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I'm a muckraker....and when I researched the sources of McCain-Hensley family money, I wrote this, Scotsman's Ms.Peev Should ask Meghan McCain if her family's money still has mob stink. Here at DKos, I posted this, All of McCain's Wealth Is From "Mobbed Up" Money, When DId it Become "Clean"? and this , and this , and even a few more diary entries.....

What are the effects of fortunes derived from the proceeds of organized crime, on our politics, and on wealth inequity?

I think the following 1977 "news", needs to be considered. I think there should be a legal process to determine if a forfeiture of  a portion of the family's fortune (and the Hensley's) is in society's interest:

For Webb, the Flamingo experience led to a series of deals with other developers who had their own ties to the Mob-dominated Chicago political machine, including Henry Crown

and Arnold S. Kirkeby of Los Angeles. Crown, now 80, a Chicago financier who owned the Empire State Building from 1954 to 1961, was a major investor in General Dynamics Corp. and the Hilton Hotel chain. He became a close adviser to Webb and one of the few men allowed in the inner councils of the corporation.

He has been described by a close associate as Webb’s "money man." A.A. McCullom, a former Webb executive, said he had to be interviewed by Crown before he was hired by the Webb corporation in 1961.

IRE Report on Don Bolles Murder - March 19, 1977

According to Anthony Summers, Del Webb was protected "at the highest level" by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Summers quotes Justice Department attorney William Hundley as saying of this protection: "No bugs went in on Webb’s places [in Las Vegas]. . . . Hoover gave Webb a pass. He was his buddy." Hoover and Webb, though not necessarily together, were both frequent guests at the Del Charro, Clint Murchison’s hotel near the La Jolla, California racetrack.

   Anthony Summers, Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover (New York: Putnam's Sons, 1993), p. 231.

I suspect republicans didn't "raise" the background of the Crown fortune during the recent campaign, because the lead article detailing the partnership of Del Webb and Henry Crown, goes on to describe the sale of a major parcel of land by Webb and Crown to Sen. Barry Goldwater and his brother Robert. In fact, the 1977 "IRE" investigation of the Don Bolles car bomb murder makes a fact filled narrative that both the Goldwater brothers were "mobbed up"!

In his comments upon leaving the presidency in 1961, Dwight Eisenhower warned America about the "military industrial complex"
implicitly rebuking defense contractors like Henry Crown who applied the rough-and-tumble rules of construction in Chicago to weapons procurement.

Review of above book The Racketeer's Progress: Chicago and the Struggle for the Modern - Andrew Wender Cohen

Note: I agree with the perspective in the review of the book, "The Racketeer's Progress". The Eisenhower quote was an example of "the problem" of Henry Crown inserting himself into defense contracting!

The Following 1996 article gets to the heart of this diary entry:

ON ECONOMICS: -- How Kennedy Assassination Affected Some Stock Prices


Monday, November 18, 1996

....But the facts speak tellingly about how accidents of history can affect great fortunes.

A postscript for assassination buffs: No individual stood to lose more from the TFX scandal than Chicago investor Henry Crown, who owned 20 percent of General Dynamics. His personal attorney, Albert Jenner, became a senior staff attorney on the Warren Commission, in charge of investigating the possibility of a conspiracy.

In later years, Jenner also represented Chicago labor racketeer Allen Dorfman. Dorfman's stepfather Paul, a leading figure in the Chicago mob, ran the Waste Handlers Union in Chicago in 1939 with Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's future killer.

Both Dorfmans hated the Kennedy family. Robert Kennedy had hauled them before a Senate crime panel in the late 1950s, where they took the Fifth Amendment.

Allen Dorfman was murdered, gangland-style, in 1983 in the company of another friend of Ruby, Irwin Weiner. Attorney Jenner obtained Weiner's acquittal in a 1975 federal labor racketeering case after the government's leading witness was shotgunned to death.

Weiner was called to testify in 1978 before the House Select Committee on Assassinations about his relationship with Ruby, including a phone conversation with Ruby shortly before the assassination. He said the call was innocent.

The committee was investigating the theory -- which it never proved -- that organized crime had Ruby silence Oswald to disguise its own role in the Kennedy assassination.....



Long Before the TFX contract was awarded to General Dynamics, the lobbyists and contractors has begun pulling and tugging on every
possible political string to land this biggest military contract with the Kennedy administration -- $5,600,000,000.

