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During the 1960s, Campbell was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. She was well connected among other stars, politicians, and socialites, and her relationship with Giancana put her on the FBI's radar. J. Edgar Hoover quickly learned about Campbell's relationship with Kennedy, and set up surveillance on her home. Additionally, Campbell was relentlessly harassed and questioned by the FBI, and when she became concerned about the whole ordeal, Kennedy assured her it was nothing to worry about. However, it was all too much for Campbell and after one last visit to the White House, she broke things off with Kennedy.

During the 1960s, Campbell was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. She was well connected among other stars, politicians, and socialites, and her relationship with Giancana put her on the FBI’s radar. J. Edgar Hoover quickly learned about Campbell’s relationship with Kennedy, and set up surveillance on her home. Additionally, Campbell was relentlessly harassed and questioned by the FBI, and when she became concerned about the whole ordeal, Kennedy assured her it was nothing to worry about. However, it was all too much for Campbell and after one last visit to the White House, she broke things off with Kennedy.

 The Exner Files

Judith Campbell Exner, JFK and the Mob

For many years, rumours circulated that Judith Campbell had  been involved in a plot hatched between her two lovers, John F. Kennedy and Sam Giancana, to kill the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. In 1991 she came forward and described how she had sat on the edge of the bathtub in a Chicago hotel while the president and the Mafia don talked in the bedroom.

Kennedy’s involvement with the Mob in a plot to kill the Cuban president has often been put forward as one of the reasons for his own assassination in Dallas in November1963.

The three gunshots fired in Dallas 53 years ago meant a Presidential legacy unfulfilled — and a personal life unresolved.

The sorry mess of sexual exploits that President John F. Kennedy left behind took years to emerge. The supporting cast was vast, and one of them, a woman who was, next to Marilyn Monroe, the most famous one, though not by her choice.

Judith Campbell Exner was the first of JFK’s lovers to be publicly identified, and so she was pilloried by a public furious at learning that at least one wing of Camelot had more in common with the Playboy Club.

A beautiful woman is introduced to a handsome, charismatic Senator running for President by an Academy Award winning movie star. They fall into an affair. Meanwhile, the beautiful woman is also introduced to the head of the Chicago mob by the same man. The beautiful woman carries messages and arranges meetings between the now President of the United States and the Chicago mobster. Sounds like the plot of a thriller, or a conspiracy theorists wet dream doesn’t it? However in this case, it happens to be true. Allegedly.

This much can be proved.

1: Judith Campbell as she was known then was introduced to John F. Kennedy in Las Vegas by Frank Sinatra.

2: Several months later, Judith was introduced to ‘Sam Flood’ in Miami by Frank Sinatra. Later on she learned that he was actually Sam Giancana, the head of the Chicago mob.

3: Judith and JFK carried on an affair for almost three years, meeting in hotel rooms, the Georgetown house he shared with Jackie, and even the White House (in her autobiography, Judith gives the phone numbers of both Evelyn Lincoln, JFK’s secretary as well as the phone number of the Georgetown house.

4: While she was seeing JFK, Judith was also seeing Sam Giancana, platonically she claims until the relationship with JFK was over.

5: J. Edgar Hoover had lunch with JFK in March of 1962, where he allegedly handed him the FBI report detailing Judith’s relationship with Giancana.

The whole story came to light in 1975 during the Senate Select Committee to study Governmental Operations to Respect to Intelligence Activities (aka the Church Committee) in its report on CIA assassination attempts. The report stated that a ‘close friend’ of JFK had also been a friend of mobsters Sam Giancana as well as Johnny Roselli, an associate of Giancana. It was the first time that JFK’s rampant infidelities had been revealed to the public. When Exner’s name was finally revealed, she gave a press conference claiming that while she had had a personal relationship with JFK, she denied that she had any knowledge of mob activities.

How did an ordinary woman find herself involved not only with the leader of the free world but also one of the most notorious gangsters in mob history? Nothing in Judith Campbell’s background seemed to suggest that she had a penchant for taking a walk on the wild side. She was born Judith Immoor on January 11, 1934 on the East Coast but she grew up in tony Pacific Palisades in California. Her father was an architect, and her family was well off if not quite wealthy. When Judith was 14, her mother was in a serious car accident, which traumatized Judith so much that she dropped out of high school and was privately tutored.

