The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

"Science," the Greek word for knowledge, when appended to the word "political," creates what seems like an oxymoron. For who could claim to know politics? More complicated than any game, most people who play it become addicts and die without understanding what they were addicted to. The rest of us suffer under their malpractice as our "leaders." A truer case of the blind leading the blind could not be found. Plumb the depths of confusion here.

Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Wed May 27, 2020 12:45 am

Chapter 7: The Murder of Jimi Hendrix










As the music of youth and resistance fell under the cross-hairs of the CHAOS war, it is not unthinkable that Jimi Hendrix -- the tripping, peacenik "Black Elvis" of the '60s -- found himself a target.

Agents of the pathologically nationalistic FBI opened a file on Hendrix in 1969 after his appearance at several benefits for "subversive" causes. His most cutting insult to the state was participation in a concert for Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden, Bobby Seale and the other defendants of the Chicago Seven conspiracy trial. [2] "[We have to] get the Black Panthers not to kill anybody," he told a reporter for a teen magazine, "but to scare [federal officials] .... I know it sounds like war, but that's what's gonna have to happen. It has to be a war. ... You come back to reality and there are some evil folks around and they want you to be passive and weak and peaceful so that they can just overtake you like jelly on bread. ... You have to fight fire with fire." [3]

On tour in Liesburg, Sweden, Hendrix was interviewed by Tommy Rander, a reporter for the Gotesborgs-Tidningen. "In the USA, you have to decide which side you're on," Hendrix explained. "You are either a rebel or like Frank Sinatra." [4]

In 1979, college students at the campus newspaper of Santa Barbara University (USB) filed for release of FBI files on Hendrix. Six heavily inked-out pages were released to the student reporters. (The deletions nixed information "currently and properly classified pursuant to Executive Order 11652, in the interest of national defense of foreign policy.") On appeal, seven more pages were reluctantly turned over to the USB students. The file revealed that Hendrix had been placed on the federal "Security Index," a list of "subversives" to be rounded up and placed in detainment camps in the event of a national emergency.

If the intelligence agencies had their reasons to keep tabs on Hendrix, they couldn't have picked a better man for the job than Hendrix's manager, Mike Jeffrey. Jeffrey, by his own admission an intelligence agent, [5] was born in South London in 1933, the sole child of postal workers. He completed his education in 1949, took a job as a clerk for Mobil Oil, was drafted to the National Service two years later. Jeffrey's scores in science took him to the Educational Corps. He signed on as a professional soldier, joined the Intelligence Corps, and at this point his career enters an obscure phase.


Hendrix biographers Shapiro and Glebeek report that Jeffrey often boasted of "undercover work against the Russians, of murder, mayhem and torture in foreign cities. ... His father says Mike rarely spoke about what he did -- itself perhaps indicative of the sensitive nature of his work -- but confirms that much of Mike's military career was spent in 'civvies,' that he was stationed in Egypt and that he could speak Russian." [6]

There was, however, another, equally intriguing side of Mike Jeffrey. He frequently hinted that he had powerful underworld connections. It was common knowledge that he had had an abiding professional relationship with Steve Weiss, the attorney for both the Hendrix Experience and the Mafia-managed Vanilla Fudge, hailing from the law firm of Seingarten, Wedeen & Weiss. On one occasion, when drummer Mitch Mitchell found himself in a fix with police over a boat he'd rented and wrecked, mobsters from the Fudge management office intervened and pried him loose. [7]

Organized crime has had fingers in the recording industry since the jukebox wars. Mafioso Michael Franzene testified in open court in the late 1980s that "Sonny" Franzene, his stepfather, was a silent investor in Buddah Records. [8] At this industry oddity the inane, nasal, apolitical 1960s "bubblegum" song was blown from the goo of adolescent mating fantasies. The most popular of Buddah's acts were the 1910 Fruitgum Company and Ohio Express. These bands shared a lead singer, Joey Levine. Some cultural contributions from the Buddha label: "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy," "Simon Says," and "1-2-3 Red Light."

In 1971, Buddha Records' Bobby Bloom was killed in a shooting sometimes described as "accidental," sometimes "suicide," at the age of 28. Bloom made a number of solo records, including "Love Don't Let Me Down," and "Count On Me." He formed a partnership with composer Jeff Barry and they wrote songs for the Monkees in their late period. Bloom made the Top 10 with the effervescent "Montego Bay" in 1970. Other Mafia-managed acts of the late 1960s were equally apolitical: Vanilla Fudge ("You Keep Me Hangin' On," "Bang, Bang"), [9] or Motown's Gladys Knight and the Pips. [10] In the '60s and beyond, organized crime wrenched unto itself control of industry workers via the Teamster's Union. Trucking was Mob controlled. So were stadium concessions. No rock bands toured unless money exchanged hands to see that a band's instruments weren't delivered to the wrong airport. [11]

Intelligence agent or representative of the mob? Whether Jeffrey was either or both -- and the evidence is clear that a CIA/Mafia combination has exercised considerable influence in the music industry for decades -- at a certain point, Hendrix must have seen something that made him desperately want out of his management contract with Jeffrey.

Monika Dannemann, Hendrix's fiance at the time of his death describes Mike Jeffrey's control tactics, his attempts to isolate and manipulate Hendrix, with observations of his evolving awareness that Jeffrey was a covert operator bent on dominating his life and mind:

Jimi felt more and more unsafe in New York, the city where he used to feel so much at home. It had begun to serve as a prison to him, and a place where he had to watch his back all the time.

In May 1969 Jimi was arrested at Toronto for possession of drugs. He later told me he believed Jeffrey had used a third person to plant the drugs on him -- as a warning, to teach him a lesson.

Jeffrey had realized not only that Jimi was looking for ways of breaking out of their contract, but also that Jimi might have calculated that the Toronto arrest would be an easy way to silence Jimi. ... Jeffrey did not like Jimi to have friends who would put ideas in his head and give him strength. He preferred Jimi to be more isolated, or to mix with certain people whom Jeffrey could use to influence and try to manipulate him.

So in New York, Jimi felt at times that he was under surveillance, and others around him noticed the same. He tried desperately to get out of his management contract, and asked several people for advice on the best way to do it. Jimi started to understand the people around him could not be trusted, as things he had told them in confidence now filtered through to Jeffrey. Obviously some people informed his manager of Jimi's plans, possibly having been bought or promised advantages by Jeffrey. Jimi had always been a trusting and open person, but now he had reason to become suspicious of people he didn't know well, becoming quite secretive and keeping very much to himself. [12]

Five years after the death of the virtuoso, Crawdaddy reported that friends of Hendrix felt "he was very unhappy and confused before his death. Buddy Miles recalled numerous times he complained about his managers." His chief roadie, Gerry Stickells, told Welch, "he became frustrated ... by a lot of people around him." [13]

Hendrix was obsessed with the troubles that Jeffrey and company brought to his life and career. The band's finances were entirely controlled by management and were depleted by a tax haven in the Bahamas founded in 1965 by Michael Jeffrey called Yameta Co., a subsidiary of the Bank of New Providence, with accounts at the Naussau branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia and the Chemical Bank in New York. [14] A substantial share of the band's earnings had been quietly drained by Yameta. The banks where Jeffrey opened accounts have been officially charged with the laundering of drug proceeds, a universal theme of CIA/Mafia activity. The Chemical Bank was forced to plead guilty to 445 misdemeanors in 1980 when a federal investigation found that bank officials had failed to report transactions they knew to derive from drug trafficking. [15] The Bank of Nova Scotia was a key investor in the Bank of Commerce and Credit International, (BCCI), once described by Time magazine as "the most pervasive money-laundering operation and financial supermarket ever created," with ties to the upper echelons of several governments, the CIA, the Pentagon, and the Vatican. [16] BCCI maintained warm relationships with international terrorists, and investigators turned up accounts for Libya, Syria and the PLO at BCCI's London branch, recalling Mike Jeffrey's military intelligence interest in the Middle East. And then there were bank records from Panama City relating to General Noriega. These "disappeared" en route to the District of Columbia under heavy DEA guard. An internal investigation later, DEA officials admitted they were at a loss to explain the theft. [17]

Friends of Hendrix, according to Electric Gypsy, confiscated financial documents from his New York office and turned them over to Jimi: "One showed that what was supposed to be a $10,000 gig was in fact grossing $50,000."

"Jimi Hendrix was upset that large amounts of his money were missing," reports rock historian R. Gary Patterson. Hendrix had discovered the financial diversions and took legal action to recover them. [18]

But there was another factor also involving funds.

Some of Hendrix's friends have concluded that "Jeffrey stood to make a greater sum of money from a dead Jimi Hendrix than a living one. There was also mention of a one million dollar insurance policy covering Hendrix's life made out with Jeffrey as the beneficiary." The manager of the Experience constructed "a financial empire based on the posthumous releases of Hendrix's previously unreleased recordings." [19] Crushing musical voices of dissent was proving to be an immensely profitable enterprise because a dead rocker leaves behind a fortune in publishing rights and royalties.

Roadies couldn't help but notice that Mike Jeffrey, the seasoned military intelligence officer, was capable of "subtle acts of sabotage against them," reports Shapiro. Jeffrey booked the Experience for a concert tour with the Monkees and Hendrix was forced to cancel when the agony of playing to hordes of 12-year-old children, and fear of a parental backlash, convinced him to bailout.

As for the arrest in Toronto, Hendrix confidantes also blame Jeffrey for the planted heroin. The charges were dropped after Hendrix argued that the unopened container of dope had been dropped into his travel bag upon departure by a girl who claimed that it was cold medicine. [20]

In July, 1970, one month before his death, at precisely the time Hendrix stopped all communications with Jeffrey, he told Chuck Wein, a film director at Andy Warhol's Factory: "The next time I go to Seattle will be in a pine box." [21]

And he knew who would drop him in it. Producer Alan Douglas recalls that Hendrix "had a hang-up about the word 'manager."' The guitarist had pled with Douglas, the proprietor of his own jazz label, to handle the band's business affairs. One of the most popular musicians in the world was desperate. He appealed to a dozen business contacts to handle his bookings and finances, to no avail. [22]

Meanwhile, the sabotage continued in every possible form. Douglas: "Regardless of whatever else Jimi wanted to do, Mike would keep pulling him back or pushing him back. ... And the way the gigs were routed! I mean, one nighters -- he would do Ontario one night, Miami the next night, California the next night. He used to waste [Hendrix] on a tour -- and never make too much money because the expenses were ridiculous." [23]

The obits were a jumbled lot of skewed, contradictory eulogies: DRUGS KILL JIMI HENDRIX AT 24, ROCK STAR IS DEAD IN LONDON AT 27, OVERDOSE. Many of the obituaries dwelt on the "wild man of rock" image, but there were also many personal commentaries from reporters who followed his career closely, and they dismissed as hype reports of chronic drug abuse. Mike Ledgerwood, a writer for Disc and Music Echo, offered a portrait that the closest friends of Jimi Hendrix confirm: "Despite his fame and fortune -- plus the inevitable hang-ups and hustles which beset his incredible career -- he remained a quiet and almost timid individual. He was naturally helpful and honest." Sounds magazine "found a man of quite remarkable charm, an almost old-world courtesy."

Hendrix biographer Tony Brown has, since the mid-'70s, collected all the testimony he could find relating to Hendrix's death, and finds it "tragic" but "predictable." The official cause of death was asphyxiation caused by inhaling his own vomit, but in the days and weeks leading up to the tragedy anyone with an ounce of common sense could see that Hendrix was heading for a terrible fall. Unfortunately, no one close to him managed to steer him clear of the maelstrom that was closing in. Brown sent a report based on his own investigation to the Attorney General's office in February, 1992, "in the hope that they would reopen the inquest into Jimi's death. The evidence was so strong that they ordered Scotland Yard detectives to conduct their own investigation." Months later, detectives at the Yard responded to Sir Nicholas Lyle at the Attorney General's office, rejecting the proposal to revive the inquest. [24]

The pathologist's report left the cause of death "open." Monika Dannemann had long insisted that Hendrix was murdered. At the time of her own death, she had brought media attention to the case in a bitter and highly-publicized court battle with former Hendrix girlfriend Kathy Etchingham. On April 5, 1996, her body was discovered in a fume-filled car near her home in Seaford, Sussex, south England. Police dismissed the death as a "suicide" and the corporate press took dictation. But the Eastern Daily Press, a newspaper that circulates in the East Anglian region of the UK, raised another possibility: "Musician Uli Jon Roth, speaking at the thatched cottage where Miss Dannemann lived, said last night: 'The thing looks suspicious. She had a lot of death threats against her over the years. ... I always felt that she was really being crucified in front of everybody, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.' Mr. Roth, formerly with the group The Scorpions, said Miss Danneman 'is not a person to do something to herself."' Roth threw one more inconsistency on the lot: "She didn't believe in the concept of suicide."

Devon Wilson, another Hendrix paramour, in Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell's view, "died under mysterious circumstances herself a few years later." [25]

Red, Red Wine

Was Hendrix murdered while under the influence? Stanton Steele, an authority on addiction, offers a seemingly plausible explanation, "Extremely intoxicated people while asleep often lose the reflexive tendency to clear one's throat of mucus, or they may strangle in their vomit. This appeared to have happened to Jimi Hendrix, who had taken both alcohol and prescription barbiturates the night of his death." [26]


Evidence has recently come to light clarifying the cause of death -- extreme alcohol consumption aggravated by the barbiturates in Hendrix's bloodstream -- drowning. Hendrix is said to have choked to death after swallowing nine Vesperax sleeping tablets. This is not the lethal dose he'd have taken if suicide was the intent -- he surely would have swallowed the remaining 40 or so pills in the packets Dannemann gave him if this was the idea -- as Eric Burdon, the Animals' vocalist and a friend of Hendrix, has suggested over the years.

Hendrix was not felled by a drug overdose, as many news reports claimed. The pills were a sleeping aid, and not a very effective one at that. The two Vesperax that Dannemann saw him take before she fell asleep at 3 AM failed to put him under. He had taken a Durophet 20 amphetamine capsule at a dinner party the evening before. And then Hendrix, a chronic insomniac with an escalated tolerance level for barbiturates, had tried the Vesperax before and they proved ineffective. He apparently believed nine tablets would do him no harm.

At 10 AM, Dannemann awoke and went out for a pack of cigarettes, according to her inquest testimony. When she returned, he was sick. She phoned Eric Bridges, a friend, and informed him that Hendrix wasn't well. "Half asleep," Bridges reported in his autobiography, "I suggested she give him hot coffee and slap his face. If she needed any more help to call me back." Dannemann called the ambulance at 18 minutes past 11 AM. The ambulance arrived nine minutes later. Hendrix was not, she claimed, in critical condition. She said the paramedics checked his pulse and breathing, and stated there was "nothing to worry about."

But a direct contradiction came in an interview with Reg Jones, one of the attendants, who insisted that Dannemann wasn't at the flat when they arrived, and that Hendrix was already dead. "It was horrific," Jones said. "We arrived at the flat and the door was flung wide open. ... I knew he was dead as soon as I walked into the room." Ambulance attendant John Suau confirmed, "We knew it was hopeless. There was no pulse, no respiration." [27]

The testimonies of Dannemann and medical personnel at the 1970 inquest are disturbingly contradictory. Hendrix, the medical personnel stated, had been dead for at least seven hours by the time the ambulance arrived. Dr. Rufus Compson at the Department of Forensic Medicine at St. George's Medical School undertook his own investigation. He referred to the original medical examiner's report and discovered that there were rice remains in Hendrix's stomach. It takes three-four hours for the stomach to empty, he reasoned, and the deceased ate Chinese food at a dinner party hosted by Pete Cameron between the hours of 11 PM and midnight, placing the time of death no later than 4 AM.2 [28] This is consistent with the report of Dr. Bannister, the surgical registrar, that "the inside of his mouth and mucous membranes were black because he had been dead for some time." Dr. Bannister told the London Times, "Hendrix had been dead for hours rather than minutes when he was admitted to the hospital." [29]

The inquest itself was "unusual," Tony Brown notes, because "none of the other witnesses involved were called to give their evidence, nor was any attempt made to ascertain the exact time of death," as if the subject was to be avoided. The result was that the public record on this basic fact in the case may have been incorrectly cited by scores of reporters and biographers. Tony Brown: "Even [medical examiner] Professor Teare made no attempt to ascertain the exact time of death. The inquest appeared to be conducted merely as a formality and had not been treated by the coroner as a serious investigation." [30]

In 'S'cuse Me While I Kiss the Sky (1996), Bill Henderson describes the inquest and its aftermath: "Those who followed his death ... noticed many inconsistencies in the official inquest. It has been an open and shut affair that managed to hide its racist intent behind the public perceptual hoax of Hendrix as a substance abuser. ... As a result, millions of people all over the world thought that Hendrix had died that typical rock star's death: drug OD amid fame, opulence, decadence. But it seems that Hendrix could very well have been the victim not of decadence, but of foul play." [31]

Forensic tests submitted at the inquest have been supplemented over the years by new evidence that makes a reconstruction of the murder possible. In October, 1991, Steve Roby, publisher of Straight Ahead, a Hendrix fanzine, asked, "What Really Happened?": "Kathy Etchingham, a close friend/lover of Jimi's, and Dee Mitchell, Mitch Mitchell's wife, spent many months tracking down former friends and associates of Hendrix, and are convinced they have solved the mystery of the final hours." Central to reconstructing Hendrix's death is red wine. Dr. Bannister reports that after the esophagus had been cleared, "masses" of red wine were "coming out of his nose and out of his mouth." The wine gushing up in great volume from Hendrix's lungs "is very vivid because you don't often see people who have drowned in their own red wine. He had something around him -- whether it was a towel or a jumper -- around his neck and that was saturated with red wine. His hair was matted. He was completely cold. I personally think he probably died a long time before. ... He was cold and he was blue." [31]

Henderson writes:

The abstract morbidity of Hendrix's body upon discovery may indicate a more complex scenario than has been commonly held. Hendrix was not a red wine guzzler, especially in the amounts found in and around his body. He was known to be moderate in his consumption. If he was 'sleeping normally,' then why was he fully clothed? And how could the ambulance attendants have missed seeing someone who was supposed to be there? The garment, or towel, around his neck is totally mysterious given the scenario so widely distributed. But it is consistent with the doctor's statement that he drowned. Was he drowned by force? In a radio interview broadcast out of Holland in the early 1970s, an unnamed girlfriend answered 'yes' to the question, 'Was Hendrix killed by the Mafia?' [33]

Tony Brown, in Hendrix: The Final Days (1997), correlates the consumption of the wine to the approximate time of death: "Jimi must have drunk a large quantity of red wine just prior to his death," suggesting, the quantity of alcohol in his lungs was the direct cause. [34]

The revised time of death, 3-4 AM, contradicts the gap in the official record, and so does the revelation that Jimi Hendrix drowned in red wine. While it is common knowledge that Hendrix choked to death, it has only recently come to light that the wine -- not the Verparex -- was the primary catalyst of death. Hendrix was, the evidence suggests, forced to drink a quantity of wine. The barbiturates, as Brown notes, "seriously inhibited Jimi's normal cough reflex." Unable to cough the wine back up, "it went straight down into his lungs. ... It is quite possible that he thrashed about for some time, fighting unsuccessfully to gain his breath." [35] It is doubtful that Hendrix would have continued to swallow the wine in "massive" volumes had it begun to fill his lungs. One explanation that explains the forensic evidence is that Jimi Hendrix was restrained, wine forced down his throat until his thrashings ceased. All of this must have taken place quickly, before the alcohol had time to enter his bloodstream. The post mortem report states that the blood alcohol level was not excessive, about 20 mg over the legal drinking limit. He died before his stomach absorbed much of the wine. Jimi Hendrix choked to death. That much of the general understanding of his demise is correct, and little else.

The kidnapping, embezzling, and numerous shady deceptions would make Jeffrey the leading suspect in any proper police investigation. And his reaction at the news of Hendrix's death did little to dispel any suspicions that associates may have harbored. Jim Marron, a nightclub owner from Manhattan, was vacationing with Jeffrey in Spain when word of the musician's death reached him. "We were supposed to have dinner that night in Majorca," Marron recalls. Jeffrey "called me from his club in Palma saying that we would have to cancel. ... I've just got word from London. Jimi's dead." The manager of the Hendrix Experience took the news completely in stride. "I always knew that son of a bitch would pull a quickie," Jeffrey told Marron. "Basically, he had lost a major property. You had the feeling that he had just lost a couple of million dollars -- and was the first to realize it. My first reaction was, Oh my God, my friend is dead." [36] But Jeffrey reacted coldly, comparing the fatality to a fleeting sexual romp in the afternoon.

His odd behavior continued in the days following the death of Hendrix. He appeared to be consumed by guilt, and on one occasion "confessed." On September 20, recording engineer Alan Douglas received a call from Jeffrey, who wanted to see him. Douglas drove to the hotel where Jeffrey was staying. "He was bent over, in misery from a recent back injury. We started talking and he let it all out. It was like a confession."

"In my opinion," Douglas observed, "Jeffrey hated Hendrix."

Bob Levine, the band's merchandising manager, was perplexed by Jeffrey's response to the tragedy. First, Hendrix's manager dropped completely out of sight. "We tried calling all of Jeffrey's contacts ... trying to reach him. We were getting frustrated because Hendrix's body was going to be held up in London for two weeks and we wanted Jeffrey's input on the funeral service. A full week after Hendrix's death, he finally called. Hearing his voice, I immediately asked what his plans were and would he be going to Seattle. 'What plans?' he asked. I said, 'The funeral.' 'What funeral?' he replied. I was exasperated: 'Jimi's!' The phone went quiet for a while and then he hung up. The whole office was staring at me, unable to believe that with all the coverage on radio, print and teIevision, Jeffrey didn't know that Jimi had died." As noted, Jeffrey had been notified and almost grieved, in his fashion. "He called back in five minutes and we talked quietly. He said, 'Bob, I didn't know,' and was asking about what had happened. While I didn't confront him, I knew he was lying." [37]

It was reported that Michael Jeffrey "paid his respects" sitting in a limousine parked outside Dunlap Baptist Church in Seattle. He refused to go inside for the eulogy. [38] Hendrix was buried at the family plot at Greenwood Cemetery in Renton.

Screenwriter Alan Greenberg was hired to write a screenplay for a film on the life of Jimi Hendrix. He traveled to England and taped an interview with Dannemann shortly before her death in April, 1996. In that interview, Dannemann sketched in more details of Jeffrey's skullduggery, which continued after Hendrix's death and has long been concealed behind a wall of misconceptions. On the Greenberg tapes, Dannemann denied allegations of heroin use, as do others close to Hendrix: "You should put that into the right perspective since all of the youngsters still think he was a drug addict. The problem was, when he died, I was told by the coroner not to talk until after the inquest, so that's why all these wild stories came out that he overdosed from heroin." The coroner found no injection tracks on Hendrix's body. That he snorted the opiate, a charge advanced by biographer Chris Welch in Hendrix, is disputed by Jimi's closest friends. He indulged primarily in marijuana and LSD. The popular misconception that Hendrix was a heroin addict lingers on but should have been buried with him. One of rock's greatest talents was maliciously smeared by the press on this count.

At times, the public has been deliberately misled about Hendrix's drug habits. Kathy Etchingham, a former girlfriend, was deceived into giving an article about Jimi to a friend in the corporate media, and it was snatched up by a newspaper, rewritten, and the story that emerged depicted the guitarist as a violent and drug-infested lunatic. The editor later apologized in writing to Kathy for falsifying the record, but failed to retract in print. [39] Media swipes at Hendrix to this day are often unreasonably vicious, as in this transparent attempt to shape public opinion from London's Times on December 14, 1993:

Not only did [Hendrix] leave several memorable compositions behind him; he left a good-looking corpse. Kathy Etchingham, a middle-class mother of two, who used to be one of Hendrix's lovers, still mourns his passing and is seeking to persuade the police that there is something suspicious about the circumstances in which he died. Quite why she should bother is hard to say. Perhaps she is bored.

Hendrix, we are advised, "lived an absurdly self-indulgent life and died, in essence, of stupidity."

Close friends of Jimi Hendrix suggest that Jeffrey was the front man for a surreptitious sponsor, the FBI, CIA, or Mafia. In 1975, Crawdaddy magazine launched its own investigation and concluded that a death squad of some kind had targeted him: "Hendrix is not the only artist to have had his career sabotaged by unscrupulous sharks and leeches." The recent memory of the death of Average White Band drummer Robby McIntosh from strychnine-laced heroin circulating at a party in Los Angeles "only serves to update this fact of rock 'n' roll life. But an industry that accepts these tragedies in cold blood demonstrates its true nature -- and the Jimi Hendrix music machine cranks on, unencumbered by the absence of Hendrix himself. One wonders who'll be the next in line?" [40]

On March 5, as if in reply, Michael Jeffrey, every musician's nightmare, was blown out of the sky in an airplane collision over France, enroute to a court appearance in London related to Hendrix. Jeffrey was returning from Palma aboard an Iberia DC-9 in the midst of a French civil air traffic control strike. Military controllers were called in as contingency replacements for the controllers. Hendrix biographer Bill Henderson considers the midair collision fuel for "paranoia." The nature of military airline control "necessitated rigorous planning, limited traffic on each sector, and strict compliance with regulations. The DC-9 however was assigned to the same flight over Nantes as a Spantax Coronado, which 'created a source of conflict.' And because of imprecise navigation, lack of complete radar coverage, and imperfect radio communications, the two planes collided. The Coronado was damaged but remained airworthy; no one was injured. The DC-9 crashed, killing all 61 passengers and seven crew. ..." There are theories that Jeffrey was merely a tool, a mouthpiece for the real villains lurking in the wings, that he was "the target of assassination." [41]

A quarter-century after Hendrix died, his father finally won control of the musical legacy. Under a settlement signed in 1995, the rights to his son's music were granted to 76-year-old Al Hendrix, the sole heir to the estate. The agreement, settled in court, forced Hendrix to drop a fraud suit filed two years earlier against Leo Branton Jr., the L.A. civil rights attorney who represented Angela Davis and Nat King Cole. Hendrix accused his lawyer of selling the rights to the late rock star's publishing catalogue without consent.

Hendrix, Sr. filed the suit on April 19, 1993, after learning that MCA Music Entertainment -- a company rife with Mafia connections -- was readying to snatch up his son's recording and publishing rights from two international companies that claimed to own them. The MCA deal, estimated to be worth $40 million, was put on hold after objections were raised in a letter to the Hollywood firm from Hendrix. By this time, Experience albums generated more than $3 million per annum in royalties, and $1 million worth of garments, posters and paraphernalia bearing his name and likeness are sold each year. All told, Al Hendrix should receive $2 million over 20 years. [42]



1. John Holstrom, "Who Killed Jimi?" Lions Gate Media Works, Today.html

2. John Raymond and Marv Class, "The FBI Investigated Jimi Hendrix," Common Ground, University of Santa Barbara, CA student newspaper, vol. iv, no. 9, June 7, 1979, p. 1

3. "Jimi Hendrix, Black Power and Money," Teenset, January, 1969.

4. Tony Brown, Hendrix The Final Days, London: Rogan House, 1997, p. 43.

5. On Mike Jeffrey's undefined politics, see. John McDermott with Eddie Kramer, Hendrix Setting the Record Straight, New York: Warner, 1992, p. 180.

6. Harry Shapiro and Ceasar Blebbeek, Jimi Hendrix, Electric Gypsy, New York: St. Martin's, 1990, p.120.

7. Bill Henderson, "IT'S LIKE TRYING TO GET OUT OF A ROOM FULL OF MIRRORS," Jimi Hendrix web page, http.//

8. Fredric Dannen, Hit Men, Power Brokers and Fast Money Inside the Music Industry, New York: Times Books, 1990, p. 164-5.

9. Shapiro and Blebbeek, Jimi Hendrix, Electric Gypsy, New York. St. Martin's, 1990, p. 294. The Fudge once booked a tour with Jimi Hendrix, per arrangement between the band's mobbed-up management and Michael Jeffrey, Hendrix's manager.

10. Dannen, p. 165.

11. Shapiro and Glebbeek, p. 295.

12. Monika Dannemann, The Inner World of Jimi Hendrix, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1995, pp 76-8.

13. John Swenson, "The Last Days of Jimi Hendrix," Crawdaddy, January, 1975, p. 43.

14 Ibid., p. 488.

15. "Banks and Narcotics Money Flow in South Florida," US Senate Banking Committee report, 96th Congress, June 5- 6, 1980, p. 201

16. Jonathon Kwitny, The Crimes of Patriots. A Truee Tale of Dope, Dirty Money, and the CIA, New York: Touchstone, 1987, p. 153.

17. Josh Rodin, "BANK OF CROOKS AND CRIMINALS?" Topic 105, Christic News, August 6, 1991.

18. R. Gary Patterson, Hellhounds on Their Trail. Tales from the Rock n' Roll Graveyard, Nashville, Tennessee. Dowling Press, 1998, p. 208.

19. lbid.

20. Shapiro and Glebbeek, p. 473.

21. Shapiro and Glebeek, p. 477.

22. Swenson. In Crosstown Traffic (1989), Charles Murray reports that Hendrix "began consulting independent lawyers and accountants with a view of sorting out his tangled finances and freeing himself from Mike Jeffrey," p. 55.

23 Henderson website.

24. Brown, p. 7.

25 Mitch Mitchell with John Platt, Jimi Hendrix -- Inside the Experience, New York: St. Martin's, 1990, p. 160.

26. E. Stanton Steele, "The Human Side Of Addiction. What caused John Belushi's death?" US Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, April 1982, p. 7.

27. David Henderson, 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky, New York: Bantam, 1996, pp. 389-90.

28. Brown, p. 164.

29. Henderson, p. 392

30. Brown, p. 163.

31. Henderson, p. 388.

32. Ibid., p. 392.

33. Henderson, 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky, p. 393. If the Mafia did indeed participate, Hendrix wasn't the first African-American musician to have a contract on his head. In May 1955, jazz sax man Wardell Gray was murdered, probably by Mafia hitmen. Gray had toured with Benny Goodman and Count Basie in 1948. His remarkable recording sessions of the late 1940s, especially with Dexter Gordon, brought him fame. Bill Moody, a jazz drummer and disk jockey, published a novel in 1996, Death of a Tenor Man, based on the life and death of Gray. "It's strange," a publisher's press release comments, "that 1950s Las Vegas, a town in which the Mob and corrupt police worked hand in glove, became the home of the first integrated nightclub in the country. The Moulin Rouge was owned by blacks and had the honor of being the only casino hotel in Vegas that allowed African-Americans to mingle with white customers. On opening night, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra sat in with Benny Carter's band. The second night, Wardell Gray, a black sax player in the Carter band with a growing reputation, was beaten to death. The police said he overdosed and 'fell out of bed,' dying later 'of complications.' Some suspected Gray's death was the Mob's way of telling the African- American businessmen who backed the Moulin Rouge that 'this town isn't big enough for the both of us.'" Gray's murder has never been investigated. It "hung over the Moulin Rouge like a storm cloud" and remains unsolved. The casino went out of business a few months later.

