Re: DiEugenio's "The Curious Case of Dan Moldea"
By Dan E. Moldea
June 3, 2000
In the May-June 1998 issue of Probe, the official newsletter of the Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination (CTKA), Jim DiEugenio--a disciple of the late mobbed-up New Orleans prosecutor, Jim Garrison--published an article, "The Curious Case of Dan Moldea," which essentially charged that the CIA controls me and my work.
For the record: It doesn't and never has.
Why did DiEugenio write this article? Very simply: I had the audacity to conclude that convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan murdered Senator Robert Kennedy and acted alone in my 1995 book, The Killing of Robert Kennedy: An Investigation of Motive, Means, and Opportunity. That was enough to qualify me as a target of CTKA's active disinformation campaign. And, to be sure, DiEugenio's story is rife with provable errors and malicious intent.
Anyone who knows me and my work also knows how fiercely independent I've always been during my twenty-six-year career as a free-lance crime reporter. It's been a point of honor for me: No person, no organization or institution has ever controlled me.
In the past, when I have read similar articles with equally far-fetched allegations by screwballs like DiEugenio, I considered the source and ignored them. However, in this particular case, search engines throughout the Internet have suddenly begun to feature this false and misleading two-year-old article, causing friends, colleagues, and strangers who have found and read it to ask me about his charges.
Because I'm tired of this nonsense, I have posted the following statement on my web site, Moldea.com, in response to the work of this shameless and clearly irresponsible conspiracy theorist--who never called and asked for my replies to any of his allegations. Obviously, DiEugenio didn't want the facts to interfere with his theories about me.
I have reprinted DiEugenio's entire article in italics, paragraph-by-paragraph. Nothing has been omitted. My response to each of his charges can be found at the end of each paragraph.
Dan E. Moldea
In 1995, Dan Moldea wrote his apologia for the LAPD (and especially DeWayne Wolfer) for their handling of the Robert F. Kennedy assassination. To put this act in perspective, one must go through the LAPD files in Sacramento. After undergoing that long, laborious, painful process one can pretty accurately make the following statement: what the LAPD did in the Robert Kennedy case is as bad, and probably worse, than what the Dallas Police did in regards to the John Kennedy murder. Probably worse because, unlike the JFK case, the LAPD had final disposition over the Robert Kennedy murder. So Moldea’s attempt to get LAPD off the hook—and simultaneously make Sirhan the fall guy—is pretty galling. How does he try to do it?
I deny that my book is an "apologia for the LAPD (and especially DeWayne Wolfer)" or my "attempt to get LAPD off the hook." In short, I am second to none in my criticism of LAPD officials for their handling of the Kennedy murder case. However, unlike DiEugenio, my criticisms of the LAPD are based on solid, primary-source reporting. For instance, during the course of my research, I located and interviewed 114 law-enforcement officers and officials who were directly involved in crime-scene activities and/or the overall investigation.
Regarding the LAPD's files on the RFK case, my article, "Who Really Killed Bobby Kennedy?" in Regardie's magazine--which was released on May 19, 1987, and was praised in reviews by the Washington Post (5-26-87) and the Los Angeles Times (6-12-87)--has been widely credited for prompting the June 26, 1987, surprise decision by the City of Los Angeles to surrender those files to the California State Archives in Sacramento.
If I was involved in a cover-up of this case, would I really have pushed for full disclosure--and achieved such success?
In the opening pages of his book, Moldea makes the following claim:
"As in all of my previous works, everything in this book has been extensively fact-checked....Nearly all of its major and minor characters and sources—including both Sirhan and Cesar—have been permitted to approve their quoted words, as well as given the opportunity to amend and expand upon them."
This is an accurate quote from the Preface of my book. (Page 15)
This statement is dubious. Moldea had provided Sirhan B. Sirhan a chance to fact-check an eight-page report culled from his visits with the prisoner. Nowhere in those pages did Moldea show Sirhan the following dialogue attributed to him in the book:
"Suddenly, in the midst of their conversation, Sirhan started to explain the moment when his eyes met Kennedy’s just before he shot him. Shocked by what Sirhan had just admitted, McCowan asked, 'Then why, Sirhan, didn't you shoot him between the eyes?' With no hesitation and no apparent remorse, Sirhan replied, "Because that son of a bitch turned his head at the last second."
