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Jim DiEugenio's Upcoming appearances and radio Interviews:
April 13th, Barnes and Noble, Metro Pointe,
901 B South Coast Drive Ste 150, Costa Mesa,
May 4th, Barnes
and Noble, Orange Town & Country
791 South Main Street Suite 100,
NEW DATE! May 18th, Barnes
and Noble Bookstore in Manhattan Gateway Shopping Center 1800 Rosecrans
Avenue Building B, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
October 16-19th Passing the Torch Conference, at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh
November 21-24, November in Dallas, at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas
JFK: The French Connection, by Peter Kross Review by Seamus Coogan
on Lunch with Arlen Specter on January 4, 2012
KENNEDY & ME: A Very Good Book With A Few Pages of Trouble
Jim DiEugenio analyzes and summarizes Larry Hancock's
interesting and unique new book Nexus:
The CIA and Political Assassination
Jim DiEugenio reviews the work of Chris Matthews on the life and death of President Kennedy, including his latest biography, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive hero".
IN DALLAS: LBJ, the Pearl Street Mafia, and the Murder of President
The Connally Bullet Powerful evidence that Connally was hit by a bullet from a different assassin, by Robert Harris
Joseph Green on the late Manning Marable's new full scale biography of Malcolm X.
JFK and the Majestic Papers: The History of a Hoax by Seamus Coogan
- and -
Wikipedia? by JP Mroz and Jim DiEugenio (3 part series)
is Anton Batey?
Exclusive excerpts from Mitchell Warriner's long
awaited new book on
By Douglas Valentine
Copyright August 2000
“Scary” is the word attorney Dr. William Pepper uses to describe the Justice Department’s official report about the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Issued in June 2000 by US Attorney Barry Kowalski, the King Report , which was initiated in 1998 at the request of the King family and Dr. Pepper, completely absolves the federal government of any involvement in a conspiracy to kill the Noble Prize-winning Civil Rights leader and anti-war activist. According to the King Report, James Earl Ray was the lone assassin – and anyone who says otherwise is crazy, a liar, or just out for the money.
This is a scary message, especially if you are an outspoken witness with a different point of view, a member of the King family, or a skeptic conducting research into the King assassination.
“I mean “scary” in a very serious way,” Pepper emphasizes. “The extent to which they papered-over and denied the facts is seriously scary.”
Pepper – who is compiling a list of fifty relevant facts that Kowalski deliberately overlooked in his attempt to rewrite history – should know. For years he has represented the King family in its flawed quest to discover the federal government’s actual role in Dr. King’s assassination. Pepper also is the object of much of the King Report’s artless innuendo, for while Kowalski’s stated purpose is to determine the truth, his true intention is to frighten anyone and everyone, but especially Pepper and the King family, from ever again disputing the official story.
Read the King Report from cover to cover and the message it sends is perfectly clear: no matter what the truth is, if you even suggests that the government was part of a conspiracy to kill Dr. King, the government has the power to twist what you say and destroy your reputation – and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.
What’s It All About, Kowalski?
In making its intimidating point, the King Report focuses on four general subjects:
Kowalski tackles the first two subjects first, and in two separate sections of the King Report he systematically destroys the allegations, and reputations, of Jowers (whose numerous contradictory statements are recounted in dissembled detail) and Wilson (who is portrayed as unstable and unreliable). The primary, unscrupulous tactic Kowalski uses in achieving this result is the sweeping distortion and selective presentation of evidence and facts.
For example, on Page 3 of Part 2 of the King Report, Kowalski makes two assertions. The first is the straightforward statement that Jowers “refused to cooperate with our investigation.” This is a charge that will be repeated over and over again when Kowalski seeks to defame a particular individual. In this case, Kowalski is asserting that Jowers refused to accept an offer of immunity.
