Steamshovel Press


"The Prankster and the Conspiracy: The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture"
By Adam Gorightly

Long time Steamshovel contributor Adam Gorightly has written the definitive biography of Kerry Thornley. "The Prankster and the Conspiracy: The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture" will be available from Paraview Press in November, 2003 (

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 14.


“Is it not possible that Kerry’s involvement with the JFK assassination is simply synchronicity--that the many meaningful connections are part of a synchronous pattern rather than evidence that he has unwittingly been involved in a conspiracy?”

- Bob Shea, from a letter to Greg Hill,
  dated November 22, 1975

In the summer of 1973, Kerry visited Greg Hill in New York City, where the two took in a folk concert in Washington Square. At this concert, Kerry came across a copy of the Yipster Times which forever after changed his life and reawakened long-forgotten ghosts.

      The Yipster Times contained material which was afterwards expanded upon and published in a book by A.J. Weberman and Michael Canfield called Coup d’Etat in America, an acronym for the CIA and an allusion to “Company” complicity in the JFK assassination.

      The thesis of Coup d’Etat in America suggested that Watergate conspirator and longtime CIA spook E. (Everett) Howard Hunt was one of the three mystery tramps renowned in Kennedy assassination lore, and it was the photographic evidence presented therein that led Kerry to believe that Hunt was, in fact, the shadowy character he’d met a full decade before--Gary Kirstein, aka Brother-in-law. Furthermore, Kerry came to believe that he’d been hypno-programmed as a substitute fall guy in the Kennedy assassination (in the event that the Oswald set-up went awry) and that E. Howard Hunt (in the guise of Brother-in-law) was one of Kerry’s “handlers.”

      For those not in the know, the “three mystery tramps”--as they have been dubbed--were photographed in the vicinity of the grassy knoll not long after Kennedy got a chunk of his cranium catapulted across Elm Street and into the history books. These three tramps were picked up by the Dallas police and then released without any record of arrest. Weberman and Canfield put forth the theory that the three tramps were involved in the Kennedy assassination, and to bolster their theory the authors presented a series of photographic overlays that compared the profiles of certain notorious individuals to those of the tramps.

      Fingered by the authors as one of the tramps was CIA contract agent Frank Sturgis, who was involved with E. Howard Hunt in the Bay of Pigs fiasco, as well as being a party to the infamous Watergate break-in, which some say Hunt “masterminded.”

      Soon after the publication of Coup d’Etat in America, Hunt sued the authors for several million in damages, claiming he was in Washington, D.C., at CIA headquarters, on the day of the assassination. This alibi, however, was subsequently discredited. Soon after, Hunt changed his tune, alleging that on the day of the assassination he’d been on leave, performing husbandly household errands, which included a shopping trip to a grocery store in the Chinatown section of D.C.

      Canfield and Weberman investigated Hunt’s new alibi and discovered that the Chinatown store Hunt claimed to have visited never existed. As a result, Hunt offered to drop his lawsuit for a token settlement of $1, but Canfield and Weberman were having no part of the deal, and refused to settle.

      Later, in 1978, a Sunday News Journal article cited anonymous sources in the CIA regarding a secret agency memo, dated 1966, which placed Hunt in Dallas on the day of the assassination. Those CIA sources who had provided the memo told the Sunday News Journal that Hunt’s story about shopping in downtown Washington on the day of the assassination was a cover story concocted as a result of this memo, and that Hunt’s wife, Dorothy, could not be questioned about this due to her death in a mysterious plane crash in Chicago in 1972. It was rumored at the time of her demise that Mrs. Hunt was about to leave her husband and had plans to testify against him.

      During E. Howard Hunt’s tenure with the CIA, he was involved in a whole host of nefarious endeavors, which included the overthrow of the Guatemalan government in the 1950s, as well as covert operations in Cuba, including the Bay of Pigs operation, in which he played a pivotal role. On account of the Bay of Pigs disaster Hunt hated JFK and blamed him for its failure.

