Sylvia Odio was born in Cuba in 1937. Her father was involved in the struggle against Fulgencio Batista. However, he disagreed with Fidel Castro about certain issues and in 1962 he was arrested and sent to the Isle of Pines. Soon afterwards Odio left Cuba and settled in Dallas. Odio became active in the anti-Castro movement and helped form an organization called Junta Revolucionaria.
On 25th September, 1963, Odio had a visit from three men who claimed they were from New Orleans. Two of the men, Leopoldo and Angelo, said they were members of the Junta Revolucionaria. The third man, Leon, was introduced as an American sympathizer who was willing to take part in the assassination of Fidel Castro. After she told them that she was unwilling to get involved in any criminal activity, the three men left.
The following day Leopoldo phoned Odio and told her that Leon was a former Marine and that he was an expert marksman. He added that Leon had said “we Cubans, we did not have the guts because we should have assassinated Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs”. It is believed that Bernardo De Torres was Leopoldo and Edwin Collins was Angelo.
Odio became convinced that after the assassination of John F. Kennedy that Leon was Lee Harvey Oswald. Odio gave evidence to the Warren Commission and one of its lawyers commented: "Silvia Odio was checked out thoroughly... The evidence is unanimously favorable... Odio is the most significant witness linking Oswald to the anti-Castro Cubans."
On 16th September, 1964, FBI agent Leon Brown interviewed Loran Hall on behalf of the Warren Commission. Brown claims that Hall admitted that he, Lawrence Howard and William Seymour made a visit to a woman who could have been Silvia Odio. However, when Hall was re-interviewed on 20th September and was shown a photograph of Odio, he claimed she was not the woman he met in New Orleans.
The FBI interviewed Silvia Odio again on 1st October, 1964. They showed her photographs of Loran Hall, William Seymour, Lawrence Howard and Celio Castro Alga. She claimed that "none of these individuals were identical with the three persons... who had come to her apartment in Dallas in the last week of September, 1963." Her sister, Annie Odio, who was also in the apartment at the time, also stated that "none of the photographs appeared similar to the three individuals in her recollection."
The author, Anthony Summers, suggests that the visit had "been a deliberate ploy to link Junta Revolucionaria, a left-wing exile group, with the assassination". Hall later gave evidence before the Select House Committee on Assassinations and denied he had told the FBI that he had visited Odio on 25th September, 1963.
In 2008 David Kaiser published The Road to Dallas. In the book Kaiser argues that Loran Hallwas definitely with Lee Harvey Oswald at Silvia Odio's apartment on 25th September, 1963. However, he fails to provide any new evidence for this assertion.
(1) Anthony Summers, The Kennedy Conspiracy (1980)
Leopoldo, who had introduced Oswald, telephoned Silvia Odio within forty-eight hours of the visit. He brought up the request for help again, but he also seemed keen to discuss something else. "What did you think of the American?" he asked. Odio, thinking how quiet the American had been, said she had not really formed an opinion. Then Leopoldo made a number of remarks which - even at the time - Odio found chilling. He said of Oswald, "Well, you know, he's a Marine, an ex-Marine, and an expert marksman. He would be a tremendous asset to anyone, except that you never know how to take him." Listening to this, Silvia Odio wondered what she was expected to say. She knew even less when Leopoldo went on. "He's kind of loco, kind of nuts. He could go either way. He could do anything - like getting underground in Cuba, like killing Castro." And then Leopoldo added, "The American says we Cubans don't have any guts. He says we should have shot President Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs. He says we should do something like that."
(2) Report by Leon Brown concerning his interview with Loran Hall on 16th September, 1964.
HALL stated that during the latter part of September, 1963, he was in Dallas, Texas in company with LAWRENCE HOWARD and WILLIAM SEYMOUR. HALL had gone to Dallas to solicit aid in the anti-CASTRO movement HALL said they contacted three professors at the university of Dallas who are Cuban refugees. One of these professor's name HALL recalled, was ODIO. These professors furnished HALL with a list of Cubans living in the Dallas area who could be contacted to solicit assistance in this movement.
