In the three-year period which followed the murder of President
       Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald, 18 material witnesses died - six by
       gunfire, three in motor accidents, two by suicide, one from a cut
       throat, one from a karate chop to the neck, five from natural causes.
         An actuary, engaged by the London Sunday Times, concluded that on
       November 22, 1963m the odds against these witnesses being dead by
       February 1967, were one hundred thousand trillion to one.

    The above comment on the deaths of assassination witnesses was published in
a tabloid companion piece to the movie _Execution Action_, released in 1973.
By that time, part of the mythology of the Kennedy assassination included the
mysterious deaths of people who were connected with it.
    By the mid-1960s, people in Dallas already were whispering about the
number of persons who died under strange or questionable circumstances.  Well
into the 1980s, witnesses and others were hesitant to come forward with
information because of the stories of strange and sudden death that seemed to
visit some people with information about the assassination.
    Finally, in the late 1970s, the House Select Committee on Assassinations
felt compelled to look into the matter.
    But aside from discrediting the London Sunday Times actuarial study, the
Committee was unable to come to any conclusions regarding the growing number
of deaths.  The Committee said it could not make a valid actuarial study due
to the broad number and types of persons that had to be included in such a
    In response to a letter from the Committee, London Sunday Times legal
manager Anthony Whitaker stated:

       Our piece about the odds against the deaths of the Kennedy witnesses
       was, I regret to say, based on a careless journalistic mistake and
       should not have been published.  This was realized by The Sunday Times
       editorial staff after the first edition - the one which goes to the
       United States... - had gone out, and later editions were amended.
       There was no question of our actuary having got his answer wrong: it
       was simply that we asked him the wrong question.  He was asked what
       were the odds against 15 named people out of the population of the
       United States dying within a short period of time, to which he replied
       - correctly - that they were very high.  However, if one asks what are
       the odds against 15 of those included in the Warren Commission Index
       dying within a given period, the answer is, of course, that they are
       much lower.  Our mistake was to treat the reply to the former question
       as if it dealt with the latter - hence the fundamental error in our
       first edition report, for which we apologize.

    This settled the matter for the House Committee, which apparently made
little or no attempt to seriously study the number of deaths that followed
the JFK assassination.
    Jacqueline Hess, the Committee's chief of research for the JFK
investigation, reported:

       Our final conclusion on the issue is that the available evidence does
       not establish anything about the nature of these deaths which would
       indicate that the deaths were in some manner, either direct or
       peripheral, caused by the assassination of President Kennedy or by
       any aspect of the subsequent investigation.

    However, an objective look at both the number and the causes of death
balanced against the importance of the person's connection to the case, still
causes raised eyebrows among those who study such a list.
    In this section, people who were connected - no matter how tenuously -
with the assassination and who are now dead are listed according to date of
    This is dealing only with deaths, not with the numerous persons - such as
Warren Reynolds, Roger Craig, and Richard Carr - who claim to have been shot
at or attacked.
    This chapter has been entitled "Convenient Deaths" because these deaths
certainly would have been convenient for anyone not wishing the truth of the
JFK assassination to become public.
    The CIA has gone to some lengths to discredit the idea of mysterious
deaths plaguing assassination witnesses.
    A 1967 memo from CIA headquarters to station chiefs advised:

       Such vague accusations as that "more than 10 people have died
       mysteriously" can always be explained in some rational way: e.g., the
       individuals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes;
       the [Warren] Commission staff questioned 418 witnesses - the FBI
       interviewed far more people, conducting 25,000 interviews and
       reinterviews - and in such a large group, a certain number of deaths
       are to be expected.

    Testifying before the Church Committee in 1975, CIA technicians told of a
variety of TWEP technology - Terminate With Extreme Prejudice - that cannot
be detected in a postmortem examination.
    One recently declassified CIA document, a letter from an Agency consultant
to a CIA officer, states:

       You will recall that I mentioned that the local circumstances under
       which a given means might be used might suggest the technique to be
       used in that case.  I think the gross divisions in presenting this
       subject might be:
       (1) bodies left with no hope of the cause of death being determined by
       the most complete autopsy and chemical examinations
       (2) bodies left in such circumstances as to simulate accidental death
       (3) bodies left in such circumstances as to simulate suicidal death
       (4) bodies left with residue that simulates those caused by natural

    The letter goes on to show that undetected murders do not have to be the
result of sophisticated chemicals.  It states:

       There are two techniques which I believe should be mentioned since
       they require no special equipment besides a strong arm and the will to
       do such a job.  These would be either to smother the victim with a
       pillow or to strangle him with a wide piece of cloth such as a bath
       towel.  In such cases, there are no specific anatomic changes to
       indicate the cause of death...

