Operation CHAOS
Political Murders of American and British Rock Musicians -
An Annotated Guide
by Alex Constantine

Excesses of domestic intelligence assets during the Vietnam War have surfaced repeatedly in the public print since the Saigon evac: the FBI's COINTELPRO outrages, the probable involvement of intelligence officers in the murder of Martin Luther King, et.al., the distribution of LSD to drown the anti-war movement in mystic hallucinations, a litany of Watergate "horrors" and various ill-conceived, federally-sanctioned undercover felonies. Some of this closet activity has only come to light decades later, including the existence of a "Sovereign Committee," a secret society of prominent right-wing reactionaries bent on turning back the civil rights movement in the Dixie of the 1960s by decimating the lives of its leaders.

In 1967, the CIA conceived Operation CHAOS in response to the rising popular backlash against the Vietnam War. Vern Lyons, a former CIA undercover operative and current director of the Des Moines Hispanic Ministry, traced the roots of CHAOS to the Eisenhower administration and the monitoring of emigré organizations on domestic soil. The Eisenhower sanction transformed the Agency into an internal security patrol and rendered CHAOS - still secret, since the files remain classified to the present day (the little that is known originates almost entirely from former and active operatives) - possible:

   The CIA's Office of Security was monitoring other groups at this time and had recruited agents within different emigré organizations. The CIA considered this a normal extension of its authorized infiltration of dissident groups abroad even though the activity was taking place within the U.S. Increased use of the CIA's contacts and agents among the Cuban exiles became commonplace until mass, open recruitment of mercenaries for what was to be the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion was no longer a secret in southern Florida. It was no secret to Fidel Castro either, as we later found out.    This activity led the CIA to establish proprietary companies, fronts and covers for its domestic operations. So widespread did they become that President Johnson allowed the then CIA Director, John McCone, to create in 1964 a new super-secret branch called the Domestic Operations Division (DOD), the very title of which mocked the explicit intent of Congress to prohibit CIA operations inside the U.S. This disdain for Congress permeated the upper echelons of the CIA. Congress could not hinder or regulate something it did not know about, and neither the President nor the Director of the CIA was about to tell them. Neither was J. Edgar Hoover, even though he was generally aware that the CIA was moving in on what was supposed to be exclusive FBI turf.

In the classified document creating the DOD, the scope of its activities was to "exercise centralized responsibility for the direction, support, and coordination of clandestine operational activities within the United States..." (V. Lyons, "Domestic Surveillance: The History of Operation  CHAOS," Covert Action Information Bulletin,, Summer, 1990).

Among the political targets of CHAOS, count Black Panther Geronimo Pratt, framed for the murder of two activists on a tennis court in Santa Monica, California, subsequently cleared and released from prison (Pratt interview). Two opponents of "conservative" authority were murdered, another set up for the crime, thereby silencing three voices of resistance with a single clean smash.         With the Nixon administration clearing the way, a clandestine war was waged against the youth and civil rights movements. The Army's Counter-intelligence Analysis Branch collected personality profiles, mug shots and "black lists," stored on computer-files and microfilm reels.The DoD's intelligence divisions, disguised as journalists, gathered information at demonstrations - the "Midwest Audiovisual News," an Army front, interviewed Abbie Hoffman at the 1968 police riot in Chicago (Blanche Wiesen Cook, "Surveillance and Mind Control," in Howard Frazier, ed., Uncloaking the CIA, New York: The Free Press, 1978).

The program came complete with inter-agency "operations centers," direct lines to local police, teletype machines, "situation maps, closed-circuit television and secure radio links," reports Daniel Brandt, the proprietor of the Internet's CIA Namebase ("The 1960s and COINTELPRO: In Defense of Paranoia," NameBase NewsLine, July-September 1995). A 180-man "command center" appeared in 1968 after the rioting in Detroit, inspired by the killing of Martin Luther King. By 1969 the files were housed in a $2.7-million war room in the cellar of the Pentagon.

