Sunday, April 28, 2013

History Symposium on JFK - UNT


Alex Byrd  Staff Writer

Fifty years later, the assassination of John F. Kennedy still remains to be one of the most unfortunate stains on American history. However, with tragedy comes information and 20/20 hindsight.

UNT’s History Department plans to host The Seventh Annual Texas History Symposium 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Wooten Hall, room 122. The topic this year is entitled, “50 Years Since the Assassination of John F. Kennedy.”

“I have been in the past and I feel that symposium is important because it focuses on just Texas history,” history department assistant Donna Morgan said. “It’s interesting to find out about all of the historians that aren’t that far away.”

The crowd often depends on the overall subject. The historic hanging in Gainesville, Texans and the Red River, Native Americans enduring Texas frontiers and reconstruction are just some of the topics of discussion for the past seven years.

“One of the most pivotal topics centered on reconstruction,” said Richard McCaslin, history professor and department chair. “The year that Bob Ray Sanders came, I learned that in celebration of June tenth in Fort Worth, black people would go to the zoo in the morning and pool in the afternoon as a tradition because it was the only legal time they could go every year.”

The guest speakers are usually the biggest draw to the symposiums every year. This year, Dr. James Giglio, author of “My Odyssey with John F. Kennedy,” and James Leavelle, author of “Just Doing My Job: JFK & Lee Harvey Oswald,” will both be speaking about their expertise on the subject of the 35th president.

“This event is open to the public and Old Red Museum, Texas State Historical Association, Fort Worth Regional Archive, Portal to Texas History will all present at the event with booths and information all day,” said Marie Watkins, department of history event coordinator.

From 1 to 2 p.m., Leavelle, a former Dallas Texas homicide detective, will speak to the public about his novel and what it was like to be the first to question the then-suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Leavelle,” McCaslin said.

Leavelle, a Pearl Harbor survivor, was handcuffed to Oswald when the nightclub owner, Jack Ruby, shot him while leaving the Dallas Police Headquarters. He is coming ready to autograph the infamous, Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald for a fee of $10 after his discussion, and all of the proceeds will be presented to the Dallas Police Department.

“Gus Seligmann and Donald Chipman helped get this idea off the ground,” McCaslin said. “For a long time, the history department had two focal points – Texas and military history. Military history had a symposium, and seven years ago we added Texas history to the list.”

UNT students are granted free admission, $10 for faculty and staff, $15 for high school and middle school students, and $25 for adults to register. Randy White’s Bar-B-Que is back again to present lunch for everyone registered.

Lies Continue

Lies Continue 50 Years After JFK’s Death

• Friday, March 29, 2013

This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the biggest lies sold to the American people.

Oh, there have been a lot of lies over the years during my generation, but this one that comes on Nov. 22 will mark a half century of the biggest lie ever in American history.

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The murder defined my generation. But what really defined my generation was the cover-up and the lies, and the failure to fully expose the truth of how and why JFK was murdered.

A half century of cover-ups and Political Omerta all to protect the powers that some sought and did not want to lose. Democracy is a great idea on paper. But its biggest flaw is how easy it is for democracy to be corrupted.

I don’t believe for a moment that Lee Harvey Oswald orchestrated, on his own, the killing of Kennedy. I do believe he was a part of a larger conspiracy that involved a lot of circles of political rivalries.

The Mafia had a powerful base in Dallas back then, and Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson and the county prosecutor at the time, Henry Wade, had ties to the mob.

There was a rivalry between the Irish mafia in the White House and the Italian crime syndicate leaders. Kennedy’s brother, Robert, the U.S. Attorney general, was not targeting mobsters in Boston but he was targeting the Italian mob in New York, New Jersey, Florida and in Dallas, where the mob was strong and had deep political roots, as they did in Chicago.

Chicago was the only place that the Kennedys gave the Mafia a pass because, under then Mayor Richard J. Daley, the mafia worked to steal votes and get Kennedy elected.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was corrupt, and he was a closet homosexual. It was his own hatred of himself that drove him to spy on others and discover their secrets, a way to offset his own problems. Hoover spied on the Kennedys, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and others, keeping files on their own secret lives and their sexual escapades that must have made Hoover mad.

Jack Ruby, the man who murdered Oswald so publicly and conveniently on live television just walking through the Dallas police security around Oswald, had close ties to the Dallas Mafia.

It was just too convenient. How did Ruby just pass through police security and get so close to Oswald, as if he were a detective?

They tossed us the Warren Commission Report, which was supervised by the LBJ administration, an administration that started to put the kibosh on RFK’s campaign to destroy the Italian Mafia.

LBJ didn’t want the truth out. He was a liar, too. Like when he orchestrated the phony attack on an American ship, the USS Maddox, in the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam. That lie was the basis for his decision to significantly increase troop deployments to fight the Communists in Vietnam, and the real start of the Vietnam War, a war Kennedy wanted to end.

There has to be someone out there in American politics who isn’t corrupt who might demand that the U.S. begin a fresh, new investigation of the Kennedy assassination and not focus on the so-called “Magic Bullet” and instead focus on the less magical and more corrupt political alliances that existed in America at that time.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. You may follow him on Twitter at @rayhanania.)  — City & Suburban News-Herald

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Phil Ochs at Dealey Plaza?

Phil Ochs at Dealey Plaza?   

By William E. Kelly, Jr.

"Captain Fritz questioned him and said the President had been killed…replied, 'people will forget that within a few days and there would be another president.' Oswald felt the State was so unfeeling that grief for its fallen leader would be short-lived. He could not have been more wrong. 'A man so-filled with life even Death was caught off guard,' as the folk-singer Phil Ochs described JFK, and when he died, will never be forgotten." -  Gary O’Brian  Oswald’s Politics [1.]

Phil Ochs said JFK was “a man so filled-with life even Death was caught off guard.” [2]

In following the JFK assassination for as long as I have I thought I had heard it all, but one of the more bizarre conspiracy theories I’ve come across is that protest singer Phil Ochs had expressed foreknowledge of the assassination, was present at Dealey Plaza as “a national security witness,” and kept those facts secret in fear for his own life.

He then committed suicide on April 9, 1976 at the age of 35, a death some believe should be considered suspicious.

I took a particular interest in this theory because I actually knew Phil Ochs for a few hours one night when I was a teenager, and I thought that it would be pretty simple to determine whether or not he was in Dallas that day.

Boy was I wrong.

I crossed paths with Ochs at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in late August 1968 when we were both roaming among the rooms reserved for the Eugene McCarthy campaign on the 18th floor of the Conrad Hilton Hotel.

I clearly remember Ochs was sitting on the floor in the hall playing a guitar and singing, serenading a dozen or so McCarthy volunteers, myself included. And while Ochs and I didn’t personally meet or talk, we sat a few feet from each other for a few hours while he played guitar and sang and I listened and, at seventeen years old, had my first alcoholic drink - a whiskey on the rocks. A few hours later the Chicago police raided the 18th floor and busted us all, an event that would make the news and a few paragraphs in the history books. [3]

So after I developed an interest in the assassination of President Kennedy, I was quite surprised to learn that Phil Ochs had expressed foreknowledge of the assassination and may have actually been at Dealey Plaza, a witness to the murder.

The source of this particular conspiracy theory is folk singer Jim Glover, who I had met on John Simkin’s Education Forum [ www. ], [4] and he is now a Facebook friend.

