Friday, June 24, 2016

The Office of Security: A Tale of Sex, Drugs and High Weirdness Part III

Welcome to the third installment in my examination of the CIA's mysterious Office of Security (OS). Despite being linked to several of the CIA's most notorious scandals (including Watergate, Operation CHAOS and Projects Bluebird and Artichoke), the OS has rarely been addressed at length by CIA researchers. Even within the Company the OS was apparently held in contempt by many of the Ivy League members who occupied the more prestigious postings in the agency.

To be sure, the OS personnel were outsiders to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Old Boys who reemerged in the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) after the shuttering of the OSS in the wake of WWII and who quietly co-opted the CIA once it was fully merged with the OPC in 1951. The OS personnel by and large came from more humble backgrounds than the Ivy League dominated OSS-OPC network and had mainly cut their teeth in the FBI and/or military intelligence prior to joining the CIA in 1947. Much more on this divide with the OPC-OSS clique and the composition of the OS can be found in the first installment.

With part two I began to address the OS's involvement in Watergate. Noted there was James McCord's longtime employment by the OS and his total bungling of the second Watergate burglary as well as the ties Watergate arresting officer Carl Shoffler had to the OS. Indeed, reports have emerged in recent years that it was either McCord's employee, Alfred Baldwin, if not McCord himself, who had tipped off Shoffler about the burglary.

Watergate "Pkumber" James McCord
When I left off I had just begin to consider the targets of the second Watergate break-in: the phone of R. Spencer Oliver and the desk of his secretary, Ida "Maxie" Wells. Establishment histories have long alleged that the purpose of the break-in was for the Nixon White House to gather intelligence on the Democrats in the lead up to the national elections in November of 1972 (the break-in occurred on June 17 of that year at the DNC's Watergate-based headquarters). For this reason it has long puzzled Watergate researchers as to why Oliver, then a mid-level official in the Democratic Party, and his secretary Wells should have been the targets of a break-in team composed almost entirely of former CIA assets. Surely there were more compelling targets housed in the DNC's offices at Watergate.

Or were there? Beginning in the 1980s, there were persistent rumblings that the phone in Oliver's office was being put to some most curious uses. These uses appear to stem from a call girl operation that was being run out of the near by Columbia Plaza. Here are some details about this operation and how it first came to light:
"In reality, what made Oliver's DNC telephone uniquely sensitive was its relationship to the complex of prostitution activities located in the nearby Columbia Plaza Apartments. These are a group of luxury residential buildings that form a line-of-sight triangle with the Howard Johnson's motel and Watergate office building, each of which is within a short walk from the other and each of which would play an important part in the bugging activities that would soon send McCord and his colleagues to jail. The prostitutes working at the Columbia Plaza were many. They included 'a lush blonde'... whom we may call Tess. There were at least two madams, Lil Lori and Helen Henderson, who used the apartments at the Columbia Plaza and, farther away, the Woodner Hotel. One of the apartments used for assignations was in the Columbia Plaza building at 2440 Virginia Avenue, directly behind the apartment in which Tess resided. Like Tess's rendezvous, the one rented by Lori faced the Watergate and, because it was in a taller building, was also in line of sight with the Howard Johnson's motel.
"Besides their location at the Columbia Plaza Apartments, the prostitutes had at least two things in common. The first was the homogeneity of their clients. With few exceptions, they were professional men – lobbyists, lawyers, stockbrokers, physicians, congressional aides and real estate developers. They were among the movers and shakers of the capital, including at least one U.S. senator, an astronaut, a Saudi prince, a clutch of U.S. and KCIA intelligence agents and a host of prominent Democrats. The preponderance of Dems in the boudoirs of the Columbia Plaza was probably due to the proximity of the DNC's headquarters at the Watergate. According to a 1971 police intelligence report, a Washington pimp associated with Lori and Henderson had issued orders for their girls to 'solicit the major hotels in the Washington area. The Watergate Hotel.. was a prime source of business.' "
(Secret Agenda, Jim Hougan, pgs. 115-116)
Columbia Plaza
The above-mentioned "Tess" was a pseudonym for the enigmatic Adelheidcharlott (later Erica) "Heidi" Rikan/Riecken, one of the most well-connected and mysterious call girls of her era.

The Riecken Clan and the Reading Klan

Virtually everything about Rikan's background is eyebrow raising, beginning with her youth in Nazi Germany:
"The woman we now know as Heidi Rikan was born October 19, 1937, in Kiel, Germany as Adelheidcharlott Riecken. Her father, Heinrich, was an enlisted man in the German navy, and during the war, her mother, Edith, worked in one of the torpedo factories located along the northern coast of Germany...
"In 1951, the Riecken family – mother, father and fourteen-year-old Heidi – immigrated to the United States. After spending some time in the lower grades learning English, Heidi attended high school in Reading, Pennsylvania. She graduated in the spring of 1956. The year 1956 was a momentous one for the family in several other ways: 
"In January, Heidi's mother, Edith, got a divorce from Heinrich Riecken.
"In February, she married Carl Meck, a trucker thirteen years younger than herself.
"In August, just six months later, Kathie was born, with Edith and Carl Meck named as parents on her birth certificate. 
"Then in December, Heidi enlisted in the Army.
"On the face of it, it might appear that Edith had been carrying on an affair with Meck while still married to Heinrich. The actual truth, however, may be much darker. As Edith told Kathie many years later, the 'final straw' before the divorce was when she came home from work one day and found Heinrich in bed with Heidi.
"In other words, there is a real possibility – one that the bedevils Kathie to this day – that Heidi is actually her sister and her mother. If this is so, however, no one in the family was ever able to talk about it – least of all Heidi, whom from an early age developed a reputation for keeping everything inside."
(White House Call Girl, Phil Stanford, pgs. 21-22)
Yes dear reader, the woman at the heart of the Columbia Plaza call girl operation was not only born in Nazi Germany to a man enlisted in the German Navy, but apparently carried on a incestuous relationship with him that possibly produced a child in the United States. Whether or not Heinrich Riecken was a dedicated Nazi or a "good German" is unknown, but the location that the Riecken family settled in, Reading, Pennsylvania, has a curious connection to America's fascist underground. For many years it primarily manifested in the form of Roy Frankhouser, one of the most controversial of America's post-WWII fascists.