At the time of my third and final interview with Sirhan on June 5, 1994, I had not yet located or spoken to McCowan. However, author Robert Kaiser--who, like McCowan, worked as an investigator on Sirhan's defense team--had told me about McCowan's allegations in late-May 1994. And I asked Sirhan about them during our last meeting the following week.
Of course, Sirhan denied McCowan's claims--which is consistent with his quoted words in my book: That he has no memory of ever seeing Senator Kennedy, let alone shooting him. On this point--along with every other action that involves the issues of motive, means, and opportunity--Sirhan claimed to have a memory lapse.
Eight months after my last interview with Sirhan, I finally located and interviewed McCowan, who confirmed the quote that Kaiser had given me the week before my last interview with Sirhan.
Reading this, Sirhan sternly denied such an exchange. Yet Moldea claims he fact-checked all quotes for attribution. Moldea was never allowed to see Sirhan alone. He was always accompanied by at least Sirhan’s brother Adel. Adel also denies that Moldea ever asked Sirhan about it. What makes it worse is that it now turns out that this comment was delivered to Moldea thirdhand, from Robert Blair Kaiser who got it from defense investigator Mike McCowan.
In addition to my response in Paragraph Three, I repeat that McCowan, not Sirhan, was my source for this quote. Not only did I allow McCowan to approve his quoted words, I also asked him to sign a document, attesting to this statement. McCowan agreed to do so, and his February 25, 1995, written statement is in my possession.
Despite my continued respect for Adel, I insist that he is just plain wrong. I did ask his brother about the alleged McCowan quote--based on what Kaiser had told me the week before my third and final interview with Sirhan.
Also, in my bound galleys, I did publish McCowan's quote, just as I had received it from Kaiser. Then, after speaking with Adel and Mangan, I decided to take the McCowan quote out of my book--because, indeed, it was hearsay.
However, I returned the quote to the text after I located and interviewed McCowan, who signed the statement, attesting to his quote.
Lynn Mangan, Sirhan’s chief researcher, had seen a pre-publication copy of the book. Since she had been with Moldea on one visit and knew Sirhan very well, she realized that the quote was hardly tenable. She called up Adel who reaffirmed her belief. When Mangan asked Moldea when and where this conversation took place, the author told her that he would mail her McCowan’s affidavit testifying to these matters. Three years later, Moldea has yet to come through with the affidavit.
In addition to my responses in Paragraphs Three and Four, I confirm that Lynn Mangan was present for my first interview with Sirhan on September 26, 1993--just as I stated on page 292 of my book. However, at that time, I wasn't even aware of McCowan's claims, which I didn't learn from Kaiser until May 1994.
Later, after I spoke with McCowan in February 1995, I did tell Mangan that I would send her a copy of his signed statement. But, because of her reckless and relentless attacks against me, I changed my mind. In short, I simply refused to reward Mangan's bad faith and false claims with my cooperation.
Nevertheless, I am willing to share McCowan's signed statement--and any other documentation in my possession--with researchers who are operating in good faith.
In a letter to Mangan dated 6/24/95, Sirhan wrote the following about the matter:
"I flatly deny making the statement Moldea ascribes to me in his book via Kaiser via McCowan. This quote was never mentioned by Moldea during any of his visits with me....
"Whenever he [McCowan] came with the others (he seldom came alone) I told him all I could remember of the shooting night—the same stuff that I told whoever asked me including the psychiatrists. McCowan was much more interested in my background than in the shooting scene.
" .... He always had that smooth chatty "I am your best friend attitude—an insincere chumminess, and he made statements that included the answer or inference that he wanted to establish. I remember when after Mrs. Naomi Weidner testified, against my wishes, about the atrocities in the M.E. [Middle East], McCowan came to me and whispered that my discussing the atrocities with Mrs. Weidner months before, was a clever tactic. After a hypnosis session with Dr. Diamond, McCowan tells me as though with knowing confidence that I got the doctors fooled, which was not the case.
