As the Washington Post and CNN have reported, JFK Facts was the first news organization to expose Fox News host Bill O’Reilly for fibbing about JFK reporting in the 1970s. In his book Killing Kennedy O’Reilly wrote (on p. 300) that he was knocking on the door of the south Florida home of George de Mohrenschildt, a friend of Lee Harvey Oswald, when De Mohrenschildt committed suicide on March 29, 1977. O’Reilly said he heard the sound of the fatal shotgun blast.
Audio recordings, first published here in 2013, prove that O’Reilly, then a TV reporter for WFAA in Dallas, was actually in Texas at the time and planning to “come to Florida” as soon as possible. O’Reilly didn’t get to south Florida until the next day, as this WFAA video shows.
In O’Reilly’s defense, he really was chasing the De Mohrenschildt story at the time — and for good reason.
Not only did De Mohrenschildt know Lee Oswald and think he was innocent of killing JFK. Not only did De Mohrenschildt write a letter seeking help from this friend, then-CIA director (and future president) George H.W. Bush in September 1976. De Mohrenschildt also knew JFK’s successor Lyndon Johnson, according to a September 1968 U.S. Army Intelligence document. In the report, found by the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), De Mohrenschildt was described as “a business associate of Vice President Lyndon Johnson.”
The document was pointed out to me by Doug Horne, former ARRB military analyst, who wrote about it in Volume 5 of his book, Inside the ARRB. This report is unconfirmed. The author of the memo didn’t know the nature of De Mohrenschildt’s alleged relationship with Johnson and was merely reporting something he had heard. But the author, an intelligence officer, found it credible enough to mention in official channels.
This report certainly demands clarification. Thanks to official secrecy that never happened. Neither the Warren Commission nor the House Select Committee on Assassination ever investigated the reported relationship between Oswald’s friend and JFK’s successor. Why? Because Army Intelligence didn’t share the document with assassination investigators. The document only came to light in the late 1990s.
So did De Mohrenschildt know LBJ? The question cannot be answered definitively but an unconfirmed U.S. Army Intelligence report raises the possibility.
I’ve asked Bill O’Reilly and Joan Mellen for comment.
10 thoughts on “Did George De Mohrenschildt know Lyndon Johnson?”
Another interesting find by Mr. Horne. A business associate of a career politician. I’m reading Ms. Mellen’s book Our Man in Hati which deals with this in places. I reviewed the references to LBJ I have not read yet. deM requested an audience with LBJ as VP, President and after retirement. He was turned down all three times. I think he was at least an acquaintance of LBJ. With all the oil men deM knew they had probably met a some point. Most of these men contributed to LBJ’s campaigns. George likely attended a few dinners LBJ was at. Of note in Our Man in Hati on pg 37 Ms. Mellen tells us “Among de Mohrenschild’s CIA connected Texas employers was Brown and Root.” LBJ was beholden to no one more than the Brown brothers. As leader of the Senate in the 50’s he helped obtain many government contracts for them in the US and abroad. Some I believe with no bids required. They greased LBJ’s pockets well for this.
In any case one would be hard pressed to find two men more qualified to start a two person liar’s club than LBJ and de Mohrenschild.
O’Reilly did really well out of his lie career wise I believe. A big witness due to attend a hearing re the assassination shoots ‘HIMSELF’ (yes another one…crazy people),and there is a reporter on hand to confirm no one else was present giving him a hand. I suspect this was more the angle the gvnt of the day was looking for and it was achieved- not just some young reporter looking to make it…this was far more organised. Another witness silenced another career on the up for a sleaze who sold his soul like so many others who gained from the slaying of JFK and not to mention RFK.
I think the odds are extremely high that George DeMohrenschildt knew Lyndon Johnson. Not many people can request a personal audience with the Vice President and then be given access to his top military aide (Col. Howard Burris, Air Force).
DeMohrenschildt spent years working for and with some of the richest Texas and Dallas, TX oil men. These folks were LBJ’s inner circle of supporters by the early 1960’s.I am sure there is a lot more to the DeMohrenschildt-LBJ connection.
When JFK researcher Bruce Campbell Adamson found the LBJ office letter to DeMohrenschildt concerning his request for a spring 1963 meeting with LBJ, the LBJ Library was not happy at all. From a JFK researcher friend:
“Texan George Brown of Brown and Root was LBJ’s chief financial sponsor. He also employed, 1958-1963, George DeMohrenschildt, Oswald’s “closest friend” for the CIA in Dallas. Previously, DeMohrenschildt had worked for LBJ backer John Mecom. Oil barons Mecom, Murchison, Sid Richardson [Richardson died in 1959] and H.L. Hunt were all described as his close friends, as well as then-oilman George Bush. These men met at the Dallas Petroleum Club and other private gathering spots. Among their associates were Harold Byrd (owner of the Texas School Book Depository), Dallas Mayor Cabell, Ted Dealey (publisher of the Dallas Morning News), and Abraham Zapruder, who filmed the assassination.
