Today is the forty-ninth anniversary of the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer. She died from two pistol shots to the head, on October 12, 1964.
What do Ray Crump and Lee Oswald have in common? Ray Crump is the poor gentleman police charged with the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer on October 12, 1964. What is the difference between Ray Crump and other patsy-villains in American criminal history? A jury acquitted Crump of the charges against him. A witness saw Meyer’s assassin standing over her body. The man’s build was not at all the same as Ray Crump’s. In addition, Crump had a good lawyer, Dovey Roundtree. He was lucky.
Peter Janney tells Ray Crump’s story in Mary’s Mosaic, a book about the life and death of Mary Meyer. He also records his own memories of childhood, when his family and Meyer’s family were friends. Mary’s son was one of Peter’s closest playmates. Peter says his father, a high official in the CIA, knew about the operation to murder Mary Meyer.
Shortly after the murder, police found Ray Crump near the tow path, and arrested him.
To conclude, here are some interesting questions:
What characteristics do patsy-villains have in common? Why do these characters exist? How are they created? How do you create a patsy-villain successfully?
To help answer these questions, try this historical exercise: make comparisons across patsy-villains from the past. Compare Oswald, Crump, Ray, Sirhan Sirhan. Compare these with more recent suspects like Adam Lanza.
What are the characteristics of the public relations campaigns that promote patsy-villains? What strengths and shortcomings do these campaigns have? How do patsy villains enable criminals to get away with murder?
Mary’s Mosaic, about the book by Peter Janney
From the website’s home page:
“Perhaps the most chilling aspect of this mesmerizing book is the detailed and convincing manner in which it reveals the suffocating power of the official JFK assassination cover-up imposed by the U.S. government immediately after his death — the power to manipulate the media and to steal documents; the willingness to manipulate the judicial system by aggressively attempting to frame an innocent man for a crime he did not commit; and even the willingness to commit murder to silence one brave and respected citizen who was about to publicly oppose the sham conclusions of the Warren Report.
“Mary Meyer paid for her bravery — and her loyalty — with her life, but Peter Janney has rewarded her courage by publicly revealing, for the first time, the true and complete story of her relationship with President Kennedy during the fateful final year of his life.”
~ Douglas P. Horne, Chief Analyst for Military Records, The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) and author of Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government’s Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK., Vols. I-V.
Oswald: Assassin or Fall Guy?, by Joachim Joesten
Infamy: Political Crimes and Their Consequences, by Steven Greffenius
There is a very great parallel between the Mary Pinchot Meyer murder and that of Mary Caitrin Mahoney and two co-workers on July 7, 1997. In each case the murders took place in the generally low-crime section of Georgetown. There was also a White House connection. Meyer had been one of JFK’s lovers. Mahoney had been an intern in the Clinton White House. If she had a prominent lover there it would have been of the same sex because she was an activist for lesbian causes, and made no bones about her minority sexual preference. In each case the murder was pinned on a black man. In the Mahoney case, it stuck, on the hapless petty criminal Carl Derek Cooper. See my latest article published just two days ago at http://www.dcdave.com/article5/160114.htm
Steven Greffenius said:
Thank you, David Martin, for your excellent comment, and link to your writing at “Mary Caitrin Mahoney and the Starbucks Massacre”.
Daniel Burnette said:
The photo actually is of actress Gretchen Mol and is not Mary Meyer. Mol played a character in a feature film that was loosely based on Meyer.
Steven Greffenius said:
Thanks, Daniel! You cannot take anything for granted on the internet. Faces are so variable in photographs, I didn’t let the difference in appearance throw me. The tight sweater might have raised a small doubt, but not enough for me to check out the photo’s origin.
For other reasons, I have started putting large-print quotations in my posts rather than photographs. Your comment gives me more reason to stay with that practice!
I was curious about the film title, so I searched for Gretchen Mol at IMDb, and found An American Affair. Interesting if someone would make a film based on Mary’s Mosaic, but I don’t think that one would ever be produced.
Thanks again, Steve
P. S. I’ve replaced the errant photo. One can find the Gretchen Mol version easily by searching for Mary Meyer in Google Images.