"McCowan has very, very seldom come to mind over the years because I realized when I was on Death Row that he did not give a damn about me from the outset, and that he was out for all the glory he could get at my expense like [attorneys] Parsons and Cooper were .... "
Sirhan is not being truthful. As I have written in my responses to Paragraphs Three and Four, I had Kaiser's information about McCowan prior to my final interview with Sirhan. There was nothing preventing me from asking Sirhan the question about the McCowan matter--based on what Kaiser had already told me. The record of our three interviews--which I permitted both Sirhan and Adel to see and approve--indicates that I did not hesitate to ask Sirhan about anything and everything. In short, I did not place the McCowan matter in the written record of our interviews, because there was nothing to add other than a flat denial, which was consistent with Sirhan's quoted claims in my book not to remember anything about the shooting.
When Sirhan says, "I told [McCowan] all I could remember of the shooting night," the fact is that Sirhan claims to remember nothing about the shooting. Conveniently, whenever Sirhan has a memory lapse, it relates to an issue about his motive, means, and opportunity on the night of the shooting.
To sum all of this up: I had learned about the McCowan allegation from Kaiser in May 1994. On the basis of my conversation with Kaiser, I asked Sirhan about McCowan's allegation during my third and final interview with him on June 5, 1994. At that time, Sirhan dismissed the allegation--which was consistent with other quotes from him, saying that he had no memory of shooting Senator Kennedy. On February 25, 1995, I located and interviewed McCowan, who, at my request, executed a signed statement, confirming the quote allegedly made by Sirhan.
The above incident raises some questions about Moldea’s methods and approach which go to the heart of his book. Moldea starts by giving the usual evidence of conspiracy as known in 1995. He mentions the evidence of extra bullets, the muzzle distance problem, the girl in the polka dot dress (which, incredibly, he considered a "red herring") etc. He then says that throughout his inquiry, LAPD gave him a hard time. They scolded him about relying on the testimony of untrained eyewitnesses. They advised him to interview trained crime scene observers, such as the L.A. police. So Moldea does. But upon doing so, the cops end up saying pretty much what the eyewitnesses did, i.e. there were too many bullets, there were additional suspects, there was a cover-up. The logical conclusion is that, since both groups agree, they must both be right. Wrong. Incredibly, Moldea concludes that cops are simply no more reliable than ordinary people when it comes to observing details at a crime scene!
At first, DiEugenio claimed that I had written an "apologia" for the police. Now, he's complaining about my criticism of the police? Actually, in my book, I explained in great detail why the police officers who claimed to have seen extra bullets made mistakes similar to those made by the eyewitnesses. Although the entire text of my book is not online, I have posted the following article about this specific matter: The History Channel on the RFK case.
And, yes, I continue to believe that the "girl in he polka dot dress" matter is a "red herring." I don't believe that any responsible person who has examined the evidence in this case can take that story seriously.
For a good overview of Moldea’s methodology, consider his closing chapter entitled "What Really Happened". Here Moldea pretends to tie up all the loose ends that indicate a conspiracy. It makes for amusing reading for anyone familiar with the facts of the case.
As one who knows infinitely more about this case than DiEugenio, I continue to stand by everything I wrote in my book, including this closing chapter. Furthermore, I continue to claim that, indeed, the LAPD solved this murder with its arrest and the conviction of Sirhan. However, I solved this case. For the first time, my book explained what the LAPD could not: Why the crime-scene evidence had given the illusion that two guns had been fired--when, in fact, Sirhan had acted alone.
The first issue he feels compelled to explain is the problem of the bullet that hit Paul Schrade. As we saw in the first part of this article, the bullet that struck Schrade, in the LAPD version, was the same bullet that entered and exited RFK’s coat at a sharp upward angle, in a back-to-front path, without penetrating the skin. Schrade was behind RFK and not tall enough to be hit with such a bullet. So Moldea asks a question: "Whom did Sirhan hit with the first shot?" He then answers: Paul Schrade. Yet by seemingly handling the trajectory problem, Moldea creates a shortcoming elsewhere. Now he has too many bullets, namely nine. But Moldea does not explain this to the reader, thereby implying he has solved the bullet problem en toto.