British spy Phillip Knightley described an intelligence program operating like a finely-tuned Gestapo:

   When Ramparts magazine began preparing, in early 1967, to publish an exposé of the CIA's funding of the National Student Association, the CIA decided that this was "an attack on the CIA in particular and the Administration in general," and put the magazine's editors under surveillance to see if they were in contact with hostile intelligence services. This project was later expanded into Operation CHAOS, an examination and analysis of the whole anti-war movement.    Congressmen and government officials were targeted, singled out for surveillance and investigation. CHAOS operatives "developed a horrific repertoire of dirty tricks." They "organized unsuccessful assassination plots against heads of state"  (Knightley,The Second Oldest Profession, 1986).         In the culture at large, politics and music fused from sea to psychedelic sea, fuelling protest of the war and its military-industrial foundations. It was clear that some unpolled segment of the population had no use for "permissive" rock-and-roll music or the men who performed it.

In 1966, the Bobby Fuller Four exploded on the charts with a Hollyesque "I Fought the Law and the Law Won." The song managed to reach as high as number nine on the pop music charts. The song's writer was Sonny Curtis, a guitarist who had once been a member of the Crickets..... On July 18, 1966, Bobby Fuller's beaten and bruised body was found in a car. There was evidence that the singer had not only been BEATEN but GASOLINE WAS FOUND IN HIS STOMACH AND A RAG CRAMMED IN HIS THROAT. Some rumors spread that Fuller had been killed in an automobile accident, but the police and coroner ruled his death a SUICIDE, which is interesting considering the substantial beating Fuller must have received before his death (R. Gary Patterson,Hellhounds on Their Trail , 1997).

A year after the unprecedented "suicide" of Fuller, the human Molotov cocktail, rock music would blend with politics in San Francisco's Summer of Love. Still eclipsed by federal classification are the tactics of the U.S. intelligence sector in the destabilization of the lives of politically-active musicians and counter-cultural activists, as revealed in a Senate Intelligence Committee report released on April 26, 1976:   "Show them as scurrilous and depraved. Call attention to their habits and living conditions, explore every possible embarrassment. Send in women and sex, break up marriages. Have members arrested on marijuana charges. Investigate personal conflicts or animosities between them. Send articles to the newspapers showing their depravity. Use narcotics and free sex to entrap. Use misinformation to confuse and disrupt. Get records of their bank accounts. Obtain specimens of handwriting. Provoke target groups into rivalries that MAY RESULT IN DEATH."   Death was, without question, considered a sound option by an intelligence sector embroiled in suppressing the popular backlash to military-industrial authority and the lucrative war overseas. One covert operation proposed by the President Nixon's Plumbers unit,, a CIA cadré, involved the bombing of 100,000 demonstrators at a rock concert in Mission Bay, San Diego during the 1972 Republican convention (an event subsequently moved to Miami, where the same White House special operations unit planned to provoke a riot to be blamed on the Left, per Harper's magazine for December 1972, until the whistle was blown by FBI informant and Green Beret vet William Lemmer before a Florida grand jury).

The music industry of the Vietnam period was the binding force of a rising cultural revolution. "War," Mick Jagger reflected, "stems from power mad politicians and 'patriots.' Some new master plan would end all these mindless men from seats of power." Mick Jagger's audience sang his revulsion, but their enmity toward the warfare state was mutual.   Without question, political assassination was held to be an agreeable option by the Nixon administration. From the "Whatever happened to ..." file comes the tale of one narco-soldier in the Nixon camp's storming of the White House, an undiluted and unadorned glimpse of a virulent underground of political assassination, secret military operations and narcotics trafficking:

        Man Claims CIA Tied to Speed Ring
        Dallas Morning News
        September 13, 1989
        By Lee Hancock

A methamphetamine ring based in Mesquite was set up by a CIA operative to funnel money to the Nicaraguan contras, one of the alleged participants has testified in federal court.The testimony came during a hearing in Tulsa, where Loran Eugene Hall, Jr. [a name well-known to students of the John Kennedy assassination] appeared Monday to plead guilty to drug charges. He told the court that his father, Loran Eugene Hall, Sr. of Mesquite was a CIA agent who recruited him and others to manufacture speed to raise money for the contras, said Jack Morgan, assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma....

