Mark Crouch Interview
(Kennedy Assassination Researcher)
Dateline: Dallas Texas
November 22, 1963
Did the secret service lose an agent that day?
We know that on Friday, November 22, 1963 both President John F Kennedy and Officer J. D. Tippit were killed in Dallas, Texas.
What has long been rumored but never substantiated is the murder of a Secret Service agent that same day in Dallas.
Now, new information has come forth that suggests a Secret Service agent may, and we stress the word may, have been killed.
Mark Crouch is a writer, radio station owner and JFK assassination researcher. His book “An Absence of Responsibility” touches on the very real possibility that on that dark day in Dallas, Texas, the Secret Service lost one of their own.
Mark Crouch explains.
Q - According to the book, “High Treason 2” there was an AP (Associated Press) report the afternoon of November 22 stating that a Secret Service agent had been killed. Do you have that AP report and what exactly does it say?
A - I have seen a copy of it. David Lifton (another Kennedy Assassination Researcher) sent me a copy of it one time. Yes, I have seen it. It was very brief, like a paragraph. It was 3:18 PM our time, 2:18 PM which was roughly 3 minutes after Air Force One lifted off. The report said just basically that sources indicated that a Secret Service agent had also died in the attack on the president.
Q - That’s all it said?
A - Yeah. There was no detail at all as far as where or how or anything, but that a Secret Service agent had been killed during the Assassination of the President.
Q - Have you tried to find out who at the Associated Press filed the report?
A - I have tried that. As near as I can figure and I did some research on it about two years ago, this was the interesting part of it. I used to write stories for AP and I am familiar with all the plug lines that were used in the late 60s when I started in radio, the way stories are set up. Although the story had a Dallas dateline it actually came out of Washington (DC.) From all indications and as far as who, no. I have a theory, a belief as far as the story itself. Number one, I find it very strange that the story would accidentally get on the wire. Basically, it comes out on the wire at 3:18 PM and it’s sort of floats out there for about 2 ½ hours before it’s denied. And, when it’s denied, it’s casually brushed off as an error. Having worked for the Associated Press, still understanding the turmoil and haste and competitiveness of something as major as a Presidential Assassination, at that stage when we are approximately 2 hours pass the assassination, I would find it very unusual that that would have been just a mistake. It came from somewhere in Washington. The only place it logically could have come from would have been the White House.
Q - There was a report in Dallas of a large pool of blood in an alley near the depository at the time of the assassination and a rumor that a Secret Service agent had been killed there. This again comes from Harrison Edward Livingston’s book, “High Treason 2”. Who saw the large pool of blood? Where did that report come from?
A - I am totally unfamiliar with that story. I’ve heard it. I’ve no idea of the origin of that story.
Q - Critical to this whole story of an agent being lost in Dallas is a gentleman by the name of James K. Fox. Who is James K. Fox?
A - James K. Fox was the photographic person and one of the assistant heads of the protective research Bureau of the Secret Service. The protective research Bureau was the branch of the Secret Service that would do research on anyone that would be near the president. Jim Fox worked for the Secret Service for a number of years. He is listed in the house select committee report, volume 7, page 23, as the person who processed the autopsy photos for the Secret Service. In early 1981, I met Jim Fox because he was running a little country store across from the radio station I was running down in Chestertown Maryland. The day Ronald Reagan was shot; Jim Fox revealed to me the black and white autopsy photographs. I am the source via Fox for all the black and white autopsy photographs that you see, the ones in the Nova (P. B. S. Special), the ones in all the books with the exception of the one in “High Treason” that right superior profile shot, which comes from the Gordon collection. That’s one of the five Robert Gordon color pictures. So this is who Jim Fox was. After he showed me the pictures there’s a whole lot of story here, but, I’ll see if I can get it down to the nuts and bolts. I spent some time during the summer of 1981 and early 1982, before he was finally able to sell the store and retire back to Florida. You see, he bought the store as a retirement investment only intending to run it a little bit during the warm weather months and have someone else run it during the bulk of the year there. The person he chose robbed him blind. He ended back up in the store, nearly bankrupt. He and his wife worked nearly 18 hours a day. This is where the myth about autopsy photos coming from a dying Secret Service agent has come from. Some people have glamorized and basically screwed up my story when I have explained to them that Jim Fox was around 72 at that time in 1981 and was working himself literally to death in that store. He allowed me in June 1981 to make copies of these photographs with the provision that I must not release them or reveal anything about them until after his death, in agreement which I have honored. In 1987 he died. In 1988, I allowed Lifton to release them in the re-release of “Best Evidence”. Now, during the course of my conversations and interviews with Jim Fox which occurred over the summer of 1981, he was telling me things that were basically common knowledge for years. I