Frankhouser is most remembered now for his relation to the suicide of Dan Burros, the one-time editor of Stormtrooper, the American Nazi Party's newsletter. Burros eventually had a falling out with American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell, but not before both ended up in the address book of alleged JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

Dan Burros
For a time Burros was active in James Madole's National Renaissance Party, but he eventually gravitated to the Ku Klux Klan. It was through the American Nazi Party that this affiliation began and that he met Reading's Roy Frankhouser, then the Grand Dragon of the United Klans of Pennsylvania. It was at Frankhouser's house that Burros ultimately committed suicide when it was revealed that he was partly Jewish. This led to a curious series of events:
"... The young Nazi was visiting Frankhauser's home in Reading, Pennsylvania, on October 31, 1965 when the New York Times ran a story about Burros that revealed he was Jewish and had been bar mitzvahed. Devastated by the article, a hysterical Burros ran upstairs raving 'like a madman,' according to Frankhauser, who was then the Grand Dragon of the United Klans of Pennsylvania. Burros destroyed Frankhauser's bed with several karate kicks, grabbed a gun, and blew his brains out.
"Burros died from three gunshot wounds, unusual for suicide, which led the FBI to suspect that Frankhauser may have finished the job. Bloodstains and bullet holes from the incident were still splattered on the walls and ceiling of Frankhauser's house nearly thirty years later. That he never bother to clean up the gory mess is a testament to Frankhauser's peculiar mindset. Those who dropped by could not help but notice the photos of lynchings and concentration camp atrocities on the walls, along with an abundance of Nazi memorabilia and racist ornaments. 'It was like a scene straight out of Silence of the Lambs,' said one visitor.
"A Klansman who wore many different hats, Frankhauser was, to put it mildly, a complicated chap. In addition to the American Nazi Party and the KKK, he joined some thirty different far Right groups over the years while also serving as an undercover informant for the FBI and the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) unit of the Treasury Department. On one occasion, he carried out a covert mission at the behest of President Nixon's National Security Council.
"Described by his ATF handler as 'an excellent infiltrator and confidential informant,' the rotund, five-foot-six-inch Frankhauser took to wearing a bulletproof vest after several incidents when unidentified gunmen tried to kill him. He lost one eye while engaged in unspecified Aryan maneuvers – which gave a new twist to the appellation Exalted Cyclops, as Klan members traditionally referred to their leader. An emotionally unstable personality that reveled in spookery, Frankhauser later claimed he was actually a double agent who used his role as a government spy to gain access to information that the FBI and the ATF held in their files about his ultra right-wing colleagues. This must have sounded credible to his neo-Nazi buddies, as they continued to treat Frankhauser as one of their own, despite widely publicized reports that he was working for the Feds."
(The Beast Reawakens, Martin A. Lee, pgs. 163-164)
Frankhouser was of course far from being the only white supremacist with intelligence ties. By 1970 he was the regional coordinator for the Minutemen, one of the nation's first post-WWII "patriot" militias and an organization with extensive intelligence ties (as noted before here and here).

And as for the decor, nothing quite screams Nazi like the bloodstains of a dead Jew who died on Halloween, eh? The great Peter Levenda interviewed Frankhouser at some point in the 1970s and found the occult trapping's of Frankhouser's "church" rather unnerving as well:
"... When I visited Klansmen Roy Frankhouser's 'church' in Reading, Pennsylvania, the occult influence (on the decor if nothing else) was striking. A flag-draped altar with a row of human skulls wearing Kaiser-era spiked helmets was the least of it. The upstairs room where I sat with Frankhouser, waiting for a contingent of Madole's Nazis to arrive as the Klansmen melodramatically placed a Lugar on the table between us as if expecting violence from your bantamweight corresponding, was further evidence of the influence of occultism on the American supremacy movement. Portraits of Nazis and Klan cross-burning photos were cheek by jowl with framed Nordic pagan emblems and runes, and volumes by Blavatsky were sandwiched in between the obligatory Mein Kampf, biographies of Hitler, Himmler, etc. al., and histories of the war."
(Unholy Alliance, Peter Levenda, pgs. 332-333)
"Riot" Roy Frankhouser
Whether or not Frankhouser had any ties to the Rieckens is unknown. Born in 1939, Frankhouser would have been two years younger than Heidi. Frankhouser did express an interest in Nazism from a very young age, however. He was apparently active in racist causes by the time he dropped out of high school in tenth grade and had met George Lincoln Rockwell by 1958. Had a young Frankhouser have been aware that Riecken had fought for the Nazis during World War II, he may well have sought him out or even Riecken's gorgeous daughter (Frankhouser and Heidi do not seem to have attended the same school, however).

Besides the presence of Frankhouser in Reading, the surrounding area has played a key role in the American fascist underground for years now as well. One of the key figures behind the Aryan Republican Army that engaged in a series of bank robberies across the Midwest during the mid-1990s (and which was also linked to Elohim City and potentially Timothy McVeigh as well), Pennsylvania Posse Comitatus head Mark Thomas, kept a notorious farm in Berks County, PA, that was used to stage numerous white supremacist rallies and music festivals (noted before here). Reading is the county seat of Berks County.

