THE NIXON SCANDALS
THE EVENTS AND CHARACTERS
The Nixon Administration may have done more to deliberately subvert the Constitution than any other administration in American history, and it is the subject of my novel, Small Spiders. The Watergate break-in and cover-up were, of course, the most famous, but by no means the only, manifestations of this unprecedented conspiracy against the American people.
The following is an index of the actual and alleged events, and the real characters involved in the conspiracy described in Small Spiders. The novel is written from the fictionalized point-of-view of an up-and-coming black female reporter for CBS News named Michele Clark. She was a real person who was killed, or possibly murdered, in a plane crash at the height of the Watergate scandal. Perhaps she deserves to be better known than she presently is.
The following is a chronology of actual and alleged events around which my novel, Small Spiders, is structured. The author does not necessarily agree with the opinions and conclusions stated in the cited references.
July 23, 1951: Michele Clark and her family besieged by racist demonstrators in their new apartment in Cicero, Illinois. They are forced to abandon apartment. (Ugly Nights in Cicero, Time magazine, July 23, 1951; Riot Victims Testify Against Cicero Officials, Jet magazine, June 5, 1952).
August 20, 1951: Project ARTICHOKE initiated by the CIA. It was a mind-control research project. The scope of the project was outlined in a January 1952 memo that stated, “Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature, such as self-preservation?” (Science, Technology and the CIA, published 2001, edited by Jeffrey T. Richelson.) This project eventually became absorbed in the MKULTRA project.
1952: CIA agent, Howard Hunt, while stationed in Mexico, runs students into Guatemala where they are captured and tortured. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt in which he expresses no regrets, nor remorse, nor doubts.)
April 13, 1953: MKULTRA project initiated by Allen Dulles of the CIA, headed by Sidney Gottlieb. (CIA Says It Found More Secret Papers on Behavior Control, New York Times, September 3, 1977)
February 19, 1954: Morse Allen, head of the CIA’s behavioral research department, simulated the ultimate experiment in hypnosis: the creation of a “Manchurian Candidate,” or programmed assassin. Allen's “victim” was a secretary whom he put into a deep trance and told to keep sleeping until he ordered otherwise. He then hypnotized a second secretary and told her that if she could not wake up her friend, “her rage would be so great that she would not hesitate to kill.” Allen left a pistol nearby which the secretary had no way of knowing was unloaded. Even though she had earlier expressed a fear of firearms of any kind, she picked up the gun and “shot” her sleeping friend. After Allen brought the “killer” out of her trance, she had apparent amnesia for the event, denying she would ever shoot anyone. (John Marks, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, The CIA and Mind Control)
August 28, 1955: Emmett Till murdered. Open-casket funeral held in Chicago. (Henry Hampton and S. Fayer, Voices of Freedom: An Oral History of the Civil Rights Movement from the 1950s through the 1960s)
1958 to 1962: Ted Kaczynski attends Harvard University (Harvard and the Making of the Unabomber by Alston Chase in the Atlantic Monthly, June 2000).
1959 to 1962: MKULTRA experiments conducted at Harvard University (Harvard and the Making of the Unabomber by Alston Chase in the Atlantic Monthly, June 2000).
June 1960: The CIA’s Technical Services Staff launched an expanded program of operational experiments in hypnosis in cooperation with the Agency’s Counterintelligence Staff. The legendary James Angleton headed Counterintelligence, which took on some of the CIA's most sensitive missions (including the illegal Agency spying against domestic dissidents). The program had three goals: (1) to induce hypnosis very rapidly in unwitting subjects; (2) to create durable amnesia; and (3) to implant durable and operationally useful posthypnotic suggestion. (John Marks, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, The CIA and Mind Control)
November 22, 1963: Lee Harvey Oswald assassinates President Kennedy.
January 18, 1967: Albert de Salvo, The Boston Strangler, sentenced to life imprisonment. Dr William J. Bryan claimed to have helped prove the case against De Salvo through hypnosis. (The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by William Turner)
April 04, 1968: James Earl Ray shoots Martin Luther King.
June 06, 1968: Robert F. Kennedy assassinated by Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, an alleged patient of Dr William J. Bryan. It is alleged that a woman in a polka-dot dress gave Sirhan the trigger phrase. Sirhan was found to have written in his notebook. “God help me . . . please help me. Salvo Di Di Salvo Die S Salvo.” (The Killing of Robert F. Kennedy by Dan E. Moldea; FBI Report Robert F. Kennedy Assassination (Summary) by Thomas F. Kranz; Who Killed Bobby? by Shane O’Sullivan; The Robert F. Kennedy Assassination by Philip H. Melanson; The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by William W. Turner and John G. Christian)
April 22, 1969: The Los Angeles Times writes that the California State Board of Medical Examiners found William Jennings Bryan III guilty of “unprofessional conduct in four cases involving sexual molesting of female patients.”
