The Chicago Syndicate: Johnny Roselli
The Mission Impossible Backpack

Showing posts with label Johnny Roselli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Johnny Roselli. Show all posts

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Rogues' Hall of Fame

Johnny Roselli was the mob's ambassador-without-portfolio, corrupting the film industry's unions in Hollywood and becoming the go-to guy in Las Vegas and Miami. After testifying before a Senate committee and emerging as a player in the mob's long-rumored involvement in JFK's assassination, his body washed up off Miami.Patriotic Skyscraper1

Meyer Lansky
was the mob's gambling czar and set up casinos in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Hot Springs, Ark., New Orleans, Las Vegas, Florida and Cuba. Refused citizenship in Israel, he retired to Miami. Immortalized by actor Lee Strasberg as Hyman Roth in "The Godfather II."

Vito Genovese sought to dethrone Lucky Luciano as capo di tutti capi; conspired to assassinate mob rival Frank Costello, leading to the ill-fated mob conference in Apalachin, N.Y., that put the Mafia under the eye of investigators. Died in federal prison after mob cohorts reportedly set him up on a heroin rap.

Paul Castellano, Gambino's heir, ran meat and poultry businesses and lived sumptuously in a Todt Hill, S.I., mansion known as "The White House." Dapper Don John Gotti supposedly orchestrated his Dec. 16, 1985, assassination outside a Manhattan steakhouse.

Frank Costello was a Tammany Hall fixer and diplomat whose gravel-voiced persona supposedly was the inspiration for Marlon Brando's Don Corleone in "The Godfather." Lived on Park Avenue and in Sands Point, L.I.; retired after Vito Genovese's failed assassination bid in May 1957.

Carmine Galante, a feared hit man and dope dealer, assumed the reins of the Bonanno crime family in the '70s; was gunned down at an Italian restaurant in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where his bullet-riddled body lay crumpled on the ground, a cigar still hanging from his mouth.

Mickey Cohen, head of Los Angeles gambling rackets, maintained a host of powerful friends, including Frank Sinatra - who once appealed to him to get mobster Johnny Stompanato to stop dating Ava Gardner. Depicted by Harvey Keitel in the 1991 film "Bugsy" and by Paul Guilfoyle in 1997's "L.A. Confidential."

Carlo Gambino infiltrated the garment industry while heading the country's largest and most powerful mob family, yet managed to avoid the limelight - and the scrutiny of cops - by living quietly at 2230 Ocean Parkway in Gravesend, Brooklyn. Died of a heart attack in 1976.

James Ralph "Bottles" Capone was the lesser-known and benignly named brother of the Windy City's uber-gangster, Al "Scarface" Capone. Lived with a sister at Martha Lake, near Mercer, Wis., and was said to have had numerous arrests - but no felony convictions. He reputedly owned a vending machine business in western Chicago.

Charles "Lucky" Luciano, considered a visionary in mob history, helped engineer the five-family crime structure in New York City. Given 30 years for running brothels, he served only a decade behind bars, with the proviso that he be deported to Italy.

Thanks to Phillip Messing

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Police Sergeant Recalls Battles with Mobsters

Friends of ours: Joseph "Joey the Clown" Lombardo, Frankie "The German" Schweihs, Felix "Milwaukee Phil" Alderisio, Sam Giancana, Johnny Roselli, Jimmy Hoffa
Friends of mine: Richard Hauff

Among the observers paying close attention to the “Family Secrets” mob trial in Chicago is retired police officer John J. Flood who boasts about having one of the first law enforcement run-ins with two of the key defendants in the case.

“Joey Lombardo and Frankie Schweihs: in my lifetime and career as a police officer I have been fighting those guys in different matters of law enforcement over those years,” Flood told WBBM’s Steve Grzanich during a recent interview from his home in Las Vegas.

It is the first meeting with Lombardo and Schweihs that Flood remembers best back in 1964 when Sgt. Flood, with the Cook County Sheriff's Police, interrupted Schweihs and Lombardo and thwarted an attempted hit on mob associate Richard Hauff. “It was happening up on Mannheim Road and Lawrence Avenue at a hotel up there. I came upon it and almost got killed making the arrest,” Flood said.