At the age of 16, Judith met William Campbell, a minor contract player through her sister Jackie who had started a movie career under the name of Susan Morrow. They married when Judith turned 18 in 1952, but the marriage was over by 1958. Judith claimed in her autobiography that Campbell cheated on her repeatedly, which he denies. Whatever the case, Judith was footloose and fancy free and indulging in the single life that she felt that she had been denied by marrying so young. With an inheritance from her grandmother and her alimony, Judith was free to spend her days getting ready for her nights out on the town.

In 1959 she began a brief romance with Frank Sinatra that ended when he tried to get her to participate in a threesome. Still, she accepted his invitation to come to Las Vegas to see him at the Sands hotel, where he was filming Oceans 11 and performing at night with the Rat Pack consisting of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford, brother-in-law of JFK (he was married to JFK’s sister Patricia). It was there that she met JFK in February of 1960. Judith claimed not to know who he was or that he was running for President of the United States. Apparently spending three hours a day getting ready didn’t leave much time for reading newspapers of newsmagazines. Although there were other people at the table, Judith wrote that JFK spent all his time focused on her. “It was as if every nerve and muscle in his whole body was poised at attention. As I was to learn, Jack Kennedy was the world’s greatest listener.”

Soon they were trysting whenever JFK had a spare moment. In the meantime, Frank Sinatra introduced Judith to Giancana while she was attending his show in Miami. Soon when she wasn’t traipsing across the country to see JFK, she was spending time with Giancana in Chicago. Despite the fact that he was a mafia kingpin and was blatantly racist, Judith liked the way that Giancana treated her, and the fact that he didn’t press her into a sexual relationship. Judith and JFK’s relationship petered out sometime in June of 1962. Judith claimed that after awhile, the relationship no longer felt right. She felt that JFK had become too demanding, wanting her to fly to be with him at a moment’s notice, and that she was expected to service him during sex.

After her relationship with JFK was over, Judith and Giancana drifted into a sexual relationship that ended when she turned down his marriage proposal. By 1963, the relationship was over. Still the FBI continued to hound her because of her associations with Giancana and Johnny Roselli. Judith began dating Eddie Fisher and a pitcher for the Angels. She suffered health problems from the injections she had received from Dr. Max Jacobson, also known as ‘Dr. Feelgood.’ Jacobson was notorious in the 60’s for giving celebrities shots filled with not just vitamins but also amphetamines. In 1965, Judith gave birth prematurely to a son who she later gave up for adoption. She never revealed the name of the father.

In her autobiography, Exner also managed to include photographic evidence of plane tickets, tickets to JFK’s inauguration and other pieces of evidence to bolster her claim that she and JFK had an affair. However, in 1988, she changed her tune and in an article in People magazine written by Kitty Kelley, Exner claimed for the first time that she was ferrying information and money back and forth between Kennedy and Giancana.

In fact she claimed that the only reason that she spent time with Giancana at all was because JFK had asked her to. Later she claimed that Robert F. Kennedy knew that she was carrying money and information back and forth between JFK and Giancana.

Exner claimed that she lied to the Church Committee and in her autobiography because she was afraid for her life. Both Giancana and Johnny Roselli had been killed, their murderers never found. Then she was diagnosed with breast cancer and it was terminal, Exner felt she needed to come clean. She repeated her story in a 1997 article written by Liz Smith for Vanity Fair, and also to Seymour Hersh for his book The Dark Side of Camelot. She also claimed that she had become pregnant by JFK and had an abortion in early 1963.

But was she telling the truth or just trying to embellish her story for money? After her story was revealed, Judith was called everything from a party girl, to a call girl in various biographies of JFK. What better way to bolster her reputation than to claim that her real reason for hanging out with mobsters was because she was a go-between for the President of the United States? Sounds much better than just being a woman who fell for inappropriate men, who liked to walk a little bit on the wild side doesn’t it? Her story also dovetailed neatly with the conspiracy theorists who believe that the mob was involved with JFK’s death. The revelations that the CIA had hired Roselli and Giancana to help assassinate Castro also lent credence to her story.

