enterprises that control substantial assets, often taxpayer-subsidized, without effective accountability. They include housing, port, energy, water, transportation, and educational authorities.<6> To this might also be added various utilities, and both public and publicly-regulated private monopolies, like local telephone and cable companies. They are also a major source of government contracts.
(5) Government contracts. Major source of diverted funds, but must often be shared with others involved.
(6) Arms trade. Another major source of funds, both direct and diverted. But requires payoffs to local officials.
Shadow Control
The problem with secret government is that to remain secret, it cannot involve too many people who are aware of the situation. The more that become involved, the greater the chance that some of them who retain some sense of honor might defect. An occasional defector can be disabled, killed or discredited, but a flood of them could be disastrous. That is what brought down the Bolshevik regime in the Soviet Union.
Shadow control therefore consists largely of the placement of shadow agents in key positions in all of the institutions that are to be controlled. Since they cannot reveal their true role, they are also somewhat constrained in the actions they can take. What they do has to fit their jobs and not conflict in an obvious way with the mission of the organization, even if they head it. Some of the main targeted institutions are the following:
(1) Top and key lower positions in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Key judges, especially presiding judges who assign cases.
(2) Staff positions under the top positions, such as the congressional staff members who really run Congress.
(3) Intelligence agencies. The CIA<7>, NSA and various military intelligence divisions. Among their functions are death squads that eliminate troublesome persons, although they usually avoid doing that to more prominent ones. They also have developed mind control techniques that can be used to mess up the minds of people they want to discredit or disable.<8> Actually, almost every department of government has an intelligence function, and that function is the Shadow Government’s main point of control of the department.
(4) Military organizations, law enforcement, and taxing agencies, especially the IRS. Not only federal, but also state and local, at least in the major cities. The IRS and other agencies are used to harass persons considered troublesome, and sometimes to prosecute them on trumped up charges, in which evidence is planted or manufactured and government witnesses perjure themselves.
(5) Major banks, insurance companies, pension funds, holding companies, utilities, public authorities, contractors, manufacturers, distributors, transport firms, security services, credit reporting services. Forbidden by law from maintaining dossiers on citizens not the subject of criminal investigation, the agencies get around the restriction by using contractors to maintain the data for them, and have amazingly detailed data on almost everyone. When you hire one of the major security services, you are turning over the keys to your premises to the shadow government.
(6) Major media. Newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations. Together, they control the National Election Service, which in turn controls the outcome of computerized elections.<9> They suppress coverage of certain subjects, and are the channel for the Shadow Government’s propaganda and disinformation campaigns. A major part of the budget of the CIA is for film and video production. They aren’t making training films.
(7) Communications networks. Telephone, telegraph, cable and satellite. The Shadow Government can bug any communication they wish, without bothering with a court order, and they regularly monitor dissidents and other key figures. Major holes in their control here are the Internet and public-key encryption, which the Shadow Government is trying to suppress. Although the Internet can be monitored, it cannot be effectively controlled, and it is emerging as a major threat to Shadow control.
(8) Organized crime. Despite occasional convictions, they are now mostly treated as a profit center and as the executors of the dirty jobs. They are also the providers of vices for the corrupt members of government, which vices are also used to blackmail and control people.
(9) Education. Universities and public education. Universities are the least effectively controlled components, but still important, largely for recruitment. Main aim here is to divert student activists into unproductive channels, or to get students so involved in careerism that they ignore the important issues.
(10) Civic, political, and labor organizations. The two major political parties. Political action committees. League of Women Voters. Trade and professional associations, such as the American Bar Association and the American Medical Association. Labor unions.
(11) International organizations. The United Nations, NATO, the IMF. Multinational corporations.
(12) Governmental and nongovernmental institutions of other countries. We are doing many of the same things there that are being done in the United States, especially in the more advanced countries.
Concentration of Power
A major aim of Shadow Government control has been to bring most of the assets and revenues of the economy under the control of fewer and fewer people. Part of this is causing the failure of smaller organizations and the absorption of them by a few large chains. This is being done with banks and other financial institutions, newspapers and magazines, television and radio stations, agriculture and mining producers, distributors and retailers, computer manufacturers, energy and chemical companies, medical providers, and pharmaceutical companies. Anti-trust enforcement has been weak, used only in a few sectors, and then only after major concentrations of economic power has already been achieved.
The process goes beyond normal tendencies toward monopoly or restraint of trade, or the economies of scale that support the old adage that “the rich get richer”. It is an attempt to consolidate political control. The result has been for a smaller and smaller proportion of the population to control a larger and larger proportion of the assets and revenues of the economy, while the middle class shrinks. We are moving away from the original model of the universal middle class, and toward a third-world model of a small upper class and a large poor class, with a small middle class that mainly serve as minions of the rich.
The Shadow Plan
The Shadow Government appears to be operating according to some plan. Many commentators have dubbed this plan the “New World Order”, suggested by the use of that phrase in a speech by George Bush, referring to the state of affairs following the end of the Cold War. Actually, that phrase goes back to the beginning of the Republic, and appears on the Great Seal of the United States as the motto, Novus Ordo Seclorum. What the Shadow Government itself calls the plan is uncertain, however, some of its elements are now emerging.
One element is the disarming of the people.<10> There are serious plans and preparations for a general warrantless sweep of every location in the country to confiscate weapons. Information about these plans comes from military and intelligence personnel who are involved in preparing to carry them out. Such an action would mean seizing more than 300 million firearms from more than 70 million citizens. Obviously, after such a sweep there would be so much public outrage that there could not be another election. Therefore, it would also be the formal overthrow of the Constitution.
There are indications that after things settled down, the Shadow Government would allow the establishment of a parliamentary system that would provide a façade of democracy, just as it does in other countries that have such a system, without effective limits on the powers of government, where “rights” endure only as long as there is a sufficiently strong constituency that defends them. Such a system is not a republican form of government, based on the Rule of Law, or a representative democracy, but merely a tool for control by an oligarchy.
There is also suspicious circumstantial evidence that part of the plan is the release of diseases, of which HIV/AIDS is one, to reduce the world population, selectively.
A key part of the plan seems to involve the development and use of mind control techno logies, both electronic and chemical, which allow the elite to disable or discredit dissidents and keep the people compliant and productive. The experimentation that has been done on this is one of the great coverups and abuses of human rights of our time, far exceeding that of the radiation experiments that are now coming to light.<11>
Restoring Constitutional Governance
The restoration of constitutional governance need not require a violent revolution, and we should avoid violence if possible. It can be brought about in much the way it happened in the Soviet Union. This involves several elements:
(1) Exposure (“glasnost”). The Shadow Government, even more than the old Soviet regime, depends on secrecy. Uncover it and it loses most of its power. We need to end black budgets, require the declassification of most classified documents, especially those pertaining to UFOs and aliens, and adopt and enforce sunshine laws to require full disclosure of not just meetings and agreements among officials, but also among major organizations of all kinds which may exercise an undue influence on political decisions. We must also require independent audits of all such organizations.
(2) Restructuring (“perestroika”). We need to enforce strengthened anti-trust laws to break up large enterprises into many competing firms, not just two or three, and forbid interlocking directorates, beginning with the broadcast media and the press. Intelligence and law enforcement agencies need to be broken up into several competing ones, which can serve as effective checks on abuses by one another.
(2) Infiltration and defection. We need to get patriots inside key organizations and encourage insiders to become patriots. The most important are military and law enforcement organizations, whose members must be conditioned to come over to the side of the people if there is a confrontation. We must also provide effective protection for whistleblowers.
(3) Harassment. Lawsuits. Liens. Freedom of Information Act requests. Surveillance of principals. Local prosecution of federal agents.
(4) Local organization and publicity. Revive the constitutional Militia on the Swiss model<12>, set up independent investigation teams, alternative newspapers, talk radio, alert networks. We need to inform the public on what is happening, and to reach those who now are all too willing to trust the government to protect them.
(5) Civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance. Protest demonstrations. Tax protests. Defiance of unconstitutional laws. Refusal of juries to convict.<13>
(6) Armed resistance. This must involve non- provocative, but firm, defense of persons from illegal abuses, and exclusion of illegal governmental actions from local areas, county by county, state by state, with insistence on constitutional compliance.
(7) Transition plan. The oligarchy cannot be expected to come up with a plan for an orderly return to constitutional governance. The process must be conducted carefully, to avoid a disastrous collapse.<14> We will need some constitutional amendments, to make legal some of the things the national government can do best. The government needs to end budget deficits and acquire the stock of the Federal Reserve.<15>
The myth is that World War II ended with the defeat of fascism, but what really happened is that fascism got a grip on those fighting it, and is becoming increasingly pervasive and powerful. As it grows, it will induce a reaction, the outcome of which will be a final confrontation. We can all hope that the confrontation will not be a bloody one, and that it will be resolved while we still have time to solve our other pressing problems.
<1> See Reed & Cummings, Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA, 1994, Shapolsky Publishers Inc, 136 W 22nd St, New York, NY 10011, 212/633-2022. Also see Bartlett & Steele, America: What Went Wrong?, 1992, Andrews & McMeel, 4900 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64112; and Walter Karp, Liberty Under Siege, New York: Franklin Square, 1993.
<2> See Timothy Good, Above Top Secret: The Worldwide UFO Cover-up, New York: W. Morrow, 1988; Alien Contact: Top-Secret UFO Files Revealed, New York: W. Morrow, 1993.
<3> For a fairly comprehensive treatment of such views, see Albert Gore, Jr., Earth in the Balance, New York: Houghton-Mifflin, 1992. Also see Paul Ehrlich, Population/ Resources/ Environment, San Francisco: Freeman, 1972.
<4> For one treatment of American history that goes into this, see Clarence B. Carson, Basic American Government, 1993, American Textbook Committee, Route 1, Box 13, Wadley, AL 36276.
<5> There is abundant literature on this theme, most of it lacking hard evidence. An example is Gary H. Kah, Enroute to Global Occupation, 1992, Huntington House Publishers, POB 53788, Lafayette, LA 70505.
<6> One author has identified such public authorities as the Shadow Government, but it seems more likely that they are just a part of it. See Donald Axelrod, Shadow Government: the hidden world of public authorities and how they control $1 trillion dollars of your money, New York: Wiley, 1992.
<7> For a couple of sanitized depictions of this agency, see Loch K. Johnson, America’s Secret Power: the CIA in a democratic society, New York: Oxford, 1989; Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, The CIA and American Democracy, New Haven: Yale, 1989.
<8> This is discussed in a paper by Martin Cannon, The Controllers: A New Hypothesis of Alien Abductions, 1990, 8211 Owensmouth Av #206, Canoga Park, CA 91304. $6.00.
<9> This is documented in Collier & Collier, Votescam: the Stealing of America, 1992, Victoria House Press, 67 Wall St #2411, New York, NY 10005. $10.00.
<10> One discussion of this is William R. Tonso, The Gun Culture and its Enemies, 1990, Second Amendment Foundation, James Madison Building, 12500 N.E. Tenth Place, Bellevue, WA 98005.
<11> This is documented in a paper by Julianne McKinney, Microwave Harassment & Mind- Control Experimentation, Electronic Surveillance Project, Association of National Security Alumni, PO Box 13625, Silver Spring, MD 20911-3625, 301/608-0143. $5.00.
<12> For a general discussion of this, see Morgan Norval, The Militia in 20th Century America: A Symposium, 1985, Gun Owners Foundation, 5881 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041. Also see Stephen P. Halbrook, That Every Man Be Armed, 1984, Independent Institute, 134 98th Av, Oakland, CA 94603.
<13> For a comprehensive treatment of constitutional history and law, see Bernard Schwartz, The Roots of the Bill of Rights, New York: Chelsea House, 1980.
<14> The ways this might occur are discussed in Joseph A. Taintes, The Collapse of Complex Societies, New York: Cambridge, 1988.
<15> For some views on needed reforms, see Martin Gross, A Call for Revolution, New York: Ballantine, 1993.

