Hugh G. Aynesworth was born in Clarksburg on 2nd August, 1931. After attending Salem College, he started in 1948 as a newspaperman in West Virginia and later worked in Arkansas, Kansas, and Colorado prior to joining the staff of the Dallas Morning News in 1960.
Aynesworth covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Over the next few years he investigated the links between Lee Harvey Oswald and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and reported on the trial of Jack Ruby. Aynesworth was also one of the first people to interview Marina Oswald.
When Joachim Joesten published his book, Oswald, Assassin or Fall Guy? in 1964, Aynesworth reviewed it for the Editor and Publisher: "If you would listen to this one, he would have you thinking that Lee Harvey Oswald was a polite little misunderstood youth who just got mixed up in the wrong company...Oh how terrible, says Joesten (an ex-German who became a U.S. citizen in 1948 and must wonder why), poor little Lee Harvey was the victim of a ruthless plot headed by Dallas police leaders, District Attorney Henry Wade and his staff and a few "bad guys" from the FBI. Joesten further states that Oswald was an agent of both the FBI and the CIA (how's that for a 24-year-old who couldn't spell "wrist"?). It's the same old tripe with some new flavoring."
Aynesworth was a strong supporter of the "lone assassin theory" and led the attacks on Mark Lane and his book on the Warren Commission, the pioneering Rush to Judgement (1965). He wrote that "Mark Lane is the troublemaker who spent two days in Dallas in January on his investigation and now pretends to be an expert on all aspects of the weird tragedy."
In May, 1967 Aynesworth published a critical article of Jim Garrison in Newsweek: "Garrison's tactics have been even more questionable than his case. I have evidence that one of the strapping D.A.'s investigators offered an unwilling "witness" $3,000 and a job with an airline - if only he would "fill in the facts" of the alleged meeting to plot the death of the President. I also know that when the D.A.'s office learned that this entire bribery attempt had been tape-recorded, two of Garrison's men returned to the "witness" and, he says, threatened him with physical harm."
Jim Garrison responded to this article in his book, On The Trail of the Assassins (1988). He argued that: "As for the $3,000 bribe, by the time I came across Aynesworth's revelation, the witness our office had supposedly offered it to, Alvin Babeouf, had admitted to us that it never happened. Aynesworth, of course, never explained what he did with the "evidence" allegedly in his possession. And the so-called bribery tape recording had not, in fact, ever existed."
James DiEugenio has argued: "With the work of the Assassination Records Review Board, many more pages of documents have been released showing how tightly bound Aynesworth was with the intelligence community. It has been demonstrated that Aynesworth was - at the minimum - working with the Dallas Police, Shaw's defense team, and the FBI. He was also an informant to the White House, and had once applied for work with the CIA. As I have noted elsewhere, in the annals of this case, I can think of no reporter who had such extensive contacts with those trying to cover up the facts in the JFK case. And only two come close: Edward Epstein and Gerald Posner."
As well as the Dallas Morning News Aynesworth has worked for Newsweek and the Washington Times. Books by Hugh Aynesworth include The Only Living Witness (1983), Wanted for Murder (1990), Murderers Among Us: Unsolved Homicides, Mysterious Deaths and Killers at Large (1994), The Vengeful Heart (2000), Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer (2000) and JFK: Breaking the News (2003).