Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

News & Supplemental

For The Record

The Plot to Kill King

FTR#1133

MP3: FTR #1133

Lat­est Pro­gram Pro­duced Is:  FTR#1222 French Fas­cists and the JFK Assas­si­na­tion, Part 1. Audio only–the writ­ten descrip­tion will be avail­able present­ly.

You can sub­scribe to the com­ments made on pro­grams and posts–an excel­lent source of infor­ma­tion in, and of, itself HERE.

Mr. Emory’s entire life’s work is avail­able on a 32GB flash dri­ve, avail­able for a con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more (to KFJC). Click Here to obtain Dav­e’s 40+ years’ work, com­plete through Late Fall of 2021 (through FTR #1215).

WFMU-FM is pod­cast­ing For The Record–You can sub­scribe to the pod­cast HERE.

“Polit­i­cal language…is designed to make lies sound truth­ful and mur­der respectable, and to give an appear­ance of solid­i­ty to pure wind.”

— George Orwell, 1946

In the after­math of the killing of George Floyd, there has been wall-to-wall cov­er­age of his mur­der and of the world-wide demon­stra­tions stem­ming from it. The advent of smart phone (with cam­eras) and the inter­net affords detailed and inti­mate expe­ri­ence of such an event.

How­ev­er, the orgias­tic cov­er­age of that event, the memo­r­i­al ser­vice led by FBI infor­mant and alleged [by the late War­ren Hinck­le] CIA oper­a­tive in Grena­da Al Sharp­ton stands in stark con­trast to the utter silence across the board on the cir­cum­stances of Dr. Mar­tin Luther King’s assas­si­na­tion.

On the fifti­eth anniver­sary of King’s mur­der, Mr. Emory did a twelve hour pro­gram about the cir­cum­stances of the assas­si­na­tion, repris­ing AFA #8 (done in 1985 on the 17th anniver­sary of the killing) and FTR #46, record­ed a decade lat­er and sup­ple­ment­ed on 4/3/2018.

Despite exhaus­tive and per­ilous research done by the likes of Dr. William F. Pep­per, 4/4/2018 was notable for the absence of sub­stan­tive dis­cus­sion of King’s mur­der.

The polit­i­cal and his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance of such an event was pre­sent­ed by Dr. Pep­per in his third book about the King assas­si­na­tion, The Plot to Kill King” . . . . When one is con­front­ed with the assas­si­na­tion of a major leader who per­son­i­fies the most trea­sured val­ues of the species and it becomes clear that those respon­si­ble for the mur­der are offi­cials of his own gov­ern­ment act­ing with the sanc­tion of those in the shad­ows who actu­al­ly rule, sure­ly one should strive to under­stand what that means now and for the future. In oth­er words, when the removal of a leader who has offend­ed pow­er­ful forces and spe­cial inter­ests in the Repub­lic takes on the sta­tus of an act of state, cit­i­zens must con­tem­plate what this reveals about their cul­ture and its civ­il and polit­i­cal sys­tems, their free­dom, the qual­i­ty and sta­tus of the rule of law, and their entire way of life. . . . ”

It seems that–for many–black lives mat­ter, but not Dr. King’s, appar­ent­ly, past a point.

Again, Dr. Pep­per not­ed that: ” . . . . cit­i­zens must con­tem­plate what this reveals about their cul­ture and its civ­il and polit­i­cal sys­tems, their free­dom, the qual­i­ty and sta­tus of the rule of law, and their entire way of life. . . . ”

In said con­tem­pla­tion, this pro­gram sup­ple­ments our pre­vi­ous work on the killing.

Although Dr. Pep­per repris­es the stun­ning infor­ma­tion he set forth in Orders to Kill in The Plot to Kill Kingwe will not reprise that here, in the inter­ests of time. (We do recap a short excerpt from Orders to Kill com­pris­ing an appar­ent evi­den­tiary trib­u­tary between King’s mur­der and the assas­si­na­tion of Robert F. Kennedy, which occurred two months lat­er.)

