John H. Davis
John H. Davis, the son of John E. Davis, a stockbroker, and Maude Bouvier Davis, was born in Manhattan on 14th June, 1929. His mother, was the sister of John Vernou Bouvier, the father of Jacqueline Bouvier and her sister Caroline Lee Bouvier.
After graduating from Princeton University he served as a naval officer with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. Later he lived in Naples where he taught Italian history and literature at schools and ran the Tufts University's American Studies Center.
Davies returned to the United States after the marriage of Jacqueline Bouvier to John F. Kennedy. Davies decided to become a writer and in 1969, published The Bouviers: Portrait of An American Family. In the book he revealed that Jackie's grandfather, John Vernou Bouvier, Jr. (1865–1948) had fabricated the family's ancestry in a vanity book called Our Forebears. He also argued that John Vernou Bouvier was too drunk to give her away when she married on 12th September 1953.
As The New York Times pointed out: "The Bouviers: Portrait of an American Family, a brisk seller that boded well for his future in the book trade but left relations with his cousins Jackie and Lee Radziwill, her sister, strained... Another bestseller in 1984, the 900-page The Kennedys: Dynasty and Disaster, which offered an unflattering view of family dynamics, ended any further contact between them. It included a rehash of the Chappaquiddick episode, in which a young woman drowned when Edward M. Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on an island near Martha’s Vineyard, and a painfully close-up view of the 1984 drug overdose death of Robert Kennedy’s son David."
Davis's sister, Maude Davis, has pointed out: "After 1984, Jackie made it pretty clear she didn’t want my brother’s company. It’s kind of too bad; they had a lot in common. My brother was a writer at heart, as was she. But she was about family myths, and John tried very hard to write truthfully.”
Davis was the author of several books on John F. Kennedy and the Mafia. This includes Kennedys: Dynasty and Disaster (1983), Mafia Kingfish (1989), The Kennedy Contract: The Mafia Plot to Assassinate the President (1993), Mafia Dynasty: Rise and Fall of the Gambino Crime Family (1994), The Mafia Family (1994) and The Bouviers: From Waterloo to the Kennedys and Beyond (1995).
Davis was much criticised by other researchers into the assassination of the president. However, he was defended by G. Robert Blakey, who was chief counsel and staff director to the House Select Committee on Assassinations: “I think John Davis wrote one of the best books on this theory. And I don’t just say that because I happen to agree with his theory.... His reputation among some writers and assassination investigators as a dilettante was ill-deserved."
John H. Davies died from advanced Alzheimers on 29th January, 2012.
(1) John H. Davis, The Kennedy Contract: The Mafia Plot to Assassinate the President (1993)
At this Aleman took issue with Trafficante, telling him that he thought Kennedy was doing a good job, was well liked, and would probably be reelected.
To which Trafficante responded emphatically: "No, Jose, you don't understand me. Kennedy's not going to make it to the election. He is going to be hit."
Aleman later testified that Trafficante made it clear to him that he was not guessing about the killing; rather he was given the impression that he knew Kennedy was going to be killed ... Aleman was given the distinct impression that Hoffa was to be principally involved in the elimination of Kennedy.
Aleman doubled as an FBI informant. After the meeting with Trafficante he went to the FBI field office in Miami and reported Trafficante's remarks on the Kennedys and Hoffa to the agents on duty, George Davis and Paul Scranton, including Trafficante's belief that John F. Kennedy would be assassinated before the next presidential election. The agents then reported the assassination plan to their superior, Miami Special Agent-in-Charge Wesley G. Grapp, who, in turn, sent the information by AIRTEL to Hoover in Washington.
If Hoover had not been informed of the Marcello contract, which is unlikely if Becker had told Julian Blodgett about it, he now knew Santos Trafficante was aware of a contract on President Kennedy's life. This was troubling indeed. However, Hoover saw no need to inform the Kennedy brothers, or the Secret Service, of the assassination plot. Now the director of the FBI was most definitely an accessory to the impending murder of the president.
On September 29, 1962, not long after Marcello outlined his plan to kill President Kennedy to Edward Becker, and Trafficante had expressed foreknowledge of the assassination plan, Louisiana Teamsters official, and aide to Jimmy Hoffa, Edward Partin, informed Justice Department aide to Robert Kennedy, Walter Sheridan, that Hoffa was formulating a plan to assassinate the attorney general. The information was relayed to Robert Kennedy, who, in turn, told the President about it. According to then-Washington Bureau Chief of Newsweek, Ben Bradlee, President Kennedy told Bradlee about the plot one evening over dinner and expressed deep concern over it.