1970: Ted Kaczynski moves to his cabin in Montana. (Unabomber by Chris Waits and Dave Shors)
April 30, 1970: E. Howard Hunt retires from the CIA and joins the Robert R. Mullen Company in Washington D.C. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
May 1970: Michele Clark goes to work as a writer for a CBS affiliate, WBBM-TV in Chicago. She graduates from a Columbia University journalism program initiated by a prominent CBS executive (Fred Friendly) and returns to WBBM-TV as a reporter (Encyclopedia of Television News, edited by Michael D. Murray).
June 30, 1971: Nixon orders a break-in at the Brookings Institution, names Hunt as the right man for the job. (The Nixon White House Tapes)
August 07, 1970: “Soledad Brothers” take five hostages from a Marin County court room. The judge, prosecutor, one of the jurors, and the three black hostage takers were killed in the melee. Angela Davis, a black radical professor, had purchased the firearms used in the escape attempt. J. Edgar Hoover put her on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List. (The Morning Breaks by Bettina Aptheker)
September 1, 1970: Arthur Bremer takes a job as a janitor at a Milwaukee elementary school. (Bremer Got a Gun After Tiff With Girl by Jim Mann in the Washington Post of May 28, 1972)
October 13, 1970: Angela Davis arrested. (The Morning Breaks by Bettina Aptheker)
May 22, 1971: Arthur Bremer’s friend Thomas Neuman commits suicide by Russian roulette. (Palm Beach Post, May 21, 1972)
May 27, 1971: President Nixon, John Erlichman, and Egil Krogh agree to budget $100 million for a Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) kidnapping and assassination program. (The White House Death Squad by Jonathan Marshall)
July 2, 1971: Hunt meets with Colson to discuss ways to discredit Daniel Ellsberg who released the classified Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
July 6, 1971: Hunt, still with the Mullen Company, hired by Charles Colson as a consultant. He is given a secondary office in the Executive Office Building (EOB). (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
July 24, 1971: The White House Special Investigation Unit (The Plumbers) established under Egil Krogh. (Secret Agenda by Jim Hougan)
September 1971: Hunt forges State Department cables indicating that President Kennedy had ordered the assassination of President Diem of South Vietnam. This was done in order to discredit Ted Kennedy who was considering a run for the presidency at the time. Hunt tries to sell the forgeries to Life magazine but is turned down. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
September 09, 1971: In an operation approved by Egil Krogh, Howard Hunt, Gordon Liddy and the Plumbers break into Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
September 09, 1971: Attica prison riot (4 days).
September 14, 1971: Bremer buys a 1967 Rambler for about $800. (Arthur Bremer: The Communist Plot to Kill George Wallace by Alan Stang in American Opinion magazine)
October 16, 1971: Bremer gets his own apartment. (Arthur Bremer: The Communist Plot to Kill George Wallace by Alan Stang in American Opinion magazine)
November 1971: Hunt meets with Lucien Conein to discuss Conein’s scheduled interview by NBC News. He provides Conein with classified cables (including the two forgeries). (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
November, 1971: Bremer takes job as an elementary school janitor. (Arthur Bremer: The Communist Plot to Kill George Wallace by Alan Stang in American Opinion magazine)
November 18, 1971: Bremer ask Joan Pemrich for a date. She is a 15 year-old hall monitor at school where he works. (American Assassins by James K. Clarke; Bremer Got a Gun After Tiff With Girl by Jim Mann in the Washington Post of May 28, 1972)
November 18, 1971: Bremer arrested outside a synagogue in Fox Point, Wisconsin. (Arthur Bremer: The Communist Plot to Kill George Wallace by Alan Stang in American Opinion magazine)
November 19, 1971: Bremer released from jail. Gun confiscated. (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, May 17, 1972; Bremer Got a Gun After Tiff With Girl by Jim Mann in the Washington Post of May 28, 1972)