    While it is obvious that the CIA - and hence the mob through operatives who
work for both - has the capability of killing, it is less well known that the
Agency has developed drugs to induce cancer.
    Recall that Jack Ruby died of sudden lung cancer just as he had been granted
a new trial.
    A 1952 CIA memo reported on the cancer-causing effects of beryllium:
"This is certainly the most toxic inorganic element and it produces a
peculiar fibrotic tumor at the site of local application.  The amount
necessary to produce these tumors is a few micrograms."
    Local law-enforcement officers and coroners are not equipped, either by
training or by inclination, to detect deaths induced by such sophisticated
means.  They look for signs of a struggle, evidence of a break-in, bruises,
or marks on the victim.
    With no evidence to the contrary, many deaths are ruled suicide or accident.
Others are ruled due to natural causes, such as heart attack.
    It is interesting to note how the deaths are grouped.  Many of the
earliest deaths came during the time of the Warren Commission investigation
or just afterwards.
    More deaths took place in the late 1960s as New Orleans District Attorney
Jim Garrison was launching his investigation.  Other suspicious deaths
occurred during the mid-1970s, as the Senate Intelligence Committee was
looking into assassinations by U.S. intelligence agencies.  And finally,
another spate of deaths came around 1977, just as the House Select Committee
on Assassinations was gearing up its investigation.
    These deaths are listed below in chronological order.  An asterisk means
the death is a particularly suspicious one.  They are also grouped according
to which investigation was being conducted at the time.
    The possibility of convenient deaths leads one into a well of paranoia, yet
this long list cannot be summarily dismissed.
    Obviously, many of these deaths - particularly in recent years - can be
ascribed to the passage of time.  But others cannot - especially when viewed
in the context of the assassination inquiries taking place at the time.
    Read for yourself and consider... When does coincidence end and conspiracy

                                List of Deaths

Date      Name              Connection with Case            Cause of Death

11/63  Karyn Kupcinet*     TV host's daughter who was       Murdered
                           overheard telling of JFK's
                           death prior to 11/22/63

                     The Warren Commission Investigation

12/63  Jack Zangretti*     Expressed foreknowledge of       Gunshot victim
                           Ruby shooting Oswald

2/64  Eddy Benavides*      Look-alike brother to Tippit     Gunshot to head
                           shooting witness, Domingo

3/64  Betty McDonald*      Former Ruby employee who         Suicide by hanging
                           alibied Warren Reynolds          in Dallas jail
                           shooting suspect

3/64  Bill Chesher         Thought to have information      Heart attack
                           linking Oswald and Ruby

3/64  Hank Killam*         Husband of Ruby employee,        Throat cut
                           knew Oswald acquaintance

4/64  Bill Hunter*         Reporter who was in Ruby's       Accidental shooting
                           apartment on 11/24/63            by policeman

5/64  Gary Underhill*      CIA agent who claimed            Gunshot in head,
                           Agency was involved              Ruled suicide

5/64  Hugh Ward*           Private investigator working     Plane crash in
                           with Guy Banister and David      Mexico

5/64  DeLesseps Morrison*  New Orleans mayor                Passenger in Ward's

8/64  Teresa Norton*       Ruby employee                    Fatally shot

6/64  Guy Banister*        Ex-FBI agent in New Orleans      Heart attack
                           connected to Ferrie, CIA,
                           Carlos Marcello and Oswald

9/64  Jim Koethe*          Reporter who was in Ruby's       Blow to neck
                           apartment on 11/24/63

9/64  C.D. Jackson         Life Magazine senior vice        Unknown
                           president who bought Zapruder
                           film and locked it away

10/64  Mary Pinchot Meyer* JFK mistress whose diary was     Murdered
                           taken by CIA chief James
                           Angleton after her death

1/65  Paul Mandal          Life writer who told of JFK      Cancer
                           turning to rear when shot in

3/65  Tom Howard*          Ruby's first lawyer, was in      Heart attack
                           Ruby's apartment on 11/24/63

