Truth or Dare: the Lives and Lies of Richard Case Nagell Richard Case Nagell -- had inside knowledge of the JFK assassination?

By Dave Reitzes
August 5, 1930

Born in Greenwich Village, New York City.(1)

August 5, 1948

Enters US Army. Assigned as a paratrooper to Fort Bragg, North Carolina.(2)

Late 1949 or early 1950

Studied Russian at Fort Bragg and an extension course in Mandarin Chinese from the University of California.(3)

Circa 1950-51

Monitored Chinese technical broadcasts for five months.(4)

August 1, 1951

"Honorably discharged as a sergeant in Fort Benning, Ga., in order to accept a commission in the US Army Reserve Corps. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant on August 2, 1951 and continued to serve until he resigned his commission as a Captain in October 29, 1959 in Fort Dix, NJ. It is alleged that he served the nation honorably in Korea, being awarded the various campaign ribbons, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart with two clusters."(5)

Autumn 1951

Arrives in Teagu, South Korea, as second lieutenant. Assigned as rifle platoon leader to 24th Infantry Division.(6)

December 25, 1951

Promoted to first lieutenant. Suffers first wounding -- a grenade fragment in the leg and a flesh wound to the head.(7)

August 1952

Rotated back to the US and assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division. Requests reassignment to Korea.(8)

December 6, 1952

Second wounding -- hand grenade fragments to the leg and face.(9)

December 11, 1952

Returns to combat.(10)

June 11, 1953

Sustains third and most serious wounding -- fragments from a mortar or artillery shell to the face and buttocks; sustains a concussion. Flown to Tokyo hospital.(11)

Early July 1953

Returns to combat.(12)

July 15, 1953

Following the war's end, receives a promotion to captain, backdated to this point in time, making Nagell the youngest American to receive a battlefield commission to captain during the course of the war.(13)

July 27, 1953

Korean War ends. By war's end, Nagell had seen action on approximately 175 battle patrols, had received three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, the Korean Service Medal, and the UN Service Ribbon.(14)

Late summer 1953

Assigned to Army Language School in Monterey, California, to study Japanese, Russian, and Spanish.(15)


Sole survivor of plane crash; survived because of parachuting skills. Not seriously injured.(16)

July 1, 1954

Assigned to the Army's Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) School at Fort Holabird, Maryland.(17)

November 28, 1954

Sole survivor of another plane crash. Flown to Bolling Air Force Base Hospital, Washington DC. Jaw fractured severely on both sides, sustains skull fracture and severe concussion, leaving a permanent depression on the left side of his head and "organic brain damage." According to his psychiatrist, Dr. Edwin Weinstein, Nagell's "judgment and perception of reality was seriously disturbed so that he could not accurately distinguish right from wrong . . ." Briefly in a coma.(18)

November 30, 1954

Reported as "holding his own" by Baltimore Sun.(19)

December 1954

Reported by Washington Post to be making a "remarkable recovery."(20) Nagell's mother would later remark that her son had a brilliant career in the Army until severely injured in an accident in November, 1954 and that after the accident he underwent a severe personality change and has been in continued difficulties since then."(21)

December 25, 1954

First conscious memory since plane crash.(22)

December 27, 1954

Approved for future duty with the CIC.(23)

Early January 1955

Transferred to Walter Reed Army Hospital; hospitalized for four months.(24)

March 27, 1955

Psychiatrist M. G. McAulay notes, "I agree with the opinion expressed by earlier observers that this officer has no evidence of psychosis or disabling neurosis. He is immature, manipulative, and rather passive-aggressive in approach to people. I agree that this patient is a management problem. He does not require further neuropsychiatric hospitalization."(25)

May 1955

Reported back to duty at the CIC's intelligence training center.(26)

August 12, 1955

Designated a military Counter Intelligence officer.(27)

August 15, 1955

Graduates from Army Intelligence School, Fort Holabird. Assigned as a CIC investigator (Special Agent) operating in civilian clothes in Los Angeles.(28)

September 22, 1955

Granted "Top-Secret" security clearance.(29)

August 1955-early 1956

Main task is to interview civilians, including relatives, friends, and acquaintances of individuals under investigation by the military.(30)

Winter of 1955-56

Allegedly recruited as a CIA informant by Herbert Ernest Leibacher, an agent of the CIA's Los Angeles office, and Joseph DaVanon, later identified by Nagell from photographs as an official from CIA headquarters.(31) A CIA memorandum of April 7, 1964, identifies both Leibacher and DaVanon as employees of the Los Angeles Field Office, but neither man recalls Nagell.(32) CIA files show no interest in Nagell prior to his September 1963 arrest.(33) According to Nagell, he would serve as an unpaid confidential informant for the CIA "off and on" until his resignation from the Army in October 1959.(34)

Early 1956

Due to problems encountered in the field allegedly due to physical disfigurement, assigned a desk job at Army CIC. A review would cite Nagell's "diligence and imagination," but concluded, "His character can best be described as undecided and spontaneous." His head injury is written to have brought on a "lack of self confidence." Undergoes plastic surgery to partially correct disfigurement. Writes to the Department of the Army requesting an overseas assignment or a return to the infantry.(35)

May 5, 1956

Assigned to Field Operations Intelligence in the Far East. Serves as advisor to ROK Army in Korea, concerned with intelligence activities.(36) Allegedly served as chief intelligence adviser to the HID (Korean intelligence).(37)

Unknown date, 1957

Allegedly couriers treasury plates from US to Japan for counterfeiting North Korean currency.(38)

February 7, 1957

Transferred out of FOI at his request. Reassigned to Field Operations Intelligence's Far East headquarters in Tokyo, to the 441st Counter Intelligence Corps Group.(39)

October-December 1957

Supervises review of Top-Secret Military Intelligence files in Tokyo.(40) Brother-in-law Louis Gambert would report that Nagell "had multiple stashes of documents from those files. He wasn't supposed to have them, but he'd gotten them on film. It was secret information, and I figure he wanted to use it as a lever, by threatening to disclose certain things later on."(41)

November 1957

Allegedly recruited by a John Lampert into CIA project aimed at getting Soviet colonel Nikolai Eroshkin to defect.(42) This was allegedly a project of Desmond FitzGerald's, or Nagell had ostensibly been told it was.(43) Eroshkin was the military attache to the Soviet embassy and suspected of being the legal GRU representative in Japan.(44) According to Nagell, Lee Harvey Oswald is involved in this project. According to Nagell, Oswald and another American visit the Soviet embassy in Tokyo. According to Nagell, Oswald is photographed by the Japanese as he enters the Soviet embassy.(45) According to Nagell, he is introduced to Oswald under an alias. According to Nagell, the two of them meet on one occasion along with Dr. Chikao Fujisawa.(46) According to Nagell, he and Oswald frequent the Queen Bee together.(47) He claims that Oswald had an older girlfriend named Midorii who lived in the suburb of Yokohama. Nagell claims to have been "on loan" to the CIA at this time.(48)

January 5, 1958

Nagell begins his alleged crusade against US military injustices.(49) Sends a letter to the Army's inspector general claiming that the colonel who commanded his unit, Colonel William Rainford, was unfit for duty. Alleges "misconduct on the part of other military personnel in the US Army, Japan. Nagell charged personnel injustices, incompetence, corruption, mismanagement, mal-administration, and lack of opportunity to present fully all matters relative to his complaints." Alleges that "Efficiency Progress Reports submitted by him concerning other military personnel had been altered and changed by superior officers."(50)

Early January 1958

Allegedly warned by friend Jun Murai, head of the Tohoku Regional Police Bureau and a "Mr. Masui" of the Crime Prevention Section of Japan's National Police Agency that the Japanese had penetrated the Eroshkin project and that it would be better for Nagell to disassociate himself from it.(51)

Circa January 10, 1958

Drops out of alleged Eroshkin defection plan.(52)

January 11, 1958

Colonel Rainford refers Nagell to the US Army Hospital in Tokyo for a psychiatric evaluation, due to Nagell's "attitude over being reported for having his fiancee in the Bachelor's Quarters." No neurosis or psychosis noted, but Nagell is relieved of all sensitive duties following release.(53)

January 16, 1958

Given psychiatric evaluation at US Army Hospital in Tokyo "because he had become outspoken, antagonistic, and disrespectful in connection with a delinquency report given to him for having his Japanese fiancee in the BOQ. Psychiatrist noted had no evidence of neurosis or psychosis."(54)

February 3, 1958

Colonel Rainford recommends another psychiatric evaluation "for having written letters to the Department of the Army, US Senator Jacob Javits, and columnist Drew Pearson, complaining of alleged security violations within the Counter Intelligence Corps."(55)

Circa February 4, 1958

By his own account, participates in the alleged kidnapping and murder of M/Sgt. Emmett Dugan,(56) "suspected of having defected in place to the Chinese."(57)

February 13, 1958

Sent again to US Army Hospital in Tokyo for psychiatric evaluation, "for making allegations about security violations directly to the Department of Army, instead of through regular Army channels . . . no disease found."(58)

March 24, 1958

Marries Mitsuko Takahashi, whose father he was allegedly investigating at the US embassy in Tokyo.(59)

April 21, 1958

Informed he is being investigated for compromise of classified material.(60) A subordinate had claimed that Nagell "permitted Japanese Nationals to have unauthorized access to classified defense information."(61) Relieved of all CIC duties due to "mental instability," and all security clearances revoked.(62) Nagell once noted, "During the period of my military service I had occasion to sign numerous US Government loyalty oaths, and to perform in capacities for which I could now be prosecuted if it were disclosed that I was a Communist at the time."(63) Nagell stated on several occasions that he had been performing services for at least one foreign government at this time.(64) He specified to Bernard Fensterwald in 1978 that he had worked for the Soviets while a member of the CIC,(65) reportedly told Leavenworth cellmate David R. Kroman that "during his entire service for the US Government . . . he was an agent for the Russian government,"(66) and informed Jim Garrison that he had functioned as a double agent.(67)

July 15, 1958

Returns to US. Upon recommendation of the Pentagon's Intelligence-Secirity Department, he is removed from Military Intelligence and reassigned to Fort Dix, New Jersey, as a basic infantryman.(68)

August 28, 1958

Brings long "contestation" about illegal Army activities to inspector general in Washington, including "his allegations of security violations within Military Intelligence and the injustices he felt had been dealt to him by his CIC superiors in retaliation for his 'disclosures' in Japan."(69)

August 29, 1958

Assigned to understudy a first lieutenant in a basic training company.(70)

October 5, 1958

Writes first letter of resignation to the Army.(71)

October 14, 1958

Withdraws letter of resignation, after allegedly being informed "that the conditions of his current assignment would not be permanent, and that the matter discussed in his 28 August 1958 letter to the inspector general would be investigated."(72)

April 14, 1959

Declared ineligible by Army for further duty with CIC.(73)

April-June 1959

Allegedly contacted by Professor Chikao Fujisawa by mail at Fort Dix. Allegedly notifies the Trenton, New Jersey FBI office. FBI allegedly suggests Nagell meet with Fujisawa. Allegedly meets with Fujisawa twice in New York. Fujisawa allegedly seeks to recruit him as Soviet agent, purportedly even resorting to attempted blackmail. Nagell allegedly scares him off by claiming to be wearing a wire. Trenton FBI allegedly meet with Nagell at Fort Dix and express the opinion that Fujisawa is not a Soviet agent.(74)

June 1959

First child, Teresa Dolores, born at Fort Dix.(75)

August 31, 1959

Sends another letter of resignation to Army, stating "a wish to further his civilian education and compassionate reasons of a personal nature."(76) According to a later interview, Nagell's wife insisted that he resign.(77)

October 29, 1959

Receives honorable discharge, moves with wife to Los Angeles.(78)

November 20, 1959

Second child, Robert Lamont, is born.(79)

December 14, 1959

Starts work as investigator for the state of California, in the Fraud Division of the state's Department of Employment. Allegedly becomes a paid informant for the CIA.(80) "During the period 1959-1963, as a commissioned officer of the United States Army and as a civilian, I acted off and on as a confidential informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), both at my own volition and upon solicitation by the FBI."(81)

June 20, 1960

"There is a contact report in the file dated June 20, 1960, which states that 'this veteran has visited the office several times in a highly emotional state, he is completely impatient, intolerant of any delay, and suspicious of people. He seems to have a nervous condition. He stated that he has written letters to Senator Kuchel of California."(82)

