JFK’s Secret Service agents: who is still alive, who has passed away

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IN RESPONSE TO THIS E-MAIL INQUIRY 3/23/18:

“Mr. Palamara,

My name is A…S…, I am the Historian at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. I wanted to chat with you regarding your interviews with former Secret Service Agents during the Johnson Administration. We are in the process of restoring the interior of the Command Post on the LBJ Ranch and we wanted to capture oral histories with agents who are still alive, naturally. I am making up a list based off some images from the LBJ Library, but I was wondering if you maintained contact with any agents who served during the Kennedy/Johnson time period. Don Brett actually just moved down here from Florida within the last year, I hope to meet with him soon. I do know Jerry McKinney, Clint Hill, Michael Shannon, Ernie Olsson, Woody Taylor, Ron Pontius, Charles Marass and William Duncan are all still alive. Thank you for you assistance, I hope to hear from you soon.
Sincerely,

A… S…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Park Historian/Resource Specialist

Oral Historian

“A man without a vote, is a man without protection.” President Lyndon B. Johnson

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

P.O. Box 329

100 E. Ladybird Lane

Johnson City, TX 78636

Our conservation must be not just the classic conservation of protection and development, but a creative conservation of restoration and innovation. Its concern is not with nature alone, but with the total relation between man and the world around him.  Lyndon B. Johnson

 


MY RESPONSE:

Mr. A…,
Thank you for writing. Yes, I have interviewed and corresponded with quite a few former Secret Service agents, especially during the JFK and LBJ years, particularly in the years 1992-2006. I am the author of four books, three of which pertain to the Secret Service (the fourth one, WHO’S WHO IN THE SECRET SERVICE, is coming out 9/1/18). I have appeared on The History Channel, C-SPAN and on the DVD/ BLU RAY A COUP IN CAMELOT, but I digress.
Two caveats: 1) quite a few of these men have since passed away (although, of course, I have them archived in my books and so forth) and 2) being a harsh critic of their performance on 11/22/63 has not endeared me to these agents, to put it mildly. For the most part, the agents were (surprisingly) cooperative and borderline amiable, but I have become persona non grata since former JFK/LBJ era agents Clint Hill and Gerald Blaine both came out with their best-selling books (one for Blaine, three for Hill, all with the same female co-author who is now Hill’s companion). In fact, both men were retired and (then) in their mid-seventies and had 0.0 notion of writing a book or books…until I contacted Hill with essentially a “cliff notes” version of my as-yet-unpublished first book which was cause for great consternation, as I was calling out their beloved agency for gross negligence in the death of President Kennedy. Unbeknownst to myself at the time, Blaine and Hill were in constant communication (in person and via the phone & internet), as they knew each other since serving in the Denver field office in the late 1950’s!
Hill and Blaine went on to mention myself and my work—twice—-on television: C-SPAN, in interviews with CEO Brian Lamb. Once all this came about, I was officially persona non grata, especially when my first book finally came out for the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination in 2013, not to mention my other books.
All that in proper focus, here is who I interviewed/ contacted/ corresponded with just from the (JFK) LBJ era (1961-1969; LBJ as VP and President [NOTE: Most, but not all, White House Detail. May have protected LBJ as VP, President either permanently or part-time: field office, temp assignment]):
 

1) SAIC and Chief James Rowley, 9/27/92; deceased 11/1/92;

2) SAIC Gerald Behn, three times on 9/27/92; deceased 4/21/93; 

3) Chief Inspector Michael Torina, 1997 and 2004; deceased 8/21/2008;

4) Shift Leader Art Godfrey, twice in 1996 + 1997; deceased 5/12/2002;

5) ASAIC, SAIC and Assistant Director Rufus Youngblood, 1992 and 1994; deceased 10/2/1996; author of a book 20 YEARS IN THE SECRET SERVICE (1973; new edition coming out 5/31/18 with a new Foreword by Clint Hill);

6) SAIC (later, Director) Stu Knight, 1992 and 1994; deceased 9/7/2009;

7) Shift Leader, SAIC, Assistant Director Thomas “Lem” Johns, 2004; deceased 5/10/2014; Lem and his wife were involved in the 2013 DVD Lem Johns: Secret Service Man ;

8) Shift Leader Jerry Kivett, 1997, 2004 and 2006; deceased 6/26/2010did a Sixth Floor Museum oral history;

9) Richard E. Johnsen, 9/27/92; deceased 10/2/2010;

10) Joseph Paolella, 1997 and 2003; deceased 9/2017appeared in the book THE DARK SIDE OF CAMELOT and ABC Special;

11) Robert Lilley, 1992, 1996, and 2004; deceased 2/19/2016;

12) ASAIC and Inspector Floyd Boring, 1993, 1994 and 1997; deceased 2/1/2008;

13) Jerry Parr (later, SAIC Carter-Reagan era and Assistant Director), 1995; deceased 10/9/2015; author of a book IN THE SECRET SERVICE (2013);

14) Dale Keaner, 2005; deceased 4/20/2015;

15) Ed Morey, 2005; deceased 11/7/2014;

16) Don Lawton, 1995 and 1997; deceased 4/5/2013;

17) Jack Ready, 2005; deceased 2/24/2014;

18) John Joe Howlett, 1997; deceased 10/10/2013;

19) P. Hamilton Brown, 1992; deceased 9/2/2013;

20) Talmadge Bailey, 1997 and 2004; deceased 3/11/2011;

21) Frank Stoner, 2004-2005; deceased 2/15/2009;

22) Winston Gintz, 2004; deceased 7/21/2008;

23) Vince Mroz, 2003; deceased 7/22/2008- the day after Gintz, above;

24) SAIC of PRS Robert Bouck, 1992; deceased 4/27/2008;

25) Lynn Meredith, 2004-2005; deceased 4/17/2008;

26) Special Officer Stanley Galup, 2003; deceased 7/15/2007;

27) Uniformed Division John Norris, 1994; deceased 4/30/2003;

28) Assistant Treasury Secretary G. d’Andelot “Don” Belin, 1997; deceased 4/15/2003;

29) Sam Kinney, 1992, 1994; deceased 7/21/97;

30) Dallas Office SAIC Forrest Sorrels, 1992; deceased November 1993;

31) Dallas Office Robert Steuart, 1992 and 1993; deceased 12/11/99;

Agents I interviewed/ contacted/ corresponded with just from the (JFK) LBJ era (1961-1969; LBJ as VP and President) WHO ARE STILL ALIVE (I THINK):

32) Walt Coughlin, 2003-2005; from Dallas, TX; did an oral history for the Sixth Floor Museum recently (on You Tube);

33) Sam Sulliman, 2003; has Atzheimers; from PA; deceased 2/26/19

34) Ernest Olsson, 2004 [spoke briefly; not cooperative; didn’t like to talk about those days]; deceased 7/1/19

35) William “Tim” McIntyre, 2005; from California; appeared in the book THE DARK SIDE OF CAMELOT and ABC Special; deceased 8/25/19

36) Clint Hill, 2005; from VA, now lives in San Francisco; has his own website and three books;appeared on the 2010 KENNEDY DETAIL documentary, etc.;

37) Ronald Pontius, e-mail 2000; lives in San Clemente, CA; appeared on the 2010 KENNEDY DETAIL documentary;

38) Jim Goodenough, 2004; from Toledo, Ohio;

39) Charles Marass, 2003; from Gettysburg, PA; deceased 10/23/16

40) Gerald Blaine, 2004-2005; from Colorado; author of THE KENNEDY DETAIL; appeared on the 2010 KENNEDY DETAIL documentary; appears on You Tube re: C-SPAN and Sixth Floor Museum appearances, etc.;

41) Ken Giannoules, 2005 [spoke briefly; not cooperative]; did an oral history for the Sixth Floor Museum recently (on You Tube);

42) Bill Livingood, 1992 and 1997; lives in VA; later the Sgt at Arms for the House of Representatives, Clinton-Obama era!

