FWIW: A.J. Weberman conducted several in depth interviews with Hemming. Unfortunately, Weberman had a tendency to interpret everything Hemming said according to a predisposed bias against Hemming. The following is excerpted from the book, Coup d'Etat in America: The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, by AJ Weberman and Michael Canfield.
On September 2, 1963, Loran Hall was arrested for violations of the Neutrality Act at Key Largo, Florida. Upon his release, Loran Hall visited the offices of the Cuban Revolutionary Council in Miami and protested his arrest. HEMMING told this researcher: "There was no Cuban Revolutionary Council office anymore. They didn't pay the rent. They're off the payroll in 1963." Loran Hall flew to Los Angeles on September 4, 1963. On September 11, 1963, he was joined in Los Angeles by LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD and Celio Castro, who had driven in together from Miami. HEMMING 1994: "Celio was 71 at the time. He had a bad leg from the Machado revolution. He acted like he was 40. He was a stoned cold motherfucker." Stanley Drennan donated medical equipment and arms to Loran Hall for use against Castro. [Garrison interview with Hall 5.6.68]
When Loran Hall, LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD and Celio Castro left Los Angeles for Dallas around September 18, 1963, they stopped at the offices of Private Investigator and soldier-of-fortune Dick Hathcock. The FBI:
Richard Hathcock, Allied International Detectives, Suite 310, 6605 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, advised Roy Payne is his associate in the above enterprise. Hathcock advised as follows: He, Hathcock, has known one Dick Whatley for several years. Whatley, to the best of Hathcock's information, currently resides at 3350 NW 18th Terrace Miami, Florida,, Whatley is a male Caucasian.
Prior to Hathcock's present occupation, he was the proprietor of Adventurers Corner, a shop at the corner of Sunset and La Brea, which sold articles from all over the world, and was an unofficial gathering place for adventurers in this area.
Shortly after the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba, Whatley, who Hathcock had not seen for some time, came into the Adventurers Corner and gave Hathcock a shoulder patch that had a skull and crossbones on it plus the words 'Brigada Internationale.' Whatley told Hathcock that he had been in Guatemala instructing troops down there, and that he had pulled out a week or two prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion, and hadn't participated in the invasion. Hathcock did not see Whatley again until about 7 or 8 months ago when he came to Hathcock's office with two other men, all three of whom were wearing green fatigues and one of the men was wearing a 'Mohawk' hair cut. The men were interested in getting into the wild animal business, and asked Hathcock where they could get some wild animals.
Approximately one year ago, JERRY PATRICK, whose true name is JERRY HEMMING, a male Caucasian, approximately 30 to 31, 6' 4", 230 pounds, well built, curly brown hair, handsome, and Lorenzo Pascillo, aka Lorenzo Hall and Skip Hall, a male Caucasian, 35 to 40 years old, 5' 11", 175 to 180 pounds, black hair, mustache, ruddy complexion from Wichita, Kansas, came into Hathcock's office which was then located at 6715 Hollywood Blvd. stating that they were broke and that they knew Dick Whatley, and Whatley had sent them to him. They had with them a set of golf clubs, and a 30-06 Johnson semi-automatic with a Bushnell, variable powered scope. Hathcock loaned them $100 - $50 on each item and it was his understanding that they were to pick up the articles as soon as possible. Hathcock only saw JERRY PATRICK once after that and that was approximately one week later when he came to his office.
Several months ago, since the men did not retrieve the articles, Hathcock sold the golf clubs. On September 18, 1963, Lorenzo Hall came in with $50 and retrieved the rifle. Shortly thereafter Hathcock received a telephone call from JERRY PATRICK, who was then residing at 2450 N.W. North River Drive, Miami, Florida, inquiring as to whether Hathcock still had the rife. Hathcock told him he had given the rifle to Hall for $50 and this seemed to irritate PATRICK to some extent. Since then Hathcock has sent the receipt he received from Hall for the $50 to PATRICK to convince him he had returned the rifle.
On the day Hall retrieved the rifle, he sold him a Bolex Motion Picture Camera with telephoto lens which was then the property of Hathcock. Hall paid by two checks - one drawn on the Citizen's Bank on the account of the Committee to Free Cuba in the amount of $350 and another in the amount of $150 on the account of a resident of La Habra. Hathcock gave Hall back $100.
Hathcock advised that PATRICK and Hall are violently anti-Communist and anti-Castro and they both told him they fought in the mountains with Castro in Cuba, however, fell out with him after the revolution. Lorenzo told Hathcock he spent seven months in prison in Cuba, however, he eventually got back to the United States. PATRICK stated he fell out with Castro and eventually got back to the United States.(Hathcock has Xerox copies of newspaper articles from Florida in his office concerning the anti-Castro troops training there and PATRICK'S picture appears as one of the anti-Castro troops).
PATRICK, when in Los Angeles, had an address of 1209 South Atlantic, Alhambra, California, (Atlantic Radio and T.V.) and an address in care of Howard K. Davis in Miami. It is Hathcock's information that Davis was Castro's personal pilot, and a close friend of Dick Whatley. Lorenzo Hall now resides at 1191 College View Drive, Monterey Park, California, and Hathcock does not know where he is now employed. He last saw Hall about two weeks ago when he came by Hathcock's office to simply talk. Hathcock reiterated that both men are anti-Communist and very strongly anti-Castro.
"About two months before the John Kennedy assassination in Dallas, two men came to see me in my office. One was GERRY PATRICK HEMMING who was using the name JERRY PATRICK. The other man was Lorenzo Hall, who liked to be called Skip Hall, whose real name was Pacillio, which I understand is a Cuban name. These men came to see me one afternoon, stating that they had heard of me because of my many years of undercover investigation of communism on the state college campuses here, when I worked for the Hearst chain, and some other activities, anti-Communist activities I had been involved in. They were here, they told me, to raise money with which to buy medicines and equipment, military hardware for a planned invasion of Cuba. That they were going to train troops in Guatemala, which they actually did later. They told me that they were dead broke, and that they were going to be here for two or three weeks, they had some other contacts they wanted to see, raise money, but meantime they needed $100. They wanted to borrow the $100 and what they had for security was a set of golf clubs and a rifle which was a 30 caliber Johnson, modified to semi-automatic operation, which I believed held nine rounds, and was also equipped with a Bushnell, variable scope. I gave them the $100 and they left the golf clubs and rifle. For several weeks after that, I saw both men frequently, then my understanding was that JERRY PATRICK returned to Miami to set things in operation down there for the planned invasion of Cuba. What they had planned essentially was to blow up some oil storage tanks on the west coast. Lorenzo Hall stayed here, and was in the private eye office very often, almost every day. He told me that both he and PATRICK had originally been in Castro's Army when they believed that he was trying to free Cuba from Batista, found out he was a communist, had no interest in the people, and they turned on Castro with the result with the result that both were imprisoned, and sentenced to be shot. Both, through manipulations and through friends, managed to escape and get to this country. They showed me lots of photos, gave me documents and I do believe they told me about those things. Eventually, as I say, PATRICK went back to Miami and I did not see him after that. Shortly before the assassination, if memory serves me correctly, it was no more than ten days before the assassination, Skip Hall and a big, fat Mexican man whom I'd never seen before, and whose name I don't recall at this time, but I'm sure the FBI has it, came to see me, told me they were going to Dallas to pick up some medicines and some other material, they wanted to redeem the rifle. They gave me $50, told me to keep the golf clubs, I got a note signed by Skip Hall that he had picked-up the rifle, which I later gave to Jerry Crowe of the FBI...Skip Hall later told me he had turned the rifle over to a doctor friend of his in Miami, Florida. JERRY PATRICK told me later that was a damn lie, that he had talked to Hall, and as far as he could find out that was a lie about where the rifle was. But he told me he had never recovered the rifle. The rifle was in my office all those weeks, and one of the gentlemen who worked with me in the detective business, Roy Payne, who is a gun expert and gun nut assembled and disassembled and reassembled that rifle on numerous occasions. And I'm sure Mr. Payne can tell you a great deal more about that rifle then I can. The day after John Kennedy was killed in Dallas, I received a phone call from Jerry Crowe, an FBI agent here in Los Angeles, who asked me if I had an agent working for me who was named Roy Payne and I said yes. Jerry wanted to know if he could come by the office and see me and Mr. Payne, and we arranged for that meeting. It's my opinion that the reason he wanted to see Mr. Payne was because Payne's fingerprints undoubtedly were all over that rifle from his having handled it so many time. It's also