And the 1961 attempt on the life of soul singer Jackie Wilson has never been rationally explained. Wilson was shot in the stomach by a fan supposedly trying to "prevent a fan from killing herself." He recovered from the assault and went on to release "No Pity (In the Naked City)" and "Higher and Higher."

The Halloween 1975 murder of Al Jackson, percussionist for Booker T. and the MGs, at the age of 39, also appeared to be a premeditated hit. Barbara Jackson, his wife, was the sole eyewitness. She told police, according to Rolling Stone, that she "arrived home on the night of the shooting and was met by a gun-wielding burglar who tied her hands behind her back with an ironing cord." Al Jackson, who'd been taking in a closed circuit teecast of the Muhammad Ali Joe Frazier fight, arrived an hour later. Any burglar would have collected valuables in the house and fled by this time, but he waited a full hour for Jackson to return home. Barbara Jackson was freed from the ropes and the "burglar" ordered her at gunpoint to open the door for him. "After confronting Jackson and asking him for money, the intruder forced him to lie on the floor. He then shot Jackson five times in the back and left." (Rolling Stone, November 1975).

34. Brown, p. 165.

35. Brown, pp. 165-66

36. McDermott and Kramer, pp. 286-87.

37. Ibid.

38. Ibid.

39. Shapiro and Glebeek, p. 474.

40. Swenson, p. 45.

41. Henderson website.

42. Chuck Philips, "Father to Get Hendrix Song, Image Rights," Los Angeles Times (home edition), July 26, 1995, p. 1 Also named as defendants were producer Alan Douglas and several firms that have profited from the Hendrix catalogue since 1974 under contracts negotiated by Branton: New York-based ella Godiva Music Inc; Presentaciones Musicales SA (PMSA), a Panamanian corporation; Bureau Voor Muzeikrechten Elber B.V. in the Netherlands; and Interlit, based in the Virgin Islands.

Branton negotiated two contracts in early 1974 -- signed by Al Hendrix -- that relinquished all rights to his son's "unmastered" tapes for $50,000 to PMSA and all his stock in Bella Godiva, his son's music publishing company, for $50,000. "PMSA and the other overseas companies were later discovered to be part of a tax shelter system created by Harry Margolis," reported the Los Angeles Times, "a Saratoga attorney whom federal prosecutors charged but never convicted of tax fraud. The tax shelter plan collapsed after Margolis' death in 1987, and also [prompted] complaints from the estates of other entertainment clients, including singer Nat King Cole, screenwriter Larry Hauben as well as from followers of New Age philosopher Werner Erhard, who allegedly stashed revenues from his EST enterprise in the foreign account."
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Wed May 27, 2020 12:58 am

Chapter Eight: When You're a Stranger: Fragrance de CHAOS -- Investigative Findings on the Death of Jim Morrison




Jim Morrison's body was found by Pamela Courson, Morrison's common-law wife in the bathtub at their flat in Paris, France in the early morning hours of July 3, 1971 -- exactly two years after the death of Brian Jones. [1] The New York Times reported, "Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors rock group, died last Saturday in Paris, his public relations firm said today." The death was initially attributed to "natural causes," "pneumonia," and finally (but by no means conclusively) "heart failure." [2] "Details were withheld pending the return of Mr. Morrison's agent from France. Funeral services were held in Paris today. In his black leather jacket and skin-tight vinyl pants, Jim Morrison personified rock music's image of superstar as sullen, mystical sexual poet."

The surviving Doors, Robbie Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore, discussed Morrison's death in an interview conducted on February 11, 1983 by BBC-2's Robin Denselow at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Manzarek recalled his state of denial upon learning of Jim Morrison's death, and weighed the possibility of political assassination.

Manzarek: We got a phone call. I got a phone call Saturday morning saying Jim Morrison is dead in Paris. Yeah, yeah, yeah ... sure, right John had talked to him a couple of weeks beforehand and he's dead ...

Q: What about CIA involvement?

Manzarek: Well, I've heard that theory, yeah, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix. Black man, white man, white woman. You know the flowering of American youth in poetry and art and music ... trying to stop it all. It's conceivable .

Densmore: There was definitely some political weirdness at Miami, that [obscenity charge] coming down.

Krieger: And there was an FBI file on Morrison that we got a hold of, so the government was aware of The Doors ...

Morrison's spontaneous political outbursts in rock press interviews attracted FBI attention. "I like ideas about the breaking away or overthrowing of established order," he announced. "I am interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos -- especially activity that seems to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road toward freedom -- external revolt is a way to bring about internal freedom." [3]

In another interview, Manzarek considered possible motives for eliminating the anarchistic Lizard King:

They were going to stop all of rock 'n' roll by stopping The Doors. As far as Americans were concerned, he was the most dangerous. Janis Joplin was just a white woman singing about getting drunk and laid a lot, and Jimi Hendrix was a black guy singing, 'Let's get high.' Morrison was singing, "We want the world and we want it now." There was plenty of hounding. [4]

FBI harassment, in fact, rendered Morrison so anxiety-ridden that he contracted an ulcer by his mid-'20s -- a condition not exactly conducive to overthrowing the established order. "Paranoia" struck deep, and biographers James Riordan and Jerry Prochnicky confirm that Morrison was a "marked" man.

The busts took their toll on Morrison. By 1970 he was still reeling from the effects of one federal trial and about to face another. And the FBI had marked him. It was they who made the charges in Miami stick. Morrison was guilty before he was arrested. But the particular crimes were not the problem. The real issue was because he was guilty of being Jim Morrison, a larger-than-life symbol of rebellion to the youth of America, and thereby a threat.

The busts cost Morrison a great deal of money, but more than that they wore him down and sapped his enthusiasm for life. "The vice squad would be at the side of the stage with our names filled in on the warrants, just waiting to write in the offense," Manzarek recollected. "Narks to the left, vice squad to the right, into the valley of death rode the four. They wanted to stop Morrison. They wanted to show him that he couldn't get away with it. [5]

Like Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix before him, and many rock musicians to follow, Morrison was consumed by "paranoia," as historian Marianne Sinclair observes.

Inevitably, Morrison and The Doors became a focus for attack and victimization by the conventional forces of society. Doors' performances were frequently canceled at the last minute through the efforts of local do-gooders, and audiences were regularly clubbed by policemen during concerts. This was too much for Morrison, within whom the forces of destruction had already been long at work. A heavy user of LSD and an alcoholic who could get drunk at any time of the day or night on whatever happened to be handy, Morrison seemed hell-bent on killing himself young. He once described his drinking as 'not suicide, but slow capitulation.' What he was capitulating to was his own need to block out the sense of frustration, despair and growing paranoia. [6]

Morrison's death was followed by press reports noting federal interest in Morrison's life, political views and, significantly, all independent investigations of his death.

Researcher Thomas Lyttle gathered up leads in the international press.

One of the more explicit appeared in the Scandinavian magazine Dagblatte. This article detailed French intelligence efforts to assassinate Jim Morrison in Paris. [7]

In France, the Documentation Exterieure et De Contre Espionage (SDECE) performs internal security functions. Under DeGaulle, it was SDECE's policy to resist and oppose the CIA, with the exception of a small contingent within the bureau enlisted to collaborate secretly with Langley. Under Pompidou and d'Estang, the domestic French intelligence service was ordered to cooperate fully with US intelligence agents and would have been drawn into any assassination plans in Paris conceived by the CIA. [8]

SDECE assassins are highly-trained and were certainly capable of killing Morrison discreetly, leaving no trace of their complicity. There are precedents. In 1962, an SDECE agent code-named Laurent rigged the Rome-bound flight of a plane, and Italian oil millionaire Enrico Mattei died in the crash. The magnate's offense: a planned take-over of French interests in Algerian oil. Time magazine reporter William McHale was also killed. [9] At the behest of their American counterparts in Virginia, the "murder committee" of de Centre Espionage was undeniably capable of eliminating a troublesome rock celebrity and burying the evidence.

Bob Seymore pieced together official documents for The End, his book on the peculiar circumstances surrounding Morrison's death, and soon found himself immersed in a sea of contradictions and unanswered questions. One of the most troubling was his belief that Pamela Courson withheld evidence, and that friends Alan Ronay, Agnes Varda and Bill Siddons "know more than they have revealed in public." Morrison biographer Danny Sugarman told Seymore that he had government documents through Freedom of Information Act request for files pertaining to Morrison's death. Seymore writes:

I asked if Danny had seen such documents, then why were there no details of any of them in his book? He said that Pamela had told him things about Jim's death that he promised her he would never divulge. ... [10]

Sugarman is married to indicted Contragate co-conspirator Fawn Hall, Oliver North's secretary at the National Security Council, who shredded an 18-inch file of documents linking the Reagan administration to the diversion of funds from Iran arms sales to the Nicaraguan contras on November 21, 1986, and quipped before a Congressional committee, "Sometimes you have to go above the law" (ironic in light of her admission to the DEA during a federal drug investigation in 1989 that she "used cocaine many times" in her three years as an NSC staffer) -- and he has concealed evidence that would shed light on Morrison's death.

Why suppress evidence of this significance to the historical record? Supposedly because Sugarman "promised Pam" he would conceal and suppress certain facts, as he explained to Seymore. Danny Sugarman predictably rejects all "conspiracy theories" out of hand, but he is himself is involved in a conspiracy of silence, ignoring not only official intelligence files but the aforementioned public reports on prior attempts by French intelligence agents to murder Jim Morrison -- a documented "finger on the trigger," a conspiracy -- and instead stating that Morrison did, per the official verdict, suffer some sort of cardiopulmonary arrest at the tender age of 27 in Paris. But when pressed to account for the gaping discrepancies in the case -- for instance, heart failure causes anguished thrashing and ordinarily does not leave a smile, such as the one reported by Courson and the paramedics, on the victim's face -- Sugarman concedes that Morrison's death "could have involved a number of factors," and when cornered by Seymore, reluctantly conceded:

You could say that the CIA and other intelligence agencies may have had a hand in the deaths of Hendrix, Janis Joplin and then Morrison. Simply for the reason that they were leaders of a generation during the 1960s. [11]

You could also say that Morrison was viewed as an anarchistic defiler of "restless youth" in some loops on the Washington Beltway, according to Sugarman's own best-selling biography:

Jim was certainly popular enough, and more threateningly, smart enough to cause the powers that be ample reason to take some sort of action to prevent his subversive influence. Surely the authorities were wary of him." [12]

Doors of Deception

How wary? Enough to keep secret files on Morrison. Enough to spread false rumors to the effect that he had faked his own death to deflect attention from political assassination. The "conspiracy," as charted by Sugarman and others, was a hoax hatched by Morrison to "fake his own death." A book, The Bank of America of Louisiana, appeared in 1975, supposedly written by Morrison, the source of the rumor. [13] In No One Here Gets Out Alive, a sensational history larded with drug-and-sex debauchery, Sugarman and Hopkins devote an entire chapter to "evidence" that Morrison had survived Paris and launched a new life free from the encumbrances of celebrity and the FBI.

The rumor was a deliberate obfuscation concocted by unknown covert operators The proper question is "Who killed Morrison?" not "Is he still alive and working for the Bank of America?"


Author Thomas Lyttle writes:

In the first few years after Morrison's death, the owner of B of A Communications, named James Douglas Morrison, claimed to be operating as an intelligence agent for a number of domestic and international groups including the CIA, NSA, Interpol, Swedish Intelligence and others. There are also connections between James Douglas Morrison and various occult groups with probable intelligence connections ... JM2 also claims to be the "dead" rock star and former singer for The Doors. The new JM2 dropped the old JM1 rock and roll identity to become "James Bond."

This author has in fact seen what appear to be stacks of official-looking documents and letters between the CIA, various government agencies, national news groups like CNN and NBC and JM2, involving what looked like personal meetings, projects and ephemera Of special interest is that when I viewed parts of the files, all the reports had a paper-thin metallic band affixed to them with colored UPC bar codes. There is no way for me to authenticate the claims of JM2, but everything looked extremely official and very elaborate. ....

A courtroom transcript which I have seen implicates the FBI and CIA in several coverups regarding JM2's intelligence career. These show that there seems to be a systematic destruction of files relating to JM2's spy activities. Also in my possession are files concerning JM2's rogue financial activities with the Bank of America, and news reports regarding lawsuits by and against JM2 for bank fraud and espionage.

There also appear to be hundreds if not thousands of miscellaneous files. These involve the CIA, Danish intelligence, and others. There are also an active passport and banking IDs under the name James Douglas Morrison.

Is this all for real or is this an elaborate hoax? ... The important thing to note for the sake of this study is that someone or some group is actively pursuing and setting up a mass "urban legend" regarding James Morrison. They are painstakingly documenting it also. Whether this is a hoax or not is not as important as the fact that a lot of official-looking information is being generated surrounding the myth and legend of Jim Morrison. [14]

Any account of the second Morrison's career (according to Daniel Brandt's NameBase website, an index of names related to intelligence activity, the CIA employs one James Douglas Morrison, an active agent stationed in France) would be incomplete without the names of the Morrison double's Agency contacts, particularly William Colby, a CIA director under Richard Nixon. Since 1972, Morrison's double has left a surreal international trail of paper. The documents include letters to and from Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards and late CIA Director William Colby, through the Washington, DC law firm of Colby, Miller and Hanes.

The day before his death, the original Jim Morrison sent a telegram to Jonathan Dolger, a publishing contact in New York, about changing the cover of a book of poetry written by the Door. Bob Seymore, trying to piece together Morrison's final days in Paris, phoned Dolger and discovered that someone else was interested in that telegram:

"Oh, my God," [Dolger] said. It was as though he had been woken up from an old nightmare. I asked him about the telegram but he said he no longer had it. At first he thought maybe his former employers had it in their files. Then he realized that a man whose name he had forgotten contacted him to ask if he could have the telegram Jim sent. This was a month after Jim died and the person said he was with Jim when he died. ... [15]

There are a score of unknowns to resolve before writing Morrison off as a crazed narco-rocker bent on self-destruction:

• The cause of Jim Morrison's death was an unspecified "heart failure," so states the forensic examiner's report, not an "attack" or "seizure." The heart failed, quit. Dr. Vasille noted "a little blood round the nostrils," indicating a hemorrhage, inconsistent with heart failure. Paramedics from the local Fire Brigade reported that Morrison was still smiling when they arrived, also not consistent with the officially-stated cause of death.

• Dr. Derwin, the singer's personal physician, told representatives of the media industry: "Jim Morrison was in excellent health before traveling to Paris." [16] Pam Courson, the last person to see him alive, wrote in her signed statement to Paris police that the night before his death, Morrison "looked in good health, he seemed very happy." [17]

No autopsy was performed -- a probable violation of French law and certain violation of French custom.

Two persons could answer questions about the odd death. Ms. Courson died of "apparent overdose" herself on April 24, 1974 -- a few days before a judge would have ruled in her favor concerning a dispute over the distribution of the Morrison inheritance, a decision that would have brought her, as Morrison's common-law wife and sole heir, a quarter of the Doors' income and an immediate payment of half a million dollars [18] -- and Dr. Max Vassille, the medical examiner, consistently turns down all interviews related to Morrison's death. [19]

• Pamela's friends, James Riordan reports in Break On Through, believe she was murdered: some "suspect foul play, saying that although Pam had been using heroin, she could not shoot herself up. She always had to have someone else do it. Whoever did it, they claim, knew he or she was injecting her with a lethal [dose]," a "hot- shot." [20]


Jim Morrison died in a bathtub, this much is certain based on the statements of Courson, friends of Morrison close to the case, and Paris officials.

Dr. Vassille estimated the time of death to be 5:00 AM. Paramedics arrived at the flat at exactly 9:24 AM, an interval of nearly four and a half hours, but the bath water, they reported, was still "lukewarm." So Morrison probably died two- three hours later than the death certificate claims. This would place the time of death closer to 7-8 AM.

Pamela Courson told police that Morrison had choked in his sleep, that she shook him awake. He was in wretched condition and told her that a bath might make him feel better. This was roughly 2:30 in the morning. Courson told police that she fell asleep and awoke to discover the body in the bathtub at about 5 AM. The timeline revised by water temperature leads to the inescapable conclusion that he was alive after the estimated time of death.

The statements of witnesses and officials clash, and this often happens when fear or coercion forces them to fabricate cover stories. It's entirely possible that Courson was threatened, or feared to implicate others, and this is why Sugarman mumbles that she and all close to the case "knew more about Morrison's death" than they ever revealed -- exactly as witnesses to the murder of Brian Jones did under duress for thirty years. Dr. Vassille may have been forced by Pamela Courson's statements to find the time of death at 5 AM. This and his refusal to talk to the press suggest that the medical examiner was also under pressure -- orders from superiors, threats to himself or his family -- and suppressed information regarding Morrison's death.

What were they concealing? Patricia Kennealy Morrison believes that her husband-by-pagan-ceremony overdosed on heroin. She sides with the late Albert Goldman on this particular point, although in general she steadfastly rejects the "noxious lie-o-rama" allegations that "Albert Goldigger" made concerning the deceased Door.

Dr. John Morgan written more than 100 articles and books on clinical pharmacology, and "declares Jim to have quite likely died, in his opinion, of a prolonged heroin overdose, an overdose drawn out into respiratory depression over several hours because Jim did not shoot the smack but snorted it," Patricia wrote in 1997. Other medical specialists consulted by her agreed with this diagnosis, finding "nasal or esophageal varices as the likely cause of Jim's reported profuse bleeding." Dr. Morgan: "Pam's versions certainly indicate that he was snorting heroin. A nasal or oral dose would delay the decline into respiratory death." [21] The OD was gradual and evidently not traumatic, to judge by the smile on his face when found.

The consensus among most investigative reporters, medical consultants, and Morrison's circle of friends is also that he overdosed on heroin. Pamela's closest friend at the time of Morrison's death, Diane Gardiner, told biographer James Riordan that Courson had "confessed " to her. Courson "told me a lot about Jim's death. It's true that he got into some of Pam's drugs and overdosed." [22]

Pamela told Sugarman that Morrison -- who mortally feared the narcotic after the death of Janis Joplin and ordinarily avoided it -- was deeply depressed and intended to numb the pain by helping himself to her provisions. "She started telling me something about Jim's death being her fault and that he had found out that she was doing heroin, and 'You know Jim, of course he wanted to try it.' Then she looked at me and said, 'It was my stash -- Jim didn't know how to score. He knew how to drink.' She said that later he didn't feel well and decided to take a bath and she nodded out. But when I pressed her for details she suddenly denied the whole thing." [23]

A similar account was told by Alan Ronay, a friend of Jim Morrison's since UCLA film school, one of the last to see the rocker alive. Ronay told a reporter for Paris Match in 1991 that Morrison was still alive when Pam awoke and found him in the bath, a version that conforms to the revised timeline. Ronay said that Pamela pulled him aside after the medical examiners arrived and confided that Morrison had been snorting heroin for 48 hours when she and Morrison fell asleep listening to the first Doors LP. He was choking in his sleep and struggling for air, and she woke him up and helped him to the bath. She fell asleep and woke up again to find that he hadn't returned to bed, discovered him bleeding from the nose and vomiting blood into a pot. Then he told her that he felt better and she should go back to bed. He died shortly thereafter. Pamela told Ronay, "Jim looked so calm. He was smiling." [24]

Did he ingest poisoned opiate or a "hot shot?" If the posthumous revelations are correct, Jim Morrison and Pamela Courson were both killed by lethal doses of heroin. The absence of an autopsy report precludes any attempt to determine the true cause of Morrison's death, and some of the troubling questions raised here may never be resolved completely if Danny Sugarman, the CIA rumor mongers, and an indifferent press have their way, which raises one more pertinent question What's it to them?



1. Laura Jackson, Golden Stone: The Untold Life and Tragic Death of Brian Jones, New York. St Martin's, 1992, p. 214. Jackson places the exact time of death sometime between 11:30 on July 2 and midnight on July 3, the official date.

2. Doctor Max Vassille, forensic doctor, stated in his medical report that Morrison's death was "natural due to heart failure" -- Bob Seymore, The End The Death of Jim Morrison, London. Omnibus Press, 1991, pp. 61, 63.

3. Quoted in the original Elektra Records bio release, 1967.

4. James Riordan and Jerry Prochnicky, Break On Through: The Life and Death of Jim Morrison, New York William Morrow, 1991, p. 375.

5. Riordan and Prochnicky, p 376.

6. Marianne Sinclair, Those Who Died Young, London Plexus Publishing, 1979.

7. Thomas Lyttle, "Rumors, Myths, and Urban Legends Surrounding the Death of Jim Morrison: in Secret and Suppressed, Jim Keith, ed, Portland. Feral House, 1993, p 117.

8. Henrik Kruger, The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence & International Fascism, Boston South End Press, 1980, p 49.

9. Kruger, p 47.

10. Seymore, p 44, 78.

11. Ibid.

12. Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugarman, No One Here Gets Out Alive, New York Warner, 1981, p. 372.

13. Jim Morrison, The Bank of America of Louisiana, [no city listed]. Zeppelin Publishing Corp., 1975.

14. Lyttle, pp. 117-18. The impersonations, Lyttle explains, "were part of sociological experiments like Artichoke or MKULTRA" (p. 119), CIA mind control projects of the 1950s.

15. Seymore, p. 77.

16. Lyttle.

17. Seymore, p. 56.

18. Hopkins and Sugarman, pp. 376-77. Also, Pamela des Barres, Rock Bottom Dark Moments in Music Babylon, New York. St. Martin's, 1996, p. 211.

19. Seymore, p 77.

20. Riordan and Prochnicky, p. 484.

21. Patricia Kennealy Morrison, "An Open Letter to Jim's Fans," October, 1997.

22. Riordan and Prochnicky, p. 458.

23. Ibid.

24. des Barres, p. 211.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Wed May 27, 2020 1:12 am

Chapter Nine: Like Coffins in a Cage: The Baez Contras and the Death of Phil Ochs





Folk singer Joan Baez, a distinguished critic of the Sturm and Drang in Southeast Asia, survived the CHAOS backlash. Unlike many of the musicians who fell under the heel of the mammoth inter-agency operation, she fully understood that political assassination could be her reward for openly castigating military-industrial masters of war.

Her close friend Martin Luther King, Jr. climbed to the "mountaintop." She met him on the descent. The world's most honored civil rights leader explained to Baez and a group of activist supporters before delivering the famed speech how he came to scale the "mountaintop." "[He] told us how it happened. It was when he was in solitary confinement in Alabama or someplace. [The police] had dumped him in the hole, and it was black, he couldn't see And they shoved food into the room, but he was afraid to eat it. Starving, afraid -- he said he got on his knees for hours. 'And when I stood up,' he said, 'it didn't matter anymore.'"

King's entourage hid their pain "when we knew what he meant -- we knew he was going to die. And he was ready to die, and he was ready to make his commitment about Vietnam -- which is why he died. 'I've been to the mountaintop, and I've seen the promised land, and it doesn't matter anymore.'" [1]

King's example left Baez with a personal and highly instructive vantage point to view the pathological drives of the intelligence sector's bloodhounds, but she already had a jump on most activists -- she was to the national security state born. Baez wrote in a memoir, And a Voice to Sing With (1987), of her childhood and her father, a "bright young Stanford scientist" who settled in Los Alamos, New Mexico, the incubation chamber of the atomic bomb. Albert Baez "recognized the potential destructive power of the unleashed atom even in those early days. So he took a job as a research physicist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York: Cornell was the home base of the CIA's mind control experiments, and Joan Baez is a survivor of ritual child abuse and a multiple personality, according to letters she has written to researchers and other survivors, a common cover for trauma-based mind control programming (she has sung about it: "I'm paying for protection/Smoking out the truth/Chasing recollections/Nailing down the proof ..." [2])

Baez entertained no delusions about the CIA. In San Francisco, she once promoted State of Seige, a film, she said later, that "exposed, among other things, the corrupt element in the AID program which funded the teaching of torture techniques in Latin America. We solicited signatures against the use of torture." She informed these signatories, "Torture was more prevalent than it had been since the middle ages, thus the danger was its common use as government policy," and, "though at one remove, the hands of the US government were far from clean." [3]

The psychological cost of ritual abuse/mind control experimentation as a child, and decades of civil rights activism, has been years of intensive therapy to confront her "inner demons," her fears, insomnias, panic attacks, phobias, and anxieties. Therapists kept Baez "glued together, to get me to the next gig, or to the next march." [4]

Joan's father, a Quaker by religious conversion, "was invited to become Head of Operations Research at Cornell." This position and a security pass would almost certainly bring him into contact with the CIA's Human Ecology Fund, the contract base for all classified academic mind control studies sequestered behind the privet fences of Ivy League campuses across the country. "Exactly what the job entailed was classified information," Baez recalls, but her father was "offered a three-week cruise on an aircraft carrier as an introduction to the project and promised a huge salary. As it turned out, he would be overseeing Project Portrex, a vast amphibious exercise which among other things involved testing fighter jets, then a relatively new phenomenon. Millions of dollars would be poured into the project, about which he was to know little and say less." [5] After high school, her father moved on to MIT, another fount of classified military research. [6] At the age of ten, she lived in Baghdad, Iraq with her family. Upon their return to the U.S., the Baez family moved to California.


She was not buried by CHAOS, but she lived under its intolerant eye and it could silence her: "An American," the New York Times reported on February 21, 1967, "identifying himself as Harold Cooper, a CIA man, had ordered the Japanese interpreter, Ichiro Takasaki, to substitute an innocuous translation in Japanese for Miss Baez' remarks in English on Vietnam and Nagasaki's atom bomb survivors." Cooper asked Takasaki to revise political statements made by the folk singer, and warned, "If you don't cooperate, you will have trouble in your work in the future." The interpreter cooperated and mistranslated her statements.

"It was a most strange case," Takasaki told reporters "I knew that Miss Baez was a marked person who was opposed to the Vietnam War and who had been tacitly boycotted by the broadcasting companies in the United States. American friends also repeatedly advised me not to take on the job, but I took it on as a business proposition, since the Japanese fans were coming not to hear her political statements, but her music. I met Mr. Cooper once in the presence of a Times reporter in Japan, but even in that meeting he openly demanded that I mistranslate. I tried to reject the absurd demands, but he knew the name of my child and the contents of my work very well. I became afraid and agreed." [7]

A year later the European Exchange System announced that the sale of Joan Baez records had been banned from all Army PXs. And in 1969, Baez denounced the draft on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. She was censored by CBS -- her comments cut from the video tape when the program aired. Shortly thereafter, CBS canceled the troublesome Smothers Brothers for good. This was the same year that David Harris, her then-husband, was sentenced to a three-year prison term for draft evasion.

Baez also fell under the baleful eye of Mississippi's Sovereign Commission, a secret agency operating behind a pro- segregationist public relations facade, as revealed in 132,000 pages of documents declassified in 1998. The Commission spied on and smeared civil rights activists by falsely linking them to communist organizations. Among the estimated 80,000 names contained in the files: Baez, Sidney Poitier, Washington attorney Vernon Jordan, James Brown, Harry Belafonte, and jazz musician Dave Brubeck. "It's more disappointing than angering," Jordon told CNN on March 17, 1998. "It's disgraceful to have been spied on for doing your duty and trying to become first-class citizens." But Horace Harned of Starkville, a former state legislator and two-term member of the commission, defended the CIA-backed group. "We were under the threat of being overrun by an alien force led by the communists. ... This was a time when the Freedom Riders were marching and burning things from New Jersey to California. They threatened to march through Mississippi," Harned declaimed. "Whether it was legal or not never bothered me. We needed to have those spies ... A lot of [civil rights activists] were misguided, not realizing who was leading them and putting up the money." [8]

In April 1961, Baez met Bob Dylan at Gerde's Folk City, then opening for bluesman John Lee Hooker. Dylan, writes rock historian Wayne Hampton, would lead "the surge of folk protest into the popular mainstream of American culture ... Never before had songs of such stark political intensity reached into the realm of popular culture." [9] Dylan, of course, nearly died in 1966 after a motorcycle accident. Three months earlier, Joan's brother-in-law, Richard Farina, a folksinger and novelist of Irish-Cuban descent, did die in a motorcycle accident on his way home from a promotional party for his book, Been Down So Long it Looks Like Up to Me. Farina died on April 30, 1966, his wife Mimi's birthday. "He'd been riding on the back of a motorcycle on Carmel Valley Road," his friend Thomas Pynchon -- who dedicated the labyrinthian Gravity's Rainbow to Farina -- wrote in a memoir, "where a prudent speed would have been thirty-five. Police estimated that they must have been doing ninety, and failed to make a curve." Farina was thrown and killed. Before his death he had been producing an album of contemporary songs performed by Joan Baez. The recording was shelved after Farina died. [10]

Ninety miles per hour on a slow turn? How to account for the breakneck motorcycle ride? Was Farina in a reckless mood or had someone fiddled with the throttle? The government had no use for Richard Farina. The notorious HUAC Committee attempted to demonize him after a joyously rebellious trip to Cuba and his earthy political performances on college campuses. Farina's dissident lyrics -- "It was the red, white and blue making war on the poor / Lying mother [FATHER] justice on a pile of manure" -- undoubtedly cost him fans in the District of Columbia.