DeMohrenschildt wrote to Vice President Johnson on April 17,1963. LBJ aide Walter Jenkins replied April 18! On April 23, LBJ’s military aide Col. Howard Burris wrote to Jenkins suggesting that LBJ be kept “informed to the maximum extent possible in as many areas as possible…that he be more nearly prepared to assume the reins of government in case he is called upon to do so.” Three days later, Burris (and possibly LBJ) met with DeMohrenschildt in Washington. On May 20, LBJ and DeMohrenschildt definitely met.”
People ask, did Lyndon Johnson know Oswald? The answer is I don’t know. But he sure knew his best friend in Dallas, the CIA associated George DeMohrenschildt and he met with him on May 20, 1963. Do you know how hard it is to get a meeting with the Vice President? Col. Howard Burris was Air Force. Just like Gen. Curtis LeMay, a notorious JFK-hater was Air Force. And just as CIA Gen Edward Lansdale, who was photographed (as per Prouty & Krulak) at Dealey Plaza, was Air Force.
Martin Shackleford on the LBJ-DeMohrenschildt connection: http://www.assassinationweb.com/shack3g.htm
Robert, Great article by Shackleford. But what is his source for “On may 20th LBJ an DeMohrenschild definitely met”.
Let’s ask Martin Shackleford for his source on this!
Douglas Horne touches on this during his online presentation. He claims a 1968 Army Intelligence Report about Clemard Joseph Charles states that “Vice President Johnson was a close associate of George De Mohrenschildt.”
De Mohrenschildt certainly seemed to know all of the wealthiest Texas oilmen.
There is nothing new in the assessment that oil men congregate and Texas oil men congregate absolutely; there is nothing new in a symbiosis between elected government officials and those who finance their election.
The question relating to the assassination is who specifically within this milieu of oilmen considered President Kennedy to be a direct threat? Or who within the milieu stood to profit either practically or politically or both by a premature presidency of Lyndon Johnson? Or was it a general consensus, a nod and a wink with no one individual charged with the decision but all agreeing the assassination needed to happen before the next election. What were the stakes?
As long as Lyndon Johnson didn’t stub his toe, it was only a matter of years before he would very likely assume the presidency, so what was the rush? If as some allege, the Billy Sol Estes case and/or the Bobby Baker scandal were imminent threats to Lyndon personally and Kennedy planned on dropping him from the ticket, why would Kennedy have made a grand stand trip to Texas that November – further encumbering himself with Johnson’s problems? Why didn’t Kennedy push the trip out until the Estes and/or Baker issues brought Johnson to his knees? Beyond that, anyone who knows the ethos would know that essentially, these Texas oil men in particular didn’t really care who was president as long as they could apply pressure; there were plenty of characters on the sidelines vis a vis Jack Crichton and George HW Bush to take Johnson’s place in a few years regardless of party affiliation. In that scenario one can speculate that Lyndon played his own hand with his backers and threatened to blow more lids than these oilmen could tolerate.
LBJ individually would not dare to authorize, nor could he orchestrate, nor was he able to guarantee a cover up.
These are all valid questions, Leslie. I don’t believe JFK’s position on the oil-depletion allowance earned him many allies from the largest producers.
John F. Kennedy on Energy & Oil
Letter of Senator John F. Kennedy to Gerald C. Mann on Oil Depletion Allowance
Not to mention his handling of the Steel Crisis in April 1962.
I’m not so certain LBJ would ever have become POTUS if JFK had lived to serve two terms. Jacqueline Kennedy Reveals JFK Feared an LBJ Presidency – ABC News http://abcn.ws/1Pcgrmo via @ABC
Not to mention his handling of the Steel Crisis in April 1962.
George seemed to know a lot of important people. That isn’t surprising given him background and status in society. What I would like to know is why given his age, background, status, wealth and profession he would want to spend time with a young ex-marine from a poor background with nothing more than a high school education. Yes, he had been to Russia, but so had a lot of people. I have heard that George saw him as a son-like figure. What do people think?
What I think is that De Mohrenschildt and his wife were baby-sitting the Oswalds for a time, and the payoff was that business deal in Haiti. I had always felt that likely the case. After reading GDM’s unpublished memoir, I don’t see any other explanation for it. The reason is that GDM and his wife involved themselves so thoroughly in the Oswald’s dysfunctional marriage, much more so than anyone other than blood relatives would have. Why spend so much time and energy counseling, refereeing, and mediating between two such mismatched people? Most everyone would simply have washed their hands of them, and/or called in the police — the two of them were obviously battering each other, a situation that could easily have turned fatal. Yet involving the cops seems to have been the last thing they’d think of doing. Both George and his wife must have been tremendously relieved to turn them over to the Paines.