Coleman Wade was a building contractor in Altus, Oklahoma. Wade became a business associate of Billie Sol Estes. This included building storage facilities for Billie Sol Enterprises. Estes's business encountered problems when the Department of Agriculture began to control the production of cotton. Allotments were issued telling the cotton farmers how much they could and could not plant. In 1958 Estes made contact with Lyndon B. Johnson. Over the next couple of years Estes ran a vast scam getting federal agricultural subsidies. According to Estes he obtained $21 million a year for "growing" and "storing" non-existent crops of cotton. Orr also became involved in these finance frauds.
In 1960 Henry Marshall was asked to investigate the activities of Billie Sol Estes. Marshall discovered that over a two year period, Estes had purchased 3,200 acres of cotton allotments from 116 different farmers. Marshall wrote to his superiors in Washington on 31st August, 1960, that: "The regulations should be strengthened to support our disapproval of every case (of allotment transfers)".
When he heard the news, Billie Sol Estes sent his lawyer, John P. Dennison, to meet Marshall in Robertson County. At the meeting on 17th January, 1961, Marshall told Dennison that Estes was clearly involved in a "scheme or device to buy allotments, and will not be approved, and prosecution will follow if this operation is ever used."
Marshall was disturbed that as a result of sending a report of his meeting to Washington, he was offered a new post at headquarters. He assumed that Bille Sol Estes had friends in high places and that they wanted him removed from the field office in Robertson County. Marshall refused what he considered to be a bribe.
A week after the meeting between Marshall and Dennison, A. B. Foster, manager of Billie Sol Enterprises, wrote to Clifton C. Carter, a close aide to Lyndon B. Johnson, telling him about the problems that Marshall was causing the company. Foster wrote that "we would sincerely appreciate your investigating this and seeing if anything can be done."
Over the next few months Marshall had meetings with eleven county committees in Texas. He pointed out that Billie Sol Estes scheme to buy cotton allotments were illegal. This information was then communicated to those farmers who had been sold their cotton allotments to Billie Sol Enterprises.
On 3rd June, 1961, Henry Marshall was found dead on his farm by the side of his Chevy Fleetside pickup truck. His rifle lay beside him. He had been shot five times with his own rifle. County Sheriff Howard Stegall decreed that Marshall had committed suicide. No pictures were taken of the crime scene, no blood samples were taken of the stains on the truck (the truck was washed and waxed the following day), and no check for fingerprints were made on the rifle or pickup.
In the spring of 1962, Billie Sol Estes was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on fraud and conspiracy charges. Soon afterwards it was disclosed by the Secretary of Agriculture, Orville L. Freeman, that Henry Marshall had been a key figure in the investigation into the illegal activities of Billie Sol Estes. As a result, the Robertson County grand jury ordered that the body of Marshall should be exhumed and an autopsy performed. After eight hours of examination, Dr. Joseph A. Jachimczyk confirmed that Marshall had not committed suicide. Jachimczyk also discovered a 15 percent carbon monoxide concentration in Marshall's body. Jachimczyk calculated that it could have been as high as 30 percent at the time of death.
Coleman Wade was arrested for his role in the Billie Sol Estes fraud. Wade died in 1963 when his plane crashed after attending a meeting with Estes in Pecos. According to the author of LBJ: The Mastermind (2010): "Wade was a friend of Billie Sol's pilot, who, it was reported, was nearly scared to death because of the ominous overtones of the airplane crash."
J. Evetts Haley published A Texan Looks at Lyndon in 1964. In the book, Haley suggested that Lyndon B. Johnson had employed Mac Wallace to murder Wade, George Krutilek, Harold Orr, John Kinser and Henry Marshall.
On 9th August, 1984, the lawyer of Billie Sol Estes, Douglas Caddy, wrote to Stephen S. Trott at the U.S. Department of Justice. In the letter Caddy claimed that Estes, Lyndon B. Johnson, Mac Wallace and Clifton C. Carter had been involved in the murders of Henry Marshall, George Krutilek, Harold Orr, Ike Rogers, Coleman Wade, Josefa Johnson, John Kinser and John F. Kennedy. Caddy added: "Mr. Estes is willing to testify that LBJ ordered these killings, and that he transmitted his orders through Cliff Carter to Mac Wallace, who executed the murders."