The second assertion is a vague generalization that relies heavily on innuendo. Kowalski states that, “In 1993, Jowers and a small circle of friends, all represented by the same attorney, sought to gain legitimacy for the conspiracy allegations by presenting them first to the state prosecutor, then to the media. Other of Jowers’ friends and acquaintances, some of whom had close contact with each other and sought financial compensation, joined the promotional effort over the next several years. For example, one cab driver contacted Jowers’ attorney in 1998 and offered to be of assistance. Thereafter, he heard Jowers’ conspiracy allegations, then repeated them for television and during King v Jowers. Telephone records demonstrate that, over a period of several months, the cab driver made over 75 telephone calls to Jowers’ attorney and another 75 calls to another cab driver friend of Jowers who has sought compensation for information supporting Jowers’ claims.”
The transparent implication of this second assertion is that Jowers’ unnamed attorney concocted a scam to package and sell the contrived conspiracy theory of a small group of hustlers. As proof of this “conspiracy,” Kowalski cites 75 phone calls from an unnamed cab driver to the attorney. We are supposed to believe that all of this is true, because Kowalski is a decent chap who does not name the conniving attorney.
But was Kowalski really trying to protect the reputation of the attorney, while issuing this backhanded slap in the face? The attorney, Lewis Garrison, does not think so. Garrison believes that Kowalski is playing with words and toying with the truth, and he adamantly disputes both of Kowalski’s assertions.
Regarding the first assertion, that Jowers refused to cooperate with Kowalski’s investigation:
Barely three pages into Part Two of the King Report, and already Kowalski stands accused of lying about Jowers’ refusal to cooperate, and of dissembling information about the immunity agreement Jowers was allegedly offered by the State of Tennessee.
Garrison notes that within two days of Kowalski’s promise to obtain immunity from the State of Tennessee, the local District Attorney, John Pierrotti (who was later forced to resign his post for misappropriating funds), made an announcement through the local newspaper that he did not believe Jowers, and would never grant immunity to him.
Once the DA had made public his intentions not to grant immunity to Jowers, why would Garrison believe that Kowalski could obtain it? And knowing that Kowalski was dangling a false promise, why on earth would Garrison want to cooperate with him?
Kowalski also distorted the facts when he stated that Jowers would have been immune from prosecution if, in lieu of a proffer, he had submitted a videotape of his October 1997 meeting with Dexter King, son of the slain Dr. King. Kowalski cites Jowers’ refusal to submit the videotape as proof that he was being untruthful. But, as Bill Pepper is careful to point out, Kowalski was only offering “use” immunity in regard to statements Jowers made on the videotape; Kowalski could not promise that the State of Tennessee would not prosecute Jowers in regard to anything else he said.
According to Garrison, “Kowalski was advised that if he could obtain a grant of immunity from Tennessee, Mr. Jowers would meet with him and answer every question he wanted to ask. We offered videotapes and transcripts of interviews with Jowers and Ray in exchange for immunity. But Kowalski never wanted to interview Jowers. His intention was to attack his credibility along with that of former FBI agent, Wilson.”
Kowalski’s second assertion – that Garrison was the mastermind of a conspiracy of petty crooks – is proof that his unstated intention was to falsely destroy the credibility of everyone associated with Jowers and Garrison. Kowalski himself raises the best example of this dubious tactic when he refers to James Milner, the cab driver who ostensibly made 75 phone calls to Garrison. Kowalski’s implication is that Milner made those 75 calls directly to Garrison, but that implication is not a fact.
“Milner, who knew nothing at all about the assassination, may have called my office 75 times,” Garrison sighs in dismay, “but we never talked 75 times. Five times maybe, but not 75.”
When asked why a US Attorney would stoop so low as to misrepresent the actions of a non-entity, and then elevate those distorted actions to monumental proportions, Garrison suggests that Kowalski had professional help. “There is very little difference between the Report Kowalski submitted and the book written by Gerald Posnor,” he says. Garrison adds that Posnor, whom he describes as “deceptive,” misquoted him in his FDA-approved, conspiracy-debunking book, Killing The Dream.
