The Men That Don’t Fit In: Interview with Roderick A. MacKenzie, III
- January 24, 2013
The Men That Don’t Fit In: Interview with Roderick A. MacKenzie, III
You may also view the original book in PDF format The Men That Don’t Fit in at this link: http://paranoiamagazine.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/the-men-that-dont-fit-in-roderick-a-mackenzie-iii-2.pdf
By Joan d’Arc
The story that is about to unwind might sound fantastic. The author of the tale is one “Roderick A. MacKenzie, III” who is 74 years of age. I have no way to corroborate the tale, but nonetheless I feel compelled to delve into it to get the “facts.” Here’s how I got myself inextricably involved: In April of 2009 I received an internet link from conspiracy researcher Ron Patton to an audio interview at ConspiraZine. He suggested I listen to this man who claims to have worked for the mob in Dallas, Texas before, during and after the JFK assassination of November 22, 1963.
Roderick A. MacKenzie, III is the author of a self-published book called The Men That Don’t Fit In: The Factual History of a Rogues Life from 1934 to 1967 (subtitle: “which includes the very interesting period of the Pre-Cuban Revolution, the Post-Cuban Revolution and Times of Intrigue and Covert Action as well as adventures around the Defense Industrial Security Command Spooks and Characters, the Outfit, the Cuban Affairs Dept., with the bonus insiders view of Circus, Carnival and Outdoor Amusements Life”).
As I tuned in to the interview, I was sitting at my desk rubbing my ankle, which I have had trouble with throughout my life since twisting it when I was ten years old. The day of said accident was to be a field trip to Benson’s Wild Animal Farm in Hudson, New Hampshire. I didn’t want to miss the field trip, so I kept the injury to myself and walked on it all day; thus making it a lifelong problem. Why am I including this seemingly trivial note? As Rod MacKenzie began his “tale of a rogue’s life” from the very beginning, the hair on my neck stood up. He was born and raised in the very same cowpoke town where I grew up, and his uncle, John T. Benson, owned Benson’s Wild Animal Farm.
MacKenzie’s story started simply enough. He had a normal upbringing in a lovely rural town dotted with farms and lakes; indeed, as I can vouch, a really nice place to grow up. But he had gotten himself into a little trouble in high school, and his parents strongly suggested he join the Army. So he got out of that little town and traveled the world.
After service, MacKenzie eventually landed at Fort Detrick, Maryland, and trained at the Defense Intelligence Agency’s “Flaps and Seals” school in the art of making false I.D.’s. It seems he had invented a suitcase I.D. system, which he describes as a “complete I.D. factory with blanks of all sorts, certificates, checks and I.D. cards, a small printing press and types, inks, seal making equipment, a compact enlarger, photo print frame, papers and chemical packs, trays and so on.” In fact, according to MacKenzie, this little gift is what enabled him to escape the “Zone of the Interior” in 1964.
In his introduction to The Men That Don’t Fit In, MacKenzie expresses relief to have made it to 74 years of age, “keeping secrets in my brain quiet, except for a select close few.” He explains, “While most of the people that I associated with around the Cuban Affairs Groups have passed to their allotted other realms, I have been pretty much left to my own devices.” Yet, MacKenzie lived in fear of a contract being put on his head by the mob, since, he claims, he was in “elbow brushing terms” with a lot of the major and minor players involved in the events of the JFK assassination.
MacKenzie claims he was employed by Mafia boss, Sam Giancana, to run the “safe house” in Dallas, Texas when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. MacKenzie claims he didn’t know the event was going to happen; yet, as soon as it happened he realized the “precarious position” he was in. So he disappeared: “Of course,” he explains, “it was a time before the mass effort to identify everyone by the social security, mom’s maiden name, birth date,” and so on.
So, why did MacKenzie finally write The Men That Don’t Fit In? In his introduction, he writes, “It is not easy to answer because in revealing these facts as I know them, I open myself up to being branded everything from a nut case to a wannabe, kook, or liar. I am none of these and care little what the reader thinks. These facts have gnawed at my gut for 46 years and I do not care to head for the eternal dirt nap on the Great Midway Beyond without making an attempt at stating what I know and saw at that time.”
MacKenzie describes the JFK hit as “a classic, well thought-out hit by a very large cast of characters.” He explains, “They brought just about everyone who was anyone in the business of nastiness and criminality together to witness or unwittingly be part of it. I was one such person. We were all disposable, as well, and did not know that either.” Following the assassination, he spent a day drinking with Malcolm “Mac” Wallace, the man who he claims “had directed the killing teams for Lyndon B. Johnson and his Texas Mafia with the help of the other Mafia.” In fact, says MacKenzie, “Mac was quite talkative in a conspirator way.”