43) Gerald O’Rourke, 2005; from Colorado;

44) Winston Lawson, 1992 and 2003; from VA; appeared on the 2010 KENNEDY DETAIL documentary; DECEASED 11/7/19

45) Frank Yeager, 2003 and 2004; from Kentucky;

46) Gerald Bechtle, 1997; from VA;

47) Abraham Bolden, 1993-present; author of THE ECHO FROM DEALEY PLAZA; has own Facebook page;

48) Chuck Zboril, 1995; from Chicago AND Florida; not friendly now- gave my first book a bad review on Amazon 🙂 deceased 7/13/19

49) Radford Jones, 2003; from Michigan; gave interview on You Tube recently; also did a Sixth Floor oral history;

50) Dale Wunderlich, 1999 and 2009; did a Sixth Floor oral history; deceased 4/25/19

51) Bill Carter, 2007; author of GET CARTER;

52) Darwin Horn, 2003-2004; author of DAR’S STORY;

53) Frank Slocum, 2004; from Hawaii; deceased 12/15/14

https://fr-ca.findagrave.com/memorial/152766878/frank-david-slocum

54) Larry Newman, 2004; appeared in the book THE DARK SIDE OF CAMELOT and ABC Special; deceased 12/21/17

55) Tony Sherman, 2004; appeared in the book THE DARK SIDE OF CAMELOT and ABC Special; [update—-now deceased]

56) Ken Wiesman, e-mail 2000; from Texas;

57) White House Detail (female) Secretary Eve Dempsher, 2003; from Maryland;

Agents I did not contact because they died before I had a chance to contact them (I was born in 1966 and didn’t begin to interview agents until 1991/1992)

58) Thomas B. Shipman, deceased 10/14/63; I did interview family

59) ASAIC and Assistant Director Roy Kellerman, deceased 3/22/84; I did interview family

60) William Greer, deceased 2/23/85; I did interview family

61) Assistant Chief Paul Paterni, deceased 2/5/84; I did interview a friend

62) Chief U.E. Baughman, deceased 11/6/78;

63) Coin Hauk, deceased 3/28/2017;

64) Roger Warner, deceased 6/4/2016;

65) Forrest Guthrie, deceased 4/25/2016; author of SPECIAL AGENT IN CHARGE (2014);

66) William H. Patterson, deceased 12/3/2006;

67) Robert Kollar, deceased 11/17/2014;

68) John Gleason, deceased 9/10/2014;

69) Frank Hancock, deceased 2/6/2014;

70) David Grant, CLINT HILL’S BROTHER-IN-LAW!; deceased 12/28/2013; UK interview on You Tubeappeared on the 2010 KENNEDY DETAIL documentary;

71) Louis Mayo, deceased 5/11/2013;

72) Jack Walsh, deceased January 2012;

73) George Chaney, deceased 8/14/2011;

74) George Hickey, Jr., deceased 2011 [I left him alone because a) he was ill and b) he was tormented by the book MORTAL ERROR which alleged that he “accidentally” fired the fatal shot that killed JFK!];

75) Robert Faison, deceased 6/28/2011;

76) John Joseph Lardner, deceased 11/19/2010;

77) Glen Weaver, deceased 4/4/2010;

78) Jim Jeffries, deceased 1/18/2009;

79) Bob Foster, deceased 6/18/2008;

80) James “Mike” Mastrovito, deceased 11/24/2006; I did interview family;

81) Dick Metzinger, deceased 2006; I did interview family-daughter Julie;

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82) Lawrence Hess, deceased 11/5/2006;

83) Andy Berger, deceased 6/22/2006;

84) Arthur Blake, deceased 4/7/2006;

85) Paul Burns, deceased 4/5/2005;

86) John Paul Jones, deceased March 2004;

87) Treasury Secretary C. Douglas Dillon, deceased 1/10/2003;

88) Bill Bacherman, deceased 5/31/2002;

89) Head of Uniformed Division Ralph Stover, deceased 1/24/2002;

90) Elmer Moore, deceased 12/4/2001;

91) Chief Inspector Jackson Krill, deceased 1/20/2000;

92) Dennis Halterman, deceased 1988; I did interview family;

93) Howard Anderson, deceased;

94) Inspector Burrill Peterson, deceased 11/6/95;

95) PRS agent Walter Pine, deceased;

96) PRS agent Elliot Thacker, deceased;

97) PRS agent Walter Young, deceased 1996;

98) Henry Rybka, deceased 12/25/75;

99) Shift Leader Stu Stout, deceased December 1974; I did interview family;

100) Shift Leader Emory Roberts, deceased 10/8/73;

101) PRS agent Glen Bennett, deceased 4/4/94;

102) Andy Hutch, deceased 1991;

103) Harvey Henderson, deceased January 1994;

104) John J. “Muggsy” O’Leary, deceased December 1975;

105) Lubert “Bert” de Freese, deceased 1991;

106) Ned Hall II, deceased 11/26/98; I did interview family;

107) Bill Payne, deceased;

108) Charlie Kunkel, deceased 6/27/92;

109) Robert Jamison, deceased;

110) PRS agent Elmer Lawrence, deceased;

111) SAIC of Forgery J. Leroy Lewis, deceased;

112) Inspector Gerard McCann, deceased;

113) Jack Parker, deceased;

114) White House Detail Clerk Walter Blaschak, deceased;

115) Inspector Thomas Kelley, deceased;

116) Clarence Knetsch, deceased;

117) Paul Doster, deceased 1987;

118) John Marshall, deceased;

119) Jerry Dolan, deceased 8/10/93;

120) PRS agent (formerly Ike’s driver) Deeter B. “Dick” Flohr, deceased 2/24/96;

121) Wade Rodham (Hillary’s first cousin!), deceased 1983;

122) ASAIC and Aide to the Assistant Chief for Security John Campion, deceased 1983;

123) SAIC Robert Taylor, deceased 3/12/81;

124) Jack Holtzhauer, deceased 10/19/98;

125) William C. Davis, deceased;

126) Brooks Keller, deceased 4/3/78;

127) Assistant Chief Russell “Buck” Daniels, deceased;

