George Michael Evica

George Michael Evica

George Michael Evica was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on 8th December, 1927. He studied at the Case Western Reserve University (1945-49) and Columbia University (1951-55).

He taught at the Rutgers University (1956-57), Columbia University (1957), Wagner College (1957-59), Brooklyn College (1957-1960), San Francisco State (1960-1964) and the University of Hartford (1964-1992).

Subjects taught included Myth and Ritual in Literature, Genre Studies in Literature, Literary Criticism, Consciousness Development and the Symbolic Process, Linguistics, Film Studies, Creative Writing, Investigative Reporting, and Investigative History. He also published papers on John F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro and Jimmy Hoffa. He also studied Advanced Studies in Linguistics and Anthropology at Columbia University (1957-1960) and Advanced Studies in Myth and Literature at Hartford Seminary Foundation (1971-73).

In 1977 George Michael Evica provided evidence to the House Select Committee on Assassinations. He also wrote extensively about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This included, And We Are All Mortal: New Evidence And Analysis In The Assassination Of John F. Kennedy (1978). It was described by Mary Ferrell as the "best documented" of the books on the assassination.

Evica organized the First National Conference on the JFK Assassination in October, 1975, at the University of Hartford and was director of the Connecticut Citizens Commission of Inquiry (1975-76). He published twelve major articles and presented twenty-two major papers at conferences on the assassination in the United States and Europe.

Evica also produced a weekly half-hour radio program which initially focused on the JFK assassination and related matters, and later covered a wide range of political topics from a so-called "radical" perspective. “Assassination Journal,” which was broadcast by the University of Hartford’s radio station WWUH from 1975 to 2007, continually expanded its investigative scope to include coups, murders, and mysteries such as TWA 800, the Gulf War Syndrome, and the failed war on drugs.

Ed McKeon, who also presented a show on the WWUH radio station, praised the work done by Evica: "I think it's very easy to go along your merry way in life and not have skepticism for what's presented to us, what's laid before us as the truth. I think that's the one thing I learned from him: You always ought to question authority, question what someone is trying to convince you is the truth. Truth is slippery, but for the good of ourselves, we need to pursue it."

In 1992 he hosted the JFK Assassination conference in Chicago and co-hosted, with Charles Drago, the Providence JFK conference of "The Third Decade" (1993) and ran seven Dallas conferences (1994-2000).

Evica received the Mary Ferrell Lifetime Achievement Award in November, 1997. His book, A Certain Arrogance, was published in 2006.

George Michael Evica died on November 11, 2007 of chronic pulmonary obstruction brought on by eight cases of pneumonia suffered before and during his treatment for lung cancer that had metastasized into brain cancer, and which was cured. At the time of his death he was working on three projects: "The Iron Sights", a series of studies on the JFK assassination (including an expanded version of "The 81 Promises," which will be completed posthumously by Laura Elayne Miller, Evica's film biographer, and Charles Drago); "The Horned Hind", on the ancient origins of cuckoldry; and "The Blood Mysteries of Brian DePalma", on recurring patterns of ritual and myth in DePalma's films.

Primary Sources

(1) Testimony of George Michael Evica (24th March, 2007)

Though this is not in the prepared notes that I gave you copies of, this is a message from Marina Oswald Porter, who urges you to subpoena all film and all video generated by both the networks and the local stations in Dallas and, obviously, also from Austin and Houston, et cetera, and in the light of that, especially since Mr. Trask was so helpful, I wanted to tell you that Trask, of course, and Groden, of course, but also Martin Shackelford would be excellent sources for finding film and video, and because I was a production editor at Hearst Metrotone News for five years, as well as their music and effects editor at the same time, I know that one of the problems you will face when you get professional tape - two inches, inch-and-a-half, inch - from the 1960s, you very well may not have the equipment on which to run it and view it.

So, I urge you to check equipment for running and viewing professional tape, et cetera, and if such equipment is available, possibly duplicating it, actually duplicating the equipment or getting it on long-term loan.

Also, when you do get film and tape, be very careful with it, because it will be already in the process of deterioration. You might want to copy some of it.

About getting the message out, I urge you - for example, in photography - and this is all part of my statement - to look into photographic clubs, photographic magazines, photographic journals, and place ads, but also get on the Internet and the World Wide Web and tell them that you're looking for document suggestions, tell them you're looking for document requests, and get on all the bulletin boards and ask for those private sources.

I've delivered over 12 major papers since 1985 at conferences in Washington, Louisville, Dallas, et cetera.