HALL said that he recalled that while in Dallas on this particular occasion, the three of them, HALL, HOWARD, and SEYMOUR, had gone to the apartment of a Cuban woman who lived in a garden style apartment located on Magellan Circle in Dallas. HALL said that he could not picture this woman in his mind now. He said that her name was possibly ODIO. He said that he seemed to recognize this woman's name as ODIO because of the association with the name of the Cuban professor who had the same name.
(3) FBI letter on interview with Sylvia Odio (9th November 1964)
Review of record of Beach Welding and Supplies Company, Miami Beach, Florida, on September 22, 1964, confirmed WILLIAM SEYMOUR's employment with that company throughout the period September 5 to October 10, 1963.
On September 24, 1964, CELIO CASTRO ALGA, employed at the South Florida Sugar Company, Belle Glade, Florida, stated he had traveled with LORAN HALL and LAWRENCE HOWARD from California to Dallas, Texas, to Miami, Florida in September, 1963, but he had not met any person at Dallas named ODIO, nor had he heard the name ODIO mentioned by HALL or HOWARD in Dallas.
On October 1, 1964, SYLYIA ODIO, presently residing at 1711 S.W. 83rd Avenue, Miami, Florida, stated she had moved to Miami from Dallas, Texas, with her four small children, about a week ago.
Mrs. ODIO was shown photographs of LORAN EUGENE HALL, taken at Wichita, Kansas on December 16, 1961; LAWRENCE HOWARD taken at Key West, Florida on December 4, 1962; WILLIAM HOUSTON SEYMOUR taken in March, 1959 at San Diego, California; and CELIO CASTRO ALGA taken in November, 1961 at Miami, Florida.
Upon viewing the photographs of HALL, HOWARD, SEYMOUR and CASTRO, Mrs. ODIO stated that none of these individuals were identical with the three persons, including the individual she believed to be OSWALD, who had come to her apartment in Dallas in the last week of September, 1963. She said she is not certain that the could identify photographs of the two individuals accompanying the one she believed to be OSWALD because of the passage of time since the incident and because photographs sometimes differ from the real appearance of an individual.
Mrs. ODIO added she did believe, however, she could recognize the individual who gave his name as LEOPOLDO. She indicated that the photograph of CELIO CASTRO was similar to the appearance of LEOPOLDO but that LEOPOLDO's hair line me receding at the temples. She also thought that the photo of CELIO CASTRO did not give the Mexican appearance that she recalled LEOPOLDO to have...
Also on October 1, 1964, the photographs described hereinbefore were displayed to ANNIE LAURIE ODIO, younger sister of SYLVIA ODIO, who stated she had opened the door of the ODIO apartment in Dallas to the three individuals including one believed to be LEE HARVEY OSWALD, who called at the apartment in the last week of September 1964. ANNIE LAURIE ODIO stated none of the photographs appeared similar to the three individuals in her recollection.
(4) John Kelin, The Odio-Connell Mystery (November, 1994)
Many readers are no doubt familiar with the Silvia Odio story, but a short refresher is still in order. Briefly, Silvia Odio was the daughter of a prominent anti-Castro activist who was jailed in Castro's Cuba. In September of 1963 she was living in Dallas when three men, whom she did not know, came to her apartment out of the blue one evening. They told her they too were involved in the anti-Castro movement and wanted her help. Two of the men, Odio later said, appeared to be Cuban or Mexican, and identified themselves by their "war names," Leopoldo and Angelo (or Angel). The third was an American introduced as Leon Oswald.
Uneasy with these men, Silvia Odio declined any involvement with them, and sent them away. A day or two later, Leopoldo called her on the phone and, among other things, said that Leon Oswald was a former marine, a crack shot - and that he thought President Kennedy should be assassinated.