Kennedy was known to have seen several prostitutes while he was living in the White House. One of his main sexual places to hang out was the swimming pool, where he would hold big orgies with tons of young women. The secret service would be ordered to guard the doors of the pool, and it was made clear that under no circumstances were they to interrupt the president’s sexual escapades. A few members of the secret service became concerned about the prostitutes visiting the White House, and some were paranoid that the women might smuggle in knives or poison and try to harm the president or collect blackmail.

kennedy_19_22_nov_cropto_go_on

Perhaps one of Kennedy's most dangerous and scandalous affairs was with Judith Campbell, who he repeatedly told he loved and strung along for quite some time. Kennedy led Campbell to believe he would leave his wife for her, but he never did. The two began their affair in 1960, just as Kennedy was starting to campaign for president. Campbell was a socialite who was best known as the ex-lover of Frank Sinatra. She was also highly connected to Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana.

Perhaps one of Kennedy’s most dangerous and scandalous affairs was with Judith Campbell, who he repeatedly told he loved and strung along for quite some time. Kennedy led Campbell to believe he would leave his wife for her, but he never did. The two began their affair in 1960, just as Kennedy was starting to campaign for president. Campbell was a socialite who was best known as the ex-lover of Frank Sinatra. She was also highly connected to Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana.

Judith Campbell Exner was the first of JFK’s lovers to be publicly identified, and so she was pilloried by a public furious at learning that at least one wing of Camelot had more in common with the Playboy Club.

Judith Campbell Exner was the first of JFK’s lovers to be publicly identified, and so she was pilloried by a public furious at learning that at least one wing of Camelot had more in common with the Playboy Club.

Right around the same time Kennedy started seeing Monroe, he also struck up a romance with Mimi Alford (then Beardsley), a teenage intern at the White House. Alford was 19 and only two days into her internship when she was recruited by secretaries "Fiddle and Faddle" to join one of Kennedy's sexy swimming parties. A few days later Alford said she lost her virginity to Kennedy and the two had several trysts afterwards. Alford later wrote a memoir about her experiences at the White House and revealed several juicy details.

Right around the same time Kennedy started seeing Monroe, he also struck up a romance with Mimi Alford (then Beardsley), a teenage intern at the White House. Alford was 19 and only two days into her internship when she was recruited by secretaries “Fiddle and Faddle” to join one of Kennedy’s sexy swimming parties. A few days later Alford said she lost her virginity to Kennedy and the two had several trysts afterwards. Alford later wrote a memoir about her experiences at the White House and revealed several juicy details.

The plot to Assassinate Castro

In the 1960’s, the CIA contacted Johnny Roselli, Sam Giancana and Salvatore Trafficante to help them assassinate Castro. Why the Mafia? Well Castro’s rise to power had destroyed the Mafia’s hold on the Casino’s which they had controlled during the previous regime. They had lost millions of dollars when the Casino’s were confiscated when Castro took over. Also, most of them still had contacts with disgruntled anti-Castro associates who would be happy to help them with the job. The CIA offered Giancana and Roselli a $100,000 to do the job, which they refused, happy to do it for free. Unfortunately, the Three Stooges could have done a better job. Despite the resources of both the Mafia and the CIA, they were never able to get the job done, despite repeated attempts. Everything was tried from poisoning his food to his cigars. In the meantime, Giancana used the services of the CIA, to have comedian Dan Rowan’s dressing room and hotel bugged in Las Vegas to see if Rowan was having an affair with his girlfriend, singer Phyllis McGuire. The man sent to the job ended up arrested which almost blew the whole operation sky high. The revelations of the CIA plot to kill Castro was revealed in the ‘Family Jewel’ papers that were released. Roselli had actually tried to use the information to keep from being deported but the CIA didn’t care. The attempts continued while Johnson was President. The question still remains whether JFK or RFK knew of the plot.

