The Mary Meyer story

This is a decent summary of Nina Burleigh’s fine book, A Very Private Woman. If you want to know the whole story, buy the book.

The Meyers became highly visible members of capital society. Their friends included powerful journalists and even more powerful CIA officials, including legendary counter-intelligence officer James Angleton, who would destroy Mary’s papers after her murder, and Mary and Frank Wisner, who was Cord’s boss. Then there was neophyte Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, with whom Mary would become close.

Source: Mary Meyer’s Most Enigmatic Life & Oh So Weirdly Mysterious Death | Crooks and Liars

28 thoughts on “The Mary Meyer story”

  1. The CTKA site has what I think is an incisive, well-researched review of Mary’s Mosaic:'s_Mosaic.html

    I read the book before reading the above review. I agree with the review that Janney’s narrative is too far-fetched. At the same time, it does seem like one of those too-good-to-be-true coincidences that an attractive single Mom, taking a jog or walk in one of DC’s more fashionable neighborhoods, is shot point-blank, and she just so happens to be the ex-wife of Cord Meyer and a friend of Jackie and John Kennedy. And no one is ever convicted of the crime.

  2. how does Angleton’s role in sneaking in and taking the diary support a Mary affair with JFK? It actually does the opposite; the CIA was intent on smearing JFK as a reckless womanizer, a myth that persists to this day without much real evidence; if the diary was incriminating in this respect Angleton would want this revealed, not hidden.

  3. I have no idea who committed the murder, but Angleton’s role in breaking into the house and taking the diary is extremely strange.

    Speaking of Angleton, he has a bit mention in an old song most members of this board would no doubt appreciate: Leon Rosselton’s “Ballad of a Spycatcher.” Check it out on YouTube.

    1. Except for tagic consequences, this story seems to be a caricuture of the “The Manchurian Candidate” in reverse. Femme fatale influences leader of the free world to seek peace instead of war. This leader is killed in circumstances, mysterious. The lady in question is murdered in circumstances, bizzare. The Chief of Counter Intelligence, whose wife is a good friend of the deceased woman and whose boss, interceded on behalf of her ex husband, who was accused of supporting the Red Menace, breaks and enters into a house seeking her diary. What could have been so important in her memoirs that JA didn’t send a Plumber, but undertook the mission himself.? It will be interesting to see how Mr. Morely treats this in his biography of Angleton.

    2. And then, there’s that famous song by the Fugs, with Tuli singing…….

      “who can squash republics like bananas?
      just coz’ they don’t like their social manners
      F**kin’ A, C.I.A.”

  4. We can’t know for certain that Crump did it, but odds are strong he did. His history of violence against women is appalling. People are free to research the JFK case as they wish, but I don’t know if probing the Meyer case is going to get us any closer to what happened on 11.22.63.

    I’s probable that JFK was having an affair with Meyer, and I suspect the reason her diary was disposed of was to cover that affair up, and not because she knew something about any plot to kill JFK.

    1. But with Mary’s marriage to Cord Meyer, recruited by Dulles, an acolyte of Angleton, her unsolved death is not suspicious in relation to that of JFK? She knew Angleton, but she wanted him trusted with her diary on her Anticipated demise? Yes, let’s all believe the Washington Post here.

      1. But with Mary’s marriage to Cord Meyer, recruited by Dulles, an acolyte of Angleton, her unsolved death is not suspicious in relation to that of JFK?

        Mary split with Cord Meyer because he had changed and she was divorced from him for several years
        and separated even longer from him, at the time of her death.

        She knew Angleton, but she wanted him trusted with her diary on her Anticipated demise?

        The “him trusted with her diary” was a claim by Ann Truitt, not proven to be a directive of Mary.
        The night after Mary Meyer was murdered, a single telephone call from Japan to Washington had sparked a chain of events that would shroud Mary’s life and death in mystery for decades. As they sat at home in stunned silence, Ben and Tony Bradlee had received a phone call from Anne Truitt in Japan. It was a matter of some urgency, she told Tony Bradlee, that they find Mary’s diary before the police got to it and her private life became a matter of public record. Anne Truitt repeated the warning to counterintelligence chief James Angleton. Although the Angletons and the Bradlees did not have all the details about Mary’s relationship with the late president, they knew enough about her lifestyle to agree with Anne Truitt….

