In 1961, Henry Marshall was found shot to death on his remote Texas farm. He had been shot five times with a .22 caliber rifle and, since the rifle was lying beside his body, the coroner had no problem coming up with the probable scenario: Suicide. The only problem was the type of rifle - it was a bolt-action, and in non-shooter lay man's terms, this simply meant that Marshall would had to have manually worked the bolt four times (up, back, forward, down, fire - up, back, forward, down, fire, etc.) in order to shoot himself. At the same time he would have had to turn the rifle around at an awkward angle, pointing it into his side, stretching his arm and squeezing off each shot with his thumb. Five times. In addition to the obvious difficulties for a man to have committed suicide in this fashion, were the outcries of Marshall's family, who fervently disagreed with the suicide verdict. There appeared to be no good reason for Marshall, a successful farmer, with money in the bank and a solid record with his employer, the U. S. Department of Agriculture, to have committed suicide. But despite the strange appearance of things, the cause of death was officially listed as suicide by gunshot. Things started to change a few months later when Secretary of Agriculture, Orville Freeman, released information pertaining to an investigation that Marshall had been participating in at the time of his death.
Billie Sol Estes, now known as the Texas wheeler-dealer and con-man supreme was, in 1961, at the peak of his agricultural career. He had become a multimillionaire and a virtual icon in Pecos, Texas. His success was due, in great part, by his solid connections in government - and one of his primary connections was Vice President Lyndon Johnson. Things started to fall apart when Estes' cotton allotment scheme began to be scrutinized by Agriculture officials. Estes had master minded a bizarre method of having the government transfer other farmer's cotton allotments to his own cotton acreage. In this way all of his land could be used to grow the tightly regulated crop. Such a scheme would have been impossible without help from high officials, either inside the U.S.D.A., or Washington, or both. Henry Marshall, in reviewing the cotton allotment irregularities connected with Billy Sol Estes, evidently uncovered a warm path that led to Vice President Johnson, but also to his own untimely death.
Billie Sol went to trial and then prison, never once breathing the name of Lyndon Johnson - until his release in 1984. A Texas Ranger, Clint Peoples, had befriended Estes and convinced him that he should come clean with the whole truth. True to his word, Estes agreed to appear before a Robertson County grand jury and clear the record concerning the cotton allotments, the death of Henry Marshall and the involvement of LBJ and others.
He recounted the whole ugly picture - from the millions he had funnelled into Johnson's secret slush fund, to the illegal cotton allotment scheme, to the murder of Henry Marshall. Estes testified that Lyndon Johnson, Cliff Carter, Malcolm Wallace and himself met several times to discuss the issue of the "loose cannon" - Henry Marshall. Marshall had refused a LBJ-arranged promotion to Washington headquarters, and it was feared that he was about to talk. Johnson, according to Estes finally said, "Get rid of him," and Malcolm "Mac" Wallace was given the assignment. According to testimony, Wallace followed Marshall to a remote area of his farm and beat him nearly unconscious. Then while trying to asphyxiate him with exhaust from Marshall's pickup truck, Wallace thought he heard someone approaching the scene, and hastily grabbed a rifle which customarily rested in the window rack of the truck. Quickly pumping five shots into Marshall's body, Wallace fled the scene. Suicide.
That 1984 grand jury testimony accomplished only one official action. Marshall's death certificate was finally changed to read: "Cause of death - murder by gunshot." All of the guilty participants were dead - Johnson, Carter and Wallace. The only one left was Estes, and the U. S. Justice Department, getting wind of the Robertson grand jury testimony, wanted to talk to him.
A letter was sent to Estes, requesting a meeting with him to discuss the provocative charges he had made. Estes enlisted the legal services of Douglas Caddy to represent him in the matter. Caddy then wrote a letter to the Justice Department asking for the protection of immunity, among other things for his client. In his letter, Caddy outlined far more than the Justice Dept. had bargained for. In addition to the crimes Estes had testified to for the Robertson County grand jury, Estes listed seven more murders directly linked to Lyndon Johnson, one of them being that of President John F. Kennedy; and all of them at the hand of Malcolm Wallace.
After many months of negotiating at the highest levels of the Justice Department, Estes refused to testify to federal officials regarding the details of these crimes of the 1960's. We are still awaiting the day when Billie Sol, now 71, will testify to these details.
A few months after the November, 1995 release of our book: "THE MEN ON THE SIXTH FLOOR," I received two of these letters of negotiation, from two different sources. The content of these letters was startling. These letters have never been released to the public and since they are private negotiations between the Justice Department and a citizen, it is doubtful that they ever would have been released, even to the Assassination Records Revue Board, whose federally mandated job it is to examine and oversee the release of documents pertaining to the assassination of President Kennedy.
