Monday, January 28, 2013

The Denton Informant and Threat

As noted by Scamp Bell - "Denton is a sum of it's parts and a sum of it's history," which includes being the hometown of two of the doctors who catered to President Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963 as well as Robert Oswald, brother of the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

JFKCountercoup2: The Denton, Texas Connections

Denton is also known as a college town as the home of North Texas University, where Jim Marrs matriculated, as well as some students who were also members of the John Birch Society and Minutemen, students who visited with Gen. Edwin Walker and participated in the attack on UN Ambassador A. Stevenson, who an undercover informant quoted as threatening the President when he visited Dallas,.

I have been unable to ascertain the name of the Denton informant or the names of the student(s) he was informing on, and their names are suspiciously missing from the list of those subjects who were considered a threat to the President maintained by the Protective Research Section (PRS) of the Secret Service.

When SA Roy Kellerman, the man responsible for security and who conducted the Dallas advance, checked with the PRS, he was quite surprised to learn that they had no active threats to the president in Dallas.

When SA Blaine conducted a similar advance survey for Tampa before the presidents visit there a week earlier, there were two active threats and a number of other threats that came to his attention, including the threat against the President in Chicago that included Thomas Arthur Vallee, and the threat made by Milteer of Georgia.

As Blaine wrote in his book "The Kennedy Detail,"  “In reality, the advance work was 95 percent of the effort in guaranteeing the president’s safety on a trip. The political team put together the president’s itinerary and it was the Secret Service’s job to figure out how to move the president safely from one place to the next, how to secure every venue and every route. You had to think like an assassin.”

“The first stop before any advance was always the PRS. Located in the Executive OfficeBuilding, next door to the White House, the PRS offices were the nerve center for tracking threat cases. Any time there was a threat made against the president’s life – whether it was a written letter, a phone call, details gathered from an informant, field investigation, or an unstable person trying to get inside the Northwest Gate of the White House – an investigative report was initiated and a case file number issued. A PRS agent would type the report on carbon paper so there would be multiple copies, noting the threat maker’s name, last known address, a synopsis of the threats made, a description of the person, and their medical history, if known.”

“Categories were analyzed and categorized according to the seriousness of the threat. They ranged from ‘extremely dangerous’ to the innocuous ‘gate crasher.” There were always people who would show up at the Northwest Gate demanding to see the president about one thing or another…”

“Whenever someone made a threat against the President , they would be categorized as a permanent risk. There’d be an evaluation, the individual would be monitored, and the case file would remain in the Protective Research file for as long as the person was still alive….”

“The records room of the PRS office contained rows and rows of gray metal four-drawer file cabinets that held thousands of threat suspect files, organized by case number. There were smaller file cabinets where index cards of each suspect were organized both geographically and alphabetically. The cards were cross-referenced to the case file. Thus if you knew either the name of a suspect or their last known location, you could go to the small index drawers, locate the card, which would have the case number on it, then go to the large filing cabinets to get the master file.”

“The most serious threat suspects were the ones on the flash cards every agent carried with them at all times. It was the nature of threat makers to wander as vagabonds or itinerants, moving from town to town or state to state. You never knew when or where one of them might show up”

“Agent Blaine had called the PRS from New York City earlier that morning and requested any Florida files be pulled. When Blaine entered the records room, Cecil Taylor, the Special Agent on duty, had some index cares and manila file folders laid out on the table for him.”

[There were two active cases]

Blaine picked up one of the files. The subject was a man named Wayne Gainey. The picture showed a nice-looking, clean-shaven young man with a crew cut. He could have been a bagger worker at the supermarket, or an elementary school teacher. Threat suspects could be men or women, young or old, peaceful or sinister. They could be your neighbor next door and you’d never know it. Blaine flipped the card over read the profile…”

“Subject made a statement of a plan to assassinate the President in October 1963. Subject stated he will use a gun, and if he can’t get close he will find another way. White Male – Age 20 – 5’9”- 155 Lbs., - Hazel Eyes – Brown Hair Light complexion – slender build.”
Blaine sat down in the chair and began reading the file. The investigating field agent inTampa, Arnie Peppers, had been conducting regular follow-up visits with the young man’s parents and the attending psychiatrist. Blaine knew Arnie Peppers well; his investigations were always thorough.”