Elvis & Lansky, that is Bernard Lansky!

In 1946 Bernard Lansky cofounded Lansky Bros. clothing store on Beale Street in Memphis. Nearly a decade later, a young Elvis Presley was looking in the window when Mr. Lansky invited him in and showed him around. Elvis confessed to having no money but promised to buy Lansky out when he got rich. Mr. Lansky asked Elvis not to buy him out, just buy from him. That’s just what Elvis did. In fact, Mr. Lansky provided the early clothes on credit when Elvis said he didn’t have the money to buy them. Lansky outfitted Elvis for his early television shows and throughout his career and for his funeral. On occasion after Elvis became famous, he would call in the middle of the night and Lansky would open the store for Elvis so he could shop when no one else was there. As Elvis became known as the king of rock ‘n’ roll, Lansky Bros. became known as “clothier to the king,”

Bernard Lansky died November 15, 2012, at the age of 85.

Lansky Bros. is still in business, though it has moved from  Beale Street to the lobby of the Peabody Hotel and remains famous for its association with Elvis. Many other top entertainers visit the store. Not only does the shop still have a wide variety of men’s clothing, it also features dozens of guitars on display signed by perhaps an even wider variety of popular musicians.

If you visit the store these days, you’ll likely meet Hal Lansky, Bernard’s son, who is keeps the store in the family.

If you  take a walking history tour with Jimmy Ogle through the downtown streets, you’ll more than likely hear a brief recitation of the Bernard Lansky and Elvis story because through his association with Elvis Presley, Bernard Lansky became a Memphis legend.

Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau has a video interview with Mr. Lansky on youtube.com.

Crime, Big Business & Watergate & Intertel


  When Mary Carter Paint Company changed its name to Resorts International, several attempts were made to give the impression that organized crime was not involved in its gambling casinos despite all that had gone on. Some well-known Lansky men were fired from the casinos, and Resorts International put up $2 million to form International Intelligence Inc. (Intertel), an agency which guaranteed to keep any legal gambling operation free from or-ganized crime influence. Heading Intertel was the same Robert Peloquin who as a Justice Department investigator had warned of the likelihood of a Lansky skim at Resorts International's Paradise Island Casino. He resigned from the Justice Department to become vice-president of Paradise Enterprises Ltd., the corporation set up by Sands, Groves and Mary Carter Paint to organize security at the new Nassau casinos. From Paradise Enterprises, Peloquin shifted to Intertel, a 91 per cent - owned subsidiary of Resorts International. It is believed that Howard Hughes owns the other 9 per cent.

Intertel describes itself as an organization devoted to "safeguarding business from the hidden risks of vulnerability to organized crime, and assisting states and cities in developing comprehensive crime control plans.
Intertel is a unique consulting organization created specifically to provide businesses, industrial concerns and trade associations with expertly designed management systems that would enable them to repel infiltration by organized crime."

In a 1970 brochure which Intertel distributed to some interested publications, the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice is approvingly quoted as saying in 1967: "There is a disturbing lack of interest on the part of some legitimate business concerns regarding the identity of the persons with whom they deal. This lackadaisical attitude is conducive to the perpetration of frauds and the
infiltration and subversion of legitimate business by the organized criminal elements."

The Intertel brochure, backed by the impressive experience Robert Peloquin had acquired as one of the top governmental investigators of organized crime, goes on to say what Intertel has to offer the legitimate businessman: Wherever business succeeds, there is a threat of infiltration and subversion by organized crime. The threat to corporate giants is gigantic. The effect on
smaller business is often devastating.

Organized crime's activity in the business community is more diverse than any conglomerate's. Its members and associates are astute businessmen. They are profit-oriented; they invest and manipulate billions of dollars in business. Yet most businessmen know virtually nothing about the economic threat and danger signals of organized crime.

Until now businessmen concerned about the problem have had no wholly suitable place to turn for help. That is no longer true. A new company has been formed to give that help: International Intelligence Inc. �INTERTEL.

Organized criminals who injure business today do not look like stereotyped criminals. They are executives and technicians. Their forte is manipulation of computer information, tampering with accounting procedures, theft of trade secrets and invasion of confidential company files. They thrive on exercising dangerous influence over key employees and executives in parent or subsidiary companies, and the corruption of associates, suppliers, distributors, customers and competitors.

Those are vulnerable areas through which organized crime can penetrate and ultimately control a business or an industry. Those are the areas largely overlooked by management in many businesses.

Organized crime can not be disregarded. Its influence will not disintegrate on its own. Affirmative action must be taken by the business community.

Consideration must be given to the integrity of management and key officials in companies with whom any business relationship is contemplated. Are their money sources legitimate, or do they represent part of the $7 to $10 billion profit organized crime nets every year from illegal operations and wants to invest in legitimate business?

Intertel has the unique capability of studying your company, analyzing the potential for such losses in its various divisions or subsidiaries, and identifying the areas of vulnerability. We can recommend new management systems, or improvement of existing ones. We can provide the necessary intelligence about businesses and management with whom you are considering a merger, acquisition, joint venture or other relationship. Management thus can avoid loss of profits, dissipation of assets, and ruin of business reputation.

The Intertel brochure then goes on to detail what it can do for specific types of businesses. For professional sports organization, Intertel will provide intelligence services to prevent organized crime from influencing sport results. For stock exchanges, banks, brokerage houses and credit card companies Intertel will help prevent the theft of stocks, bonds and other securities. It will assist in the rapid identification of stolen securities and prevent the use of fraudulent or stolen credit cards. For legitimate casinos, race -tracks or lotteries, Intertel will coordinate with U. S. officials and foreign government officials to keep the gambling crime-free.

In order to accomplish all of this, Peloquin recruited an impressive group of professional crime-fighters. Peloquin's law partner, William C. Hundley, became secretary of Intertel. Hundley was formerly chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the U. S. Department of Justice. John D.O'Connell, Intertel executive vice-president for New York operations, is a former FBI agent with 24 years of specialization in organized crime investigation.

Thomas J. McKeon, vice-president, was chief of the Justice Department's Organized Crime Strike Force in Detroit. William A. Kolar, vice-president, is another former FBI agent with extensive experience in the Internal Revenue Service. David Belisle was deputy director of security for the U. S. Department of State .

Intertel's list of experts goes on and on. Sir Ranulph Bacon, former Commissioner of Scotland Yard and head of the 1967 Royal Commission of Inquiry into Bahamian gambling, is on Intertel's board of directors along with M.F.A. Lindsay, former Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Mortimer Caplan, former Commissioner of the U.S. Internatl[sic] Revenue Service; Edwin McDonald, executive vice-president of the Metropolitan
Life Insurance Company; and Jerome S. Hardy, executive vicepresident of a large mutual fund that supported Nixon, The Dreyfus Corporation of New York.

And then besides Peloquin there are a whole group who have been associated with the gambling operations of Mary Carter Paint and Resorts International. James Golden, already mentioned in this chapter as a former employee of Mary Carter Paint, who also took care of security for Richard Nixon, now appears as a staff member of Intertel. He is credited with also being director of security for Resorts International. Intertel treasurer Raymond Gore, a certified public accountant formerly with Price Waterhouse, is also vicepresident of finance for Resorts International.

Warren Adams, chief casino security officer at Paradise Island, is also on the Intertel staff. Adams was officer-in-charge of the gaming squad, Clark County Sheriff's Department, Las Vegas, Nevada-not necessarily the best of credentials, since he worked in Las Vegas in the years when organized crime made some very profitable illegal skims from the casinos. Fenelon A. Richards, director of enforcement of the United States Bureau of Customs, with world-wide responsibility for 750 customs agents and investigators, became director of security for Resorts International gambling operations before joining Intertel.