December 1959-February 1962

At some unknown point during this period, undergoes first separation from Mitsuko.(83)

March 31, 1961

Transferred to California's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).(84) Has "said that certain contract work with the CIA continued during his tenure as a liquor control investigator and that California's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control itself had a 'wide range of functions' that went beyond what is generally known. John Margain said that Nagell was often still utilized by Military Intelligence in 'chaperoning high-ranking Japanese visitors -- despite Nagell's official resignation from the Army in 1959."(85)

February 1962

Mitsuko leaves with children, moves to downtown LA apartment.(86)

April 1962

Steve Roberts, the "West Coast representative" of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, testifies before a House Un-American Activities Committee panel in Los Angeles, and may have been contacted or surveilled by Nagell at this time." Nagell would describe Roberts as "a friend of mine in LA. When I first met him, he was a functionary in the Socialist Workers Party [SWP], and I was definitely working for an American intelligence agency. I knew him in both an official and an unofficial capacity."(87)

April-May 1962

"Having trouble with his marriage, Nagell twice checks himself into Veterans Administration" Psychiatric Hospital in Brentwood.(88)

May 15, 1962

VA psychiatrist Harvey D. Weintraub reports that Nagell "apparently has been doing well in his job in spite of his marital difficulties until just recently when a more acute crisis arose causing him to feel that he could no longer hold his job. He is at present toying with the idea of resigning. His wife apparently is a highly unstable individual who has refused to take care of their two children, has frequently deserted the family for varying periods of time and consistently refuses to seek any help for herself. The patient has consistently felt that a lot of the problem was his fault and has obviously been turning his anger against his wife upon himself. He has had fantasies of killing his wife and/or himself. He complains of a recurrent nightmare which he has been having for the past two weeks in which he is back on a hill in Korea being attacked by the enemy and insistently radioing his superiors for aid and assistance. They refuse to send him any reinforcements and merely insist that he stay on the hill and defend it. This is approximately an accurate description of an actual situation in which he was involved. He complains that he is unable to understand why he having this type of dream when his current problem concerns his marital difficulties."(89)

"When examined at the hospital in Los Angeles, doctor noted that on occasions when examined, he was uncomposed, tearful, and admitted to suicidal preoccupation."(90)

May 31-June 1, 1962

Runs into his wife at the New Ginza bar in Little Tokyo on May 31. He sits down beside her, drinks several glasses of saki, then takes her back to her apartment on South Union Avenue. An argument erupts when she will not let him inside. He kicks in the door, chases Mitsuko onto the front lawn. The apartment manager takes Mitsuko into his apartment and calls the police. Nagell arrested on a drunk and disorderly charge. Mitsuko tells police she is planning "to start legal action for divorce."(91)

June 8, 1962

Suspended by ABC, "by reason of unsatisfactory service," and/or "for unauthorized release of information to the Los Angeles Police Department."(92)

"It is alleged that he was fired . . . for stating to the press that the Los Angeles vice squad was 'shaking down' too many businesses."(93)

"The record also alleges that he worked for approximately one year for an unpopular political party. The unpopular party being implied as the Communist Party. Nagell, in the course of his interview, emphatically stated that he was not and had never been a communist. He further stated that the association was alleged to have been made because he had carried some communist propaganda material for distribution in Mexico at the request of a friend. He admits that this was poor judgment and feels that he was used."(94)

June 27, 1962

On June 8, 1962, Nagell was suspended by the ABC, "by reason of unsatisfactory service," and/or "for unauthorized release of information to the Los Angeles Police Department."(98) On June 27, Nagell was dismissed.(99)

An FBI file reports a statement from Nagell saying he had lost his job after "having been accused of taking a $20,000 bribe," which he said he had turned down.(100) Nagell told his brother-in-law Robert Gambert that he'd lost his job over an investigation into organized crime in relation to a Lake Tahoe, Nevada, casino.(101)

Another government file notes, "It is alleged that [Nagell] was fired . . . for stating to the press that the Los Angeles vice squad was 'shaking down' too many businesses."(102) Nagell affirmed this in sworn testimony at his El Paso trial: "I was dismissed for making a statement to the newspapers."(103) A 1969 Military Intelligence report includes Nagell's admission that he lost his job "for unauthorized release of information to the newspapers and the Los Angeles Police Department."(104)

July 1962

"Nagell contacts FBI in Los Angeles."(105)

July 16, 1962

Shot in the chest, allegedly at a Southern California beach "while making a meet" between Malibu and Oxnard; drives himself to Wadsworth VA Hospital in LA. Refuses to identify assailants or furnish information to police.(106) Friend Bill Lynn says that Nagell "was very close-mouthed about the circumstances. Maybe it was organized crime. Or an LA cop. Or a Communist." Friend John Margain says, "He told me he'd been investigating some guy with a prison record who was not supposed to have a liquor license. He shot Nagell. But he said it was never reported that he shot the other guy, too." Nagell's relatives believed the shooting had something to do with the Nevada casino situation. Dr. Edwin Weinstein reports the shooting as having had something to do with "hoodlum threats." Neil Spotts of the LAPD's Organized Crime Bureau told Dick Russell that the police had never been able to come up with anything conclusive: "Different accounts indicated that he'd been shot by a police officer over some kind of Communist thing, or even that it was a self-inflicted wound. It was always something Nagell didn't want to talk about."(107) Says Greenstein, "It was like a little misunderstanding with some of the local hoodlum elements, a little falling-out."(108) Not necessarily related is something Nagell mentioned to Arthur Greenstein about "an unreconstructed Nazi who owned a club called the Pink Pussycat." Greenstein says, "I guess the scandal was that the fellow got a liquor license, because he was into many things, many illegal activities." He would write to Arthur Greenstein that he had "earned" the gunshot wound in the "vicinity of Malibu for indiscretion."(109) He "was discharged for what he describes as an indiscretion wherein he describes he revealed information that he should not have revealed."(110) "It is noted in the file a report on July 16, 1962, he called at the Los Angeles VA Wadsworth Hospital with a self-inflicted gun shot wound in his chest."(111)

Circa July 23, 1962

Approaches clinical social worker Charlotte Jackson at the VA hospital, "demanding that the police be contacted regarding the return of his wallet, notebook, and car." He explained "that he had been shot in his car and that now he would talk to the police and requested that the Internal Affairs Department of the police be notified." Retrieves possessions on his own.(112) Files Civil Rights complaint against police. Withdraws request for hearing so he could get money from State of California consisting of retirement contributions and accumulated leave.(113)

Late July or early August 1962

Drives cross-country to his sister's home in Queens, New York. His car is allegedly riddled with bullet holes. He tells his brother-in-law Robert Gambert that he had to contact the FBI in New York, then later claims that he had done so.(114) They reportedly asked him to cooperate by providing them certain types of information.(115) Nagell allegedly asked the FBI's help in obtaining an investigative position for the government. The FBI reportedly challenged his loyalty to the US, and he ostensibly refused to provide the requested information because of their failure to help him. He subsequently drove back to Los Angeles.(116)


Allegedly approached in Washington DC by "an individual whom he felt was either a Special Agent of the FBI or a Soviet Espionage Agent," who "talked [about] Domestic Intelligence and also talked of giving him an intelligence assignment." "Nagell said he went to the above bar" and contacted the same person as before. He said he was told to go to a particular bar in Miami, Florida, and wear a red sweater, to meet another contact."(117)

August 17, 1962

Gets Mexican tourist card in Los Angeles.(118)

August 24, 1962

Crosses Mexican border at El Paso.(119) Enters Mexico through Ciudad, Juarez.(120)

Late August 1962

Meets Arthur Greenstein at the Hotel Luma in Mexico City.(121) Greenstein says, "He told me there was a subpoena out for him in California that he was trying to get away from, it had to do with a bribery charge against him."(122) Greenstein recalls Nagell having a number of documents in the trunk of his car: "All these cardboard boxes, he said they were just documents proving what a shafty deal he got out of California's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control."(123) One evening, Greenstein and Nagell were approached by some individuals whom Greenstein described as "not Mafia but hoodlums from California. They wanted him to ride around town late at night. Before he left to go with them, he gave me a phone number on a match cover. I raised the question, is there some danger here? And he said, 'I'll be back, there'll be no problem.' But he secretly wrote down the number, saying there was somebody at the US embassy I should contact [in case something happened to him]."(124) Does "a lot of whispering over the bar of the lounge" with bartender Franz Waehauf, according to Greenstein. Waehauf reportedly told Nagell how he could dispose of his car -- by having it dismantled for parts -- apparently in relation to his ostensibly planned renunciation of his US citizenship.(125) If Nagell can be believed Waehauf worked for Czech intelligence.(126)

September 1962

"Nagell claims in September 1962 he was invited to attend reception at the Soviet Embassy [in Mexico City?]. He states he contacted CIA at either Langley, Virginia, or Elwood, Virginia, and used the name of Joe Cramer or Kramer during this contact with CIA. He said he told CIA the above information and wanted some advise [sic] as to whether to go through with such an assignment. CIA told him to see the FBI."(127) In Mexico City, allegedly refuses offer from foreign government to participate in criminal offense against US.(128) Reportedly contacts FBI in Mexico City.(129)

Meets "Robert Graham" at party hosted by women from Chilean and Columbian embassies. Arthur Greenstein remembers "Graham" -- known only to him as "Bob" -- as "a tall American who wore glasses and looked to be in his midthirties." He "introduced himself to Greenstein as 'Bob' and said he was a salesman or representative of an American book publisher."(130) Bob spoke "gringo Spanish in an overly slow but grammatically correct way," according to Greenstein. "The guy was coming on like a real bon vivant, kissing the girls and drinking fairly heavily. But in his remarks he seemed to be a right-wing-type individual."(131) "Bob" reportedly told Nagell that "'he'd been with me [Nagell] in Japan,' and they had spent some time together conversing in the Japanese language. Either that night or subsequently, they would discuss Nagell's involvement in the CIA's attempt to get Soviet colonel Nikolai Eroshkin to defect in Tokyo, and Nagell's relationship with Professor Chikao Fujisawa. . . . This was Greenstein's only encounter with Bob. 'Afterwards, Nagell made some disparaging remarks about him to me. He said something like, "There's a typical CIA agent."'" Russell continues, "Nagell said only that Bob would become, for the next year, his CIA 'contact.' Nagell was instructed to take the bait offered by 'a foreign government.'"(132)

According to Dick Russell, "Nagell says that the CIA 'double agent' mission he was about to embark on involved his 'participation in a "disinformation" project directed against the Soviet embassy at Mexico City in 1962 at the onset of the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis.' This participation, he added, led to his 'later indirect involvement in a conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy and other highly placed government officials in September 1963.'" "Nagell has said little more about the man who sent him on his mission, except that Bob was a 'subordinate' CIA officer whose ultimate reporting reached all the way up to Desmond FitzGerald in the CIA hierarchy."(133) "I was really involved heavy with the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis," he would say.(134)

Allegedly signs contract with "Graham," represented as being for employment as CIA contract agent.(135) Nagell referred to him as "Robert Graham" in the Sixties; nevertheless, Dick Russell writes, "If Nagell knew Bob's last name, he has never revealed it. Nor have I been able to ascertain it . . ."(136)

Maria del Carmen is at the party as well. Arthur Greenstein says, "She acted like she was infatuated with Nagell, or at least infatuated with his money. She was like a party girl, a Cuban national of about twenty-five. She had a good office job with the Mexican government. Nagell liked Carmen, because he said, 'She's right there.' I thought what he meant by that was, she was really on the left. Nagell said to me, I think later, that their relationship was not romantic, but that she was with Cuban intelligence and was working with him on some kind of unspecified project."(137)