Dylan nearly followed Farina through the mists of American Pie oblivion but took a hard turn instead. He dropped the broadside lyrics grating on the nerves of the establishment. In 1963, Dylan was informed by censors that he would not be allowed to sing a ditty lampooning the distant-right John Birch Society on the Ed Sullivan Show. [11] Three years later, rock critic Ralph J. Gleason, writing in Ramparts, could argue that the most serious threat to the American Order came "not from the armed might of a foreign power but from a frail, slender, elusive lad, whose weapons are words and music, a burning imagination and an apocalyptic vision of the world." [12]

But after his motorcycle accident and a slow recovery from concussion and a number of broken vertebrae, Dylan underwent a political change. He retreated to Nashville and recorded John Wesley Harding, an allegoric collection of songs about his life situation, and in 1969 cut Nashville Skyline, a politically-innocuous country-and-western album. "He no longer wished to play radical politics with his music," observes Hampton. Dylan was suddenly apolitical. "Perhaps it was the accident, or perhaps he had already lost his nerve and used the accident as a cover." His sudden departure from radical politics outraged some critics and many of his fans. There were calls for a boycott. [13] Only five years after the accident did he appease his detractors with "George Jackson," a fiercely-driven ballad about the Black Panther leader viciously murdered by a prison guard. But by and large, he announced, "I don't want to write for people anymore. You know, be a spokesman." [14]


Dylan shied away from communal politics in general, preferring to align himself with the individual tormented by the evils of American culture. He was a symbol of the '60s. Mark Edmundson, in Civilization magazine, writes:

He wasn't ruined by drugs or the lure of easy transcendence, though he never sneers at the prospect of happiness. Dylan's work combines art and politics, the drive for pleasure with the urge to know the harshest truth about the world and then to try doing something about it. And ultimately this is the 1960s idea that has been lost from view. The accounts we have that are unsympathetic to the 1960s tell the story of people who have been addicted to power or pleasure and were ruined by those addictions. But there was, and is, a middle ground, where Dylan's work unfolds. The Dylan who moved audiences in the 1960s and continues to do so is not a "protest singer," nor is he just another episode in the disposable culture of American pop. He is, in the major phase of his work, a visionary skeptic. Dylan, like the post- 1865 Whitman, loves the promise of America and yet is disgusted by much of its reality. [15]

Dylan and Baez became intimate in 1963, a time, critic Tom Smucker wrote in the October 31, 1969 issue of Fusion, when, "due to factors I do not understand, having something to do with post WWII America, the breakdown of the socializing forces of schooling, affluence, the Cold War, and the beginnings of the Black revolt as a vital semi-alternative, some white kids began: 1. listening to black music on the radio, or eventually their own derivative of that Rock 'n' Roll; 2. participating in what was then called the Civil Rights movement." They met at the Monterey Folk Festival and joined forces. Farina sketched one of their performances a year later: "They claimed to be there not as virtuosos in the field of concretized folk music but as purveyors of an enjoined social consciousness and responsibility. They felt the intolerability of bigoted opposition to Civil Rights. When they left the stage to a whirlwind of enthusiastic cheers, it seemed that the previously unspoken word of protest, like the torch of President Kennedy's inaugural address, had most certainly been passed." [16]

The stories that Dylan spun over his dangling harmonica were not traditional folk music, Farina -- his first wife launched Dylan's career -- observed. The songs "had nothing to do with unrequited Appalachian love affairs or idealized whorehouses in New Orleans. They told about the cane murder of Negro servant Hattie Carroll, the death of boxer Davey Moore, the unbroken chains of injustice waiting for the hammers of a crusading era. They went right to the heart of his decade's most recurring preoccupation, that in a time of irreversible technological progress, moral civilization has pathetically faltered; that no matter how much international attention is focused on macro-cosmic affairs, the plight of the individual must be considered." [17]

Phil Ochs, the "Outlaw" and his Brain



Yippie cherub Phil Ochs, for instance. Ochs was a close chum of Dylan's, and the nearest competitor for the folk-rock mantle. Life in another's shadow stung him. Yet he considered Dylan the "greatest poet ever" and often talked about his songs.

Dylan, Ochs and Farina set out on the folk minstrel's path in the Village of the early '60s at The Bitter End, the Gaslight, and other Greenwich Village clubs with Tom Paxton, Eric Anderson, Buffy Saint-Marie, John Sebastian, Eric Anderson, Dave Van Ronk, and a clutch of other then unknowns dubbed by Seeger "Woody's Children." There was an invigorating charge in the air, a sense of social rage finding and redefining itself after the cultural stagnation of the Eisenhower decade. Dylan crooned "Masters of War," Phil Ochs belted out an anguished "Too Many Martyrs." Together, they dragged folk music away from the migrant camps and union halls into direct confrontation with the boardroom of Eisenhower's looming "military-industrial complex."

Dylan, Baez, and Ochs strummed a path to the bill of the 1963 Newport Festival. Folksinging made an overnight comeback and immediately altered course to meet the path of extreme resistance. Ochs denounced American geopolitics in "Cops of the World."


And when we've butchered your sons, boys,
Have a stick of our gum, boys!
We own half the world, "Oh, say can you see."
And the name for our profits is democracy ...

He was the ultimate dissident ...

The comic and the beauty queen are dancing on the stage.
The raw recruits are lining up like coffins in a cage.

A prophet on the barricades ...

Oh, we're fighting in a war we lost before the war began ...

Ochs was appalled by the corruption flourishing in the District of Columbia under Richard Nixon. One evening toward the end of his life, at a concert on West Third Street, Ochs knocked back a few tumblers of rum and drew down on CIA Director William Colby, formerly director of the murderous Phoenix program in Vietnam. "I put out a contract on Colby," Ochs spat, "for a hundred thousand dollars. I told Colby he's got a half year to get out or he's dead. They can kill me but he's dead. He's a dead man now. William Colby is dead."

Before the concert was over, sobriety was a distant memory, but he ranted on about his distrust of Patty Hearst ("Tanya ... it's like a CIA code word"), the execution of Che Guevara, the media ("That awful cunt paper Ms., run by that CIA agent -- what's her name? -- Steinem, CIA Steinem ..."). [18]

Ochs rose to prominence as a performer with Baez and Dylan after the killing of John Kennedy. He was a founder of the Yippie Party, sang for the embattled ranks of protesters at the nightmarish 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, appeared as a witness, guitar in tow, at the Chicago Seven Trial. His lyrics were considered so inflammatory that he was banned from the airwaves.

Ochs despised Nixon and the war. Music conveyed his obsessions, and so "Here's to the State of Richard Nixon":

Nixon's gone and taught you lies
A face that screams out for replies
If ever there was a crook, he's it
Perversion is the soul of wit
Pack your shovel, he's full of shit,
The tides are risin.'

The bursts of rage did not pass unnoticed by J. Edgar Hoover, who whipped off anxious memoranda to the executive branch implying that Ochs was gunning for Nixon. A recently declassified Justice Department memo, originating with the FBI office in Little Rock, Arkansas on October 22, 1969, reveals that "paranoia" was a two-way street.


[Name redacted] made available a phonograph record entitled, "Rehearsals for Retirement" by PHIL OCHS, distributed by A&M Records, 1416 North La Brea, Hollywood, California. The record was purchased by her 14-year-old son, Stanley Thomas, at Osco Drugs, Southwest Shopping Center, Little Rock, Arkansas. This record was monitored on October 20, 1969, and on side one the first song, entitled "Pretty Smart On My Part," states in song what appears to be "I can see them coming. They are training in the mountains. They talk Chinese and spread disease [the CIA]. They will hurt me, bring me down. Sometime later, when I feel a little better, we will assassinate the President and take over the government. We will fry them."

A disclaimer attached to the memo notes, "this document contains neither recommendations nor conclusions of the FBI, and in keeping with that we will refrain from drawing conclusions." But the Bureau did not refrain from amassing a huge file on Ochs, and the feeling that he was never alone unnerved him. In "My Life," he addressed the federal agents shadowing him:

Take everything I own,
Take your tap from my phone
And leave my life alone,
My life alone.

But he wasn't left alone. The name Phil Ochs was listed on Hoover's Security Index, a catalogue of "subversives" considered a threat to national defense. He was tarred as a "Communist" [19] The fear, the "paranoia" that had gripped Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, and other ill-fated musicians before him took hold. His friend John Berendt recalls that Ochs was "convinced he would be assassinated, probably onstage. Once, while he was waiting in the wings in Baltimore, the performer ahead of him dropped his guitar on the floor with a bang. Ochs ducked, positive the shooting had begun."

After the Chicago police riot, his life underwent an erratic, tormented decline. He was cursed by lengthy spells of depression. The tombstone on the cover of Rehearsals for Retirement (1969) was one of the many intimations of his pending death scattered around. [20] The album's title track reflected the despair that sank in after Chicago, a nagging sense of doom.

This then is the death of the American imprisoned by paranoia,
And all his diseases of his innocent inventions
He plunges to the drugs of the devil to find his gods
So the poet swordsmen and their lost generation
Must divorce themselves from their very motherland
While I stumble through this paradise, considering several suicides
My responsibilities are done, let them come, let them come,
And I realize these last days these trials and tragedies
Were after all only our rehearsals for retirement.

He was driven to drink by the radio blackballing of his music, hounded by the authorities and a series of unexplained mishaps. His nerves gave out. He lived in a perpetual state of "paranoia." In Hong Kong, tagging along on a lecture tour with underground cartoonist Ron Cobb in 1971, Ochs returned to his hotel room to find that it had been forcibly entered and all of his cash stolen. Ochs was convinced the CIA had robbed him to prevent his entry to Vietnam, the ultimate destination of Cobb's tour, and had no choice but to catch the next flight back to the States on an American Express card. [21]

And there was the crushing of his vocal chords by thugs in Tanzania. Ochs was drawn to Africa by its music, language, and political potential. While strolling on the beach at Dar es Salaam, Ochs was mugged by three black men. One of them held Ochs with a strangling forearm while another searched his pockets. The forearm compressed his throat so tightly that he was unable to scream or even breathe. He struggled, the arm tightened. Ochs passed out and the thieves beat him before they fled with his cash. The injuries were largely flesh wounds but his vocal chords were permanently damaged. [22] The muggers who quashed his career have never been identified.

His injuries, the pressures of political confrontation, and the death of the movement may have conspired in his retreat to leave him with a right-wing pseudo-personality: "John Train." Or was he, like his friend Joan Baez, the victim of CIA mind control experimentation? What are the odds that two activists in a small circle of friends would develop dissociative identity disorder, multiple personalities? The transformation -- into a pathological CIA agent, no less -- is one of the most incredible declines of the American Pie mortality chart.

"On the first day of summer 1975, Phil Ochs was murdered in the Chelsea Hotel by John Train," he claimed in a taped interview. "For the good of societies, public and secret, he needed to be gotten rid of." [23]

Ochs made allusions to his pseudo-personality in song fragments of an album he planned, but never recorded.

Phil Ochs checked into the Chelsea Hotel
There was blood on his clothes ...
Train, Train, Train, the outlaw and his brain ...

"He actually believed he was a member of the CIA," writes biographer Marc Eliot. Ochs, reborn as Train, began compiling mysterious lists: "shellfish toxin, Fort Dietrich, cobra venom, Chantilly Race Track, hollow silver dollars, New York Cornell Hospital ... " [24]

Ochs biographer Michael Schumacher interpreted the transformation as an escape from deep depression to living martyrdom. The singer's death at the hands of an alter-personality "assured him of the status of having a heroic figure in the mind of the 'public' society that admired his activism," and incidentally ended the harassment by the 'secret' societies (the FBI, CIA, Mafia, etc) that wanted him silenced. "Or so Train hoped." [25]

John Train, a drinking, brawling right-wing thug, boasted in a filmed interview that he had "killed" Phil Ochs. The motive: Ochs was "some kind of genius but he drank too much and was a boring old fart." But Train hinted that if Ochs had been a commercial success, "they" [the CIA] would have killed his host personality. "Colby and Company would be more than happy to put a slug through his head at that point" [26] Colby did not have Ochs shot for "innocent inventions" but his slow death at the hand of a "CIA agent" alter-ego does raise the specter of mind control.

Ochs committed suicide on April 9, 1976 by hanging. This was the same year The Control of Candy Jones, by Donald Bain, a case study of CIA mind control experimentation, was published. [27] Jones also had a dual personality. Psychiatrists on the Agency payroll, according to Bain, secretly drugged and hypnotized the professional model, transformed her into a civilian Manchurian Candidate, a marionette with an inner-Nazi personality who carried out covert assignments. Any memory of these adventures, some of them hazardous, was erased when the host personality was recalled under hypnosis. Candy Jones worked without her knowledge as a CIA operative for twelve years, throughout the '60s into the early '70s. Her final post-hypnotic command was suicide, and she might well have gone through with it if not for the intervention of her husband, talk-show host Long John Nebel. This was the same federal "thought control" program that columnist Dorothy Kilgallen had stumbled upon in 1965, shortly before her own murder was misinterpreted as an accidental overdose of barbiturates.

The body of Phil Ochs was found but a few years after the culmination of the Candy Jones experiment. There was no evidence of foul play. It's very probable that Ochs did, in fact, end his life and that he, or rather "John Train," was programmed to kill Ochs, the host personality. The folksinger was left alone but for a few minutes, and clearly took the opportunity to end his own life. There was no evidence of foul play -- unless Candy Jones-style, programmed multiplicity is considered and explored.



1. Kurt Loder, "Joan Baez" (interview), The Rolling Stone Interviews New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989, p 90.

2. Lyrics to the title track of Baez's Play Me Backwards, LP, Virgin Records, 1992. The album was nominated for a Grammy. Baez has discussed the trauma-based programming she endured as a child with activists who subsequently contacted me, requesting anonymity.

Another popular musician with repressed memories of childhood trauma was Who guitarist Pete Townshend. Townshend began "chasing recollections" and "nailing down the truth" himself in 1991, when it occurred to him that certain phrases from the band's rock opera Tommy were echoes of submerged memories of his childhood. He had broken an arm in a bicycle accident and recuperated at his mother's house. Biographer Geoffrey Giuliano described the musician's confrontation with his hidden past: "She had just started work on her autobiography, and Pete asked her about the time frame between the ages of four and six, which, except for a few isolated incidents, was a mystifying blank." She filled in the two-year maw in his memories. Townshend isn't specific about the missing years. "It didn't contain the kind of trauma Tommy went through, Townshend reported, "seeing his mother's lover shot by his father, but it was pretty damn close." The memories surfaced gradually. The culmination of his struggle to remember came while working with Tommy director Des McAnuff on Broadway. It dawned on Townshend in the middle of a script conference, "I hadn't written a fantasy at all. I'd written my own life story." McAnuff recalls Townshend "striding around the room, ranting about [his] childhood." The director used the backdrop of Townshend's youth, Giuliano notes, ''as fodder for [Tommy's] darkly surreal setting." Geoffrey Giuliano, Behind Blue Eyes: The Life of Pete Townshend, New York: Plume, 1996, p 4.

3. Joan Baez, And a Voice to Sing With, New York: New American Library, 1987, pp. 182-83.

4. Kevin Ransom, "Joan Baez brings her life and music into the '90s," Detroit News, February 22, 1996.

5. Baez, p. 22.

6. Ibid, p. 49.

7. Ibid, p.144.

8. Brian Cabell, AP, "Mississippi segregation spy agency records now public," CNN, March 17, 1998.

9. Wayne Hampton, Guerrilla Minstrels, Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1986, p. 160.

10. Jeff Pike, The Death of Rock 'n' Roll: Untimely Demises, Morbid Preoccupations and Premature Forecasts of Doom in Popular Music, Boston: Faber and Faber, 1993, pp. 89-90.

11. Ralph J. Gleason, "The Children's Crusade," in Bob Dylan: The Early Years, Craig McGregor, ed., New York: Da Capo, 1972, p. 36.

12. Ibid, p. 173.

13. Hampton, pp. 185-89.

14. Anonymous, "The Genius Who Went Underground," 1967 Chicago Tribune story, reprinted in McGregor, p. 194.

15. Mark Edmundson, "Tangled Up In Truth," Civilization: The Magazine of the Library of Congress, October/November, 1997, p. 50.

16. Richard Farina, "Baez and Dylan: A Generation Singing Out," Mademoiselle, August 1964.

17. Ibid.

18. John Berendt, "Phil Ochs Ain't Marchin' Anymore," Esquire, vol. 86, October, 1976, p. 132.

19. Marc Eliot, Death of a Rebel: A Biography of Phil Ochs, New York: Carol, 1995, p. xi-xii.

20. Ibid, p. 334.

21. Eliot, pp. 234-35.

22. Ibid, p. 243.

23. Michael Schumacher, There But for Justice: The Life of Phil Ochs, New York: Hyperion, 1996, p. 313.

24. Eliot, pp. 295-96.

25. Schumacher, p. 314.

26. Eliot, pp. 179-80.

27. Donald Bain, The Control of Candy Jones, Chicago Playboy Press, 1976, p. 267.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Wed May 27, 2020 2:20 am

Chapter 10: Who Killed the Kennedys? (and Sal Mineo?)



Sal Mineo was stabbed to death in the parking garage beneath his apartment complex just below Sunset Strip in West Hollywood on February 12, 1976, a building then owned by divorce attorney Marvin Mitchelson. There was no evidence of a robbery but a great deal of speculation concerning motive. West Hollywood has a sizable gay population. Newsweek reported after the actor's murder that "long-whispered reports of the actor's alleged bisexuality and fondness for sadomasochistic ritual quickly surrounded his murder." [1] The press reveled in Mineo's rumored secret life. Local gay papers were rife with claims of sadomasochistic sex and satanism. [2] Fear ripped through the homosexual community. Gay bars in Los Angeles closed and many a Hollywood star took refuge behind locked doors.

The former teen idol had signed on, according to friends, to play Sirhan Sirhan in a film about the murder of Robert F. Kennedy -- in it, CIA assassination and post-hypnotic programming were to be prominently-featured themes. Mineo and a friend, Elliot Mintz -- then a talk show host for the local ABC affiliate, later Bob Dylan's publicist and spokesman for John Lennon and Yoko Ono -- had "buried themselves in research, asking questions everywhere about the [Robert Kennedy] killing." The more they learned, "the more convinced they became that Sirhan was innocent. [3] But the producer had disagreed with that interpretation and Mineo pulled out of the picture." [4]

Mineo felt an affinity with the Kennedys. "You know what day they killed me? The same day as Kennedy -- November 12." On this day in motion picture history, Mineo was in Monument Valley for the making of John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn. "Ricardo Montalban shoots me," Mineo told friends at a party a year later. "I fall down. Ford says, 'That's swell,' and they do something else. A couple of hours later we hear the President's been murdered and Ford calls a wrap for the rest of the day. Somebody else figured out that at the same time Ricardo was shooting me, Oswald was shooting Kennedy." [5]


Facts emerged in his research concealed by the LAPD's "Special Unit Senator" (SUS), a CIA-linked police cadre assigned to an "investigation" of the shooting directed by Lieutenant Manuel Pena. On November 13, 1967 -- seven months before the RFK murder -- the San Fernando Valley Times ran a brief on Lt. Pena's retirement from the Los Angeles police force. A testimonial dinner was held for him at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Encino, "a rousing and emotion-packed affair." Pena, we learn, "retired from the police force to advance his career. He has accepted a position with the Agency for International Development (AID) Office of the State Department" (a common front for CIA operations overseas). Pena hired on to AID as a "public safety advisor" to train foreign police forces. "After nine weeks of training and orientation, he will be assigned to his post, possibly a Latin American country, judging by the fact that he speaks Spanish fluently," the Times reported.

One month before the Robert Kennedy assassination, Pena returned to the LAPD and directed the SUS investigation away from the CIA and Mafia toward Sirhan, a feat that required mass destruction of evidence, the seizure of photos of the killing, much eyewitness badgering, attempts on the lives of forensic specialists (William H. Harper identified the second gun drawn in Kennedy's assassination only to be shot at himself the day before he was to testify) and other "clean-up" operations.

Pena's colleagues in the SUS unit were a curious lot, as Lisa Pease, a reporter for Probe, discovered in her own examination of the case:

SUS members predominantly came from military backgrounds. Charles Higbie, who controlled a good portion of the investigation, had been in the Marine Corps for five years and in Intelligence in the Marine Corp. Reserve for eight more. Frank Patchett, the man who turned the Kennedy "head bullet" over to DeWayne Wolfer after it had taken a trip to Washington with an FBI man, had spent four years in the Navy, where his specialty was cryptography.

The Navy and Marines figured prominently in the background of a good many of the SUS investigators. The editor of the SUS Final Report, however, had spent eight years of active duty with the Air Force, as a Squadron Commander and Electronics Officer.

Two SUS members were in a unique position within the LAPD to control the investigation and the determination of witness credibility. Manuel Pena and Hank Hernandez. Pena had quite the catbird seat. A chart from the LAPD shows that all investigations were funneled through a process whereby all reports came at some point to him. He then had the sole authority for "approving" the interviews, and for deciding whether or not to do a further interview with each and every witness.

In a similarly powerful position, Sgt Enrique "Hank" Hernandez was the sole polygraph operator for the SUS unit. In other words, whether a witness was lying or telling the truth was left to the sole discretion of Hernandez.

Pena's brother told the TV newsman Stan Bohrman that Manny was proud of his service to the CIA. Pena had gone to a "special training unit" of the CIA's in Virginia. On some assignments Pena worked with Dan Mitrione, the CIA man assassinated by rebels in Uruguay for his role in teaching torture to the police forces there. [6]

No mention of hypnosis or behavior modification appears in the official report, but Michael Ruppert, a former LAPD officer who left the department to expose his CIA trainers, speaks of it. "Sirhan Sirhan was hypno-programmed using hypnosis, drugs and torture by, among others, the Reverend Jerry Owen and CIA mind-control specialist William Bryan at a stable where he worked months before the shooting. Also working there at the same time was Thomas Bremer, the brother of Arthur Bremer, who in 1972 shot Presidential contender George Wallace." [7] Arthur Bremer's sister, Gail Aiken, was nearly called by the prosecution to testify in the trial of Sirhan -- that is, defense attorney Mike Wayland informed the judge that he intended to grill the witness on the stand -- but she briskly left town. [8] "Ask yourself what you believe about the existence of democracy in this country," Ruppert suggests, "and what you believe about the fate of ANY Presidential candidate not sanctioned by the powers that be before the 'race' is run."

Did the LAPD's concealment of evidence implicating the CIA in the shooting at the Ambassador Hotel in 1968 extend to the murder of Sal Mineo eight years later? For evidence linking the murders, look to Robert Duke Hall -- a private investigator who tailed Mineo on the day of his death [9] -- but pack a Kevlar vest.

The subterranean channels of the intelligence world swarmed with crooks and killers. When agents veered over the top and into the headlines, they were sometimes shown the door by the CIA, and many entered the private investigations business. This is the industry that belched forth the late Robert Hall, Robert Vesco's security chief and a security contractor for Howard Hughes (who died on April 6, 1976, a few months before Hall himself was found dead). Jim Hougan, an investigative reporter and former editor of Harpers, describes the Burbank private investigator as a "sleaze," a pathological lowlife, "decidedly larcenous. a father, a wire-tapper, an informer, a dope peddler and a double agent." [10] He was also a gun toting paranoiac, nagged by the perennial belief that someone wanted him dead.

The late Bobby Hall loved his work, but a Jewish pornographer and drug dealer from Shanghai ended all that. Hall was obsessed with intrigue, and, notes Hougan, "unchecked intrigue can certainly get even the most seasoned investigator into situations that quickly become questionable." Hall blackmailed Robert Vesco and was involved in a burglary at Summa Corporation, the inner sanctum of the Howard Hughes empire.

He believed that fugitive financier Vesco wanted him dead, but there were scores of LA fixers, trigger-men and covert operators, each nursing a grudge, who would have happily disposed of him. Prominent among Angelenos harboring homicidal feelings toward Hall count those hooked on his famous "Happy Shots," potent methamphetamine mixed with vitamin B-12. LA. prosecutors suspected that the corrupt private investigator was blackmailing these clients and many others.

So it came as a complete surprise to no one when, on July 22, 1976, six months after Sal Mineo was murdered, Hall himself was gunned down. Hall's body was discovered on the floor of his kitchen. A .38 slug had penetrated the back of his skull. Jack Ginsburgs, a Jewish pornographer with well-documented connections to corrupt LA. police officials, was convicted for the murder.

Local and federal law enforcement agencies, the Los Angeles Times reported, were "scrutinizing Hall's dealings with a number of present and former police officers to determine if his death was linked to one such relationship." Few in his orbit had a kind word for his eulogy, but "even his most ardent detractors are vocal in praise of his talents for wire- tapping and electronic eavesdropping." [11]

Police searched Hall's house for clues to his murder. Instead, they stumbled upon Ian Fleming's techno-dreams: several cases of electronic bugging and debugging equipment, a tranquilizer dart gun, drug-tipped darts, tear-gas canisters, syringes, ampules of narcotics, lock-picking devices, and cartons filled with more than two-hundred audio tapes, an archive of corruption implicating powerful politicians and popular celebrities in drug trafficking, prostitution, blackmail and all varieties of criminal and political shenanigans. Some of Hall's best friends were interviewed by police -- among them crooner Eddie Fisher.

Hall had once been retained by the managers of seven rock bands to investigate physicians who'd slipped their clients fraudulent prescriptions, mega-potency drugs that altered their personalities, sabotaged public appearances, and hampered their lives and music. Hall reported back that two doctors and a dentist had prescribed the pharmaceuticals. This information was turned over to the authorities. No action was taken. [12]

Hall was gunned down shortly thereafter. The homicide investigation turned up tapes of bugged conversations recorded by Robert Hall. Captain Jack Egger of the Beverly Hills Police Department abruptly resigned, citing "health" reasons, his underworld connections caught on the 300 tapes confiscated from LA. stockbroker and gunrunner Thomas P. Richardson, a crony of Hall's convicted to a six-year prison term for stealing millions from a long list of banks, brokerage houses and Ivy League college funds. [13]

Egger's sudden departure from the Beverly Hills police force, the Los Angeles Times noted, "was precipitated by Burbank detectives playing selected tape recordings [from Hall's collection] for Beverly Hills Police Chief Edward Kreina." [14]

The press linked the detective to Washington politicians, famed Hollywood celebs embroiled in corrosive drug and sex scandals, cocaine traffic from LA to Malibu, international sporting events, and the LAPD. It was George Yocham, a former police lieutenant, retired, chairman of the Police Science Department at LA. Valley College, and Robert Hall himself who had given the five-shot, .38 Caliber Centennial Special used in his murder to alleged triggerman Jack Ginsberg, alias Jack Ginsburgs. [15] Yocham was employed as a private detective for Hall's agency after leaving the Beverly Hills Police Department in 1971, after 25 years of service.

Ginsburgs was Hall's business partner and a consultant to Richardson. Also a pornographer with connections to organized crime, the proprietor of XXX, Inc. on Prairie Street in Chatsworth, California. Hougan: "The son of a White Russian emigre, he'd spent his youth inside the decadent Shanghai Bund -- that romantic foreign colony which [was] a meld of opium, kinky sex and intrigue." The transcript of Richardson's trial reveals that Captain Egger enlisted Ginsburgs as a police informant. He also made Hall a "double agent" in the Richardson stock fraud case. Gene LeBell, the famed ex- wrestler, karate expert and Hollywood stunt man, was charged in Hall's murder as well. LeBell is well-known in any gymnasium, the son of Aileen Eaton, the famed Olympic Auditorium boxing promoter. It was Eaton who refereed the bout between heavyweight pugilist Muhammed Ali and martial arts star Antonio Inoki. [16]

Lebell was a third partner in Hall's private detective firm, and owned a pharmacy in Hollywood -- the same pharmacy that distributed tainted drugs to rock musicians -- and Hall had blown the whistle. [17] Tommy Richardson, Hall's partner and Robert Vesco's pimp (he once reportedly flew Elizabeth "The Hollywood Madam" Adams and a plane loaded with prostitutes to Costa Rica to service the fugitive), told LAPD Detective Richard Schmidt that he believed Jack Ginsburgs "may have killed Hall because of Hall's activities against Ginsburgs," [18] turning evidence on the poisoned prescriptions and other criminal enterprises.

The Hall slaying was not the only bullet-perforated door that led to the suites of corrupt public servants and wealthy military-industrialists. L.A.'s "premiere gangster," gambling czar Mickey Cohen, was a friend of Sal Mineo's, or so the mobster claimed, and possibly the critical link to the killing of Robert Kennedy. Cohen was moved to contact the press immediately after the murder of Mineo to reminisce about his "old friend," and his appearance in news reports of the slaying was morbidly incongruous, because the former hit-man had no place in the story except to boast, "Sal was my pal." Unlike the average "former" underworld figure, he enjoyed the spotlight and maintained amiable relations with the press. But there was a whiff of mordant irony in this impromptu appearance in the very first Los Angeles Times report on Sal Mineo's murder. They met when the actor was in his 20s, Cohen boasted to the Times. Well ... they weren't exactly "close" friends, he conceded, but still "friends." The actor/singer once frequented a Brentwood ice-cream shop, The Carousel, owned by Cohen's sister, a thriving mob hangout in the mid-'50s until Cohen took a sabbatical to McNeil Island Penitentiary. [19] The Mafioso and the actor remained friendly till the day Mineo was cut down in a dark carport. [20]

Cohen was chummy with Nixon and his entourage. In 1968, Cohen, then imprisoned, said that Mob attorney Murray Chotiner had solicited campaign contributions from him on behalf of Richard Nixon. In 1970, Chotiner was appointed to the office of Nixon's special counsel. A year later, in private practice, he lobbied for a prison pardon on behalf of Teamster heavy Jimmy Hoffa. [21]

Cohen was the undisputed godfather of all West Coast Mafia gambling operations, a Meyer Lansky lieutenant. The gangster's sub rosa political exploits were the topic of his confessions in July 1975, at UCLA Medical Center, where he lay convalescing. One of these, heard only by investigative reporter Chuck Ashman, concerned Cohen's contribution to the rapturous rise of arch-conservative evangelist Billy Graham, President Nixon's celebrated "spiritual advisor."

Mickey and I had met several times, but it wasn't until his last illness that he really began to open up. He said he had one final Big One that he had been saving for the end.

When he told me the tale of his being paid off to fake a dose of Christianity for Billy Graham's early New York Crusade, I didn't take it all that seriously. Then I started checking -- and I found enough documentation from federal investigators, tax agents, prosecutors and Mickey's pals, together with a Graham defector, to piece the story together. It was true! Two of Billy Graham's key disciples had passed more than $10,000 to Mickey and his family in exchange for his staged "conversion" to Christ for the benefit of the first official Billy Graham Crusade in New York City 20 years ago. We found the dates and amounts and even the checks. [22]

The former pugilist and trigger-man's numerous links to the Nixon circle were cast immediately after WWII. In 1946, Nixon made his first bid for Congress. Chotiner, then a defense attorney for mobsters, managed the Nixon campaign with the backing of Mickey Cohen, who contributed $5,000 from his own pocket to the California Republican's first congressional campaign. When Nixon ran for the Senate, Cohen kicked in $75,000 gathered from Las Vegas mobsters. Thus began the long and mutually-enhancing partnership of Nixon's political mob and the Mob, [23] and the merger would prove fatal to two Kennedy brothers.