my opinion that, unless that particular rifle had been found or in some way involved in the whole thing, that the FBI would have no interest in it...My name is LeRoy Barton Payne. I have heard and have listened to Mr. Hathcock make his statement and I agree with him in every aspect of his statement and I will, to the best of my recollection, account my experiences with JERRY PATRICK and Lorenzo Hall...They were here on a speaking and fund raising campaign for going back to Cuba, and, as I remember, they were out gathering various types of military accouterments, weapons, medicines. How they obtained these weapons was not part of the information given to Mr. Hathcock or myself. Lorenzo Hall did tell me that he had his closet in his apartment full of weapons, and that he was afraid the FBI was going to come in there and raid the place and take him along, and they were going to have to smuggle them out, and that they were getting ready to go back to Cuba. He drew us a map of an inlet on the shore south of Havana, or near Havana, that was the oil storage reservoir and tank farm. It showed on this map the tank farm and several storage docks, and what they had planned on doing was taking a boat to Kingston, Jamaica, refueling, and then going in as frogmen to take satchel charges of plastic explosives and set them on the storage tank farm and the dock area and destroy this to cripple Cuba by getting rid of all the fuel, oil, gasoline etc. that was presently stored for Castro. About I would say, ten days, 15 days, maybe a month, somewhere along in there, prior to present Kennedy's assassination, here I am fuzzy on the exact period. But Lorenzo Hall and a fat Mexican fellow come and redeemed the rifle. Now this rifle I had been told that it would, it had gone on several Cuban raids in the past, and knowing that it is very easy to modify a weapon such as this to make it full automatic, and that it did have nine rounds in the chamber, nine rounds in the weapon and one in the chamber, making it ten rounds that could be fired automatically, I took the weapon and test fired it, and then pulled it apart to make sure it had not been tampered with. It had not and was a straight semi-automatic weapon. It was a Johnson semi-automatic 30.06, it had a 30 power variable Bushnell scope, very much like a telephoto lens on a camera. I would say that this weapon, properly sighted in would put a hole in a dime at 500 yards. The bullets would be fired as fast as one could pull the trigger. Ten seconds, ten rounds or less. They picked this weapon up, and signed a note that they had picked it up, as I was present in the office when these two gentlemen were there to pick the weapon up. Approximately the next day or two, they left for Miami, and I made the statement to his Lorenzo Hall, well, that we'll be reading about you in the paper. Well, Dick and I went about our business as normal as far as the Agency was concerned and didn't really think about them except to say, well, we hadn't heard anything. Five days prior to the assassination of President Kennedy Mr. Hall was in Hollywood, California, in front of our building, talking with Mr. Hathcock and I stopped and talked to them, and of course I said, well, why don't you come over and let's get a cup of coffee and tell us what happened, and he says, well no, I've got to make the plane for Dallas. The situation with Mr. Hall is that he stated to me when I asked him, well, you know, what happened during the situation, we didn't hear anything. He said that the CIA confiscated and arrested everybody at the boat in Miami, and I asked him at that time why he didn't get himself arrested also, and he said, well, he was on the dock and could not be connected with the situation. They didn't have any evidence against him. I'm going to make an assumption now, or a relatively educated assumption."
On November 23, 1963, S.A. Crowe interviewed Payne, who subsequently reported: "Mr. Crowe came in and I opened the door for him and he showed me his identification, he had a big bundle of papers with him in a large manila envelope...he put his bundle down on the chair in front of the desk and took some papers out and said, 'I would like to ask some questions about Skip Hall and Roy Payne,' and I said, well, 'I'm Roy Payne, why don't you ask me whatever you want to ask.' He seemed rather surprised I was there. At least that was the impression I got. We discussed the situation about what had occurred and what has gone on with GERRY PATRICK HEMMING and SKIP HALL, then I did not see him for some time after that. I did however find that the FBI, or someone, was, I can only make the assumption, following me, and did tail me for some months after that. I had a brother-in-law who was, and I am not correct with this, he is deceased now, and his name was Harvey Berkey, who was assistant agent in charge of the local field office for the FBI here. In asking, or making an attempt to ask ,Harvey what the heck was going on, Harvey refused to talk to me, and I could not gain entrance to his house, he would not answer the door, nor did his wife and children. There was one occasion, I did run into Harvey Berkey outside of my office with Mr. Hathcock, and he did not want to talk to me at all and excused himself and said he had to go. I did, within a week after the President's assassination have occasion to go to Palm Springs, I believe it was on a Thursday, and I stayed in a small motel upon entering in the town and about 3:00 a.m., I had occasion to see two gentlemen go through my vehicle pretty thoroughly, and they had keys to enter and to go through the car, they went through the glove compartment, I had evidence prior to that my vehicle had been entered and searched, as our offices, which had been moved...We had suite 310, which covered several rooms, and we did have a system to show if our offices had been entered, such as, seeing as we had the only keys, and our offices had been entered and the files had been searched several times. We feel, or I felt, that our telephone, both at home and the answering service for the office, had been tapped. This went on for several months. The next night, Saturday, after the assassination, I had to drive to Santa Maria, and was there overnight. There were three vehicles that followed my car up Pacific Coast Highway, all the way up to Santa Maria, and then again picked me up the next day when I went through several of the small towns in the rural area, and up to Highway 99, which is now I-5, and then coming back to the ridge root. The same Subject vehicles that had followed me the next day after the assassination were the same vehicles that I saw in Palm Springs for the, a week later, along with the same gentlemen that were in them. Like I say, this went on for quite some time, two to three months after the assassination. One afternoon, about ten days or two weeks after the assassination, I received a telephone call at the office from Lorenzo Hall. I said, 'Hey buddy, you better have a lot of witnesses, because you were in Dallas at the time of the assassination,' and he said 'I've got witnesses to prove I was right in the middle of the lobby of the Hilton Hotel, and a hundred people know I was there, and I was nowhere near where Kennedy was assassinated.' I have never heard from again the Lorenzo Hall. I did, on one occasion, go and drive out to visit with JERRY PATRICK HEMMING, who was living in Monterey Park. He discussed with me, at the time, turning over the rifle to them, and he didn't like the idea that the rifle went down there, since he felt it was his rifle and the golf clubs that were also hocked at that time of the original meeting were Hall's, and that the rifle was his and other than that conversation. I have never had any further contact with HEMMING." [Baxter Ward Affidavits 3.9.77 to Cong. Dodd] Richard Hathcock told Kenneth D. Klein that Loran Hall "came in and took the rifle, he was alone and said he was going to Dallas." [NARA HSCA 180-10102-10154 also see NARA FBI 124-10265-10288] In 1978 HEMMING told this researcher: "It was my weapon. We were short of money at the time and I told Hathcock, I said you know, you come up with some money but I want to leave some security and I don't feel like taking my weapon and shit back to Miami anyway, so I'll leave some gear for you. He said 'You don't have to do that. I said I'll do it because it would be more secure because some asshole ripped me off for my records - Saul from that McDonald book. Saul conned my relatives out of a lot of weapons. I trusted him, Dick Hathcock was on the Company [CIA] payroll anyway and he was anxious to know what was happening and all that shit so it was an entré - you just don't walk into somebody's door. It's always good to get in their debt a little bit - it's a technique - it allays their suspicions...Hathcock was into all the mob, Rosselli, Hollywood stars bullshit, and then he went to work for Channel Seven News, then for the guy that's county supervisor now, Baxter Ward. Roy Payne used to work for Hathcock. I met Roy Payne in the middle of the night in Santa Monica in 1967 and he was shitting all over himself. He says, 'They're either gonna get you or get me, or they're gonna get both of us? I don't know why.' I said: 'Who's your girlfriend Roy?' 'Maria Cellini.' That's Dino Cellini's sister. That's why they are going to kill you. They think you know too much about Dallas. You got the wrong girlfriend, kid. Go to Mexico."
HEMMING stated in 1994: "The gun was not in pawn. It was in Dick Hathcock's private possession. The excuse to get the weapons out of the car, was to leave them with Hathcock, for a $50 loan. I didn't want the weapons in the fucking car. We'd been busted at No Name Key. You can't carry weapons when you're under indictment. I didn't want to be set up on a weapons charge, so I had to make sure there was no goddamned weapons in the car."
