Billy Sol Estes leaves the stage; claimed LBJ killed JFK (and others)

Billy Sol Estes, cover boy for complex crimes

Billy Sol Estes, the infamous Texan con man who made multiple visits to prison after his complex web of mortgage fraud and agriculture swindles came to light in the early 1960s, died May 14, in Granbury, Texas, at age 88. (As if on cue, Mother Nature unleashed a tornado on Granbury the very next day, killing six people.)

Among Estes’ legacies: the allegation that Lyndon Johnson orchestrated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

 

While the charge is unproven, oft-repeated (most recently by Republican political consultant Roger Stone), and oft-rejected, there is no doubt that Estes was friends with LBJ and knew his way around a criminal conspiracy. Even the obituary writers at the New York Times saw fit to report his claims about LBJ and JFK.

As his multi-million dollar empire began to fall apart in 1962, the well-connected Estes became a political liability to the Kennedy administration. President Kennedy himself had to publicly say that the Justice Dept. would get to the bottom of the Estes shenanigans.

Yet, as investigators dug into his labyrinthine schemes, they ended up dead — seven of them in fact; the majority dubiously ruled to be suicide. One victim’s “suicide” included five shots from a bolt action rifle.

In the early 1980s, after serving four years for tax fraud, Estes told Justice Dept. officials that not only did some his ill-gotten proceeds go to LBJ, but that LBJ ordered the investigator murders to avoid being connected to the kickbacks. Estes also said that he knew that LBJ orchestrated the JFK assassination, pointing to LBJ henchman Malcolm Wallace as a triggerman in both the investigator and the JFK killings.

(In 1951, Wallace narrowly avoided execution — getting instead a suspended sentence — for a murder he committed in Texas. In 1998 assassination investigator Walt Brown claimed that a mystery fingerprint taken from a box in the 6th Floor “sniper’s den” matched Wallace’s.)

The Times didn’t shrink from the LBJ accusations in reporting Estes’s departure.

“The Justice Department asked Mr. Estes for more information, and the response was explosive. For a pardon and immunity from prosecution, he promised to detail eight killings arranged by Johnson, including the Kennedy assassination. He said that Mr. Wallace had not only persuaded Jack Ruby to recruit Lee Harvey Oswald, but that Mr. Wallace had also fired a shot in Dallas that hit the president,” wrote the NYT, adding that “none of the Estes claims could be proved.”

On a personal note, I knew a man back in the early 90s who was himself a Texan wheeler and dealer. Smelling money in the wake of Oliver Stone’s “JFK” success, this fellow approached Estes to sit for a documentary. It never went beyond the initial videotaped interview, but I remember well one of Billy Sol’s lines: “Those Harvard boys just couldn’t handle Texan men.”

The wheeler and dealer died a decade ago in Mexico. I don’t know where the videotape ended up.

 

 

 

 

36 comments

  1. I think Billie Sol Estes is one of the key truthtellers to the JFK assassination… despite the fact he was a pathological liar and thus perfectly suited to be a business cut out for Lyndon Johnson.

    LBJ gave Estes $500,000 back in the 50′s, used the government to funnel every contract he could to him, and Estes “gave” back $10 million in kickbacks to his boss LBJ. “Live By the Sword” by Gus Russo has a good passage on Estes.

    Estes was close to Cliff Carter, LBJ’s political director. Barr McClellan worked directly with Ed Clark, LBJ’s political boss in Texas. And Madeleine Brown was LBJ’s #2 mistress of the 1950′s era.

    Estes and Madeleine Brown became friends again in the 1990′s and James Tague (almost hit by a bullet on 11/22/63) knew both of them well – united by JFK research conferences in Texas.

    James Tague, like Roger Stone, has a book coming out that pins the JFK assassination on Lyndon Johnson.

    The NYT was wrong in one key point in its Estes obituary re: the Henry Marshall murder: “Local officials ruled it suicide, but the body was exhumed and the cause changed to homicide.”

    Nope. Marshall, who was murdered by LBJ’s personal hit man Malcolm Wallace, had his body exhumed and a grand jury did NOT change the cause of death from suicide to homocide. That is because an FBI agent Tommy G. McWilliams gave some ridiculous testimony that it was suicide and their was a ringer on the grand jury.

    That was Hoover, not RFK, covering for LBJ.

    It was only two decades later after Texas Ranger Clint Peoples had convinced Estes to come forward and tell the truth about this LBJ-inspired murder that a grand jury in the 1980′s made the change from suicide to homocide as a cause of death.