Among the major the 20 major topics, I narrowed the topics for us here to six and then possibly three others if we have time, and I'd like to go over those with you now, and the topics are the Texas Trip: Presidential Security, the Texas Trip: The Dallas Motorcade Route, the Texas School Book Depository Building, Rifles, Ballistics, and as I said, possibly three others. You will notice that, among the other topics are, in fact, a topic that was touched on by Dick Russell.

For the first, the House Select Committee on Assassinations took note of the local and Federal security errors, security lapses, and security inadequacies in Dallas on November 22, 1963, and specifically around and in Dealey Plaza, resulting in a site the Committee judged to be, quoting the Committee itself, "uniquely insecure."

Since no later than 1975, researchers have collected comments circulating not just among researchers but in the U.S. intelligence community on a possible Dealey Plaza assassination scenario; that is, a covert test of the President's security, including a simulated attack to be attributed to pro-Castro agents or sympathizers, that test justifying an actual security stripping as part of the simulation. With the President made vulnerable, the assassination plot succeeds.

Now, what documents would you need? Obviously, all documents touching on presidential security no later than April 1963. I would bet that probably from April 23rd you would begin to see security documents of importance.

From April of 1963 through November of '63, in the files of the Dallas police, especially their special services division -- that would be Officer Revill's division - the Secret Service, especially its presidential protective division; the CIA, especially its Office of Security, I think you should know, is the CIA inside the CIA - and the FBI, especially what might remain of J. Edgar Hoover's files, including the document called

"An Agreement Between the FBI and the Secret Service" that would be on presidential protection.

Now, what about the route? Contrary to what most people think, the motorcade route was neither controlled by the White House nor by Vice President Johnson. Governor John Connally and his Austin and Dallas associates dictated the specifics of that Texas trip.

There's only a paragraph here. I have about 200 pages now developed that document that fact. I'm not speculating on it. It was Connally and his associates who dictated the specifics of the trip, most significantly the Dallas segment, including the motorcade route.

If the route was, in fact, determined at an early date, allowing conspirators carefully to plan the assassination, then the history of that decision-making process relative to the trip to Dallas and of the motorcade route through Dealey Plaza needs to be fully documented.

Now, neither the Warren Commission nor the House Select Committee on Assassinations has such documentary evidence.

In fact, the most important House Select Committee on Assassinations document is tucked away in an appendix to the 12 volumes. It's remarkable that that's where you find out the most about the motorcade from the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

You need, then, all the documents relating to the Dallas motorcade route from the Dallas police, the so-called host committee in Dallas - there were other host committees in Fort Worth and in Austin - the Secret Service but especially the documents of the Austin, Texas, Johnson-Connally office and the Austin Secret Service.

Less well known is my second suggestion that you get all the documents relating to the Dallas motorcade route associated with, sent to, created by, or sent by Mr. Bill Moyers, the White House's representative in Austin the latter part of November 1963.

Mr. Moyers worked with the Secret Service in Austin and communicated, apparently, directly and indirectly with both the Dallas Secret Service and with the Dallas host committee on the motorcade route.

I'm going to skip the Texas School Book Depository Building, because I think that's obvious, but it's only been taken up once in the literature, and that's in Jerry Rose's Fourth Decade Journal.

About the rifles, I think you realize that there is - finally, we'll get at the heart of the problem and the hard evidence as we look at the rifles, plural, and most people do not know about the SIFAR documents.

The SIFAR documents are the Italian armed forces intelligence service documents identifying the rifle reputedly found on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository and photographed so that the photographs went around the world as a 7.35 rifle in appearance, re-barrelled to 6.5.

That means every discussion on the possibility of it being a larger millimeter size is justified by its apparent appearance. I'm not speculating now. I have some of the SIFAR documents but not all of them.

It's very important for you, therefore, to get all the SIFAR documents - that's the military - Italian military intelligence service documents -- in their original Italian, including those documents generated by SIFAR in Italy but not shared with U.S. intelligence agencies, all SIFAR documents received by the FBI, the CIA, the Treasury Department from SIFAR directly or indirectly transmitted.

Now, FBI Special Agent Robert Frazier is still available. The last time I talked to Francis X. O'Neill, former FBI agent, he indicated that Robert Frazier would be happy to talk about ballistics and about the rifles.

So, he would be especially helpful here, since he worked with the documents, the SIFAR documents, and testified to the Warren Commission using SIFAR documents.