Former CIA officer Barney Hidalgo knew del Carmen: "In addition to her being a part of our embassy group or conclave that was doing Cuban work, she was a high member of the Communist Party in Mexico."(138) "[S]he was an 'in' for me in the Communist Party. She was in her early twenties. I just met her in a park one day. She played the part of a hooker and I played the part of a guy picking her up, so that nobody was aware of what was going on. We drove off to a safe house, where she gave me all the details I needed." "What I was doing was simply an attack on the Communist Party of the USA. My specialty. When I got through with them, they didn't trust anyone. . . . I simply got about ten garbage trucks and about twenty to thirty Mexican police, to whom ten bucks and a quart of liquor was quite a bit. Then, one night, at the same time they raided every single office of the Communist Party. Just walked in and took everything, desks and all, and put it in the garbage trucks. Then they delivered it all to a certain place, dumped it there, and drove off. That was the end of their job." Did Hidalgo think del Carmen was really CIA? "I don't know, she might have been an agency mole into the Communist Party. That's the only way I can think of, because she was introduced to me as someone that can help you. I was told that name. 'You go there and contact her, so she knows you're American intelligence.' If she was truly Communist Party, she would not have talked to me as a stranger just like that.'"(139)

"At a meeting with Nagell in 1978," writes Dick Russell, "I first raised the subject of Maria del Carmen. Nagell was taken aback . . . 'She wasn't CIA,' he said. 'If she was ever CIA, she wasn't really CIA. She was a Cuban who worked for the Mexican Treasury Department, and she was pro-Cuban.'"(140)

September 28, 1962

Appears at US embassy, Mexico City, "tense, nervous, agitated and antagonistic. . . . stated he had been approached in Mexico City for recruiting, refused to say by on behalf of what country. Stated that one job of this sort would be in New York. He volunteered that he fully realized that what he was saying could be used against him in any court or prosecution. He stated that he was 'bitter, disgusted, disillusioned, and disaffected.' Stated he knew the full significance of the word disaffected. He stated that if he did go to some other country, it would cost the United States millions. He stated that he was 'through being a good citizen' and thought he had gotten a 'dirty deal all around.'"(141)

Suggests later in a letter to Arthur Greenstein that he had been acting on someone else's instructions "to renounce citizenship, change coats, talk loudly . . . become a provocateur in [a] simple ploy that was so simple it almost backfired." Apparently he was told something to the effect of "It's in the vital interests of our national security." He described himself cryptically as someone "on a mission for the notorious XXX," who had done "a great job of spreading suspicions of being a spook around while real moves are as subtle as a thumbtack placed on a wooden telephone pole, a feat at which he is also experienced. Subterfuges are well-thought out, well-planned and well-executed."(142) Nagell would also write Greenstein, "DIA is Defense Intelligence Agency. Leaving the service? Build new career at DIA. Fringe benefits and plenty of plausible denial. Apply room 2E239, pentagon-shaped building."(143) "Most of my connection in 1962-63 was with the CIA and FBI," Nagell told Dick Russell in 1977, "and there was a reason for it. Some have made it look like I was working for those people per se, but that was not the case. In Mexico City and Miami, some of my 'adventures' were done for specific reasons with a specific objective in mind. I wasn't exactly an amateur in those days, and I had a pretty good idea how things functioned on both sides. I had very high moral principles back then."(144)

October 1, 1962

Appears again at US embassy, Mexico City, "wanting to know what had been done in regard to getting the state of California to pay him the money due him. Was sent to protection section. Asked what section of Embassy he should contact to renounce his United States citizenship. Was advised by collection section that they could not intercede for him in collecting money from the state of

California. Appeared in passport and citizenship section and asked what the penalty would be for going to an Iron Curtain country and what effect it would have on his citizenship. Was advised that such action would be violation of federal law."(145) Reportedly tells Arthur Greenstein that he had come to Mexico City to renounce his citizenship.(146)

Allegedly exchanges business cards with an unidentified Chinese male at Sanborn's restaurant in the presence of Arthur Greenstein. In 1967, Nagell wrote to Greenstein requesting that, in the event of his death, Greenstein should furnish descriptions of three individuals to the New Orleans District Attorney's Office: "Bob," Maria del Carmen, and the Chinese male. Greenstein does not recall the Chinese male or the incident at the restaurant.(147)

September-October 1962

Allegedly investigates attorney Harriett Buhai, allegedly a member of the Southern California District Commitee, CPUSA, in Mexico City. Nagell has stated that he felt Buhai was "a representative of the same foreign principal with which I was associated."(148)

October 1962

Allegedly assigned to disinformation project targeting Soviet embassy in Mexico City, ostensibly related to Cuban Missile Crisis.UP>(149)

Early October 1962

Allegedly assigned by "XYZ" to look into rumors of JFK assassination plot sponsored by Alpha 66.(150)

Mid October 1962

Allegedly shown Oswald's photograph and given assignment related to him, but not related to any assassination plot.(151) "Oswald was under intermittent surveillance since the day he arrived back in the United States," Nagell told Dick Russell.(152) Soviet intelligence, said Nagell, "was more interested in Oswald than the Americans. The reason was, when he was in the Soviet Union, he was considered emotionally unstable -- prone to commit some act that could bring embarrassment to the Soviet Union. This was before he was in fact involved in anything like that."(153)

Dick Russell writes: "Shortly before departing Mexico in October 1962, Nagell had made an arrangement with the Hotel Luma's bartender, Franz Waehauf, apparently a secret operative for the Czech intelligence service. Waehauf sent him to a weapons specialist, where Nagell has said he obtained a .22-caliber revolver equipped with a welded-on silencer. The original target, he added, was a well-known Cuban exile leader in Miami named Rolando Masferrer."(154)

October 21, 1962

Leaves Mexico City.(155)

October 22, 1962

Allegedly checks into Holiday Inn, Laredo, Texas. Allegedly makes brief inquiry into the "status" of Oswald.(156)

Fall 1962

"I received instructions about Oswald, and was shown his photographs. But it had nothing to do with Kennedy."(157)

Late October 1962

Visits sister Eleanore Gambert's home in Queens, New York.(158)

November 1962

Later tells a psychiatrist that his "wife secured a divorce from him in Los Angeles, California in November, 1962 and is presently residing with his two children in Los Angeles. Nagell reports that his marital difficulties started sometime in 1959 and continued through the time of divorce."(159)

November 16, 1962

Contacts FBI in New York. Allegedly begins surveillance of Cuban exiles. Advises FBI in New York City he wanted to expose the Department of ABC in California.(160) Would later allege that the FBI approached him in New York and "demanded to know the scoop."(161)

November 25, 1962

Writes to the adjutant general, Department of the Army, inquiring as to whether "if it is again possible for me to obtain a commission in the USAR [US Army Reserve]." Says he would like to be reappointed as a captain with concurrent active duty in the reserves.(162)

Early December 1962

Leaves New York for Washington, DC, where that he is allegedly approached by an "individual believed to be working for [the] Soviets." Allegedly contacts the CIA in Virginia "for instructions."(163)

December 7, 1962

Infantry lieutenant colonel Louis J, Scholter, Jr., responds, instructing him to submit an application, but adding, "I do not believe that your chances are very good. This opinion is based upon the efficiency reports you received on active duty. Based on correspondence in your file, I am certain that you are familiar with their contents."(164)

December 15, 1962

Contacts FBI in Jacksonville, Florida. Advises "that he had been approached shortly before in Washington DC, by [an] individual working for [the] Soviets. Nagell at this time was noted to be in an inebriated condition -- vague in answering questions."(165) Would later write to Arthur Greenstein that he had initiated an "artifice" that resulted in his being questioned by the FBI, and "got something off his chest" while sitting in the agents' car.(166)

December 15-20, 1962

Would later describe himself to Arthur Greenstein as "running scared now, races west to Tallahassee, south to St. Pete."(167)

December 20, 1962

Checks himself into Bay Pines Veterans Administration Hospital, St. Petersburg, Florida, "complaining of severe headaches, blackouts, and . . . amnesia."(168) "Patient feels his intentions were to go to California, but came to Florida instead. He cannot remember any part of his trip until he arrived in Tallahassee, where the police suggested he come to Bay Pines. He said the travel check showed that his journey to Florida took ten days, having spent two days in Washington, DC, stop-over in Jacksonville, Florida, and so forth."(169) Condition diagnosed as "chronic brain syndrome associated with brain trauma with behavioral reaction characterized by passive aggressive and paranoid features."(170)

December 28, 1962

A psychological report on Nagell states, "Recently, he has been visiting his sister in New York City. Following this, the patient is quite vague as to his movements until he came into Bay Pines."(171)

December 29, 1962

Would later claim that an assassination plot against John F. Kennedy had been planned for this day, as JFK addressed the survivors of Brigade 2506 in Miami, "using a concealed bomb." The plan, he ostensibly surmised, "never got past the talking stage."(172)

January 2, 1963

Sends letter to JFK from the hospital about his disenchantment with the government's treatment of him. Doesn't mention any alleged assassination plots. States that since his 1954 injuries, "I have never been the same -- mentally or physically -- although the Army returned me to a general duty status and assigned me to military intelligence. I was aware of my condittion but pride made me try to 'hang on.'" States that his children are living in a foster home, which is not true. Alleges later that, "while the signature is his own, the letter was neither composed nor typed by him."(173)

January 1963

Writes to hospital administrator Dr. M. L. Schwartz: "If it is possible that I am in the process of what is commonly, and often in diffidence, referred to as cracking up, I believe myself to be cognizant of some of the when-where-why-what-how factors which need to be answered. And even though a rather recent emotional trauma may have pushed me over the brink so to speak, the first factor, the 'when' factor, began much, much earlier." Goes on to describe his military experience.(174)

January 10, 1963

Writes Dr. Edwin Weinstein at Walter Reed Hospital, Washington, DC: "Evidently I was self-admitted to this hospital on December 20, 1962 for reasons unknown to me at the present time."(175)

January 21, 1963

Writes Weinstein again: "I received your letter dated January 9, 1963 and judge from its contents that I have written to you. If so, I do not recall doing so, however, there are many things which have occurred recently that I do not remember." Goes on to describe the "severe headaches, loss of equilibrium while standing or walking slowly (but no dizziness) and loss of memory for extended periods" that had occasionally plagued him since the 1954 plane crash. "I might add here that these same 'occurences' [sic] have happened to me quite recently, have been more frequent and of longer duration, and are the reason why I was admitted to this VA hospital."(176)

January 22, 1963

Discharged from VA hospital. "Final Summary" of his stay relates how Nagell initially had "refused to discuss why he was in the hospital," but after several days of constant demands and complaining about headaches, "a better rapport was established . . . He seemed well oriented in all spheres. Speech was of a normal flow and coherent." States that he wished to depart because "he had a job in mind and was going for an interview."(177)

January 23, 1963

Drives to Miami, allegedly registers in Biscayne Boulevard Holiday Inn under false name.(178) Later states that Silvia Odio's "Angel" "was in Miami during the latter part of January 1963. He may have stayed at the Holiday Inn located on Biscayne Boulevard. On several occasions he visited a well-lighted Cuban restaurant that was located on Flagler Street. He also visited a small photo shop that was located on a street perpendicular to the long axis of Flagler; this shop had some kind of a connection with the MRP [Movimiento Revolucionario del Pueblo]."(179)

January 24, 1963

Allegedly contacts FBI in Miami using "Joseph Kramer" alias; "discusses his Cuban and Soviet sources and illegal armaments."(180)

"Asked FBI in Miami if his Cuban or Russian sources gave him a pistol with silencer and microfilm if he would be permitted to return same to his contact so he could be of further use to U.S. Government. He stated that in August or September 1962 he met a man from Maryland in Mexico City who introduced him to individuals whom he believed may have been Soviet Agent."(181)

Late January 1963

Allegedly investigates various members of Miami exile community, including Artime, Masferrer, Arcacha, and Eladio del Valle.(182)

January 24, 1963

Brigadier General Kenneth G. Wickham responds to an inquiry from Nagell, stating that once a resignation is tendered to the Army it cannot be rescinded."(183)

February 3, 1963

Nagell writes the Army Board for Correction of Military Records, attempting to obtain a full disability retirement. States, "I have been turned down from many jobs because of my wartime wounds and injuries."(184)

Early February 1963

Allegedly spends "a few days" inquiring about Oswald in Dallas.(185) "Apparently meets his Soviet contact [known to Russell as 'Oaxaca'] in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico."(186)

Unknown time -- probably February to April 1963

Visits Arthur Greenstein in Wilmington, Delaware. Greenstein: "He said he had driven through the southern tier of the United States, and he stopped to drop off some presents I had given him to deliver."(187)

April 1963

CIA allegedly photographs him outside Soviet embassy in Washington.(188) Soviets allegedly "put Nagell to watching Marina."(189)

