Loran Eugene Hall was born in Cuba on 30th January, 1930. He joined the U.S. Army and later became a mercenary who joined the rebels led by Fidel Castro. Hall fell out with Castro and in 1959 he spent several months in prison. In the prison at the same time was Santo Trafficante.
On his release he moved to the United States and along with Gerry P. Hemming was a member of the anti-Castro group, Interpen (Intercontinental Penetration Force). Hall also joined Hemming, Frank Sturgis and David Ferrie in the International Anti-Communist Brigade.
In an interview he gave to the Select House Committee on Assassinations Hall admitted that "I was a radical right wing. I was a reactionary... almost every meeting that I ever went to I heard somebody plotting or talking about somebody should blow Kennedy's head off."
In 1962 Hall and Hemming met John Rousselot, a congressman with ties to the John Birch Society. Rousselot gave Hall and Hemming the name of Robert Morris, a Dallas attorney and former counsel to the Senate Internal Security Committee. Morris put the two men into contact with Lester Logue, who provided them with money. It is believed that this money originally came from Haroldson L. Hunt. Hall later told HSCA investigators that he participated in several raids on shipping around Cuba in February and March 1963 and was wounded in the leg.
In April 1963 Gerry P. Hemming introduced Hall to John Martino. A few days later Hall met Santo Trafficante, Sam Giancana and Johnny Roselli at a Miami Beach hotel. Hall later reported that Giancana gave Eddie Bayo $15,000 as a down payment for a raid on Cuba. Bayo claimed that two officers in the Red Army based in Cuba wanted to defect to the United States. Bayo added that these men wanted to pass on details about atomic warheads and missiles that were still in Cuba despite the agreement that followed the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Bayo's story was eventually taken up by several members of the anti-Castro community. William Pawley became convinced that it was vitally important to help get these Soviet officers out of Cuba. To help this happen he contacted James Eastland, the chairman of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee.
Pawley also contacted Ted Shackley, head of the CIA's JM WAVE station in Miami. Shackley decided to help Pawley organize what became known as Operation Tilt. He also assigned Rip Robertson to help with the operation. David Sanchez Morales, another CIA agent, also became involved in this attempt to bring out these two Soviet officers.
In June, 1963, a small group, including Eddie Bayo, John Martino, William Pawley, Rip Robertson and Richard Billings, a journalist working for Life Magazine, secretly arrived in Cuba. They were unsuccessful in their attempts to find these Soviet officers and they were forced to return to Miami. Bayo remained behind and it was rumoured that he had been captured and executed. However, his death was never reported in the Cuban press. Larry Hancock, argues in his book, Someone Would Have Talked, that there were uncorroborated reports that Bayo did return and was seen in Florida in the months following Operation Tilt. John Martino later told Gerry P. Hemming that the assassination of Fidel Castro was the real object of the Bayo-Pawley operation. When interviewed by the Select House Committee on Assassinations Hall admitted that he carried out missions against Cuba on behalf of the CIA with Rip Robertson in 1963.
Hall did not take part in the Bayo-Pawley raid as he became involved in a project to overthrow the government of Haiti. According to the author of The Road to Dallas, the invasion of Haiti involved John Martino, Irving Davidson, Roland Masferrer and Carlos Marcello. Kaiser also speculates that the "involvement of both Martino and Davidson suggests that while Masferrer reportedly hoped to establish an anti-Castro base in Haiti after overthrowing Duvalier, mob interests were looking forward to building some new casinos there."
Hall re-established contact with Santo Trafficante in Florida in 1963. In his book, The Road to Dallas, the historian, David Kaiser claims: "Loran Hall had been involved in many discussions of assassination plots against Castro - including one failed attempt known as the Bayo-Pawley raid in the previous June - and had also heard a good deal of talk about assassinating President Kennedy."
During this time Hall travelled with William Seymour and Lawrence Howard. Michael Rohde, a lawyer who met them during this period, described Hall and Seymour as "two extremely dangerous, committed individuals."
