Hoffa and JFK

In response to:

The Pessimist from the February 22, 1979 issue

To the Editors:

Thank you for your recent review of my book, The Hoffa Wars, which was examined by Murray Kempton (February 22). However, allow me to correct one mistake that appeared in his analysis. Citing a brief portion of Chapter 7 of my book, Mr. Kempton erroneously states that I “borrowed” the passage describing Santos Trafficante’s dramatic oath upon entering the ranks of the underworld from Ed Reid’s book, The Grim Reapers. Although I do indeed cite Mr. Reid’s work later on in the chapter, the particular passage about Mr. Trafficante was footnoted to Hank Messick’s Lansky (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1971), page 210.

Secondly, when Walter Sheridan, a former aide to Robert Kennedy, read my manuscript before publication, he warned me that I was leading with my chin by discussing the possible involvement of Mr. Trafficante, Jimmy Hoffa, and mobster Carlos Marcello in the assassination of President Kennedy. I could easily understand Mr. Sheridan’s concern but knew that the information I had managed to uncover had not been dealt with by the Warren Commission. Since my book has come out, several reporters, including Jack Anderson, have indicated that my book “tipped off” investigators for the U.S. House Assassinations Committee about the possible Hoffa-Marcello conspiracy in the Kennedy murder.

Although I feel that I was completely responsible in my handling of this obviously sensational material which is now being taken seriously by the government as well as the press, I am at a loss when reviewers, like Mr. Kempton, indicate that this is one of the “fantasies” in my book. I simply hope that Mr. Kempton and those other reviewers who have written that I have “ruined an excellent book with the Kennedy assassination theory” remember where they heard it first when the House Assassinations Committee releases its final report this spring.

Dan E. Moldea

Washington, D.C.