The JFK Assassination- The Dead Witnesses

Over fifty years have passed so you would think nature would thin this list and it has.  However, a few of them seem suspicious.

(Suspious Deaths marked with *) House Select  Committee on Assassination – HSAC.

Date Name Connection with case Cause of death HSAC Conclusion
11/63 Karyn Kupcinet TV host’s daughter who was overheard telling of JFK’s death prior to 11/22/63 Murdered No corroboration for Penn Jones’ implausible “foreknowledge” claim.
12/63 Jack Zangretti Expressed foreknowledge of Ruby shooting Oswald Gunshot Victim Actually “Zangetty.” Unsourced claim by Penn Jones with no corroboration. Supposedly, member of Sinatra family was to be kidnapped.
2/64 Eddy Benavides Lookalike brother to Tippit shooting witness, Domingo Benavides Gunshot to head Innocent bystander killed in bar brawl. Death was actually in February, 1965.
2/64 Betty MacDonald* Former Ruby employee who alibied Warren Reynolds shooting suspect. Suicide by hanging in Dallas Jail Was in fact a suicide.
3/64 Bill Chesher Thought to have information linking Oswald and Ruby Heart attack No evidence he could link Ruby and Oswald. HSCA found death nonsinister
3/64 Hank Killam* Husband of Ruby employee, knew Oswald acquaintance Throat cut HSCA found death non-suspicious.
4/64 Bill Hunter* Reporter who was in Ruby’s apartment on 11/24/63 Accidental shooting by policeman Accidently shot by cop who was engaged in reckless gunplay, and was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
5/64 Gary Underhill* CIA agent who claimed Agency was involved Gunshot in head ruled suicide Was not a CIA agent. Death was indeed a suicide.
5/64 Hugh Ward* Private investigator working with Guy Banister and David Ferrie Plane crash in Mexico No evidence of connection to case.
5/64 DeLesseps Morrison* New Orleans Passenger in Ward’s plane Was mayor of New Orleans. Otherwise, unconnected to case.
8/64 Teresa Norton* Ruby employee Fatally shot Same person as Karen Carlin. She is not known to be dead.
6/64 Guy Banister* x-FBI agent in New Orleans connected to Ferrie, CIA, Carlos Marcello & Oswald Heart attack No evidence death was from foul play.
9/64 Jim Koethe* Reporter who was in Ruby’s apartment on 11/24/63 Blow to neck Judged non-suspicious by HSCA. Police suspected fight with gay lover.
9/64 C.D. Jackson “Life” magazine senior Vice President who bought Zapruder Film and locked it away Unknown No other connection to the case. Actually died of a heart attack.
10/64 Mary Pinchot JFK “special” friend whose diary was taken by CIA chief James Angleton after her death Murdered Killed in mugging. Vastly implausible that her diary had assassination information but likely did contain account of affair with JFK.
1/65 Paul Mandel “Life” writer who told of JFK turning to rear when shot in throat Cancer No other connection to the case — did indeed die of cancer
3/65 Tom Howard* Ruby’s first lawyer, was in Ruby’s apartment on 11/24/63 Heart attack Had history of heart disease and was heavy drinker. Died of Myocardial infarction, with diabetes a contributing factor. HSCA found death non-sinister.
5/65 Maurice Gatlin* Pilot for Guy Banister Fatal fall No connection with assassination.
8/65 Mona B. Saenz* Texas Employment clerk who interviewed Oswald Hit by Dallas bus Circumstances not suspicious — no evidence of any reason to “silence” her.
?/65 David Goldstein Dallasite who helped FBI trace Oswald’s pistol Natural causes No evidence of any connection whatsoever with Ruby, Oswald, or any assassination related person. Died of coronary occlusion.
9/65 Rose Cheramie* Knew of assassination in advance, told of riding to Dallas with Cubans Hit/run victim Prostitute and drug addict, doubtful her supposed statements that Kennedy was going to be killed indicated “foreknowledge.”
11/65 Dorothy Kilgallen* Columnist who had private interview with Ruby, pledged to “break” JFK case Drug overdose HSCA investigated her death, found nothing sinister.
11/65 Mrs. Earl Smith* Close friend to Dorothy Kilgallen, died two days after columnist, may have kept Kilgallen’s notes Cause unknown A fellow Journal-American columnist, she died after three-month illness. No evidence of any knowledge about the case.
12/65 William Whaley* Cab driver who reportedly drove Oswald to Oak Cliff (The only Dallas taxi driver to die on duty) Motor collision 83 year-old man in oncoming car crashed into Whaley on viaduct. Both the man (John Henry Wells) and Whaley were killed. Was Wells a kamikaze recruited by conspirators to take out Whaley?