"Nagell conducts an inquiry in Dallas and San Antonio into Marina's reported desire to go back to the USSR."(190) According to a letter to Arthur Greenstein, he simply checked on Marina at the San Antonio Bureau of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). "I believed I was functioning for the CIA for my inquiry into her," Nagell would state. "I was provided photos of her. I've seen her but never met her. There is a possibility she has seen me with other people." This assignment, according to Nagell, had nothing to do with the assassination.(191)

April 19, 1963

Contacts FBI in Los Angeles, advising them that "he had taken [his] former [sic] wife to court on [this] same date for failure to comply with [a] court order giving [Nagell] visitation rights with [his] children."(192)

Unknown date/unknown location, 1963

Allegedly investigates Ben Tue Wong, aka Shung Wong Yet, allegedly connected with the Mafia.(193)

Spring-summer 1963

Nagell: "[M]y records for the spring and summer of 1963 . . . reflect that at the time I had already received instructions to inquire into the then current status of a number of persons (all members of the CPUSA) residing in the Southern California area."(194)

May 1963

Investigates Socialist Worker Party/Congress of Racial Equality/Fair Play for Cuba Committee affiliate Vaughn Marlowe [real name: Vaughn Snipes] in LA for "CIA": "I had investigated Snipes and his wife Priscilla in conjunction with my inquiry about Oswald. One of the two Cubans who were associating with Oswald in August and September 1963 (who also fits the description of one of the two Cubans who allegedly visited Sylvia [sic] Odio at Magellan Circle with Oswald the day before his trip to Mexico in September 1963) was witnessed entering the 'ON THE BEACH BOOKSTORE' on two separate occasions while he was under surveillance. The bookstore was located in Venice and Snipes was the proprietor. Snipes, who once boasted that he was a good shot with a rifle, was considered for recruitment to hit JFK in June 1963 during his visit to the Beverly Hills hotel. That 'project' never materialized."(195)

Marlowe: "I just have no recollection of anybody I knew as a Cuban coming into the bookstore, or my having any contact with anyone who was a Cuban."(196)

Nagell introduces himself to Marlowe as someone who "was interested in, and sympathetic to, our organizational activities. . . . He claimed to have friends and connections with various law enforcement agencies, and access to certain files. By way of example, he brought out some information on me that came, he claimed, from the Los Angeles Police Department's Red Squad files. It was accurate, though somewhat dated, and it contained the names of a number of friends who had worked with me on various projects. That's when he offered to help in any way that he could through his 'connections,' saying he didn't want to be as 'active' as we were for 'personal reasons.' . . . I ended up asking him to prove his good intentions by tracing the license plate numbers of two cars that came regularly to the beach. We suspected they were narcotics officers. . . . By the next day, he had the information for me, and he fingered a 'narc' from the West Los Angeles division of the LAPD. The guy's cover was blown. So I figured that whoever this guy was and whatever loyalty he had, it certainly wasn't to the LAPD."(197)

Takes a job driving a cab. Allegedly agrees to a proposal by an agent of a foreign government to participate in a criminal offense against the US.(198)

June 1963

Allegedly took 16-millimeter photographs of "Angel" and "Leopoldo" in Los Angeles.(199)

June 4, 1963

Requests admission to VA hospital in Brentwood. An FBI report read, "Subject's condition diagnosed by Veterans Administration, Los Angeles, on 6/4/63 as 'depression, tearful, nervous, rigid.' Would only utter words 'Got to see my kids.'" Seen by a psychiatrist but not granted admission.(200)

June 7, 1963

Alleged plot to kill JFK fails to materialize.(201)

Late June or early July 1963

Allegedly investigates attorney Harriett Buhai, allegedly a member of the Southern California District Commitee, CPUSA, and a witness before HUAC in LA. Allegedly meets with Buhai personally on several occasions, and allegedly meets one Harriett Lewis, aka Barbara Blair, about whom he had allegedly been briefed in Mexico City at an earlier date. Nagell has stated that he felt Buhai was "a representative of the same foreign principal with which I was associated."(202)

July-September 1963

Allegedly spends most of his time on "the subject of Lee Harvey Oswald," who ostensibly is being "exploited by various individuals for their own reasons."(203)

July 1-2, 1963

Allegedly monitors a witness at HUAC hearings in LA. Claims to have been photographed at the hearings by the LAPD.(204)

July 1963

Allegedly contacts FPCC's Steve Roberts in LA about Oswald.(205)

July 9, 1963

Signs affidavit that his passport had been lost or stolen.(206)

July 19, 1963

Turned down by US Army on request to have service record changed.(207)

July 26, 1963

The Pentagon's adjutant general writes Nagell, notifying him of "insufficient evidence" for complying with his previous request.(208)

Late July 1963

Allegedly contacts the FBI in Dallas.(209)

Late July-early August 1963

In Mexico City.(210)

Early August 1963

Returns to Los Angeles from Mexico City. Borrows Colt .45 pistol from Bill Lynn. Departs abruptly, leaving cryptic note for Vaughn Marlowe.(211)

"His mother resides in Los Angeles, California and alleges that she has not seen her son since August of 1963 when he is said to have stated that he did not wish to have anything more to do with his family because of its interference."(212)

August 6, 1963

Issued a new passport.(213)

August 20, 1963

Allegedly takes 16-millimeter photographs of "Angel" and "Leopoldo" at unspecified location.(214)

August 23-27, 1963

Allegedly makes audio recording of four conspirators discussing assassination, presumably in New Orleans.(215) Later gives differing accounts of the tape's contents; states at one time that tape has been stolen; states later that tape is safe; tape never materializes.(216)

August 27, 1963

Dick Russell: "Apparently cut off from his CIA contact, Nagell was issued his orders from his Soviet control, 'Oaxaca.'" Nagell: "In the summer of 1963, "I received instructions to initiate certain action against Mr. Oswald, who was the indispensable tool in the conspiracy, and thereafter depart the United States legally." He was to try to persuade Oswald "that the deal was phony and if that didn't work, and it looked like things were going to progress beyond the talking stage, to get rid of him."(217) Allegedly complains to Desmond FitzGerald about his alleged predicament.(218)

Summer 1963

Allegedly learns that Oswald is undergoing hypnotherapy by David Ferrie.(219)

Late August

Allegedly visits Mexico City and Cuba and personally warns Fidel Castro about JFK assassination plot.(220) Allegedly instructed by "Oaxaca" (contact with a foreign agent -- Soviet according to Dick Russell, Maria del Carmen according to Clark Wilkins, "Robert Graham" -- apparently -- according to Nagell response to Overseas Family article and -- apparently -- January 1964 FBI statement) to either convince Oswald to withdraw from the plot or kill him in Mexico.(221)

Allegedly seen at the Hotel Luma by Robert Clayton Buick. Buick also alleges to have seen Oswald there, but did not see Nagell and Oswald together. (See entry for March 29, 1966.)(222)

"Was Lee Harvey Oswald with me in Mexico? Not in September 1963. I told the FBI [When? Where?]: He shot at a cactus plant and he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a shotgun."(223)

Tells the FBI on September 20, 1963, that "he had been living in Mexico until a short time ago."(224)

September 1963

Allegedly stashes evidence of conspiracy with friend in LA.(225) Later claims he "had made arrangements in the event of my demise by accident or other cause, to have my past illegal services performed for defendant [the Pentagon], the services I suspected I had performed for a foreign nation, and other illegal activities on the part of defendant [Pentagon] and the CIA, made public and verified by evidence that I had secreted at various locations in the United States."(226) No such material ever surfaces.

Circa September 10-16, 1963

Allegedly meets Oswald in New Orleans and tries to dissuade him from cooperating with plotters.(227)

September 1963

"Nagell contacts FBI in New Orleans, using 'Kramer' alias."(228)

September 15-16, 1963

Allegedly meets Oswald in Jackson Square, New Orleans, and advises him to meet "Oaxaca" in Mexico City on September 26. Allegedly has street vendor photograph the two of them without Oswald's knowledge.(229) (Photo never materializes.)(230)

Bernard Fensterwald: "The USSR ordered Nagell to eliminate Lee Harvey Oswald because they thought it might be an extreme embarrassment to them if he was caught, not because he was one of them, but because of his history."(231)

September 17, 1963

Allegedly leaves New Orleans.(232) Allegedly "dispatches" registered warning letter to J. Edgar Hoover.(233) Later he alternately states that he possesses this receipt and can produce it, or that the FBI confiscated it on September 20, 1963, and never returned it.(234) Receipt never materializes.

"I have never stated where that letter was mailed from, or that I'd mailed it personally," Nagell told Dick Russell. "I've always said I dispatched a letter at the instance of Joseph Kramer. I felt sure that if the FBI got a letter signed 'Joseph Kramer' and ran a computer or file check, they would look into it. They would know this was not a crank letter."(235)

Later writes, "During the period 1962-1963, and prior thereto, as a civilian, I may have performed intelligence services for a foreign nation, after being deceived by signing a contract and by other reasons into thinking that I was functioning for the CIA. I arrived at this conclusion in September 1963, after conducting investigations and/or inquiries into the activities, status and/or intentions of certain persons, among whom were Franz Waehauf, a Mexican subject of German nationality; Manuel Artime, a leader of the Miami-based Peoples' Revolutionary Movement (MRP); Vaughn L. Snipes, an executive officer of the Los Angeles branch of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC); and Lee H. Oswald, later accused as the lone assassin of President John F. Kennedy."(236)

September 19, 1963

"I think you should be apprised," he would write to Senator Richard Russell in 1967, "that all information resulting from my surveillance of Mr. Oswald's activities, including his involvement in a conspiracy to murder President Kennedy, was passed on to Soviet officials without delay. In fact, my last report concerning him was dispatched the evening before my arrest."(237)

September 20, 1963

Allegedly is on his way to meet a contact in Juarez when he arrives in El Paso. Allegedly mails a letter to Desmond FitzGerald, and one to another, unnamed CIA official at Langley headquarters. Allegedly mails five $100 bills and an airplane ticket to Mexico City to an unknown recipient. He would later claim the funds and ticket were for Lee Harvey Oswald's Mexico City trip, but "I have cause to believe that he was never given, or did not receive, the five hundred dollars."(238)

"Nagell arrested in El Paso, Texas, on charge of attempting to rob State National Bank. Slashed wrist night of 9/20/63. Nagell consistently denied he had tried to rob the bank; stated that the fact that he had fired two shots into the ceiling proved he had not been trying to hit anyone. He stated that he was certain that 'all of my problems have been solved for a long time, and now I won't have to go to Cuba.' A notebook which the Subject had on his person when arrested made reference to Fair Play for Cuba Committee, the names of purported CIA agents and other information. Cellmate in jail reported that Nagell, during confused period after discharge, decided everything against him in Los Angeles and made arrangements with Communist party in Los Angeles to pick up visa and passport from contact in El Paso and eventually end up in Czechoslovakia. Nagell reportedly attempted suicide three times enroute to El Paso but lost nerve."(239)

Tells the FBI that "the shooting was a result of a private matter and [he] did not care to discuss it further."(240) His arrest, he later told Dick Russell, "had nothing to do with the assassination, at least not on my end." "It concerned another matter," Russell writes, "but one that also concerned Oswald."(241)

Later claims to have had in his possession two Mexican tourist visas, one under the name "Joseph Kramer" and one under the name of "Albert" or "Aleksei Hidell." No such items are entered into the record, and Nagell never seems to have complained about their supposed disappearance.(242)

Later claims he informed the FBI that he would rather be arrested than commit treason, or murder and treason.(243)

Tells Dick Russell in 1975, "I'll only say this. I have never stated who I was working for from August of 1962 to September of 1963, other than that I'd thought it was the Central Intelligence Agency. At the time of my arrest, I knew it had not been. And I had a pretty good idea who I was functioning for. I'm not saying that I didn't have bona fide CIA contacts, or that the CIA was not involved in my particular activities. But some things I did were not for the CIA, and I was led to believe they were."(244)

"I was not the least bit 'frantic' about anything in September 1963." "I had no fear of being implicated 'in the planned assassination' at the time of my arrest or prior thereto." "I did not set foot inside the Republic of Cuba during that month. To my knowledge I never talked to any 'Castro aides.'"(245)

