Newly released documents pertaining to the assassination of John F Kennedy reveal that the FBI tracked Cleveland mobsters and even strippers before and after the president’s assassination.
The documents were released to the public on October 26th, revealing formerly classified information.
Some of the material released reveal information gathered on leads as far back as Kennedy’s election campaign.
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Cleveland-based FBI agents, who along with state and federal agents across the country assisted in the investigation, talked to anyone who may have had even a sliver of information related to the president’s assassination. Documents reveal that local agents sought out strippers they thought may have information and examined connections to organized crime and communism.
[…] The materials gathered by the FBI, CIA and other agencies reveal some of the leads they pursued to identify motives and connections that assassin Lee Harvey Oswald – and Oswald’s killer, Jack Ruby – had leading up to Kennedy’s death.
Cleveland.com combed through the more than 6,000 documents listed in the National Archives that were released in 2017 — up through Oct. 26 — to look for local references. The federal government is still reviewing records related to the assassination and has promised to release more in the coming months. It released more documents this month
Cleveland and Northeast Ohio characters mentioned in the documents released up through Oct. 26 can be considered marginal at best. Many of the files with Cleveland references were created before he was killed; some investigations even took place before he ran for president.
FBI probes on sympathizers of the Castro regime and mobsters played a major role in the investigation.
Cleveland.com lists several probes of interest, including strippers and suspected organized crime links.
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Three days after Kennedy’s death, FBI agent John Barrett contacted a source – an unidentified bar owner – and asked if he had any information. It appeared he did not, but the bar owner said he discussed Ruby’s killing of Oswald with his girlfriend, “Taffy Twist,” according to a Nov. 27, 1963 memo.
“Taffy Twist” is described as a former stripper who lived at the Colony Hotel, but “the source knows that Taffy has no info concerning subject …”, the memo states.
Barrett wrote in another memo dated Jan. 3, 1964, that the FBI was looking for a stripper known as “Yum Yum.” The woman, whose real name was Stella Kalifa, had reportedly worked for Ruby in Dallas.
By the time Barrett was looking for her, “Yum Yum” was working at Roxy Musical Bar, then an adult entertainment house on East 9th Street at Chester Avenue.
[…] Dominick Bartone was a Cleveland reprobate who had connections to the Teamsters, including famed official Jimmy Hoffa and local official Nunzio Louis “Babe” Triscaro.
Rick Porrello, the current Lyndhust police chief who has written books about the Cleveland Mafia, described Bartone as a mob associate and a con artist who muscled his way into businesses and ran them dry.
Bartone is referenced multiple times in the JFK files, which reveal the FBI’s knowledge of his importing sugar from Cuba to his business running guns to the Dominican Republic. The schemes appeared to be part of the Mafia’s attempts to appease anyone in power to keep mob-backed Cuban casinos in operation.
The FBI files show the agency had multiple sources as it tracked Bartone’s doings in Cleveland, Miami and outside the U.S. But the majority of references to Bartone were related to events that took place prior to Kennedy’s assassination.
One memo from 1959, documents an FBI source telling an agent that Bartone and a man named Jack La Rue went to Cuba that year to meet William Alexander Morgan, a Toledo man who went to the island country to fight for Castro.
Sources also told agents that Bartone and La Rue — which some have said was an alias for Jack Ruby — tried to sell transport planes to Castro and inquired about selling combat jackets to Cuba.
Cleveland.com profiles several other probes it considers to be “marginal at best,” but further releases are expected in oncoming months.
What else will turn up?
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