Although I can honestly say, with a straight face, that I began a serious interest in the JFK assassination and the Secret Service in 1978, at the tender age of 12 (during the HSCA era, checking out the classic “Four Days” from my middle school library while enjoying my favorite television show of all time, “The Wild, Wild West”, a fictional take on the Secret Service of the 19th century), it was really 11/22/88, the 25th anniversary of the assassination (when I was fresh out of college at the age of 22), that I began an intense interest beyond mere curiosity into both the life and death of President Kennedy AND a deeper look at the Secret Service. From an unclaimed magazine on the assassination at work to purchasing “Mafia Kingfish”, “High Treason”, and a couple coffee table tribute books to JFK’s life, I was immersed in the subject.
Still, it was not until 1991 that I truly began primary research-contacting former agents and surviving family members, as well as researching the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission, among other sources. My debut presentation (at the age of 25) at the Fredonia, NY “Third Decade” conference was a huge success. I knew I was on the right track. It was here I also met Harry Livingstone and contributed research that led to a credit in “High Treason 2”, the first book that ever mentioned me, in February 1992 (since then, I have appeared in over 80 other author’s books, including the ARRB Final Report given to President Clinton!) [I video taped an interview with Jerrol Custer, the Bethesda autopsy technician who lived close by, on 11/22/91].
Since it is the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination, I figured now would be a good time to reflect upon some of my major accomplishments and discoveries, so here goes:
1) In 1990 I “discovered” DNC advance man Marty Underwood for Harry Livingstone (Underwood helped advance JFK’s trip to Houston and his proposed trip to Austin)- see “High Treason 2”. The local CBS affiliate here in Pittsburgh ran a short interview with Marty on 11/22/88 (one of several programs I taped off the tv that night) that was fascinating, to say the least. I interviewed Marty later on
2) A big one: I “discovered”/ popularized the WFAA/ ABC black and white video of the Love Field agent recall in 1991 (SA Don Lawton being recalled by ATSAIC Emory Roberts [for years, I believed the agent to be SA Henry J. “Hank” Rybka…turns out I was both wrong AND right: see my book]. Yep, the 5 million+ hit grainy 2006 You Tube video owes everything to me- not only did I discover this video 15 years beforehand, I presented the video at COPA 1995, COPA 1996, LANCER 1997, and the History Channel’s “The Men Who Killed Kennedy” in 2003, all years before the popular You Tube video, etc.:
3) Another biggie: I “discovered”/ popularized the WFAA/ ABC black and white video of Dr. Robert Shaw, Governor Connally’s chief surgeon, telling millions around the world that the bullet was STILL in Connally’s leg, hours after the so-called “magic bullet” (CE399) was on its way back to DC on AF1 via Secret Service agent Richard Johnsen:
4) For better or for worse (!), it was because of my 22-page letter to former Secret Service agent Clint Hill in June of 2005 that caused fellow former agent (and Hill best friend) Gerald Blaine to begin writing the 2010 book “The Kennedy Detail”, an extended-list NY Times best-seller (selling over 100,000 copies to date) that spawned a 2010 Emmy-nominated documentary and a movie in-progress for 2014, as well as, indirectly [without the success of the one there would be no others], Hill’s 2012 follow-up “Mrs. Kennedy and Me”, a #1 NY Times best-seller (selling over 200,000 copies to date) AND Hill’s 2013 book “Five Days In November”, also well on its way to being another best-seller (all three books had the same co-author, Lisa McCubbin):
5) My 9/27/92 interviews with SAIC Gerald Behn, as well as my many interviews from that date onward, that demonstrate that JFK DID NOT ORDER THE AGENTS OFF HIS LIMOUSINE, NOR DID HE INTERFERE WITH THE ACTIONS OF THE SECRET SERVICE AT ALL; the same goes for JFK’s staff (O’Donnell, Powers, O’Brien):
6) My discovery of a covert monitor of threats to JFK’s life that was invoked on the second NY, Florida, and Texas trips in November 1963- see chapter 2 of my book;
7) My discovery of the actual person responsible for the removal of the bubbletop on 11/22/63: see chapter 3 of my book;
8) My discovery of a previously unknown/ overlooked Parkland Doctor, Dr. William Zedlitz:
9) My “discovery”/ popularization of the fact that ASAIC Floyd Boring was in charge of the planning of the Texas trip for the Secret Service- see chapter 1 of my book;
10) My 1997 discovery of the death of an agent BEFORE Dallas: SA THOMAS B. SHIPMAN, who passed away of an alleged heart attack 10/14/63 at Camp David! See chapter 11 of my book;
11) My discovery that it was THE SECRET SERVICE, NOT the president, that truly was in charge of security- see my book;
12) My discovery that multi-story building rooftops WERE guarded BEFORE 11/22/63- see my book
There are more, I suppose, but this is arguably my “top 12”- the ones off the top of my head 🙂