Gerald Blaine’s handwritten phony notes + some docs (click on images to enlarge)

Blaine makes no mention of the death (on 10/14/63) of Secret Service agent Tom Shipman. Blaine and the detail were preparing for JFK’s trip to Boston, one of the last trips before Texas (Boston, MD, two NY trips, FL then TX).

Gerald Blaine’s handwritten notes (undated):

“Frank Yeager and myself have the advance in Tampa, Fla. Everything goes well and I feel real good. Never a thought of the tragedy that is due to occur on the 22nd. Kennedy makes the first of fateful steps that seem to lead toward the tragedy. He states that he wants no agents riding on the rear of his car as we did in Europe. If one was there the assassination might not have occurred. An agent’s life is a frustrating one. You can set all of the security in the world, but its only as good as the President lets it be. The day will come when the only way the public will be able to see the president is by television. The country seems to be loaded with eccentrics and potentials.”

“I don’t think I have ever been filled so low emotionally by anything like the president’s assassination. There wasn’t a thing anyone could have done to stop it and the Secret Service did everything it could do. My shift worked midnight in Ft. Worth on the 22nd. We took them to the airport – They flew to Dallas, went to Austin to sleep for the next nights duty. I had been asleep about ten minutes in the Commodore Perry Hotel. Art Godfrey came in the room and almost broke the door down. ‘The boss was hit in Dallas.’ I was groggy but the sickening truth seemed to sink through and I couldn’t do anything but swing my legs over the bed and when the shock hit me I couldn’t find the strength to stand and I was hit with a sudden wave of chills. Then I tried to fight off the despair and asked Art if he was sure. He said he knew that Kennedy was shot, but didn’t know if it was fatal. We turned on the radio and finally got through on the security phone to hear the horrible truth. We just withdrew in our own thoughts.”

“We flew back in a SAC Bomber, myself, Art Godfrey, Bob Faison, Jerry O’Rourke, Paul Burns and John Bailey (National Democratic Chairman). We arrived back after Kennedy’s body and set up security at the Johnson residence. (What a disgusting settlement – Kennedy replaced by Johnson – like a pro-ball player going from the Yankees to the bottom of the league.)”

“They say that not many single things have an influence on history, but I am sure this one will.”

“Even though we could have done nothing to prevent it, nor was there anything anyone could have done except use a bulletproof automobile, we are all suffering from guilt and failure in our one task. The ordeal we were to all go through for the next few months was a sad one, but we all came out with a feeling of hope far greater than we had ever had before. We shall all be stronger for the experience in the years to come. President Kennedy left us a little of his courage and we lost not only a fine president but a friend we will never forget and always admire.”

“The ordeal we were to all go through for the next few months…”

“The ordeal we were to all go through for the next few months…”

“The ordeal we were to all go through for the next few months…”

!!!!! OOPS–I thought these notes were supposed to be contemporaneous “proof” of something?! A SOURCE AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES WHO WAS ADAMANT ABOUT NOT BEING QUOTED SAID IT WAS HIS/HER BELIEF THAT THE HANDWRITTEN “SCRAWL” IN “BALL POINT PEN” WAS ADDED YEARS LATER…I say decades (say, around late 2012), but you get the point.

 The Tampa report Blaine included as he was too dumb to realize that this was ALREADY RELEASED IN 1999. Nevertheless, the irony is rich: rooftops were guarded (as I also confirmed via the Tampa police). This was Kennedy’s LONGEST domestic motorcade (28 miles long!) and second only to Berlin for longest period; far longer than Dallas where building rooftops were NOT guarded

Blaine claims he didn’t drink at either the Fort Worth Press Club or the Cellar. This may or may not be true, but we know NINE agents did, including four agents on the follow-up car (including Clint Hill)!