Jim Glover first called my attention to the Dealey Plaza photograph that he says includes his old friend Phil Ochs, standing on Houston street sidewalk and peering up towards the top floors of the Texas School Book Depository. [5]

Phil Ochs was the epitomie of the 1960s-era protest singer, known for writing songs fused with meaning and anti-establishment themes, including, "I Ain't Marching Anymore", "Changes", "Crucifixion", "Draft Dodger Rag", "Love Me, I'm a Liberal", "Outside of a Small Circle of Friends", "Power and the Glory", "There but for Fortune", and "The War Is Over". [6]


Although I find it hard to believe, as I write this the Disc Jockey (on WXPN FM University of Pennsylvania station) plays “Draft Dogger Rag” - in honor of the anniversary of Ochs’ April 9, 1976 death. [7]

Oh, I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town
I believe in God and Senator Dodd and a-keepin' old Castro down
And when it came my time to serve I knew "better dead than red"
But when I got to my old draft board, buddy, this is what I said:

Sarge, I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen
And I always carry a purse
I got eyes like a bat, and my feet are flat, and my asthma's getting worse
Yes, think of my career, my sweetheart dear, and my poor old invalid aunt
Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a-goin' to school
And I'm working in a DEE-fense plant

Hearing his sharp distinctive voice flashed me back to the 1960s as I recalled that song being played on the radio - usually late on a Sunday night when “Meatball Fulton” spun the discs and told the tales from the underground on Philadelphia’s WXPN, (who were still playing Ochs songs in 2013), or you could sometimes hear Ochs on Dave Herman’s Marconi Experiment (on WMMR - first AOR - Album Oriented Rock show), but they were the only programs I knew of that would play Phil Ochs’ songs. [8]

“I believe in God and Senator Dodd and a-keepin’ old Castro down…..”

Hearing his voice immediately threw me back once again to Ochs singing in the hotel hall in Chicago, a momentary flashback to the evening the Vietnam Peace Plank had lost and the McCarthy volunteers, mostly high school kids (like me) or college students suddenly had nothing to do, as the campaign was officially over. Out in the hall Ochs began to sing, possibly “The War is Over,” and a bar tray on wheels came down the halI was given a whiskey highball on the rocks, and sat down on the floor with the others and listened to Phil Ochs play the guitar and sing in his sharp, distinctive voice.

Then I went and laid down in a back room and while I was asleep, all hell broke loose, the Chicago Cops stormed the 18th floor and busted everybody - me included - roused out of bed and beat with a billy club by cops - tear gas cut my eyes and blood dripped down my face. The subdued hotel hall party suddenly became a combat zone, and that was the last time I saw Phil Ochs.

And now, according to Jim Glover, there he is in the photo at Dealey Plaza, a blurry, ghostly figure of a young man standing back against the Dal-Tex building in a photo obviously taken just shortly after the assassination of the President, with policemen with weapons drawn looking towards the assassin’s lair in the upper floor windows of the Texas School Book Depository building. [9]

Like a fly on the wall, the casually dressed young man seems to be just standing back taking it all in. Was that really Phil Ochs, the folk singer? If so, what’s he doing there?

How, I wondered, could a radical leftist protest singer like Phil Ochs become involved with the “national security state”? 

It was a question that I was surprised Jim Glover could answer so quickly and to my satisfaction.
                                                  WIKI OCHS

But first I wanted to check to see what the internet had to say about Phil Ochs.

Of course Wiki is not a reliable or citable source for college papers, books or serious research, but it is a good place to start. As some speculate it has CIA ties, and posts questionable assertions regarding the assassination of President Kennedy, it’s a good place to get the official story.

The Wiki entry confirmed my own recollections of Chicago in ’68, Jim Glover’s association with Ochs in college and the effect of the assassination on Ochs.

Of Chicago Wiki says: “Despite warnings that there might be trouble, Ochs went to Chicago both as a guest of the McCarthy campaign and to participate in the demonstrations. He performed in Lincoln Park, Grant Park, and at the Chicago Coliseum, witnessed the violence perpetrated by the Chicago police against the protesters, and was himself arrested at one point.”

Yea, some point.

As for school, the Wiki entry notes: “when he graduated [from Staunton Military Academy, Va.] Ochs returned to Columbus and enrolled in the Ohio State University…to study journalism and developed an interest in politics, with a particular interest in the Cuban Revolution of 1959.”

In regards to Jim Glover, it says that, “Glover taught Ochs how to play guitar, and they debated politics…Ochs and Glover formed a duet called ‘The Singing Socialists,’  later renamed ‘The Sundowners,’ but the duo broke up before their first professional performance and Glover went to New York City to become a folksinger.” [10]

                                    UNDERCOVER IN COLUMBUS

So I sent my new Facebook friend Jim Glover a PM - Personal Message and asked him how he met Ochs, what was Ochs doing at Dealey Plaza and how was he connected to “the national security state?” [11]

Jim Glover:

“Phil first picked up the guitar when we were in college and Steeb Hall roommates (at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio). We were both in the ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corp…. I was a private ROTC Army, Phil was ROTC Air Force Sergeant….It was a military culture because ROTC was mandatory and Phil was a sergeant in the Air force and I was private Army cadet.... He liked to pull rank on me and I resented it…but we had a ball anyway.”

“At first Phil was Gung Ho...’Commies’ were the bad guys and he seemed like it would take a lot of work to turn him around, but I did in short order. It was kinda like I ‘sheep dipped’ him for his future mission. He bragged about his photographic memory and how at [Staunton, Va.] Military Academy he was friends with Barry Goldwater's son. In 74 he told me he knew John Dean there too when he also confessed he was working with an up and coming young Air Force officer…”

“Phil (got a lot of his song ideas from the newspapers and) read me stories about how the mob fixed the election, about Lee Oswald defecting to Russia, and about how U2 pilot (Gary) Powers should have taken his suicide pill and on and on. He also was mad at me for going to a demonstration to protest Wernher Von Braun speaking on campus. I was prejudiced about Nazis I guess and Phil was pissed that one of the students who talked me into it was a Socialist Worker's Party guy. It was around then he spilled the beans about a big red scare surveillace program on campus and the first time I heard the term was when Phil said I was ‘Fair Game.’"

“Our last quarter at Steeb Hall he got super radical all of a sudden …wrote articles in defense of Castro for the Steeb Hall newsletter he put out himself called ‘The Word’ and made all the mimeographed copies. He also reported for the Ohio State Paper ‘The Lantern’. His first song was about the Cuban invasion - ‘The Bay of Pigs,’ which we would sing as the Singing Socialists. After we did a Republican big wig house party an angry white man came up and asked us if we were Communists...Phil was a bit worried and wanted us to change our name to the "Sundowners" because it was more ‘euphonious’. I went along....Trouble is it took all the fun out of it for me.”[12]

                                ROTC, COINTELPRO & CHAOS

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) was also at one time mandatory for all freshmen male students at the University of Dayton, Ohio, before I got there, but student protests ended the practice. Many students however, continued to voluntary take the ROTC program and I took classes in military history and strategy with the ROTC professors and cadets.

