Conspiracy Nation -- Vol. 6 Num. 90

("Quid coniuratio est?")


Double Cross by Sam and Chuck Giancana. (New York: Warner Books, 1992)

Either (a) Salvatore Momo "Mooney" Giancana was lying to his little brother Chuck when he told him these stories, or (b) little brother Chuck, co-author of this book, is lying to his readers, or (c) these stories are substantially correct. I opt for "c" -- these stories are substantially correct.

The University of Illinois, besides its notoriety as home of "the Chief", a student who dresses in the supposed costume of an American Indian chief and does funny dances for beered-up sports fans, now has another claim to fame: it has its own connection to the murder of Marilyn Monroe. (Well, actually, it's the Chicago Circle branch of the University of Illinois that can add this to its resume.) "Mooney said the CIA and Outfit [Mafia] shared the talents of a University of Illinois chemist and researcher, a man whose lethal chemical concoctions had been utilized many times over the years by both organizations."

But to understand the why of Monroe's murder, you have to understand the "double cross" done by the Kennedy clan to Giancana and other mobsters. It is fairly well-known that behind- the-scenes moneymen and others of influence will often back both candidates in an election. That way, whoever wins, the hidden backers still have control; the elected official will be "connected". "Being connected meant you did business with the Outfit [Mafia]. Leon Marcus was connected. Joe Kennedy was connected -- as were Abe Pritzker and Moe Annenberg. According to Mooney, all the Presidents of the United States since Teddy Roosevelt had been connected."

Joe Kennedy, father of JFK, allegedly came to Giancana asking for the mob's help in getting his son elected. "[Joe] Kennedy's ties to the underworld intersected at a hundred points. Besides making a fortune in bootlegging [during Prohibition], Kennedy had made a financial killing in Hollywood in the twenties -- with the help of persuasive behind-the-scenes New York and Chicago muscle." In return for helping get his son elected, Joe Kennedy promised that federal watchdogs would be reined in and that Giancana and his pals would have things easy.

And, according to authors Sam and Chuck Giancana, mobsters did pull out all the stops to help JFK become president.

But here comes the "double cross": Once elected, Giancana and associates took it as a troubling sign that their hated nemesis, Robert F. Kennedy, was appointed Attorney General. This news came to Mooney "like a rabbit punch in the dark... It had occurred to Mooney that Joe Kennedy, 'the wily old bastard,' had had a brainstorm. By putting Bobby in charge of the Justice Department... Bobby would be utilized as henchman, with a virtual army of FBI agents at his disposal to destroy all those to whom the Kennedys owed favors."

"'It's a brilliant move on Joe's part,' [Mooney Giancana] said ruefully. 'He'll have Bobby wipe us out to cover their own dirty tracks and it'll all be done in the name of the Kennedy <<war on organized crime>>. Brilliant. Just fuckin' brilliant.'"

Marilyn Monroe, allegedly, had been exploited by both mobsters and the CIA to compromise world leaders. This would be accomplished, for example, by using surveillance of Monroe's liaisons with these leaders as material for subsequent blackmail. The authors claim that "Marilyn and the President had been connected romantically since the Democratic National Convention -- and that in March of 1962, Bobby Kennedy had become involved with her, as well."

Monroe's career was languishing by June of 1962 and she had become increasingly troubled. "Later, Chuck would surmise that Marilyn Monroe's knowledge of CIA-Outfit collaborative efforts coupled with her increasingly severe emotional instability had become a dangerous combination. And that by July, thanks to a failing relationship with Bobby Kennedy, she had become not only expendable but -- when Mooney received reports of her threats to Bobby Kennedy to 'blow the lid off the whole damn thing' -- a frightening liability, as well."

The CIA, claim the authors, asked Giancana and associates to eliminate Monroe. And Mooney saw this also as an opportunity to get back at the Kennedys: he apparently hoped to have RFK implicated by association in a faked "suicide" of Monroe.

On August 4, 1962, Bobby Kennedy visited Monroe in California, accompanied by a man who may have been a doctor. Mobsters listening in on the meeting say that Monroe became more and more hysterical. Kennedy instructed the man with him to give Monroe a shot to "calm her down". RFK and his companion then left Monroe sedated in her home.

The mob's assassins then moved in for the kill: sometime before midnight, they entered Marilyn's home. "She struggled at first, it was said, but already drugged by the injected sedative... their rubber-gloved hands easily forced her nude body to the bed. Calmly... they taped her mouth shut and proceeded to insert a specially 'doctored' Nembutal suppository into her anus. Then they waited."

"The suppository... prepared by the same Chicago chemist who concocted the numerous chemical potions for the Castro hit, had been a brilliant choice. A lethal dosage of sedatives administered orally, and by force, would have been too risky, causing suspicious bruising during a likely struggle, as well as vomiting..."

Mooney Giancana had hoped that a proper investigation would have unearthed Bobby Kennedy's visit to the starlet's home just prior to her death. "[It] might also be suspected that the attorney general, along with a confederate, had administered a lethal dose of sedatives into Marilyn Monroe's bloodstream."

"Instead, the killers listened over their wiretaps in the hours following the murder as a series of phone calls alerted Bobby Kennedy to Marilyn's death and ultimately mobilized a team of FBI agents to avert the impending disaster..."

What about the assassination of JFK? Was it the mob or the CIA?

"Mooney leaned forward. 'Look, this is one of the Roman gods. This one has two faces... two sides. That's what we are, the Outfit and the CIA... two sides of the same coin. Sometimes our government can't do shit on the up-and-up. Sometimes they need a little trouble somewhere or maybe they need some bastard taken care of... Jesus, they can't get caught doin' shit like that. What if people found out? But we can. Guns, a hit, muscle... whatever dirty work needs to be done. We're on the same side, we're workin' for the same things... we just look different. So... we're two sides of the same coin... If you think we had Truman... let me tell you... we got this deal sewn up. Ike, all he does is play golf.'"

"'So that's what you like about the guy,' Chuck teased."

"'Shit, he's a pigeon... it's Nixon that's got the power. He's the one with the backing of the big money, like Hughes and the guys in California and the oilmen in Texas... Hump says Nixon's gonna call us if he needs a little hardball behind the scenes.'"

"'From now on you can call me Sam Giancana, civil servant.'"

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Aperi os tuum muto, et causis omnium filiorum qui pertranseunt. Aperi os tuum, decerne quod justum est, et judica inopem et pauperem. -- Liber Proverbiorum XXXI: 8-9