In 1971 the Las Vegas Sun did a series of articles on Meyer Lansky, international gambling, Resorts International, and Intertel. In his introduction to the series, publisher Hank Greenspun observed that his state, Nevada, has had enough experience with legalized gambling to know that resourceful organized crime often succeeds in illegally infiltrating that business despite all the efforts of government. Greenspun went on to note that when I. G. (Jack) Davis, president of Resorts International, testified before the New Jersey State Legislature in favor of legalized gambling, his testimony was echoed by William Kolar, a vice-president of Intertel. By this time Intertel had taken over the security operation for the Howard Hughes
gambling operation in Las Vegas.

Greenspun, having already had the opportunity to see Intertel in action at first-hand in his own city, then asked the interesting question: If Intertel is supposed to be protecting Howard Hughes' large financial investment in Las Vegas gambling, then why is it involved in promoting a competitor to Las Vegas in New Jersey: (Resorts International had already taken options on three hotels in the Spring Lake area, a fact which surprised the New Jersey lawmakers when they learned of it). And Greenspun anticipated the following series of articles by stating: "By whatever name the proponents, and however cloaked, the moving finger still points to Meyer Lansky."

The Las Vegas Sun series was written by Allan Witwer, a journalist who had previously written a manuscript entitled "The Ugly Bahamians." Witwer had been head of public relations for Lou Chesler and Wallace Groves' Grand Bahama Development Company. Later he was to work for Sir Stafford Sands as news-bureau chief for the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism in Nassau. Peloquin's Justice Department memorandum about a Meyer Lansky skim being implicit at Paradise Island was based on material that Witwer had given him. Witwer says of himself: "I was an eye-witness to the Mob's move from the cesspool of Havana to those 'gin-clear' waters of the Bahamas."

Unfortunately Witwer's manuscript was suppressed. It was bought by a publisher for $53,000 but never put into print. Interestingly enough, Witwer received the $53,000 from the Manhattan law firm of Simpson, Thatcher and Bartlett. Whitney North Seymour, a Wall Street friend of Nixon's when Nixon was practicing law in New York, was a senior partner of this law firm. When Nixon fired crime fighter Robert Morgenthau as U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, he replaced Morgenthau with Seymour-and that change effectively ended an important federal grand jury probe into organized crime, as well as Morgenthau's exploration of Swiss bank-laundering of mob funds.

When Witwer took the $53,000 he knew it meant suppression of his manuscript, and he had every reason to suspect that the money came from the Ugly Bahamians themselves. The deal had been put together with the non-publisher, Exposition Press, by Hill and Knowlton, the large public relations firm. Hill and Knowlton had a $5 million contract with Sir Stafford Sands, then Minister of Finance and Tourism for the Bahamas, to publicize the islands. Witwer was also still working for Sir Stafford Hill and Knowlton told Witwer that actual publication of "The Ugly Bahamians" would topple the government of Sir Stafford and perhaps even inspire a revolt by the black majority. When others threatened his life if he published the book, Witwer found that the Hill and Knowlton proposal was an offer he couldn't refuse. In Witwer's own words: "Valor dictated the publication of 'The Ugly Bahamians.' Survival said, 'Take the money and run!'"

However, the manuscript didn't stay buried very long. Four months after the deal set up by Hill and Knowlton, Robert Morgenthau subpoenaed both the manuscript and Allan Witwer before a federal grand jury investigating organized crime. Morgenthau may have learned about the material from Peloquin, who had interviewed Witwer while still in the Justice Department, or from John Reagan ("Tex") McCrary.


McCrary had been a publicist for Lou Chesler, first he protected Chesler from the charge that he had improperly taken $5 million from Seven Arts Productions Ltd. to invest in the Grand Bahama Development Company without notifying Seven Arts stockholders. Then McCrary did the public relations work for Chesler to obtain the Certificate of Exemption permitting gambling on Grand Bahama Island. Chesler put together a tour including Wallace Groves, Chesler, and Sir Roland and Lady Symonette, which visited the Chesler-built cities in Florida and ended with a party at the Fountainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. Sir Roland Symonette, soon to become Premier of the Bahamas and a key factor in the Groves-Chesler plans, was so impressed with Chesler that after the tour was over Groves exclaimed: "We're home free!"

After Chesler was removed from the Grand Bahama situation and the Bay Street Boys failed to fulfill some promises they had allegedly made to McCrary, he switched political sides and began supporting the ppositionist party of Lynden Pindling. As mentioned previously, even Lansky wanted Pindling as Premier by this time. McCrary began feeding documents on the corruption of the Groves-Sands regime in Grand Bahama to Allan Witwer, the U. S. Justice Department,, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and anyone else who would listen. When Pindling was elected, McCrary got his reward. He and his associate Bill Safire (later to become a speech-writer for Nixon) eventually took over the large public relations contract previously held by Hill and Knowlton for the Bahamas. Because of these intrigues, Witwer's manuscript and information was not to be buried in the vaults of Exposition Press, even though payment had been made for Witwer's silence. And Witwer found an interesting ally in Hank Greenspun, who was by no means an innocent.

Greenspun had been Bugsy Siegel's publicity man atone time, and then was publicist for and shareholder in the Desert Inn when the Cleveland Syndicate controlled it.

In his series of  Las Vegas Sun articles in 1971, Witwer chronicled the corruption of the Bahamas by U. S. organized crime, from the Bay Street Boys to the Pindling regime, from the Groves Chesler gambling operation on Grand Bahama to Mary Carter Paint on Paradise Island. And he pointed that although Resorts International and Intertel claimed to have gotten rid of the Lansky. men running the casinos, this did not really happen. When Dino Cellini left the Bahamas, his brother Eddie took charge of the Paradise Island Casino and operated it for two years under Peloquin's "security." And when publicity forced Intertel to fire Eddie Cellini, the Dade County Sheriff's Offfice[sic] verified that he continued to operate tours by gamblers to Paradise Island out of Resorts International's Miami office, and on an almost daily basis continued to check the credit given to gamblers at Resort's Nassau casinos.

The Lansky influence may have become less visible under Intertel, but many competent journalists and investigators believe that organized crime still continues to dominate the Bahamian gambling operation. They point out that many gamblers in the Bahamas, particularly those who come on the supervised tours arranged by Lansky men, do not pay their gambling debts with money but with -markers," a form of IOU bookkeeping. These "markers" are often not recorded on the account books of the casinos, but are transported to the mainland U. S., where Syndicate men arrange for their collection. The "markers" that do get put on the casino books are often written off as uncollectable even if they are collected. This is one of the Syndicate's "skimming" procedures which does not involve the well-known false count at the end of the gambling day.

Another subtle "skim" method involves the payments of bonuses to Lansky men, who then kick back a substantial part of the "bonus" to Lansky. And it is known that when Lansky associates Courtney, Ritter and Brudner were deported from the Bahamas, arrangements were made by Resorts International to continue a $2 million payment to them for the next ten years, on the basis that they had presumably left behind some of their private credit files necessary for the casino operations on Paradise Island.

The day after Witwer's articles ended in the Las Vegas Sun, publisher Greenspun wrote a strong concluding editorial entitled: "Warning to Hoods: We Don't Want You in Our State!" The conclusions that Greenspun published after the investigative articles by his newspaper are so startling that they are worthy of at least partial reprint here so that the reader can have at hand his opinions: 


There was a time when the underworld attained its ends by violence and payoff. Then, seeking respectability, organized crime looked for legitimate fronts, but the take never really stopped.

"Now it has reached a new cycle ... Slick public relations, respectable front men, new secret private policing is the pattern. The goal: an extension of legalized gambling throughout the Western world ...

"I believe we are on the brink of the most ambitious and cleverest ploy of all: the creation of an nternational Gambling Cartel with its own intelligence service ... The Sun's series has revealed the complex pattern, and what has emerged from this very complicated puzzle is that Intertel has become the chosen instrument for the International Gambling Cartel.

"It has a good start. Staffed by the very people who were in the law enforcement agencies designed to combat organized crime and using the knowledge and prestige gained in these agencies, Intertel now represents the other side. Financed by a corporation which is rooted in the suspect history of gambling in the Caribbean, Intertel now operates a network of security for gambling operations in such widely separated locations as the Bahamas, Netherlands, West Indies and Nevada.

"Intertel executives have testified before the New Jersey Legislature in behalf of legalized gambling. We have examined that testimony, laundered as it was to serve their own purposes. They will certainly be on hand when states like New York, Florida, Hawaii and possibly California are hypnotized by the promises of fiscal Utopia.

"The International Crime Syndicate has Iong had the biggest cash flow of any of the world's businesses. It does not give up easily, as we in Nevada know from long experience. If Intertel's ambitions are realized, they will be supervising that cash flow. They are willing to take risks, promise anything for that prize. But an organization like Intertel can so cover its tracks that none of its activities or interests can be learned unless it is willing to make them public.

"Intelligence is power. It can be used for good or evil. Intertel executives have had, and presumably continue to have access to the files of many law enforcement agencies here and abroad. Its agents have worked for the FBI, the IRS, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Interpol and even the Clark County Sheriff's Office. But where do their loyalties lie now?"


Resorts International and Intertel have repeatedly denied all allegations of involvement with organized crime. The reader must be the judge of whether or not the facts linking these groups with Meyer Lansky are mere coincidences or represent a pattern. And the reader must judge too if the prominent appearance in the Bahamas of Richard Nixon and some of his wealthiest backers is also mere coincidence, or part of a more sinister pattern showing the desire of organized crime to involve itself with the highest reaches of political power.