After the President was indeed slain, Silvia Odio was horrified to recognize Lee Harvey Oswald as the same "Leon Oswald" who had been outside her apartment. This identification was corroborated by her sister Annie who also saw and spoke with the three strangers.
Silvia Odio gave this story to the Warren Commission. But the Commission decided she was mistaken in her identification of Oswald, in part because Oswald was, by the Commission's reckoning, in Mexico City at the time Odio said she was visited.
This story - the conventional "Odio incident" - is explosive enough, tying Oswald to the idea of killing Kennedy several months before it happened. Sylvia Meagher called it "the proof of the plot." Anthony Summers said it represents "the strongest human evidence." And Gaeton Fonzi, who investigated this episode for the House Select Committee on Assassinations, wrote that "the Odio incident absolutely cries conspiracy."
(5) Gaeton Fonzi, interviewed on 8th October, 1994.
Q: How do you view Posner's technique on this subject vs. your own? For example, it does not appear from the notes in the back of his book that he interviewed her, relying instead on her testimony to the WC, yet, he doesn't hesitate to mention her emotional problems, her divorce or that there isn't one piece of corroborating evidence for her post-assassination claim that one of the men who visited her was introduced as 'Leon Oswald'. Could he have interviewed her? Should he have interviewed her? What makes her credible, in your opinion?
A: First of all, let me say at the start, that I view Posner's book as a dishonest book. Posner called me early on when he was beginning to work on the book. He asked me about those areas of the investigation in which I was involved. I told him briefly, gave him some specifics. He said that they seemed very interesting and very important and that he would have to come and talk with me in detail about it. And I said he was welcome to do that. This was way before I even began my book. He said that he would do that and I never heard from him again. As far as Posner's handling of Odio, he never talked to Odio. The testimony and what he does in his book in terms of building up a tremendous emotional problem that she had by using an individual, quoting an individual who Silvia Odio never met, who happened to be a friend of her uncle's, I think. To me, was, again, misleading and dishonest. As far as, it isn't true, as this says, that there isn't one piece of corroborating evidence for a post assassination claim that one of the men who visited her was introduced as Leon Oswald. That's simply not true because her sister was at the apartment at that time. We got corroboration from her sister. Could he have interviewed her? I don't know, whether or not he could have interviewed her. Should he have interviewed her? Of course he should have interviewed her. And what makes her credible, of course, is the fact that everything she says, we got corroboration about. We got a corroboration in terms of the details which are more important. And in fact, even additional corroboration has come forward when a priest, who we couldn't locate, a friend of hers, specifically recalled her saying, talking about the visit prior to the assassination. On a specific evening. He pinpointed the evening closer than she had before. So, as far as Posner goes, and his credibility in the Odio area, I think it's dishonest.
(6) Fabian Escalante, Cuban Officials and JFK Historians Conference (7th December, 1995)
They were going to demand that somebody would be a part of that new government to be established in Cuba and who would be better than Manolo Ray, who used to be a minister in that government. Manolo Ray, that was a person that didn't have good relations with the CIA. He was a social democrat. And it turns out to be that Silvia Odio belongs to the same group. So I could think that Oswald's presence, and Emilio Cordo might have some link to some involvement of JURE? as Castro agents... who is a Castro agent that later would kill Kennedy. So I think all these episodes have to be seen related one to another. For instance, I think the same way you... some of you do that Oswald was taken to a trap from the very beginning. But he was penetrating a Castro group that wanted to kill Kennedy. But I don't think that Veciana had anything to do with it. I think that people that had to do with that, are people in the DRE, but here I am just... using some technical... because when you are going to carry out an operation as complex as this one, you cannot put all your money in one single horse. You have to use different ways in order not to have any mistakes. And obviously, the DRE was in the whole plot against Cuba.
(7) Larry Hancock, Education Forum (16th March, 2005)
It may be worthwhile to consider that the first objective of the visit was to persuade Sylvia to wrote some fund raising leaders for her visitors. And the visitors represented themselves as JURE connected. And they had gone to some trouble to get background info on her father including his closely kept war name.