128) Edith Duncan (Bouck and Baughman’s secretary), deceased;

129) PRS agent James K. “Jack” Fox, deceased 1987;

130) James Griffith, deceased;

131) Assistant Chief Ed Wildy, deceased;

132) Robert Newbrand, deceased;

133) SAIC White House Garage Morgan Gies, deceased 1980;

134) Thomas Wooge, deceased 10/17/68;

135) Jim Hardin, deceased August 2016:

Agents still living (OR MAY STILL BE LIVING-?) who I did not successfully contact and/ or could not locate:

136) Paul Landis; lives near Cleveland, OH; attempted several timesappeared on the 2010 KENNEDY DETAIL documentary;

137) Warren “Woody” Taylor; did a Sixth Floor Museum oral history; deceased

138) Willliam Duncan; attempted; I did interview family;

139) James “Mike” Howard; did a Sixth Floor Museum oral history; recent lecture on You Tube; recent interviews via Google News;

140) Michael J. Shannon; lives in Grand Rapids, MI;

141) John “Jack” Giuffre; lives in Sarasota, FL; I did interview family; deceased 11/14/17

142) Robert Burke; attempted several times; on C-SPAN in 1997;

143) Donald Bendickson;

144) Robert Lockwood;

145) Toby Chandler; attempted; appeared on the 2010 KENNEDY DETAIL documentary; did a Sixth Floor Museum oral history;

146) Victor Gonzalez; did a Sixth Floor Museum oral history; deceased 6/29/18

147) Ed Z. Tucker;

148) Joseph Noonan (if still alive, has Altzheimer’s);

149) Tom Wells; attempted; from Florida;

150) Thomas Behl;

151) Charles Taylor;

152) Bill Skiles;

153) Harry Gibbs;

154) Ed Mougin;

155) Earl Moore;

156) Scott Trundle;

157) Donald C. Brett; from Sarasota, FL;

158) Jim Cantrell-?

159) Frank Farnsworth-?

160) Tom Fridley-?

161) Bob Till-?

162) Bob Gaugh-?

163) Jim Giovanetti-?

164) Doc Walters-?

165) Jack Warner-?

166) Jim Johnson

167) Milt Wilhite-?

168) Harry Geglein-?

169) Gary Seale

170) Bill Cheslock-?

171) Jerry McKinney

172) Arnie Lau

173) Mac Sweazey-?

174) Bill Straughn-?

175) Mike Kelly-?

176) Carroll Winslow-?

177) Gayle Dobish-?

178) Milt Scheuerman-?

179) Bob Lapham-?

180) Bernie Mullady-?; I did get contacted by the family- unclear if he is actually still living;

181) John McCarthy-?

182) Chester Miller-?

183) Roy “Gene” Nunn; from Texas; worked for FEMA;

184) PRS agent Cecil Taylor;

185) PRS agent Ken Thompson-?

186) PRS agent Thomas White-?

187) PRS agent Max Phillips-?

ADDENDUM: OTHER agents I interviewed from the JFK/LBJ era who are still living [did not feel like renumbering!]:

188) Robert Snow, 2003;

189) Paul Rundle, e-mail;

190) Kent Jordan;

191) Robert DeProspero, 2011-present; DVD THE MAN BEHIND THE SUIT (I was a producer); deceased 3/4/19

192) Howell “Hal” Purvis, 2005;

SENT SEPERATE MESSAGE-

ADDENDUM II: OTHER AGENTS UNSURE IF STILL ALIVE (EXCEPT 3):

Wes Bishop (Training Division)

D. BALDELLI

WARNER BROWN

A. CHALFANT

JOHN CHIPPS

ROGER COUNTS

EARL DECIMA (TRANSPORTATION DIVISION)

WILLIAM GEASA

JOHN GOLDEN (TRANSPORTATION DIVISION)

GUS HOLMES (TRANSPORTATION DIVISION)

BOB HEYN

DAN HURLEY

KENNETH IACOVONI-DECEASED

WILLIAM J. KIERAN

JAMES E. LE GETTE

ROBERT LUTZ

ROGER MANTHE

ROBERT MELCHIORI

DENNIS V.N. MCCARTHY-DECEASED

BILL MCLARIN (ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF TRAINING)

JIMMY L.C. MILLER

JIM MITCHELL (TRANSPORTATION DIVISION)

ED NOLAND

CHUCK ROCHNER

RICHARD ROTH

D. SHAW

JOHN SIMPSON (LATER, SAIC CARTER AND DIRECTOR)-DECEASED

WILL SLADE (TRANSPORTATION DIVISION)

PHILIP STROTHER

JIMMY TAYLOR

RONALD C. TOWNS

JERRY TERRY

GENE F. WOFFORD

agents from other eras I spoke to and/or corresponded with (post JFK/LBJ EXCEPT *TRUMAN)

DAN EMMETT

BOB RITTER

TERRY SAMWAY

GEORGE ROGERS

REX SCOUTEN*

JOHN CARMAN

DONALD STEBBINS

ROBIN DEPROSPERO

DON COX

EARL DRESCHER

JOHN BARLETTA

WILLIAM MCCORD

TOM HEUERMAN

MARK HARMON

MIKE MADDALONI

 

77

Sincerely,

Vince Palamara

Vincent Michael Palamara

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Secret Service agent Winston Lawson has passed away 11/7/19

Secret Service agent Winston Lawson has passed away 11/7/19

I spoke to Lawson in 1992 and corresponded with him a few times in 2003. He was the lead advance agent for the Dallas trip (Clint Hill’s brother in law, David Grant, was his assistant). Lawson told me that it never came to his attention that President Kennedy ever requested that the agents not ride on the rear of the limousine. Lawson was responsible for the limited number of motorcycles next to JFK’s limousine.

With Lawson’s passing, that leaves just Clint Hill and Paul Landis alive representing agents in the motorcade.

Agents Walt Coughlin, Ron Pontius, Gerald Blaine, Robert Burke, Bill Duncan and Ken Giannoules are still alive (they were on other parts of the Texas trip).

 

https://www.legacy.com/amp/obituaries/pilotonline/194399504

Winston G. Lawson, 91, of Virginia Beach died Thursday at Lake Taylor Transitional Hospital in Norfolk. He was born in western New York to Cecile Lawson (nee Post) and Merle Lawson. After graduating from high school in Buffalo he headed at age 16 to the University of Buffalo, graduating in 4 years with a History and Government degree. While at UB he met Barbara Barrett, who was the younger sister of his fraternity brother. They married in 1950. During the Korean War he served in Army Counterintelligence. After the war he used that experience to join the United States Secret Service where he served under 7 Presidents from Eisenhower to Reagan. Some of his favorite memories are from his time guarding Vice Presidents Humphrey and Agnew. After a long and distinguished career in which he rose to Acting Assistant Director he retired and went on to serve another 10 years with the intelligence community. Following that career he worked for Reverends Billy and Franklin Graham doing security around the world. In addition to his careers of service he volunteered for numerous organizations like Meals on Wheels, Francis Asbury United Methodist Church, Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service, Samaritans Purse, and others. He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Barbara; daughter, Andrea (Don); son, Jeff (Denise); brother, Merlin (Nina); grandchildren, Matthew, Reid, Rhianna, Riley, Matt S., Emma, and Brandon, and several beloved nieces and nephews.

