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The Mr. Hunt Letter Revisited By Gary Hill

“Sometimes history can be so difficult to believe that we require fiction to make it seem plausible.”

old Sicilian saying

In 1977, a copy of a letter was published by Penn Jones, the retired owner of a small Texas newspaper and self-published author of four books about the assassination. The New York Times reported that three handwriting experts had authenticated the letter. Oswald's widow also identified her husband's handwriting." Experts summoned by the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978 concluded more prudently that they were unable to reach a "firm conclusion" because of the absence of the original document.

The Letter

Nov. 8, 1963

Dear Mr. Hunt,

I would like information concerning my position. I am only asking for information. I am suggesting that we discuss the matter fully before any steps are taken by me or anyone else.

Thank you, Lee Harvey Oswald

The Mr. Hunt in the letter was assumed to be CIA operative E. Howard Hunt,[1] although many concluded it might just as well be Oil billionaire, H.L. Hunt. Since the timing of the letter being made public coincided with the Watergate scandal, Howard Hunt seemed the more logical choice.

Most researchers assumed the letter to be a hoax. In the 1990's this assessment was apparently proven. In their book, The Sword and the Shield; The Mitrokhin Archive and Secret History of the KGB, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, revealed that the letter was forged by the KGB who predictably, were anxious to lose no opportunity to promote active measures which supported the increasingly popular theory that the CIA was behind Kennedy's assassination. Its chief target was the former CIA officer turned Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt, who had been accused by Mark Lane of being in Dallas on the day of the assassination. According to Mitrokhin, the letter, using phrases and expressions taken from actual letters written by Oswald during his two years in the Soviet Union, was fabricated in a clever imitation of his handwriting. The implication, clearly, was that Oswald wanted to meet Hunt before going ahead with the assassination. After being “checked for authenticity” by the Third Department of the KGB's Operational Technical Direcorate, photocopies of it were sent to three of the most active conspiracy authors with a cover letter from an anonymous source who claimed to have given the original to FBI director Clarence Kelly, insinuating FBI suppression.

Mitrokhin said that the KGB was frustrated when after the note was made public, an American press campaign made an effort to divert public attention from Oswald's connections with the American intelligence community by focusing on H. L. Hunt as the recipiant of the note instead. They took this as a CIA counter plot to deflect suspicion from the KGB's intended target. The targeting of a Watergate conspirator, Howard Hunt, was seen by them as an effort to disrupt the KGB plan.

The KGB's efforts contributed little to the growing belief in a conspiracy. If the Watergate scandal wasn't enough of a breeding ground for proof of corrupt conniving by government agencies, the obvious cover ups of Hoover's FBI and Allen Dulles in their dealings with the Warren Commission sealed the public's lack of faith in the Warren Report. And that seemed to be the end of speculation on the Hunt Letter.

But fast forward to 2018 and like everything else in the JFK case another version of events reared it's head. A lawyer and close associate of Harold Lafayette Hunt decided to share his intimate relationship with 1963's version of the richest man in the world. The informants name was John Currington and he didn't have an agenda. He was not a conspiracy theorist or someone trying to make a buck. He was an old man who decided to share what he knew with the world before it was too late. He chose writer Mitchell Whitington to co-author the book, H.L. Hunt, Motive & Opportunity. One of the incidents Currington shared dealt with the infamous Hunt letter. According to Currington, the letter actually showed up in Hunt's interoffice mail system shortly after the assassination. Currington was instructed by Hunt to turn it over to the FBI. Currington's view is that Hunt feared that Oswald was possibly a listener to his Life Line radio program or was a reader of Facts Forum, his right wing newsletter. Both of these vehicles spread his pro-fascist and racists views as well as his hatred of Kennedy. There is evidence that Currington had previously produced a copy of the Hunt letter, published in the National Enquirer, in the 1970's soon after Hunt's death.

If this is true, and there is no reason for Currington to make it up, that means that the note was certainly written to H.L. Hunt and not E. Howard Hunt. It also means that the KGB couldn't have forged it to embarrass the CIA during the Watergate fiasco since the letter had already been in existence since 1963. Thus it was written before the assassination and not forged later. Further, it confirms that the FBI kept it secret for fourteen years! One wonders if the CIA leaked it to the press at a time when they were under fire for Watergate and accusations were surfacing that they were involved in the assassination, to take the heat off themselves and shift it to the Texas oil men. Or maybe it was really written by Oswald and that's why it was kept secret to begin with. If Oswald was acting on behalf of Hunt, there is little doubt that he would not be allowed to testify and incriminate the most powerful man in Texas.

