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John Martino's Confessions

John Martino: electronics expert, mob associate, anti-Castro activist, author of 'I Was Castro's Prisoner', promoter of stories about Lee Harvey Oswald, and confessor to involvement in the JFK assassination.
John Martino: electronics expert, mob associate, anti-Castro activist, author of I Was Castro's Prisoner, promoter of stories about Lee Harvey Oswald, and confessor to involvement in the JFK assassination.

Flo, they're going to kill him. They're going to kill him when he gets to Texas.

The wife of John Martino, after denying to the HSCA that her husband had foreknowledge of JFK's assassination, told author Anthony Summers about her husband's statement the morning of the murder and the series of phone calls he received that afternoon.

John Martino, whose statements are the starting point for Larry Hancock's book Someone Would Have Talked, was deeply enmeshed in anti-Castro activities in the early 1960s. An electronics expert, particularly specializing in the gambling machines employed in Havana casinos run by organized crime. Martino was arrested in Havana in July 1959 and spent three years in prison there. On his return to Florida, he became associated with Frank Sturgis, Eddie Bayo, and other anti-Castro activists. Martino also mentioned the not-well-known CIA officer Dave Morales in his book, I Was Castro's Prisoner.

In the spring and summer of 1963, Martino was heavily involved in the Bayo-Pawley raid (aka Operation TILT), an operation intended to smuggle out of Cuba two Russian officers who, it was said, wanted to defect and alert the world to the presence of Soviet missiles remaining in Cuba after the Missile Crisis. A team was landed but never returned.

Martino and an associated named Nathaniel Weyl were active in the aftermath of JFK's assassination, spreading a variety stories intended to tie Lee Harvey Oswald to Fidel Castro.

Martino's confession was not confined to his wife and son Eddie. In 1975 he told Newsday reporter John Cummings about his involvement in the JFK murder, serving as a courier, delivering money, etc. He told a similar story to his business partner Fred Claasen that same year, as recounted in Tony Summer's book Conspiracy:

The anti-Castro people put Oswald together. Oswald didn't know who he was working for--he was just ignorant of who was really putting him together. Oswald was to meet his contact at the Texas Theatre. They were to meet Oswald in the theatre, and get him out of the country, then eliminate him. Oswald made a mistake...There was no way we could get to him. They had Ruby kill him.

RESOURCES:

Essays

Primary Sources: Theory - Soviet Union, Cuba, by Spartacus Educational.

Cuba and the Kennedy Assassination, by John Martino.

The Three Oswald Deceptions: The Operation, the Cover-Up and the Conspiracy, by Peter Dale Scott.

Did Silvia Odio Lie?, by Dave Reitzes.

The Inspector General's Report: An Introduction, by Peter Dale Scott.

The Kennedy-CIA Divergence Over Cuba, by Peter Dale Scott.


Other Links

John Martino on Spartacus Educational.

www.larry-hancock.com, the website for Someone Would Have Talked.

Document exhibits on www.larry-hancock.com.

Operation TILT photo pages on www.larryhancock.com: page 1 and page 2.

 

Documents

Warren Commission Volumes:

Warren Commission Documents:

HSCA Volumes:

CIA Files:

Related Starting Points

Multimedia

Larry Hancock, author of Someone Would Have Talked, discusses Martino's confession (running time: 2:12).
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Books of Interest

    Someone Would Have Talked
Larry Hancock
JFK Lancer Productions and Publications, 2003
 
    The Last Investigation
Gaeton Fonzi
Skyhorse Publishing, 2013
 
    Conspiracy
Anthony Summers
Paragon House, 1980
 
    Deep Politics and the Death of JFK
Peter Dale Scott
University of California Press, 1993
 
    Oswald Talked
Ray and Mary La Fontaine
Pelican Publishing Company, 1996
 
    Bloody Treason
Noel Twyman
Laurel Publishing, 1997


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