Comment of the week

sgt_doom – April 29

With exceptions like Dorothy Kilgallen and Larry Stern (WaPo) who both died under highly questionable circumstances —

with Dorothy saying she had the story of a lifetime after interviewing Jack Ruby down in Dallas, and Larry Stern, on vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, where he was going to write the tell-all book on the perpetrators behind the JFK assassination!


  1. Dorothy’s Kilgallen Hat was designed by the infamous Mad Hatter of Wonderland.
    Wearing it gave her insights into ciphers of snipers and triangulated gunfire during parades and croquet matches that lit bonfires in the minds of usurpers, wordsmiths & press releases by double talking knights and door mice all a’fright.

    “Murder” she wrote … and there was shuddering in high places.


  2. Ronnie Wayne says:

    (Dorothy Kilgallen: The Key Witness
    -title added by Tom S.)

    • Thanks for the link Ronnie,

      The John Simkin comment was certainly fact filled! Great stuff.

      • Tom S. says:

        “fact filled!”

        What evidence does Simkin provide supporting the claim Kilgallen actually encountered Ruby and conversed with him anywhere but in public,
        in the court room?

        • There is what is called “circumstantial evidence”:

          “Kilgallen was keen to interview Jack Ruby. She went to see Ruby’s lawyer Joe Tonahill and claimed she had a message for his client from a mutual friend. It was only after this message was delivered that Ruby agreed to be interviewed by Kilgallen. Tonahill remembers that the mutual friend was from San Francisco and that he was involved in the music industry. Kennedy researcher, Greg Parker, has suggested that the man was Mike Shore, co-founder of Reprise Records.

          The interview with Ruby lasted eight minutes. No one else was there. Even the guards agreed to wait outside. Officially, Kilgallen never told anyone about what Ruby said to her during this interview. Nor did she publish any information she obtained from the interview. There is a reason for this. Kilgallen was in financial difficulties in 1964. This was partly due to some poor business decisions made by her husband, Richard Kollmar. The couple had also lost the lucrative contract for their radio show Breakfast with Dorothy and Dick. Kilgallen also was facing an expensive libel case concerning an article she wrote about Elaine Shepard. Her financial situation was so bad she fully expected to lose her beloved house in New York City.”


        • Roy W Kornbluth says:

          Jack Ruby’s lawyers, Joe Tonahill and Melvin Belli, repeatedly confirmed that Kilgallen had a private interview with JR in the judge’s unbugged chamber.

          • Tom S. says:

            Jack Ruby’s lawyers, Joe Tonahill and Melvin Belli, repeatedly confirmed….

            Your comment would be much more weighty supported by links to direct quotes of Belli and Tonahill.

            Every commentor’s comments would be much more weighty supported by links. I am nearly blue in the face, reminding all commentors:

            1. Comments must pertain to the subject of the original post.
            3. Only comments that the moderators think will advance the conversation and enhance the reader experience will be approved.
            4. Consecutive comments from the same reader will not be posted
            6.Commenters who use language deemed uncivil by the Comment editor or the site editor will have their comments put on 48 hour delay ….
            8. Preference is given to comments that include links to, or citations of, credible sources.
            10. Comments that are more than 500 words long will not be considered. …..

  3. Stephen Dale says:

    People die everyday. This discussion is a waste of time.

    • Fearfaxer says:

      You sound like someone trying to dismiss gun-related deaths. “If the killer didn’t have gun, he would have used a knife.”

  4. I have read the material on Kilgallen. Although it has been sometime, and I would have to refresh my files on this. I was convinced after going through all the material that there was good cause for suspicion of murder.

    I agree that Kilgallen and Lane are not to be compared. Kilgallen was certainly a well known personality, whereas Lane was a virtual nobody when he began writing on the JFK assassination.

    I will be very interested in following what information others might bring to the table here.

  5. Jeremy Gilbert says:

    The original story was about CBS effectively quashing any notion of conspiracy, and this quote mentions Kilgallen and Stern, presumably as examples of journalists who, in the course of investigating the assassination, met untimely and mysterious deaths.

    But even if CBS WAS actively dismissing conspiracy talk (which in itself is not necessarily “suspicious”), others in the mainstream media were not, most notably the New York Times and Life who, by the end of 1966, were leading a call to re-open the case. And while Kilgallen did a lot of talking, Mark Lane was arguably the most active in sowing doubts on the official conclusions. Why was he “allowed” to live, “allowed” to publish “Rush to Judgement” mere months after Kilgallen’s death? Same with Josiah Thompson, and, for that matter, Jim Garrison? If we want to argue that killing them would have been too risky as it would have been too public, that argument fails as Kilgallen was far more well-known than any of those others mentioned.

    • lysias says:

      The people who were allowed to live could all be characterized as crackpots. Kilgallen was too familiar to the American public from “What’s My Line?” for that line to be sold in her case.

    • sgt_doom says:

      To my recollection Mark Lane never stated that he knew unequivocally who was behind the murder of President Kennedy, while Larry Stern was supposed to have mentioned it around WaPo prior to beginning work on his book:

      Stern also investigated the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Stern did not accept the conclusions of the Warren Commission and Sterling Seagrave claims that Stern discovered “who had been involved” in the killing of Kennedy.

      Likewise, Ms. Kilgallen appeared to have similar knowledge before her death, which was reported to have been suicide, but tehnically, according to the autopsy report, veered towards murder by poison.

