- 'The Assassination of Robert Maxwell: Israel's
- (Robson Books UK)
- Two best-selling authors have bitterly accused their
American publisher of "sabotaging" their book on Robert Maxwell
he is to publish.
- The book, supported by FBI documents, and files from
intelligence agencies across the globe, details the tycoon's until now
unsuspected links to organised crime families in the Balkans - and how
Maxwell penetrated America's nuclear arsenal at Los Alamos on behalf of
Mossad. The book reveals the tycoon worked for the Israeli intelligence.
- But unknown to the authors, their US publisher, Carroll-Graf,
secretly delivered an uncorrected proof copy of their manuscript weeks
ago to Maxwell's daughter, Isabel.
- She admits she took the book to Israel and consulted
with, among others, "a family friend" David Kimche, a former
deputy director of Mossad.
- Last week, in the Jewish Chronicle, Isabel Maxwell launched
a ferocious attack on authors Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon over "The
Assassination of Robert Maxwell: Israel's Super Spy" (Robson Books
- She accused them of not even getting the names of her
siblings correctly-spelled (common in uncorrected manuscripts). But in
the finished book, published last week, they are spelled correctly.
- And the authors have been told by their UK publisher,
Jeremy Robson, that the American publisher, Carroll & Graf of the Avalon
Publishing House to whom he sold the book - and who had agreed to maintain
the contents confidentiality - had leaked the book to Isabel Maxwell "because
she was a family friend of the publisher".
- Herman Graf, head of Carroll-Graf, refuses to explain
to the authors how the book was sent to Isabel Maxwell. Further, he has
delayed publication until December 16. And he has refused to promote the
- "Everyone in the trade knows this is the worst week
to launch a book of this nature. It will be lost. And the US publisher
won't even confirm what his print run is or whether he is taking even a
small ad in the trade press. In 50 years of being a published author I
have never encountered such a situation," said Gordon Thomas.
- In what the authors see as a conspiracy of silence, they
have also enjoined the august Jewish Chronicle. The voice of Jewry in Britain
has refused to publish in full their detailed retraction of Isabel Maxwell's
- "Initially the paper offered us space for only a
letter. They said they would publish a letter 'twice the size of one (from
me) they had previously published'. We asked for the same space as they
gave Isabel Maxwell. We have heard no more," concludes Thomas.
- But now that other bastion of Jewish opinion, the Jewish
Telegraph has come to their aid. The Manchester-based weekly has agreed
to publish their article in full. It includes intriguing details about
Isabel's own relationship toward Martin Dillon.
- Using a succession of emails and contemporaneous notes,
Martin Dillon, a former BBC Timewatch producer and an acknowledged expert
on the murky world of Eastern European crime, reveals how Isabel, and her
mother, colloborated with him despite her subsequent public denials.
- "She phoned me constantly - even late at night.
She even wanted a photo of me. She asked me to meet her in Washington and
London and she revealed intimate family secrets," confirms Dillon,
who now lives in New York.
- In the rebuttal that the Jewish Chronicle refused to
publish in full, Thomas, 69, and Dillon, 53, hint that they may now publish
all their email correspondence with Isabel and Betty Maxwell.
- What they have already written of Isabel Maxwell's revelations
about her siblings has also come from their mother, Betty Maxwell.
- "We have been told that some senior members of the
family have met with a member of the editorial staff of the Jewish Chronicle.
The paper is understandably concerned that Isabel's attack was based on
an uncorrected version of the book," said Gordon Thomas, at his home
- Martin Dillon, Tel: (US) 001 718 786 3383
- Gordon Thomas, Tel: (IRL) 01 287 7055
- Jeremy Robson, Tel: (UK) 0207 697 7293
- Herman Graf, Tel: (US) 646 375 2570
- The Ghost Of Maxwell Hangs Over New Book
- London Times Article
- (This week)
- Even in death, Robert Maxwell, some of whose pensioners
learnt yesterday that they face a 50 per cent cut in their retirement schemes,
continues to wield huge influence in certain quarters.
- Publication has been mysteriously delayed of a new book,
apparently supported by a number of FBI documents, which alleges that the
tycoon had links to organised crime in the Balkans and that he worked for
Mossad, the feared Israeli intelligence service.
- Unknown to Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon, the authors
of The Assassination of Robert Maxwell: Israel's Super Spy, their American
publisher, Carroll-Graf, allowed an uncorrected proof copy of their manuscript
to fall into the hands of Maxwell's daughter, Isabel.