was sitting there one day and we’d gone for about 45 minutes and he had told me absolutely nothing that was of any importance or was not known. So, I asked him, the conversation went this way, I put my pen down and I asked him, Mr. Fox, tell me something I don’t know! I was brought up by a veteran journalist George Dietrich, in the broadcast business when I was 15 years old and that was always the question he used to start off with-tell me something I don’t know. So, Fox paused for a few minutes and then he looked at me kind of seriously and said, well, we lost and I thought he said, and this is why the incident is so memorable, we lost our man that day. I thought ”our man” what could be more known than the fact that they lost their man me thinking he was referring to the President. I looked at him kind of incredulously and he said, “We lost a man that day. Well, I was aware of the dead Secret Service agent story. So, I began to quiz him as far as who, what, when, where, how, why, what have you. He basically shook his head, and said, I do not know any of that. I don’t know who it was. I don’t know when it was. So I said, well, how do you know somebody was killed? He just kept reiterating, I know. I know. Later on in subsequent conversations what came out was, when I was going through the day of the assassination with him, he talks about he was in his office which is over in the E O B (Executive Office Building) and he was interviewing the prettiest little Mexican girl to be on the White House kitchen staff or housekeeping staff. When the news of the assassination broke, he, along with most anyone else who was in the office laughed and went over to the White House. It was rather chaotic because they were trying to move agents around, get coverage on the Kennedy and Johnson families, find out what was going on, move people around to cover these people and he reiterated how troubling it was to get phone lines in and out of the White House. And, in the course of the afternoon, at some point, he is given the chore of dispatching a group of agents, I believe it was six, to deal with the body and he knew that this body, this was a body coming back from Dallas, was who wholly distinct and separate from the President. It had nothing to do directly with the President’s body coming in and out of Air Force One. At a glance some people think this sort of reinforces Lifton’s theory or some of the other theories that the body made a surreptitious trip back to Washington. I’ve looked into a number of angles on that and I don’t believe that, one item that is not published in Harry’s book because the person who related it to me requested it not be published. I went to work in Westchester in 1986 and I sort of stayed in the closet as a Kennedy critical researcher until really early 1991 when word got out about the (Oliver) Stone movie and the use of the autopsy photos. Of course, if you’d read any of the books some of the books you would have seen the photos credit in “Best Evidence” or “High Treason” paperback. Once it became known I was giving some talks. I was at a Rotary club one night and a gentleman who I knew very well from a very respected family came up and relayed a personal incident to me. He was in the air force in 1963 and was stationed at Andrews (Air Force Base). He was a mechanic for P – 38’s and I’ve checked his story out and his story to the extent that it can be checked out is fine. During the talk I discussed Lifton’s and the ones about the body making the secret trip back from Washington. According to, let’s call him Bob, when Air Force One landed, he was with another group of guys who had been in a hangar about 50 yards up from where Air Force One pulls in. If you’re familiar with the airport, the Andrews tarmac, you have the terminal and then you have the large tarmac where Air Force One lands or boards. You have two large hangers right next to it, to the left of it where the hangar Air Force One and Two and then you have a long row of hangers. Well, he was about three or four hangers down. He relayed to me that once the plane came in; they were sort of sequestered in the hangar. That’s where they were working when the assassination occurred. They basically weren’t allowed to leave. When Air Force One rolled up to a stop at 6 o’clock that night, the commanding officer; they asked him if they could just walk out the door and looked down the tarmac and watched the president’s body being unloaded. He said okay so, they just walked right out front of the hangar and saw according to “Bob “the group of men take a long object which could have been a body in a body bag off the right cargo side of Air Force One off the right and out of the bottom, put it into a helicopter. He remembers it very vividly because they put it on a helicopter that was on the tarmac the other side of Air Force One about 25 yards, and this helicopter took off and flew across the field. Andrews is a very, very wide field but, there are hangers on the other side of the airport. It’s probably several hundred yards. They saw this guy take off and they remembered it because he skidded it which is, he was no more than 3 feet off the ground and wide open, going across the field and he just pulled up on the other side, just barely enough to miss the hangers. That’s why they remembered it. They thought, to quote, the dumb son of a bitch was going to fly into one of the hangers. They had always figured that this had something to do with the President. It may have been for security reasons. No one was ever told anything. It was just their own speculations. But, they saw what they believe was a body come off the right side of Air Force One. Again, having examined “Best Evidence” and having known David Lifton for nearly 10 years and really