“Blaine said he had two boxes of records and only turns over 28 pages?!”- Researcher William Kelly. The meager 28 pages was submitted to the National Archives in December 2012, 2 years after Blaine’s book was published AND exactly during the time he found out my book was coming out the next year (2013) for the 50th anniversary! The Gerald Blaine documents consist of 28 pages – mostly duty assignments and travel vouchers, but there are two survey reports – one for Tampa and the one for a post assassination State Department reception between foreign dignitaries and LBJ. There is also a brief statement, a denial of having consumed any alcoholic beverages at the Press Club or the Cellar in Ft. Worth.

Obscure Secret Service agent Gerald Blaine, who served 5 years, came out of nowhere in 2010 with the book THE KENNEDY DETAIL, a New York Times best seller from the biggest publishing house in the world. It is full of propaganda and outright lies. Blaine came out with his book (starting the writing of it in 2005) because of my 22-page letter to Clint Hill, his dear friend for 50+ years. Subsequently, Hill went on to write three more books with the same co-author, his girlfriend Lisa McCubbin.

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I am in the debut issue of the magazine Garrison: The Journal of History and Deep Politics April/May 2019

I am in the debut issue of the magazine Garrison: The Journal of History & Deep Politics April/May 2019



Facebook: @TheGarrisonJournal


Twitter: @GarrisonJournal


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Bob’s amazing career is documented in chapters in these two books:

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More on Robert DeProspero: my favorite Secret Service agent of all time; a true legend

More on Robert DeProspero: my favorite Secret Service agent of all time; a true legend

This New York Times article has a link to my blog!

Some excerpts from the above article:

In July 1981 Mr. DeProspero was put in charge of the presidential protective detail — Mr. Parr was promoted to assistant director of the Secret Service — and initiated new measures to improve security.

These included placing agents at hospital trauma centers closest to the locations of presidential visits, and using magnetometers to screen guests at presidential events away from the White House. He pressed for the installation of bulletproof glass on White House windows that did not already have them, and for the use of tents for presidents to walk through from their limousine to the entrance of a hotel or other building…

James A. Baker III, Mr. Reagan’s chief of staff during his first term, said Mr. DeProspero had also navigated the safety worries of the first lady, Nancy Reagan, as well as the concerns of White House staff members who did not want overzealous security to impede the president from interacting with voters, especially during his 1984 re-election campaign.

“To block off intersections for 30 or 40 minutes, you keep traffic waiting and lines stall — you lose votes!” Mr. Baker said in a telephone interview. “Bobby handled all that extraordinarily well.”

Mr. DeProspero started in 1965 as part of an influx of new agents hired to strengthen the agency after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963.

Mr. DeProspero developed a reputation as a quiet, forceful and relentless leader during his two decades protecting Mr. Reagan, as well as Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter, and Vice Presidents Spiro T. Agnew, Nelson Rockefeller and Ford.

Mr. DeProspero was promoted to assistant director of training for the Secret Service in 1985 and retired the next year. For the next nine years he was the president of O’Gara Protective Services, a security firm. [clicking on the link “assistant director of training” will take you to my blog and this photo (click on image to enlarge):]

A documentary about his career, “The Man Behind the Suit,” was released in 2016 [I was Assistant Producer for this excellent documentary- my name appears twice at the end]

“Mr. DeProspero [left] was still a teacher when President Kennedy was killed. He recalled tearing up as he listened to news of the assassination on his car radio as he was driving home.

“I thought, ‘What is the guy doing who’s the head of the detail [Gerald Behn]?’ ” he recalled to The Associated Press. “He must be suffering as much as anyone else.”


Bob was a true class act. I was touched when he wrote to me out of the blue in 2011 with positive comments about my work. We e-mailed and corresponded a number of times after that (he even sent me a Christmas card once). We also spoke on the phone a couple times, as he had graciously invited my wife and I down to his daughter Robin’s home for Thanksgiving in 2016 (Joe Petro would also be there). Unfortunately, we could not make it, much to my regret, but that is another story. I cherish the times I spoke to and corresponded with Bob. As I mentioned before, I was somewhat embarrassed by my criticism of the Kennedy Detail agents (before Bob’s time in the agency, mind you). I sent an autographed copy of my first book to Bob with a note stating that I believed President Kennedy would have lived if he was on the detail then.