Here, for the first time, is the complete text of these two letters. They will be added to future printings of THE MEN ON THE SIXTH FLOOR.
LETTER # 1 - FROM JUSTICE DEPT. May 29, 1984
U. S. Justice Department Criminal Division
General Homes Building
7322 Southwest Freeway
Houston, Texas 77074
Dear Mr. Caddy:
RE: Billy Sol Estes
I have considered the materials and information you have provided to me in connection with your representation of Billy Sol Estes. I understand that Mr. Estes claims to have information concerning the possible commission of criminal offenses in Texas in the 1960's and that he is willing to reveal that information at this time. I also understand that Mr. Estes wants several things in exchange for this information, such as a pardon for the offenses for which he has been convicted and immunity from any further prosecution among other things.
Before we can engage in any further discussions concerning Mr. Estes' cooperation or enter into any agreement with Mr. Estes we must know the following things: (1) the information, including the extent of corroborative evidence, that Mr. Estes has about each of the events that may be violations of criminal law; (2) the sources of his information; and (3) the extent of his involvement, if any, in each of those events or any subsequent cover-ups. Until we have detailed information concerning these three things we can not determine whether any violations of federal criminal law occurred which are within our jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute and, if so, whether the information is credible and otherwise warrants investigation. Accordingly, if we are to proceed with meaningful discussions concerning Mr. Estes' proffered cooperation, we must receive a detailed and specific written offer of proof from you setting forth the information noted above. The government will hold your offer of proof in strictest confidence and will not make any use of it other than to determine the credibility of the proffered information and whether it warrants further discussions with or debriefings of Mr. Estes.
I must make sure that several things are understood at this time concerning Mr. Estes' proffered cooperation. First, if after reviewing your offer of proof we decide the information that Mr. Estes can provide is credible and in all other respects warrants further investigation -- a decision which will be made unilaterally by the government -- it will be necessary for Mr. Estes to be interviewed and to reveal everything he knows about the possible criminal violations. He will have to do so completely, truthfully and without guile. Second, it must be understood that the government is not now making specific promises to Mr. Estes except with respect to the confidentiality and use of your offer of proof as noted above. If it is decided that Mr. Estes should be interviewed, the extent of promises concerning the confidentiality or use of the statement or promises of reward or consideration to Mr. Estes, if any, will be determined only after we receive a detailed written offer of proof from you.
Above all else, I must emphasize that Mr. Estes must act with total honesty and candor in any dealings with the Department of Justice or any investigative agency. If any discussions with or debriefings of Mr. Estes take place after receipt of your offer of proof and if any agreement ultimately is reached after Mr. Estes provides a statement, the government will not be bound by any representations or agreements it makes if any of his statements at any time are false, misleading or materially incomplete or if he knowingly fails to act with total honesty and candor.
Stephen S. Trott
Assistant Attorney General
LETTER #2 - FROM DOUGLAS CADDY: August 9, 1984
Mr. Stephen S. Trott
Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, D. C. 20530
RE: Mr. Billie Sol Estes
Dear Mr. Trott:
My client, Mr. Estes, has authorized me to make this reply to your letter of May 29, 1984. Mr. Estes was a member of a four-member group, headed by Lyndon Johnson, which committed criminal acts in Texas in the 1960's. The other two, besides Mr. Estes and LBJ, were Cliff Carter and Mac Wallace. Mr. Estes is willing to disclose his knowledge concerning the following criminal offenses:
1. The killing of Henry Marshall
2. The killing of George Krutilek
3. The killing of Ike Rogers and his secretary
4. The killing of Harold Orr
5. The killing of Coleman Wade
6. The killing of Josefa Johnson
7. The killing of John Kinser
8. The killing of President J. F. Kennedy.
Mr. Estes is willing to testify that LBJ ordered these killings, and that he transmitted his orders through Cliff Carter to Mac Wallace, who executed the murders. In the cases of murders nos. 1-7, Mr. Estes' knowledge of the precise details concerning the way the murders were executed stems from conversations he had shortly after each event with Cliff Carter and Mac Wallace.
In addition, a short time after Mr. Estes was released from prison in 1971, he met with Cliff Carter and they reminisced about what had occurred in the past, including the murders. During their conversation, Carter orally compiled a list of 17 murders which had been committed, some of which Mr. Estes was unfamiliar. A living witness was present at that meeting and should be willing to testify about it. He is Kyle Brown, recently of Houston and now living in Brady, Texas.