Reading is also a little less than two hours from Shickshinny, Pennsylvania. It was here that the notorious Sovereign Order of Saint John (SOSJ) maintained their headquarters for decades. The origins of this group are rather murky: they claimed descent from the Medieval Knights Hospitallers (via the Russian line of succession, a highly dubious prospect) and may have had ties to the Thule Society (as noted before here, here, and here). Formal references to the group do not appear until the early 1930s while the organization was not officially incorporated until 1956.

the Maltese cross used by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and mimic organizations
Its long time Grand Master, Charles Pichel, was suspected of being an asset of Nazi Germany during the 1930s. By the 1960s, when the organization was at its peak, it featured a membership roster littered with numerous "former" US generals and admirals as well as a few CIA men. The SOSJ has been linked to a host of intrigues, most notably the Kennedy assassination (as I noted before here) and possibly even Timothy McVeigh. It also had quite extensive ties to both the Posse Comitatus and the earlier Minutemen networks as noted before here.

Even closer to Reading is Philadelphia. Philly and the area around it was home to two close colleagues of one of the most curious scientists to be employed by Project Artichoke. Members of the Aryan Republican Army had also been recruited from Philadelphia and the surrounding area (as noted before here).

In other words, a lot of very strange things seem to have been happening in this area throughout the Cold War era and well into the 1990s. But I digress. Let us return to Heidi.

Heidi and the Syndicate

Heidi did not take to Army life and departed the service in 1958 shortly after she had been married. By 1960 Heidi was divorced, apparently because she believed her husband was dead (he was not, a fact Heidi would not become aware of until many years later) and living in Washington D.C. There she was working as a stripper at the Blue Mirror and making powerful friends in the process. One of them was the notorious gangster Joe Nesline, a key figure within the Syndicate who may have also had ties to Lee Harvey Oswald assassin Jack Ruby:
"... Heidi Rikan alias 'Cathy Dieter,' was a girlfriend for Joe Nesline, the top organized-crime representative in the Washington area (associated at this time with Meyer Lansky, Charles Tourine, and Dino Cellini, in sex-club operations in Amsterdam and Hamburg). These men were at the very summit of international gambling, call-girl operations and narcotics, the key to mob influence in politics...
"These were also men close to the Havana casinos which Ruby had visited and where his friend McWillie worked. In pre-Castro Cuba, Nesline had been employed at the Havana Tropicana, where Lansky's man Dino Cellini was manager and where McWillie had also worked, before shifting jobs to work for Tourine at the Capri. When Ruby and McWillie went on to Cuba's Trescornia Prison in 1959, both Tourine... and Cellini... were there. In June 1963, Tourine and Nesline were arrested together outside Washington, along with Frank 'Lefty' Rosenthal of the Chicago mob."
(Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 239-240)
Meyer Lansky
Nesline's associates demonstrate the extent of his power and influence. Meyer Lansky is widely believed to have been the most powerful man in the Syndicate in the post-WWII years up until the time of his death in the early 1980s. Long perceived a the mob's banker, Lansky played an enormous role in creating the offshoring culture that is now a staple of modern finance. Several of his other associates were being recruited by Office of Security staff and their assets in the early 1960s in a bid to assassinate Castro. This shall be addressed in greater length in a future installment.

Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal is another infamous figure. For years he was one of the big movers and shakers in Las Vegas. The Robert DeNiro character ("Ace") in Casino was based upon him. And then there's Dino Cellini. Both Dino and his brother Eddie would go on to play a key role in establishing Resorts International on the Bahama's Paradise Island. Other curious figures in our story had ties to Resorts:
"... Resorts International proceeded to build a casino on the exclusive piece of Bahamian real estate called Paradise Island. A star-studded cast was on hand for the grand opening of the gambling spot, complete with tennis courts, swimming pools, albino beaches, and the clear blue waters of the Caribbean. It was New Year's Eve 1968 and the guest of honor at this gala event was none other than Richard Nixon, who was about to launch a successful bid for the White House. James Crosby, president of Resorts International, contributed $100,000 to Nixon's campaign. Crosby and Bebe Rebozo, Nixon's best friend, mingled with a bevy of movie stars, jet setters, gangsters, and GOP faithful. Billy Hitchcock was also there, idling among the heavies with drink in hand."
(Acid Dreams, Martin A. Lee & Bruce Shlian, pg. 245)
William Mellon Hitchcock is on the right
William "Mr. Billy" Mellon Hitchcock was the notorious financier behind the so-called "hippie mafia," the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. At this point the Brotherhood were the largest LSD smugglers in the world and they were getting support from a heir of the fabulously wealthy and powerful Mellon family. Much more about the Brotherhood and Mr. Billy can be found here.

Nixon's above-mentioned close associate, Bebe Rebozo, has long been linked to organized crime as well. Another early potential investor for Resorts was rogue financier Robert Vesco, another Nixon associate linked to organized crime. Vesco was eventually forced to pull out of Resorts after his criminal doings began to be exposed. But I digress. Let us return to Heidi.

