The Confession of Secret Service Agent Clint Hill

Secret Service Agent Clint Hill & Friends- I am always on their minds

Vince Palamara Secret Service Expert & Author





Secret Service JFK

Secret Service, JFK, President Kennedy, James Rowley, Gerald Behn, Floyd Boring, Roy Kellerman, John Campion, William Greer, Forest Sorrels, Clint Hill, Winston Lawson, Emory Roberts, Sam Kinney, Paul Landis, John "Jack" Ready, William "Tim" McIntyre, Glenn Bennett, George Hickey, Rufus Youngblood, Warren "Woody" Taylor, Jerry Kivett, Lem Johns, John "Muggsy" O'Leary, Sam Sulliman, Ernest Olsson, Robert Steuart, Richard Johnsen, Stewart "Stu" Stout, Roger Warner, Henry "Hank" Rybka, Donald Lawton, Dennis Halterman, Walt Coughlin, Andy Berger, Ron Pontius, Bert de Freese, Jim Goodenough, Bill Duncan, Ned Hall II, Mike Howard, Art Godfrey, Gerald Blaine, Ken Giannoules, Paul Burns, Gerald O'Rourke, Robert Faison, David Grant, John Joe Howlett, Bill Payne, Robert Burke, Frank Yeager, Donald Bendickson, Gerald Bechtle, Howard Norton, Hamilton Brown, Toby Chandler, Chuck Zboril, Joe Paolella, Wade Rodham, Bob Foster, Lynn Meredith, Rad Jones, Thomas Wells, Charlie Kunkel, Stu Knight, Paul Rundle, Glen Weaver, Arnie Lau, Forrest Guthrie, Eve Dempsher, Bob Lilley, Ken Wiesman, Mike Mastrovito, Tony Sherman, Larry Newman, Morgan Gies, Tom Shipman, Ed Tucker, Harvey Henderson, Abe Bolden, Robert Kollar, Ed Mougin, Mac Sweazey, Horace "Harry" Gibbs, Tom Behl, Jim Cantrell, Bill Straughn, Tom Fridley, Mike Kelly, Joe Noonan, Gayle Dobish, Earl Moore, Arthur Blake, John Lardner, Milt Wilhite, Bill Skiles, Louis Mayo, Thomas Wooge, Milt Scheuerman, Talmadge Bailey, Bob Lapham, Bob Newbrand, Bernie Mullady, Jerry Dolan, Vince Mroz, William Bacherman, Howard Anderson, U.E. Baughman, Walt Blaschak, Robert Bouck, George Chaney, William Davis, Paul Doster, Dick Flohr, Jack Fox, John Giuffre, Jim Griffith, Jack Holtzhauer, Andy Hutch, Jim Jeffries, John Paul Jones, Kent Jordan, Dale Keaner, Brooks Keller, Thomas Kelley, Clarence Knetsch, Jackson Krill, Elmer Lawrence, Bill Livingood, J. Leroy Lewis, Dick Metzinger, Jerry McCann, John McCarthy, Ed Morey, Chester Miller, Roy "Gene" Nunn, Jack Parker, Paul Paterni, Burrill Peterson, Max Phillips, Walter Pine, Michael Shannon, Frank Stoner, Cecil Taylor, Charles Taylor, Bob Taylor, Elliot Thacker, Ken Thompson, Mike Torina, Jack Walsh, Jack Warner, Thomas White, Ed Wildy, Carroll Winslow, Dale Wunderlich, Walter Young, Winston Gintz, Bill Carter, C. Douglas Dillon, James Johnson, Larry Hess, Frank Farnsworth, Jim Giovanneti,Bob Gaugh,Don Brett, Jack Gleason, Bob Jamison, Gary Seale, Bill Sherlock, Bob Till, Doc Walters...

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Dark Side of the Kennedy Detail

The Dark Side of the Kennedy Detail

On the wall of Mr. Behn’s office hung a framed poem:
Fame is fleeting, fitful flame
Which shines a while on John Jones’ name
And then puts John right on the spot
The flame shines on
But John does not.”---“The Day Kennedy Was Shot, page 41

“As Head of the White House Detail, Jerry Behn commanded his convoy of agents. Behn’s habitual greeting was, “What’s new?” The gambit was depressingly trite, an office joke. This morning [11/23/63] Evelyn Lincoln saw Behn before he saw her, and it is a sign of the widespread antagonism toward the Secret Service that Evelyn looked him hard in the eye and said bitterly, “Jerry, there’s something new.” He turned away without answering.”---“The Death of a President”, page 45

The Washington Post, 9/2/61- " 'Oh, My!' gasped Mrs. Rowley as the ad libbing bystander sidled over to greet them with easy effusion. It was obvious that President Kennedy's presence at the ceremony was as unexpected as it had been unannounced...Kennedy quipped,' He (Rowley) hasn't lost a President in all [his time with the Secret Service]. On a record like that, he deserves a promotion."
Rowley would become the first and only Secret Service Chief to lose a President. Reward? The Beltsville, MD Secret Service training facility is named in his honor. That makes as much sense as giving Clint Hill an award for ALMOST protecting JFK (as for Jackie, she got in and out of her seat in the limousine without his help)!

I love the Secret Service (I truly do-no sarcasm or facetiousness intended or infered: there's a REASON I am the #1 civilian authority on the agency), and 95-99% of the agents were/ are squeeky clean, as the saying goes...but, as you can probably tell by now, I am also the #1 critic of their dreadful performance on 11/22/63. Here is a mere small sampling of why.

Note: all references to be found in my free online book

Agent Elmer W. Moore

Moore told graduate student James Gouchenaur that he "felt remorse for the way he (Moore) had badgered Dr. Perry into changing his testimony to the effect that there was not, after all, an entrance wound in the front of the president's neck." Furthermore, Gouchenaur quoted Moore as saying that Kennedy was a traitor for giving things away to the Russians; that it was a shame people had to die, but maybe it was a good thing; that the Secret Service personnel had to go along with the way the assassination was being investigated: "I did everything I was told, we all did everything we were told, or we'd get our heads cut off."

