Lucien Conein and the Prouty Hypothesis
No word has been received that before spook Lucien Conein died in early June he confessed to involvement with the Kennedy assassination. Such a confession would have been met with great skepticism because Conein was a consummate braggart and liar, the atter a fine skill developed no doubt from occupational necessity. According to the New York Times obit of 6/7/98, Conein often told the story of how he lost two fingers "on a dangerous secret mission" when in fact he lost them "fixing the engine of a car carrying him and his best freind's wife to an assignation." The obit also details Conein's role in convincing South Vietnamese generals that the US wanted their leadership, the Diem brothers, assassinated. E. Howard Hunt once publicly confessed to forging cables to falsely suggest that this was Kennedy's plan. Conien's obituary notes also that Hunt tried to conscript Conein as a Watergate burglar. Hunt has long been suspected by some researchers as one of the tramps arrested in the railyard behind the grassy knoll. Col. L. Fletcher Prouty has suggested that Conein was there, too. The article appeared in Steamshovel Press #11, along with photographic support. This includes the Altgens photograph, primarily known because it shows Oswald or an Oswald look-alike named Billy Lovelady, leaving the Texas School Book Depository as someone shoots from the sixth floor. The Conein figure, in a hard hat, looks at the Oswald/Lovelady figure, which even recently has been described as "the only spectator who appears suspicious" (by John Johnson in the latest issue of Fourth Decade. Steamshovel would submit that one other looks suspicious--the Conein character.) "Hard hat man" also appears in slides of the assassination taken by Phil Willis and Wilma Bond, showing him strolling down to the Umbrella Man and the radio controller. Jack White wrote the article in SP #11 from correspondence with Prouty, noting a lack of corroborative evidence. Prouty commented that it is difficult to find a photo to make a comparison because few have been published, and one was deliberately obsfucated by mislabeling in Cecil B. Curry's book, Edward Lansdale The Unquiet American. Steamshovel Press #11 is anthologized in the book, Popular Alienation.
Misidentified Lucien Conein from Cecil B. Currey's book, Edward Lansdale The Unquiet American (Houghton Mifflin, 1988). Contrary to the caption, Conein actually appears on the right.