“…The second file was much thicker. John William Warrington. White male, age fifty-three, five feet, nine and half inches, medium build; blue eyes, thin, graying hair; slightly stooped. The man had a long history of letter writing and making verbal threats. The most recent entry in the file showed that Warrington had written a number of threatening letters addressed to President Kennedy postmarked October 15, 16 and 17 in Tampa. He’d also sent an extortion letter to a local bank president, which had gotten him arrested on October 18 in Tampa. He was currently being held in the Tampa city jail.”

They also considered (p. 61) a threat from Chicago, Thomas Arthur Valle and Milteer's threat made to an Florida undercover informant. 

Top Ten Threats against the president as of November 22, 1963:

1)      Stanley Berman – professional gate crasher.
2)      Carl Brookman – on record with FBI subversive activities with Nazi Party and possible association with the Communist Party. Possesses firearms.
3)      William Robert Bennett – disabled veteran
4)      John Francis Donovan – letter and telegram writer. Considered a nuisance.
5)      Johnnie Mae Hackworth – letter writer, religious fanatic who made threats against the president, arrested in 1955 and 1960.
6)      Josef Molt Mroz – picketer and “Polish Freedom Fighter”
7)      Barney Grant Powell – threatened Truman, extreme temper, violent man with assault background, carries firearms.
8)      Peppie Duran Flores – threatened Vice President Lyndon Johnson. Says he is a communist and pro-Castro.
9)      Wayne L. Gainey – claimed the KKK authorized him to kill the president in 1963. Teenager.
10)  John William Warrington – mental; wrote five letters threatening JFK for his association with Martin Luther King, Jr.; says he will be lying in ambush in Florida.

(p.73-74) “…Bert DeFreese was the agent conducting the advance for the Miami stop….” DeFreese notifies Blaine of the Joseph Milteer report.

(p.195) “Lawson made one final call to the Protective Research Section to make sure no new threats had come in overnight. PRS hadn’t received any new names; there were just the regulars, the ones the agents all carried on index cards in their jacket pockets…”

As noted by Blaine, “There weren’t ANY active threats in Texas.”   (TKD p. 63)

Kellerman must have been surprised, incredulous maybe, since anyone who reads the newspaper or follows the news on the radio or TV knew that a few weeks before Kennedy's scheduled visit to Dallas, United Nations Ambassador A. Stevenson was physically attacked by groups of protesters, spat upon and hit with signs.

Former Dallas Mayor Wes Wise, who was a local television and radio reporter at the time, said that he worked closely with the Dallas Police and Secret Service in trying to ascertain the identify of those who attacked Stevenson by reviewing TV news film and photos of the protesters who attacked Stevenson.

There is mention of this cooperative effort among the Warren Commission testimony when Secret Service Agent Sorrels and Dallas Police Chief Curry testified.

Mr. STERN - I would like you now, Mr. Sorrels, to tell us something of the Protective Research activities that took place in preparation for the President's visit to Dallas, that you recall.
Mr. SORRELS - At that time, we had no known Protective Research subjects that we were making periodic checks on in that area. Mr. Lawson informed me that he had checked with PRS, and that was confirmed.
However, bearing in mind the incidents that had taken place some time before with Mr. Stevenson, I had instructed Special Agent John Joe Howlett, to work with the Special Services Bureau of the Police Department, and I also conferred by phone with the chief of police at Denton, Tex., because some of those individuals who were involved in the Stevenson affair were going to college there….

Mr. STERN - How soon had that happened before the President's visit?
Mr. SORRELS - I don't remember. It was probably some 60 days, maybe, before.
It was quite some time before.
But within recent time. And so Mr. Anderson, chief of police, informed me that he had an informant that was keeping in touch with the situation. I arranged with the Dallas Police Department for Lieutenant Revill to accompany Special Agent Howlett to Denton, and confer with the police there, and to also get photographs of these individuals.
When we were conferring with Mr. Felix McKnight, the managing editor of the Dallas Times Herald, I learned that--from him--that they had photographs taken at the Stevenson incident. So arrangements were made where by Special Agent Howlett and the members of the Dallas Police Department, together with the informant in the case, would view those films, so that there could be pointed out to them individuals known to have been in the incident.
We had duplicate pictures made, and they were furnished to the special agent assigned to the Trade Mart, and were shown to the police officers that were assigned out in that area.
Mr. STERN - Did anything else occur in the field of Protective Research?
Mr. SORRELS - That is all I can recall at the present time….

