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Profiles of America’s Beloved TV Celebrities (27) – ABC News Correspondent Sam Jaffe was a CIA/FBI Spy w/ a Kennedy Assassination Evidentiary Role

Alex Constantine - January 23, 2009

Edited by Alex Constantine

Carl Bernstein on Sam Jaffe

" ... Other CIA top level individuals named by Bernstein are as follows:

abc wn cia4 070624 mn 1 - Profiles of America's Beloved TV Celebrities (27) - ABC News Correspondent Sam Jaffe was a CIA/FBI Spy w/ a Kennedy Assassination Evidentiary RoleLouisville Courier Journal -- Barry Bingham, Sr.
NBC -- Richard Wald
ABC -- Sam Jaffe
Time, Inc. -- Henry Luce
Copley News Service -- James Copley
Hearst -- Seymour Freiden"


[Jaffee admitted in his testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 1976 that he also "secretly served as an FBI spy while working as a correspondent for ABC News."]


Bernstein: "The American Broadcasting Company and the National Broadcasting Company. According to CIA officials, ABC continued to provide cover for some CIA operatives through the 1960s. One was Sam Jaffe who CIA officials said performed clandestine tasks for the Agency. Jaffe has acknowledged only providing the CIA with information. ... At the time of the Senate bearings, Agency officials serving at the highest levels refused to say whether the CIA was still maintaining active relationships with members of the ABC‑News organization. All cover arrangements were made with the knowledge off ABC executives, the sources said.

"These same sources professed to know few specifies about the Agency’s relationships with NBC, except that several foreign correspondents of the network undertook some assignments for the Agency in the 1950s and 1960s. 'It was a thing people did then,' said Richard Wald, president of NBC News since 1973. 'I wouldn’t be surprised if people here—including some of the correspondents in those days—had connections with the Agency.' ... ”

The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald was given extensive publicity on TV, in magazines, in newspapers. In England, a special article about it appeared in the Sunday magazine section of a London newspaper complete with photographs from the shooting sequence as filmed. ... More than 80% of the people believe there was a conspiracy: why wouldn't ABC go along with the 80% of their viewers and portray the truth? The answer ... is simple: ABC is controlled from the very top, probably much higher than the Sam Jaffe level, by the PCG ["power control group"] and the CIA. ... "

WalterCronkiteCBS 1 - Profiles of America's Beloved TV Celebrities (27) - ABC News Correspondent Sam Jaffe was a CIA/FBI Spy w/ a Kennedy Assassination Evidentiary RoleThe Cronkite Accusation

" ... In 1976, ABC newsman Sam Jaffe reported seeing Cronkite's name on a White House list of reporters who had worked for the CIA. Cronkite angrily denied the accusation, and confronted then-CIA director George H.W. Bush, demanding that Bush name any CBS staffers who had actually been CIA operatives. Bush, of course, wouldn't name names, but a week later, Cronkite's newscast reported that at least two former CBS reporters had secretly worked for the spy agency. ... "


Reporter Sam Jaffe was one of the American citizens wrongly exposed by Yuri Nosenko.

Samuel Adason Jaffe was born in San Francisco. He served in the Merchant Marine in World War II and then the Navy Reserves. He was a Marine combat correspondent in Korea during the war there. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, Columbia University, and the New School For Social Research. He worked for the old International News Service in San Francisco. He worked briefly for the U.N. in the early 1950's and then joined Life Magazine, where he was a reporter from 1952 to 1955. In 1955, as a freelancer, he covered a conference of Third World countries at Bandung, Indonesia, and interviewed the late Chou En-lai of China. As a correspondent for CBS from 1955 to 1961 he covered the United Nations and Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev's visit to this country in 1959.

