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Tag: Robert Kennedy

Weekend Series on Crime History: Bobby vs. Hoff

Former Secret Service Agent Recalls the Day JFK Was Shot 50 Years Ago

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Clint Hill remembers running toward the back of the limousine where President John F. Kennedy was just shot.

Hill was a Secret Service agent who was in the motorcade surrounding the president and first lady on Nov. 22, 1963.

“I think about it every day,” Hill told a crowd Tuesday night at Bismarck State College, the Bismark Tribune reports. “It never goes away.”

Hill said he took off his suit jacket and covered the president’s body at the hospital so the first lady wouldn’t have to see the gruesome results.

Hill also had the unfortunate job of telling Robert Kennedy that his brother was dead.

“I didn’t want to tell him that his brother was dead,” Hill said.

“It’s as bad as it could get,” Hill remembers telling Robert Kennedy.

Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Dream’ Speech Prompted FBI to Launch Spying Campaign

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech inspired African Americans in 1963, the FBI was worrying aloud whether the civil rights leader was gaining too much influence and popularity, Bloomberg reports.

Two months after the speech, then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy approved a campaign to spy on King in an attempt to smear his reputation.

“The FBI’s program to destroy Dr. King as the leader of the civil rights movement entailed efforts to discredit him with churches, universities and the press,” read a 1976 U.S. Senate report nicknamed, “Church Committee.”

The urgency was clear, Bloomberg reported.

“Personally, I believe in the light of King’s powerful, demagogic speech” that “he stands head and shoulders over all other Negro leaders put together when it comes to influencing great masses,” said William Sullivan, head of the FBI’s domestic intelligence division during the King surveillance program. “We must mark him now, if we have not done so before, as the most dangerous Negro of the future in this Nation from the standpoint of communism, the Negro and national security.”

The campaign also included an investigation into “community influence on the Negro,” an Oct. 1, 1963 memo read.

“FBI officials viewed the speech as significantly increasing King’s national stature,” Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Garrow told Bloomberg. King was viewed as “measurably more ‘dangerous’ in the FBI’s view.

2nd shooter in Bobby Kennedy Assassination? Witness Swears YES

photo loriferber.com

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Robert F. Kennedy was shot dead in an L.A. hotel in 1968, just moments after winning California’s Democratic primary election. The facts beyond that may be in the air if “new” evidence of a second shooter is allowed in court for the first time, 44 years later.

The convicted lone gunman Sirhan Sirhan is appealing his life sentence on the grounds of new evidence, and currently awaits a U.S. District Court ruling which could see him released, re-tried or granted a hearing, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.

Sirhan was the only person ever arrested in the case, and this is the first time he has contested his single-shooter conviction. The U.K. Daily Mail reports that witness Nina Rhodes-Hughes, now 78, was a volunteer on Kennedy’s campaign at the time and is adamant that she heard 12-14 shots, many more than the max 8 Sirhan could have fired with his small-caliber handgun.

Sirhan’s lawyer William Pepper called the alleged FBI alteration of Rhodes-Hughes’ story ‘deplorable’ and ‘criminal’ and said it ‘mirrors the experience of other witnesses’. If granted, the hearing would illuminate Rhodes-Hughes’ and others’ eyewitness accounts which swear by more than 8 shots, as recorded in L.A. Police summaries but contradicted by FBI reports.

Justice Dept. Honors Robert Kennedy’s 50th Anniversary of Swearing in as Atty. Gen.

doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — On Friday, the Justice Department took pause to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s Swearing-in as  Attorney General in a building named after him.

With Kennedy’s widow Ethel and daughter Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in attendance, along with some other notables,  Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. delivered remarks.

“To Mrs. Kennedy and the Kennedy family, to our distinguished guests, to my colleagues, and to those who have served and supported our nation’s Department of Justice – it is my pleasure, and my great honor, to welcome you to the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building,” Holder said.

“Today, we come together to celebrate the achievements and enduring contributions of our nation’s 64th Attorney General – a man whose legacy continues to guide us, whose memory continues to touch us, and whose example continues to inspire us.”

Atty. Gen. Kennedy with staff/doj photo

“For me, it is a tremendous privilege to be joined by so many former Department leaders who have made this a truly historic reunion. With us, we have former Attorneys General, and a cadre of Assistant Attorneys General, First Assistants, Administrative Aides, line attorneys, and support staff who worked alongside Attorney General Kennedy – in the Criminal Division, the Lands Division, the Antitrust Division, the Tax Division, the Civil Rights Division, and the Attorney General’s Office, among other components.

“I can still remember sitting in the basement of my childhood home in Queens, watching – on our little black-and-white television – the inauguration of a young, charismatic new President. That was January 20th, 1961 – half a century ago. I was in the fourth grade. And I can still recall my mother’s enthusiasm, my father’s pride, and my own sense and certainty that something exciting – something important – was happening.

“The following day was marked by another historical moment, when Attorney General Robert Kennedy was sworn in and – after Justice Department guards initially turned him away for lack of an ID card – was finally shown to his office on the 5th floor of this building.

“That was January 21st, 1961.

doj photo

“Attorney General Kennedy championed the cause of the least among us – and made our nation more just, more fair, and more humane.

“The lessons of his life inspired my own decision, after finishing law school, to come to work in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division – just as Robert Kennedy did shortly after he graduated from law school.”

To see more photos click here.

To read text of Holder’s speech click here.

FBI Says Millionaire Supposedly Had Info on Sex Parties and Mentioned Kennedys, Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe

photo: jfk libary-facebook

photo: jfk library-facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 40-year-old multi-millionaire who had once been married to the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, reportedly had “considerable information” about sex parties at a New York Hotel  involving the Kennedys and some famous entertainers, according to a 1965 FBI file released Monday.

The July 1965 FBI file, part of a ream of files released Monday about the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, stated that millionaire Jacqueline Hammond had information about sex parties at the Hotel Carlyle in New York and “a number of persons participated at different times.’

frank-sinatra-frank-sinatras-gr-426390The document said among those mentioned: Robert Kennedy, John Kennedy, Teddy Kennedy, Sammy Davis Jr., Mr and Mrs. Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe.

The document said that Ogden was once married to Ogden Hammond, the one time ambassador to Spain.

marilyn monroeIt also mentioned that “she maintains a room at the Hotel Carlyle.”

Read files

Courtney Evans — FBI Liaison to Hoover and the Kennedys — Dies at Age 95

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A historic link to the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover and JFK and Robert Kennedy is gone.

Courtney A. Evans, 95, a high ranking FBI official who was a liaison between Hoover and the Kennedy’s, died last month of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Naples, Fla., the Washington Post reported.

The Post reported that the veteran FBI agent became friendly with the Kennedys in the 1950s and  became the bureau’s assistant director in the early 1960s.

“His job landed him in the middle of a power struggle between the autocratic Hoover and a new administration determined to rein in Hoover’s authority, said Athan G. Theoharis, a retired professor at Marquette University, who is a historian of the FBI’s Hoover years,” the Post reported.

“Evans found himself in this very difficult position,” Theoharis said, according to the Post.”He briefed the attorney general, but it wasn’t always clear that he fully informed the attorney general of FBI practices — and there was some indication that Kennedy was party to a ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ [attitude]. Even so, Evans became persona non grata in the bureau.”

He resigned from the FBI in 1964 and eventually was a founding partner in a D.C. law firm, the Post reported.

To read the full obituary click here.

Weekend Series on History: Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy vs. Jimmy Hoffa