That was back in the early days for Schweihs and Lombardo, before they hit police radar, said Flood. “I called into Chicago Intelligence and asked who is Frankie Schweihs and they didn’t know. I had to call a knowledgeable Chicago detective who told that’s Phil Alderisio’s bodyguard. He’s a bad guy. Find out who was in the car and who they were going to kill,” said Flood.

While the Family Secrets trial may close the books on 18 mob murders, Flood expects that other mysteries may go unsolved.

“The significant murders that Lombardo would know about would be the murders of Sam Giancana and Johnny Roselli. They were supposed to testify before the Church Commission on the assassination plot against Fidel Castro but they turned up dead. If Lombardo was talking, which I doubt he ever would because he lives by his code, he could tell you who killed (Jimmy) Hoffa and what happened.”

Will guilty verdicts mean the end of the Chicago outfit? "Someone will replace Lombardo. All you have to do is look at the fabric of the American system – corporate crime, white collar crime, organized crime. There is no way in the world organized crime people are going to be leaving gambling, going to be leaving pornography, the lending of money, prostitution – it is not going to happen,” Flood said.

According to Flood, the “Family Secrets” trial will likely be the final chapter for the likes of Lombardo and Schweihs. The retired police officer said the trial also brings to a close his own 40 year career as an organized crime fighter.

Flood is the founder of the Combined Counties Police Association, one of the most well-known and respected independent law enforcement unions ever formed in the United States. He is also one of the foremost experts on organized crime and an authority on the Chicago Outfit.

Thanks to Steve Grzanich

Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Mob Turns Down the CIA

The CIA released classified documents Wednesday admitting that the spy agency once recruited mafia hit man Johnny Roselli to try to kill Fidel Castro. However, the gangster turned the U.S. government down. The mob won't get in bed with just anybody.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

All American Mafioso: The Johnny Roselli

Friends of ours, Johnny Rosselli, Al Capone

Big news this week when the CIA released several internal reports known as the "family jewels". The plethora or reports brought out additional confirmation the Mob was hired by the CIA to kill Castro. Cheri Rohn, who co-wrote Thief! The Gutsy, True Story of an Ex-Con Artistwith Slick Hanner reminded me that this CIA material was spelled out in detail in the 1991 book, All American Mafioso: The Johnny Rosselli. It was written by Charles Rappleye and Ed Becker. Proving it is a small world, Ed Becker was the literay agent for Thief.

In All-American Mafioso, Rosselli, brought to this country from Italy as a child, was a key figure in organized crime for decades until he was murdered in 1976. Los Angeles freelance journalist Rappleye and private eye Becker trace the rise of this gangster who began his career working for Al Capone, moved to Hollywood at a time when the mob was making inroads into the film industry, switched his residence to Las Vegas when the first Cosa Nostra-financed casinos were built, and played a major role in the CIA's abortive attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. The book draws a deeply depressing picture of American life with its contention that many important figures in business and politics are beholden to the Mafia, including John Kennedy, who, the authors suggest, was killed by the mob.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mob Hired by CIA to Kill Castro

Friends of ours: Johnny Rosselli, Sam Giancana, Santo Trafficante

The CIA recruited a former FBI agent to approach two of America's most-wanted mobsters and gave them poison pills meant for Fidel Castro during his first year in power, according to newly declassified papers released Tuesday.

Contained amid hundreds of pages of CIA internal reports collectively known as ''the family jewels,'' the official confirmation of the 1960 plot against Castro was certain to be welcomed by communist authorities as more proof of their longstanding claims that the United States wants Castro dead.

Cuban Crafters CigarsCommunist officials say there have been more than 600 documented attempts to kill Castro over the decades. Now 80, Castro has not been seen in public since handing power to his younger brother Raul while recovering from intestinal surgery last July. But in a letter published on Monday, the elder Castro claimed without providing details that U.S. President George W. Bush had ''authorized and ordered'' his killing. And while Cuban government press officials didn't return a call seeking reaction Tuesday, the pending release of the newly declassified CIA documents had already been noted in state media.

