Organized Crime Legend
Denied Involvement
In JFK Assassination
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nearly 16 years after the assassination of President Kennedy, a New Orleans organized-crime figure suspected by some researchers said on a tapped telephone that he "used to love John Kennedy" -- that he "woulda made the best president if he'd a-lived."
FBI agents eavesdropping on another conversation in July 1979 heard Carlos Marcello deny allegations that he was affiliated with Jack Ruby, who killed Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. "He never talked to me in his li... . I don't even know him," Marcello said of Ruby.
Transcripts of the conversations were released today by the Assassination Records Review Board, created to identify, secure and release all records related to the Kennedy assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
The FBI conducted electronic surveillance on Marcello's home and office for about eight months as part of an investigation code-named "BriLab," which stood for bribery of organized labor.
Some historians and researchers probing the Kennedy assassination have suggested the BriLab tapes might contain conversations in which Marcello or his brother, Joseph, acknowledged that they were involved in the Kennedy assassination.
The tapes and transcripts from the BriLab surveillance, long sealed, were obtained with a federal court order.
The transcripts provided no direct links between Marcello and Kennedy's death, but the review board found 13 conversations relevant to the slaying.
Most occurred during the summer of 1979 when the House Select Committee on Assassinations released a report that named Marcello and Santos Trafficante of Miami as "the most likely family bosses of organized crime to have participated in such a unilateral assassintion plan."
The committee's report, however, conceded that it could find no evidence to prove that Marcello had conspired to assassinate the president. Marcello told the committee he was not involved.
In one taped conversation on June 21, 1979, Marcello is overheard talking on the phone with Irving Davidson, a Washington lobbyist and apparent contact of organized-labor officials.
The lobbyist tells Marcello that one of Marcello's lawyers wrote a letter to The Washington Post and to columnist Jack Anderson stating that "regardless of what the assassinations committee report's gonna say, you had nothing to do with it."
On July 18, 1979, Marcello and Joe Campisi of Dallas discuss a newspaper story about the assassination and possible links to the underworld.
"They said Jack Ruby had all the, all the connections. You wouldn't know Jack Ruby if the ... (expletive) was uh crawl in your room," Campisi said.
"He never talked to me in his li... . I don't even know him," Marcello replied.
Twenty-two minutes later, Marcello is on the phone again -- this time with an unknown man. Marcello says he told Congress that he used to love Kennedy and that he was "really hurt when they, when they killed him."
Marcello also said that he didn't like, but "didn't hate" Bobby Kennedy. As attorney general, Robert F. Kennedy worked to have Marcello deported. Marcello says on the phone that the government once had him picked up and taken to Guatemala.
Marcello says he might have an argument with somebody, but "ain't never hate nobody."
"I don't hate you, but I make up, maybe tomorrow, next week or next month ... but ain't hatin' ya to kill ya. I'm a kill somebody?(Expletive). President or (laugh) (expletive) Attorney General?"

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