By TIM FLEMING
(Note: this is a guest post by Tim Fleming about the late George de Mohrenschildt. A mysterious and fascinating figure for JFK assassination researchers, de Mohrenschildt became friends with Lee Harvey Oswald in 1962. Be sure to check out Tim's blog, Left of the Looking Glass).
If you want to unravel the mysteries of the JFK case, all you have to do is follow one George de Mohrenschildt, CIA covert asset, oil geologist, Russian royalty and international man of mystery. It can be said, with only the slightest bit of exaggeration, that de Mohrenschildt knew everyone involved in The Big Hit.
De Mohrenschildt was well acquainted with the Bush family. De Mohrenschildt's nephew, Eddie Hooker, had been George H.W. Bush's prep school roommate at Phillips Academy in Massachusetts. De Mohrenschildt and Hooker went into the oil business in West Texas at the same time that Bush was working there as a Dresser Industries employee. Speaking of Dresser Industries, it was closely aligned with a fashion/sportswear business in Dallas called Nardi’s. De Mohrenschildt’s wife Jeanne worked at Nardi’s in the 1950s alongside Abraham Zapruder. Yes, that Zapruder: the man who made the most infamous home movie of all time. While Jeanne designed the clothing, Abe cut the patterns. Think about that for a moment. The man who filmed the murder of JFK worked closely with the wife of the accused assassin’s best friend. My head hurts.
The De Mohrenschildt family was steeped in an intelligence background. George's older brother Dmitri worked, on many occasions, with Allen Dulles of the OSS/CIA. George himself started doing covert work for the CIA in the 1950s. When he moved to Dallas in 1952 he joined the Dallas Petroleum Club and the Council on Foreign Relations; both organizations’ membership lists read like a who’s who of Kennedy assassination suspects.
One of De Mohrenschildt’s most dangerous CIA assignments (one that he certainly would have refused had he known the consequences) was "shepherding" or "setting up" Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas in 1962-63. De Mohrenschildt was chosen for the job because of his fluency in the Russian language and his knowledge of Russian culture. Oswald, having lived in Russia on a low-level, false-defector mission for the CIA, was naturally drawn to De Mohrenschildt’s acumen in all things Russian.
The Warren Commission called De Mohrenschildt to testify, but it was hardly a rough interrogation. De Mohrenschildt was asked about his remarkable suntan and then dismissed. Warren Commission member Allen Dulles, who certainly knew De Mohrenschildt, cleverly steered the questioning away from the most dangerous areas.
That would have been the end of it, except that a couple of FBI memos addressing George H.W. Bush's involvement in the aftermath of the assassination surfaced. The memos refer to "George Bush" of the CIA having reported on anti-Castro community activity post-assassination and having named a suspect to be questioned. But Bush has always denied being a CIA employee in 1963. Oops ... Bush got caught practicing spycraft (plausible deniability for being in Dallas the day Kennedy was murdered and snooping on a group of suspects). Naturally serious investigators raised the suspiciousness of the Bush-De Mohrenschildt-Oswald connection.
According to author Russ Baker, "...in the spring of 1963, immediately after his final communication with Oswald, De Mohrenschildt had traveled to New York and Washington for meetings with CIA and military intelligence officials. He even had met with a top aide to Vice President Johnson. And the (Warren) commission certainly did not learn that one meeting in New York included Thomas Devine, then Poppy Bush’s business colleague in Zapata offshore, who was doing double duty for the CIA."
It is noteworthy that De Mohrenschildt was acquainted with most, if not all, the major suspects in the JFK assassination. He befriended Dallas oil barons, he worked as a covert asset for the CIA, he set up Lee Harvey Oswald, and he even knew Lyndon Johnson.
In Watergate, Deep Throat advised Woodward to follow the money. In the JFK murder case, one need only follow George De Mohrenschildt to track the outline of the plot.
Closing Comment by Marc McDonald:
On March 29, 1977, de Mohrenschildt was contacted by an investigator with the House Select Committee on Assassinations, asking for an interview. That same day, de Mohrenschildt was found dead from a gunshot wound. De Mohrenschildt's death has been called a suicide, but its timing does seem mysterious.