1966 Judge Joe Brown Presided over Ruby’s trial Heart attack Had history of heart attacks. No reason to believe he know anything not revealed in open court, lawyer’s briefs, etc.
1966 Karen “Little Lynn” Carlin* Ruby employee who last talked with Ruby before Oswald shooting Gunshot victim Same person as Teresa Norton (see above). No reliable evidence of her death.
1/66 Earlene Roberts Oswald’s landlady Heart attack Provided key testimony showing Oswald movements after shooting Kennedy and before shooting Tippit. Had a history of heart disease, and indeed died of a heart attack.
2/66 Albert Bogard* Car salesman who said Oswald test drove new car Suicide Investigation of local authorities and testimony of relatives makes it clear it was indeed suicide.
6/66 Capt. Frank Martin Dallas policeman who witnessed Oswald slaying, told Warren Commission “there’s a lot to be said but probably be better if I don’t say it” Sudden cancer Immediately explained what it would be better not to say: that the Dallas police had performed poorly in allowing Oswald to be killed. Died of lung cancer which had spread to the brain.
8/66 Lee Bowers Jr.* Witnessed men behind picket fence on Grassy Knoll Motor accident Investigated by HSCA, and researcher David Perry. No evidence of murder.
9/66 Marilyn “Delila” Walle* Ruby dancer Shot by husband after 1 month of marriage Shot in domestic squabble.
10/66 Lt. William Pitzer* JFK autopsy photographer who described his duty as “horrifying experience” Gunshot ruled suicide Evidence contradicts alleged claim to have photographed autopsy. No evidence of murder.
11/66 Jimmy Levens Fort Worth nightclub owner who hired Ruby employees Natural causes Casual acquaintance of Ruby’s. HSCA judged death non-suspicious. Had occlusive coronary arteriosclerosis leading to acute congestive heart failure.
11/66 James Worrell Jr.* Saw man flee rear of Texas School Book Depository Motor accident Told Warren Commission of seeing a shooter in Sniper’s Nest. Died in motorcycle accident.
1966 Clarence Oliver Dist. Atty. Investigator who worked Ruby case Unknown Circumstances not suspicious — no evidence of any reason to “silence” him.
12/66 Hank Suydam Life magazine official in charge of JFK stories Heart attack No other connection to the case.
1967 Leonard Pullin Civilian Navy employee who helped film “Last Two Days” about assassination One-car crash Film actually dealt with Texas trip, and had no information about assassination.
1/67 Jack Ruby* Oswald’s slayer Lung cancer (he told family he was injected with cancer cells) Inducing cancer by injecting cancer cells is medical nonsense. Ruby’s mental condition had badly deteriorated.
2/67 Harold Russell* Saw escape of Tippit killer Killed by cop in bar brawl Actually died of heart failure several hours after bar brawl.
2/67 David Ferrie* Acquaintance of Oswald, Garrison suspect and employee of Guy Banister Blow to neck (ruled accidental) Died of Berry aneurysm, natural causes.
2/67 Eladio Del Valle* Anti-Castro Cuban associate of David Ferrie being sought by Garrison Gunshot wound, ax wound to head Was involved in drug running, various criminal activities. No “axe wound.”
3/67 Dr. Mary Sherman* Ferrie associate working on cancer research Died in fire (possibly shot) No evidence of Ferrie association, died in 1964, and was not shot, but rather stabbed. Otherwise, Marrs is correct.
1/68 A. D. Bowie Asst. Dallas District Attorney prosecuting Ruby Cancer Were all the lawyers who prosecuted Ruby briefed on details of conspiracy? Actually died of pneumonia, secondary to metastatic melanoma.
4/68 Hiram Ingram Dallas Deputy Sheriff, close friend to Roger Craig Sudden cancer Died of metastatic bronchial cancer. No reason to believe he had any knowledge dangerous to any conspiracy.
5/68 Dr. Nicholas Chetta New Orleans coroner who ruled on death of Ferrie Heart attack No evidence he knew anything sinister. HSCA found nothing suspicious about death.
8/68 Philip Geraci* Friend of Perry Russo, told of Oswald/Shaw conversation Electrocution Note Marrs’ syntax. It was Russo, and not Geraci who told of story of “Oswald/Shaw conversation.”
1/69 Henry Delaune* Brother-in-law to coroner Chetta Murdered If Chetta’s death wasn’t suspicious, how was that of his brother-in-law supposed to be?
1/69 E.R. Walthers* Dallas Deputy Sheriff who was involved in Depository search, claimed to have found .45-cal. slug Shot by felon Made no claim of finding slug, in fact explicitly denied it. Killed trying to arrest violent suspect.
1969 Charles Mentesana Filmed rifle other than Mannlicher-Carcano being taken from Depository Heart attack Film actually shows Dallas Police shotgun, and survives to this day. Had no other knowledge of the assassination.