Mr. STERN - Was there anything else that you recall involving any person or group that might present a danger to the President?
Mr. SORRELS - There was some individuals from Grand Prairie, Tex., that were mentioned to us by the police department that were known to be the type that might appear with handbills or placards--not handbills, but with placards in the area where the President might appear. And it developed that they did show up with placards at the Trade Mart, and they were taken into custody by the police department…

Representative FORD - Did the Secret Service people inquire of you as to your knowledge of these various groups that you had infiltrated?
Mr. CURRY - I don't remember them specifically asking me what were these groups planning to do.
Representative FORD - Did you volunteer any information on it?
Mr. CURRY - I think perhaps we told them what we had done. They were aware of the fact that we did know the plans of the various organizations, and I know we sent Lieutenant Revill and a couple of his men up to Denison, or Denton, to talk to a man that had purportedly said they were going to embarrass the President and had made some remarks about it and after we talked with him he said, "I won't even be in Dallas. I was just pepping off. I will assure you I am not even going to be down there. I don't want any part of it"
Then some of the study group in North Texas, we had an informant in this group, and they had decided they would be in Dallas with some placards to express opinions about the President or some of his views. Some of these people were arrested after the shooting because we were afraid that the people were going to harm them. They were down around the Trade Mart with some placards.

In a report made by the Dallas office of the “Secret Service” on October 30, 1963, twenty-three days before President Kennedy was assassinated, it states that a group of students from North Texas State University went to Dallas and met with retired Major General Edwin A. Walker, an outspoken right-wing activist. One particular student then “reported information to the Denton Police Department,” and the Denton Police “gave it to the Dallas Police Department, and the Dallas Police Department contacted the Secret Service.”

In the “Details” section of the Secret Service report, it states that the information obtained from the informant was that a certain person had said, “Something was being planned for President Kennedy when he visited Dallas on November 22, 1963.”

And it states, “Pictures were obtained of the subject and others of the group, and were provided all security personnel (Trade Mart, behind the head table, etc.).”


The Secret Service made a second report on the incident and downgraded it to say that the person making the threat had stated that something was “planned to embarrass President Kennedy during his visit to Dallas, Texas.”

The person making the threat was “alleged to be a former member of the ‘Klan’ in Arkansas and the National States Rights Party, and is presently a member of the John Birch Society.”

After the assassination, the Secret Service compiled a list of all those specific threats against the President that came to their attention, and included the information provided by the Denton informant but does not identify him or the name(s) of the suspects who made the threat. 

WC Hearings Vol. XVII p. 539

U.S. Secret service
Protective Research Section


DATE OF ORIGIN: October 30, 1963

ORIGIN: A student at North Texas State University reported information to the Denton Police Department; the Denton Police Department gave it to the Dallas Police Department; and the Dallas Police Department contacted the Secret Service.

DETAILS: The student informant related that a fellow student had asked him and several others to drive to Dallas and talk with General Walker. The subject and several others went to Dallas and were able to talk with General Walker. They were invited to return to Dallas for the U.S. Day Rally, and later for Ambassador Stevenson’s visit. The subject is supposed to have been present when the Ambassador was spat upon.

The Dallas field office made an investigation 

The subject told the informant that something was being planned for President Kennedy when he visited Dallas on November 22, 1963.

Pictures were obtained of the subject and others of the group, and were provided all security personnel (Trade Mart, behind the head table, etc.).

DANGER: No threats were made. The subject is alleged to have made derogatory remarks, to the effect that he and others planned to “rub the President’s d--- in the ground.”

ACTION: All security units were alerted and pictures provided.

ACTIVITY: Investigation completed on December 12, 1963, by the Dallas office in Denton, Texas. Subject believed not to have been involved in any incident concerning the visit of President Kennedy. Subject placed in “trip file” for attention on any further trips.

So in the end, the photos of the faces of those involved in the attack on Stevenson were taken from the Dallas news film and photos of the incident, and those photos were provided to Secret Service agents providing security at the Dallas Trade Mart, where some of those were identified and taken into custody, but not identified in the records. 

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