Victor Marchetti wrote: "In 1955 Sam Jaffe applied for a job with CBS news. While he was waiting for his application to be processed, a CIA official who Jaffe identifies himself as Jerry Rubins visited his house in California and told him, 'If you are willing to work for us, you are going to Moscow' with CBS. Jaffe was flabbergasted, since he did not even know at that point if CBS would hire him, and he assumes that someone at CBS was in on the arrangement or otherwise the Agency would never had known he had applied for work. Moreover, it would have been highly unusual to send a new young reporter to such an important overseas post. Rubins told Jaffe that the Agency was willing to release 'certain top secret information to you in order that you try and obtain certain information for us.' Jaffe refused and was later hired by CBS for a domestic assignment." [Cult, page 335] In 1960 Jaffe went to Moscow for CBS to cover the trial of Francis Gary Powers. In 1961 Jaffe joined ABC and went to Moscow to open its first bureau there. He was among the first to report the ouster of Khrushchev from politics on the night of October 14, 1964. In 1965 he was expelled from the Soviet Union because of a report ABC carried from Washington saying that another shake up in the Soviet leadership was imminent. By then Jaffe had already been assigned to take over ABC's Hong Kong Bureau. As the war in Vietnam deepened he was sent there and for his coverage he won a prize from the overseas press club. In 1968 he was reassigned to the United States and moved to Washington. The following year he resigned from ABC.

In the 1950's and 1960's Jaffe had a brilliant run as a newspaper and broadcast journalist, however, in 1969 allegations circulated regarding Jaffe's connection with the KGB based on information supplied by Nosenko. The FBI reported: "During the period 1958 to 1960 while in New York, Jaffe was an FBI confidential informant on his Soviet contacts. In addition, he had several meetings with the Domestic Contacts Division New York office. While in Moscow with ABC, Jaffe felt he was the Subject of a KGB recruitment attempt in 1962. He recounted his story to the Regional Security Officer at the American Embassy, Moscow, copies of which went to both the CIA and FBI. Jaffe covered the trial of Gary Powers for the ABC Television Network, and flew on the same plane from New York to Moscow with Barbara Powers' party. Prior to that trip, he was briefed by a CIA psychologist on ways to observe Power's behavior and demeanor. During the latter part of his time in Moscow, Jaffe was in contact with a KGB Officer, Kuvkov, and this relationship is a matter of record with the FBI. Jaffe has given his version of his dealings with the KGB in a lengthy interview with the FBI in 1969. Yuri Nosenko provided information on Jaffe's relationship with the KGB in 1964. However, as time went on, further debriefings of Yuri Nosenko indicated Yuri Nosenko was not as sure about Jaffe's relationship as he had been originally. By 1968 Yuri Nosenko was positive only that Kuvkov had been in touch with Jaffe, but Yuri Nosenko was not certain that Jaffe was a paid witting KGB agent. (Paragraph deleted.) The CIA is positive that Jaffe's recall from Hong Kong in 1968, and subsequent dismissal by ABC, are not related to any action taken by the CIA."

Sam Jaffe said that the CIA attempted to get him to act as an agent and obtain information from Chinese Communist contacts. Mr. Jaffe said that while he was stationed in Hong Kong he was prepared to make contact with a Chinese official for the CIA, but he said that ABC recalled him from his assignment before the contact could be made. [NYT 2.9.76]

Sam Jaffe confronted the CIA about these charges and was given a letter stating he was not KGB agent by the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William Colby. This was not enough for Sam Jaffe; instead, Sam Jaffe wanted to locate Yuri Nosenko and confront him. He contacted John Gittinger and Chief, CI/R&A, Leonard McCoy. Sam Jaffe was told the KGB wanted to kill Yuri Nosenko and a meeting was impossible. [CIA Dempsey Memo on Jaffe 12.8.75] Jaffe had regular conversations with ANGLETON. Covert Action reported: "Apparently, ANGLETON, had come to befriend Jaffe because of his conviction that he was the target of a KGB defamation attempt. A Soviet defector, Yuri Nosenko, interrogated ruthlessly by ANGLETON, hinted that Jaffe was a KGB agent. Since ANGELTON was convinced that Nosenko was a KGB double agent sent to sow disinformation and confusion, Jaffe had to be okay." [CA No. 29 (Winter 1988)]

On August 17, 1974, Art Lundal, a former CIA employee received a call from Sam Jaffe:

1. I met Jaffe in the Dominican Republic during the time of Trujillo's assassination. I knew he left from there for Moscow as the ABC correspondent. I next heard from him when he called me in 1970 to say he was working with Metromedia in Washington, D.C. During this present conversation he told me he no longer needed the 'corporate body' and he was now a free-lance journalist operating out of his home. He said it was he who broke the story on United States companies' plan to exhibit surveillance equipment in Moscow. After the story was published, he said, Senator Mansfield gave the matter congressional recognition and stopped the exhibit of surveillance gear in Moscow. I told him I had read the story.