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LBJ

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VINCE PALAMARA ON NEWSMAX TV

VINCE PALAMARA ON NEWSMAX TV

Wow- NEWSMAX TV aired two of the three episodes of The Men Who Killed Kennedy from 2003 (including my episode The Smoking Guns plus The Love Affair) this past Saturday 11/2/19 AND they are airing them again this Thursday 11/7/19 (perhaps other times, as well). The episode The Guilty Men did not and will not air- this LBJ-did-it episode is the reason all the episodes were banned, despite the huge ratings and DVD sales (50,000-plus sold in 2003/2004!). my episode originally aired four times in November 2003 and never again…16 years later, it has returned. NOTE: I am only on for a few minutes. It was good for the time but my appearance on A Coup in Camelot (DVD/Blu Ray/ Amazon streaming) is longer, newer [2013/2016], and better. In any event, check it out!

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE:

 

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KENNEDY ORDERING AGENTS OFF LIMO AND BEING THE BOSS OF THE SECRET SERVICE DEBUNKED

KENNEDY ORDERING AGENTS OFF LIMO AND BEING THE BOSS OF THE SECRET SERVICE DEBUNKED (lengthy excerpts from my third book; see also my first and fourth books)

Chief James J. Rowley testified under oath to the Warren Commission: “No President will tell the Secret Service what they can or cannot do.”

In fact, Rowley’s predecessor, former Chief U.E. Baughman, who had served under JFK from Election night 1960 until he was fired (“retired”) by the Kennedy brothers in September 1961, had written in his 1962 book Secret Service Chief, “Now the Chief of the Secret Service is legally empowered to countermand a decision made by anybody in this country if it might endanger the life or limb of the Chief Executive. This means I could veto a decision of the President himself if I decided it would be dangerous not to. The President of course knew this fact.”

Indeed, an Associated Press story from November 15, 1963 stated, “The [Secret] Service can overrule even the President where his personal security is involved.”

Former Agent George McNally, also on the Texas trip, among many others, wrote, “Legally the Secret Service could forbid a President to do such and such or go to this or that place.”9

Former Agent Mike Reilly, the SAIC for FDR, wrote: “Incidentally, every schoolboy knows that the White House Secret Service boss can order the President of the United States not to go here or there if he chooses… presidents usually accept the laws of the land and follow Secret Service advice with little or no question.”10

Former JFK Secret Service agent Bill Carter wrote, “The Secret Service still had absolute authority … complete authority when it came to a presidential visit.”

President Harry Truman agreed, stating, “The Secret Service was the only boss that the President of the United States really had.”6 This was brought up during Chief James Rowley’s LBJ Library oral history. In fact, Chief Rowley heard this exact sentiment again repeated by none other than President Lyndon Johnson. President Bill Clinton also used Truman’s words as a reference before a gathering of Secret Service officials (including former directors Eljay Bowron, John Magaw and Stu Knight, as well as SAIC Larry Cockell) and other dignitaries for the dedication of the United States Secret Service Memorial Building on 10/14/99: “Harry Truman once said, the Secret Service was the only boss he had as President, with the exception of Mrs. Truman. And even when I don’t like it, I have to admit that’s true.”

In an 11/23/63 UPI story, titled “Secret Service Men Wary of Motorcade,” based in part on “private conversations” with unnamed agents, Robert J. Serling wrote, “An agent is the only man in the world who can order a President of the United States around if the latter’s safety is believed at stake … in certain situations an agent outranks even a President” (emphasis added). In addition, Democratic National Committee advance man Jerry Bruno, who played a role in planning the Texas trip, wrote, “[The Secret Service’s] word on security was final. They could by law order a President not to go some place, on security grounds, and he was bound to obey them.”8

During former Kennedy era agent Clint Hill’s 11/19/10 Sixth Floor Museum oral history (sitting next to Gerald Blaine), the former agent revealed the full, unvarnished truth about JFK: he did not order the agents to do anything; they did what they wished to do, security-wise: “He can tell you what he wants done and he can tell you certain things but that doesn’t mean you have to do it. What we used to do was always agree with the President and then we’d do what we felt was best anyway.”  

Agent Hill’s April 1964 report : “I … never personally was requested by President John F. Kennedy not to ride on the rear of the Presidential automobile. I did receive information passed verbally from the administrative offices of the White House Detail of the Secret Service to agents assigned to that Detail that President Kennedy had made such requests. I do not know from whom I received this information … No written instructions regarding this were ever distributed … (I) received this information after the Presidents return to Washington, D. C. This would have been between November 19,1963 and November 21, 1963 [note the time frame]. I do not know specifically who advised me of this request by the President (emphasis added).” Why Mr. Hill could not “remember” the specific name of the agent who conveyed JFK’s alleged desires is very troubling – he revealed it on 3/9/64, presumably before his report was written, in his (probably pre-rehearsed) testimony under oath to the future Senator Arlen Specter, then a lawyer with the Warren Commission: none other than Floyd Boring [see what Boring had to say below:]

—————————–

Special Agent in Charge of the JFK detail, Gerald Behn, told me on 9/27/92: “I don’t remember Kennedy ever saying that he didn’t want anybody on the back of his car.”

Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the JFK detail, Floyd Boring, told me the same thing on three different occasions between 1993 and 1997: “[JFK] was a very easy-going guy … he didn’t interfere with our actions at all. He was a very nice man; he never interfered with us at all. President Kennedy was very cooperative with the Secret Service.” Boring also told the JFK Library on 2/25/76: “Of all the administrations I worked with [FDR-LBJ], the president and the people surrounding the president were very gracious and were very cooperative. As a matter of fact, you can’t do this type of security work without cooperation of the people surrounding the president.” (In my interviews with Mr. Boring, he was adamant that he never spoke to William Manchester and denounced the substance of the made-up quote attributed to him [the whole “Ivy League charlatans” nonsense attributed to JFK]. Ironically, none other than Gerald Blaine himself went on record stating that Boring was never interviewed by Manchester!12 The archivist of the entire collection of Manchester papers wrote to me: “I can confirm that there is no transcript of an interview with Floyd Boring in the papers.”13 I have always suspected – as I spelled out in my first book – that Gerald Blaine was the source for the quote in Manchester’s book attributed to Boring. Blaine’s good friend Frank Badalson wrote in an online review contesting my book: “Could it mean that Manchester simply confused the men?” Oh, really? This was my suspicion all along – Blaine, who was interviewed for the book instead of Boring, was the source of this made-up quote, just as Blaine submitted handwritten notes to the National Archives that were clearly written long after 11/22/63, as well as writing about a meeting that never occurred: as a fellow former agent said, it is “horsexxxx”!14

Winston G. Lawson, the lead advance agent for the Dallas trip, wrote to me in a letter dated 1/12/04: “I do not know of any standing orders for the agents to stay off the back of the car…it never came to my attention as such.”