Curiously, Kowalski credits Posnor as a major contributor to the King Report. But apart from informing every aspect of the King Report with his methodology, which is to ignore any evidence that contradicts his premise, Posnor’s qualifications and motives are suspect. Posnor’s only interest in the King assassination is pecuniary. He never spoke to James Earl Ray, Loyd Jowers, or any members of the King family, and he never attended the King versus Jowers trial.
But for that matter, Kowalski was never at the trial either.
The Motive In His Madness
Nowhere is Kowalski’s adopted methodology of distortion and selective presentation of facts and evidence more evident than in his cursory investigation of Raoul. To the exclusion of all other evidence, Kowalski focuses solely on the theory that Raoul is a Portuguese man living in New York City. Granted, he makes an airtight case that this particular Raoul was not involved in the assassination. But he never searched for any other Raouls, and he disingenuously assumed that because the New York City Raoul had an alibi, Raoul was a figment of James Earl Ray’s criminal imagination.
Some of us are not convinced. However, time and space do not permit an in-depth examination of this aspect of the King Report, or of the section dealing with Donald Wilson, who is composing his own rebuttal. Instead, this article will focus on the weakest part of the King Report: Kowalski’s assertions that there is no evidence of the federal government’s involvement in the King assassination, and that a jury in Memphis was wrong in concluding that there was.
It is important to understand that Kowalski makes his case more through style than substance, by disparaging, discrediting, or simply ignoring anyone or any evidence that in any way casts doubt on the official story that James Earl Ray was the lone assassin of Dr. King. The rampaging US Attorney takes no prisoners in effecting this scorched-earth policy. But while he succeeds, superficially, in discrediting Jowers, Wilson, and notions of Raoul, his argument fails when it attempts to dismiss the evidence and witnesses that convinced the Memphis jury that the federal government was involved in a complex conspiracy to kill Dr. King.
The basic flaw in Kowalski’s argument is his failure to address the overwhelming question: Was institutionalized, government-sanctioned racism one of the reasons Dr. King was assassinated?
You bet it was; and institutionalized, government-sanctioned racism, as represented by the King Report, is one of the main reasons why the federal government will never acknowledge its role in the conspiracy to kill Dr. King.
In order to understand the subtext of the insidious King Report, which is so laden with racial bias that one feels contaminated simply by touching it, one must understand the racial situation as its existed and exists in Memphis, Tennessee, where, according to Lewis Garrison, 80% the people prosecuted by the current DA are black, while 80% of the DA’s staff are white.
Unfortunately for Garrison, the people he often represented, and the people who often were the most convincing witnesses at the King versus Jowers trial, are poor and black. And unfortunately for the King family and the American public, the fact that Garrison was surrounded by poor blacks provided Kowalski with the pretext for a strategy of character assassination, as the basis of a continuing cover-up.
Betty Spates, for example, was a young black woman working as a waitress for Loyd Jowers at his tavern, Jim’s Grill, on 4 April 1968. Jim’s Grill was located on the ground floor of the rooming house from which James Earl Ray allegedly shot Dr. King. Spates in April 1968 was having an affair with Jowers, and in a March 1994 affidavit (taken by William Pepper) she claimed to have seen Jowers pass through the grill with the murder weapon in his hands, moments after King was killed. She is the only person to corroborate this aspect of Jowers’ story, but she is summarily dismissed by Kowalski as “not credible.”
Referred to as “the alleged corroborating witness,” Spates is “not credible” because, Kowalski argues, she stayed in touch with Jowers, was represented by Garrison, and “refused to cooperate” with his investigation. She also is named by Kowalski as one of the money-hungry hustlers in Garrison’s conspiracy of petty crooks. But Spates’ biggest sin is having contradicted herself in a January 1994 statement to the local District Attorney. In that statement she said she was not at the grill at the time King was killed, and that she did not see Jowers with a rifle. Since then she has become “confused” and cannot reconcile her contradictory statements.