When college students began to organize anti-Vietnam war protest demonstrations, it was the ROTC students who were recruited to infiltrate the protesters as undercover informants and in some cases, instigators and agitators who drew students out of the crowd so they could keep track of them. Sometimes they were sent from one campus to another. This was the FBI’s COINTELPRO program, which was first revealed in the early ‘70s after anti-war activists broke into the Media, Pennsylvania FBI office, stole COINTELPRO files and distributed them to the newspapers and magazines. And like the assassination of President Kennedy, that crime, what the professionals in the trade call a “black bag job,” remains unsolved today. [13][14]

The CIA also ran a similar operation CHAOS, but since they were not legally able to conduct operations in the continental United States, the FBI’s undercover network as used against the Klu Klux Klan, targeted student protesters and they were supplemented by the US Army intelligence, usually the Army Reserve units, whose surveillance of the civil rights demonstrations is also well documented. (See: MLK, Memphis). [15]

The FBI and military’s use of undercover informants and agitators is also exemplified at Kent State, where one such agitator is now believed to have provoked the Army reservists into shooting students, [16] and in the case of the Camden 28. [17] The Camden, NJ anti-Vietnam activists were assisted and provoked by an FBI informant and instigator - ex-USMC undercover operative Bob Hardy, who like Oswald and Ochs, fits the covert operative personality profile. [18]

So if Phil Ochs was a Staunton (Va.) Military Academy [19] graduate and Air Force ROTC sergeant involved in undercover surveillance of radical college students, he certainly could have continued his association with the military-intelligence network that had previously conducted surveillance of campus radicals. [20]

                                         GOODBYE COLUMBUS

Columbus is the Ohio state capitol, and the film location of a popular early 70s date movie - Goodbye Columbus, based on a Philip Roth novel, which gives a colorful insight into the sports-jock world that prevailed before the bloom of the counter-culture and the Vietnam War created a political divide. [21]

If  the Secret Service were preparing for a presidential visit to Columbus, Ohio, they would check with the Protective Research Section (PRS) to see if there were any threats to the president in that vicinity. From the files they would learn that Columbus was the home of prominent Hustler magazine pornographer Larry Flint, who also published Rebel, a glossy magazine that included articles on the JFK assassination by Mae Brussell, the housewife researcher and Yippster humorist Paul Krasner. Flint himself became the victim of an assassination attempt. [22]

The government files would also reflect that Columbus, Ohio is also the headquarters of an obscure semi-quasi-government intelligence agency - The Defense Industrial Security Command (DISC), [23] which deserves attention in regards to the security of such corporate entities as Texas defense contractors Bell Helicopter, General Dynamics and Collins Radio and the roles of their employees in the assassination story [24][25][26].

When Gordon Novel was sought for questioning by the New Orleans grand jury in 1967, he avoided the subpoena by fleeing at first, to Columbus, Ohio, where the governor himself (Rhodes) refused to extradite him, and then to McLean, Virginia, where the CIA headquarters is located. Something peculiar was going on in Columbus, as well as McLean. [27]

So Phil Ochs, after graduating from an elite Virginia military academy, served as a sergeant in the Air Force ROTC at Ohio State University in Columbus, where he spied on campus radicals and was encouraged to infiltrate student protest groups. He may have switched ideological sides, but appears to have later maintained his association with the US military intelligence officers that he worked with in college. They must have took note of the fact that one of their ROTC cadets was playing guitar, writing protest songs and articles and fermenting unrest, which was becoming something of a popular social and cultural phenomenon, one they certainly would have wanted to keep tabs on.

                                    PHIL OCHS AND BOB DYLAN

In looking through the published literature on Bob Dylan, there is frequent mention of his association with Phil Ochs, such as when Dylan biographer Bob Spitz writes, “Phil Ochs stumbled over to Dylan’s table, worked up over tome secret government conspiracy or another.” [28]

So Ochs was himself considered a conspiracy theorists before it was popular and then went a full decade without seeing Dylan, who went on to fame and fortune, while Ochs continued to write and sing protest songs, an out of date and almost obsolete musical genre that was totally overrun by rock and roll and then the drones of disco. While Dylan seemed to roll with the punches, and go his own way, Ochs seems to have been stuck in a rut, though he kept writing songs and singing away.

Both Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan did write songs about similar subjects, including Civil Rights, the John Birch Society and assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers. It is quite clear that if Medgar Evers’ murder by a sniper was properly investigated and prosecuted, JFK wouldn’t have been killed the way he was. It was only because of a young, assist. DA that justice was served in Evers’ case, and his widow was part of the second inauguration of President Obama in 2012. Dylan sang his song “Just a Pawn in their Game” at the March on Washington when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

Anthony Scaduto, in Dylan - An Intimate Biography, [29] compares and contrasts the Ochs and Dylan songs about the assassination of Medgar Evers:

“A comparison of the way Dylan and Phil Ochs each handled the murder of civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, points it up. Ochs, and everyone else writing the Broadside song, saw the killing as simply a story to be set to music. The tradition is old and honorable. Ochs, in The Ballad of Medgar Evers, tells how Evers, as a boy of fourteen in Mississippi, saw a friend hung because of his color. The lynching was branded on his brain. And then, quite simply, without melodrama, Ochs writes about the killer who waited in ambush and shot Evers down. And when they buried him the nation gained a killer but lost a man. Dylan however, handled it differently in Only a Pawn in their Game. He immediately establishes that a bullet fired from ambush takes Evers life, but from there he takes it several large steps forward. The man who fired that bullet is not to blame. He is only a pawn in the game, a game in which the politician preaches to the poor whites that they’re better than blacks, and the politician rises to power on his demagoguery while the poor white remain ‘on the caboose,’ at the bottom of the heap. Governors, sheriffs, soldiers, all the law enforcement crowd - and the preachers and educators - teach him that his white skin is a protection, teach him to walk in a mob and to lynch blacks. And they buried Evers ‘as a king’ but when the man who fired the gun eventually dies, his epitaph will be that he was only a pawn in their game.”

                                     PHIL OCHS AT DEALEY PLAZA

Jim Glover:

“Phil was into the investigation of the plot before Dallas. He came over to my apt when (my wife) Jean was gone to tell me that there was a plot to kill President Kennedy. He asked me if I knew anything and that he was going to the FPCC to find out more. Phil said he was working for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in order to find out more about the plot and I said I would let him know if I heard anything....I kinda remember we were supposed to meet somebody in a subway station but they never showed so I never met the Fair Play for Cuba guys, but many years ago I called VT Lee of the Veterans for Peace and he told me ‘Oh yes Phil was working with us.’” 

“Before Phil went to Dallas he said his Mom told him to get a haircut (good advise) and he said he went there with one of the Gambino boys... one his age.”

 “I now believe anyone who went there to watch or report were being set up in case the ‘Oswald all alone’ thing did not pass, the next patsies would be us Castro sympathizers and then the Mob... or both.  I know it sounds twisted, but that is why they had to stick to Oswald ‘the lone nut’ who I now believe…. was really working to kill Castro….”

“Phil did not say who told him to go to Dallas and it probably saved our lives because I would have talked. All my life I got in trouble because I talked, so they used me for that. Phil did say he was working for ‘National Security Domestic Division’ of ‘something like the CIA’ and that FBI Hoover was the bad guy. Soon after that two men identifying themselves as FBI came over and asked me if I knew where Phil was...Of course I thought they really knew, but I lied and didn't even tell them about the Kennedy plot to protect Phil.”

“It was a few months after
Dallas that Phil showed up at our new apt at Leroy St. He asked where I was and I told him about what I saw when I was forced onto the Shadow Bus after an airport stop in Texas….Phil said ‘I told you not to go" and I said we were trying to find you but nobody knew where you were.’"