Mr. Estes, states that Mac Wallace, whom he describes as a "stone killer" with a communist background, recruited Jack Ruby, who in turn recruited Lee Harvey Oswald. Mr. Estes says that Cliff Carter told him that Mac Wallace fired a shot from the grassy knoll in Dallas, which hit JFK from the front during the assassination.
Mr. Estes declares that Cliff Carter told him the day Kennedy was killed, Fidel Castro also was supposed to be assassinated and that Robert Kennedy, awaiting word of Castro's death, instead received news of his brother's killing.
Mr. Estes says that the Mafia did not participate in the Kennedy assassination but that its participation was discussed prior to the event, but rejected by LBJ, who believed if the Mafia were involved, he would never be out from under its blackmail.
Mr. Estes asserts that Mr. Ronnie Clark, of Wichita, Kansas, has attempted on several occasions to engage him in conversation. Mr. Clark, who is a frequent visitor to Las Vegas, has indicated in these conversations a detailed knowledge corresponding to Mr. Estes' knowledge of the JFK assassination. Mr. Clark claims to have met with Mr. Jack Ruby a few days prior to the assassination, at which time Kennedy's planned murder was discussed.
Mr. Estes declares that discussions were had with Jimmy Hoffa concerning having his aide, Larry Cabell, kill Robert Kennedy while the latter drove around in his convertible.
Mr. Estes has records of his phone calls during the relevant years to key persons mentioned in the foregoing account.
II. The Illegal Cotton Allotments
Mr. Estes desires to discuss the infamous illegal cottrecordings made at the time of LBJ, Cliff Carter and himself discussing the scheme. These recordings were made with Cliff Carter's knowledge as a means of Carter and Estes protecting them selveLBJ order their deaths.
Mr. Estes believes these tape recordings and the rumors of other recordings allegedly in his possession are the reason he has not been murdered.
III. Illegal Payoffs
Mr. Estes is willing to disclose illegal payoff schemes, in which he collected and passed on to Cliff Carter and LBJ millions of dollars. Mr. Estes collected payoff money on more than one occasion from George and Her In your letter of May 29, 1984, you request "(1) the information, including the extent of corroborative evidence, that Mr. Estes sources of his information, and (3) the extent of his involvement, if any, in each of those events or any subsequent cover-ups."
In connection with Item # 1, I wish to declare, as Mr. Estes' attorney, that Mr. Estes is prepared without reservation to probalmost every day for the last 22 years, it was not until we began talking yesterday that he could face up to disclosing it to another person. My impression from our conversation yesterday is that Mr. Estes, in the proper setting, will be able to recall and orally recount a criminal matters. It is also my impression that his interrogation in such a setting will elicit additional corroborative evidence as his memory is stimulated.
In connection with your Item #2, Mr. Estes has attempted in this letter to provide his sources of information.
In connection with your Item #3, Mr. Estes states that he never participated in any of the murders. It may be alleged that he participated in subsequent cover-ups. His response to this is that had he conducted himself any differently, he, too, would have been a murder victim.
Mr. Estes wishes to confirm that he will abide by the conditions set forth in your letter and that he plans to act with total honesty and candor in any dealings with the Department of Justice or any federal investigative reli.
To: Diddle E. Squat
In recent years, much has been written about a so-called uWow, thanks for the powerful post. Pretty convincing on the Ag inspector hit. But why might one not conclude that Estes in 1984 was an old man simply jerking alot of peoples chains? The evidence of a hit on the Ag inspector is pretty sound, thus giving him more credibility from which to falsely implicate LBJ in regards to JFK. A hit on an Ag inspector is one thing, to take out the President is another. Especially if you are the one who is most going to benefit, why do it in your home state? Well, so far as the Sacrifice in Dallas is concerned, if you had previously tried to kill the man twice [Miami and Chicago; Miami with a stadium bombing to be blamed on communist Cuban double agents and in Chicago by *a disturbed ex-Marine with a rifle from the window of a tall building- sound familiar?] you might decide it's time to quit horsing around before the intended victim catches on, and take care of business in a locale where you can better control the events, and where the supporting personnel can be kept apart from each other, lest their seperate compartmentalized roles be connected to draw a better overall picture of just what went on- and who was behind it.
And too, several of those at the top were not Texas figures, though of course some had to be, like those who met in Dallas the day before the shooting, then returned to Washington to direct events there on 22 November 1963. That would include at least J. Edgar Hoover and Richard Nixon at the upper level, and for those at the operational level, see the interesting photo of those fellas gatrhered in Mexico City to celebrate both the New Year, and the news that their group had been selected to take care of that little chore in Dallas that their counterparts in Miami and Chicago had failed at. I believe only two of them were with the Dallas police officers.