    The Malcolm Wallace “get out of jail free” for murder case of 1952 and the “Henry Marshall suicide by 5 shots to the chest” case of 1961 both perfectly illustrate the intensity, effectiveness and epic corruption of the Lyndon Johnson machine in Texas at that time.

    Billie Sol Estes told Ranger Clint Peoples that Malcolm Wallace was used for the Henry Marshall murder. Estes also told his lawyer Doug Caddy that LBJ would send Malcolm Wallace on his murder assignments via military planes so there would be no record of his travel in commercial airlines.

    If you want a copy of Billie Sol Estes valuable and impossible to find book “Billie Sol Estes: A Texas Legend,” go to this link: https://www.box.com/s/8b408e6999f8799dfd0a

    Also google “Henry Marshall Spartacus” for an excellent write up on the LBJ-ordered Henry Marshall murder of June, 1961.

    Btw, Robert Caro does not write about any of this stuff which I think tells us volumes about Robert Caro.

    • larry wheeler says:

      many years ago I read “a Texan looks at Lyndon” by evetts hailey. the book exposed the texas corruption network of lbj, as lbj backers seeked govt contracts and tax breaks or no fbi investigation as hoover was in lbj’s network do to his being a crony of murchinson from texas. even right wing nut hl hunt was a backer of lbj. the forces lined up against kennedy that day in dallas went deep.

    • Shanthy Benedict says:

      Who had the Motive?
      Who gain the Most?
      Who had the Power to cover-up?
      Who had notorious Wink’ on the AF 1?

      “It is the meloncholy law of human societies 
      to be compelled sometimes to choose a great evil 
      in order to ward off a greater evil.” -Lyndon Baines Johnson

      Nixon “never flatly said who was responsible [for Kennedy’s death]. But he would say, ‘Both Johnson and I wanted to be president, but the only difference was I wouldn’t kill for it.”

      “If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us.” – George H.W. Bush.

    • Bill Clarke says:

      Robert Morrow May 16, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      I think mostly what this tells us about Robert Caro is that he can spot a bunch of crap when he sees it.

      Roger Stone makes a point about Caro and others not including this “story” in their work but of course Stone was brave enough to do so. Unfortunately Stone uncovers nothing new, just the same old Billie Sol, Madeline Brown, and Mac Wallace crap that has been floating around on hot air for decades.

      Bill Clarke

  2. Hans Trayne says:

    I’m no LBJ or Hoover groupie by any stretch but the more someone points the finger at LBJ the more I see Nixon’s anti-Castro assassination team, targeted by JFK & RFK’s federal marshals out in the field angry as hell and trying to survive the storm against them.
    I do have problems with a Pentagon level Operation Northern Woods employed against JFK to spark an attack on Cuba & leaving LBJ alive to not initiate such an attack (which happened).
    These days I’m more prone to believe the JFK assassination has been incorrectly analyzed and that LBJ was also targeted for execution and something went wrong on the tail end of the attack plan (LBJ). The more I look at the SS reenactment film made a week after the attack the more I realize LBJ was just under the window alleged to contain JFK’s killer. Close enough for a box to have been tossed out on top of his head, even a rifle.
    I’m beginning to suspect the forward shooters triggered the attack too soon and LBJ’s guards reacted too fast for rear building shooter(s)to fire on him. Perhaps a weapon malfunction or maybe LBJ’s shooter chickened out?
    I now believe if LBJ was in on it he would have at least had a shooter put a couple holes in the trunk or hood of the Lincoln he & Ladybird were in. Listen closely to LBJ grilling his buddy Hoover on this issue on the phone. He sounds to me like he’s recognized the attack as a partially successful attempt to clean house of both the President & the Vice President.
    I believe there is a good possibility LBJ lucked his way out of that crime and would hope future researchers explore that avenue. I have not read or seen anything that suggests LBJ had promised the Pentagon/intelligence/investigation Federal agencies anything prior to attack. Such promises would keep him alive if he was in on it IMO.
    It is noteworthy that Hoover didn’t give LBJ any indication the military brass at the highest level was involved anymore than Allen Dulles & the WC gave him any indication there was a genuine effort to eliminate Fidel Castro operational at the time the attack was executed.
    The reversals that took place by LBJ after JFK’s death & different directions taken can also mean there was a new kid in charge who wanted to do things differently. Is there a Constitutional requirement that a Vice president complete directives implemented by the prior president?
    I think more insight needs to be given to the possibility LBJ was also targeted for death and accidentally slid through it.
    I also believe had LBJ had knowledge of Nixon’s anti-Castro hit team he or his loyalists would have used it to keep Tricky Dick out of the White House. LBJ may have been a gangster but he was still a Democrat (lol).
    Just sayin’