Now, those documents are apparently not in the Warren Commission records. So, you'd have to go to the Italian government and to the FBI.

It is very important, by the way - it was very important at the time - I didn't realize why, but then Defense Minister Giulio Andreotti was quite concerned about the fact that it was, in fact, a Mannlicher-Carcano, and if you're wondering if the Italian bureaucracy and the media found that of interest, they flew two people over from Panorama, which is the Italian equivalent of Time magazine, to interview me in Connecticut for three hours when I broke this story on the SIFAR documents, at Giulio Andreotti's request to the Italian military that they explore the whole story of the alleged assassination rifle.

Now, about ballistics - and I think it's very important that you see where that ballistics story is going.

Beginning with former CIA chief Allen Dulles, a member of the Warren Commission, and continuing through a series of CIA officers, both active and retired, the FBI's so-called ballistics match of the rifle reportedly found in the depository, CE-399, the bullet reportedly found at Parkland, and the fragments reportedly recovered from the presidential limo, have been seriously questioned.

If you look at the 26 volumes and you look at the testimony of Robert Frazier before the Warren Commission, the commissioners themselves doubted the FBI's ballistics argument. Check it, please.

Dulles expressed his doubt directly to FBI Agent Robert Frazier when the FBI's rifle expert was making his ballistic presentation to the Commission.

Now, notice that, if we go for these documents, we're going for documents about the hard evidence that allegedly involves Lee Harvey Oswald through a broken chain of evidence from that ballistics match that the Warren Commission members did not buy through a rifle that cannot be linked directly to Lee Harvey Oswald to the assassination.

Very important, therefore, that you look for, as I said in my documents section on this topic, the FBI's original microscopic comparisons in photographs and slides that need to be recovered from wherever they are.

FBI Agent Robert Frazier's notes and work materials need to be recovered so that an independent analysis of the ballistics evidence as it was available to the FBI, not now, but in November of '63 can be made.

I can assure you that, when you take the original FBI spectrographic reports and the original FBI neutron activation analysis tests - and I have those documents from the FBI, and by the way, some or all of them are missing now from the National Archives, so I may be one of the people from whom you need to get documents that no longer exist either in the FBI files or in the National Archives - that I would urge you to have those independently checked by a spectroscopist and a neutron activation analysis person.

About the others, my other topics, I was very happy to hear Dick Russell talk about John Thomas Masen. You will get your best - I think, for now - your best leads on John Thomas Masen and his relationship to ALPHA-66 and Frank Ellsworth from Ellsworth's documents - that is, the Treasury Department's records - and from the documents that are cited in my book, And We Are All Mortal.

For the medical records at Parkland and Bethesda, no one has looked yet for the teaching institution records. Almost all of the doctors at Parkland and at Bethesda, many of them, had teaching institution connections, and some of them made reports to their teaching institutions; that is, as part of an internship, residency, et cetera.

I would make no assumptions. Find out every teaching institution that was involved with Parkland and every teaching institution that was involved with Bethesda, find out if there were any records distributed from both Parkland and Bethesda to those teaching institutions' files. I think you're going to come up with some very interesting material there.

Lastly, the Bethesda medical record - the last time that I interviewed Francis X. O'Neill, former FBI agent, he said at approximately midnight, he left Bethesda, the morgue room, where a fully-clothed body, presumably of John F. Kennedy, was in the coffin and the work largely, both of the autopsists and the cosmeticists, had been concluded.

Yet, sometime after midnight - I think after 1:00 - we know that at least two Secret Service agents saw an apparently naked John F. Kennedy on his face, and they were asked to verify a bullet hole in his back.

What you have to reconcile, therefore, are two different sets of records that are at odds with what Francis X. O'Neill reports he saw as he left Bethesda and what Secret Service Agent Hill reports as he stayed at Bethesda, and that's no small concern, because that brings up that whole question of body alteration.

(2) Susan Campbell, The Hartford Courant (12th November, 2007)

How convenient, to label someone a nut. Dismissing someone as unbalanced takes the pressure off the rest of us, and allows us to go about our business. For two generations, George Michael Evica was known internationally as the grandfather of all John F. Kennedy assassination researchers. The University of Hartford emeritus professor of literature emphatically held that the commonly accepted wisdom - that malcontent Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in shooting the president in November 1963 - was a lie.

In the minds of some, that placed Evica in the same school as people who believe in Bigfoot, but for people who listened to his multiple lectures at JFK assassination conferences, to his nearly 40 years of Hartford classroom lectures, or to his long-running weekly half-hour radio show on WWUH, "Assassination Journal," Evica was a heavily resourced, highly intelligent nudge toward the truth.