Shift Leader Art Godfrey, also on the Texas trip, told me on three different occasions between 1996 and 1997: “President Kennedy never ordered us to do anything. He was a very nice man … cooperative…President Kennedy never asked me to have my shift leave the limo when we were working it.” Agent Sam Kinney, the driver of the follow-up car on the Florida and Texas trips (among many others), told me on three different occasions between 1992 and 1994: “[the idea that JFK ordered them off the limo] is absolutely, positively false … no, no, no: he had nothing to do with that … No, never – the agents say, ‘O.K., men, fall back on your posts’ … President Kennedy was one of the easiest presidents to ever protect; Harry S. Truman was a jewel just like John F. Kennedy was … 99% of the agents would agree … [JFK] was one of the best presidents ever to control – he trusted every one of us…for the record of history that is false – Kennedy never ordered us to do anything. I am aware of what is being said but that is false.” (Sam believed there was a conspiracy and knew the back of JFK’s head was missing, corroboration for a shot from the front, as he had the piece in his hand and put in a phone patch aboard the C-130 to Dr. Burkley. What became of this specific fragment is a mystery. Sam’s grandchild contacted me, telling me that Sam’s wife Hazel believed LBJ was involved in JFK’s death!)

Agent Bob Lilley conveyed to me on four different occasions between 1992 and 1996:”JFK was very cooperative with us once he became President. He was extremely cooperative. Basically, ‘whatever you guys want is the way it will be’”.

Agent Don Lawton told me on 11/15/95 that he agreed with his friends Sam and Bob, above: “It’s the way Sam said, yes. You can take whatever information [Bob Lilley] passed on to you as gospel. JFK was very personable … very warm. Everyone felt bad. It was our job to protect the President. You still have regrets, remorse. Who knows, if they had left guys on the back of the car … you can hindsight yourself to death (emphasis added).” In fact, in new information from an obscure local news article (Idaho State Journal 11/24/13) that was totally overlooked by everyone on the 50th anniversary of the assassination comes some explosive new information regarding Lawton and his feelings on the matter at hand: “Former Marine officer Jacquee Alvord is convinced the theory that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of President Kennedy 50 years ago is false. Her skepticism is born from intimate knowledge about the military and CIA and the fact a good friend of hers was a Secret Service agent in Dallas that fateful day. His name was Donald Lawton and his job with the Secret Service was how they met.… ‘Don had a personal like for the man,’ Alvord said. ‘He said Kennedy had a great personality and was easy to talk to.’” A few days before Kennedy’s Nov. 22 visit to Dallas, she talked to Lawton about his duties in Florida where the president had just visited. Lawton talked about how he had ridden on the rear platform of the presidential limousine just behind the president. It was a job requiring balance and concentration that Lawton had perfected [note: Lawton also rode on the rear of the limo 3/23/63 in Chicago]. “He told me he was going to Texas next,” Alvord said…“He said his job had been to secure the airport in Dallas and that he had not been with the motorcade.” [Right after the assassination] I asked him if he was OK and he said, ‘No,’” Alvord said. “He said, ‘I should have been there.’” It wasn’t until February of 1964 that Alvord was able to meet Lawton again in person. She said he was nervous because he was going to be interviewed by lawyers with the Warren Commission. The commission was a group of government officials, led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, charged with investigating the Kennedy assassination. There was some concern that Secret Service agents had been out drinking late the night before the fatal shooting and might not have been completely fit to protect the president. But Alvord said something else was bothering Lawton and he wouldn’t talk about it. “I knew he felt guilt,” Alvord said. “That’s why he kept saying, ‘I should have been there.’” It wasn’t until later that Alvord realized the significance of Lawton’s statements. She watched the documentary film “Four Days in November” and saw Lawton at Love Field in Dallas as the president’s motorcade was preparing to depart. He was running alongside the rear of the car with his hand behind the president. It was a position he had mastered before jumping aboard the platform at the rear of the limousine. It was something Lawton had done in Florida and Chicago during presidential parades earlier in 1963. Suddenly, someone pulled Lawton away from the car. The motorcade proceeded without him or any agent manning the rear platform on the president’s limousine. To this day, it’s a mystery to Alvord and others why there were no Secret Service agents on the back of that limo. “If Don had been standing there, he would have been killed or prevented it,” Alvord said. “That’s why he kept saying, ‘I should have been there.’” (Lawton passed away in 2013. His nephew, Richard James Lawton, wrote to me and thanked me for the information I had about his uncle).