- She took it to Israel. where she showed it to a family
friend, David Kimche, who just happens to be a former deputy director of
Mossad. Publication has now been delayed until December 16 with no promise
of any promotional drive.
- The authors have yet to establish why their manuscript
was sent to the Maxwell family. Thomas said: "The US publisher won't
even confirm what his print run is or whether he is taking even a small
advertisement. In 50 years of being a published author I have never encountered
such a situation." But then he was writing about Robert Maxwell.
- A Case Of Selective Recall
By Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon
- Isabel Maxwell's diatribe last week shows she has learned
from the black art Robert Maxwell made his own. He used it to dissimulate
and obfuscate. She uses a similar technique to try and discredit our book,
The Assassination of Robert Maxwell: Israel's Super Spy (Robson Books).
- What child wants to learn her father was a crook, an
associate of criminals, a man who was under investigation by the FBI, a
bully, a womaniser, and high rolling cheapskate?
- We publish the FBI documents. We publish the evidence
Isabel and her mother helped to provide. We name our sources, including
direct quotations provided by Betty Maxwell via Isabel. We have her scores
of emails and detailed transcriptions of her many hours of telephone conversations.
They throw new light on how Robert Maxwell operated - and give unique insight
from a daughter who wanted to work with us because, "I know you will
tell the truth".
- For the first time, we have detailed Robert Maxwell's
close links to organised crime families in the Balkans. How he acted as
their bagman. We name the crime-linked companies he helped to set up. We
show how billions of dollars flowed to secret bank accounts out of Eastern
Europe into Maxwell-created accounts around the world.
- Until now all those details have remained secret. We
obtained them from prime sources in Bulgaria, Hungary and other Eastern
European nations. Free of the Communist hierarchy that Robert Maxwell cultivated,
those sources gave us a small library of never-seen-before documents that,
if he was alive, would have seen Maxwell undoubtedly face criminal charges.
- This week, the European Community Anti-Fraud Office announced
an investigation is to begin into the very crime families Maxwell counted
as his friends. We will be happy to provide the EC with all the evidence
we have from a two-and-a-half year investigation. There are disturbing
links with Robert Maxwell that still exist in the Balkans today.
- We deal with his involvement in the plot to overthrow
democracy in Russia by having Mikhail Gorbachev toppled. Russia's first
democratic president called him a friend. But later, quoting Mrs Thatcher,
he found that "nobody could surprise like a friend".
- Again we have the plot details in our book - based upon
first hand interviews. Our sources - in Moscow and Israel - help to explain
why a small group of senior Mossad officers decided Maxwell had to be assassinated
before he did more damage to Israel and the relationship with America.
- Isabel summons Shimon Peres as a witness her father never
worked for Mossad. Peres was at the meeting where Robert Maxwell was recruited.
Among our list of 54 prime sources are the names who can corroborate that.
Not to forget the 22 secondary sources.
- Contrary to what Isabel Maxwell states, many are alive,
including our vital sources in Central Europe.
- They took us into a world far removed from Isabel's description
of her father as simply "a well known public figure".
- He was that - of course: well known now as a con-man,
thief, rogue and as we detail for the first time, a spy.
- For the past 20 years, by her own admission, Isabel has
lived in California. She said in one telephone conversation, "that
for Mom and myself there are parts of Dad's life which remain a mystery".
- Betty Maxwell was anxious we should not speak with Dr
Ian West's widow, who had assisted her late husband in the autopsy on Robert
Maxwell. In the end we did speak with Mrs West. She confirmed both she
and her husband had noticed the puncture mark.
- Dr West's final report, which we also published, goes
some way beyond that of Israel's State Pathologist, Dr Hiss. West writes
that he could not rule out homicide. Until we published them, those results
have remained out of the public domain.
- Though some of our sources are now dead, their documentary
evidence lives on. We will make it available to the new EC investigation
into those organised crime families Robert Maxwell helped.
- In naming Isabel and Betty Maxwell as sources, we did
so because of the wealth of intimate details they provided - and because
they urged us to discover "the real facts" as Betty once called
- We have. We did not expect it to please the Maxwell family.
But then facing the truth about Robert Maxwell cannot be easy for any sibling.
- In one of her small library of emails she sent us, she
calls David Kimche a "close friend of the family" and urges us
to contact him. She now quotes him as saying he had a dim recollection
of meeting Gordon Thomas "with many other people" only once.