“Next he said he was in Dallas as a ‘national security observer,’ a new role to me but it made sense….About his Dallas trip he only told me once and that was that he was standing on the street and when JFK was shot he went towards the scene and saw the commotion ..... I don't remember him saying he was standing in the street keeping watch on Elm and Houston when the Limo passed but a few weeks ago I found him there, a bit blurry but it is in (the film) ‘The First Shot’. Phil did say he thought it was a Para-Military operation.”

“I asked him if he could prove he was there and he said he was being filmed standing by the garage door of the Dal/Tex building. He also went over toward the crowd and saw a lady crying….Phil told me it was a paramilitary squad that did it…Soon after I told his story during a solo set at the Gaslight and Phil found out he said ‘Are you trying to get me killed?!’ So after that I was more cautious about talking...but I never was quiet. Phil told me that he was warned - he did not tell me who, he was warned that if he talk they would say that he was crazy.” [30]

                             DYLAN AND JFK ASSASSINATION

According to his biographer: “Dylan was on his way uptown to [his and Och’s manager Albert] Grossman’s office on the afternoon of Friday, November 22, 1963, when John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas. ‘I watched it at my manager’s office,’ Dylan later told me. ‘The next night, Saturday, I had a concert upstate,…There was a really down feeling in the air. I had to go on stage. I couldn’t cancel. I went to the hall and to my amazement the hall was filled. Everybody turned out to the concert. The song I was opening with was The Times They Are A-Changin’ and I thought, ‘Wow, how can I open with that song? I’ll get rocks thrown at me.’ That song was just too much for the day after the assassination. But I had to sing it, my whole concert takes off from there…I know I had no understanding of anything. Something had just gone haywire in the country and they were applauding that song. And I couldn’t understand why they were clapping or why I wrote that song, even. I couldn’t understand anything. For me, it was just insane.’” [31]

“When he returned to the Village he, Suze and Carla sat and watched the national tragedy through the rest of the weekend and into the Monday morning funeral. Like so many across the nation, they were engrossed in the events unfolding before them: the murder of Oswald, the funeral, the continual replays of the death of Kennedy, the confirmation of a new president, the widow refusing to change her blood-soaked dress because she wanted the world to see her husband’s blood, to see what they had done. Through it all Dylan sat and watched and said little, just feeling the emotion of it. He drank a little wine, and played Berlioz’s Reguiem over and over.”

“Phil Ochs also felt it in Bob: ‘Oh, yea, I was overcome with it. Yeah, that feeling was everywhere. I was almost destroyed with that very same thing. You’re sticking your neck out, a public figure, and there’s an obvious fear. You’re political and obviously the bad guys are on the loose and maybe gonna kill anybody who’s out front, and you get scared. Bob never talked about it, but it was there.”

“Although many felt it in Dylan at the time, he denies it today. ‘I didn’t feel it any more than anybody else,’ he told me. ‘We were all sensitive to it. The assassination took more of the shape of a happening. I red about those things happening to Lincoln, to Garfield, and that it couldn’t happen in this day and age was not too far-fetched. It didn’t knock the wind out of me. Of course, I felt as rotten as everyone else. But if I was more sensitive about it than anyone else, I could have written a song about it, wouldn’t I? The whole thing about my reactions to the assassination is overplayed.’”

“Yet, despite Bob’s denial, the murder did have an enormous effect on him. He signaled that feeling to very close friends, and a couple of weeks after Kennedy’s death, Dylan gave a disastrous speech that indicated how much the assassination had troubled him. He went to the grand ballroom of the Hotel Americana in New York to accept the Tom Paine Award of the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee for his work in the civil rights campaigns….”

“…Dylan began to think of Kennedy’s murder, which had been deplored by speaker after speaker that night, and he said: ‘I’ll stand up and be uncompromisable about it, which I have to be to be honest. I just got to be, as I got to admit that the man who shot President Kennedy - Lee Oswald - I don’t know exactly what he thought he was doing, but I got to admit honestly that I, too - I saw some of myself in him. I don’t think it could have gone that far - I don’t think it could go that far. But I got to stand up and say that I saw things that he felt, in me - not to go that far and shoot…’ Some members of the audience began to boo and his, and Dylan went forward: ‘You can boo, but booing’s got nothing to do with it - it’s uh - I just uh - I’ve got to tell you, man, it’s the Bill of Rights, it’s free speech and….’ Someone broke in and aid his time was up and Dylan later claimed the chairman began kicking me under the table, and he finished up by quickly saying he accepted the award in behalf of James Foreman and eh Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and he went off amid boos and some applause, beat it out of there.”

Dylan said, “All I can say is politics is not my thing at all. I can’t see myself on a platform talking about how to help people. Because I would get myself killed if I really tried to help anybody. I mean, if somebody really had something to say to help somebody out, just bluntly says the truth, well obviously they’re gonna be done away with. They’re gonna be killed.”


 In a tribute to JFK, Phil Ochs wrote "That Was the President," and on the dust jacket notes commented: "My Marxist friends can't understand why I wrote this song and that's probably one of the reasons why I'm not a Marxist. After the assassination, Fidel Castro aptly pointed out that only fools could rejoice at such a tragedy, for systems, not men, are the enemy." [32]

Ochs also wrote another song that is said to be inspired by the assassination of President Kennedy, which he called “Crucifixion.” [33]

Wikipedia has a page devoted to just to the song that says Ochs wrote "Crucifixion" during a two-hour car ride in the middle of his November 1965 concert tour of the U.K. According to Ochs's manager, Arthur Gorson, Ochs “was ‘wary’ of how his audience might react to the new song because it did not have an explicit political message. He needn't have worried; his first public performance of ‘Crucifixion’ was greeted by a standing ovation.”

Wiki: “The song is about the rise and fall of a hero, and the public's role in creating, destroying, and deifying its heroes….’Crucifixion’ usually is interpreted as an allegory likening the life and assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy to the career of Jesus, although the song may refer to other heroes as well. In 1973, Ochs explained ‘Crucifixion’ to Studs Terkel. In the distant past, Ochs said, the people would sacrifice a healthy young man to the gods; today, things were the same. The Kennedy assassination, in a way, was destroying our best in some kind of ritual. People say they really love the reformer, they love the radical, but they want to see him killed. It's a certain part of the human psyche — the dark side of the human psyche.”

Wiki also notes that the first recording of "Crucifixion" was released in 1966 by Jim and Jean, “a musical duo made up of Ochs's college friend Jim Glover and Glover's wife, Jean Ray.” [34]

“In March 1967, U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy and journalist Jack Newfield met Ochs, on a plane and Ochs sang ‘Crucifixion’ for them. When Kennedy realized the song was about his brother, tears came to his eyes.” [35]

                                           ALICE SKINNER

The line in the Wiki entry on Ochs that got me noted that: “When Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, Ochs wept. He told his wife that he thought he was going to die that night. It was the only time she ever saw Ochs cry.”

If his wife Alice Skinner saw him cry on the day JFK was killed, she would know if he was in Dallas or not. She would know.  

Now in search of Alice Skinner, one thing that stood out to me was the Wiki reference to Suzie Rotolo as a witness to the Ochs-Skinner wedding, when Jim Glover served as the best man.

“In 1962, Phil Ochs married Alice Skinner, who was pregnant with their daughter Meegan, in a City Hall ceremony with Jim Glover as best man and Jean Ray as bridesmaid, and witnessed by Dylan's sometime girlfriend, Suze Rotolo….” [37]

                                                    SUZE ROTOLO    

I was already familiar with Suzie Rotolo, Bob Dylan’s one time girlfriend, because she - quite coincidently - came into the picture by reportedly attending a Jewish summer youth camp with Elliot and Steve Kenan, twins from Philadelphia who also became unwittingly entwined in the assassination story.