However, it is an undoubted fact that Intertel hires itself out to strange clients for strange purposes. When Jack Anderson was exposing the Dita Beard memo on ITT's volunteering of financial support to the Republican National Convention in exchange for favorable action on an anti-trust suit by the Nixon administration, ITT hired Intertel to snoop on Anderson. When Howard Eckersley, one of the five men in regular attendance upon Howard Hughes, got involved in a fraudulent mining deal in Canada through a broker with Mafia connections, Robert Peloquin personally took him to the Securities Exchange Commission and obtained immunity for Eckersley even though the head of the Canadian stock exchange was suspended for the scandal.

And while not being so bold and direct as Las Vegas publisher Greenspun, a Department of Justice spokesman was quoted in the Los Angeles Times of December 14, 1970 as saying: "They [Intertel] are becoming the spokesman for organized gambling. I just wonder if that's a good thing; not that those boys don't have impeccable credentials, they do; I just wonder how much temptation a man can stand."

pps. 330-344
The Mail Archive
an excerpt from: The Breaking of a President 1974 - The Nixon Connection Marvin Miller, Compiler Therapy Productions, Inc.

R. D. Matthews- a man of mystery and friend of Jack Ruby and Benny Binion.

R.D. MATTHEWS, a man of mystery and friend of Jack Ruby and Benny Binion  

This writer was introduced to R.D. Matthews by Hy Goldbaum, a casino executive at the Dunes Hotel in the 1970s. R.D. Matthews was a good sized man that could handle himself in just about any situation. R.D. would pick up the diminutive Hy Goldbaum and hold him in the air like a baby, when Hy would grab R.D.’s throat in the mock act of trying to strangle him. This action was a humorous jab at R.D. Matthews, which really was to point out that R.D. was a “bad dude.” (1)
Goldbaum empathically said, No one ever messed with R.D. Matthews.”
At the Frontier Hotel. He was a regular pal of Johnny Stone and Dick Westbrook and no doubt did a little business with T.W. Richardson when they both frequented Cuba. In fact, R.D. had a small piece of a club in Havana.
Former FBI Agent Walt Brown writes, “In a subsequent visit to Dallas, with Jay having driven up from Austin, we took a couple of hours as a detour and visited a gun dealer somewhere a couple dozen miles north of Dallas.”
“It could have been Oklahoma for all I knew, as I was just taking in the scenery. We went inside, and Jay asked about a custom-made gun he wanted to buy.”
“The proprietor asked if he was in a position, legally and financially, I presume, to make such a purchase. Jay took out his .380 for demonstration purposes. Satisfied, the dealer asked what he wanted, and Jay told him, point blank, scaring the living sh** out of me, “I want a collection of guns. I want to own an operating replica of all the custom guns you’ve made for R.D. Matthews in his career of using special weapons to kill people.”
“We were asked to leave.”
“Don’t’ look for further references to Mr. Matthews, except in the noted testimonies—at least not while he is still alive.” (2)

Russell Douglas Matthews came to Las Vegas and worked for the legendary Benny Binion, at the Horseshoe Club. The House Assassinations Committee investigators showed a keen interest in the relationship between Jack Ruby and ex-convict Russell Douglas Matthews, a former Dallas resident with numerous arrests on his record.(3) Investigators told Matthews they intended to subpoena him for questioning about a report that Ruby had his telephone number with him when he gunned down accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in the basement of the Dallas Police Department on Nov. 24, 1963. Matthews, 57, told committee investigators he doesn’t “know anything about” the assassination, according to Matthews’ Dallas attorney, Frank Wright. However, the Committee also is interested in any contacts Matthews may have had with Ruby in Cuba in 1959 when Matthews was working in the gambling casinos of the Hotel Deauville in Havana. Federal declassified documents recently indicate Ruby was active in attempts to free organized crime figure Santos Trafficante from a Havana prison that year.
(1) Munari notes
(2) Walt Brown Chronology
(3) Earl Goltz, 1978

The Warren Commission, which investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, made no mention of a Matthews’ phone number on Ruby or in any of the notebooks he had. However, toll call records showed a 13-minute long distance call from Ruby’s Carousel Club in Dallas to Matthews’ ex-wife in Shreveport, Louisiana on October 3, 1963. The call to Elizabeth Ann Matthews was made on the night of the same day Oswald arrived in Dallas from a 10-day trip to Mexico City. In Mexico City, Oswald had tried unsuccessfully to get a visa for travel to Cuba. After the assassination, Mrs. Matthews said she “could not recall having received a long distance telephone call from Dallas on or about Oct. 3, 1963,” according to an FBI report, but R.D. Matthews himself might have received the call. Matthews said he was only a “passing acquaintance” of Ruby and had known him for about twelve years. However, a longtime friend of Ruby’s, Charles Duarte, told the FBI several days later in December 1963 that Matthews was “well acquainted with Ruby.”
Warren Commission staffer, Burt W. Griffin placed long distance calls inquiring of a Ruby-Matthews link just two days before the Commission’s final report was submitted to President Lyndon Johnson. Griffin called Ruby’s sister, Eva Grant; his roommate George Senator; business partner Ralph Paul; and Carousel Club bartender Andy Armstrong. None knew of any connection between Ruby and Matthews or Matthews’s ex-wife in Shreveport.
Oswald was not known to have been suspected of ever being in Cuba until an FBI document was declassified. In one memo, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover said Oswald “made several trips to Cuba; upon his return each time we questioned him about what he went to Cuba for and he answered that it was none of our business.” Hoover could have mistaken Oswald for Ruby except that the Dallas nightclub owner was found by the FBI to have visited Cuba only once—in 1959.
Marina Oswald was questioned by the House Committee on Assasinations and asked about R.D. Matthews:
Q. I am now going to ask you a series of names again to see if you know these people or if Lee knew these people when either of you were living in Dallas at either time. The first name is Russell Matthews, also known as R. D. Matthews.
A. No.
Q. The next one is Irwin Weiner.
A. No.
Q. If you have heard of these names even subsequently, please tell us.
A. Oh. sure.
Q. Louis McWillie.
A No.
Q. Joe Campisi or Sam Campisi.
A. No.
Q. Lawrence Meyers.
A. No.
Q.Lenny Patrick.
A. No.
Q. James Henry Dolan.
A. No.
Q. Barney Baker.
A. No.

Texas hitman, Charles Harrelson, father of Woody Harrelson, should be deposed and asked to take a polygraph examination. Harrelson was identified as the tall man in the famous photos of three so-called “tramps” who were arrested in the rail yard behind Dealey Plaza shortly after the assassination. Harrelson was convicted of murdering federal judge John Wood in the early 1980s and is currently serving his sentence in a Texas prison. Harrelson was high on cocaine when he was arrested for the murder of Judge Wood.
Judge Wood was the presiding official in the case Jamiel (“Jimmy”) Chagra, the alleged mastermind of the 1979 assassination of U.S. District Judge John Wood, Jr. Chagra, 59, was accused of leading a 1979 conspiracy to assassinate Wood, who was scheduled to preside over Chagra’s trial on drug charges. Wood was gunned down outside his home in San Antonio.
Chagra was acquitted of most charges in Wood’s death, but was found guilty of obstructing the investigation into the slaying and sentenced to ten years in prison. He also pleaded guilty in a failed 1978 assassination attempt on Assistant U.S. Attorney James Kerr of San Antonio and was sentenced to life in prison. Chagra was a very high-rolling gambler who frequented the Horseshoe Club in Las Vegas. Matthews was employed there at the time. (4)

(4) Robert Moore and Diana Washington Valdez, El Paso Times

One of the arresting officers reported that not only did Harrelson confess to killing the judge, but that he also admitted to participating in the assassination of President Kennedy. Harrelson later retracted his statement about taking part in the assassination, claiming that he fabricated it under the influence of the cocaine. When arrested, Harrelson was found to be carrying the business card of R. D. Matthews, who, according to the HSCA, was acquainted with Jack Ruby and with other Dallas crime figures. Indicted along with Harrelson in the plot to kill Judge Wood was the brother of New Orleans crime boss, Carlos Marcello, who was one of the Mafia figures named by the HSCA as possibly having been involved in the assassination of President Kennedy. Researcher J. Gary Shaw asked an anthropologist to compare photos of the tall tramp with pictures of Harrelson and the anthropologist concluded it was likely they were the same person. Similarly, police officers trained in photo identification have advised Harrison Livingstone that Harrelson definitely appears to be the tall tramp. Why hasn’t the FBI or the State of Texas followed up on any of this evidence? (5)
Former FBI Special Agent Walt Brown, author of Walt Brown Chronology recalled R.D. Mathhews, “I cannot help but suspect that your “slant” on JFK witnesses is tied in some manner to RD, as his was a name that people only whispered until his recent passing. I never met him, but I was in proximity in Prago’s Restaurant, where he held forth for many years. I also visited the weapons dealer in Oklahoma where RD had the tools of his trade specially made.” (6)