September 25, 1963

"When asked [by the FBI] for his motive in attempting to hold up the bank, Nagell stated that he was unhappy with the American judicial system, because he had attempted, through judicial procedures, to get to see his two children, a girl 3 1/2 and a boy 2 1/2, in custody of his divorced [sic] wife, and the California court had not executed an order in keeping with his request."(246)

October 10, 1963

Writes sister: "I am certain to be indicted, tried, and convicted because I have refused to offer an explanation as to certain overt acts which would, under normal circumstances, constitute 'Bank Robbery.' Someday I shall explain everything in detail to you pertinent to this apparent disgrace."(247)

October-November 1963

Nagell's court-appointed attorney, Fred Morton, would later recall, "As long as I was in the case, I don't recall any statement by Nagell in any way concerning the assassination. The first I remember hearing this was in some magazine years later. It'll always be a mystery to me as to what the hell he was really doing in the bank that day."(248)

November 4, 1963

"El Paso Herald-Post article states that Nagell told U.S. District Court that he did not attempt to hold up the bank. 'I had a motive for doing what I did,' Nagell told Judge, 'but my motive was not to hold up the bank. I do not intend to disclose my motive at this time.'"(249)

November 22, 1963

Half an hour to an hour following the assassination, Nagell allegedly requests to speak to a Secret Service agent.(250)

December 5, 1963

Complains that alleged request to speak to Secret Service has not been honored.(251)

December 12, 1963

FBI contacts Nagell in jail.(252)

December 19, 1963

Tells FBI that he knew Lee and Marina Oswald, that he'd known LHO in Mexico City and Texas, and that the relationship was purely social. He would later state that he never actually met Marina, and he would state that he had also known LHO in Japan and New Orleans.(253)

January 2, 1964

Visited by FBI and Secret Service; refuses to be interviewed in presence of FBI agent. Writes letter to Secret Service, complaining of the presence of an FBI agent at the preceding interview."(254)

"Captain O'Rourke was questioned concerning the request of Nagell to see a representative of the Secret Service and he stated that to his knowledge no request had been received by him. He further stated that Nagell is now known by his staff to have made the allegation that all types of requests have been denied, requests which none of his staff are or ever have been aware."(255)

Tells FBI that he is divorced from his wife, "claims to be very patriotic."(256)

January 4, 1964

Wife Mitsuko supposedly granted a divorce.(257)

January 6, 1964

Furnishes a six-page signed statement: "In September 1962, while I was in Mexico City, a representative of a foreign government proposed to me that I participate in an act; such act being a criminal offense and inimical to the best interest of the United States. At that time I refused such proposal. In May 1963, another representative of the same foreign government made the same proposal to me. At that time, I agreed to such a proposal. In September 1963, I was informed by an American, known to me as an agent of that same foreign government, that arrangements for my participation in the aforementioned act were completed. At that time, I refused the aforesaid proposal. Approximately one week later, I was instructed by this same person to either participate as previously agreed or derogatory information pertaining to me would be disclosed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Thereupon, I agreed to follow the instructions of this person, although I did not intend to do so. This existing situation actuated my conduct of September 20, 1963, for which I was arrested and am presently charged. I did not actually attempt to rob any bank. I thought my arrest would provide an immediate, though temporary solution to the problem with which I was confronted. I am not guilty as charged."(258)

January 18, 1964

Marina Oswald questioned about Nagell; she denies knowing him. Nagell later states that he did not know her personally.(259)

February 14, 1964

Judged competent to stand trial.(260) March 4, Springfield report notes Nagell's lucid demeanor.(261)

March 12, 1964

Returned to El Paso County Jail.(262)

March 20, 1964

Writes the Warren Commission.(263)

April 10, 1964

Denied request to have certain belongings returned.(264)

April 16, 1964

Writes J. Edgar Hoover.(265)

April 1964

Writes Vaughn Marlowe.(266)

April 20, 1964

Joseph Calamia appointed his attorney.(267)

May 6, 1964

Found guilty of attempted bank robbery.(268)

June 7, 1964

Defense motion for new trial denied.(269)

June 9, 1964

Sentenced to 10 years in prison for attempted bank robbery.(270)

June 16, 1964

"The US Attorney's Office . . . advised that Nagell had been given tranquilizers by the jail physician and that apparently he had surreptitiously concealed them until 6/16/64, at which time he took an unknown number of the tranquilizers in an attempt to commit suicide. He was transported, in an unconscious state, to the Federal Correctional Institution, La Tuna, Texas, where he received medical treatment, and was then transferred to the US Public Health Service Hospital, Fort Worth, Texas."(271)

July 22, 1964

Sent to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary.(272)

March 5, 1965

Secret Service asks to be notified if Nagell is transferred to another prison or released.(273)

December 1965

Nagell's sister writes LBJ.(274)

January 4, 1966

US Court of Appeals reverses conviction, orders new trial.(275)

February 15, 1966

Returned to El Paso jail.(276)

March 24, 1966

Writes lengthy letter to sister, destroyed by her at his request.(277)

March 29, 1966

Incarcerated temporarily with Robert Clayton Buick in El Paso.(278)

April 9, 1966

Barricades himself in cell, threatens suicide, for nine-day siege after being ordered back to federal medical center.(279)

April 20, 1966

Sent to federal medical center for more psychiatric tests.(280)

June 17, 1966

Psychiatric evaluation of Nagell filed. Diagnosis: "paranoid personality associated with features of a paranoid state, presently in remission." Judged competent to stand trial.(281)

Nagell "kept emphasizing throughout the various interviews that his whole purpose in entering the bank in El Paso, Texas . . . was for the purpose and sole purpose of getting psychiatric treatment." "Nagell states that he had tried for admission to the VA Hospitals just prior to the alleged bank robbery. He stated that after getting married, his wife insisted that he resign, which he did in 1959 and that his adjustment to civilian life was very difficult and made more difficult by his marital problems and finally resulted in his marriage breaking up in the Spring of 1962 which had a very traumatic effect on him. He alleges that his wife left him twice and after she left him for the second and the last time, that he lost his job in June, 1962 and noticed that he was starting to get nervous and emotionally unstable, that he got and quit two jobs after that because he couldn't concentrate. He felt that he was slipping and finally, that he tried for admission to a VA Hospital just prior to the alleged bank robbery that he was desperate for some type of psychiatric treatment for his psychiatric symptoms of nervousness and emotional instability and inability to concentrate."(282)

August 1966

Efforts made to have him committed to VA psychiatric hospital.(283)

September 19, 1966

Second trial begins in El Paso. Plea of temporary insanity.(284)

September 27, 1966

Again found guilty.(285)

November 8, 1966

Report from Leavenworth indicates, "This man's actions indicate his mental condition is anything but good. He never associates with fellow inmates and spends most of his time pacing nervously back and forth. He was moved from A & O to a single cell in C unit."(286)

December 2, 1966

Special Progress Report from Leavenworth: "He is an emotional and paranoid acting person. He becomes very distraught when he talks about his case. He is despondent about his situation and reacts to it by making accusations that he has been abused. He is calm and reasonable in other conversations because they do not involve censure. His case should have been discussed with him only if necessary, because its discussion establishes an emotional mood with him that would affect his overall adjustment. He also has a habit of holding inmates in public contempt and will realize adjustment difficulties for that. The psychiatric staff at Springfield considered he is in need of psychiatric treatment, and proposed that he should be released to psychiatric care. The man made the same proposal at his November 1965 parole hearing. At the time, he wanted to live in New York with his sister, take advantage of the Veteran's Administration Disabled Veteran's Rehabilitative Program, and also expressed a willingness to receive psychiatric consultation and therapy from the Veteran's Administration."(287)

July 9, 1966

Returned to Texas.(288)

January 3, 1967

Writes Senator Richard Russell.(289)

January 8, 1967

Writes Robert Kennedy.(290)

February 2, 1967

Transferred again to federal medical center.(291)

March 1967

Contacts NODA.(292)

March 23, 1967

Vaughn Snipes (aka Marlowe) contacts NODA on his behalf, using a pseudonym.(293)

April 10, 1967

NODA's William Martin interviews Nagell in jail for the first time.(294)

April 11, 1967

Second Martin interview.(295)

June 7, 1967

Nagell gives Martin a letter of introduction to his friend in Los Angeles, Frederick H. John, instructing John to turn over his purported audio recording to Martin.(296)

During a subsequent visit of Martin's, Nagell became "very upset and decided that Martin was a government 'plant' to elicit information from him."(297)

June 12, 1967

Nagell writes to sister Eleanore Gambert. Alleges that William Martin informed him of Martin's alleged status as a former CIA employee. Nagell later alleges that Martin was "an officer of the CIA assigned in an operational capacity to the Latin American directorate and . . . a past associate of Tracy Barnes [and] Desmond FitzGerald." Nagell's source for this information is not stated.(298)

June 20, 1967

Martin writes Nagell, informing him that he had met and interviewed Frederick John, and that the alleged audio recording apparently had been "the subject of a burglary sometime in 1964."(299)

July 8, 1967

Nagell writes his sister: "I can state with good foundation that if [the tape] was stolen, it was not stolen in 1964. In the same vein, I can also say that while the item involved may indeed no longer be available, it is not in the custody of the opposition either."(300)

July 30, 1967

Refuses to meet with Martin anymore.(301)

August 1967

Begins writing cryptic letters to Arthur Greenstein.(302)

November 8, 1967

Determined to be no longer of protective interest to the Secret Service.(303)

January 1968

Ramparts article appears with information on Nagell. Nagell would claim that much of the information was distorted.(304)

Early 1968

Undergoes psychiatric examination with Dr. Edwin Weinstein, who notes abnormal EKG results.(305)

April 3, 1968

US Court of Appeals reverses conviction, orders him released.(306)

April 29, 1968

Released from prison. Flies to New York. Allegedly met at airport by two CIA employees who give him the first of three cash payments totaling $15,000.(307)

May 14 and 16, 1968

Meets with Jim Garrison in New York. Garrison allegedly turns down offer to meet with high KGB official.(308)

Late May 1968

Allegedly has several meetings "with a CIA official he knew only as Buehei [who] . . . told Nagell he had heard that his wife had divorced him while he was in Leavenworth." Nagell "assumes his children are still with his wife."(309)

May 24, 1968

Receives new passport.(310)

May 30, 1968

Flies to Zurich, Switzerland.(311)

June 4, 1968

Visits US embassy in Zurich to see General Consul; interviewed by Vice Consul. "Told incoherent story about 'working for US government secret agency on mission to Geneva where to meet Japanese." Asks for assistance in obtaining money he claims to have deposited in New York bank prior to departing the US. Told by the Vice Consul that the General Consul could not assist him.(312)

June 5, 1968

Returns to General Consul and asks for political officer. Referred to officer whose name is classified. Makes a statement signifying an assumption that the officer is believed to be someone else, which is denied. Appears "seriously incoherent, in fact, appears psychotic, possibly dangerous. Claims was interviewed by New Orleans District Attorney Garrison 14-16 May [in] connection [with] 'CIA and Pres. Kennedy Assassination.'" Claims "Garrison told him he [is] in danger [of] being killed. Therefore wants [to] 'inform CIA he [is] in Zurich." Also claims US government had previously withheld passport from him."(313)

June 7, 1968

CIA internal memorandum notes, "No indication [that] Nagell [is] involved in espionage . . ."(314)

June 10, 1968

Arrested for allegedly causing a disturbance and/or making derogatory remarks about East Germans or East Germany while traveling by train through East Germany. Nagell later claims that the arrest had been planned by him and CIA.(315) "For several months he was repeatedly asked to admit that he was a spy," he would claim. "Eventually he concluded that the only way to obtain his release was to pretend that he was mentally ill. He did so, was examined by a psychiatrist, and was released."(316)

October 23, 1968

Released to American authorities at Berlin border. "Claimed to have been tortured by East Germans and displayed fixation re relationship with Oswald."(317) Received in West Berlin by lawyer Wolfgang Vogel and Bruce Flatin, Chief, Public Safety Division, US Mission, Berlin. When he learns from Flatin that he is in West Berlin, he "accused Flatin of wanting to kill him and ran back to East Berlin. Subsequent conferences between Vogel and either East Berlin or Soviet authorities resulted in the forcible expulsion of Nagell from East Berlin." A US Army psychiatrist "was advised of the subject's behavior and ordered police to restrain subject if necessary." Nagell is confined to a military mental hospital.(318)