The problem here is that DiEugenio, as he admits, accepts the official police accounting of the bullets fired at the crime scene. I don't accept it. This is typical of conspiracy theorists who are desperate to prove a conspiracy. They accept police versions of events when convenient, but they refuse to accept the police versions of other events that conflict with their conspiracy theories.
For a full explanation about why I believe Paul Schrade was hit with the first shot, please see Chapter Thirty of my book, under the two sections: "Whom did Sirhan hit with the first shot?" and "What was the sequence of the shots hitting Kennedy?". (Pages 310-312) In addition, I have posted an abbreviated version of this matter at Investigating Robert Kennedy's murder (IV).
Also, DiEugenio's bullet count from my book is inaccurate. I accounted for eight bullets--and only eight bullets, all of which came from Sirhan's gun.
Moldea then goes on to a shot sequencing scenario. This is not really important but Moldea has to discuss it in order to solve the muzzle distance problem, that is, to get Sirhan within an inch or two of Kennedy. Moldea writes, "I now believe...Kennedy...was then accidentally bumped forward, toward the steam table and into Sirhan’s gun where he was hit at point-blank range." Even if this were true— and there is no eyewitness testimony that says it is—it would not explain that RFK would not only have to be "bumped". He would have had to be spun 180 degrees from his original direction and then would need to be in a position past parallel to the floor to be hit by Sirhan’s bullets at the proper upward angle. Sagaciously, Moldea furnishes no schematic for this acrobatic feat.
Regarding the issue of muzzle distance, I stand by what I actually wrote in my book in Chapter Thirty, under the section, "How did Sirhan manage to hit Kennedy at point-blank range?" (Pages 312-313) Also, corroborating what I wrote and contrary to what DiEugenio says, I referred readers to the statements of two eyewitnesses, Juan Romero and Lisa Urso, regarding Kennedy's movements during those final moments. The "schematic for this acrobatic feat" is clear in my text.
What about the extra bullets in the doorframe? Moldea himself found a host of policemen, as well as other witnesses, who gave strong evidence of extra bullet holes and bullets. But the author concludes that the people who recorded "bullet holes" in official reports, experienced LAPD and FBI officers were just mistaken. These were the result of broken drink carts that rammed into the walls. Convenient but not very convincing.
In addition to my response in Paragraph Seven, I, once again, refer readers to Chapter Thirty, under the section, "Were there bullet holes in the door frames?" (Pages 313-318) Also see: The History Channel on the RFK case.
To show how low Moldea will stoop to whitewash LAPD of any involvement in the RFK cover-up, consider how he uses firearms analyst David Butler. As Lisa Pease showed in our last issue, no objective observer could possibly defend DeWayne Wolfer’s work on the ballistics evidence in this case. So Moldea goes to someone who is not objective, namely Wolfer’s friend and professional colleague Butler. Moldea lobs him a softball: How would you rate Wolfer’s handling of the RFK case? Unhesitatingly, Butler rates Wolfer’s work as a "Ten." In no way does Moldea challenge that impossible assertion. In fact, he goes on to a different subject. Yet when Butler offers information not conducive to Moldea’s preordained conclusion, like the fact that there were more bullets fired that night than could fit in Sirhan’s handgun, Moldea questions the information and then discounts it. Yet the discounting in no way effects Moldea’s lofty opinion of Butler as a valuable witness.
This paragraph is totally irresponsible and completely misrepresents what I wrote and documented in my book. Yes, I interviewed Dave Butler, a defender of Wolfer--who, like anyone else, is entitled to a defense. However, I also interviewed numerous police officers and others who were extremely critical of Wolfer, including his boss, Lieutenant Donald Mann. (Pages 243-246.) To claim that I wasn't critical of Wolfer in my book, is ludicrous. Among other portions of my book, Chapter Thirteen, "Assault on Wolfer," catalogues the criticisms of his work. (Pages 136-144.)
With regard to Butler (pages 257-261), I did ask him to rate Wolfer's work--but only after Butler claimed that Wolfer had removed two bullets from the center divider at the crime scene--which, if true, would have completely destroyed Wolfer's work, the LAPD's entire case, and proved that two guns had been fired. However, I added that Butler had changed his story during our second interview--which DiEugenio, once again, conveniently omitted from his misleading assault on me and my work.