(5) Mike Griffith, researcher
(6) Walt Brown correspondence Nov. 2013

R.D. Matthews must have been an important character to many individuals as he was called before the Select Committee on Assassinations, U.S. House of Representatives, in Washington. D.C. His lawyer was Harry E. Claiborne, who went on to become a Federal Judge in Nevada and was later impeached. Benny Binion, the employer of R.D. Matthews at a later time, also testified in Claiborne’s defense.
Some of the questions posed to R.D. Matthews:
Q. Do you know if Jack Ruby was ever a police informant?
A. I have no way of knowing that.
Q. Do you know Mr. Sam Campisi?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How do you know Mr. Campisi?
A. I went to school with Campisi, Sam Campisi, when we were kids. I have known him all my life.
Q. Have you ever had any business dealings with Campisi?
A. Business dealings, no. I don’t remember that we ever had any business dealings. He was a friend of mine. I knew him until the time he died. I went to his funeral.
Q. Do you know if Jack Ruby knew Mr. Campisi?
A. I don’t know. They could have. They were both in the kind of business that they’re in the public eye. They could have known each other. One of them had clubs. The other had a restaurant. I don’t know anything about their relationship.
Q. Do you know Mr. Joe Campisi?
A. Yes, sir, he is Sam’s brother. I know him well.
Q. Was your relationship with Joe Campisi the same as your relationship with Sam?
A. Joe was a little older, but yes, sir, I’ve known him for years.
Q. Do you know if Mr. Ruby knew Mr. Joe Campisi?
A. They could have, sir. I don’t how anything about their relationship.
Q. Do you know Mr. Joseph Civello?
A. No, sir. I’ve heard his name.
Q. You have never met him?
A. I might have met him at some time. I can’t say that I haven’t met him, but I wasn’t a friend of his or close associate.
Q. Do you know if Mr. Ruby knew Mr. Civello?
A. No, sir, I don’t know that.
Q. Do you know Mr. Dusty Miller?
A. No, sir.
Q. Have you ever heard that name?
A. I don’t remember that I did. I don’t remember.
Q. You do know and currently work for, in fact, Mr. Benny Binion, is that correct?
A. Yes, sir, I know Mr. Benny Binion. I work for him now.
Q. When did you first meet Mr. Binion?
A. It was out here, I guess. I don’t remember what year. It was 20, 25 years ago, I guess, 20 or 25. I don’t remember.
Q. When you say “out here,” do you mean Las Vegas?
A. Las Vegas, yes, sir.
Q. At that time you were living in the City of Dallas?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. How did you first meet Mr. Binion in Las Vegas?
A. I don’t remember. He is in business. I guess I maybe visited, someone introduced us, I guess. I don’t know.
Q. Was he living in Las Vegas at that time?
A. Benny Binion; yes, sir, he had a place of business.
Q. And you were here on—
A. (interrupting) Visiting.
Q. Did you maintain contact with Mr. Binion after you returned to Dallas?
A. No, sir.
Q. When did you next see Mr. Binion?
A. I don’t know. I came out here quite often.
Q. When you first moved to Las Vegas, did you immediately go to work for Mr. Binion?
A. No, sir.
Q. Who did you first work for in Las Vegas?
A. Johnie Lane in a racing sports club. The name of it was the paddock Racing Sports Club, on First Street.
Q. How long did you work there?
A. Three and a half years.
Q. Who did you work for after that time?
A. Benny Binion.
Q. Have you maintained contact with Mr. Lewis McWillie in Las Vegas?
A. No, sir.
Q. When was the last time you spoke to Mr. McWillie?
A. Well, he worked at the Horseshoe for a while. I believe that is the last time that I’ve seen him.
Q. What time period was that that he worked there?
A. Let’s see, I guess he has been gone away from there over a year ago, I suppose. He was working there when—we were working the same place together. I saw him then. I don’t recall seeing him any since then.
Q. While you were in Cuba did you ever have any business dealings with Mr. McWillie?
A. No, sir.
Q. Subsequent to your return from Cuba and his return from Cuba, did you ever have any business dealings with him?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did Mr. McWillie ever discuss Jack Ruby with you?
A. No, sir.
Matthews simply answered the questions and withheld obvious true answers from the investigators.
Writer Penn Jones made the comment, “Other recent disclosures suggest that in seeking to recruit operatives to participate in killing foreign leaders (particularly Castro), the CIA’s contacts may have reached the Dallas underworld—including close associates of Jack Ruby and, possibly, right-wing oil baron H.L. Hunt.” (7)
Jones further reports, “Alonzo (Lonnie) Hudkins, was a name long familiar to students of the John Kennedy assassination. A reporter for the Houston Post in 1963, Hudkins has been the subject of much controversy, particularly in regard to rumors and allegations that accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald might have been an informer for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
In an article by Mr. O’Toole: he writes about an interview he and writer Ron Rosenbaum had with Hudkins two years ago, in which Hudkins disclosed that in addition to his reportorial duties, he has in the past also dabbled in two other fields: petroleum engineering and assassination plots. (He also admitted to being involved in trying to smuggle a large shipment of arms into Cuba shortly before the ill-fated 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion). Hudkins told O’Toole and Rosenbaum that he sometimes worked in engineering positions for oil companies and that while in the employ of the Dallas-based H.L. Hunt Oil Company, he was recruited as a member of a CIA contract assassination team assigned to kill Castro and Cheddi Jagan of Guiana. However, like his various explanations for the origin of the Oswald/FBI rumor, Hudkins has told several contradictory versions of his purported involvement in the assassination plots. For example, Hudkins indicated to O’Toole and Rosenbaum that the CIA recruited him while he was employed as an engineer for Hunt Oil; but in 1967 he told Warren Report critic Shirley Martin of Oklahoma that while he was employed as a public relations man for the oil company, Hunt himself personally approached him about going to Mexico to help kill either Castro or Jagan. Then, last month in a lengthy telephone interview with Larry Harris, Hudkins said the plots originated in 1961, before he worked for Hunt—as the eccentric billionaire’s personal assistant flunky.” We have not been able to verify that Hudkins has worked—in whatever capacity—for Hunt or the Hunt Oil Company.(8)
In discussing the Castro/Jagan plots, Hudkins told Harris there was much he could not disclose. He did say that he was approached about the operation by “one of the hot-shot people from Washington.” When asked why the CIA would want his assistance in such an operation, Hudkins replied that he had had friends in the Agency since the 1950s and had “had dealings with Chem on other things and hadn’t blown any whistles.”
(7)The Continuing Inquiry 1978
(8)Following the interview with Hudkins, Barrie went to the Hunt Oil Company office and talked with James C. Oberwetter, spokesman for the Estate of H.L. Hunt. As Harris outlined Hudkins’ story, Oberwecter questioned him carefully and made notes. He said he did not recall ever hearing Hudkins’ name, but promised he would check personnel files if Harris would prepare a letter containing a summary of Hudkins’ allegations. Harris complied, but in a letter of reply, Oberwerter denied that he had ever spoken with Harris about such allegations. Pointing out that in his letter, Harris had questioned Hudkins’ credibility, the spokesman skirted the issue of Hudkins’ story and purported employment by Hunt. “Any comments we would make,” he wrote, “could be totally misunderstood” and “we will have nothing to say on the matter.” Oberwetcer closed his letter by adding, “We are growing very weary of responding to these allegations. Lately we have noticed that most of them are coming from writers and publishers who are crying to sell books and magazines and so we’ll have to leave it at that.”

But he said plans to assassinate the two leaders never progressed beyond the discussion stage. He and two other individuals recruited for the operation agreed that trying to hit Castro would be too dangerous. They felt it extremely unlikely that they could take Castro’s life and escape with their own. As for the attempt against Jagan, Hudkins told O’Toole and Rosenbaum that the White House got cold feet and called off the plans; but he told Harris that the three men simply decided there was no discernible reason or purpose for killing Jagan. He admitted that they certainly would have killed Castro had they been able to devise a safe way to do it and that killing the bearded premier would not have bothered Hudkins “one iota.”
Hudkins got a story to Attorney General Waggoner Carr that Oswald was linked to the FBI and the CIA. Hudkins claimed that Oswald had been paid $200 a month and that he had an identification number of 179. Carr passed this information to Warren Commission investigator Rankin. Rankin then ordered a secret meeting of the Warren Commission to look into these allegations. They finally turned to J. Edgar Hoover to settle the end to the rumor with Hoover responding, “[t]here was nothing to it.” (9) The statement by Dulles is incredible. He is trying to cover up information about Oswald that could help prove that he was directly working with the government and collaborate the statement from Oswald himself that he was a “patsy.”

(9) Robert Anson, They’ve Killed the President, 1975
Hudkins is an outspoken proponent of the “Castro-did-it” theory in the Kennedy assassination. He has frankly admitted promoting the idea of Castro’s involvement in order to tinder recent U.S. diplomatic overtures toward Cuba. Along with Hudkins, two other men supposedly were asked to take part in the plots. In 1967, Hudkins revealed the identity of one of them to Ms. Martin. That man’s name is Russell Douglas Matthews, 56, formerly of Dallas and now residing in Las Vegas. Who is R.D. Matthews? In a December 1963 FBI report he was named as a close associate of Jack Ruby and is referred to as a “strong-arm man.” Hudkins calls him a “small-time gambler, sort of a soldier of fortune.” In 1961, Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry termed him “an undesirable citizen.” His Dallas attorney says that at one time Matthews was “a local godfather” and “probably the closest thing to the Mafia that we’ve ever seen in this town.” Matthews had known Ruby for 12 years prior to the Kennedy assassination. Warren Commission Exhibit 2303 shows that Ruby placed a 13-minute phone call to Matthews’ wife three weeks before JFK visited Dallas. (10) A reliable source who knew Matthews well told Gary Shaw that another Matthew’s crony and gambling companion was Hudkins’ purported one-time employer, the late Mr. Hunt. (It will be recalled that Jack Ruby visited the Hunt offices on November 21, 1963).

