THE QUAKER CITY CONNECTIONS – CROSSROADS TO CONSPIRACY
– By Bill Kelly
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA, after Dallas and New Orleans, is the one city, if not where more JFK assassination intrigues actually took place, Philadelphia is where many of the primary players spent more of their quality time than anywhere else. Philly is the Crossroads of the JFK Assassination Conspiracy.
Home of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Constitution Center, the Liberty Bell, the Stars & Stripes, the U.S.S. Olympia of Spanish American War fame, and the 2000 Republican National Convention, Philadelphia was founded by First Quaker William Penn and is the hometown of Tom Paine, Ben Franklin, Arthur Young, Cummings Catherwood, James Bond, Arthur Cowan, Frank Forini Sturgis, Angelo Bruno, Dr. De De Wynne DeMohrenschildt Sharples, Igor Vaganov, Robert Lipka, Amil Jamal, Ira Einhorn and the Man on the Motorcycle in Mexico City.
Philadelphia is where you get a good cheesesteak, cream cheese, scrapple, Tastycake, water ice and a lawyer, when you really need one. Among the Philadelphia lawyers who became players in the JFK assassination drama are John J. McCloy, Arlen Specter, William Coleman, Vincent Salandria, Richard Schweiker and Richard Sprague.
Philadelphia’s Main Line is where Michael Paine and Priscilla Johnson (McMillan) matriculated at Quaker colleges, Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr, where Michael Paine met Ruth Hyde when she was teaching at a Quaker school, and where Michael’s stepfather Arthur Young invented the original Bell 47A Helicopter. It’s also where Joshia Tink Thompson taught Philosophy.
Philadelphia is also the home of Warren Commission critic Vincent Salandria [See: “False Mystery” an Anthology of Salandria’s work] and the dateline of such journalists as Joe Goulden, the reporter who “made up” Oswald’s FBI number, Gaeton Fonzi and Mike Mallow, both of whom wrote numerous articles on the Kennedy assassination for Philadelphia Magazine.
Philadelphia is where Lee Harvey Oswald told Ruth Paine he was going to relocate to and work shortly before he went to Mexico City, and there are four Philadelphia addresses in Oswald’s notebook, each an interesting lead worth pursuing.
Philadelphia is where President Kennedy visited on a political campaign stop on October 31, 1963, Halloween, at the time Diem was killed in Vietnam during a coup d’etat and when Castro was supposed to be shot by assassins in Cuba from the CIA ship the “Rex.” If Diem, Castro and JFK were all killed by assassins on the same day, would anyone consider it a coincidence?
Kennedy rode through Philadelphia in an open limo in a short motorcade witnessed by my cousin Steven “Skip” Haynes, who then worked for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. After seeing JFK drive past him, on his way to a Democratic fundraiser at Convention Hall, Skip walked into the newsroom and said that he didn’t think the President was going to live much longer. He expressed this thought, not because of any foreknowledge of a plot, but because of the total lack of security. After becoming a Catholic priest, Father Skip wrote a sermon about the effort to free the government files and the need for open records in an open society, using the story of the blind men and the elephant as an example of our attempts to describe the assassination from censored government documents.
The significance of Kennedy’s visit to Philadelphia on that day has yet to be adequately explored.
A suspect in the Tippit murder, Igor Vaganov, was a East European who moved from Philadelphia to Oak Cliff with his girlfriend on the week before the assassination. He drove a red Ford, had a rifle, and was driving around Oak Cliff when Tippitt was murdered. The evening before, Vaganov’s girlfriend called home to Philadelphia to say that she thought Vaganov was going to do something radical and was scared.
Tippet’s killer discarded a jacket that could have also originated in Philadelphia, at a department store that was one of the few outlets that sold that line of jackets at the time.
The Warren Commission investigation, led by such Philadelphians lawyers like Arlen Spector and William Coleman, never got to the department store, the four addresses in Oswald’s notebook or to Arthur Young, whose name appears, as far as I can tell, only once in the primary assassination literature. Gerald Ford, in his book on the assassination, notes quite innocently that Marina Oswald was asked by Ruth Hyde Paine to respond to her offer to move to Irving by writing in care of ARTHUR YOUNG, PAOLI, PENNSYLVANIA.
Ruth Hyde Paine, on her summer vacation, drove her kids to the Paine family retreat off the coast of Massachusetts, then stopped to spend some time with Michael’s mother and stepfather, Ruth Forbes Paine Young and Arthur, the inventor of the Bell Helicopter. Both espoused Quaker beliefs, and assisted Michael in obtaining the job at Bell Hell in Texas, to where they relocated after leaving Philadelphia.
