Would This Happen Now?
Excerpt from the upcoming anthology: JFK: The Untold Stories
Harold Weisberg was interviewing Colonel and Trudi Castorr in 1967 in regards to the John Birch Society Meetings. God Bless Harold Weisberg! There are a few little gems in these conversations once you know the people he is talking to and the people they are talking to. Since he didn’t find all they say relevant, he overlooked some of the people they were mentioning and their many political, social and civic relationships. How could he not though? You can’t cover every aspect of this case without following down a rabbit hole of no return. Case in point is the interview mentioned above: Trudi and Colonel L. C. Castorr.
Colonel Castorr was a friend of General Edwin Walker’s… and the H.L. Hunts, and Gerry Hemming, and Joe Grinnan. His wife, Trudi, was an energetic worker for the Dallas Cuban Catholic Relief Fund and their activities. She made phone calls to Lt. George Butler of the DPD, Lucille Connell, Marcella Insua of the Cuban Catholic Relief Office, Silvia Odio and Joanne Rogers. Between the Castorrs couple, they were considered, in many circles, one degree of separation from the JFK Assassination.
The reason I find them fascinating is in the taped interview Weisberg had with them One of the gems is in the following:
And this man’s name is Lt. George Butler. I believe that I called Lt. Butler and set up an appointment to take Joanna to his home within the next day or two and so the MWAKIXX conversation went on for about 2 hours with Lt, Butler. And, from then on, I sat in on very tee few meetings with Joanna and Lt. Butler but they worked very closely together.
Now, I daresay within a couple of weeks I had a call from Maryanne. Maryanne (we were just talking about the Cubans and this and that thing) and she said “Mrs. Castorr, if you knew something and you wanted to talk to one reliable person, who would you go to“and I said “I won’t tell you over the phone but let’s have lunch together”. So later, we had lunch together at a hamburger place and …..
Mrs. C: She told me that it was ironic that I would suggest that we have lunch here (It was the only place I knew that was close by home). She said that a week or two weeks or some period of time before — she had met a man in the same place — and this man offered her some money if she would talk to him about the assassination.
I don know exactly what the figure was — we’ll say $10,000 — and aim said that was a lot of money in this and you’ll be taken care of and so will I. So, where was the money coming from? “Would the Kennedy family be — would the money be coming from them?” And his answer was always “the government”. And she was questioned by Lt. Butler about that –“well, what government, was max it our governmentor was it another governemtn”. And she did not know
Later on — in testimony that she gave to Lt. Butler –she knew the man’s name and I understand that some time later Lt. Butler got a picture of the man and said “Maryanne, is this the man?” and she said “Yes, it is”. And Lt. Butler said he just couldn’t understand why this man who had a following that was a very low type of clientele, how he would figure in this picture.
W: Was he a lawyer?
Mrs. C: A lawyer.
W: Did you ever learn his name?
Mrs. C: I do not know his,name — and don’t think I ever heard the name.
Did you say before, Bob, where he was from? I only got part of it.
Mr. C: Well, I thought at the time that he was acting as a go-between representing…
Mrs. C: This is where you got it. Maryanne asked him, “where would you get a large sum of money?” “Would the Kennedy family be — would the money be coming from them?” And his answer was always “the government”. And she was questioned by Lt. Butler about that –“well, what government, was max it our governmentor was it another governemtn”. And she did not know.
W: Was it ever indicated what she might know or has she ever told you?
Mrs. C: No, because I had no conversations with Maryanne. I was very — I felt that I had done what was right by turning her over to Lt. Butler.
woman: Did you get the impression it was about Sylviaor…?
The gem is in the mention of Lt. George Butler and how Mrs. Castorr “couldn’t talk about it over the phone” and would meet in a public place. What? This is the 60’s. Was there lots of electronic bugging going on that the 99%’ers didn’t know about? No…No way…
YES!! YES way!
Many elitist, military and political homes and businesses had electronic bugging. A man in Dallas named Brad Angers did electronic bugging. He also worked for H.L. Hunt. There was a Secret Police Type office in a bunker under the Science Building in Fair Park that had bugging paraphernalia. Was this the reason Mrs. Castorr didn’t want to talk over the phone? And why was Lt. Butler discussing “foreign governments, the Kennedy’s and our government with a woman whose husband was a gun-running Colonel and she was involved with a pastor, Anti-Castro Cuban woman whose home LHO visited and a Junior League type who worked for the Dallas Mental Health Association and was very close to the Dallas Catholic Cuban Relief Committee?
Then on Weisberg’s page 20, she says her friend tells her that she was told by “someone” that she would receive a large sum of money from “them” Who is them? Mrs. Castorr wanted to know too. So she asked, “who’s them? Would it be the Kennedy family giving you money?” The answer from her was “the government” always the “government’.
So what does this all mean? Maybe it was just the thought of the times, that the Kennedy family was darkly scary. Maybe it was words she heard her husband or Mr. Walker use at meetings. Could there be a “someone” who told her this? Could there by electronic listening tapes somewhere that have the answers? And again, why isn’t she discussing this with one of her friends, instead of the DPD Lt. George Butler?
Can you imagine having these types of conversations with others today? It would go something like this, in my opinion.
“Yes, I’m friends with Lt. George Butler, you know the guy who got in trouble for assaulting a woman?” He comes to some of our church meetings. Okay, I’ll call you on the phone later. Do you have a landline? Someone could be listening on our cell phones or text messages. Maybe we should just meet in a public place. That would be faster.”
Sounds like there were thoughts of conspiracy and distrust of our government pretty prevalent back then as well as today. Or maybe it was complete trust of our government and the thought of conspiracy was like believing the earth is flat. I’ve seen evidence of both.
UPDATE: I cannot discuss the lawsuit but suffice it to say, I think when attorneys feel they're backed into the corner, they resort to using 'technicalities' as their offense. We await their next response.
The book excerpt above is from a chapter that I wrote for the book, "JFK: The Untold Stories." There are other chapters by Trish Fleming, Zachary Jendro, Matthew Scheufele, Steve Roe, James Wagenvoord, Doug Campbell, Chris Scally and Bill Simpich. We all hope you like it. But if you don't, we all hope you learn something you didn't know before.
 http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/C%20Disk/Castorr%20L%20Robert%20Colonel/Item%2002.pdf pages 19-20 with typographic errors, misspellings and all.