Allegedly drugged by the American authorities following his release. Alleged that Ricey New "promised legal assistance in obtaining a disability retirement from the Army . . . if I stayed away from the West German news media." New denies this.(319)

One of the people who meets him upon his release from East Berlin is Bruce Flatin, Chief of Berlin's US Mission Public Safety Section. Nagell tells reporter Thomas C. Lucey that Flatin is actually "a longtime CIA member -- and Flatin is not his real name."(320)

Bruce Flatin forwarded a copy of the Family article to the US Secret Service, adding in a cover letter, "You will note a pair of references to me. Apparently the author has overlooked the facts that I am actually a career Foreign Service Officer of the Department of State -- and that our family has been using the name Flatin since the Viking days in old Norge." Flatin adds that "Nagell was expelled from East Berlin by force against whatever 'will' a man with his mental condition can really express."(321)

During a psychiatric examination, claims that his "unstable personality and immature or impulsive behaviour [sic]" were the result of the 1954 plane crash. "He said that he draws 64% disability pay. He lost his job in California because one night in 1962, while drunk, he tried to break down the door of the apartment of his estranged wife."(322)

Denied "any involvement in any conspiracy and denied that he had any information of use to Garrison. . . . alleged that his fear that the CIA might try to 'eliminate' him was planted in his mind by Mr. Garrison. . . . states he no longer believes it is realistic to think that the CIA was trying to kill him."(323)

Late October 1968

Flies to Zurich.(324) Visits Public Safety Office in West Berlin and complains about not being able to locate his children.(325) Allegedly promised State Department help if he returns to the US.(326)

October 27, 1968

Appears at US Embassy in Zurich, "claims to be ill from injections administered in East German prison . . ."(327)

October 28, 1968

"Berlin US Army Hospital psychiatrist who examined Nagell immediately after release by East Germans [on] October 23 states 'Symptoms after such [a] long delay [are] extremely unlikely regardless of nature of injections.' He considers 'complaints [and] various efforts to delay and complicate matters fit into psychological pattern in this case."(328) Secret Service in US sends information to Paris, referring to Nagell as a "mental case."(329)

November 2, 1968

Returns to US, New York.(330)

Late November 1968

Allegedly traveled to Washington, where State Department allegedly offered to help find his children. Never heard from State Department again on the matter.(331)

December 1968-January 1969

Allegedly paid several visits to Ricey New's office in New York. Allegedly New put him in touch with John H. Gullett to help with full disability retirement.(332)

January 7, 1969

Makes an appointment for this date to meet with VA in Washington.(333)

Circa February 7, 1969

Staying with Gamberts, tells them cold weather is becoming uncomfortable, leaves for unknown destination.(334)

Circa February 10, 1969

Calls Gamberts, says he'll be on the road for a while. Advises he might return home within next three weeks.(335) Louis Gambert advises that Nagell has been living off his 100% disability payments, and had recently been to Washington to see about having his pay increased.(336)

Circa February 12, 1969

In New York, allegedly attacked with a "practice Mark IV hand grenade thrown from a speeding automobile."(337) Flies to New Orleans. Allegedly informed Jim Garrison "that I felt it inadvisable for me to appear as a prosecution witness at the Clay Shaw trial, which was then in progress. I turned over what remained of the practice grenade to Mr. Garrison in the presence of one of his investigators.(338) Flies to Mexico City for nine days. Allegedly renews acquaintances with Maria del Carmen and Franz Waehauf.(339)

Circa February 21, 1969

Flies to Montreal, then Zurich.(340)

February 27 and 28, 1969

Appears at US embassy in Zurich. Warns interviewing consul that "unless promises made to him by US officials were honored he would reveal to the press [the] entire story of his alleged contacts with CIA and would expose individuals with whom he had dealt in the organization."(341)

March 3, 1969

CIA teletype states that Nagell "has never had any CIA connections. No evidence [of] any current CIA relationships (ISR has no record). Past history indicates he [is a] fabricator and mentally disturbed individual. . . . Was relieved CIC duties in April 1958 due [to] mental instability and clearances [were] revoked."(342)

March 5, 1969

Again contacts US General Consul in Zurich "and in more threatening fashion claimed he has radio [and] TV time [on the] evening [of] 6 March and will tell all about his alleged CIA contacts unless he receives assurance that promises made by US officials will be honored. Consider this highly improbable . . ."(343)

March 7, 1969

Appears again at the consulate in Zurich in the morning, and "stated that if he received no satisfaction by five o'clock that afternoon he would carry out his threats and expose US government on radio, television and in the press." A teletype of ten days later states, "He then disappeared, nothing further heard from him and no publicity given."(344) Allegedly shot at in Switzerland. Leaves for Spain.(345)

March 10, 1969

Zurich consulate "advised by telephone from US consulate [in] Barcelona that Nagell had approached them and made similar threats." (AMKW) Remarks that he had been offered quite a sum "to go over to the other side" and would consider it if he had no hope of ever seeing his children again.(346)

Claims that he was debriefed by US after his release from East Berlin and alleges that he was promised that the government would help him find his family. "Nagell threatened to have himself arrested by Spanish police, or defect to East Germany if he doesn't receive assistance from US. Nagell claimed that he has left 'very compromising' classified documents with 'friends' in Switzerland who will forward them to the 'appropriate' newspaper representatives, one of whom he said is Ludwig Morelli, whom Nagell claimed is Der Spiegal representative in Zurich." "Nagell explained, in a rather articulate manner, that he had been arrested by the FBI shortly after President Kennedy's assassination in 1963, and that he had been imprisoned, unjustly in his opinion . . . He said that the reason why he had been arrested in the first place was that he had worked with Lee Harvey Oswald in an assignment with a 'US intelligence agency.'" "Nagell also stated that he had been held in the federal penitentiary for such a long period because he refused to reveal to the FBI any information about his intelligence activities -- and that furthermore he was visited by CIA agents while in prison who cautioned him to keep his mouth shut about his ties with Oswald."(347)

March 12, 1969

Returns to the Consulate, is shown a telegram demonstrating that the government is indeed trying to locate his children. He leaves, seemingly mollified.(348)

March 14, 1969

Returns to the Consulate, advised to be patient. He said that "although he had been offered a great sum and guarantee of a 'good life' if he defected, he basically did not believe that would be the case. He stressed that he had sacrificed much for his country and only asked that his right to see his children be recognized. He said that he needed something to hold on to -- like his children -- in order to restore some equanimity to his life."(349)

March 17, 1969

Returns to the Consulate again asking if any results had arrived. Discusses the recent Ramparts article about the Kennedy assassination and says that "the references to him in connection with the assassination" were "completely erroneous."(350)

March 18, 1969

Appears at Consulate again: "Showing and expressing signs of depression and desperation, he made repeated references to the fact that he would really do something dramatic, like 'blowing someone's head off,' if he did not get a positive answer from the Department of State" about his children.(351)

April 5, 1969

SY Los Angeles Field Office initiates search for Nagell's ex-wife and children.(352)

April 7, 1969

Appears at US Embassy in Madrid: "In interview with Richard Case Nagell [on] April 7, Chief Consular Section had two Marine guards present [in] view [of] previous threats [of Nagell's] and strong recommendation [from the] TAB Hospital psychiatrist 'not to take any chances whatever,' [on the] basis [of ] diagnosis . . . Guards' presence upset Nagell, who insisted on recording interview with tape recorder he brought." The Consul informed Nagell that regulations forbid tape recording on the premises. The Consul informed Nagell he could have a witness present for the witness, but Nagell said he had no friends in Madrid."(353)

"In spite of [his] indignation at [the] guards' presence, Nagell remained and proceeded to harangue [the] Consul for nearly two hours, accusing him of deliberately creating [a] situation to provoke Nagell into action harmful to him. On the whole Nagell repeated [the] same allegations and threats he started making in Zurich. In guards' presence he now claimed he had never made physical 'threats,' only 'promises' of resorting to [the] news media and 'playing footsie with certain sources' if dept. did not keep its promise of locating [his] children. New allegation: Nagell said he was courier of treasury plates from US to Japan for counterfeiting North Korean currency in 1957, 'in time of peace,' and showed Consul two North Korean bills, one marked as real, the other counterfeit. This, according [to] Nagell . . . could be of interest to [the] news media. [He also] gave [the] following names as 'old CIA contacts': Rice S. New, Jr., New and Mackey . . . and John H. Gullett, Atty. at law . . ." (354)

"Consul kept calm throughout [the] interview in [an] effort to soothe the quaise [sic] unsoothable [sic] Nagell. Consul reasoned that a USG [United States Government] official should not be intimidated by threats, to which Nagell repeated [that] he made no threats, only promises to 'go out and do it' if dept. does not keep its promise. Consul informed him that dept. had already investigated and had no success in locating [his] wife and children, but did not know if dept. had utilized FBI and INS in [the] search. Consul promised [to] query dept. to find out what measures dept. has taken."(355)

"What finally calmed Nagell, relatively, was Consul's acceding to his request that [the] guards not accompany him [out of the office] and that he be permitted to sit a few minutes in [the] reception room to cover up [the] situation. Consul readily agreed and accompanied Nagell as far as [the] reception room, and thereafter surreptitiously observed him until Nagell departed after sitting quietly, perusing or pretending [to] peruse documents. Consul followed to assure [that] Nagell [had] departed Embassy building, but found him at [the] reception desk talking to [the] Chief Marine Sargeant (in civvies). There Nagell requested Consul forward dept.'s reply to Paris; he said he was leaving Spain because of Consul's action (using guards). At this time Nagell was fairly calm, although he made [a] 'threat' to Consul that he would get him (Consul) 'legally' through his pocket book by suing him in [the] US. Consul agreed [to] forward [the] message to Paris. . . ."(356)

"Embassy still believes that effort by dept. to locate Nagell's children through appropriate agencies may avert considerable trouble in [the] future for FS posts. Nagell undoubtedly feels that his country owes him something, inter alia, because of previous distinguished service and [the] fact that [his] present condition resulted from [an] accident [in the] line of duty."(357)

April 10-15, 1969

A Department of State telegram notes Nagell's return to Berlin and the fact that he has called at the US Mission on April 10 and 14. "Since he was obviously irrational," a consular official urged him to call on an Army psychiatrist, which [on] April 15. "Psychiatrist says he is mentally ill and should be hospitalized." "Nagell said he returned to Berlin because he had 'connections' with local press who would publicize his 'complaints' against US govt. (lack of medical and dental treatment), lack of assistance in locating family in US, 'true' role of Washington lawyer Ricey New, etc." "In view [of] Nagell's history of imprisonment in East Germany, former intelligence connections and mental condition . . . we consider Nagell's presence in Berlin undesirable (both for himself and for US govt.) and hope we can persuade him [to] leave of his own accord."(358)

April 14, 1969

The Department of State in Washington informs the US Embassy in Madrid that the department had been unable to locate Nagell's family, and would be unable to inform Nagell of their whereabouts even if they did unless his wife [sic] was agreeable. Warns Embassy to "remember he is mentally unbalanced and may be dangerous. Above information should be conveyed . . . in such manner as to convince him [that the] dept. and post [are] making every effort [to] assist him and [are] extremely sorry [to be] unable [to] provide him with desired info. . . . Any future contacts with Nagell should be conducted so as to convey sympathetic understanding [with] his problem and willingness [to] consider any action he proposes. Do not reply [to] his requests with [an] abrupt quote NO unquote no matter how wild such requests may be."(359)

April 15, 1969

Appears unsolicited at Police Group West in Berlin, identifies himself as "a former captain of the US Air Force," "wants to talk to an official of Dept. I because he had to give information concerning East bloc countries." "He had refused to talk to an American or British officer. He wanted to give his information to a German official only." Nagell claimed that he had been involved in intelligence since 1948 (at the age of eighteen) "with smaller tasks for the American secret service. He had been a member of the CIA during 1954 to 1956. During the following years he claimed having worked [sic] for various secret services in the USA. During 1962/63 he had been again with CIA." Gives a short, innocuous statement about having been questioned about his passport the previous January, then departs, declining to reveal the name of the hotel where he is staying. Makes an appointment to return the following day.(360)