However there are also a few holes. Why would JFK personally meet with mobsters when he must have known that they were being bugged and spied on by the FBI? He had minions to do stuff like that, to keep his hands clean. His brother, the attorney general, Robert F. Kennedy, was publicly waging a war against the mob. And why would JFK trust a woman he hardly knew, a woman that he was sleeping with, to not only ferry money and important documents, but to also accept payoffs for him from defense contractors in California?(another Exner embellishment). Exner claimed that JFK didn’t trust the CIA, and that he felt that no one would suspect a woman.

The one potential witness, a man named Martin Underwood, who initially claimed that he had followed Exner on the train to Chicago in April of 1960 to make sure that she delivered the money to Giancana, recanted his statement. Seymour Hersh in The Dark Side of Camelot even claimed that JFK was blackmailed into giving a defense contract for a new plane. They threatened to expose his relationship with Exner. Critics of her story claim that Exner is an unreliable witness, that she had a history of depression, she’d been addicted to alcohol and amphetamines, and she’d been hounded and harassed by the FBI. Instead she invented a role for herself out of John le Carré thriller.

Judith Campbell Exner died at the age of 65 on September 24, 1999, still insisting that she played a bigger role in history. She has her detractors and her defenders on either side. Historians will probably never know the truth unless some new evidence pops up that bolsters her claims. However, she will be remembered as one of the first people to pop the bubble that was the Camelot myth about JFK.

Additionally, some members of the White House staff were there under seemingly false titles just to serve the president sexually. There were two secretaries with short brown hair and buxom bodies who were nicknamed Fiddle and Faddle, and it was widely known amongst the staff that they were there to have sex with Kennedy. The women often looked disheveled because they would have nude swimming parties with Kennedy in the middle of the day.

Additionally, some members of the White House staff were there under seemingly false titles just to serve the president sexually. There were two secretaries with short brown hair and buxom bodies who were nicknamed Fiddle and Faddle, and it was widely known amongst the staff that they were there to have sex with Kennedy. The women often looked disheveled because they would have nude swimming parties with Kennedy in the middle of the day.

As a president, Kennedy was extremely inspiring to the American public and was even a hero to a young Bill Clinton. However, Kennedy had a secret side that the public could only speculate about. He was an obsessive womanizer, and often claimed that if he didn't sleep with a different woman every day he would get a debilitating headache. Long before Kennedy was elected as president, he was known as a ladies man. He grew up in a home where his father had several affairs and mistresses, as did many of the other men in his life.

As a president, Kennedy was extremely inspiring to the American public and was even a hero to a young Bill Clinton. However, Kennedy had a secret side that the public could only speculate about. He was an obsessive womanizer, and often claimed that if he didn’t sleep with a different woman every day he would get a debilitating headache. Long before Kennedy was elected as president, he was known as a ladies man. He grew up in a home where his father had several affairs and mistresses, as did many of the other men in his life.

As a congressman and senator, Kennedy could be found gallivanting around Hollywood where he struck up relationships with some big-name stars. While Kennedy was rumored to have slept with Kim Novak, Jane Mansfield, Gene Tierney, Gunilla von Post, Angie Dickinson, and Marlene Dietrich, one of his biggest affairs was with Zsa Zsa Gabor, a Hungarian socialite and actress. Ultimately, Gabor dropped Kennedy for George Sanders, whom she believed to be more politically powerful.

As a congressman and senator, Kennedy could be found gallivanting around Hollywood where he struck up relationships with some big-name stars. While Kennedy was rumoured to have slept with Kim Novak, Jane Mansfield, Gene Tierney, Gunilla von Post, Angie Dickinson, and Marlene Dietrich, one of his biggest affairs was with Zsa Zsa Gabor, a Hungarian socialite and actress. Ultimately, Gabor dropped Kennedy for George Sanders, whom she believed to be more politically powerful.

A few months after Campbell's abortion, Kennedy started to plan his campaign to run for reelection. However, in the midst of everything, rumors that Kennedy had been sleeping with alleged communist spy Ellen Rometsch began to circulate. Robert Kennedy became so concerned that his brother and Rometsch would be connected that he he had Rometsch deported back to East Germany.