If the letters were the primary objective, the phone call back to Sylvia may have been a fall back developed after they failed to get letters from her.
In that case, the main goal would have been letters referencing JURE and signed by a JURE member with high level ties to Rey.
If such letters were planted along with a patsy after either an attempt or an actual assassination of JFK they could have been used to associate a Cuban sponsored assassin with JURE...many right wing exiles were constantly painting JURE with a pink brush anyway. Net result, get rid of Castro, get back into Cuba, eliminate JURE and Rey as a contender for power in a "free" Cuba. Nice neat package.
Except Sylvia didn't buy it. She thought the visitors were suspicious, maybe even Castro agents, which with the phone call afterwards would still have served to tie Oswald with possible Cuban agents if Sylvia had gone to the FBI or Police the afternoon of Nov. 22.
Just think what a report like that from Odio would have done when combined with the Kostikov and Cuban embassy visit in Mexico City and then Gilberto Alvardo shows up to close the loop, still a nice package. Except Sylvia didn't report it and by the time her information got in the loop the fix was in. No conspiracy, "Lone Nut".
(8) Robert Charles-Dunne, Education Forum (16th March, 2005)
Here is what we can be certain of at this point in time. Someone using the alias Leopoldo claimed that Oswald had said Kennedy should be killed by the Cubans. Were that corroborated by similar statements made by Oswald to others, nobody would or should have a problem accepting that what Leopoldo said was true.
When he was interviewed by Stuckey and debated on-air with anti-Castro types in New Orleans, he had ample opportunity to publicly declare his feelings about the President and his policies. He struck a very moderate balance, particularly for a man who was being sandbagged and attacked by all sides, including the moderator.
Of course, even if Oswald had harboured tremendous animus toward Kennedy, I wouldn't expect him to say so while on radio; but I would expect him to say so to close personal friends. Yet, he seems to have done just the opposite, praising Kennedy rather than vilifying him. This is the crux of the issue with Leopoldo's assertions. The only instance we know of in which Oswald reputedly said something negative about Kennedy comes to us courtesy of an unknown man with an unknown agenda. It strains credulity that you would accept the exception, rather than the rule.
(9) Joan Mellen, Key West Citizen (2nd September, 2005)
Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer's revelation that the Able Danger intelligence unit had reported to Philip Zelikow, the executive staff director of the 9/11 Commission, about identifications of Mohammed Atta and other future hijackers working as part of a cell of Al Qaeda operating in the United States at least a year before 9/11, only for this vital information to be suppressed, invites a parallel with a presidential commission forty-two years ago this coming November.
As reported by the "New York Times" and other news organizations, not only was the information that an attack was being planned known, later Pentagon denials notwithstanding, but also Defense Department lawyers prevented the Able Danger unit from sharing this information with the F.B.I. A Navy captain named Scott Phillpott, according to the Associated Press, apparently also reported to the 9/11 Commission on these Able Danger findings, to no avail.
It may be that the immediate motive for the emergence of these astonishing facts involves lobbying for increasing funding for domestic military surveillance. Yet Colonel Shaffer has opened a window onto presidential commissions and their failure of responsibility to an informed citizenry. "Information has to get out, and I think we have to account for why some of these things weren't looked at as part of the overall report," Shaffer said on National Public Radio.
The incident suggests a parallel to the final days of the Warren Commission, which discovered that Lee Harvey Oswald had visited a Cuban exile and former law student named Sylvia Odio in Dallas in late September 1963. Just as the 9/11 Commission did not investigate the Able Danger information, despite Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer's offer to them of a full set of documents, so the Warren Commission conducted only the most cursory of inquiries into the Odio visit. As Mrs. Odio testified before the Warren Commission, she was told the next day by one of her visitors that Oswald had remarked, "President Kennedy should have been assassinated after the Bay of Pigs, and some Cubans should have done that.... it is so easy to do it."