Forrest Sorrels, SAIC of the Dallas Secret Service office; rode in the lead car on 11/22/63:

From an FBI report dated 11/27/63: “At approximately 10:30 p.m. today a telephone call was received from a female individual who refused to furnish her identity. She advised she is a member of the local theatre guild and that on numerous occasions she has attended functions or speeches where Mr. Sorrels, Head of the Secret Service, Dallas, has spoken. She maintained that Mr. Sorrels should be removed from his position as he was INCOMPETENT AND DID NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO PROTECT THE PRESIDENT. SHE STATED HE WAS DEFINITELY ANTI-GOVERNMENT, AGAINST THE KENNEDY ADMINISTRATION, AND SHE FELT HIS POSITION WAS AGAINST THE SECURITY OF NOT ONLY THE PRESIDENT BUT THE UNITED STATES. During the time this individual furnished the information set out above an effort was made to determine her name and address however she declined."[Signed] Inspector Tom Kelley Secret Service 9:20 a.m. 12/2/63” [emphasis added]

William R. "Bill" Greer, the inept driver of President Kennedy's limousine on 11/22/63:

Ken O'Donnell stated: "Greer had been remorseful all day, feeling that he could have saved President Kennedy's life by swerving the car or speeding suddenly after the first shots." In addition, Greer told Jackie the following on 11/22/63 at Parkland Hospital, shortly after the murder: "Oh, Mrs. Kennedy, oh my God, oh my God. I didn't mean to do it, I didn't hear, I should have swerved the car, I couldn't help it. Oh, Mrs. Kennedy, as soon as I saw it I swerved. If only I'd seen it in time! Oh!” Finally, Dave Powers confirmed Greer’s guilt to CBS newsman Charles Kuralt on 11/22/88, also adding that if Greer would have sped up before the fatal headshot, JFK might still be alive today.

When asked, "What did your father think of JFK," Richard did not respond the first time. When this author asked him a second time, Greer responded: "Well, we're Methodists...and JFK was Catholic." Bill Greer was born and raised in County Tyrone, Ireland, coming to America in February 1930. Greer also worked as a chauffeur for a wealthy family in Brookline, Massachusetts, which not only was JFK’s birthplace, it was also the town where the future President was raised. Greer also lived in Boston “for a little while.” In a later taped interview, Richard watered down the divergent religious beliefs to “joking banter” between the driver and JFK, the humor relating to “My father, being Irish Protestant, and JFK being Irish Catholic.” Bill Greer was in his late teens—approximately 18 or 19---when he came to America. As author William Manchester wrote: “Even after the newcomers (1,186,000 Irish immigrants) had been established for a generation, newspapers carried two society pages, one for Yankee Protestants and the other for Irish Catholics.” One is reminded of the “colored” and “white only” restrooms, restaurants, and drinking fountains from the pre-Civil Rights days of the early 1960s

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (rode in the Presidential limousine) - "We could see a tunnel in front of us. Everything was really slow then…[immediately after shooting] And just being down in the car with his head in my lap. And it just seemed an eternity…And finally I remember a voice behind me, or something, and then I remember the people in the front seat, or somebody, finally knew something was wrong, and a voice yelling, which must have been Mr. Hill, "Get to the hospital," or maybe it was Mr. Kellerman, in the front seat…We were really slowing turning the corner [Houston & Elm]…I remember a sensation of enormous speed, which must have been when we took off…those poor men in the front…" Mary Gallagher reported in her book: "She mentioned one Secret Service man who had not acted during the crucial moment, and said bitterly to me, 'He might just as well have been Miss Shaw!'” Jackie also told Gallagher: "You should get yourself a good driver so that nothing ever happens to you.” Secret Service agent Marty Venker confirmed that the agent Jackie was referring to was Agent Greer: "If the agent had hit the gas before the third shot, she griped, Jack might still be alive." Later, author’s C. David Heymann and Edward Klein further corroborated that the agent Mrs. Kennedy was referring to was indeed Greer.
Manchester wrote: “[Mrs. Kennedy] had heard Kellerman on the radio and had wondered why it had taken the car so long to leave.”

60 witnesses (10 police officers, 7 Secret Service agents, 38 spectators, 2 Presidential aides, 1 Senator, Governor Connally, and Jackie Kennedy) and the Zapruder film document Secret Service agent William R. Greer's deceleration of the presidential limousine, as well as his two separate looks back at JFK during the assassination (Greer denied all of this to the Warren Commission). By decelerating from an already slow 11.2 mph, Greer greatly endangered the President's life, and, as even Gerald Posner admitted, Greer contributed greatly to the success of the assassination. When we consider that Greer disobeyed a direct order from his superior, Roy Kellerman, to get out of line BEFORE the fatal shot struck the President's head, it is hard to give Agent Greer the benefit of the doubt. As ASAIC Roy H. Kellerman said: "Greer then looked in the back of the car. Maybe he didn't believe me.” Clearly, Greer was responsible, at fault, and felt remorse. In short, Greer had survivor's guilt.

Agent Roy H. Kellerman (Assistant Special Agent in Charge, # 3 man, substituting for Behn-and Boring- in Dallas on 11/22/63)

While telling the FBI on the night of the murder that JFK said "Get me to a hospital" upon being shot, the agent later told the Warren Commission that JFK said "My God, I've been hit." In any event, this was impossible - JFK could not have spoken a word after having been shot thru the throat. In addition, Kellerman told the FBI that, during the shooting, "he observed President Kennedy with his left hand in back of him appearing to be reaching to a point on his right shoulder," an action not shown on any films or photographs, nor described by any witnesses to the shooting. There can be only one of two reasons for this strange testimony---either Kellerman wanted to give an overt reason for having gone to Parkland Hospital unassisted - a "Presidential directive” (The agent testified: “ My decision was to get this man to a hospital, because he needed medical treatment” )-or the agent was attempting to show that JFK was only wounded , thus his "reason" for not coming to the President's aid by vaulting into the back of the limousine, a matter the agent was harshly criticized for by the media and the public.