Kowalski offers no reason why Betty Spates contradicted herself, or why she became confused, but he does grudgingly acknowledge that on 3 February 1969, she told two bail bondsmen that her “boss man” (Jowers) had killed Dr. King. This February 1969 statement came within a year of the King assassination and should have represented a major breakthrough in the case. It was made long before her association with Garrison as well, and no one offered her money to make it. But, as Kowalski is careful to note, when confronted by police about her allegation, Spates retracted her statement nine days later.
Kowalski says, “Spates’ conduct in 1994 duplicates what she appears to have done in 1969. At both times she made a critical allegation about the assassination but, when confronted by law enforcement officials, denied ever making the allegation and refuted it truth.”
Kowalski chooses to interpret this recurring phenomenon as proof of Spates’ unreliability. But people who actually know her have another interpretation, one that offers a more comprehensive explanation as to why, ever since 4 April 1968, certain witnesses have been hesitant to come forward, why these witnesses have contradicted themselves when confronted by local, state, and federal law enforcement officials, and why crucial evidence has mysteriously vanished or been overlooked.
Racism and Plausibility
Coby Smith was a black revolutionary in Memphis at the time of the assassination of Dr. King. A founder and leader of the Memphis-based Invaders (patterned on the more famous Black Panthers and Blackstone Rangers), Smith says that Betty Spates was “compromised because she was having fun.” In other words, Spates used drugs and engaged in prostitution, and thus the Memphis police held a very heavy hammer over her head. An unwed mother with a bad reputation, she is a typical victim of a racially biased judicial system that sometimes seems to have been established by our Founding Fathers specifically to provide the ruling white class with the on-going pretext it needs to avoid prosecution for its crimes against poor blacks.
The King Report exemplifies this exercise in cognitive dissonance. Kowalski’s main consultant, Gerald Posnor, has made a tens of thousands of dollars by exploiting the King assassination story, but his lily-white motives are never questioned. Spates and her cabal of poor black co-conspirators, on the other hand, are considered unreliable because, according to Kowalski, they sought compensation for their telling their stories.
Kowalski applies this same double standard to Olivia Catling, and for the same reasons. At the King versus Jowers trial, Catling testified that on the evening of 4 April 1968, she heard a gunshot that came from the vicinity of the Lorraine Motel. Located at 450 Mulberry Street, the Lorraine is less than one hundred yards from Catling’s house on the corner of Mulberry and Huling Streets. Upon hearing the shot, Catling ran outside with her two children and saw “a man in a checkered shirt come running out of the alley beside a building across from the Lorraine. The man jumped into a green l965 Chevrolet just as a police car drove up behind him.” The man sped around the corner up Mulberry past her house, but the police ignored the man and blocked off the street, leaving his car free to go the opposite way.
Eyewitness Catling testified that the man she saw was not James Earl Ray. She also testified that she could see a fireman standing across from the motel when the police drove up. She heard the fireman say to the police, “The shot came from that clump of bushes,” indicating a brushy area behind Jim’s Grill, opposite the Lorraine and near the neighborhood fire station.
If one is poor and black and living in Memphis, it takes courage to accuse the local authorities of complicity in the King assassination. But this reality never factors into Kowalski’s equation. It doesn’t matter that no one is offering Olivia Catling movie deals or money for her story; it is solely because she is black and poor that he dismisses her as “inconsistent, and contradicted by several key witnesses.”
Would it surprise you to learn that the “key witnesses” who contradicted Catling are Memphis policemen? Kowalski asked the cops if Catling’s allegations were true, and they said “No.” They would have remembered if someone had run their blockade, or if the firemen had called to them.
Kowalski also cites the fact that Catling waited twenty-five years before stepping forward with her story, and he uses that to imply that she is just another hustler out to make a fast buck.
Former Invader Coby Smith has a more plausible explanation. Smith says that Catling, like so many of her ilk, was unwilling to come forward until 1993 because she was afraid of the police.