HEMMING stated the Committee to Free Cuba was a private citizens group of which Representative John Rousselot was a member: "My uncle managed his campaign." Loran Hall stated that the Committee to Free Cuba was "headed up by Dr. - I don't remember his name now - anyway it was good guys that had Philbrick on the committee." [Misc. References: HUNT Undercover p141; 9.15.64 teletype from Dallas; USSS 100-10,461 3-P; WCD 1179; FBI Analysis of William Turner's 1.68 Ramparts article.] A CIA Memorandum for the Record, SUBJECT, Richard Hathcock, stated: "Information concerning the above Subject can be found in a report dated January 9, 1968, Subject, Loran Eugene Hall, and enclosure number 14, CI Staff, (regarding GERALD PATRICK HEMMING, Jr. of a (deleted) memorandum dated August 7, 1967. (Deleted)" [CIA 19733]
After Loran Hall redeemed HEMMING'S rifle from Dick Hathcock on September 18, 1963, Loran Hall, LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD and Celio Sergio Castro drove to Dallas pulling a trailer load of weapons and medicine. They arrived in Dallas on September 28, 1963, and registered at the Lawnview Motel. On October 5, 1964, the FBI determined that Hall telephoned Lester Logue or his secretary, Gloria Kouthart. Loran Hall, LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD and Celio Sergio Castro visited Gloria Kouthart who HEMMING said would be helpful in fund raising. Wiley G. Yates of Dallas, Texas, reported: "In September 1963 Mr. Hall once more appeared at my home in Mesquite. My wife was quite surprised to see him since we had no contact with him since he left earlier in the summer and since he came during the day while I was at work and completely unannounced. This visit occurred during the week of September 23, 1963, to September 28, 1963...At this time Hall was accompanied by a large burly looking Latin American man. Both Hall and the man who accompanied him had full beards. Hall said that he wanted to talk to me and would contact me. Hall called me at work and asked me to meet him at the Dallas motel where he was staying, which I agreed to do. I called Hall at the motel and told him that I would be at home that evening, and that he could come over if he wanted to see me. Later that evening he came to my home, accompanied by the large burly Latin-man of that afternoon, and other small Latin-American appearing man, who according to Hall, spoke no English. Both of his companions were as unkept in appearance as Hall and were supposedly Cuban exiles who were training for the Cuban invasion...I want to make it clear that none of these three men in any way resembled OSWALD...I do not think that it could have possibly been the same man that accompanied the other two men to the Odio apartment from the description that Mrs. Odio has given. Hall did not introduce his two companions except to identify them as Cuban exiles."
Loran Hall also telephoned Robert Morris from his motel room. HEMMING had suggested Loran Hall call Robert Morris for a donation. [FBI DL 100-10461 10.8.64 Richard J. Burnett] Loran Hall told Jim Garrison:
Q. Who took you to Robert Morris?
A. PATRICK. PATRICK knew right where to go. In fact he called him on the phone and we went right up there. And he says something about, well, would you like to meet General Walker, or something like this and PATRICK says yes, this is one of the fellows we want to see.
HEMMING 1994: "Loran Hall went there to get some money from Lester Logue. Hall was visiting people behind my back. LARRY HOWARD had a falling out with Hall about this. I didn't suggest Loran Hall call Robert Morris. He did it behind my back. I only introduced him to Logue, and here he is, a month later, contacting my Dallas people and knowing everything about them. Logue gets nervous. I told Logue, 'Give the son-of-a-bitch a few bucks, get rid of his ass, he may be working for the FBI trying to set us all up.' We'd been warned months before that Hoover was after our ass with a passion." Loran Hall, LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD and Celio Sergio Castro left their trailer load of arms in Dallas, and left by bus for Miami on October 4, 1963. From Miami Hall drove back to Dallas with William Houston Seymour to pick up the trailer load of arms and medicine he had left there. They arrived in Dallas on October 12, 1963, and checked into the same YMCA where OSWALD had stayed on October 3, 1963. Wiley Yates reported: "Sometime later, in October, Hall once more visited my home and pleaded with me to give him what supplies I might have. On this visit he was accompanied by a Caucasian male, who much more closely resembled OSWALD, than his companions of his previous visit. They stayed for only a few minutes so positive identification would be impossible. This is the last time that I saw Hall...Enclosed you will also find a copy of a letter from GERRY PATRICK HEMMING to Mr. Wally Welch, which came into my possession during this time, and which describes the activities in Florida." On October 17, 1963, just before Loran Hall and William Houston Seymour left Dallas, they were arrested for possession of dangerous drugs. William Houston Seymour believed that the Dallas Police Department mistook Loran Hall for a beatnik because of his beard, and stopped and searched him on that basis. Loran Hall: "HEMMING tipped off the cops...I was being set up for the Kennedy killing. Not as a conspirator or a patsy, but as a smoke screen. My arrest was for the records. To show that Loran Hall was in Dallas just before the President was killed. Anyone investigating the assassination would come up with my name and figure this guy might have a reason for the killing because Kennedy didn't back the anti-Castro movement. They would waste time investigating me while the real killers covered their tracks." [Interview with Harold Weisberg; National Enquirer 9.1.68] HEMMING 1994: "They got caught driving a fucking trailer around with that asshole driving who gets tickets every fifteen fucking minutes." Loran Hall and William Houston Seymour left Dallas for the Florida Keys on October 19, 1963. Life Magazine reporter Tom Duncan interviewed Loran Hall in Florida: "Hall was in a sticky position due to barbiturates in his possession, although arms and ammunition were parked safely in trailer separated from vehicle. No charges made, and while no specific name mentioned as to who wielded influence, later heard from GERRY PATRICK HEMMING that Lester Logue, oilman, was responsible...Got to Miami and he stored the equipment and began looking for a boat...Hall finally made connection with Manuel Aguilar, head of FRAC (Frente Revolutionaria Anti-Communist), for use of Aguilar's boat, the Pitusa." Tom Duncan recalled that Loran Hall and Manuel Aguilar departed: "around nightfall on Tuesday, October 29, 1963...Earlier, Hall, Aguilar, Howard and Seymour and I had driven to launch site suggested by Aguilar...Hall suggested use of my car to tow the boat, with no weaponry. To avoid debate, I agreed. I drove Aguilar's car." The mission was aborted because Hall had been stopped by Caesar Diosdado of the United States Customs Service. [Ltr. To Gordon Winslow 9.15.74 from Tom Duncan] On October 31, 1963, Hall was arrested for the illegal possession of arms. HEMMING told this researcher: "They had the Johnson, a couple of Carcanos, a Springfield, two M-1 Gerands and a couple of fucking carbines." On November 1, 1963, HEMMING filed a complaint with the Miami Police Department that read: City of Miami, Florida
To: C.H. Sapp, Det. Sgt. Intelligence Unit
From G. Zenoz, Policeman 1/c Intelligence Unit.
Date November 1, 1963.
JERRY PATRICK 2450 N.W. North River Drive, Apartment K. As instructed by Det. Sgt. Sapp I met above Subject at 201 S.W. 21st Court Apt. #2. Subject stated that one man, Loran Hall, stole two rifles from his apartment last night. One rifle being a Jungle Carbine #R5841; the other being a Savage 22 rifle with a scope. Hall was seen as he left the Subject's apartment carrying two rifles. Recently, in California, Loran Hall stole a Johnson 30-06 rifle from this Subject. Hall is staying with Cuban Manuel Aguilar at 829 S.W. 9th Ave, 373-3829.
HEMMING told this researcher: "Hall bullshitted Hathcock that he was going to deliver it to me." Loran Hall, weary of constant harassment from various Federal Agents, returned to Los Angeles on November 10, 1963, and retired from the anti-Castro struggle.
On November 23, 1963, Sid Marks, a FBI Potential Criminal Informant and Private Investigator from Gardena, California, advised FBI S.A. Robert Matheson that "about 30 days ago or a little more he was in the private detective office of Dick Hathcock and an associate of Dick Hathcock's, Roy Payne, described as White Male American, 6', 210 pounds, shaved bald head, was there and prior to going out asked source if a fellow came in to get a rifle and $50 from him. An individual named Skip came in and got a high powered rifle which source, who is not familiar with weapons, advises looks identical to one he saw on T.V. today. Skip is described as Mexican male, white, 6' age 40 to 45, slender, and a loud mouth. Source says that Payne and Skip are anti-Kennedy and pro-Castro from remarks. Says nothing else available regarding Skip Payne was ambulance driver for the Los Angeles Police Department." [FBI 62-109060-7815; NARA FBI 124-10066-10042, 10043, 10044]
HEMMING 1994: "Hathcock was lying about when he first met Whatley. He knew Richard Whatley when Whatley was doing movie work. This was in the 1950's. He worked at a place called Nature's Haven. That cross-eyed lion, that was his cat. That's where he first met Dick Hathcock, because Hathcock did all the star's bullshit, for the movie stars. The CIA used him as an informant. Whatley started out on the Cuban scene working for STURGIS. After Bay of Pigs, he got jobs for some of the people in the team who worked with STURGIS."
Dick Hathcock told the FBI that Loran Hall or HEMMING were unknown to him prior to this meeting. When Gaeton Fonzi questioned him in 1976 he said: "It was through HEMMING and Loran Hall that I met Richard Whatley." Gaeton Fonzi asked, "You met HEMMING and Loran Hall prior to knowing Richard Whatley?" He said, "Oh yeah, sure. I'm positive about that."
HEMMING told this researcher: "I had met Hathcock a couple of times talking about some other business, and then, when it was time to go down the road, Hall didn't have any fucking money for the car. Hall is talking about visiting with SANTOS, and I figured this guy is going to show up in Miami either fucking way, so I better keep a short leach on this son-of-a-bitch. So I introduced him to Hathcock." HEMMING stated that he recovered the weapon from Dr. Crockett of Miami in January 1964. HEMMING told this researcher: "Hall never knew the trailer was in Miami. He and William Houston Seymour traveled to Miami from Dallas by Greyhound bus. Loran Hall was back in Dallas two days before the assassination talking to Lester Logue. Hall was in Dallas on November 22, 1963."
