August 17th, 2017

Don’t be a cynic and disconsolate preacher. Don’t bewail and moan. Omit the negative propositions. Challenge us with incessant affirmatives. Don’t waste yourself in rejection, or bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Man Who Kept The Secrets

August 3rd, 2017

1968 – JFK, MLK & RFK were dead.

The Vietnam War raged on.

From Berkeley to Cambridge, student revolution was in the air.

Yale graduate Thomas Powers, wrote for the Rome Daily American in Italy and for UPI.

According to Wikipedia, the Rome Daily American:  “was 40% owned by the CIA as part of Operation Mockingbird until the early 1970s. The intent of this ownership was to provide cover for CIA operatives and to influence the Italian electorate which was threatening to vote Communist at that time.”

In 1970 he became a freelance writer and ”wrote quite a lot of reviews of JFK assassination books.”

In fact, as a Warren Commission apologist, he wrote quite a lot of negative reviews about conspiracy books and glowing reviews about lone nut books, such as Priscilla Johnson’s Marina and Lee.

In 1971 he won his Pulitzer for National Reporting on Weathermen member Diana Oughton.

In 1979 he published The Man who kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA.

In 2002 he published a series of memoirs entitled: Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to Al Queda.

In his introduction he defends the CIA and throws JFK under the accusation of responsibility for the assassination of foreign leaders bus.

He writes:  “But what about the awkward question of authorization – did President Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson approve the murder plots or not? The general rule leaves no room for doubt on this score; of course authority came from the White House – where else? Laymen need not agonize over this question; the absence of an explosion of official anger at the discovery of murder plots provides all the evidence anybody really needs.”

We exchanged the following e-mails:

TCH> > Do you believe Oswald acted alone and, hypothetical: what if you’re wrong?

TP> > You put the question in an odd way — what if I am wrong? What difference would that make? — I’m doubtless wrong about lots of things.

TCH> > What if you’re wrong? I suppose I phrased the question in an odd way because as I’ve surveyed the charred remnants of the JFK assassination, I’ve found the subject remains taboo. As terrible a tragedy as the murder was, I think, if Oswald did NOT act alone, a tragedy of equal proportions: the national security cover up. If Oswald did not act alone, then the remaining senior citizens that actually grieved the man, have been hood-winked. If, 50 years from now the assassination is historically remembered as the JFK conspiracy, then the bad guys won and future generations will wonder how we let this happen.

TP> > If I’m wrong, no big deal. If the country is wrong, maybe it would be a big deal, and maybe it wouldn’t. It would depend entirely on the facts as established — if the whole Warren Commission knew the truth and sat on it — yikes!

If some scraggly highschool dropout Fidelista friend of Oswald drove him to the Texas School Book depository and wished him luck on the fatal day, then lived in secretive fear until an overdose killed him a few years later — well, no big deal.  So it depends.

My friend Max Holland is writing a book about  the deliberations of the Warren Commission and he certainly does not think they knew and sat on the truth, but I urge you to read his book when it appears. I would also urge you to read Priscilla McMillan’s Marina and Lee. It’s a very rich and intimate account of the months and days preceding the assassination which in my view leaves no room for an offstage conspiracy.

People sometimes fall victim to the dark charm of a densely factual and hugely documented mystery — I’ve had two friends who were convinced for a time that they were uniquely smart enough to read everything and figure out what happened — David Kaiser and Burton Hersh. In my opinion, they were not. Nor were any of the other writers who caught that particular bug.

At one point I wrote quite a lot of reviews of JFK assassination books, but I quit after David Lifton’s Best Evidence, which was so crazy it seemed crazy to think of him as anything but crazy. I will save you some trouble by saying that his version of what happened involves the removal of Kennedy’s body from the back of the plane, during its flight to Washington, then slipping it out a side door in the cockpit to waiting confederates at Washington’s (then) National Airport, and spiriting it off for surgical alteration of the wounds to make it appear he was shot from behind. You understand that this meant carrying the body from the back of the plane to the front of the plane, during flight, past all the passengers, including the grieving widow and the new president. This book received a lot of respectful attention because the explanation was buried in a mountain of confusing and mainly irrelevant narrative digression.

I don’t know if that’s helpful, but its what I think.