One begins to see a pattern developing here, a pattern that indicates either a conspiracy by poor black hustlers under the guidance of a greedy lawyer, as Kowalski contends, or a pattern of obstruction of justice by law enforcement officials, as this writer contends. One makes ones choice depending on ones prejudices. But in making your choice, consider this: just as Olivia Catling did not step forward for twenty-five years, it is equally true that no one from law enforcement sought her testimony on 4 April 1968, when it would have had real significance. Indeed, many leads in the King assassination could have been developed through a house-to-house search and interviews of the many eyewitnesses in the predominantly black neighborhood. But none of that was done. The responsibility for doing those things belonged to law enforcement officials, but according to Kowalski’s skewed way of thinking, people like Betty Spates and Olivia Catling are to blame for not coming forward.
While understanding of white policemen, and willing to give them the benefit of the doubt in every instance, Kowalski invariably derides and stigmatizes lower class blacks, thus personifying the sort of insidious racism that replaced legal segregation and now permeates American society, and which defines and undermines the King Report.
Fear and Loathing in Memphis
One of the biggest threats to the government (in its local, state, and federal manifestations) in its efforts to cover-up its involvement in the King assassination, was and is the possibility that black revolutionaries with insights into the King assassination might step forward. In particular, members of the Invaders had to be intimidated, and so the authorities designed a different method of silencing them.
Enter the FBI and its infamous COINTELPRO Program, which was created to neutralize black power groups through extra-legal methods, including infiltrators, agent provocateurs, planting of false evidence and rumors, and by any other means necessary. Dr. King himself was a primary target of the COINTELPRO Program and at one point, on orders of J. Edna Hoover, FBI agents wrote a letter to King suggesting that he kill himself. “There is only one way out for you,” the message read. “You better take it before your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation.”
The historical record is clear that the FBI and the military aggressively investigated King as an enemy of the state. His movements were monitored; his phones were tapped; his rooms were bugged; derogatory information about his personal life was leaked to discredit him; and he was blackmailed about his extramarital affairs. Thus it is hard to believe that the FBI was not involved in his assassination.
But Kowalski does not discuss the malice aforethought represented by Hoover’s COINTELPRO Program, nor does he mention that the COINTELPRO Program was directed against the Invaders, whom Hoover called “one of the most violent black nationalist extremist groups”.
Nowhere in the King Report does one learn that in July 1967, at the direction of the FBI (and with the assistance of the CIA), the Memphis Police Department (MPD) formed a four-man Domestic Intelligence Unit (DIU) specifically to infiltrate and undermine the Invaders. Nor does Kowalski explain, in this regard, the significance of the January 1968 appointment of Frank Holloman, a 25-year veterans of the FBI, as Chief of Public Safety in Memphis. As Chief of Public Safety, Holloman managed the city’s police and fire departments. Holloman served much of his FBI career in the South, including a tour in Memphis and seven years as inspector in charge of J. Edna Hoover’s Washington office. It also is important to know that the DIU, under Lieutenant Eli Arkin, was Holloman’s top priority.
Assisting the FBI and the MPD DIU was a special detachment of the 111th Military Intelligence Group (MIG), headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Commanded by Major Jimmie Locke, this twenty-member special detachment was assigned to Memphis on 28 March 1968 as part of a Civil Disorder Operation code-named Lantern Strike (under USAINTC OPLAN 100-68). LanternStrike was a training exercise designed to facilitate the working relationship between the 111th MIG, the MPD, the Tennessee National Guard, and the FBI, in their common effort to monitor and, if possible, disrupt any civil disorder that might arise in Memphis as a result of a Sanitation Workers strike..
And civil disorder there was. Dr. King arrived in Memphis on 28 March to lead a march organized by the predominantly black Sanitation Workers, who had been on strike for several weeks. The march began at eleven o’clock and within minutes rioting broke out. Governor Buford Ellington called out the Tennessee National Guard at 12:30 pm. and at 2:00 pm, sixteen year old Larry Payne, a black high school student, was shot and killed by Memphis cops. The policemen claimed that Payne was attempting to loot a service station on South 3rd Street, and that he attacked them with a butcher knife.