        Ronnie, do you live your everyday life accepting what others tell you, or do you make it your business
        to check what they say they know, before you make it what you know?

        1. So you deny she was split with Cord for several years because of his CIA affiliations she grew tired of as asserted in Janey’s book?

          1. So you deny she was split with Cord for several years because of his CIA affiliations she grew tired of as asserted in Janey’s book?

            Ronnie, I neither confirm nor deny it, because I do not know and neither does Janney. He
            weaved a story. He is a man who sued William L. Mitchell in a D.C. court, attempting to overcome
            statute of limitations in civil suits on grounds of “wrongful death” that confine plaintiffs with
            standing to sue to immediate family members by claiming in his court filing that Mary was his
            “surrogate mother.”

            Nina Burleigh did not have an agenda that made it necessary to blame the divorce on Cord’s
            CIA career. If you begin reading her research through the search result at this link, Mary’s
            rather open affair is stated as the immediate reason. Cord’s overbearing personality was a
            factor he admitted to, but this is not linked directly to his employment by CIA.:

            …and Mary’s son, Michael quotes this next part, in his own book.:

            Maybe you can tell me why Janney could be completely mistaken about prosecution witness Mitchell’s
            culpability, and the assertion that the man disappeared after his trial testimony and that that
            was suspicious, and you still seem to put so much trust in his claims and his scenario? On the other
            hand, consider that nothing Burleigh wrote about Mary has been impeached. Doesn’t that matter to you, a lot, or at all?

          2. Peter Janney makes a very telling admission in the prologue to ‘Mosaic’, wherein he tells of a time when he went into the Meyer’s back yard unannounced, not being sneaky, just that he was familiar with the family and would often look for Mary there.

            On this occasion he happened upon Mary laying nude sunbathing. Janney indicates he was just about 12 at the time; prenubial highly impressionable for a boy his age.

            This certainly must have had a great deal to do with forming young Janney’s sexual identity, tastes and desires.

            I would propose that Janney formed an immediate and understandable teenage crush on Mary that remained in his subconscious the remainder of his life.

            Mary was more than a “mother figure” for Janney, she was the vision of “The Goddess”, she was Eve, Venus, Desire incarnate to him.
            Admittedly this is just my own personal opinion. But I think it goes a long way in explaining his obsession with Mary throughout his life.

  5. I am not convinced at all that Mary Meyer knew anything at all about the assassination of President Kennedy. It is very probable that they had an affair. However, I am very, very sceptical of the argument that he would have revealed something to her that he kept from the likes of Robert Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy, Kenny O’Donnell etc.

  6. The story that Mary Meyer and JFK smoked pot in the White House while JBK was away seems credible to me, because of what JFK supposedly said when Mary offered him a second joint after a liaison.
    “No, Mary, we’d better not…what if the Russians attack now?”
    That just sounds too much like Jack to be false.

    1. There was a recent 2 part special on HBO about Frank Sinatra

      Anyway I believe it was Sinatra sister that said JFK loved going to Frank’s house and alluded that he could smoke a joint there . Then they proceeded to tell the story of JFK canceling a big visit to Frank’s house , that they blamed RFK and how upset Sinatra was .

      I agree that it’s unlikely Mary was killed by JFK conspirators unless new information is found .

      IMO she probably suspected it was a conspiracy due to her closeness to JFK and some high level CIA officers but if she had no proof it’s difficult to see why she needed to be removed

  7. I ain’t sayin’ yup and I ain’t sayin’ nope, I’m just sayin’ Maybe.

    Peter Janney has some pretty weak “evidence” in his case.