3. Jaffe went on to say that his friends (the "young guys on the hill") have photographs of a couple of derelicts ("bums")who were arrested in back of the Texas School Book Depository minutes after President Kennedy was assassinated. Jaffe said these bums look very much like HOWARD HUNT and FRANK STURGIS, the Watergate codefendants. [NARA 1993.]

On September 13, 1974, Scott Breckinridge generated this Memo For the Record regarding the "Press Inquiry Into Kennedy Assassination."

1. John Hicks phoned to say that he was passing to me what he had just passed to the DCI and OLC.

2. Hicks had a phone call from Art Lundahl, vacationing in Michigan. Lundahl's home is 616-731-5491. Lundahl was phoned by a man identifying himself as Sam Jaffe. Jaffe said that a couple of others are doing an investigation of the JFK assassination. In the course of this they were in Dallas where they reviewed photographs taken by the Dallas Police of persons rounded up following the assassination. Among these photographs were pictures of 3 hobos, two of which Jaffe said he identified as HOWARD HUNT and FRANK STURGIS.

3. The telephone call to Lundahl was at the suggestion of Victor Marchetti, who knew Lundahl's familiarity with photographic development. He wanted to know of a commercial place where they would do enlargements in order to study the pictures more carefully for a more certain identification. Lundahl avoided telling Jaffe anything, saying he was retired and out of contact.

September 20, 1974, "Memorandum for the Record/Subject: Inquiry - HUNT and STURGIS,"

1. Subsequent to Jaffe's inquiry to Art Lundahl last week, relayed to us by John Hicks, we have been in touch with the Office of Security (Charlie Kane) and have checked other records to ascertain HUNT'S whereabouts at the time of the Kennedy assassination on November 22, 1963.

2. The Office of Finance has checked HUNT'S leave and travel records for the period of September 1963 to January 1964, not knowing the purpose of our request. The record shows for the four week pay period ending November 23, 1963, that HUNT took 11 hours of sick leave an no annual leave. In the following pay period he took three hours sick leave and 27 hours annual leave, but this follows the particular period in question. His travel record shows official travel in September, October and December, but none in November. All this travel was to New York. John Richards states that we already know, as a result of responses to previous requests, that we have no records on STURGIS that would show similar information; he was not an Agency employee.

3. Security provided us with a column by Jack Anderson of April 16, 1974, in which he covered the HUNT-STURGIS rumor, dismissing it. A copy of the news column is attached. This would suggest that, rather than police photographs of people rounded-up and booked, the photographs in question are random snapshots of crowds. If this is correct, there would be no related fingerprint records that could be checked for verification.

4. Kane feels that any inquiry would attract more attention then it would be worth. I agree. I suggest that we only hold this information against possible future inquiries on the subject.

S.D. Breckinridge.

Sam Jaffe contacted Art Lundahl regarding a possible photo analysis. Art Lundahl reported this contact to the CIA who, according to Victor Marchetti, advised Art Lundahl to steer clear of Sam Jaffe.

The CIA's Office of the Inspector General generated this index card:


August 20, 1974

August 17, 1974

KENNEDY, President

December 1950
AGEE, Phil

July 1953
July 1962
July 1964, June 1957, March 1960, April 1960, December 1963
January 1964, August 1966, September 1966, June 1967, July 1967, November
IG FILE #49 TAB 24

I.G. File #49
Tab #24
M/R (Deleted)

Sub: Telephone Conversation with Sam Jaffe

re: phone conversation (Deleted) had with Jaffe on August 17, 1974. Jaffe inquired as to whether (Deleted) remembered Frank Chavez during the time he was in the Dominican Republic. Jaffe also told (Deleted) that according to his friends ("some of the young guys on the hill") Chavez was a Mafia member and at one time suspect of being involved in the assassination of President Kennedy, mentions photographs of a couple of derelicts arrested in the back of the Texas Book Depository minutes after President Kennedy was assassinated who looked like HUNT and STURGIS.