Court documents indicate the ring was broken when the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics investigators and Mesquite police trailed Loran Hall, Jr. after he purchased glassware and chemicals at a Grand Prairie chemical store. Mr. Hall and another man were arrested in Noble County, Okla., as they were carrying those items and several high-caliber forearms to Kansas in a stolen truck, according to the indictment.... Mr. Morgan, a Mesquite police investigator and defense attorney representing Hall family members all said there was evidence suggesting that Loran Hall, Sr. worked for the CIA in some capacity. "He has a long history of involvement with the CIA attempts to overthrow Castro," Mr.   Morgan said. "He was involved in the ill-famed Bay of Pigs invasion. In 1961, he got arrested with a truckload of guns in Texas, and he was transporting them from California to Florida for that invasion." His name also has surfaced in congressional investigations of the   John F. Kennedy assassination. The elder Mr. Hall was described in a 1979 House Select Committee on Assassinations report as a onetime resident of Cuba with ties to anti-Castro groups in the United States and organized crime on both countries.

And, Mr. Morgan said, his name is the subject of a chapter in the book Coup d'etat in America, which speculates about CIA involvement in a plot to kill President Kennedy. The chapter, titled "Loran Hall and the Free Cuba Committees," details allegations of CIA financing and orchestration of a plot by anti-Castro groups to kill President Kennedy." "In the last few years, he supposedly was involved with CIA attempts to overthrow the Nicaraguan government," Mr. Morgan said.

Loran Hall, Jr., told detectives that his father had been a CIA officer for 17 years, had run guns to Central America and participated in incidents in which helicopters appeared at his father's Kansas farm bearing "men with automatic weapons who answered to military titles such as colonel and major"... "There's quite an extensive history on his father's CIA involvement," Mr. Heflet said. "My client told me that a lot of his dad's involvement - specifically in the Kennedy       assassination - has been sealed up, and we never may find out what it was."

Mr. Morgan said federal officials believe the elder Mr. Hall may be hiding in Kansas, Honduras or Costa Rica. "This is a pretty strange case all around," Mr. Morgan said. The darkest channels of the intelligence world swarmed with crooks and killers. This genré belched forth the late Robert Hall (no relation to Loran Eugene Hall), an associate of Robert Vesco and Howard Hughes, a private investigator in L.A. summed up by former Harper's editor Jim Hougan: "tough, reasonably brave and decidedly larcenous ... a father, a wiretapper, an informer, a dope peddler and a double agent" (Spooks, William Morrow, 1878).

Hall followed Sal Mineo, the aging teen idol and son of a coffin maker from Sicily, one evening in 1976 ...  the very night the actor was stabbed to death in the parking garage beneath the apartment complex he lived in, just off Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Newsweek reported on February 23, 1976 that "long-whispered reports of the actor's alleged bisexuality and fondness for sadomasochistic ritual quickly surrounded his murder." There was no evidence of a robbery.         Mineo had signed on to play Sirhan Sirhan in a film about the murder of Robert F. Kennedy - in it, CIA assassination and post-hypnotic programming were to be prominently featured themes (Mae Brussell, Operation Chaos, unpublished ms.).

Hall was retained by the managers of seven rock bands to investigate physicians who'd slipped their musicians fraudulent prescriptions, drugs that altered their personalities, disrupted public appearances, hindered their lives and music. Hall reported that two doctors and a dentist had prescribed the mind-altering drugs. This information was turned over to the authorities. No action was taken.  Hall was gunned down shortly thereafter, on July 22, 1976. The homicide investigation turned up tapes recorded by Robert Hall. Beverly Hills Police Chief Jack Eggars immediately resigned due to his involvement with the drug dealer, as revealed in the tapes. The media, observed the late political researcher Mae Brussell, linked the killing to "Hollywood's most famous celebrities in drug and sex scandals, exposures of television starts and high Washington officials, drug traffic from Los Angeles to the Malibu community, international sports events, the Los Angeles police department (one of their former agents is now retired, and heads the Police Science Department at L.A. Valley College and supplied the fatal weapon used to kill Hall)." Jack Ginsburgs, Hall's partner, was charged with the murder. Ginsburgs, according to Hougan, was "a pornographer, the proprietor of XXX, Inc. The son of a White Russian émigré, he'd spent his youth inside the decadent Shanghai Bund - that romantic foreign colony which [was] a meld of opium, kinky sex and intrigue." Gene LeBell was also charged. LeBell, another partner in Hall's firm, owned a pharmacy in Hollywood.

