Ex-agent refuses to toe party line on JFK slaying

Ex-agent refuses to toe party line on JFK slaying

By Ellen Miller, Special To The News
November 20, 2003

GRAND JUNCTION – Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t act alone when he killed
President John F. Kennedy, a retired agent said Wednesday, and the
president died because Secret Service agents failed at their jobs.
“Officially, the answer to Oswald when somebody asks – because we
were ordered to say it – is that the Warren Commission found that he
acted alone,” retired agent Jerry O’Rourke said. “But was there more
than one gunman? Yes, personally I believe so. And my personal
opinion about Jack Ruby is that he was paid to kill Oswald.”

O’Rourke grew up in Telluride and attended Western State and Regis
colleges, then spent 22 years in the Secret Service. Now retired and
back home, he spoke Wednesday to the downtown Grand Junction [COLORADO] Rotary Club [THIS IS THE SAME CITY WHERE GERALD BLAINE LIVES-VMP].

O’Rourke said his group of agents, about 10 of them, had protected
Kennedy the morning of Nov. 22, 1963, at a breakfast speech in Fort
Worth. Then the group left by air for Austin, the next stop planned
for the president’s Texas tour.

“We got the word (of the assassination) in the air, and we didn’t
believe it at first,” he said. “We were joking. But later, most of
the agents had tears in their eyes. Agents believed in Kennedy, and
we knew we failed our job in Dallas.”

After his White House tour ended during Johnson’s presidency,
O’Rourke spent a year in the Secret Service intelligence division,
which offered him glimpses into the investigation of Kennedy’s death

Those glimpses, and the accounts of other agents, have convinced
O’Rourke that Oswald didn’t act alone. He cited several reasons:

Kennedy had a number of enemies, any of whom could have plotted
against him
. They included Southerners angered by his insistence on
civil rights; organized crime; labor unions unhappy with
investigations of them by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy; Cuban
dissidents angry over the failed Bay of Pigs invasion; and FBI
Director J. Edgar Hoover.

The shots were impossible to make. O’Rourke learned to shoot as a
boy and trained as a marksman in the military. He said his visits to
Oswald’s perch at the Texas Book Depository convince him that no one
could have fired a rifle three times so quickly, hitting the
president and Texas Gov. John Connolly.

The trajectory of one of the shots could not have been made from a
gunman on the sixth floor of the Texas Book Depository. The shot
entered Kennedy’s body at his lower back and traveled up, to exit
near his throat.

The circumstances of the autopsy were irregular. Texas law requires
autopsies to be done in state, but agents, acting on the orders of
White House, took Kennedy’s body back to Washington, D.C. The autopsy
was performed at Bethesda Naval Medical Center under secrecy that
prevails to this day.

Evidence was destroyed. O’Rourke said that on the day of the
assassination, one agent was ordered to clean out the cars used in
the motorcade, getting rid of blood and other evidence. The agent
told O’Rourke that he found a piece of skull, asked the White House
doctor what to do with it, and was told to destroy it.

Instructions were given to lie. The agent in charge of motorcade
protection told O’Rourke that he was told by the Warren Commission
during his testimony that he did not hear a fourth shot and he did
not see someone running across the grassy knoll. But the agent
insisted that his account was accurate.

Evidence about the shots is in conflict. An open microphone on a
motorcycle in the motorcade picked up four shots, not three.

“In my opinion, Hoover wanted the commission to find that Oswald
acted alone,” O’Rourke said. “The complete file won’t be released
until 2027, and the reason for that is most of us will be dead by

About vincepalamara

Vincent Palamara was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in Sociology. Although not even born when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Vince brings fresh eyes to an old case. In fact, Vince would go on to study the largely overlooked actions - and inactions - of the United States Secret Service in unprecedented detail, as well as achieving a world's record in the process, having interviewed and corresponded with over 80 former agents (the House Select Committee on Assassinations had the old record of 46 with a 6 million dollar budget and subpoena power from Congress), not to mention many surviving family members, White House aides, and even quite a few Parkland and Bethesda medical witnesses for a corresponding project. The result was Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The Failure To Protect President Kennedy. Vince is also the author of the books JFK: From Parkland To Bethesda, The Not-So-Secret Service, Who's Who in the Secret Service, and Honest Answers about the Murder of President John F. Kennedy: A New Look at the JFK Assassination. All told, Vince has been favorably mentioned in over 140 JFK and Secret Service related books to date (including two whole chapters in Murder in Dealey Plaza, The Secret Service: The Hidden History Of An Enigmatic Agency by Philip Melanson, and the Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board, among many others), often at length, in the bibliographies, and in the Secret Service - and even medical evidence - areas of these works. Vince has appeared on the History Channel's THE MEN WHO KILLED KENNEDY (VHS and DVD), C-SPAN, Newsmax TV, A COUP IN CAMELOT (DVD/BLU RAY), KING KILL '63, THE MAN BEHIND THE SUIT (DVD), National Geographic's JFK: THE FINAL HOURS (including on DVD), PCN, BPTV, local cable access television, YouTube, radio, newspapers, print journals, at national conferences, and all over the internet. Also, Vince's original research materials, or copies of said materials, are stored in the National Archives (by request under Deed Of Gift by the ARRB), the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, Harvard University, the Assassination Archives and Research Center, and the Dallas Public Library. Vince Palamara has become known (as he was dubbed by the History Channel in 2003) "the Secret Service expert." As former JFK Secret Service agent Joe Paolella proclaimed: "You seem to know a lot about the Secret Service, maybe even more than I do!" Agent Dan Emmett calls Vince a Secret Service expert in his new book.
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2 Responses to Ex-agent refuses to toe party line on JFK slaying

  1. mahaki11 says:

    Even after 45 years of JFK Assassination,

    The TRUTH still lies hidden.

    The Guilty may escape earthly Justice,

    But they won’t ESCAPE – Heavens Justice

  2. mahaki11 says:

    Annnd I’ve Waited this long for Justice,

    And Justice will be mine !!!

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