(2) John H. Davis, The Kennedy Contract: The Mafia Plot to Assassinate the President (1993)
It was during the late seventies that every conceivable damaging revelation came out about the Kennedy brothers, yet the Kennedy family still opposed the 1976-79 House Select Committee on Assassinations' reinvestigation of the Kennedy murder. What more could they be hiding?
As it turned out, the new investigation discovered more information damaging to the Kennedy image. It found out that Jacqueline and Robert had been, from a strictly legal standpoint, unwitting accessories after the fact in the President's murder.
First, the Assassinations Committee determined that it was principally Jacqueline Kennedy and the so-called "Irish Mafia" trio of Dave Powers, Kenny O'Donnell, and Larry O'Brien who were responsible for removing Kennedy's body from Parkland Hospital to Air Force One and then to Bethesda Naval Hospital outside Washington. The move was illegal and resulted in the President receiving a wholly inadequate autopsy, a calamity that has stirred innumerable controversies over the past thirty years.
Furthermore, the Assassinations Committee determined that Jacqueline and Robert exerted undue influence on the autopsy surgeons at Bethesda Naval Hospital preventing the President from receiving a complete autopsy and even interfering with standard autopsy procedures regarding the tracking, or dissection of gunshot wounds.
Finally the committee determined that Robert Kennedy had actually caused crucial physical specimen evidence to disappear from the custody of the National Archives, namely slides of the President's wound-edge tissues and his formaldehyde preserved brain.
(3) John H. Davis, The Kennedy Contract: The Mafia Plot to Assassinate the President (1993)
In June 1992, I was a guest on a live, syndicated television special produced by George Paige Associates in Los Angeles entitled "The Kennedy Assassinations-Coincidence or Conspiracy?" which was principally concerned with the allegation of Frank Ragano that Hoffa, Trafficante, and Marcello had conspired to assassinate President Kennedy.
Other guests on the show were Frank Ragano, Dan Moldea, author of The Hoffa Wars, Philip Melanson, author of books on Lee Harvey Oswald and the Robert Kennedy assassination case, James Spada, author of Peter Lawford: The Man Who Kept the Secrets, and Victor Marchetti, author of The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. When at the end of the two hour show the guests were asked by the host what the ultimate purpose of the Garrison investigation was, the vote was unanimous: to protect Carlos Marcello from being named a suspect in the Kennedy assassination.
(4) Frank Digiacomo, New York Daily News (30th January, 2012)
Author John H. Davis, who wrote a number of books about his family and his first cousin, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, died from advanced Alzheimers on Sunday, his sister, Maude Sergeant Davis, said.
He was 82, said his sister, and the last of the men in the family....
Davis says their cousin Jackie was particularly miffed by revelations of Black Jack's drinking, but adds: "She had no reason, I think, to act like she did."
Indeed, Davis says her handsome brother identified with the Bouvier side of his family. "He wanted to pattern himself after Black Jack," she says, adding that if you read Davis' writing on Jackie O's father, "it's very sympathetic to him."
Davis says her brother's biggest financial success came from his well-researched but controversial 1989 book Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, which asserted that the New Orleans crime boss had JFK killed after Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy harassed Marcello.
"He was a good brother," says Davis, who is planning a memorial at St. Patrick's Cathedral. "He loved classical music. He loved Richard Wagner. He had grandiose dreams - like Wagner."
(5) Paul Vitello, The New York Times (5th February, 2012)
Mr. Davis wrote eight books, beginning in 1969 with “The Bouviers: Portrait of an American Family,” a brisk seller that boded well for his future in the book trade but left relations with his cousins Jackie and Lee Radziwill, her sister, strained.
Another bestseller in 1984, the 900-page “The Kennedys: Dynasty and Disaster,” which offered an unflattering view of family dynamics, ended any further contact between them. It included a rehash of the Chappaquiddick episode, in which a young woman drowned when Edward M. Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on an island near Martha’s Vineyard, and a painfully close-up view of the 1984 drug overdose death of Robert Kennedy’s son David...
In the 1980s and ’90s, Mr. Davis’s ability to recollect childhood summers spent with the former first lady at their grandfather’s estate on Long Island, and his doggedness as a researcher and writer of popular history about the Bouvier and Kennedy families, made him a regular on television programs like “The Today Show,” “Larry King Live” and “Geraldo” whenever the subject was Ms. Onassis, which was often.