Bernardo De Torres was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1934. He moved to the United States in 1955 and later worked as a private investigator in Miami. De Torres was a strong opponent of Fidel Castro and during the Bay of Pigs Operation was Chief of Intelligence for Brigade 2506 where he worked under David Sanchez Morales. During the invasion he was captured and was not released until 24th December, 1962.
In 1963 De Torres resumed work as a private investigator. According to Gerry P. Hemming De Torres worked for Charles Siragusa, who was involved in foreign assassinations. Larry Hancock has argued in Someone Would Have Talked (2003) "De Torres is known to have associated with several of Hemming's Interpen members and he was well acquainted with Frank Fiorini/Sturgis. De Torres also had strong operational contacts in Mexico City all the way up to Miguel Nazar Haro in Mexican police intelligence." Others involved with Interpen include: Loran Hall, Roy Hargraves, William Seymour, Lawrence Howard, Steve Wilson, Howard K. Davis, Edwin Collins, James Arthur Lewis and Dennis Harber.
On 25th September, 1963, Silvia 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 De Torres was Leopoldo and Edwin Collins was Angelo.
According to his daughter he was employed by the CIA to investigate the assassination of John F. Kennedy: "Yes, he worked for several years with the CIA at uncovering all the possible people that were on the their list. At one time, they put him under the spot light and he was proved with out a doubt that he had anything to do with it. He was actually in Florida with my stepmother at the time of the assassination and was working on his other job as military coordinator for Brigade 2506. It's located in Miami in Little Havana.... I think he came to a conclusion in his investigation and thinks he knows who were the people who killed JFK but doesn't like or want to deal with what he found because all of sudden he stopped researching and never spoke about it again. Normally he doesn't stop until he has found the answers."
Bernardo De Torres joined Jim Garrison in his investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy case. William Turner, the author of Rearview Mirror: Looking Back at the FBI, the CIA and Other Tails (2001) has argued: "A veteran of the Bay of Pigs, De Torres showed up on Garrison's doorstep early in the probe, saying he was a private detective from Miami who wanted to help, and dropping the name of Miami DA Richard Gerstein, a friend of Garrison's, as an opener. In retrospect, Garrison remembered that every lead De Torres developed ended up in a box canyon." Garrison asked Bernardo De Torres to find Eladio del Valle. However, he was unable to find him. Del Valle was murdered on 22nd February, 1967. He had been shot in the heart. He died only hours after his friend, David Ferrie, who was also being investigated by Garrison. Diego Gonzales Tendera, a close friend, later claimed de Valle was murdered because of his involvement in the assassination of Kennedy. It has been suggested that Bernardo De Torres was involved in the killing.
Larry Hancock has argued that "Bernardo De Torres... diverted Garrison to a certain extent as well as aggressively re-introducing Castro suspicions. He did that with his insistent media promotion of a story pertaining to Secret Service fears of a Castro hit team in Miami during Kennedy's visit there shortly before the Texas trip. Between February 18 and February 22, the Garrison investigation received considerable unwanted publicity, much of it based upon inquiries within the Miami Cuban community as well as the involvement of Bernardo De Torres. De Torres was quite visible in his comments and declarations, eventually leading the whole matter off in a direction pointing at a threat against John Kennedy from Castro agents."
Jim Garrison eventually came to the conclusion that Torres was undermining his investigation and became convinced that he was really working for JM/WAVE, the Central Intelligence Agency station in Miami. William Turner later recalled: "Eladio del Valle's body was found in a Miami parking lot twelve hours after Ferrie's was discovered in New Orleans. The DA investigator who was searching for del Valle, Bernardo De Torres, turned out to be a suspicious character in his own right. A veteran of the Bay of Pigs, De Torres showed up on Garrison's doorstep early in the probe, saying he was a private detective from Miami who wanted to help, and dropping the name of Miami DA Richard Gerstein, a friend of Garrison's, as an opener. In retrospect, Garrison remembered that every lead De Torres developed ended up in a box canyon. He also learned that De Torres was forwarding reports on his investigation to the Miami CIA station."
After leaving the Garrison investigation De Torres went to work for Mitch WerBell as an arms salesman in Latin America. In his book Death in Washington (1980) Donald Freed suggested that De Torres might have been involved in the death of Orlando Letelier. Another researcher, Peter Dale Scott, argued in Deep Politics and the Death of JFK (1993) that De Torres had links to the CIA and the drug trade.
While writing The Last Investigation (1993) Gaeton Fonzi interviewed Rolando Otero. "Otero said his source had told him that Lee Harvey Oswald was sent to Russia as a CIA agent. The decision to kill Kennedy was made before Oswald's return to the United States. Otero said he had no specific knowledge of the number involved, but his training led him to guess there were between thirty and thirty-five CIA operatives in Dallas on the day Kennedy was killed, including the actual hit team. He figures there was a minimum of three on the hit team, at least one stationed in front of, and another behind, Kennedy. Otero said he understood that most of the final planning and coordination took place at meetings held in the Dallas YMCA Building, and he gave me the names of five Miami men who, according to his source, were involved in the plot. He said he didn't know the roles that four of them played, but the fifth, the one called Carlos, was in contact with Oswald and was posing as a photographer in Dealey Plaza on November 22nd." Some years after the book was published Fonzi admitted that "Carlos" was Bernardo De Torres.
In his book Rearview Mirror: Looking Back at the FBI, the CIA and Other Tails (2001), William Turner claims that in 1977 the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) came to the conclusion that De Torres might have played a role in the death of Kennedy. He quotes a HUCA report that: "De Torres has pictures of Dealey Plaza in a safe-deposit box. These pictures were taken during the assassination of JFK".
In an article that appeared in Key West Citizen on 2nd September, 2005, Joan Mellen, claims that Angel Murgado was one of the three men who visited Sylvia Odio in Dallas.She also identified the role Bernardo De Torres played in the operation. "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."
Bernardo De Torres retired to Florida. According to his daughter (August 2006): "He lives a peaceful life in sunny Florida with his sister,a cat named cookie and his military trained German Shepard. That dog is seriously licensed to kill. He is divorced and has 4 children who are all spread out over the globe. We all get along even though most of us are from different mothers. He likes to drink his Coca Cola and bet at the dog track occasionally. He takes extremely good care of his health. He works out and even injects himself with vitamins. He is the leanest 72 year old you will ever know. I don't know why people think he lives in South America. He hates those places because to him they are third world countries. Granted he loves to travel but he won't waste him money there."