A few months after Campbell’s abortion, Kennedy started to plan his campaign to run for reelection. However, in the midst of everything, rumors that Kennedy had been sleeping with alleged communist spy Ellen Rometsch began to circulate. Robert Kennedy became so concerned that his brother and Rometsch would be connected that he he had Rometsch deported back to East Germany.

Although Campbell had every intention of walking away from Kennedy, her last tryst with him at the White House ended up getting her pregnant. When Campbell contacted Kennedy and told him about her pregnancy, and he told her if she wanted to keep the baby he would make arrangements for it to happen. However, Campbell knew it would destroy Kennedy's political career and decided to have an abortion. The couple worked with mob boss Giancana to find a doctor to do the procedure, and she didn't reveal the details about the aborted pregnancy for nearly 30 years.

Although Campbell had every intention of walking away from Kennedy, her last tryst with him at the White House ended up getting her pregnant. When Campbell contacted Kennedy and told him about her pregnancy, and he told her if she wanted to keep the baby he would make arrangements for it to happen. However, Campbell knew it would destroy Kennedy’s political career and decided to have an abortion. The couple worked with mob boss Giancana to find a doctor to do the procedure, and she didn’t reveal the details about the aborted pregnancy for nearly 30 years.

Kennedy's assassination in November 1963 interrupted any plans for a second term, but they also locked his reputation as a moral and heroic figure. His sexual proclivities were swept under the rug, leaving many historians to wonder what kind of scandals may have plagued his second term.

Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963 interrupted any plans for a second term, but they also locked his reputation as a moral and heroic figure. His sexual proclivities were swept under the rug, leaving many historians to wonder what kind of scandals may have plagued his second term.

Organized Crime Expert Says JFK Assassination Wasn’t Mob Related

Widely recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts on organized crime, Ralph Salerno investigated the mafia’s link to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

After working in the New York City Police Department for 20 years, Salerno rose to the position of supervisor of detectives. Following his retirement in 1967, he served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice and to the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

The following is an excerpt of ABCNEWS’ interview with Raplh Salerno, who offers his insight regarding the mafia’s rumored involvement in the assasination of John F. Kennedy.

ABCNEWS: Did the Mafia kill President Kennedy?

Salerno: I would have given a great deal when I was working with the [House Select] Committee [on Assassinations] to come up with any kind of evidence that would indicate that. I felt that would have been a singular event which would have raised the hackles of the entire nation against organized crime. So I would have loved to have found something. But in the work that I did, and the work that I saw the committee do, I didn’t find that. And if you look very carefully at the report of the committee itself, they don’t say that.

I reviewed for the Committee the electronic surveillances that the FBI had on organized crime figures all over the country at that time — high-ranking members of organized crime. And there was no indication at all of their involvement. Since that time, since that time, up to the current day, you have had a large number of high-level members of organized crime, have made a deal with the government and testified against their fellows. None of them has ever suggested that they knew of, or even heard of involvement by organized crime in the death of President Kennedy.

ABCNEWS: Robert F. Kennedy’s biographer, Evan Thomas, has written that after the assassination, RFK feared that his fight against organized crime as attorney general might have gotten his brother killed.

Salerno: I don’t think so. On the electronic surveillances that I reviewed, we even came across a few sympathetic remarks about the president. “No, they killed the wrong one.” “They should have shot his brother.” “That little SOB.” “He’s the guy who’s giving us a hard time.” I listened to thousands of pages of electronic surveillances of organized crime leaders all over the United States. Over 360 volumes. I read more electronic surveillances that the FBI had than anyone who is not in the FBI, and I doubt if there were 10 people in the FBI whose job required them to read as many as I had read.

ABCNEWS: What about the idea that the Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana was behind the Kennedy assassination. What do the surveillance tapes of Giancana suggest about this theory?

Salerno: The FBI had very extensive coverage on the leaders of organized crime in Chicago, with Sam Giancana and others. They tape recorded him in the Armory Lounge, which he sort of made his own personal headquarters. Sam Giancana doesn’t show any foreknowledge at all. After the fact, in a discussion, he’s talking with one of his accomplices about Oswald, and they said “What kind of guy was he?” And Sam says “I don’t know what kind of guy he was, but he was a pretty good marksman.” Now that doesn’t sound like the comment of a man who had retained the man he was surprised to find was such a good marksman.

