Thirty days has November... and DeRosaWorld is bringing you is bringing you a JFK Assassination fact for each day.
In the days, weeks, months and even years following the assassination of President Kennedy, many key witnesses ... died at strategically important moments. Those that survived the 1960s were taken out when the United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was established in 1976.
Here are some interesting examples:Gary Underhill, a CIA agent who claimed the CIA was involved in the JFK assassination, died of a gun shot to the head in May 1964. His death was ruled a suicide.
Guy Banister, a former FBl agent and acquaintance of Oswald, died of an apparent heart attack in June 1964. Files containing information on his anti-Castro activities were missing by the time authorities reached his office.
Mary Meyer, an alleged mistress of JFK's during the White House years and the estranged wife of CIA veteran Cord Meyer, was murdered in October 1964 in a park in Washington, DC. Cord Meyer was a fishing companion of CIA counter-intelligence chief, James Jesus Angleton, who seized Meyer's diary after her death.
C.D. Jackson, senior vice president of Life magazine, died of unknown causes in September 1964. Jackson arranged for Life to buy the Zapruder film soon after the Dealey Plaza shooting and then locked it away. (The film was not widely seen by the public until it was shown on ABC's Goodnight America in 1975.)
Rose Cheramie, a prostitute and striptease dancer in Ruby's Dallas nightclub, died in a Texas hit-and-run accident in September 1965. Two days before the assassination, she told police in Louisiana she overheard two Latin men plotting to kill the president.
Dorothy Kilgallen, a prominent columnist and TV personality, was ruled a suicide by drug overdose in November 1965. She had just completed a lengthy interview of Ruby in prison and told friends privately that she was about to "break" the JFK case.
David Ferrie, a militant anti-Castroite and associate of Oswald and Banister, died of an apparent brain embolism in February 1967. He was just about to be arraigned for conspiracy in the JFK assassination by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, whose investigation convinced him that the CIA was involved.
Eladio Del Valle, a friend and political comrade of Ferrie's, was shot at close range the day after Ferrie's death. Garrison had been trying to find Del Valle for questioning.
Hale Boggs, House majority leader and a member of the Warren Commission, was killed in a plane crash in Alaska in 1972. He had begun to express public doubts about the Warren Commission's findings.
J.A. Milteer, the far-right Miami activist, died when his heater exploded in February 1974. As mentioned above, he predicted an attempt on JFK's life and the capture of a scapegoat shortly before events in Dealey Plaza-and a man looking a lot like him was picked up by the police that November afternoon.
Clay Shaw, whom Garrison brought to trial as a prime suspect in a JFK conspiracy, died of cancer in August 1974. Unable to prove Shaw's CIA connections, Garrison saw him acquitted in 1969. But just a year after Shaw's death, a high-level CIA defector, Victor Marchetti, confirmed Shaw's ties to the agency.
Sam Giancana, Mafia boss of Chicago, was shot to death in the basement of his home while in the Federal Witness Protection Program in June 1975. At the time of his murder, Giancana was scheduled to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee on the ClA's alliance with the Mafia in an attempt to kill Castro.
John Roselli, a Mafia lieutenant of Giancana's, was dismembered, stuffed into an oil drum and dropped into the ocean off Miami in July 1976. Roselli was the Mafia's contact man for its assassination projects with the CIA and was scheduled for a second appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee when he was killed.
George de Mohrenschildt, who befriended Oswald in Dallas, was found dead of a gunshot wound, deemed self-inflicted, in March 1977. Two hours before his death, an investigator for the House Assassinations Committee came to interview him about the JFK case, but de Mohrenschildt was not at home. In a manuscript found afterwards, de Mohrenschildt supported Oswald's view of himself as "a patsy."
Charles Nicoletti, also on the House Committee's witness list, was shot three times in the back of the neck in the parking lot of a suburban Chicago shopping center in March 1977-less than 48 hours after de Mohrenschildt's death. Nicoletti was said to have been a "handler" (that is, supervisor) of Mafia assassins in the ClA-Mafia plots.
Carlos Prio Socarras, a president of pre-revolutionary Cuba, was found dying of a pistol shot in April 1977, just six days after Nicoletti was gunned down. Prio's death was ruled a suicide. He, too, was on the House Committee's witness list because of his alleged links to Jack Ruby and anti-Castro Cuban militants.