(The following article appeared in the April 19, 1995 issue of the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative newspaper Downtown).
As early as 1970, at least one analyst, William Torbitt, was arguing that Division Five of Hoover’s FBI—not Ray—actually organized and carried out the assassination of Martin Luther King in Memphis.
According to Torbitt’s Nomenclature Of An Assassination Cabal, “the real assassin of King entered the naval base near Memphis, TN where” the FBI’s “Division Five maintains a headquarters, only minutes after King’s assassination”; and “on August 14, 1969, James Earl Ray confirmed that Division Five of the FBI was used in the slaying of Martin Luther King, Jr.,” when Ray “stated that Dr. King was killed by federal agents and that they used him to be a fall guy” in the Memphis assassination.
According to Ray, his gun-running supervisor “Raoul” had ordered him to rent a room in the rooming house from whose bathroom King was allegedly shot, three hours before the assassination. Then—about one hour before King was shot—“Raoul” suggested that Ray go by foot to a nearby movie theater and return to the Memphis rooming house in two hours.
In this same Nomenclature Of An Assassination Cabal document, Torbitt asserted that, like Ray, “the fall guy” in the JFK assassination, Lee Oswald, was also apparently handled in Memphis by Division Five of the FBI (around the same time other writers have asserted that Oswald was being simultaneously trained by the CIA). According to Torbitt, “Oswald was taken to Memphis, TN by Division Five of the FBI while in the Marine Corps” and “there he received the highest level of covert espionage activities training during June, July and August of 1957 at the Naval Intelligence School located on the Memphis Naval Base.”
Downtown (5/26/93) also has previously noted that, according to Destiny Betrayed: JFK, Cuba and the Garrison Case by James Di Eugenio, “Michael Levy has unearthed a Navy document which reports” that “Ruth Paine was requesting information about the family of Lee Harvey Oswald in 1957.” Ruth Paine was the person who arranged for Oswald to just happen to be working in the Texas School Book Depository when JFK was assassinated in 1963.
If James Earl Ray was, in fact, funded by Hoover’s FBI in the months prior to Martin Luther King’s assassination, this would resemble the way Oswald may have been treated by Hoover’s FBI in the months prior to JFK’s assassination. According to Torbitt, prior to JFK’s assassination “Lee Harvey Oswald was paid by J.Edgar Hoover through a subterfuge account with the Department of Immigration and Naturalization…at the Dallas office of the Immigration Department” whose “address in the Rio Grande Building was found in Oswald’s notebook.”
Torbitt noted that “Dallas Chief Deputy Allan Sweatt said in a Secret Service document that Oswald was being paid $200 per month by the FBI” prior to the JFK assassination and that Sweatt “furnished Oswald’s informant number, S-172.”
Act of Treason: The Role of J.Edgar Hoover In The Assassination Of President Kennedy by Mark North also recalled that after JFK was assassinated, “Hoover’s first priority” was apparently “to contain news of Oswald’s relationship to the FBI” because “an initial examination of his file” revealed Oswald’s “connection” to Guy Bannister and Dave Ferrie. So according to Act of Treason, on Nov. 24, 1963 Hoover instructed the Special Agent In Charge of the Dallas FBI Office—J.Gordon Shanklin—“to sanitize Oswald’s file,” although “this amounted to wholesale destruction of evidence and nothing less than obstruction of justice.”
In Plausible Denial, Mark Lane also noted that he was told by an FBI informant in New Orleans, Crest Pena, that Oswald had also worked for the FBI in New Orleans, prior to JFK’s assassination, under the supervision of FBI Special Agent Warren DeBrueys. According to Lane, Pena told him that FBI Special Agent DeBrueys “had introduced Oswald to contacts known by Pena to be CIA” prior to JFK’s assassination.
Coincidentally, in his 1970 Nomenclature Of An Assassination Cabal, William Torbitt described FBI Special Agent DeBrueys as “the FBI’s Division Five Resident Agent in New Orleans;” and noted that another person mentioned by many writers as possibly being involved in a CIA-linked plot that apparently eliminated JFK—Guy Bannister—“had been in charge of the Midwestern FBI Division Five operation with headquarters in Chicago up until 1955.” Torbitt claimed that at that time J.Edgar Hoover “shifted Bannister from an official basis with Division Five to a retainer and contractual basis and moved him to New Orleans,” where “Bannister had close contacts with all the armed service intelligence agencies.”
Given the possible involvement of people connected to Division Five of Hoover’s FBI to the JFK assassination, it also might be possible that people connected to Division Five of Hoover’s FBI were involved in the Martin Luther King assassination less than five years later. (end of part 3)
Next: The Hoovergate Scandal: Hoover’s FBI and the King Assassination—Part 4