By Jacob Engels
With the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy just months away, a new groundbreaking history of that day attempts to prove that the Kennedy killing was not the work of a lone gunman in Dealey Plaza in Dallas but actually was a complex plot masterminded by the man who “was a heartbeat away from the presidency.”
The facts and conclusions – many of them made public for the first time – are all wrapped up in Roger Stone’s revelatory book, “The Man Who Killed Kennedy, the Case against LBJ,” scheduled for publication November 1, but already No. 1 on Amazon for pre-sales in the Political/Public Affairs category. It’s a must read for history buffs of anyone seeking the truth about the 20th Century’s most famous slaying.
Although Stone details the involvement of rogue elements of the CIA and the mob in JFK’s death, it is Stone’s contention that one vice president, LBJ directed the murder and another future Vice President , Gerald Ford, played a pivotal role in the cover up. Both would succeed to the presidency.
Stone, who served as a senior staffer on eight national Republican presidential campaigns, says his book is the first real distillation of the facts by a White House insider. “I served as a political aide to both President Nixon and President Reagan,” he says, which, he adds, separates his book from the others, which explore the events of November 22, 1963. Stone had extensive interviews with Nixon and former Attorney General John Mitchell for his book.
Maybe you can’t handle the truth, but Stone can and does in black and white … and red. His conclusion, as you can see from the subtitle of the book is that Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy’s vice president but no friend of Kennedy or of the Kennedy clan, was the key man behind the assassination.
“It was LBJ who insisted JFK visit Texas,” Stone says. “Johnson took no interest in the Houston and Austin stops, but he micro-managed JFK’s time in Dallas.” At the time the vice president was facing Justice Department and Senate investigations into corruption, “charges that could lead to political disgrace and even jail time,” the author and political pundit adds.
Life magazine was scheduled to publish an investigative story on LBJ’s wheeling and dealing with Texas con-man Billie Sol Estes the Saturday after JFK’s visit to Dallas that also could have sent the vice president to jail, Stone says. Also the Senate was beginning public hearings into corruption charges by long-time Johnson pal Bobby Baker, who had been the Senate’s Secretary to the Majority leader where he got the nickname “Little Lyndon.” Those hearings could have exposed and implicated Johnson. Feeling the growing heat on Capitol Hill that could engulf LBJ as well, Baker had resigned his Senate post in early October.
LBJ’s ties to Baker made Kennedy wary. According to the president’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln, Kennedy told her was planning to drop Johnson from the Democratic ticket in 1964 in favor of North Carolina Gov. Terry Sanford, a move that would surely have ended LBJ’s political career.
“LBJ kept in constant touch with his Senate allies by phone all day November 22, the day the hearings opened and the very day of JFK’s assassination,” Stone notes.
Stone adds as further proof of Johnson’s complicity in the murder that “On November 21, LBJ tells his mistress Madeline Brown, who bore him a son, ‘After tomorrow those SOBs will never embarrass me again. That’s not a threat, that’s a promise.’”
There are other aspects of that day in Dallas that support Stone’s conclusions. For example, Johnson and Texas Gov. John Connally, who rode with JFK in the motorcade, insisted on the route that took them slowly past the Texas School Book Depository, despite resistance from Kennedy aides Jerry Bruno and Ken O’Donnell. At the last minute LBJ tried to convince JFK to have Connally ride in the Presidential limousine and let his bitter enemy Senator Ralph Yarborough ride with Kennedy. The Secret Service violated it’s long-standing policy against slow 120-degree turns, which the motorcade had to make entering Dealey Plaza.
“I worked on multiple Presidential trips for Ronald Reagan,” Stone adds. “I can tell you that the Secret Service never decides a motorcade route, they only advise. Connally threatened to scrub the visit if JFK’s aides didn’t agree to his route plan.”
The Secret Service also failed secure the tall buildings on both sides of the street, standard procedure whenever the presidential motorcade is scheduled to drop below 40 MPH,” notes the author, who made more than a dozen presidential flights aboard Air Force One with Nixon and Reagan. The Dallas Police reduced the motorcycle escort supposed to ride three abreast on each side of the President’s car to just two motorcycle policemen and they were ordered to ride behind the Presidential limousine.
Conspiracy and cover-up theories have flourished ever since Kennedy’s death. But according to Stone, perhaps the most pivotal figure in the coverup and the one who is often overlooked in the saga was former President Gerald Ford.
In 1997, 20 years after he left the White House Ford, a vocal proponent of the single-assassin theory, acknowledged that while a member of the Warren Commission he made a few “changes” in the famous report. “My changes were only an attempt to be more precise,” Ford told the AP when the text alterations were revealed.
What Ford had done was to raise the point of impact of the deadly bullet a couple of inches so that it appeared to have struck Kennedy not in the upper back ( as the Texas Death certificate recorded) but in the lower neck, as the commission’s final report contended, which made the report more consistent with the premise that Oswald had acted alone. As the AP reported, “the effect of Ford’s change was to bolster the commission’s conclusion that a single bullet passed through Kennedy and severely wounded Texas Gov. John Connally, a crucial element in its finding that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole gunman and only three shots were fired.
Photos of the president’s bloody shirt indeed show a bullet hole below the collar. Admiral George Burkley, a Navy doctor present at JFK’s autopsy noted that the President’s wound was “in the posterior back at about the level of the third thoracic vertebrae”. “Ford lied to conceal the truth about there being more than three shots and therefore more than one shooter” said Stone. “Ford did more to advance the cover up than any other person”
According to Newsweek magazine Ford was viewed as the CIA’s man in Congress and was working within the Warren Commission at the behest of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover to insure the Warren Commission report conclusions matched an FBI report on the killing issued only weeks after the murder, which Stone’s book reveals.
So who actually pulled the trigger that killed Kennedy? Not Oswald, says Stone.
“Oswald is a patsy. LBJ’s buddy Malcolm Mac Wallace, a Marine marksman was the real shooter from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository building,” Stone insists. “The killer was a long-time LBJ confederate and convicted murderer. Other than Oswald’s and those of bumbling Dallas Police, Wallace’s is the only other fingerprint the FBI found on the cardboard boxes that were used to fashion the 6th floor sniper’s nest. Why would an associate of LBJ be in the sniper’s nest.
Stone says his book also ties Johnson to at least seven murders before JFK’s including that of a U.S. Agriculture Department official who was investigating LBJ’s financial activities and two FBI informants working for LBJ crony and business partner Billie Sol Estes. In fact, it was Estes who later claimed Wallace also recruited Oswald and Oswald’s killer, Jack Ruby.
When Stone is asked what does the Johnson family have to say about these allegations, he replies, “We hear LBJ’s daughters may be taking legal action to prevent publication of the book.” The saga continues.
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post. Along with the Post, he owns several other businesses and is currently enrolled at Valencia College. Jacob has lived in Avalon Park since it’s founding and enjoys playing with his black Labradoodle Jasper, listening to indie rock, and seeking out new business ventures. He can be reached at email@example.com