December 01, 1971: G. Gordon Liddy hired by the Committee to Reelect the President (CRP or CREEP) as a general counsel. (All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward)
December 22, 1971: Lucien Conein appears on NBC News program and asserts that JFK ordered the assassination of President Diem of South Vietnam. (Coup d’Etat in America by Alan J. Weberman and Michael Canfield)
January 1972: Nixon and Liddy create Office of Drug Abuse and Law Enforcement (ODALE) under Myles Ambrose. (Drug Control Policy edited by William O. Walker)
January 13, 1972: Bremer breaks up with Joan Pemrich. (Bremer Got a Gun After Tiff With Girl by Jim Mann in the Washington Post of May 28, 1972)
January 13, 1972: Bremer buys a new pistol.(Bremer Got a Gun After Tiff With Girl by Jim Mann in the Washington Post of May 28, 1972)
January 14, 1972: Bremer shaves his head and pleads with Joan to take him back. (Bremer Got a Gun After Tiff With Girl by Jim Mann in the Washington Post of May 28, 1972)
January 20, 1972: Joan’s mother warns Bremer to stay away. (Bremer Got a Gun After Tiff With Girl by Jim Mann in the Washington Post of May 28, 1972)
January 29, 1972: Liddy submits Operation Gemstone proposal to Attorney General who asks for something less expensive. (Conspiracy Theories in American History by P. Knight; President Nixon: Alone in the White House by Richard Reeves)
February 11, 1972: Hunt and Liddy at Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles where Hughes Tool Co. (Howard Hughes’ company) rented a suite for them. Discussion held about stealing the safe of Hank Greenspun of the Las Vegas Sun. Safe supposedly contained info damaging to the Muskie campaign. Burglary never happened. (Citizen Hughes by Michael Drosnin)
February 23, 1972: Angela Davis released on bail. (The Morning Breaks by Bettina Aptheker)
February 25, 1972: Muskie campaign sabotaged by Donald Segretti’s “Dirty Tricks” unit. (Mudslingers by Kerwin C. Swint)
March 01, 1972: John Mitchell resigns as Attorney General, heads up CREEP. (The Strong Man by James Rosen)
March 02, 1972: Bremer attends Wallace organizational meeting at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. (Arthur Bremer: The Communist Plot to Kill George Wallace by Alan Stang in American Opinion magazine)
March 02, 1972: Hunt, in disguise, visits Dita Beard, an ITT lobbyist, in Denver hospital to persuade her to claim that a memo written by her, damaging to President Nixon, was a forgery. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
March 23, 1972: Bremer attends Wallace dinner and rally at the Red Carpet Inn in Milwaukee. (Arthur Bremer: The Communist Plot to Kill George Wallace by Alan Stang in American Opinion magazine)
March 30, 1972: Dr. Gary Morris (a psychiatrist known to Dorothy Hunt) and his wife disappear while on vacation in the Caribbean off Santa Lucia. (30 Watergate Witnesses Have Met Violent Deaths by Malcolm Abrahams, July 12, 1976)
April 1972: Presidential election polls show Nixon at 41%, McGovern at 41%, Wallace at 18%. (The Taking of America by Richard E. Sprague)
April 04, 1972: Bremer arrives at La Guardia Airport in New York on Northwest Orient Flight 224 (about 9:00 pm) with intention to assassinate President Nixon, forgetfully leaves guns with pilot. (FBI WALSHOT File; An Assassin’s Diary by Arthur Bremer)
April 04, 1972: Bremer stays in a Howard Johnson’s in Jamaica Queens. (FBI WALSHOT File; An Assassin’s Diary by Arthur Bremer)
April 4, 1972: Bremer begins the second part of his diary. It was found in his car the day after the Wallace shooting (An Assassin’s Diary by Arthur Bremer). The first part, dated from March 1, 1972, was found in 1980.
April 05, 1972: Bremer wanders around a Queens slum. (An Assassin’s Diary by Arthur Bremer)
April 06, 1972: Bremer checks into Fifth Avenue Hotel at East Ninth Street in Manhattan. (An Assassin’s Diary by Arthur Bremer)
April 07, 1972: Joe Gallo killed at 4:30 a.m. in Umberto’s Clam House in Little Italy. (Joe Gallo is Shot to Death in a Little Italy Restaurant by Eric Pace in the New York Times, April 8, 1972.)