General Dynamic's board chairman, Henry Crown, slipped around Washington buttonholing Politicians he knew. One was Lyndon Johnson.

Crown, who contributed money to Eisenhower and Nixon in 1952 and 1956 when they were certain to win, hedged his political bets in
1960 by putting money on both sides. He also took pains to put $1,000 behind LBJ's campaign for the democratic nomination. The
vice president had friends at General Dynamics' Ft. Worth plant and was anxious to have the contract go to Texas.

Here is the synopses: Henry Crown had the mob ties and the motive to make it vital that he be throughly investigated by the Warren Commission in 1964. Instead, his personal attorney was appointed Commission counsel in charge of investigating the possibility of a conspiracy to kill JFK!!!

Henry Crown was chairman of General Dynamics, and his employee, former FBI agent, IB Hale in a security role, was caught planting a tap on the phone of JFK's mistress, Judith Campbell Exner. On March 22, 1962, Hoover apparently told JFK what the FBI learned about Exner's phone calls to the White House, and her affair with JFK ended. This was veiled blackmailing of JFK, aggravated by the fact that Exner was also involved with Chicago mob leaders, Sam Giancana and Johnny Roselli, target of RFK's justice department.

This entry ends with an excerpt of reporting of 1976 sworn admissions by Lester Crown, in exchange for immunity from prosecution that he personally paid thousands of dollars in cash bribes from his office safe, to members of the Illinois legislature in exchange for passage of a state easing of weight limits on concrete and other material hauling trucks operated by his company, Material Service Corp, followed by an IHT report of Obama's relationship with Lester Crown and his son, James.

My concern is that the Crowns are in their third generation of using ill or quetionably gotten gains to buy political influence.
This family has known net worth of approx. $4 billion, and there is much evidence for the argument that they have not come by these sums via legal investment and business activities.

It speaks of an openly corrupt oligarchy with the demonstrated power to be above the law, and to determine who will investigate them when they are suspected of criminal wrongdoing, as well as the concern of what they expect from politicians in exchange for the legal and illegal payments they give Pols!

....Henry Crown, a director of the Hilton Hotel chain, major Democratic contributor and the leading shareholder of General Dynamics in 1963, was a friend and allegedly an associate in corrupt land deals, with Jack Ruby's old political boss Jake Arvey of Chicago's 24th Ward.450 In addition to that, Crown's dealings, through the Havana Hilton, would come to encompass individuals close to Ruby, Oswald, Syvia Odio, Second Naval Guerrilla, CIA/Mafia assassination plotters, and possibly George Wing.

Former Marine intelligence officer John W. Houser, who became a fellow director with Henry Crown of Hilton Hotels International, had negotiated with a pro-Batista Cuban faction for the casino in the new Havana Hilton. The fact that mobster Albert Anastasia had met with this same group, and was Meyer Lansky's rival in Cuba, may have been one reason Anastasia was executed by the Mafia on October 25, 1957. The hit was allegedly a consensus between Lansky and Santos Trafficante (CIA/Mafia assassination plotter and close friend of John Martino). Trafficante had dinner with Anastasia and then stayed in his hotel room the day before the hit. Shortly after Anastasia's death, Trafficante attended the Apalachin meeting with Pennsylvania mobster Gabriel Mannarino.451

The Warren Commission avoided the subject of Oswald's initial contact with the Clarks, as did Peter Gregory -- Max Clark's friend. The one man on the Commission's staff who would have easily seen the red flags in a General Dynamics employee introducing Oswald to the CIA connected Russian community in Dallas, was assistant Counsel Albert E. Jenner. Jenner was put in charge of investigating the possibility of a conspiracy in the assassination. He was also Henry Crown's attorney in 1964. Considering this inexcusable conflict of interest, his conclusion comes as no surprise. He wrote that, "Review of Oswald's life and activities since 1959...did not produce any meaningful evidence of a conspiracy...." Nor did the Commission's investigation of Jack Ruby "produce any grounds for believing that Ruby's killing of Oswald was part of a conspiracy" (R 374, emphasis added). Jenner, who carefully chose the Warren Report's wording as one of its key authors, was sitting on the board of directors of General Dynamics by 1970 with his former client Henry Crown. In 1974, Nixon approved the appointment of Mr. Jenner as minority counsel for the House Judiciary's investigation into his impeachment.457