The Dallas FBI ordered the Los Angeles FBI to "show charges fully resolved." [FBI Dallas 89-43-4096] The Los Angeles FBI created a Letter Head Memorandum. After it was approved by William C. Sullivan, it was sent to Dallas and Miami. When the FBI turned over its Kennedy assassination documents to the Warren Commission, the Letter Head Memorandum was rewritten, and filed with crank reports. Warren Commission Document 1179 concluded: "No further investigation was conducted as it is obvious that the rifle mentioned above was not used in connection with the Kennedy assassination."
HEMMING instructed Loran Hall to take a rifle, with a scope sight, out of pawn just before the assassination and bring it to Dallas because he was setting Loran Hall up as an alternate patsy. HEMMING told this researcher: "Not likely. Loran Hall couldn't shoot fucking straight. He could even fucking talk straight. This guy is a snitch for more than one fucking agency." Had HEMMING filed the police report so that it would be discovered after the assassination? HEMMING told this researcher: "Well, it was kind of known before the assassination, so that would preclude using that rifle, wouldn't it? If a warrant is sworn out for somebody, and a rifle is identified, it's not likely somebody is going to run around using that tool. The weapon was never registered or identified with me anyway. I told the Miami City Police that he stole it in Miami. He brought it, in his possession, to Miami. He had stolen property in his possession within the Miami City limits. I was trying to get him busted with that rifle. We thought about beating the shit out of him, but it would have been a fucking shoot out. They were laying in wait for us. Loran Hall was a snitch for the Los Angeles FBI. Hall tried to snitch me out in 1959 when I went back to Los Angeles. After my father died in January 1963, Hall shows up at my mother's new house before I got the address. He said he wanted to get involved. We drove back to Miami together. Did an interview with Bill Stuckey. Stayed at STURGIS' buddy's place in Dallas - Wally Welch. Hall went to Tampa, without my knowledge, and started dealing with TRAFFICANTE after he arrived in Miami with me. Then came back and was dealing with STURGIS. He's hooked up with a guy named Manuel Aguilar, a Castro agent. He's got a safehouse and he's out recruiting my people. I wondered 'What the fuck is going on here?'"
HEMMING tried to put this researcher into one of his patsy scenarios. He offered to drive me to a university laboratory where one could allegedly construct a homemade atomic bomb. HEMMING 1994: "You were going to meet Cokie Zimiri. He was looking for some critical mass summaries at the time. He'd explain how he was going set up a nuclear device. I was not trying to set you up. He wanted to tell the press how it was possible to set up a nuclear device. He was an inventor and a physicist."
HEMMING: Yes, on the day of the assassination, I made a call from Miami to Texas. And I pointedly asked, 'Is Lorenzo Hall in Dallas?' I made the call about 1:30 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. He was there. My contact had seen him in Dallas the day before.
HEMMING: Because he left Miami with the stated intent to kill Kennedy. He had my weapon, a Johnson 30-06 breakdown rifle with a scope on it, that had been prepared for the Bay of Pigs. I'd left it with a private investigator who had previously worked under Agency auspices on the West Coast. Hall got the weapon when we ran short of funds on a return trip from L.A. to Florida, and we ended up using Hall's car.
HEMMING: He came to work with our group in 1963. Then he ran afoul with some people and immediately went to work with a group that I thought was infiltrated by Castro's agents. Hall ignored this. He siphoned off a couple of people who had worked with me in the past, and started organizing his own operation with FRANK STURGIS and some other guys...He knew how to do the job...But I think someone was trying to put him there so he would be one of the patsies."
HEMMING 1994: "After the thing went down, I called Lester Logue. Lester, having been a big guy in Republican politics, started making calls. I said, 'Did Loran show up there?' Logue says, 'Yeah, he was here yesterday.' I said, 'That son-of-a-bitch has got my fucking rifle, I don't know if he's part of this shit. If he shows up on your doorstep blow his fucking head off, cause he's come to kill you.' Hall could have ended up in the fuckin' school book depository himself. He was another fuckin' OSWALD being led down the path. Being put into position where he could have taken a fall. A fall guy."
HEMMING told the HSCA that people around Lester Logue suggested that President John F. Kennedy should be assassinated and that the same group came to Miami and made a similar offer to Alpha-66. HEMMING told this researcher: "Totally wrong. I met Logue through Robert Morris. He was chairman of the Republican Party Committee, and a personal friend of NIXON. He was an oil geologist. You don't have Lester plotting and scheming to take out anybody. Not that he didn't say something like that now and then. It's not my testimony. I wore a goddamn wire, [when I testified before the HSCA] you simple fuck. The main person talking to Lester Logue was DeMohrenschildt. Lester had heard about OSWALD and had been told by other parties that this kid has a strange background. Lester made a couple of inquiries about OSWALD and they tell him 'He's okay.' I was in touch with Logue at the same time DeMohrenschildt was in touch with Logue. This was when DeMohrenschildt was in touch with OSWALD. Logue died while we were making the movie, JFK."
In December 1967 New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison subpoenaed Loran Hall to testify about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. California authorities quashed Jim Garrison's subpoena citing Loran Hall's alibi for November 22, 1963. Nevertheless, Loran Hall voluntarily appeared at Jim Garrison's office and conveyed that "other individuals had caused Loran Hall's name to be mentioned in the Warren Commission Report."
1. On September 10, 1975, Ruth S. Taylor, DDO/LA/COG/CI, contacted the writer regarding the 201-file concerning Loran Eugene Hall temporarily held by writer. Taylor advised that DDO/DCD was making inquiry concerning Agency involvement with Hall. Taylor reviewed the 201 and the writer advised Taylor that she could alert DCD that the Office of Security, specifically the writer, has a file on Hall and could possibly assist DCD.
2. On September 10, 1975, Sean Ryan DCD/OSO, contacted the writer, advising that the FBI in Los Angeles had contacted the DCD in Los Angeles for information concerning any Agency affiliation with Hall. Apparently, Hall had contacted the FBI in Los Angeles and is to be interviewed by the on September 10, 1975, on an allegation made by Hall that he was a gunrunner for the Agency in the early 1960's. Ryan was completely unfamiliar with Hall's background and a short briefing was provided by this writer. DCD was alerted to their prior interest in Hall, the only known Agency connection, when he was of interest for debriefing relative to Cuban matters. DCD was further alerted to their prior interest in debriefings of a close associate of Hall in the early 1960's, GERALD PATRICK HEMMING. Ryan was also advised that HEMMING, in the early 1960's, was closely connected with FRANK STURGIS who has recently made unfounded claims of Agency involvement, specifically in connection with STURGIS's arrest as one of the Watergate burglars.
3. Loran Hall was one of the principals of New Orleans District Attorney James Garrison's investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Garrison placed Hall in Dallas, Texas, at the time of the Kennedy assassination, claiming that also Hall was one of the individuals who visited Sylvia Odio prior to the assassination. Odio had long claimed that one of the individuals with Hall was LEE HARVEY OSWALD. The Warren Commission chose to discount Odio's testimony, but her testimony has been one of the major basis of contention given by Warren Commission critics.
Hall: Who? GERRY PATRICK HEMMING? If its the one I heard about he's CIA. I've got nothing to talk to you about. Anybody who associates with GERALD PATRICK HEMMING has either got to be CIA, FBI or an asshole. I got nothing to say. Hey, nobody is going to print anything I got to say, nobody. That's fine. I'm in no hurry to get my head blowed off. HEMMING is a CIA punk. I've known the son-of-a-bitch for fifteen years. He turned his own goddamned crews in so he wouldn't have to go to Cuba. He has fingered me on my own goddamn deals and caused me to get arrested. Ah fuck. Hey man as it stand right now there's only two of us left alive. That's me and SANTO TRAFFICANTE as far as I'm concerned we're both going to stay alive because I ain't gonna say shit. I ain't gonna have some asshole come up to me and blow me away...The only thing I'm saying is that if any of you assholes come near me you better have a fuckin' army with you baby. Cause I got my shit together and I'll blow the first one of you motherfuckers away that even comes near me. That you can put in print.
Tripplet: Have you ever made the statement to the effect that as of now there are only two of us left, that is me and SANTO TRAFFICANTE, as far as I am concerned we are both going to stay alive, because I am not going to say anything. Have you ever made a statement to that effect?
On June 8, 1977, Loran Hall told the HSCA: "I was in Monterey Park, California, and Los Angeles...On November 22, 1963, I called Mildred Hyatt to establish my whereabouts. She called me back. [I visited] IPCO Hospital Supply. I had made a statement to an FBI man in Dallas, probably within a month and half of the time the President was killed...something to the effect that someone ought to kick his ass or blow him away...In those days I really didn't give a damn about Kennedy. I testified under oath before Garrison...I then went to Sacramento to see Governor Reagan's aide, Mr. Meese...After the Garrison subpoena was served on me...I was on my way down to the attorney's office when I was forced off the canyon road...a few days later, it was New Years Eve, and I was hit in the arm with a needle and given infectious hepatitis. On the third time that someone had taken a socket wrench and removed three bolts off my steering column and I almost had a head on collision with a retainer wall as a result of that." When Loran Hall sought medical treatment, his doctor believed he was a heroin addict. Loran Hall told the CIA about these incidents. When asked if he ever received money from the Agency, he said that Sam Giancana had given him $20,000.