In early September 1974, on the suggestion of Sam Jaffe, Michael Canfield gave a set of tramp and comparison photographs to Richard Pearle who worked for Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson (Dem.-WA). Michael Canfield told him that he wanted a non-governmental agency to perform a photo analysis. Richard Pearle gave the photographs to Senator Jackson's aide, Don Donahue, who told Michael Canfield he would have a photographic expert look at the pictures and that he should have the results of this examination by September 16, 1974, when Michael Canfield was scheduled to return to Washington from New York City. The FBI reported: "Donahue and Jaffe described Michael Canfield as a 'scared kid' who is possibly afraid for his safety...Donahue is reluctant to recontact Jaffe or Canfield seeking the identity of the police officer unless absolutely necessary since he feels this may cause them to lose confidence in him. He indicated he would make further inquiry in this regard if we are unable to locate Harkness through the Dallas PD. Donahue said he intends to tell Canfield when he contacts him on Monday that he has had an expert look at the pictures and 'there may be something to this;' hence we would want to keep the photographs and refer them to the FBI. He said he would like to have the photos back by Monday to have them in hand when Canfield contacts him. It was pointed out to Donahue that should he make such a statement to Canfield this could be used by Canfield in giving credence to his story and might be interpreted as an acceptance of this story by Senator Jackson. Donahue then agreed he would make no statement whatever and would merely put him off should Canfield contact him before the Bureau is complete with its inquiry on this matter." [FBI 62-109060-7131]

The FBI did not receive the shots from Don Donahue until September 10, 1974, more than one month after FBI Director Clarence Kelley issued his 'still' order. The FBI had determined the tramps were not HUNT and STURGIS before examining the tramp photographs. Why did the FBI need our tramp shots? The FBI had the tramp shots in its files because the Dallas Police Department had given the Bureau copies in 1968. [FBI 62-109060-7138] But either these shots were missing, or were overlooked.

The CIA's Office of the Inspector General generated this index card on July 26, 1977:

Memo for the Record from Chief, CI/R&A. Subject: Probing of David Martin for Classified Case Information: David Martin, Peer Da Silva, William Harvey, Richard Kovich, Leonard McCoy, Sam Jaffe, George Kisevalter, JAMES ANGLETON, CI Staff, Popov, Golitsyn, Nosenko, Dolnitsyn.

Clarence Kelley's FBI issued a report that stated the FBI, preeminent in forensic examination, had determined the tramps were not HUNT and STURGIS. On September 12, 1974, FBI S.A. C. F. Downing, who had worked extensively on the FBI's investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, [FBI 105-126032 NR 8.26.64] wrote: "Reference is made to a memorandum from R.E. Gebhardt to Mr. Adams requesting that the FBI Laboratory compare photographs of three individuals arrested in the vicinity of the Kennedy assassination with known photographs of E. HOWARD HUNT, FRANK STURGIS...It was determined that the two individuals in these photographs suspected of being HUNT and STURGIS are not HUNT and STURGIS. This conclusion is based on the existence of differences in facial characteristics. There are no photographs available in the identification record for Thomas Arthur Valle or otherwise available in the Laboratory with which the third individual in the submitted photographs could be compared. [At this time Thomas Arthur Vallee was suspected of being the CHRIST tramp. Vallee was at work in Chicago on November 22.] Although the possibility of doctoring these photographs cannot be completely eliminated because of the possibility that such 'doctoring' can be done without detection, no evidence was found to indicate that any of these photographs have been 'doctored.'"

In a synopsis of the C.F. Downing Report, the FBI wrote: "The FBI Laboratory has examined the photographs and advised that two of the persons under arrest are not HUNT and STURGIS, but they could not positively eliminate the possibility that the photographs had been doctored." [FBI 62-109060-7134]

In a FBI Memorandum dated March 11, 1975, to the Rockefeller Commission, the disclaimer was eliminated: "There was no evidence found of retouching or alteration of the photographs of the three individuals in the vicinity of the Texas School Book Depository."

