by a Steamshovel correspondent

In June 1997, while attending the COPA (Coalition of Political Assassinations) conference at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, a conference attendee, upon learning I was from Cincinnati, asked if I remembered a full page ad published by porn king Larry Flynt some twenty years ago in which he offered a million dollars for information about the 1963- assassination, of President John F. Kennedy.

Larry Flynt had received considerable publicity some months earlier with the release of the movie, The People Against Larry Flynt. The movie had been acclaimed by many critics for its artistic merit as well as the historic description of a battle for the First Amendment.

I told the conference attendee that I would look into the matter upon return to Cincinnati. The press, of personal business caused me to overlook the matter until October 1997 when Larry Flynt, eager to take on the Cincinnati establishment again, opened a shiny new Hustler store in the heart of the Queen City's downtown.

The media attention was enormous and police had to redirect traffic around the new Hustler store as I arrived and got in line with the local porn fans to get copies of Hustlers signed by Flynt. I opened the conversation with, "Larry, I am the only Cincinnatian who was in Judge Lance Ito's courtroom in Los Angeles in 1992 when Charlie Keating was sentenced to ten years." Larry put down his autograph pen, leaned back in- his, wheel chair and laughed heartily (Keating and prosecutor Simon Leis, had pursued Flynt relentlessly back in the '70s which produced a legal battle described so colorfully in the movie).

After a few more conversational words I said: "Larry, the real reason I am here is to ask if you remember a full page ad run back in the '70s offering a million dollars for information on the JFK murder." With that, the big smile vanished and he looked at the floor and muttered: "Yeah, and I got shot right afterwards."

The next week, I went back to the Hustler store to ask Jimmy Flynt, Larry's brother and permanent manager, the date of the shooting. Jimmy responded instantly: "March 6, 1978." I then began a review of both Cincinnati newspapers, the morning Enquirer and the afternoon Post, for the two months preceding the shooting. The February 17, 1978 Enquirer had a large story about a Flynt press conference announcing his search for absolution to the JFK assassination. This article featured a photo of Flynt standing next to Ruth Carter Stapleton (President Carter' sister) and now prominent researcher Robert Groden.

Left: Larry Flynt, Ruth Carter Stapleton and Robert Groden.

After reviewing the newspapers back to January 1, 1978, I had not found a copy of the million dollar ad. So I returned to the Hustler store to seek Jimmy Flynt's assistance. Jimmy was amused and interested in the folder of clippings I had collected. I then asked, "Jimmy, can you give me a more exact date of the JFK ad?" His pleasant demeanor disappeared as he barked testily, "Look, I tried to talk Larry out of that project back in 1978 ... the man's dead, he should have left the whole thing alone!" He then stalked off leaving me open mouthed.

Conclusion: In the years after the 1978 shooting of Larry Flynt, rumors floated around Cincinnati that his local anti porn persecutors were behind the shooting. The suspected shooter was a "lone nut" of classic vintage. It is clearly obvious, however, that Larry and Jimmy Flynt believed that the shooting was directly caused by the porn king's foray into the growing field of people investigating that infamous day in Dallas. The CIA was in a nervous state in 1978 because of the House Select Committee's investigations; all the spooks needed was some minor character in the conspiracy to surface and take the million dollar bait.

A researcher at the 1999 Dallas COPA meeting perhaps summarized the Flynt episode most succinctly: "Have you ever heard of a pornographer being shot because he was in the porn business?"


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