RIP: Bill Turner, FBI man who investigated the JFK story

Turner joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1951. He worked for the FBI for ten years but grew increasingly concerned with the way J. Edgar Hoover ran the organization. Turner became convinced that Hoover was placing too much emphasis on the dangers of the American Communist Party. Instead, he felt he should be using more resources to tackle organized crime. In 1961 Turner was dismissed from the FBI. He hired Edward Bennett Williamsand sued the FBI but lost. However he did manage to get anti-Hoover testimony by other agents into the record.

Source: JFKcountercoup on William Weyland Turner (1927-2015)

2 comments

  1. R. Andrew Kiel says:

    Bill Turner was an inspiration to me & many other researchers. He had the courage to challenge J. Edgar Hoover’s myopic obsession with domestic communism at the expense of massive civil rights violations & organized crime activities which Hoover failed to acknowledge & investigate. His inclination towards vendettas against Dr. King & others as well as his amassing secret files on those who challenged him gave Hoover undue power & influence.

    Emanuel Celler – Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee & a friend of Hoover stated:
    “The source of his power derived from the fact that he was the head of an an agency that in turn had tremendous power. Power of surveillance, power of control over the lives and destinies of every man in the United States… he (Hoover) had a dossier on every member of Congress and every member of the Senate. He had no right to have such dossiers. But he had them, no doubt about it”.

    Consider this quote from Jimmy Hoffa: “I don’t believe there is any organized crime, period…Hoover said it! Supposed to be the greatest law enforcement man in America with the means to find out. He said there was no Mafia, no so-called organized crime … That’s what he said. That’s what Hoover said.”

    In 1969 Hoover was still citing texts he had written in 1919 as a young lawyer in the justice department as a blueprint for the “nations response to Communism”. This is supported by this quote from the introduction to Hoover’s book “On Communism”:
    “Mr. Hoover, as a young attorney in 1919 for the Department of Justice, studied the earliest documents of communism to prepare legal briefs for the Attorney General. Since 1924, as head of the BOI(later FBI), Mr. Hoover has followed closely the ramifications of the conspiracy. No man in America can claim a greater knowledge of the this twentieth century conspiracy.”

    Certainly the threat of communist subversion was real at various times in the 20th century but not at the expense of other domestic investigative priorities. Robert Kennedy stated in 1961:
    “It is such nonsense to have to waste time prosecuting the Communist Party. It couldn’t be more feeble or less of a threat, and besides its membership consists largely of FBI agents. As far as having any real influence as a party in the United States, its zero.” Robert Kennedy declared war on Hoffa & organized crime while serving as Hoover’s boss & belittling Hoover’s obsession with domestic communism. What could that have led to?

    On a personal note – I sat on a panel at the 2002 COPA Conference in Dallas with Bill Turner & he was gracious enough to critique my book on Hoover. Turner wrote of my book:
    “Putting the hat on Hoover and LBJ for their collaboration in covering up the JFK assassination is masterfully done…Your book is an invaluable tool, must reading for anyone wishing to understand the origins and maintenance of the Cold War”.

    Bill Turner – worked for the FBI for ten years & resigned from the FBI after clashing with Hoover over his abuse of power, misguided obsessions & vendettas. Bill Turner demonstrated great courage & we will miss his gracious spirit & honest search for the truth.

  2. Russ Tarby says:

    I was lucky enough to meet Bill Turner on the grassy knoll on Nov. 22, 1998, and we chatted briefly about security breakdowns in Dallas 35 years before. We discussed his eye-opening 1981 book, “The Fish Is Red: The Story of the Secret War Against Castro,” co-authored by Warren Hinckle…since then I’ve followed Bill’s tenacious efforts to make sense of the killing of the Kennedys and King. His 2006 book, “The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy” co-authored with Jonn Christian, is an absolutely essential study of the senator’s murder in 1968.
    Bill’s career as a researcher and writer was born from his earlier career as an FBI agent and his unfortunate conflict with J. Edgar Hoover. He lost his FBI job after urging the bureau to abandon its anti-communist effort in favor of focusing on organized crime…
    As an indefatigable author, Bill bravely carried on his mission to reveal flaws in local and federal law-enforcement while uncovering specifics about the assassinations that continue to haunt Americans to this day…

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