  3. “Listen closely to LBJ grilling his buddy Hoover on this issue on the phone.” Play acting. LBJ knows, of course, that he is being taped. Hoover probably assumes it. LBJ destroy all the White House tapes he did not want you to hear – in fact there is a missing 14 minute gap of a critical tape on Saturday morning of 11/23/63.

    There, in fact, was someone who was targeting Lyndon Johnson for political execution and personal destruction on 11/22/63. His name is Robert Kennedy and the Senate Rules Committee was literally taking testimony on LBJ’s corruption at the moment a bullet was entering JFK’s head (see Don Reynolds). RFK also was feeding LIFE magazine all the dirt he could on LBJ and LIFE had a 9 person SWAT team of reporters in Central Texas going through courthouse records detailing LBJ’s empire … despite being a public servant for 30 years.

    Yes, LBJ did narrowly escape execution on 11/22/63.

    • larry wheeler says:

      lbj connection to bobby baker and estes would be used to get him off the ticket. both went to prison for corruption. baker was in with syndicate in getting gambling into the carribean after they got kicked out of cuba. lbj made his pact with Marcello and the cia. a assassination org called operation 40 of cia and mafia killers operated as free agents on the jfk hit. sponsored by texas oil and mafia money -they created Oswald and his phoney pro castro cover. the underworld hooked in the cia and both wanted jfk out – the force even had lbj and hoover on board. most of America lives in a fairy tale.

      • Wayne McNamara says:

        Why didn’t the secret service agents have all the windows closed in the immediate vicinity as it was already customary to do?

        • Paul Turner says:

          I think they were ordered not to, by higher powers.

        • John McAdams says:

          It was not customary. That’s a conspiracy book factoid.

          See (just for example):

          http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/cork.jpg

          On the day of the assassination, James Haggerty (Eisenhower’s Press Secretary) said on ABC News:

          In a large city it is impossible to guard every single window. In the years that I served with General Eisenhower, the only time I ever saw all windows guarded in the line of march was in Tehran, when President Eisenhower went to visit the Shah of Iran . . . . That was the only time I saw that.

          • Wishing Well says:

            Excellent question,slightly vague. Why didn’t the secret service agents have all the windows closed in the immediate vicinity as it was already customary to do?

            The Answer. Too general,totally vague and misleading.
            Ref.to James Haggerty is totally unresponsive. “In a large city it is impossible to guard every single window.”
            Question.
            “Why didn’t the secret service agents have all the windows closed in the immediate vicinity”— when the SS manual, motorcade protocol section, forbid that type of maneuver.Even though, the question still has to be asked, as they did the maneuver, didn’t they

        • Gerry Simone says:

          In the Professor’s defense, I’ll say that it was impractical to ensure that all windows along the parade route were closed, even if contrary to protocol.

          Unfortunately, this historical and unprecedented tragic event for a motorcade, probably forced a change in policy thereafter for all time.

          I’ll never forget when President Reagan visited Toronto. The entrance way to the Royal York Hotel, where he stayed, was entirely curtained off (so apart from being inside his bullet-proof limousine, he was not in view by any of the surrounding tall buildings when he entered or exited the vehicle).

    • kevin says:

      Hi Robert

      You state that a swat team of reporters were going through records and that Robert Kennedy and congress were investigating lbjs possible corruption scandals. Robert you act as if these government officials were doing something they were not suppose to be doing. Robert Kennedy investigation of LBJ meant that he was doing his job. Do i sense a hatred on your part of Robert Kennedy? Your last statement where you say “despite his 30 years of public service” makes it sound as if because he has been in politics for thirty years that the govt was headhunting and persecuting LBJ.

  4. Hans Trayne says:

    Things I’d like to see come out that would steer me more in a direction that LBJ was in on it, had worked something out in advance with elements of the pentagon/CIA running covert Cuban operations & the attack on JFK was NOT a Operation Northern Woods type mission:

    (1)An explanation as to why the Pentagon did not attack Cuba in the time span the country was without a President or pressure LBJ to do so once he was sworn in on AF1 at Love field.