On 25th September, 1963, a Cuban exile, Silvia Odio had a visit from three men who claimed they were from New Orleans. Two of the men, Leopoldo and Angelo, said they were members of the Junta Revolucionaria. The third man, Leon, was introduced as an American sympathizer who was willing to take part in the assassination of Fidel Castro. After she told them that she was unwilling to get involved in any criminal activity, the three men left.
Silvia Odio discovered after the assassination of John F. Kennedy that Leon was Lee Harvey Oswald. Odio gave evidence to the Warren Commission and one of its lawyers commented: "Silvia Odio was checked out thoroughly... The evidence is unanimously favorable... Odio is the most significant witness linking Oswald to the anti-Castro Cubans."
On 16th September, 1964, FBI agent Leon Brown interviewed Loran Hall on behalf of the Warren Commission. Brown claims that Hall admitted that he, Lawrence Howard and William Seymour made a visit to a woman who could have been Silvia Odio. However, when Hall was re-interviewed on 20th September and was shown a photograph of Odio, he claimed she was not the woman he met in New Orleans.
The FBI interviewed Silvia Odio again on 1st October, 1964. They showed her photographs of Loran Hall, William Seymour, Lawrence Howard and Celio Castro Alga. She claimed that " none of these individuals were identical with the three persons... who had come to her apartment in Dallas in the last week of September, 1963." Her sister, Annie Odio, who was also in the apartment at the time, also stated that "none of the photographs appeared similar to the three individuals in her recollection."
The author, Anthony Summers, suggests that the visit had "been a deliberate ploy to link Junta Revolucionaria, a left-wing exile group, with the assassination". Hall later gave evidence before the Select House Committee on Assassinations and denied he had told the FBI that he had visited Odio on 25th September, 1963.
In 1975 Harry Dean claimed he had been an undercover agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 1962 he infiltrated the John Birch Society. He later reported that General Edwin Walker and John Rousselot had hired two gunman, Hall, and Eladio del Valle, to kill President John F. Kennedy. However, Dean was unable to provide any evidence to back up his claim.
Hall denied that he been involved in the assassination. However, in an interview he gave to the Dallas Morning News (17th September, 1978), he was approached by right-wing activists working with CIA operatives, who wanted him to join the conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy. According to Hall, he refused the contract.
In an interview with Alan J. Weberman in April 1977, about Gerry P. Hemming, Hall stated that "Hemming is a CIA punk, OK? I've known the SOB for fourteen years. He turned his own goddam crews in so he wouldn't have to go to Cuba. He's fingered me on my own goddam deals and caused me to get arrested... Hey. man. Right as it stands now, there's only two of us left alive - that's me and Santos Trafficante. And as far as I'm concerned we're both going to stay alive - because I ain't gonna say shit."
David Kaiser uses this evidence in his book, The Road to Dallas, to link Hall and Santos Trafficante to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. However, during his testimony to the Select House Committee on Assassinations in May 1977, Hall makes it clear that he is referring to the Bayo-Pawley raid rather than the killing of Kennedy.
It was reported by Lee Hancock in the Dallas Morning News on 13th September, 1989, that "A federal drug conspiracy indictment handed down in Tulsa in July names Loran Eugene Hall Sr., 59; his daughter, Barbara Ann Marteney, 34, of Mesquite; and his sons, Michael Stephen Hall, 36, of Burns, Kan., and Loran Eugene Hall Jr., 34, of Derby, Kan.; and two other Kansas residents. The indictment charges that the elder Mr. Hall led the ring, which manufactured methamphetamine between October 1987 and February 1989. Loran Hall Jr. and Michael Hall pleaded guilty Monday. Their father and sister remain at large."
During the trial of Loran Eugene Hall Jr., he claimed that a methamphetamine ring based in Mesquite was set up by a CIA operative to funnel money to the Contras in Nicaragua. Jim Heflet, a Tulsa attorney representing Hall, said that his client believes the operation was a CIA front. "It may be true. There's quite an extensive history on his father's CIA involvement," Heflet said. "My client told me that a lot of his dad's involvement - specifically in the Kennedy assassination - has been sealed up, and we never may find out what it was."