A copy of the C.F. Downing Report was forwarded to S.A. Lyndal Shaneyfeldt, the Bureau's photographic identification expert. S.A. Lyndal Shaneyfeldt did most of the photographic work for the Warren Commission. S.A. Lyndal Shaneyfeldt was granted CIA liaison clearances in December 1954, August 1962, and August 1968, at the request of the Technical Services Division. [CIA SRS/OS Sarah K. Hall 2.6.69]

When an Freedom of Information Act request was filed for C.F. Downing's laboratory report, the FBI stated that no such report existed: "Please be advised that the results of the Laboratory examination were furnished by the individual conducting the examination to his superiors by the memorandum which you enclosed with your request letter." It was standard operating procedure for FBI laboratory technicians to file an FBI Work Sheet and an FBI Laboratory Report, accompanied by a memorandum that summarized the results of its findings. When the FBI obtained a photograph of Thomas Arthur Vallee from the Chicago Police Department, it turned it over to S.A. Lyndal Shaneyfeldt, who did a FBI Work Sheet and Laboratory Report. [FBI 62-109060-10288] Where was C.F. Downing's HUNT and STURGIS Report and Work Sheet? Apparently there was no time to create them. FBI Director Clarence Kelley wanted the story quickly quashed. S.A. C.F. Downing had been ordered to still the investigation, and that meant issuing a negative report. C.F. Downing looked at the photographs, shook his head, and signed his memorandum. C.F. Downing claimed: "No evidence was found of doctoring." Where were the investigation notes concerning doctoring? C.F. Downing, who was not about to discredit his own previous work for the Warren Commission, had done what he could on short notice. Now the FBI was officially prepared to dispose of any serious journalistic or Congressional inquiry into the tramp shots and Watergate.

On September 13, 1974, Don Donahue told Michael Canfield that "his contact does not believe the 'bums' are HUNT and STURGIS and that he does not want to become involved in this matter since he feels it is a situation which should be handled by the FBI." Don Donahue was a former Bureau Agent and the FBI protected him from being identified as the source of the photographs. [FBI 61-109060-7134] On May 23, 1975, the SSCIA requested the CIA do a photo analysis of the tramp shots. The CIA requested the photographs from the FBI. Don Donahue requested his identity be concealed as the source of these photographs. [FBI 62-109060-7193]

On September 13, 1974, Sam Jaffe called S.A. Ruhl and asked him to evaluate Michael Canfield's credibility. S.A. Ruhl refused to do so. "Jaffe expressed concern that the FBI Lab would not do a proper evaluation of any photographs submitted by Michael Canfield because of a lack of confidence in Michael Canfield's theory." [FBI 61-109060-7127] Sam Jaffe died on February 8, 1985, at age 55, of cancer. Before he died Jaffe stated: "The last nine years have been incredible," Jaffe said in an interview with the Washington Post in 1985. If it weren't for a few friends I would be broken...I say I am not a Russian spy, the FBI says, 'Yeah, you are.' Well I want them to prove it. I want it all out in the open. I want my family cleared. If I should drop dead I don't want them living with this stigma. The CIA has cleared me. Now I want the FBI to do the same." Jaffe was member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Overseas Writers, the White House and State Department correspondents associations, and the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association.