Elliot Kenan is a folk guitarist who once ran the Guitar Workshop in Philadelphia, while his twin brother Steve was a Temple University student and the publisher of the official programs for the Philadelphia and Newport Folk Festivals. [38]

The Guitar Workshop, originally in North Philadelphia near Temple University, later moved to Sanson Street, just around the corner from Rittenhouse Square, the Heights-Asbury/Greenwich Village hippie hangout where there was a reported Oswald sighting in the summer of ’63. That Oswald event occurred when those involved in the Quebec to Guantamano Peace March held a protest demonstration there. Oswald was also reported seen at an earlier Canadian stop on the march, so there might have been a member of the march who closely resembled Oswald. [39]

There are other questionable aspects of this march related to the assassination, including the fact that the previous San Francisco - Moscow Peace March by the same left wing “ban-the-bomb” peacenik sponsors, passed through Minsk when Marina and Oswald were living there. [40] After leaving Philadelphia, the Quebec to Guantamano marchers went to Washington D.C. where one of the more ludacrist episode occurred. One of the marchers - black amateur boxer Ray Robinson, got into a fist fight wrestling match in a parked car with former CIA employee James B. Wilcott, who later testified about Oswald’s possible clandestine double agent activities in Japan. [41]

Steve Kenin is also an interesting character. After visiting Cuba, being photographed with Castro, and writing a series of articles about his Cuban adventures in the Temple University student newspaper, Steve Kenin was in New York when Castro visited, and like Jim Glover and Phil Ochs, dropped out of college shortly before graduating in order to travel around Mexico on a motorcycle. In Mexico City, Kenin fell in with a group who stayed at the Quaker student hostel Casa d Amegos, where Oswald was also said to have visited. FBI reports indicate Kenin met Oswald and Mexican attorney Homo Bono told Anthony Summers that he saw Kenin give Oswald a ride to the Cuban embassy on the back of his motorcycle, both seeking visas to Cuba. [42]

Tony Summers and other researches have also questioned whether Steve Kenin is the mysterious LICOZY3 - a Philadelphia college student in Mexico City who the Cuban G2 tried to recruit as an agent but instead served as a double-agent under CIA-FBI control. [43]

There is also the question of whether another young American student - folksinger Chris Smither, who was at the University of Mexico City at the time, had any run-ins with Oswald or Kenin or related characters. [44]

Kenin’s possible association with Oswald, or an Oswald look-a-like/imposter at Rittenhouse Square and Mexico City, certainly raises new questions that have yet to be answered.

One of the questions is whether the FBI’s COINTELPRO or the CIA’s CHAOS programs included the surveillance and infiltration of student groups or the folk music political protesters of whom Phil Ochs and Bob Dylan were the principal exponents at the time. 

And the question that is especially important is - did Phil Ochs maintained his association with the US Air Force intelligence officers who ran the undercover ROTC operations against student radicals when he was in college? 

As a witness at Och’s wedding, Bob Dylan’s former girlfriend, Suze Rotolo is a solid link between Phil Ochs and Dylan, whose relationship with Rotolo is best personified by the photo of them walking down Fourth street in Greenwich Village in NY which graced the cover of Dylan’s “Freewheelin’” album, and the song, “Boots of Spanish Leather,” said to be dedicated to her.  [45]

The relationship between Dylan and Rotolo was said to have been intense, and their impending breakup may have sparked Dylan’s cross-country road trip in which he and some friends drove from New York City to San Francisco, stopping various places along the way, including Oswald’s old neighborhood the French Quarter in New Orleans and Dealey Plaza in Dallas.

                                  ROAD TRIP VIA DEALEY PLAZA

While there are other road trips of note that are a part of the assassination lure - such as the Huma Bunker Raid [46], Ruth Paine’s summer vacation [47] (which wound up at Oswald’s apartment in New Orleans), and the caravan of Cubans that included Marita Lorenz that reportedly went from Florida to Dallas with a cache of arms, [48] Bob Dylan’s cross country trip is illustrative since it included stops at relevant assassination sites in Louisiana and Texas.

Leaving New York for San Francisco, the station wagon - included Dylan, Paul Clayton, who drove most of the time, Dylan’s “road manager” Victor Maimudes and Pete Karman, a British writer and reporter for the London Daily Mirror who was later replaced on the trip by Bob Neuwirth. [49]

Peter Karman had introduced Dylan to Suze and Carla Rotolo. Carla was secretary to legendary folk collector Alan Lomax, and her sister Suze and Dylan who would hit it off, famously. Then as they were breaking up, Dylan would take off on this cross country tour. [50]

“Hey,” Dylan reportedly said to Karman, “wanna ride cross-country with us? Gonna do some concerts, ramble ‘round the country. Show ya some of the places I been, like Central City, Atlanta, Greenwood. Hit New Orleans for the Mardi Gras, even.”

First they dropped in unannounced to visit American historical icon Carl Sandberg, who Dylan wanted to meet because Woody Gunthre had spoken highly of him. Dylan gave Sandberg a copy of his new album, “The Times They Are ‘a Changin’,” and then they drove to New Orleans, where they were kicked out of a couple of French Quarter bars near Oswald’s old neighborhood.

Then they went to Dallas where, as recounted by Anthony Scaduto in Dylan - An Intimate Biography, they asked directions to Dealey Plaza.

“…On entering Dallas,” Scaduto relates, “Dylan had an urge, ‘Let’s go see where Kennedy was killed.’ They drove around looking for the Texas Book Depository and Dealey Plaza, four months after the murder, lost in downtown Dallas. ‘Where’s Dealey Plaza?’ Dylan asked, leaning out the window, and no one knew, four people, and five, and six, and none of them knew the place. At last, that’s what they said. The seventh man they asked, answered, ‘You mean where they shot that bastard Kennedy?’ Dylan didn’t answer, and the Texan gave them directions. For about a half hour they wandered around the murder scene, Dylan grim and silent, and then back in the car and on their way, and all of them shouting out the windows, condemning all Texans as assassins.”

When they got to San Francisco, Dylan hooked up with Joan Baez, and they visited her sister, who was married to Richard Farina, (author of the novel “Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me”), who had been in the Cuban mountains with Castro when he was a struggling revolutionary. [51]

Also in San Francisco, at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, David Crosby of the Byrds tells the crowd that the Warren Report is a lie & that JFK was killed by many guns in a conspiracy, and dedicates the song, "He Was a Friend of Mine," to JFK. [52]

Back in New York. Dylan began to associate with Albert Maher, [53] another Castro activist from Texas, who had been to Cuba. When Dylan accepted the 1964 Tom Paine award, he did so in the name of the American students who traveled to Cuba, especially those who went after such travel was banned by the government.

Robert Sheldon in his biography of Dylan writes: “…In spring 1964, Life magazine showed Dylan in his surliest mood with Geno Foreman and Albert Maher. Maher, a Harvard Square radical who had visited Cuba in 1963, traveled in 1964 on some Dylan concert tours out of his own romantic radicalism and admiration for the singer. Maher was the son of John F. ‘Big John’ Maher, a millionaire Houston industrialist. The son’s radicalization began at fifteen, when he read Castro, then accelerated in 1961 after the Bay of Pigs. In early 1964, Dylan hung out with Maher sporadically. Some months after Bob and Suze spit up, she and Maher began a long relationship.”