In 2003 Barr McClellan published Blood, Money & Power: How LBJ Killed JFK. In the book McClellan argues that Lyndon B. Johnson and Edward Clark were involved in the planning and cover-up of the murder of Coleman Wade.
On the night of April 4, 1962, at the western end of Texas, a ranchman came upon the body of George Krutilek in the sandhills near the town of Clint, slumped in his car with a hose from his exhaust stuck in the window. He had been dead for several days and the El Paso County pathologist, Dr. Frederick Bornstein, held that he certainly did not die from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Krutilek was a forty-nine year old certified public accountant who had undergone secret grilling by FBI agents on April 2, the day after Billie Sol Estes' arrest. The investigation concerned the Estes affair. Krutilek had worked for Estes and had been the recipient of his favors, but he was never seen or heard of again after the FBI grilling until his badly decomposed body was found. Thus the mystery mounts. What did the accountant Krutilek know about Billie Sol's business that warranted murder?
The enforced inhalation of this painless killer, carbon monoxide, leaving its own traces in lungs and blood and hence almost certain immunity for the murderer, is a subtle approach that would have charmed such early imaginative practitioners of assassination as the ancient Medici. Again in a case connected with Estes, this gas was held to be the legally blameless killer of Harold Eugene Orr, the late president of the Superior Manufacturing Company of Amarillo. Orr and the Company had played a key role in Estes' finance frauds, and Orr was arrested with Estes and given a ten-year federal prison sentence.
February 28, 1964, just before he was to begin serving his term, Harold Orr went out to his garage, ostensibly to change the exhaust pipe on his car. There a few hours later, with tools scattered about - again by report, tools unsuited for the purpose - Orr was found dead. The Justice of the Peace pronounced it accidental death by carbon monoxide. But the stubborn disbelievers keep popping up with their questions. Was Orr, faced with prison, about to talk? And what of Howard Pratt, Chicago office manager, of Commercial Solvents, Billie Sol's fertilizer supplier; found in his car, dead of carbon monoxide?...
Many of Estes' storage facilities had been built through contract with Coleman Wade, of Altus, Oklahoma, who was drawn into the sweeping investigations. Shortly after taking off in his plane from Pecos, on a return trip home early in 1963, he mysteriously crashed in the Kermit area. Government investigators swept in and instead of expeditiously cleaning up the wreckage in their routine way, kept the area roped off for days. Wade was well known to Lewsader, the Estes pilot, and this incident came near scaring him.
Immediately after Estes was charged with fraud, the efforts at containment became more extreme. George Krutilek was chief accountant for Estes and his many schemes. Krutilek had been questioned by the FBI on April 2, 1962, in El Paso. Two days later, his body was found in the dry sand hills near Clint, Texas, a hose attached to the exhaust pipe of his pickup. An El Paso pathologist said carbon monoxide was not the cause of death, and he called attention to a severe bruise on Krutilek's head. He was ignored. The coroner's ruling was suicide.
The next day, a federal grand jury indicted Estes and three others on fifty seven counts of fraud. Not surprisingly, Clark's criminal attorney, John Cofer, was named attorney for Estes. Two other men involved with Estes turned up as suicides. Harold Orr committed suicide in Amarillo, Texas, and Coleman Wade died in Chicago. Much later, Estes testified that the killings were by Wallace to protect Johnson.
The Estes scandal continued in Washington. William E. Morris, an employee at the USDA, was fired for accepting gifts from Estes. Orville Freeman, USDA secretary, reported there were no special favors to Estes but that the FBI was investigating. Two days later, fines totaling more than one half million dollars were levied against Estes. Labor secretary Arthur Goldberg looked into the Estes dinner for Johnson, to see if there were any favors. One month later Assistant Secretary of Labor Jerry Holleman resigned for accepting a loan from Estes.