In June of 2009 I began an email interview with Roderick A. MacKenzie in order to verify some of the claims in his book. As MacKenzie explained up front, “I was only on the lunatic fringe of that day in November (thankfully). However, I am the nearest thing to the actual hitters and cleaners that you’re ever going to find around today, and even my educated guesses are pretty valid.”
With this statement as our disclaimer, let’s put Roderick MacKenzie’s cards on the table and see what he’s got.
* * *
Joan: You write that Mac Wallace (whom you describe as “Lyndon Baines Johnson’s hit man”) and Jake Miranda (your handler) were working for a government agency called “Permindex Co.” which was part of the Defense Industrial Security Command (DISC). What else can you tell me about that?
MacKenzie: I know that Roselli said we were all under the “Defense Intelligence Security Command Bastards,” and that was what both he and Jake Miranda called them. Later, Del Graham said that outfit caused him to have a heart attack in Tarzana, California, over the Kennedy hit while he was on the phone to Roselli at the Baylor Hospital Cafeteria in Dallas. So that’s one of the people Roselli talked with during the hit. Miranda and I were at Baylor Cafeteria too, so all three of us were not shooters by our own alibis.
I guess it was DoD that was setting all of us into the slots where we were supposed to be. They paid for everything. I got bucks from the Permindex vouchers in Dallas and New Orleans on the road from Geno La Motta, who got it from Chicago, and at the time I ran safe houses on the carnival routes and in the Holland Avenue safe house in Dallas. Jake Miranda and Mac Wallace had me sign those vouchers for bucks, and Ruby’s sister had me sign one once when Miranda was in New Orleans for money needed to do with my clients at the Holland House.
Joan: Now that you’re talking about the “safe house” who actually ran it? The mob, the CIA, both? Did the cops know about it?
MacKenzie: The safe house I ran on the carnivals was for someone named “Abe.” I guess he was DISC, at least that’s what I was told by the mobsters. The mob was partnered in there somehow, so was good ole Permindex; the money always goes back to that outfit. I did not ask questions. The folks that were clients were from FBI Branch Five, that Baptist front outfit in Mexico [ACCC], the Chicago Mob and I guess the DoD. No one ever came across as CIA or other alphabet agency.
Joan: You describe Jack Rubenstein (“Ruby”) as a “short fussed guy that goes off at a moment’s notice over little stuff.” You disliked being around him. On what occasions did you have need to be around him?
MacKenzie: The bunch at the Holland Ave safe house were from Rubenstein. The other mob people and Jake Miranda, who was in contact daily with me, I got my orders from him. Tippit the cop was in the know and brought money and people to me. I don’t think Tippit was a bad cop though. I never thought that Marcello was sending people to the safe house, but that phony preacher/missionary [Jack] Bowen [American Council of Christian Churches] sure sent a lot of “resters” there for very short times.
It all came through Miranda, though Rubenstein tried to get directly involved a time or two, but when I called Miranda he backed off. He did get a couple of signs for the Carousel out of me though. Mob, DISC, FBI V through Rev. Bowen, Percy Holt were my contacts, plus Tippit a few times. Otherwise I can’t say who ran the safe house(?).
Joan: Someone remarked to me that you’re in the “LBJ-did-it” camp but I disagree because you bring in Permindex and the fact that these guys, yourself included, got paid by Permindex vouchers, and a lot of these guys worked not only for the CIA and FBI and ONI, but for Lockheed. It’s actually closer to a military-industrial monster as described by Jim Garrison. How would you argue against the claim that you’re saying it was strictly a Texas mafia hit?
MacKenzie: You are correct, Permindex was our master. That bunch ran the folks I worked with. The CIA and ONI were into it too, of course, but I feel that we were all puppets of the DoD The other agencies were rogue type elements, but the people I knew, Banister, Sturgis, Wallace, Joe Dugan, Roselli (of course, he was mob, and most of the others had other loyalties if one can be loyal in this business), Giancana, Rogers, Holt, Ferrie, Werbell and so on, were getting Permindex bucks. It came to New Orleans and Texas from Canada, I learned later; some sort of pipeline from Toronto. Permindex also had offices in South Africa and Hamburg, Germany, I learned through Banister’s talk. Ferrie was a lot tighter lipped than that jerk Banister, even when drinking. Frank Sturgis and Felix Rodriguez never said much that did not have fifty meanings, riddles upon riddles.