''Upon the orders of the White House, the Central Intelligence Agency tried to assassinate President Fidel Castro and other former personalities and leaders,'' the Communist Party newspaper Granma said Saturday. ``What was already presumed and denounced will be corroborated.''

Other aborted U.S. attempts to kill Castro have been noted in other declassified documents.

The papers released Tuesday were part of a report prepared at the request of CIA Director James Schlesinger in 1973, who ordered senior agency officials to tell him of any current or past actions that could potentially violate the agency's charter.

Some details of the 1960 plot first surfaced in investigative reporter Jack Anderson's newspaper column in 1971.

The documents show that in August 1960, the CIA recruited ex-FBI agent Robert Maheu, then a top aide to Howard Hughes in Las Vegas, to approach mobster Johnny Roselli and pass himself off as the representative of international corporations that wanted Castro killed because of their lost gambling operations.

At the time, the bearded rebels had just outlawed gambling and destroyed the world-famous casinos American mobsters had operated in Havana. The Sopranos: 50 Count Cigar Humidor

Roselli introduced Maheu to ''Sam Gold'' and ''Joe.'' Both were mobsters on the U.S. government's 10-most wanted list: Momo Giancana, Al Capone's successor in Chicago; and Santos Trafficante, one of the most powerful mobsters in Batista's Cuba. The agency gave the reputed mobsters six poison pills, and they tried unsuccessfully for several months to have several people put them in Castro's food.

This particular assassination attempt was dropped after the failed CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961. The CIA was able to retrieve all the poison pills, records show.

Thanks to Anita Snow

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Did Bobby Kennedy Believe the Mob and Anti-Castro Backers Kill JFK?

One of the most intriguing mysteries about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, that darkest of American labyrinths, is why his brother Robert F. Kennedy apparently did nothing to investigate the crime. Bobby Kennedy was, after all, not just the attorney general of the United States at the time of the assassination -- he was his brother's devoted partner, the man who took on the administration's most grueling assignments, from civil rights to organized crime to Cuba, the hottest Cold War flash point of its day. But after the burst of gunfire in downtown Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, ended this unique partnership, Bobby Kennedy seemed lost in a fog of grief, refusing to discuss the assassination with the Warren Commission and telling friends he had no heart for an aggressive investigation. "What difference does it make?" he would say. "It won't bring him back." But Bobby Kennedy was a complex manBrothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, and his years in Washington had taught him to keep his own counsel and proceed in a subterranean fashion. What he said in public about Dallas was not the full story. Privately, RFK -- who had made his name in the 1950s as a relentless investigator of the underside of American power -- was consumed by the need to know the real story about his brother's assassination. This fire seized him on the afternoon of Nov. 22, as soon as FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover, a bitter political enemy, phoned to say -- almost with pleasure, thought Bobby -- that the president had been shot. And the question of who killed his brother continued to haunt Kennedy until the day he too was gunned down, on June 5, 1968.

Because of his proclivity for operating in secret, RFK did not leave behind a documentary record of his inquiries into his brother's assassination. But it is possible to retrace his investigative trail, beginning with the afternoon of Nov. 22, when he frantically worked the phones at Hickory Hill -- his Civil War-era mansion in McLean, Va. -- and summoned aides and government officials to his home. Lit up with the clarity of shock, the electricity of adrenaline, Bobby Kennedy constructed the outlines of the crime that day -- a crime, he immediately concluded, that went far beyond Lee Harvey Oswald, the 24-year-old ex-Marine arrested shortly after the assassination. Robert Kennedy was America's first assassination conspiracy theorist.

CIA sources began disseminating their own conspiratorial view of Kennedy's murder within hours of the crime, spotlighting Oswald's defection to the Soviet Union and his public support for Fidel Castro. In New Orleans, an anti-Castro news organization released a tape of Oswald defending the bearded dictator. In Miami, the Cuban Student Directorate -- an exile group funded secretly by a CIA program code-named AMSPELL -- told reporters about Oswald's connections to the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee. But Robert Kennedy never believed the assassination was a communist plot. Instead, he looked in the opposite direction, focusing his suspicions on the CIA's secretive anti-Castro operations, a murky underworld he had navigated as his brother's point man on Cuba. Ironically, RFK's suspicions were shared by Castro himself, whom he had sought to overthrow throughout the Kennedy presidency.

