(Updated February 1999, this article originally appeared in THE FOURTH DECADE, May 1995)
By Vince Palamara
It was during the President's last trip before the Texas tour, in Tampa, Florida, where Boring took it upon himself to order the agents who were riding in protective positions on the rear of JFK's limo to dismount and return to the follow-up car (despite 5 April 1964 reports to the contrary , Sam Kinney, Dave Powers, Rufus Youngblood, Gerald Behn (author of a report),Robert Bouck, John Norris, Abraham Bolden, Bob Lilley, Art Godfrey, Don Lawton, Cecil Stoughton, Maurice Martineau,Marty Underwood, and, suprisingly, FLOYD BORING himself (author of a report and the primary sources for the other 4 reports; Clint Hill named him as the source during his Warren Commission testimony ) told me that JFK did not restrict the agents from doing anything!). By blaming JFK for this action, Boring was able to keep the attention away from himself .In addition, by his absence from the Texas trip, Boring was kept out of the swirling contro- versies involving what should-and should not- have happened in regard to security matters(Behn was interviewed in Executive session of the HSCA , while Roy Kellerman, Chief James Rowley, and Inspector Kelley testified to both the Warren Commission and the HSCA) .WHY, after-the-fact, did Boring (and the others after him) blame JFK for this order? I was unable to get a definitive answer, but one thing is for certain: if John Ready and Clint Hill had ALREADY been stat- ioned on the rear of the limo in Dallas during the shoot ing on Elm Street, these men would have been able to protect JFK from, at the very least, the fatal head shot that ultimately killed him(Greer and Roberts inactions notwithstanding).
So, is that it? Is that all Boring is responsible for(although quite important, nonetheless)?Far from it:
1) Gave Advance Agent Winston Lawson the Dallas assignment on 11/4/63, coinciding with Behn's---or SOMEONE's---call to Sorrels.
2) Several days later,Lawson phoned Behn's office about the critical Trade Mart decision-Lawson wasn't sure he actually spoke to Behn . In light of the fact that Behn was dead set against going to the Trade Mart after seeing pictures of the catwalks, an excellent perch for snipers("We'll NEVER go there", he said ; along with Jerry Bruno and Ken O'Donnell, he wanted the Women's Building, which the Secret Service conceded was the better choice from a security standpoint ),and the fact that Kellerman did not become involved with any planning until four days later(11/8/63),it appears quite likely that Lawson spoke to Boring and received information which was conducive to some kind of approval for this site as a selected spot for JFK's speech(which, in turn, had a direct bearing on the potential route choices , the speed of the limousine, and the security of the building !
3)Of the 3 known PRS checks of potential threats to the President in Texas, with the particular focus on Dallas, Boring was involved in at least 2, all three of which yielded NO information at all, which Roy Kellerman (to the WC ) and Abe Bolden (to me) both said was very unusual[Lawson inquired into the first check on 11/8/63-Boring told him there wouldn't be any information of any consequence until this date; Kellerman inquired into the second check on 11/10/63-he even said Boring was probably involved with this particular inquiry; Youngblood inquired into the third known check on the morning of 11/22/63 thru an UNNAMED agent  .What makes this even more unbelievable is the following-
4)As the agent in charge of Kennedy's trip to Florida, Boring had to have been much aware of the Joseph Milteer threats, as well as the anti-Castro Cuban Community's threats AND the organized crime threat , which, according to Sam Kinney, gave the agents a scare down there . A motorcade in Miami was deemed unwise (it was not canceled, it was nipped in the bud), as the Secret Service(including Bouck in Washington and the agents from the Miami field office) believed via their knowledge of the aforementioned threats. However, although Advance Agent David Grant came from Florida to assist in motorcade security in Dallas on the evening of 11/18/63 (along with, among others, Donald Lawton, Sam Kinney, Emory Roberts, and Bert deFreese later on ), and Boring was in charge of planning the Texas trip, the threat knowledge was NOT relayed to the advance team in Dallas!!! Perhaps this is why Jerry Behn told me he was asked about the Florida trip in Executive Session of the HSCA-Behn wasn't on this trip either, and none of his testimony was published...