So after breaking up with Dylan, Suze took up with Al Maher, the son of a Houston, Texas industrialist who had been to Cuba and supported Castro, and who Dylan dedicated his Tom Paine Award.

                                         DYLAN & OSWALD
Back in New York Dylan also hung out with Geno Foreman [54] “… a zany motorcycle maverick, Bostonian who appealed to Dylan….”  whose father, Clark Foreman, [55] organized a formal dinner party fund raiser for the Emergency Civil Liberities Committee (ECLC) at the Americana Hotel Grand Ballroom, and gave Dylan the Tom Paine Award for his social activism for civil rights.
As it has been reported: "By 1963, Dylan and Baez were both prominent in the civil rights movement, singing together at rallies including the March on Washington where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his ‘I have a dream’ speech. Dylan performed ‘Only a Pawn in their Game’ and ‘When the Ship Comes In’... His next album, ‘The Times They Are a-Changin’, reflected a more sophisticated, politicized and cynical Dylan….. By the end of 1963, Dylan felt both manipulated and constrained by the folk-protest movement. Accepting the ‘Tom Paine Award’ from the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee at a ceremony shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a drunken, rambling Dylan questioned the role of the committee, insulted its members as old and balding, and claimed to see something of himself (and of every man) in assassin Lee Harvey Oswald..." 

 [56 - For transcript of complete speech, Corlis Lamont’s note and follow up letter-poem]

Dylan later tried to explain: “When I spoke of Lee Oswald, I was speaking of the times. I was not speaking of his deed, if it was his deed, the deed speaks for itself. But I am sick so sick at hearin ‘we all share the blame’ for every church bombing, gun battle, mine disaster, poverty explosion, and president killing that comes bout, it is so easy to say ‘we’ an bow our heads together. I must say ‘I’ alone and bow my head alone for it is I alone who is livin’ my life.” [57]

                                      CHILE COUP BENEFIT CONCERT

Wiki on Ochs and Chile: “In August 1971, Phil went to Chile, where Salvador Allende, a Marxist, had been democratically elected in the 1970 election. There he met Chilean folksinger Víctor Jara, an Allende supporter, and the two became friends….[58]

“In October, Ochs left Chile to visit Argentina. Later that month, after singing at a political rally in Uruguay, he and his American traveling companion David Ifshin were arrested and detained overnight. When the two returned to Argentina, they were arrested as they got off the airplane. After a brief stay in an Argentinian prison, Ochs and Ifshin were sent to Bolivia via a commercial airliner where authorities were to detain them. Ifshin had previously been warned by Argentine leftist friends that when authorities sent dissidents to Bolivia, they would disappear forever. When the airliner arrived in Bolivia, the American captain of the Braniff International Airways aircraft allowed Ochs and Ifshin to stay on the aircraft and barred Bolivian authorities from entering. The aircraft then flew to Peru where the two disembarked and they were not detained. Fearful that Peruvian authorities might arrest him, Ochs returned to the United States a few days later.”

“Ochs was personally invited by John Lennon to sing at a large benefit at the University of Michigan in December 1971 on behalf of John Sinclair, an activist poet who had been arrested on minor drug charges and given a severe sentence. Ochs performed at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally along with Stevie Wonder, Allen Ginsberg, David Peel, Abbie Hoffman and many others. The rally culminated with Lennon and Yoko Ono, who were making their first public performance in the United States since the breakup of The Beatles.” [59]

Ochs decided to travel. In mid-1972, he went to Australia and New Zealand He traveled to Africa in 1973, where he visited EthiopiaKenya,Tanzania Malawi, and South Africa. One night, Ochs was attacked and strangled by robbers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which damaged his vocal cords, causing a loss of the top three notes in his vocal range The attack also exacerbated his growing mental problems, and he became increasingly paranoid. Ochs believed the attack may have been arranged by government agents—perhaps the CIA. Still, he continued his trip, even recording a single in Kenya, "Bwatue". [60]

“On September 11, 1973, the Allende government of Chile was overthrown in a coup d'état. Allende died during the bombing of the presidential palace, and Jara was publicly tortured and killed. When Ochs heard about the manner in which his friend had been killed, he was outraged. He decided to organize a benefit concert to bring to public attention the situation in Chile and raise funds for the people of Chile. The concert, ‘An Evening with Salvador Allende’, included films of Allende; singers such as Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, and Bob Dylan; and political activists such as former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark….”

Bob Spitz, in Dylan, A Biography, wrote:  “Pete Seeger, for one, had informal ties to members of the now-deposed Allende government and performed several Chilean folk songs in his repertoire. For Phil Ochs, the revolution meant a more personal and tragic loss. Ochs had maintained a close, albet long-distance, friendship with folksinger Victor Jara, who was often described as ‘the Bob Dylan of Chile.’ As a result of the coup, Jara had been classified an enemy of the state, then dragged into Santiago’s National Stadium where he was tortured and finally executed by members of General Pinochet’s ruling junta.”

“Ochs was severly shaken by the news of Jara’s death. Immediately, he set out to organize a concert to benefit Chilean refuges, and in no small part, to embarrass CIA officials, whom he blamed for the coup. ‘I’m going to pull this thing off if it’s the last thing I do,’ he told a friend one night over drinks at Max’s Kansas City. ‘I’ve already lined up the Felt Forum.’”

“Ochs was in no shape to promote a folk concert, much less sing in one. His career had been in a kamikaze nosedive, brought on by his self-destructive fantasy. He struggled with alcoholism, manic depression, paranoia bordering on madness, and, worse perhaps, he had lost his voice as a result of having been mugged in Africa. Unable to sing, Ochs masqueraded as a political radical unti the Chilean benefit materialized, and his Janus-like personality found a new focus.”

“The trouble was, nobody gave a damn about Phil Ochs or his concert. As an activist, he was a Model A in an era of hatchback sedans. He was an old hippie, struggling to keep the movement alive at a time when it was already considered long dead and buried. Politics was anathema to a generation of budding art-rockers who were content to entrust it to the politicians…”

They needed a draw, and saw that Canadian native American Indian folk singer Buffy St. Marie was playing at the Bottom Line, where Ochs ran into Bob Dylan at the bar. Phil talked Dylan, even though they hadn’t seen each other in a decade, into returning to his apartment where he did his best to convince Dylan to perform at the Chile benefit.

“You’re that kid from Minnesota who wrote that song about South American miners, right?...Well, I’m giving a benefit for those miners in two weeks and you’re gonna be there!”