April 07, 1972: Bremer checks in at Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. (An Assassin’s Diary by Arthur Bremer)
April 08, 1972: Bremer tries to rent a car but he is underage. Makes reservation for 8: 00 a.m. flight to Milwaukee. Calls massage parlor at 11:00 p.m. but afraid to go in. (An Assassin’s Diary by Arthur Bremer)
April 09, 1972 (Sunday): Bremer misses morning flight, visits Victorian massage parlor on Lexington Avenue. (FBI WALSHOT File; An Assassin’s Diary by Arthur Bremer)
April 09, 1972: Bremer misses 4:00 p.m. United flight to Milwaukee, gets on standby, returns to Milwaukee via Northwest Orient. (FBI WALSHOT File; An Assassin’s Diary by Arthur Bremer)
April 9, 1972: Attempted break-in at CBS reporter Dan Rather’s Washington home. He is of the opinion that it was done by the Plumbers. (Second Thoughts by Maxine Cheshire in the Washington Post, June 5, 1973)
April 10, 1972: Bremer takes C&O ferry from Milwaukee to Ludington Michigan. Seen meeting with unidentified man. (Arthur Bremer: The Communist Plot to Kill George Wallace by Alan Stang in American Opinion magazine; FBI WALSHOT File; An Assassin’s Diary by Arthur Bremer)
April 10, 1972: Bremer spends night in Port Huron, Michigan at Howard Johnson’s motel. He accidentally shoots his bed. (FBI WALSHOT File; An Assassin’s Diary by Arthur Bremer)
April 13, 1972: Bremer goes to Ottawa to track Nixon. Alleged to have met with Dennis Cossini (allegedly a Hunt operative) at Lord Elgin Hotel. Nixon in Ottawa April 13 - 15. (Arthur Bremer: The Communist Plot to Kill George Wallace by Alan Stang in American Opinion magazine)
April 23, 1972: Michele Clark interviews Hubert Humphrey on CBS program Face the Nation. (A Reporter’s Short, Sensational Career by Kimberly Leydig and Sue O’Brien in Communicator magazine, September 1995)
May 01, 1972: J. Edgar Hoover dies.
May 04, 1972: Paris peace talks broken off. Bombing campaign begins.
May 04, 1972: “Peacenik” rally held on Capitol steps while Hoover’s body lay in state. CREEP brings in Hunt’s team to protect casket, prevent Ellsberg from unfurling Vietcong flag (which never happens). Sturgis disrupts Ellsberg’s speech, gets in fight. Afterward, they drive by Watergate and Howard Johnson Hotel in preparation for break-in. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
May 10, 1972: Bremer begins tracking Wallace. (FBI WALSHOT File; An Assassin’s Diary by Arthur Bremer)
May 11, 1972: Colson meets with Bremer according Attorney General Mitchell’s wife. (Bigger Than Watergate; The Cover-Up That Succeeded by Christopher Ketcham in Freezerbox Newsletter dated November 28, 2005)
May 13, 1972: Hunt’s plumbers break into the Chilean embassy. (Watergate: The Hidden History by Lamar Waldron)
May 15, 1972: Bremer shoots George Wallace. Bremer is subdued and arrested. Maryland and Pennsylvania State Police issue an all-points bulletin for a 1971 light blue Cadillac driven by a white male. The driver was spotted changing the license plates. The car was later found abandoned. (Arthur Bremer: The Communist Plot to Kill George Wallace by Alan Stang in American Opinion magazine; Bremer and Wallace: It’s Deja Vu All Over Again by Lisa Pease in Probe magazine May-June 1999) Wallace survives the shooting but is too injured to continue his campaign.
May 16, 1972: Nixon orders Colson to send Hunt to Bremer’s apartment to plant left-wing literature. Hunt says he never went. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
May 16, 1972: FBI shows up at Bremer’s apartment. Secret Service already there. A shootout between the two agencies almost occurred. Investigators inexplicably leave apartment for about an hour allowing reporters and onlookers to enter. (Arthur Bremer: The Communist Plot to Kill George Wallace by Alan Stang in American Opinion magazine)
May 19, 1972: Approximate date Hunt’s wife Dorothy and two of their children start vacation to Europe. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
May 20, 1972: FBI gets custody of Bremer.
May 22, 1972: The New York Times questions how Bremer, on such a limited income, could have afforded the equipment found in his car and the travel expenses he had incurred. No answer was ever provided.
May 25, 1972: Plumbers make first unsuccessful break-in at Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at Watergate complex. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
May 27, 1972: Second unsuccessful break-in at Watergate. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
May 28, 1972: Third attempt at Watergate succeeds. James McCord of McCord Associates plants bugs in DNC telephones. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
June 04, 1972: Angela Davis acquitted. (The Morning Breaks by Bettina Aptheker)
June 08, 1972: Charles T. Ireland, president of CBS (formerly at ITT) dies of a heart attack less than one year after succeeding Frank Stanton who becomes Vice Chairman. (CBS’s Overnight Star, Time magazine, July 24, 1972)
June 16, 1972: Hunt discusses planned break-in at McGovern headquarters at Roger Williams Hotel with Thomas Gregory, his mole in the Muskie campaign (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt).