Kimche not only met Thomas several times, but he appeared in the author's
film for Channel-4, The Spying Machine. It was Kimche, talking about Maxwell,
who told Gordon Thomas: "when you deal with Maxwell remember the sins
of the father must not be visited on the children".
- Quite so. But Isabel has, for reasons only known to her,
now thrust upon us one sin of her father: an ability to twist the facts.
- An example. The pivotal role Robert Maxwell played in
the global marketing of the Promis software Mossad had stolen from an American
company. Portions of that story had appeared in previous books by Gordon
Thomas: Gideon's Spies and Seeds of Fire. But neither book contained anywhere
near the full story. That only emerged later when we, as authors, combined
our resources to uncover all we reveal in our book. And we list both previous
books in our bibliography - a sure sign we had nothing to hide.
- With all the skill of a lawyer her father could have
done with, Isabel rewrites the story of her close relationship with us.
- To end her barrage of half truths, innuendos and libels,
we now detail that relationship. No doubt it will be embarrassing to her,
for she revealed to us tensions within the Maxwell family and much else.
However, unless she forces us to do so with further baseless attacks on
our integrity, we will continue to keep confidential certain matters that
she did tell us.
- The inescapable, documented fact is she entered into
a voluntary and detailed email and telephone conversation with one of us
(Martin Dillon). She did so in full knowledge we were planning a book.
- Who knows what pressures have been now exerted on her
for having the courage to break ranks with her siblings. But she did. And
went far beyond what her fun loving sister, Ghislaine said. Breaking her
own self-imposed silence on February 19, 1996, Ghislaine told Hello, the
celebrity magazine: "there was no evidence of suicide or a heart attack.
I think he (her father) was murdered".
- Isabel does not mention Ghislaine's judgement.
- Instead, with a technique familiar to those of us who
remember her father's manipulation of the facts, she tries and fails to
ignore the central theme of our book: that he was Mossad's super spy.
- Isabel first began to communicate with Martin Dillon
on January 24, 2001 at 3.04pm. In that email there is more than a hint
of her father's paranoia.
- "What nationality are you?" "What are
your published books etc?" "What aspect of my father's life (or
is it just his 'death') is the challenge of this 'book' to cover?"
"Who gave you my email address?"
- Next day she telephoned Dillon. "Are you a Catholic
or a Protestant?", she demanded. Then came the first volunteered admission.
"My father was not perfect, but he never committed suicide."
- For some 30 minutes she expounded on this truth. As we
show in our book, he was assassinated.
- Over the next months, her emails swung from one mood
to another. "It sounds like you have an independent mind and you don't
mind tough stuff" to "well you have distracted me from my life
for this day".
- She offered material from a "private book".
She wrote that her father's story has "not ended and actually I don't
think there is/will be a conventional ending".
- On January 26, 2002 - she was sending emails at an unusual
speed for someone who had written, "I guard my privacy fiercely".
She gave unsolicited and fascinating insights about what it was like to
be the daughter of Robert Maxwell.
- "I am sure my father had an inner theatre that never
'quit'. But he was a master of putting it aside to the outside world, to
his family and probably also to himself. And everything had to be larger
- Indeed, indeed.
- Only two days after Dillon had first contacted her -
her revelations on the phone suggested she might be using them as some
kind of therapy.
- We did not have to encourage her to unburden herself.
No one would probably have been able to stop her outpourings, her bitter
attacks. Tom Bower, a fine writer, was given a good kicking. The Daily
Mail was savaged. No one escaped her wrath for having dared to attack her
- Interposed were some strange questions of her own to
Dillon. She wanted to know about his "attitude to money". She
asked about "what is your love life like?" She invited him to
meet her - "I don't suppose you would be coming out to the West Coast
any time soon?" She ended one email with "I don't mind that your
questions are not ordered. It is of no import; nor are my memories".
She asked him for a photograph. She called him in the small hours, saying
she was "thinking" about him.
- She was clearly anxious to continue her relationship.
Given that Martin Dillon had established such a close professional contact
with her, it was decided that Gordon Thomas would not join in the dialogue.
- That she now sees deception, or even something sinister,
in that decision is sad and delusional.
- Here is how she ended another email to Dillon: "enuf
4 2nite. I'm curious how you react to these latest reflections r u getting
more curious/less curious, more involved HOW ARE YOU?"
- Whatever a therapist might make of all this, we simply
concluded that Isabel was a woman more than ready to help us.