LBJ: “This fellow Kellerman…he was about as loyal a man as you could find. But he was about as dumb as an ox.”
ATSAIC Emory P. Roberts, commander of the follow-up car on 11/22/63:

Cover-up number one-the drinking incident: Agent Roberts would later write (April 28, 1964): "there was no question in my mind as to [the agents] physical and mental capacity to function effectively in their assigned duties." Like Chief Rowley and Inspector Kelley before both the Warren Commission and the HSCA, Agent Roberts covered up the drinking incident, despite Secret Service regulations that clearly stated that these were grounds for removal from the agency. Sleep deprivation and alcohol consumption wreak havoc on even the best-trained reflexes.

Cover-up number two-SA Henry Rybka: Both Emory Roberts and Winston Lawson placed Agent Rybka in the follow-up car in their (initial) reports, only to "correct" the record later, after November 22, although Rybka was not even mentioned anywhere in Agent Lawson's Preliminary Survey Report to begin with---making it seem obvious that Lawson was covering for Emory Roberts. Incredibly, Emory Roberts made the same "mistake" twice: In the shift report of 11/22/63 (separate from the one depicted in the Commission’s volumes ), Roberts placed Rybka in the "center rear seat" between Hickey and Bennett!

Cover-up number three: The infamous April 22, 1964 reports from Agents Behn, Boring, Ready, Hill, and Emory Roberts, alleging, after-the-fact, that President Kennedy had ordered agents off the rear of the limousine on November 18, 1963 in Tampa, and in other cities. As previously discussed in detail, the Secret Service blamed JFK for the removal of the agents on or near the rear of his limousine and this is simply untrue. Although Agent Roberts admitted recognizing "Oswald's" first shot as a rifle blast , as the Altgens photo confirms, he made a mysterious transmission via radio microphone that is not accounted for in his reports or in the official record. Instead of offering a shout of alarm, alert, or orders to his agents to do something that their own initiative lacked for some reason, i.e., protective action, he did nothing to help the wounded President. Allen Dulles of the Warren Commission asked: “Who would cover straight ahead?” Chief Rowley responded: “The man in the front seat [unnamed: Roberts] has that responsibility.” None of the follow-up car agents, via their individual scanning duties, which had them actually looking AWAY from JFK and at different points of the crowd, had the responsibility of watching ONLY the presidential vehicle. That job belonged to Roberts alone, and it appears obvious that the other agents of the follow-up car relied heavily on Roberts to sound some sort of alarm in the event of trouble in JFK’s car. Roberts' recall of Agent Ready is well documented , although we still have:
Cover-up number four: The alleged speed of the limousine and the alleged distance between the two cars (9-11 mph and five feet in reality, not the 20-25 mph and 20-25 feet stated in both Roberts and Agent Ready's reports) was used as the pretext for the recall of Ready. Taking everything cited to this point into account, there is still another factor that has escaped virtually everyone, and this "factor" came about quite accidentally. In Groden and Livingstone's High Treason , it was noted: "Emory Roberts ordered the agents not to move," which this author took to be an unintended overstatement at the time. So, the author decided to read the passage to Sam Kinney for commentary. Surprisingly, Sam told the author, "Exactly right, and I'm involved in that, too!" Before the author could digest this troubling information, Sam attempted to defend Roberts’ actions by stating that the angle of the follow-up car he was driving wasn’t conducive to any of the other agents taking action (as Hill did), an excuse the author does not find valid. Kinney told a similar story to the HSCA on 2/26/78: “Mr. Kinney’s analysis of Roberts’ order was that if Roberts had permitted Ready to go, and “if ready had done what Hill did, I’ve got one of them,” i.e. because of the impossibility of swerving away at an angle wide enough to avoid both of them.” However, the Nix film (as well as the Zapruder film) demonstrates that, during the shooting, the follow-up car had slowed down, lagging somewhat behind the presidential limousine. Therefore, Kinney’s car---and JFK’s car, for that matter---wasn’t quite close enough or moving fast enough to create the hazard Kinney eludes to. Ironically, if the required five-foot distance between the vehicles had been maintained (as it had been up to right before the shooting), not to mention a faster rate of speed, Kinney would be on firmer ground. In addition, Agent Tim McIntyre told the HSCA on 1/31/78 that the follow-up car was “slightly to the left rear of the limousine,” so, if anything, Hill was in more danger than Ready when he took off to protect Mrs. Kennedy.

Presidential aides Ken O'Donnell and Dave Powers best summed up the situation when they wrote: "Roberts, one of President Kennedy's agents...had decided to switch to Johnson as soon as Kennedy was shot.” In addition, four other authors have noted Agent Roberts' "switch of allegiance," including Chief Curry. Once at Parkland Hospital, SA Roberts totally usurped his superior, number-three agent Roy Kellerman. Emory ordered Kellerman's agents around and confided in Rufus Youngblood, the soon-to-be SAIC, replacing the absent Behn. What William Manchester reports as having occurred at Parkland makes one both sick and repulsed: "…Powers and O'Donnell bounded toward the Lincoln. Powers heard Emory Roberts shouting at him to stop but disregarded him; a second might save Kennedy's life [Dave, too bad you weren't on the running board of the follow-up car]...Emory Roberts brushed past O'Donnell, determined to make sure that Kennedy was dead. 'Get up,' he said to Jacqueline Kennedy. There was no reply. She was crooning faintly. From his side Roberts could see the President's face, so he lifted her elbow for a close look. He dropped it. To Kellerman, his superior, he said tersely, 'You stay with Kennedy. I'm going to Johnson.'"
It is a shame that Emory Roberts cannot enlighten us on his conduct: having never been questioned by the Warren Commission or the FBI, he died on 10/8/73 at his Brookeville, MD home, after an apparent heart attack. Roberts was 58 at the time. Only author William Manchester spoke to him (on 12/4/64 & 4/26/65, respectively ). Incredibly, Roberts was the President’s receptionist during the Johnson administration while still a member of the Secret Service, receiving a Special Service Award from the Treasury Department for improving communications and services to the public in 1968 ---a year later, during the start of the Nixon administration in 1969, Roberts was promoted to the coveted position of Inspector at Secret Service headquarters, responsible for overseeing a number of protective procedures and policies. Roberts retired from the Secret Service in February 1973.