"On October 7, 1974, FBI Director Clarence Kelley conferred with Mr. Benjamin C. Bradlee, Editor of The Washington Post...Mr. Bradlee stated that certain photographs have come to his attention which allegedly showed E. HOWARD HUNT and FRANK STURGIS, of Watergate notoriety, in the custody of Dallas, Texas, police officers shortly after the assassination of President Kennedy. Mr. Bradlee said that since The Washington Post Watergate investigation was just about over, they were looking for a new inquiry to direct their attention toward. He said he was considering sending a team of investigative reporters to Dallas to begin an investigation into these photographs, but decided to check with the Director beforehand to see if the Bureau was aware of the photographs and had possibly already resolved the matter. Mr. Bradlee was informed that this matter had come to our attention in August 1974, through A.J. ajweberman and Michael Canfield, who were described as underground newspaper people from New York City...A copy of the March 15, 1974, to March 21, 1974, edition of The Berkeley Barb, a California underground newspaper, which contains the photographs in question...was given to Bradlee. An article from the May 24, 1968, edition of The New York Times pertaining to the photographs was also mentioned to Mr. Bradlee. Mr. Bradlee was also told Michael Canfield made a deal with the German magazine Stern in regard to selling his story." FBI Director Clarence Kelley continued: "The photographs have been compared by the FBI Laboratory with known photographs of HUNT and STURGIS with a determination being made that HUNT and STURGIS are not the ones in the photographs. He was also informed that all three officers in the photographs have been previously identified in relation to other investigations, and that all three officers advised that they took three individuals, names unknown to them, off a boxcar about a mile from the assassination site about 20 minutes after the shooting. They took them to the Dallas County Sheriff's Office where a screening office had been setup. Numerous people were taken to that office on that day and released without charges or booking, after being interviewed. No records have been located pertaining to these individuals arrest.

"It was also pointed out to Mr. Bradlee that there had been allegations that LEE HARVEY OSWALD had been in Miami, Florida, prior to the assassination and had been in contact with STURGIS, who was then using the name FRANK FIORINI. Extensive investigation, including interview of STURGIS, indicated that there was no substance to this."

Michael Canfield had displayed the tramp photographs, and the HUNT and STURGIS comparison shots, to Ben Bradlee. Before he spoke with FBI Director Clarence Kelley, Ben Bradlee believed the tramps looked enough like HUNT and STURGIS to consider hiring a photo analyst to study the photographs. He was going to send a team of reporters to Dallas to investigate the circumstances of their arrest. After speaking with FBI Director Clarence Kelley, Benjamin Bradlee dropped the matter. FBI Director Clarence Kelley explained: "Mr. Bradlee then stated he was satisfied that the Bureau was well aware of these allegations and instead of investigating the matter, he planned to run a story to the effect that the FBI had checked these allegations and found no substance to them. After Mr. Bradlee's departure, the Director advised that Captain Will Fritz, who was the Dallas police officer in charge of its Kennedy case investigation, and who apparently authorized the release of the persons in the photographs, should be interviewed for any knowledge he might have of this matter. The Director also stated that HUNT and STURGIS should be contacted to ascertain their whereabouts on the day of the assassination. The Director pointed out that these interviews should be conducted to carry out our determination that HUNT and STURGIS were not the ones in the photographs one step further and hopefully lay these allegations to rest." [FBI 62-109060-7137]

FBI Director Clarence Kelley suppressed the tramp story. Why bother investigating a story if the FBI Director, as well as the FBI Lab, has assured you that there was no substance to it? In any event, Ben Bradlee realized the story had already been published, and that Michael Canfield was trying to sell it to other publications while trying to sell it to The Washington Post. Ben Bradlee, however, was unjustified in turning it down. The FBI was intent on characterizing OSWALD as a loner, and not part of a broader conspiracy which it failed to detect. It could not be relied upon to be objective. In early 1979 Ben Bradlee was asked why he believed the FBI. In December 1981 he replied: "You people die hard. If you believe in various conspiracies, as you plainly do, there is nothing I can say to convince you. I can only tell you that I did go to the FBI. I did talk to someone who was identified to me by FBI Director Clarence Kelley as the photo interpretation expert. He pointed out magnification of certain features, like ears, that satisfied me that the tramps were not HUNT or STURGIS..."

The tramp shots were doctored. No mention of possible doctoring of the photographs was made to Ben Bradlee by the FBI. Without taking this into account, at least one set of ears did not match.