April 16, 1969

Calls the police station and said he was too far away to make his appointment. Offers to call the next day.(361)

The US Secret Service is informed of Nagell's arrival in Berlin. "This man is apparently psychotic," a report reads. "He has a fixation revolving about his alleged connection with Lee Harvey Oswald. He has a grievance against the United States and according to the consulate in Barcelona he has stated that he would do something dramatic like 'blowing someone's head off" if he did not get satisfaction."(362)

April 22, 1969

Allegedly attacked in Berlin and hospitalized.(363) Brought "from the restaurant 'Royal,' Berlin" to the Hospital Wilmerdorf, treated for a head wound. "He stated that he was hit for unknown reasons by an unknown person. A witness of that accident in the restaurant was Herr Werner Margret . . ." The witness stated that Nagell "had fallen from a bar stool without outside influence. The wound was most likely caused by his fall." According to this memorandum, Nagell had an ID card on his person that identified him as an employee of the CIA. The police judged him to be "mentally disturbed."(364)

April 26, 1969

Departs Berlin. The US Mission in Berlin sends a telegram to the US Embassy in Paris, advising US authorities to consider "withholding passport services" for Nagell if he returns to the US.(365)

April 29, 1969

Returns to the US, arriving at McGuire Air Force Base.(366)

May 2, 1969

Contacts FBI agent Alfred Ennulat in New York.(367)

May 2, 1969

Military Intelligence report on Nagell filed.(368)

May 5, 1969

Appears at the New York Regional Office of the Veterans Administration, says he wants to be admitted to a VA hospital "in order to be examined for injuries he claimed to have sustained while in East Germany. When the subject was told he would have to wait for an appointment, he threatened to go to the local newspapers and to Washington, DC, in order to obtain satisfaction." Also says "that the White House is afraid of him" and that he "has stopped the Washington, DC, papers from printing stories about him. The subject claimed to have been on an espionage mission in East Berlin for the CIA."(369)

The VA informed the Secret Service about this incident because of Nagell's alleged remarks about the White House. The VA representative told the Secret Service that Nagell "is constantly appearing at their office and complaining of physical ills and requesting hospitalization. He is also constantly telling stories of his espionage activity and his importance to the United States Government." They stated that Nagell "has at times been boisterous and that GSA guards have assisted in escorting him from the offices of the Veterans Administration."(370)

According to the VA, Nagell is receiving a one hundred percent disability payment "for a brain concussion," amounting to $505 a month. "The subject has told the Veterans Administration that he has a wife and two children residing at 47-12 Saturn Street, Los Angeles, California."(371)

June 20, 1969

Overseas Family article appears.(372)

July 9, 1969

Interviewed by Secret Service because of earlier remarks at VA office; denies making statement that the White House is afraid of him; "he displayed no animosity towards protectees and [interviewing agent] felt he was not of protective interest. . . ." Gives address as Gambert residence in Elmhurst, New York.(373)

August 20, 1969

Ad runs in New York paper, East Village Other: "Caught In The Act. Notice to the CIA and all SY shitheads who participated in Project Purple Shaft. After that fiasco in the GDR you worms did your best to screw, blue and tattoo me. You even tried to have my ass dusted in Berlin . . . you fuckups. Now it's my turn to do a little shafting. Cordially, R. C. Nagell."(374)

September 5, 1969

State Department Office of Security (SY) Los Angeles Field Office reports negative results in search for Nagell's ex-wife and children.(375)

April 7, 1970

Submits application to Pentagon seeking full disability retirement benefits.(376)

April 14, 1970

In Switzerland again. Sends documents to Pentagon official.(377)

April 15, 1970

Reports to Zurich police "that his raincoat has disappeared. Claimed that an important document intended for the American military authorities in Berlin was in the pocket. Document was entitled 'Fiscal Year 70 (USAREUR).'" "Raincoat was found [a] short while later in hotels sans alleged document. Hotel turned raincoat over to Zurich police," where Nagell subsequently picked it up. "Please advise appropriate US Army authorities on off chance they are missing copy of 'Fiscal Year 70 (USAREUR).'"(378)

April 17, 1970

CIA routing sheet records internal memorandum distributed on Nagell: "I thought you might want to index Richard Case Nagell as a crank because he is mentally deranged. He was the sole survivor of an air crash . . . and suffered brain damage. He has claimed CIA employment but was never connected with the Agency."(379)

Late June 1970

Reunited with children in Los Angeles.(380)

July 16, 1970

Appears at the Los Angeles VA hospital "and was very abusive."(381)

August 17, 1971

Obtains legal custody of his children.(382)

Mid March 1974

Retains Bernard Fensterwald as his attorney in a lawsuit against the Pentagon, seeking full disability retirement benefits.(383)

September 1974

FBI returns some of his belongings confiscated on September 20, 1963.(384)

February 3, 1975

Pentagon moves to dismiss pleadings in US Court of Claims as "immaterial, impertinent, and scandalous."(385)

May 28, 1975

Calls CIA Domestic Contact Division LA Field Office to advise that he had not authorized his attorney, Bernard Fensterwald, to request CIA documents on him under the Freedom of Information Act. Fensterwald had filed a FOIA request for such documents on May 1, 1975.(386)

October 23, 1975

Writes US congressman Don Edwards about alleged warning to FBI.(387)

October 26, 1975

First interview with Dick Russell.(388)

October 28, 1975

Second interview with Dick Russell.(389)

October 29, 1975

Congressman Edwards replies to Nagell.(390)

November 21, 1975

Allegedly writes US congressman Don Edwards.(391)

May 13, 1976

Writes Dick Russell.(392)

Summer 1976

Robert Morrow's Betrayal published with information on "Richard Carson Fillmore."(393)

June 10, 1976

Writes Dick Russell.(394)

June 26, 1976

Writes Dick Russell. Referring to himself as LA Joe, writes, "How would you feel, how would you react, if LA Joe had been more deeply involved than ever mentioned publicly or even behind closed doors? (I'm not saying that he was, per se.) What if there had been no big deal, just two or three (or four) 'madmen' out to further their 'just cause,' change the course of history, whatever? What if LA Joe could have pulled the plug then and there, but didn't for whatever reason; could he, this man of principle, apparently dedicated to his own just cause, honestly pass the buck to those who are dead, to the FBI, the KGB, the CIA, to whomever or whatever? Could he ever really explain to anybody, except, perhaps, to himself? Would any rational person accept his explanation as bona fide, his actions (or lack of action) as justified? Think about it."(395)

June 28, 1976

Writes FBI director Clarence Kelley.(396)

October 5, 1977

Meets with Richard Russell in Los Angeles. Mentions that his children are both in college. Claims that Marina Oswald had intended to divorce her husband in 1963.(397) "Too bad Oswald didn't stand trial, eh?" he says. "Whether I could be considered directly involved, I won't get into that. There is no statute of limitations on murder, and I won't be accessory. I will say this: I made every reasonable attempt to report to the proper authorities, even when I was told not to."(398) Russell asks him if Richard Helms might have some answers. "Helms couldn't tell you anything more than Yuri Andropov. I won't deny that the CIA-Mob plots against Castro had some connection to what happened to Kennedy. That might be applicable as far as motivation is concerned." "But to come out and accuse the KGB or CIA per se is a bunch of crap. Or the Mafia, because they wanted their casinos back or something. That's not how it happened. Most of the writers present their conclusion, then write something to back up the conclusion." "Look, a lot of people were pissed off that had moral principles, that knew about things different outfits were doing, like the CIA, and knew that the public did not know and that the government would deny it. What to do when you reach a point you know something's got to be done? What that old saying? The best-laid plans sometimes go astray."(399)


CIA allegedly tries to interfere in his relationship with Dick Russell.(400)

July 3, 1979

Writes Attorney General in Wilmington, Delaware, forwarded to Secret Service on July 19, 1979. Letter described as "rambling and innocuous."(401)

July 9, 1979

Writes to House Select Committee on Assassinations.(402)

March 2, 1983

US Court of Claims awards full disability retirement.(403)

November 1, 1995

Dies of arteriosclerotic heart disease at his apartment in Los Angeles.(404)

A Note on Sources

One easily accessible source for many of the documents cited below is a three-part collection of documents compiled by Anna Marie Kuhns-Walko from releases under the JFK Records Act of 1992 and marketed commercially by such organizations as JFK/Lancer. As the collection appears to be circulating in slightly differing formats and its pages are not numbered, documents available in the collection will be distinguished simply by the notation "AMKW."

1. Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much, 91.

2. Russell, 92.

3. Russell, 92.

4. Russell, 92.

5. Secret Service Richard Case Nagell Potential Threat File, RIF #154-10002-10330, hereafter SS, p. 197.

6. Russell, 93.

7. Russell, 93.

8. Russell, 93.

9. Russell, 93.

10. Russell, 93.

11. Russell, 94.

12. Russell, 94.

13. Russell, 94.

14. Russell, 94.

15. Russell, 95.

16. Russell, 94.

17. Russell, 94.

18. Russell, 63, 95.

19. Russell, 63, 95.

20. Russell, 96.

21. SS 197.

22. Russell, 96.

23. Russell, 96.

24. Russell, 96.

25. SS 234.

26. Russell, 97.

27. Russell, 97.

28. Russell, 97.

29. Russell, 97.

30. Russell, 97.

31. Russell, 96, 98.

32. Russell, 98.

33. A fairly lengthy paper trail was established soon after Nagell's September 20, 1963, arrest, when a handwritten note in his possession was found to list the name of the well-publicized Richard Fecteau, a CIA agent captured and imprisoned in China some years earlier, as well as six additional surnames and the notation "CIA." The six names were determined to correspond to six employees of the CIA's Los Angeles field office, though none of the individuals themselves recalled Nagell. A CIA memorandum of March 26, 1964, written by Bruce Solie, Chief, Research Branch/SRS, references the seven names, and reports that "a check of SO Indices has revealed no record of NAGELL, and an RI check only disclosed the attached FBI report," a report generated as a result of Nagell's arrest. In other words, there was no record of Nagell ever having been a contract agent or employee of the CIA. This memorandum requested that Virginia Thorne of the Domestic Contact Service be contacted to determine whether Nagell had any record with DCS, i.e., if it could be verified that he had ever been an informant.

A memorandum of January 16, 1968, generated in reference to William Turner's January 1968 Ramparts article on Nagell, states of Nagell, "CIA CONNECTION: None; although Subject was of interest to OS in 1964 and early 1965 because of information furnished to the Agency by the FBI that he had in his possession the names of six CIA employees at the time of his arrest for bank robbery in El Paso, Texas on 20 September 1963." The memo continues, "Subject became of to the Office of Security in March 1964 when the FBI informed the Agency that subject had in his possession . . . the name of Richard FECTEAU . . . and of six Agency employees. Research failed to reveal any reason why NAGELL had these names in his possession. It was concluded that while NAGELL is unquestionably unbalanced, his story of being involved in espionage is not fully contradicted by evidence. He could have been contacted by a Soviet agent while in Washington DC in December 1962 or while he was in Mexico City in September and October 1962." (A reasonable question, one that is unlikely to be answered to anyone's satisfaction, is how did Nagell obtain these names? Regardless, Nagell denied that his activities in California had anything to do with the assassination.) The memo continues, "Subject's file reflects no Agency interest in him prior to March 1964 when the names of CIA employees were found in his possession when arrested for bank robbery." A December 10, 1968, CIA memorandum with the subject, "Garrison and the Kennedy Assassination: Richard Case Nagell (201-746537)" states, "Subject is not associated with CIA and has not been so associated."

34. Russell, 98.

35. Russell, 98-9.

36. Russell, 101.

37. Russell, 105.

38. SS 111.

39. Russell, 109.

40. Russell, 109.

41. Russell, 112.

42. Russell, 136.

43. Russell, 151.

44. Russell, 136-7.

45. Russell, 136.

46. Russell, 138.

47. Russell, 145.

48. Russell, 145.

49. Russell, 158.

50. Russell, 158.

51. Russell, 138.

52. Russell, 138.

53. Russell, 158.

54. SS 234.

55. Russell, 158.

56. Russell, 157; Richard Case Nagell, addendum enclosed with letter of January 28, 1970, to the editor of The Family; SS 53; AMKW.