Heidi in Dallas

By the early 1960s Heidi was working as a courier for Nesline and associates. In this capacity she became a part of the jet set crowd, visiting mob operations across the country and even the world. She also began to entertain professional football players on a regular basis. It began with contacts she made with the Washington Redskins via Nesline but by the mid-1960s her clients were spread out across the country. In 1966 she met George Owen, a scout for the Dallas Cowboys who would introduce Heidi to Texas's high rollers:
"Through Owen, Heidi would soon meet the movers and shakers of Texas politics – and at a time when they wielded extraordinary influence over the entire nation because their boy, Lyndon Johnson, was still president of the United States. In exchange for the usual perks – government contracts and tax breaks – they gave him untraceable millions, which LBJ invested in the campaigns of sympathetic senators and congressmen from around the country, through bagmen like Bobby Baker. Heidi's little black book is full of them.
"At the time, Owen was a member in good standing of what the newspapers called the 'Rover Boys' – a hard-partying crowd that hung out with Clint Murchison Jr., heir to an oil fortune and principle owner of the Dallas Cowboys. Clint himself was famous for his endless womanizing, and there was always a bevy of beautiful young things – whom Murchison somewhat uncharitably referred to as 'half whores' – to choose from. Members of his crew served as talent scouts."
(White House Call Girl, Phil Stanford, pg. 46) 
George Owen (13) during his college basketball days
George Own himself is a highly curious figure. In 1957 he was present at the arrest of nationally known stripper Candy Barr, which has long been reputed to have been a set-up. Barr was held to be an intimate of celebrity gangster Mickey Cohen as well Jack Ruby, who would be in close contact with her up until his arrest for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. Owen would go on to be engaged to a woman who would play a key role in Heidi's Columbia Plaza ring and the Watergate scandal. But more on her later.

Let us consider some of Heidi's other intimates from around this era. Here are some more names that appear in Heidi's little black book:
 "Texas connections in Heidi's little black book include Fred Black, LBJ neighbor and friend and business associate of Bobby Baker; Morris Jaffe, LBJ financial advisor; Clint Murchison Jr., principal owner of the Dallas Cowboys; Chito Longoria, developer; Gordon McClendon, radio magnet and friend of Murchison; Ben Barnes, Lt. Governor 1969-73; John White, Texas agricultural commission, 1957-76; Bedford Wynne, co-founder, Dallas Cowboys; Grady Clark, Heidi's sugar-daddy; and John Young, Congressman, 1950-76."
(White House Call Girl, Phil Stanford, pg. 158, 25n) 
The presence of Clint Murchison Jr., Bedford Wynne, Morris Jaffe and Gordon McLendon in Heidi's address book are most curious. All four men have been linked to the Kennedy assassination in one way or another as well as having long alleged ties to organized crime.

The Murchison family was one of the most politically well-connected Texas clans throughout the Cold War era. After the family had built a massive fortune through oil, Clint Jr. had branched out into professional sports by founding the Dallas Cowboys. Clint's father, Clint Sr., is reputed to have had extensive ties to organized crime as well as the FBI:
"At least on paper, the Hunts and the Murchisons were rivals in the Texas oil business. But both cultivated not only powerful people on the far right but also J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon, organized-crime figures, and Lyndon Johnson, whose rise to power emanated directly from his friends in Texas oil. Like Hunt, Murchison was an ardent supporter of Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist crusade. McCarthy came often to the exclusive hotel Murchison opened in La Jolla, California, in the early 1950s. So did Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover. In 1961, after Nixon had lost the presidential election to JFK the previous year, Murchison sold Nixon a lot in Beverly Hills for only $35,000 – a lot Murchison had financed through a Hoffa lone – which Nixon sold two years later for $86,000.
"As James Reston Jr., wrote in his biography of another Texas politician, John Connally: 'At the [Murchison] Hotel Del Charro, the FBI and the underworld and the oil business coexisted in a nervous axis of collegiality. When Hoover came, as he did every summer between 1953 in 1959, Murchison picked up his tab. That amounted to about $19,000 of free vacations for the FBI director over those years.' Whether Hoover knew it or not, almost 20 percent of the Murchison Oil Lease Company in Oklahoma was then owned by Gerardo Catena, chief lieutenant to the Genovese crime family."
(The Man Who Knew Too Much, Dick Russell, pgs. 521-522)
Clint Sr
Jack Ruby was reportedly on good terms with members of the so-called "Del Charro set":
"The story of Ruby and Aldred McLane illustrates how Ruby's intimacy with the world of gambling gave him and an entree to the overworld of Dallas oilman and lawyers, men with considerable political influence. Beyond question, Ruby knew a number of such individuals. A businessman told the FBI, for example, that Ruby had once introduced him to Dallas businessman E.E. Fogelson and his wife, Greer Garson... Like McLane's employers Clint Murchison Sr., and Wofford Cain, Fogelson was a member of the 'Del Charro set.' This was a group of Texas millionaires who frequented Clint Murchison's resort, the Hotel Del Charro, near Murchison's racetrack, the Del Mar, in La Jolla, California. Clint Murchison and some of his associates would pay for the annual racing holidays of their good friend J. Edgar Hoover."
(Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 204-205)
Jack Ruby, the assassin of Lee Harvey Oswald
Then there's Bedford Wynne. Wynne's family had risen to prominence initially via the legal services the family law firm provided to the Murchison family. By the 1960s they were a power of their own, however. As noted above, Wynne was a co-owner of the Dallas Cowboys while his family owned the notorious Great Southwestern Corporation. This company was linked to the cover-up of the Kennedy assassination as well as a host of other scandals that followed in its wake:
"... the Great Southwest Corporation, a real-estate venture controlled in Dallas by the wealthy family of Bedford Wynne. One Great Southwest employee, James Herbert Martin, who managed the firm's Inn of the Six Flags motel, soon became Marina [Oswald]'s manager. After he was fired, William A. McKenzie, a lawyer from the Wynne family law firm (which represented Great Southwestern) became Marina Oswald's lawyer. Both men, along with still other employees of Great Southwestern, were responsible for highly questionable 'links' between Oswald and the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, some of which were again discarded by the Warren Commission... 
"Since 1963 the Great Southwestern Corporation has drawn the attention of investigative journalists for a quite different reason: allegations of bankruptcy fraud with organized-crime overtones. It is certain that highly questionable transfers of assets to Great Southwestern contributed to the spectacular bankruptcies of the Webb & Knapp real estate empire in 1965 and the Penn Central in 1970 --the world's two greatest bankruptcies up to that time. After the Penn Central bankruptcy, two Great Southwestern directors were indicted on criminal charges..."
(Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Peter Dale Scott, pgs. 283-284)
Penn Central logo
In comparison to the rest of this rogue's gallery, Morris Jaffe's hands are fairly clean. But he was a long time associate of the Wynne family, being a partner at Wynne, Jaffe, and Tinsley (the Wynne family firm in which Bedford Wynne was the senior partner and which represented the Murchison family in Washington). Apparently one cannot be to close to the Wynne-Murchison nexus without getting one's hands a little dirty however, as Morris Jaffe served for a time as the attorney for George de Mohrenschildt, the bizarre White Russian with extensive ties in Dallas' far right community who befriended the alleged communist Lee Harvey Oswald. This blog has published much more on de Mohrenschilft before here.