Marina wrote to Ruth c/o Arthur Young, Paoli, Pa., and the letter got through, since Ruth stopped in New Orleans on her way home and picked up Marina, the kids and the alleged assassination rifle and drove them to Texas while Oswald went to Mexico City. Arthur and Ruth Young and Michael and Ruth Paine professed Quaker beliefs, Ruth Paine taught at a Quaker school and they supported Cord Meyer’s World Federalists movement for a world government and a strong United Nations.
Another wealthy Main Line Quaker philanthropist, Dr. Dee Dee Sharples, now a Temple University Trustee, was married to George DeMohrenschildt, one of the accused assassin’s best friends.
The last person President Kennedy talked with on the telephone from his Ft. Worth hotel suite was the patron of the arts who decorated the hotel room walls with fine works of art, who happened to be from Philadelphia and friends with Ruth and Michael Paine.
Besides home to the Paines, Youngs and Sharples, Paoli is also the small town home of Cuban exile, Enrique Menocal, Castro’s childhood friend, who helped found the Cuban Aid Relief, which was sponsored by the CIA’s Catherwood Fund. One stop down the Main Line train track from Paoli is the home of Cummins Catherwood, whose Catherwood Foundation served as a conduit for the funds earmarked for covert CIA operations, some of which included Latin American Spanish language news organizations, the international division of the Columbia University School of Journalism, the Cuban Aid Relief, Catholic Welfare and a multitude of operations in the Philippines, Cuba and Central America. [See articles: The Catherwood Foundation; The Cuban Aid Relief; and Julio Fernandez.].
The CIA’s Catherwood Fund reportedly funded such things as the White Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, to which Marina Oswald baptized her children, and the Cuban Catholic Relief, which provided medical services to anti-Castro Cubans in Dallas and Miami.
The Catherwood Fund also bankrolled a conference of exiled Cuban journalists at the University of Miami (aka JMWAVE) in the summer of 1963.
Philadelphia was the primary dateline for such reporters as Joe Goulden, who “made up” Oswald’s FBI undercover agent number, and investigative journalists Gaeton Fonzi and Mike Mallowe, who wrote numerous articles on the JFK assassination for Philadelphia Magazine.
It was Fonzi’s magazine articles that caught the attention of Sen. Richard Schweiker (R. Pa.) when he was named to the Schweiker-(Gary) Hart (JFK Assassination) subcommittee of the Church Intelligence Committee investigation into illegal intelligence agency activities. It was during his leg work for that sub-committee that Fonzi first interviewed Alpha 66 leader Antonio Vechina and his association with CIA case officer “Maurice Bishop.”
Both Hart and Schweiker were taken care of, Hart exposed for his “Monkey Business” with Donna Rice, while Ronald Regan prematurely named Schweiker his VP running mate, effectively taking him out of the game.
The Church Committee Report however, did help spark the creation of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA), which was given the task of investigating the assassinations of President Kennedy and Martin Luther King. The first chief counsel to the HSCA was Philadelphia attorney Richard Sprague, who had previously investigated the assassination of United Mine Workers Union President Tony Boyle and successfully prosecuted his rival Jock Yablonski for the murder.
When asked about Oswald’s motives, Sprague, the son of two psychologists, replied that he wasn’t interested in whether Oswald was nursed at his mother’s breast, “my approach to motive is more direct.” Sprague began to conduct two simultaneous homicide investigations, with the intention of solving the crimes, and was directly removed from his office and replaced by G. Robert Blakey, a Cornell organized crime expert who redirected the investigation away from the intelligence connections towards the mob.
When Sprague was the chief counsel, I hand delivered him a package that contained a copy of Jim Braden’s 1948 Camden, N.J. arrest report, but Sprague never passed his files on to Blakey when he took over, and as far as I can tell, the Assassinations Records Review Board never obtained Sprague’s files either.
More recently, two active Philadelphia cases have a bearing on the JFK assassination, Ira Einhorn and Robert Steven Lipka.
Hippie Guru Ira Einhorn was indicted, and later convicted in abstensia of killing his girlfriend, former Texas cheerleader Holly Maddux. Einhorn was a protégé of Arthur Young, the inventor, and blames the CIA and KGB for killing Holly. Einhorn took off when his attorney, Arlen Spector, got him out on bail, but he was recently recaptured in France, where he had been fighting extradition back to Philly to be retried. Eventually returned, he was convicted again.
Robert Steven Lipka was a NSA clerk at Fort Meade, Md. whose job was to shred highly classified documents, but instead, beginning in September 1965, he began selling them to the KGB. Lipka sold enough docs to the Ruskies to retire and go back to school, earn a degree and teach school in Millersville, Pennsylvania.