Presidential aide Dave Powers, President Kennedy’s best friend and political helper, who rode in the Secret Service follow-up car in Dallas and was on many other trips, wrote to me on 9/10/93:” [The agents] never had to be told to ‘get off’ the limousine.” For the record, Agent Bob Lilley endorsed Mr. Powers’ view: “Dave would give you factual answers.” Frank Vamos wrote me on 12/6/10, “I developed a friendship with Dave Powers, and he told me that the President never asked the agents to get off of the limo.” Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) Director Tom Samoluk told me in 1996 that JFK’s longtime friend and Presidential Aide Dave Powers, “agreed with your take on the Secret Service,” based on a lengthy interview Samoluk had with the gentleman. Researcher Will Ruha wrote to me on 11/11/13 concerning his in-person interview with Dave Powers:
“Zboril, Blaine, et al, are full of it in their sorry refusal to accept responsibility and properly expiate for their failure in Dallas. What is so pathetic, indeed so meretricious about their current spate of lies is that they now choose to posthumously assault the very victim their past actions managed to help assassinate. And this I know to be true because shortly after the JFK Library opened, I was invited by JFK’s aide, Dave Powers, to meet privately with him in his office, wherein we engaged in an almost hour-long discussion of JFK, his career, presidency, and alas, the assassination. Dave had been with Jack as a trusted aide and companion since Kennedy first ran for political office in 1946, and he was with him during countless motorcades, including right behind his vehicle in Dallas. Perturbed by Manchester’s claim that JFK was irked by SS agents being too close, I asked him whether the president ever ordered agents away from his vehicle. Dave told me, “No. Not to my knowledge. He respected them and their performance of duties and left the matter of his security and personal safety entirely to their well-trained expertise. I know of no time that he ever ordered agents away from their assigned positions in his security detail.” I mentioned to him early reports that JFK outpaced or tried to avoid Secret Service agents after his election, to which he replied, “Well, you have to understand. He was 43, the youngest elected president in history – following the oldest. So it was natural that the Secret Service may have found it more difficult to keep up with him than Eisenhower. But I can tell you, that almost three years in office and after numerous threats, the president pretty much stuck to their security directives. He believed in them.” I won’t go into all that we talked about, but Dave, you, and I all know that JFK would have never ordered Secret Service agents away in the fall of 1963 for the very fact that he was aware of numerous death threats and plots. Increasingly, he had begun to openly speak about the possibility of his assassination – to Jackie, Bobby, Dave, Kenny, Paul Fay Jr., authors like Jim Bishop, and even, with gallows humor, to Secret Service agents assigned to his protection. A few Sundays before his death, he teased one agent about the possibility of an assassin shooting him from the church’s choir balcony, asking him if he would actually leap forward to throw himself over his president. Jack was deploying his self-deprecating humor as a way of “acting out” what seemed to be almost an inevitability. At one point that season, alighting from the yacht, Honey Fitz, behind Jackie and Anita Fay, Jack acted out his being shot, grabbing his chest and falling to the pier before the mock horrified eyes of Paul Fay. The entire episode was filmed. Jackie was not amused. It was Kennedy’s way of trying to deal with the stress and tension under which he had increasingly been thrust following his back-to-back addresses on detente and civil rights in June. Animosity toward him had spiked and with it, death threats sharply escalated. In November, he repeatedly expressed reluctance to travel both to Florida and Texas in no small part for this very reason – especially to Texas. Senator Smathers (then, the only US. Senator named in the burgeoning Bobby Baker scandal) heartily encouraged him to travel to both places. Bill Fulbright strongly advised him not to go. So did numerous others. On the night of his departure, Kennedy family members and friends were celebrating Bobby’s 38th birthday, but the Attorney General was anything but festive. He was dour, worried, and highly anxious about his brother’s trip to Texas. And during JFK’s stops and talks during the journey – particularly, the evening before his assassination, those behind the podium noticed how violently his hands trembled as he addressed the audience. Some attributed this to his medication, others to his essential reticence before a crowd, but in truth it was his foreboding that somewhere there in Texas he was to be targeted. On the morning of November 22, 1963, perusing the Dallas newspaper, he noticed the black-bordered ad taken out by right-wing extremists and commented on it. Everyone in the room was concerned, very worried. Noticing this, Jack did what he always did in similar circumstances, he showed courage. “If anyone wanted to shoot me,” he explained, “It wouldn’t be that difficult. All he would need would be a high-powered rifle fired from a tall office building and there would be nothing anyone could do about it.” He said this to show that, in almost three years, it hadn’t happened yet, and then he reassured them by telling them not to worry, that the Secret Service would do their jobs. But his comment wasn’t so much prophetic as it was simply based on what he had discovered to be foiled plots against him elsewhere. They hadn’t materialized and so he simply hoped to get through Dallas to LBJ’s ranch and then back home to Washington. And to help ensure this, he assuredly did NOT order any agents away from his car. No way. It never happened.” 

Rufus Youngblood, Vice President Johnson’s lead agent in Dallas who rode in the same limousine as LBJ, told me on more than one occasion between 1992 and 1994: ““President Kennedy wasn’t a hard ass … he never said anything like that [re: removing agents from limo].”

Press Secretary Pierre Salinger conveyed to a colleague of mine that JFK had a good relationship with the Secret Service and, more importantly, did not argue with their security measures.15

Cecil Stoughton, the White House photographer on both the Florida and Dallas trip (among many others), wrote me the following:” I did see a lot of the activity surrounding the various trips of the President, and in many cases I did see the agents in question riding on the rear of the President’s car. In fact, I have ridden there a number of times myself during trips … I would jump on the step on the rear of the [Lincoln] Continental until the next stop. I have made photos while hanging on with one hand … in Tampa [11/18/63], for example…I would just jump on and off [the limo] quickly – no routine… As for the edict of not riding there by order of the President – I can’t give you any proof of first-hand knowledge.”

Michael W. Torina, Chief Inspector of the Secret Service on 11/22/63 who wrote the Secret Service manual16, and to whom I corresponded twice in 1997 and 2003, contributed significantly to a book about the Secret Service written in 1962, in which it is plainly stated, “Agents of the White House Detail ride in the same car with the President. Others will walk or trot alongside, while still others ride in automobiles in front of and behind the Presidential car.”17 Indeed, agent Mike Reilly, the SAIC of the FDR detail, wrote in his book: “There were two inviolate rules. The man running or riding at the President’s shoulder never left that position unless relieved. The other, if a situation got out of hand, empty all cars and get as much Secret Service flesh between the crowd and the Boss as possible.”18

Former agent Sam Sulliman, on the Florida and Texas trips (among many others), told me on 2/11/04 that agents were frequently on the back of the limousine. When told of Art Godfrey’s comments on the matter, the former agent agreed with his colleague. Regarding the notion that JFK ordered the agents off the car, Sulliman told the author twice, “I don’t think so.”

Agent Frank Stoner, a PRS agent during the Kennedy era, told me on 1/17/04: JFK was “very personable. He was an old Navy man. He understood security. He wouldn’t have ordered them off the car.”

Agent Gerald W. “Jerry” O’Rourke, also on the Texas trip, told me on 1/15/04: ““Did President Kennedy order us off the steps of the limo? To my knowledge President Kennedy never ordered us to leave the limo.” The agent added, “President Kennedy was easy to protect as he completely trusted the agents of the Secret Service.”

Agent Vincent Mroz, famous for protecting President Truman on 11/1/50 and who also went on to protect Presidents from Eisenhower to Nixon, told me on 2/7/04 that President Kennedy was “friendly, congenial – he was really easy to get along with … just like Truman.” When asked point blank, if JFK had ever ordered the agents off the car, Mroz said forcefully, “No, no – that’s not true.” When asked a second time, the former agent responded with equal conviction: “He did not order anybody off the car.”

JFK Agent Larry Newman told me on 2/7/04 that there was “no policy” regarding the use of agents on the rear of Kennedy’s car, further adding that the question was “hard to answer: it depends on the crowd, the threat assessment, and so forth. There was not a consistent rule of thumb.” Newman phoned me unexpectedly on 2/12/04 to say that “there was not a directive, per se” from President Kennedy to remove the agents from their positions on the back of his limousine.

Agent Jim Goodenough, on the Texas trip, told me on 3/16/04 that “President Kennedy was a pleasant and cooperative person to work for.”

JFK agent Lynn Meredith wrote to me on 3/9/04: “I do believe if agents had been riding on the rear of the limo in Dallas that President Kennedy would not have been assassinated as they would have been in Oswald’s line of fire.… To elaborate a little more on the assassination in Dallas, I have always believed that the following adverse situations all contributed to the unnecessary and unfortunate death of President Kennedy: (1) No Secret Service agents riding on the rear of the limousine. Meredith wrote to me again on 5/22/05: “I do not know first-hand if President Kennedy ordered agents off the back end of his limousine.”

Agent Darwin Horn told me on 1/30/04: “You asked about Kennedy. I have worked him primarily in Los Angeles on several occasions … and never heard him tell the agents to get off of the car. Agents on the rear of JFK’s car might have made a difference. They may have been hit instead of the President. That would have been all right with all of us. Agents normally would have been on the sides [of the car].”

