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Thursday, 26 November 2009


Having sex nearly every night in your Seventies

A man in his late 70s was interviewed on the television the other night. He told the interviewer that he had sex nearly every night. When the surprised young woman asked for clarification he said: "Well, I nearly have sex on Monday night, I nearly have sex on Tuesday night, I nearly have sex on Wednesday night, I nearly...

Spanish Medical Aid Committee

There is virtually nothing on the web on the Spanish Medical Aid Committee that was established by a group of young medical students in London on 8th August 1936. This group included Alex Tudor-Hart, Archie Cochrane, Penny Phelps, Peter Spencer, Annie Murray, Julian Bell, Richard Rees, Nan Green, Lillian Urmston, Thora Silverthorne and Agnes Hodgson.

In respect to these brave young men and women I have created a page here:

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Douglas Horne

Douglas Horne worked on the staff of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) in Washington, DC for the final 3 years of the Review Board's 4-year lifespan, from August 1995 through September 1998. He was hired as a Senior Analyst on the Military Records Team, and was later promoted to the position of Chief Analyst for Military Records (i.e., the Head of the Military Records Team).

Douglas Horne's book, Inside the Assassination Records Review Board will be published next month.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Great Love Letters

Penny Phelps, the daughter of an unemployed labourer, was born in Tottenham on 24th April 1909. One of ten children, she left school at the age of thirteen. She worked in factories, in service and in dressmaking. In 1927 she began training as a nurse at the Eastern Fever Hospital in Homerton. She completed her training as a State Registered Nurse at Charing Cross Hospital.

In January 1937 she became a nurse working for the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. After the offensive at Jarama, Phelps became Medical Officer to the Garibaldi Brigade. Phelps later served with the XVth Brigade. While stationed at Quintanar she fell in love with Roberto Vincenzi, a young Italian member of the International Brigades. They made plans to marry after the war but they were separated when Vincenzi was sent to another part of the front-line.

At Brunete six people in her medical unit were killed. Phelps was herself seriously wounded in the spring of 1938 and was forced to return home. During her convalescence she met Dr Michael Feiwel and they began a relationship. Phelps wrote to Vincenzi: "I felt that living in Spain and living in England were two completely isolated experiences. During this period, Roberto, I had not forgotten you - far from it - but what I felt about the whole of my life in Spain I felt also about our relationship. I loved you in Spain - you stood for everything out there - you were part of it - you were a real fighter for the rights of mankind. I still do love you, Roberto, but in a different way... But in England, while I was ill, Spain seemed so remote - almost another world. And now there is something I want to tell you Roberto. While I was feeling like this, there was someone who helped me to get well again." Phelps then went onto tell Vincenzi that she had married Dr. Feiwel.

Roberto Vincenzi received the letter in a refugee camp in France. He replied: "I thought that the wounds to your body caused by the fascist plane had taken your life... Penny, you have married - you have done the right thing! I do not reproach you for it at all... In my situation, how would I have been able to keep my promise? I find myself here surrounded by barbed wire, with no prospect of freeing myself, without knowing when we will leave here, and in the certainty that the bourgeoisie of whatever country we go to will make it difficult for us to find work, and besides, they will impose restrictions on our movements, seeing them as suspect. We are subject to imprisonment, persecution, unemployment, etc., because we will continue with our fight, even when we must conduct it secretly, the only thing that matters to us is to arrive at the moment when all humanity is liberated from capitalist oppression... In your letter you tell me not to feel bitterness towards your husband. What blame has he? How could I nuture mistrust for a man who would give you the happiness that I am unable to give you. He has given you his name, the pride of bearing it and bringing it honour. Be a worthy companion for him."

Penny Phelps kept in touch with Roberto Vincenzi until the German Army invaded France in the summer of 1940. Like many soldiers of the International Brigades living in refugee camps in France, Vincenzi was probably executed during the occupation.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

LBJ and the Assassination of JFK

In 1963 Johnson got drawn into political scandals involving Fred Korth, Billie Sol Estes and Bobby Baker. According to James Wagenvoord, the editorial business manager and assistant to Life Magazines Executive Editor, the magazine was working on an article that would have revealed Johnson's corrupt activities. "Beginning in later summer 1963 the magazine, based upon information fed from Bobby Kennedy and the Justice Department, had been developing a major newsbreak piece concerning Johnson and Bobby Baker. On publication Johnson would have been finished and off the 1964 ticket (reason the material was fed to us) and would probably have been facing prison time. At the time LIFE magazine was arguably the most important general news source in the US. The top management of Time Inc. was closely allied with the USA's various intelligence agencies and we were used after by the Kennedy Justice Department as a conduit to the public."

The fact that it was Robert Kennedy who was giving this information to Life Magazine suggests that John F. Kennedy intended to drop Johnson as his vice-president. This is supported by Evelyn Lincoln, Kennedy's secretary. In her book, Kennedy and Johnson (1968) she claimed that in November, 1963, Kennedy decided that because of the emerging Bobby Baker scandal he was going to drop Johnson as his running mate in the 1964 election. Kennedy told Lincoln that he was going to replace Johnson with Terry Sanford.