ABCNEWS: What about Professor Blakey’s theory that Carlos Marcello was behind the assassination?

Salerno: I think Carlos Marcello was too smart to have done something like that. Carlos Marcello, if he engineered a plot to kill the president of the United States, he would know that it would be looked on very unfavorably by his peers throughout the country, who would not agree that it was a very wise thing to do. And he would give that a lot of weight in his own considerations. He would know that he would be running a large risk if his peers and contemporaries ever found that out, and I think that would weigh heavily against his doing that.

The [National] Commission [of La Cosa Nostra] would feel that if such knowledge ever could be made public, that the animosity of the American people would be raised to an unbelievable height, and that if Robert Kennedy had been giving them a hard time up until that point, the public would demand that even more be done by every agency of government to reduce or destroy organized crime. So that would be too much a risk.

Organized crime uses a scale, the same symbol that justice uses. If they’re going to do something, they have two sides to a scale. What do we have to gain, and what do we have to lose? If it tips in favor of we have more to gain than to lose, they will do it. If the scales tip the other way, we have too much to lose, as against a gain, they will not do it. So that’s the scale of organized crime. [It] would have weighed heavily against it.

ABCNEWS: What do you make of the idea that Oswald’s uncle, Dutz Murret, could have been the connection between Marcello and Oswald?

Salerno: Murret would be a bookmaker in [New Orleans]. He wouldn’t be working directly for Carlos Marcello, but he would be paying tribute in order for the privilege of doing that. But I don’t think that Marcello would have used that uncle to get to his kind of odd nephew. Too dangerous. Too much to lose with this oddball character. You don’t deal with people like that.

ABCNEWS: How do you understand Jacky Ruby’s shooting of Oswald?

Salerno: Ruby is a character that I think I understand. Ruby was a hanger-on with policemen. They hung out in his strip joint. They drank together. “Can you get me a date with that stripper?” “Sure.” And what would they be talking about? They would be talking about cases the policemen were involved in, who the lawyers were, who the prosecutor was. This is a hanging judge. This is an easy judge. That type of thing. That gave him entree into police headquarters.

I worked in the Police Annex in New York City. A block away was a little grocery store run by a man named Tony Rulo. Tony Rulo didn’t make money selling groceries. Tony Rulo made money selling sandwiches to policemen at lunchtime from the two headquarters buildings.

If the building I worked in one day was going to be restricted only to people who had police identification, I would have had to show identification getting into work. If Tony Rulo came with bags of sandwiches, the guy on duty would have said, “Go ahead, Tony. Deliver your sandwiches” without asking for any identification. Ruby was like that. He could walk in and out of headquarters, as he did on more than one occasion in the city of Dallas.

I think Jack Ruby shot Oswald to make his place in history. And he did that.

ABCNEWS: Was Jack Ruby a mobster?

Salerno: Jack Ruby was not a mobster. He wasn’t a mobster in Dallas and he really had never gotten to be a mobster in the true sense of the word in Chicago. He was a fringe character in Chicago and he was a fringe character in Dallas. I would not hire Jack Ruby to be my hit man if I were involved in organized crime. You got to realize the theory is, Ruby is taking out Oswald so Oswald can’t say anything. Somebody has to take out Ruby so he can’t say anything. And then somebody has to take out the guy who took Ruby (laughs) out. It becomes an unending dilemma so it doesn’t work quite that way.

Judith Exner/20-20 – Part 1 – Mistress of President Kennedy and Mob …

Judith Exner/20-20 – Part 2 – Mistress of President Kennedy and Mob …

Judith Campbell Exner – Spartacus Educational

Judith Exner Is Dead at 65 – Claimed Affair With Kennedy – NYTimes …

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50 years later, JFK girlfriend Judith Campbell Exner deserves an …

The Dark Side of Camelot : People.com

 


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  • wazsah

    I have work to do Lux – any more posts on JFK and I could be here all b day.

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