By Rod MacKenzie
I have been asked by friends why I care to relate what I know about the events leading up to the killing of John F. Kennedy, Jr. and consequent cover-ups and diversions. It is not easy to answer because in revealing these facts as I know them, I open myself up to being branded everything from a nut case to a wannabe, kook, or liar. I am none of these and care little what the reader thinks. These facts have gnawed at my gut for 46 years and I do not care to head for the eternal dirt nap on the Great Midway Beyond without making an attempt at stating what I know and saw at that time.
I took a trip to Dallas to hunt up journals I kept at the time, so the events are completely accurate, though some of the times and dates will be a bit off. I did a lot of moving in those days; carny and circus types and agents do that. The months prior to going to Dallas get a little mixed up, but the chronological order is accurate, as are all the Dallas events up to the time I split. I was stable enough to have steady housing, a phone, and a second job in nursing while in Dallas, which enabled me to keep a pretty good account in my log. Later and before Dallas, I only kept a record of finances, travel miles, and sometimes an event of note.
Luck and happenstance placed me in a front row seat at the Big Show of the 20th century. I was on elbow-brushing terms with major and minor players involved in these events. I did not know what was going to take place on the 22nd of November 1963, but as soon as it went down I realized what a precarious position I was in, and yet had no idea of how deeply I was associated with the whole mess. That would come later when I would have drastic decisions to make, when a wrong move would be fatal.
I have made it to 72 years of age, keeping the secrets in my brain quiet except to a select close few. While most of the people I associated with have passed on to their allotted other realms, I have been pretty much left to my own devices. True, I was in a field that could swallow one up in a cloak of anonymity: I was the keeper of identities and knew clandestine and evasive tactics that enabled me to be less visible than others. Of course, this would not have stopped the people I had been involved with from finding me if they had so desired. Somehow, I was either still of use to Them, or it was deemed that there was no need to use termination in my case, but not because I was trusted, as They trust no one.
As I look back on my disappearance attempt, I realize that I made a number of major mistakes, so for years I kept watch on my surroundings and my 24-foot perimeter. I still do. This helped, I am sure, but I knew that if a contract were placed on me, there would be no place on earth I could go that would save me. But I was not important enough for international attention. It was that simple. If I had been fool enough to stay in the zone of the interior (ZI), I am sure I never would have reached the age of 30, never mind 72.
Of course, this was before the mass effort to identify everyone by their social security, mother’s maiden name, birth date, and of course the wonders of plastic credit cards. The taxpayer was not yet identified by whoever had the power of the mighty computer; this was all in its early stages then. Weapons were everywhere and it was hardly a crime to carry one or even fire it, as long as you were not committing a crime. Arms licenses (except for local laws) were not in effect and even where they were, such as New York State, penalties were pretty light, even for former criminals. Criminals then were a bit more selective as to who they picked on, as they knew their meal ticket might just be armed.
I was trained at Ft. Detrick, Maryland at the Seals & Flapps School by the Defense Intelligence Agency handler over me in the art of making and providing false papers. (At that time, a picture on any identification was a rarity.) I had come to my handler’s attention by inventing a three-suitcase identification setup – a complete ID factory with blanks of all sorts, certificates, company checks and ID cards, a small printing press and types, inks, seal-making equipment, a compact enlarger, photo print frame, papers and chemical packs, trays, etc. It served me well and was also quite lucrative. In fact, it enabled me to make a reasonably safe getaway from the ZI in 1964.
My slight educational efforts have been for the most part in practical and technical fields. The circus, carnival, spies, tramps (not bums), agents provocateur, and of course assorted criminals with great aspirations are not fields one gets sheepskins for. I did go to nursing school. At the time, most male nurses were of the odd set. Hell, I wish they all had been gay, then I would have been in great demand with all the babes. (Smile.) I am also an artist with professional strengths.
I as well as many others knew the day after the hit just who had been responsible for ordering the President to be killed. That means Chief of Police Currey and all sorts of other law enforcement folks as well. However, we had little idea of the tentacles that went from the persons and their cohorts to every conceivable office of government, world banking powers and big business corporations to control the aftermath. That is why so many like myself who had hands-on dealings with the responsible parties and knew small parts of the puzzle were able to connect some of the dots. It is also why many of these same people were not to enjoy longevity. There were no real secrets, only lies. It was done pretty much out in the open for all who would really look to see. Lies and cover-ups were later and the order of every day from then on.