SA Clinton J. Hill (First Lady Detail), rode on follow-up car on 11/22/63:

Despite riding on an automobile that was only a scant five feet away from JFK's slow-moving car (less than 12 mph) at the start of the shooting, Hill could only arrive in time to "protect" Mrs. Kennedy, the person to which he was assigned to protect. Mrs. Kennedy thought highly of Hill, regarding him as the brightest agent on the White House Detail and “one of us.” In fact, “Hill had not been scheduled to make the Dallas trip, but came only after Mrs. Kennedy made a personal request.” Although Hill was the only agent to overtly respond to the shooting of JFK, and in spite of the award he received for this action , the agent had much survivor's guilt. Mike Wallace asked Hill in 1975: “Is there anything that the Secret Service, or Clint Hill, could have done to keep that [the assassination] from happening?” After a long pause, Hill answered: “Clint Hill, yes.” Wallace: “’Clint Hill, yes?’ What do you mean?” Hill, speaking somewhat in the third-person, responded: “If he had reacted about, oh, five-tenths of a second faster, maybe a second faster, I wouldn’t be here today.” Wallace: “You mean you would have taken the shot?” Hill: “The third shot, yes, sir.” Wallace: “And that would have been alright with you?” Hill: “That would have been fine with me.” Wallace: “…you surely don’t have any sense of guilt about that?” Hill: “Yes, I certainly do. I have a great deal of guilt. It was my fault…if I had reacted just a little bit quicker, I could have, I guess…[sigh]…and I’ll live with that to my grave.” Hill added: “[The doctors said] I have a severe neurological problem…they recommended psychiatric help…they trace it all back to 1963.”

Through photo analysis of the Zapruder film and the Altgen's photo, the author has discovered that Agent Hill was looking directly at JFK upon the moment of the first shot: his guilt is well-founded, for he let several crucial seconds (at least five) go by before belatedly coming to the President's "aid". As author James Hepburn wrote: "Clint Hill, who was later decorated, was the first to move, and it took him 7 or 8 seconds to react. In eight seconds, the average sprinter can cover 80 yards." In addition, photo analysis reveals that Hill did not even push Mrs. Kennedy back into the limousine—she crawled back into the backseat on her own. Also, like Agent John Ready, Hill was involved in the drinking incident the night before.

SA William "Tim" McIntyre (rode on follow-up car on 11/22/63)+ SA Tony Sherman, SA Larry Newman, & SA Joe Paolella:

More troubling are the revelations McIntyre and three of his Secret Service colleagues shared with author Seymour Hersh in 1997 ---and, soon after, on ABC television ---concerning JFK’s private life (and, indirectly, Emory Roberts)…but not for the reason the reader might think: a disturbing and alarming mindset was demonstrated by these men concerning the president they were sworn to protect. As McIntyre put it: "His shift supervisor, the highly respected Emory Roberts, took him aside and warned...that 'you're going to see a lot of shit around here. Stuff with the President. Just forget about it. Keep it to yourself. Don't even talk to your wife'...Roberts was nervous about it. Emory would say, McIntyre recalled with a laugh, 'How in the hell do you know what's going on? He could be hurt in there. What if one bites him' in a sensitive area? Roberts 'talked about it a lot', McIntyre said. 'Bites'... In McIntyre's view, a public scandal about Kennedy's incessant womanizing was inevitable. 'It would have had to come out in the next year or so. In the campaign, maybe'. McIntyre said he and some of his colleagues...felt abused by their service on behalf of President Kennedy...McIntyre said he eventually realized that he had compromised his law enforcement beliefs to the point where he wondered whether it was 'time to get out of there. I was disappointed by what I saw' [emphasis added].” McIntyre repeated the Roberts’ story on ABC (without naming Emory), with this comment included: “Prostitution-that’s illegal. A procurement is illegal. And if you have a procurer with prostitutes paraded in front of you, then, as a sworn law enforcement officer, you’re asking yourself, ‘well, what do they think of us’?” McIntyre felt this way after having only spent a VERY brief time with JFK before the assassination: he joined the WHD in the fall of 1963 (fellow former agent Gerald Blaine confirmed to the author on 6/10/05 that McIntyre was indeed “brand new” and lacked experience)! In addition, these feelings of anger and impotence-- especially by Roberts and McIntyre—loom large in the context of the actions and inactions of the Secret Service on 11/22/63. Soon after the airing of the aforementioned television program, Clinton Secret Service Director Lewis C. Merletti wrote a letter to 3,200 current and 500 former agents reminding them not to talk about "any aspect of the personal lives of our protectees." He further reminded the agents to recall their commission book oath, "to be worthy of trust and confidence." Merletti said this "confidence ... should continue forever."
How similar were these other agents’ feelings about JFK to those of their colleague McIntyre (and presumably, by extension, Roberts)? Very---Tony Sherman, who spent two years at the White House with JFK: "I wanted out...I didn't want a part of it...I got mad...I got angry at any president who doesn't treat the White House like I think he should..." Sherman added: "Seventy to eighty percent of the agents thought it was nuts… Some of us were brought up the right way. Our mothers and fathers didn't do it. We lived in another world. Suddenly, I'm Joe Agent here. I'm looking at the president of the United States and telling myself, 'This is the White House and we protect the White House.'" On the ABC special, Sherman related a tale of JFK and prostitutes that occurred during the President’s trip to Honolulu, Hawaii, in June of 1963 (incidentally, two clips are shown of this trip, depicting agents running with the limousine on all four corners of the limousine during the motorcade, motorcycles beside JFK, and SAIC Behn on the trip, among other things). Sherman said: “The Honolulu episode made me angry. It did make me angry…I’m not a holier-than-thou guy…but he shouldn’t be doing this in public.” The agent also added that this debauchery “continued constantly” and was “a regular thing.” Larry Newman: " It [JFK's behavior] caused a lot of morale problems with the Secret Service...you felt impotent and you couldn't do your job. It was frustrating...[emphasis added]" On the ABC special, Newman mentioned JFK’s sexual trysts with White House secretaries who were known by the nicknames of “Fiddle” and “Faddle.” The agent also said that this facet of JFK made you not want to associate with the man in any way. Joseph Paolella: " [He] acknowledged that the Secret Service's socializing intensified each year of the Kennedy administration, to a point where, by late 1963, a few members of the presidential detail were regularly remaining in bars until the early morning hours [emphasis added]." This is corroborated by what Abraham Bolden told the author, and it also is best exemplified by the drinking incident of 11/21-11/22/63. Agent Tony Sherman also told author Edward Klein: “His womanizing was so routine and common…that we slipped into the nefarious duty of protecting Kennedy from his wife by alerting him is she was returning to the White House unexpectedly…Some agents felt that if the President could get away with this kind of stuff, so could they…Drinking, partying, and sex became part of traveling with the President” Agent Larry Newman wasn’t finished, either---he spoke at even greater length to author Barbara Leaming about JFK’s womanizing several years later. (Author Palamara did contact Newman, Sherman, Paolella, and McIntyre but did not discuss JFK’s womanizing at any length.)