picked “Best Evidence” apart, I do not believe the body alteration or the separate coffin entry or coming in a shipping casket. I’ve talked to Paul O’Connor and Jim Metzler, who was the man who took Kennedy’s body out of the casket at Bethesda, one of the men who took it out. He is now a lineman for Philadelphia electric up in Royersford not too far from where my station is. Harry and I interviewed him. That’s in the book (High Treason 2) in May 1991. And Jim is perfectly clear about it coming out of the shipping casket along with some of the more notable witnesses who’ve been reported in both “Best Evidence” and other books, which means that the body would’ve had to go. I don’t think it was ever out of the Dallas casket because it would’ve been and in and out affair. But there was another body. I believe there clearly was another body. The dead Secret Service agent story was more likely a cover for it. Now, who it is and why or what have you, to be honest with you, I have absolutely no idea. But, Jim Fox was honest as the day is long. He basically believed the Warren commission until I started to show him some things in the pictures which didn’t match up with the Warren commission. This is where I get the core for the concept of “Absence of Responsibility”. They say, how could this plot remain concealed for so many years? Well most people that basically had inside information if you will, and here’s Jim Fox who had as of December 1, 1963 a set of autopsy pictures never really sat down and looked at what the official version of things were and then compared that to their own personal information. Some did. Some didn’t. Many of those who did said, there’s a conflict there but it’s minor. The whole thing was very, very compartmentalized. So, that’s the dead Secret Service agent story basically in a nutshell.
Q - Would every secret servant agent know the names of other agents also assigned to Dallas that day?
A - Not necessarily because the Secret Service and I’ve studied that to some extent; you have the Presidential protection detail that would’ve been hired by Roy Kellerman. You had Grier the driver and you would’ve had other agents who were the bodyguards if you will. Then you would’ve had advance people who may not necessarily know the other people. It’s possible they did but, it’s not guaranteed that they would’ve because you would have different groups working. I’ve tried to compare rosters and things of that nature and the information is still too fragmented and convoluted to be of any real purpose. You just don’t know who the hell was there. It’s either you have a situation where there are Secret Service agents who are unaccounted for in the official rosters, on the grassy knoll or you have people representing themselves to be Secret Service agents. It’s just as possible you could have Secret Service agents who were not on the official roster and that’s generally the case. That’s generally the way they work. The Secret Service traditionally has people in the crowds. They have a much larger operation than many people believe. Fox allowed me to scratch the surface of it some. The Secret Service is very, very connected to military intelligence. A lot of people don’t realize that.
Q - Since investigating the JFK assassination have you had any strange incidents happen to you?
A - I’ve had about three particularly in the last two years. They came into my house Memorial day of last year (1991) when no one was there. There’s a lot that hasn’t been written or reported about JFK, the movie. I’ve worked a little bit on the movie with (Oliver) Stone and provided the autopsy pictures and background data. Around May there was an awful lot of activity going on. In fact I know Stone had one company that financed him when that thing started and when you look by the time the film’s over you’ve got four production companies. In May I think the film was nearly stopped because of the incredible controversy it was generating. At the same time there was a lot going on between Lifton, Livingston and myself. In my office I have a two drawer file cabinet and on top of it I keep like an active working file in these plastic milk cartons you can buy at the hardware store. I had a great big green one labeled Groden and had faxes, notes, pages, all kinds of oddball stuff in it. My wife went away with the kids like Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and came back on Monday I went to work Tuesday morning. I got back Tuesday night and Groden had called from Dallas. They were shooting in Dallas and they needed something. I said, oh yeah. I stuck that in your file, and I reach over and there’s the file folder and every scrap of paper is gone out of it. Every single scrap of paper. I confronted one guy in November 1990 in front of the radio station. The guys standing. He’s about as subtle as a sore thumb. He standing across the street from the radio station for half an hour long looking at me. I have a reflection off the studio windows and we have mirrors. I’m sitting there and I can see this guy very clearly standing there watching the radio station. I get up to go get lunch and there’s no one else on the street. I walk out the front door and he like snaps, like he was daydreaming. And, he starts to walk parallel to me on the street. So, I cross over and I catch up to him at the corner one block up from the station and he pivots real fast on his feet and looks at me and smiles and says, well, do you think we’re going to have a war? This was when the build-up for operation Desert Storm was going on and I said, I don’t know. Sure looks like it. He said, yeah. I said, who the hell do you work for? He got real serious and said your best interests and walked away.
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