The most ominous turn of events happened in Texas. On May 21, 1962, Bryan Russ, the Robertson County attorney, ordered a grand jury inquiry into Henry Marshall's death. In sessions extending over the next six weeks, the mysterious circumstances surrounding Marshall's death were examined again.
Texas attorney general Will Wilson, preparing evidence for the grand jury, complained that he had been unable to get any information from the USDA. The agency had prepared a 180-page report into the scandal but declined to make it available. Under the leadership of Texas Ranger Clint Peoples, the Texas Department of Public Safety was investigating. They developed a composite of the man asking directions to Marshall's ranch.' Searching the scene of Marshall's death, Peoples found a plastic wrapper in the brush and believed that it could have been used to guide fumes from the exhaust to Marshall's body. The.22 caliber rifle had been recovered on the day of the murder a year before; however, Peoples was developing another connection, back to Wallace and the Kinser murder, back to the weapons Wallace had available to him back in 1951. In June 1962 Peoples reported to the grand jury that Marshall was murdered and that he was still investigating.
The Houston medical examiner was called in to help, and he reported that Marshall was probably murdered, although it was a "possible" suicide. He explained that at least three of the five shots were debilitating. In other words, any one of the three more serious shots could have killed Marshall. No matter how the shots are counted, five rifle shots were impossible.
The family also showed how Marshall could not have fired the bolt action rifle into his side. The reach was too far and weakness in his right arm made it very unlikely.
On May 24, the FBI finally announced it would let the grand jury see parts of the USDAs internal report on Estes. In fact, less than 15 percent was disclosed. Robert Kennedy was keeping up the pressure while protecting his evidence and his brother.
The very next day Johnson flew into Austin and drove to San Marcos to receive an honorary degree from his old college. At the ceremony, Johnson kept his mouth shut. Even though he was the honoree, he did not give a speech. Just like he clammed up during the 1948 election fraud, he was silent; the less said, the better. After the ceremony in San Marcos, Johnson continued to avoid the press. He returned to Austin where he met with Clark and Estes. At that same time, Estes was also in town to confer with the Texas attorney general. Since Will Wilson had political ambitions that year, he would not cooperate with Estes.
The grand jury was carefully controlled. Despite the testimony from Peoples and the Houston medical examiner, by the end of summer the final decision was still suicide. According to some members of the grand jury, the prior ruling by the coroner had to be shown to be wrong and, in their opinion, that was not done. The prior ruling by justice of the Peace Lee Farmer was never explained. When asked, he simply mumbled, "I just don't have nothing to say now:" In other words he did not defend his suicide ruling. Still, the grand jury stayed with the suicide ruling. Later, a key member of the investigation was elevated to postmistress by Johnson.9 In those days, a good s the main reward for political favors.
Finally, as we have noted, over two decades later, Estes's testimony and the evidence Peoples had was presented to still another Robertson County grand jury. They would have indicted Johnson. Texas Ranger Peoples would also testify in proceedings a year later to change the Henry Marshall death certificate from suicide to murder.
The Estes case can only be explained by the terms of the deal he reached with Johnson. There is nothing in writing but the results show the oral arrangement. Estes was provided an attorney and a solid defense. His expectation was that he would be acquitted. Clark and Cofer, however, could not let him off because, just as with Wallace in the Kinser murder, he would be free to talk and he knew too much. If he were convicted, he would learn to keep his mouth shut and do his time. In addition, as a convict, his word would always be doubted. Estes would be able to keep his family together, living in relative comfort. Following any prison term, he could return to his former life and his family. Estes would keep his end of the bargain.
Franklin, Texas: Convicted swindler Billie Sol Estes told a grand jury that illegal cotton allotments and other business deals he arranged with Lyndon B. Johnson's help in the early 1960's generated $21 million a year, with part of the money going to a slush fund controlled by LBJ, sources close to the grand jury said Friday.
