The LuLac Edition #1692, July 27th, 2011
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JFK AND THE MOB
Yesterday Paul Golias of the Citizen’s Voice wrote an article about the conspiracy theories on the John Kennedy assassination. As a student at King’s College I produced and hosted a 5 part radio documentary about the Kennedy case. So I guess I was one of those conspiracy theorists he writes about. I always felt that the Kennedy assassination had more to do with organized crime than one might think. I base this on a biography I read written by Joseph Kennedy Seniors caregiver Jane Gargan. Gargan said that when the President and Attorney General visited the elder, infirmed Kennedy, he would get agitated beyond belief struggling to speak with either of them in sometimes violent outbursts. Remember it was Joe Senior that cut deals with the Illinois mob to have his son barely carry the state against Richard Nixon. My thoughts are that he was trying to tell Jack and Bobby to go easy on the mob investigations. Anyway, here’s Paul Golias’ fine article.
Those of us who believe that he was killed as part of a conspiracy can hope that heightened interest in the killing and perhaps new revelations dug out by a new generation of researchers will further tighten the knot that binds the conspiracy web.
The publication of The Bufalino Files by The Citizens' Voice gave the best insight yet into the life of the man who was the mob boss of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and beyond, for decades. Especially pertinent was the connection of mob guys then and now to political and judicial corruption in Luzerne County. We take a back seat to no one when it comes to big-time crime.
Thus, it is not far-fetched to ponder whether or not Wyoming Valley was the home to one of the mobsters, Bufalino, who sanctioned Mafia involvement in the Kennedy murder and helped carry it out.
The Bufalino Files make it clear that Bufalino's home in Kingston was under surveillance. Was it being watched on a night in November 1963, when Frank Sheeran came calling?
Sheeran was a mob associate and he did many jobs for Bufalino and their mutual friend, Teamsters Union chief Jimmy Hoffa. Sheeran confessed to killing Hoffa in 1975 on Bufalino's orders, a tale told in the landmark "I Heard You Paint Houses" by Charles Brandt. (Note also that the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund provided the loan that built Pocono Downs in the early 1960s and Hoffa was identified in the mid-1970s as a secret owner of coal lands in Northeastern Pennsylvania).
Sheeran told Brandt that Bufalino summoned him to Kingston and then dispatched him to see "our friend" in New Jersey. A mobster there gave Sheeran a duffle bag and Sheeran, a World War II combat veteran, said he quickly deduced that the bag held three rifles. Sheeran was told to take the bag to a cement business in Baltimore and there he met two men who he would not identify. One was yet another mob figure, perhaps Johnny Roselli, and the other was a pilot, perhaps David Ferrie. Regardless, the two men transported the guns by air to Dallas, Texas.
On Nov. 22, 1963, at 1:30 p.m. eastern standard time, President Kennedy was shot to death as his motorcade passed through Dallas.
Sheeran added that Bufalino made reference to Dallas in the mid-1970s as he and others tried to get Hoffa to forgo his demand that he resume the presidency of the Teamsters. Hoffa was investigated doggedly by Robert Kennedy, attorney general and brother of the president. Hoffa eventually was jailed, only to be pardoned by President Richard Nixon.
"Remember what we did for you in Dallas," Sheeran quoted Bufalino as telling Hoffa.
Hoffa disappeared on July 30, 1975. Sheeran, who died in 2003, told his life story to Brandt who has authored several books on mob figures.
The FBI had an office in Wilkes-Barre in the 1960s. The agent in charge was Charles Adams. He was mum on FBI investigations but reporters knew that the FBI had an eye on the Dorrance Street home where Bufalino and his wife lived.
One of Adams' annual assignments was to bring in a canned birthday tribute to J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI. It was mushy pap but newspapers around the U.S. ran the paean every year.
Ah, the webs that have been woven: The night before Kennedy was slain, Texas politicians and oil men held a party at the home of one of the oil magnates, Clint Murchison. And who was the guest of honor at that party? J. Edgar Hoover.