The attorney general was supposed to be in charge of the clandestine war on Castro -- another daunting assignment JFK gave him, after the spy agency's disastrous performance at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961. But as he tried to establish control over CIA operations and to herd the rambunctious Cuban exile groups into a unified progressive front, Bobby learned what a swamp of intrigue the anti-Castro world was. Working out of a sprawling Miami station code-named JM/WAVE that was second in size only to the CIA's Langley, Va., headquarters, the agency had recruited an unruly army of Cuban militants to launch raids on the island and even contracted Mafia henchmen to kill Castro -- including mob bosses Johnny Rosselli, Santo Trafficante and Sam Giancana, whom Kennedy, as chief counsel for the Senate Rackets Committee in the late 1950s, had targeted. It was an overheated ecosystem that was united not just by its fevered opposition to the Castro regime, but by its hatred for the Kennedys, who were regarded as traitors for failing to use the full military might of the United States against the communist outpost in the Caribbean.

This Miami netherworld of spies, gangsters and Cuban militants is where Robert Kennedy immediately cast his suspicions on Nov. 22. In the years since RFK's own assassination, an impressive body of evidence has accumulated that suggests why Kennedy felt compelled to look in that direction. The evidence -- congressional testimony, declassified government documents, even veiled confessions -- continues to emerge at this late date, although largely unnoticed. The most recent revelation came from legendary spy E. Howard Hunt before his death in January. Hunt offered what might be the last will and testament on the JFK assassination by someone with direct knowledge about the crime. In his recent posthumously published memoir, American Spy, Hunt speculates that the CIA might have been involved in Kennedy's murder. And in handwritten notes and an audiotape he left behind, the spy went further, revealing that he was invited to a 1963 meeting at a CIA safe house in Miami where an assassination plot was discussed.

Bobby Kennedy knew that he and his brother had made more than their share of political enemies. But none were more virulent than the men who worked on the Bay of Pigs operation and believed the president had stabbed them in the back, refusing to rescue their doomed operation by sending in the U.S. Air Force and Marines. Later, when President Kennedy ended the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962 without invading Cuba, these men saw not statesmanship but another failure of nerve. In Cuban Miami, they spoke of la seconda derrota, the second defeat. These anti-Kennedy sentiments, at times voiced heatedly to Bobby's face, resonated among the CIA's partners in the secret war on Castro -- the Mafia bosses who longed to reclaim their lucrative gambling and prostitution franchises in Havana that had been shut down by the revolution, and who were deeply aggrieved by the Kennedy Justice Department's all-out war on organized crime. But Bobby, the hard-liner who covered his brother's right flank on the Cuba issue, thought that he had turned himself into the main lightning rod for all this anti-Kennedy static.

"I thought they would get me, instead of the president," he told his Justice Department press aide, Edwin Guthman, as they walked back and forth on the backyard lawn at Hickory Hill on the afternoon of Nov. 22. Guthman and others around Bobby that day thought "they" might be coming for the younger Kennedy next. So apparently did Bobby. Normally opposed to tight security measures -- "Kennedys don't need bodyguards," he had said with typical brashness -- he allowed his aides to summon federal marshals, who quickly surrounded his estate.

Meanwhile, as Lyndon Johnson -- a man with whom he had a storied antagonistic relationship -- flew east from Dallas to assume the powers of the presidency, Bobby Kennedy used his fleeting authority to ferret out the truth. After hearing his brother had died at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Kennedy phoned CIA headquarters, just down the road in Langley, where he often began his day, stopping there to work on Cuba-related business. Bobby's phone call to Langley on the afternoon of Nov. 22 was a stunning outburst. Getting a ranking official on the phone -- whose identity is still unknown -- Kennedy confronted him in a voice vibrating with fury and pain. "Did your outfit have anything to do with this horror?" Kennedy erupted.