The unbroken chain of events which stretch from Dallas on the 22nd of November, to Watergate, the scandal that cost Nixon the presidency. Secrecy and denial may have blunted the effort to determine the entire truth, but it has not obliterated the trail from Dallas to Watergate. Unlike the shock that engulfed most, Richard Nixon and Nixon crony, Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt, were both committed to alibi or to the avoidance of being associated with Dallas Texas, on the day Kennedy was assassinated. On November 22, 1963, Nixon claimed that he was in New York, and indeed he was, having left Dallas Texas at 9:05 a.m. about two hours before Kennedy's arrival. Ironically, Nixon landed at New York's Idlewild at 1:00 p.m., latter renamed Kennedy International Airport. The flight offered Nixon the air tight alibi that a person in-the-know desperately required. Howard Hunt, who was also reportedly in Dallas on the 22nd of November, also established an air-tight alibi to prove that he was not in Dallas. According to Hunt, he was not in his CIA office in Langley Virginia (why not?), but with friends in Washington D.C. "And since it is a law of physics that you can't be in two places at the same time", Hunt boldly asserts, "I was not in Dallas Texas." Hunt's appeal to the "laws of physics" ignores the manipulations of covert action crusaders who practice the fraudulent art of being at more than one place at a time. Remember the "Oswald double" who has made the task of tracing the real steps of the real Lee Harvey Oswald, practically impossible? The major preoccupation of spooks like Howard Hunt is deception, and their colorful denials are not credible.
In the final analysis the fact that Nixon and Hunt both secured "air-tight" alibies to account for their whereabouts when Kennedy was assassinated, is more incriminating than not. Most people vividly recall exactly what they were doing and where they were when they heard the tragic news about the Kennedy assassination, they were not vague, evasive or preoccupied by the need to produce law of physics-style alibis.
The common suspicion that Nixon and Hunt were privy to the fact that Kennedy was going to be assassinated, is well founded. Nixon and Hunt were violent anti-Communist crusaders with a penchant for plotting the assassination of "foreign" leaders and for perverting democratic principles. Moreover, Hunt and Nixon were two of the earliest and most persistent advocates who promoted assassination plots against Castro, and when Kennedy did not enthusiastically endorse anti-Castro plots or a military invasion of Cuba, they were invariably obsessed by the perceived need to get rid of him as well. On November 22, 1963, quoted in the New York Times after having made a timely evacuation from Dallas, Richard Nixon publicly recognized his anti-Kennedy zeal through the bold assertion: "I am going to work as hard as I can to get the Kennedys out of there. We can't afford four more years of that kind of administration."
While Nixon publicly exposed his commitment to get rid of the Kennedys, he did not say how he planned to accomplish his goal. At any rate, the fact that Nixon did not plan to defeat the Kennedys through legitimate political elections is quite obvious. In 1963, Nixon was the most popular Republican in the nation, yet despite the declared intention "to get the Kennedys out of there", he refused to run for the presidency until a shadowy committee to elect Richard Nixon was created in 1967. Political pundits, experts at creating a theory which matches the limit of public awareness, have repeatedly claimed that Nixon's decision not to run in 1964 was a brilliant tactical exploit. It was, they claim, foolish to challenge the unbeatable wave of popularity that brought Johnson a landslide victory in 1964. And so, it is popularly asserted, Richard Nixon, the brilliant statesman, staged one of the greatest political comebacks in American history, when he became the President in 1968. It is indeed a convenient theory but it ignores the fact that Nixon was not a typical politician but a man immersed in the shadowy world of secret politics. The fact that Nixon was largely a low key behind-the-scenes political operator until the Kennedys were assassinated, suggests that the so-called Nixon comeback was anything but legitimate. Politics, in the Nixon tradition was about behind-the-scenes plotting to destroy political enemies, it was not about fair play elections. And if Nixon did not aim for the presidency in 1964, it was not because he thought he couldn't win, but because the plotting of political cronies like J. Edgar Hoover precluded the possibility of a Nixon presidency in 1964. John Ehrlichman, Nixon's former counsel, made that quite evident when he said:
Hoover and Nixon had kept in touch during all the years Nixon was out of office. Rose Mary Woods had been Hoover's Nixon contact for the exchange of information and advice between them. Whenever Nixon travelled abroad as a private citizen, the FBI agents who posed as "legal attaches" in U.S. embassies were instructed by Hoover to look after Nixon. Hoover fed Nixon information during those years via Cartha De Loach, and through Lou Nichols, a retired Bureau assistant director who had become a distillery executive. But Hoover was more than a source of information -he was a political advisor to whom Nixon listened. (Witness to Power; The Nixon Years, 1982, Simon & Schuster, New York p.156-7)