4/69 Mary Bledsoe Neighbor to Oswald, also knew David Ferrie Natural causes Key witness supporting Warren Commission case. Died at age 72.
4/69 John Crawford* Close friend to both Ruby and Wesley Frazier, who gave ride to Oswald on 11/22/63 Crash of private plane No evidence of foul play.
7/69 Rev. Clyde Johnson* Scheduled to testify about Clay Shaw/Oswald connection Fatally shot Was shot after end of trial, so unreliable prosecution decided not to use him. HSCA judged death non-sinister.
1970 George McGann* Underworld figure connected to Ruby friends, wife, Beverly, took film in Dealey Plaza Murdered No evidence of connection to Ruby’s friends. Beverly’s claim to have been in Dealey Plaza has severe credibility problems. Was indeed a hoodlum, died of multiple gunshot wounds.
1/70 Darrell W. Garner Arrested for shooting Warren Reynolds, released after alibi from Betty MacDonald Drug overdose No evidence of any connection to the assassination.
8/70 Bill Decker Dallas Sheriff who saw bullet hit street in front of JFK Natural causes Actually said that he saw a “spray of water come out of the back seat of the President’s car.Had arteriosclerosis and emphysema when he died of myocardial failure.
8/70 Abraham Zapruder Took famous film of JFK assassination Natural causes No evidence he had any knowledge dangerous to a conspiracy. In fact died of stomach cancer.
12/70 Salvatore Granello* Mobster linked to both Hoffa,Trafficante, and Castro assassination plots Murdered Unfortunately, no link to Kennedy assassination plot.
1971 James Plumeri* Mobster tied to mob-CIA assassination plots Murdered Mobster getting murdered is not that unusual. Plumeri had no connection with the case.
3/71 Clayton Fowler Ruby’s chief defense attorney Unknown Had hypertensive heart disease and arteriosclerosis. Died of “probable acute myocardial infarction.”
4/71 Gen. Charles Cabell* CIA deputy director connected to anti-Castro Cubans Collapsed and died after physical at Fort Myers Circumstances not sinister, no connection with assassination.
1972 Hale Boggs* House Majority Leader, member of Warren Commission who began to publicly express doubts about findings Disappeared on Alaskan plane flight Having doubts about findings is not the same as having information “dangerous” to a conspiracy.
5/72 J. Edgar Hoover* FBI director who pushed “lone assassin” theory in JFK assassination Heart attack (no autopsy) Died at age 77. Wasn’t he running the coverup? Who killed him?
9/73 Thomas E. Davis* Gunrunner connected to both Ruby and CIA Electrocuted trying to steal wire Supposed “connections” to Ruby dubious; didn’t work for the CIA. Was indeed electrocuted.
2/74 J.A. Milteer* Miami right-winger who predicted JFK’s death and capture of scapegoat Heater explosion Milteer’s crackpot statements are far from a “prediction” of JFK’s death.
1974 Dave Yaras* Close friend to both Hoffa and Jack Ruby Murdered Childhood friend of Ruby’s, had no contact with him in 1963.
7/74 Earl Warren Chief Justice who reluctantly chaired Warren Commission Heart failure Died at age 82. Insisted to the end that Oswald was the lone assassin.
8/74 Clay Shaw* Prime suspect in Garrison case, reportedly a CIA contact with Ferrie and E. Howard Hunt Possible cancer Garrison’s flimsy case against Shaw collapsed in 1969. Shaw died of cancer.
1974 Earle Cabell Mayor of Dallas on 11/22/63, whose brother, Gen. Charles Cabell was fired from CIA by JFK Natural causes Died of severe pulmonary emphysema.
6/75 Sam Giancana* Chicago Mafia boss slated to tell about CIA-mob death plots to Senate Committee Murdered Was to testify about plots against Castro, not assassination. HSCA found no evidence his death was assassination related.
7/75 Clyde Tolson J. Edgar Hoover’s assistant and roommate Natural causes Died of heart disease at age 71.
1975 Allen Sweatt Dallas Deputy Sheriff involved in investigation Natural causes One of scores of deputies involved in investigation. Had cirrhosis of the liver and arteriosclerotic heart disease when a myocardial infarction killed him.
12/75 Gen. Earle Wheeler Contact between JFK and CIA Unknown Died of heart failure at age 67 — no connection with case.
1976 Ralph Paul Ruby’s business partner connected with crime figures Heart attack Did indeed die of arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, leading to congestive heart failure, at age 69.
4/76 James Chaney Dallas motorcycle officer riding to JFK’s right rear who said JFK “struck in the face” with bullet Heart attack Died of heart attack, result of arteriosclerosis.
4/76 Dr. Charles Gregory Governor John Connally’s physician Heart attack His testimony refuted the idea that there was “too much lead” in Connally to have come from CE 399. Had arteriosclerotic heart disease, resulting in heart attack.