At 5:30pm on Nov. 23rd, 1963, Hunt called John Currington and asked him to check on the security at the police station where Oswald is held. Currington did so under the guise of legal work he was doing at the time. He had no problem entering and leaving the premises on three separate occasions. On one of the forays he actually encountered Oswald in an elevator handcuffed to Captain Fritz![2] If Currington wanted to, he could have shot Oswald right there. About midnight Hunt's trusted assistant reported back to his boss about the lack of security he had encountered. Hunt instructed him to contact Joe Civello and ask him to visit Hunt's estate, Mount Vernon, for a private meeting. Currington complied. At 6am on Sunday the 24th, Civello met with Hunt at his home. A little over five hours later Jack Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald.

Joe Civello was not only a close friend of Ruby but was the mob boss of Dallas. He answered only to Carlos Marcello, who was the Don of Louisiana and Texas. By coincidence, Ruby just happened to have two transcripts of Hunt's “Life Line” radio program in his pocket when arrested.

A short time after the assassination and Oswald's elimination, on a Saturday morning at approximately 6:30am, Hunt again called Currington and asked him to go to Hunt's offices in the Mercantile building and tell any employees there to take the day off. He also told him to lock a door connecting the two buildings that on any other day was left open. The Mercantile National Bank and Mercantile Securities Building were next to each other and took up the whole block. Hunt arrived at 8:30am. A short time later a woman, whom Currington recognized as Marina Oswald came into the lobby and took an elevator to Hunt's office. Twenty minutes later she left the building and got into a car with government plates.

Of course Marina has denied meeting Hunt at any time. Currington, however, is positive it was her. Why would the right-wing oil man be meeting the wife of JFK's assassin? Did he want to know what Oswald had told her? Did he want to pay her off? Only Marina knows the truth and she is an octogenarian and won't be around for long.

There is no doubt that Hunt was an extremely wealthy and powerful man. There is no doubt Hunt hated JFK, RFK and MLK. All you need for proof is to read Facts Forum or listen to Life Line broadcasts from the 60's. Hunt sank a very large amount of money into these propaganda outlets. He told Currington that the Kennedy's “had to go.” Currington related that in 1962 Hunt asked him to contact Civello, as he would do the night prior to Oswald's murder, and ask him if he would recommend a bank in Chicago. Hunt then opened a $250,000[3] checking account in the bank Civello had recommended. Was this a slush fund to be used in JFK's assassination? Chicago is the territory of Sam Giancana, a member of the CIA/Mafia plots to kill Castro.

More disclosures by Currington

Currington, a first hand witness to Hunt's activities provides details of many other suspicious activities undertaken by Mr. Hunt.

1) Currington revealed that it was on Hunt's advice that his close friend Lyndon Johnson decided not to run in 1968.

2) In Spring of 1968 Hunt traveled to Los Angleles and stayed at the Ambassador Hotel where he had never stayed. His usual residence was the Beverly Hills Hotel on his many trips to that city. He asked Currington to contact a man named Wendell Niles. The oil man met privately with Niles, who gave him info on Bobby's itinerary in Los Angeles. After RFK was shot it was Niles that contacted Hunt to inform him of the assassination. Hunt then had $40,000 delivered to a contact at the Ambassador Hotel. This was 4 to 6 weeks after the assassination of RFK.

3) After the killing of Martin Luther King, Hunt called attorney, Percy Foreman, and told him he was sending Currington to see him. Currington laid a briefcase the $125,000 on Foreman's desk. Foreman was James Earl Ray's attorney at this time. Foreman soon talked Ray into pleading guilty. Hunt hated MLK as much as the Kennedys.

4) It was also Percy Foreman who got Joe Civello's five year sentence, a result of his arrest at the famous mob conference in New York state (Appalachia), in the 1950's reversed.

5) The Teamsters and Jimmy Hoffa tried to unionize Hunt's food enterprises. This was a real cause of concern for Hunt. Currington alleged that Hunt eventually made a deal with Hoffa to keep union recruiters away from his business. Hunt's end of the bargain with Hoffa involved sending $125,000 to the Union Leader. In addition Hunt promised him a parole and a pardon (arranged through Richard Nixon). Hoffa's attorney Sidney Zachary handled the transaction. The money changed hands at the Cabana Motor Hotel in Dallas.[4] After receiving a briefcase from Currington containing $125,000, Zachery left Dallas, flew to Atlanta and had dinner at a restaurant. Strangely, the restaurant caught fire while he was there. Unbelievably, only one death resulted from the fire. That was Sidney Zachary. Currington had no idea what happened to the briefcase. Later, additional payments were made to Hoffa and the Teamsters via a Louisiana Government Official.