Robert I. Bouck, SAIC of PRS/Intelligence Division, told me on 9/27/92 that having agents on the back of the limousine depended on factors independent of any alleged Presidential “requests”: “Many times there were agents on his car.” On 4/30/96, the ARRB’s Doug Horne questioned Bouck: “Did you ever hear the President personally say that he didn’t want agents to stand on the running boards on his car, or did you hear that from other agents?” Bouck: “I never heard the President say that personally.” The former agent also told the ARRB that JFK was the “most congenial” of all the presidents he had observed (Bouck served from FDR to LBJ).

DNC Advance man Martin E. “Marty” Underwood, on the Texas trip, told me on 10/9/92 that JFK never ordered the agents off the rear of the car.

JFK Agent Abraham W. Bolden, Sr. told me, in reference to Kennedy’s alleged “requests,” on numerous occasions from 1993-1996 and beyond to the present day that he “didn’t hear anything about that … I never believed that Kennedy said that [ordering removal of agents].”

Maurice G. Martineau, SAIC of Chicago office, joined his colleagues in refuting the Manchester claim that JFK ordered the agents off the rear of the car. Martineau said this to the author in two telephone interviews conducted on 9/21/93 and 6/7/96, respectively.

Agent Walt Coughlin, also on the Texas trip, told me on several occasions between 2003 and 2004: “In almost all parade situations that I was involved with we rode or walked the limo. We often rode on the back of the car.”19 During his 2/18/11 Sixth Floor Museum oral history, Coughlin said, “He was a wonderful man to work with. I loved the job … But he would listen if you told him not to do something. He would, as long as you didn’t ‘cry wolf’ all the time. If you said, you know, ‘Don’t do that’, he assumed you had a good reason. He was good about that … had an agent been allowed to stay on that right bumper, he would have blocked the shot … And it’s a terrible thing to say, but Kennedy really helped improve the Secret Service.”  Walt Coughlin stated on video in 2014 for the Sixth Floor Museum oral history project that JFK was “very cooperative” with the Secret Service. In addition, Walt said the only time he ever heard that JFK ever ordered the agents off the limo was in Dallas. However, Walt was not in Dallas, so what he “heard” is what we all heard: second-hand stories via some of the agents. Also, Walt was on the Florida trip. It is telling that he didn’t hear of any alleged orders there.

JFK Agent Toby Chandler said the following during his 11/20/10 Sixth Floor Museum Oral History: “They [Presidents] have all, in my experience, listened to us. Almost all of them, within reason, have made their point or, in the end, accepted our advice. I don’t know of anybody who deliberately or blatantly over-ruled a Secret Service suggestion. Most of them observe our suggestions.”

William Duncan, the advance agent for the Fort Worth stop, said during his 10/15/05 Sixth Floor Museum oral history that JFK was a “real fine gentleman with a magnetic personality” who was “very friendly” and “very concerned about the people around him – a real pleasure to work with” who was also “easy to work very hard for.” Most importantly, the former agent stated that President Kennedy “let you do your job.” Duncan went on to guard President Nixon. One of Duncan’s colleagues, Mike Endicott, wrote in his book that, during the 1968 campaign, he told Nancy Reagan, wife of presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, that she and her family “must respond at once to what any agent told them.”20

Agent J. Frank Yeager, who assisted in the advance work for both Tampa and Austin, stated in a letter dated 12/29/03: “I did not think that President Kennedy was particularly ‘difficult’ to protect. In fact, I thought that his personality made it easier than some because he was easy to get along with.” In response to the author’s question, “Did President Kennedy ever order the agents off the rear of his limousine?” Yeager wrote, “I know of no “order” directly from President Kennedy… I also do not know who actually made the final decision, but we did not have agents on the rear of the President’s car in Dallas. While Yeager was one of three agents in correspondence (O’Rourke and Ron Pontius were the other two) who seemed to indicate that this alleged order may have originated with Chief of Staff Kenny O’Donnell, I was granted permission to view the transcript of O’Donnell’s interviews with author William Manchester – nothing whatsoever is mentioned concerning any alleged presidential security-related orders of any kind. O’Donnell does not mention anything about telling agents to remove themselves from the limousine during his lengthy Warren Commission testimony, nor in his or his daughter’s books. The same is true for the other two Presidential aides: Larry O’Brien and Dave Powers. In fact, as mentioned above, Powers refutes this whole idea. JFK’s staff is not mentioned as a factor during any of the agents’ Warren Commission testimony, nor in the five reports submitted in April 1964.21 Agents Rowley, Behn, Boring, Godfrey and Kinney denounced the “staff/O’Donnell” notion (see chapter one of my first book Survivor’s Guilt). It is interesting to note that, like JFK, O’Donnell was not blamed for any security deficiencies and the like until after his death in 1977, when he was thus unable to refute any allegations. As for agent Ron Pontius’ personal knowledge, on page 162 of The Kennedy Detail he stated, “I’ve never heard the president say anything about agents on the back of the car.” Perhaps the coup de grace comes from Helen O’Donnell, daughter of JFK Chief of Staff Ken O’Donnell. In a message to the author, based on both her memory and her father’s audio tapes, Helen wrote, “Suffice to say that you are correct; JFK did not order anybody off the car, he never interfered with my dad’s direction on the Secret Service, and this is much backed up by my Dad’s tapes. I think and know from the tapes Dallas always haunted him because of the might-have-beens – but they involved the motorcade route.”

Agent and Kennedy Detail author Gerald Blaine, on the Florida trip (advance agent for Tampa, working with agent Yeager, above) and the Texas trip (among many others), told me on 2/7/04, years before he published his 2010 book, that President Kennedy was “very cooperative. He didn’t interfere with our actions. President Kennedy was very likeable – he never had a harsh word for anyone. He never interfered with our actions.” When I phoned Blaine on 6/10/05, he said the remark regarding “Ivy League charlatans,” made infamous in both Manchester’s book22 and his own book23, came “from the guys … I can’t remember who [said it] … I can’t remember.” Thus, Blaine confirms that he did not hear the remark from JFK. Blaine now denies that either himself or Floyd Boring were interviewed by William Manchester!24 And so it goes. The bottom line: the whole “Ivy League Charlatans” remark was made up – Boring and others told me JFK did not say that! As author and researcher John Onesti wrote on 11/10/13: “I highly doubt JFK would use the language “Ivy League Charlatans.” Whoever made it up (Blaine?) obviously doesn’t know much about east coast schools and that Harvard is in the Ivy League. JFK having graduated from Harvard cum laude would not have used such words having taken school serious. Now if he said “Get those Skull and Bones lackeys and freemasons off my car” that still would not sound like him but it would ring more true. For JFK to use those terms would be like me (a University of Illinois graduate) saying “get those Big Ten [expletives] off my car!” It makes no sense. It is just another example of XXXXX like Hill, Blaine & Manchester not being able to play both sides of the chess board.