And so, despite the popular belief that shrewd political acumen kept Nixon out of the White House race in 1964, the evidence suggests that Hoover dictated the Nixon decision to "wait it out". Indeed, pre-Kennedy assassination knowledge probably convinced Nixon to refrain from opposing Johnson in 1968. Clearly, evidence which strongly suggests that Nixon had foreknowledge about the Kennedy assassination is compelling. On November 21 1963, J.Edgar Hoover and Richard Nixon were at the home of wealthy oil baron Clint Murchison, in Dallas Texas. (p.14 High Treason) Murchison was a wealthy Texan who owned everything from the Dallas Cowboys to Henry Holt and Company, the publishing house that promoted the propaganda that Hoover published, to the racetrack where Hoover placed $100 bets, to the luxurious Del Charro Motel in California, where Hoover vacationed annually free of charge, to oil-gas interests... Murchison's empire, it appeared, was tailor-made to suit the interests of J. Edgar Hoover. The alliance between Hoover and Murchison was indeed like an ideal circle of corruption. Murchison, the recipient of huge loans from Teamster's pension funds, was evidently well served by the "politically correct" Teamster's union, whose administration was shaped by Hoover's capacity to blacklist the so-called un-Americans within. And the "dissent-free" Teamsters were at liberty to abuse pension funds at will. Business associates like Mafia crime boss Carlos Marcello gave Murchison additional "empire-building" clout. (mafia kingfish, p312)
Travelling in a circle which linked the Mafia, the Director of the FBI, Lyndon Johnson and ultra-Conservative wealthy Texan reactionaries who vilified Kennedy because he was supposedly soft on Communism, Richard Nixon was surrounded by people who were enthusiastic about supporting a plot to murder the President. In particular, the fact that Richard Nixon spent the eve of the assassination in Dallas Texas with Johnson and Hoover cronies, the oil-rich Murchisons, goes a very long way in casting a dark cloud of suspicion towards the arch-Republican Nixon, who virtually assured a Democratic landslide victory by not challenging Johnson in 1964. Like the ultra-Conservative Murchison, who provided financial support to the so-called liberal, Lyndon Johnson, Nixon secretly supported the Democrats, not the Republicans. Kennedy assassination plotters had evidently created "politically peculiar" secret alliances that escaped the notice of political pundits who promoted "Nixon the brilliant political comeback strategist" theories, to account for Nixon's conspicuous absence in 1964, and his "miraculous" return in 1968. What the pundits failed to explore is the probability that Richard Nixon did not run in 1964 in order to help Lyndon Johnson shed the scornful claim that he was the "accidental" President. Moreover, it is also safe to assume that Richard Nixon did not oppose the candidacy of Lyndon Johnson because he was absolutely certain that Johnson would reverse the foreign policy course of action that Kennedy had charted. If that was not clearly the case, there is no way that Nixon would have tolerated the "landslide mandate" that fell into Johnson's lap, through the decision to allow the "trigger happy" Barry Goldwater, to lead the Republicans.
Preoccupied by the need to cover up the truth about the Kennedy assassination, Lyndon Johnson publicly embraced the "let us continue" pledge, and with Nixon's undeclared support, "landslide Johnson" privately promoted the commitment "to begin", not where Kennedy had left off, but where Johnson and Nixon wanted to go. And so, like the convoluted plot of a Shakespearean play, the Nixon-assisted Lyndon Johnson landslide foreshadowed the dramatic new beginning in Vietnam -the introduction of the combat divisions that Kennedy had vigorously opposed. The popular misconception that Johnson and Nixon inherited the Vietnam war reflects a gross distortion maintained by obsessive secrecy and ignorant "punditeering". In actual fact, Nixon, Johnson, Hoover and the like, "engineered" the Vietnam war.
To be sure, since the man was murdered, the propaganda mill repeatedlly churns out the fraud that Cold Warrior John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam War. We do not have the time nor the inclination to challenge 27 years of rhetoric, ignorance and fraud. Weíll just tell you what John F. Kennedy said, and you can make up your own mind. John F. Kennedy said: "In 1965 Iíll become one of the most unpopular Presidents in history. Iíll be damned everywhere as a Communist appeaser. But I donít care. If I tried to pull out completely now from Vietnam, we would have another Joe McCarthy red scare on our hands, but I can do it after Iím reelected. So we had better make damned sure that I am reelected".