The Warren Commission lacked a context to evaluate this incident because it had not been informed of the C.I.A.'s attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, now a matter of public record, and a matter to be concealed, unlike today when a Pat Robertson can openly advocate the assassination of a foreign leader. Had the Odio incident been explored fully, some uncomfortable truths might have emerged, truths that could have modified the conclusions of the Warren Report, just as Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer's information, tested, might have altered the findings of the 9/11 Commission, and the biography of Mohammed Atta been more thoroughly researched.
In my own study of the Kennedy assassination for my book, "A Farewell to Justice," I discovered that parallel to these secret efforts by the C.I.A., Robert F. Kennedy was organizing his own clandestine plots to assassinate Fidel Castro. The sources are the released minutes of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Church Committee papers, and the Cubans who worked closely with the Attorney General.
Bobby's instruction to his special team was twofold. It was to discover a means of ridding the Kennedy administration of the Communist thorn in its side "ninety miles from home." It was also to protect his brother from the murderous impulses of an anti-Castro Cuban incensed by John F. Kennedy's refusal to support the invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.
Among those closest to Bobby Kennedy was a man still living in Florida today, Angelo Murgado, who, during the summer of 1963, traveled on Bobby's behalf to New Orleans. Moving among, as he puts it, "Castro's agents, double agents, and Cubans working for the C.I.A., he hoped to "neutralize" a future assassin.
In New Orleans, Mr. Murgado met Lee Harvey Oswald, who resided there in the city of his birth from April to September 1963. Hitherto unreported is that Bobby Kennedy became aware of Oswald - before the assassination.
Bobby even discovered that Oswald was working for the F.B.I., a fact brought to the attention of the Warren Commission as well, and subsequently confirmed for the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the late 1970s by an F.B.I. employee, William Walter, who viewed the Bureau's copious files on Oswald at the New Orleans field office when Oswald was arrested that August for a staged fracas on Canal Street where he was handing out "Fair Play for Cuba" leaflets.
"If the F.B.I. is controlling him," Bobby reasoned, according to Mr. Murgado, "he's no problem." Operating alone, covertly, suspecting a threat to his brother, Bobby underestimated who Oswald was and ceased to make him a major target of his concern. Bobby knew "something was cooking in New Orleans," Angel Murgado says, New Orleans that harlot city now destroyed by flood in a catastrophe of Biblical proportion, New Orleans that sin city where the Kennedy assassination incubated. But Bobby held back. He urged "caution," and apparently he did not share what he knew about Oswald with those who should have been expected to help him protect the President.
Angelo Murgado and a fellow veteran of the Bay of Pigs, in September, were the men who traveled with Oswald from New Orleans to Dallas where they visited Sylvia Odio. (Mrs. Odio testified that the three traveled together although Angelo says that when he and Leopoldo, who drove from New Orleans together, arrived at Sylvia Odio's, Oswald was already there, sitting in the apartment. That "Leopoldo" and Angelo both knew Oswald, there is no doubt). Their objective, or so Angelo thought, was to search for help in their anti-Castro efforts; they talked to Mrs. Odio about buying arms to overthrow Castro. Angelo believed he could trust his companion, referred to in the Warren Report as "Leopoldo," because not only was he a fellow veteran of the Bay of Pigs, but his brother was running for mayor of Miami. He was respectable.
Out of Angelo's hearing, "Leopoldo" phoned Mrs. Odio the next day to tell her how "Leon" Oswald had talked about the need to murder President Kennedy. "Leon" is "kind of nuts," Leopoldo said, a conclusion reflected in the Warren Report.
Placing Oswald in the company of so close an associate of Bobby Kennedy, in an incident that points to foreknowledge of the assassination, created a trap that would silence Bobby forever, rendering him powerless to make public what he knew about the death of his brother. He asked his aide, Frank Mankiewicz, whether "any of our people were involved," and, Mankiewicz told me, he thought, did you think there might be? The conversation stopped there.
