By Mark Howell

The Keys at any price: Hammacher Schlemmer’s latest catalog offers a Key lime pie that has “earned four national championships at the annual Great American Pie Festival and captures the authentic taste of Florida honestly!”

The 11-inch pie serves 10 and costs $59.95.


If, like the majority Americans today, you no longer buy into the Warren Commission’s finding that a lone nut killed President Kennedy 50 years ago, you have never been alone. From the beginning, key Washington insiders in the highest echelons of power never believed it.

For example, President Lyndon Johnson, although he originally appeared to endorse the lone-nut idea, later told Atlantic magazine, “I never believed that Oswald acted alone.”

Jackie Kennedy and Robert Kennedy also rejected the commission’s conclusion. When artist William Walton — a friend of the First Lady — went to Moscow on a previously scheduled trip a week after the assassination, he carried a message from RFK and Jackie for their friend, Georgi Bolshakov, a Russian diplomat who’d served as a back-channel link between the White House and the Kremlin during the October 1962 crisis: “The Kennedys believed that the president was felled by domestic opponents.”

Even Senator Richard Russell, a member of the Warren Commission, rejected the “single bullet theory,” which was a foundation of the lone-nut theory.

And Cabinet Secretary Joseph Califano, who helped develop Operation Northwoods that envisioned committing a spectacular crime and blaming it on Cuba, came believe that Fidel Castro was behind JFK’s assassination.


Those who’ve spent years investigating the Keys connections to the Kennedy assassination have good reason to believe the roots of conspiracy reached deep into the Florida Keys, namely Plantation and Islamorada.

William King Harvey had originally been assigned, by No. 2 man Richard Bissell, the responsibility of developing an “executive action capability” in the CIA (a euphemism for the assassination of foreign leaders).

We know that Harvey worked with Mafia leaders in the CIA’s plots against Castro and in doing so he became friends with flashy mobster Johhny Rosselli.

But during the Cuban missile crisis, Robert Kennedy ordered no more CIA infiltrations into Cuba lest they jeopardize negotiations with the Russians.

Harvey disobeyed those orders and infiltrated three teams into Cuba. When The U.S. Attorney General discovered this he removed Harvey from all further Cuban operations and he was reassigned to Rome. In 1963, Harvey returned to the U.S. and had a meeting with Johnny Rosselli on Plantation Key.

Harvey assigned the expenses for this meeting to the CIA’s file on assassinations. Those expenses included renting a boat in Islamorada.

Rosselli (who had happened to have meetings with Jack Ruby in the months prior to the assassination), is believed to have been recruited to kill the president at that meeting on Plantation Key. Likely the boat was used so the two could talk privately, since Harvey Rosselli was then under heavy FBI surveillance.

There’ll be more of these revelations as we continue to dig into early-1960s history here in the Keys and uncover connections with such people as South Florida attorney Ellis Rubin and a No Name Key visitor, the late Gerry Henning, the only individual we’ve personally met who knew Lee Harvey Oswald and was present in Dallas (carrying a rifle) on Nov. 22 1963.


Howling of the Week:

Even the sea can’t stop me from

writing something to read in my old age.

We’ve had no crack at eternity

in a billion years of trying

One grain of sand possesses

three thousand worlds of glee

not to mention me,

Ah sea

—          Jack Kerouac

“Sea: Sounds of the Ocean”


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