The bulk of the dis­cus­sion in this pro­gram is pre­sen­ta­tion and analy­sis of the polit­i­cal machin­ery in Mem­phis, Ten­nessee that engi­neered Dr. King’s mur­der. (Dis­cus­sion of the Spe­cial Forces team that was in Mem­phis as a back-up unit in case the civil­ian sniper missed King is detailed in FTR #46.)

In Pep­per’s inves­ti­ga­tion of King’s mur­der­ers, he detailed the appar­ent role of the late Rus­sell Lee Adkins, a mem­ber of the Dix­ie Mafia in Mem­phis, Ten­nessee. (The Dix­ie Mafia is dis­tinct from the Mafia, per se, that oper­at­ed in the South, although–as Pep­per makes clear–they worked with Mafiosi like New Orleans capo Car­los Mar­cel­lo and Mar­cel­lo asso­ciate Frank Lib­er­to, like Adkins, an oper­a­tor in Mem­phis.) 

His son Rus­sell Jr. took over exec­u­tive man­age­ment of the assas­si­na­tion machin­ery after his father’s death in 1967.

Note the coop­er­a­tion between the Ku Klux Klan and ele­ments of the Masons in Mem­phis. This should NOT be mis­un­der­stood as buy­ing into the myr­i­ad of anti-Mason­ic con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries which have pro­lif­er­at­ed on the Inter­net. The bulk of Freema­son­ry are what they rep­re­sent them­selves as being–civic activists and phil­an­thropists. The Third Reich planned to exter­mi­nate the Masons, along with the Jews and oth­ers.

That hav­ing been said, there have always been net­works with­in the Masons which, due to to their clan­des­tine oper­at­ing struc­ture, have been uti­lized for con­spir­a­to­r­i­al pur­pos­es. In these broad­casts, we have not­ed the P‑2 lodge of Licio Gel­li as one such enti­ty.

The Rus­sell Adkins Klan/Mason nexus is anoth­er. Note Rus­sell Sr.‘s son Ron Adkins depo­si­tion about the deci­sive influ­ence of this insti­tu­tion­al­ly racist enti­ty and its pow­er­ful oper­a­tional con­nec­tions:

  1. It dom­i­nat­ed Mem­phis munic­i­pal pol­i­tics empow­er­ing May­or Hen­ry Loeb and Fire and Police Com­mis­sion­er Frank Hol­lo­man, among oth­ers fig­ur­ing in the mur­der of King.
  2. The Adkins/Klan milieu had long-stand­ing oper­a­tional links with the FBI. Num­ber two man in the bureau at the time, as well as J. Edgar Hoover’s live-in lover, was close to Rus­sell Adkins and used him to dis­pense pay­ments to bureau oper­a­tives, includ­ing the Rev­erend Jesse Jack­son.
  3. The Adkins/Klan milieu net­worked with the Mafia, as stat­ed above.
  4. Ron Adkins, Rus­sell Sr.‘s son, deposed under oath that: ” . . . . Ron said that his father took him to his first lynch­ing when he was just six years old. . . .”
  5. The Adkins milieu was close to Dr. Breen Bland, whose alleged role in King’s death is dis­cussed below.

Next, we present the role of the Adkins machine as a con­duit for Hoover and Tol­son’s financ­ing for the escape of pat­sy-to-be James Earl Ray: ” . . . .  [FBI offi­cial Clyde] Tol­son was a sub­stan­tial con­nec­tion for his [Ron­nie Adkins’] father . . . . Of par­tic­u­lar inter­est to this case is that he brought the mon­ey which was to be paid to Harold Swen­son, the War­den of the Mis­souri State prison, in Jef­fer­son City, Mis­souri, in order for him to arrange for the escape of James in 1967. At Hoover’s request, James had been pro­filed as a poten­tial scape­goat, although the nature of the crime was not revealed. Ron told us about this assign­ment because he was an actu­al observ­er. He saw the mon­ey being deliv­ered by Tol­son and then, at his father’s invi­ta­tion, he rode to the prison where the mon­ey was paid to Swen­son by his father. . . Ray (who was always kept in the dark about this arrange­ment) suc­cess­ful­ly escaped from prison on April 23, 1967, and then . . . was mon­i­tored, con­trolled . . . . and moved around until the plans for the assas­si­na­tion and his use were final­ized. . . . .”