Thanks to the FBI, Stern Magazine, Reuters and other publications did not run the story. Klaus Liedke of Stern Magazine contacted the FBI about the tramps shots. The FBI: "In general terms he was advised that the FBI had looked into this matter and determined the individuals were not identical with HUNT and STURGIS." [FBI 62-109060-7150] By the end of 1974, the tramp story had been turned down by The New York Times, The Associated Press and by Mike Wallace and Les Midgley at Sixty Minutes. The Village Voice uncovered "a handwritten note on CBS stationary from Ellen McCloy [the daughter of John J. McCloy] to Les Midgley." Ellen McCloy, who was employed by CBS, was working on a program about the John F. Kennedy assassination. In September 1975 the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency William Colby described a meeting he had with Dan Rather and Les Midgley: "He referred to the work of Mark Lane in this field and I referred to Dick Gregory's paranoia on the subject of CIA connections with the Kennedy death." In February 1975 Clarence Kelley and Gordon Shankin visited the Texas School Book Depository. Kelley told the press that the FBI possessed no evidence that HUNT was at the scene of the Kennedy assassination. [Dallas Times Herald 2.13.75]

In January 1975 a source at Stern magazine informed the CIA that the publication was working on the tramp shot story:

"To buttress this conjecture, Stern hired Professor Rainer Knussmann of the Anthropological Institute at Hamburg University, to do a 'scientific' comparison of the Dallas photographs with stock shots of HUNT and STURGIS. The total report is 37 pages, of which only the introduction and conclusion were provided. The translation commences with page 35: 'The given question about the identity of STURGIS and HUNT with the two designated persons on the Death Site pictures can only be answered clearly to the extent that a firm identity denial is not possible from the photographic documentation placed at my disposal. In this connection there is a noticeable discrepancy in the amount of ear protrusion, in the photographs of the man who could be HUNT which, however, fails by far to be sufficient for a sure negative identification. In all, the resemblance analysis with respect to both persons led to a clear majority of positive resemblance factors, which above all for STURGIS were in part very convincing since it concerned a clearly established similarity in relatively rare distinguishing marks. Because of the indifferent quality of the source photographs which handicaps a scientific comparison, and because of unsimilarities which cropped up in the course of the analysis - though these were nearly all of a minor nature - the total result is not adequate for the establishment of an absolutely sure identity. Such a result from photo materials such as were furnished me is in principle very difficult to achieve. The symptoms of identity never-the-less are so convincing that it must be advised in any case that the material be pursued further. A successful identity establishment could truly be expected if STURGIS and HUNT photographs, which should be obtainable, were prepared showing the Subjects from the same head angle and under similar lighting as in the Death Site photographs.

"The probable identity from the resemblance analysis is given a special weight because the margin of error is significantly reduced when both HUNT and STURGIS are analyzed in combination. This is on the common sense ground that while an accidental resemblance between HUNT or STURGIS on the one side, and one of the persons shown in the Death Site pictures would be understandable, there is a very narrow probability that STURGIS accidentally resembles one, and HUNT accidentally the other of both persons shown in the Death Site photographs. Possibly what is finally expected of me is a precise probability quotient for the possible identity of STURGIS and HUNT with the questioned persons on the Death Site pictures. Such a numerical probability estimate can certainly be produced by mathematics, but would show false exactness. However, to give a preliminary examination, I estimate that the positive resemblance between STURGIS and the questioned person #1 in the Death Site photographs has a probability of 0.1 (10% error, that is 90% for identity). The similar value for HUNT being person #2, I estimate at 0.3 (that is a 30% chance of error and 70% probability of identity). From this a theoretical error probability for the combined results figures at only 0.03 (that is 3%, therefore, 97% probability). In closing I should like to assure you that in preparation of this evaluation I have taken pains to work according to the best conscience and knowledge without any political presumptions. Prof. Knussmann Officially Registered Court Hereditary Biology Expert, Examining Laboratory, Duesseldorf, Markenstr. 5, West Germany." [CIA Inspector General File #51 Tab 6 Gerard J. Hahn to Berns - source at Stern Frau Radziwell?]