Mineo was a friend of L.A. Mafioso Mickey Cohen. A.J. Weberman, an investigative reporter with a gift for unearthing iillicit CIA activity, found close connections to the Nixon CREEPs, yet again: In 1968 syndicate member Mickey Cohen, who was serving    Federal prison time, said that Murray Chotiner had solicited campaign contributions from him on behalf of NIXON.... In 1940 Mickey Cohen moved to Los Angeles and worked with Jack Dragna and Meyer Lansky's    partner, Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel. When Siegel was murdered by Meyer Lansky's hitmen in 1947, Mickey Cohen took over for him. California crime lord Jack Dragna became uncomfortable with Cohen, and numerous attempts were made on the life of Mickey Cohen. Meyer Lansky finally    arranged for a truce between Dragna and Cohen.

In 1970 Murray Chotiner became NIXON'S Special Counsel; and in 1971, as a private attorney, he helped Teamster Union boss James Hoffa secure a Presidential pardon. Murray Chotiner was contacted by his friend, I. Irving Davidson, regarding this matter. [FBI FOIA Req. #72,182 approx. 500 pp.; HSCA OCR 11.2.78 Brady] (Weberman, Coup D'Etat in America Data Base, http://Weberman.com)

Between 1967 and 1976, many of the music industry's most politically active talents perished in a fog of inconsistencies, among them Mama Cass Elliot, folk singers Richard Farina, Phil Ochs and Tim Buckley, Jim and Pamela Morrison, Gram Parsons, Otis Redding, songwriter Jimmy Reed, Clarence White of the Byrds, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead's "Pig Pen," Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jeffrey (Hendrix's manager), and others. Since, the deaths of John Lennon and Bob Marley have been succeeded by books exploring the possible involvement of the CIA.

Brian Jones:  "Merry Old England" is a non sequitar - the UK is one of the most depressing places on earth. In the late 1960s, the shadow of Big Brother fell on British youth and civil rights activists as ominously as it did in the States. In London, the National Union of Students and the National Council for Civil Liberties collected a dossier on police agents who'd approached students to spy on other students. One of these cases concerned John Bell, a former chairman of the Durham University Conservative Association. Bell reported that he'd been visited by a detective who attempted to recruit him to inform on student Leftists. Bell rejected the offer and told the leader of a campus Socialist organization about the incident.  Bill Clinton is alleged to have also been courted by the CIA at Oxford University, and recruited - to Operation CHAOS, the most sweeping covert program in the history of the Agency, in fact - for the same purpose.         Intelligence operations in the UK paralleled developments in the U.S.. Robert Lashbrook, a representative of the Human Ecology Fund - the notorious CIA front at Cornell that quietly disbursed grants to academic researchers for illicit mind control experimentation - was then assigned to the London station. Agents under Lashbrook's supervision slipped LSD to English rock groups before performing without their prior knowledge, to "study the drug's effects on their musical abilities."

Before long, some of the most popular rock acts in Britain were scoring the mind control drug directly from Lashbrook's CIA colleagues. The coroner's report called it "death by misadventure" on July 2, 1969. The Rolling Stone complained that police planted marijuana on him, and he compared his handling by the law to the hounding of Lenny Bruce (recalling the tactics detailed in the 1976 Congressional Intelligence Committee report cite above). Two books published in 1994, Paint It Black by Geoffrey Guiliano, and Terry Rawlings' Who Killed Christopher Robin?, concluded that Jones had been murdered. England's Independent reported on April 4, 1994: "Murder Claims Raise Doubts Over Rolling Stone's Death." The 27-year-old guitarist, who was an excellent swimmer, may have been "deliberately drowned in the swimming pool of his country mansion by one of his aides, Frank Thorogood." The books cited above agree that before Jones drowned, Thorogood conned the musician out of thousands of pounds. Was he a contract killer?         Keith Richards reflected, "some very weird things happened the night Brian died. We had these chauffeurs working for us, and we tried to find out. Some of them had a weird hold over Brian. I got straight into it and wanted to know who was there and couldn't find out. The only cat I could ask was the one I think who got rid of everybody, and did a whole disappearing thing so that when the cops arrived, it was just an accident." A worker hired by Jones to help out with renovations to his house claims to be a witness to Jones' murder. Rock music historian R. Gary Patterson:""Two of the workmen attacked Jones in the pool, holding his head under the water. They paid little or no attention to his gasping and violent struggle to breathe. When his body became still, the other party goers left hurriedly. Reportedly, the workers threatened the other witnesses to insure their silence. This incredible story has been collaborated by at least three others who now claim to have been present" (Patterson). One of the witnesses, Jones's friend Richard Cadbury, immediately moved and left no forwarding address. Some of Jones's friends, Patterson writes, "were asked to leave England immediately."