    (2) An explanation as to why the CIA wasn’t urging LBJ to attack Cuba.

    (3) An expose of how much money LBJ personally made off the Viet Nam war and how he obtained it (kickbacks, payoffs, etc.)

    (4) An explanations as to why Hoover was telling LBJ it was just Oswald almost immediately after the attack. Why would Hoover cover up for the Pentagon/CIA. As I understand it, Hoover didn’t exactly trust the CIA and their tale of LHO in Mexico City.

    There is a popular computer game called JFK reloaded that a lot of people have posted videos from it on Y/Tube. In many ways the animation is a better, more accurate representation of the elements present during the attack that what was offered the public in federal investigations & TV re-enactments in the last 50 years. One can’t help but notice that for a brief period of time as JFK’s car was emerging from under the Elm Street divider tree that partially obscured him from a TSBD ‘sniper’s nest’ alleged shooter at the same time LBJ is directly across and below the window. Imagine that: The president of the US and his Vice President just below you with a rifle. Today’s dedicated anti-US terrorist would wet their pants for an opportunity to hurt the USA.
    My question is if that was the intent of that shooter (hurt the USA) why wasn’t LBJ taken out? One shot to JFK, quickly move the carbine left and blow LBJ’s brains all over Ladybird. Why didn’t that happen?
    If it is assumed that LBJ was in on it, why wasn’t his car shot up to make it look more believable that a terrorist was attacking the USA?

    • JSA says:

      Here’s what I want an explanation to, and why I also think Billy Sol Estes may be on to something here (also if you read the Caro series 1-3 on LBJ it’s enough to raise suspicion):

      How come the murders of key political figures (JFK, MLK, RFK) stopped after LBJ left office? When Nixon was president, the only suspicious deaths were of Hunt’s wife and an attempt on George Wallace during the campaign year of 1972. It’s as if the ‘domestic assassination machine inc.’ was turned off or put in storage after 1968. It makes me think LBJ used assassination, was working with key people at CIA and FBI to do so, and then when he left office, Nixon used “the whole Bay of Pigs Thing” as a safety card to try to blackmail CIA and FBI after LBJ left office, to get them off of his back during Watergate.

      • larry wheeler says:

        it appears you have read the ends of power by Nixon’s chief of staff- haldeman. where the bay of pigs is code for the jfk hit in dallas. hunt was the lever that brought down Nixon. hunt knew to damn much as Nixon said- he put it on the Texans that included the oilmen and lbj, he knew these guys because they supported him, guys like bush sr. hunt, murchinson, etc.

      • Ron Cohen says:

        I was thinking the same thing, that all the assassinations took place while Johnson was in power. But why would he pass the Civil Rights bill and then kill King, and why go after Bobby when he’d decided not to run?

        • Paul Turner says:

          Ron, my theory on LBJ going after RFK is that if LBJ wasn’t going to be President, he didn’t want RFK to take advantage of that. Just something I’ve heard in passing, but at the time I believed it made sense.

      • kevin says:

        Well JSA, one could argue that once Richard Nixon had took office of the presidency that the plan had been completed. The texas oilmen and the industrial military complex and the mafia had achieved what they had set out to do. Each sect had accomplished what they wanted.I myself do believe that JFKs murder was a multi level assassination carried out by many enemys coming together to achieve one goal. That goal was to get rid of JFK. Each group had their own reasons as to why they wanted JFK taken out.It was a complex coup de tat. It was all about power,money and ideology.

  5. D C says:

    General Clifford is on record stating he found LBJ crying in the bathroom of Air Force One babbling about a conspiracy. All that day there are news accounts of LBJ shaking, trembling, voice shaking, pale – symptoms of shock impossible to fake. LBJ begged all of JFK’s staff to stay on even though he knew they hated him. All of these facts weigh against LBJ planning the assassination, although it seems obvious he directed the coverup. As for LBJ’s wheeler-dealing, Sy Hersh said the Kennedys also accepted satchels of cash in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and Nixon of course was mobbed up and reputedly had a million dollars in cash on hand. So LBJ accepting a stereo or whatever doesn’t seem that terrible. And I wonder why those who always bring up Mac Wallace always neglect to mention he was working for D H Byrd at the
    time of the assassination. Bobby Baker in 1963 was actually closer to Sen Kerr of OK, having stayed connected to the Senate while LBJ moved on to the WH. And that old liar and con artist Billie Sol was actually connected to the Ralph Yarborough faction of the TX Dem Party. Speaking of factions, John Connally was much, much closer to the right wing Dallas oilmen whose names keep coming up than the New Deal lberal LBJ who helped ramrod the 1957 Civil Rights Bill through the Senate. Connally’s involvement in planning the trip deserves a closer look.