Possibly the most curious of Heidi's Dallas contacts is Gordon McLendon. Far more than a mere "radio magnet," McLendon appears to have the Murchison family's contact with the US intelligence community:
"... one close intelligence contact the family developed was with a former naval intelligence officer, Gordon McLendon, who owned a network of radio stations, and who was also became a co-owner, with Clint Murchison ,Jr., of the Dallas Cowboys.
"McLendon continued in the 1960s to have excellent intelligence connections. These kept him, for example, abreast of the developing Bobby Baker scandal in Washington in 1963, about which he was able to tell me things still not generally known in 1977... McLendon also represented a kind of a link between the usually separated worlds of Jack Ruby, who listed him as one of his six closet friends in Dallas.... and Lee Harvey Oswald.
"McLendon knew CIA Officer David Phillips, who in September 1963 strangely mishandled the Lee Harvey Oswald visit to Mexico City for the CIA station there. When Phillips retired in the 1970s, he went into business with McLendon, and the two men also cofounded the Association of Former Intelligence Officers..."
(Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, Peter Dale Scott, pg. 217)
Gordon McLendon
David Atlee Phillips is an especially notorious CIA officer who has long been alleged to have played a key role in the Kennedy assassination (many researchers believe Phillips was Oswald's CIA handler). He was also a good friend of E. Howard Hunt. Both men were veterans on the 1954 coup the CIA staged in Guatemala.

That McLendon co-founded the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) with Phillips is especially significant. The AFIO, along with the OSS Society, are the two primary bodies for "former" US intelligence officers. The AFIO features numerous former CIA, DIA, NSA and FBI directors as well as their counterparts in the military intelligence services and of course the rank-and-file officers in all these services. In other words, the AFIO is extremely well connected throughout the US intelligence community, and this has led some to speculate that the AFIO and OSS Society are actually the controlling bodies behind the CIA and other intelligence agencies. While this might be a bit of a stretch, there is ample evidence the AFIO plays a shadowy and little recognized role in the US intelligence community. Much more information on the AFIO can be found here.

It is interesting to note that James McCord was also a member of the AFIO, but the body was not founded until 1975 and it is unknown when McCord signed up. It is also unknown whether McCord or McLendon knew one another.

All of this tends to indicated that after Heidi's escapades in Dallas she emerged phenomenally well-connected, with ties to Texas oil money that wielded a tremendous amount of influence in the nation's capital as well at least one contact who was a former intelligence officer (to say nothing of her high ranking Syndicate contacts). Throughout this and the previous section I have tried to stress the connections to the Kennedy assassination. This is due to the fact that the same milieu of powerful Syndicate figures and Texas oil money seem to be appear in both the JFK assassination and the Watergate scandal. As I noted before here, an interstate prostitution, gambling and drugs and arms trafficking network with strong ties to Texas (and especially Dallas) played a key role in the Kennedy assassination and here we see evidence that the same network was still active at the time of the Watergate break-in. But I digress.

The Road to Columbia Plaza

In addition to introducing Heidi to powerful contacts in Dallas, George Owen also introduced Heidi to Maureen "Mo" Kane, soon to be Biner, and eventually Dean. Owen and Mo were briefly engaged (in some accounts it is claimed they were even briefly married) but things fell through for reasons that have been long disputed. Fortunately Mo had an accommodating friend near the nation's capital who had a lush place for her to crash in. 

By 1968 Heidi was back in the D.C. area, living in an upscale condo in Bethesda, Maryland provided for by Grady Clark, one of her Dallas contacts. Heidi was still working for Nesline as well, staying close to NFL players and doing jobs for Nesline's "bookkeeper" in Antigua. 

Mo Biner was a frequent guest of Heidi's around the time she met John Dean, counsel to the President of the United States. John Dean is of course one of the central figures in the entire Watergate scandal. Dean was one of the three men, along with Attorney General John Mitchell and Jeb Magruder (the Deputy-Director of the Committee to Re-Elect the President; CRP), who were first presented with G. Gordon Liddy's intelligence gathering plan that eventually lead to the Watergate break-in. Many have alleged that Dean is the man who pressured Mitchell into authorizing a scaled down version of Liddy's plan while also being the man who initially took point on the White House cover-up of Watergate. And of course, Dean would eventually become one of the key witnesses for the Senate Watergate Committee that ultimately forced Nixon's resignation.