Compartmentalization is like that, you learn a little from the guy you deal with, but not much about the ones he deals with. Let’s face it, I was there to be used. We all were. True, I was a willing person in this use, but one did not ask many questions and certainly not more than your need to know. That was a sure way of being shut out of your meal ticket, and could indeed get you killed if you got too much information. You accepted that from the get go!
You think my masters with all those phony first names were some sort of DoD guys? Agents? Who knows. I know for a fact [Joe] Dugan was I.R.A. and Defense Intelligence Security Command out of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, as was Ferrie and “Abe,” and Banister as well, but one is never sure. They had I.D. Cards for that outfit. But then Abe had me print up some pretty impressive cards for that outfit in Cuba on my return from Fort Detrick “Flaps and Seals” school. I also did some FBI Branch Five cards; those were FBI I.D. cards, and some white cards with multi-raised color emblem with ‘Branch Five’ and the agent’s name in black with ‘Branch V’ under it. They had different phone numbers; some were in Marseilles, France, some in Canada, and some in Mexico. I never asked any questions. I kept a few but they got lost later in South Africa when I was on the Boswell Wilkey Circus.
Who knows who Branch V was, but Banister used to order those I.D.s and white FBI cards with different names on them a lot. I asked no questions. Ferrie would pick them up at the Sailor’s Bar and Hotel I stayed at on Canal Street and Armory Park in New Orleans. I often wondered why a big shot FBI guy and supposedly ONI guy like Banister was using me to make FBI I.Ds, when he was formerly and maybe still with those units? Always one answer leads to more questions. My take on this is that the CIA, FBI and other alphabet agencies, plus outfits like the Birchers and the Christian right, were either knowingly part and parcel under the DoD, or unknowingly had them for masters. I can’t be sure, but that was always my thinking.
Joan: In your book you write: “To understand the cow town attitude of Dallas in the 1950s and 1960s, one has to realize that there were a lot of power sources that were raking a lot of profit from this era. Greed was everywhere …. The politicians were very corrupt … the police chief was a “flamboyant corrupt bastard,” … “organized crime was allowed to openly flourish,” police looked the other way, and “no one rocked the boat.” So, to understand how this hit went down and they got away with it, you have to put it in this context?
MacKenzie: Well, yes, it was all in the open in Dallas at that time. The cops knew things were all around them, if they were not on someone’s payroll then they did not last on the force. Everyone was on the take except the citizens that chose to look the other way and be “marks” one way or the other. Churches, cops, judges, lawyers were pretty much on some sort of corruption. It was the way of life in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Arizona at that time, but not more so than in Dallas, Houston, Corpus Christi and New Orleans. Those were the worst, and Shreveport Alabama too. A person could be beaten up for as little as $.00 and a killing could be done as low as $20.00. I knew people that would kill for free if you were the “in” person.
Joan: So, as the story goes, Mac Wallace was drinking heavily. He began whispering that Jack Ruby might have to be “taken care of too.” You wanted to get away from him, but instead you were sent by Jake Miranda to a quieter area. So, you headed out to drink with Wallace. Every time he gave you a few names, you went into the bathroom and scribbled the names on anything you could find. I can imagine you must have been terrified in the days following this event. So do you think the booze completely blacked out his memory of having blabbed to you?
MacKenzie: The fact that my Kennedy story is based me running as I sobered up back and forth to write the words of Mac Wallace in the bathroom, is not the best foundation for the listing of the culprits. However, I had the background with all these people for the months ahead of the “hit parade” and knew their capabilities, if not what went down on Nov. 22nd. I knew Mac’s murderous capabilities as well as his intelligence and his cunning ways. I also knew once saturated in the lethal doses of Wild Turkey, and on top of that his alcoholism, he was at the point of memory loss the next day. I believed him. But that’s my take on it. I have no other proofs except corroboration by John Roselli, Sam Giancana and Delbert Graham of those events being as Mac said.
By the way there is an old paperback called Appointment in Dallas by Hugh Mc Donald, and sure enough there’s this guy called Saul as the hit man. Mc Donald gives him full credit for the hit. I don’t buy him being the only hitter, but I do know that man. I met him at my Holland Avenue safe house, and he was with me for about three days and nights; a real “prick” to say the least, and expensive tastes too. He had me running all over Dallas and Ft. Worth for wine and shirts to his taste. Clients at the safe house could not leave it or the small back yard facing the alley. Later, Joe Dugan, who was thick as thieves with me for many years, said this guy who he called McGintey was used by his Canadian (Permindex) bunch to do some hits for his I.R.A. cell. Joe also confirmed his part that day in canceling JFK’s trip ticket and felt, as did I, that Wallace ran the whole shebang. Joe had practiced the hit at Sulphur, Louisiana under Wallace at Mitch Werbell’s training facility. There again, it’s just my word that I was told these things.