Later that day, RFK summoned the CIA director himself, John McCone, to ask him the same question. McCone, who had replaced the legendary Allen Dulles after the old spymaster had walked the plank for the Bay of Pigs, swore that his agency was not involved. But Bobby Kennedy knew that McCone, a wealthy Republican businessman from California with no intelligence background, did not have a firm grasp on all aspects of the agency's work. Real control over the clandestine service revolved around the No. 2 man, Richard Helms, the shrewd bureaucrat whose intelligence career went back to the agency's OSS origins in World War II. "It was clear that McCone was out of the loop -- Dick Helms was running the agency," recently commented RFK aide John Seigenthaler -- another crusading newspaper reporter, like Guthman, whom Bobby had recruited for his Justice Department team. "Anything McCone found out was by accident."

Kennedy had another revealing phone conversation on the afternoon of Nov. 22. Speaking with Enrique "Harry" Ruiz-Williams, a Bay of Pigs veteran who was his most trusted ally among exiled political leaders, Bobby shocked his friend by telling him point-blank, "One of your guys did it." Who did Kennedy mean? By then Oswald had been arrested in Dallas. The CIA and its anti-Castro client groups were already trying to connect the alleged assassin to the Havana regime. But as Kennedy's blunt remark to Williams makes clear, the attorney general wasn't buying it. Recent evidence suggests that Bobby Kennedy had heard the name Lee Harvey Oswald long before it exploded in news bulletins around the world, and he connected it with the government's underground war on Castro. With Oswald's arrest in Dallas, Kennedy apparently realized that the government's clandestine campaign against Castro had boomeranged at his brother.

That evening, Kennedy zeroed in on the Mafia. He phoned Julius Draznin in Chicago, an expert on union corruption for the National Labor Relations Board, asking him to look into a possible mob angle on Dallas. More important, the attorney general activated Walter Sheridan, his ace Justice Department investigator, locating him in Nashville, where Sheridan was awaiting the trial of their longtime nemesis, Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa.

If Kennedy had any doubts about Mafia involvement in his brother's murder, they were immediately dispelled when, two days after JFK was shot down, burly nightclub owner Jack Ruby shouldered his way through press onlookers in the basement of the Dallas police station and fired his fatal bullet into Lee Harvey Oswald. Sheridan quickly turned up evidence that Ruby had been paid off in Chicago by a close associate of Hoffa. Sheridan reported that Ruby had "picked up a bundle of money from Allen M. Dorfman," Hoffa's chief adviser on Teamster pension fund loans and the stepson of Paul Dorfman, the labor boss' main link to the Chicago mob. A few days later, Draznin, Kennedy's man in Chicago, provided further evidence about Ruby's background as a mob enforcer, submitting a detailed report on Ruby's labor racketeering activities and his penchant for armed violence. Jack Ruby's phone records further clinched it for Kennedy. The list of men whom Ruby phoned around the time of the assassination, RFK later told aide Frank Mankiewicz, was "almost a duplicate of the people I called to testify before the Rackets Committee."

As family members and close friends gathered in the White House on the weekend after the assassination for the president's funeral, a raucous mood of Irish mourning gripped the executive mansion. But Bobby didn't participate in the family's doleful antics. Coiled and sleepless throughout the weekend, he brooded alone about his brother's murder. According to an account by Peter Lawford, the actor and Kennedy in-law who was there that weekend, Bobby told family members that JFK had been killed by a powerful plot that grew out of one of the government's secret anti-Castro operations. There was nothing they could do at that point, Bobby added, since they were facing a formidable enemy and they no longer controlled the government. Justice would have to wait until the Kennedys could regain the White House -- this would become RFK's mantra in the years after Dallas, whenever associates urged him to speak out about the mysterious crime.

A week after the assassination, Bobby and his brother's widow, Jacqueline Kennedy -- who shared his suspicions about Dallas -- sent a startling secret message to Moscow through a trusted family emissary named William Walton. The discreet and loyal Walton "was exactly the person that you would pick for a mission like this," his friend Gore Vidal later observed. Walton, a Time magazine war correspondent who had reinvented himself as a gay Georgetown bohemian, had grown close to both JFK and Jackie in their carefree days before they moved into the White House. Later, the first couple gave him an unpaid role in the administration, appointing him chairman of the Fine Arts Commission, but it was mainly an excuse to make him a frequent White House guest and confidant.