5) David Grant was a key player in the planning of the motorcade route(which was CHANGED shortly after his arrival on 11/18/63 -prior to this date, only Main Street was mentioned, although, as Sam Kinney and Win Lawson told me , there were ALTERNATIVE routes . Behn told me the route was indeed changed, yet another matter the HSCA brought up in its 'private' forum ), the "uniquely insecure" removal of flanking motorcycles(in direct contrast to the prior Texas motorcades in San Antonio, Houston, and Fort Worth on 11/21- 11/22/63! ), the deletion of the Dallas police squad car (Chief Curry wanted this car there), the reshuffling of the motorcade order ( with Lawson ) , and the placement of the press, Dr. Burkley, Godfrey McHugh and Ted Clifton to the REAR of the motorcade procession(Burkley protested, McHugh told CFTR radio this was "UNUSUAL", and photographer Tom Dillard said this effectively and uniquely brought them out of the picture, as the press usually rode on a flatbed truck directly in front of JFK's limo, not to mention the press bus which usually follows the follow-up car). Grant(who was involved in the drinking incident ) worked hand-in-glove with Boring in Florida, too...
6)On 11/21/63, Dallas Sheriff Bill Decker agreed to offer Dallas Agent Forre?t Sorrels his "full support" to motorcade security for 11/22/63 (as verified in Sorrel's report published in the WC volumes ) . Yet, on the morning of 11/22/63, according to Roger Craig (and as verified in several films/photos), Decker had his men standing idle on the corner of Main and Houston as "spectators" and nothing more . According to author/ researcher Gary Shaw  and Dr. Grant Leitma (a Maryland researcher) these unusual standdown orders came TO Decker via a call from a still unknown source in the nation's capitol(recall that Chief Curry stated in his book that the security arrangements were directed from Washington )!If true, it is quite possible that Mr. Boring, stationed in Washington and in charge of planning the Texas trip, gave these orders...
Boring has a rich background- he was President Truman's temporary chauffeur (Bill Greer drove Truman , as well) and, on 11/1/50, while Truman was sleeping in Blair House during the renovation of the White House, two Puerto Rican Nationalists began there assassination attempt with guns ablaze while Boring was TEMPORARILY in charge of the White House Detail for that day(see Baughman's book and McCullough's book on Truman)and guarding Blair House(with agents Vincent Mroz and several White House policeman).As it turned out, Boring fired the only official bullets ever fired by a Secret Service agent in their long history of protecting the nation's presidents -he killed one of them, Grisselia Torreselo, while the other, Oscar Collazo, was wounded but survived(Sam Kinney later guarded him in the hospital; Collazo, who was later inexplicably pardoned by Jimmy Carter, passed away in 1994 )! Interestingly, another agent, Stu Stout, was guarding Truman inside Blair House, fending off the many shouts of angry housekeepers with his Thompson submachine gun, refusing to budge from his assigned position in the chance that the assassins made their way passed Boring(Stout was later commended by Secret Service officials for his action, the housekeepers notwithstanding ). Ironically, on 11/22/63, while President Kennedy was the victim of a successful assassination ,Stout assumed the very same position-safely away inside a building (the Trade Mart). Sam Kinney, Rex Scouten, and Boring himself told me that Stout died not long after 11/22/63, the first agent to die after the assassination (a matter in some dispute---it has been claimed that Stout actually passed away in 1976).I guess it is true that history does repeat itself from time to time...