- And the revelations continued. On January 30, she wrote:
"I remember a dinner with Dad and 'the Bulgarians'."
- That encouraged us to probe deeper into Robert Maxwell's
Eastern European connections - to explore and expose for the first time
his criminal associations in the former Soviet bloc.
- And still the revelations came. About money. About Maxwell,
the driven man. About her own "high source" in Israel. About
her "need" to meet Dillon - "when all will be revealed".
In a telephone conversation close to midnight on February 3, she attacked
the accounting firm of Arthur Anderson for "stripping my father's
companies after his death".
- Day by day, email by email, telephone call by telephone
call, Isabel Maxwell unburdened herself.
- She introduced her mother, Betty, into the relationship
with Dillon. In the early hours of February 12, 2002, she said: "of
course I think you are the writer to write this book".
- By then she had given details of her father's drug-taking
habits (Halycon and Zanex); of the "unseen material in Mom's archives
- She spoke of her mother's relationship with her father
(a sad passage of a daughter still trying to come to terms with that).
She attacked the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz: "full of many inaccuracies".
She ended an email with, "I hope you uncover some truths and that
you will tell them".
- We have, Isabel. They are all there in our book.
- To help us she offered to have her brother, Phillip,
provide us with "a copy of his report which includes very detailed
interviews with all the crew".
- Alas, she could not persuade her brother to part with
the document. But she did her best to fill in the gaps in our story about
her father's last days on the yacht.
- By the end of March, she was writing she was "annoyed"
with her sister, Ghislaine.
- On the 30 of March, she was acting as a conduit between
her mother and Dillon. "My Mom had additionally this to say".
Time and again she provided verbatim quotes from Betty for us to use in
the book she was so keen to see published. These quotes are reproduced
in our book.
- And so it went on, week after week, month after month.
On April 2, 2002, Betty Maxwell wrote to Isabel (who promptly copied the
email to Dillon):
- "What I am interested in, and would be prepared
to collaborate with, is to challenge the conclusion that Dad committed
- We have challenged that conclusion. Isabel sent us copies
of Ian West's autopsy report, of the autopsy report by Professor Yehudi
Hiss; of the Spanish autopsy report.
- Betty urged us on. "The whole story is extremely
complex with endless ramifications," she wrote via Isabel.
- It was those ramifications that both Betty, via Isabel,
helped us to unravel.
- Betty wrote she was working hard to provide "primary
materials and I can see absolutely that you need them".
- They came by email and by lengthy conversations in which
Isabel relayed her mother's words. None of this material had appeared elsewhere.
It was the stuff of history. Here is Betty. She asks Isabel to:
- "Tell Martin that the mystery is far deeper than
he thinks. I was advised by a former CIA American agent and friend, who
knows a great deal (Arnold Kramish), to drop everything if I cared for
my life, and I could tell him hair-raising stories about the actions of
British intelligence services in the case and in particular that they made
files disappear from the official archives."
- Our own research showed this was not paranoia. Or when
Betty said: "when I had my last conversation with Arnold, I felt like
it had lifted a corner of my carpet and the sewers of London had started
gushing in my drawing room. I felt completely nauseated and I must add,
- Having read Isabel's article last week, we can only wonder
what forces drive her - knowing all the evidence she had provided us had
helped to prove our unchallengeable case that her father was assassinated?
- The rest of her outburst we can dismiss - whatever Shimon
Peres now says, or David Kimche says, or indeed the others she cites in
support of her attempt to conceal what she has done.
- We have her emails. We have the contemporaneous notes
of many, many hours of her telephone conversations. We have her, if we
may borrow a phrase from Robert Maxwell, "bang to rights".
- Isabel should now stop digging deeper into a hole she
has opened for herself. It's time now for her to recognise that her sister,
Ghislaine, was right when she said her father was murdered.
- What we have done is to show not only why, but how he
- We rest our case.
- Gordon Thomas is the multi-award winning author of 43
books. His global bestsellers include Voyage of the Damned, nominated for
five Academy Awards; and Gideon's Spies: Mossad's Secret Warriors, published
in 54 countries, the book became a Channel-4 documentary which he narrated.
It carries the imprimatur of former Mossad director Meir Amit: "Thomas
tells it like it was - like it is".
- Martin Dillon is one of the foremost authorities on global
terrorism. He is the author of such bestselling non-fiction books as Shankill
Butchers, The Dirty War and God and the Gun. He is a former writer/producer
on Time Watch and a regular guest on Sky TV, CNN and other US networks.