Angelo had been betrayed by a companion he believed he could trust, a man not so much dedicated to the overthrow of Fidel Castro, as Angelo believed, as involved in arranging for Oswald to be blamed for the murder of the President, what the Odio visit was really about. The men who visited Mrs. Odio are identified here for the first time in print.
"Leopoldo" was Bernardo de Torres, who testified before the HSCA with immunity granted to him by the C.I.A., so that he was not questioned about the period of time leading up to the Kennedy assassination, as the C.I.A. instructed the Committee on what it could and could not ask this witness. Both the Warren Commission and the HSCA buried the anti-Castro theme, and never explored what Bobby might have known. It might be that the assassination of President Kennedy could have been prevented, just as the apprehension of the people uncovered by the Able Danger team, aided by the F.B.I., had it been granted the opportunity, might have altered the course of the 9/11 tragedy.
That Robert F. Kennedy not only knew about Lee Harvey Oswald, but also viewed him as a danger, is alone shocking. That Bobby put Oswald in New Orleans under surveillance, only to conclude that Oswald posed no threat because he was "just" involved in assassination plots against Fidel Castro, is a chilling precedent for the disasters we may continue to expect from a freewheeling approach to public accountability by government commissions that appear to be willing to keep the citizenry ignorant, and hence vulnerable to attack.
(10) Larry Hancock, Education Forum, (16th March, 2005)
1) Sylvia Odio was asked to write fund raising letters for her two visitors; we don't know what they would have asked her to say specifically because she turned them down. However, personal letters of endorsement referencing JURE, signed by Sylvia - who personally associated with Ray - could have been used to contaminate JURE in many ways. Certainly if such letters had been planted on Oswald or associated with him even short of an assassination, given his active pro-Castro stance, it would have been more political ammunition against Ray within the Cuban community.
Everything doesn't have to tie to the attack in Dallas; in fact there is good reason to believe the plan as of the Odio visit may not have jelled at all as far as an attack in Dallas. Only a few weeks earlier Oswald had been writing letters about a move to the East Coast.
2) There is no concrete reason to associate Angelo's agenda with Leopoldo's; nor to associate the letter request with the call afterwards - based on the data we have so far. There is no particular reason to think either Angelo or Oswald knew about the follow-up call, indeed there is good reason to think Leopoldo was working his own separate agenda.
3) The visit could have been used to "contaminate" JURE through association with a very pro-Castro, Marxist, Russian defector may be very relevant to Angelo's agenda while Leopoldo's may have been setting up Oswald for something more violent.4) The autonomous group project which started in 1963 had multiple players, Artime and Williams and Ray. Assuming the plan had worked, Castro had been eliminated and a coup successful, you can bet that the next step would have been a direct conflict between Artime and Ray. And unfortunately the exiles were not ones to set aside such conflicts until after their primary objective was achieved. Given all that some sort of political effort against JURE makes a great deal of sense even without the assassination plot coming into play.
(11) Gerry P. Hemming, Education Forum (26th August, 2005)
Responding to the clown who questions my "scooping" Joan Mellen, and why didn't I "come forward" some 40 years ago?? Sounds just like Kazahk Weberman, and; I am beginning to suspect that this is Weberman using an alias. Go to his "Nodules" and read my response to his query about not "coming forth"; and I repeat: You don't want to know where on your anatomy I will do my "coming"!!
I took Joan Mellen to meet Angelo on June 27th this year; just as I took Russo to interview him years ago. Joan paid the expenses down to Miami, but my son and I got stuck with the costs returning north. Nevertheless, as Joan complained in an e-mail last month; If any "so-and-so" wants the inside story; then they can pony up their share of the travel and other expenses.
Now it gets very clear why certain professionals avoid forums!! Why should anybody expose themselves to having their "chains pulled" by complete amateurs??
Joan Mellen has yet to completely resolve specific issues' specifically those which she intends to elaborate upon in more detail within her prospective tome. When she finally asks the correct questions, she will get the facts "Maam". There are others out their attempting to accomplish similar interviews, but I can assure you that they will fail.