5/65  Maurice Gatlin*      Pilot for Guy Banister           Fatal Fall

8/65  Mona B. Saenz*       Texas Employment clerk who       Hit by Dallas bus
                           interviewed Oswald

?/65  David Goldstein      Dallasite who helped FBI         Natural causes
                           trace Oswald's pistol

9/65  Rose Cheramie*       Knew of assassination in         Hit/run victim
                           advance, told of riding to
                           Dallas with Cubans

11/65  Dorothy Kilgallen*  Columnist who had private        Drug overdose
                           interview with Ruby, pledged
                           to "break" JFK case

11/65  Mrs. Earl Smith*    Close friend to Dorothy          Unknown
                           Kilgallen, died two days
                           after columnist, may have
                           kept Kilgallen's notes

12/65  William Whaley*     Cabdriver who reportedly         Motor Collision
                           drove Oswald to Oak Cliff        (the only Dallas
                                                            taxi driver to
                                                            die on duty)

1966  Judge Joe Brown      Presided over Ruby's trial       Heart attack

1966  Karen "Little Lynn"  Ruby employee who last talked    Gunshot victim
      Carlin*              with Ruby before Oswald shooting

1/66  Earline Roberts      Oswald's landlady                Heart attack

2/66  Albert Bogard*       Car salesman who said Oswald     Suicide
                           test drove new car

6/66  Capt. Frank Martin   Dallas police captain who        Cancer
                           witnessed Oswald slaying,
                           told Warren Commission,
                           "There's a lot to be said,
                           but probably be better if I
                           don't say it."

8/66  Lee Bowers, Jr.*     Witnessed men behind picket      Motor accident
                           fence on Grassy Knoll

9/66  Marilyn "Delilah"    Ruby dancer                      Shot by husband
      Walle*                                                after one month
                                                            of marriage

10/66  William Pitzer*     JFK autopsy photographer         Gunshot, ruled
                           who described his duty as        suicide
                           "horrifying experience"

11/66  Jimmy Levens        Fort Worth nightclub owner       Natural causes
                           who hired Ruby employee

11/66  James Worrell, Jr.* Saw man flee rear of Texas       Motor accident
                           School Book Depository

1966  Clarence Oliver      D.A. investigator who            Unknown
                           worked Ruby case

12/66  Hank Suydam         Life magazine official in        Heart attack
                           charge of JFK stories

                             The Garrison Inquiry

Date      Name              Connection with Case            Cause of Death

1967  Leonard Pullin       Civilian Navy employee who       One-car crash
                           helped film _Last Two Days_
                           about assassination

1/67  Jack Ruby            Oswald's slayer                  Lung cancer (He
                                                            told family he
                                                            was injected with
                                                            cancer cells.)

2/67  Harold Russell*      Saw escape of Tippit killer      Killed by cop in
                                                            bar brawl

2/67  David Ferrie*        Acquaintance of Oswald,          Blow to neck,
                           Garrison suspect, and            ruled accidental
                           employee of Guy Banister

2/67  Eladio Del Valle*    Anti-Castro Cuban associate      Gunshot wound,
                           of David Ferrie being sought     ax wound to head
                           by Garrison

3/67  Dr. Mary Sherman*    Ferrie associate working on      Died in fire
                           cancer research                  (possibly shot)

1/68  A.D. Bowie           Assistant Dallas D.A.            Cancer
                           prosecuting Ruby

4/68  Hiram Ingram         Dallas deputy sheriff, close     Cancer
                           friend to Roger Craig

5/68  Dr. Nicholas Chetta  New Orleans coroner who ruled    Heart attack
                           on death of Ferrie

8/68  Phillip Geraci*      Friend of Perry Russo, told of   Electrocution
                           Oswald/Shaw connection

1/69  Henry Delaune*       Brother-in-law to coroner        Murdered

1/69  E.R. Walthers*       Dallas deputy sheriff who        Shot by felon
                           was involved in Depository
                           search, claimed to have found
                           .45-cal slug

1969  Charles Mentesana    Filmed rifle other than          Heart attack
                           Mannlicher-Carcano being taken
                           from Depository

4/69  Mary Bledsoe         Neighbor to Oswald, also         Natural causes
                           knew David Ferrie

4/69  John Crawford*       Close friend to both Ruby and    Crash of private
                           Wesley Frazier, who gave ride    plane
                           to Oswald on 11/22/63