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“I am impressed with your research, accuracy, and willingness to ‘tell it like it is'”- Secret Service Agent Robert DeProspero, former head of President Reagan’s Detail, in a surprise e-mail to myself in 2011 (this blurb is proudly mentioned in all four of my books. I ended up corresponding and speaking to Mr. DeProspero several times since)

Robert DeProspero joined the Secret Service because of the JFK assassination- he told me it was definitely a catalyst. The Air Force veteran was on the White House Detail for LBJ, Carter and Reagan, rising to both head of the detail and, later, assistant to the Director. He was head of the VP Ford Detail during the later Nixon days. He also guarded former President Eisenhower, VP Agnew and VP Rockefeller. Bob is responsible for everyone going thru magnetometers (metal detectors) in order to get near the President, as well as stationing a hospital agent in case of trauma or an incident. He also was the instigator of bulletproof windows at the White House. Several of the men and women on his detail went on to become Assistant Directors or Directors. Bob has been called perhaps the greatest protection agent the Secret Service ever had. As one of the men who was in charge of the Presidential Protection Detail (PPD, formerly known as the White House Detail), he was part of a very elite corps:
1. Joseph E. Murphy (Teddy Roosevelt [1901]-Taft eras) 2. Dick Jervis (Wilson era) 3. Col. Edmund W. Starling (Wilson-FDR) 4. Michael F. Reilly (1943-1945) 5. George C. Drescher (SAIC 4/12/45-5/3/46; nephew Earl L. Drescher became the deputy chief of the Executive Protective Service in the late 1970’s) 6. James J. Rowley (1946-Sept. 1961) 7. Gerald A. Behn (Sept. 1961-Jan. 1965) 8. Rufus W. Youngblood (1965) 9. Thomas “Lem” Johns (Fall 1965) 10. Clinton J. Hill (Approx. 1966-1968) 11. Robert H. Taylor1 (LBJ & NIXON: 1968-Feb. 1973) 12. Richard E. Keiser (Feb. 1973-1978; Nixon, Ford, Carter) 13. John R. Simpson (Carter; 1978-1979) 14. Gerald S. Parr (Carter-Reagan; 1979-early 1982) 15. Robert DeProspero (Reagan, Jan. 1982-approx. April 1985) 16. Ray Shaddick (Reagan/ Bush; 1985-1989) 17. John W. Magaw (Bush; approximately 1989-1992) 18. Rich “Skip” Miller (Bush/ Clinton; approximately 1992-1993) 19. David Carpenter (Clinton; 1994-1995) 20. Don Flynn (Clinton) 21. Lewis C. Merletti (Clinton) 22. Brian L. Stafford (Clinton) 23. Larry Cockell (Clinton) 24.Carl Truscott (Bush) 25. Eddie Marinzel (Bush) 26. Nick Trotta (Bush) 27. Don White (Bush) 28. Joe Clancy (Obama; 2/1/09-6/30/11) 29. Vic Erevia (Obama; 2011-2013) 30. Robert Buster (Obama; 2013-2015; assistants: Thomas Rizza, Kimberly Tello) 31. Michael White (Obama/ Trump; 2015-2017) 32. Anthony Ornato (Trump)

PHOTO- 7/7/83: President Reagan meets with all the living Special Agent in Charges of the Secret Service White House Detail (WHD; later known as Presidential Protective Division or PPD). L-R: then-current SAIC Robert DeProspero [Reagan], Jerry Parr [Carter-Reagan], James Rowley [Truman-JFK], Jerry Behn [JFK-LBJ], Lem Johns [LBJ], Rufus Youngblood [LBJ], Clint Hill [LBJ], Richard Keiser [Nixon-Carter], President Reagan, and John Simpson [Carter]. Only Keiser and Hill are still living.