“(Dylan) admitted he knew nothing of the events in Chile or their repercussions. That was an invitation for Phil to roll out a five-hour chronicle of South American history in song and sketches. He literally put on a one-man show for Bob, describing the Marxist regime of Salvador Allende in all its splendor, how it transformed Chile into an allegory for humanitarianism despite CIA interference, and gave the country its first real glimmer of hope. Then, for an encore, he reenacted a perfect recitation of Allende’s ill-fated inaugural address. Bob was overwhelmed by Phil’s performance and pumped him for more information about Chile, until the sun came up, the wine ran out, and the two men went their separate ways…..The Chilean benefit signaled a momentous shift in Bob’s career.” [62]

LOLA COHEN: “Bob came over to the apartment, and we were downstairs in that bunker. And Phil had Salvador Allende’s inaugurations speech, his inaugural address. And he read it. And it was just—we were justblown away, and we were silent. And it was very—you know, very moving. And he told us about Víctor Jara and that he had to do this to avenge Víctor’s death for his wife and child.” [63]

Jim Glover: “Yes... Phil, Dylan, Dennis Hopper and I went out for a drinking lunch before the concert. When Dylan asked me if I was in the Union I said I used to be but they never did me much good... Phil started crying right there... I always suspected Dylan knew Phil’s secret role which is the real reason he could not blow the whistle and in those days whistle Blowers besides the pentagon papers guy were rare. In 74…. he said they told him if he talked they would say he was crazy….. He could not prove he was in Dallas anyway because the lost tapes and films did not come out till 12 years later. That was no accident either. Grossman was managing Phil when he was in Dallas and I found out that Grossman had Peter Paul and Mary booked for a concert at SMU in Dallas that day but it was cancelled two weeks before with no return date in the notice.” [64]

The concert was a big success, as  Bob Spitz, in Dylan, wrote: “..Dave Van Ronk smiled proudly when Bob walked in - proud, not so much that he decided to do the right thing by the Chilian refugees, but that he bailed out his friend Phil Ochs. Von Ronk dragged Bob off to the balcony, where they reminisced and traded slugs from a bottle of wine. By late afternoon, both men were asleep on the other’s shoulder. Then, around six o’clock, they crept off to the Iron Horse, a commuters tavern in Penn Station, where they hooked up with actor Dennis Hopper and proceeded to get shit-faced drunk. When the concert finally started and Ochs introduced his pals from the stage, it resembled a benefit to combat chronic alcoholism. Bob and Van Ronk looked like a couple of derelicts who had wondered in off Seventh Avenue. They were off their nut. By the time they got to the final, a jug of wine had been uncorked on stage, and the ensemble broke into ‘Blowin’ in the Wind,’ Van Ronk had to keep whispering the lyrics into Bob’s ear.”

“The Chilean benefit signaled a momentous shift in Bob’s career. What a relief it had been not to be a spokesman or a prophet, but just Bob again. Just one of the guys who had gotten good and drunk and jammed with some friends….” [65]

                                                      SENATOR DODD

                                       Phil Ochs, Oswald and Senator Dodd

In “Draft Dogger Rag” Ochs wrote that, “I believe in God and Senator Dodd and a keepin’ old Castro down…..” 

Senator Pat Dodd of Connecticut, the first Senator after Joe McCarthy to be censored by the Senate for using campaign contributions for his own use, held Congressional hearings of the Juvenile Delinquency Subcommittee on banning mail order pistols and specifically targeted Seaport Traiders, from whom Oswald allegedly ordered his pistol from.

Dodd actually ordered a Mannlicher-Carcano rifle and in Summer of ’63 investigated the Fair Play for Cuba Committee with the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee.  

One of Dodd’s staff members was arrested in Cuba and for an arms violation at Hyannisport, Mass. When JFK was there. Sen. Dodd’s son Christopher Dodd (Conn.) was involved with the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). See: Tanenbaucm. Corruption of Blood.

Ochs also wrote songs about articles he read in the newspapers, including songs on the Bay of Pigs, the John Birch Society, General Walker and the assassination of Medgar Evers. [66]

Also see: Evica, George Michael. And We Are All Mortal (Trinday, 2012) Link to Evica on Dodd.

Tanenbaum, Robert K. Corruption of Blood (Signet, 1992).


In 1975 Ochs began to “freak people out by claming he was really a CIA agent named John Train and that ‘Phil Ochs’ had to be killed.”

Dave McGowan wrote that shortly after his successful “War is Over” rally in 1975 Ochs,
“began compiling curious lists, with entries that clearly were references to US biological warfare research: ‘shellfish toxin, Fort Dietrich, cobra venom, Chantilly Race Track, hollow silver dollars, New York Cornell Hospital …” and as Train, McGowan noted, “proclaimed himself to be a CIA operative and presented himself as a belligerent, right-wing thug.” He would be dead within a year.

“It is suggested that Ochs/Train may have indeed been a spy with two personalities – personalities that are at complete odds with one another but personalities that don’t know the other exists. It is important to note that the Ochs family spent time at military bases in his early life and…while Ochs considered himself a leftist, man of the people, he loved American Western films, and the idea of a strong America. He seemed a man torn in two diametrically opposite directions.” [67]

MICHAEL OCHS: Basically, Phil was a manic depressive.And the manic binge he went on, probably out of desperation, frustration, etc.,he went too far, and he never got back. He became, as we do, we get depressed afterwards, and he couldn’t see the next mountain due to the valley he was stuck in. And we tried to get him help. And he finally went to a shrink, but then, a week later, he killed himself. [68]

Wiki:  “In mid-1975, Ochs took on the identity of John Butler Train. He told people that Train had murdered Ochs, and that he, John Butler Train, had replaced him. Train was convinced that someone was trying to kill him, so he carried a weapon at all times: a hammer, a knife, or a lead pipe. Ochs's friends tried to help him. His brother Michael attempted to have him committed to a psychiatric hospital. Friends pleaded with him to get help voluntarily. They feared for his safety, because he was getting into fights with bar patrons. Unable to pay his rent, he began living on the streets. After several months, the Train persona faded and Ochs returned, but his talk of suicide disturbed his friends and family. They hoped it was a passing phase, but Ochs was determined.”

One of his biographers explains Ochs's motivation:  “By Phil's thinking, he had died a long time ago: he had died politically in Chicago in 1968 in the violence of the Democratic National Convention; he had died professionally in Africa a few years later, when he had been strangled and felt that he could no longer sing; he had died spiritually when Chile had been overthrown and his friend Victor Jara had been brutally murdered; and, finally, he had died psychologically at the hands of John Train.”

“In January 1976, Ochs moved to Far Rockaway, New York, to live with his sister Sonny. He was lethargic; his only activities were watching television and playing cards with his nephews. Ochs saw a psychiatrist, who diagnosed his bipolar disorder. He was prescribed medication, and he told his sister he was taking it. On April 9, 1976, Ochs hanged himself.” [69]

Congresswoman Bella Abzug (Democrat from New York), an outspoken anti-war activist herself who had appeared at the 1975 "War is Over" rally, entered this statement into the Congressional Record on April 29, 1976:  “Mr. Speaker, a few weeks ago, a young folksinger whose music personified the protest mood of the 1960s took his own life. Phil Ochs—whose original compositions were compelling moral statements against war in Southeast Asia—apparently felt that he had run out of words.” [70]

Wiki: Years after his death, it was revealed that the FBI had a file of nearly 500 pages on Ochs. Much of the information in those files relates to his association with counterculture figures, protest organizers, musicians, and other people described by the FBI as "subversive". The FBI was often sloppy in collecting information on Ochs: his name was frequently misspelled "Oakes" in their files, and they continued to consider him "potentially dangerous" after his death. [71]


Sean Phillips wrote a song called "For JFK RFK & MLK"  and also covered Phil Ochs’ song “I’m Tired,” which according to Jim Glover, was never officially released. So Grover contacted Sean Phillips, via Facebook, and asked him how he got the song and he replied he and Phil wrote it together. Then he corrected himself, explaining: "He taught me the song one night after we had made the rounds of the cafes for basket money. We were both staying at a mutual friends Apt. Needless to say, we were both a tad wired from the evening, ya know, one of those all nighters. Cheers.,… Shawn " [72]

It turns out that David Atlee Phillips was Shawn's Uncle, brother to Shawn's father, James Atlee Philips. [73]


Whether or not Phil Ochs was at Dealey Plaza at the time of the assignation and is in the photo as Jim Glover contends, Phil Ochs had a number of close associations with others that would have possibly given him foreknowledge of the assassination, and links to the perpetrators - including contacts he made at the Virginia Military Academy, Air Force ROTC at Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio), while assisting Chile coup refugees, and the “young and upcoming” Air Force lieutenant he said was working with in 1974 (Michael Dugan?) as well as Sean Phillips, David Atlee Phillips’ nephew.