Whatever meaning Jenner gave to his evidence of conspiracy, and whether or not any grounds were produced that would have changed Jenner's beliefs about Ruby's killing of Oswald, the Warren Commission had ample opportunity to investigate the conspiracy both through Mr. and Mrs. Clark, and through Mr. and Mrs. Ford, who seemed to know Lewis MacNaughton's personal accountant, George Bouhe, well enough to know his complaints about having to babysit for Marina Oswald. As Peter Dale Scott tells us, "Mrs. Katya Ford, who after the assassination took Marina into her house and became her business agent, is of the Oswalds' four Russian patrons the only one alleged to be linked to Jack Ruby."458

  1. Ovid Demaris, Captive City, p. 230, Kenneth Lamott, The Moneymakers, (Boston, MA: Little Brown, 1969), p. 65, cited in Scott, The Dallas Conspiracy, ch. VII, p. 17.
  1. Hank Messick, Lansky, p. 212, Ed Reid, The Grim Reapers, p. 94, cited in Scott, The Dallas Conspiracy, ch. VI, pp. 24, 25, 26.
  1. Scott, The Dallas Conspiracy, ch. VII, pp. 25, 26; Fensterwald, Coincidence or Conspiracy?, pp. 549-50.
  1. Scott, The Dallas Conspiracy, ch. III, pp. 7, 8.
...She said she met Kennedy in Las Vegas in 1960 at a party given by "a friend." The friend was Singer Frank Sinatra; one former
Kennedy aide understood that Sinatra and J.F.K.'s brother-in-law, Peter Lawford, owned a piece of a nightclub where Judy once
worked as a hostess. A month after she met the President, Sinatra brought her together with Giancana, who later introduced her to

Roselli. Both gangsters knew of her affair with Kennedy, but she insisted that neither of them tried to encourage or make use of it.

Last Call.

By her account, she visited Kennedy at the White House more than 20 times, usually for intimate lunches. The Senate committee
learned that on one occasion, while she was staying with Roselli and Giancana at Miami Beach's Fontainebleau Hotel, she made a
side trip to Palm Beach to spend time there with Kennedy. Judy claimed that she received countless telephone calls from him, and
she seemed to dial his number quite often as well. White House logs show that during a 54-week period in 1961 and early 1962, she
telephoned Kennedy 70 times from her home in Los Angeles, Oak Park and other spots....

...The end of her friendship with Kennedy apparently came when FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, whose sleuths learned of the affair
during their investigation of Giancana and Roselli, had lunch with Kennedy at the White House
on March 22, 1962. No one knows what
the two discussed during the time that they were alone. But Hoover had made a point of being briefed beforehand about Judith
Campbell's disconcerting friendships with both gangsters and a President. And according to White House logs, the last known
telephone call between J.F.K. and Judy came only a few hours after the luncheon.
The IRE Journal,  Nov/Dec 1997  by Hersh, Seymour

The uncensored FBI reports and cables on the August break-in at Exner's Los Angeles apartment, made available for the book under
the Freedom of Information Act, were urgently forwarded, in code, to J. Edgar Hoover. An FBI summary from the Los Angeles bureau,
dated August 17, 1962, told Hoover something he already knew, even if some of his California agents didn't realize it. The summary
described Exner as being in contact with Giancana and Rosselli and with Evelyn Lincoln. It also told Hoover something he didn't
know; the Hale family and General Dynamics were linked to the break-in. "A man answering the description of the individual who
entered (Exner's) apartment was observed leaving the area in an automobile registered to former Special Agent I.B. Hale who
resides in Fort Worth, Texas," the summary said. "Our Dallas office has advised that. . . Hale is employed at General Dynamics. .
. in charge of security." The summary noted that the crime its agents witnessed "is not being disseminated to the Los Angeles Police Department at this time."
The Washington Post Magazine

A K A Frank Sinatra
The FBI kept tabs on him for 40 years, through his days as a heartthrob, a do-gooder, an associate of the Mob and a pal to the president. Reading the bureau's files is like reading into a secret history of the American Century.
By Jeff Leen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 7, 1999; Page M6

After JFK won the election, Sinatra sang and escorted the new first lady at Kennedy's inaugural gala. Just over a year later, the
FBI stumbled onto a secret that could have destroyed his presidency.