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Mr. D, Robert DeProspero, has passed away. 12/31/1938-3/4/2019

Mr. D, Robert DeProspero, has passed away. 12/31/1938-3/4/2019

A Secret Service legend—and my favorite agent—has passed away. Robert DeProspero, who served from 1965-1986 and was head of President Reagans detail for several years…simply the best. Godspeed, Bobby.

I had the supreme pleasure of quite a pleasant surprise in 2011: Mr. DeProspero wrote to me out of the blue with a very nice and inspiring message of encouragement. I confess to being slightly embarrassed for being such a critic of the agency’s performance on 11/22/63 (before his time, mind you), but he didn’t seem to mind.

I had the honor of speaking to him a couple times in 2016 (he generously invited my wife and I to his house for Thanksgiving. To my supreme regret, we could not make it…I really regret not making it now). We also corresponded and I even had the pleasure of speaking to his daughter, also an esteemed member of the Secret Service.

I am very happy I was able to be an Associate Producer of the documentary about his life, THE MAN BEHIND THE SUIT.

I am saddened by his passing but heartened by the example of the life he led. He truly left his mark on the world.

“In the months after the attack [3/30/81-Reagan assassination attempt], DeProspero took over Reagan’s security detail. He imposed a raft of new security requirements, some of which remain standard Secret Service protocol.
He is credited with the agency’s decision to begin using magnetometers to screen guests to all presidential visits away from White House. Presidential advisors had long resisted such electronic frisking, fearing it might alienate invited donors and constituents.
DeProspero also enacted the policy, still in force today, of stationing an agent at the closest trauma hospital whenever the president travels.
DeProspero also successfully pushed for the installation of bulletproof glass on many White House windows, over the objections of the mansion’s historical preservationists.

Eight members of Mr. DeProspero’s detail became assistant or deputy directors of the Secret Service, and two, Lewis Merletti and Brian Stafford, rose to become director.”

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SAM SULLIMAN R.I.P. 1930-2019

Samuel Edward Sulliman age 88, passed away at his home in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania surrounded by his family and friends on February 26, 2019. The 6th child born in New Britain, Connecticut to Moses and Alma Sulliman on August 13, 1930. A proud first generation American, Sam was an Army veteran who served from 1948-1952, seeing active duty in the Korean War. He attended college at Bucknell, playing baseball and football, graduating in 1956 with a Bachelors degree in Political Science. Sam went to law school for 1 year at the University of Connecticut, before being recruited by the US Secret Service. Sam served in the US Secret Service, Presidential Protective Division for 20 years, among those to whom he was assigned were Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Ford, Carter as well as Vice Presidents Agnew and Rockefeller. Following retirement from the Secret Service, Sam worked for J. Robert Fluor as Head of Security for The Fluor Corporation in Southern California. From there Sam moved to Pennsylvania where he worked as Head of Security for US Healthcare/Aetna until retiring in the mid 90’s. Sam enjoyed his retired life and would spend his days watching he beloved Boston Red Sox and his Washington Redskins. He loved the outdoors enjoying any time he could be outside,mowing the lawn on his favorite tractor. He enjoyed listening to Frank Sinatra every morning while reading the newspaper. Sam loved to share stories of his time in the Secret Service and his Army life with his family and friends. He was an avid lover of dogs especially German Shepherds which he owned many throughout the years. He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years Lillian, and their 3 children David, Victoria and Elizabeth along with the family dog Koda. The family will hold a Celebration of Life Memorial later this Spring. If you would care to honor him with a donation in his name you may through the Alzheimer’s Association at God Bless America

I spoke to Sam at length in 2004. He was one of the good guys. He was one of many agents that told me that JFK never ordered the agents off his limo (Sam himself rode on the rear of the limo in Ireland and Germany). Sam was stationed at the Trade Mart on 11/22/63.

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