On June 24, 1963, the FBI generated a document, which was 95% withheld, on Rorke and the Cuban Revolutionary Council [FBI 105-107224; FBI 97-4623-NR 150 6.27.63] In August of 1963 a B-25 aircraft, Serial N9365-C, belonging to Geoffrey Sullivan and Alexander Rorke was spotted in Puerto Rico. In early September 1963 FRANK STURGIS, Alex Rorke and Geoffrey Sullivan, were called into U. S. Customs headquarters and warned about the consequences of conducting any further raids on Cuba. Alexander Rorke told Paul Scott and Robert S. Allen that the Supervising Customs agents of Region II threatened him with fines and imprisonment if he continued helping the anti-Castro raiders. On September 14, 1963, W.R. Wannall sent a memo to William C. Sullivan, Subject, Cuban Raids: "Reference my memorandum September 14, 1963, concerning conference at office of (deleted) in order to coordinate by various U.S. agencies to curb illegal air raids over Cuba. Various steps by specified agencies were agreed on at the conference, all at curtailing raids." Rorke was mentioned in this document. When Alexander Rorke demanded to know who authorized these warnings, he was told: "It comes from the White House, from the President." Paul Scott and Robert S. Allen continued: "According to a high government source, this strong-arm crackdown on Alexander Rorke is a symbol of the new White House campaign to assure Premier Khrushchev that the U.S. will not permit [raids on Cuba]." The Border Patrol posted a 24-hour guard on Alexander Rorke's aircraft.
On September 16, 1963, the CIA reported: "STURGIS and Pedro de la Camera, Civilian aviator with U.S. pilot's license stated September 13, 1963, they willing to set up flight to Cuba with passenger aboard to drop Propaganda leaflets over Cuba. FIORINI'S flight would leave Florida at an altitude of 150 feet, enter Cuba through Matanzas Province, flying over Santa Clara and Caribbean, and then return to Florida. They stated they rent aircraft at $50 per hour at Opa Locka Airport. Aircraft can carry 600 pounds of cargo. FIORINI stated September 16, 1963, he was prepared to carry out offer to fly propaganda material to Cuba despite fact he had received a registered letter from U.S. authorities restricting him to the continental U.S. with a penalty of $25,000 and/or three years imprisonment for violations of that restriction. FIORINI asked $5,750 for overflying Santa Clara and Caribbean in Las Villas Provence, Cuba; $2,000 to be paid in advance and the balance upon completion of mission." [CIA CSCI 3/771,919]
Source: September 20, 1963, (deleted) from (deleted). Despite fact FIORINI officially missing, believe this material should get at least (deleted) dissemination, for their information and completion of records. Ref. (Deleted) 3720.
SOURCE: A member of a group of Cuban émigrés trained in the techniques of information collection. This group has provided useful reports for over two years. The information is from an individual who inadvertently came into possession of a briefcase, which upon being opened, was determined to belong to FRANK FIORINI.
1. The following papers, maps and documents were observed in a briefcase which was found by chance, and which was determined to belong to FRANK FIORINI when it was opened in an attempt to identify the owner.
e. List of miscellaneous weapons and purchase. This was related to a card with the following information: LOXCO (Incorporated) Lauchli Ordnance Experimental Company Collinsville, Ill. Rich Lauchli DI- 4-3195. According to this card LOXCO would produce special machinery and do general machine work. (see attachment #4)
f. Copy of a letter from Robert K. Brown Box 387, Rte 3, Boulder, Colorado, dated June 30, 1960, addressed to Pedro Diaz Lanz in care of David Rosen, Biscayne Building, Miami, Florida. Brown claims to be a freelance journalist, who "was duped by Castro," spent several months in Cuba working part time for the Associated Press, and who, as of the date of the letter, was to contact anti-Castro movements and "help in any way possible." (see attachment #5)
1. The attached copies of maps, papers and documents were received by a representative of this Agency from an individual of undetermined reliability who inadvertently came into possession of a briefcase which, upon being opened in an effort to identify the owner, was determined to belong to FRANK STURGIS. The date of the information was September 18, 1963, and the following is a list of the contents of the briefcase:
The attachments were withheld. On January 22, 1964, ANGLETON composed CSCI-3/779,505 which was transmitted to the Customs Commissioner. This communication failed to list the maps. It ended: "January 13, 1964, SAS/CI (Deleted)gdr Based on CSCI-3/778, 713 sent to FBI only and they requested we forward copies of above listed addresses to CSCI. File (Deleted)."
The CIA has not released the attachment to this document containing the names, telephone numbers and addresses of STURGIS' associates. HEMMING told this researcher: "He lost his briefcase just before the Alexander Rorke flight. The stubble bum clown lost it at North Perry Airport." STURGIS did not loose the briefcase, it was stolen from him by Cuban exiles on the instructions of someone in the CIA - JAMES ANGLETON.
On September 20, 1963, STURGIS, Alexander Rorke and William Johnson held a meeting about their next action. HUNT'S former attorney, Ellis Rubin, stated he witnessed Alexander Rorke and Geoffrey Sullivan take off in a twin-engine aircraft on September 24, 1963. They had filed a flight-plan for Panama, but landed at Cozumel, south of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, where they refueled and took off again at 7:30 p.m. They were never heard from again. Ellis Rubin observed he was the last person to see the men alive.
The FBI generated a report entitled INTERPEN, September 30, 1963, Miami, Florida. The first search and rescue expedition, organized by Ellis Rubin, departed on October 2, 1963, and returned on October 6, 1963. The FBI reported: "On October 20, 1963, (Deleted) said he had just returned from Cozumel, Mexico, Telucigalpa, Honduras; and Managua, Nicaragua. (Deleted) stated that he had determined Rorke's plane arrived at Cozumel at 7:00 p.m. September 24, 1963. At Cozumel, several people recalled there were three persons aboard, two of them clearly identified as Rorke and Sullivan and the third person was described as a Latin-appearing male, 5'10", fair complexion, and about 32 years old. The airplane was refueled, and took off at 8:00 p.m., ostensibly for Telucigalpa, Honduras. (Deleted) said he had ascertained that Rorke's plane had no life raft, life vests, and no Very Pistol; therefore speculated that if the aircraft was down at sea en route to Telucigalpa, there is no point in searching for the occupants of the plane. He said it was possible that the airplane might have gone down between La Cieba and Telucigalpa, in which case there would be the possibility that the occupants of the plane were still alive." [FBI 97-4123-158]
On November 4, 1963, at 1:00 p.m. local, a private acft owned and piloted by C.F. Bush, Hollywood, Florida, landed at Puerto Barrios Mip Base with following aboard: HEMMING, Howard K. Davis of Miami, Charles Collier, representative of insurance company in Dallas, Texas, Ivan Kay, attorney for Collier, Miami; Steve Justin Wilson and ROY HARGRAVES, Ralph Hernandez Nordase, whose professed occupations were parachutists and Allan Kennedy, student pilot of the Riddle Flying School, Miami. With the exception of Bush and Collier they all claim residence residency in Miami, Florida. DC-3 acft no NC 160455. Aircraft allegedly chartered by insurance Charles T. Collier, Superintendent of Claims, International Aviation Underwriters, Incorporated, 211 North Ervay Street, Dallas, Texas. Alleged mission of party to search for acft piloted by one Sullivan with one Rorke as passenger presumably lost on or after September 24, 1963, somewhere in Central America. Rorke is said to be son-in-law of Billingsley, owner of Stork Club in New York City and son of Supreme Court Justice, State of New York. Alleged interest of mission was two-fold.