Don B. Reynolds appeared before a secret session of the Senate Rules Committee on 22nd November, 1963. Reynolds told B. Everett Jordan and his committee that Johnson had demanded that he provided kickbacks in return for him agreeing to a life insurance policy arranged by him in 1957. This included a $585 Magnavox stereo. Reynolds also had to pay for $1,200 worth of advertising on KTBC, Johnson's television station in Austin. Reynolds had paperwork for this transaction including a delivery note that indicated the stereo had been sent to the home of Johnson. Reynolds also told of seeing a suitcase full of money which Baker described as a "$100,000 payoff to Johnson for his role in securing the Fort Worth TFX contract".

As Johnson was now president Life Magazine decided not to use the story concerning his corrupt activities. James Wagenvoord later recalled: "The LBJ/Baker piece was in the final editing stages and was scheduled to break in the issue of the magazine due out the week of November 24th (the magazine would have made it to the newsstands on November 26th or 27th). It had been prepared in relative secrecy by a small special editorial team. On Kennedy's death research files and all numbered copies of the nearly print-ready draft were gathered up by my boss (he had been the top editor on the team) and shredded. The issue that was to expose LBJ instead featured the Zapruder film."

Wednesday, 11 November 2009


Anne Goodpasture

Lisa Pease quotes Eddie Lopez in an article in Probe as saying that that Anne Goodpasture, "in addition to her duties for Scott, ran all of David Phillips’ operations." Goodpasture was later to receive a career achievement award on the recommendation of David Atlee Phillips, who cited her for having discovered Oswald at the Cuban embassy.

According to John Newman (Oswald, the CIA and Mexico City) Anne Goodpasture took part in the CIA cover-up of the assassination of JFK: "The cover-up was apparently put in motion the day after the assassination by Anne Goodpasture (unless someone else altered the cables she sent after the fact) in the CIA station in Mexico City. But it was a sloppy cover-up. Files released in the mid-1990s show she sent a cable at noon (1pm EST) on Nov. 23 stating that a voice comparison (between two intercepted phone calls) had not been made at the time of Oswald's visit because one tape (presumably of the Saturday, Sept. 28 call) had been erased before another had been received (presumably from the Oct. 1 intercept). It was unlikely this would have happened, however, as tapes were kept for at least two weeks before erasure. It was necessary to deny that a voice comparison with the Cuban consulate tape had taken place, in order to facilitate the cover story that the station had not realized that Oswald had visited the Cuban consulate."

In 1995 Anne Goodpasture gave evidence to the Assassination Records Review Board. As Lisa Pease points out, when asked about the politics of David Atlee Phillips: "Goodpasture tells a story that remains redacted, a fact especially disturbing when one considers the whole purpose of the ARRB was to release previously classified materials, not to add to the secrets. But from the nature of the testimony around the redacted portion, we can gather that she is giving us some indication that Phillips was not the liberal he painted himself to be."

Thursday, 5 November 2009

George de Mohrenschildt and Abraham Zapruder

It is well-known that George de Mohrenschildt, was born in Russia and that he fled the country during the Russian Civil War in the early 1920s. It is interesting that Abraham Zapruder was also born in Russia (Kovel). His family fled to the United States in 1920.

After living in various countries, George de Mohrenschildt arrived in the US in 1938. He settled in New York City, the same place where Zapruder was living. Jeanne LeGon also arrived in New York in 1938 (she had just arrived from China, the country of her birth).

By the early 1950s all three were living in Dallas. De Mohrenschildt was a member of the Texas Crusade for Freedom. Other members included Earle Cabell, Everette DeGolyer, Harold Byrd, Ted Dealey, Paul Raigorodsky, George Bouhe, Neil Mallon and Lewis MacNaughton. He was also active in what has been called the Russian-émigré community in Dallas (this is how he explains why he met Lee Harvey and Marina Oswald). It is almost certain that De Mohrenschildt and Zapruder met during these gatherings.

Is it a coincidence that Zapruder filmed the events in Dealey Plaza? Is it possible that De Mohrenschildt suggested to Zapruder that he filmed the events that day? De Mohrenschildt was a shrewd businessman and maybe he had agreed with Zapruder to split the profits of the deal.
I believe the original idea was to blame Castro for the assassination of JFK. The two chosen men to be set-up with the killing both had links with Cuba. At this time it actually helped for evidence to be produced that JFK was the victim of a conspiracy. The plan was to kill Oswald soon after the assassination and to allow the other patsy (possibly a Cuban-agent in Dallas at the time) to flee to Havana. However, LBJ refused to invade Cuba and so this left the authorities to change the story to Oswald as the lone-killer. The Zapruder Film now became a problem for those involved in the cover-up.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Jack Ruby, David Yaras and Lenny Patrick

Jack Ruby, David Yaras and Lenny Patrick were all friends in Chicago in the 1930s and 1940s. Ruby made contact with Yaras and Patrick, just before the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This is important as according to a FBI report, Yaras and Patrick were considered to be two of the most important contract killers in the US.