The Road to Dallas: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

The Road to Dallas: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

The Road to Dallas: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

The Road to Dallas: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy


Neither a random event nor the act of a lone madman-the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was an appalling and grisly conspiracy. This is the unvarnished story.

With deft investigative skill, David Kaiser shows that the events of November 22, 1963, cannot be understood without fully grasping the two larger stories of which they were a part: the U. S. government's campaign against organized crime, which began in the late 1950s and accelerated dramatically under Robert Kennedy; and the furtive quest of two administrations-along with a cadre of private interest groups-to eliminate Fidel Castro.

The seeds of conspiracy go back to the Eisenhower administration, which recruited top mobsters in a series of plots to assassinate the Cuban leader. The CIA created a secretive environment in which illicit networks were allowed to expand in dangerous directions. The agency's links with the Mafia continued in the Kennedy administration, although the President and his closest advisors-engaged in their own efforts to overthrow Castro-thought this skullduggery had ended. Meanwhile, Cuban exiles, right-wing businessmen, and hard-line anti-Communists established ties with virtually anyone deemed capable of taking out the Cuban premier. Inevitably those ties included the mob.

The conspiracy to kill JFK took shape in response to Robert Kennedy's relentless attacks on organized crime-legal vendettas that often went well beyond the normal practices of law enforcement. Pushed to the wall, mob leaders merely had to look to the networks already in place for a solution. They found it in Lee Harvey Oswald-the ideal character to enact their desperate revenge against the Kennedys.

Comprehensive, detailed, and informed by original sources, The Road to Dallas adds surprising new material to every aspect of the case. It brings to light the complete, frequently shocking, story of the JFK assassination and its aftermath.


Sometime in the last week of September or the first few days of October 1963, three men knocked at the door of Silvia Odio, a young divorced Cuban woman living in the Magellan Circle apartments in Dallas, Texas. Odio, who had tour small children, was packing up for a move with the help of her younger sister Annie. Their parents were in prison in Cuba, where they had been arrested after participating in an unsuccessful assassination conspiracy against Fidel Castro in the summer and fall of 1961. Silvia Odio belonged to JURE, the Revolutionary Junta in Exile, an anti-Castro organization composed mainly of disaffected Castroites who had left the Cuban government—and the island—when Fidel Castro started turning toward Communism. By the fall of 1963 JURE had established a training base in Venezuela and was preparing, with covert American assistance, for a descent upon Cuba.

Two of the three men identified themselves as “Leopoldo” and “Angelo” and spoke Spanish. They claimed to be Cubans, but Silvia Odio suspected they were actually Mexicans. They also claimed to know her father, and identified him and her mother by their underground “war names.” The third man, a young, slim American introduced as “Leon,” said almost nothing. The men asked her assistance in identifying possible Dallas-area donors to the Cuban cause and writing letters to them soliciting funds. She was polite but noncommittal, and they left saying they were going on a trip.

A day or two later, she received a phone call from “Leopoldo.” The call, she surmised, reflected some romantic interest on his part, but he also asked what she thought of “the American.” When she had nothing to say, he explained that “the American” was a former Marine and an ex-

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