In the run-up to the assas­si­na­tion of king: ” . . . . In ear­ly 1968, two work­ers, thir­ty-five-year-old Echole Cole and twen­ty-nine-year-old Robert Walk­er were lit­er­al­ly swal­lowed by a mal­func­tion­ing ‘garbage pack­er’ truck. We would lat­er learn this was a planned mur­der by the Dix­ie Mafia fam­i­ly of Rus­sell Adkins, in coor­di­na­tion with Mem­phis Police Depart­ment Direc­tor of Police and Fire Frank Hol­lo­man, in order to com­pel Dr. King to return to sup­port the strik­ers. . . .” 

Sworn depo­si­tions by Lenny Cur­tis (a cus­to­di­an for the Mem­phis Police Depart­ment) and Nathan Whit­lock, a Mem­phis police­man named Frank Strauss­er was the actu­al shoot­er select­ed to exe­cute King: ” . . . . On that day, he [Strauss­er] broke to take lunch with [MPD Cap­tain Earl] Clark, and when he returned he resumed fir­ing. When he left at around 3:30 p.m., he put the top down on the con­vert­ible, took off his pow­der blue shirt, and threw it over the rifle in the back­seat, leav­ing only his white T‑shirt on. He ruf­fled his hair and put on a pair of sun­glass­es. When he left, May­or Loeb, Hol­lo­man, and the oth­er vis­it­ing police offi­cers were still there. They had met in Lieu­tenant Bullard’s office. . . .”

After high­light­ing the alleged role of Frank Strauss­er as the actu­al assas­sin, we present the oper­a­tional sequence of events on the ground in Mem­phis, Ten­nessee. Again, note the ubiq­ui­tous pres­ence of the Adkins/Dixie Mafia/Klan machine in the pro­gres­sion of events. ” . . . . Also observed arriv­ing at the MPD fir­ing range build­ing where he met with the shoot­er and Earl Clark were Direc­tor Hol­lo­man and May­or Hen­ry Loeb. . . .”

Note, also, the roles of Jesse Jack­son and the Rev­erend Bil­ly Kyles in these maneu­vers. (As dis­cussed in FTR #1005, both were being paid by FBI offi­cial Clyde Tol­son, through the Adkins machine. Jack­son’s appar­ent role was to help secure Room 306 in the Lor­raine Motel, over­look­ing the pool and afford­ing a clear shot, as well as to maneu­ver the Invaders out of the area. (The Invaders were a local Black Pow­er group who were present for secu­ri­ty pur­pos­es.) Kyles was there to help lure King out onto the bal­cony for the kill shot.

After King was shot, he was tak­en to St. Joseph’s hos­pi­tal, where, again the influ­ence of the Adkins machine came into play: ” . . . . Ron Adkins Tyler, under oath, told me that Dr. Breen Bland, who, remem­ber was also the Adkins’ fam­i­ly doc­tor, was in fact, the head sur­geon at the hos­pi­tal. . . . He said he was present and over­heard con­ver­sa­tions between his father and Dr. Bland, and then, fol­low­ing his father’s death, between his broth­er (Rus­sell Junior), Police and Fire Direc­tor Frank Hol­lo­man, and Dr. Bland about the impor­tance of Dr. King being tak­en to St. Joseph’s if he was still alive. . . . Ron Adkins Tyler has no doubt that they were deter­mined to make cer­tain that Dr. King would nev­er leave the emer­gency room at St. Joseph’s Hos­pi­tal alive. Though he did not know the details of the final cause of death, it appears that he was cor­rect. . . .”