Agent Thomas B. Shipman (White House Garage Detail, DIED BEFORE THE DALLAS TRIP)

"October 14, 1963: Died of a heart attack while on a presidential protective assignment at Camp David, Maryland."

Because of Shipman's death, Bill Greer drove JFK in Dallas and his immediate replacement, Henry J. Rybka (fresh from Treasury School) was recalled at Love Field by Roberts! Former agent Gerald Blaine told the author that Kinney, Shipman, and Greer were “the three consistent ones” that drove JFK’s car (commenting that Greer “usually” did), also adding that Shipman and Kinney drove the follow-up car, as well. Winston Lawson wrote the author: “Tom Shipman, also a driver, died of a heart attack while up at Camp David, prior to retirement. I don’t know the year and couldn’t find out. I believe Sam Kinney found his body. They would have roomed together in one of the cabins up there.” Former agent Vincent Mroz told the author that Shipman was “in his 40’s or early 50’s.”
What is even more amazing about Shipman’s death is the fact that, out of the literally thousands of agents who have come and gone since the 19th century, as mentioned above, only 34 are listed , including the 5 agents who died tragically in the 4/19/95 Oklahoma City bombing, Leslie Coffelt (the Uniformed Division officer who died on 11/1/50), 5 others who died in the 1990’s, 7 who died in the 1980’s, 2 who died in the 1970’s (inc. J. Clifford Dietrich, who died in a helicopter crash on 5/26/73), 1 other who died in the 1960’s (Thomas Wooge , on 10/17/68) , 1 who died in the 1940’s (11/8/40, to be exact), 3 who died in the 1930’s, 2 who passed away in the 1920’s, and 2 who died in the 1900’s. That’s a very small, sad grouping to be in, indeed. (Interestingly, advance man Marty Underwood told author Harry Livingstone-- "There were a couple of suicides in the thing, with the Secret Service and everything..." Livingstone: "Do you remember who committed suicide?" Underwood: "I don't remember. I think there were a couple..." [Underwood is then cut off by Livingstone] Also, an unnamed agent took his own life "in the late Sixties, in Washington, with his own weapon. There were signs he was beginning to buckle," as former agent Chuck Rochner explained to fellow former agent Marty Venker. Former agent Darwin Horn wrote: “I cannot recall the name of the SA who killed himself in the late 60's. I seem to recall something of that nature occurring though.”
SAIC of PRS Robert I. Bouck:

Bouck was aware of the Joseph Milteer and other threats before 11/22/63. The failure to disseminate and act upon this threat information apparently had dire consequences for Bouck’s career---as the HSCA’s Mr. Matthews stated: “The Chief of the intelligence branch of the Secret Service [Bouck] testified before this committee that he was removed from his position for what he interpreted as the failure of his mission.” This must have been when Bouck testified in executive session of the HSCA on 11/16/77.

Jeremy Gunn of the ARRB “recounted a story involving the opinion of a former CIA employee who had stated that President Kennedy was not very popular with many Secret Service agents, and asked Mr. Bouck to comment on that allegation. Mr. Bouck stated that he did not feel that was true..."

SA Winston G. Lawson, the lead advance agent for Dallas (rode in the lead car on 11/22/63):

Amazingly, Lawson related on the aforementioned 1995 Secret Service documentary “Inside The Secret Service” that fellow agents had come to him---not to Grant, nor to anyone else---after the assassination and said, “If it had to happen, I’m glad it happened to you.” As author Melanson stated, “The words seem curious, if not cruel.” Lawson quickly added, amidst his tears: “They [his fellow agents] really didn’t mean that in a bad way.” In Lawson’s opinion, he believed they meant that they knew Lawson did all he could do. The agent further added on the documentary: “I’m sure, any other outfit, I would have been fired or perhaps transferred to the boondocks, but they kept me working. I worked Kennedy’s funeral and was at the gravesite [emphasis].” One is reminded of soldiers carrying the bodies of other soldiers who fell in battle during war, whose deaths were indirectly caused by the carrier’s poor judgment under fire. Lawson himself told Melanson on 2/20/02: “There’s always gonna be a political side versus a Secret Service side. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.” They lost in Dallas.

