Monday, January 28, 2013

Bob Sirkin and Bill O"Reilly and George deMohrenschildt

Originally posted as a comment to Gaeton Fonzi Obit Post: 

On Tue, Sep 11, 2012 at 5:01 PM, Bob Sirkin wrote:

In the spring of 1976, at WFAA-TV Dallas, my boss, the legendary Marty Haag, dispatched Bill O'Reilly and me to Palm Beach, Florida on a midnight Braniff Airlines flight.

Our mission: to find a missing Bishop College professor, a former Russian petroleum engineer and CIA operative, a white Russian Baron named George deMorenschieldt, a man who befriended Lee Harvey Oswald and wife Marina upon their return to Dallas from Russia.

O’Reilly and I, along with WFAA-TV Reporter Doug Fox, had been on the trail of deMorenchieldt for weeks, since his suspicious disappearance from the campus of Bishop College, where deMorenschieldt taught and lived. It was Doug Fox who dug up the fact that Bishop College, a small, black liberal arts school, had received funding from the CIA.

Bill O'Reilly had been tipped by his friend Gaeton Fonzi, investigator for the House Committee on Assassinations (JFK and MLK), that deMohrenschildt was at the famous Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach being interviewed by author Edward Jay Epstein. Epstein was writing a book on the JFK Assassination.

Just hours after landing, O'Reilly and I, along with our cameraman, arrived at The Breakers. We paid a bell hop $25 to get the number of Epstein's suite. With camera rolling, I knocked on the door. Epstein came to the door and went ballistic! You could see deMohrenschildt, in the background, sitting at a dining room table. Eptstein called hotel security. Within moments, we were all bodily removed from the premises. Just the beginning of our caper!

The next day, Gaeton Fonzi shows up in nearby Manalapan, Florida carrying a subpoena for deMohrenschildt to appear before the House Committee on Assassinations. The Committee wanted to grill deMohrenschildt on his and Oswald's clandestine meeting with a CIA operative in Mexico City, about a month before the assassination. But deMohrenschildt never appeared before the committee.

Shortly after receiving his subpoena, deMohrenschildt retreated to a bedroom inside a mansion owned by a Mafia connected family from Arizona. He was found dead from a massive shotgun wound to his head. The coroner, to my recollection, couldn't say for sure that deMohrenschildt took his own life because of the length of the shotgun barrel placed in deMohrenschildt's mouth. Some say the least!

Before leaving Florida, O'Reilly and I made one more stop. We drove to North Miami Beach, the Hallandale area. About 10pm, we paid a visit to former convicted Watergate figure, E. Howard Hunt. He too was the focus of the House Committee's investigation into the JFK Assassination.

When we rang Hunt's doorbell, he opened a small peephole. In total darkness, I remember Hunt's eerie voice saying: "I strongly suggest that you gentlemen leave RIGHT NOW!" We did and flew back to Dallas continuing to pursue the alleged cover-up to the assassination.

Bill O'Reilly's contact; the late Gaeton Fonzi, made our award winning story.

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