Next, we focus on events at St. Joseph’s Hos­pi­tal on 4/4/1968:

  1. Among those events ” . . . . was the large pres­ence of mil­i­tary intel­li­gence offi­cers who had tak­en up posi­tions in the hos­pi­tal well before the shot was fired. Accord­ing to Dr. Cause­way, who was on duty at the time, the mil­i­tary intel­li­gence offi­cers knew the names of all of the emer­gency room nurs­es and doc­tors on duty. . . .”
  2. The atten­tion giv­en to the grave­ly wound­ed Dr. King: ” . . . . He [Dr. Cause­way] observed that no con­sid­er­a­tion was giv­en to mov­ing the crit­i­cal­ly injured vic­tim to the oper­at­ing room and he saw no sur­gi­cal effort being made to save him. When he inquired about treat­ment, he was told that he was being treat­ed. . . .”
  3. Accord­ing to sur­gi­cal aide Lula Mae Shel­by: ” . . . . there were many MPD offi­cers and army peo­ple milling about, in addi­tion to men in suits. . . . Dr. King was lying on a blood­ied gur­ney. She saw the huge hole in the low­er left side of his face, but heard one of the ER doc­tors say that he has a pulse. The ER doc­tors had per­formed a tra­cheoto­my and insert­ed a breath­ing tube. . . . in a while, the head of surgery (who appears to have been Dr. Breen Bland–the Adkins’ fam­i­ly doc­tor and col­lab­o­ra­tor dis­cussed ear­li­er) came into the emer­gency room with a cou­ple of men in suits and shout­ed at the staff work­ing on Dr. King, ‘Stop work­ing on the nig­ger and let him die. Now, all of you get out of here, right now. Every­body get out.’ . . . . as she was leav­ing, she heard three sounds of the men gath­er­ing or suck­ing up sali­va in their mouths–and then she heard two or three spit­ting sounds. This caused her, on the way out, to glance back over her shoul­der, and see that the breath­ing tube had been removed and Dr. Bland put a pil­low on and over the face of Dr. King. . . .”

After the mur­der, the above-men­tioned Lenny Cur­tis heard rumors about Frank Strauss­er being the assas­sin of King, as well as dis­cus­sion of Strauss­er being pres­sured to leave the MPD because of civ­il rights com­plaints being lodged against him.

Con­cerned that Cur­tis might dis­close infor­ma­tion about him to the FBI, Strauss­er con­front­ed him dur­ing a dri­ve and deliv­ered a warn­ing: ” . . . . ‘Lenny, you be care­ful now.’ The look he gave him was clear­ly threat­en­ing. . . .”

Fol­low­ing this inci­dent, Cur­tis expe­ri­enced strange, fright­en­ing things: ” . . . .  His gas was strange­ly turned on once when he was about to enter his house. He had lit a cig­a­rette, but as he opened the door he smelled gas and quick­ly put out the cig­a­rette. A strange Lin­coln was occa­sion­al­ly parked across the street from his apart­ment house. . . .  One morn­ing when the car was there, he got into his own car and quick­ly drove off, and the strange car pulled out and fol­lowed him. He man­aged to see the dri­ver. It was Strauss­er. At that time, new evi­dence in the case came up. He said that every time new evi­dence arose the offi­cer would pop up. He tried to move to a new house with­out notice but the land­lord of the new com­plex would report see­ing a man in the back of his house. When Lenny checked the area, he found a ‘tree stand,’ a V‑shaped stand where you could rest a rifle. When he put a stick in it, it focused on his kitchen and bath­room win­dows. He moved again, with­out notice. . . .”

Pep­per found Cur­tis to be inspir­ing, wait­ing until after his death in 2013 to come for­ward with his tes­ti­mo­ny out of fear for Lenny’s safe­ty. ” . . . . I safe­guard­ed his infor­ma­tion and his depo­si­tion for all of these years, fear­ful that the assas­s­in’s mas­ters would kill him if they learned about his coop­er­a­tion with me. . . .”