Estes, protected from prosecution by a grant of immunity, testified for 4 1/2 hours Tuesday before the Robertson County grand jury. The sources said Estes testified that in January 1961 - the same month LBJ became vice president - Estes and two other men met with Johnson at LBJ's Washington home to discuss Henry Harvey Marshall of Bryan, an Agriculture Department official who was questioning the legality of Estes' cotton allotments Estes quoted LBJ as saying, "Get rid of him," referring to Marshall, the sources said Estes, the sources said, told grand jurors that four men were involved in planning the murder of Marshall - Estes, Johnson troubleshooter and close aide Clifton C. Carter, triggerman Malcolm Everett (Mac) Wallace and Johnson himself. Estes is the only one of the four still alive....
The sources said Estes testified that he and Carter met at Estes' home in Pecos after Marshall's death and that Carter commented that Wallace "sure did botch it up."
The sources said Estes testified that Wallace planned to kill Marshall and make it look as if the death were suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.
According to the sources, Estes testified that Wallace hit Marshall on the head and then placed a plastic bag over Marshall's head and the exhaust pipe of Marshall's pickup truck.
About that time, the sources quoted Estes as saying, Wallace heard a noise that sounded like an approaching car. Fearing that he was about to be discovered, Wallace shot Marshall in the abdomen five times with the .22-caliber rifle and left the scene, the sources quoted Estes as testifying. In the next two years, three other men with ties to Estes - George Krutilek, a Clint, Texas accountant; Amarillo businessman Harold Eugene Orr, and Chicago fertilizer supplier Howard Pratt - were found with indications that they had died of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to press reports at the time.
The sources close to the Robertson County grand jury said that Estes refused to answer questions about four deaths in West Texas, telling Dist. Atty. John Paschall that he wouldn't testify about anything "that would put me in the penitentiary." Paschall would not discuss the deaths Estes was asked about.
Sources close to the grand jurors said they considered part of Estes' testimony to be truthful but believed he was shading his story to put himself in a better light.
Mr. Estes was a member of a four-member group, headed by Lyndon Johnson, which committed criminal acts in Texas in the 1960's. The other two, besides Mr. Estes and LBJ, were Cliff Carter and Mac Wallace. Mr. Estes is willing to disclose his knowledge concerning the following criminal offenses:
1. The killing of Henry Marshall
2. The killing of George Krutilek
3. The killing of Ike Rogers and his secretary
4. The killing of Harold Orr
5. The killing of Coleman Wade
6. The killing of Josefa Johnson
7. The killing of John Kinser
8. The killing of President J. F. Kennedy.
Mr. Estes is willing to testify that LBJ ordered these killings, and that he transmitted his orders through Cliff Carter to Mac Wallace, who executed the murders. In the cases of murders nos. 1-7, Mr. Estes' knowledge of the precise details concerning the way the murders were executed stems from conversations he had shortly after each event with Cliff Carter and Mac Wallace.
In addition, a short time after Mr. Estes was released from prison in 1971, he met with Cliff Carter and they reminisced about what had occurred in the past, including the murders. During their conversation, Carter orally compiled a list of 17 murders which had been committed, some of which Mr. Estes was unfamiliar. A living witness was present at that meeting and should be willing to testify about it. He is Kyle Brown, recently of Houston and now living in Brady, Texas.
Mr. Estes, states that Mac Wallace, whom he describes as a "stone killer" with a communist background, recruited Jack Ruby, who in turn recruited Lee Harvey Oswald. Mr. Estes says that Cliff Carter told him that Mac Wallace fired a shot from the grassy knoll in Dallas, which hit JFK from the front during the assassination.
Mr. Estes declares that Cliff Carter told him the day Kennedy was killed, Fidel Castro also was supposed to be assassinated and that Robert Kennedy, awaiting word of Castro's death, instead received news of his brother's killing.
Mr. Estes says that the Mafia did not participate in the Kennedy assassination but that its participation was discussed prior to the event, but rejected by LBJ, who believed if the Mafia were involved, he would never be out from under its blackmail....
II. The Illegal Cotton Allotments
Mr. Estes desires to discuss the infamous illegal cotton allotment schemes in great detail. He has recordings made at the time of LBJ, Cliff Carter and himself discussing the scheme. These recordings were made with Cliff Carter's knowledge as a means of Carter and Estes protecting them selves should LBJ order their deaths.