Best wishes –

Tom Powers

Jerry Garcia’s Lost Lyrics

July 31st, 2017
Dear San Francisco Police Department Media Relations,
On Friday, January 18, 1985, around 12:30 in the afternoon, SFPD Motorcycle Officer Mark Gamble arrested Jerome Garcia on drug possession charges while he was parked in his black BMW with expired September 1984 tags parked on the north side of Middle Drive in Golden Gate Park (north of Metson Lake).
Confiscated at the scene was Mr. Garcia’s briefcase which included written compositions owned by Mr. Robert Hunter.
We write because Mr. Hunter has publicly requested return of his property.
Can you please inventory for us what the San Francisco Police Department still has in evidence in this case?
Can you please ensure or help with the return of such property?
Thank you for your assistance.
TheChickenhawk- Editor
San Francisco Police Department:
No reply.
A little research, however, via the San Francisco Examiner’s March 24, 2015 article reveals:

“The record shows an officer identified by number 1913, who police said was officer Tom Srock, released the item, described in the system as an attaché case containing miscellaneous papers.

The entry includes a transaction code, which police said means the evidence was turned over to a responsible partly, likely Garcia or his attorney at the time.

While the record seems to put to rest one part of the mystery, it also seems to keep alive another. The band’s lyricist Robert Hunter said in a recent Rolling Stone interview there were lost songs he and Garcia were working on inside the briefcase and requested if the police still had the songs, to return them. Were those song lyrics and Garcia notes used later on without Hunter realizing it — or somehow lost after it left the evidence room?”

We reached out Jerry’s attorney, David Hellman:

Dear Attorney Hellman,

It’s recently come to our attention that Mr. Robert Hunter is publicly looking for missing lyrics that were confiscated when Mr. Jerry Garcia was arrested in 1985.

According to SFPD records, Officer Esparza said briefcase and papers were “ turned over to a responsible partly, likely Mr. Garcia or his attorney at the time.”

In an attempt to locate Mr. Hunter and Mr. Garcia’s missing lyrics, were you Jerry’s attorney at the time?

Did you take possession of the brief case?

Thanks for your time.


TheChickenhawk- Editor


Attorney Hellman:

Any information that I have is not available to the public.

David Hellman

David M. Hellman, Attorney & CPA
Law Office of David M. Hellman
851 Irwin Street, Suite 205
San Rafael, CA 94901-3343
Tel.:  415-457-4411
Fax:  415-457-0356
Certified Specialist in Taxation Law and in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, Member of the California and Connecticut Bars, and a California Certified Public Accountant

So, for now the story our story is stunted. Jerry’s attorney is not willing to share any information with us. Still, we’ll forge on. Maybe Robert Hunter can give Attorney Hellman a call to see if he’s willing to talk.

The Giant

July 27th, 2017

At the age of 12, André Roussimoff was 6′ 3″ and weighed 240 pounds.

At age 17, he began wrestling professionally in Paris, France and was given the name “Le Géant Ferré.”

He moved to Montreal, Canada where his wrestling legend grew.

Vince McMahon, Sr. billed him as the large, immovable monster: “André the Giant.”

He made his American WWWF debute in 1973 defeating Buddy Wolfe in Madison Square Garden.

In 1976 he scored the under-card for a televised Muhammad Ali fight. The Giant stole the show throwing professional boxer Chuck Wepner over the top rope and outside the ring.

Throughout the decades, rivals included: Killer Khan, Big John Studd, Bobby The Brain Heenan, King Kong Bundy, Ken Patera, Bam Bam Bigelow, Macho Man Randy Savage, Jake The Snake Roberts, Mr. Perfect, and Hulk Hogan.

In addition to cementing wrestling (& Wrestlemania) into an American pastime, Andre honed his acting skills with roles in, most notably, The Princess Bride, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Greatest American Hero, BJ and the Bear, The Fall Guy, and Conan the Destroyer.

On January 27, 1993, at the age of 46, the beloved Giant died in his sleep of congestive heart failure.

The Greek

July 24th, 2017

Born Dimetrios Georgios Synodinos in Steubenville, Ohio, Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, was the self-made man with the million dollar smile.

He single handily moved betting and point spread conversation from back rooms and gin joints to America’s kitchens and living rooms.

He not only made it commonplace, he made it respectable.

The Greek moved to Las Vegas in 1956 and started his weekly pro-football betting line. He became a television icon on CBS’ NFL Today.