June 17, 1972: Fourth Watergate break-in to replace faulty equipment. Plumbers (Bernard Barker, Frank Sturgis, Rolando Martinez and Virgilio Gonzales) and James McCord arrested around 2:30 a.m. Hunt and Liddy clear out command post, leave bag with entry team wallets and Hunt’s personal check to the Lakeside Country Club. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
June 17, 1972: Hunt goes to Howard Johnson hotel room used as listening post, instructs Alfred Baldwin, CREEP’s man assigned to monitor the bugs, to take contents to McCord’s house (Baldwin’s version which Hunt denied). Hunt says he stashed command post radios in his Executive Office Building safe. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt) Hunt’s son, Howard St. John says he helped his father dump radios in a canal. (Bond of Secrecy by Saint John Hunt)
June 17, 1972: Howard St. John Hunt helps his father dump Watergate command post equipment into a canal. Dorothy and two kids still on vacation in London. (Bond of Secrecy by Saint John Hunt)
June 19, 1972: Bob Woodward, Washington Post reporter, makes call to Hunt to ask about his phone number being in possession of two Watergate burglars. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
June 19, 1972: FBI finds listening post in Howard Johnson hotel, learns identity of Alfred Baldwin. Room was rented to McCord Associates. (All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward)
June 19, 1972: FBI questions Hunt at his home. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
June 19, 1972: Contents of Hunt’s EOB safe removed by order of John Dean, turned over to FBI six days later. (Time magazine April 2, 1973)
June 20, 1972: Hunt flies to Los Angeles to escape press and FBI, then goes to Chicago. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
June 26, 1972: Time magazine publishes a derogatory column about the hypothetical McGovern presidency.
July 6, 1972: Dennis Cossini’s corpse found in his car in either Milwaukee or Toronto. He was reported to have died of a heroin overdose. On his person was found the name and phone number of John J. McCleary of Sacramento, an employee of V&T International, an import/export company. McCleary reportedly drowned in the Pacific Ocean in the fall of 1972. McCleary’s father drowned in Reno about the same time. Three men, alleged to be from the CIA, claimed Cossini’s body and nothing more was heard about him. (Arthur Bremer: The Communist Plot to Kill George Wallace by Alan Stang in American Opinion magazine)
July 8, 1972: Approximate date when Hunt returns from Chicago and Dorothy returns from London. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
July 10 to 13, 1972: Michele Clark covers the Democratic National Convention in Miami.
July 21, 1972: Arthur Taylor from International Paper succeeds Charles Ireland as president of CBS. Shortly after, Taylor tells Stanton he thinks his phones are tapped. (Notable New Yorkers - Frank Stanton, Columbia University Oral History Research Office)
July 31, 1972: Trial of Arthur Bremer begins.
August 4, 1972: Arthur Bremer found guilty and sentenced to 63 years in prison.
August 21 to 23, 1972: Michele Clark covers the Republican National Convention in Miami.
September 05, 1972: Palestinian commandos invade Munich Olympics.
October 1972: Lucien Conein establishes intelligence unit within ODALE called Bureau of Narcotics Covert Intelligence Network (BUNCIN). Unit is alleged to be an assassination squad. (Strength of the Pack by Douglas Valentine)
October 27, 1972: Walter Cronkite broadcasts first of two-part report on Watergate, calls it a “high level campaign of political sabotage and espionage unprecedented in American history.” (CBSNews.com)
October 28, 1972: Charles Colson threatens William Paley, CBS Chairman. Paley orders changes in second segment. (The Power and the Profits by David Halberstam in the January 1976 edition of the Atlantic Monthly)
November 03, 1972: Paley pleads to Colson for “mercy.” (Government Control of News: A Constitutional Challenge by Corydon B. Dunham)
November 07, 1972: Nixon reelected in a landslide. Watergate was never a factor.