Phil Oaks: Wrote songs denouncing war. In 1974 he sang at Madison Square Garden with Bob Dylan, the occasion: "An Evening with Salvadore Allendé." The death of Phil Oaks was determined to be "death by hanging" in April, 1976. Two years before,  he'd had a bout of depression and bizarre behavior that left him with a multiple personality, a psychological state much explored by the CIA's mind control community.

Richard Farina:  Folk singer and novelist, a close friend of Thomas Pynchon. Married Mimi Baez, sister of Joan Baez - to the national security state born. Joan Baez wrote in her autobiography, And a Voice to Sing With (Signet, 1987), that when she was a young girl, "most of the bright young Stanford scientists went off to Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the atomic bomb was being developed. My father recognized the potential destructive power of the unleashed atom even in those early days. So he took a job as a research physicist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York." Cornell was the home base of the CIA's mind control experiments, and Joan Baez a self-described survivor of ritual child abuse, which employs a form of mind control, trauma-based programming. "Soon my father was invited to become Head of Operations Research at Cornell. Exactly what the job entailed was classified information, but he was offered a three-week cruise on an aircraft carrier as an introduction to the project and promised a huge salary. As it turned out, he would be overseeing Project Portrex, a vast amphibious exercise which among other things involved testing fighter jets, then a relatively new phenomenon. Millions of dollars would be poured into the project, about which he was to know little and say less." Farina, who had married into a national security family, was killed in a motorcycle crash. Jimi Hendrix: Hendrix biographer Tony Brown started from scratch in his investigation of a case beleagured by contradictory testimony.

He interviewed ambulance attendants, doctors and police officers. "The result of this investigation," Brown reported, "was sent to the Attorney General's office in February, 1992, in the hope that they would re-open the inquest into Jimi's death. The evidence was so strong that they ordered Scotland Yard detectives to conduct their own investigation. After months of research and interviews with all concerned, they were quite confident that the inquest would be re-opened. However, when the results were sent back to Nicholas Lyle in the Attorney General's office, it was felt that it was no longer in the public interest to re-open the original inquest" (Hendrix: The Final Days, Rogan House, 1997). Hendrix, pressured by the Black Panthers to make a political statelement, threw his support to a targeted organization - 28 of them were murdered, others imprisoned on ersatz charges - and declared "war" on Big Brother in a 1969 magazine interview:   "Get [the] Black Panthers ... not to kill anybody, but to scare them.... I know it sounds like war, but that's what's gonna have to happen. It has to be a war.... You come back to reality and there are some evil folks around and they want you to be passive and weak and peaceful so that they can just overtake you like jelly on bread.... You have to fight fire with fire" ("Jimi Hendrix, Black Power and Money,"Teenset , January, 1969)." This was no way to talk with military-industrial stalkers on the prowl. From the Sunday Telegraph, December 12, 1993: "The former girlfriend of Jimi Hendrix, the rock guitarist, spoke for the first time yesterday about how she has succeeded in reopening the investigation into his drug-related death 23 years ago. "Kathy Etchingham has spent the past three years - almost as long as she was Hendrix's live-in lover - investigating the circumstances surrounding the star's death. A 34-page dossier she sent to Sir Nicholas Lyell, the attorney-general, has prompted Scotland Yard to reopen the case and may lead to a new inquest. In it she pointed to alleged inconsistencies in statements given by Monika Dannemann, a German blonde who was Hendrix's girlfriend at the time of his death.... The police will examine whether there was any delay in calling an ambulance for Hendrix....         "Etchingham, 46, now married and a mother of two, said: At the time of his death I didn't doubt what I was told. But then I began reading the biographies and seeing interviews and I could see gaping holes."