After JFK's assassination, the president's brother and widow asked Walton to go ahead as planned with a cultural exchange trip to Russia, where he was to meet with artists and government ministers, and convey an urgent message to the Kremlin. Soon after arriving in frigid Moscow, fighting a cold and dabbing at his nose with a red handkerchief, Walton met at the ornate Sovietskaya restaurant with Georgi Bolshakov -- an ebullient, roly-poly Soviet agent with whom Bobby had established a back-channel relationship in Washington. Walton stunned the Russian by telling him that the Kennedys believed Oswald was part of a conspiracy. They didn't think either Moscow or Havana was behind the plot, Walton assured Bolshakov -- it was a large domestic conspiracy. The president's brother was determined to enter the political arena and eventually make a run for the White House. If RFK succeeded, Walton confided, he would resume his brother's quest for detente with the Soviets.

Robert Kennedy's remarkable secret communication to Moscow shows how emotionally wracked he must have been in the days following his brother's assassination. The calamity transformed him instantly from a cocky, abrasive insider -- the second most powerful man in Washington -- to a grief-stricken, deeply wary outsider who put more trust in the Russian government than he did in his own. The Walton mission has been all but lost to history. But it is one more revealing tale that sheds light on Bobby Kennedy's subterranean life between his brother's assassination and his own violent demise less than five years later.

Over the years, Kennedy would offer bland and routine endorsements of the Warren Report and its lone gunman theory. But privately he derided the report as nothing more than a public relations exercise designed to reassure the public. And behind the scenes, he continued to work assiduously to figure out his brother's murder, in preparation for reopening the case if he ever won the power to do so.

Bobby held onto medical evidence from his brother's autopsy, including JFK's brain and tissue samples, which might have proved important in a future investigation. He also considered taking possession of the gore-spattered, bullet-riddled presidential limousine that had carried his brother in Dallas, before the black Lincoln could be scrubbed clean of evidence and repaired. He enlisted his top investigator, Walt Sheridan, in his secret quest -- the former FBI agent and fellow Irish Catholic whom Bobby called his "avenging angel." Even after leaving the Justice Department in 1964, when he was elected to the Senate from New York, Kennedy and Sheridan would slip back into the building now and then to pore over files on the case. And soon after his election, Kennedy traveled to Mexico City, where he gathered information on Oswald's mysterious trip there in September 1963.

In 1967, Sheridan went to New Orleans to check into the Jim Garrison investigation, to see whether the flamboyant prosecutor really had cracked the JFK case. (Sheridan was working as an NBC news producer at the time, but he reported back to RFK, telling him that Garrison was a fraud.) And Kennedy asked his press secretary, Frank Mankiewicz, to begin gathering information about the assassination for the day when they could reopen the investigation. (Mankiewicz later told Bobby that his research led him to conclude it was probably a plot involving the Mafia, Cuban exiles and rogue CIA agents.) Kennedy himself found it painful to discuss conspiracy theories with the ardent researchers who sought him out. But he met in his Senate office with at least one -- a feisty small-town Texas newspaper publisher named Penn Jones Jr., who believed JFK was the victim of a CIA-Pentagon plot. Bobby heard him out and then had his driver take Jones to Arlington Cemetery, where the newspaperman wanted to pay his respects at his brother's grave.

At times, this drive to know the truth would sputter, as Robert Kennedy wrestled with debilitating grief and a haunting guilt that he -- his brother's constant watchman -- should have protected him. And, ever cautious, Bobby continued to deflect the subject whenever he was confronted with it by the press. But as time went by, it became increasingly difficult for Kennedy to avoid wrestling with the specter of his brother's death in public.

In late March 1968, during his doomed and heroic run for the presidency, Kennedy was addressing a tumultuous outdoor campus rally in Northridge, Calif., when some boisterous students shouted out the question he always dreaded. "We want to know who killed President Kennedy!" yelled one girl, while others took up the cry: "Open the archives!"

