Richard Case Nagell was born in Greenwich, New York, on 5th August, 1930. Educated in Albany, Nagell, joined the United States Army at Albany in 1948. During the Korean War he was awarded the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart and at the age of twenty became one of the youngest men in history to receive a field promotion to the rank of Captain.
In November, 1954, Nagell suffered severe injuries in an air crash. After recovering he was transferred to Army Counter Intelligence Corp. He served as a CIC officer in both Korea and Japan. In March, 1958, Nagell married a local woman. The couple had two children but the marriage ended in divorce.
Nagell reached the rank of Second Lieutenant by the time he left the army in October, 1959. As a result of his accident he was judged to be 50% disabled and was placed on a disability pension. In December, 1959, Nagell found work as an investigator with the Department of Employment in Los Angeles. In March, 1961, Nagell did a similar job with the California Beverage Control Board. He held the job until being sacked in June, 1962. The following month he was admitted to the Wadsworth Veterans Hospital in Los Angeles, California in what was alleged to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the chest.
According to Nagell, when he recovered he began working for theCentral Intelligence Agency as a double agent. This involved becoming an activist in the American Communist Party. This included distributing Marxist propaganda in Mexico.
Nagell also claimed he was involved in monitoring a group of Cuban exiles plotting against Fidel Castro. In 1963 Nagell discovered that this group was planning to assassinating John F. Kennedy while making it appear that it had been ordered by Castro. When he told the KGB they ordered him to warn Lee Harvey Oswald about what was happening. Nagell also claimed he warned the FBI and CIA about the plot.
In September, 1963, Nagell walked into a bank in El Paso, Texas, and fired two shots into the ceiling and then waited to be arrested. Nagell claimed he did this to isolate himself from the assassination plot. This was successful and Nagell was charged with armed robbery and ended up spending the next five years in prison.
On his release Nagell told Jim Garrison about his knowledge of the assassination of John F. Kennedy . He claimed that David Ferrie, Guy Banister, and Clay Shaw were involved in this plot with Lee Harvey Oswald. However, Garrison decided against using him as a witness in the court-case against Shaw.
Dick Russell wrote about Nagell in his book, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1992). Nagell claimed the initial plan to assassinate President John F. Kennedy was financed by Haroldson L. Hunt and other individuals. The operation was to be performed by a anti-Castro group. According to Nagell the conspirators believed that if they set-up Lee Harvey Oswald, a well-known supporter of Fidel Castro with links to the Soviet Union, the assassination would result in a full-scale war against Cuba.
Richard Case Nagell was found dead on 1st November, 1995. A spokesman for the Los Angeles Coroner's Office said Nagell had a history of heart disease, and that his body was discovered on the floor of the bathroom at his home in Rampart, Los Angeles.