      It has been further alleged that Hunt was a member of an assassination squad, headed by Col. Boris Pash, that was created to eliminate suspected double agents and low-ranking foreign intelligence officers. It has been further alleged that Hunt, in cahoots with G. Gordon Liddy, was part of a plot to assassinate whistle-blowing columnist Jack Anderson. If that weren’t enough, Hunt also served as a top official at the CIA station in Mexico City during Oswald’s visit there in September 1963 and, according to Hunt’s autobiography, was stationed at Atsugi Air Base at the same time as Kerry Thornley. Curiouser and curiouser . . .

      A letter in Oswald’s handwriting surfaced after the Kennedy assassination, dated November 10, 1963, and addressed to a certain “Mr. Hunt,” in which he asked for a job with Hunt’s organization. Some have speculated that the addressee of this mysterious letter was Texas oil millionaire H.L. Hunt, while others have suspected more sinister implications: namely, that this mysterious letter was intended for E. Howard Hunt.

      A true renaissance rogue, Hunt was described by the New York Post thusly: “author of 44 mystery thrillers, a man with a spooky fondness for masks and wigs, aliases, surgical gloves and surveillance devices, Hunt stands out as the conspirator you’d most like to interview . . . a man with a keen, restless mind, a clever rogue with a deep cynicism about human nature and a casual view of death.” Many, if not all, of these characteristics seem to fit Kerry’s Brother-in-law to a T. Kerry believed that Brother-in-law was in disguise, perhaps even wearing a wig. As well, Kerry’s “Brother-in-law” possessed a keen mind and a casual view of death, not unlike Hunt.

      As Kerry’s Brother-in-law memories came flooding back, the conversations he’d shared with Gary Kirstein/Brother-in-law so many years before began to take on greater significance. One of the oddest things that Brother-in-law had brought up during their initial conversations were instances of “freak radio reception,” such as the case of a woman in Des Moines who had picked up a radio broadcast through her hair curlers. In the same manner, other people had discovered that their tooth fillings were sensitive to radio waves. “Things like that happen,” Brother-in-law told Kerry.

      “Yes,” Kerry answered. “I think maybe once or twice it happened to me. A few months ago, when I was lying across from Lafayette Square in a little room over Fred’s Inn, I seemed to hear radio programs as I was drifting into sleep during my afternoon naps--with station breaks, news, commercials, weather reports and music. When I woke up afterwards, though, I couldn’t remember the call letters of the station.” Kirstein laughed and nodded, as if to indicate that he had foreknowledge about the event, which Kerry found rather peculiar. Kerry neglected to mention that--while serving in the Marines--he had often experienced audio hallucinations before falling to sleep. At the time, he wrote off these episodes as nothing more than a peculiar category of dream. Kerry didn’t consider his “freak radio reception” experiences any differently. But now, over ten years later, these memories were starting to worry him.

                            *     *     *

      In August 1973, Kerry wrote an article for the underground paper The Great Speckled Bird titled “Did the Plumbers Plug JFK Too?” which drew parallels between the Watergate break-in and the Kennedy assassination. Soon after this article appeared, Kerry received a couple of curious phone calls, the first of which was a male voice imitating the sounds of a speeded-up tape recorder. Ten years before, Kerry and his French Quarter pal Roger Lovin used to speak to each other (goofingly so) at the Bourbon House in noises identical to this strange telephone call.

      Upon receiving the first of these two curious phone calls, Kerry replied with a word or two of bewilderment, and the mysterious sped-up caller hung up. A few seconds later, the phone rang again, and this time a male voice said very distinctly: “Kerry, do you know who this is?” Kerry answered no, and the voice on the other end of the line said: “Good!” and then hung up.