November 08, 1972: Nixon demands resignations of all staff and cabinet members. (President Nixon: Alone in the White House by Richard Reeves)
November 15, 1972: Hunt calls Colson demanding resumption of payoffs. (American Spy by E. Howard Hunt)
November 20, 1972: A Sunday at Camp David. Nixon demands Richard Helms’ resignation. Helms refuses. (Facing Reality by Cord Meyer)
December 18, 1972: Crash of United Airlines Flight 553 from Washington to Chicago. Dorothy Hunt, Michele Clark, Congressman George W. Collins, and the entire flight crew are among the forty-five dead. Eighteen passengers survived, among them ODALE agent Harold Metcalf (an alias?). Upon boarding, Metcalf checked in with the captain, Wendell Whitehouse. Prior to boarding, Dorothy Hunt purchased a $250,000 flight insurance policy at an airport kiosk. Over 50 FBI agents arrived at and secured the crash site before even the fire department could get there. (The Secret History of Airplane Sabotage by Sherman H. Skolnick; Aircraft Accident Report Number NTSB-AAR-73-16 by The National Transportation Safety Board dated August 29, 1973)
December 18, 1972: “Christmas bombing” of Hanoi begins.
December 19, 1972: Egil Krogh appointed Undersecretary of Transportation supervising National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). (The Secret History of Airplane Sabotage by Sherman H. Skolnick; The Yankee and Cowboy War by Carl Ogelsby)
December 26, 1972: Alexander Butterfield, deputy assistant to President Nixon, appointed to head of FAA. (The Secret History of Airplane Sabotage by Sherman H. Skolnick; The Yankee and Cowboy War by Carl Ogelsby)
December 1972 (late): Contents of Hunt’s EOB safe destroyed by order of L. Patrick Gray. (All the President’s Men by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward)
1973: Richard Helms destroys the CIA’s MKULTRA files. (An Interview With Richard Helms by the Central Intelligence Agency at www. cia.gov.)
February 1973: Dwight Chapin, deputy assistant to President Nixon, joins United Airlines as a high level executive. (The Secret History of Airplane Sabotage by Sherman H. Skolnick; The Yankee and Cowboy War by Carl Ogelsby)
August 29, 1973: NTSB report of the crash of United Flight 553 adopted. (Aircraft Accident Report Number NTSB-AAR-73-16 by The National Transportation Safety Board)
1974: Austin Middle School on Harrison Street in Chicago is renamed the Michele Clark Middle School. (History of the School at www.micheleclark.org)
May 1974: Martha Mitchell, the estranged alcoholic wife of the embattled U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell, visited George Wallace and his wife Cornelia at their home in Montgomery, Alabama. According to Wallace biographer Dan T. Carter, Martha told Wallace an incredible story: John Mitchell, unnerved by what he believed to be a “Colson-Bremer connection,” had repeatedly wondered aloud to his wife, “What was Charles Colson doing talking with Arthur Bremer four days before he shot George Wallace?” (Bigger Than Watergate; The Cover-Up That Succeeded by Christopher Ketcham in Freezerbox Newsletter dated November 28, 2005; The Politics of Rage by Dan T. Carter)
June 18, 1974: Betsy Langman a writer for Harper’s magazine is told by William Bryan’s secretary that he had received an emergency phone call from Laurel, Maryland just minutes after George Wallace was shot. Earlier she had interviewed Dr. Bryan who abruptly terminated the interview when she brought up Sirhan’s name. (The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by William Turner)
August 9, 1974: President Nixon forced to resign and is succeeded by the man (Gerald Ford) he had earlier picked to replace his disgraced vice-president, Spiro Agnew.
September 8, 1974: President Ford issues Proclamation 4311, which gives Nixon a full and unconditional pardon for any crimes he might have committed against the United States while President, thus terminating any further investigations against him.
1978: Dr. William Bryan dies in a Las Vegas hotel room. Two prostitutes claim that he bragged to them about hypnotizing Sirhan Sirhan and working with the CIA on top secret projects. (Nemesis by Peter Evans)
May 1978: Ted Kacsynski begins bombing campaign in which he becomes known as the Unabomber. (Dr. Theodore Kaczynski, in an interview with the Earth First! Journal, Administrative Maximum Facility Prison, Florence, Colorado, USA, June 1999 at www.insurgentdesire.org.uk)
August 26, 1980: The first part of Bremer’s diary, dated from March 1, 1972, was found hidden beneath a viaduct in Milwaukee. (Finder Can Keep Bremer Diary from the Associated Press, September 11, 1981)
December 08, 1980: John Lennon fatally shot by Mark David Chapman.
March 30, 1981: President Reagan shot by John Warnock Hinckley Jr.
INDEX OF CHARACTERS
This is an index of the actual persons fictionalized in Small Spiders. Shadow Man, Samantha, and the anonymous narrator are entirely fictional, as are certain minor characters.