7/69  Rev. Clyde Johnson*  Scheduled to testify about       Fatally shot
                           Clay Shaw/Oswald connection

1970  George McGann*       Underworld figure, connected     Murdered
                           to Ruby friends; wife, Beverly,
                           took film in Dealey Plaza

1/70  Darrell W. Garner    Arrested for shooting Warren     Drug overdose
                           Reynolds, released after
                           alibi from Betty McDonald

8/70  Bill Decker          Dallas sheriff who saw bullet    Natural causes
                           hit street in front of JFK

8/70  Abraham Zapruder     Took famous film of JFK          Natural causes

12/70  Salvatore Granello* Mobster linked to Hoffa,         Murdered
                           Trafficante, and Castro
                           assassination plots

1971  James Plumeri*       Mobster tied to mob-CIA          Murdered
                           assassination plots

3/71  Clayton Fowler       Ruby's chief defense attorney    Unknown

4/71  Gen. Charles Cabell* CIA deputy director connected    Collapsed and
                           to anti-Castro Cubans            died after
                                                            physical at Ft.

                      The Church Committee Investigation

Date      Name              Connection with Case            Cause of Death

1972  Hale Boggs*          House majority leader, member    Disappeared on
                           of Warren Commission who began   Alaskan plane
                           to publicly express doubts     flight
                           doubts about findings

5/72  J. Edgar Hoover*     FBI director who pushed "Lone    Heart attack (no
                           assassin" theory in JFK          autopsy)

9/73  Thomas E. Davis*     Gun runner connected to both     Electrocuted
                           Ruby and CIA                     trying to steal

2/74  J.A. Milteer*        Miami right-winger who           Heater explosion
                           predicted JFK's death and
                           capture of scapegoat

1974  Dave Yaras*          Close friend to both Hoffa       Murdered
                           and Jack Ruby

7/74  Earl Warren          Chief justice who reluctantly    Heart failure
                           chaired Warren Commission

8/74  Clay Shaw*           Prime suspect in Garrison        Possible cancer
                           case, reportedly a CIA
                           contact with Ferrie and E.
                           Howard Hunt

1974  Earle Cabell         Mayor of Dallas on 11/22/63,     Natural causes
                           whose brother, Gen. Charles
                           Cabell, was fired from CIA by

6/75  Sam Giancana*        Chicago Mafia boss slated to     Murdered
                           tell about CIA-mob death plots
                           to Senate Committee

1975  Clyde Tolson         J. Edgar Hoover's assistant      Natural causes
                           and roommate

7/75  Allan Sweatt         Dallas deputy sheriff involved   Natural causes
                           in investigation

12/75  Gen. Earl Wheeler   Contact between JFK and CIA      Unknown

1976  Ralph Paul           Ruby's business partner          Heart attack
                           connected with crime figures

4/76  James Chaney         Dallas motorcycle officer        Heart attack
                           to JFK's right rear who said
                           JFK "struck in the face" with

4/76  Dr. Charles Gregory  Governor John Connally's         Heart attack

6/76  William Harvey*      CIA coordinator for CIA-mob      Complications of
                           assassination plans against      heart surgery

7/76  John Roselli*        Mobster who testified to         Stabbed and
                           Senate committee, was to         stuffed in metal
                           appear again                     drum