      To Kerry, the caller sounded strikingly similar to how he remembered Gary Kirstein, so much so that he decided he couldn’t keep his suspicions to himself any longer, although it took Kerry another year (February 1975) to finally start compiling notes on his Brother-in-law/Kennedy assassination-associated memories. During this period, a revived interest in the JFK assassination caused many in the media and political circles to begin calling for a congressional probe of those tragic events of November 1963. With this revived interest, Kerry began receiving calls from various media outlets, such as CBS and Reader’s Digest. At this time, he avoided issuing statements to the media, so that he would not “divulge anything sensational” until he had the opportunity to testify under oath. Behind the scenes, though, Kerry continued to work on his Kennedy assassination notes, excavating disturbing memories, which--more by more--started taking on greater significance.

      One morning, while at the campus of Georgia State--where he was then employed as a part-time student assistant--Kerry received a phone call from an ACLU lawyer, Reber Boult, whom he hoped would represent him for his prospective appearance before a congressional committee. Boult asked Kerry if he’d been following the headlines in the Atlanta papers regarding the investigation by City Commissioner of Public Safety Reginald Eaves into the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. When Kerry admitted his ignorance of Eaves’ investigation, Boult suggested he might want to look into it, as the principal witness in the case seemed to be talking about a lot of the same people (with connections to Carlos Marcello) that Kerry had alluded to in previous conversations with Boult.

      That same afternoon, Kerry picked up an Atlanta newspaper and read the article in question, which concerned a young man, Robert Byron Watson, who had supplied information to the police about a narcotics ring. Watson insisted that just prior to Martin Luther King’s assassination, he had heard one of the drug ring leaders say: “I’m going to shoot that damned nigger [King] in the head and frame a jailbird for it, just like I did with Kennedy.”

      When Kerry read Watson’s allegations, he was flabbergasted, because--as previously noted--Gary Kirstein (aka Brother-in-law) had once told him that part of his theoretical Kennedy assassination plan was to pin the murders on a “jailbird.” When Kerry saw these same words used in reference to the King assassination, a red flag immediately flew up, reminding him of those long ago words of Brother-in-law about how, after they knocked off Kennedy, “next we’ll get Martin Luther King.” Of course, Kerry thought Kirstein was only blowing so much hot air at the time. Only now was he beginning to realize the ominous overtones connected to those words.

      In an unpublished article from the period titled “Assassination Scene Heats Up,” Robert Anton Wilson wrote:

[Robert Byron] Watson’s charges were originally made in 1970, to the staff of President Nixon, and were dismissed as unfounded after an FBI investigation. Shortly thereafter, Watson was arrested for receiving a package containing heroin from Thailand in the mails.

      Watson and his mother, Mrs. R.W. Watson, have charged ever since then that the heroin was sent by persons unknown to them, and the narcs were then tipped off, so that Watson could be imprisoned and his charges further discredited.

      Watson’s story is that, in 1968, at the age of 13, he was visiting an Atlanta firm which sells archeological artifacts. (The boy was an archeology-geology buff at the time, suffering from asthma, and given to lonely and scholarly pursuits.) He claims that he overheard a group of white men discussing a plan to assassinate Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      Mrs. Watson insists that the boy told her of what he had heard that very day. She didn’t believe him however, until after the assassination, she says, and they didn’t take the story to the government until two years later, in 1970, when they spoke to some of Nixon’s aides.

      After the boy’s heroin bust, Mrs. Watson attempted to interest other investigators, with little result. In July 1972, the boy was paroled from the Federal Youth Center in Ashland, Kentucky, and shortly re-arrested on cocaine and marijuana charges. He and his mother insist this was part of the continuing effort to frame him and thereby silence him.

      Comedian-activist Dick Gregory, an ardent conspiracy student, eventually became interested in young Watson’s case and, in July this year, badgered the Atlanta, Georgia, authorities into investigating the whole matter.

      The investigator’s again found the boy’s story unconvincing and, according to the Atlanta Journal for July 30, two of the men accused by him took lie-detector tests, which they passed. While the accuracy of polygraph tests is still a matter of dispute, that seemed to close the matter.

      By then, Kerry Thornley had given his statement to the Atlanta Police Department and began sending out Xeroxes to conspiracy investigators.