Joan: What was Mac Wallace’s relationship to Lyndon Johnson?
MacKenzie: Mac Wallace had killed a number of people for L.B.J. That’s a matter of Texas and Federal records. In fact, Mac killed a man over the fact that he was Johnson’s sister’s lover, as was Mac at the time. Johnson got to the courts and the Texas Rangers. Though Mac was found guilty of murder, he never spent more than a night in jail. He loved to brag on that one. After he was found guilty and given time served (which he had not served), he was given a top-secret security clearance and the job of head of all supplies to the Lockheed facilities in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma. He held this clearance to the day he was killed. Accident? Hardly.
Mac Wallace also took orders from Johnson’s lawyer and the Texas Mafia (business types, Texas millionaires). My knowledge of all this was from the gambling games at the Adolphus Hotel and at Houston run by “Doc” Dolan. These games were where people got paid off over the tables in winnings. This was done at Cal Nueva Race Track too. I have seen J. Edgar Hoover and [his lover] Clyde Tolson take away twenty five thousand dollars. Tolson took forty thousand in so-called winnings at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, and a second time at Hunts retreat outside Dallas.
Joan: Carlos Marcello was a mob boss at the time. It seems unlikely that a boss would do a hit himself. But this is what Mac Wallace told you?
MacKenzie: As far as Marcello, the tomato salesman, goes, of course he was involved, but I don’t think he’d dirty his hands on Kennedy anymore than he would have on anyone else. He was old, plump, big-mouthed and ran things; he sent killers out and got results, he did not pull triggers. Dave Ferry the same way. He was a mercenary who worked for Marcello and Banister but he was not a killer. He was a smart guy and was not the “nelly fag” he has been publicized as. He was into serious cancer research with medical professionals and one of the best pilots I ever rode with. Marcello used him for investigating and transferring orders. This stuff I know personally.
* * *
Thus ended my interview with Roderick A. MacKenzie, III, although I could have chatted with the man longer and probably will. I will end this fantastic tale, with his permission, of the list of the JFK assassination “killing teams” (from page 71 of The Men That Don’t Fit In) as told to Roderick A. MacKenzie by Malcolm “Mac” Wallace in a drunken stupor following the assassination; take it or leave it, says MacKenzie:
Command area on the second floor of the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD): Cliff Carter, Carlos Marcello, Jack Rubenstein, George Reese;
In the alley behind the fence and above the so-called Grassy Knoll: Clyde Foust, John Ernst, Jack Grimm, Joseph P. Dugan;
Under the bridge in case the president was not shot, and above the railroad area (these people were never used): Charles Harrelson, Percy Chauncy Holt, Charles Frederick Rogers, a man called “Dimitri” from ACCC;
Roof of the County Records Building: Harry Weatherford, Roger Craig, Richard Scalzetti, Michael Victor Mertz;
Sixth floor of the TSBD in the nest and other setup areas: Ruth Ann Martinez, Lee Harvey Oswald (under a spell according to Mac), Mac Wallace, Lawrence Loy Factor;
The Dal-Tex Building (the team was supposed to be on top but had problems): Eugene Hale Brading, Frank Fiorelli (Sturgis), Raphael “Chi Chi” Quintero, Richard Cain.
As MacKenzie writes in The Men That Don’t Fit In, “When I read the misinformation about what I saw as a simple killing of an important person, I wonder at the stupidity of the general public. Perhaps it’s just that they don’t really care. They are just too busy scratching out a living and so on to give a shit as to what their so-called leaders are doing. I would say that it’s by design, and has been from as far back as history goes. But let’s never say it’s a conspiracy; despite the fact that whenever two or more people plan anything it is indeed a conspiracy. Being branded a conspiracy nut ain’t all that bad. Perhaps it’s paid off for me to have been looking over my shoulder all these years.”
About the Author
Roderick A. MacKenzie, III is the author of the self-published manuscript, The Men That Don’t Fit In. He is currently an artist living in Seattle, WA. This interview was published in PARANOIA: The Conspiracy Reader, Vol. 1, in April, 2010. To order the book please go to: www.paranoiamagazine.com
Rod MacKenzie has been interviewed on ConspiraZine at KOWA at 106.5 FM in Olympia, WA, website www.kowalp.org. The first 2-hour radio interview with Rod MacKenzie is archived at: www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/33211. A second interview on PsiOp Radio with Rod MacKenzie by Mack White and S. Miles Lewis may be found at http://www.psiopradio.com/2010/05/psiop-radio-115-100516-wguest-rod-mackenzie/