5 intriguing facts among many about the death of JFK

JFK motorcade Dallas

This photo captured the last moments of Camelot: JFK’s motorcade in Dallas. (Photo: Victor Hugo King, LOC)

Pt.2 of JFK assassination 50th anniversary: Lone gunman or cabal?

Read enough history in newspapers, government records, and books, and it’s easy to determine who the greatest beneficiary of President John F. Kennedy’s death was—his fellow Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson. In 1963, Democrats held both the U.S. House and the Senate in addition to the White House. Top of the power list for Democrats was LBJ. Author and political operative Roger Stone argues the case against LBJ in his new book, The Man Who Killed Kennedy.

Numerous polls show the majority of Americans do not believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and many of us also believe Oswald’s assassin Jack Ruby had more on his agenda than killing the assassin of a president Ruby admired.

Based on my own research over the years, I came up with a list of matters that needle me when I think about President Kennedy’s death in Dallas.

The following are not the only matters I think about, but they’re among the most intriguing:

1.      In the summer of 1963, Life magazine developed a big feature on Vice President Johnson and his “scandalous” doings with secretary of the U.S. Senate majority Bobby Baker. The story was slated to publish shortly after JFK’s ill-fated trip to Dallas. Of LBJ, James Wagenvoord, then the chief assistant to Life’s director of publishing projects, said, “It was all coming from Bobby…It was going to blow Johnson right out of the water. We had him. He was done.” Kennedy hadn’t wanted LBJ on his ticket for the first run, and he was going to make sure his second run was without the Texan whose methods and alliances were highly suspect. The feature was killed only because JFK was assassinated. The materials were shredded.
─[Source: Peter Janney, Mary’s Mosaic (Skyhorse Publishing, N.Y. 2012), pg. 307. Ed Note: Janney interviewed Wagenvoord personally in 2011.]

2.      Three days before JFK was assassinated, his personal secretary Evelyn Lincoln asked who his running mate “might be.” JFK answered immediately that it might be N.C. Gov. Terry Sanford. “But it will not be Lyndon.”
─ [Source: Janney, Mary’s Mosaic, pg. 307 from original source Evelyn Lincoln, Kennedy and Johnson (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, N.Y., 1968), pp. 204-205.]

3.      Roger Stone recounted a personal conversation with President Richard Nixon over martinis at Nixon’s home in Saddle River, N. J. Nixon commented on “the difference between Lyndon and me…I wasn’t willing to kill for it.” Nixon also told Stone he knew who Jack Ruby was (before the assassination): “Murray Chotiner brought him in back in ’47. Went by the name Rubenstein. An informant. Murray said he [Ruby] was one of Lyndon Johnson’s boys…” Chotiner was an L.A. lawyer whose clients included members of the mob.
─[Source: Roger Stone, The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ (Skyhorse Publishing, N.Y., 2013), pg. 18.]

4.      JFK’s flings were well known. Marilyn Monroe was acknowledged as one of the president’s favorite lovers. Sen. George Smathers, Democrat from Florida, a close friend of JFK in the Senate, said Monroe made “repeated threats to tell the world about her relationship with Kennedy.” Those threats increased after JFK became president. Monroe died August 5, 1962. Her death, mysterious according to most accounts, was classified as “probable suicide.”
─[Seymour M. Hersh, The Dark Side of Camelot (Little, Brown and Company, N.Y., 1997), pp. 102-106.]

5.      Mary Pinchot Meyer was another of Kennedy’s favorite mistresses. Ex-wife of a CIA employee, Meyer kept a diary. In the year after JFK’s death, there had been “several incidents of someone intruding into her home. The incidents started in January, only weeks after Dallas.” Meyer claimed she and JFK “smoked marijuana together at the White House.” Meyer was “tormented” by JFK’s death. She made it a mission “to learn what had really taken place in Dallas…” Meyer was murdered Oct. 12, 1964 in her Washington (D.C.) neighborhood, 2 days shy of her 44th birthday. The crime has never been solved. Her diary was never made public.
─Janney, Mary’s Mosaic, pp. 1-37.

(Filed by Kay B. Day/Nov. 18, 2013)

Related stories at Day on the Day:
Stone does Dallas with JFK book on 50th anniversary of death
JFK Assassination 50th anniversary: Lone gunman or cabal? [Pt. 1]


About Kay Day

Kay B. Day is a freelance writer who has published in national and international magazines and websites. The author of 3 books, her work is anthologized in textbooks and collections. She has won awards for poetry, nonfiction and fiction. Day is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Authors Guild.
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