Why Did Richard Case Nagell Shoot Up the First National Bank of El Paso?
Updated: Oct 11, 2021
In September 1963, Richard Case Nagell entered a bank, demanded American Express Travelers Checks, fired two shots in the ceiling of the bank, and then tried to escape. I blogged about this here.
I included a significant amount of evidence that Nagell had mental issues because of brain injuries sustained during a plane crash in 1954. In 1966 he was examined by a psychiatrist and Nagell opened up about the bank.
The report notes that "... Nagell emphasized to Dr. Parlato very carefully that his whole purpose of entering the bank in El Paso was for the purpose of obtaining psychiatric help and treatment, and not for the purpose of actually robbing the bank. He kept emphasizing this throughout the interview."
The breakup of his marriage was a significant event:
I find the explanation that the purpose of shooting up the bank was to get psychiatric attention far more convincing than the explanation that he shot up the bank so that he would be in custody when Oswald killed JFK.
Richard Case Nagell Blog Posts
The Importance of Richard Case Nagell to Some Conspiracy Theorists
Jim Garrison and a few conspiracy theorists think Nagell is a very important witness. But is he really?
Genesis of the Richard Case Nagell story
David Kroman met Richard Case Nagell at the Springfield Medical Center for Federal Prisoners. Stephen Jaffe, a Garrison volunteer, wrote a memo, relating Nagell's story through the eyes and ears of David Kroman.
Nagell was convicted of armed robbery and was sentenced to ten years, but his conviction was overturned because of startling new evidence.
Richard Case Nagell and the JFK Assassination
There is no credible evidence that Nagell had any foreknowledge of either Lee Harvey Oswald or the JFK assassination.
Nagell claims he met Oswald in Japan, Texas, Mexico City, and New Orleans. There is no credible evidence that he ever met Oswald.
Nagell went to Cuba and met with Fidel Castro and even played ping-pong with the man.
Insane Conspiracy Theories about Richard Case Nagell
Richard Case Nagell said that he knew the two Oswalds - Lee Harvey and Leon. Some conspiracy theorists believe this madness.
Combine one part crazy and one part ridiculous and what do you come up with? An early attempt at a unified conspiracy theory of the JFK assassination.
Two Smoking Guns of the Richard Case Nagell Story
Nagell sent conspiracy theorist Dick Russell one page of a military intelligence file which seemed to indicate that he was monitoring Oswald and his wife on behalf of the CIA. But does the whole document really show that?
Did Richard Case Nagell had an Oswald Military ID in his possession when he was arrested in September 1963?
Richard Case Nagell and Jim Garrison
Richard Case Nagell believes that he wasn't called to testify at Clay Shaw's trial because his testimony would have blown up Jim Garrison's case.
At a conference in September 1968, Garrison and his investigators discuss his face-to-face meeting with Nagell in New York City.
William Martin, an Assistant District Attorney working for Jim Garrison, tried to retrieve a tape that Nagell said contained the voices of three JFK assassination conspirators.
Richard Popkin, author of "The Second Oswald," writes Jim Garrison about Richard Case Nagell. Garrison staffer Tom Bethell thought the Nagell lead was useless.
Richard Case Nagell's Mental Health
Nagell won a full disability pension in 1982 and the 60+ page court case provides complete details on his mental problems.
Richard Case Nagell told a psychiatrist why he shot up the bank in El Paso in 1963.
The FBI spoke to Nagell's ex-wife, his mother, his sister, and one of his friends. They all agreed that Nagell had significant mental health problems.
Nagell visited the American consulates in Zurich and Barcelona in 1969. He was a deeply disturbed man.
Richard Case Nagell's Evidence
None of the so-called evidence that Nagell promised would materialize on his death has shown up. Did this evidence ever exist?