    I don’t think there is any doubt that JFK and Mary were lovers, or that her husband was hysterically jealous. But still, when it gets down to the nitty gritty of the evidence in this case, Janney relies on a bit too many points of supposition in my opinion.

    Don’t forget that Mary and Angleton were friends. Don’t pass up the info that Mary asked another close female friend to make sure that diary never saw the light of day.

    I see this as a mystery that is nowhere near a solution.

    1. Have to disagree about the Janney book. I found it to be incredibly compelling and factual. And never points to who actually pulled the tripper, but that one of the witnesses was clearly a CIA plant. He lays out the trail in incredible detail, based on only the facts.

      1. Jerry,
        You have some catching up to do….

        September 5, 2014
        The Murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer
        On this edition of Real Politik James is joined by Peter Janney, author of Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace.

        …..In January 2014 Janney deposed William Mitchell as part of a wrongful death civil lawsuit to procure information on Mitchell’s potential responsibility for Meyer’s murder. “I am still in the last stages of my research that I hope will pull the pieces together that may point to the fact that [William] Mitchell had a specific role in this event on October 12, 1964. But I do want to make clear that I no longer believe that he was the actual assassin.”

        (Washington DC court records display the fact that on 18 November 2013 Janney dismissed his lawsuit against William L Mitchell, is which Janney had claimed Mary Meyer was his “surrogate mother: by filing a motion for dismissal with prejudice with that court. Janney’s motion for dismissal was granted on 2 Dec, 2013 by Judge
        Anthony C. Epstein. : )

  8. Mr. McAdams,

    Hmmmm, the wife of a CIA higher-up and a personal friend of the head goon Allen Dulles AND a lover of JFK is murdered in downtown Washington and no one goes to jail for the crime…

    Man, John, you are RIGHT! That LHO was a lone and crazed nut, and this was an open and shut case! Just like your beloved Warren Omission tells us, this was a SIMPLE case of a deranged madman running amok with a 12.00 gun and blasting the bejeezus out of everything in his path.

    “Circa 1949, Meyer started working for the Central Intelligence Agency, joining the organization in 1951 at the invitation of Allen Dulles.”

    Yep, I believe it now.

    1. Hmmmm, the wife of a CIA higher-up and a personal friend of the head goon Allen Dulles AND a lover of JFK is murdered in downtown Washington and no one goes to jail for the crime…

      It was a precursor of the O.J. case: a racially charged trial where playing the race card got the defendant off.

      You might ask yourself: would Dulles share the details of a plot with Meyer, semi-bohemian Georgetown artist? Would her former husband, from whom she had been estranged for several years, tell her about the plot?

      JFK’s lover? So he knew about the plot to kill him and told her?

      1. John,

        You can “spin” this however you would like, and you will, but this is an odd scenario. Oh wait, I know—the crime of the century should NOT fit together, and a case like this is going to have a few “loose ends.”

        Gosh, if only our government cared about the truth as much as you believe Allen Dulles did…

      1. I have to agree with Nina Burleigh. Ray Crump was acquitted but his defense counsel, Dovey
        Roundtree, provided enough variety in her recollections of what Crump did or didn’t say or do,
        that a close read of her several statements leaves the informed reader to be quite skeptical
        of those who have embraced the version of her claims that best suits their own beliefs.
        It turned out that author Peter Janney knew less about what could be reliably published about
        the murder of Mary Meyer than I did.

        1. Why don’t you write what you know up in essay form?

          I’m not being sarcastic. It does indeed sound like you have access to some sources (maybe just old newspapers, which are underutilized in JFK research, but can be excellent) that have not been used by JFK researchers.

    1. No, she doesn’t seem to believe that Mary’s murder was related to the JFK assassination. But, from the same review that you cite:

      “In the last decade, newly available evidence is discrediting the lone-gunman theory of JFK’s assassination. It seems ever more probable that some combination of CIA-linked anti-Castro right-wingers and the mafia were involved”

      Perhaps she’ll elaborate on her theories in a future book.

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