      • Roy W Kornbluth says:

        Thanks for that Spartacus info about reporter Laurence Stern, another journalist critical of the War(ren) Co(missio)n who bit the dust suddenly, suspiciously. I had no idea that he was like Dorothy Kilgallen in those regards. In a cursory look at the indexes of several JFKA books, he’s not there. With hundreds of high profile murders surrounding the case, it looks like good old Larry doesn’t rate. By the late 1970s, CIA R-and-D had “perfected” the poison dart gun. Crap like that is why we’re 19 trillion in debt.

        Dorothy Kilgallen has obsessed me the last couple of months. There are so many sirens and flashing red lights that have gone virtually unnoticed. Many of those red lights involve Joan Crawford. Just a couple, “Mommie Dearest”:
        –was in Dallas for the big soda bottlers’ convention the weekend of The Big Event. Her flightmates were the CEO of Pepsi (her husband at the time) and Richard Nixon. 11-22 she finagled her way into JFK’s entourage and made snide remarks to his face about all the security he had, while she, the ambassador for carbonated sugar-water, braved the world with practically no protection!
        –was palling around with Dorothy a lot in DK’s last days, was the first on the scene 11-8-65 to “comfort” her widower Dick Kollmar; actually, to survey the scene. This was the day after Dorothy’s final What’s My Line?, which was live on Sundays. That Monday afternoon, a taped showing of To Tell the Truth (which was erased) featured Dorothy and her WML? co-star Arlene Francis trying to fool the panel that each of them were guess who — Joan Crawford. Word of Kilgallen’s death reached the TV studio during that Monday episode of To Tell the Truth. Like a voice from the grave.

      • Roy W Kornbluth says:


        Stranger thing, the Great Northeast Blackout was the very next day, Tuesday 11-9-65. There never was any explanation for that power outage. Sure enough, Crawford had something loony to say, that it was “a wonderful tribute to Dorothy.” What in the world, 30 million without power on a very cold November night!?! from New Jersey well into Canada. Yeah right, Mommie Dearest, Dorothy would have loved that.

        Opposite of Joan Crawford, there was a good witch in Kilgallen’s life: Mrs. Earl Smith, AKA Flo Pritchett, Mrs. Ambassador E E T Smith, whom DK met early in the ’50s on WML? (DK was on it for fifteen years and the show tanked less than two years after Dorothy’s demise.) Flo Pritchett was the only married woman JFK ever had an affair with. Inga Arvad doesn’t count because she was an actual prostitute. Flo Pritchett Smith died anywhen from 8 hours to 2 days after her best friend DK. Supposedly, it was a cerebral hemorrhage. Or the long-term effects of leukemia. We’re not sure. Her husband, the last ambassador to Cuba before the embargo, explained away why none of Flo’s friends knew she had “Leukemia” — he never told her, didn’t want to spoil her last days?!! Flo had been a dancer and quite the athlete until her mid-40s when she mysteriously took sick. She died at 45. Dorothy was only 50. Her parents lived well into their 90s, as did her sister, who is still living.

        There is so much more that is beyond belief, until you remember, “Oh yeah, this is the Doofus State of Amerrycaca, the world’s warehouse for the criminally insane.”

        • Roy W Kornbluth says:

          OUCH, big error in the middle paragraph above — “Inga Arvad doesn’t count [as a married woman JFK had an affair with] because she was an actual prostitute.” That was ELLEN ROMETSCH, young wife of an East German diplomat around the time of the Profumo scandals vis a vis Cold War spying, not long before JFKA. Ellen and her husband were hustled out of the country post-haste.

          Inga Arvad, Danish journalist and friends at one time with the Nazi hierarchy as a young beauty, had a torrid affair with JFK during WW2, 20 years before Rometsch. IA later became a respected reporter here in America. Mea culpa OUCH. They could not be two more different women, ages, time of JFK’s life.

      • Roy W Kornbluth says:

        DK had at least three barbiturates, maybe four, in her system at the time of her death. She only ever took one to sleep, and she was careful about that. There was a pink liquid in her stomach like Pepto-Bismol, the last thing she took. You bet she had a tummy-ache! No one knows how she got home that Monday morning in the wee hours of 11-8-65 from the Regency Hotel bar. I speculate that Mommie Dearest gave her that ride and, if she hadn’t already seen to DK having a lethal dose of downers in her system, she pushed one last drink on her from her well-appointed limo bar. DK liked her liquor with tonic water, which, in those days, had plenty of quinine, which masks the bitter taste of barbs. Everything was wrong about the death scene. Wrong room, wrong clothes, wrong book.

        Another macabre fact: Early August 1962, Kilgallen published a thinly veiled piece about Marilyn Monroe having an affair with a man in the highest places. It was J. Edna Hoover’s job security with JFK. The next day Monroe was dead of an overdose, though hers was not administered orally.

        America is not “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” We are the land of the fear and the home of the slave.

      • John McAdams says:

        but technically, according to the autopsy report, veered towards murder by poison.

        No, the toxicology showed high (but not extremely high) levels of alcohol and barbiturates, unfortunately combined.

  6. Tom S. says:

    Did they, “both die(d) under highly questionable circumstances”? What are the facts supporting this opinion?

    – Link to last week’s Cotw –

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