Boring, whose code name was Deacon(later used by Jimmy Carter! ), served in the Secret Service from FDR's administration until 1967, when he retired as an Inspector during the Johnson administration(althoughYoungblood's book[ghost-written] states that both Boring and Behn became Inspectors -a highly coveted position of power-after the assassination, Behn told me emphatically that he did NOT become an Inspector, although Floyd Boring did(Behn considered his January 1965 transfer out of the WhiteHouse Detail a "demotion", as he went with another former SAIC, Stu Knight [from LBJ's detail],to a division known as "Special Investigations", which was a non-protective function, whose goal was to investigate violations of the Gold Act, among others ).In fact, it is ironic that Boring appears to have been the only agent in a supervisory capacity in JFK's DETAIL to have benefited after the murder(Rowley took much heat, before, during, and after both his Warren Commission and HSCA testimony,and was later replaced as Chief in 1973 during the Watergate crisis by none other than Stu Knight; Behn retired in 1967 and went to the Post Office Department [his boss was JFK Aide Bill Hartigan, the same man who would later interview Behn for an extremely tight-lipped JFK Library Oral History in 1976]; Roy Kellerman's power was usurped at Parkland Hospital by his deputy,Emory Roberts, and he would later become an Assista?t Administrator in charge of payroll and the like-a desk job[he retired in 1968])! Although ASAIC of V.P. Detail Rufus Youngblood , who was to become the SAIC of this particular detail on 11/25/63 , advancing ahead of the equally-absent Stu Knight, went on to become one of the ASAIC's of LBJ"s Presidential Detail (due to LBJ's call to Rowley), he was, of course, already an "LBJ man", so to speak(Youngblood became one of the ASAIC's of the White House Detail immediately after the murder[Behn, Boring, and Kellerman temporarily kept there nominal positions] until January 1965, when Youngblood became THE SAIC of the White House Detail[we already know what happened to Behn and Knight]with Kellerman now HIS deputy along with a new deputy ASAIC, Thomas "Lem" Johns, another Dealey Plaza veteran ).According to Sam Kinney, Emory Roberts became the Appointment Secretary to LBJ, and Sam assisted Emory (Emory Roberts was the other agent to die from the Texas trip detail between the WC and HSCA inquiries. Interestingly, an unknown agent took his own life with a handgun, according to Agent Marty Venker .). Nevertheless, it was Boring who immediately advanced the highest and the fastest after the tragedy(Knight became the Chief 9 years later, while Agent Clint Hill was SAIC of the White House Detail during the Ford administration, some 10-12 years later).
Boring, now 84 years old and a partial stroke victim, still has an agile mind; it is a crime that he was not interviewed by either the Warren Commission or the HSCA-of the book's he was interviewed in(former Chief Baughman's "Secret Service Chief" and McCullough's "Truman"), there is nothing but fodder for Truman historians. The only Kennedy book he is quoted in , Manchester's "The Death of a President" , is a true enigma-Boring was NOT interviewed for this book(see the book's endnotes; also, Boring confirmed this to me on two occasions)!Alas, the story is not over just yet: in regard to ANOTHER author we have come across who is known for his errors and ALLEGED interviews, Gerald Posner, during the course of my research, I attempted to find out if what Posner claims at the end of his book was true-that, via Hamilton Brown, the Executive Secretary of the Former Agents of the Secret Service(formerly on Joseph Kennedy's Detail on 11/22/63, first name actually "Percy"), Posner was able to locate and speak with several former agents . Since none were credited in the text or his endnotes, I began to get suspicious; this was heightened when Ann Eisele of the Washington Post called me in November 1993 and wanted to get in touch with Brown(along with some Italian and English journalists, I was contacted alot that fall in regards to the Secret Service). I gave her the number after I received confirmation that a)she was who she said she was and b) that she would NOT let Brown know I gave her the number (as readers may be aware, Brown told me angrily to "cease and desist from contacting anymore of my associates", and I did not want to incur his wrath again! ).Even under these circumstances, with her impeccable credentials and no causes for alarm, Brown would not communicate with her or give her ANY information on how to get in touch with former agents (although that was his job, and she was working with Newsweek and CBS for an Oswald-did-it piece for TV and print)!So, I thought-why the hell would Brown help this relative nobody named Gerald Posner out unless...hmmm...unless, just as Posner received exclusive access to Nosenko from the CIA in exchange for a book to their "liking", Brown was somehow assured by Posner -and Random House- of the same thing.
However, there is one little wrinkle in this story-there was ONE agent who I was able to confirm who WAS contacted by Posner, and it was THIS agent that referred him to Brown for reason or reasons unclear: Floyd M. Boring, .
Boring is interesting.