Unlucky for Jimmy, on January 16, 1988, he was fired by CBS for a controversial off-air, off-the-cusp interview at a dinner reception on MLK’s birthday.

Ala fellow Greek, Al Campanis, Jimmy made controversial remarks about black athletes and their roll in sports.

Jimmy, obviously in the bag, was asked: “What about blacks in coaching?

Jimmy: “Pretty soon they’ll have to equalize it for the blacks for the Greeks, the Jews and for everybody. And I mean let’s make it equal for everybody.”

Question: What about it was equal in sports?

Jimmy: “Well they’ve got everything and if they take over coaching like everybody wants them to, there’s not going to be anything left for the white people. All the players are black. The black talent is beautiful, it’s great, it’s out there. The only thing left for the whites is the coaching jobs. Pretty soon they’ll take over that too.”

Question: Don’t they need more black coaches?

Jimmy:  “I’m alright with that too. Whites control coaching jobs, that’s all that’s left for them.”

He unfortunately continued: “The black is a better athlete to begin with because he’s been bred to be that way, because of his high thighs and big thighs that goes up into his back, and they can jump higher and run faster because of their bigger thighs and he’s bred to be the better athlete because this goes back all the way to the Civil War when during the slave trade … the slave owner would breed his big black to his big woman so that he could have a big black kid …”

Walter Payton and Ahmad Rashad spoke out in defense of Jimmy the Greek.

Jimmy the Greek Snyder died an ostracized and broken heart on April 21, 1996 at the age of 77.

RFK Files: Letter to Castro

July 20th, 2017

Rummaging through RFK’s Attorney General files at the JFK Library in Boston, we found an article a proud father stashed away back in 1963.


Dear Castro)

Cuba is good but you are bad. You have ruined all Cuba,s hopes for independence since you became a comunist. For your sake and Cubas sake we all hope you return to your Catholic faith. You had a better faith than you have now. The better you make it for your country the better you make it for yourself. Your country will be proud if you help them. I hope after this letter you will see things clearer.

Bobby Kennedy and Kevin O’Donnell

Bobby, son of the Attorney General is 8; Kevin son of Ken O’Donnell, Special Assistant to the President, is 7.


JFK Assassination: The Wink

July 17th, 2017

The Wink

Cecil Stoughton liked President Kennedy, although they were not “friends.” As the first official White House photographer, there was no question who the boss was.

On November 22, 1963, Stoughton was in Dallas and took many famed images, the most popular among conspiracy believers is known as ”The Wink.”

Stoughton privately felt there was something wrong with Congressman Albert Thomas’ facial gesture and interaction with the newly sworn-in President.

Eighteen months after the assassination, The Kennedy Family requested Stoughton’s presence in England for the dedication of JFK’s Runnymede monument.

Lyndon Johnson, did not think highly of Stoughton’s absen

Who Killed Natalie Wood?

July 11th, 2017

By 1981 Robert Wagner’s movie star was on the wane.

Contemporaries such as Brando, Newman, Nicholson and McQueen had passed him by, cementing their screen legends.

Young, method actors like De Niro, Pacino, Hoffman & Walken stole the accolades, Academy Awards, and leading man roles.

Wagner was relegated to profitable television shows like Hart to Hart:

( IMDp–) “Jonathan Hart was a self-made millionaire–the CEO of Hart Industries, a global conglomerate. His gorgeous wife Jennifer was a freelance journalist. They were both amateur sleuths, and in every episode found themselves up to their eyeballs in murder, smuggling, theft and international espionage. Max was their loyal, gravelly-voiced butler, cook & chauffeur, and Freeway their pet canine.”

In real life, Robert Wagner was a self-made millionaire–the CEO of Wagner Inc., a global star. His gorgeous wife Natalie Wood was a silver screen siren. On November 29, 1981 they found themselves up to their eyeballs in quaaludes, weed, wine, champagne, scotch, and murder. Substitute captain Dennis Davern for Max and Christopher Walken for Freeway and you have as unbelievable a plot as ever seen on Hart to Hart.

Wagner & Wood married in ’57 divorced in ’62 & remarried in ’72.

In his 2009 memoir, Pieces of My Heart, Wagner writes about being jealous and possessive of Wood, considering murdering Warren Beatty because of his relationship with Wood, he waited outside Beatty’s home with a gun. “I was pretty young, and I don’t think I could have gone through with it, but I was pretty frustrated and upset. Beatty was the man.”