  6. larry wheeler says:

    come on man, lbj’s backers always got the rewards – govt contracts to brown and root built Vietnam. did you know dry hole byrd founded the civil air patrol from which they found Oswald. great pasty-blame the commies castro, you know the game. lbj just amped up the commie conspiracy farce on the plane then got his cronys in order for the cover-up. the fix was in down in texas -and a lot of places.

  7. bgilliga says:

    The idea for the assassination originated with Castro, was sanctioned and assisted by Latin American KGB personnel. Oswald was recruited to unknowingly be the patsy. The KGB then blackmailed LBJ into participation in the plot. Oswalds package he carried into the TSBD contained materials for the 2 man assassination team and included keys to gain entry into the rear of the TSBD. These two assassins were seen by multiple witnesses in a Nash Rambler immeditely after the assassination

    • Reggie says:

      KGB had nothing to do with it.Bobby was going to have LBJ indicted in the “Billy Sol Estes” scandal” after JFK dropped him as VP.LBJ ordered the hit.Allen Dulles,x-CIA,working with Costello of Cosa Nostra,set it up.Mac Wallace and another shooter behind the fence on the knoll did the deed.LBJ and J.Edgar Hoover covered it up.Warren Commision was the biggesd fraud ever pulled on the American people.

      • Reggie says:

        Why are MY posts always “Waiting moderation”?Do I have egg on my face?I used no profanity.What’s to moderate?

      • kevin says:

        Your right Reggie…KGB had nothing to do with it. Oswald dreamed of becoming someone. he lacked attention as a child. He dreamed of becoming a spy perfect recipe for grooming someone to be a patsy.Oswald either was a wiling participant in the assassination or he thought he was a participant but he was really hand picked as a fallguy.

      • Paul Turner says:

        All of that is most probably right, but I believe Wallace was on the 6th floor of the TSBD.

      • RLC says:

        In the late 1990′s I was invited to a private (by invitation only) dinner. Billy Sol Estes was also a guest. I got to know Billy quite well and had a long conversation, about 4 hours, where we talked about everything from his childhood, how he made his first million. We discussed his relationship with LBJ and LBJ calling him at 3:00 am telling him he needed $500,000 by 9:00 am. I had not talked with for at least 4 years and just found out he passed away in May of 2013. He asked me not to mention anything about what he was telling me because people were after him and being followed again. What I mean by again is he said JFK and Robert Kennedy both were having him followed in 1962. He told me he could not leave his house without someone following him. He told me about Malcomb Wallace being LBJ’s hit man. I must admit he was very interesting but also must admit that he was scaring me. He told me more than I wanted to know. I cooked chili for everyone and Billy Sol spent the entire time outside with me. He also told me about his three different prison sentences and how he could have gotten a chance at early release if he returned the money he and LBJ embezzled with their non-existent grain silos and expose LBJ. He was more worried about Wallace than early release. He gave me a book and wrote me a note with his personal phone number. He also told me that LBJ had Wallace kill his daughters lover. He was always looking over his shoulder. He was a great business man

    • Paul Turner says:

      I’m betting the two were Loy Factor and Mac Wallace. James Tague writes about them both in his book “LBJ And The Kennedy Killing”.

  8. For reference, I filed a FOIA/PA request for Billy Sol Estes’ FBI File. By word from the FBI, they stated it was in excess of 77,000+ pages. I am working with them to see how I can limit the search for the more interesting material.

  9. Marco says:

    Hi ! The whole Kennedy assassination is a HOEX on the American PEOPLE and the world ( simplicity ) Richard Nixon said it

  10. Kay says:

    No one here mentions anything about the UT Latin American Department and the CIA, Walt Rostow and his involvement in getting the US into Vietman and his brother putting up the whole JFK investigation. Lots here and a whole lot about that Nash Rambler and that CIA run latin American Department.

  11. Billy Bean says:

    If I were a betting man and the stakes were my life, I’d bet that Lee Harvey Oswald killed President Kennedy from the sixth floor of the Dallas School Book Depository with a cheap mail order Italian military surplus rifle. But that’s just me.

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