Reporter Roy Deane, in Idols  magazine (December, 1987), listed some of the questions left hanging by the death of Jimi Hendrix: Three poor photocopies of memoes sent to the Director of the F.B.I. They     were dated June '69; some passages were deleted. The way the feds work, I knew they were the bits that mattered....  Canadian immigration was trying to get the bureau to help deport Hendrix to the U.S. The Canadians had charged him with possession of drugs but it wouldn't hold up in court. Why they had wanted to deport him and why the F.B.I. was interested was a mystery. There was another strange thing. A few hours after Jimi was dead, all the flats he had in London or was known to crash in,were turned over. Clothes, instruments, writings, almost anything it seems, was stolen. Could this have been the final pay-off.... There was one last cutting, stamped "S 31 JAN 84." The headline read, "Hendrix was killed claims aide." It quoted Ed Chalpin saying, "I believe the circumstances surrounding his death are suspicious and I think he was murdered." And one other suggestion of foul play: "I'd noticed a clipping earlier. There, just a snippet. It was a report of Hendrix having been kidnapped. There was no call to the cops, no ransom - then, out of the blue, three goodies from the management company show up and bust him
loose." Monika Dannemann was engaged to Hendrix at the time of his death. She recalls, "as we entered the entrance to the hospital, the ambulancemen started to move fast and put an oxygen mask on Jimi. So I knew there was something wrong there. They immediately got him into wherever and I went to one of the doctors. I had taken the packed with me it show what kind [of barbiturate] they are.... And he was not so concerned about the tablets, he was more concerned seeing me and Jimi - black and white - he didn't like it. ...."

"A sister came to me over half an hour later - I tried in between to go in this room and each time they stopped me. She said I shouldn't worry at all, his heart had stopped, but they got it all right again, nothing to worry about." Some ten minutes later, "the sister returned and told me that he had died." The emergency admissions officer contradicts Monika's story, and claims that Hendrix died in the ambulance - even so, trained paramedics would also have performed a tracheotomy. This was done in surgery - and Hendrix was still alive after his throat was cleared. A volume of red wine coursed up from his stomach. If not negligence, the only other possibility (and the logical conclusion of events preceding the fatal ride to the hospital) is that Hendrix was murdered by suffocation. This may explain why the pathologist's report left the cause of death "open." Perhaps they could not believe that nine mild sleeping tablets should prove fatal while the patient was under the immediate care of medical personnel with any training at all.

Mama Cass Elliot: As a result of Cass's marriage to her second husband, Baron Donald von Weidenman, a German nobleman, today an artist living in New York, the Mama was a Baroness. Among her entourage: Charles Manson, Pic Dawson - under investigation by Scotland Yard for international drug smuggling, the son of a State Department official - and one Bill Mentzer, since convicted for the murder of fledgling Hollywood producer Roy Radin. Mentzer was convicted with an accomplice, Alex Marti, former leader of an Argentine death squad, to life in prison. Cass had recently finished two weeks at the London Palladium. The coroner's report was not conclusive. She "probably choked to death," but there was also "a possibility of heart attack." In his biography of Cass Elliot, Jon Johnson published 12 photocopies from her FBI file, released under FOIA. The pages are almost entirely redacted (?). Hoover's Bureau surveyed the singer at the request of Alexander Butterfield, a deputy assistant to Richard Nixon. "She reportedly has associated with drug addicts," the FBI reported, "and individuals opposed to the President's Vietnam policy. "         She had political ambitions. "I think that I would like to be a senator or something in twenty years," she told Mike Douglas. Mama Cass attended a variety of Democratic Party functions, participated in a Madison Square Garden rally sponsored by Rose Kennedy, "I saw in the Democratic Convention in Chicago that there were more people interested in what I was interested in than I believed possible. It made me want to work .... there would be room in an organized movement of politics for me to voice myself" (Johnson).

Pathologists in London refused to state the cause of death at a public hearing. They did, however, mutter fatuously that she may have "choked" to death. Dr. Keith Simpson's autopsy found "left-sided heart failure. She plainly had a heart attack." The coroner proposed that a section of Elliot's heart muscle had  alchemically "turned to fat," and attributed the coronary lapse to "stress." Johnson: The conclusion was termed "improper" by a Vanderbilt University heart specialist immediately after it was made public. "It is true that obesity is related to high blood pressure and stroke, but there's no correlation with a heart attack,"  disputed Dr. George V. Mann. "He's stating an old-fashioned dogma, a Victorian concept of fatty degeneration that has gone out in modern times. Old time pathologists tend to look at deposits of adipose tissue around the surface of the heart and associate it with a heart attack, but a heart attack is due to limitation of blood supply to the heart muscle with the result that some of the muscle dies."

