John Heinz was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 23rd October, 1938. His father, H. J. Heinz, was chairman of the H. J. Heinz Company, the food processing corporation founded by his grandfather in 1869. After his parents divorced he was brought up by his mother, Joan Diehl and his stepfather, Monty McCauley.
Heinz was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University. Following graduation in 1960 he piloted a single engine plane on a trip through Africa and the Middle East. On his return he entered Harvard Business School and in 1962 began work with the Union Bank of Switzerland in Geneva. While in Geneva he met his future wife, Teresa Simoes Ferreira.
In 1963 Heinz joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve and between June to December he was on active duty at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He then joined the 911th Troop Carrier Group based in Pittsburgh.
Heinz was an active member of the Republican Party and became special assistant to Hugh Scott (March to December, 1964). At this time Scott was involved with John Williams in investigating the Bobby Baker scandal. Lyndon B. Johnson attempted to stop Scott by threatening disclosures about his relationship with lobbyist, Claude Wilde. Johnson also told Scott that he would use his influence to "close down the Philadelphia Navy Yard unless Senator Scott closed his critical mouth".
In 1965 Heinz began work with the financial and marketing divisions of the H. J. Heinz Company. He left the company in 1970 and taught at the Graduate School of Industrial Administration at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He left this post when he became the Republican Representative from Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District.
Heinz, the youngest member of the 92nd Congress, soon became one of its most progressive figures. He called on President Richard Nixon to normalize relations with Cuba. He also criticised the administration for deploying new weapons as a tactic in arms limitations talks with the Soviet Union. He also supported a number of liberal social programs in education, human welfare, health care and housing.
After winning reelection in 1974 he was appointed to the Commerce Committee's Energy and Power Subcommittee and the Public Health and Environment Subcommittee. He also served as chairman of the House Republican Task Force on Antitrust and Regulatory Reform (1974-1976).
In 1976 Heinz attempted to replace Hugh Scott as member of the Senate. His main opponent was Arlen Specter. During the campaign it was revealed that Heinz had accepted $6,000 in illegal corporate campaign money from Gulf Oil. Despite this setback, Heinz defeated Specter in the primary and went on to win victory over William J. Green III in November, 1976.
Heinz was a member of the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. In 1981 he was appointed as chairman of the Special Committee on Aging. In 1983 President George Bush appointed him to the National Commission on Health Care Reform. Heinz was also the leader of attempts to extend Medicare insurance.
Heinz also became one of the first members of Congress to call for legislation to protect the environment. In 1989 Heinz was a founder member of GLOBE (Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment). He was instrumental in getting the Clean Air Act passed by the Senate in 1990.
On 4th April, 1991, Heinz flew to Philadelphia to conduct the first in a series of investigative hearings to examine the telemarketing of medical equipment to Medicare beneficiaries. His Piper Aerostar PA60, carrying him and four other adults developed landing-gear trouble, a helicopter was dispatched to examine the problem. The helicopter's blades accidentally hit the bottom of the plane. Both aircraft crashed to the ground killing everyone on board.
(1) Victor Thorn, George Bush & John Kerry: Blood Brothers, World Independent News Group (2004)
According to researcher Rodney Stich in Defrauding America, when George Bush Sr. and CIA Director William Casey engineered the October Surprise to bribe Iranian officials into retaining US hostages until after the 1980 elections, two of the passengers on Bushs BAC 111 flight to Paris were Senator John Heinz, along with Senator John Tower from Texas.
Even more intriguing is the fact that John Heinz chaired a three-man presidential review board that probed the Iran-Contra affair and had in his possession all the damning documents from that sordid affair, while John Tower led the infamous Tower Commission that investigated a variety of different CIA criminal activities and dirty dealings. Coincidentally, both John Heinz and John Tower died in plane wrecks on successive days in 1991 Tower in Georgia, and Heinz in Montgomery County, Pa. Once again I must ask: what are the odds of such an occurrence, especially when both men had close ties to George Bush Sr., who was a former CIA director in the mid-1970s? Did both of these men uncover information that they refused to keep silent about any longer?
Before you answer, consider that after Senator John Heinz died, his wife married Senator John Kerry, who was chairman of the 1988 Kerry Commission, described in the Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy as focusing on allegations of illegal gun-running and narcotics trafficking associated with the Contra war against Nicaragua in relation to the CIA, Department of Justice, the US State Department, and the office of the President and Vice President. The testimony that took place during these trials (both in open and closed door sessions) was quite possibly the most damning ever against our federal government, yet mysteriously, nearly all of it was suppressed and not widely reported in the mainstream media. Why? Senator Kerry as a Democrat, had every opportunity to blast a Republican administration out of the water, yet he inexplicably remained silent and the status quo prevailed. Could it be that someone tapped him on the shoulder and told him that if he played his cards right and kept these sordid matters hush-hush, he would be rewarded sometime in the future?
(2) Anthony Frank, JFK Lancer Forum (10th February, 2005)
Senator John Heinz was killed when a helicopter crashed into the plane he was on, a Piper Aerostar PA60, on April 4, 1991. This was the second time in less than eight years that a Member of Congress was killed when something struck the airplane that he was on.
The helicopter was allegedly inspecting the planes landing gear, ostensibly because the pilot didnt know if the nose gear was locked in the down position, but on April 24, 1991, it was reported that the plane did not have landing gear problems, as its pilot first believed, and was cleared for landing before it collided with a helicopter, according to an airport communications tape.
When the control tower first reported a possible emergency, the helicopter pilot alerted the tower that he had observed Senator Heinz plane as it passed by and saw that the nose gear was down, to which Senator Heinz pilot replied, I can tell its down, but I dont know if its locked.
Senator Heinz pilot then made a pass by the control tower and was told by the tower, Gear looks down, it appears to be normal... Ive got a helicopter north of the airport. He said he could take a look at it if you like. (Washington Post, 4-24-91) }
After flying toward the plane and making one pass, the helicopter pilot made a second pass to inspect the landing gear before it collided with the plane.
Several experienced Piper PA60 pilots said in interviews with NTSB investigators that if the gear was observed to be down, it would automatically be locked.
The pilot of Senator Heinz plane had three hours of experience as the pilot-in-command on a Piper PA60 and had problems on a previous flight.
Documents released by the NTSB indicated there had been no reason for the pilot to ask the helicopter to check the gear... No evidence of mechanical or electrical malfunction was discovered the documents said. (Washington Post, 7-4-91)
© John Simkin, March 2013