                       1977 - A Terrible Year for Many

    The year 1977 produced a bumper crop of candidates for listing under
convenient deaths connected with the JFK assassination - including the deaths
of six top FBI officials all of whom were scheduled to testify before the
House Select Committee on Assassinations.
    Topping this list was former number-three man in the FBI, William C.
Sullivan, who had already had a preliminary meeting with the investigators
for the House Committee.  Sullivan was shot with a high-powered rifle near
his New Hampshire home by a man who claimed to have mistaken him for a deer.
The man was charged with a misdemeanor - "shooting a human being by
accident" - and released to the custody of his father, a state policeman.
There was no further investigation of Sullivan's death.
    Louis Nichols was a special assistant to J. Edgar Hoover as well as
Hoover's liaison with the Warren Commission.  Alan H. Belmont also was a
special assistant to Hoover.  James Cadigan was a document expert with access
to many classified assassination documents, while J.M. English headed the FBI
laboratory where Oswald's rifle and pistol were tested.  Donald Kaylor was
the FBI fingerprint expert who examined prints found at the assassination
scene.  None of these six Bureau officials lived to tell what they knew to
the House Committee.
    Other key assassination witnesses, such as George DeMohrenschildt and
former Cuban president Carlos Prio Soccaras, died within weeks of each other
in 1977, just as they, too, were being sought by the House Committee.
    The ranks of both organized crime and U.S. intelligence agencies were
thinned by deaths beginning in 1975, the time of the Senate Intelligence
Hearings, and 1978, the closing months of the House Committee.
    Charles Nicoletti, a mobster connected with the CIA-Mafia assassination
plots, was murdered in Chicago, while William Pawley, a former diplomat
connected with both organized crime and CIA figures, reportedly committed
    Adding to rumors that "hit teams" may have been at work, a Time magazine
article reported that federal agents had initiated a nationwide investigation
into more than 20 gangland assassinations constituting what agents believed
was an "open underworld challenge to governmental infiltration of Mafia
    One FBI source was quoted as saying: "Our main concern is that we may be
facing a revival of the old `Murder, Inc.' days."
    A New York News story concerning this official fear of roving
assassination squads even mentions the death of Sam Giancana, who was killed
one day before he was scheduled to testify about mob-CIA connections and
while under government protection.
    Prior to the House Committee investigation into the JFK assassination,
the news media reported the following deaths:

Date      Name              Connection with Case            Cause of Death

1/77  William Pawley*      Former Brazilian ambassador      Gunshot, ruled
                           connected to anti-Castro         suicide
                           Cubans, crime figures

3/77  George               Close friend to both Oswald      Gunshot wound,
      DeMohrenschildt*     and Bouvier family (Jackie       ruled suicide
                           Kennedy's parents), CIA
                           contract agent

3/77  Carlos Prio          Former Cuban president,          Gunshot wound,
      Soccaras*            money man for anti-Castro        ruled suicide

3/77  Paul Raigorodsky     Business friend of George        Natural causes
                           DeMohrenschildt and wealthy

5/77  Lou Staples*         Dallas radio talk show host      Gunshot to head,
                           who told friends he would        ruled suicide
                           break case

6/77  Louis Nichols        Former number-three man in       Heart attack
                           FBI, worked on JFK

8/77  Alan Belmont         FBI official who testified to    "Long illness"
                           Warren Commission

8/77  James Cadigan        FBI document expert who          Fall in home
                           testified to Warren Commission

8/77  Joseph C. Ayres*     Chief steward on JFK's           Shooting accident
                           Air Force One

8/77  Francis G. Powers*   U-2 pilot downed over Russia     Helicopter crash
                           in 1960                          (he reportedly
                                                            ran out of fuel)

9/77  Kenneth O'Donnell    JFK's closest aide               Natural causes

10/77  Donald Kaylor       FBI fingerprint chemist          Heart attack

10/77  J.M. English        Former head of FBI Forensic      Heart attack
                           Sciences Laboratory

11/77  William Sullivan*   Former number-three man in       Hunting accident
                           FBI, headed Division 5,
                           counterespionage and
                           domestic intelligence

1978  C.L. "Lummie" Lewis  Dallas deputy sheriff who        Natural causes
                           arrested Mafia man Braden in
                           Dealey Plaza

9/78  Garland Slack        Man who said his target was      Unknown
                           fired at by Oswald at rifle

1/79  Billy Lovelady       Depository employee said to be   Complications
                           the man in the doorway in AP     from heart attack

6/80  Dr. John Holbrook    Psychiatrist who testified       Heart attack, but
                           Ruby was not insane              pills, notes found

1/81  Marguerite Oswald    Mother of accused assassin       Cancer

10/81  Frank Watts         Chief felony prosecutor for      Natural causes
                           Dallas D.A.

1/82  Peter Gregory        Original translator for          Natural causes
                           Marina Oswald and Secret

5/82  Dr. James Weston     Pathologist allowed to see       Died while
                           JFK autopsy material for         jogging, ruled
                           HSCA                             natural causes

8/82  Will H. Griffin      FBI agent who reportedly         Cancer
                           said Oswald was "definitely"
                           an FBI informant

10/82  W. Marvin Gheesling FBI official who helped          Natural causes
                           supervise JFK investigation

3/84  Roy Kellerman        Secret Service agent in charge   Unknown
                           if JFK limousine

--- end