That voice was silenced Saturday. Evica, of Hartford, died after multiple illnesses, including cancer and brain tumors. He was a month short of his 80th birthday. On Friday, the man known for his boundless energy told his beloved wife, Alycia, "Today is the day," and settled in to die. "He crossed some kind of threshold," said Alycia Brierley Evica, a popular high school teacher and actress.

Similarly, when Evica - known to friends by his first two names, George Michael - went through chemotherapy, he announced that he didn't want to lose his hair, said Laura Elayne Miller, a West Hartford native who is making a documentary on the professor. "And he didn't," said Miller. "It's amazing. His positive attitude radiates off of him. I swear that kept him alive for the last few years."

Friends spoke of Evica's unflappable honesty and his energy. "I have two words for George Michael Evica: intellectually curious," said former University of Hartford colleague Paul Stacy. "When I first came to the university, he impressed me most of all. There was such a flow of words and it took me some time to realize I had to listen carefully. That flow of words could be boiled down to something really good and helpful and generous. But even more than generous, he would say what he thought without any regard to how it might hit the FBI, the CIA, the students, his friends. And it wasn't arrogance. It wasn't showmanship. It was sincere and courageous honesty."

Evica started seriously researching the assassination after sifting through documents about the Watergate break-in and finding names associated with both historical events. His first book, "And We Are All Mortal: New Evidence and Analysis in the Assassination of John F. Kennedy," was published by University of Hartford in 1978, and made Evica a darling among assassination researchers. His second book, "A Certain Arrogance: U.S. Intelligence's Manipulation of Religious Groups and Individuals in Two World Wars and the Cold War - and the Sacrificing of Lee Harvey Oswald," was published in 2006.

In the first book, Evica wrote what he later playfully called the single longest, grammatically correct sentence ever published. It appears in the introduction, and starts, "A single bullet could have caused Kennedy's back of the neck wound" and continues for 21 lines. (It's followed by "Though fairly pleased with my own single-sentence effort to trace the single-bullet's path...")

Beyond his fascination with history, Evica loved theater and poetry. He taught college courses on investigative reporting. He played jazz piano as a youth, said Chuck Obuchowski, host of a WWUH jazz show, who watched Alycia accompany George Michael into the studio until illness forced him to stop in early July. "It was profoundly moving to me," said Obuchowski. "When he was unable to drive, she would bring him in, and sit with him while he did his show. I often thought he was doing himself a disservice continuing to call his show 'Assassination Journal,' but that's how it was known. He covered so many other events."

After she met him at the college's radio station, Miller said, "Somebody needs to make a documentary about that man." She approached Evica in April 2006, about the time he was being treated for lung cancer. "I have him in hospital beds going on about Jack Ruby, and you're like, 'Are you serious?' It makes him endearing and fascinating. "There's something really amazing about the few people in life who are so passionate that that is their life," Miller said. "Those are the people who make change and influence others."

During an interview with Miller, Evica calls himself a "radical historian," along the lines of Howard Zinn and others who understand the importance of getting the story straight. WWUH station manager John Ramsey said Evica's shoes - and time slot - are nearly impossible to fill. "George Michael had such credibility, nothing that smacked of UN-world-order-takeover stuff," said Ramsey. "He was a college professor and father figure at the same time." He said Evica once filed a Freedom of Information request, and asked the FBI and the CIA for any documents that included his name. He received "thousands of pages with information crossed out," said Ramsey. "Some of it was transcripts from his show. This was pre-Internet. Anyone who was writing down what he was saying was sitting somewhere listening to it. We liked to think there was someone at the federal building downtown, writing down every word."

"The thing about George Michael that was most striking was he had such a wide range of knowledge," said Virginia Hale, another University of Hartford colleague. "Before he got involved with the Kennedy assassination, he was a teacher of linguistics, of myth and ritual, the genres of comedy and tragedy."

Ed McKeon, who hosts a WWUH folk music show, called Evica brilliant and necessary. "I think it's very easy to go along your merry way in life and not have skepticism for what's presented to us, what's laid before us as the truth," McKeon said. "I think that's the one thing I learned from him: You always ought to question authority, question what someone is trying to convince you is the truth. Truth is slippery, but for the good of ourselves, we need to pursue it."

In addition to his wife, Evica leaves a daughter and two grandchildren.