Baldwin III, Alfred C.: he was a former FBI agent and employee of the Committee to Reelect the President, who manned the listening post located in a seventh floor room of the Howard Johnson’s hotel across the street from the Watergate complex. McCord Associates had rented the room and provided the monitoring equipment. When he observed Howard Hunt’s burglary team being arrested, Baldwin cleared the equipment out of the listening post and transported it in a McCord Associates van and drove it to McCord’s house in Maryland. His testimony about that contradicts Hunt’s version. Apparently the equipment was never found as the FBI did not obtain a warrant to search McCord’s house until nearly a month after his arrest. Baldwin was never charged with a crime.
Barker, Bernard Leon: 1917 to 2009; born in Cuba, served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War 2, then became a member of the Cuban secret police under Battista. He worked undercover for the FBI and CIA, participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion, then joined the White House Plumbers. He set up a number of “action teams” in Florida to help implement Gordon Liddy’s Gemstone Project. He was arrested during the Watergate break-in.
Bennett, Robert F.: Born 1933; purchased the Robert Mullen Company, a Washington, D.C. public relations firm in 1971. The Mullen Company was considered to be a CIA front organization. Its primary client was the Hughes Tool Company and the Summa Corporation both of which were owned by Howard Hughes. E. Howard Hunt joined the firm in 1970 after retiring from the CIA. In 1974, Bennett closed the firm and joined the Summa Corporation. He became a United States Senator in 1992.
Bremer, Arthur: born in 1950; convicted for the 1972 assassination attempt of George Wallace, a Democratic candidate for President. The second part of his diary, which was found in his car immediately after the shooting, outlined his activities while stalking president Nixon and then Wallace. It has been alleged that this diary was a forgery written by someone else, possibly Howard Hunt.
Bryan, Jr., Dr. William J.: died in 1978; a Los Angeles based hypnotherapist and director of the American Institute of Hypnosis. Apparently, he also used the name William Jennings Bryan III. He allegedly worked for the CIA, bragged about hypnotizing Sirhan prior to the assassination, as well as the serial killer known as the “Boston Strangler,” Albert De Salvo. Bryan, by his own account, had been the “chief of all medical survival training for the United States Air Force,” which meant the brainwashing section. He also claimed to have been a consultant for the film “The Manchurian Candidate,” which was based on Richard Condon’s famous novel about a man who is captured by Communists and hypnotically programmed to return to the United States to kill a political leader.
Clark, Jr., Harvey E.: died in 1998; African-American, U.S. Army veteran, and Chicago bus driver, father of Michele Clark. He tried to move his family into all-white Cicero, Illinois in 1951, sparking a race riot. He filed a lawsuit against the city of Cicero which became an important but little remembered incident in the civil rights struggle. (Obituary, Jet magazine March 28, 1998).
Clark III, Harvey E.: Michele’s younger brother.
Clark, Johnetta Sharpe: Michele’s mother.
Clark, Michele: 1943 to 1972; CBS News reporter, died in the 1972 crash of United Airlines Flight 553.
Colson, Charles: 1931 to 2012; Special Counsel to Richard Nixon. He hired Howard Hunt and was imprisoned for seven months for his part in the Watergate scandal. He latter became an evangelical Christian minister, writer, and speaker.
Conein, Lucien: 1919 to 1998; OSS and CIA operative until 1968, involved in the military coup which resulted in the assassination of President Diem of South Vietnam. Employed by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (NDD) as a consultant, became head of the Bureau of Narcotics Covert Intelligence Network (BUNCIN), an alleged kidnapping and assassination unit in 1972.
Cossini, Dennis (apparently an alias): died in 1972. He was alleged to be a journalism student at Marquette University, a member of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and an operative for Howard Hunt. It is alleged that he met with Arthur Bremer in Ottawa, Canada. He reportedly died of a heroin overdose in either Toronto or Milwaukee.
Elder, Barry J.: Second Officer aboard United Flight 553.
Ellsberg, Daniel: born in 1931; while employed by the RAND Corporation, he released the top secret “Pentagon Papers” to the New York Times and became a target of the Nixon Administration. The Pentagon Papers was a Defense Department study of the United States political and military involvement in Vietnam.
Helms, Richard M.: 1913 to 2002: Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1966 to 1973.
