Secret Service also partied before Kennedy assassination
by REBECCA LOPEZ
Posted on April 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM
DALLAS – It’s a part of the Kennedy assassination many people don’t know about.
On the night before President John F. Kennedy was killed, 10 members of his Secret Service detail were partying at a Fort Worth club called The Cellar.
Farris Rookstool is a former FBI analyst, who served as custodian of the John F. Kennedy assassination files.
“Nine out of the 10 had consumed alcohol, [of] which four of those agents were also assigned PPD, or presidential protection detail, in the follow up car behind President Kennedy’s motorcade,” Rookstool said.
In sworn statements, the agents admit to drinking on the night before the death of President Kennedy. The documents state that some the agents left their post at the Texas Hotel to party with waitresses at The Cellar, who served drinks wearing only their underwear.
Some of agents didn’t get back to their rooms until five the next morning.
“Some of these agents that were out until five in the morning, that were supposed to be guarding the president’s suite, bragged to the owner of The Cellar, Pat Kirkswood, that they were out having a few cocktails while they got the Fort Worth Fire Department guarding the presidential suite,” Rookstool said.
He said among those drinking was Agent Clint Hill, who you see running to the back of the presidential car and being helped by Jaqueline Kennedy after her husband had been shot.
“Reaching the rear end of the car, Clint blamed himself,” Rookstool said. “Not based on the alcohol, but the fact is, had he gotten to the back deck of the car, he was hoping to shield the first lady as well as perhaps the President.”
The Secret Service investigated the agents, but found that the drinking did not impair them or slow down their reactions when the President was shot. None of the agents were disciplined or fired.
“The Warren commission was very upset when they found out,” Rookstool said.
Now, nearly 50 years later, a similar investigation is shaking the secret service.
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.