John Dean
Apparently Mo was introduced to Dean through his prep school roommate, Congressman Barry Goldwater Jr. (who also appears in Heidi's black book). Barry Goldwater Sr. was of course the longtime US Senator from Arizona who was the Republican Party's 1964 candidate for president. Goldwater Sr was also a longtime darling of the American Security Council (ASC), a defense lobby group, propaganda outfit and massive private intelligence network that has been chronicled at length on this blog before here. The ASC will turn up again in connection with Watergate in the next installment, so do keep it in mind. But back to the matter at hand.

1971 proved to be a banner year for Heidi. It was then that Mo first began to "date" John Dean and it was that year that Heidi began to setup the Columbia Plaza operation. She had been running a previous operation in the Adams Morgan district, but this was shut down by D.C. vice. Heidi and her workers may have avoided serious charges from this bust thanks to a tip provided by Phillip Bailley, a D.C. lawyer who happened to notice an undercover cop after wrapping up a lovely time at the Morgan Adams location one night.

Heidi was impressed and recruited Bailley for her new Columbia Plaza operation. She also introduced Bailley to Mo, whom the lawyer knew as "Clout" (apparently a reference to her relationship with Dean; Heidi gave her name to Bailley as "Kathie Dieter"). This introduction and Bailley's subsequent collaboration with Heidi on the Columbia Plaza operation would cost him dearly.

Mo Dean, aka "Clout"
It was Bailley who apparently set up Heidi's pipeline to the DNC at the Watergate:
"A subsequent meetings between Bailley and Cathy/Heidi, there was talk of a new source of business for Cathy's ring. Bailley had boasted to Cathy of his former political connections, and she now wanted him to make use of his claimed friendship with Spencer Oliver, who was currently working as the executive director of the Association of State Democratic Chairmen in the DNC headquarters at the Watergate, a short walk away from the Columbia Plaza, the headquarters of Cathy's call-girl ring. The thought was that someone --perhaps Oliver himself, perhaps another employee --would be able to steer' high rolling pols' to Cathy's Columbia Plaza operation. Bailley, with his well-known powers of persuasion, was asked to go in and find such a person, who could be promised a commission on any customers...
"In the winter of 1971, Bailley went to the DNC to see Oliver, who was away at the time; unable to get to him, he chatted with the receptionist about the good old days working on Bobby Kennedy's 1968 campaign, and took a brief walk-through of the DNC offices. In late February 1972, he tried again, with more success. Oliver was away, though his secretary, Ida M. ('Maxie') Wells, was in, and she agreed, Bailley says, to see him and to give him a full tour of the premises...
"Bailley says he found someone at the DNC with whom he could do business, telling her, 'I have friends who can make your out-of-town people happy at night,' He stressed that these were college-educated ladies and that they were just across the street, referring to the Columbia Plaza. According to Bailley, at this and in subsequent meetings and phone calls with Cathy and Bailley, the DNC contact agreed to take part in the operation."
(Silent Coup, Len Colodny & Robert Gettlin, pgs. 128-129)
It has of course long been suspected that Maxie Wells was the insider at the DNC funneling clients to the Columbia Plaza operation and that she was the mysterious "Greenhouse Nymph" in Heidi's little black book. There are also compelling indications that Wells had "dated" Bailley at some point. As was noted in the prior installment, when McCord's employee Alfred Baldwin was dispatched to the DNC shortly before the June 17th break-in, he is alleged to have used Bailley's name. Baldwin was also said to closely resemble physically Bailley, which could explain why one of the DNC receptionists thought that Baldwin was Wells' boyfriend.

But long before Alfred Baldwin was dispatched to the DNC, another McCord employee was involved with the Columbia operation. This would be Lou Russell, the former FBI man and investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) who was then employed as a private detective by a security firm owned by McCord. Russell had spent a considerable amount of money procuring eavesdropping equipment for the Columbia operation.
"At about the time Bailley had established Tess's liaison with the DNC, Russell purchased $3,000 in electronic eavesdropping equipment from a former partner of his, John Leon, the proprietor of Allied Investigation Inc. That this equipment was purchased on behalf of McCord is likely: Russell was McCord's employee and had neither funds nor a bank account of his own. Leon himself was of the opinion that Russell had made the purchase for McCord, and so was Gordon Hess, a former Washington police officer in whom Russell confided.
"That Russell was bugging the whores at the Columbia Plaza is unquestionable. Shortly after McCord's arrest, attorney Bud Fensterwald hired Russell to investigate certain non-Watergate-related events in which the Committee to Investigate Assassinations (CtIA) was interested. Accordingly, Russell had frequent occasion to converse with CtIA worker Bob Smith in the foundation's offices. As Smith told me, Russell regaled him with anecdotes about intimate conversations between prostitutes and the politicians of the DNC. 'This was long before Alfred Baldwin came forward with his story about McCord's eavesdropping activities,' Smith recalled. Bob Smith wasn't the only one to hear Russell's stories. The private eye also bragged to Fensterwald and told another investigator, former Treasury agent Kennard Smith, that he was tape-recording conversations between Columbia Plaza prostitutes and their clients. The prostitutes, Russell told Ken Smith, were cooperating in the venture."
(Secret Agenda, Jim Hougan, pgs. 117-118)
Phillip Bailley confirmed that not only were Heidi and friends collaborating with Russell, but that the surveillance of the Columbia Plaza operation was far more elaborate than previously reported. Bailley discovered this one day while he was at Heidi's Columbia Plaza apartment. Lou Russell and a mysterious man about Russell's age were also there with Bailley, who had been summoned to the apartment by Heidi and who was waiting for her to show up. At one point the mystery man seemed to disappear into one of the apartment's three bedrooms. When Bailley went looking for this man, he made a startling discovery in the closet of one of the bedrooms:
"Then, on a whim, Bailley opens the closet --and there he is, sitting in a chair, surrounded by recording equipment. There's a reel-to-reel movie camera pointed at bedroom, which you can see on the other side of what Bailley figures must be a fake mirror.
"The man jumps up, instantly angry. 'What are you doing here? Get out,' he shouts. 'You're drunk.' He pushes Bailley back out of the tiny room. 'If you know what's good for you, you'll forget you ever saw anything.'
"Embarrassed and mystified, Bailley goes back to his seat at the breakfast bar. Lou is grinning. 'I see you've discovered another part of the set-up,' he says. 'Now you do have to wait till Kathie gets here.'
"About a half hour later when Heidi finally arrives, Lou briefs her at the door. She comes over and sits behind Bailley. 'Well, Phillip,' she says with a knowing smile, 'I see you've made yourself at home. How do you like the set-up so far?'
"Bailley, who by now has had a couple more JBs, explodes. Some forty years later, this is how he remembers the conversation. Of course it can't be word-for-word, but for him it's as real as if it had been recorded on the spot:
" 'Kathie, what the hell's going on? There's a guy in the closet. God knows what he's up to.'
"Kathie --Heidi, of course --stays cool.
" 'Let's start over,' she says. 'This is Russ,' gesturing toward the man who introduced himself to Bailley as Lou. 'He does a little of everything. Generally he keeps the lid on things. But it's my operation, and you're my lawyer, so calm down and listen.'
"Yes, she says, they're filming the johns. As she reminds Bailley, this should hardly come as a surprise to him. He already knew about the townhouse on 17th --so what's the big deal? 'It's so we can keep the politicians and the high-rollers in check,' she says. The people behind it --the 'cowboys,' as she calls them --are working to save the country.
" 'So stop worrying,' she says, 'we're protected by the big guys.' Then she needles him a bit. 'Phillip, I thought you were ready for the big time. This is the big time. Are you my lawyer or not?' "
(White House Call Girl, Phil Stanford, pg. 82)
Lou Russell
It should be noted at this point that Bailley's credibility has long been questioned, due to his alleged mental instability. Bailley, you see, was committed in 1972 and would be institutionalized at two other points throughout his life (once after witnessing a murder in Seattle and again after watching the 9/11 attacks repeatedly on TV...). But his first trip to the insane asylum stemmed from his arrest in relation to the Columbia operation.