Mickey Cohen was the first bridge linking the killers of Robert Kennedy and Sal Mineo. And much more. The gangster was on friendly terms with Carlos Marcello, the mob boss who ran with David Ferrie -- one of the corrupt CIA operatives investigated by New Orleans prosecutor Jim Garrison in connection with the killing of JFK -- in drug smuggling, the illicit import-export arms trade, and other underworld activities. Cohen was also Jack Ruby's chum. Cohen and Ruby were both fixated on a local stripper, Ms. "Candy Bar," an ex-convict, and shared her sexual favors. "Ruby often boasted of his friendship with the legendary Mickey Cohen," mob investigator John Davis notes, "and took pride in the fact that he had an affair with a woman who had been engaged to the Los Angeles mobster. That Robert Kennedy was shot in a city whose underworld was dominated by a friend of Carlos Marcello and Jack Ruby has to be regarded as potentially significant" [24] Marcello and Cohen had an enduring friendship that began in 1959, when they were both hauled before the McClellan Committee hearings on organized crime to face the interrogations of an openly contemptuous Robert Kennedy. As attorney general, Kennedy singled Cohen out as the principal target of his organized crime probe and concentrated his prosecutorial flame-throwing talents on the LA. Mafioso.

Cohen was also a friend of Melvin Belli, Jack Ruby's defense attorney. Cherita Cutting, a researcher specializing in JFK murder minutiae, reports that Belli "once played a practical joke on a conference of tax lawyers. Belli, the featured speaker, introduced to the crowd a man with a phony name who Belli claimed was an expert on reducing your taxes. It turned out to be Mickey Cohen, who didn't pay taxes because the government couldn't prove he earned money."

Cohen dominated the West Coast rackets by 1968, the year of Robert Kennedy's death. He also controlled the Santa Anita racetrack, where Sirhan was employed as a groom and exercise boy. [25]

Cohen had close business connections to the Ambassador Hotel for many years. But one of the most damning indictments against him was his tie to Thane Eugene Cesar -- in the opinion of most impartial and independent investigators, the unindicted killer of Robert Kennedy, a security guard from Lockheed with a security clearance and a registered .22 caliber firearm of the type used in the assassination -- through a close mutual friend of both, John Alessio, the shah of gambling operations in San Diego. [26]

Mickey Cohen's circle of friends, his presence among the super-patriot cadres of Kennedy's enemies, and that peculiar appearance in the limelight immediately after the Mineo killing, beg more questions about Hollywood power brokers than they put to rest.

They go on.

Sirhan, while tending horses at Santa Anita, had been befriended by horse trainer "Frank Donneroumas," an alias for Henry Ramistella, fugitive small-time gangster from New Jersey. Ramistella, Sirhan and Cohen were all close to Hollywood producer and anti-Castro Cuban exile leader Desi Arnaz. [27] (In 1966, Sirhan scrawled in his notebook that he had landed a job at Corona Breeding Farm, co-owned by Arnaz. Terry Welch, one of Sirhan's co-workers at the race track, told the FBI, "Desi Arnaz, Buddy Ebsen, and Dale Robertson, prominent television personalities, were well acquainted with Sirhan." [28] All three were ultra-conservatives. "Sol" Sirhan, as he was known in this circle, was also a fierce anti-Communist.)

But the most telling Cohen link to Sirhan was Russell E. Parsons, Sirhan's "defense" attorney. Parsons achieved notoriety as consigliere of the Cohen gang. [29] The Mob attorney had once written a letter of recommendation for him. Parson's syndicate connections were once dissected by the McClellen committee and its chief counsel, Robert F. Kennedy. Parsons dropped the ball in his "defense" of Sirhan. John Davis writes, "He made no effort to show that Sirhan might have been the tool of someone else and downplayed his association with racetrack gambling." [30] Worse, Parsons never objected to the prosecution's argument that the fatal shot was fired by Sirhan despite a statement from the Los Angeles coroner that the accused was in the wrong position to kill the Senator, who was shot from behind, not from the front where Sirhan stood.

Sirhan was railroaded by his own lawyers. The chief defense counsel in the Robert Kennedy case was Grant Cooper. At the time, Cooper also represented Johnny Rosselli, the mobster and Bay of Pigs veteran, in a card-cheating case and would soon be sentenced to prison himself for perjury for his courtroom performance in that case. Cooper threw Sirhan's defense by suppressing vital evidence. He never cited the autopsy report that would have cleared his client, revealing that the shot that killed Kennedy was not fired by Sirhan.

Nixon had certain tasks to perform best handled by gangland cut-outs. One declassified FBI memo notes that a domestic Nazi leader and rancher in Southern California pledged up to $750,000 to the Mafia for a contract on the life of Robert Kennedy. [31]" Larry Jividen, a former Marine pilot and Justice Department informant who mixed with Nixon's business associates, discovered organized crime with an emphasis on drug smuggling. The word "Rosemark," Jividen reported in a confidential letter to the Justice Department, was a code word used by this clique in reference to "funds contained in the Union Bank of Switzerland and the Investment and Trade Exchange Central Bank in Zurich, Switzerland. Large amounts of money from underworld operations are funneled into these banks (casino skims, narcotics profits, prostitution income, etc)." It was from this account that Howard Hughes -- whose network, a clearinghouse of CIA/Mafia miscreants, comprises the second bridge connecting the Kennedy and Mineo killings -- was loaned the capital to buy TWA in 4 1961, Jividen noted "Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo appear to have been points for gold bullion pickups. During one flight, Donald Nixon was a passenger. My employers claim their influence permeated the highest levels of government." [32]

Howard Hughes, the scheming apparition of corporate power on CIA contract, another secret investor in Nixon's campaign, was never far from this circle of corrupt spies and racketeers. Robert Hall, the wire-tapping extortionist, doubled as a security contractor for the Summa Corporation in Los Angeles at 7020 Romaine Street, the communications hub of the decaying millionaire's worldwide corporate holdings. Security at Summa was overseen by Vince Kelley, formerly the ranking officer of the LAPD's notorious "Glass House," the intelligence center of the police department, and much more, a nest of domestic spies who infiltrated prisons and leftist political organizations to gather information, disrupt their activities, and in general cripple organized resistance. George Yocham, the former police lieutenant who kicked in the murder weapon used to kill Hall, reported to Kelley, and so did Robert Hall.

It's possible that Sal Mineo, in his homework on the Robert Kennedy murder, learned of Bill Stout, the CBS correspondent, who through then DA John Van De Camp contacted the FBI to inquire about certain fully-annotated Bureau photos the reporter had obtained of the murder scene at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. In the photos of the pantry, unexplained bullet holes appeared. The FBI returned that forensic examiners had not conducted a ballistics investigation of the scene, an answer that did not address the question. A Bureau official assured Stout that he would investigate the matter thoroughly and "get back with him." Stout is still waiting.

Someone else was agitated about the bullet holes in the Ambassador Hotel pantry. In August 1971, criminalist William Harper narrowly escaped an attempt on his life by a pair of gunmen pecking away at his automobile. The attempt to silence Harper occurred the day before he was to testify before a grand jury investigating ballistics evidence in the RFK assassination. [33] Harper testified in a sworn affidavit that "Senator Kennedy was fired upon from two distinct firing positions while he was walking through the kitchen pantry." Further, "no test bullets recovered from the Sirhan gun are in evidence. The gun was never identified scientifically as having fired any of the bullets removed from any of the victims." The firearm forcibly pried from Sirhan's grip "has not been connected by microscopic examinations or other scientific testing to the actual shooting."

Eight years later ...

Pop music heaven admitted a number of rock celebrities in 1976, including: Mal Evans, 40, the Beatles' road manager, shot dead on January 5; Florence Ballard of the Supremes, 32, dead of "natural causes" on February 22; Free's Paul Kossoff, 25, drug overdose, March 19; Duster Bennett, 29, in a March 26 car crash; Phil Ochs, 35, suicide by hanging, April; Keith Relf of the Yardbirds, 33, electrocuted on May 14; Tommy Bolin, 25, of Deep Purple and the James Gang, heroin overdose in December. Flo and Eddie were forced to cancel a tour of America and the UK booked a year in advance after their lead guitarist dropped nine stories from his room at the Salt Lake City Hilton and was killed. On November 9, 1976 San Francisco Chronicle columnist John Austin commented, "The accident has not yet been reported." The police, he observed, were "trying to keep the lid on it." Was the media blackout of the "accidental" fatality related to the death threat that Jim Martin, the band's manager, received a few days earlier?

On February 13, 1976, the front page of the Los Angeles Times teemed with political upheaval. A bomb exploded at the Hearst Castle. A fiercely-delivered denunciation was leveled by a "strained" Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at congressional investigators. Nixon's ranking foreign policy advisor cursed a newly-released report from the House Intelligence Committee enumerating a litany of CIA abuses. "A vicious lie," he spat. Kissinger soundly excoriated the document, The Pike Report. It was "flagrant," "a disgrace," a "new version of McCarthyism" that "can only do damage to the foreign policy of the United States."

The swelling hordes of American conservatism heard, rallied, and dogged Pike into political obscurity for his "vicious lies" about the CIA.

Next to Kissinger's throes, the Times ran the obituary of veteran actor-singer Sal Mineo, stabbed to death in his carport at Hollywood Manor at roughly 9:15 PM. Neighbors heard the cries for help. The body was found by Ray Evans, a neighbor in the complex, a retired actor in the real estate business. "I saw a man in the fetus position, lying on his side," Evans told police. "Because of an incline, blood seemed to be coming from his head. I turned him over and I said, 'Sal, my God,' and I saw his whole chest covered with blood on the left side."

Witnesses gave homicide detectives a partial description. A white man with long brown or blond hair fled the murder scene in a yellow compact. [34]

The autopsy transcript states that Mineo suffered "a massive hemorrhage due to a stab wound to the chest, penetrating the heart." The murder weapon was a "heavy-type knife." There were, officially, no other injuries apparent. This observation clashed head-on with the testimony of eyewitnesses, who reported that Mineo had been stabbed repeatedly. This and other absurd contradictions were tell-tale signs that the fix was in. The name Robert Hall or one of his associates may have fit the profile, but his name would never surface in the ensuing investigation.

Homicide detectives installed a 24-hour hotline for information about the Mineo murder on February 17, five days after the knife attack. The delay may have sabotaged the entire investigation.

The Hollywood press handled the story with its usual dearth of aplomb. Kimberly Hartman, in an unpublished Mineo biography, recalls, "a powerful battle had begun -- the image of Sal-the-Good-Son vs. Sal-the-Weirdo. Sal-the-Weirdo won out. [The] tabloid journalism did nothing to help the case. Some cops simply labeled it a 'fag killing' like the Navarro case only eight years before, and simply did not want to deal with it. The ones who did care were swamped with easily hundreds of tips, most of them fantasy and speculation." [35]

Back in Mamaroneck, friends of Mineo's from Hollywood fought with his family at O'Neil Mortuary. "Michael Mason seemed to have been the center of all debates," Hartman recalls. "He claimed that money was the first thing Sal's family asked about." It didn't occur to Mason that money had weighed heavily on his own mind and others who'd been close to Mineo. A small cabal headed by Mason tried to ostracize the family from the burial. "Michael Mason told Sal's brother, 'It's too bad you didn't know him well enough to find these answers out for yourself. But I see why he didn't like you or have anything to do with you in recent years.' That statement was a low blow to Sal's family which he had always loved. Mason did not have his facts correct -- he was no better than anyone else in Sal's life." It seemed that even in death, "Sal Mineo was being pulled apart, and Michael Mason's selfishness fueled the tug-of-war. Sal's family suffered more than anyone can know -- even more than 'friends' like Mason who took advantage of the good-natured actor."

Police still had no murder weapon, no suspects, motive or witnesses.

Mineo's body was flown to Mamaroneck, New York for the funeral at Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, with 250 paying respects. Many more stood quietly outside, and some 300 onlookers surged in the street. Sal Mineo was buried on February 17, 1976, at Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.

On the same day the body was flown east, detectives revised their description of the suspect. He was a 20-30 year old white male, dark clothing, roughly 5' 7" to 10' tall, average build, dark hair.

Nearly a year and a half passed before the case was "solved." Burton S. Katz -- a prosecutor in the Manson murders, the district attorney who convicted Bobby Beausoleil and Steve"Clem" Grogan for the slayings of Gary Hinman and Donald "Shorty" Shea -- nailed down a grand jury indictment in the Mineo case in May 1977. [36] LAPD detectives questioned Theresa Williams, an L.A hooker. As the police told it, Ms. Williams confessed that her husband had returned home on the night Mineo was killed, smeared with blood. He allegedly told her, "I just killed this dude in Hollywood." Police were skeptical at first. They were looking for a white male, and Lionel Ray Williams was African-American. But an examination of his arrest records turned up a fascinating detail. Williams had been arrested on forgery and robbery charges shortly after the Mineo murder, and was already incarcerated in Michigan.

The police claim that Ms. Williams called and freely offered to turn state's evidence against her husband. Mr. Williams responds from prison, "That's all crap. That's not true Police went to her. She had a prostitution case, and [the police] were going to take my kid from her." Williams maintains that continual police harassment drove his wife to attempt suicide. She was pressured "to the point where she put a bullet in her head," Williams said. "She tried to kill herself." [37]

Williams did have one connection to the case. In exchange for clemency, he had offered information about the Mineo case to Michigan police who notified the LAPD -- and by stepping forward with the first break in the investigation, Williams may have become the man who knew too much. He said that Mineo had been murdered "in a dispute with a drug dealer." (Bobby Hall with his amphetamine concession?) Williams was freed, the charges against him dropped with a proviso that he gather more information on the Mineo murder and get back with the Los Angeles homicide detail. [38]

The former pizza delivery man was charged on an LA County grand jury indictment. Williams pled not guilty to ten counts of robbery, one count of armed robbery -- the latter mysteriously overturned despite the Los Angeles Times report that Williams "was armed with a gun or knife in all the robberies except one." [39] The 21-year-old pizza delivery man was held on $500,000 bail and ordered to stand trial before Superior Court Judge Edward A. Heinz, Jr.

At trial, Hartman says, defense attorney Mort Herbert called two witnesses to the stand, both of whom claimed to have seen a white man running from the scene. "He produced written accounts from many of Sal Mineo's neighbors who had claimed to have seen a white man running away. He cited that even the police had been looking for a white man. Next, he pointed out the obvious -- Lionel Ray Williams was a black man. Another eyewitness verified that they had seen 'a swarthy white man, perhaps an Italian or a Mexican,' running down the driveway of the apartment building. All in all, Herbert punched many a hole in the prosecution's case."

The DAs office drafted a murder complaint. This was attached to ten complaints of robbery already attributed to Williams. It was a completely circumstantial case, but soon the Sheriff's Department filed a declaration in Beverly Hills Municipal Court claiming that Williams had confessed to fellow inmates. This development was overheard, police claimed, by a bug planted in Williams' cell. But transcripts of the bugging were withheld from the defense and even the judge.

Allwyn Williams (no relation to Lionel), a prison inmate, was the prosecution's star witness, purchased with a plea bargain. He testified: "We came to the discussion that he had killed someone famous. I wondered who. 'Sal Mineo,' he replied. He started talking about it He said he was in Hollywood, driving around below Sunset. He was going to rob someone for money." No money was stolen. "He stabbed someone. And he told me how he done it. He demonstrated."

"Allywn Williams," Hartman reports, "under cross-examination, admitted that he made up testimony about Williams driving a Lincoln Continental and using a pearl-handled knife in some attacks because he allegedly felt his statement, which linked Williams to the Sal Mineo murder, was not strong enough to get himself out of jail." (Allwyn Williams was provided immunity for an LA robbery which he had participated in with the defendant). "Mort Herbert attempted to show that Allwyn Williams had a motive for testifying against the defendant -- his own fear of going to prison. Herbert also was able to make Allwyn admit that if necessary he would have lied even further to get his felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. The prosecution's key witness also admitted that he had been taking drugs when the defendant supposedly discussed the murder. A following witness for the defense further discounted the prosecution's key witness by claiming that he had never heard L.R. Williams admit to the Mineo murder in the supposed conversation with Allywn Williams."



1. Dennis Williams and Martin Kashdorf, "The Outcast," Newsweek, February 23, 1976, p. 25.

2. Susan Braudy, Who Killed Sal Mineo?, New York: Wyndham Books, 1982, p. 32 -- a novel based on the case. Mineo's closest friends insist that these reports were exaggerated, that he was drawn to the gay community because he found it exotic. But "Sal had some strange tastes," producer Peter Bogdonovich acknowledged, and "he was totally unaffected by it. The murder was so shocking because as a person he was so innocent." But bisexual and innocent are not mutually exclusive qualities. The Hollywood Paparazzi press, most notably Boze Hadleigh, reports that Mineo was bisexual, counting Rock Hudson among his paramours. See Boze Hadleigh, Conversations with My Elders, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987.

3. Elliot Mintz resurfaces in this mortal inventory to witness the unfolding of a covert operation designed to discredit the Beatle and his widow. Mintz was a thorough and highly credible historian of the 1960s, recalls Jim Ladd, a colleague at RADIO KAOS, an underground station in Los Angeles. "During his ten years in the business, Elliot had logged over two thousand interviews and more than 50,000 telephone calls over the air. He explored the entire gamut of the movement during his time in the glass booth, from Baba Ram Dass to Buffy Sainte-Marie, from Jane Fonda to Jack Nicholson, from Norman Mailer to Abbie Hoffman. A self-taught intellectual, and one of the most well-read humans on the planet, Elliot was the counterculture's answer to William F Buckley." Jim Ladd, Radio Waves: Life After the Revolution on the FM dial, New York: St. Martin's, 1991, p. 187.

4. Hartman. Also, Mae Brussell, "Operation CHAOS" unpublished ms. And, Tim Hunter, "Who Done It," Chic, June 1977, p. 88.

5. Peter Bogdanovich, "The Murder of Sal Mineo," Esquire, March 1, 1978, p. 116.

6. Lisa Pease, "Sirhan and the RFK Assassination, Pt. II -- Rubrick's Cube," Probe, vol. 5, no 4, May-June, 1998.

7. Michael C. Ruppert, Internet posting.

8. William W. Turner and John G. Christian, The Assassination of Robert F Kennedy, New York: Random House, 1978, p. 265.

9. Hunter and Brussell.

10. Jim Hougan, Spooks: The Haunting of America -- The Private Use of Secret Agents, New York: William Morrow, 1978, p. 243.

11. Bill Farr and Bill Hazlett, "Tapes Raise Questions in Detective's Death," Los Angeles Times, September 10, 1976, p. B-1.

12. For the questioning of Eddie Fisher, see Hougan, p. 245. On the pharmacy connection, Mae Brussell, "Operation Chaos," unpublished ms.

13. Farr and Hazlett, p. B-1.

14. Hougan, p. 247.

15. William Farr, "Defense Attorneys in Killing of Detective Ask Access to Files," Los Angeles Times, November 13, 1976, p. A-22.

16. Gene LeBell, a Hollywood actor and stunt man in Hollywood. Among his long list of credits: As Good As It Gets (1997) Dantes Peak (1997), LA Confidential, CIA II Target Alexa (1994), Darkman (1990), Die Hard 2 (1990) Total Recall (1990), among others.

17. Brussell.

18. Farr and Hazlett, p. B-1.

19. Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger, Hollywood Kryptonite: Accident, Suicide, or Cold-Blooded Murder -- The Truth About the Death of TVs Superman, New York: St. Martin's, 1996, pp. 9.

20. John Kendall, "Motive in Sal Mineo Slaying Baffles Police," Los Angeles Times, February 13, 1976, p. A-3.

21. A.J. Weberman, Coup D'Etat in America Data Base FBI FOIA Request #72, 182 approx 500 pp.; HSCA OCR 11.2.78 Brady.

22. Chuck Ashman, "The Conversion of Mickey Cohen," Chic, Vol. I, no 8. June 1977, p. 56.

23. Hougan, pp. 251-52.

24. John H. Davis, Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F Kennedy, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1989, p. 346.

25. Ibid.

26. Davis, p. 356. In 1968, novice "underground" journalist Lowell Bergman discovered that Alessio had enormous influence in southern California right-wing circles and a possible motive for wanting Robert Kennedy out of the way. Bergman went on to write for 60 Minutes in 1983, but in his youth lived in a commune and wrote for the resident underground newspaper. "What we were trying to do was break the monopoly on information. We tried to approach it from an academic point of view. Some of us had experience in what was called 'power-structure research.' What we were looking for was: Who ran San Diego? What we discovered was that the richest guy in town, [financier] C. Arnholt Smith, was in reality in partnership with John Alessio Thesecond-largest landowner, next to the Navy, at that time, was the Teamsters' Central States Pension Fund, which had been called by Robert Kennedy, the attorney general at the time, the 'piggy-bank' for the Mob" [John Freeman, "Lowell Bergman, Television-Radio Writer" (interview), San Diego Union-Tribune, May 26, 1996, p. E-l].

Like Cohen, C. Arnholt Smith and his San Diego business clique made illegal campaign contributions to the Nixon campaign in 1968. Harry D. Steward, the US attorney in San Diego, ran an investigation of the contributions -- and was forced to resign in December, 1974 after the Senate Judiciary Committee charged him with obstructing its probe. One of Steward's career highlights was the 1970 conviction of Alessio, described by federal officials as the largest case of income-tax evasion at the time. But Alessio received a light sentence, three years in federal prison, and was paroled in two.

27. Davis, p. 352. Also see, John G. Christian and William W. Turner, The Assassination of Robert F Kennedy: A Searching Look At the Conspiracy and Cover Up. 1968-1978, New York: Random House, 1978, p. 220.

28. Christian and Turner, pp. 220-21.

29. Dan E. Moldea, The Killing of Robert F Kennedy, New York: W.W. Norton, 1995, p. 116.

30. Davis, p. 354.

31. Christian and Turner, p. 320.

32. Hougan, p. 253.

33. Turner and Christian, p. 315. Harper also reported that Sirhan's prosecutors "attempted to establish that the Sirhan gun, and no other, was involved in the assassination. It is a fact, however, that the only gun actually linked scientifically with the shooting is a second gun, not the Sirhan gun."

34. Ellen Hume and Ted Thackrey, Jr., "Sal Mineo Knifed to Death," Los Angeles Times, February 13, 1976, p. A-1.

35. Kimberly Hartman, "Pretty Boys Make Graves," unpublished ms., ch. 20.

36. "Judge Burton S. Katz," press release, Santa Barbara Speaker's Bureau, P,O. Box 30768, Santa Barbara, CA 93130- 0768. Katz went on to be a judge, in which capacity he presided over the murder trial of John Sweeney -- convicted on minor charges of simple assault and voluntary manslaughter for the strangulation murder of actress Dominique Dunne. He has taught at law schools, police academies, and the California Specialized Training Institute. "Menendez. Simpson. Bobbit. King," boasts the Bureau's release. "Everyone immediately recognizes these names because of their high-profile cases -- and controversial verdicts."

37. "Sal Mineo," Mysteries and Scandals, El Channel, February 14, 1999.

38. Ibid.

39. Bill Farr, "Mineo Slaying Suspect Charged," Los Angeles Times, May 4, 1978, p. B-8.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Wed May 27, 2020 2:47 am

Chapter 11: Project Walrus and Holden Caulfield's Warm Gun



The Catcher in the Rye of the present generation confronted his judge on January 6, 1981. The courtroom antics that followed were a macabre illustration of the principle that the cover-up proves the crime. Justice Herbert Altman asked how Mark David Chapman chose to plead. "Not guilty," the prisoner -- following the direction of his "voices" -- responded. By law, the defendant decides the plea, guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity, one or the other, not the defense attorney. Nevertheless, Chapman's attorney Jonathan Marks punctuated the plea " ... by reason of insanity."

The bench favored a motion from Marks to enlist three psychiatrists to provide opinions on Chapman's mental competence to stand trial. The first was Dr. Milton Kline, a prestigious clinical psychiatrist, an authority on hypnosis from New York, [1] and an esteemed consultant to the CIA on the creation of programmed killers while president of the American Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, a true believer in the "Manchurian Candidate" killing concept who once boasted that he was capable of creating a hypnotically-driven patsy in three months, a mind-controlled assassin in six. [2]


The second psychiatrist chosen to examine Chapman was Dr. Bernard Diamond from the University of California at Berkeley, a busy hive of illicit mind control experimentation in past decades. Dr. Diamond had provided the same service to Sirhan Sirhan. The accused killer of Robert Kennedy told another psychiatrist, Dr. Eduard Simson-Kallas, a clinical psychologist assigned to the case, that he did not trust Dr. Diamond. As Sirhan explained to Dr. Simson-Kallas after the trial, "Whatever strange behavior I showed in court was the result of my outrage over Dr. Diamond's and other doctors' testimony. They were saying things about me that were grossly untrue, nor did I give them permission to testify [on] my behalf in court." [3]

The third psychiatrist entrusted to evaluating Chapman's hold on reality was Dr. Daniel Schwartz, director of forensic psychiatry at King's County Medical Center in Brooklyn. Dr Schwartz had examined David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz, and offered that the accused serial killer believed he'd been commanded by "demons" to kill. Mark David Chapman had also been pushed by the "demons" of his dementia to shoot John Lennon, Dr. Schwartz opined from the stand. He testified that Chapman had admitted, "I can feel their thoughts. I hear their thoughts. I can hear them talking -- but not from the outside, from the inside." Up to the moment he squeezed the trigger of his Charter Arms .38, Chapman "continued to operate under this primitive kind of thinking, in which he believed or believes that forces outside of him, supernatural or otherwise, determined his behavior." [4] The diagnosis was nearly identical to the one he gave Son of Sam.

Not one of these three mental health specialists explored the hint of mind control, in the opinion of Dr. Dorothy Lewis, a professor in psychiatric research at the Yale School of Medicine and a consultant to Marks. Dr. Lewis reported that the assassin may have acted in response to a "command hallucination." British barrister Fenton Bresler, in Who Killed John Lennon?, asks "Could any term be more appropriate for a disturbed man operating under hypnotic programming?" [5]

In 1977, Chapman lost his religion. His fundamentalist indoctrination festered in a stew of self-loathing, devil-worship, and a killer's fantasies. Months before the murder, he visited satanist and filmmaker Kenneth Anger at a screening in Hawaii, shook hands and handed over two .38 caliber bullets. "These are for John Lennon," he explained to Anger. [6] Chapman may have felt a spiritual kinship with the satanist. He had attempted suicide, interpreted his survival as a sign, and thereafter addressed his prayers to Satan, [7] who responded with commands, mind control. And, as it happens, the CIA has been obsessed with mind control techniques since the dawn of the Cold War. Agency psychiatrists were eminently capable of transforming a hyper-religious nobody on the board of the Decatur, Georgia YMCA into a programmed killer, and the allegation has been made repeatedly since Lennon's murder.

Psychotronics was the topic of an August 22, 1994 Newsweek report on a secret Arlington, Virginia conference between behavioral specialists from the FBI's Counter Terrorism Center and Dr. Smirnov, whose work was truly Frankensteinian. "Using electroencephalographs, Smirnov measures brain waves, then uses computers to create a map of the subconscious and various human impulses, such as anger or the sex drive. Then through taped subliminal suggestions, he claims to physically alter the landscape with the power of suggestion."

The CIA attained the same level of sophistication as Dr. Smirnov's EEG approach by the mid -'60s. In 1974, Ed Sanders, poet and author of The Family, a book that explores the totalitarian fantasies of Charles Manson, wrote a letter to the late political researcher Mae Brussell, describing federally-sponsored mind control operations in Hawaii, Chapman's home, conducted by the US military, most notably the creation of serial killers. [8] Northern California mass murderer Herbert Mullen, Sanders wrote, worked at a Holiday Inn and flew to Hawaii in 1970 with Patricia Brown, a much older woman, against the wishes of his family. She told him that they would stay with a "church group," but Mullen was committed the day after his arrival to a mental hospital operated by the U.S. Army instead. He was given generous servings of LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs, not exactly standard therapeutic practice. In her December 20, 1980 broadcast, Brussell related that Sanders informed her how Lawrence Quong, a raving gunman who shot at a San Francisco radio personality while on the air, "was taken to Hawaii by a woman and brought back to San Francisco with a mysterious gun placed in his hand." The gun was unregistered, its origin unknown. Quong "went to a private detective many times and said he'd been programmed with electrodes and he was directed to this radio station. He couldn't control himself." Others, Sanders insisted, did.

Mind control researchers have long pointed to Chapman's reltionship with World Visions, an evangelical charity that boasted John Hinckley, Sr., CEO of Vanderbilt Energy Corp., an oil exploration company, on its board. Hinckley was a close friend of George Bush, one path to the CIA.
[9] (As in the Chapman case, CIA psychiatrists were summoned to evaluate John Hinckley, Jr. after his assault on Ronald Reagan. The prosecution's psychiatric expert was Dr. Sally Johnson, currently chief of psychiatric services at the Butner Federal Correctional Institute in North Carolina -- for decades one of the foremost CIA mind control facilities in the country. Dr. Johnson surfaced in the news weeklies in January, 1998 when she examined accused Unabomber Theodore Kacynzski -- a subject of Agency-sponsored mind control experimentation while a student at Harvard -- for the court. Her appearance raises the distinct possibility that the Unabomber was programmed. Dr. Johnson was called after Kacynzski tried to fire his attorneys and represent himself in court.) World Visions has collaborated with the CIA in past black operations, including the use of a camp in Honduras where the organization fronted for a contra recruiting drive for the Nicaraguan rebellion. In Cuba, World Vision camps concealed the agitations of Alpha 66, the anti-Castro brigands of Bay of Pigs fame. Phalange fascists butchered Palestinians at the World Vision camp in Lebanon. These evangelicals also turned up in Guyana after the Jonestown massacre to plan a re-population of the area with Laotian mercenaries still reeking of raw opium, refined by the CIA into heroin for distribution to American GIs stationed in Vietnam and to the States via Air America and other criminalized Agency tentacles.

Some researchers consider Chapman's world travels suggestive of CIA support. In the summer of 1975, Chapman, then 19 years old, signed on to the YMCA's International Camp Counselor Program (ICCP) and asked to be sent to the Soviet Union -- an odd request, since Chapman was a strident anti-Communist. He was packed off instead for a stint in Beirut, where, it is postulated, he received instruction in the lethal arts at a CIA training camp, or, depending on one's point of view, a school of terror (as did renegade Agency arms dealers Frank Terpil and George Korkola, and William Peter Blatty of Exorcist fame ran an experimental mind control unit for the Army in Lebanon [10]).

