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The Silent Don by Scott M. Deitch

The Silent Don by Scott M. Deitch

Author:Scott M. Deitch [DEITCHE, SCOTT]
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9781569804070
Publisher: Barricade Books


15

The Kennedy Assassination

WAS SANTO TRAFFICANTE Jr. part of the conspiracy to assassinate President John F. Kennedy? The question is in one sense tangential to the story of Trafficante, yet it is also essential. If the answer is no, then there is still enough information regarding his business and personal relationships with many of the other characters who inhabit the netherworld of Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories. If the answer is yes, then Trafficante participated in one of the greatest crimes of the twentieth century. But it’s a question that can never be fully answered with any degree of certainty, bearing the proverbial smoking gun. In the course of the last forty-some odd years since Kennedy’s death, the abundance of written material has been overwhelming. And if one were to look from a purely circumstantial viewpoint, the evidence for Trafficante’s involvement is compelling.

Following Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963 and the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, the government was sure they had their man. But when Jack Ruby killed Oswald while being transferred out of a Dallas police station, things got murkier. When the Warren Commission issued its now-famous report, basically repeating the story that Oswald and Ruby each acted alone, red flags began going up in the investigative journalism world. Books came out dismantling the Warren Commission findings, from the magic bullet theory to the assurance by the Commission that Jack Ruby had no underworld ties.

One name that was not mentioned in the Warren Commission was Trafficante. When the report was issued, there was little known about his contacts in the CIA-Mob plots against Castro and his involvement in many gangland murders. Nor were they aware of his associates and activities in the time leading up to and after Kennedy went down. What makes this more intriguing is that a cursory examination of the relationships between some of the names in the Warren Commission report, as well as some of the figures implicated in the assassination, showed a clear and direct relationship to Trafficante.

The night of the assassination, while the country was glued to their televisions, eager for every tidbit of new information coming out about Kennedy, Trafficante met with his lawyer, Frank Ragano, and his wife at Tampa’s International Inn for a dinner celebration:

Frank called and asked me to meet him for dinner that night around 6 p.m. The whole world was talking about what happened in Dallas that day. So I walked into the lounge of the restaurant. When I walked in Santo was there with him. They were laughing and toasting and cutting up as I approached the table. I was a freshman at the University of Tampa so I was very naïve about all this stuff. The laughing died offand they both stood up to pull my chair out. The waiter came over and took my order. Then they toasted to the death of John Kennedy. It just was awful. I couldn’t believe they were laughing. I couldn’t believe they were happy he was gone.340

A FEW DAYS later, Trafficante was toasting Kennedy’s demise again.



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