The Fires of St. Elizabeth's

But Columbia was not Bailley's only project in which he acted as a quasi-pimp. There was also the so-called Subway Properties group. Allegedly founded by Bailley and several friends for the purpose of investing in the D.C. subway system, then under construction. By all accounts, however, very few investments were actually discussed here with Bailley and company frequently using the meetings to cut loose with college co-eds Bailley had recruited.

Allegedly, Bailley's downfall began as a result of Subway Properties. In White House Call Girl, it is noted that Bailley was reported to the police along with the Columbia operation but a co-ed involved with the Subway group whom Bailley had promised employment with the Columbia network, but had been unable to deliver. Jilted, the woman went to the police.

In Jim Hougan's Secret Agenda, it is stated that a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) agent was a member of the Subway group. Upon seeing a picture of a nude woman whom he knew to be employed in the White House, the DIA agent stated that he had to report Bailley's ring as a matter of national security. Bailley himself is the source of both these accounts and the co-ed is also mentioned in Hougan's book. One suspects that the DIA agent was a later embellishment.

Regardless, on April 6, 1972, Bailley learned that he was under investigation by the FBI for violation of the Mann Act, among numerous other charges. While Bailley's situation seemed dire, it was not until June 15th (the day before the Watergate break-in that unfolded on the night of June 16th/17th) that things became truly surreal. It was then that Bailley went to court for his arraignment. The prosecutor, Jack Ruby (not the Jack Ruby long linked to the JFK assassination), had conferred with John Dean days before and had shown the counsel evidence obtained from the raid on Bailley's law offices, including Bailley's own black book as was motion pictures taken from the Columbia operation. Dean was most interested.

Then, at the arraignment, Ruby made a most unusual request.
"After stating that the prosecution had 'no objection to Mr. Bailley's release on personal recognizance,' the prosecutor proposed two things at once --first, to the advise of an alternative to Bailley being released without bond (or released at all), and second, to disassociate himself and the government from the same alternative. He suggested that Judge Richey might wish to act on his own --the legal phrase is sua sponte --and specifically not at the request of the government, to order Bailley to be immediately committed to St. Elizabeth's Hospital for a sixty-day period to determine if he was mentally competent... 
"Almost embarrassed, Rudy now suggested that the rest of this discussion be held in camera, that is, in the judge's chambers, away from the public and the press, so that Rudy could present 'certain objects and facts which we believe might justify this court' in sending Bailley to St. Elizabeth's. In effect, Rudy was asking Richey to view the 'objects and facts' privately --while making it clear that if the judge wished to commit Bailley for observation, he'd have to do so on his own, without the prosecution requesting the commitment.
"Richey, his clerk, Rudy, two U.S. marshals, a court reporter, and the rather stunned Bailley and his lawyer Brown adjourned immediately to an adjoining, unused jury room, where Richey convened a hearing on whether Bailley should be committed. In it, Rudy showed the judge the 'objects and facts,' i.e., the same photographs he had displayed to John Dean six days earlier, and argued from these that Bailley engaged in unusual sexual practices. He buttressed the point by graphic description of photographs, sexual aids, and the motion picture films seized from Bailley's apartment...
"... Richey concluded these secret proceedings --where none of the photos, sexual aids, motion pictures, or unmentioned address books made their way into the court file --by ruling that Bailley would be sent to the mental hospital as soon as a bed could be found. And then he added a further sua sponte condition to Bailley's freedom: a gag order, restraining 'the accused and his counsel, as well as government counsel' from engaging in 'any further publicity, pre-trial publicity...'
"Richey's ruling was a complete contradiction: On the one hand Richey would commit Bailley to a mental hospital to determine if he was competent, and on the other hand Richey would allow Bailley to remain free and to practice law until a bed became available at St. Elizabeth's. The discussion included the fact that Bailley was going to be able to continue to represent clients and appear in court on their behalf while waiting for a bed to become available at St. Elizabeth's. Richey evidently believed that Bailley was competent to represent clients, but not himself."
(Silent Coup, Len Colodny & Robert Gettlin, pgs. 150-152)
Judge Charles Richey
And keep in mind, Judge Richey was not the one who originally proposed that Bailley should be committed. That was prosecutor Jack Rudy, who met with John Dean six days earlier and showed the White House counsel much of the same material he showed Judge Richey. But Rudy did not want to be on record as the one pushing for Bailley to be committed. He effectively asked Richey to take full responsibility for this action and absolve the prosecution and the government of any part of the decision.