A LOT has happened since this article first appeared in May 1995, especially in regard to agent Floyd Boring:
1) 1995---In the fall of 1995 the Discovery Channel aired the program "Inside The Secret Service"(later a home video; since rebroadcast) which featured, among other former agents, none other than Floyd Boring himself (this was his very first television interview). While interesting, the program only interviewed Boring regarding his role in protecting former presidents Truman and Eisenhower.
2) 1996*---I received Boring's heretofore unknownTruman Library Oral History,
dated 9/21/88, in 1996. The agent defined his role during JFK's term to the
Truman Library in 1988: "I was on all the advance work out of there. I was
assigned all the advance work, sort of an administrator... I was second in
charge [behind Special Agent in Charge Jerry Behn]."
Also, by request, this author donated all of his my audio-taped interviews, including all of my correspondence, to the ARRB for inclusion in the National Archives (obviously, my two interviews with Boring mentioned in the above article were included). In fact, I even made it on to pages xvii and 138 of ARRB's Final Report!
3) 1997---Floyd Boring appeared on the PBS program "Truman" in 1997 (along with former Truman-era agent Rex Scouten), based off David McCullough's book of the same name. In addition, I wrote to Mr. Boring and received a prompt reply, ironically, on 11/22/97--- the former #2 ASAIC of Kennedy's WHD confirmed what he had previously told me on 9/22/93 and 3/4/94 when he wrote that "President Kennedy was a very congenial man knowing most agents by their first name. He was very cooperative with the Secret Service, and well liked and admired by all of us."
4) 1998---Then, the first of TWO major events occurred, thanks to my efforts: BORING'S ORAL HISTORY FINALLY RELEASED BY THE JFK LIBRARY [JAN. 1998]!
My thanks go to researcher Bill Adams for letting me know of this
development. I recently ordered the document and have it in hand now. Although
this Oral History was made back on 2/25/76, the day AFTER SAIC Gerald A.Behn's
was made, and with the very same interviewer from the JFK Library (Bill
Hartigan, former JFK aide), it has only recently surfaced, although the Behn
Oral History has been available for many years as one of the many items listed
in the Library's catalogue. There is one reason for this: back on 9/22/93,
Boring told me that he did an Oral History for the JFK Library, but both himself
and Hartigan "sounded like a bunch of sopranos" when they listened back to the
tape [unavailable, by the way]; this is duly noted at the end of the transcript,
as well. It seems that, despite being able to transcribe the faulty tape (the
transcript is type-written and appears contemporaneous), the Library decided not
to release it...until just early in 1998, after I brought Floyd Boring's name to
the attention of the JFK Library (and a score of other prominent people, inc.
There is much of value in the 29 pages, especially for someone like me (!). That said, there are also some things of value to the general public, as well: Boring confirms what he told the Truman Library in his Oral History made back on 9/21/88 [76 pages] by stating that "part of my job at the White House during the entire President Kennedy administration was to be in charge of the advance work." Importantly, Boring makes absolutley NO mention of any alleged JFK "desires" to limit any form of security (in Dallas or elsewhere), confirming what he told me emphatically and unequivocally on two different occasions: JFK did not interfere with the Secret Service at all and did NOT tell the agents to remove themselves from the rear of the limousine, debunking Manchester, Bishop, and a whole host of others [Boring is strongly corroborated by many of his colleagues that I interviewed].