[10] Matthews has said that he was in Acapulco on November 22, 1963. There is an uncorroborated report from a source of perhaps questionable credibility who claims to have been present with both Matthews and Ruby when the President was shot. The source told Gary Shaw and Penn Jones that he and Matthews were playing cards in a downtown Dallas office when Ruby entered and said, “Come on, let’s go watch the fireworks.” The three men supposedly walked several blocks to Dealey Plaza and observed the motorcade and assassination from the southwest corner of Houston and Commerce streets. After the shots, the source said Ruby silently walked away south on Houston Street toward the Dallas Morning News Building, when the Warren Commission (Report, p. 334) placed him at the time of the assassination.
Hudkins explained to Harris why the CIA approached Matthews with the idea of killing Castro: “The reason they wanted him was that he knew Castro. He had fought with Castro down in Cuba and apparently under the belief that Castro would set him up with a casino or two there in Havana. And then as soon as Castro got power, Castro closed down all the casinos. So R.D., bitter, folded up his tent and left.” Hudkins maintains that Matthews is “an innocent party” in the plots because he adamantly refused to participate. Matthews, according to Hudkins, is “too nice a person to get caught up in that crap.”
Our files on Matthews suggest otherwise. A glance at Matthews’ rap sheet shows why Jesse Curry considered the one-time member of the notorious Lois Green Gang “an undesirable citizen.” His career in crime dates from at least 1949 and includes arrests for just about everything—including burglary, possession of cocaine, illegal bookmaking and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle. He served two years in Leavenworth for possession of marijuana and has been questioned frequently by police in robbery, burglary, and murder investigations.
In 1970, Matthews filed a suit seeking to declare Texas and Dallas vagrancy laws unconstitutional and to enjoin local law authorities from arresting him. According to the Dallas Morning News (2-26-70), he was jailed 57 times for vagrancy in 1968 and 1969. The suit was dismissed in 1972 and Matthews moved to Nevada. Harris conferred with Matthews’ attorney, a very prominent Dallas criminal lawyer, to see if Matthews would confirm the Hudkins story. The attorney indicated that his client is a very reticent man who is zealous about his privacy and is “allergic” to reporters or publicity of any kind. Pointing out that Matthews is both impatient and short-tempered, the attorney went on to suggest that it would be wise not to disturb him. However, after being told of the nature of Hudkins’ allegations, the lawyer agreed to contact Matthews and get his reaction.
Subsequently, Matthews said he does not remember or recognize Hudkins’ name and “very emphatically” (the attorney’s terminology) denies that anyone ever approached him about assassinating Castro. Perhaps seeking to dissuade Harris from trying to personally contact Matthews, the attorney related an incident in which his client once snarled at a television cameraman and threatened to kick his teeth in if he filmed Matthews leaving a federal court. That Matthews is not a man to be trifled with is apparent in a story told to Cary Shaw by a one-time Matthews associate. According to the account, Matthews and some friends were in a Dallas lounge listening to a female vocalist. While she was singing Matthews’ favorite song, a male patron at a nearby table annoyed Matthews by talking too loud. He told the man to be quiet. When the man continued to converse in a loud voice, Matthews produced a pistol and fired a shot only inches above the offending patron’s head.
The Committee also concentrated its attention on Santos Trafficante, the La Cosa Nostra leader in Florida. The Committee found that Trafficante, like Carlos Marcello, had the motive, means, and opportunity to assassinate President Kennedy. Trafficante was a key subject of the Justice Department crackdown on organized crime during the Kennedy administration with his name being added to a list of the top ten Syndicate leaders targeted for investigation. Ironically, Attorney General Kennedy’s strong interest in having Trafficante prosecuted occurred during the same period in which CIA officials, unbeknownst to the Attorney General, were using Trafficante’s services in assassination plots against the Cuban chief of state, Fidel Castro. (1)
The Committee found that Santos Trafficante’s stature in the national Syndicate of organized crime, notably the violent narcotics trade and his role as the Mob’s chief liaison to criminal figures within the Cuban exile community, provided him with the capability of formulating an assassination conspiracy against President Kennedy. Trafficante had recruited Cuban nationals to help plan and execute the CIA’s assignment to assassinate Castro. (The CIA gave the assignment to former FBI Agent Robert Maheu, who passed the contract along to Mafia figures, Sam Giancana and John Rosselli. They, in turn, enlisted Trafficante to have the intended assassination carried out.)

[1] House Assassination Committee
In his testimony before the Committee, Trafficante admitted participating in the unsuccessful CIA conspiracy to assassinate Castro—an admission indicating his willingness to participate in political murder. Trafficante testified that he worked with the CIA out of a patriotic feeling for his country, an explanation the Committee did not accept— at least not as his sole motivation.
As noted, the Committee established a possible connection between Trafficante and Jack Ruby in Cuba in 1959. It determined there had been a close friendship between Ruby and Lewis McWillie who, as a Havana gambler, worked in an area subject to the control of the Trafficante Mafia family. Further, it assembled documentary evidence that Ruby made at least two, if not three or more trips to Havana in 1959 when McWillie was involved in underworld gambling operations there. In fact, Ruby may have been serving as a courier for underworld gambling interests in Havana, probably for the purpose of transporting funds to a bank in Miami. The Committee also found that Ruby had been connected with other Trafficante associates— R.D. Matthews, Jack Todd, and James Dolan, all of Dallas. (1)The C.I.A. could have easily provided the disinformation to the Committee that Trafficante had the “capability of formulating an assassination conspiracy against President Kennedy.”
As the different concepts and theories are examined, it is important to realize that in its deceptive methods, the CIA could have easily put out a false story to put the blame on the Mafia and the Cubans; however, the CIA could have easily recruited the Dallas Mob to handle the job of eliminating witnesses in the Kennedy investigation. (2)
Cui Bono? (Who benefits?)

[1] Ibid

[1] 5. Cover: planning should include provision for blaming Sovs or Czechs in case of blow … organization criminals, those with record of arrests, those who have engaged in several types of crime. Corsicans recommended. Sicilians could lead to Mafia. Stockton, Bayard (2006-11-30). Flawed Patriot: The Rise and Fall of CIA Legend Bill Harvey (pp. 156-157). Potomac Books. Kindle Edition.


Russell Douglas Matthews
The Understatment of the Year:
http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dallasmorningnews/obituary.aspx?n=rd-russell-d-matthews&pid=165942208 – fbLoggedOut

Matthews, RD (Russell D.) 92, A WWII, 2nd Marine Division, veteran, who was awarded The Navy Cross and The Purple Heart. RD will be missed by his wife of 40 years, Linda, daughter, Peggy and grandsons.

(1054) Russell Douglas Matthews was born on July 26, 1920, inAspermont, Tex. When he was 7, he moved to Dallas. (1522) He served in the Marine Corps from December 1941 to October 1945. (1523)

After leaving the Marines, Matthews returned to Dallas, where he remained until 1958. From July 1958 to January 1959, he resided in Havana, Cuba ; he was also there from the middle of 1959 to November 1959. (1524) Ile returned to Dallas and remained there until January 1971. In the early 1960’x, Matthews resided inIrving, Tex. (1525)

According to FBI reports, Mrs. Donna Sue Helton, a known prostitute, also resided at his Irving address. (1526) FBI reports in 1967 and 1968 list Matthews’ address as 4509 Southern Avenue, Dallas. (1527)

In 1971, Matthews moved to Las Vegas and, as of 1978, was residing there. (1528)

(1055) There is very little information regarding Matthews’ employment prior to 1958 when he traveled to Cuba. In his deposition, he stated he could not remember the jobs lie had had in Dallas . (1529) Matthews said, “I have been in business by myself most of my life.”

(1530) He did not elaborate on this statement except to note that he had never been employed in a club in Dallas. (1531) Later in the deposition, Matthews stated he was in the bail bond business inDallas before moving to Cuba. (1532)

(1056) Matthews said that he owned two bars in Cuba. One was in the lobby- of the Plaza Hotel, the other on Henio Street; it was called the Sportsman’s Club. (1533) He had purchased the Sportsman’s Club from a Cuban in 1958.(1534) He acquired the other bar after Castro came to power, in the early part of 1959.(1535) Matthews stated that while in Cuba, he resided “for a while” in the Deauville Hotel. (1536)

In two separate FBI interviews, he stated he worked in the gambling casinos at the Hotel Deauville. (1537)

(1057) After his return from Cuba, the record again is vague regarding his employment. A 1960 11’B1 report states that Matthews was operating a bail bond and loan company on Record Street in Dallas. (1538) On September 22, 1961, the FBI was advised that Matthews was residing in an apartment at 3918 Travis Street . Clayton Fowler owned the apartment house. Matthews was allegedly employed as a bondsman for Fowler . (1539)

(1058) A 1962 FBI report states that during 1960, Matthews was employed as a “bouncer” at the New Orleans Room, owned by Joe Slatin. (1540) The informant believed, however, that Matthews would not actually work in the Orleans Room but had arranged an agreement with Slatin so he could be downtown without being arrested for
vagrancy. (1541) In his deposition, Matthews admitted knowing Slatin. (1542)

(1059) Two 1963 FBI reports state that Matthews was thought to be part owner or manager of the Redman Club in Dallas. (1543)

Another FBI report indicates that Matthews frequented the Redman Club. (1544) The club was reportedly being used by its members and proprietor for gambling activities, specifically high stake poker games. (1545) In his deposition, Matthews indicated he had heard of the Redman Club and described it as a “social club for members only.” (1546) He stated, “They might have had some friendly poker games occasionally between the members. It was not a gambling club.” (1547) Matthews did not state that he had any interest in this establishment.

(1060) A 1967 FBI report notes that by all indications, Matthews was manager of the Skynight Club in Dallas. (1548) The report states that in 1966, for a short period, Matthews operated the Skynight Club.

In his deposition, Matthews admitted having heard of it . (1549) (1061) After Matthews moved to Las Vegas, he obtained a work permit from the Las Vegas police department on January 26, 1971, to work at the Paddock Racing Sports Club for Johnnie Lane. (1550)

He worked at this club for 31/2 years. (15.51) In 1978, Matthews was employed by Benny Binion at the Horseshoe Club in Las Vegas. (1552)

Treatment by the Warren Commission

(1062) The FBI interviewed both Matthews and his ex-wife, Elizabeth Ann Matthews, nee Elizabeth Ann Hedlund, a Dallasprostitute.

(1553) The Warren Commission conducted no further investigation of Matthews.