Judge Richey had been appointed by Nixon and hailed from Maryland, the home state of then-Vice President Spiro Agnew. Richey was apparently appointed to Bailley's case via a lottery, but certainly he seems remarkably agreeable to the bizarre tactics of the prosecution. Richey was apparently a close friend of Agnew's and owed much of his career to the VP. Whether this was a factor in his ruling is unknown, but nonetheless Bailley stood firmly discredited and intimidated by the time the break-in occurred the next night. His submission was further reinforced when he finally reported to St. Elizabeth's.
"In early September, when a bed finally became available, Phillip Bailley is ordered to report to St. Elizabeth's --and not just to the general population of the crowded institution, but to the ward for the criminally insane. After two weeks, he is examined by a staff psychiatrist, who pronounces him quite sane.
"The strategy, however, has been a success. Bailley, never a strong person to begin with, has been broken. Back in Richey's court, he pleads guilty to a single count in the indictment against him and is sentenced to serve five years in federal prison. He will serve one year before being released. For the rest of his life, Bailley will be dismissed as a nut case, incapable of telling truth from fiction."
(White House Call Girl, Phil Stanford, pg. 136)
Phillip Bailley
Or so the story goes. But it is interesting to note that the institution in which Bailley was committed, St. Elizabeth's, had been the site of Artichoke testing more than a decade before.
"... Within a few weeks, progress reports concerning the conduct of experiments at three federal prisons, as well as extended work at a reformatory in Bordentown, New Jersey, were submitted to Gaynor and the Artichoke Committee. Experiments were also conducted at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington D.C., a Veterans Administration hospital in Detriot, Michigan, and at the Federal Narcotics Farm in Lexington, Kentucky...
 "From 1951 to about 1963, when the Artichoke Project was revamped and renamed, a primary project objective, according to several Artichoke documents, centered on: '.... ascertaining whether effective and practical techniques exist, or could be developed, which could be utilized to render an individual subservient to an imposed will or control, thereby posing a potential threat to National Security.' "
(A Secret Order, H.P. Albarelli Jr., pg. 171)

The above-mentioned Gaynor was of course none other than General Paul Gaynor, James McCord's long time boss in the Office of Security's Security Research Staff (SRS), which McCord became a deputy director of by the early 1960s. It is quite possible McCord would have known about these experiments, including the ones at St. Elizabeth's, just as it is quite possible that McCord would have been aware of Bailley via his employee, Lou Russell, who appears to have been filming Heidi's Columbia Plaza operation on McCord's behalf (apparently the films used to implicate Bailley had been taken from the Columbia operation). And of course McCord could have been aware of John Dean's involvement in this ring from Russell as well.

I should emphasize, however, that I have seen no evidence that Bailley was medically tortured while at St. Elizabeth's. Bailley himself does not seem to have ever made such claims and no one else has ever come forward with such allegations. Still, the possibility exists that there was another reason for committing Bailley to St. Elizabeth's that went beyond merely discrediting him.

Before wrapping up, let me briefly recap what was been covered in this installment:

  • the second Watergate burglary seems to have been spurred by a prostitution ring operating out of the nearby Columbia Plaza
  • Heidi Rikan, the key figure behind the ring, was born in Nazi Germany to a father who served in the German Navy and who molested her for years afterwards, possibly resulting in a child (Heidi's sister) 
  • Heidi came of age in Reading, PA, a town with numerous connections to America's intelligence-backed fascist underground
  • After a brief stint in the Army Heidi hooks up with powerful figures in the Syndicate, some of whom were connected to other mobsters then being recruited by the OS to assassinate Castro (this shall be addressed in a future installment)
  • Via her Syndicate connections, Heidi forges ties with powerful Texas oil men and at least one "former" Navy intelligence officer, many of whom had ties to the Kennedy assassination
  • By the early 1970s she's operating a call girl ring that seems to have ensnared numerous figures in the Democratic Party as well as the Nixon administration (in addition to John Dean, Jeb Magruder, another figure involved in greenlighting the Plumbers' intrigues, was a regular guest of the Columbia girls)
  • James McCord, a long time OS veteran, seems to have had ties to the Columbia operation via his employee, former HUAC investigator Lou Russell
  • Phillip Bailley, Heidi's lawyer, is sent off to St. Elizabeth's, a hospital used in Artichoke experiments, just as the Watergate scandal is beginning to emerge; McCord's old boss, Paul Gaynor, oversaw these experiments for the OS

General Paul F. Gaynor
All of this is highly curious and we haven't even covered McCord and the OS's full involvement in the Watergate scandal. In the next installment I shall wrap up with Watergate and consider other possible connections it had to Project Artichoke. Stay tuned.

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