(2) Rest of party was engaged to search for Rorke presumably on the insistence of Mrs. Rorke and the father, out of personal friendship towards Rorke who allegedly was "One of the crowd." Party claimed to have given Guatemala previous notice of arrival by sending a wire from Belize, British Honduras. No such wire has arrived in Guatemala to date. Party consequently arrived without appropriate permission from Guatemala, without visas, and in the case of six members, without passports. Guatemala's alert intelligence posture resulted in aircraft being placed under military guard. GOG reported that on initial questioning various members of party gave conflicting stories as to their origin and destination. With this suspicion created, the Guatemalan Air Force transported all personnel to Guatemala City where they arrived at 6:30 p.m. local November 4, 1963. U.S. military personnel were advised that under other circumstances the aircraft would have been impounded and members of the party incarcerated. COP (Dr.) Jose Luis Aguilar De Leon, Secretary to the Chief of Government, made it clear to the party that only because of friendship and personal respect existing between Guatemalans and U.S. military personnel, prevented impounding of aircraft. Party was entertained at Guatemalan Air Force club and kept under loose surveillance throughout stay. Various members of the party were able to visit local restaurants and places of amusement in company of Guatemalan personnel. All their personal identification that had been previously confiscated in Puerto Barrios were returned, and acknowledged by the group before departure. The personnel were placed in the custody of U.S. military officers. GOG officials permitted party to be billeted at Motel Plaza, and Palace Hotel, Guatemala City. The following day, U.S. military was contacted by GOG to obtain opinions and assistance in order to avoid international incident. U.S. military officials were invited to the National Palace by Dr. Aguilar De Leon, and were assured every cooperation to avoid unpleasantness. Aguilar De Leon was informed by the U.S. military that the party was obviously a private venture and was not, as suspected by the Guatemalans, acting against the Guatemalan Govt. or any part thereof. Dr. Aguiler De Leon, in the presence of U.S. Army military members Bush, Collier and Kay and at another interview, interviewed rest of the party. The account which the U.S. military members had previously given to Dr. Aguilar was verified by these subsequent interviews. To further convince Guatemala that this was not an action against their government, Charles Collier provided insurance file on Rorke aircraft for duplication and file by G-2 Guat Army. At approximately 9:00 a.m. local November 5, 1963, the original file was returned to a member of the U.S. military, and in turn to Collier. U.S. military was further advised that no action against the party would be contemplated, that the chief of government had however insisted that the aircraft leave with all personnel at earliest hour. Aircraft departed 1:30 p.m. on November 6, 1963, for Belize with one P-51 as escort in presence of U.S. military members and Dr. Aguilar. Comment by Guat 572 and 574. For you guidance, it should be expected that considerable publicity will be sought in particular by HEMMING, who alleges to know Senator Strom Thurmond, as well as Hernandez, HARGRAVES and Wilson. End comment. Aircraft had on board one shotgun, two pistols and parachutes. Personnel in party other than Bush, Collier and Kay behaved in a slovenly manner. One member wore Army fatigue trousers and boots with old Army shirt. Some party members stated that reason for their being forced out of Guatemala so soon was that Alexander Rorke is indeed in Guatemala and Guatemala Government is deliberately detaining Alexander Rorke. Comment Guat 572 and 574. Dr. Aguilar personally assured party that if Rorke's aircraft had met with an accident in Guatemala the Guatemalan Government and he in particular would have known about it. The matter of Special Forces was of course discredited by U.S. military members. As of time of departure nothing appeared in local press regarding this incident. GOG officials indicated they intended no press release. End comment. One Ralph Hernandez Nordase, per identification, a Cuban national, behaved particularly in a belligerent manner. Those members professing interest in locating Rorke must be considered as potential fabricators when dealing with the press which they indicated they intended to do. HEMMING professed to have this operation. Ivan Kay said he intended to prepare official statement on entire trip in which he hoped to neutralize any unfavorable press releases in this regard. Mr. Kay upon request by Mr. Aguilar turned over undeveloped photographic film which Dr. Aguilar promised to develop, examine and return to Mr. Kay via U.S. military. The whole party was handled by the Guat Govt in a most courteous and at no time were any individuals abused. Comment U.S. Army Attache. Operations of this nature by irresponsible U.S. citizen do not tend to improve relationship with GOG. [FBI 97-4623-161]
The FBI reported that in October and November 1963, "(deleted) soldier-of-fortune participated in search for two lost Americans." The party returned to Miami on November 6, 1963. On November 20, 1963, the FBI noted: "(Deleted) Subject was described as similar to Alexander Rorke who is missing in flight to Central America. (Deleted)." [FBI original filed in 105-113149-2] In March 1987 the FBI released one highly-deleted page on Alexander Rorke dated November 29, 1963. This document could have shed some light on the fate of Alexander Rorke, but the only part of the page not blocked out stated: "On November 29, 1963, we received the following information from a source whose reliability has not yet been established." [FBI 97-4623 NR 12.20.63] On December 4, 1963, the CIA sent the FBI information on Alexander Rorke which was still withheld. [FBI Brennan/Papich 105-82555-NR 154 -3 (?)] On December 20, 1963, the FBI reported: "Sources and informant advised they have different ideas what might have happened to Rorke and Sullivan. All sources and informant's believe Rorke and Sullivan are dead and did not go to Cuba. They feel that if Rorke would have been captured in Cuba the Castro Government would have used the incident for propaganda." [FBI 97-4623-168]
STURGIS told Michael Canfield: "And if you remember there was a big search by the United States Coast Guard, both air and sea, a number of years ago, when Alexander Rorke left Opalocka Airfield and he was going to Nicaragua, and supposedly it is rumored that he was shot down near Cuba, into the water, there were reports that Alexander Rorke was captured, but there was nobody inside of Cuba that was captured by the name of Alex Rorke. I assume he got shot down over water, and his body and the plane disappeared. I, with a number of other people which I will get to at a later date, sat with Alex Rorke where his airplane was parked at Opalocka Airfield which is close by here, the day before he made his ill-fated trip. And I will get the names of everybody that knew about the trip and so forth, that the FBI investigated. I believe even the CIA investigated that, I'm not sure, but they may have been in on the investigation, plus other agencies of the United States Government, (unintelligible)...of his disappearance."
William Johnson reported: "Rorke had a falling out with FRANK." William Johnson was asked if the falling out concerned the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He responded, "That could be part of it. But you gotta remember something. Rorke said that if he ever disappeared, it was the CIA or the FBI would knock him off. And that trip was a funny trip because I think somewhere down the line FRANK had something to do with the disappearance of Rorke and Sullivan."
Marita Lorenz stated: "Alex wouldn't go along with the Kennedy assassination, he was a former Jesuit priest. Alex disappeared about two months before the assassination. He had warned me to go home and stay away from FRANK. Years later I asked FRANK, 'Did you kill Alex Rorke?' FRANK said, 'Come on. You know who killed him. The CIA killed him. He didn't want to go along with the plans they had.' He kept telling me, 'The Company did it.' I told him, 'Listen asshole, you're the Company, right?'" She claimed that STURGIS, not Ellis Rubin, was the last person to see Rorke alive and that she was contacted by the FBI about the disappearance of Alexander Rorke and asked if she thought STURGIS did it. The FBI reported: "The following references in the file captioned
On October 6, 1963, Pedro Diaz Lanz appeared on Channel 10 Television Station, Miami. During this program Diaz Lanz criticized Manuel Artime, saying that Artime had U.S. sponsorship and that he had been indoctrinated in Communism in Cuba by his father. [FBI 105-72630-109 p2 encl. P.2,7,8] The last pre-assassination FBI report on the CIA's list of FBI documents about STURGIS was generated on October 24, 1963. "Subject: Second National Front of Escambray." (SNFE - Alpha-66) No file number was given. On October 24, 1963, the name STURGIS appeared in a CIA document about Alpha-66 and his connection with it's airplanes. The CIA reported: "See above document page 14 for information regarding FRANK FIORINI'S connection with Alpha-66 airplane." [Allen v. DOD CIA 04490; CIA DBA 55602] On November 13, 1963, CSCI-3/778,713, based on "(deleted) - 3962 October 30, 1963," was generated. The CIA list of documents about STURGIS resumed with a document dated May 19, 1964.
HEMMING 1994: "I first heard of Rorke in 1963. Courtney told us he was giving a fund raising speech at the Hotel Diplomat. He was there with James Buchanan and STURGIS. He didn't show his fucking face in Miami till 1963. The closest he came was Fort Lauderdale. They were warned by the Cubans to stay the fuck out of Miami. 'You're raising a lot of goddamned fucking money. Where is it going? To your buddy STURGIS and all those motherfucking thieves?'" On December 16, 1963, the FBI questioned HEMMING, "who is personally acquainted with Alexander Rorke Jr. and who has been (deleted) advised the only time he ever heard of Anti-Communist International was a couple of years ago. (Deleted) a would-be organization with a similar name, HEMMING said was unable to furnish any other information concerning the organization. HEMMING advised that some three weeks before Alexander Rorke and his pilot, Geoffrey Sullivan, went on the bombing raid against Havana, Cuba, he received a telephone call from Rorke concerning some disagreement they had had. HEMMING agreed to meet with Rorke and straighten out the disagreement. At a subsequent meeting, Rorke came with his pilot, Sullivan, to talk about a proposed bombing trip against a Cuban oil refinery. HEMMING advised Rorke of the hazards involved, and said that the north coast of Cuba had excellent radar defenses, however, there are avenues or corridors into Cuba which Cuban radar does not cover. HEMMING claimed that from talking to recently-arrived Cubans, he had been able to ascertain information about these corridors. HEMMING previously told Rorke and Sullivan where these corridors were, but to find these corridors one would have to be an excellent navigator and be completely familiar with the north coast of Cuba. HEMMING doubted that Rorke and Sullivan could have ever found these corridors. Concerning Rorke's present whereabouts (deleted) and found no traces of Rorke. HEMMING presumes he is dead." The rest of this document was highly deleted. [FBI NY 105-46755 Bufile 100-434086-32] HEMMING told this researcher: "Bullshit. They never questioned any of us who was on the fucking rescue operation about Rorke."