Starring opposite Christopher Walken, Wagner visited Wood on the set of Brainstorm in 1981 and felt he didn’t have her full attention. In his book he describes her as being “emotionally unfaithful.”

Wagner and Wood invited Walken aboard their boat, the Splendour, for a Thanksgiving weekend trip to California’s Catalina Island.

The trio, along with ship captain Dennis Davern, had dinner and drank heavily at Doug’s Harbor Reef before returning to the boat around 10:30 PM.

According to Wagner’s memoir, “Chris began talking about his ‘total pursuit of a career,’ which he admitted was more important to him than his personal life. He clearly thought Natalie should live like that, too. I got angry. ‘Why don’t you stay out of her career?’ I said. ‘She’s got enough people telling her what to do without you. — The last time I saw my wife, she was fixing her hair in the bathroom while I was arguing with Chris.”

According to captain Dennis Davern’s statement to LACSD:

“Robert Wagner grabbed the open wine bottle and with rage crashed it upon the coffee table and screamed out to Christopher Walken, ‘Do you want to fuck my wife, is that what you want?’ –Walken retreated to his cabin forward and closed the cabin door. He remained there until morning. Natalie Wood was mortified and went immediately to the rear deck. Robert Wagner followed her within minutes and then a terrible argument proceeded. –I turned on the radio and played music loudly to muffle the arguing. –The only full sentence I could completely decipher during the entire argument was ‘Get off my fucking boat,’ said by Robert Wagner. –When I arrived on the rear open deck, only Robert Wagner was present, and he stood near the far rear wall of the yacht. –Wagner appeared sweaty, flushed, anxious, nervous, and disheveled. He told me ‘Natalie is missing’ and asked me to search the yacht. –I immediately wanted to radio for help and to turn on the searchlight, but Wagner told me, sternly, ‘We are not going to do that. We will wait and see if she returns.’ –While we waited, Robert Wagner opened scotch and poured alcohol for me. He encouraged me to drink. He discussed with me the repercussions of bringing any immediate attention to the situation and he claimed he did not want to tarnish his image. After an hour passed, Robert Wagner began crying and repeated, ‘She’s gone, she’s gone, she’s gone’ which I believed a strange thing to say.”

Natalie Wood was found dead floating face down at 7:45 AM.

Ear witness, retired stockbroker, Marilyn Wayne reported, “My cabin window was open. A woman’s voice, crying for help, awakened John and awakened me, ‘Help me, someone please help me, I’m drowning,’ we heard repeatedly.” She said John turned on their yacht’s beam light but could not see anything. She also claims to have heard a man’s slurred voice from the direction of Wagner’s boat saying: “Oh, hold on, we’re coming to get you.” Later, in a sworn statement to the LA Sheriff’s department, she received a scribbled note warning her: “If you value your life, keep quiet about what you know.”

Lana Wood, Natalie’s sister, estranged from Wagner, wrote Natalie: A Memoir by Her Sister which questions the night’s events.

In 2000 an investigation by Vanity Fair magazine, based largely on interviews with Davern, concluded: “Wood’s death was the final act in a two-day drama of jealousy and rage, fuelled by round-the-clock drinking.”

In January of 2013 the LA County coroner’s office made public the fact they changed the official cause of death for actress Natalie Wood from “accidental drowning” to “drowning and other undetermined factors.”

The LA County Sheriff’s Department says the case is open and ongoing.

82 year old Robert Wagner is refusing to answer any more questions now that the case has been reopened.

In 2011, when asked how he felt about the 30-year-old investigation being revived, Christopher Walken said, “I don’t know.”

Walken is not publicly talking but is willing to talk to investigators. When asked about Wood’s death during a promotional appearance on CBS This Morning, he stated: “I stopped talking about that 30 years ago, and there’s so much information, books and Internet and, you know, everything. Anything you want to know, go look.”


July 7th, 2017

4 episodes of Oliver Stone’s Putin Interviews on Showtime has un-demonized (??) Vladimir Putin. He’s likable. He calls the United States Russia’s “partner,” despite the fact that NSA and intelligence services are actively trying to undermine their elections, destroy their economy, and disrupt relationships in the region. Putin understands our cuckoo bureaucracy. US Presidents come and presidents go (4 of them, so far) but things, for Putin, stay the same.