Agent Floyd M. Boring (ASAIC of the White House Detail, Behn’s direct assistant):

“When I got to the Kennedy detail I was actually in charge of that detail at first, and then they sent up the agent from the White House Detail [Behn]. He then was in charge, and I was second in charge”---Floyd Boring, Truman Library Oral History, page 63

For much more on Boring, please see:


Boring is interesing.
Deputy Chief Paul J. Paterni, Chief Rowley's direct assistant who, like another deputy, ASAIC of the WHD (#2 man) Floyd Boring, was a major "behind-the-scenes" player in regard to the aftermath of the assassination. Paterni was a member of the OSS---the predecessor of the CIA--- during WWII and served (in Milan, Italy) with fellow OSS men James Jesus Angleton and Ray Rocca, later liaison to the Warren Commission. What makes this connection even more alarming is the following: Chief Inspector Michael Torina wrote to the author, stating the following: "Specifically, Paul Paterni (my very good friend) served [in the Secret Service] from late 1930's through mid-1960's"(emphasis added) --- meaning, Paterni was a member of the OSS at the same time he was a member of the Secret Service. PRS Agent Frank Stoner wrote to the author: “Paul Paterni was a great agent and I did know about OSS.” The author asked former agent Walt Coughlin, “Did you know about Deputy Chief Paul Paterni's OSS background in WWII?” The former agent responded: “Had heard that. Have no details.” Paterni had joined the Secret Service in 1933 and spent most, but not all, of the Truman and Eisenhower years as SAIC of the San Francisco office. Former agent Darwin Horn wrote: “Paul Paterni was SAIC in SF for many years. Guys loved him.” Horn later wrote: “I am not sure if Paterni took over Chicago when Anheier died. He could have.” Paterni appears to have indeed replaced Harry D. Anheier Sr. as SAIC of the Chicago office in approximately 1957. Paterni then went on to replace Russell “Buck” Daniels as Assistant Chief on 1/31/61
Chief James J. Rowley & Inspector Thomas Kelley:

Michael Dorman of Newsday wrote an article entitled “JFK Plot Leads May Have Been Neglected” from 10/24/97, confirming Rowley’s---and Inspector Kelley’s---knowledge of several threats BEFORE 11/22/63. The article states: "In his testimony before the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978, James Rowley, Secret Service Chief in 1963, stated several leads to conspiracies to assassinate President Kennedy may not have been checked out. He stated the Secret Service had begun looking into several assassination plots, but stopped when President Johnson ordered the FBI to take over the investigation of the president's murder. The Secret Service was ordered to turn over all relevant information to the FBI. Rowley stated the FBI never informed the Secret Service of any of the leads it turned over. One lead was the Miami Secret Service Report on Joseph Milteer. Milteer, a right wing activist, was taped by the Secret Service saying Kennedy would be assassinated with a rifle from a window in a downtown business district. Rowley was asked why Milteer was not put on constant surveillance. A reply to this was made by another Secret Service aid, Thomas Kelley. He replied that they didn't have enough manpower

The ARRB reported: “Mr. Boring was shown Inspector Kelley’s 2/14/64 memo to Chief Rowley re: HR 9958 (USSS document No. 154-10002-10332), and stated that he had never heard Inspector Kelley speak in that manner (as in the memo) of the inadvisability of allowing the FBI sole investigative jurisdiction over future assassination investigations; or of a “Seven Days in May” scenario [military/ intelligence coup]; or of a possible venal Director of the FBI bringing about or allowing an assassination under these new investigative guidelines; etc. He seemed somewhat surprised and speechless by the contents of this memo.”
Nine of the agents from Kennedy’s White House Detail drank alcohol the night before the assassination in Fort Worth (at the Fort Worth Press Club and, presumably, The Cellar “Coffee House”), including four who had critical duties in the follow-up car directly behind his limousine: Bennett, Landis, Hill, and Ready (interestingly, they were all from Shift Leader Emory Roberts’ particular shift. Significantly, None of the agents from the V.P. LBJ detail were involved in the drinking incident.) The owner of the Cellar, Pat Kirkwood, said: “About 3:30 in the morning, these Secret Service men were sitting around giggling about how the firemen were guarding the president over at the Hotel Texas…Jack Ruby used to come over Friday nights and steal my [stripper] girls…Lee Harvey Oswald washed glasses for two nights at the San Antonio Cellar…We didn’t say anything, but those guys were bombed. They were drinking pure Everclear [alcohol].” Likewise, reporter Jack Moseley stated “The…Secret Service activity of which I had knowledge was the large amount of alcohol consumed by members of the Secret Service at the Fort Worth Press Club, where the bar did not close at the regular time that night.” Although this flagrant violation of Secret Service regulations was grounds for dismissal from the service , none of the men were punished in any way whatsoever by Chief Rowley, who did not want to stigmatize the agents and their families. In addition, although all the agents had to report for duty at 8:00 a.m., several stayed out until between 1:30 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. One---Landis—stayed out until 5:00 a.m.! Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on even the best-trained reflexes. DNC advance man Jerry Bruno told the HSCA: “Asked to comment about drinking after hours, he said: "They were not 'one beer' drinkers. They could really put it away', he said. He related an incident on the Naples trip where an agent, whom he did not identify, pulled his gun on a hotelkeeper who would not open a bar late at night to serve them. This trip was in [July] 1963 prior to the Texas one."
Author James Hepburn said that JFK’s Secret Service White House Detail “worked like a troop of boy scouts…they had lost their reflexes." With regard to 11/22/63, perhaps Secret Service Officer John Norris summed it up best: “Except for George Hickey and Clint Hill, everybody else just basically sat there with their thumbs up their butts while the president was gunned down in front of them.”

From the 2/22/78 House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) interview of Miami SAIC John Marshall, former White House Detail agent who conducted all the advance work on President Kennedy’s frequent trips to Palm Beach:

Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) Director Tom Samoluk told the author in 1996 that JFK’s longtime friend and Presidential Aide Dave Powers “agreed with your take on the Secret Service,” based off a lengthy interview Samoluk had with the gentleman during the process of obtaining Power’s film of the fateful Dallas motorcade from the JFK Library.
SA Jerry O'Rourke, on the Texas trip:

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 Rotary Club. 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.

O'Rourke wrote to the author: “Keep in mind, some of the former agents you interview are not going to be receptive to you. Most don’t mind talking about the assassination but they still are very protective. Also, many continue to have some problems (mental?) dealing with what they feel as a failure on their part…Some of the retired agents have contested my beliefs on the assassination but most of those agents were still in diapers when 11/22/63 [the assassination] came about. I always answer them by stating, ‘I was there, were you?’ Some of those guys you interviewed are great guys while the others are…[ O’Rourke ended this comment in this fashion].” O’Rourke added: “As I told you [,] a couple agents have problems with the assassination, Clint [Hill] being one. He is a good friend of mine but I have not seen him in 25 years…Yes, Clint still has problems with 11/22/63…Again, there are a lot of “people” (and agents) that disagree with my findings [regarding] Nov. 22nd but they have not done any research…I have visited with several of the agents that were right with JFK, at the time, and plied them with drink [!] When all of the records are completely released [,] we will know [what happened], if [we are] still alive.”