The situation degenerated further and by the time the smoke had cleared, Dr. King’s reputation as a proponent of non-violent protest was severely damaged. Wide rifts in Memphis were opened between blacks and whites, and between various segments of the black community itself. There were rumors that an FBI informant, who was also an undercover police spy in the Invaders, had incited the 28 March riot that ended in Payne’s death, and for all these reasons Dr. King was forced to return to Memphis to reclaim his status as an advocate of peaceful civil disobedience.
Kowalski ignores the importance of these events in the assassination of Dr. King. It is irrelevant to him that King and the Invaders formed an alliance in support of the Sanitation Workers, or that ninety percent of the garbage collectors were black. He never mentions the fact that the MPD was composed of 850 officers, of whom a mere 100 were recently appointed blacks; that tension between the white and black policemen was visceral; or that Arkin’s DIU was given the job of infiltrating and monitoring the Sanitation Workers union, King’s entourage, and the Invaders. The few black officers in the DIU who received this unenviable assignment were well known to other members of the black community, and came under intense criticism. For example, DIU undercover officer Edward Redditt, who met Dr. King’s party when it arrived in Memphis on 3 April 1968, was allegedly threatened with his life if he did not decease and desist. The situation was that explosive.
Prelude To An Assassination
Although Kowalski in the King Report seems unaware of the danger in Memphis, the various federal agencies that were monitoring Dr. King and the Invaders were not. Information on the most intimate details of the Sanitation Workers strike, and of the supporting role of Dr. King and the Invaders, was shared freely among them. But the most crucial information was invariably withheld from the subjects of their surveillance. For example, on 1 April 1968, the American Airlines office in Atlanta received a threat from anonymous white caller saying: “Your airline brought Martin Luther King to Memphis and when he comes again a bomb will go off and he will be assassinated.”
The FBI, in what amounted to criminal negligence, notified every law enforcement agency, plus the 111th MIG, but not Dr. King. According to author Gerald McKnight, the orders to keep King in the dark emanated directly from Hoover. Members of the MPD DIU were aware of the threat as well, but they too declined to tell Dr. King.
These issues bring us to one of the most provocative subjects of the Kowalski Report: the role of MPD DIU undercover agent Marrell McCullough in the assassination of Dr. King. For according to Loyd Jowers, McCullough was one of four people, along with MPD Homicide Chief N. E. Zachary, MPD Lieutenant Earl Clark, and Clark’s unnamed deceased partner, who plotted King’s assassination at Jim’s Grill. As fate would have it, McCullough also was the first person to reach Dr. King’s side after he was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. Thus he deserves special attention.
Described as “short, stocky, and dark,” Marrell McCollough was born in Tunica, Mississippi in 1944, and after earning a general equivalency high school degree, he enlisted in the US Army, serving “mostly” as a Military Policeman. According to what may or may not be accurate military records, McCullough was discharged in February 1967 and then fell off the radar screen for six months, until he entered the MPD police academy in September 1967. In February 1968 he became a full-fledged policeman and was assigned as an undercover officer in Eli Arkin’s DIU. His code name was “Max” and his job was to infiltrate the Invaders, which he did. Because he owned a VW hatchback, and because he claimed to be a Vietnam veteran, McCullough was made Minister of Transportation by Coby Smith.
McCullough’s FBI reports are still available in FBI archives, but most of his police reports were destroyed by the MPD in 1976, after the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against City of Memphis. The files that survive indicate that McCullough liked to smoke pot with the Invaders, with whom he consorted for over a year, until he set up a drug bust in which many top Invaders leaders were entrapped. After that McCullough stayed in the MPD in other roles until he joined the CIA in 1974.
Along with the missing reports, there are several reasons to consider McCullough as a suspect in the King assassination. To begin with, he misrepresented himself to the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA). McCullough was called to testify before the HSCA because he had attended a meeting with the Invaders and King on the night before the assassination, and because he was still on the premises of the Lorraine Motel when King was shot on 4 April 1968 – even though the Invaders has been ordered to leave by Reverend Jesse Jackson and Memphis-based Reverend Billy Kyles. In fact, McCullough was the first person to reach King. As he explained to the HSCA, “I ran to (King) to offer assistance, to try to save his life.” McCullough said he pulled a towel from a nearby laundry basket and tried to stop the bleeding.