Chapman did in fact receive firearms training at the Atlanta Area Technical School after dropping out of Covenant College, a Presbyterian academy in Tennessee, and taking a job as a security guard. He passed the pistol-training course with flying colors. The job and course work were a marked departure from Chapman's prior ambition to lead the life of a missionary. They were suggested to him by a new circle of friends, and accompanied by a drastic change in his personality. The happy, hard-working Christian fundamentalist went sour. He moved to Hawaii to start a new life, but sank into a period of deep depression and attempted suicide. He was admitted to Castle Memorial Hospital in 1977, where he was diagnosed as suffering from severe depressive neurosis. Chapman was not considered pathological, however, and was released two weeks later. He had proven so popular with doctors at the clinic that Chapman was hired on in August 1977 through November 1979 as a maintenance worker with a promotion to the customer relations office. But he impulsively quit the job with a modest loan from the hospital credit union in pocket, Chapman claimed, and set off on a world tour. [11]

In August 1980, he surfaced in New York and mailed a letter to an Italian addressee. The Dakota was given as the return address. It was a breezy note, nothing momentous -- with the exception of a reference to his "mission" in New York. The "mission" could be interpreted as a "command hallucination," or possibly a boastful exaggeration if it weren't for the mysterious path the letter followed after Chapman dropped it in the mailbox. The Italian acquaintance could not be found and it was returned to New York, where it moldered in the dead-letter bin for three years and was finally delivered to the Dakota. Yoko Ono glanced at the returned letter, dropped it in her DERANGED file and forgot about it. In June 1983, Dan Mahoney, the head of security at the Ono household, was sorting through the file and found the letter, postmarked 1980. This was evidence of premeditated murder and possible conspiracy. Mahoney intended to give it to Yoko Ono and ultimately the police. But shortly thereafter the Chapman letter vanished, only to reappear again on Yoko's kitchen table, slightly altered. The postdate was now 1981. Turning the letter over to authorities was now out of the question. The revised letter was as breezy as the original, but now made no mention of Chapman's "mission" in New York. [12] (In conversation with Rev. Charles McGowan at Rikers Island a few days after the murder, the gunman also spoke of a "mission that I could not avoid." [13] An infiltrator in Yoko's household had apparently altered the letter to protect the "lone" gunman's accomplices -- and they were up to their own nostrils in a black operation the conspirators called "Project Walrus."

Elliot Mintz (last seen on this trail of murder and hypocrisy gathering information about the RFK assassination with his doomed friend Sal Mineo) was instrumental in exposing the Project. Mintz, Lennon's chum and publicist since 1971 until the arrival of Mark David Chapman, pins primary responsibility for the exploitation of Lennon on Fred Seaman, the Beatle's chauffeur and author of The Last Days of John Lennon: A Personal Memoir. Mintz laid out the plot in the December 1991 issue of Instant Karma, a Beatles 'zine.

"In the opening pages of Fred's book, he describes his arrest," Mintz says. "Now understand what led up to the arrest was all the circumstances of the Project." Fred's college roommate, Bob Rosen, a controlling psychiatrist, and a New York diamond dealer "all got together and decided to engage in this 'Project Walrus' conspiracy. [This] involved setting up an apartment as well as a warehouse in Manhattan, have Fred steal as many things as he could -- not just the journals, although the journals were the most important things -- and for these four guys to 1. sell the materials privately, because this was right after John's death and obviously the sky was the limit in terms of what one could charge for those kinds of things, and; 2. write a book that would corner the gossip market on John Lennon ... and Yoko." [13]

Rosen, the project archivist, was nudged out of the operation. When entire filing cabinets stuffed with stolen Lennon material were discovered missing, the scheme came unraveled. Rosen turned evidence on Seaman and his accomplices in exchange for full immunity, Mintz recalls, "because now the district attorney's office was involved, now the New York City police department was involved. Obviously Rosen was getting a little anxious."

More than a little -- Rosen told Ono that he feared for his life. [14]

Of his accomplices: "Fred was using drugs at the time [and] he was, I think, probably being manipulated by the psychiatrist," Dr. Francis DeBilio, a Brooklyn psychotherapist, "and the diamond dealer was feeding them cash." [15] Norman Schonfeld, the diamond trader and financier of Project Walrus, has refused to answer any questions about this coalition formed to destroy Lennon's reputation, a plan conceived months before Chapman arrived at the Dakota to ask for an autograph. In August 1980, Rick Dufay, a guitarist for Aerosmith, was recruited by the Project. Like the others, Dufay strolled into the conspiracy fully conscious that it was morally repugnant. Rosen wrote in his diary that he, Seaman, and Dufay "know how contemptible the other one is. Interesting contest, who is the most contemptible among us." [16]

Some insight into the operation might have been culled from Lennon's diary for the months preceding his death, but it vanished and has never been recovered.

Mintz recalls, "Some of Yoko's bodyguards were at the time New York City police officers. This is not unusual because New York has the Sullivan Law, which is the strictest anti-gun law in the United States. In New York City, it is very difficult for a private citizen to [legally] possess a weapon and keep it on his or her person secretly. The people who are allowed to do it are off-duty New York City police officers. So it's not unusual for a number of very well-known celebrities in New York to have this [bodyguard] arrangement. Naturally, some of the off-duty officers who were protecting Yoko and Sean at the time were aware of things that were disappearing. You would go someplace to look for a file and the contents of whole file cabinets would be missing."

Fred Seaman, says Mintz, claims that "one or both of the officers physically assaulted him, beat him up, held a gun to his head, took him for a ride, parked under a bridge somewhere and made clear threats, then brought him to the police station where he was booked, mug shots were taken and he confessed on videotape. I'm here to tell you that one of the people who he names as a police officer who arrested him ... was never part of Fred's arrest, was never there that night ..."

Mintz accompanied police to the warehouse to identify Lennon's stolen files. "There were boxes of them, all inventoried as part of the public record. I heard Fred say to Geraldo [Rivera] for the first time that some of these things were planted in his apartment and presumably planted in the warehouse. These are lies. John would have had to have told him to take all of these things and he didn't. John didn't tell him to steal his journals. And by the way, even if John had, even if John's last wish to Fred if anything happened to him was to take the journals and bring them to Julian [Seaman's claim], why didn't he? He had traveled to Wales to see Julian. He had gone out to Cold Spring Harbor to spend some time with Julian. He had the journals in his possession for over a year and made no attempt to get them to Julian because that was not his intent. The intent in taking the journals was 'Project Walrus.' He lied about that."[ 17]

But the plan went far beyond the theft of Lennon's journals. Project Walrus was a full-blown surveillance, assassination and psychological operations program.

In March 1983, Mahoney found listening devices planted at the Dakota and swept the place clean. Another sweep a few days later detected more bugs. They had been quietly replaced when no one was looking, quite probably by someone on Ono's staff. [18]

And there have been numerous attempts on Ono's life. The first came on December 9, 1980, the day after Lennon was gunned down, with a call from a man in Los Angeles who announced that he was flying to New York to "finish the job that Chapman started." At the Los Angeles airport, the man was arrested when he swore to "get" Yoko, and punched a police officer in the fray. In November 1981, two strangers were stopped and questioned by bodyguards at the Dakota. They cut and ran. One of them escaped, the other was tackled. He was taken into custody by police and shouted that he had come to "get" Yoko and Sean Lennon. Ono received a letter in February 1983, warning, "I am going to kill you. You were not supposed to have survived." One of the two brothers responsible for the threat turned up outside the Dakota a few days later. He was arrested, admitted that he meant to "get" Yoko -- and was released. A month later she received an anonymous call informing her that one of her bodyguards intended to kill her. In September, on a trip to San Francisco, she received a call at her hotel room from police. The officer told her that they'd arrested a sniper firing from his window a mile away. Police confiscated 700 rounds of ammunition and a collection of books about John Lennon and Yoko Ono. [19]

"I grew up afraid somebody was going to shoot my mom or me," Sean Lennon told Newsweek in 1996. [20] Two years later he informed New Yorker's Rebecca Mead that he had a normal childhood, except, "I had two detectives with guns following me everywhere." He also said that his father's murder was a "government" conspiracy and attributed insanity, naivete, or distorted thinking to anyone who didn't fathom this self-evident historical fact. [21]

In 1965, Ono designed a conceptual art piece she called the "Danger Box," a machine from which "you will never come back the same." The Dakota became a danger box the day Lennon was shot. The assassination was followed by organized operations undertaken to discredit Lennon and Ono, symbols of a generation that denounced war and the geopolitical Frankenstein's monster that American industry and government had created by merging and breeding rabid watchdogs in the intelligence establishment.

Sociologist Fred Fago writes in a study of media responses to the killing of Lennon that it occurred in the "larger context of social disturbance that calls into question fundamental social meanings and relationships and sets visibly into conflict forces of stability and change. The United States in the 1960s experienced the onset of a social drama as the nation divided angrily, often violently, over the Vietnam war, the civil rights movement and the rise of libertine lifestyles." [22] In posthumous Lennon hatchet jobs, the sixties are also sundered and trashed. Fago writes that Albert Goldman's The Lives of John Lennon, a book that depends almost entirely on defamations concocted by Project Walrus, "goes for the jugular of both the Lennons and the sixties generation in a dramatic refutation of the last happy image of Lennon presented in the media just before and just after his death." Goldman's is "one of a number of voices in the late 1980s that vilifies ... the sixties generation." [23]

Many conservative media pundits praised his book. A review in the London Times written by critic Robert Sandall excoriated the peaceniks that John Lennon inspired, "in reality a far darker, more destructive, turbulent and antisocial thing than we now care to admit. Goldman has touched a nerve in reminding us that Lennon was a child of the other 1960s that we are now trying so hard to forget." [24]

The mewling, anorexic, irascible, weak-minded, heroin-addicted version of John Lennon depicted in Lives, Fago writes, is a deliberate historical revision, "what conservative voices of the 1980s characterized as the destructive permissiveness of the sixties. Both Lennon and the sixties counterculture stand discredited. If the group is seen, and sees itself, as being totally discredited, then reintegration would seem to require an open rejection of sixties identity," a cynical exercise in molding mass opinion, discrediting a generation to rid the world of its "subversive" convictions. And what else is it when the gutting of Lennon's reputation leads, argues Fago, to a 'born again' conversion from left-wing error to right-wing 'enlightenment?'" The Goldman "revelations" spelled "the obliteration of sixties identity coordinates. Reentry into the social order would then be on terms dictated to the sixties generation by others, most prominently the voices of the conservative cultural and political revolution of the 1980s." At stake in the Goldman "debate" was nothing less than "identity, in this case cultural/historical identity, and the counterculture's sense of place in the social order." [25]

Dead Lennons = $$$$$

That sense of place was largely influenced by cultural spokesmen like John Lennon. After his assassination, the first priority of "Project Walrus" was the decimation of his reputation. Mintz was in a position to observe the inner-workings of Project Walrus more closely than anyone, and concluded that the assassination attempts, bugs, wiretaps, thefts, and forgeries were steps in the discrediting of Lennon and Ono. He does not speak about who was behind it, but allows that they are "extremely powerful." [26]

The FBI and its sibling big brother agencies come to mind. Lennon was unaware of the nationalistic depths some in the federal bureaucracy were willing to plumb. Jon Weiner, author of Come Together: John Lennon in his Time, observed in a 1984 interview that the Lennons "didn't realize what kind of a person Nixon was and the risks they were running in challenging him." The same could be said of Lennon's attitude toward the FBI. "John did believe that they were wiretapped and he complained about the aggressive surveillance that he was sometimes subject to in the spring of 1972," Weiner comments, "but it was hard to prove it and he wondered whether maybe he was just being paranoid. You know, 'don't despair, paranoia is everywhere.' After Watergate and after Nixon's resignation, John filed a lawsuit claiming that he had been subject to illegal wiretapping and surveillance and made some progress with the suit. The Justice Department never would admit that it actually did carry out wiretapping, and in fact maintained that they didn't, 'it could be that it was somebody else that was doing it; it could be that it was the New York City police; maybe it was the Immigration Service or Army intelligence.' So John had tried to find out with his lawsuit but eventually after he got his green card, he gave up the suit. He could have filed a Freedom of Information Act request for his own files, but I think that once he got his permanent residency, that was enough." Lennon was worn out. "He'd been fighting for four years and now it was over and I think he just wanted to go back to leading a normal life. It had taken enough out of him." [27]

In a news story on Weiner's debacle over the suppressed FBI files, Eliot Mintz stated that memories of Hooverian overkill were too traumatic for Yoko to bear. She wasn't an obstacle to Weiner's struggle with the FBI over Lennon's files, but didn't care to be involved, "She'll say, 'it's incredible how much was going on,"' Weiner said. She told him that their friends in the Peace Movement "were always saying that they should've been doing more, but all of this stuff makes it clear that the government thought that they were doing way too much." [28]

The intelligence groups would revisit this thought again when, conceivably, Lennon overcame his fear of federal harassment and buggered the rising shadow of Reaganism with four-letter outbursts of anti-Republicanism.

Killing Lennon was only the first step. All that he signified must be defaced. This was the principal objective of Walrus.

The headquarters for Walrus was Bob Rosen's apartment on 169th Street. The key strategist was Dr. DeBilio. German-born Fred Seaman, the psychiatrist's pawn, was an avid Beatles "fan." Like Chapman, he was obsessed with John Lennon and sought to subvert his memory.

Defaming Lennon and revising history required "primary materials," so every Friday for a period of twelve months, at the end of his workday, Seaman strolled out of the Dakota with a grocery bag stuffed full of Lennon's diaries, folders, an unpublished Joycean novella, other manuscripts, love letters, song lyrics, photographs, everything that could be secreted from the apartment complex.

The theft of the diaries, kept current by Lennon from 1975 until his death, was essential to the central purpose of Project Walrus, the defamation of Lennon, Ono, and their political views. When most of the diaries were recovered, it was found upon close examination that some entries were not in Lennon's handwriting, and others had been altered. This tampering with history by Lennon's "extremely powerful" detractors undermined forever the use of the diaries by future biographers and historians. These documents were the record of his most personal thoughts and concerns, defiled with no better justification than the scoring of a crude propaganda coup.

Once the project had possession of the diaries, it followed that a legal claim to them be made to void any litigation Yoko Ono might apply to force their return and stop the publication of the defamatory book on Lennon planned by Fred Seaman. The chauffeur wrote in a journal that he and Dr. DeBilio had an "intense talk about doctoring the diary to show Lennon's setting me up to write book ... to build up [the appearance of] great intimacy." [29]

Seaman was to be the executor of John Lennon's archives, the dead Beatle's official biographer, co-opting Yoko Ono. Seaman told friends that he was going to "discredit Ono at all costs."

A number of assassination attempts failed, but did rattle her deeply. Further psychological pressure was applied to drive her to a nervous breakdown and thereby discredit her in any steps she might take to correct the public record.

The Walrus crew anticipated immense profits. As Rosen wrote in his diary, "Dead Lennons = $$$$$."

In the March 1984 Playboy, authors David and Victoria Sheff described "unexplained events" at the Dakota: "Passports are found to be missing and then turn up days later on the kitchen table; lyrics to new songs disappear and then just as mysteriously reappear; collages by Lennon disappear and then reappear in unexpected places. It is beginning to sound like the movie Gaslight, in which a woman is made to feel she is going crazy." The Chapman letter was stolen and altered. Anonymous death threats by phone and mail were continuous. "There are precious few people to trust," observed the Sheffs, "and Ono is depending mostly on her bodyguards for any sense of security. So when an anonymous call is received saying one of her security men is working against her, the paranoia around the [Dakota] is almost palpable. The idea that someone in her own home may kill her has been planted. She begins sleeping badly again." One of Ono's assistants, wracked by the stress, began packing a gun at all times. "You don't know how big this thing is. The people who are doing this are too big to fight." [30]

On May 7, 1983, Fred Seaman entered a guilty plea to grand larceny in the second degree. He was sentenced to five years' probation. But, the Sheffs reported, "Seaman's obsession has clearly become manic. He calls a reporter at odd hours, saying only, 'How does it feel to be useless?' then calls the Dakota with the same enigmatic message. He spreads stories about Ono's wickedness -- that she is a drug addict, that she was having affairs before Lennon died, that she had McCartney arrested in Japan for possessing marijuana. Seaman will admit to friends that the smears are meant to 'discredit Ono at all costs.'" [31]

Albert Goldman, in a biography largely based on Seaman's distortions after Simon & Schuster rejected a manuscript penned by the former Lennon/Ono employee -- the publishers found it replete with unfounded smears -- was the most prominent of the post-assassination assassins of Lennon. A publisher's blurb promises that The Lives of John Lennon is the study of a "turbulent personality of labyrinthine complexity," a "tribute to his legendary achievements and a revelation of the true price he paid for them." In fact, the reader finds in Goldman's book a Lennon unrecognizable to his friends and followers. At every stop, Lennon's actions and motives are skewed. An instructive example is the claim that John and Yoko avoided visiting places of artistic or cultural significance while on tour in Japan in the late 1970s, preferring to fritter away their afternoons at amusement parks and shopping centers. In fact, as seen in Imagine: John Lennon (a documentary that premiered in New York on October 7, 1988, within weeks of the release of Goldman's book, untainted by Walrus, a criminal plot, the organized attempt to malign, to influence public opinion, to portray the late Beatle precisely as the "phony" that Mark David Chapman happened to despise, a "king: as Goldman had it, who "has no clothes"), the Lennons visited scores of Buddhist temples to meditate, and in general immersed themselves in Japanese culture. Goldman's journalistic practices in the preparation of the book were abysmal, obviously designed to sully Lennon and his generation. Tony Manero, a musician who knew Lennon briefly in the 1960s, reported to David and Victoria Sheff that Goldman offered to pay him for a story on his "homosexual liaison" with the Beatle which, unfortunately for the author, Manero maintains never occurred. [32] Rolling Stone, in an October 20, 1988 commemorative issue honoring Lennon, found Goldman's biography riddled with factual inaccuracies, embroidered accounts of true events that border on fiction and suspect information provided by tainted sources."

The discrediting of Lennon and the late peace movement was one facet of the Walrus plot. Another was the dissemination of false conspiracy theories, clouding public comprehension of John Lennon's murder In Santa Cruz, California, and soon all across the state. Steven Lightfoot emerged to pester talk show hosts with his insistence that the true killer of John Lennon was author Stephen King. This revelation, Lightfoot contends, is "the biggest true story since Christ was discovered." His argument, repeated ad nauseum on California radio stations, is founded on "coded" language allegedly planted in headlines and photo captions printed in Time and Newsweek.

Lightfoot explains in a 1997 Internet posting that it was "hard not to spot strange behavior in the headlines of Time magazine, especially since the magazine I happened to pick up came out the day of the murder. The bold print headlines, with almost every turn of the page, seemed to plug into the murder of John Lennon and not just the more obvious intent of the article. When I turned to page 16 and saw the ominous headline 'Who's In?' Who's Out?' above just elected Reagan I began to think I was stumbling on to government codes and that the double meaning of this headline translated to 'Reagan's In,' 'Lennon's Out.' I looked closer and noticed the smaller headline below the photo that read 'Fitting together the pieces of a complicated jigsaw puzzle ...' I looked at the picture and saw a vase of lillies, symbolic of death," and so on. Bearing in mind that Lennon was the victim of an extreme right-wing plot, Lightfoot's own affinity with the Far Right is revealing. "Incidentally," he notes, "I am not an anti-semite. I am merely aware that a small, evil group of Jews want the destruction of America and are using the media and violence to bring about a hasty disintegration of our morals. I, in fact, think Moscow is behind this media monopoly under 90 percent Jewish control and that America's harboring of Nazis after WWII is one obvious reason."

European fascists brought to these shores after the war participated in political assassinations conceived by the intelligence community. American and German operatives are the beating heart of fascist conspiracies of the sort that claimed the life of John Lennon, so the appearance of a Jew-baiting anti-communist making unfounded claims on talk radio -- to discredit legitimate researchers on the Lennon murder -- is a predictable development.



1. Fenton Bresler, Who Killed John Lennon?, New York: St. Martin's, 1989, p. 242.

2. John Marks, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, New York: Times Books, 1979, pp. 187, 191.

3. Dr. Eduard Simson-Kallas, Affidavit in Behalf of Sirhan Sirhan Serving Time in San Quentin, March 9, 1973, pp. 13-14. The Sirhan trial, he concluded, "was, and will be remembered, as the psychiatric blunder of the century." (p. 22) But Simson caught a glimpse of conspiracy beyond the "blunders" when he examined the notebooks supposedly kept by Sirhan. Simson wrote: "A conclusion emerges from the study of court transcripts that Sirhan's 'notebooks' were modified to support the improper diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. This is an assumption that should not be ignored" (p. 14) "I strongly suspect that the notebooks are a forgery, for the thinking reflected in them is foreign to the Sirhan I carefully studied." (p. 18).

4. Bresler, p. 270.

5. Bresler, p. 240.

6. Bill Landis, Anger: The Unauthorized Biography of Kenneth Anger, New York: Harper Collins, 1995, p. 228.

7. Michael Newton, Raising Hell: An Encyclopedia of Devil Worship and Satanic Crime, New York: Avon, 1993, p. 77.

8. Mae Brussell, World Watchers International broadcast, Monterey, California, December 20, 1980.

9. The two families were close. Scott Hinckley, the brother of John Hinckley, Jr., and a VP at Vanderbilt Energy Corp., was to have been a dinner guest of Neil Bush, the vice president's son, the day after the shooting. Neil, the Los Angeles Times reported on March 31, 1981, "said his family knew the Hinckley family because they had made large contributions to [Bush's] campaign."

10. Bresler, pp., 104-5.

11. Synopsis of Bresler text.

12. David and Victoria Sheff, "The Betrayal of John Lennon," Playboy, March 1984, p. 188. The Sheffs write: "If some kind of switch was made, it could only have been to make it seem as if some crank had written a letter to Italy in 1981, and with Lennon long dead, had used Chapman's name and the Dakota address as some sort of macabre joke."

13. Bresler, p. 174.

14. Sheffs, p. 183.

15. "Stand by Me: The Elliot Mintz Interview," Instant Karma, No. 52, December 1991.

16. Sheffs, p. 178.

17. Mintz, Instant Karma interview.

18. Sheff, p. 186.

19. Sheffs, pp. 86-190.

20. "Sean Lennon Lives in Fear," AP release, March 11, 1996.

21. Rebecca Mead, "Sean Lennon has a new record -- and a theory about his father's murder," New Yorker, vol. 74, no. 9, April 2, 1998, p. 45.

22. Fred Fago, "I Read the News Today," The Social Drama of John Lennon's Death, Lanham, Maryland, Rowman & Littlefield, 1994, p. x.

23. Fago, p. 120.

24. Quoted in Albert Goldman, "Rock's Greatest Hitman," Penthouse, September 1989 p. 220.

25. Fago, p. 116.

26. Sheffs, p. 186.

27. "A Talk with Jon Wiener," Instant Karma, no. 16, June/July 1984. Wiener, an authority on the FBI's case against John Lennon, bases his observations on 26 pounds of FBI and Immigration and Naturalization Service files released under FOIA request and court orders. Wiener has long been embroiled in a battle for release of materials held back for "reasons of national security."

28. Ibid.

29. Sheffs, pp. 187-88.

30. Sheffs, p. 114.

31. Ibid.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

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Chapter 12: What 'cha Gonna Do? ... The Deaths of Bob Marley and Peter Tosh







Peter Tosh, born Winston Hubert McIntosh, a preacher's son, on October 9, 1944, transcended his squalid origins to become, like Bob Marley, a widely influential civil rights agitator. And like other black activists before him, Tosh was gunned down. He died on September 11, 1987 at the age of 43. "He was upset with the treatment of his people," wrote biographer John Levy, "It is believed by many that this is the very character trait which led to Tosh's murder." [1]

Witnesses reported that three men took part in the shooting, but only one of them was tried. Dennis "Leppo" Lebban pled innocent but was sentenced after an eleven-minute trial to death row in Jamaica's Spanish Town Prison. Leppo's accomplices remain at large. Mike Robinson, a witness to the shooting, reported that the assailants were "clean cut." They spoke and behaved like "professional hit men," in marked contrast to Leppo, an ex-con from the ghetto with a gritty exterior. Despite the disappearance of the mystery gunmen, Jamaican authorities consider the case closed. [2]

Tosh's interest in music began in the fifth grade with six months of piano lessons. But his musical cathexis came when he happened across a man playing guitar on a stoop. Young Tosh was so enraptured by the sound that he sat half the day watching the man play. When the music stopped, Tosh was "hypnotized." He took the guitar handed him and plucked the tune note for note. [3]

In 1956, Winston and his aunt moved from Savanna-la-Mar to Denham Town in Kingston. His aunt died and he went to live with an uncle in Trench Town -- a dreary gauntlet of hovels erected by the Jamaican government (25 or so ruling families) in 1951 after a hurricane scrapped the garbage-dump shanty-towns that sprang up around Kingston, known as the spiritual home of the Rastafarians. It was in this setting that Winston met young Bob Marley and taught him to play guitar. Tosh also met Neville "Bunny Wailer" O'Reilly Livingston in Trench Town, and in 1964-65, Winston changed his name, and the trio, the "Wailin' Wailers," set out to conquer the universe.

"Simmer Down," the first tune recorded at Studio One, immediately throbbed to number one in Jamaica. But the Wailers were drastically underpaid. Each of them earned about three pounds a week, so in 1970 they bailed and signed with famed Jamaican producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. But record producers, "dem pirates and thieves," are notorious for pocketing more than their take. The Wailers recorded three LPs in England for the Trojan label and received precisely nada for these albums or the bootlegs of Tosh's rehearsal sessions marketed by Trojan.

In 1972, the Wailers met Island Records producer Chris Blackwell, and their fortunes turned around. "The group's first collaboration," writes White in Catch A Fire, "served as an introduction for many people to reggae music. This album contains many classic reggae tunes, including '400 years' and 'Stop That Train,' both of which featured Peter Tosh on lead vocals. These songs introduced people to the militant, outspoken, candid approach of Peter Tosh, qualities which would remain with him to his grave." These characteristics set Peter apart from his peers. "Unlike most musicians in Jamaica, Peter always let his feelings be known. He cared more about principles and morals than popularity and fame." [4]

His beliefs were completely incorruptible. In 1983, an interviewer asked Tosh if any political groups had sought his endorsement. He acknowledged that he'd been approached, but "they know I don't support politricks and games. Because I have bigger aims, hopes and aspirations. My duty is not to divide them, my duty is to unify the people, 'cause to divide people is to destroy people, and destroy yourself, too." [5]

The band went on to release Burnin', a blunt commentary on political oppression. "Get Up, Stand Up" had Tosh on lead vocal, chanting "stand up for your rights." The album sold briskly, but Burnin' was the last album to feature Tosh. He left the Wailers after a series of wrangles in the studio with Marley and keen displeasure with producer Chris Blackwell.


In Jamaica, old wounds were opened by a wave of destabilization politics. Stories appeared in the local, regional and international press down-sizing the achievements of the quasi-socialist Jamaican government under Prime Minister Michael Manley. The people should give up faith in themselves and their leader, this was the message. The island was struck by a tidal wave of political violence, sabotage, propaganda, and as Grenada's Prime Minister Maurice Bishop phrased it three years later, the CIA's "pernicious attempts [to] wreck the economy."

"Destabilization," Bishop told the emergent New Jewel Party, "is the name given the most recently developed method of controlling and exploiting the lives and resources of a country and its people by a bigger and more powerful country through bullying, intimidation and violence. In the old days, such countries -- the colonialist and imperialist powers -- sent in gunboats or marines to directly take over the country by sheer force. Later on mercenaries were often used in place of soldiers, navy, and marines. Today more and more the new weapon and the new menace is destabilization. This method was used against a number of Caribbean and Third World countries in the 1960s, and also against Jamaica and Guyana in the 1970s." [6]

Marley held on to the Wailer name after Tosh's departure, took on new members and wove his lyrics into a revolutionary crucifix to ward off the cloak-and-dagger "vampires" descending upon the island. In June 1976, Jamaican Governor- General Florizel Glasspole placed Jamaica under martial law to quell pre-election violence, which had reached such a pitch that strafing at two Kingston theaters completely perforated the movie screens and they were replaced by whitewashed concrete walls. [7] The People's National Party (PNP) asked the Wailers to play at the Smile Jamaica concert in December. Despite the rising political mayhem, he agreed to perform.

In late November, a death squad slipped beneath the gates at Marley's Hope Road home. As Marley biographer Timothy White tells it, at about 9 PM, "The torpor of the quiet tropical night was interrupted by a queer noise that was not quite like a firecracker." Marley was in the kitchen at the rear of the house eating a grapefruit when he heard bursts of automatic gunfire. Don Taylor, Marley's manager, had been talking to the musician when the bullets cut through the back of his legs. Taylor fell but remained conscious with four bullets in his legs and one buried at the base of his spine. Timothy White's account of the siege on Marley, his wife Rita and their entourage:

The gunmen were peppering the house with a barrage of rifle and pistol fire, shattering windows and splintering plaster and woodwork on the first floor. Four of the gunmen surrounded the house, while two others guarded the front yard.

Rita was shot by one of the two men in the front yard as she run out of the house with the five Marley children and a reporter from the Jamaica Daily News. The bullet caught her in the head, lifting her off her feet as it burrowed between the scalp and skull.

Meanwhile, a man with an automatic rifle had burst through the back door off the kitchen pantry, pushing past a fleeing Seeco Patterson to aim beyond Don Taylor at Bob Marley. The gunman got off eight shots. One bullet hit a counter, another buried itself in the sagging ceiling, and five tore into Don Taylor. The last creased Marley's breast below his heart and drilled deep inside his arm. [8]

Neville Garrick, a student of Angela Davis and a graduate of the UCLA College of Fine Arts and art director of the Jamaica Daily News, took photos of Kingston, Nassau and the Hope Road enclave before and after the shooting. Garrick had film of "suspicious characters" lurking near the house before the assassination attempt. The day of the shooting, he had snapped some photos of Marley standing beside a Volkswagen in mango shade. The strangers had made Marley nervous. He told Garrick that they appeared to be "scouting" the property. In the prints, however, their features were too blurred by shadow to make out. After the concert, he took all of the photographs and prints to Nassau, and when the Wailers and crew prepared to board a flight to London, Garrick discovered that all of the film had been stolen. [9]

"The firepower these guys apparently brought with them was immense," Wailer publicist Jeff Walker recalls. "There were bullet holes everywhere. In the kitchen, the bathroom, the living room, floors, ceilings, doorways and outside." [10]

Marley would sing.