Mr. Estes believes these tape recordings and the rumors of other recordings allegedly in his possession are the reason he has not been murdered.
III. Illegal Payoffs
Mr. Estes is willing to disclose illegal payoff schemes, in which he collected and passed on to Cliff Carter and LBJ millions of dollars. Mr. Estes collected payoff money on more than one occasion from George and Herman Brown of Brown and Root, which was delivered to LBJ.
John Simkin: I believe in the past you represented Billie Sol Estes. On 9th August, 1984, you wrote to Stephen S. Trott at the U.S. Department of Justice. In the letter you claimed that Billie Sol Estes, Lyndon B. Johnson, Mac Wallace and Cliff Carter had been involved in the murders of Henry Marshall, George Krutilek, Harold Orr, Ike Rogers, Coleman Wade, Josefa Johnson, John Kinser and John F. Kennedy. You added: "Mr. Estes is willing to testify that LBJ ordered these killings, and that he transmitted his orders through Cliff Carter to Mac Wallace, who executed the murders." Did Billie Sol Estes provide you with any evidence that suggested his story was true?
Douglass Caddy: My relationship with Billie Sol Estes began in 1983 when Shearn Moody, a trustee of the Moody Foundation of Galveston, Texas, asked me to visit Billie Sol who was incarcerated in the federal prison at Big Spring, Texas. Billie Sol had telephoned Mr. Moody at the suggestion of a fellow inmate who knew Moody from past days when that inmate had been a lobbyist in the state capital. Billie Sol told Moody that he wanted to tell the story publicly about his long and close relationship with Lyndon Johnson (LBJ) as LBJ's bagman and requested Moody's assistance in getting this done. Moody was happy to oblige.
I met with Billie Sol in prison, who related his desire to tell all. I suggested that he do so in book form and that I would be helpful in any way that I could since I already had two books published.
Moody and I heard nothing more from Billie Sol until soon after his release from prison in early January 1984. At that time he called Moody and Moody again asked me to visit Billie Sol at the latter's home in Abilene, Texas.
There Billie Sol presented me with a copy of the recently released book that his daughter, Pam Estes, had written based on my suggestion to him when he was in prison. Its title was "Billie Sol: King of the Wheeler-Dealers" and it had caused a minor sensation. Based on its limited success, Billie Sol said that he wanted to have his own story published. His daughter's book only told her personal story of the tribulations of the Estes' family in the preceding 20 years.
However, Billie Sol said that before he could tell his full story in book form that he had to get immunity from prosecution by the Texas law authorities and by the U.S. Department of Justice as there is no statute of limitations for murder. A friend of mine, Edward Miller, a former Assistant Director of the FBI, arranged for Miller and myself to meet with Stephen Trott, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the Justice Department, to discuss the question of granting immunity to Billie Sol.
Miller and I met with Trott several times. The Forum has already in its discussions among its members remarked upon the letters exchanged between Trott and myself. In the end the immunity effort came to an abrupt halt when Billie Sol got cold feet at the last moment and backed out of a meeting with three FBI agents sent by Trott to meet with him and myself in Abilene in September 1984.
The contents of the letters between Trott and myself speak for themselves. Billie Sol did not provide me with any evidence that his story, as detailed in the letters, was true. I never heard nor saw the clandestine tape recordings that he claimed that he had in his possession that had been made years earlier, which allegedly supported his contentions.
However, there is quite a bit of supporting evidence from other sources. This is as follows:
(1) In 1964, J. Evetts Haley, a distinguished Texas historian, wrote "A Texan Looks at Lyndon." Millions of copies of this paperback were widely distributed. Haley's book provided concrete evidence concerning most of the murders outlined in my correspondence with Trott.
(2) In attempting to get Billie Sol immunity in 1984, I worked closely with Clint Peoples, U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Texas. Peoples had followed the Estes' story for many years, having been assigned to the Estes' pending criminal case in the 1960's when he was a Texas Ranger. Peoples had several large file drawers containing materials about Estes and the murders that he showed me when I visited him in the U.S. Courthouse in Dallas. He was on good terms with Estes and constantly encouraged me to do my best to get Estes' story out. When he retired he became head of the Texas Rangers Museum in Waco, Texas, and in 1992 was killed in an automobile accident. Where Peoples' extensive files on Estes and the murders are today is unknown.