Mr. Blaine, during an earlier interview with myself, thought SAIC Gerald Behn was on the Tampa trip– WRONG: It was actually ASAIC Floyd Boring. Mr. Behn was on vacation.6 This seemingly innocent error is highly disturbing because Blaine speaks so authoritatively about what transpired on the Tampa trip, even using unsourced direct quotes from memory. How can Blaine write so authoritatively that he heard Boring over the radio relaying JFK’s alleged instruction to remove Zboril and Lawton from the rear of the limousine in his book when, several years before, he told me it was another completely different agent on the trip? Likewise, his good friend, former agent and Kennedy Detail contributor Chuck Zboril, also on the Tampa trip (riding on the rear of JFK’s limo, no less), erroneously thought Roy Kellerman was in charge of the Tampa trip and riding in the front seat of the presidential limo! Again, this is disturbing for the very same reasons, as Zboril vigorously defends Blaine’s views in media appearances.7 How can Zboril support Blaine’s later-day Boring story when he thought it was yet another agent on the trip?8 How can both Blaine and Zboril, with a straight face, endorse the story they attribute to Boring in Blaine’s book when both thought it was another person substituting on the trip? I think this is perhaps the biggest clue – the smoking gun – as to the lack of credibility in Blaine’s book. 

I wrote to former Florida Congressman Samuel Melville Gibbons on 1/7/04 and asked him if he had heard President Kennedy order the agents off the rear of the limousine. Gibbons rode in the rear seat with JFK and Senator George Smathers on the Tampa trip of 11/18/63. Here is Gibbons’ response in full, dated 1/15/04: “I rode with Kennedy every time he rode. I heard no such order. As I remember it the agents rode on the rear bumper all the way. Kennedy was very happy during his visit to Tampa. Sam Gibbons.”

Jacqueline Kennedy “played the events over and over in her mind … She did not want to accept Jack’s death as a freak accident, for that meant his life could have been spared – if only the driver in the front seat of the presidential limousine [Agent William R. Greer] had reacted more quickly and stepped on the gas … if only the Secret Service had stationed agents on the rear bumper.”25

Rocky Stone, Fort Worth (Texas) police department – in a newly discovered film from WBAP-TV (KXAS) NBC 11/22/63: Talking about the Kennedy Detail, President John F. Kennedy’s Secret Service men: “They had nothing but praise for President Kennedy and his manner in which he felt about the Secret Service men. They said that by far he was more considerate of them and their feelings than any of the previous presidents they had been taking care of. They said that he always went by their decisions to protect him. That he was always considerate of their (sic) fact that he never tried to do anything that they thought was against the rules in which to protect him. They stated that President Kennedy referred to them as ‘his boys’ and that at times when there were large crowds of people that the president always looked around to see where ‘his boys’ was (sic) at so, at a moment’s notice, they were able to be at his side and get him out of the crowds as he possibly could be in danger. In the moments after, they said the Secret Service was very, very short of money and that even some of the agents had to buy the two-way radios they used out of their own pocket and they did need more money to operate on to hire more men in order to be successful in protecting the president out of state [presumably Washington, D.C.]. ”26

Eighty-seven year-old Dallas detective Elmer Boyd joins the chorus: “It was the Secret Service who made the primary decisions about the president’s security. Boyd was engaged in the security preparations leading up to the president’s visit, but as it would be today, the Secret Service made the key decisions … Boyd pointed out that a Dallas newspaper ran an extensive article on the morning before the assassination about how the social issues of the era provoked some Texas tension for the president. But Boyd said those concerns were not reflected in the Secret Service briefings in the days and hours before the shots were fired at Kennedy around 12:30 in the afternoon on November 22, 1963.”27

One can sometimes not realize the ramifications of something written years ago and literally under their own nose until the right context comes about. Well, the context came last night in the form of a very predictable one-star review from former Secret Service agent (and dear Gerald Blaine friend and colleague) Chuck Zboril. I harken back to a famous line (one of many) in the Oliver Stone movie “JFK”, wherein Kevin Costner , after making a vital point buried in the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission, says (paraphrased) “but the idea gets shuffled around and the point gets lost.” TURN TO PAGE 121 OF MY OWN BOOK “SURVIVOR’S GUILT”: “Blaine even erroneously thought [SAIC Gerald] Behn was on the Florida trip, a testament to the frequency of his [Behn’s] trips with the president.” [author’s interview with Blaine 2/7/04] TURN TO PAGE 294 OF MY OWN BOOK “SURVIVOR’S GUILT”: “Zboril was sure that Kellerman, who wasn’t even on the Florida trip, was present in Tampa: “I thought it was Roy Kellerman, not Boring, in the car on the Tampa trip…that’s my recollection.” [author’s interview with Chuck Zboril 11/15/95] Beyond just the general credibility gap issues, by this specific “recollection” of a supervisory agent OTHER THAN FLOYD M. BORING having been on the Florida trip and having rode in the presidential limousine, these two fine gentlemen have, independent of one another, totally impeached ole Blaine’s book “The Kennedy Detail” even further: how can Blaine write so authoritatively that he heard BORING over the radio relaying JFK’s alleged instruction to remove Zboril and Lawton from the rear of the limousine WHEN HE CAN’T EVEN GET THE NAME OF THE ACTUAL AGENT IN CHARGE OF THE TRIP AND RIDING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL LIMOUSINE CORRECT? Likewise, how in the world can Zboril vouch for Blaine and his book when he, perhaps in an even worse case of “faulty memory”, ALSO CANNOT GET THE NAME OF THE ACTUAL AGENT IN CHARGE OF THE TRIP AND RIDING IN THE PRESIDENTIAL LIMOUSINE CORRECT…AND BORING WAS THE AGENT WHO ALLEGEDLY RELAYED THIS ORDER/ KIND ANECDOTE/ PRESIDENTIAL WISH (TAKE YOUR PICK) *TO* ZBORIL!

see also:

https://vincepalamara.com/2018/07/04/my-greatest-posts-and-videos-the-jfk-secret-service-in-detail/

No photo description available.

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1968 LBJ SECRET SERVICE

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE

Although this is a 1968 LBJ detail photo, there are quite a few JFK-era agents: Kellerman, Godfrey, Faison, Hill, etc.

 

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NINE Secret Service agents drank the morning of the assassination

NINE Secret Service agents drank the morning of the assassination

#NEVERFORGET …that NINE Secret Service agents drank the morning of the assassination: CLINT HILL (above), Jack “NOT” Ready, Paul Landis (who stayed out until 5 AM!!!), Glenn Bennett, Don Lawton, Ernest Olsson, Richard Johnsen (the magic bullet keeper), David Grant (co-advance agent of the Dallas trip and HILL’S BROTHER IN LAW!) and Andy Berger (who later drove the hearse containing JFK’s body from Parkland). Hill was all “boo hoo” circa 1975 but he is “living his best” life these days; he’s “LIT”! He has a very young co-author girlfriend, he is raking in mad money on his three books and a movie deal is in the works. Drinking alcohol was a violation of agency regulations and grounds for removal from the Service + sleep deprivation (these men had to report for work at 8 am!!). These men were not punished in any way whatsoever (keep in mind, 1963/1964 were the Pre-Watergate and pre-Vietnam War super naive days). Hill even won a MEDAL for 11/22/63! Geez…

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