Regarding my "lofty opinion of Butler as a valuable witness," on page 317 of my book, I wrote:
"When I called Butler to give him an opportunity to amend and expand upon his quotes, I asked him to pick a position and stand by it. However, he refused to say anything further--other than to stand by what he had already stated during my tape recorded interviews with him, in which he had claimed to have, and then recanted having witnessed Wolfer remove two bullets from the center divider."
Contrary to DiEugenio's claim, I did not view Dave Butler "as a valuable witness." Instead, because of his conflicting statements, he was of no value at all.
Yet, regardless of my problems with him, I continue to have great respect for Butler, the recipient of the LAPD's Medal of Honor for Heroism for his actions during a life-threatening situation while he was with the bomb squad.
The curve of Moldea’s career deserves some examination. In 1978 Moldea published his first book The Hoffa Wars. The timing of the work, and its content, were interesting. Published during the House Select Committee investigation of the JFK case, it appeared right on the eve of their final report. In fact, it echoed what both Robert Blakey and Richard Billings (coauthors of that report) would later say was the most logical conclusion to the crime: the Mafia killed JFK. In Moldea’s version, he proffered Carlos Marcello, Santo Trafficante, and Jimmy Hoffa as the main suspects. One of his prime witnesses was Ed Partin. Partin was a former Teamster leader who was bailed out of jail by Walter Sheridan and later acted as a double agent in Hoffa’s camp. As with Thane Cesar, Partin took a polygraph test to test his bona fides. During the test Partin stated that Hoffa had threatened blood vengeance on the Kennedys for their relentless pursuit of him. Unfortunately for Moldea and Sheridan, Peter Vea dug up documents showing that this polygraph exam was exposed as a fraud at the 16th annual seminar of the Academy for Scientific Interrogation, a professional organization for polygraph technicians. The man who conducted it, one Leonard Harrelson, was later indicted for fraud in St. Louis. Harrelson had also worked with one Lloyd Furr, the man Sheridan employed to polygraph Gordon Novel while Novel was infiltrating Jim Garrison’s investigation of the JFK case. Also, on 11/28/78, Jimmy Hoffa Jr. was asked by Mike Ewing of the HSCA if Moldea’s book was accurate when it stated that he said his father knew Jack Ruby. Echoing Sirhan’s response to the McCowan testimony, Hoffa Jr. replied: "That’s a total lie. I never said my father knew Jack Ruby or anything like that. He made that up for the book."
Because of the number of charges in this paragraph, please allow me to take each charge one at a time:
1. Indeed, my book, The Hoffa Wars, was published in August 1978. In that book, I was the first person to allege in print that Mafia bosses Carlos Marcello of New Orleans and Santo Trafficante of Tampa, along with Jimmy Hoffa, had arranged and executed the murder of President Kennedy in 1963. However, contrary to DiEugenio's claim, the final report of the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations--which stated that Marcello, Trafficante, and Hoffa had the "motive, means, and opportunity" to kill the President--was not released until July 1979, nearly a year after the publication of my book. Therefore, DiEugenio's claim that my work "echoed what both Robert Blakey and Richard Billings (coauthors of that report) would later say," is rather odd. If anything, the report's conclusions "echoed" what I had already published in The Hoffa Wars a year earlier.
2. Indeed, as I acknowledged in The Hoffa Wars, Edward Partin was one of my sources. His testimony against Hoffa in the Teamster boss's 1964 jury-tampering trial was chiefly responsible for the eventual guilty verdict. I would have been irresponsible not to interview him for my biography of Hoffa. Do I believe that Partin, who did pass a polygraph test, told the truth? Yes, I believe him, just as I believe the jury's unanimous verdict at Hoffa's trial. And the U.S. Supreme Court upheld that conviction, 8-1.
3. Regarding Walter Sheridan, who died in January 1995, he was one of the finest people I've ever known. A top aide to Robert Kennedy, both at the Senate Rackets Committee and at the Department of Justice, Sheridan was a man of great honor and high integrity. I am honored to have known him and to call him my friend. I particularly admire Sheridan, who worked for NBC News after Kennedy went to the U.S. Senate, for exposing the fraudulent behavior of DiEugenio's hero, Jim Garrison, a corrupt and mob-connected former district attorney and judge in Louisiana. Garrison's investigation of the President's murder did nothing more than deflect attention away from Carlos Marcello, the local mob boss.
