The Reporter Who May Have Learned the Truth Behind JFK’s Assassination

Mark Shaw Dorothy Kilgallen Mob Killed JFK

Few historical events have sparked as many conspiracy theories as the JFK assassination, but when one looks at the evidence regarding the Kennedys’ history with the country’s organized crime families, it’s hard not to see the mob’s culpability. At least that’s what best-selling author, researcher, and former criminal defense attorney Mark Shaw has detailed over the course of several books, including his most recent titled, “The Reporter Who Knew Too Much.

The reporter Shaw is referring to is Dorothy Kilgallen, arguably the most famous female journalist of her era, known for a syndicated column in the New York Journal-American, a nationally broadcast CBS radio show listened to by millions, and her role as star panelist of the celebrity game show “What’s My Line?”

Kilgallen met an untimely death in 1965 while investigating a strong suspicion that members of the New Orleans mafia may have been behind JFK’s assassination. Fanning the flames of conspiracy further, Kilgallen’s reported cause of death — acute ethanol and barbiturate intoxication — was uncannily similar to that of Marilyn Monroe, whose alleged suicide has been questioned interminably.

According to Shaw’s research, Kilgallen was one of few people who connected Jack Ruby — the Dallas nightclub owner who murdered Lee Harvey Oswald — to Carlos Marcello, the “Godfather” of the New Orleans mafia. Knowing the Kennedy family’s complicated ties to various mob syndicates, Oswald’s history of living in New Orleans, and Ruby’s affiliations with the mob, Kilgallen followed her instinct. She also happened to be the sole reporter to interview Ruby at his trial, out of hundreds who were present.

In 1965, Kilgallen embarked on an investigative trip to Louisiana to test her hypothesis, bringing only a hairstylist along with her. However, she quickly told him to return to New York and not mention to anyone she was down there. Shaw says he believes she uncovered some damning evidence implicating Marcello’s involvement in the Kennedy assassination, which she quickly realized could cost her her life. Kilgallen returned to New York and planned a return trip to New Orleans to meet a confidential informant, but was found dead just weeks before she was supposed to leave. She described her plans to meet the informant on her second trip as “cloak and daggerish.” 

The idea that the mafia was behind Kennedy’s assassination isn’t a new one. It was well known that the family’s patriarch, Joe P. Kennedy Sr. had a convoluted history with a number of well-known figures in organized crime. Kennedy Sr.’s business dealings in Chicago led to his acquaintance with famous mob boss Frank Costello, who claimed the two were involved in bootlegging operations during prohibition. Though Kennedy Sr. denied this connection, he continued to build his vast fortune through exclusive distribution rights for world-renowned brands of scotch and other imported liquors when prohibition ended. 

Another Chicago mafioso tied to Kennedy Sr. was the infamous Sam Giancana who in collusion with Mayor Daley, were famously rumored to have rigged the presidential election in favor of JFK. They did this, allegedly at the behest of Kennedy Sr., by forcing the wards they controlled to vote Democrat through violent intimidation and payoffs.

So when JFK was elected president and his brother, Robert “Bobby” Kennedy, was appointed attorney general, the mob expected some favors or at least some leniency. Instead, they were shocked when the two began cracking down on organized crime.

Further adding to the confusion, many of these mafiosi were recruited by the CIA in a plot to assassinate Cuban dictator Fidel Castro; a task JFK was unable to accomplish during the failed Bay of Pigs invasion. The mob’s complicity in this conspiracy was in hopes they could build a casino empire in Cuba that would rival Las Vegas, with Marcello being a leading figure in the venture.

When the long arm of Bobby’s law enforcement efforts set its sights on the leaders of the country’s crime syndicates, it landed on Marcello and deported him to Guatemala. According to Shaw, this was the beginning of the end for the Kennedy brothers. But Marcello knew if he went after Bobby, JFK’s administration would exercise all its power to enact retribution. So instead, it’s believed he went after JFK himself.

To learn more watch Collateral Damage of the JFK Assassination with Mark Shaw on Beyond Belief.



Neuroscience in Advertising; When Does it Become Mind Control?

control over the brain

By now you’re probably used to how predictive advertising has become, but it probably felt intrusive at first. Advertisers have always used subtle tactics to convince you to buy things, but now the privacy boundary is increasingly blurred. While it’s somewhat known that advertising finds its roots in propaganda, are developments in technology and neuroscience changing the fundamental nature of marketing into something that borders on mind control or manipulation?

The foundational elements of public relations and advertising were developed by a man named Edward L. Bernays, who happened to be the nephew of none other than Sigmund Freud. Freud gave a copy of his General Introductory Lectures, his seminal work on psychoanalysis, to Bernays as a gift in the nascent phase of his career.

Bernays was intrigued by Freud’s research, notably the idea that irrational forces drive human behavior. He took the idea and parlayed it into what he referred to as “engineering consent,” a concept that instead of bowing to consumer demands, cultivated them.

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