HEMMING was asked about his disagreement with Alexander Rorke. HEMMING: "Rorke and STURGIS had allowed this Enrique Molina Rivera to sit in with his group. I said 'The fuckers a Castro agent.' I had briefed Rorke's pilot how to stay alive flying over Cuba...I said if you want to stay alive you won't tell anybody else. Don't tell Rorke, Rorke's an asshole. Then, a couple of days later, I find Enrique Molina Rivera and STURGIS are at the same goddamn apartment complex talking and meeting. This pissed me off. I told Rorke, 'You ain't gonna get another goddamn briefing. This fucker is a Castro agent, I known him from Cuba.' This guy threatened to kill me. This guy threatened to kill fucking TRAFFICANTE. He's the one that ran the little prison where TRAFFICANTE and Loran Hall and Hughes and them were kept. The guy would talk about the last time he talked to Raoul Castro, which would be a week before, on the fucking telephone. That's how psycho this cocksucker was. He didn't hide it. He's against the revolution as an arm of the Russians because of the missile crisis and all that shit, but he's still friendly with all the figures. He figures its all being kept from Fidel and Raoul. They're being kept in the dark by the Russians. They're dumb enough to associate with the asshole.
"Loran Hall leaves the Sixth Street and Fourth Avenue safehouse with Enrique Molina Rivera, okay. He's next seem around the corner in a little apartment complex that looks like a motel with Sullivan and Sturgis and Rorke. Rorke was thinking of using Loran Hall. Loran Hall's buddy, Manuel Aguilar, was a Castro agent. STURGIS says, 'I know him, he's okay.' He admitted to being a fucking Castro agent.
"I told Rorke not to talk in front of STURGIS, he's an asshole. STURGIS had kind of moved in on the guy. He made the mistake once again of saying he was my boss. Rorke was probably involved in a scheme to insert a guy into Havana as one of the American left-winger types that goes into Havana. We had later information on them.
"Enrique Molina Rivera was on the plane with Sullivan and Rorke. The plane landed at St. Julian, Cuba, where they snuffed his ass. [HEMMING had been Adjutant of St. Julian Air Base. ]The Cubans didn't publicize it because they had one of their own boys riding on the bird. They were not going to say he was shot too.
"Ellis Rubin called me and asked me to talk to Rorke's wife. He wanted people who were familiar with Rorke's operation. I told her it was possible they had contaminated fuel, not from the States but from down there. I told her to call the Coast Guard.
"It was strange because Sherman Billingsley is one of the guys who knows Hoover's secrets. Him and his old lady. And Rorke is allowed to do all kinds of shit cause his father-in-law is fucking Billingsley. But we figured he's working for fucking Hoover. See, Rorke had been busted by William Morgan in Morgan's house during the Trujillo invasion. Rorke was playing newsman there. Morgan arrested his ass. He was coming in there to do a big press release about how Trujillo's troops have invaded Cuba in July of 1959. So we knew Rorke from Cuba. Who's he working for? Who gives a shit? But he's working for somebody."
In a Freedom of Information Act Request to the Secret Service HEMMING requested: "Reports not delivered to the Warren Commission referring to the disappearances of Alex Rorke, Jeff Sullivan, Enrique Molina Rivera during a flight from Miami, Florida, to Cozumel, Mexico to Honduras on September 25, 1963, which flight took place during the same period that LEE HARVEY OSWALD allegedly departed for Mexico for a meeting at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City."
During HUNT v. WEBERMAN, BERNARD BARKER was asked about Alexander Rorke. He observed: "He was flying down here [Miami] as far as I know. He was with some CIA operations. I told him, 'One day you are going to get yourself killed.' One day I read in the newspapers that he disappeared. I think his father was the one who called me to see if I could find him...I checked up on it. I liked Alex. He was a good man. [Discussion off the record] I told him his operation was penetrated...[by Castro]."
On Friday, January 28, 1966, (Deleted) [Sherman Billingsley], who is well known to the Director and to the Bureau telephonically contacted Mr. DeLoach. (Deleted) in turn advised Mr. DeLoach that he would be most appreciative of any information we could give him regarding Rorke which might be of possible assistance to (Deleted)."
The document then summarized Rorke's anti-Castro activities and included information from other government agencies. The document continued "(Paragraph deleted) We have subsequently received letters from (Deleted) [Billingsley] asking for our assistance in locating Rorke, a (?) case, they have been advised of our jurisdiction and the fact that we could not be of assistance. The family of Rorke have apparently conducted an investigation on their own, and have widely circulated both in this country and Latin American countries a circular concerning Rorke offering a reward to 'the first persons to produce them in any part of the United States.' All indications as far as Bufiles are concerned Rorke is dead. We have no verified information concerning him since he left a Florida airport in September 1963.
That Mr. DeLoach telephonically contact (Deleted) and advise him in confidence of the above information and that we cannot be of help to (Deleted)." J. Edgar Hoover wrote this on the document: "No. I do not want in any way to get involved in this. (Deleted) might advise (deleted) or has daughter & it would (deleted) be public property. (Deleted) & I broke many years ago cause I would not utilize Bureau facilities to prevent the marriage. H." [FBI 79-29181-3] Alexander Rorke was declared legally dead in 1968. [Document containing ref. FBI 97-4623-179. Ref: 44-24016-634 p808 SI 105-82555-454 p688]
Alexander Rorke was in a perilous business, but his association with HEMMING and STURGIS proved to be even more perilous. HEMMING blamed Rorke's death on Enrique Molina, a Castro double-agent. HEMMING claimed Enrique Molina was the third man on Rorke and Sullivan's ill-fated flight. The personnel at North Perry airport in Hollywood, Florida, said a third person had been with Rorke and Sullivan when they departed. As stated, the FBI received a similar report from someone who visited Mexico. In neither of these reports was Molina identified. Molina was not mentioned by name in any CIA or FBI reports. He is the missing man in all this. HEMMING told this researcher, "Molina has not been heard from since." HEMMING had a disagreement with Rorke prior to his death and HEMMING hated Molina. STURGIS had a disagreement with Rorke, and although HEMMING claimed that STURGIS was sympathetic to Molina, there was no evidence of this in FBI or CIA documents. HEMMING and STURGIS sabotaged Rorke's plane, because they believed he was being duped by Castro's intelligence service.
1. On January 3, 1964, Douglas E. Gentzkow called on the listed phone and, without furnishing further identification, requested an urgent personal interview with a CIA representative. He declined to give details concerning the purpose and subject of the meeting, stating only that it would be concerned with Latin America.
2. We met Gentzkow in the early afternoon hours at a Manhattan hotel and had a two hour interview with him. Gentzkow identified himself as a third year cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He showed us his identification card C-65265 which indicates that he was born on March 14, 1942, he is 6 feet 2 inches tall; weighs 190 pounds; color of hair, brown; color of eyes, blue. Gentzkow, who appears to be serious minded, told us that because of the delicate nature of the information in his possession, he was unable to divulge his sources, but would be glad to "help the Agency in the national interest." He then proceeded by stating that he was aware of CIA's interest in the Cuban situation, and that the information, if used by the enemies of the U.S., could seriously damage the reputation of our government.
3. Cadet Gentzkow, who is a member of Company K-2 at West Point, stated that "his friends" told him about the existence of the documents now in the safes of various New York banks that have serious derogatory information concerning the Cuban prisoner exchange matter. According to these documents, "many Castro agents among the prisoners returned to the U.S. have been planted by the Cuban Government to commit espionage and sabotage in the U.S." Gentzkow repeatedly declined to divulge the names of his sources; he simply stated they were U.S. citizens who might decide to publish these documents with the possible idea of hurting the interest of our Government. Gentzkow did not elaborate on this point; however, he promised his full cooperation and stated that he might be in the position to photograph the documents and place them at our disposal. According to his information, some of the documents also contain descriptions of secret military installations in Cuba.
4. Gentzkow emphasized that in contacting the CIA, he was anxious to avoid delay which might possibly arise from following the usual military channels. He stated that he was a good friend and admirer of Alexander I. Rorke, Jr., a freelance television reporter in New York, who together with Geoffrey Sullivan, had disappeared on a flight to Central America in a rented, twin engine plane in the fall of 1963. He heard that Rorke was dead and he owes it to his memory "to do something" about the Cuban situation.
5. Gentzkow requested utmost discretion, stating that if his approach to the CIA became known to his superiors at West Point, it might damage his career. He feels, however, that the information is so vital to the interests of the United States Government that he decided to put aside all personal considerations and offer his cooperation to CIA. He added that he would make an effort to photograph the documents during the week of January 6, 1964, "before enemies of our country have an opportunity to publish the allegations." Finally he indicated that he would get in touch with us either on January 11, 1964, or January 12, 1964, to advise us about new developments.