4. Interestingly, Hoffa's attorney, Frank Ragano, told me on videotape that Garrison--in an effort to help discredit Partin on behalf of Hoffa, a friend of Marcello's--had leaked a false story, trying to implicate Partin in the plot to murder the President. "We know that Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald were in New Orleans several times, . . . " Garrison told WJBO radio in Baton Rouge. "There was a third man driving them, and we are checking the possibility it was Partin." Soon after, Ragano called Partin. Ragano told him that he could get Garrison off his back if Partin would sign a statement, recanting his testimony against Hoffa. (Both Partin and Ragano, in separate interviews, recounted this story to me.)
5. Jimmy Hoffa, Jr., was not truthful during his statement to Mike Ewing at the HSCA, in which he denied his quote to me that his father knew Jack Ruby. I have Hoffa Jr. on tape, saying this. I shared this recording with Ewing and the HSCA staff in 1979 after their interview with young Hoffa. I also gave this tape to investigative journalist Jonathan Kwitny of the Wall Street Journal, who broadcasted a program on public television about the murder of President Kennedy in 1988. Kwitny featured my tape of Hoffa Jr., confirming that his father had known Ruby.
6. Furthermore, I had revealed the contents of this particular HSCA report about Hoffa Jr.'s remarks to Ewing in the Afterward of the 1992 paperback edition of The Hoffa Wars on page 428--six years before DiEugenio penned this reckless and malicious article about me. I never tried to conceal this document; in fact, I successfully challenged it.
Moldea dedicated his RFK book to Walter Sheridan. Today we know that Sheridan was in consultation with the CIA when he was preparing his hit piece on Garrison for NBC. In his book on RFK, Moldea reveals another curious acquaintance of his, Carl Shoffler. This is the same Shoffler of Watergate fame: the Washington cop who happened to bust the "burglars" at the Watergate Hotel the night of the infamous James McCord/Howard Hunt break-in. To understand why this would be a curious friendship for Moldea to cultivate and maintain, one must read the section on Shoffler in Jim Hougan’s remarkable book about Watergate, Secret Agenda.
I stand by my remarks about Sheridan--including his work for NBC to expose the corrupt Jim Garrison--in my response to Paragraph Thirteen, point #3.
Regarding Carl Shoffler, who died in 1996, I also had the highest regard for him. He was like a big brother to me, as well as a close friend. In fact, I delivered one of the eulogies at his funeral. However, my professional relationship with Shoffler was always based on his role as the top expert on organized crime for the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C. (MPD).
I believe that Jim Hougan, who also has been a friend of mine for over twenty years, was flat-out wrong about Shoffler in Secret Agenda, just as he has always been wrong about Walter Sheridan, whom he identified as "a top candidate for Deep Throat" in his 1978 book, Spooks.
The night of the Watergate break-in, June 16, 1972, was the day before Shoffler’s birthday. His wife and kids had already traveled to Pennsylvania to begin preparations for his party with other relatives. Shoffler had been relegated to a desk job at the time because of a recent injury. Yet in spite of the injury, in spite of the long drive ahead of him to get to the party, Shoffler chose to work overtime that night, past his ten o’clock limit. And the overtime shift was not at his desk. He joined a plainclothes tactical unit in an unmarked car. Coincidentally, the car ended up less than two blocks from the Watergate Hotel when the dispatcher’s summons came in about the break-in there. When the call came in, Shoffler broke ranks and answered the call even though he was not the senior officer in the car. He immediately answered with, "We got it." Shoffler later altered the security guard’s statement to effect a more non-conspiratorial guise to the crime, one not reflecting any deliberate sabotage. Finally, it was Shoffler, at 4:00 A. M. who called the Washington Post and gave them the scoop. The rest is history. A cover-up to rival the RFK case was on its way. Former ONI operative Bob Woodward would soon become rich and famous. The CIA’s role in the scandal would be suppressed and ignored. In his RFK book, Moldea does not explain how a Washington D. C. cop could supply him information about a 1968 murder in Los Angeles.