6/76 William Harvey* CIA coordinator for CIA-mob assassination plans against Castro Complications from heart surgery No connection with Kennedy assassination.
7/76 John Roselli* Mobster who testified to Senate Committee and was to appear again Stabbed and stuffed in metal drum HSCA found no evidence his murder was related to JFK assassination.
1/77 William Pawley* Former Brazilian Ambassador connected to Anti-Castro Cubans, crime figures Gunshot ruled suicide No connection with assassination
3/77 George DeMohrenschildt* Close friend to both Oswald and Bouvier family (Jackie Kennedy’s parents), CIA contract agent Gunshot wound ruled suicide Was not “CIA contract agent.” Had history of mental illness and previous suicide attempts. Death thoroughly investigated by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
3/77 Carlos Prio Soccaras* Former Cuban President, money man for anti-Castro Cubans Gunshot wound ruled suicide No connection to case.
3/77 Paul Raigorodsky Business friend of George DeMohrenschildt and wealthy oilmen Natural causes No evidence of any reason to “silence” him. Renal failure and hypertensive cardiovascular disease led to a “cerebral vascular accident” (stroke).
5/77 Lou Staples* Dallas radio Talk Show host who told friends he would break assassination case Gunshot to head, ruled suicide Was living in Oklahoma when he killed himself. Apparently unable to “break the case.”
6/77 Louis Nichols Former No. 3 man in FBI, worked on JFK investigation Heart attack No evidence of foul play.
8/77 Alan Belmont FBI official who testified to Warren Commission “Long illness” No evidence of foul play.
8/77 James Cadigan FBI document expert who testified to Warren Commission Fall in home No evidence of any foul play.
8/77 Joseph C. Ayres* Chief steward on JFK’s Air Force One Shooting accident Being Chief Steward doubtless allowed him to garner much sinister information.
8/77 Francis G. Powers* U-2 pilot downed over Russia in 1960 Helicopter crash (He reportedly ran out of fuel) Speculated Oswald may have given the Soviets information that allowed them to shoot him down. Had no evidence.
9/77 Kenneth O’Donnell JFK’s closest aide Natural causes Died of aneurysm and liver complications.
10/77 Donald Kaylor FBI fingerprint chemist Heart attack One of hundreds of FBI employees with marginal connection to assassination.
10/77 J.M. English Former head of FBI Forensic Sciences Laboratory Heart attack No evidence of foul play.
11/77 William Sullivan* Former No. 3 man in FBI, headed Division 5, counter- espionage and domestic intelligence Hunting accident Investigation by New Hampshire authorities showed no indication of foul play.
1978 C.L. “Lummie” Lewis Dallas Deputy Sheriff who arrested Mafia man Braden in Dealey Plaza Natural causes Are we supposed to assume that Braden blurted out details of plot to cop arresting him?
9/78 Garland Slack Man who said Oswald fired at his target at rifle range Unknown Died of heart disease — no connection with the case beyond “Oswald sighting” discussed in Warren Commission Report.
1/79 Billy Lovelady Depository employee said to be the man in the doorway in AP photograph Complications from heart attack Unclear what sinister information he might have revealed.
6/80 Jesse Curry Dallas Police Chief at time of assassination Heart attack Unclear why there would be any need to “silence” him almost 17 years after assassination. Did indeed die of heart attack.
6/80 Dr. John Holbrook Psychiatrist who testified Ruby was not insane Heart attack but pills, notes found Circumstances not suspicious — no evidence of any reason to “silence” him.
1/81 Marguerite Oswald Mother of accused assassin Cancer Always loudly insisted her son was innocent. Unclear what information she had that she had not already revealed. Did indeed die of metastatic ovarian cancer.
10/81 Frank Watts Chief felony prosecutor for Dallas D.A. Natural causes Did conspirators somehow leak all the details of the conspiracy to the District Attorney’s staff? In fact suffered from coronary artery disease, and died of a heart attack.
1/82 Peter Gregory Original translator for Marina Oswald and Secret Service Natural causes Died of “cardiovascular accident,” leading to cardiac arrest, at age 77.
5/82 Dr. James Weston Pathologist allowed to see JFK autopsy material for HSCA Died while jogging, ruled natural causes Insisted that Kennedy was hit by two shots from behind.
8/82 Will H. Griffin FBI agent who reportedly said Oswald was “definitely” an FBI informant Cancer HSCA investigation found he had said no such thing.
10/82 W. Marvin Gheesling FBI official who helped supervise JFK investigation “Long illness” Circumstances not suspicious — had only minor role in investigation.
3/84 Roy Kellerman Secret Service agent in charge of JFK limousine Unknown Died of heart failure at age 69.

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