Whatever the underlying cause, the verdict remained unchanged. She died of a massive heart attack. (Jon Johnson, Make Your Own Kind of Music: A Career Retrospective of Cass Elliot,  Hollywood, CA: Music Archives Press, 1987).

Blood tests detected no drugs or alcohol in her system - but then, this is the same report that arrived at erroneous, "Victorian" conclusions about obesity. She took to her grave knowledge of drug trafficking by Dawson, a State Department official's son, and any information that killers Manson and Mentzer may have shared with her.

Bob Marley: A CIA/State Department telegram sent in December, 1976 detailed an assassination attempt on Marley. "IT WAS DECLASSIFIED IN 1983. The heading: SUBJECT: RAGGAE STAR SHOT; MOTIVE PROBABLY POLITICAL."   The communiqué described a provocation" "VIOLENCE IN JAMAICA GAINED FRESH PROMINENCE ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3, WHEN BOB MARLEY, POPULAR JAMAICAN RAGGAE STAR, WAS SHOT AND WOUNDED. THE INCIDENT, IN WHICH THREE ASSOCIATES OF MARLEY'S WERE ALSO WOUNDED, OCCURRED AT THE POP STAR'S HOME."         Album cover artist Neville Garrick took photographss of the Marley residence before and after the shootings, and upon close examination discovered "suspicious characters" surrounding Marley, who had noticed them, and suggested that they seemed to be "scouting" the residence (Timothy White, Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley, 1991, New York, Henry Holt, 1992).

After the last performance of Bob Marley and the Wailers in America, at Madison Square Garden, Marley took seriously ill. Three years before, in London, the singer had injured a toe in a football match. The toe was found to be cancerous, and Marley was treated in Miami, Florida with no success. By 1980, the growth had infected his entire body. He struggled with the disease for eight months at the clinic of Dr. Joseph Issels in Bavaria. Dr. Issels' brand of alternative medicine was non-toxic. For a brief time Bob's condition appeared to stabilize. Eventually, however, the battle proved too much. He died in a Miami hospital on Monday May 11, 1981. Excerpt of an interview with Lew Lee, a documentary filmmaker (the Oscar-winning Panama Deception and All Power to the People, an examination of the FBI's COINTELPRO excesses), conducted on October 30, 1997.

LEE: People came by his house. There were always people going in and out. Someone gave Bob a pair of boots. He put his foot in and said, "Ow!"  A friend got in there - you know how Jamaicans are. He said, "let's get in here"  - in the boot, and he pulled a piece of copper wire out. It was embedded in  the boot.     A.C.: Do you believe it was treated chemically or irradiated, perhaps? LEE: I didn't think so at the time, but I've always had my suspicions because Marley later broke his toe playing soccer, and when the bone wouldn't mend, the doctors found that the toe had cancer. The cancer metastasized throughout his body, and he [Marley] believed he could fight this thing. He wanted to do anything but to turn to Western medicine. This may have been a mistake, maybe not. So they appointed for Bob - Chris Blackwell, I guess, and a couple of other people - they found this doctor is Switzerland, Dr. Issels, who said that he could cure Bob. And they cut Bob's dreadlocks off.  And he was getting all of this crazy, crazy medical treatment in Switzerland. I know this because Ray Von Evans, who played in Marley's group, we were very close friends - as Bob was receiving these medical treatments, Ray would come by every two or three months -  19179-80 - and told me,  "Yeah, mon,they're killing Bob. They are KILLING Bob." I said, "What do you mean 'they are killing Bob?'" "No, no, mon," he said. "Dis Dr. Issels, he's a Nazi!" We found out later that Dr. Issels WAS a Nazi doctor. And he had worked with Dr. [Joseph] Mengele. Mengele survived the war and enjoyed the protection and employment of the CIA. On five occasions his death has been reported. Attempts to bring the facts to light have been subverted by employees of the Agency.

Recent murders of Black musicians:

1987 - Peter Tosh, Wailer, shot to death in Jamaica.

Major Worries, shot to death in Jamaica.

1988 Tenor Saw, musician, shot to death in the U.S.

1990 - Nitty Gritty, musician, shot to death in the U.S.

1992 - Pan Head, shot to death in Jamaica.

Dirksman, musician, shot to death in Jamaica.

1994 - Garnett Silk, perished in an arson attack on
             his family home, Jamaica.