Legal Activities

(1069) Matthews’ only apparent legitimate vocation and source of income was the management of bars, clubs and restaurants. He also was allegedly involved in the bail bond business. (1570) Based on his numerous arrests, (1571) financial ventures in Cubaand relatively recent move to Las Vegas, Matthews with her ex-husband or of his involvement in criminal activity.

Matthews stated in his deposition that he could not remember exactly when he was divorced, but it was right about the time of the assassination or in the late 1950’s (1569) Elizabeth Ann Matthews presumably may have had additional information regarding Matthews’ activities in Dallas and Cuba during the 1950’s.

Illegal Activities

(1071) Matthews had been actively engaged in criminal activity since the 1940’s. He was described in one FBI report as a burglar, armed robber, narcotics pusher and murderer. (1574) Another described him as armed and dangerous, stating that he had been known to carry firearms and to use explosives in the past. (1575) Among other violations,

Matthews was arrested in 1949 in Cleburne, Tex., for burglary ; he was arrested and convicted in 1950 for violating the Federal Narcotics Act ; in 1966 he was arrested in Oklahoma City for possession of a concealed weapon ; and he was arrested in 1967 in Garland, Tex., for bookmaking ; in 1976, he pled guilty in Las Vegas to a violation of the
Wagering Act. (1576)

(1072) Hollis de Lois Green gang.-An FBI report stated that subsequent to World War II in 1948, Matthews joined up with surviving members of the Hollis de Lois Green gang. This gang specialized in burglaries of pharmaceutical houses and large drugstores for narcotics and cash. (1577)

(1073) In 1959, Sheriff Decker reported that past associates of Matthews are “underworld characters” Hollis de Lois Green, Jettie Bass, Nick Cascio, James Robert Todd and Angelo Thomas Casten.

(1578) In his deposition, Matthews admitted knowing James Robert Todd. (1579) He described Todd as an acquaintance from 25 years ago who, to his knowledge, was not involved in gambling activities or safecracking. (1580)

(1074) There is also evidence that Matthews was associated with
Angelo Thomas Casten. (1581) (1075) In a 1963 FBI report, Matthews is included among a group of people considered the higher echelon in Dallas bookmaking.
(1582) A 1964 report states that Matthews was known to have been involved in bookmaking activities in the Dallas area following his management of a private club which catered to small-stake poker games. (1583) Matthews was described by three informants as “a strongarm man for the collection of gambling debts, hired by Dallas bookmakers John Eli Stone and Isadore Max Miller.”(1584) The same report(1585) lists three separate groups of bookmakers who could be considered the major operations in the Dallas area. (1586)

One was composed of John Eli Stone, Isadore Max Miller and James Woodrow Stone.(1587) It was reported that on March 9, 1964, John Eli Stone and Matthews left Dallas together, via Delta Airlines, for Las Vegas. (1588) This report also states that Matthews was considered as one of the less significant Dallasbookmakers. (1589) A 1967 FBI report states that Matthews was currently operating a booking operation in Garland, Tex. (1590) Matthews also was arrested several tunes for bookmaking activities. (1591)

(1476) In his deposition, Matthews admitted knowing John Eli Stone for 30 years, but said he had no business dealings with him. (1592) He did not recall taking a trip with Stone from Dallas to Las Vegas. (1593) Matthews did admit knowing Max Miller and
described him as an “old acquaintance .”(1594) Matthews stated he never saw Miller involved in any gambling activities . (1595) A 1973 application for a wiretap listed Isadore Dlax Miller and John Eii Stone, along with R. D. Matthews, as allegedly being involved in illegal gambling activities. (1596)

(1077) A 1964 FBI report states that James Henry Dolan and R. D. Matthews were “notorious hoodlums.”(1597) Dolan was described an informant as a strong-arm man who had been employed by Santos Trafficante, Jr., a leading Florida organized crime leader .

(1598) Dolan was also described as a strong-arm man employed by John Eli Stone and Isadore Max Miller to collect gambling debts. 1599) A 1962 FBI report states that Matthews was a Dallashoodlum who visited Dolan regularly. In his deposition, Matthews admitted knowing Dolan, but said it was only a casual relationship. (1800)

(1078) The FBI files indicate that Matthews had been the subject of investigation by the Dallas FBI office over a period of years, going back to 1963 for possible violation of the antiracketeering statutes and more recently the Federal gambling statutes. (1801)

The record does not make clear whether these investigations led to an arrest or conviction. They probably at least contributed to Matthews’ arrest in 1966 for failure to pay for a gambling tax stamp and his guilty plea in 1976 for violation of title 18, U.S .C. section 1084

(1079) In 1973, an FBI airtel from Dallas reported that an application had been made for an order authorizing a wiretap of Matthews, along with several others. (1803) This application stated that there was probable cause to believe Matthews was involved in illegal gambling business . Again, it was not clear whether the wiretap led to an arrest or conviction, although Matthews was arrested in 1975 and 1976 on gambling charges. (1804)

(1080) On December 13, 1960, Matthews was observed by theDallas criminal intelligence section. He was seen at the New Orleans Room, 1513 Commerce Street, Dallas, in conversation with its owner and operator, Joe Slatin. This report also states that Matthews was then employed at the New Orleans Room as a “bouncer.”

(1081) On January 29, 1961, Matthews was arrested on a vagrancy charge at the Parkering Motel in Dallas. The police ascertained that James Robert Todd had been at the motel with Matthews just prior to the arrest. (1806) In March 1960, Matthews was seen in the company of Jack Todd at Fitzgerald’s Bar in Dallas. (1807)

Organized Crime Connections

(1082) A 1976 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) report states that in 1946 cr 1947, Joe and Sam Campisi bought the Idle Hour Bar in Dallas and were known to be associated with Joe Civello and Russell Matthews. (1808) This report also states that
Mendosa and Gonzales in Havana. The informant stated that it was apparent Matthews and Lewis were partners or affiliated in theDallas rackets, and that Matthews had worked a big-time gambling house in Havana. (1625)

(1089) In his deposition, Matthews admitted knowing Sam Paxton and described him as an acquaintance. (1626) He did not know if Paxton was associated with Trafficante.
(1090) In 1978, Matthews was employed by Benny Binion, who operated the Benny Binion Horseshoe Club in Las Vegas. During the late 1930’s and the 1940’s, Binion had been involved in illegal gambling activities in the Dallas area . He had admitted killing two individuals during this period. (1627) Matthews stated that he had known Binion
for 20 or 25 years, (1628) but that he had never had any business dealings with hire aside from his current employment. (1629)

(1091) Matthews admitted knowing Lewis J. McWillie prior to his trip to Cuba. McWillie had been associated with a club in Dallasprior to going there. In Cuba, McWillie was employed as a pit boss at the Tropicana Casino. In 1978, McWillie was living in Las Vegas.

Matthews originally stated he had never met McWillie in Cuba, but later indicated he might have “just run into him.”(1630) He claimed he had not maintained contact with McWillie and had lead no business dealings with him. (1631) (1092) When asked if there had been a crackdown on gambling activities in 1947 in Dallas, Matthews responded I suppose there mig’it have been. I wasn’t involved in it so I don’t know, but I have heard this, yes, that they had an election and there might have been something going on before that that was no longer allowed. I have heard this, yes. (1632)
(1093) When Matthews was questioned about gambling in Dallas from 1960 to 1963, lie responded that he was not aware of any gambling or drug trafficking in Dallas in that period. (1633) He also stated he was not aware of any gun smuggling or narcotics trade with Cuba or Mexico. (1634)

Relationship With, Ruby

(1094) In interviews of Ruby associates after the Oswald shooting, Matthews was cited as a friend and associate of Ruby. (1635) In an FBI interview, dated December 15, 1963, Matthews stated he had known Ruby for about 12 years and probably met him through Ruby’s operation of the Vegas Club. (1636) He characterized Ruby as a “passing acquaintance.” (1637) On October 3, 1963, a long-distance telephone call of 13 minutes was made from the Carousel Club to Matthews’ ex-wife . (1638) Elizabeth Ann Matthews could not recall receiving the call. (16.19)

(1095) When asked when he first met Ruby, Matthews replied I can’t really tell you that. I don’t know him that well. I don’t really know how to answer that. I can’t answer that. I
don’t know. How I really met him, I don’t know. (1640)

Matthews later guessed that he met Ruby in the late 1950’s. (1641) He did not recall ever meeting with Ruby. (1642) He stated, “I knew him to speak to him on the street but. I don’t remember ever hating any meetings with him.”(1613) When asked what was the nature of his interaction with Ruby, Matthews responded Nothing. He was a man that was well-known around on the streets of Dallas . If you pass by him on the street he’s liable
to introduce himself to you, so if I’d pass him I’d say hello. I don’t know what else to tell you. (1611)

(1096) Matthews did not recall the names of Ruby’s clubs and stated lie could not remember ever being in any club owned by Ruby. (1615) Matthews could not state when he had last seen Ruby. (1616) He maintained he did not see Ruby in Cuba. (16117)
Associates Known by Both, (1097) Matthews admitted being acquainted with James Robert Todd for 25 years. (1618) Todd’s phone number was found in Ruby’s
automobile. Todd had admitted knowing Ruby for about 10 or 12 years. (16’1,0) Todd was also associated with the de Lois Green Gang.