I worked with Sylvia in Cuba. Long after both the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee coverups, she stated, after her review of those documents purporting to be her "testimony" -- she bitterly denounced EVERYTHING contained therein as having been FALSIFIED.
(12) John Simkin interviewed Amaury Murgado by email on 6th November, 2005.
John Simkin: When and where was your father born?
Amaury Murgado: Havana, Cuba 10-2-39.
John Simkin: When did he arrive in the United States?
Amaury Murgado: December 1956.
John Simkin: When did he join the Bay of Pigs operation.
Amaury Murgado: February 1961, Brigade 2506 Serial Number 3266. Paratrooper Battalion, Company A, HQ's Radio Operator.
John Simkin: Was he captured?
Amaury Murgado: 21-22 April (one of the last ones) captured in full paratrooper uniform, never got out of it like others did. He maintained his soldier status throughout.
John Simkin: If so, what happened to him?
Amaury Murgado: He became POW at Pricenpe Castle. On the day the Brigade was getting ready to leave after the negotiations for their release succeeded, my father and eight others were taken to the airport to say goodbye to the Brigade as a form of punishment as they were slotted for execution and would never see them again.While at the airport,the Cuban governmentchanged there execution to30 years hard labor. Eventually that day, they were thelast nine to leave.
John Simkin: When did your father first meet Robert Kennedy?
Amaury Murgado: No answer.
John Simkin: What instructions did he give your father concerning his investigations in New Orleans.
Amaury Murgado: RFK never gave any instruction to my father on the subject.Since my father andArtime were working with RFK, my father pitched the idea to RFK and he allowed it. My father was concerned that some brigade hotheads or other upset Cubans with the Bay of Pigs fiasco might do something stupid, so he was given authority to conduct an independent investigation and keep RFK informed. These meetings were generally at RFK's West Palm Beach home, with no other people around except Artime who dad says would be on the phone most of the time.
John Simkin: Was he investigating anti or pro Castro Cubans?
Amaury Murgado: My father's idea revolved around keeping tabs on anti-Castro hot heads that were blaming JFK for the bay of Pigs fiasco. This was not a massive intelligence operation, just a low key attempt by my father. His job was just anti-Castro hotheads with Brigade 2506 ties. What other people were doing and why were of no concern to him. (Under compartmentalization, only those in the need to know do...).
John Simkin: Did the rumors of assassination plots involve both of these groups.
Amaury Murgado: My father had no specific information on anything in particular. He just wanted to keeps tabs on possible renegade activity.
John Simkin: At what stage did your father realize that Oswald was a FBI agent?
Amaury Murgado: My father's only comment was he developed sources that advised him that Oswald was with the FBI as an informant.This information was passed on to RFK as with all information garnished from my father's activities. RFK was always briefed by my father personally. Artime was always with them but would not always attend the briefings. He will not discuss these sources or anything further on the topic.
John Simkin: Why did your father visit Silvia Odio?
Amaury Murgado: My father newSilvia socially in Miami. It always seems that everyone knows everyone from Cuba. His investigation led to some questions that Sylviamight helphim with.My father says all the things written about the Sylvia incident are bogus.Oswald was inside the apartment when he and Benny arrived. The why's and who'sfor the perpetuation of Sylvia's disinformation are not part of myfather's involvement and are for someone else to answer.
John Simkin: Did your father go to Silvia's apartment with Bernardo de Torres?
Amaury Murgado: Yes. At the time Benny was an associate of my father but not a key player with RFK/Artime.My father used to take him on minor assignments to help out. On this particular day, my father took Benny along. He just accompanied my fatherto see Sylvia. As to the rest of the story, my father says it didn't happen. Again, what and why the Odio Incident keeps perpetuating itself in the form it does is for someone else to answer. If I remember correctly, there is a body of information out there that says Sylvia was seen with Oswald several times. I mentioned this to Professor Mellen and she had trouble accepting this. She had trouble with many of the things I brought up to her about her Key West article. Some of the items in her book will differ with my father's comments because as I have said before, she did not take notes nor tape record any of her conversations with my father.I am sure her writing is not malicious, but not everything she writes can be attributed to my father).