On the Lamb?

As a response to both the JFK and MLK killings, H.L. Hunt left Dallas for brief periods until things cooled off. The hate messages spewn by his media outlets had focused heavily on these two individuals and death threats resulted from some of the loyalists of the two victims. After the MLK killing, J. Edgar Hoover conveniently called Hunt to ask for a personal meeting. Hunt immediately flew to Washington to meet him.

Birds of a Feather

Very convincing books have been written and strong cases made that the assassination was carried out by the Mafia, the CIA, the Cuban Exiles, Texas Oil men, LBJ, the KGB, Fidel Castro, the Mossad, Hoover's FBI, the Military Industrial Complex and others. These suspects all had motive and opportunity. If all of them were represented by independent concentric circles on a single page, there would be a small area where the they all overlapped. For example, the CIA, Mafia and Cuban exiles are simply different sides of a three headed coin as demonstrated by the Watergate participants, those of Operation 40, the conspirators in plots to kill Castro etc. To be successful in politics you have to scratch the backs of competitive entities. Favors and protection, financing and blackmail are standard procedure for success. When the similar motivating factors such as patriotism, acquisition of power, profits, racism, religion and hate come into play, rival and sometimes opposing groups will work together for a common cause.

H.L. Hunt was one of the most powerful men in the world in 1963. He was close to politicians and mafia figures as well. He counted J. Edgar Hoover and LBJ as intimates. If his anti-communist obsessions were shared by others, he would have no problem financing illegal ventures behind the scenes. The important thing was that nothing could ever be traced back to him. Cutouts were essential.

A reliable source for Polish intelligence, and an American entrepreneur and owner of a number of firms closely connected to the petroleum circles of the South, reported in late November that the real instigators of this criminal deed (JFK's assassination) were three leading oil magnates from the South of the USA -- Richardson, Murchison and Hunt, all owners of major petroleum reserves in the southern states who have long been connected to pro-fascist and racist organizations in the South. While I don't believe they were solely responsible, I have no doubt that they had motive and opportunity to help finance such a venture.

In the clandestine world of intelligence, misinformation is the weapon of choice. We live in a fog of plausible deniability and counter moves designed to confuse and distort information. Counter intelligence annalist, Ann Egerter, referred to CI/SIG as the spy agency that spied on spies. Her boss, Jams Angleton defined Counter-Intelligence as “..... the activity of gathering intelligence so as to confront, penetrate, and frustrate the other intelligence agencies.”-It is a Wilderness of Mirrors,” he said, quoting T.S. Elliott. If it is designed to confuse the enemy it is certain to confuse researchers.

Always go too far, because that's where you'll find the truth.”

Albert Camus


The Sword and the Shield; The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB, Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin

Crossfire, Jim Mars

H.L. Hunt Motive and Opportunity, John Currington as told to Mitchell Whitington

[1]Since one of the copies came from Mexico City, some researchers believed that incriminated E. Howard Hunt since he was known to be in Mexico City around that time.

[2]Fritz greeted Currington with “Meet the son of a bitch that shot the president.”

[3] $2,000,000 in today's money

[4] It's a strange coincidence that Jack Ruby was seen visiting the Bon Vivant Room of the Cabana Motel about midnight on Nov. 21, 1963. Mob courier, James Braden (aka Eugene Hale Brading) was staying there at the time with his friend ex-convict, Morgan Brown. Braden had been arrested in the Dal-Tex building shortly after the assassination. In addition, Ruby's friend Lawrence Meyers and his mistress, Jean Aase (West) were also guests at the Cabana at the time. Another Cabana guest was Meyers brother Edward. Braden and Ruby had both visited the office of H.L. Hunt's son, Lamarr earlier that day as confirmed in both an FBI report and a witness, Hunt Security Chief, Paul Rothermal. Edward was in Dallas to visit the same Pepsi bottlers convention as Richard Nixon. David Ferrie, as it turns out, had connections to these suspicious characters. In the weeks preceeding the assassination, Braden had visited Room 1701 at the Pere Marquette Building in New Orleans. At the time, Ferrie was working down the hall as an investigator for Carlos Marcello. At the time Oswald left New Orleans, Ferrie made a long distance phone call to a number belonging to Jean Aase (West) in Chicago.

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1 Comment

Timothy Ahern
Timothy Ahern
Jul 17, 2022

The transcription of the Hunt letter isn’t correct. It has been edited by the transcriptionist.

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