Ambush in the night, all guns aiming at me
Ambush in the night, they opened fire on me
Ambush in the night, protected by His Majesty ...

The survival of the raggae singer and his entourage appeared to be the work of the Rastafarian god, but on December 5, the Wailers went on despite their wounds to perform one long, defiant anthem at the Smile Jamaica fest, "War."

Until the ignoble and unhappy regimes
That now hold our brothers --
In Angola, in Mozambique, South Africa
In subhuman bondage --
Have been toppled,
Utterly destroyed,
Everywhere is war ...

Rita Marley had been shot at near point-blank range. She survived and was released from the hospital that afternoon. Rita was still wearing a hospital gown, and had wrapped a scarf around her bandaged head. Roberta Flack flew in for the concert. Flack visited Marley in convalescence before the performance at an armed camp tucked away in the peaks of the Blue Mountains, near Kingston. Only a handful of Marley's most trusted comrades knew of his whereabouts before the festival, but a member of the film crew, or so he claimed -- he didn't have a camera -- managed to talk his way past machete-bearing Rastas to enter the encampment: Carl Colby, son of the late CIA director William Colby. [11] And he came bearing a gift, according to a witness at the enclave, a new pair of boots for Bob Marley. [12]


Former Black Panther and cinematographer Lee Lew-Lee (his camera work can be seen in the Oscar-winning documentary, The Panama Deception) was close friends with members of the Wailers, and he believes that Marley's cancer can be traced to the boots Colby gave him before the Smile Jamaica festival. "He put his foot in and said, 'Ow!' A friend got in there -- you know how Jamaicans are -- he said, 'let's get in here, in the boot, and he pulled a length of copper wire out -- it was embedded in the boot" [13] Had the wire been treated chemically with a carcinogenic toxin? The appearance of Colby at Marley's compound was certainly provocative, and so was his subsequent part in the fall of another black cultural icon, O.J. Simpson. (At Simpson's preliminary hearing in 1995, Colby -- who happened to live next door to Nicole Simpson when she lived on Gretna Green Way in Brentwood, a mile from her residence on Bundy -- and his wife both took the stand to testify for the prosecution that Nicole's ex-husband had badgered and threatened her. Colby's testimony was instrumental in the formal charge of murder filed against Simpson and the nationally-televised fiasco known as the "Trial of the Century." [14])

Ten years after the Hope Road assault, Don Taylor published a memoir, Marley & Me, in which he alleges that a "senior CIA agent" had been planted among the crew as part of a plan to "assassinate" Marley.

Lew-Lee recalls: "I didn't think so at the time, but I've always had my suspicions because Marley later broke his toe playing soccer, and when the bone wouldn't mend the doctors found that the toe had cancer. The cancer metastasized throughout his body, but [Marley] believed he could fight this thing." The soccer game took place in Paris Five months after the boot incident. Marley took to the field with one of the leading teams in the country to break the monotony of the Wailers' Exodus tour. His right toe was injured in a tackle. The toenail was detached. It wasn't considered a serious wound at first.

But it would not heal. Marley was limping by July and consulted a physician, who was shocked by the toe's appearance. It was so eaten away that doctors in London advised it be amputated. But Marley's religion forbade it. "Rasta no abide amputation," he insisted. Marley told the physician, "de living God, His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Ras Tafari, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah ... He will heal me wit' de meditations of me ganja chalice." No scalpel, he swore, "will crease me flesh ... C'yant kill Rasta. Rastamon live out." [15] He flew to Miami and Dr. William Bacon performed a skin graft on the lesion.

But the disease lingered undiagnosed. The cancer spread throughout his body.

Isaac Ferguson, a friend and devotee, observed the slow death of Bob Marley first-hand. In the five years separating the soccer injury from cancer diagnosis, Marley remained immersed in music, "ignoring the advice of doctors and close associates that he stop and obtain a thorough medical examination." He refused to give up recording and touring long enough to consult a doctor. "He would have to quit the stage and it would take years to recoup the momentum. This was his time and he seized upon it. Whenever he went into the studio to record, he did enough for two albums. Marley would drink his fish tea, eat his rice-and-peas stew, roll himself about six spliffs and go to work. With incredible energy and determination, he kept strumming his guitar, maybe 12 hours, sometimes till daybreak." [16] Reggae artist Jimmy Cliff observed after Marley's death: "What I know now is that Bob finished all he had to do on this earth." Marley was aware by 1977 that he was dying and set out to compress a lifetime of music into the few years remaining.

Invisible Vampires



In 1975, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, on a diplomatic junket to the island, assured Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley in a private meeting that there was "no attempt now underway involving covert actions against the Jamaican government." [17] But in the real world something of a Caribbean pogrom was underway, overseen by the CIA. [18] At the time Kissinger croaked his denials to Manley, a destabilization push was already underway. The emphasis at this stage was on psychological operations, but in the election year of 1976 a series of covert interventions, employing arson, bombing, and assassination as required, completely disrupted Manley's democratic socialist rule. [19]

An arsenal of automatic weapons somehow found their way to Jamaica. The CIA's thugs, directed by a growing coven of pin-striped officers reporting to the American embassy in Kingston, quietly organized secret police cadres to stoke political violence. Huge consignments of guns and advanced communications gear were smuggled onto the island. One such shipment was intercepted by Manley's security patrols -- a cache of 500 man-eating submachine guns. [20]

The firearms were shipped to the island from Miami by the Jamaica Freedom League, a right-wing paramilitary faction with roots in the CIA, financed largely by drugs. Peter Whittington, the group's second in command, was convicted of drug trafficking in Dade County. The funds were laundered by the league at Miami's Bank of Perrine, the key American subsidiary of Castle Bank, then the CIA's financial base in Latin America. The bank was owned and operated by Paul Helliwell, bagman for the Bay of Pigs invasion, accused even by the conservative Wall Street Journal of involvement in the global narcotics trade.

A paramilitary force was mustered to quell the Rastafarian backlash.

Tosh's "duppies" (ghosts) quelled dissent by borrowing the chemical warfare tactics of the 1960s. In a year's time, Marley saw the Rastafarian resistance disintegrate because a ruthless, highly-organized cocaine-heroin syndicate arose, apparently, from the Jamaican sand. The sudden abundance of hard narcotics in Jamaica wounded the Rastafarian movement with the burning spear of addiction.

Tosh and Marley both promoted ganja as an alternative, a Rastafarian sacrament, a statement of independence and cohesion against the brutal strategems of colonial rule. This was the path of political resistance joyously followed by herbman Tosh, who ran through two pounds of reefer a week. [21] He not only smoked Guinness Record-breaking volumes of marijuana -- Tosh rhapsodized about his spliffs, demanded the "shit-stem" legalize it.

Like his old partner Marley, Tosh's chosen weapon in the Rasta revolution was free expression, and they were crucified for it. For the first time in Jamaican politics, public figures openly denounced the governing elite. Peter Tosh, in particular, split from his peers in the local music scene by serving up impassioned political "livalogues" at his public performances. While Bob Marley saw the wisdom in softening his political statements ("The War is Over"), and Bunny Wailer slipped into a snug harbor of seclusiveness, Tosh pushed on alone, the cursing, joint-smoking, speechifying black militant until his death six years after the passing of Marley. Tosh "don' wan' peace," he shouted to Jamaican concert-goers in September, 1978, and he wasn't given any. The Rastafarian told interviewer Steven Davis, co-author of Reggae International (Rogner & Bernhard GMBH, 1982), about one of his scrapes with Jamaican police.

I was waiting for a rehearsal outside Aquarius Studio on Half Way Tree [a main Kingston thoroughfare], waiting for two of my musicians, and I had a little piece of roach in my hand. A guy come up to me in plain clothes and grab the roach out of my hand. So I say him, wha' happen? He didn't say nothing, so I grab the roach back from him and he start to punch me up. I say again, wha' happen, and he say I must go dung so ["downtown" in police jargon]. I say, dung so? Which way you call dung so? That's when I realized this was a police attitude, so I opened the roach and blew out the contents. Well, him didn't like that and start to grab at me aggressively now -- my waist, my shoulder, grabbing me and tearing off my clothes and things. Then other police come and put their guns in my face and try brute force on me. Now eight-to-ten guys gang my head with batons and weapons of destruction. They close the door, chase away the people and gang my head with batons for an hour and a half until my hand break trying to fend off the blows. I run to the window and they beat me back with blows. I run to the door and they beat me back with blows. Later I found out these guys' intentions was to kill me, right? What I had to do was play dead by just lying low. Passive resistance.

In the Red X Tapes, Tosh elaborated on the night he spent at the local police station house. Ten police officers bludgeoned him for two hours with their batons. He received serious head wounds and was scarred for life by the beating. [22]

It was one of many beatings endured by Tosh, but they resulted in the opposite of the intended effect. The beatings made him stronger. This was no child of Moses, but Malcolm X with roped hair and a spliff dangling from his defiant lip. Tosh's music smoldered with vengeful ferocity. He stepped up the anti-government pronouncements. Tosh had a guitar custom-built in the shape of an M-16 rifle and explained to his minions, "this guitar is firing shots at all them devil disciples." Music was his own spear in the struggle "against apartheid, nuclear war and those 'gang-jah' criminals." [23]

Jamaican secret police and the CIA tailed Peter Tosh through it all. He chose to call his autobiographical boxed set The Red X Tapes, because, he said, government documents about him always had a red "X" marked on them.

The suppression of Rastafarian protest escalated in the late 1970s and grotesque human rights abuses were commonplace. Some nine months after the near-death experience of Peter Tosh, three leaders of the Jamaican Labor Party were murdered execution-style. The taxi they'd flagged down was stopped in Denham Town. The officers ordered the three out of the car, searched it and them. The suspects stood with their hands up. Without provocation, the commanding officer ordered the police to "KILL!" After the murders, a police motorcade circled the Ministry of Security with horns blaring. The din was nearly loud enough to drown out the derisive laughter of the police. [24]

The political climate in the Caribbean sweltered with the escalation of American covert operations well into the next decade. Radio Free Grenada's final broadcast (American bombers took out the station) was Bob Marley's "War." Eugenia Charles, the ultra-conservative prime minister of Dominica, admitted that the strategists behind the Grenada invasion "weren't worried about military intervention coming out of Grenada -- we were worried about the spread of its ideas." [25]

In September 1980, Bob Marley suffered a stroke while jogging in Central Park. He was released by a physician the following day and recuperated in his room at New York's Essex Hotel. Rita Marley flew in from Pittsburgh and choked when she saw him. Her fears rose into uncontrollable sobs, "Wha' has happened to you?"

"Doctor say brain tumor black me out," Marley told her. [26]

Isaac Fergusson caught the dying rebel's performance at Madison Square Garden a few days before, and realized then that something was terribly wrong, even as Marley gripped his guitar "like a machine gun" and "threw his ropelike hair about," a "whirlwind around his small black face. The crack of a drum exploded into bass, into organ." Midway into the set, the Wailers stood back and Marley performed solo, "These songs of freedom is all I ever had ..." Why, Fergusson wondered, was he singing this alone? Why the past tense?

"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery ...."

Fergusson noticed that Marley "was always rubbing his forehead and grimacing while performing." A Rastafarian devotee of Marley's offered this explanation. Hidden lasers fixed to spotlights above the stage "burned out his brain." The following weekend, Fergusson stopped to visit Rita Marley and Judy Mowatt. He asked about Bob's condition. "We don't know for sure," Rita told him, "the doctors say he has a tumor in his brain." In a silent moment, Fergusson realized that Marley was dying. [27]

A Holistic Nazi

The singer was convinced at last to seek medical treatment. He was admitted to the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. Tests revealed that the cancer had spread to Marley's brain, lungs, and liver. He received a few radiation treatments but checked out when the New York papers bruited that he was seriously ill. Marley consulted physicians in Miami, briefly returned to Sloan-Kettering, then Jamaica where he met with Dr. Carl "Pee Wee" Fraser, recommended to him by fellow Rastafarians. Dr. Fraser advised that Marley talk to Dr. Josef Issels, a "holistic comprehensive immunotherapist" then practicing at the Ringberg Clinic in Rottach-Egern, a small Bavarian village located at the southern end of Tegernsee Lake. Marley traveled to Bavaria and checked into the clinic.

Dr. Issels met him, looked him over and allowed, without naming sources, "I hear that you're one of the most dangerous black men in the world." [28]

The portrait offered by publicity releases from the Issels Foundation is imposing enough. Dr. Issels, born in 1907, founded the first hospital (financed by the estate of Karl Gischler, a Dutch shipping magnate [29]) in Europe for comprehensive immunotherapy of cancer in 1951. "He was the Medical Director and Director of Research."

All well and good ... until it is considered that by this time, Dr. Issels was 44 years old. Certainly, his medical career did not begin in 1951. Why the unexplained gap in his bona-fides? During WWII, it seems, Dr. Issels could be found plying his "research" skills in Poland, at the Auschwitz concentration camp, working aside Dr. Joseph Mengele, no less, according to several of the Wailers who have investigated the German "alternative" practitioner's past. Bob Marley, the "dangerous" racial enemy of fascists everywhere, had placed his life in the hands of a Nazi doctor, Mengele's protege, an accomplice of the "Angel of Death" in horrific medical atrocities committed against racial "subhumans."

Lew-Lee recalls that Marley rejected conventional cancer treatments, "wanted to do anything but turn to Western medicine. This may have been a mistake, maybe not. Dr. Issels said that he could cure Bob. And they cut Bob's dreadlocks off. And he was getting all of this crazy, crazy medical treatment in Bavaria. I know this because Ray von Evans, who played in Marley's group, we were very close friends, [told me] Bob was receiving these medical treatments, and Ray would come by every two or three months, 1979-80, and told me: "Yeah, mon, they're killing Bob. They are KILLING Bob." I said, "What do you mean 'they are killing Bob?"' "No, no, mon," he said "Dis Dr. Issels, he's a Nazi! We found out later that Dr. Issels was a Nazi doctor. And he had worked with Dr. Mengele." [30]

Dr. Issels would then be one of scores of Nazi practitioners to escape the attention of the Nuremberg Tribunal. Michael Kater, a professor of history at York University in Canada, found that physicians of the Hitler period were steeped in Nazi racial doctrines at medical school, and that many of them continued to practice undisturbed by war crime tribunals. "It was in a conventional medical culture infiltrated from one side by a science alienated from humanity and from another by charlantry that young physicians in the Third Reich were raised to learn and prepare for practice, with many predestined to practice after 1945." [31]

Dr. Joseph Issels first offered his alternative cancer therapies in a nazified atmosphere of ruthlessness and quackery. In the 1930s, chronic cancer patients consulted Dr. Issels and received his experimental "combination therapy," a regimen of diet, homeopathic remedies, vitamins, exercise, and detoxification, among other holistic approaches. (Today his clinic offers training in cancer immunization vaccines, UV blood irradiation, oxygen and ozone therapy, "biological dentistry" [tooth extraction], immunity elicitation by mixed bacterial vaccine, blood heating, and so on. [32])

The medical establishment, particularly in the UK, has long rallied against some of Issel's therapies. Gordon Thomas, a former BBC producer, reported in a televised documentary that Dr. Issels was arrested in September, 1960. The police warrant alleged, "the accused claims to treat ... cancer ... In fact [he] has neither reliable diagnostic methods nor a method to treat cancer successfully. It is contended [that] he is aware of the complete ineffectiveness of the so-called ... tumor treatment." The warrant noted that Issels was a flight risk, that "he had prepared for all contingencies by depositing huge amounts in foreign banks." [33]

Marley, unaware of his physician's past, was placed on a regimen of exercise, vaccines (some illegal), ozone injections, vitamin and trace minerals, and other treatments. In time, Dr. Issels also introduced torture. Long needles were plunged through Marley's stomach to the spine. The patient-victim was told that this was part of his "treatment." The torture continued until Marley foundered on the threshold of death. [34]

Cedella Booker, his mother, visited him three times in the course of these "treatments." She found Dr. Issels to be an "arrogant wretch" with the "gruff manners of a bully," who subjected her dying son to a bloodless brand of "hocus-pocus" medicine. Mrs. Booker: "I myself witnessed Issels' rough treatment of Nesta [Marley]. One time I went with Nesta to the clinic, and we settled down in a treatment room. Issels came in and announced to Nesta, 'I'm going to give you a needle."' Dr. Issels "plunged the needle straight into Nesta's navel right down to the syringe. [Marley] grunted and winced. He could only lie there helplessly, writhing on the table, trying his best to hide his pain. 'Jesus Christ,' I heard myself mumbling." Issels ridiculed the patient for grimacing, yanked out the needle and strolled casually out of the room. Marley was left groaning with pain. "I went and stood at his side and held his hand." [35]

"With every visit," she recalls, "I found him smaller, frailer, thinner. As the months of dying dragged past, the suffering was etched all over his face. He would fall into fits of shaking, when he would lose all control and shiver from head to toe like a coconut leaf in a breeze. His eyes would turn in his head, rolling in their sockets until even the white jelly was quivering." [36]

Marley's torment was aggravated by forced starvation. "For a whole week sometimes," Booker laments, her son "would be allowed no nourishment other than what he got intravenously. Constantly hungry, even starving, he wasted away to a skeleton. To watch my first-born shrivel up to skin and bone ripped at my mother's heart." Marley weighed 82 pounds on the day of his death. [37] The starvation diet must have devastated his immune system and rushed his demise. It also caused him intense pain. "It would drag on so, for one long painful month after the other, and every day would be a knife that death stabbed and twisted anew in an already open, bleeding wound." The agony "wrapped him up like a crushing snake." [38] Starvation left Marley with a knotted intestine, and Dr. Issels was forced to operate to clear the obstruction.

Death finally claimed Marley on May 11, 1980. In Jamaica, the 20th was declared a national day of mourning, and Marley's wake at the National Arena was attended by some 30,000 mourners. Peter Tosh was not put off his guns by the death of Bob Marley. "Message music," he told interviewer Roger Steffans in 1980, "is the only music that have heartbeat." [39] After a disappointing collaboration with Mick Jagger, Tosh released Mama Africa in 1983, and "Not Gonna Give It Up," an appeal for continued resistance to Africa's apartheid policy. "Where You Gonna Run?" addressed the self-serving delusions of political indifference.

Peter Tosh found the bloodshed and hypocrisy of death squad justice in the third world unbearable. He was so obsessed with hidden evil and the upswell of violence in Jamaica that they visited him in his sleep. He had "visions" of "destruction [and] millions of people inside of [a] pit going down. And I say, 'Blood Bath, where so much people come from?' And looking in the pit, mon, it the biggest pit but the way the people was crying, it was awful." [40]

By 1987, the year of Tosh's murder, Jamaican musicians were censored by shell-casing politics. The island's Daily Gleaner reported that Winston "Yellowman" Foster, stopped at a police roadblock and frisked for drugs, resisted detainment. One of the officers hissed, "You want to go like Tosh?" [41]

And when Tosh went there was nothing random about it. Witnesses and friends insist that he was a political hit. They are convinced that Tosh was killed for his statements on human rights, black liberation and the legalization of marijuana.

The knock came on the evening of September 19, 1987. Tosh was throwing a small party at his home, and Mike Robinson, a local radio personality, answered the door. Leppo Leppan, an ex-convict and old friend of Tosh's from the Wailers' Trench Town days, strolled in. Behind him two strangers -- described by witnesses as "clean-cut," "professional hit-men," definitely "not local" -- produced pistols and insisted on talking to Tosh. The intruders followed Robinson into the living room and ordered everyone to lie on the floor, face down. Leppo demanded money. Tosh explained he had little cash on hand. One of the men searched the house and found a machete. He threatened to decapitate Tosh. Shots were fired. Peter Tosh and two others, Doc Brown and "Free I" Dixon, were dead.

Shortly thereafter, the aftermath of Jimi Hendrix's death was revisited. Tosh's New York apartment was entered and burgled. The city of New York seized a number of 10-inch master tapes, and these were stashed away in a warehouse by NYC Public Administrator Ethel Griffin and remained there for years. [42]

Tosh's killers remain at large. Wayne Johnson, producer of the Red X Tapes, cites an unnamed official of the Jamaican government who divulged to him that one of the gunmen was a police officer. The Jamaican government conducted a cursory investigation, ignoring critical leads, and quickly declared the case closed with Leppan's conviction. The hurried, token investigation led many Jamaicans to suspect that the government had concealed the factual underpinnings of the case.

Tosh's murder has been followed by the violent deaths of other black activist musicians in Jamaica and elsewhere, among them.

• 1987 Major Worries, musician, shot to death (Jamaica)
• 1988 Tenor Saw, musician, shot to death (US)
• 1990 Nitty Gritty, musician, shot to death (US)
• 1992 Pan Head, musician, shot to death (Jamaica). Dirksman, musician, shot to death (Jamaica)
• 1994 Garnett Silk, musician, died in an arson attack on his family home (Jamaica).
• 1995 Carl "Briggy C" Marsden, musician, shot dead in London. Ken Sarowiwa, musician, hanged by the Nigerian government.
• 1996 Jason Wharton, musician, shot dead outside London night club while sitting in a car (UK)
• 2000 Dani Spencer, vocalist, drowned off the Jamaican coast February 27


1. John Levy, "The Life of Saint Peter," The Dread Library, April 22, 1998,

2. Eric Williams, "Who Killed Peter Tosh?" High Times, no. 221, January, 1994, p. 18.

3. Timothy White, In the Path of the Steppin' Razor," Other biographical details garnered from Hank Holmes and Roger Steffens, "Reasoning With Tosh," Reggae Times, 1980, and John Walker, "Tough Tosh," Trouser Press, December, 1983.

4. Timothy White, Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley, New York: Henry Holt, 1992.

5. David P. Szatmary, Rockin' in Time: A Social History of Rock and Roll, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1987, pp. 164-65.

6. Maurice Bishop's address to Grenada's New Jewel Movement, March 13, 1979.

7. White, p. 285.

8. White, pp. 288-29.

9. White, p. 337.

10. Roger Steffans, interviewer, "The Night They Shot Bob Marley: The Untold Story," The Raggae & African Beat, June, 1985, p. 20.

11. White, p. 291.

12. Author interview with Lee Lew-Lee, Los Angeles, October 30, 1997.

13. Lew-Lee interview.

14. On February 3, 1995, the Los Angeles Times reported: One of those witnesses offered new details about arguments between O.J. Simpson and his ex-wife. Catherine Boe testified that Nicole Simpson would not let her ex-husband into her house on one occasion ...

Prosecutors had hoped to show that Simpson was stalking his wife during the early months of 1992, and asked Boe and her husband, Carl Colby, about an evening when they called police after spying [sic] a suspicious man outside. That man turned out to be Simpson ...

During his testimony, Colby said he called police in part because he found it odd that a person of Simpson's "description" was in the neighborhood at that hour. As he said that, a black alternate juror rolled his eyes toward the ceiling, and another alternate, also black, chuckled to herself.

"What the prosecution described as O.J. stalking Nicole might be interpreted by some African-American jurors as a classic example of white middle class people overreacting to the presence of an unknown black man in their neighborhood at night," said UCLA law professor Peter Arenella.

15. White, pp. 3-4.

16. Isaac Ferguson, "So Much Things to Say," in Chris Potash, ed., Reggae, Rasta, Revolution Jamaican Music from Ska to Dub, New York: Schirmer, 1997, pp. 56-57.

17. Ernest Volkman and John Cummings, "Murder as Usual," Penthouse, December 1977, p. 114.

18. Ellen Ray and Bill Schaap, "Massive Destabilization in Jamaica," Covert Action Information Bulletin, no. 10, August- September 1980, pp. 13, 16.

19. William Blum, The CIA: A Forgotten History, London: Zed Books, 1986, p. 301.

20. Jerry Meldon, "The CIA's Dope-Smuggling 'Freedom Fighters,' VETERANS OF THE CIA'S DRUG WARS, Profile Luis Posada Carriles," High Times, December 18, 1998. The inevitable CIA-trained Cuban exiles beached in Jamaica, among them Luis Posada Cariles, an ex-secret police official under Cuban dictator Batista, currently a full-fledged agent of the CIA. Meldon, chairman of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Tufts University in Medford, MA, writes of the drug-smuggling "freedom fighter" and his role in the Bay of Pigs:

A top-secret element of the invasion plan was "Operation 40," whose personnel included Posada Cariles, future Watergate burglar Felipe de Diego, and sundry Mafia hitmen. Its objective was to secure the island by eliminating both local politicians and members of the invasion force deemed insufficiently in favor of bringing back Batista as dictator.

Operation 40 remained intact following the Bay of Pigs fiasco, in which 114 brigadistas died, and was deployed later on in sporadic raids on Cuba. An Operation 40 task force led in 1967 by Carriles' CIA classmate Felix Rodriguez (later to find immortality as "Max Gomez," running guns to the dope-trading Contras in Nicaragua and then testifying about it in 1987 before the Senate Iran-Contra investigators) supervised Bolivian police in the capture and murder of Che Guevara.

Operation 40 had to be officially disbanded in 1970 after one of their planes crashed in southern California with kilos of heroin and cocaine aboard. But this did not interfere with business, even though later the same year federal narcs busted 150 suspects in "the largest roundup of major drug traffickers in the history of federal law enforcement." President Nixon's Attorney General, John Mitchell, celebrated the destruction of "a nationwide ring of wholesalers handling about 30 percent of all heroin sales and 70 to 80 percent of all cocaine sales in the United States." Mitchell did not mention all the Operation 70 heroes who had been netted in this grand operation.

The Jamaica Daily News openly identified the intruders: "Knowing a coup is going to be tried, sighting all the signs and publishing them, pin-pointing even the week and month -- does not prevent it from being tried. Neither does knowing about CIA involvement head it off." The meddling of the American government "is beyond doubt" considering "the plotters' contact with the U.S. embassy [and] the pattern of destabilization which only the CIA could coordinate." It was the Chile coup revisited. "There are obvious economic advantages [in] keeping cordial relations with the U.S. But not to tell a people when war has been launched against them ... It cannot be too early to begin to build a [national], indeed revolutionary unity."

21. Williams, p. 18.

22. Williams, p. 19.

23. Roger Steffens, Peter Tosh Biography, Honorary Citizen Box Set, Sony Music Entertainment, 1997.

24. White, p. 301.

25. Dave Marsh, ed., "Number One with a Bullet," Rock & Roll Confidential Report: Inside the Real World of Rock & Roll, New York: Pantheon, 1985, pp. 141-42. Radio Free Grenada was succeeded by the U.S.-sponsored Spice Island Radio, operated by the DoD's Psychological Operations Section. A 12-man team of Navy journalists blew in from Norfolk, Virginia, recruited a few local announcers, and Spice Island Radio was born. Dave Marsh, veteran editor of Creem, Crawdaddy, Village Voice and Rolling Stone, reports: Their first broadcast called on Grenadians to lay down their arms. The head of the Navy team, Lt. Richard Ezzel, told Reuters, "We wanted to save lives," (This plea might have been more effective if directed at American GIs) Ezzel went on to say, "When we first came down we were told to play nothing but reggae and calypso music; later we found out that people did not want to hear reggae but wanted to hear more rock and roll and country music." Ezzel said his conclusions were based on extensive tours of the island by his announcers. While we find it hard to swallow Ezzel's assertions about reggae (a reggae song called "Capitalism Gone Mad" was number one in Grenada at the time of the invasion), recent visitors to the island have told RRC that Spice Island's mix of Quiet Riot, Hall and Gates, the Beatles, Asia, calypso and reggae is very popular. Unfortunately, there is little reason to believe that PsyOps is serious about their stated goal of bringing democracy to the Caribbean. The aforementioned Ms. Charles, who flew to Washington right after the invasion to mug for the cameras with Ronald Reagan, has been having opponents of her regime shot as she tried to pass legislation that would punish alleged anti-state conspirators with death by hanging. In Barbados, Prime Minister and U.S. ally Tom Adams seeks to expel the respected journalist Ricky Singh for his opposition to the invasion. U.S. cries of "Democracy for Grenada" ring hollow in light of continued support for brutal dictatorships in Haiti and the Dominican Republic ("Remember 1965? The kids are all grown up now but the death squads are still alive.") Lt. Ezzel says that his men will stay on long after any U.S. pullout, "until the Grenadian government can take over the job." When you consider that the U.S. has occupied Puerto Rico since 1898, it looks like Spice Island Radio may be number one in its market for a long time to come.

26. White, p. 309.

27. Fergusson, p. 57.

28. Cedella Booker and Anthony Winkler, Bob Marley: An Intimate Portrait by his Mother, New York: Viking, 1996, p. 191.

29. "Josef M. Issels, M.D.," Issels Foundation release, Future Medicine Publishing, Inc., November 7, 1997.

30. Lew-Lee interview, October 30, 1997.

31. Michael H. Kater, Doctors Under Hitler, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989, p. 235.

32. Issels Foundation November 7, 1997 release.

33. Gary Null and Leonard Steinman, "Suppression of Alternative Cancer Therapies: Dr. Joseph Issels: Penthouse, August, 1980, p. 186. The article canonizes the late Dr. Issels with lavish praise founded largely on the hostility of the medical establishment toward the German practitioner. The authors glance over Issel's activities during the war years. Gary Null, co-author, continues to consider him to be alternative medicine's answer to Lee Salk, and endorsed the clinic in a winter 1999 fundraising appearance on KCET, the PBS affiliate in Los Angeles, in books and elsewhere.

The medical community, Dr. Issels complained at the time of his arrest, had launched a "conspiracy" to force him out of business. In 1954, he was not allowed to speak at a medical conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A couple of years later, he argued, a "conspiracy" of twelve physicians met privately at Hinterzarten in the Black Forest to plan "an end to the charlatan Issels." In 1960, the doctor was arrested, charged with fraud and manslaughter. The verdict was guilty. Issels appealed, his attorney ushering before the court a parade of whole-body experts and patients supposedly cured by him. He was acquitted in 1964, survived the "conspiracy" and reopened his clinic ... but there remained sinister cathars within the medical community who disapproved of his methods. The American Cancer Society blacklisted Joseph Issels. And in the early 1970s, a commission of cancer specialists assembled to determine whether his treatments had merit. The commission visited the clinic and concluded in the final report that, though "excellently run," all of the evidence collected "suggests that Dr. Issels' main treatment regimen has no effect on tumor growth. He aims to put each patient in the best possible condition to combat the disease, which is admirable, but there is no evidence from our examination and their notes that it makes a significant contribution to their [patients'] survival. We searched for every possible indication of tumor regression not due to cytotoxic drugs and found none that was convincing."