The actual assassins I either knew or knew of within a few days after the fact. I spent a day a week later drinking with Malcolm “Mac” Wallace, the man who had directed the killing teams for Lyndon B. Johnson and his Texas Mafia with the help of the other Mafia. We spent a day doing the setup bars and strip joints in both Ft. Worth and Dallas. Mac was quite talkative in a conspirator way. He and I had known each other in the past from dealings with gamblers at the Adolphis Hotel and the Egyptian Lounge and my having to do with the safe house I ran for them and the Mob. Several of the people he mentioned I knew from my dealings over the past years in the Cuban fiascos and fun and games. The Permindex bunch run out of New Orleans paid the bills and Mac had often been the delivery guy.
It was a classic, well thought out hit by a very large cast of characters, and yet one wonders just how so many were quiet so long. Of course, many died shortly after. John Roselli told me later that they had set Kennedy up first at the baseball field in New York City but that it had not gone right; then again in Chicago at Soldiers Field, and then in Miami. Finally, they got everything right in Dallas – Dallas was a natural place for that bit of history because Kennedy was not at all popular there – and They brought just about everyone who was anyone in the business of nastiness and criminality together to witness or unwittingly be part of it. I was one such person. We were all disposable, as well, and did not know that, either. I suppose I was usable after the hit, which was why I had the chance to sort it all out later. Most of us that day had no idea what we were involved in. Compartmentalization is the way of They.
I sincerely believe that if Kennedy had been brought to Baylor where I was a surgical nurse on the second shift rather than to Parkland Hospital, I would have had different duties to my masters that day or evening, which is not a comforting speculation even today. Such knowledge stagnating within me over the years does have an effect.
When I read the misinformation about what I saw as a simple killing of an important person, I wonder at the stupidity of the general public. Perhaps it’s just that they don’t really care. They are just too busy scratching out a living and so on to give a shit as to what their so-called leaders are doing. I would say that is by design as well and has been from as far back as history goes. But let’s never say it’s a conspiracy, despite the fact that whenever two or more people plan anything it is indeed a conspiracy. Being branded a conspiracy nut ain’t all that bad. Perhaps it’s paid off for me to have been looking over my shoulder all these years.
When I see people like Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania – the man who introduced the magic bullet – still at it, doing the bidding of the powers that put him where he is, I say that the killing of John F. Kennedy, Jr. rewarded a lot like him who were willing to sell their souls after the event. Those Justices on the bench, the Warren Commission, and all of us who got out of Dodge after the mayhem was over and kept silence: we’re all guilty. But there is a time when it’s smarter to be on the winning side, even with the price you pay later. It may only be the price of knowing you did the wrong thing, or it may be the price of knowing you took something to look the wrong way. But there is always something we have to live with. (Then there’s the thought of what the alternative would have made happen…)
The more honorable people involved in this mess were those who had some inkling of patriotic fervor, despite the fact that it was wrong – who at least believed that what they were involved in was for the betterment of America. They were of a better quality than those who gained later for cover-ups and payoffs. JFK and his brother were far from my favorite people at that time; we all blamed the loss of freedom in Cuba on them. My friends Sam Giancana and John Roselli had worked hard (if illegally) to heel the wards in Chicago for Joe Kennedy so his son could win the presidency. The promise was made and the brothers went against the Mob with a vengeance; that alone was enough to get him killed. It was Lyndon Johnson who gained the most, of course. Before the hit, he was on his way to jail over the Texas grain deals he had made a fortune on. Afterwards, with the help of his buddy J. Edgar Hoover, he was able to talk the Senate out of bringing him up on charges. Today, as I look at the presidents since JFK, I don’t think he was all that bad. Certainly, he did not deserve a death sentence for his shortcomings.
This book is the carnival connection to the John F. Kennedy, Jr. killing as I lived it. We’ll take a look at carnivals, mercenary adventures, alphabet agencies and their agents, circus types, and other misfits. The title The Men That Don’t Fit In comes from Robert Service, and like the men he met in the Yukon, it fits the characters herein. Most of us were out to save the world but made a wrong turn by joining those who would enslave it and us all. It was as hard then as it is now to tell beforehand which is which.
But on with the show!
Exclusive interview and group discussion with Rod MacKenzie: