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The Harry Dean Story (Part 9)


[Photo: Harry J. Dean ca. 1990]

We have come to 1975 in my narrative about Harry Dean, based on my interviews of him over the past decade. For the next two years, Harry had real doubts whether his side of the JFK history would ever be heard. In 1977, Harry’s hopes were revived when the US Government decided to re-open the JFK Assassination case. They called it the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA).

THE INEPT EFFORT OF THE HSCA

The HSCA convened from 1977 to 1979 to recall many Warren Commission (WC) witnesses and add more. Harry fervently hoped that the WC would discover the Walker-Rousselot-Gabaldon plot to attack JFK. However

Although Marina Oswald was interviewed in 1977 by the HSCA, she didn’t significantly increase our knowledge beyond her 1964 WC testimony.

Although Sylvia Odio was interviewed in 1978 by Gaeton Fonzi on behalf of the HSCA, she didn’t significantly increase our knowledge beyond her 1964 WC testimony.

Although Loran Hall was called to testify before the HSCA on 5 October 1977, he erased his WC testimony. For the HSCA, Larry Howard and William Seymour were interviewed by the FBI and they both denied meeting Sylvia Odio, and they both denied even being with Loran Hall in Dallas in September 1963. They denied everything and they provided convincing alibis. In response, Loran Hall retracted his testimony to the WC, and now claimed that he visited a different woman on that day, and he never met Sylvia Odio at any time in his life.

The HSCA heard little or nothing was about the resigned General Walker, the John Birch Society (JBS), or the Minutemen. Walker was not even subpoenaed to testify even though his name was mentioned more than 500 times among many WC volumes. Nothing was said of Guy Gabaldon.

At the end of its two-year history (1977-1979) the US House of Representatives HSCA published its, Findings of the Select Committee on Assassinations in the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas, 22 November 1963. This is an excerpt from its final paragraphs:

"President John F. Kennedy was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy. The committee is unable to identify the other gunman or the extent of the conspiracy… The Soviet Government was not involved…the Cuban Government was not involved. Anti-Castro Cuban groups, as groups, were not involved; but that does not preclude the possibility that individual members may have been involved. The national syndicate of organized crime, as a group, was not involved; but that does not preclude the possibility that individual members may have been involved… The Secret Service, FBI, and CIA were not involved." (HSCA, 1979, Conclusion)

On the positive side, this was a stark reversal of the WC conclusion of Lee Harvey Oswald (LHO) as the Lone Nut killer of JFK. Instead, JFK “was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” That’s genuine progress. That’s how Harry always said it went down. Further, this is where the topic officially stands in the US Government annals.

Still, Americans were frustrated that the US Government could not discern more than that. It was now 1979, a full 16 years after the JFK Assassination, and little had changed. The HSCA found that there was “probably” a conspiracy in the death of JFK, but they had no idea who the shooters were, and no idea who the leaders were.

Obviously, this wishy washy conclusion was unsatisfactory to most Americans, because historians, news anchors and most movies generally, kept reporting to the American people that the WC version of the JFK Assassination was correct – as though the HSCA Hearings had never happened. That was the status at the end of 1979.

THE RETURN OF JIM GARRISON

Nine years later, a new book on the topic of JFK was quietly published – On the Trail of the Assassins: My Investigation and Prosecution of the Murder of President Kennedy (1988). The author was that flashy, former NOLA District Attorney, Jim Garrison.

Perhaps most people thought that they already knew all about Garrison’s futile case against Clay Shaw (1967-1969) but Garrison had one more zinger to share. The book was published on the occasion of the death of Jack S. Martin. Garrison’s case against Shaw was not guesswork, he admitted, but his source was Jack S. Martin, confidante of Guy Banister himself.

Garrison now told the full story as he saw it, showing in detail about how the JFK conspiracy involved a New Orleans team of Guy Banister, David Ferrie, Jack S. Martin, Carlos Bringuier and so many others, and how his investigation would reach out to “Mr. X” regarding “General Y” (whom we now know were Colonel Fletcher Prouty and General Edward Lansdale, respectively).

This book by Jim Garrison would ultimately have wide repercussions.

Harry Dean, however, had few listeners since 1975, so in 1990, Harry Dean decided to self-publish his own version of the JFK Assassination, naming General Walker, Congressman Rousselot, Guy Gabaldon, Loran Hall, and Larry Howard explicitly. In this manuscript (or memoirs) Harry included all the events and all the dates that he could remember. He named it, Crosstrails (1990) – yet it caught no publishers’ eye.

OLIVER STONE’S JFK

Just one year later, however, seemingly out of nowhere, America was stunned by Oliver Stone’s new movie, JFK (1991). Oliver Stone had been so impressed by Jim Garrison’s 1988 book that he risked $40 million to make a movie of it. America’s JFK awareness had been sleeping for nearly 30 years after the JFK Assassination, but it was time to wake up. Tens of millions of Americans flocked to gawk at Jim Garrison’s personal version of the JFK Assassination, so that Oliver Stone’s investment quintupled.

America was changed forever on this topic. Americans began reviewing all the old writers about the shortcomings of the Warren Commission, and about the inconclusive conclusions of the HSCA. Many new books and new writers began to appear, year after year: e.g. John Newman, Jim Marrs, Seth Kantor, Harrison Livingstone, Gary Allen, Craig Zirbel, Cyril Wecht, Alan Weberman, Carl Oglesby, and many more. Millions of Americans how became JFK Conspiracy “buffs.”

Nevertheless – while Jim Garrison had brilliantly illuminated for everyone exactly what happened in New Orleans leading up to the JFK Assassination, Garrison was unable to illuminate the events that occurred inside Dallas. Since Jim Garrison’s famous trial of Clay Shaw, we find that Dallas had closed down even more; LHO was a Lone Nut – period. No clues about the resigned General Walker ever escaped Dallas city limits. Jim Garrison had no idea.

Prospects were looking up, however. More Americans than ever were now open to hear alternative interpretations of the JFK Assassination. Perhaps now the real truth, Harry Dean’s truth, could be heard.


Many books hit the bestseller charts in the literature of the JFK Conspiracy Theories after the release of the movie, JFK (1991). Assassination from 1992 until 2004. More than a hundred new books by authors as diverse as David Lifton, Robert Blakey, Walt Brown, Charles Crenshaw, John David, Robert Groden, Lamar Waldron, Patricia Lambert – all became famous – although not one of them would revisit the claims of Harry Dean.

The generic CIA was the prime suspect. Then the Mafia. The Cubans. The Russians. Mossad. The FBI. Even LBJ. There were so many suspects – but it was rare for anyone to even mention the resigned General Walker as a suspect in the JFK Assassination. Three writers stood out:

Thomas Buchanan, Who Killed Kennedy? (1965)

Harry Livingstone, High Treason (1998)

Walt Brown, Treachery in Dallas (1995)

Although none of these books delved deeply into a Walker-did-it scenario, at least they would consider the possibility. Buchanan was more focused on oil billionaire H.L. Hunt as the center of the plot. Harry Livingstone mentioned Walker as part of a coven of homosexuals (e.g. Walker, Hoover, Ferrie, Shaw) at the center of the plot. Walt Brown came closest, with his theory of Blue Death, i.e. that Dallas Police who were also Minutemen should be prime suspects.

Another decade came and went, and Harry patiently awaited his day in court.

THE EDUCATION FORUM

Everything changed for Harry Dean in 2004 when John Simkin started the JFK Assassination website inside his Education Forum online platform. Simkin invited Harry to join, and Harry happily joined. For the next six years, Harry enjoyed the heyday of Simkin’s famous website, along with other contributors such as Mark Lane, Jack White, Gerry Patrick Hemming, David Lifton and many more.

Finally, in 2010, Harry Dean met me, Paul Trejo, on the Education Form, and we realized that we had a Walker-did-it theory in common. Yet with Harry, it was more than a theory – it was an eye-witness reality. I met Harry in Southern California in 2012, and Harry told me many more details, faster than I could write them all down. I would check these out, I said, and get back to him.

For example, Harry gave me the name of the 1963 JBS speech scheduler in Pasadena, California, and where he scheduled speeches, and his most common speakers, and some intricate details. He was still alive, Harry suspected. So, I contacted this man, and, without mentioning Harry, I asked him about everything that Harry had told me. The man verified it all. Then, when I finally mentioned Harry, he said he remembered nothing else, and he quickly hung up.

Over the course of the past decade, everything that Harry has told me has checked out. Yet if anybody seeks a paper trail – the closest Harry has are countless FBI records going back for 60 years.

IN CONCLUSION

Fifty-seven years after the JFK Assassination, Harry Dean, now 93, is still interested in sharing his JFK-era experiences in Southern California and his unique perspective on the JFK Assassination. Harry has no documents, photographs, or tape recordings as material evidence. All the actual participants denied it under oath, and all have died in the past 57 years.

Harry still honors the patriotic service of the US military men involved. Harry remembers that Gabby and Larry were once his close personal friends, and Harry had sincerely hoped that US history would have turned out differently.

With so many suspicious people involved, it is difficult to name the most suspicious . Perhaps it was the resigned General Walker (the only US General to resign in the 20th century). Walker had concealed the truth that he had unsuccessfully resigned from the Army in 1959 after he converted to the JBS. Walker hid the truth that before he successfully resigned in 1961, JFK offered him another command in Hawaii.

Walker rejected that job to pursue a political career, as he had planned in 1959, but he hid this, too. Walker hid the truth that his resignation from the Army was due to Army rules preventing officers from pursuing partisan politics while in uniform. Walker told the world that he had been fired by JFK in the same way that MacArthur had been fired by Harry Truman. None of that was true.

Why focus so much on the resigned General Walker, instead of all the other JBS and Minutemen players in this sordid tragedy? Because Walker gave orders at the level of operations. Walker was no follower. Even when the JBS leadership objected to his strategies (e.g. the Ole Miss racial riots) Walker would always do things in his own way. The resigned General Walker was both a military hero and a tragic figure. Guy Gabaldon was, too.

The way that Harry J. Dean remembers it, the former General Edwin Walker was at the center of the cyclone. He used the rich above him as his money sources. He used the loyal soldiers under him as his private division. We might have to review this allegedly “crazy old man” in view of his spectacular tactical and military strategic skills.

ENVOI

Harry’s main regret at the end of the drama is that he didn’t take more time to enjoy family life with his beloved Millie and their kids. Harry stayed with the Fidelistas in 1961, yet he should have quit that morass when all of his friends were getting out. Then, Harry should have said ‘no’ to the Minutemen in 1962, with all their paramilitary training weekends. He should have focused on his young family.

Also, Harry bitterly regrets any little part that he might have played in the assassination of JFK, no matter how small, and he has never been able to completely forget that nightmare.

Harry will never forget that September day when the resigned General Walker announced in an exclusive JBS and Minutemen meeting in San Marino, California that this despised FPCC officer, “Lee Harvey Oswald,” was to become their official patsy. Harry heard it with his own ears. Ultimately, he feels, that meeting led directly to the televised murder of LHO, and Harry could never get that image out of his mind.

Harry knows that he might be mistaken. Though Harry feels certain that Walker, Rousselot, Gabaldon, Hall, Howard, and a handful of Southern California JBS and Minutemen members did plot to kill JFK in 1963, it is always possible that somebody else got to Dealey Plaza first. Still – what are the odds that some other group of plotters also used LHO as their patsy? Slim to none.


Let me then, finish this review of Harry Dean’s story with the poem that he sent by Western Union to LHO’s grave, accompanied by flowers, every anniversary of his death (November 24, 1963), starting in 1964. Here’s the poem:


LEE HARVEY OSWALD

(1939 - 1963)


Will the cold dead body of Lee Oswald

Lay forever in a traitor's grave?

Know his soul will have fair judgement

Be he guiltless or a knave.


Did he assassinate the President ?

Was he truthfully accused ?

Guilty yes, or was he innocent ?

He has left all the world confused.


(c) Copyright 1964 by H.J. Dean

Regards,

--Paul

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