1995 - Carl "Briggy C' Marsden," shot to death on a street
             in Brixton. UK.
             Ken Sarowiwa, hanged by the Nigerian government.

1996 - Jason Wharton, 24, shot dead outside a London niteclub
             whist sitting in a car.
             Rap star Tupac Shakur died from gunshot wounds,
             age 25 years. " *

John Lennon: British barrister Fenton Bresler has long maintained that the Beatle's murder was the result of CIA mind control programming. In Who Killed John Lennon? (1989), he observed: "What really got the FBI and C IA so geared up about Lennon was [his plan] for a 'revolutionary road show,' starring Lennon and Yoko. This roving feast of rock music and radical politics was to barnstorm its way across America." Did a programmed killer abort the barnstorm? The FBI has long resisted all efforts by Jon Weiner, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, to lay hands on Lennon's file. Much of the file remains top secret.

The mystery of Lennon's death - and unresolved circumstances in a score of others (the theft and burning of Byrd guitarist Clarence White's corpse by a Manson Family member, for one) - could be dispelled by access to sealed files.      The National Security Act of 1947, the CIA's charter, does not in the real world extend to agents of "central intelligence" a license to kill

* Jazz musicians haven't fared so well, either. The following obituaries were found in a discussion of jazz aficionados on the Internet:

"Albert Ayler's death [on November 25, 1970], has been referred to as 'suspicious.' If you don't know, he disappeared and his body was found floating in the East River a few weeks later. Still undetermined as to whether it was drugs, murder, suicide or what... "

The medical examiner declared that Ayler had drowned and did not perform an autopsy. Friends of Ayler believe he committed suicide, but two musicians close to him perished 'suspiciously' within a year: Henry Grimes moved to California to become an actor and vanished without a trace, and on September 21, 1971, Call Cobbs Jr. was victim of a hit-and run-driver.    "I'm surprised that no one has mentioned [trumpeter] Chet Baker.... He died in Holland after falling from the window of a building. It has never been proven if he jumped, fell accidentally, or was pushed out in a drug related conflict. The club was Baker's, if I recall (I was the local correspondent for couple of magazines back then). As I recall, the police did arrest somebody but the suspect was acquited...."

One biography has it that "in the 1950s, Baker's star seemed as golden as any performer in jazz. His fall from grace qualifies as one of the most gripping and saddest tales in the music's history. Moving to Europe in the late 1950s, he did time in an Italian jail. In 1968, after moving to San Francisco, he was mugged and beaten so badly that he lost a few of his teeth. For a time Baker was unable to play, supporting himself by pumping gas. Vagabonding through Europe for much of the 1970s and 1980s, he died after falling from an Amsterdam window in 1988 - an incident that has never been explained." "Lenny Breau [guitarist] was murdered, I heard.....in the early 80's??? He was found dead in a swimming pool in L.A. I think...maybe someone can verify??? The case  is still unsolved....this I've heard from numerous sources.... Poor Lenny, he was an excellent player who really gave his all and created some beautiful music.... I think the primary suspicion about Breau's death was that it was drug related...." Although Breau's death, according to one biographical note to his records, was "originally thought to be an accidental drowning, it was soon discovered that he had actually been murdered. The Los Angeles Coroner report determined that Lenny had been strangled; the case remains unsolved to this date.

"Has anyone mentioned the great drummer Phillip Wilson, who was brutally murdered several years ago in a supposedly drug-related crime? And don't forget King Curtis, shot I believe in the early '70s...." "Wasn't [tenor saxophonist] Wardell Gray found in the desert outside of Vegas with bullets in his head? I seem to remember this grim mention in a liner note. This is a rather bleak thread, isn't it?

A publicity release for a novel based on Wardell Gray's life, Death of a Tenor Man by Bill Moody (Walker & Company, 1996) reported, "police said he overdosed and 'fell out of bed,' dying later 'of complications.' Some suspected Gray's death was the mob's way of telling the African American businessmen who backed the Moulin Rouge Casino that "this town isn't big enough for the both of us." Whatever the case, Gray's murder was never investigated. It hung over the Moulin Rouge like a storm cloud, and within six months the club went under. Gray's death remains unsolved to this day." And so it goes.

Brussell's unpublished ms.,Operation CHAOS,
was the foundation of this essay. Documentary
film-maker Lee Lew Lee contributed as well.

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