ATSAIC Art Godrey, on the Texas trip:

Author Anthony Summers, who also interviewed the agent, wrote: “Godfrey…had been unusually close to both [Richard] Nixon and [Bebe] Rebozo. After retiring in 1974, he had visited the disgraced president at San Clemente and watched the Grand Prix with him at Long Beach. Rebozo even asked Godfrey to work for him. As late as 1994 Godfrey was a member of the February Group, an association of diehard Nixon loyalists.”

Under JFK, the Secret Service had lost the ability to do their jobs effectively and were often relegated to "butler" and "servant" status. Presidential Aides Kenneth O'Donnell and Dave Powers used the agents as errand boys and JFK treated them as "lookouts" and "go-fors," as his romantic dalliances dictated. Several, if not many, of the agents of the White House Detail were concerned and upset about JFK’s sordid private life and the effect it was having on their collective morale and their abilities to protect the president, as well as in their whole concept of what their jobs in government truly were. In addition, Abraham Bolden told the author: "I had heard that there was some conflict between Kennedy and the White House Detail, that he was trying to scale them back". Bolden later wrote: “The facts are that the S.S. [Secret Service] and F.B.I. were not the cooperating organizations as portrayed by the media in the 1960[’s]. The facts are that President Kennedy and Robert Kennedy made no bones about their dislike of the S.S. as an independent service. Early in 1961 there was great fear within the service that the duties of the S.S. would be given to the F.B.I. and that the S.S. would be made a part of the IRS investigators. The relations between the F.B.I. and the S.S. was a “dogfight” with the F.B.I. oft times refusing to assist the S.S. in collateral investigations. The facts are that most of the agents surrounding the President disliked the President for (1) his stand on civil rights and (2) his studies undertaken by Robert Kennedy to disband the S.S. as the protective agency. The detail was staffed by a core of southern-born agents and it was no surprise to me that, after the James Meredith Mississippi school incident, an attempt on the life of the President would be met by agents standing on the side of the follow-up car waiting for the final shot to hit…Simply put, the S.S. covered up evidence [and] lied to the Warren Commission and to the public for one reason and one reason only: to save the S.S. and not be branded with the taint of gross negligence and be therefore open to judicial proceedings…the attitude of the S.S. against the President and the attitude of the F.B.I. against Robert Kennedy caused these agencies to permit the assassination to occur [emphasis added].” Jeremy Gunn of the ARRB, during an interview of PRS SAIC Robert Bouck, “recounted a story involving the opinion of a former CIA employee who had stated that President Kennedy was not very popular with many Secret Service agents…” Indeed, author Jim Bishop claimed that SAIC Behn and ASAIC Boring were not popular with President Kennedy.
Amazingly, Secret Service Officer John Norris discovered a carefully concealed lookout post in the Executive Office Building’s (EOB) attic in the early summer of 1963 (the EOB was the home of the Secret Service’s Protective Research Section, or PRS)! This vantage point provided an observer with a view directly into the private living quarters of the White House for the express purpose of spying on the First Family. As Norris told author Bill Sloan: “There were cigarette butts all over the floor and all of them looked fairly fresh...There were even some mattresses up there, so it was pretty apparent that someone had been spending a lot of time up there…a crack marksman with a telescopic sight could conceivably even have killed Kennedy from there.” Norris added: “It was obvious to me that somebody had been keeping Kennedy under regular covert surveillance…Maybe it was for his own protection, but frankly I doubted it, and it struck me as very peculiar, very suspicious. That was one main reason that I tried to relay a warning to Kennedy. Another was that everybody was tense and edgy, and there was a lot of talk going around about threats and plots.”
Most importantly, JFK retired/fired the top four Secret Service/Treasury Department officials, roughly coinciding with the dismissal of the top three CIA officials:
a. Deputy Chief of the Secret Service Russell “Buck” Daniels. Daniels was replaced by former OSS officer Paul J. Paterni (See chapter 13)
b. Assistant Secretary of Treasury A. Gilmore Fluse.
c. William T. Heffelfinger, highest-ranking career official.
d. Chief of the Secret Service U. E. Baughman. Baughman was replaced by the SAIC of the WHD, James J. Rowley, who was appointed by President Kennedy for this position, according to Presidential aide Ken O’Donnell.
Baughman's dismissal was the biggest news of all, as was the case with CIA Director Allen Dulles, fired within the same time frame as the Chief. The Chief was on the wrong side of Kennedy's policies and views: he thought the Mafia did not even exist, a view shared by J. Edgar Hoover. Interestingly, Agent Kinney said that U.E. Baughman “was the J. Edgar Hoover of the Secret Service.” Consider this: an undisputed fact---- one that even Gerald Posner left alone in "Case Closed"--- is that Hoover, the head of the FBI, knew about Oswald as early as June of 1960, when Baughman was still head of the Secret Service. The memo concerned "an imposter using Oswald's birth certificate". Dulles, head of the CIA, later became one of the seven members of the Warren Commission - it was he who single-handedly pushed the lone nut theory on his fellow members, a view proselytized by Baughman in a book he wrote before JFK's murder. Charles Cabell, the CIA's second in command, who was also let go during this same time period, was the brother of the mayor of Dallas, Earle Cabell, JFK's host on 11/22/63.
Significantly, in a book the former Chief wrote in 1963 before the Kennedy assassination, Baughman reveals the following detail: "[concerning the day he became Chief of the Secret Service] I remember with absolute clarity the details of that call which was to change my life, give it its final shape. The date was NOVEMBER 22, 1948...[Emphasis added]”
Exactly fifteen years to the date of the call which will "live in infamy" for Baughman, his former boss JFK, the President who let him go, was murdered.
Re: Harvey Henderson & SAIC of Chicago office Maurice Martineau:

Both in his letters and in his interviews with the author, Mr. Bolden expressed much interest and suspicion in Harvey Henderson, his “boss” during his time on the White House Detail: "While in New York on a protective assignment, Harvey Henderson countermand a direct order from the President. This act occurred in September or October 1963 [Mr. Bolden may be mistaken : the time period may have been mid-November 1963, a mere week or so before Dallas]. The President subsequently had Henderson removed from the detail and this act by the President was very unpopular with Jerry Behn, Emory Roberts, and others on the detail."
Mr. Bolden elaborated during a telephone interview with the author: "Do you know what happened to Harvey Henderson? I heard that he had been relieved of his Detail by President Kennedy himself...Harvey had made some threats like, 'We'll get you'...I understand that he told the President "I'll get you, or something to that effect...(it was) no secret that Kennedy wanted him removed from the detail... Harvey was a quick-tempered guy who couldn't take the heat... Where is Harvey Henderson at? I think that you would do well if you could find out where Harvey Henderson was on November 22-can you track him down?" In reference to the elicit Secret Service credentials present in Dealey Plaza on 11/22/63, Mr. Bolden said, in reference to Harvey Henderson, "that's the first thing that crossed my mind - he would have the nerve, the guts, the anger, the craziness, the instability...I'm not saying he was in Dallas, but I'm saying that...it would be something to look at." Unfortunately, Henderson died in 1994 before the author could locate and contact him for comment. Interestingly, information regarding a plot to kill Martin Luther King was furnished to Henderson, the ASAIC of the Birmingham Secret Service office, on 3/11/65, over three years before MLK’s murder.
Bolden further added: "I was personally told by Harvey Henderson, 'You're a nigger. You were born a nigger. You're going to die a nigger. So act like a nigger’"
For his part, former agent Walt Coughlin wrote: “Harvey (The Birmingham Baron) Henderson had left the Detail when I arrived [6/62] but I recall he was there thru most of the 1950’s.” Walt later added: “Harvey Henderson he [Bolden] is probably rite (sic) about [re: racial attitude].”

Maurice G. Martineau was the SAIC of the Chicago field office, and as a member of the Secret Service from 1941 to 1972, served some 32 years with the agency. The agent was a member of the White House Detail during the FDR years, and on temporary assignments during the Eisenhower administration. Mr. Martineau stated, "Any time they [the White House Detail] came thru Chicago, [he] worked very close with the advance team from Washington."
Importantly, Mr. Martineau confirmed that the motorcade was cancelled "at the last minute - I was already out at the airport" to meet JFK's plane when this occurred, he said. Mr. Bolden was a touchy subject: "As far as Bolden is concerned, I'd rather not discuss it. He was a blight on the agency."
Interestingly, Mr. Martineau revealed that he "was subpoenaed to testify before" the HSCA, which he declared "a lot more valid than the Warren Commission." He believed "there was more than one assassin" on 11/22/63, stemming from the HSCA's report, his own role in the investigation, his extensive experience in firearms (agency and recreational), as well as his own gut feelings on 11/22/63: "As soon as I learned some of the details..." When the author conveyed to him Agent Kinney's own beliefs (see previous pages), including Agent Kinney's qualification that his own "outfit was clean," Mr. Martineau stated: "Well...ah...(long pause)...I've got some theories, too, but, ah...without any actual data to back them up, I think I'll keep them to myself."
Abraham Bolden was adamant that Mr. Martineau knew about both the plot to kill JFK on 11/2/63 and the internal "top secret" investigation of the Secret Service Commission books, one of which was "lost or stolen" in Dallas on the Texas trip of November, 1963: "I recalled that in January, 1964, the Secret Service recalled all commission books all over the United States. We were told they were to be redesigned...to me, the redesign of the commission books was for one purpose and that purpose was to render the lost or stolen commission book a counterfeit if and when the persons bearing the lost or stolen commission book were found.”
Mr. Bolden wrote the author: "when Inspector Kelley of the Secret Service came to Chicago in 1961, I discussed with him the fact that during a conversation between SAIC Maurice Martineau and two other agents who were discussing Kennedy's push for racial balance and equal justice in America, Mr. Martineau blurted out angrily, 'The bastard should be killed.' This coming from an agent was dangerous. The prevailing attitude of the Caucasian agents, the majority of whom were southern born, was that Kennedy was moving too fast on Civil Rights and in the Chicago office of the Secret Service, I heard the term 'nigger lover' applied to President Kennedy by more than one or two agents." Mr. Bolden added that "all of (this) information...was discussed with Inspector Kelley, John Hanley (SAIC), Harry Geghlein, and John [sic?] Burke (Assistant SAIC) in the Chicago office to no avail."


The Special Agent In Charge (SAIC) of JFK's White House Detail, Gerald Behn, as well as his immediate assistant, ASAIC Floyd M. Boring, told me emphatically (on audio tape/ You Tube videos) that President Kennedy did NOT order the agents off his limousine, never interfered with their actions at all, was a very nice man, and very cooperative. In fact, Jerry Blaine himself told me the very same thing! Former agents Sam Kinney (on audio tape. You Tube videos) and ATSAIC (Shift Leader) Art Godfrey (in writing/ in two phone conversations) also told me the very same thing AND ADDED THAT JFK'S STAFF WAS NOT TO BLAME, EITHER. I wish Mr. Blaine well with his book---I will buy it and I hope it's a best seller; no malice, misrepresentation, or ill intended. If you Google my name you will see that I spoke to and/ or correponded with many of the agents who protected JFK (from 1991 to 2009): I have been on the History Channel, in over 50 books by other authors, in a presidential report given to President Clinton (Final Report of the ARRB), etc. MANY, MANY THOUSANDS of people are very much aware of my work; to act like it doesn't exist may not be a prudent thing. Bottom line is this: when the top 3 agents on JFK's detail (not just "buck privates") AND JFK's friend and aide, Dave Powers, tell me that President Kennedy did not order the agents off his car and didn't interfere with the Secret Service's actions, I listen...and so have a whole lot of other people. Impeccable sources who, by the way, died many years ago. Vince Palamara: leading civilian Secret Service expert, especially during the JFK era

1 comment:

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