The Sinatra files carry only one reference, buried in a 76-page summary:
"A Bureau memo, 2/26/62, regarding 'John Roselli' stated that a review of the telephone calls of Judith E. Campbell, an associate of Roselli, revealed four calls in Dec., 1961, to the Palm Springs, Cal., residence of Frank Sinatra
(purpose of the calls not stated)."

Seldom has a bombshell been cloaked in greater understatement.
The reference arose from the FBI's check of phone records for Giancana; Roselli, a gangster associate of Giancana's; and Campbell.

The FBI found that the 25-year-old Campbell had one of the most interesting little phone books in history: She was contemporaneously in contact with Giancana, Roselli, Sinatra and Evelyn Lincoln, John F. Kennedy's personal secretary at the White House. It didn't take the bureau long to add two and two and arrive at four: Campbell was a link to Sinatra, Roselli, Giancana and the president.

She had been JFK's girlfriend for two years. Sinatra had introduced Campbell to JFK on February 7, 1960, when Kennedy caught the
Rat Pack show at the Sands's Copa Room in Las Vegas. Sinatra had introduced her to Giancana the following month, at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, which had become a sort of clubhouse for the singer and the mob.

Now it was catching up with Kennedy. The day after the bureau memo noting Judith Campbell's calls to Sinatra, Hoover sent a memo of his own – to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, the president's brother, detailing the results of the FBI's investigation.

Soon after that, the president backed away from Sinatra.

The episode became legendary: JFK, who was already scheduled to visit Palm Springs that March, switched his stay from Sinatra's house to that of Bing Crosby, a Republican.

October 5, 2003

Robert Hale grew up in affluent circumstances in Fort Worth, Texas.

His father was I.B. Hale, an FBI agent who later worked for defense contractor General Dynamics.

While in high school, Bobby Hale eloped to Florida with Kathleen Connally. She was 16 and the daughter of John Connally, later to
become the Texas governor wounded in the Dallas assassination of President Kennedy.....

Coming tomorrow in Part II:

Lester Crown cops a plea to charges of bribing Illinois legislators; excerpt from reporting of 1976 Trial:
Corruption in the legislature Cement Bribery Trial

....Attacks on Crown's testimony

Crown, son of a onetime owner of the Empire State Building, said he had frequently made political contributions but not under the
conditions prevailing when he tapped his safe for $8,000 and $15,000 installments in 1972. He said he had not previously contributed on a "quid pro quo" basis involving a particular piece of legislation, nor had there been a condition that the money would be returned if the legislation were not enacted into law an impression apparently given to the cement industry by "middlemen" in the scheme

Crown also said he had never, prior to his payments on the cement bill, replenished his personal funds with company money gathered
by having other company officers submit bloated expense vouchers.

"Your understanding and assumption was that the money to be issued was to be given to members of the General Assembly, wasn't it?"
chief prosecutor Webb asked.

"Yes, sir," Crown replied. Webb also asked, "You knew . . . that payment of bribes from private industry to the General Assembly was illegal, didn't you?"....
Pragmatic politics, forged by Obama on the South side of Chicago  May 11, 2008

....Straddling Two Worlds

As Obama moved closer to running, he paid a visit to James Crown and his father, Lester, billionaire investors who presided over a sprawling Chicago business dynasty and prominent leaders in the Jewish community.

As the meeting ended, the younger Crown said, his father — who is "fairly hawkish" about Israel's security — was noncommittal about Obama. But, James Crown said, "I pulled him down to my office, and I said, 'Hey, look, I think you should run, and I want you to win.' "

In courting families like the Crowns, Obama was gaining entree into the upper echelon of the city's corporate boardrooms, a ripe source of campaign money. But he was also seeking to broaden his appeal to Jewish voters,...

...Crown, for his part, could not be more pleased. Since Obama was elected to the Senate Crown said that even his father had been won over, helping to arrange meetings for Obama in a visit to Israel. James Crown said he had "never had even the slightest glimmer of concern that Barack wasn't terrific" on Israel — a view that Obama jokingly reinforced at a meeting last year in Crown's office.....

Originally posted to host on Tue Dec 02, 2008 at 04:15 AM PST.

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