This is a work in progress.  Stay tuned for the next episode of this continuing saga…..when we hope to answer some of the still outstanding questions.  


Eliot, Marc Death of A Rebel: Staring Phil Ochs and a Small Circle of Friends. (Garden City, NY Anchor Press, 1979, 1989)) pp. 61-63; p. 148

Schumacher, Michael - There But for Fortune: The Life of Phil Ochs (NY, Hyperion, 1996). pp. 58, 67, 92. 45.

Footnotes to PO in DP

1.      O’Brian, Gary  Oswald's Politics.(Trafford Pub. 2010 p. 128 )
2.      Ochs, Phil. Song title?
3.      1968 Democratic National Convention, Chicago. Reminiscences
4.      Education Forum - link:
5.      Photo from film a) Dal-Tex Houston Street, 12:35 pm 11/22/63
6.      Ochs, Phil. Discography link:
7.      Ochs, Phil. “Draft Dogger Rag” link:
8.      WXPN - Meatball Fulton link /WMMR - Dave Herman link
9.      Dealey Plaza photo from film “The First Shot.”
10.  Wiki Entry - Phil Ochs link
11.  Glover, Jim - Facebook link
12.  Glover, Jim - Emailed recollections
13.  ROTC on campus
14.  COINTELPRO - Media FBI breakin. A Heroic Burglary Remembered. Stolen FBI files exposed FBI campaign of blackmail and intimidation of activists. By Allan M. Jalon. LA Times, March 8, 2006 [ ] Also see: Washington Post, March 24, 1971 “documents detailing how the bureau had enlisted a local police chief, letter carriers and a switchboard operator at Swarthmore College to spy on campus and black activist groups in the Philadelphia area.” (BK Notes: Michael Paine attended Swarthmore, where his wife’s papers are archived at the college library.)
15.  CHAOS CIA - US Army Reserve Memphis links
16.  Kent State Agitator
17.  Camden 28 - Bob Hardy [ ]  Covert Operative Personality Profile - (COPP)   Covert Operational Profile

18.  Staunton Va. Military Academy link
19.  Campus Radical Files
20.  Roth, Phil. “Goodbye Columbus” novel & film links
21.  Flint, Larry. Rebel Mag.
22.  DISC - Defense Industrial Security Command first mentioned in unpublished manuscript. Responsible for security at defense industry instillations, especially those that after WWII moved to Texas for reasons of “national security.”
23.  Bell Helicopter - Oswald’s chief benefactor Michael Paine worked at Bell Helicopter.
24.  Gen Dynamics - Former FBI agent Hale worked in security at Gen. Dynamics. His sons broke into the Vegas apartment of J.C. Exner and his wife got Oswald jobs from the Texas Employment Commission.
25.  Collins Radio - Tippit friend Carl Mather worked for Collins Radio, the company that supplied radios for Air Force One and SAC.
26.  Gordon Novel - New Orleans operative who fled to Ohio and Virginia when subpoened by grand jury. Left behind a letter to his CIA case officer that mentioned the JMWAVE company that paid insurance to Alabama National Guard airman killed at Bay of Pigs. Novel participated on Huma Bunker raid.
27.  Spitz, Bob Dylan (McGraw Hill, NY.)
28.  Scaduto, Anthony - Dylan - An Intimate Biography (x) Song comp.
29.  Glover, Jim. Emailed recollections.
30.  Dylan on 11/22/63
31.  Ochs, Phil. Liner notes re: “That Was the President.”

“Crucifixion.” - the assassination made Phil Ochs cry, attributed in footnotes to Michael Schumacher, Ochs cried = Schumaker
“Crucifixion” Wiki link

Re: Ochs and RFK. Newfield, Jack - RFK Cries [21][22]21 Newfield, Jack  (2002).  Somebody's Gotta Tell It: A Journalist's Life on the Lines. (New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 176–178.)

Gates, Anita (June 7, 1998). "The Private Side of a Political Story".The NY Times.
Alice Skinner -

Wiki reference.  “In 1962, Phil Ochs married Alice Skinner, who was pregnant with their daughter Meegan, in a City Hall ceremony with Jim Glover as best man and Jean Ray as bridesmaid, and witnessed by Dylan's sometime girlfriend, Suze Rotolo. Phil and Alice separated in 1965, but they never divorced.”

Where is Alice Skinner today? And is she related to Barbara Skinner sisters from Booklyn/Cape May.

X2 Glover version of ‘Crucifixion’
32.  Suze Rotolo - Rotolo, Suze (2008), A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixites (NY, Broadway Books, P. 249.) 
33.  Elliot & Steve Kenin. Basic background.
34.  Oswald at Rittenhouse Square links to docs.
35.  The March in Minsk. Did Lee or Marina meet the marchers?
36.  Robinson and Wilcox fight in DC
37.  Records on Kenin in Mexico City. Interview w/ SK.
38.  LICOZY3. See: Russo, Gus “Live By the Sword” ( “x”) “Brothers In Arms” (‘y”)
39.  Chris Smither in Mexico City
40.  Freewheelen’ - Rotolo, Suze (“X”) Link to album cover photo.
41.  Huma Bunker Raid link:
42.  Ruth Paine’s summer vacation
43.  Lorenz, Marita.
44.  Dylan’s Cross-Country Trip Scaduto, Anthony. Dylan - An Intimate Biography (1972 Signet NY, p. 197), they asked directions to Dealey Plaza.
45.  Karman, Peter. British journalist, is quoted in Dylan bio but strangely does not appear to have written about Dylan or the roadtrip himself.
46.  Farina, Richard. “Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me” (x” ) Ref to IRA and with Castro in Cuba.
47.  Monterey Pop - Croby, David. “He Was a Friend of Mine.”
48.  Maher, Albert. Houston, Tx., Cuba.
49.  Foreman, Geno
50.  Foreman, Clark
51.  ECLC Speech and letter link:
52.  Dylan’s Explanation : source to bio.
53.  Wiki on Oakes and Chile
54.  With Lennon et al.
55.  Australia and attack in Africa
56.  Spitz, Bob. Dylan (‘x”)
57.  Felt Forum benefit Felt Forum, Dylan, BS p. 437
58.  Linda Cohen
59.  Jim Glover
Benefit Concert for Chile Chile  Spitz, Bob (Dylan, A Bio, McGraw-Hill, 1989) p. 432
61.  Senator Dodd
62.  John Butler Train. McGowan, Dave.
63.  Michael Ochs
64.  Death
65.  Bela Abzug. Congressional Record. April 29, 1976.
66.  Wiki on Ochs FBI files.
67.  Sean Phillips
68.  Uncle Dave. James Atlee Phillps.
69.  Outstanding Questions.

- Wiki

- Scaduto, Anthony Dylan - An Intimate Biography (Signet 1971) ,p. 186-7, 188, p. 197),p. 205)

- Robert Sheldon in his biography of Dylan  No Direction Home - The Life and Music of Bob Dylan (Beech Tree Books, Morrow, NY 1986, p. 259 - ),

- Bob Spitz, in Dylan, A Biography, McGraw-Hill, 1989) p. 432