Kennedy's response that day was a tightrope walk. He knew that if he fully revealed his thinking about the assassination, the ensuing media uproar would have dominated his campaign, instead of burning issues like ending the Vietnam War and healing the country's racial divisions. For a man like Robert Kennedy, you did not talk about something as dark as the president's assassination in public -- you explored the crime your own way.

But Kennedy respected college students and their passions -- and he was in the habit of addressing campus audiences with surprising honesty. He did not want to simply deflect the question that day with his standard line. So, while dutifully endorsing the Warren Report as usual, he went further. "You wanted to ask me something about the archives," he responded. "I'm sure, as I've said before, the archives will be open." The crowd cheered and applauded. "Can I just say," continued Kennedy, "and I have answered this question before, but there is no one who would be more interested in all of these matters as to who was responsible for uh . . . the uh, uh, the death of President Kennedy than I would." Kennedy's press secretary Frank Mankiewicz, long used to Kennedy ducking the question, was "stunned" by the reply. "It was either like he was suddenly blurting out the truth, or it was a way to shut down any further questioning. You know, 'Yes, I will reopen the case. Now let's move on.' "

Robert Kennedy did not live long enough to solve his brother's assassination. But nearly 40 years after his own murder, a growing body of evidence suggests that Kennedy was on the right trail before he too was cut down. Despite his verbal contortions in public, Bobby Kennedy always knew that the truth about Dallas mattered. It still does.

Excerpt from David Talbot's Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Was Sam Giancana Murdered by Johnny Roselli over Marilyn Monroe?


"As the plump sausages were beginning to brown, there was a knock on the door. Chicago Mob Boss SAM GIANCANA showed no fear as he turned back the double locks on the heavy steel door of his fortress like home that protected him from the outside world. Sam looked his old friend JOHNNY ROSSELLI in the eye and invited him in. The men kissed on the cheek, exchanged pleasantries and shared a laugh.

Then "Mooney", as Johnny affectionately called Sam, heard the sausages sizzling in their pan and ran back to the stove to keep them from burning. While he was rolling them over, Johnny quietly crept up behind him and placed the muzzle of a .22 caliber handgun equipped with a silencer at the base of his skull and said "Sam, this is for Marilyn".

Sam hesitated a moment as he tended to the sausages. A split second passed. In that moment, an image of MARILYN MONROE, the quintessential Hollywood Goddess, platinum blond bombshell, orphaned child, cheesecake pin up girl, fantasy lover to thousands of men, supposed tragic suicide victim and lover of PRESIDENT JOHN F KENNEDY and his brother BOBBY, filled Sam's head.

Then Johnny pulled the trigger."

Friday, March 17, 2006

Documentary may tie Mafia to JFK assassination

Last November we told you here about a book titled Ultimate Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK, which purported to offer new details about the death of President John F. Kennedy. It's too complicated to go into all the revelations in this massive work by Lamar Waldron, but let it suffice to say that the San Francisco Chronicle recently ran a rave review written by Ronald Goldfarb. He was the Mafia prosecutor under Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, and this is the first time anyone closely associated with either brother has offered praise for a JFK assassination book.

Now we can tell you that NBC has completed an hourlong documentary focusing on the information in Ultimate Sacrifice, and this top-secret project will air soon on the Discovery Channel. It is to be titled Conspiracy Files: JFK and will include material withheld from the Warren Commission and from congressional investigations as well. Such material has never been seen on TV before.

Some of the protagonists are Mafia kingpin Johnny Rosselli and other godfathers telling how they tried to kill the president first in Chicago, then in Tampa, Fla., and later in Dallas, where they ultimately succeeded.

This documentary will offer the only TV interview in more than 40 years with Abraham Bolden, the first black Secret Service agent assigned to the White House. Framed by Rosselli's gang, he was arrested on the day he went to appear before the Warren Commission. He has fought for a very long time to clear his name.

Discovery will offer us a few startling realities about how the Secret Service destroyed crucial files covering the Tampa and Chicago attempts, and how there are still "well over 1 million CIA records" about the assassination that remain secret to this day.

Thanks to Liz Smith

Friday, March 04, 2005

JFK Connected to Mob DNA?