(1098) A 1958 DEA report suggests that R. D. Matthews and Juanita Phillips (aka Candy Barr) were involved in drug traffickiug.(1650) The report states that Matthews served 2 years for possession of cocaine. (1651) In 1957, Phillips was sentenced to 15 years for
possession of marijuana, and at the time of the report was out on an appeal bond.(1662) Ruby was also associated with Phillips. OnNovember 13, 1963, a call was made from the Carousel Club to Phillips; it lasted 14 minutes.(1653) One FBI report states that in 1956 Ruby had had a girl friend named Candy Barr. (1651.) Another FBI report states that Ruby approached a pilot for the Texas Department of Corrections regarding assistance in obtaining an early parole for Candy Barr. (1655) Matthews admitted knowing Joe Campisi. (1656) Ruby also knew Campisi. On Friday, November 29, 1963, Campisi was advised that Ruby wanted to see him. (1657) Campisi visited Ruby in jail on November 30, 1963.(1658) He stated that his last contact with Ruby had been the Thursday before Thanksgiving, when Ruby came into the Egyptian Lounge. (1650) Matthews also allegedly frequented the Egyptian Lounge. (1660)

(1099) Matthews also admitted knowing McWillie. Ruby, too, was associated with McWillie. In 1959, McWillie had invited Ruby to visit him in Cuba. (1661) Ruby did subsequently visit McWillie inCuba. (1662)

(1100) Matthews admitted knowing Joe Slatin but did not know if Ruby knew Slatin .(1663) One FBI report states that Slatin may have employed Aatthews as a bouncer in his club .(1661) Ruby had also been associated with Slatin in the formation of the Sovereign Club.( 1665) They, were, in fact, partners in the S & R Corp. during the early part of 1960. (1666)

Other Infonnation

(1101) On June 6, 1964, Earl Manchester, an employee in the Service Department for Braniff Airways, Newark Airport, discovered a letter in a Braniff plane. It was typewritten, datedMay 22, 1964, to “Don Jansen” from “S. Martin.” Within the letter, the following passage, attributed solely to a “Texas reporter,” appeared in quotations:
For God’s sake, don’t tell the FBI, but back about February (1963) when I was working for H. L. Hunt, some very prominent Texas men, R. D. Matthews, and I discussed the
possibility of doing away with Cheddie [sic] Jagan or Castro or both. Not by the U.S. Government, you understand, but on a private basis. Hunt said we could have all the cash we needed, the others were in it, too, on a cash basis. We were going to get Castro sometime when he (Castro) went to Mexico. Understand now, we dropped it. R. D. didn’t go for it.

Meanwhile, we understood there was a group in Florida with the same idea. Also, the Govermnent knew all about it. (1667)

(1102) Lonnie Hudkins, a reporter for the Houston Post in 1963, allegedly told Shirley Martin, a Warren Report critic, that while he was employed as a public relations man for Hunt Oil Co., Hunt personally approached him about going to Mexico to help kill either Castro or Cheddi Jagan, former Prime Minister of Guyana. (1665) According to Hudkins, the project never went forward because he and two other individuals believed the operation was dangerous. (1669) In 1967, Hudkins revealed the identity of one of the other participants to be R. D. Matthews. (1670)

(1103) In his deposition, Matthews denied being present at any meeting where the possibility of killing Castro was discussed. (1671) He stated he had never heard people discussing the assassination of Castro. (1672) Matthews did admit hearing the name of H. L. Hunt. (1673)

(1104) Deposition taken by the House Select Committee on Assassinations

Some more about R.D. Matthews


How Castro Double Crossed the Syndicate



Dan Rowan (Laugh-In) Phyllis McGuire, Bob Maheu and the bug.

In the early 1960s there was a small love link between the comedian, Dan Rowan of Laugh-In fame and singer Phyllis McGuire which led to a conflict between Sam Giancana and Rowan. I knew who would win this issue.

This story was leaked from the  Sheriff’s office about a wire-tapping incident at the Riviera Hotel wherein Rowan’s room was put under surveillance because of Giancana’s fear that Phyllis may have been a little too friendly with Rowan. I also found out that Rowan was roughed up a bit as a warning to stay clear of Phyllis.

Sam Giancana was a very close friend of Johnny Rosselli’s and Sam was hot and heavy with Phyllis. Sam had heard that the comedian Dan Rowan, from Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In, was courting Phyllis. The idea sprung up that Sam could find out for sure if this rumor was true by bugging Dan Rowan’s room in the Riviera Hotel. The initial idea could have been Giancana’s, but I don’t think so—probably Johnny’s. Remember, this was around 1960.

Here’s what happened. The Clark County Sheriff’s office arrested Arthur Balletti on October 31, 1960 for bugging the phone set in Dan Rowan’s room at the Riviera Hotel. A hotel manager stumbled upon the suspicious-looking equipment in Balletti’s room. The reason why a hotel manager was in the room is unusual. I suspect that it might have been a set-up. A search of Balletti’s room reflected notes of dates and times of the recording times Balletti had written down about Rowan’s voice conversations. There was also a suitcase full of electronic devices, including transmitters, receivers, wall plugs, a minifon wire recorder and a set of 17 professional type lock picks.

On Balletti’s arrival at the county jail, he admitted that he had been hired by Investigations Incorporated of Miami, Florida, a company owned by former FBI agent Edward DuBois, and that the company had a client who wanted information on Rowan’s private life. Balletti admitted listening to and recording Rowan’s telephone conversations since October 25, 1960. According to Balletti, Fred T. Harris, an investigator, had entered Rowan’s room and installed the listening device. Rowan was advised of what happened; however, on November 1, signed a release stating that all charges against Balletti be dropped. I have a source that says Rowan was threatened and roughed up by an unidentified individual which caused Rowan to drop all charges.

This leads me to think about how many other taps were placed on individuals in Las Vegas and elsewhere when vital information was needed by whomever. If Giancana and Rosselli could get the CIA operatives to bug Rowan’s telephone, it’s a very good bet that they might have bugged the operators of the Desert Inn’s offices as well. Giancana and the Chicago Outfit would then know many inside tales that were valuable to their modus operandi. How much conversation about the casino skim did they overhear? They could know the answers to questions before asking. The way the room was bugged is even more interesting. It was a full crew of operatives, much like the Watergate burglars, but there’s more.

Maheu instructed T.W. Richardson, a manager at the New Frontier, to pay a gentleman $1,000 who would tell him a password. This $1,000 was a retainer to Balletti for the room surveillance. What I find strange here is how Maheu involved a completely uninvolved casino employee in the scheme and made it mysterious by using a password. Why would he handle the payment of $1,000 by using a password? Wouldn’t this make Richardson suspicious of the payment? All Maheu had to do was tell Richardson, ‘I want you to give a guy whose name is Mr. Brown (or whatever the name) $1,000 for me.’ I will reimburse you when I see you.’ But he didn’t. I’ll always wonder why. Maybe this was common practice with Maheu and Richardson and there were other incidents of this type. How many other important players were bugged? This was old hat for Bob Maheu.

Many years later, in his own words, Maheu talked about an incident wherein Hughes was concerned about Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra. “Mr. Hughes was interested in rumors that were abounding to the fact that Ava Gardner, with whom he was very much interested at the time, was at Lake Tahoe and seeing Frank Sinatra, and wanted a surveillance placed on Ava Gardner. I hired a private eye, a former FBI agent in Reno, and gave him the assignment.”

Maheu was a really interesting man and came from the old school of policeman-ship and was a strong anti-communist—something I grew up learning about during the Cold War. Actions that Maheu took were from a patriotic loyalist’s sense of righteousness that dictated, “You had to do what you had to do” to keep our country free. A little surveillance was okay here and there if it was for the better good. He really explained Hughes’ zeal for surveillance in an interview for public radio. This small bit of information maybe tells us that through Hughes’ interest for the “need to know,” he may have been responsible for the latest listening mechanisms employed by the NSA and the CIA and every other intelligence gathering source in the U.S. (Note: Those from Burbank should know that Bob Maheu’s secretar,y Mrs. Ceil Nolan’s children went to school at St. Robert Bellarmine with me.)

Maheu: “I mean, in the case of Hughes, people seem to want to forget about the accomplishments. And I’m talking about the accomplishments in communications. Everyone thinks of Hughes as a movie mogul, a woman chaser. They don’t realize that when he flew around the world, when he set a record flying around the world, he was as proud of the fact that throughout that whole trip he was in constant communication. He was a communications buff. I mean, who soft landed the first vehicle on the moon? It was Hughes Aircraft. Imagine that many years ago we soft-landed a vehicle on the moon that sent messages back to earth upon command from earth, not once but twice. We marvel about our communications today in the world of space. Who set the first space vehicle synchronized to earth? The Early Bird, which was a Hughes Aircraft manufactured vehicle, we did that in the middle ‘60s when four-fifths of the world had been incapable of receiving instantaneous communications. You understand that better than I do at that time. But we don’t talk about these accomplishments. We don’t talk about the things, the helicopters, and the other accomplishments of this man. And I think it’s time that we do. And as long as I live, I’ll do my share in that world, I’ll tell you.”

There you have it in his own words. It really confirms in my mind that Howard Hughes was a full-fledged partner with the CIA and a good possibility that Bob Maheu was the go between.

Remember, later on Anthony Zerilli and Michael Polizzi’s room at the Frontier was invaded by Clark County Sheriff deputies. Was their room bugged by people that wanted to force them out of the Frontier as hidden owners? Was there a mole in our midst? I think so. It was not Bob Maheu who had anything to do with this because he wasn’t around the Frontier then, but rather a local team of FBI agents who had bugs everywhere in Las Vegas who alerted the local Sheriff about the inside business at the Frontier Hotel. I thought so much of Bob Maheu that I asked him to sit on the board of one of my public companies.

Another important point is that the bugging/password event took place in 1960 and Maheu knew T.W. Richardson. How did Maheu know him? Maheu did not have any control of the New Frontier Hotel which was later opened as the Frontier Hotel and I was a partner. Maheu was acting for Hughes when he bought the hotel in 1968.

FBI reports show that Maheu was doing work for Hughes about the same time Maheu recruited Rosselli to assassinate Castro. Did Rosselli know Richardson and suggested to Maheu he would be a good casino contact for payment? What was the past role of T.W. Richardson and Rosselli and/or Hughes? Very mind boggling.