Wednesday, April 10, 2013

50 Years Since JFK Assassination Retrospective: JFK Assassination Archives Head Fensterwald's Strange Death

In his book Maverick: Fifty Years Of Investigative Reporting, Fred Cook recalled that "In 1968 I joined the Committee to Investigate Assassinations formed by Bernard Fensterwald, Jr., a Washington attorney who had served as a counsel to different Senate committees." Cook noted that after leaving government service, "Fensterwald decided to devote his time to probing assassinations--not just that of President Kennedy, but also the 1968 slayings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy."

In the 1990s, Bernard "Bud" Fensterwald apparently continued to devote his time to investigating the events of November 22, 1963, as the head of the JFK Assassination Archives prior to his death in 1991. And in his early 1990s book, First Hand Knowledge: How I Participated In The CIA-Mafia Murder Of President Kennedy, former CIA operative Robert Morrow described some strange circumstances which apparently surrounded Fensterwald's death:

"Gus Russo...was working on a PBS-Frontline television series about the JFK assassination. Gus told me he had been in Florida interviewing a man whom I had identified as a possible CIA bag-man in the conspiracy. This man, also a former Air Force Colonel, was a good friend and former business associate of Col. Howard Burris...

"Gus Russo felt the man was ready to talk about the assassination and, based on this assessment, the head of the JFK Assassination Archives in Washington, D.C., attorney Bud Fensterwald, was ready to head to Florida to interview him. When I heard of Bud's intention, I told Russo...that Bud would never be allowed to approach the man and, if Bud attempted to go through with the interview, he would be killed...Bud asked me to set up a luncheon date with the Colonel...

"I set up the luncheon date for the 11th of April, 1991, with the Colonel, and told Bud. He said he would send me the money for the tickets and meet me at the Palm Beach airport just before noon...Just days before I was to meet Bud, I received a call from Bud's secretary that he had died the previous night. Before I could do anything, Bud's body was cremated and an autopsy had not been performed..."

(Downtown 8/4/93)

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