Before con­clud­ing the pro­gram, we revis­it the state­ment of one of the Spe­cial Forces offi­cers com­pris­ing the back-up fire team–a man Pep­per described under the pseu­do­nym “War­ren.” ” . . . . War­ren said that on that occa­sion they also had a sec­ondary mis­sion, which was to do recon (recon­nais­sance of a home up in the West­ern Hills near the UCLA cam­pus.) The recon was to deter­mine the fea­si­bil­i­ty of a ‘wet insert ops deter­mined’ oper­a­tion. (‘Wet insert ops deter­mined’ means that the unit car­ries out a sur­rep­ti­tious entry at night into the tar­get­ed res­i­dence, kills every­one there, and leaves with­out a trace.)  He said that their recon deter­mined the fea­si­bil­i­ty of such an oper­a­tion. War­ren sub­se­quent­ly learned that the house was used by Sen­a­tor Robert F. Kennedy when he was in Los Ange­les in 1967–68. . . .”

We end the pro­gram with a caveat deliv­ered to for­mer Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Wal­ter Faun­troy [of Wash­ing­ton D.C.]–a founder of the Con­gres­sion­al Black Cau­cus. After inform­ing then Speak­er of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Carl Albert that he wished to head what was to become the House Select Com­mit­tee on Assas­si­na­tions: ” . . . . Albert said to him, ‘Wal­ter, you don’t want that job.’ To which Faun­troy replied, ‘But I do want it; why not?’ Albert whis­pered, ‘Wal­ter, they will kill you.’ . . .”

DEPARTMENTS

30+ years on the Radio

Dave Emory's weekly For The Record program examines the interconnecting historical processes, people and institutions which shape the complex geopolitical landscape.

Subscribe

Listen

Ask your local station to carry the show.

Latest ‘For The Record’ Posts

FTR#1221 War Games, Part 3 (Rittenhouse Nation)
Jan 14 In these programs, we continue our discussion of Nick Turse's 2008 tome The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives. Writing in his novel Tropic of Cancer,... Read more »
FTR#1219 and FTR#1220 War Games, Part 1 and War Games, Part 2
Dec 31 In these programs, we continue our discussion of Nick Turse's 2008 tome The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives. In this program, we examine how... Read more »
FTR#1218 The Military Matrix
Dec 13 Proof that big things can, indeed, come in small packages is Nick Turse's impactful volume The Complex: How The Military Invades Our Everyday Lives.  Clearly written, brief... Read more »
FTR#1217 Fun with Rick, Steven and Donna
Dec 9 Proof that big things can, indeed, come in small packages is Nick Turse's impactful volume The Complex: How The Military Invades Our Everyday Lives.  Clearly written, brief... Read more »
FTR#1216 The Dealey Plaza Blues
Nov 30 Revisiting the event that propelled Mr. Emory into this field of endeavor, this program reflects on the assassination of President Kennedy on the 58th anniversary... Read more »

Pterrafractyl's Nest

Oligarchs for Theocracy: Project Blitz, the Council for National Policy, and God’s Insurrection "One nation under God." It's a familiar phrase for modern Americans. But how about the phrase "One nation under God, and one religion under God"? That was the call recently made by Michael Flynn. As we're going to see, Flynn wasn't just speaking for fellow theocrats when he called for an end to the separation of church and state. He was voicing the views of some of the most powerful lobbies operating in DC. Groups like the Council for National Policy (CNP) that represent the merger of corporate (Koch) and theocratic interests. A network that for all practical purposes is the Republican Party's oligarch establishment, pushing a theocratic agenda with a goal of not just conferring special rights for Christians but effectively ending democracy itself. Because as we're also going to see, just as you can't separate the GOP establishment from the theocratic CNP, you can't separate the GOP's party-wide push to overturn the 2020 election results from the CNP either. The death of representative democracy in the US is very much a 'God'-ordained project. Read more »

Miscellaneous Archives

Thyssen LogoUncle Sam and The Swastika The Third Reich as historical outgrowth of multi-national corporate capitalism; the financing and arming of Nazi Germany. Read more »