|WAS HOLT A ‘TRAMP’?
By Michael Collins Piper,
Final Judgement: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy, 4th Edition 1998)
This is the story told by one Chauncey Holt who claims to have been the “old tramp” in Dealey Plaza in Dallas
(who was often mistaken for being E. Howard Hunt.) It was in the wake of the furor over Oliver Stone’s JFK that
Holt came forward and told his story.
THE LANSKY CIA CONNECTION, AGAIN
Holt, a native of Kentucky, claims that through organized crime connections in Detroit he was introduced to
Meyer Lansky, for whom he eventually became an accountant. Later, Holt says, he was sent by Lansky to work
at the Florida-based International Rescue Committee, which he soon learned was nothing more than a front for
the CIA. By 1963, Holt claims that he was working in Los Angeles operating three “proprietary interests” for the
CIA, including a document-forging mill.
He also had become a pilot and, as a result of his Army training, a weapons expert. According to Holt, his CIA
contact instructed him to o to Dallas with a packet of false identifications.
According to Holt, he and another operative flew to Tucson, where they picked up two other people and
continued the trip in an Oldsmobile station wagon with several Goldwater stickers on it. (A similar station
wagon was reportedly seen in Dealey Plaza the day of the assassination.)
Holt said they arrived early on the morning of November 22, 1963, and dropped off their passengers at the
Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas.
After going to Red Bird Airport outside Dallas to check out the plane he and his colleagues were supposed to
fly out of Dallas, he delivered the documents — all except two — to his contact.
IN THE RAILROAD YARD
Those two other sets went to Richard Montoya and Charles Harrelson, the men who joined him as the “tramps”
in the railroad yard behind the picket fence next to Dealey Plaza’s famous “grassy knoll.” Holt said the fake
identification prepared for Montoya included a pilot’s license and a ham radio operator’s license. He had been
told to stay in the parking lot near the railroad yard as ‘support,’ According to Holt he had been told that an anti-
Castro protest rally was going to be conducted as President Kennedy’s motorcade went through the Plaza.
AN ‘ANTI-CASTRO’ OPERATION?
“I was told that there was going to be some sort of incident that would be laid at the door of the Castro Cubans
and would breathe life back into the Cuban movement. I realize now that I was very naive. I was a patsy.”
Holt says he was supposed to monitor the progress of the presidential motorcade on a police radio scanner
he was carrying in a paper bag.” I never asked any questions,’ he said. ‘I wondered about it, but you don’t ask
questions. That’s just the nature of the business.”
It was as the motorcade went by that he heard the shots being fired at the motorcade. “I should have just
walked Out through Dealey Plaza,” he said. “I could have done that. But I’d been told that if anything happened I
should go to a boxcar [in the railroad yard] that would be open. When I got there Montoya and Harrelson were
already there, so they couldn’t have been the shooters.”
“Inside the boxcar, he said, “we were surprised to see that it was partially loaded with explosives. Looking
back on it, I think they had a contingency plan. If anything went wrong, they were going to blow up the railroad
car with us in it—three of the best shooters in the country, case closed.” (San Diego Tribune, February 9, 1992)
It was at this point that Holt says he and his colleagues were apprehended by the police and led through
Dealey Plaza, at which point their photographs were taken. According to Holt they were carrying phony United
States Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol, & Firearms identification and that they were subsequently released.
Holt’s alleged associate, Charles Harrelson, now in prison for the murder of a federal judge, had previously
admitted to having been the so-called “younger tramp” in the famous photograph in which Holt claims his own
visage was captured, but Harrelson has since changed his story.
There is also evidence that there was a Charles Rogers, believed to have been associated with the CIA, who
appears to be Richard Montoya, although this individual has since disappeared.
WHO WAS ‘THE ARCHITECT OF THE THING’?
Since Holt came forth with his story, however, there has been widespread controversy among assassination
researchers who dispute the validity of his claims.
Was Chauncey Holt really in Dallas as he claims? Again, we’ll probably never know. However, one thing Holt
has said, in an effort to backup his own story, bears repeating. According to Holt, “Dallas that day was flooded
with all kinds of people who ended up there for some reason. It’s always been my theory that whoever was the
architect of this thing—and no one will ever know who was behind it, manipulating all these people.
“I believe that they flooded this area with so many characters with nefarious reputations because they thought,
‘Well, if all these people get scooped up it’ll muddy the waters so much that they’ll never straighten it out.”
(Newsweek, December 23, 1991)