Also testifying before the HSCA was FBI agent William Lawrence. Now deceased, Lawrence was serving in Memphis in April 1968, but testified that he did not know McCollough. However, another FBI agent who was serving in Memphis in April 1968, Howell S. Lowe, told reporter Marc Perrusquia that, “Lawrence recruited McCollough well before King’s murder,” and that the FBI “used McCollough to report on campus radicals at Memphis State University, now the University of Memphis.”
Supporting Lowe’s claim was DIU chief Eli Arkin, who told Perrusquia that he had selected McCullough “at Lawrence’s recommendation.” According to Perrusquia, “the FBI arranged McCullough’s placement in MPD Intelligence Squad.”
Not only did FBI agent Lawrence lie to the HSCA, so did McCullough. He identified himself to the Committee as a “Police Officer” from Memphis, Tennessee, not as a CIA officer. When the HSCA asked McCollough if he had any relationship with CIA in April 1968, he said “no”. He also said “no” when asked, “Did you have any relationship with any other intelligence agency?”
McCullough lied to Congress about his affiliation with the CIA and the FBI for one reason and one reason alone: the HSCA had reason to believe that McCullough was the FBI informant and MPD undercover agent who provoked the 28 March 1968 riot that resulted in the death of Larry Payne, and forced King to return to Memphis for his rendezvous with death.
In the absence of evidence to the contrary, however, McCullough was exonerated by the HSCA. But in view of his perjury, the question looms larger than ever. As Perrusquia notes, “The thoroughness of HSCA’s investigation now is open to question. Has McCollough told all he knows, or is he hiding something?”
McCullough & The Plot At Jim’s Grill
Barry Kowalski ignores McCullough’s history of perjury in the King Report, but he is forced to confront the serious allegation Loyd Jowers made against McCullough. Kowalski deals with these allegations in characteristic style. According to Kowalski, Jowers was “suspiciously vague” when he said that he (Jowers) had met at Jim’s Grill with McCullough, Homicide Chief Zacharay, police Lieutenant Clark, and Clark’s deceased partner, to plot the assassination of Dr. King.
Of course Kowalski found no evidence to support the allegation. He talked to Zacharay, who “fully cooperated” and denied the allegation. Zachary said he “may have been” at Jim’s Grill later on the evening of 4 April, but his confusion was understandable and Zachary was believed. Clark’s wife said her husband was at home when King was killed, and she was believed too. Clark’s deceased partner was unavailable for comment, leaving only Marrell McCullough.
At the time of his interview with Kowalski, McCullough was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Considering that fact, and the fact that the CIA has been implicated in the King assassination by members of the Jowers-Garrison-Spates cabal, Kowalski asked McCullough to take a polygraph exam. McCullough “cooperated” and agreed to take the test, which was administered by the Secret Service. In Kowalski’s own words, McCullough was found to be “not deceptive” when he denied plotting to harm Dr. King. “However, the polygraph was “inconclusive” as to his denial that he ever met with other police officers at Jim’s Gill.” 
“Not deceptive” implies something less than truthfulness, and to someone other than Kowalski, “inconclusive” polygraph results would certainly raise some doubts. But McCullough, like Zachary and the other Memphis cops, “cooperated” and therefore was believed, despite his inconsistencies. But only by using this double standard is Kowalski able to dismiss the provocative claim made by Jowers that McCullough played the crucial role of ”liaison” between the various elements of the assassination cabal.
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Forensics can be a complicated subject, yet Fiester provides the reader with easily understood, accurate, information. Enemy of the Truth: Myths, Forensics and the Kennedy Assassination is so comprehensive in its approach, this work should be used in the instruction of all new crime scene investigators nationwide. William LeBlanc, CFCSI