John Simkin: You say in your email " The only reason Oswald was known to my father was the same way most of New Orleans new him...through the newspaper and other media outlets. Oswald if you remember was working very hard at getting himself noticed. Did your father begin to investigate Oswald when his activities began to appear in the newspapers?
Amaury Murgado: Oswald was not part of my father's task. My father was concentrating on the Cuban renegades.He only brought the information back to RFK as background and advised RFK that Oswald was an FBI informant. It was never more than just that at the time. Obviously after the assassination, it was quite a shock to learn about Oswald.
John Simkin: If Oswald was an undercover FBI agent, why was he attempting to draw so much attention towards himself?
Amaury Murgado: That question has to be answered by someone else. Oswald was not part of my father's assignment.
John Simkin: You also said: "But lets agree that its a safe bet that if Oswald did kill JFK, would you admit to having him in your apartment." However, why would she also add the two mysterious Cubans to the story? Why not simply
tell the FBI you were mistaken when you had the chance and it was Hall and Howard etc. Or why try and take it all to the HSCA a few years later. Why keep associating the two Cubans with your visitor. Which perhaps takes us back to the why of the "call back". Clearly Sylvia had the chance to recant and back out of this many times and she did not.
Amaury Murgado: That is not a question for my father but for Sylvia.
John Simkin: You say in your email: "My father's mission for RFK was fact finding and keeping tabs on any renegades from the Cuban side that might be planning to do harm to the president. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to note that when a group of Cubans who are upset at the president leave Florida and head to New Orleans they might bear watching. Why did your father not come forward after the assassination of JFK? This information might have helped track down the killers of JFK.
Amaury Murgado: Come forward with what and to whom?My father was already working withRFK at the time...RFK was always briefed and hadall the information. Remember prior to the assassination Oswald was considered working with the FBI in some type of capacity. After the assassination, RFK and others choose to squash the investigation and made sure itconcluded Oswald acted alone. RFK was his brother's keeper (my father says that all the time). Thisis all historical record now with the subsequentrelease of classified documents.
Why would my father come forward to anyone else? RFK was the Attorney General of the United States, technically with regards to law enforcement, RFK was the highestauthority in the land at the time. Why call the FBI when Oswald was already known to them? So who else is left to report to? Regardless of what is floating out there now, my father did his job the way it needed to be done at the time. He didn't need to come forward because he already had.
I read this to my father, which was part of an answer to Mr. Gratz. My father said it would suffice as his answer to your question.
John Simkin: How did Robert Kennedy react to the news that your father had been in contact with Oswald before the assassination. Did he want your father to give this information to the FBI?
Amaury Murgado: My dad tells me that after the assassination, RFK was in deep shock. RFK did not make contact with my father and Artime until about2 or 2.5 months later. It was clear at this meeting that no one had any answers.It was at this final meeting in West Palm Beach that my father and RFK last spoke.RFK told my father that it was over and done (meaning what they had been working on). That ended my father's involvement directly with RFK. As said before, there was no reason to tell anyone anything, they already knew.
John Simkin: Is it possible to provide some biographical information on your father since 1963?
Amaury Murgado: My father thank you for your interest but declines to answer. I can tell you as his son, he went on to do many things for and on behalf of the Brigade such as form an AMVETS post and secure that the Brigade membersare considered as veterans of the US Armed Forces. He also participated in trying to get back the bodies of slain Brigade members brought back from Cuba.
I hope this fulfills your request for information. I am glad my father choose to answer more in depth. I do have one change in that in an prior email I mentioned that my father went to Virginia to meet with RFK. I was mistaken. He either met in Washington (2-3 times) or in RFK's West Palm Beach home. I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.