      According to Thornley, one of the men accused by young Watson appears to be the person he [Thornley] knew in New Orleans in the early 1960s, under a different name.

      It is Thornley’s belief that certain conversations instigated by this man--seemingly abstract or theoretical discussions of how to commit an assassination and get away with it--were attempts to learn if he, Thornley, could be either (a) lured into the Dealey Plaza assassination team or (b) framed afterwards, as a cover for the real conspirators.

      For Kerry, a fog had been long hovering over his head, and it was due to a handful of these incidents that this fog slowly lifted and his long buried memories of Brother-in law surfaced.

      Could it have been sort of mind control that clouded Kerry’s memory of his Brother-in-law recollections? And what had Brother-in-law said, once upon a time, about “freak radio reception”? Had Brother-in-law been alluding to a method of mind control known in intelligence agency parlance as Radio Hypnotic Intracerebral Control and Electronic Dissolution of Memory (RHIC-EDOM)?

      Once Kerry opened this door to the past, the torrent of memories continued, such as one curious incident involving a typewriter once belonging to Kerry, which he believed had been stolen by Gary Kirstein/Brother-in-law following Memorial Day in 1961.

      At the time, Kerry suspected that Brother-in-law had purloined the typewriter simply because he was in need of some fast cash. Later, Kerry speculated that the notes he compiled for Brother-in-law while researching Nazis at the New Orleans public library--in conjunction with this stolen typewriter--had been orchestrated as a means to produce a manuscript, under Kerry’s by-line, which could be used at a later date to trace him back to this typewriter and incriminate him in the Kennedy assassination. (Gentle reader, is your head starting to hurt?)

      While doing his Nazi research for Kirstein, Kerry--in his own handwriting--had dutifully written “Hitler Was a Good Guy” on the top of each page, along with his own name. Unsuspectingly, he then turned over these “Hitler Was a Good Guy “ notes to Brother-in-law, who in turn gave Kerry a few bucks for his efforts.

      It should be noted that E. Howard Hunt--throughout the course of his checkered career--had a hand in the falsification of various documents and diaries, and some researchers have even speculated that it was Hunt who forged Arthur Bremer’s diary, the man who shot the legs out from under George Wallace. A diary that Lee Oswald allegedly wrote possessed all the earmarks of a forgery was attributed to Hunt by certain researchers. Presumably, the intent of such forgeries was to demonstrate that the alleged authors were either psychologically unbalanced and/or politically motivated to assassinate leaders such as Kennedy or Wallace, all of this being further evidence to promote “lone nut” assassin theories. In this regard, Kerry believed that Brother-in-law had commandeered his stolen typewriter for just such a purpose, which was to be used in conjunction with the notes Kerry had gathered in the New Orleans library for Kirstein’s “Hitler Was a Good Guy” book project to set Kerry up as an assassination fall guy.


Writers from all around the world are writing pertinent material the media ignores. This knowledge can be found in some actual publications or online. Down below is a fine exsample of the articles you can find. Reading is key to educating yourself about what's going on around you and staying sharp.

Previous Offline Illuminations
The US Secret Govt Rears Its Ugly Head in the Bush Cabal
The Book George Bush Doesn't Want You To Read
They Cast No Shadows
Illuminati Terrorists & the Cults of Death
Will the Real "Beneficiaries" Please Stand Up?
The Stealth Genocide Program
Apocalypse Culture II
Whitewashing CIA Mind Control Atrocities
The Curious Case of the Spooky Professor:
A Modest Revolution
The Limousine Liberal Manifesto
Spectacle: Age of Conspiracy
The Jesus Puzzle
Rulers of Evil
Sex and Rockets
Gen-X Chumps, I Mean, Spooks

Home  |  Order Steamshovel  |  Newsletter Signup  |  Link Tank  |  Contact Us
The Latest Word  |  Offline Illumination  |  Things Are Gonna Slide!  |  Alt.Media

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 Steamshovel Press. All Rights Reserved.