Shoffler's numerous sworn statements about the events on the night of the Watergate burglary have never been successfully challenged or impeached. No one has ever produced any evidence that he had ever done anything illegal, unethical, or nefarious.
However, now that he is dead, he will, no doubt, become the foil in more fairy tales and the target in more conspiracy theories.
Regarding my acknowledgment of Shoffler in my RFK book: Just like many other authors, I routinely acknowledge relatives, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances in my published books--for, among other reasons, their friendship and support. For the record, Shoffler never supplied me with any information about Senator Kennedy's 1968 murder. Simply speaking, he didn't know anything about the case.
But, if Shoffler had known something and wanted to share it with me, I would have gladly considered his information, knowing that it had come from an honest law-enforcement official.
Shoffler’s background could supply some clues. Prior to joining the Washington force, Shoffler worked at the National Security Agency’s Vint Hill Farm communications post responsible for intercepting electronic traffic from Washington’s Embassy Row. According to a former colleague at Vint Hill, Shoffler told him afterwards that he indeed was tipped off about the Watergate break-in and if that part of the scandal was made public, "his life wouldn’t be worth a nickel." Shoffler, of course, denied he made that statement. Shoffler had also been close to CIA heavy Paul Gaynor, internal security chief at the Agency and head of the top secret SRS unit, the place where James McCord used to work before joining up with the White House. As Hougan relates, the Securities Research Staff was primarily involved with "security risks" of all kinds against the Agency. Gaynor worked closely with Captain Roy Blick of the Washington Police Department. Blick was a notorious source for CIA Directors Allen Dulles and Richard Helms. Shoffler’s nickname among fellow police officers was "Little Blick".
Along with my response to Paragraph Fifteen, I'd like to add that I have no knowledge of any of these claims, which DiEugenio bases on "a former colleague" of Shoffler's at Vint Hill--in other words, another unnamed source. Regarding his connections to the intelligence community, Shoffler was a detective in the Intelligence Division at MPD. Given his position, I would assume that he had numerous professional relationships in the world of intelligence gathering and analysis. However, I never discussed these matters with him--even though I am confident that he, like Walter Sheridan, always operated with great honor and integrity.
After using Shoffler in 1995 to give LAPD a much needed boost on the RFK case, Moldea then aided LAPD again in 1997. He helped detectives Tom Lange and Phil [Vannatter] pen their work on the O. J. Simpson case, another black eye for the LAPD. Reportedly, he has now contracted with rightwing book publisher Alfred Regnery to do a book on the Vince Foster case. As with Linda Tripp of Monicagate fame, Moldea’s asking price was not peanuts. Unlike Tripp, he got it. Our sources tell us it is well into the six figure range.
Once again, please allow me to take each of these charges, one at a time:
1. To repeat what I wrote in my responses to Paragraphs Fourteen, Fifteen, and Sixteen, I did not, in any way, use Shoffler "to give LAPD a much needed boost on the RFK case." This is a complete fabrication by DiEugenio.
2. For the full story of how I became the co-author with Tom Lange and Phil Vannatter, whom I didn't even meet until February 1996, for our best-selling book about the Simpson case, please see: "The O. J. Simpson case (I)."
3. Attempting to associate me with right-wing politics is laughable. However, for the full story of how I came to write my book about Vincent Foster's suicide, A Washington Tragedy, for the conservative Regnery Publishing, please see: "The O. J. Simpson case (IV)."
During my twenty-six-year career as an author and journalist, I have known many members of the conspiracy community who were honest and talented scholars and researchers, seeking Truth. However, some in the conspiracy crowd, like DiEugenio, appear to view their genre as a cult-like religion and have developed an intolerance for the views of others. When threatened by heretics, like me, they demonize them, using, if necessary, bogus charges and fabricated evidence. As his article, "The Curious Case of Dan Moldea" clearly demonstrates, DiEugenio is prepared to sacrifice Truth, as well as fairness, for his religious beliefs.
Sirhan Sirhan murdered Senator Kennedy, and he acted alone. Neither DiEugenio nor any of the sheep in his flock can conjure up anything that can change that fact.