The Four Harveys

The Four Harveys

By Tim Kelly • Memory Hole Blog • September 22, 2015

Among the many anomalies and strange coincidences in American history is the frequency in which the name Harvey appears in connection to political assassinations.

Oswald_TimeConsider that the man chosen by Allen Dulles to head up the CIA’s assassin recruiter program was one William King Harvey. Dubbed ZR/RIFLE, the project was a component of Operation Mongoose, the Agency’s umbrella program to overthrow, and if necessary, assassinate Fidel Castro.

Among the more plausible theories regarding the JFK assassination is that Mongoose was simply reverse engineered to target President Kennedy after he and his brother Bobby had ruffled too many Establishment feathers.

We have, of course, the case of Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged “lone nut” assassin of President Kennedy. The cumulative evidence strongly indicates that the 24 -year old Oswald was a low to mid level intelligence operative working for the US government, perhaps Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. The CIA had a 201 file on him and his actions in the year leading up to the assassination were strongly indicative of an intelligence operation. The “loner” Oswald had a pregnant wife and child at home and reportedly a girlfriend on the sly.

There is the case of Laurence Harvey, the actor who played the role of a mind-controlled assassin in the 1962 political thriller The Manchurian Candidate. The movie, directed by John Frankenheimer (Seven Days in May) and produced by Frank Sinatra, was the screen adaption of a 1959 novel by Richard Condon. The book and movie are particularly notable because they gave the public a glimpse into at least one aspect of the CIA’s MK-Ultra program (mind-controlled assassins) which had yet to be exposed.

It is also worth pointing out that Sinatra also starred in the movie. Sinatra’s career is perhaps the best illustration of how worlds of politics and entertainment intersect with the underworlds of intelligence and organized crime.

And finally we have the case of Raymond Lee Harvey*. The Ohio-born unemployed drifter was arrested by the Secret Service on May 5, 1979 for possessing a starter pistol with blank rounds at a Los Angeles shopping center where then President Jimmy Carter was scheduled to deliver a speech.

The “mentally disturbed” Harvey claimed to be part of a four-man assassination team targeting the president. According to Harvey, he had been recruited by three Latino men who gave him the pistol and instructed him to fire at the ground to create a diversion while they shot the president from a hotel room. Sound familiar?

Although the police originally dismissed Harvey’s story as “a tale spun by an intoxicated man” their cursory investigation found a room rented at the nearby Alan Hotel by one Osvaldo (Oswald?) Espinoza Ortiz containing a shotgun case and three unspent rounds of ammunition. The occupant had checked out the day of the alleged assassination attempt.

Harvey was jailed on $50,000 bond and “Oswaldo” Ortiz was taken into custody as a material witness. Both were eventually released and charges dismissed for lack of evidence.

So we have the following names: William K. Harvey, Lee Harvey Oswald, Laurence Harvey and Raymond Lee Harvey all associated with the subject of political assassination in the span of seventeen years.

Okay, fine. So maybe it’s all just a coincidence. They do happen. But Harvey, while not an uncommon name is not that common.

*See Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Lee_Harvey

Tim Kelly is the host of Our Interesting Times, a podcast carried on the UCY network.

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