34. Bob Marley's mother to Lew-Lee.

35. Booker and Winkler, pp. 189-91.

36. Ibid, p. 179.

37. Roger Steffans, taped interview, January 16, 2000.

38. Booker and Winkler, pp. 180-83, 187.

39. Roger Steffans, "Reasoning with Peter Tosh," Reggae Times, 1980.

40. Levy.

41. Randall Grass, "The Stone that the Builder Refused," Down Beat, January 1986.

42. Williams, p. 20.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

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Chapter 13: Gang War: Sons of CHAOS vs. Thugs. A Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. Assassination Digest



A fog machine in the police establishment conceals the killers of rap artist Tupac Shakur, gunned down at a stop light in Las Vegas on September 7, 1996. The assailants are dim shrouds in a toxic cloud of disinformation. Police officials in Las Vegas and Compton have hinted alternately that the rapper was shot by a death squad under the direction of Marion "Suge" Knight, founder of Death Row Records -- implausible because the thug impresario was himself wounded in the attack -- or the late Orlando Anderson, a 22-year old Pac fan widely reputed to be a "gang-banger" -- an honor student, in fact, not a gangsta. Although Anderson has been publicly identified by evidence leaked to the corporate media, all who knew Anderson maintain he was "not at all violent." [1] It will be evident that a police stonewall, subsequent killings, a strategy of disinformation, the ignoring of witnesses, and the presence of undercover agents from Los Angeles and New York at the subsequent murder of rapper Notorious BIG suggest conversely that both rappers were murdered by hit squads under the sanction of federal officials.

Cathy Scott, a reporter for the Las Vegas Sun, penetrated the secretive handling of the Tupac case by authorities, and reported:
No one followed the mortuary van carrying Tupac Shakur's body from the hospital to the morgue. The van drove three blocks without being noticed. An autopsy was done the evening of [Friday] Sept 13, 1996, almost immediately following his death, according to authorities. While the autopsy report is not deemed by Nevada state law to be public information, the coroner's report is available to the public. However, after I bought a copy for $5, an office employee later said it had been given to me in error, and that they would not be releasing it to anyone because of the ongoing homicide investigation. To my knowledge, I am the only reporter to have a copy of that report.

Coroners found that Tupac had no illegal drugs in his blood when shot, but he had been heavily sedated at University Medical Center. He had been shot in his right hand, hip and chest just under the right arm. A trauma center surgeon removed a bullet from his pelvic area. "Tupac's injuries included a gunshot wound to his right chest with a 'massive hemothorax' and a wound to the thigh with 'the bullet palpable within the abdomen."' The diagnosis was a gunshot wound to the chest and abdomen, and post-operative bleeding. [2]

The murder "investigation" has been side-tracked at every turn by detectives in Compton and Las Vegas, who have consistently managed to avoid gathering leads. Key witnesses to Tupac's murder died in a timely fashion. Others were shunned by homicide detectives.

Yafeu Fula, the eyewitness, was unable to provide a description of the trigger-man. He was murdered himself two months after Shakur was pronounced dead. On November 14, 1996, the wires reported, "Witness to Tupac's Murder Killed":

One of Tupac Shakur's backup rappers who witnessed the fatal shooting of the hip-hop star was gunned down in a New Jersey housing project this weekend. So far, police are saying that the slaying of 19-year old Yafeu Fula has no connection with Tupac's death.

But Fula's death will further stymie the slow-moving murder investigation. "It's another dead end for us," said Las Vegas police Sgt. Kevin Manning, the lead investigator.

Fula, a member of Shakur's backing group Outlaw Immortalz, was riding with bodyguards in the car behind Shakur when the rapper was shot by unknown assailants returning from the Tyson-Bruce fight September 7 in Las Vegas ...

Strangely enough, Fula was also murdered the night of a Mike Tyson fight. Evander Holyfield defeated Mike Tyson just hours before Fula was killed.

Meanwhile, Shakur's driving companion and Death Row Records head Marion "Suge" Knight is sitting in a Los Angeles courtroom today accused of drug-related probation violations. Later this month, federal prosecutors will contend he used marijuana in violation of a 1994 firearms trafficking conviction in Las Vegas.

Think the Tupac killing will ever be solved? [3]

Other witnesses, dismissed by police as "uncooperative," complained to reporters that no attempt had been made to solicit their testimony. Two of Tupac Shakur's entourage informed authorities that they saw who murdered him but were never asked to identify suspects. These witnesses -- Malcolm Greenridge, one of Shakur's back-up performers, and Frank Alexander, a bodyguard -- were also driving behind the rapper when the assailants opened fire. But Greenridge and Alexander were never contacted by homicide investigators about the killing. Metro Police Sergeant Kevin Manning countered with an attempt to discredit them They "gave us taped statements on the night of the shooting that are totally inconsistent" with their public statements, he said Manning also assured reporters that investigators had finally contacted one witness and intended to contact the other -- several months after witnesses had complained to the press of police inaction.

Greenridge and Alexander were clear about the killing. "I saw four black males in a white Cadillac as it rolled by our car just before Tupac got shot," he recalls. "I couldn't see which of those four people pulled the trigger, but I saw the gun come from the back seat out through the driver's front window, and I saw the driver. I did see all four faces for a few split seconds before the shooting, though, and I told the police that. I can't promise you I could identify them, but nobody has ever even asked me to try."

Tupac Shakur

Frank Alexander asked "Could I identify the killer of my friend Tupac Shakur if the police showed me photos or a lineup of suspects? Possibly so. The thing is that the Las Vegas Metro Police never even tried to show me a photo of the shooter. Nor did they call me at any time for a line-up or to ask me anything concerning the shooting and death of Tupac." Both witnesses stated that they did not pursue the issue with Las Vegas police because they distrusted them. Just after the shooting, "the police shoved guns in our faces and threatened us," Greenridge said. "They made us lay face down in the middle of the street. Even after they realized we were telling the truth, they never apologized." Greenridge told reporters, "If you ask me, I don't think they really care who killed Tupac. [He] was just another black man that had a strong opinion -- and now he's out of the way."

Six months after the Las Vegas assault, the "investigation" was still ostensibly bogged down in police apathy. The Sun's Cathy Scott reported in March:

When a producer from Unsolved Mysteries called last year and asked me to go on camera, my first response was, "Don't you have anyone else you can interview?" For six months, Metro homicide detectives have investigated Shakur's murder. They didn't want to be interviewed for the Unsolved piece, claiming the publicity "won't help them solve the crime."

Tupac and Biggie each performed for record labels that were the targets of federal investigations. The nights they were killed, each was with their record label producers (Tupac was with Marion "Suge" Knight, owner of Death Row Records on the West Coast, and Biggie was with Puffy Combs, owner of Bad Boy Entertainment on the East Coast). Are the killings connected? That's one of three questions narrator Robert Stack poses on Unsolved Mysteries.

"Today, disturbing questions haunt the investigation," Stack says. "Why were Tupac's trusted bodyguards unarmed? Why did the killer seem to target only Shakur? In the midst of the jam-packed Las Vegas Strip, how did the gunman know where Tupac would be?"

In the information vacuum of the "dead-end" investigation, rumors spread like a continental brush fire. Sergeant Manning claimed that more than half of the tips following the March 14 Unsolved Mysteries segment on Shakur were theories that the rapper is still alive. "I was at the autopsy," Manning reported. "His mother was at the hospital when he died. The doctors, the nurses were there, the people from the mortuary and the coroner's office were involved. For him not to be dead, you would have to have a conspiracy on line with JFK being assassinated by the Central Intelligence Agency." One tipster claimed Shakur's close friend, Marion "Suge" Knight, killed the rapper. More than 300 tips were received, but only one appeared promising, claimed Manning. "There was only one that piqued our interest to the point that it appeared the individual probably has at least some information or knowledge about the case. But they didn't leave a name or phone number." [4]

Richard Fischbein, an attorney for the Shakur estate, complained that Las Vegas police were not really interested in finding the gunmen. "I've called and pushed and prodded them," he said, "and these guys aren't doing anything. So that leaves us with the mother forced into a position of having to deal with this situation on her own, and that's an outrage. I have my own theory, and that is that they're trying to create the Disneyland of the Far West in Las Vegas and the last thing in the world that they want is a story about black-gang drive-by shootings taking place in their town. So this is not something they're going to bring to a big trial that will be covered by the national press." [5]

Afeni Shakur observed tersely, "It was clear to me from day one that the Las Vegas police never had any interest in solving the case of my son's murder."
Yet the Associated Press reported five months after the slaying: "Three Los Angeles men are suspects in the drive-by shooting of rap star Tupac Shakur, but police say uncooperative witnesses have stymied their investigation." [6] Witnesses unanimously deny this statement and maintain that it was police who were "uncooperative."

In the Spring of 1997, a stink arose over the concealment of the trigger-man's identity by Las Vegas police. "MTV News reported on Tuesday that it had obtained a 29-page document prepared by police in Compton, California, which was attached to a motion filed in court by attorneys for Death Row Records chief Suge Knight. This document reveals that only days after the shooting in Las Vegas of rapper Tupac Shakur last September, cops already had the name of the man gang informants say pulled the trigger."

Sergeant Manning acknowledged to reporters that detectives had "no suspects" in the case -- nevertheless, Orlando Anderson had not been "ruled out." The sergeant wasn't accusing anyone ... exactly. "It may be a play on words a little bit," he explained, "but that's just the way we do business." [7]

Official "word play" stoked the fog machine obscuring the identities of the killers, recalling the smears of political activists in the COINTELPRO/CHAOS period. Compton police prepared an affidavit in October citing unnamed "informants" falsely placing Anderson in gang activity. He was arrested during a sweep of the city and questioned about another, unrelated case, the murder of Edward Webb, but no charges were filed. Detectives from Las Vegas arrived and grilled him about the Shakur killing but were unable to establish a connection. There was also no evidence that he had shot and killed Webb. Deputy District Attorney Janet Moore released Anderson but refused to explain her decision to reporters. [8]

While detained for questioning, Anderson was publicly condemned by police, described falsely as a street thug and a murderer. It was hinted at press conferences that Compton police had apprehended the killer of Tupac Shakur. But "if Orlando was indeed a gang-banger," Details reported, "he certainly wasn't a run-of-the-mill one. 'He wasn't that type of person at all,' says Tyrise Tooles, a friend and former classmate of Orlando's at Dominguez High School in Compton. 'He was a real friendly person."' The accused killer of Shakur also attended William Howard Taft High in the Valley, a school of advanced students. He was immersed in family life, had never been convicted of a crime, did not indulge in drugs, even marijuana or tobacco, loved sports, planned on running his own recording studio -- not exactly the profile of a gangsta Crip, as police alleged. [9]

On March 21, Anderson spoke to reporters from CNN: "I want to let everybody know ... I didn't do it," he said. "I been thinking that maybe I'm like a scapegoat or something."

His lawyer, Edi M.O. Faal, was on hand for the interview, and added, "This young man is almost acting like a prisoner now. He is very careful where he goes, he is very careful when he goes out." Anderson denied publicly that he was a member of the Crips, and there is no indication that he ran with the gang, but police in his hometown of Compton defamed him anyway. [10] The bogus charges didn't help Anderson's reputation in Compton, particularly with the Crips. After his release, he confided to his lawyer, "You know, I don't think I'm going to have a long life." The comment was prophetic – Orlando Anderson was shot and killed by a Corner Pocket Crip in a street confrontation on May 29, 1998.

The Tupac Shakur GeoCities Web Site suggests that the famed rapper was a political target, the latest in a series of covert operations waged against his family:

The tale of Tupac Shakur, who lived so fast and died so young, is at once more tender and more tragic than that of the woman-hating thug we saw in stories about him. Quiet as it was kept by the media and by Tupac himself, the effusively talented singer/writer/actor was the heir apparent of a family of black revolutionaries, most of whom wound up jailed, exiled or dead during the 1970s and 1980s. His ties to the remarkable Shakur family must have been a weighty psychic burden for the rap artist. The individual members of the extended clan commanded almost mythic respect from radicals of the black power period, especially in New York. This defining part of Tupac's background, incredibly, has been generally glossed over by the music and social critics trying to make sense of the contradictions that permeated his life. Given the radical diehard commitment of those relatives, it is no wonder that Tupac believed police agents were trailing him, like hunters after their prey. What was truly amazing was the grace with which, as an actor and rapper, he tied together feelings of love with the righteous anger that was a family legacy.

Tupac Amaru Shakur was born in 1971 to Afeni Shakur, a Black Panther, who carried the rapper-to-be in her womb while she was in jail, accused in a bomb plot. The Manhattan District Attorney tried to link 21 Panthers to the alleged plot, but the prosecutor's office found itself red-faced when a jury quickly rejected the charges. It is now believed the defendants were victims of an FBI-led attempt to neutralize Panther Party members across the country.

Afeni never revealed publicly who Tupac's father was. But one thing she did acknowledge. That the father was not Afeni's husband, Lumumba Shakur, who was the lead defendant in the Panther case. Exhausted from the trial and angry at the romantic betrayal by Afeni, Lumumba left his wife and her newborn son; but Afeni quickly moved in with Lumumba's adopted brother, Mutulu, who would become Tupac's stepfather and spiritual counselor for the rest of the younger man's life. Those who knew the family describe Mutulu Shakur as the most influential male figure in Tupac's life, the man who taught him to stand up for himself and never to back down from a fight. But Mutulu, later to be known as Dr. Shakur, because of his training in acupuncture, was eventually to be taken from Tupac. In 1986, he was arrested as the reputed mastermind of the 1981 Brinks robbery, in which two Nayack, New York policemen and a Brinks guard were killed. To this day, Dr. Shakur denies that he had anything to do with the holdup, but he was nonetheless convicted and is now doing 60 years.

In an interview two years ago at the federal prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he was being held at the time, Dr. Shakur would not say if he saw Tupac during the years he was on the run from the Brinks charges. But it must have been painful for adolescent Tupac to know agents were scouring black neighborhoods all over the country looking for his stepfather. During this time, Afeni and Tupac moved from Harlem to Baltimore. In an added trauma for Tupac, Lumumba Shakur, who remained on good terms with the family, was found dead in Louisiana several days before Mutulu was arrested. Mutulu says he suspects Lumumba was murdered by someone (perhaps a police informant) who learned of Mutulu's whereabouts and decided to kill two birds with one stone, taking the two brothers out of circulation. By this time, at age 15, Tupac must have been thoroughly convinced hat to be a Shakur was to confront the possibility of death at an early age. He was learning such lessons almost before he could walk. In 1973, when Tupac was a toddler, his uncle, Zayd Shakur, was traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike with his companion, Assata Shakur, when they were stopped by a trooper. In a shoot-out that followed, Zayd and Trooper Werner Foerster lay dead. Assata, once known as Jo Anne Chesimard, was wounded and later charged and convicted in the killing of the trooper. Taking the legend of the Shakurs to new heights, Assata escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba, where she is living now under a grant of asylum from the government of Fidel Castro. Assata, dubbed the "soul" of the Black Liberation Army, is arguably the most famous member of Tupac's extended family. Even as he climbed the ladder of stardom and fought publicized battles with the law -- including the sex assault case and an allegation that he wounded a police officer in Georgia, Tupac stayed in close contact with his stepfather Mutulu, talking with him by phone and seeking advice from him. Mutulu (born Jeral Wayne Williams) maintains he was having an impact on the young man, guiding him from street instincts and post-adolescent confusion, into a more coherent use of his energies.

Mutulu praised the tender songs that Tupac would write, the ones with positive messages about family life and responsibility, like "Brenda's Got a Baby." Together, the step-father-and-son team drew up a "Code of Thug Life," which was a list of rules discouraging random violence among gansta rappers. All of this was done away from the glare of media attention, and perhaps there was good reason why Tupac did not want to publicize his relationship with Mutulu. He was already taking enough heat from local police around the country. Why aggravate the situation by further provoking federal agents who might have been monitoring Mutulu and his revolutionary associates? After all, federal authorities were known to be still interested in capturing Assata, who was close to Mutulu. Assata says she escaped from jail in 1979 because she had learned of a plan to have white prisoners assassinate her. Federal authorities said Mutulu was part of the team that broke Assata out of prison. It is perhaps difficult for some to remember the passion that Assata and her associates inspired in the law enforcement community. After I first wrote about Assata in 1987, I did a phone interview with FBI official Ken Walton, who was prominent in the effort to capture her after her jail break. He told me in measured, angry words that he "or somebody like me" will one day capture Assata and bring her back to the States.

Esysni Tyehimba, Tupac's personal manager, has long been a friend of the Shakur family. Tyehimba recalls that they dealt extensively with COINTELPRO issues. "We worked around a lot of political prisoners and, the black liberation movement over the years in different locations. This [shaped Tupac into] the person that he was." Tyehimba's family operated the Center for Black Survival. "We had a youth group called the New Afrikan Panthers, and [Tupac] became the chairperson of that organization." The very first song Tupac recorded was "Panther Power." Karen Lee, a publicist and friend of the Shakur family, recalls early attempts by authorities to discredit the rap singer when he was coming to terms with his growing popularity "Tupac couldn't understand why it was front-page news when he was arrested that time in Atlanta" for shooting a pair of white, off-duty cops on October 31, 1993. Lee told reporters in the rap press that when the charges were dropped, "and one police officer involved was found guilty [of firing at Shakur and making false statements], it was a story on, like, page 85 that nobody knew anything about." [11]

Tupac was booked on a rape charge the following year. During the trial in November 1997, he was robbed on the street and shot five times. Tupac checked out of the hospital the same day and appeared in court the next. He was sentenced on February 5, 1995 to four-and-a-half years at Rikers Island Prison in New York, but was released when Knight posted a $1.4-million bond eight months later. Charles Fuller, the band's road manager and a co-defendent in the sexual assault case, maintains that they'd been set up by the legal system.
"Right before we got sentenced," he recalls, "Tupac said that he felt like an injustice was being done to us." [12]


The agony of the rap industry was exacerbated on March 9, 1997 by the killing of 24-year-old Brooklyn rap artist Christopher Wallace, otherwise known as Notorious BIG, in Los Angeles. On March 10, MTV News reported:

The 24-year old Brooklyn rapper, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, had attended the annual Soul Train music awards and was sitting in his GMC Suburban after leaving a post-ceremony party thrown by Vibe magazine at Los Angeles' Petersen Automotive Museum. Police say an unidentified gunman riddled the vehicle with bullets, and Wallace was then rushed to Cedars Sinai, where he was pronounced dead. The killing of B.I.G. was the second in the last six months, the first coming with the shooting death of Tupac Shakur in Las Vegas last September. Despite the fact that the shooting occurred outside a party that reportedly boasted 1,000 guests, police told reporters they have few leads in the case ...

Biggie Smalls was a central figure in the alleged ongoing feud between the East coast and West coast rap camps, and particularly between Bad Boy Entertainment and Suge Knight's Death Row Records. Despite the fact that Bad Boy head Sean "Puffy" Combs and Death Row rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg made a very public statement recently announcing that there is no feud, Smalls' death led many to speculate that the shooting could have been related to the perceived ill-will between east coast and west coast rappers. However, sources close to Bad Boy and Death Row quickly dismissed the speculation in a Los Angeles Times report: "This was a professional hit," an unidentified source told reporters for the newspaper.

Law enforcement officials and the media speculated that the shooting was the culmination of a supposed East Coast West Coast rivalry. But Phyllis Pollack, a publicist with Def Press in Los Angeles offered that the "feud" was but a publicity stunt. "It's unfair to speculate that the deaths were the result of a coastal feud," she insisted. "Sure, there's been this competition, but that's been since day one. We don't have artists on the West Coast saying, 'Let's kill off all of those East Coast rappers so we can sell more records on the East Coast."' Jesse Washington, managing editor of Vibe magazine, noted there was some enmity between the rappers, but cautioned against writing off the murder as a result of it. "It's too early to attribute this to a coastal rivalry, Tupac revenge or anything else because there [are] just so many different possibilities and aspects to this whole situation," he said. "The saddest thing about all of this is they have literally generated tens of millions of dollars in sales of records, magazine sales and ratings," he said. "I mean, these were two popular artists." [13]

Once again, there were no suspects and police were reportedly stymied. But Mutulu Shakur lived with political assassinations his entire adult life, and looked elsewhere for the identities of the culprits in a letter to the Wallace family under the heading, "The Shakur Family Extends Our Sympathies to Ms. Wallace, Sister Faith, and Brother Biggie's Son and Daughter."

To Biggie's Family

We believe the loss of Biggie and Tupac will have a tremendous impact on our younger generation. When all the facts are received and analyzed, it will show through all the negative and false accusations. Brother Biggie acted in a principled way toward our son and his public actions were principled by their very nature which was true to the life game in which he lived. Our family has not come to any final conclusion as to who killed our son, Tupac, nor why he was killed. His murder and the death of Yafeu "Kadafi" Fula, son of Yaasmyn Fula and POW Sekou Odinga, a month after Tupac, and the senseless murder of Javana Thomas, the daughter of Freedom Fighter Innie Thomas and the late BLA commander John Thomas, has our family and extended family in constant grief as well as searching for the truth in all matters ...

We are continuing our investigation as to determining the truth. We do know that Brother Biggie was a part of an industry that has been under attack from the highest form of government officials. They have targeted Tupac, Sister Souljah, Ice T, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg to just name a few. The object of this attack reportedly was the lyrics' contents and the connection to crime. "If" this was the only case, why would devil worshipers (music and artist) not be hounded out also? Since they openly worship the devil in a so-called God-fearing country (Their music and profane religion outright denounces the government while preaching mayhem, destruction and even death to their parents, government and even nonbelievers in their philosophical satanism). Yes, we must take responsibility for our own actions.

We must acknowledge that we have powers to shape minds and souls. Tupac, Biggie and Yafeu all could bring us closer to the real deal or turn us in upon ourselves. That power is not easy to comprehend when your only goal is to "come up." The struggle of saving and speaking has been a tremendous task for most if not all leaders. But this government, and those who have profited from the music culture of Black people, really know "power" and how to utilize it both internally and externally. Their goal has been long range and very specific to their economical survival and political agenda, whereas our loved ones, our rappers, wanted to explain their pain and identity from where they came, and describe their present life and at times asked us to hope for a better tomorrow, if all things were fair. If our family's (SHAKUR's) lack of response to rumors and allegations contributed to any confusion as to what principle we stand on, let it be known and clear!! We do not believe in COINCIDENCES. We believe history has demonstrated that the murders of Black people (young and old) who can have a profound impact, those who refuse to "bow down," even if they themselves are not clear on the reasons why, have and will be targeted by the government at its highest level. These murders have historically proven over time to have the hand of government secret agents or the stimulation by the government for negative response, and was initiated by these agents working on behalf of the government and their secret agendas.

We mourn Brother Biggie and Tupac with the rest of the Black Nation because they (our son, brother, father and leader in their own rights) have clearly been victims of a set of circumstances implemented outside of their control [or] ability to influence. I disagree with the method of discussing issues of our internal contradictions in the entertainment media. Tupac in his Makaveli record clearly changed his wrongful view of who shot him [in 1994] and who was heading it in New York, and why?

That's not to say that we know the Makaveli allegations [are] correct, only that any "fan" of Tupac's would surely have known that Tupac revised his wrongful [stance] against Biggie's involvement concerning his shooting in New York. And he wanted his" fans" to know it. It is common knowledge that Brother Biggie was under surveillance by the FBI or other government agents. And his every movement was reportedly being watched concerning a parole or possible parole violation. How come those agents did not protect him, or at least apprehend or pursue the people who did the shooting (and the same must be said for my son Tupac)? The tactics by law enforcement agencies in the past have been to arrest these high profile artists on gun violations. Leaving them in a "Catch 22" situation to violate parole by defending themselves. Or leaving themselves defenseless, making them easy prey for a would-be assassin and stick-up kid. Surely, the FBI was at the party ...

What we must understand is that our warriors are needed when it has been proven beyond contradiction that the CIA were principal importers of Crack Cocaine and Cocaine period into the hood, initiating the newly created drug laws that were blatantly racially motivated to set into motion tactics of genocide to destroy and lock away our brothers and sisters for the rest of their lives.

They have also created conditions that breed the worst in us. Look at how long the struggle in South Africa was extended because of the fighting of (African on African) Zulas against A.N.C. and P.A.A.C. Rap music and the Hip-Hop nation is a movement unclear of its final objectives, but a movement nevertheless, with potentials this government already fully understands and is prepared to destroy. If we look back in our history on the Black Nationalist Movement, the assassination of Bunchy Carter and John Huggins, two great Panthers on the West Coast, by the members of U.S. organizations run by Mr. Ron Karanga.

After years of my investigation as a member of the National Task Force for COINTELPRO Litigation Research, in connection with Geronimo Ji Jagas' [Pratt] trial, [I am aware that] the motivation and participation in the murders by the FBI has been proven beyond a doubt. The murder-assassination of Robert Webb, a West Coast Panther functioning out of New York, killed on 125th St. and 7th Ave., sparked a vengeful killing of another great Panther, Sam Napier. The assassination of Robert Webb was revealed to be FBI motivated as well as their direct participation in his assassination which in design was to split the East Coast and West Coast connection. At that time, many of us functioned out of our emotions and ignorance and played into it. These types of specified killings helped to destroy our movement, accomplishing the governments' goals. Don't go for it!!! Learn from our past mistakes. Act at all times by rationale and reasoning. We do not want the death of Tupac or Biggie to be used as a base for internal fractional side contradictions. Nor for Biggie and Tupac to be used to fuel further strife, dissension and destruction internally by the Federal/Mass Media governing the situation. In the name of Biggie and Tupac, stop playing yourselves, and start putting resources into the real struggle.

Show love to your warriors, pay attention to the game that's being played on/against us. SEARCH FOR TRUTH!!! Don't look at who shot Biggie and Tupac, but WHY they were shot. Don't be fooled by the media that (seldom if ever had a kind word for rappers) has never shown real concern for [our] welfare. STOP FAKING TUFF ... BE TUFF!!!

To all the Thugs, Live by the code, protect yourselves at ALL times. Failure to do so could cost us all.


Mutulu Shakur's deduction that secret police assigned to the surveillance of Biggy Small must have witnessed the murder proved correct. Unfortunately, none of the undercover agents from Los Angeles and New York who saw the killing stepped forward to provide investigators with a description of the gunmen -- a violation of law regardless of their failure to intercede in the killing or pursue gunmen. As the Las Vegas Sun reported in April: "At least one police officer and possibly as many as six acted as security guards for The Notorious BIG. and may have witnessed his slaying. ... However, none came forward to say they were there, including the one off-duty officer who was in a car directly behind the rapper." Damion Butler, Small's road manager: "If they were there all that time ... it just seems impossible to me that they didn't see the incident. Where did they go?" It so happened that plainclothes police officers from New York were in the area, according to spokesmen, during the shooting as part of "a federal investigation of the Rap industry." But the Justice Department and police in Los Angeles and New York have all refused to comment on the presence of undercover officers at the murder scene. [15]

On February 5, MTV News reported that the Las Vegas Police Department was skeptical an arrest could be made unless more witnesses stepped forward -- yet all of the undercover officers at the murder site participated in a conspiracy of silence. They would doubtless have offered to give depositions and attend line-ups if the killers had been gang-bangers. Mutulu Shakur's conviction that secret police killed his stepson and Notorious BIG proves increasingly feasible.

Any civilian witness would have quite possibly been prosecuted for withholding evidence in an ongoing homicide investigation, but only one of the officers who witnessed the killing and stonewalled was disciplined. In August, an off- duty cop moonlighting as a bodyguard for Smalls the night of the murder, was threatened with a 24-day suspension. Inglewood Police Chief Alex Perez told the press that the unnamed officer's violations "ranged, on the low end, from failure to obtain a permit to work off-duty, ranging all the way to conduct unbecoming an officer." Furthermore, it emerged that the police officer hired to work the rapper's security detail had "a criminal record." [16]

The blue wall of silence encircles a leading suspect in the Smalls case, David A. Mack, a former LAPD officer since convicted of bank robbery and currently serving a 14-year sentence. Police files contain a note that an eyewitness had placed Mack at the murder scene. Another reports that Mack hired an old friend to shoot Smalls Amir Muhammad, alias Harry Billups, the old friend, had been a classmate of Mack's at the University of Oregon. He disappeared after visiting Mack in prison on December 26, 1977, and police are still searching for him. [17]

Periodically, LAPD officials hint that Death Row's Suge Knight may have had a hand in the killings of Notorious B.I.G. Robin Yanes, Knight's attorney, emphatically denies police claims of a connection to Mack. "A year ago it came and they're recycling it to cover their butts. Suge doesn't know Mack." [18] The same tactics used to shift suspicion from undercover agents to Orlando Anderson in the Shakur case have been hauled out to connect Knight to the "retaliatory" hit on Smalls.
In April 1999, it was widely reported that Knight was "under investigation." Search warrants were handed around at the record label's headquarters and other locations, and a purple Chevrolet Impala owned by the company was impounded. But there were no arrests, and no charges have been filed. Police spokesmen refused to comment on why Knight was considered a "suspect." "He was in custody at the time, so he didn't pull the trigger," Lieutenant Al Michelena, speaking for the LAPD's robbery-homicide unit, told reporters. "We are investigating the possibility of him being implicated in this. We would certainly consider him a possible suspect." More police "word play"? Michelena refused to discuss a possible motive and all documents related to the search warrants were sealed. The purple Chevy was owned by Death Row, but hadn't been registered for about two years and was believed to have not been used during this period, Michelena explained. To date, no evidence has surfaced linking Knight to the shooting of Biggie Smalls, he has not been prosecuted, yet police spokesmen continue to imply that he is a "suspect." [19]

At present the murders of Tupac Shakur, Biggie Small -- also Yaefu Fula, Rolling 60 Crip Jelly Johnson, Jake Robles, Randy "Stretch" Walker and Genius-Car-Wash-Owner Bruce -- remain "unsolved."



1. William Shaw, "Wrong Man, Wrong Place, Wrong Time?" Details, September 1999, p 193.

2. Cathy Scott, "Behind the Scenes of 'Unsolved' Shakur Mystery," Las Vegas Sun, March 14, 1997.

3. "Witness to Tupac Murder Killed," E! Online News Service, November 14, 1996.