57. Richard Case Nagell, addendum enclosed with letter of January 28, 1970, to the editor of The Family; SS 53; AMKW.

58. SS 234.

59. Russell, 181.

60. Russell, 158.

61. Russell, 158.

62. CIA Nagell chronology; AMKW

63. Russell, 160.

64. Russell, 159-60.

65. Russell, 160.

66. Stephen Jaffe, Investigator, Memorandum to Jim Garrison, District Attorney, February 14, 1968, Re: Interview of January 27, 1968, of David R. Kroman, Minneapolis, Minnesota; AMKW.

67. Russell, 159. "Hypothetically," he told Dick Russell, "I was doing something for another country and it backfired. I got ID'ed, got called in, and I strapped some story on my superiors." "This had to do with a Korean who was a suspected Soviet agent, though he was working with a very right-wing group. He was one of our informants, and also an informant for the Japanese police. They wanted to know, why did I contact this guy? They caught me cold. I came out with some preposterous thing that they bought." "If they'd have checked, I'd have been court-martialed . . . The Korean was really a contact and I screwed up." (Russell, 160)

68. Russell, 175.

69. Russell, 175.

70. Russell, 176.

71. Russell, 715.

72. Russell, 176.

73. CIA chronology; AMKW.

74. Russell, 139-40.

75. Russell, 179.

76. Russell, 176.

77. SS 196.

78. Russell, 179.

79. Russell, 179.

80. Russell, 179.

81. Russell, 77.

82. SS 234.

83. Russell, 183.

84. Russell, 181.

85. Russell, 187.

86. Russell, 183.

87. Russell, 188.

88. Russell, 183.

89. Russell, 184.

90. Russell, 234.

91. Russell, 184.

92. Russell, 184.

93. SS 198.

94. SS 198.

98. Russell, 184; CIA chronology; AMKW.

99. CIA chronology; AMKW.

100. Russell, 184-5.

101. Russell, 185.

102. SS 198.

103. Nagell, 184.

104. Russell, 735.

105. Russell, 717.

106. Russell, 185.

107. Russell, 186.

108. Russell, 232.

109. Russell, 187-8, 233.

110. SS 202.

111. SS 234.

112. Russell, 186.

113. CIA chronology; AMKW.

114. Russell, 186.

115. Russell, 186-7.

116. Russell, 187.

117. FBI Memorandum, October 2, 1963, cited in FBI Memorandum, April 7, 1964; AMKW.

118. Russell, 187, 231.

119. Russell, 231.

120. CIA chronology; AMKW.

121. Russell, 230-2.

122. Russell, 232.

123. Russell, 231-2.

124. Russell, 232.

125. Russell, 239.

126. Russell, 240.

127. FBI Memorandum, October 2, 1963, cited in FBI Memorandum, April 7, 1964; AMKW.

128. CIA chronology; AMKW.

129. Russell, 718.

130. Russell, 240.

131. Russell, 240-1.

132. Russell, 241.

133. Russell, 241.

134. Russell, 243.

135. Russell, 260-1.

136. Russell, 241.

137. Russell, 260-1.

138. Russell, 261-2.

139. Russell, 262.

140. Russell, 261.

141. CIA chronology; AMKW.

142. Russell, 233.

143. Russell, 236.

144. Russell, 238.

145. CIA chronology; AMKW.

146. Russell, 232-3.

147. Russell, 354.

148. Russell, 357.

149. Russell, 247-8.

150. Russell, 250-1.

151. Russell, 253.

152. Russell, 252.

153. Russell, 252-3.

154. Russell, 262.

155. Russell, 263.

156. Russell, 263.

157. Russell, 253.

158. Russell, 263.

159. SS 197.

160. CIA chronology; AMKW.

161. Russell, 264.

162. Russell, 264-5.

163. Russell, 265.

164. Russell, 265.

165. CIA chronology; AMKW.

166. Russell, 265.

167. Russell, 265.

168. Russell, 265.

169. Russell, 266.

170. CIA chronology; AMKW.

171. Russell, 266.

172. Russell, 266-7.

173. Russell, 284-5.

174. Russell, 285.

175. Russell, 286.

176. Russell, 286.

177. Russell, 287.

178. Russell, 288.

179. Russell, 294.

180. Russell, 288.

181. CIA chronology; AMKW.

182. Russell, 78.

183. Russell, 303.

184. Russell, 304.

185. Russell, 305.

186. Russell, 719.

187. Russell, 263.

188. Russell, 306-7.

189. Russell, 307.

190. Russell, 719.

191. Russell, 307.

192. Russell, 307.

193. Russell, 355.

194. Russell, 332.

195. Russell, 334.

196. Russell, 339.

197. Russell, 335-6.

198. Russell, 332-45.

199. Russell, 343, 720.

200. Russell, 343.

201. Russell, 344.

202. Russell, 357.

203. Russell, 369.

204. Russell, 357.

205. Russell, 357.

206. Russell, 720.

207. Russell, 720.

208. Russell, 363.

209. Russell, 363.

210. Russell, 363, 721.

211. Russell, 721.

212. SS 197.

213. Russell, 721.

214. Russell, 410, 721.

215. William R. Martin, Assistant District Attorney, Memorandum to Jim Garrison, District Attorney, April 18, 1967; AMKW.

216. Russell, 425.

217. Russell, 429.

218. Russell, 372.

219. Richard Case Nagell, letter to Arthur Greenstein; "The Private Correspondence of Richard Case Nagell," Probe, Vol. 3, No. 1, November-December 1995.

220. Russell, 429.

221. Russell, 721.

222. Russell, 377.

223. Russell, 371.

224. Russell, 447.

225. William R. Martin, Assistant District Attorney, Memorandum to Jim Garrison, District Attorney, April 18, 1967; AMKW.

226. Russell, 430.

227. Russell, 722.

228. Russell, 722.

229. Russell, 437.

230. Russell, 441.

231. Russell, 438.

232. Russell, 444.

233. Russell, 441-2.

234. William W. Turner, "The Garrison Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy," Ramparts, January 1968; Russell, 58.

235. Russell, 114.

236. Russell, 77-8.

237. Russell, 444.

238. Russell, 445-6.

239. CIA chronology; AMKW.

240. Russell, 752 fn. 18.

241. Russell, 439.

242. Russell, 44.

243. Russell, 741 fn. 1; Richard C. Nagell, Draft of Memorandum for Writ of Habeas Corpus, June 6, 1967; AMKW.

244. Russell, 79.

245. Richard Case Nagell, letter to Penelope Grenoble, Editor, Los Angeles Free Press, August 12, 1975; AMKW.

246. Russell, 774 fn. 63.

247. Russell, 87.

248. Russell, 65.

249. CIA chronology; AMKW.

250. Russell, 612; SS 29.

251. SS 253 (see also SS 257).

252. Russell, 725.

253. CIA chronology; AMKW.

254. SS 257.

255. SS 257.

256. SS 258.

257. Russell, 725.

258. CIA chronology; AMKW.

259. CIA chronology; AMKW.

260. cclx. Russell, 725.

261. SS 190.

262. Russell, 725.

263. Russell, 725.

264. Russell, 725.

265. Russell, 725.

266. Russell, 725.

267. Russell, 725.

268. Russell, 725.

269. Russell, 725.

270. Russell, 725.

271. SS 231.

272. Russell, 726.

273. Russell, 726.

274. Russell, 726.

275. Russell, 726.

276. Russell, 726.

277. Russell, 726.

278. Russell, 379, 726.

279. Russell, 726.

280. Russell, 726.

281. SS 199.

282. SS 199.

283. Russell, 726.

284. Russell, 726.

285. Russell, 726.

286. SS 189.

287. SS 185

288. Russell, 726.

289. Russell, 726.

290. Russell, 726.

291. Russell, 726.

292. Russell, 726.

293. Russell, 726.

294. Martin memorandum; AMKW.

295. Martin memorandum; AMKW.

296. Russell, 424.

297. Memorandum from Stephen Jaffe, Investigator, to Jim Garrison, District Attorney, January 27, 1968.

298. Russell, 424.

299. Russell, 424.

300. Russell, 424.

301. Russell, 795 fn. 37.

302. Russell, 727.

303. AMKW; SS.

304. Richard Case Nagell, letter of August 12, 1975, to Ms. Penelope Grenoble, Editor, Los Angeles Free Press; AMKW; SS 35, SS 118.

305. CIA chronology; AMKW.

306. Russell, 727.

307. Russell, 649.

308. Russell, 650.

309. Russell, 652.

310. Russell, 727.

311. Russell, 727.

312. Russell, 653.

313. SS 158.

314. CIA memorandum, June 7, 1968; AMKW.

315. Russell, 655-7.

316. CIA memorandum, December 10, 1968, "Garrison and the Kennedy Assassination: Richard Case Nagell (201-746537); AMKW.

317. CIA memorandum, December 10, 1968, "Garrison and the Kennedy Assassination: Richard Case Nagell (201-746537); AMKW.

318. Secret Service, June 18, 1969

319. Russell, 659, 661-2.

320. Thomas C. Lucey, "Man in the Middle: The Inside Story," The Family, June 26, 1969; SS 50-2; AMKW.

321. Bruce Flatin, memorandum to the US Secret Service, June 19, 1969; SS 74.

322. CIA memorandum: "Garrison and the Kennedy Assassination: Richard Case Nagell"; AMKW.

323. CIA memorandum: "Garrison and the Kennedy Assassination: Richard Case Nagell"; AMKW

324. Russell, 661-3.

325. AMKW.

326. Russell, 663.

327. SS 151

328. SS 157.

329. SS 156.

330. Russell, 663.

331. Russell, 663.

332. Russell, 663.

333. SS 155.

334. SS 153.

335. SS 153.

336. SS 154

337. Russell, 664.

338. Russell, 664.

339. Russell, 664.

340. Russell, 664.

341. CIA teletype, February 28, 1969; AMKW.

342. CIA teletype, March 5, 1969; AMKW.

343. CIA teletype, March 5, 1969; AMKW.

344. CIA teletype, March 17, 1969; AMKW.

345. Thomas C. Lucey, "Man in the Middle: The Inside Story," The Family, June 26, 1969; SS 50-2; AMKW.

346. Richard C. Brown, American Consul, Barcelona, Memorandum of Conversation, March 10, 1969.

347. SS 143.

348. SS 118.

349. SS 118.

350. SS 118.

351. SS 119.

352. SS 113.

353. SS 137-8.

354. SS 137-8.

355. SS 137-8.

356. SS 137-8.

357. SS 137-8.

358. Department of State telegram from US Mission, Berlin, to Secretary of State, Washington, DC, April 18, 1969.

359. SS 139.

360. Police Group West memorandum, Berlin, April 15, 1969; SS 63.

361. Police Group West memorandum, Berlin, April 16, 1969; SS 65.

362. Secret Service memorandum, April 17, 1969; SS 114.

363. Thomas C. Lucey, "Man in the Middle: The Inside Story," The Family, June 26, 1969; SS 50-2; AMKW.

364. Police Group West memorandum, Berlin, April 22, 1969; SS 66.

365. SS 101.

366. Russell, 727.

367. Russell, 727.

368. Russell, 53-4.

369. Secret Service report, May 20, 1969.

370. Secret Service report, May 20, 1969.

371. Secret Service report, May 20, 1969.

372. Thomas C. Lucey, "Man in the Middle: The Inside Story," The Family, June 26, 1969; SS 50-2; AMKW.

373. Secret Service memorandum, July 10, 1969; SS 8607.

374. SS 58; AMKW.

375. AMKW.

376. Russell, 728.

377. Russell, 728.

378. AMKW.

379. AMKW.

380. Russell, 669.

381. Secret Service memorandum of July 16, 1970.

382. Russell, 669.

383. Russell, 436.

384. AMKW.

385. AMKW.

386. AMKW.

387. Russell, 55.

388. Russell, 73.

389. Russell, 742.

390. Russell, 55.

391. Russell, 728.

392. Russell, 57-8, 742 fn. 11.

393. Russell, 729; AMKW.

394. Russell, 81.

395. Russell, 368.

396. Russell, 81.

397. Russell, 367.

398. Russell, 368-9.

399. Russell, 369.

400. Russell, 82.

401. SS 8.

402. Russell, 729.

403. Russell, 729.

404. Final Report of the Assassination Records Review Board, Chapter 7.

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