(3) I arranged for Lucianne Goldberg, then a literary agent and now sponsor of http://www.lucianne.com/, to visit Billie Sol in Abilene in 1984 in an effort to get his story published. Lucianne there disclosed to us that she had once met Malcolm (Mac) Wallace, who was the stone-cold killer retained by LBJ, when she had worked in the White House in LBJ's administration.
(4) The Texas Observer, a highly respected journal of opinion, published a thoroughly researched article by Bill Adler in its November 7, 1986 issue titled, "The Killing of Henry Marshall." The article is required reading for anyone interested in the murders.
(5) In 1998, a video titled "LBJ: A Closer Look" was released, having been produced by two Californians, Lyle and Theresa Sardie. The video contains interviews with key persons who knew of the murders and of the LBJ-Billie Sol connection.
(6) In 2003, the book "Blood, Money & Power: How LBJ murdered JFK" was published. Its author is Barr McClellan, father of Bush's current press secretary in the White House, Scott McClellan. Barr McClellan was a lawyer with the law firm in Austin that handled LBJ's secret financial empire before and after he became President.
(7) Also in 2003, the History Channel showed "The Men Who Killed Kennedy: The Final Chapter." Much of this show drew on McClellan's book and my letters to Trott. After it was telecast several times, immense pressure was brought upon the History Channel to withdraw the video from being offered for sale to the public. For the first time in its own history the History Channel succumbed to this outside pressure that was orchestrated by Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Pictures Association of America and former LBJ aide, and reluctantly withdrew the video from public circulation.
(8) Both Barr McClellan and I, among others, have in our possession documents and papers, too numerous and lengthy to detail here, that help to round out the full LBJ-Billie Sol story, including letters from LBJ to Billie Sol.
John Simkin: Could you explain in more detail what you mean by the phrase that the conservative movement in "had been hijacked by sociopaths and opportunists"?
Douglas Caddy: I became active politically while still in high school in New Orleans in the early 1950's. Later, as a student at Georgetown University, I helped organize the National Student Committee for the Loyalty Oath in 1959. This led to the creation of Youth for Goldwater for Vice President in early 1960 and later that year to Young Americans for Freedom. This was the genesis of the modern conservative movement in the United States.
In 1961 the first mass conservative rally, sponsored by YAF, was held in Manhattan Center in New York City. The next year an even larger rally was held in Madison Square Garden.
If I were to pinpoint when the conservative movement was first hijacked by sociopaths, I would say it took place in 1974, just after President Nixon was forced to resign. His resignation opened the way for the sociopaths to take over.
In late 1974, the board of directors of the Schuchman Foundation met. Robert Schuchman was the first national chairman of YAF. In attendance at the meeting, in addition to the foundation's directors, were Edwin Feulner, Paul Weyrich and Joseph Coors. Coors, president of Coors Beer Company, told the foundation directors that unless they did exactly what he and Feulner and Weyrich directed them to do, he would destroy them and their organization.
The Schuchman Foundation directors brushed aside Coors' threat. Shortly thereafter, Coors, Feulner and Weyrich organized the Heritage Foundation and the Committee for a Free Congress. The latter two organizations, extremely well funded in the last 30 years, have crafted the national legislation and federal regulations that have enriched the wealthy and crucified the poor and disabled in America.
Since 1974 the conservative movement and the Republican Party, dominated by sociopaths with no social conscience whatsoever, have successfully engaged in what I call "The Politics of Death."
In addition to the sociopaths, a large group of opportunists moved into the conservative movement and the GOP and gained power. The emerging Abramoff lobbying scandal, which leads directly to members of Congress and to the White House, is an example of this opportunism.
Before this scandal has run its course, other opportunists such as the hypocritical Christian leader Ralph Reed and his cohorts will be exposed for sacrificing the public good for their personal gain.