And, in?the SECOND major development, Floyd Boring's *9/19/96 ARRB interview (MD 259) was released and was even referred to in Livingstone & Groden's updated (1998) "High Treason" [pp. 432-433]---The relevant passages:
"When shown the HSCA summary of its interview with Miami SAIC John Marshall (specifically, Marshall's twice expressed opinion that there may have been a Secret Service conspiracy [RIF#180-10074-10393: 2/22/78 HSCA interview of Marshall]), Mr. Boring expressed surprise at those setiments and said he had never heard that opinion expressed by SAIC Marshall, a personal friend of his. When shown the HSCA interview summary of its interview with Miami field office SA Ernest Aragon (specifically, Aragon's allegations of Secret Service security lapses [RIF#10078-10450: 3/25/78 HSCA interview of Aragon]), he said he would not agree with that statement, and expressed the opinion that SA Aragon may not have known what he was talking about." Mr. Boring was asked to read and comment on several pages of the HSCA 6/1/77 interview transcript [RIF#180-10109-10310] of its interview with former graduate student James Gouchenaur, in which Gochenaur recounted a very long conversation he reportedly had with SA Elmer Moore in 1970. Mr. Boring examined the portions of the transcript in which Gouchenaur quoted Moore as saying that Kennedy was a traitor for giving things away to the Russians; that it was a shame people had to die, but maybe it was a good thing; that the Secret Service personnel had to go along with the way the assassination was being investigated ("I did everything I was told, we all did everything we were told, or we'd get our heads cut off"); and that he felt remorse for the way he (Moore) had badgered Dr. Perry into changing his testimony to the effect that there was not, after all, an entrance wound in the front of the president's neck. Mr. Boring made clear during the interview that he felt Lee Harvey Oswald had shot President Kennedy acting alone, and that there was no shot from the grassy knoll."]
1. 18 H 803-809
2. 2 H 136-137
3. 4 H 342
4. 4 H 337
5. "The Lone Star-The Life of John Connally" by James Reston, Jr. (New york: Harper & Row, 1989), p. 258; 11 HSCA 516; 12/13/77 HSCA interview with DNC advance man Jerry Bruno
6. 21 H 546; 11 HSCA 516
7. 2 H 107-108; 11 HSCA 523
8. "The Third Alternative-Survivor's Guilt: The Secret Service & The JFK Murder" by Vince Palamara (Texas: Lancer, 1997), pp. 9-10, 57
9. Author's interview with Sam Kinney 4/15/94 [Kinney passed away 7/21/97]
10. WR 445; 18 H 789; 17 H 601; author's interviews with Winston Lawson (9/27/92) and Sam Kinney (1992-1994)
11. Author's interview with Gerald Behn 9/27/92 [Behn passed away 4/93]
12 See also 4 H 326
13. Author's interview with Gerald Behn 9/27/92
14. 11 HSCA 527-529; NBC video of Houston motorcade 11/21/63; still photo provided to the author from Russ Shearer
15. 11 HSCA 530
16. 25 H 786; author's interview with Winston Lawson 9/27/92; "The Third Alternative", pages 13 and 35
17. "The Third Alternative", pages 35 and 58
18. 18 H 684
19. 21 H 547
20. "Two Men In Dallas" video; see also the Hughes film
21. Author's phone conversation with author Gary Shaw 8/23/93
22. Letter to author 12/14/93
23. "JFK Assassination File" by Jesse Curry, p. 9
24. Author's interviews with Floyd Boring, 9/22/93 and 3/4/94; Truman Library Oral History 1988; JFK Library Oral History 1976 [released 1998]
25. Author's interview with Sam Kinney 3/5/94; "Confessions of an Ex-Secret Service Agent" by George Rush (New York: Pocket Books, 1988), p. 133
26. "The Secret Service Story" by Michael Dorman (New York: Dell, 1967), p. 69
27. "The Death of a President" by William Manchester (New York: Harper & Row, 1988 edition), p. xxi; "Air Force One: The Planes and the Presidents-Flight II" video (1991)?BR>28. Author's interview with Rufus Youngblood 2/8/94 [Youngblood passed away 10/96]; author's interview with Stu Knight 10/22/92
29. Author's interviews with Rufus Youngblood, 10/22/92 and 2/89/94 30. Rush, pp. 216-217
31. Manchester, p. 37; the author contacted Manchester about this dramatic contradiction in August 1993, but he refused to show me his notes or any other means with which to back up his published claim
32. "Case Closed" by Gerald Posner (New York: Random House, 1993), p. 503
33. Author's interview with Hamilton Brown 9/30/92 (former agents' Bob Lilley and Sam Kinney were offended at Brown's conduct, but the Secret Service HAS traditionally advised against ANY interviews other than those channeled through the "official" Public Affairs Department).
34. Boring told me that he did not tell Posner anything other than Brown's phone number, and he did not know if Posner followed through with the call (it is very interesting that Posner picked up on Boring's importance to the assassination).