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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

Why Did Jim Garrison Indict Edgar Eugene Bradley for Conspiracy to Kill JFK?

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

It all started with a letter to Mike Karmazin, an Assistant District Attorney working for Jim Garrison:

Some notes on this letter:

  1. Thornhill was just 21 years old.

  2. One of his witnesses claims that Bradley tried to hire him to kill Kennedy during the 1961 campaign in California. The witness was supposed to escape using the storm drain. Thornhill has got the year wrong. He is referring to a campaign stop during the Democratic primary in 1960.

  3. Bradley supposedly asked a witness if her husband would kill Kennedy.

  4. Another witness was in the Bradley home on the day Kennedy was assassinated, and his wife said that Bradley was in Dallas.

  5. One witness claimed that Bradley had been in New Orleans shortly before the assassination.

The lead just floundered until William Turner noticed it in September 1967. In December, Bill Turner and Bill Boxley were with Garrison in Los Angeles and they mentioned Bradley. Garrison asked them to check it out.

Here is the memo that Bill Turner wrote about their short investigation:

Garrison's notation on the third page reads as follows:

"John Lorenz = 6 feet, slender, dark brown hair, thin face, straight nose + believes he "used to sell cars."

Some comments on this memo:

  1. Turner and Boxley went to the address provided by Mr. Thornhill and instead met with a Carol Aydelotte. Thornhill lived there with Aydelotte and her husband, but he was at work.

  2. Aydelotte knew Bradley through her work with the John Birch Society, and that he was always carping that someone should kill Kennedy.

  3. Because of her knowledge of these remarks, Aydelotte felt that Bradley had "launched a campaign of intimidation and harassment against her, and the matter is currently pending in a civil suit in the local courts."

  4. Reverend Wesley Brice would have knowledge of a phone call from Bradley from Dallas shortly after the assassination.

  5. A former minuteman, Dennis Mower, was "approached by BRADLEY in 1960 when Kennedy was a candidate and visited Los Angeles on the campaign tour. She said at this time BRADLEY had the blueprints, or plans of the storm drain system of the Sears Department Store Complex and Shopping Center in Van Nuys, and that BRADLEY was trying to induce MOWER to hide in part of this system and take a shot at Kennedy when he came by."

  6. After Kennedy became President, "BRADLEY had found a hotel room (name of the hotel not known), from which he would be able to take a sniper shot at the President."

  7. Aydelotte considered Bradley to be a sadist, and she said that "1) he beats his daughter, JEANINE BRADLEY, who lives at the BRADLEY residence, frequently and viciously. She also said that he has a habit of pinching women to the point where they become black and blue, and while doing so, practically froths at the mouth."

  8. Turner and Boxley showed pictures to Mrs. Aydelotte, and she identified Bradley as being one of the three tramps.

Bill Boxley also filed a memo:

Garrison notation on the last page:

"Brice should appear at extradition."

Garrison was referring to the extradition hearing of Edgar Eugene Bradley.

Some comments on this memo:

  1. Aydelotte said that Bradley, upon learning that her husband possessed a .375 Magnum rifle, asked her to "persuade her husband to use the weapon for an assassination attempt upon President John F. Kennedy."

  2. Her mother had heard Bradley talk about using the storm drain as a location for the assassination.

  3. Bradley had shown Aydelotte's husband "various assassination devices including poisons, ground glass and booby traps at a garage at his residence."

  4. "Thornhill also describes BRADLEY as being sadistic in temperament."

  5. Thornhill also said that "he had heard BRADLEY boast of a heart attack drug," and that shortly after the boast, a close friend of Bradley's had a heart attack. Thornhill said Bradley was connected to two other deaths.

  6. Turner and Boxley met with Dennis Mower who "confirmed that BRADLEY had attempted to recruit him to assassinate President Kennedy and he stated that he had reported the attempt to FBI agents HOLBROOK and QUINN."

  7. Reverend Wesley Brice said that Bradley told him he was in Dallas on the day of the assassination, and that while in Dallas, Bradley stayed at a hotel a block away from Dealey Plaza.

  8. Brice felt it was important to note "the shooting death of the husband of a belly dancer they said was named CRYSTAL JADE."

These memos were enough to convince Jim Garrison to indict Edgar Eugene Bradley.

"Returned from Washington D.C. after approx 3 weeks visit -- partly vacation partly business. The day before I left Edgar Eugene Bradley was charged with conspiracy by Garrison. The original lead on Bradley was a letter we were sent by one Thomas Thornhill, alleging that Bradley had been involved in the assassination, including a photograph of Bradley. The letter was dated in April, 1967, but nobody took any notice of it until Bill Turner found it in the files during his visit in September. Bradley was then investigated in L.A. by Turner, Boxley, and Garrison, during one of his visits to the West Coast. Garrison became persuaded that a photograph, taken in Dealey Plaza shortly after the assassination of two tramps being led away by Dallas policemen depicted Bradley. Nobody in the DA's office was prepared to fill out the Bill of Information charging Bradley, especially Alcock, but Garrison talked them into it over the phone. Garrison assured them that the case against Bradley was solid, and that we had jurisdiction in the case. Then, with extreme misgivings, charges were filed while Garrison was still away. He returned almost immediately, and was back in time to be present for the DA's office party."

So, what was going on?

Garrison was being played. He had stumbled into a massive feud between Bradley and far-right members of the John Birch Society, in particular Carol Aydelotte, who was also involved with the Minutemen [a far-right paramilitary organization] and the American Nazi Party. Dennis Mower also had a checkered past. He was currently the leader of the Southern California Minutemen and was a KKK organizer north of Los Angeles. He had previously been arrested for armed robbery and for transporting a stolen machine gun across state lines.

It all started when Aydelotte asked Bradley to donate to one of her causes, and when he called her a "kook," she went after him. He asked Robert Welch, head of the John Birch Society, to look at what was going on in her chapter, and she was soon downgraded. She sued Bradley for conspiracy to slander, and on December 19, the day before Garrison delivered his indictment, Bradley was being deposed in her lawsuit. Aydelotte claimed to have over four hundred hours of tapes concerning Bradley.

The allegations against Bradley were preposterous. Dennis Mower was only fourteen in 1960 when Bradley supposedly asked him to kill Kennedy. He said he turned down Bradley and went to the FBI, but the FBI had no record of this.

The best way for Aydelotte to get back at Bradley was to get him tangled up with Garrison. And she succeeded.

What is amazing is that Garrison indicted Bradley without any investigation of the allegations of Aydelotte, Thornhill, Mower, and Brice. This was a mirror image of Clay Shaw whom Garrison indicted despite having absolutely no evidence that he was involved in a conspiracy to kill JFK.

Bonus Material

Carol Aydelotte sent many letters to Jim Garrison. Here is one of them:

Loran Hall and Lawrence Howard were also active in the far-right movement that included the Minutemen, the John Birch Society, the National States Rights Party, the California Rangers, the Christian Defense League, and other organizations. There is no doubt there was some vicious hatred of Kennedy amongst this crowd.

Previous Blog Posts on Edgar Eugene Bradley

Broshears talks about Edgar Eugene Bradley

Was Edgar Eugene Bradley one of the three tramps?


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