Solving a Mafia murder case is a tall order. Since the early 1900s, more than 1,100 murders have been linked to Mafia activities in Chicago but only 14 people have been convicted in those killings. Soon though, the FBI may be able to resolve dozens of mob hits, many with links to Las Vegas. It's a case that might even shed light on the assassination of a president.

The FBI calls it Operation Family Secrets, (Family Secrets: The Case That Crippled the Chicago Mob). The I-Team has reported on it in the past. It's been underway in Chicago for more than two years and may finally be getting close to the indictment stage. The targets include major figures in the Chicago mob. The victims include tough Tony Spilotro, once the king of the Las Vegas streets. If the FBI hits the jackpot though, this operation could resolve even bigger mysteries.

Lawmen in Las Vegas and elsewhere harbored all kinds of suspicions about Tony The Ant Spilotro. They suspected him in as many as 22 gangland murders. They indicted him for skimming Las Vegas casinos. And regarded him as the Nevada ambassador for the feared Chicago mob. But the law never managed to put Spilotro away. That job was carried out by his Mafia associates.

In 1986, Spilotro returned to Chicago to meet with the family. His body and that of his brother Michael Spilotro were found days later, buried in an Indiana cornfield. Both were savagely beaten. Spilotro's widow Nancy told the I-Team the FBI never tried to solve the murder, but she's convinced that her husband knew the people who did it. "When he went away like that, left all their stuff behind and they go -- you know. That's no good. They leave their watch and their wallet. They had to know somebody to get them to go to the place," said Nancy Spilotro, Tony Spilotro's widow.

Sometime later this year, someone may finally be charged in Tony Spilotro's murder. That someone will likely be Spilotro's former boss, Joey The Clown Lombardo, for decades a reputed top figure in the Chicago mob.

John Flood, former Chicago Police officer, said, "Lombardo in Chicago is the last of the major giants and in the United States few men have his stature in organized crime."

Former Chicago cop John Flood should know. For years, he was part of a Chicago Police team that chased the mob and says Lombardo once tried to kill him. Flood expects the FBI's Operation Family Matters to produce indictments soon.

The two-year probe reportedly has mob informants and is aimed at the top tier of the Chicago outfit, which means Joey The Clown. Tips have already led FBI agents to unearth the bodies of murder victims. DNA evidence has been obtained from crime scenes and is now being analyzed in forensic labs around the country. It is all but certain that the Spilotro murders are among the cases that are being analyzed. But there are many more unsolved cases in the Las Vegas-Chicago nexus and Lombardo, allegedly, was in a position to know about all of them.

John Flood says, "There is not a shadow of doubt that because he was such a young man involved with major mob figures going back to Al Capone, he would know anything that happened regarding assassinations, not only in Chicago but Las Vegas, across the country. He's a top guy and a tough guy."

Flood says Lombardo would have to know about the murder of teamsters pension fund executive Alan Dorfman, who loaned millions to Las Vegas casinos and was indicted with Lombardo for trying to bribe Nevada Senator Howard Cannon.

Former mob ambassador to Las Vegas, Johnny Rosselli was preparing to testify to Congress about mob plots to kill Fidel Castro. His body was found floating in a drum. Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana, once the overlord of Las Vegas rackets, was murdered in his home just before he had to testify. Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in 1975 and is believed to have been murdered by Midwestern mob families. Lawmen think Lombardo knew about all of them, including one of the biggest murders of all time.

John Flood says, "Sam Gianacana, supposedly involved in the building of Las Vegas, his brother said Sam told him before he died it was Chicago organized crime guys that assassinated John Kennedy."

That's a whopper of a story, but there is other testimony hinting at a Chicago connection to the JFK slaying. Jack Ruby was a Chicago mob flunky before moving to Dallas. But Flood says he doubts Lombardo would talk, indictment or not.

Lombardo's Chicago attorney acknowledges that his client is a target of the FBI investigation, but he denies any wrong doing by Lombardo. Lombardo has given a DNA sample to the FBI. So have three other suspected mobsters.

Ex-cop John Flood says he doubts Lombardo would roll over or spill the beans about any murder, let alone the JFK assassination, but says it depends on who else might be indicted with him.

Stranger things have happened.

Thanks to George Knapp


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