On January 7, 1964, Gentzkow called the New York Office of the CIA and he was told that he should not risk his military career for "a project whose value might prove disappointing and might involve individuals of questionable trustworthiness. Subject seemed to accept and certainly understand our comments but responded that he would still attempt to go ahead on his own without reference to any contact with CIA." [CIA WH-1621 report from BALOG]
On January 22, 1964, Douglas Gentzkow discussed the contents of these papers with a representative of the Domestic Contacts Division. He said that "the danger of publication of the alleged derogatory information was no longer imminent... Gentzkow told us that he was able to see some of the documents pertaining to 'the situation in Cuba.' The documents turned out to be some typewritten and penciled notes of Alexander Rorke. According to Gentzkow, these notes and a photograph showing Rorke in the company of President Somoza of Nicaragua were taken out of New York bank vaults by a daughter of Sherman Billingsley, owner of the Stork Club. Another daughter of Billingsley is married to Rorke. It seems that Gentzkow and the unmarried daughter of Billingsley are "going steady," hence the great interest of the West Point Cadet in the fortunes of the Rorke-Billingsley families. Gentzkow gave us his notes prepared from the Rorke papers." The notes stated:
4. There is a base located at Porte Berris (?) and supported by President Somoza. Allegedly, this base trains anti-Castro Cuban refugees for another invasion. According to rumors, the CIA has a hand in the training of these refugees. In connection with this plan, the name of Laureano Batista is mentioned as one of the leaders of the invasion forces.
6. The name of Bill Morgan, formerly of the 308th Battle Group, is mentioned as a double-agent, that is, an agent for the CIA, and an agent of the Castro Government
7. The papers Rorke papers mention Dominick Bartone, President, International Trading Company, connected with Hoffa of the Teamsters Union. On this point Gentzkow was vague and could not elaborate.
8. Gentzkow told us that Frank Nelson, a "businessman" from New York City, had films and papers in his possession which, if published, would also damage the reputation of the CIA and the Government.
9. The name of June Cobb as a double-agent appears in the Rorke papers. In addition, the name of Waldo Frank is mentioned; however Gentzkow could offer no elaboration on Frank. According to the Rorke notes, June Cobb forced, in the Fall of 1960, the cousin of Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge [Marita Lorenz erroneously claimed to be related to Lodge] to have an abortion when Lodge's cousin was six months pregnant with Fidel Castro's child. About three years ago, we saw a copy of Confidential magazine giving details about this alleged abortion.
The CIA reported: "Viola June Cobb (201-0278841, born August 24, 1927) was born in Ponca, Oklahoma, and left home for Mexico City in 1947- 1948 after her father remarried. She has since lived in Ecuador, Cuba and Mexico, and has been involved with the men and politics of a number of Latin American countries. During these years she developed a host of friends and acquaintances, both U.S. and Latin, that included political leaders, journalists, diplomats, professors, some of which do not enjoy general social acceptance. Her friends vary from rightists to extreme leftists, but she always seemed to be more attracted by the more bohemian, revolutionary types.
"Miss Cobb was employed in the office of Fidel Castro in Havana, doing translations and public relations work from September 1959 to 1960. After spending some time in the United States, she moved to Mexico, where she has generally been unemployed. In October 1961, she traveled to Guatemala regarding the Arvelo book, but was arrested, and in November was expelled on the basis that she had been a Castro agent who mission in Guatemala was to distribute pro-Castro and Communist propaganda.
"Miss Cobb has told several people of her cooperation with the U.S. Government and undoubtedly many suspect her association with U.S. Intelligence. Yet she continues to be on friendly terms with Latin American and American Communists and leftists."
Prior to her departure from New York, June Cobb visited the Cuban Consulate in New York City (deleted) prior to her departure from Havana. While there she was introduced to an American citizen named Bernie Brenner, a newspaperman from the Miami Beach Sun. Brenner is a friend of Cobb's boss, Juan Orta, the administrative assistant to Fidel Castro. Brenner gave Cobb a note in an envelope that was sealed for delivery to Orta. Cobb opened the note and copied the contents which were as follows:
"Tell "O" that Manny (Manuel) Arquez is "hot, real hot." The Feds are on him. Aguirre the Priest fingered him in Washington. There is a fed working right there in the post office with him. They have some letters marked just waiting for him to open one. He's hot. The State Department - also tell him not to use those replicas of dollar bills the tourist department is using with something written on the back. George Southworth is working with the Feds. I got him drunk with a "les" (lesbian) and a straight girl with some pictures one night. He said he was going to put the shaft to Capt. Ouerra. Tell Doris Padrone who lives in 8 y 19 Apt. Building with a baby by Orlando Padrone that the feds are trying to get to her. Fidel brought her to Cuba because she knew things that she shouldn't know. Arquez can go to Cuba the 13th. Oscar Ramirez is being tailed, 24 hour tail. (Rest of the document was deleted)"On June 23, 1960, the results of June Cobb's lie detector test was judged to be "questionable and until resolved by a second LCFLUTTER suggested that no approval be granted."
"According to Cobb a week or ten days ago in New York, Estelle (Stasia) Sokolowska revealed to Cobb that she (Stasia) had been told last winter (1959-1960) by Marita Lorenz and her mother, and also by Diane Alexandria (Diane didn't even know Cobb) and by the FBI that Cobb was involved in the narcotics and abortion rackets.
"Mrs. Lorenz was trying to get $3000 for Marita's operation. She sent a letter to Fidel. She called Cobb and Embassy about her daughter being held in Cuba against her will. Yanes immediately put Marita Lorenz on a plane (December). After Christmas Lorenz sent letters and telegrams to Fidel.
"When questioned by the FBI and asked to get in touch with Marita Lorenz. Did so in Connecticut -- became friends and very much involved with them. They were about to vend the story about Marita and Fidel; she did not mention her love for Yanes. Yanes came up and Diane learned that he was involved with Marita -- to her surprise and grief. Continues to see Lorenz. When January rolled around, Pedro Diaz Fonte (Yanes' aide) came up."
June Cobb knew HEMMING and referred to him in a letter: "Since my last note to you about Stash's continuing deviations, I have learned that she went alone to Honduras -- that is, at least, she did not go with Harold, but rather she went as a courier, sent by Harold's brother Alejandro, from Havana to Telucigalpa, and, as a matter of fact, was passed along through rebel contacts to Harold quite as a surprise to him. Then she stayed about ten days, went back to Cuba, left most of her clothing and came here. Apparently she gave the boys all the money she managed to take with her. About $400 I understand, and she called somebody here to send her money to come down. At this point, in other words, she is quite incorporated with them. Harold, before arriving in Telucigalpa, had been in Mexico. Before she went down to Cuba she had been writing and receiving letters from him in Mexico. He didn't realize she was in Cuba, until he saw her in Telucigalpa, but apparently on her arrival in Cuba she had contacted the other boys, Chester Simpson, JERRY HEMING, and Harold [sic] brother Alejandro and they all decided for her to make the trip over to Honduras." On March 8, 1963, June Cobb was granted a restricted POA: "This POA authorizes continued contact with Subject and elicitation of information of interest to Kubark. (Deleted)." This fact was included in a document dated March 22, 1963, signed by J.C. King. On March 13, 1963, (Deleted) generated this Memorandum for the Record: "She has been considered unreliable and is not a good security risk. Therefore we do not recommend her for operational use."
10. Rorke deals at length with "the 'fishy' selection of Manuel Artime as head of the Bay of Pigs invasion forces. Rorke also mentions former Marine Lt. Col. FIORINI, with whom Rorke had been planning sabotage activities against Castro.
15. Gentzkow indicated he would be glad to photograph the Rorke papers...He feels that there is a strong possibility that the Rorke family, or Frank Nelson, might decided to publish the derogatory information in their possession. He is of the opinion that the publication may coincide with the affirmation of Rorke's death. At present, the family has no definite proof about the fate of Alexander Rorke. The cadet further stated that Billingsley had discussed the Rorke case with his "good friend," J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI, and is ready to take up the disappearance of Rorke and his pilot with the "highest U.S. authorities." The Rorke-Billingsley families resent the absence of U.S. Government action in the disappearance of Rorke and Sullivan. They cannot understand that while the administration has collected over 50 million dollars to ransom the Cuban prisoners from Castro, "it did not do a thing for patriotic Americans like Rorke and Sullivan."
16. We told Gentzkow that we would get in touch with him concerning his offer to photograph the Rorke papers. We feel, of course, it would be wise to close this case and decline the services offered by our cadet. Perhaps you'll agree the whole thing is rather nebulous and it would not be in the best interests of the Agency to get involved in the Rorke-Billingsley family affairs. In view of this we plan no further contact with Gentzkow. [Memo from Jay B.L. Reeves to Travis; Documents marked WH-1621 Rorke Security File NARA]