He scoffs at the notion Russia hacked the election. His proof? There is no proof they did.

A judo master, at the age of 61 he learned to play hockey. Not an easy thing to do, at any age.

He drops the bomb that his American partners covertly supported Chechen terrorists. Meanwhile they’ve tried to partner with us in the war against terrorism.

Putin reminds Stone that the US spends over $600B in annual defense, Russia spends about $40B. America spends more than all other countries combined.

The Next Big Thing: Meet Marcus King

July 5th, 2017

Songwriter. Guitarist. Singer. Bandleader.  At only 21 years of age, Marcus King’s dazzling musical ability is evident throughout The Marcus King Band, the young phenom’s 2nd full-length LP and first for Fantasy Records.  Operating within the fiery brand of American roots music that King calls “soul-influenced psychedelic southern rock,” the album highlights King’s gorgeous, rough-hewn vocals, soaring guitar work and heartfelt songwriting all amidst a group of masterful musicians who, together, are quickly becoming one of the country’s most sought after live acts.

Raised in Greenville, South Carolina, King was brought up on the blues, playing shows as a pre-teen sideman with his father—bluesman Marvin King, who himself was the son of a regionally-known guitarist—before striking out on his own. Going beyond the sonic textures of his acclaimed 2015 debut album, Soul Insight; The Marcus King Band broadens his sound, touching upon everything from funky R&B to Southern soul and Americana in the process. His band gets in on the action too, stacking the songs with blasts of swampy brass, a lock-step rhythm section and swirling organ. Ever the multi-tasker, King bounces between several instruments, handling electric and acoustic guitar — as well as pedal and lap steel — while driving each track home with his soulful, incendiary voice.

Having spent the past year tirelessly playing ever-larger venues and festivals to a burgeoning fan base, The Marcus King Band was written on the road and recorded during a series of live takes at Carriage House Studios in Stamford, CT. The album captures the energy of the band’s blazing live show, as well as the talent of a rising young songwriter reaching well beyond his years.

“The majority of our songs are specific to situations I’ve lived,” King explains. “I write as a form of therapy, to release my emotions into a musical expression. I want people to know they’re not the only ones going through that pain. Music is the true healer. And when we perform, we want the audience to leave feeling as tired and as emotionally freed as we do. It’s all about getting the stress of the day off your chest. It’s like therapy.”

The Marcus King Band features Jack Ryan on drums and percussion, Stephen Campbell on bass, Matt Jennings on keys and organ, Dean Mitchell on saxophone, and Justin Johnson on trumpet, trombone and backing vocals. Joining the band on the new album are a number of mentors and collaborators, including Derek Trucks (who plays guitar on “Self-Hatred”).

No guest plays a bigger role than Warren Haynes, though. A longtime champion of King’s songwriting and guitar prowess, Haynes produced every track on The Marcus King Band (and contributed his trademark slide guitar on “Virginia”), expertly capturing the group’s live sound for a cohesive collection reflecting the band’s expansive explorations.

“Marcus is the first player I’ve heard since Derek Trucks to play with the maturity of a musician well beyond his age,” Haynes says. “He’s very much influenced by the blues, but also by jazz, rock, soul music, and any timeless genres of music. You can hear the influences, but it all comes through him in his own unique way. He has one of those voices that instantly draws you in, and his guitar playing is an extension of his voice and vice versa.”

A childhood introvert who leaned heavily on music as a way of expressing himself, King fills The Marcus King Band with a mix of biographical tunes and fictional story songs. “At the time I wrote ‘Self-Hatred,’ says King, “the girl I was seeing really hurt me. Broke my heart, took all of my insecurities and used them against me…she told me she hated herself for what she had said and done to me. I told her I knew exactly how it feels to hate yourself. ‘Self-Hatred’ is within you and me.”

“We’re all really hungry to play, and we’re so passionate about this music. I want people to feel the same thing we feel — to leave the show feeling some sense of release. It’s almost like the show ends, and everyone can take a deep breath together.”

The Marcus King Band is:
Marcus King: Vocals, Guitar
Jack Ryan: Drums
Stephen Campbell: Bass
Justin Johnson: Trumpet, Trombone
Matt Jennings: Organ, Keyboards
Dean Mitchell: Saxophone