The CIA's Inspector General's Office had and interest in this photo study and it generated this index card:


January 7, 1975
George J. Hahn

January 9, 1975
President Kennedy

October 1975

October 25, 1975

November 5, 1974
Frau Radziwell
University of Hamburg

IG FILE #51 Tab #6
C/DDO (Attention Mr. Berns) from Gerard J. Hahn. Subject: German Magazine Attempts to Tie HOWARD HUNT and FRANK STURGIS to the Dallas assassination of President Kennedy. Efforts by Der Stern to tie HUNT and STURGIS to the assassination of President Kennedy. Attachment: (Illegible) translation by Prof. Knussmann of scientific (illegible) of Dallas photos (illegible) HUNT (illegible).

A Magdelona Radziwill was mentioned in a book titled The Secret War Against the Jews by J. Loftus and J. Arons which was published in 1994: "A top secret interrogation of a White Russian Nazi by General George Patton's intelligence chief names a Bishop Cikota as a 'Nazi agent' inside the Vatican. Princess Magdelona Radziwell is named in the same intelligence files as the corresponding Nazi agent in Switzerland. Her relative, Prince Radziwell, later surfaced as a petitioner to retrieve war German assets of Dulles's clients that had been seized by the United States." In 1996 Professor Knuessmann was a Consulting Editor of the international journal Collegium Antropologicum, which was published by the Croatian Anthropological Society.

In January 1975 comedian Dick Gregory was contacted. He was given the comparison shots, and the work to date on the links between the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and HUNT and STURGIS. Dick Gregory held a press conference on February 5, 1975, during which he displayed the tramp shots and the photographs of HUNT and STURGIS. On February 16, 1975, about one week after Dick Gregory's press conference, Jacks Beers died of a heart attack. Mrs. Beers related that he had a long history of heart problems, including a heart attack in late November 1963. On March 8, 1975, the Rockefeller Commission agreed to investigate the tramps. After the Rockefeller Commission issued a press release, the tramps became the front page story in many newspapers. Headlines read:

"Rockefeller Panel to Probe CIA Role in JFK Death - Gregory Charges Founded on Photographs.

"Washington - The Rockefeller Commission on the CIA is looking into allegations that the CIA was somehow involved in the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, according to informed sources close to its investigation. One focus of the commission's inquiry is the recent assertion of a group headed by Dick Gregory, comedian and civil rights activist, that E. HOWARD HUNT Jr. was seized by Dallas police near the Kennedy assassination site within minutes of the shooting...The Gregory groups charge is founded on photographs published last year in underground newspapers and elsewhere purporting to show HUNT and FRANK A. STURGIS, another Watergate burglar, being led by the police from a grassy knoll across from the Texas School Book Depository." [The Los Angeles Times Herald Examiner 3.9.75] The wire services reported: "Comedian and political activist Dick Gregory flew to Washington Thursday to deliver documents to the Rockefeller Commission..." The New York Times ran two stories: "Three Men Studied in Kennedy Assassination Photographs" which stated that the Rockefeller Commission was going to do a height study and "Rockefeller Unit Said to Check Report of CIA Link to Kennedy Assassination." When the media contacted HUNT and STURGIS about these allegations, HUNT denied having been in Dallas: "Accusations made by Dick Gregory and others connecting me to the murder of President John Kennedy are totally without foundation. They constitute a false and vicious libel. These charges are bizarre products of sick minds. The political Left has never been able, or willing, to accept the fact that Kennedy's assassin was a man of the Left; thus the Leftist preoccupation with finding an alternate assassin. Dick Gregory's smear represents the ultimate in slander and innuendo customarily characterized as McCarthyism. The Rockefeller and other investigative committees will probably examine Gregory's charges as indeed they should. For my part I would welcome a through high-level investigation and a full airing of all relevant findings. Only if this takes place will I have any hope of clearing my name and living free from the threats made against my life already made by neurotics. I was not in Dallas on November 22, 1963; in fact I never visited Dallas until eight years later. I did not meet FRANK STURGIS until 1972, nine years after we were allegedly together in Dallas. I was not in Mexico in 1963, and I did not meet LEE HARVEY OSWALD there or at any other place or time. Moreover I shared the nations grief over the murder of our President...Continued publicity given to these reckless charges could stimulate some yet-unpublicized maniac into violent action against me and my family." [RCD 2.5.75]


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