4. Anonymous, "Callers say Shakur's death just a bad rap," Las Vegas Review Journal, March 22, 1997.

5. Neil Strauss, "Change of Story in Shakur Case," Las Vegas Sun, March 18, 1998, courtesy of the New York Times.

6. AP Release, "Cops Eye Three in Shakur Murder," Nevada Business Journal, February 4, 1997.

7. Shaw, p. 197.

8. Shaw, p. 196.

9. Shaw, p. 194.

10. Anonymous, "Orlando Anderson Speaks About Tupac Murder," MTV News Gallery. The segment originally aired on March 21, 1997.

11. Friends and family of Tupac Shakur, "Back 2 the Essence," Vibe magazine special commemorative issue, October 1999, pp. 103-107.

12. Vibe interview, p. 107.

13. AP release, "Is the 'Rap War' for Real?" March 10, 1997.

14. Mutulu Shakur letter, Fortune City Tupac Shakur website.

15. AP release, "Police Saw Rapper Shooting," Las Vegas Sun, April 23, 1997.

16. Michael Goldberg, ed., "Notorious B.I.G. Security Guard Suspended -- Off-duty cop who worked for Biggie the night he was murdered had criminal record," Music News of the World, Aug 2, 1997.

17. Matt Lait and Scott Glover, "Ex-LAPD Officer is Suspect in Rapper's Slaying, Records Show," Los Angeles Times, December 9, 1999, p. A-1.

18. Ibid, p. A-43.

19. AP release, "Knight Investigated in B.I.G. Murder," Las Vegas Sun, April 21, 1999.
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Re: The Covert War Against Rock, by Alex Constantine

Postby admin » Wed May 27, 2020 3:43 am

Chapter 14: Dancing on the Jetty: The Death of Michael Hutchence, et al.



On November 22, 1997, the day Michael Hutchence was found tethered by the neck to a door fixture at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Sydney, Australia, Reuters placed his death in context: "If Michael Hutchence's death is eventually ruled a suicide, the INXS vocalist would join a long list of rockers who have taken their own lives ... Joy Division singer Ian Curtis built a career on songs filled with angst, paranoia and death. After making inspired hits such as 'She's Lost Control,' 'Transmission,' and 'Love Will Tear Us Apart,' he hanged himself in his Manchester, England home in 1980. Richard Manuel, pianist and vocalist with the Band, hanged himself in a Florida hotel room a month shy of his 43rd birthday in March 1986. Little had gone right for him since the group broke up in 1976, and a subsequent reunion -- without main man Robbie Robertson -- further depressed him. ... Psychological problems may have played a part in the 1979 death of soul-pop singer Donny Hathaway, who fell to his death from a 15th floor hotel room in New York City. Hathaway, who was 34, best known for his duets with Roberta Flack ..."

The mortality rate among rock musicians -- who, as a group receive more than a share of capital, sexual gratification, and public adoration -- is extremely high. Depression is often cited as the prelude to death among these pitiful creatures. Of course, Michael Hutchence was despondent over a custody battle and destroyed himself. Case clos ...

But hold the phone, if you please. Kym Wilson, a friend of the vocalist's, spent some five hours with him the morning he died. She was the last person to see him alive and reported, "He was concerned about the custody hearing but I wouldn't say he was depressed. His attitude was that he believed he was right and that he and Paula should get custody of the children and if they didn't have luck this time, they would keep fighting on. I never for one instant think he thought that would be the end." Hutchence had spoken "with such excitement of his future -- I had really never seen him with so much to look forward to." [1]

God hides in the details, so before rushing this case file to the "Day the Music Died" morgue, one last check for Him in the flotsam of details related to a very peculiar death is in order. There was no inquest. Friends of Hutchence told investigators that the "happy/depressed" rock singer was "involved in kinky sex over the years," and though it's fairly certain that he was not the first rock musician to indulge in "kinky sex," authorities explored auto-eroticism as the cause of death.

The salacious indictment originated with Australian police, appeared in the New York Post, took on a life of its own, gathered momentum on the newswires, sprinted across the airwaves and barreled through the world media machine.
On December 24, police spokesmen announced that they were anxious to quash this ugly rumor. Argumentative "paranoids" might ask why this particular bit of speculation was fed to the press in the first place. The "mainstream" media ran with it -- and both passed the buck to the tabloid press, as El News Online reported: "Authorities have not officially ruled Hutchence's case a suicide, although that's where they've indicated they're leaning, in spite of tabloid reports that the 37-year old singer accidentally hung himself while practicing an oxygen-deprivation masturbation game."

Photo by Helmut Newton

Two weeks after his death, INXS members called a press conference to complain about a cover story on their late lead vocalist entitled "Auto-Eroticism -- the Sex that Kills," in New Weekly magazine. The article played on the conjecture that Hutchence did not commit suicide but hung himself accidentally. The stills, lewd S&M bondage scenes, were shot by fashion photographer Helmut Newton two weeks before Hutchence died. The magazine's cover featured a photo of Hutchence chained, a ravishing tart, barely clad in leather, arching over him. Another portrayed the tart wearing a saddle, with Hutchence the domineering equestrian. Surviving INXSers announced that they were considering legal action. A spokesman for the band found the article "incredibly insensitive." [2] It was a smear reminiscent of Albert Goldman's postmortem demolition jobs.

All around, it was a damned peculiar death. Senior Constable Mark Hargreaves of the New South Wales Police media unit, asked by reporters why Hutchence was naked when he hung himself, replied: "It was early in the morning, he could have just gotten out of bed. It's hard to determine if he did it on purpose or by accident." [3]

He didn't leave a suicide note behind. [4]

The night of his death, Hutchence had dinner with his father and stepmother at a local Indian restaurant. They laughed throughout the meal. His father expressed concern about Michael's personal problems, but was reassured, "Dad, I'm fine."

The INXS vocalist "was an unlikely candidate for suicide," noted Glenn Baker, an Australian pop music historian. "He was the consummate rock star. He took on the role of a star so comfortably. He floated above the pressures. Why he would choose this moment to throw in the towel I think will always remain a mystery." Ian "Molly" Meldrum, a television celebrity in Australia and close friend, said he last saw the singer in Los Angeles eight weeks before Meldrum told reporters: "He seemed so happy and at peace, and even said to me, 'I've never been happier in my life." [5]

Zinta Reindel and Tamara Brachmanis, guests at the Ritz during Hutchence's last stay there, talked to him the night before his "suicide," and recalled, "He looked like he was a bit high on something ... but he was happy." Why not? He was branching out into a thespian career in a Quentin Tarantino production and working on a solo album. His daughter was to be christened soon. Why abandon her without so much as a note?

Significant details were excluded from most press accounts. Corporate outlets reported: "SYDNEY, Australia -- Michael Hutchence, the lead singer for the rock band INXS, was found dead Saturday in a Sydney hotel ... shortly after midday. The INXS front man was in Australia preparing for the band's 20th anniversary tour. His body was discovered by a maid when she went to make up the room. Prescription pills were found scattered over the floor of his suite and there were bottles of alcohol on a sideboard." [6]

Pills, mostly antibiotics, Prozac, booze and a hotel room in a state of squalor -- a death scene completely consistent with suicide. Hutchence died of asphyxiation. His body was still warm when he was found suspended from a door, the leather belt looped around his neck.

Music critic David Fricke, writing in Rolling Stone, supplemented the standard metro daily obituary: "His body bore the marks of a severe beating (a broken hand, a split lip, lacerations)." [7]


Yet Australian police found "no evidence" of foul play. Derek Hand, the new South Wales coroner, stated without reservation: "The standard required to conclude that his death was a suicide has been reached." [10] But the coroner's report did not address the protruding contradictions. Did Hutchence break his own hand? Did he bludgeon himself until his lip bled, then beat himself into a pulp, and by doing so break bones in his hand? Then how, with one good hand and the other in excruciating, throbbing pain, did he manage to loop the belt through the door brace and around his neck securely enough to hang? The coroner didn't address the lingering questions, but was so confident of his verdict that he advised against an investigation: "Nothing will be gained by holding a formal inquest," he concluded. A homicide probe would consume unwarranted "time and expense."

Case clos ... but, please, one more small peek at the record.

The "suicide" verdict may have been self-evident to a trained medical examiner, but it wasn't universally accepted. Paula Yates appeared on Australian television in March, 1998 to declare publicly that she sought legal advice to contest the finding. She said that Hutchence considered suicide the most cowardly act in the world. "I will be making it abundantly clear that because of information that I and only I could know about, I cannot accept the verdict. And I won't have my child grow up thinking that her father left her, not knowing the way he loved her." She acknowledged that Hutchence may have been depressed, but Hutchence's infant daughter was his passion, his "reason to live."

"In no way do I accept the coroner's verdict of suicide." [9]

The Devils Outside

Whatever Paula and only Paula knew, it's certain that the name Michael Hutchence appeared on more than one enemies list.

Hutchence was a political activist. His will designated Amnesty International and Greenpeace as the benefactors of the lion's share of his assets. And like many popular musicians on the left, the authorities harassed and set him up for a fall. In a July 1998 interview that appeared in a fan newsletter, Colin Diamond, Hutchence's attorney and former executor of his estate, was asked about the vocalist's September 1996 opium bust and his defense that the narcotic was planted by police.

"Perhaps you should try and figure it out for yourself!" Diamond snapped. "Michael and Paula were out of the country and during that time only a few people had any real access to the place: Bob Geldof, Anita Debney, the nanny who used to work for Bob for twelve or so years, and a woman called Gerry Agar, who had developed a grudge against both Paula and Michael. The police were called days after the nanny claimed she'd found two Smarty packets with opium in them. Geldof immediately had a new custody application before the courts, 'in light of recent events.' The local police and prosecutors had the media on their case. There was enormous pressure on them, but even they had to admit something was a bit fishy. [The court] dropped all charges, remember, and Michael was issued with a certificate of non-prosecution by the Crown."

When asked if Hutchence "got off" fairly, Diamond snapped again: "Got off, GOT OFF?? I think the question should be who tried to get him on. You figure it out!" [11] The barrister turned on his interrogator again when asked about the late singer's complicated finances, the "missing millions" reported by the Australian press:

Q: You've copped a bit of a hiding in the press as some sort of financial Svengali to Michael, with suggestions that, with regards to his estate, all is not as it should be. You've refused point-blank to speak to the media before this, so let me ask you directly: Where's the money?

Diamond: None of your business. That's the point; it's private. Don't you guys get it? It's PRIVATE.

The word "private" is not to be found in the dictionary used by most daily news reporters -- seven months later Australia's Courier-Mail found the "missing millions," and a horribly intriguing "Mafia Tie To Rock Star's Lost Riches."

It was reported that Hutchence "was involved in property dealings with a company allegedly connected to the Mafia. Bruno Romeo Sr., an alleged high-ranking member of the L'Onorata Societa, or Calabrian mafia, and his family are current and former directors of a company which sold a Gold Coast bowling alley for $2.25 million to a trustee company linked to the former INXS front man. A police intelligence report alleged Romeo was a key member of Italian organized crime groups." The National Crime Authority, in search of cocaine, descended upon the bowling alley in 1995. "Company records indicate Harbrick Pty. Ltd., whose former directors include Bruno 'The Fox' Romeo, a convicted drug dealer, also borrowed $270,000 as part of the deal." Colin Diamond "signed the earlier loan documents."

Lawyers and accountants of Mafia-owned Harbrick were hauled to court by Hutchence's mother, Patricia Glassop, and stepsister, Tina Hutchence, in a bid to recoup millions of dollars in assets. Harbrick Ltd., was the nexus in an intricate web of companies, some of them based offshore. The purpose of the lawsuit was to force Harbrick to declare an estimated $25 million in assets not included in the Hutchence estate.

"The bowling alley at 378 Marine Pde., Labrador is one of five multi-million dollar properties worldwide which Mrs. Glassop and Ms. Hutchence claim should have been included in the singer's estate and divided according to his will," the newspaper reported.
"The NCA ... targeted a person associated with Harbrick." This would be Bruno Romeo, Sr., 69, "jailed for 10 years in 1994 over his role as the ringleader of an $8 million cannabis-growing operation on remote pastoral leases in Western Australia." Bruno was a director of Harbrick, a family-owned operation, "from 1988 to 1990. His son, Bruno Lee Romeo, 42, who was jailed for eight and a half years in Western Australia in 1987 for conspiring to cultivate a 1.5 hectare cannabis crop, is still a director of the Queensland-registered firm. The other director is Romeo Sr.'s son-in-law, Guiseppe 'Joe' Sergi, 42 ... sentenced to five years jail after being convicted over a marijuana crop in 1982." [12]

Court documents revealed that the representatives of Harbrick in the loan agreement also worked for a baroque score of offshore companies that helped themselves to the finances of Michael Hutchence. The Sydney Morning Herald reported on May 29, 1998, "both sides have been told in writing that Hutchence had nothing to do with the investments."

His mother and sister charged before the bench that the £16 million in dispute had been siphoned off by Colin Diamond. Australian tax inspectors said that the vanishing funds meant that his widow and daughter might not receive a cent of the inheritance.
Outraged, the family filed suit in the Queensland Supreme Court against Colin Diamond and Andrew Paul, Hutchence's Hong Kong-based tax consultant. Companies in Australia, the United Kingdom, France and the British Virgin Islands controlled the singer's income.

In fact, the Hutchence clan complained that the pop singer had relinquished most of his assets, including luxury automobiles and property in the south of France, Australia and London. His immense wealth had completely vanished into a black grotto of investments and trust accounts, and most, perhaps all of these firms, were managed through discretionary trusts administered by Colin Diamond and Andrew Paul. Hutchence himself was penniless the day he allegedly looped a belt around his neck and found oblivion.

Many of Hutchence's most cherished possessions "were not actually owned by him," noted the London Telegraph in April 1999, "but were controlled by companies -- themselves under the control of others. Beneficiaries have been told that only Mr. Hutchence's personal effects will be distributed to them." [13]

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on March 8, 1998 that Hutchence "died almost penniless. But up to $30 million worth of property, cars, shares, bank accounts and income streams from his music and publishing -- believed to have belonged to Hutchence -- is held by obscure trusts in tax havens stretching from Hong Kong to the British Virgin Islands." Closed hearings on the will were requested by Andrew Paul, who had the temerity to ask that legal expenses in the pending litigation be underwritten by the estate. "The looming court battle has been variously reported as a 'squabble over the estate' or 'the family contesting the will," complained the Herald, "but this is not so. All members of the estranged family have agreed that Hutchence's will ... was fair. What is disputed is the claim by his executors that there is nothing in the Hutchence estate to distribute." [14] Too much funny business, and still no investigation of the singer's death. Reporter Vince Lovegrove, reports New Idea Magazine, "was the last person to interview the rock star, and has hinted at a conspiracy to cover up what really happened." [15]

The financial ties to the Calabrian Mafia raise the specter of Michael Hutchence's close friend, Gianni Versace, the celebrated fashion designer gunned down on the front steps of Casa Casuarina, his palatial South Beach home, by a serial killer on July 15, 1997, only five months before the INXS vocalist was found dead.
Versace, in fact, was raised in the south of Italy, a locale dominated by the Calabrian Mafia. The Telegraph reports that Versace "would become inflamed with rage at suggestions that he had links with the Mafia." [16] But another Telegraph story notes, "There have long been reports that Versace, whose family comes from Calabria in southern Italy, had been financially involved with the Mafia" (and so was Hutchence, without his knowledge. "It had been rumoured that he borrowed mob money to expand his business, and had been paying 'protection money.'" [17]

In Europe, the press ran rampant with allegations of Versace's Mafia connections. Newspapers in Italy and Ireland offered stories on the designer and the Mob. The Russian Information Agency ran a feature on the topic.

Then there was the dead mourning dove found lying beside Versace's body. The dove was rumored to be a "hit man's calling card," but police denied there was any connection to the Mafia. Seems one of the .40 caliber bullets that struck Hutchence's friend in the head ricocheted off the front gate of his house, a police spokesman explained, sending a lead fragment hurtling skyward. The fragment struck a dove sailing overhead in the eye, killing it instantly. The dove (the reincarnation of John Connally?) plummeted to the gutter, bounced and dropped beside Versace's dead body. [19]

But the conclusion of a private detective formerly employed by the fashion designer was sharply at odds with the official verdict. Frank Monte, an Australian P.I. -- and former recruiter of mercenaries for the African campaigns of the 1960s -- told radio shock jock Howard Stern and other interviewers that he was convinced "both Versace and Cunanan were murdered by the Mob." He said that he'd been hired by the designer to investigate the killing of a friend's lover, and was recruited again to follow up on reports that employees of his own company had been laundering mob money. The private eye held that Versace was gunned down because he intended to turn evidence of the laundering operation over to Italian police. Andrew Cunanan, Monte insisted, was a patsy kidnapped and "suicided" to provide the cover story. The investigator was so confident of the Mafia connection that he publicly advised Cunanan, after Versace's murder, to turn himself in or he would be next.

Ten days after the slaying of Versace, Monte told reporters: "Nothing that has happened since then has changed my mind."

He could not shake off certain unresolved discrepancies. Cunanon is reported to have stolen a .40 caliber pistol and used it to shoot Versace twice in the head and subsequently turned it on himself. Cunanon was so badly disfigured by one blast that police were unable to identify him at first -- but the same gun left two small, pristine holes in Versace's skull. The private investigator was skeptical that the stolen gun could have produced drastically dissimilar wounds, and complained that FBI ballistic tests had been "fudged." [13]

The funeral of Gianni Versace in Milan Cathedral was attended by Diana Spencer, the Princess of Wales, a month before her own death in a Parisian tunnel. As it happened, another social butterfly and friend of Michael Hutchence with organized crime connections was Dodi Fayed. Dodi's uncle was arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi of Iran-Contra fame. Mohamed al-Fayed, Dodi's father, is "one of the richest men in Britain," notes the St. Louis Tribune, "The source of al- Fayed's wealth always has been somewhat murky. Born poor in Alexandria, Egypt, he acquired a university education and married Samira Kashoggi, sister of the fabulously wealthy Saudi Arabian arms dealer. His brother-in-law gave al-Fayed his start in business by putting him in charge of his furniture-importing interests in Saudi Arabia," [20] He is said to have sicced Donna Rice on Gary Hart to sabotage his bid for the Oval Office. Dodi and his uncle introduced Marla Maples to Donald Trump. Denise Brown, a gadfly in organized crime circles with a black book of mobbed up boyfriends, dated Dodi. Al-Fayed and Adnan Khashoggi were closely associated with the Sultan of Brunei, who has been accused by an American beauty queen of presiding over a white slaver's harem.

Dodi Fayed and Diana Spencer were killed in a car crash on August 31, 1997, four months before Michael Hutchence died.

Intelligence officials withhold files on the accident and have steadfastly refused to declassify them. In November, 1998, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the proprietors of the APBNews website, the National Security Agency confirmed that it had on file "39 NSA-originated and NSA-controlled documents" concerning the crash, but "refused to release them." The NSA insisted that the files were "top secret," and their release, it seems, could bring about "exceptionally grave damage to the national security." Press accounts of the secret files moved Al Fayed to undertake a series of lawsuits in Baltimore and Washington district courts for their release. His demand included any intelligence that might be cabbaged away in CIA, DIA and NSA files. Each agency was sued separately in February 1999, and to date Fayed and the media have been denied any classified files pertaining to deaths of his son and the estranged princess. [21]

The Deep Politics of Pop Music

Roger Bunn, director of the Music Industry Human Rights Association (MIHRA) in the UK, lives in the eye of the corporate music beast, and had his own perspective on the death of the core member of INXS. These letters from Bunn were circulated to rock musicians, journalists and researchers in late November, 1997. [22]


Talking Sense about Hutchence, News Reports

The Really Really Spoilt? The flight is over?

Paula Yates threw champagne over a Thai airport official who was asking her to reboard the plane. Paula, out of her box on champers and prescription drugs and in company with her lawyer and child was smuggled out of her hotel to view the body of the recently deceased. There is to be an airline report on the incident.

Pride of the Welsh, Tom Jones, has suggested that the band will "be devastated" and Michael Hutchence "was a nice guy."

So that's it, huh? Death due to hanging?

Sorta unusual that, even for the music industry. Those wonderful featured artists. Really light up the sky every now and then. Maybe we should consider making the poor darlings an endangered species?

Think about this the next time you buy your next conglomerate primitive/folk music. Every time you buy, every time you watch a movie using well known material, you add strength to the cartel monopolies, because nobody else is allowed (by their governments' lack of legislation and their ineffective inquiries and "monopolies boards." And that, now he had "reached his peak," MH is probably worth far more to his conglomerate dead than alive.

I spoke to a close friend tonight. He suggested that Paula was so outta her head that Sir Bob had every legitimate right to keep an eye on his kids. My friend was not a fan of "herself." In fact in the past he had always avoided an introduction.

However, apart from being a less than mediocre music journalist employed by the Cartel and lousy singer (for the Boomtown Rats), Sir Bob is still being condemned by the industry's creative "cognicenti" of using the kudos and money he obtained by reinventing and promoting himself with "LIVE AID" to gain his title.

He blamed Paula for just about everything to do with the situation that lead to the strange death of a man who was probably one of the "sub-normal featured artists" used by the industry to maintain it's monopoly over 95 percent of the western world market.

MIHRA first came into contact with Michael after he had contacted Central TV's, (now Carlton TV) John Pilger and David Munro in relation to "Death of a Nation," their doc about the genocide in East Timor. He was after all ashamed of his nation's appeasement policies on Indonesia. But like the rest of these elite musical figures, Michael was isolated and uncontactable in person and so the proposed "INXS benefit concert for ET" never took place.

Then MH became a waste of MIHRA's and British Coalition for East Timor's time. In fact, to do such a concert would have laid the band open to a court case by a well known UK promoter who was looking to sue INXS as soon as they performed, as they had reneged upon a previous contract to appear in London.

"The sexiest man alive," Michael was brash and brutal. He punched the paparazzi who had locked on to the affair he was having with Paula Yates, herself well used to controversy during her long (for showbiz) marriage to "Bob" the TV tycoon.

The police are now seeking a man in his forties with a weird haircut and beard, a taste for kudos and titles.

Pop saint Sir Robert Geldof of "LIVE AID" (or something even more patronizing) should call his lawyer immediately, just in case.

"And where were you between the hours of ... Sir Robert?" Are INXS fans now thinking of building another long living $ Shrine to yet another isolated god of the paparazzi?

MH was 37 years old and although INXS was not selling conglomerate product as much as over their previous five year span, they had gone back to Australia to plan yet another tour.

Featured artists are sometimes Very Strange, sometimes very unprofessional "creators" indeed. The Stones are a much iconed and imperfect example of the "kick back at society" role model syndrome that now exists, not to enlighten society but simply to make even more money. Similar to the overpowering ethic of the six conglomerates.

The Music Publisher's Association rules the world of music and the six conglomerate recording companies with their old friends MTV and Rupert Murdoch in close association, they really really don't care a damn about governments or legislation because the industry turns over $12--billion a year. They can afford to be and are very generous to both sides of any argument or national election.

Music is the third richest industry on the planet. To do this they have to seek "talent" and provide the public with a marketing false god syndrome so that it can consistently buy its products. But unlike sport (if one gets the right invitations), the talent of an athlete will stand a chance of reaching the commercial surface. Whereas this may be a difficult struggle for some athletes, in the music industry there is no such thing as true competition.

Who judges what is good and what it not, the audience? The Artist and Recording Manager from the record company down for a fleeting visit to catch the band playing live? This person is probably readying himself to fly for the weekend to Mex with a couple of groupies and a few ounces of coke on one of his clients' accounts.

"Double indemnity" is a very tough clause indeed. Into this world comes children on the make and the genuinely talented.

When an artist's "usefulness" to a conglomerate is over, things can get a little "sticky." Lawyers tend to proliferate and costs rise. Michael Hutchence may have been "trouble" to deal with.

In recent years artists have begun and won more battles in the courts than over the whole of the previous four decades. Artists, that are said to be "difficult to work with," are winning and are becoming "the norm." Sometimes, if I were a tycoon with a problem, maybe I would think to myself, "I wish that little faker were dead, then I could become his career."

Was Michael more trouble than he was worth? Tom Jones doesn't think so. Tom says that "Michael was a sensible guy."

BIG and influential Bob Geldof

Bob Geldof ... journalist (ha!), he worked for "Melody Maker," one of the papers OWNED by the six member Cartel ...

Bob and Midge Ure (a nice guy and ex-neighbour of ours) who played in Ultravox started LIVE AID the concert that went around the world and raised, millions and KUDOS and MONEY for the Third World and the conglomerates as the guys got tons and tons of news exposure when their careers were seriously faltering. Suddenly Brave Bob was on every TV in the land, day after day.

So the Show/Music biz doyens got together and did the first big Wembley Concert, they did not consider putting something together like MIHRA outta this massive bundle of cash, they were the EXCLUSIVE FEATURED ARTISTS and were the "untouchables." The promoter of LIVE AID, Harvey Goldsmith, also arranged the Concert (some say on behalf of the UK and US Govts) for the Kurds after Desert Storm.

Kids in a Serious Playground ...

So Midge and Bob got back into the world headlines saying, "I want to stay in the background, outta the headlines" huh? Of course Amnesty and the NGOs were very pleased with LIVE AID, and the chaps all went off on a happy tour around Africa showing their "solidarity" with all the natives. So AFTER all the dosh had been made and the limos paid for and the HARVEY GOLDSMITH (recently honored) Promotion Agency got their good works publicized, the money started to get dispersed.

Some LIVE AID money bought a ship full of SPOILT GRAIN from an Indian businessman to go to SOMALIA or somewhere. As the docks were on strike, the grain ship stayed in dock, the ship eventually left dock when strike finish, the ship arrived, Lo and Behold the grain was discovered to be SPOILT, inedible, it cost LIVE AID millions, that's just one example, there may be others, we do not know them, maybe one could begin to ask more loudly?

But where did it ALL go? Certainly some of the KURDISH GROUPS wanted it to buy arms to stop Saddam H from exterminating their right to live where they choose and do the work that George Bush and John Major, without the support of the 29 member coalition, couldn't, or refused to do.

Which was to take out Saddam H. To the displeasure of Paul Simon and some of the other artists appearing, the UK/US Govt bought bread for the Kurds instead of bullets. So under John Major, Sir Bob became a TV TYCOON. Sir Bob owns the production company that does the BIG BREAKFAST SHOW for young people 5 days a week. "Big Bob" they call him at the office. And it seems like TV power is now his most favourite "toy" ...

Again under PM Major Sir Bob gained his title, Sir Bob of something as one of the showbiz awards from the "Krown." Sir Bob doesn't bother too much with being a "singer" anymore. Midge is now living in Cal ... He probably can be contacted through his Cartel (RCA) contract but we would rather not.

Right now Geldof now lives at his mansion in Kent and his house at 129. We have the address on file somewhere because when we started MIHRA we wrote to the TOP HUNDRED PRS EARNERS IN THE UK. One of the hundred we wrote to was Sir Bob. Only one responded. Bob Geldof, the man of "vision" was Not that singular person.

In fact the person who did write, really didn't write at all. And so that's why MIHRA returned the tiny cheque from Mark Knopfler to his manager ED BICKNELL. Head of AURA, the organization that represents the UK Featured Artists in their indecently hasty chase for the multi-millions of Euro royalties about to hit the UK after Brussels started ruling on the lack of econ-system in the UK music industry and the "policies" of the UK Musician's Union.

But you are not going to hear us saying that the death of Michael Hutchence on the 21st November 1997 was a hit by the mob ...

Buddy Holly would only be the first.

MIHRA's sources also says that Cath, ex-girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix, has exhausted herself trying to reopen an inquiry into his death and as she is married to his doctor, has now given up. As it was through this contact that Jimi became a star in the UK and later the world, I suggest we take this as "gospel."



1. Mike Gee, The Final Days of Michael Hutchence, London Omnibus, 1998, p. 152.

2. "INXS fury at photos of bondage," South China Morning Post, December 11, 1997.

3. Gil Kaufman, "Police Say INXS Singer Left No Suicide Note," Music News of the World, December 5, 1997.

4. Ibid.

5. Geoffrey Lee Martin, "Hutchence seemed so happy, say friends," London Telegraph, Issue 914, November 24, 1997.

6. Gee, p. 150.

7. Ibid.

8. David Fricke, "The Devil Inside," Rolling Stone, January 22, 1998, p. 17.

9. Derek W. Hand, Inquest into the Death of Michael Kelland Hutchence, February 6, 1998.

10. "Yates in Legal Move to Fight Suicide Verdict," London Telegraph, March 30, 1998.

11. Diamond interview transcribed by Leah Sungenis, as INXS newsletter, July 1998. In May 1998, six weeks after the suit was filed by Hutchence's family against Diamond and co-executor Andrew Morrison Paul, the Australian attorney told the Queensland Supreme Court that he wanted to be released from any legal responsibility for administering the estate. The diversion of Hutchence's income makes hash of Diamond's boasts of a bosom relationship with the late singer, and in fact the Morning Herald reported on May 29, 1998 that Colin Diamond, "who has been described as one of Hutchence's closest friends, did not attend the funeral or the scattering of his ashes."

12. Paul Whittaker and Rory Callinan, "Mafia Tie To Rock Star's Lost Riches," The Courier-Mail, February 13, 1999.

13. Mark Chipperfield, "Hutchence family fights for 'missing' fortune," Sunday Telegraph, April 19, 1998.

14. Ian Verrender, "Fight begins for control of Hutchence assets," Sydney Morning Herald, March, 8, 1998.

15. Leigh Reinhold, "Angry Kim -- I didn't kill Michael -- A year later, Kym Wilson is still haunted by Michael Hutchence's death," New Idea Magazine, Always INSX website.

16. Caroline Davies, "'Boy Raised Among the Brothels Who Became a Fashion Star," London Telegraph, July 16, 1997.

17. James Langton, "Did Mafia silence Versace to hide financial scandal?" Sunday Telegraph, July 27, 1997.

18. "FBI Hunt Gay Serial Killer After Versace Shot Dead," London Telegraph, July 16, 1997.

19. Bruce Taylor Seeman, "A murder theory takes wing: 'Dead bird clue' fosters speculation," Miami Herald, July 27, 1997.

20. Anonymous, "Dodi's Royal Romance Was Coup for Father," Salt Lake Tribune, September 3, 1997.

21. Tami Sheheri, "Al-Fayed Demands Spy Agency's Diana Files," APBNewscom, April 19, 1999.

22. Open correspondences from Roger Bunn, MIHRA, November 24 and 30, 1997.
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