It appeared he got away with it until sometime after March, 1992, when KGB archivist Vasile Mitrokhin defected to the British MI5 and exposed Lipka as a means of establishing his bonafides. When the British passed on the information to the FBI, an undercover FBI agent slipped up to Lipka at a bar and began to rope him in before he was officially arrested in March, 1996.
Although Mitrokhin was not mentioned as the source for the arrest, Lipka admitted his betrayal at a court hearing, during which he also said that from NSA records he learned the name of President Kennedy’s assassin.
When asked by a reporter what was the name of the assassin in the NSA reports, Lipka replied: “Luis Angel Castillo.”
Lipka was sentenced to prison, the Castillo file remained withheld at the Ford Library until earlier this year, while the NSA continues to insist that it has no records of evidentiary value concerning the assassination of President Kennedy.
Then there’s Steve Keenan, the man on the motorcycle, a college student from Philadelphia who frequented the Quaker Casa de Amegos hostel in Mexico City who reportedly gave Oswald a ride to the Cuban embassy on the back of his motorcycle.
In the summer of 1963, at the same time Lee Harvey Oswald was handing out Fair Play for Cuba leaflets in New Orleans and getting arrested with members of the anti-Castro Cuban DRE, someone later identified as Oswald was seen handing out pro-Castro leaflets at Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia
Philadelphia PA, the Crossroads of Conspiracy, and home of the Quakers, journalists, lawyers and spies and keys to the assassination of President Kennedy.
PHILADELPHIA ASSASSINS TOUR –
Jimmy’s Steaks on South Street – Best cheesesteak around.
Downey’s – Delaware Riverside bar, glass and brass place owned by Sinatra’s pal.
Rittenhouse Square – Hip park where FPCC and pro-Castro Cuban demonstrations held, including one where LHO or impersonator/lookalike was reported.
Guitar Workshop – Originally opened in North Philly by EK, the brother of the Man on the Motorcycle in Mexico City, moved to Sanson Street.
Sansom Street – Hip street near Electric Factory and Rittenhouse Square. .
Philadelphia Bulletin – Across from 30th Street Station, where the Bulletin newspaper clip archives were located until the Bulletin bought and folded by the Charter Company, which was implicated in Watergate. The Bulletin clipping files are now at Urban Archives, in the basement of the Paley Library at Temple University.
Russian Addresses from Oswald’s notebook – a, b, c, d.
Mrs. Paine’s – Quaker friends.
Swarthmore College – Main Line – Where Michael went to college.
Bryn Marr – Main Line – Where Priscilla Johnson went to college.
Catherwood Offices in Paoli – CIA bagman, off Main Line.
Arthur Young farmhouse – Brandywine.
Old Convention Hall at Penn where JFK visited in 1963 –
Judge’s House in Mt. Airy – Dayton alumni live near Germantown Avenue.
Sprague & Sprague – Law offices of the first chief counsel to HSCA, former Philadelphia DA.
Specter – Law offices of Arlen Spector, former Philadelphia DA.
Hanneheman Hospital – Where Army Intel contracts awarded, headed by E. Wharton Shober, CIA associate and co-founder of the anti-Castro Cuban Aid Relief (CAR)
Temple – Where MMMC attended school. Now home to the Philadelphia Bulletin newspaper archives.
30th Street Station – Magnificent huge marble and granite building, where center city subway ends, local train links (ie. Main Line) connect, and AMTRACK trains running the Northeast Corridor – put in, with east-west line running to Pittsburgh and west and north-south line running to Boston/New York to the north and Wilmington, Delaware, Baltimore and Washington D.C. to the south.
There’s a good news stand and book store in the southeast corner near the east doors, where the Atlantic City NJ Transit trains put in, as well as a McDonalds, a bar, and a food court with a wide variety of oriental and local take outs, with shared tables.
There’s also a good Irish bar across the street on the south side, if you have the time and inclination.
From 30th Street Station, the trip to New York is about an hour and fifteen minutes, with stops in Trenton, [See: Trenton Tour ] and one or two other stops in New Jersey, and putting into New York at Grand Central Station [See: New York Tour ]
The New Jersey Transit (NJT) trains also run to New York from Trenton, and are much less expensive than AMTRACK, and put into Manhattan’s Union Station at Madison Square Garden.
The trip to Washington D.C. is about two and a half hours, and includes a snack car that offers coffee, tea, soda, beer, soup and sandwiches, but I usually wait until I get to DC because there’s a lot more to offer there, especially at Washington’s Union Station.
[See: DC Tour ]. nia