Hughes, Howard R.: 1905 to 1976, business owner, film maker, aviator. He made a $205,000 loan to Richard Nixon’s brother which caused harm to Nixon’s 1960 campaign against JFK. He subsequently hired Larry O’Brien, JFK’s campaign manager. In 1966 he moved to the Desert Inn in Las Vegas and became a recluse.
Hunt, Dorothy Wetzel: 1920 to 1972; wife of E. Howard Hunt, former CIA employee, died in the 1972 crash of United Airlines Flight 553.
Hunt, E. Howard: 1918 to 2007; OSS operative and CIA officer until 1970. He was alleged to have been present in Dallas when JFK was assassinated. Became vice president of Robert R. Mullen and Company, a Washington D.C. public relations firm where he became a consultant to the White House’s Special Investigations Unit (The Plumbers). Convicted as a result of the Watergate scandal and served 33 months in prison. Afterwards, he continued to write novels and his memoires. Nothing he ever said or wrote evinced an iota of remorse or revealed anything of importance not already publicly known.
Hunt, David Adams and Howard Saint John: sons of E. Howard Hunt. Saint John wrote that he helped his father clean and dump some of the Watergate radio equipment into a canal. He and David also made a recording of their father’s deathbed confession naming those responsible for the JFK assassination.
Hunt, Kevan Totterdale and Lisa Tiffany: daughters of E. Howard Hunt.
Kaczynski, Ted: Born 1942, considered to be a mathematical genius, attended Harvard University where he may have been subjected to a MKULTRA experiment. Eventually he became known as The Unabomber and is currently serving a life sentence for murder.
Krogh, Egil: White House liaison to the FBI and BNDD, head of the Special Investigation Unit (The Plumbers). The day after the crash of United Flight 553, he was appointed Undersecretary of Transportation supervising the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Convicted for his role in the break-in of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office, served four and a half months in prison.
Liddy, G. Gordon: born 1930; White House lawyer who joined the Committee to Reelect the President in 1971. Worked with Howard Hunt on several break-ins. Submitted Operation Gemstone to Attorney General John Mitchell. This involved an elaborate and largely illegal scheme to subvert the Democratic campaign. He helped Nixon establish the Office of Drug Abuse and Law Enforcement (ODALE). He participated in the Watergate break-in and, as a result, served over four years in prison.
McCausland, Elizabeth J.: head attendant aboard United Flight 553. She survived the crash but with serious injuries. The two other attendants, seated in the rear section, were unharmed.
McCord, Jr., James W.: a former CIA agent who formed McCord Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee and CREEP for specialized security work. He furnished and installed the listening equipment used to bug the DNC headquarters in the Watergate complex. He was arrested along with Howard Hunt’s four operatives during the fourth entry. He was convicted on eight counts of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping.
Metcalf, Harold: apparently an alias. He was reportedly an operative for the Office of Drug Abuse and Law Enforcement (ODALE). He was one of the few survivors of the crash of United Flight 555 which killed Michele Clark and Dorothy Hunt. For some reason, he was wearing a “jump suit” at the time. When boarding, he is reported to have shown his credentials and informed the captain that he was carrying a weapon.
Nixon, Richard M.: 1913 to 1994; President of the United States from 1969 to 1974 when he was forced to resign as a result of the Watergate scandal.
O’Brien, Larry F.: 1917 to 1990; JFK’s campaign manager in 1960 against Richard Nixon. He was hired by Howard Hughes in 1968 and after he became chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Nixon feared that he had damaging information about Nixon’s extensive dealings with Hughes. This is thought by some to be the reason for the Watergate break-in which primarily targeted O’Brien’s phones.
Paley, William S.: 1901 to 1990; founder and chairman of CBS.
Pemrich, Joan: Age 15 at the time, she briefly dated Arthur Bremer after meeting him at the school in 1971 where they both worked.
Stanton, Frank: 1908 to 2006: President of CBS from 1946 to 1971, after which he became Vice Chairman of CBS. One of the hundred dollar bills found in Dorothy Hunt’s possession at the United Flight 355 crash site bore the handwritten note, “Good luck, F.S.”
Sturgis, Frank Anthony: 1924 to 1993; born Frank Angelo Fiorini in Cuba, he moved to Philadelphia while still a child. He fought in the First marine Raider Battalion during World War Two. Joined the Army in 1948 and was discharged a year later. He served with Fidel Castro seeking to overthrow the Battista government. He was one of the Watergate burglars and was convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wire-tapping.
Whitehouse, Wendell L.: Captain of United Flight 553 which crashed in Chicago killing Michele Clark and Dorothy Hunt.