I really enjoyed your article on Marilyn Monroe in Parade," serious author Lamar Waldron writes to me. "Had such a crush on Marilyn when I was seven years old. Clearly remember being devastated when she died; it ruined my young plans to grow up and marry her."
Waldron has appeared before in this space. He is one of the leading exponents exploding and augmenting the various JFK-RFK-Cuba and the Mafia conspiracy theories.
When his newest book, Legacy of Secrecy, comes out in November from Counterpoint Press, we'll be on the receiving end of new info about the Mafia's glamorous Hollywood villain, Johnny Rosselli, and also about how the JFK and RFK assassinations tie into James Earl Ray's murder of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The complexities of these many related killings and the fact that so many new revelations are being monitored by Waldron and others from sources the CIA and FBI kept covered up for years is all a bit too much for us to cover here in a mere column. You should read Waldron's last book, Ultimate Sacrifice, and his coming Legacy of Secrecy if you want the facts.
The story of Rosselli
Let's concentrate on Johnny Rosselli. He was an unofficial member of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack in their Vegas glory days. He knew Judith Campbell , who became JFK's mistress. He hung with Marilyn Monroe. He worked for Sam Giancana and the Chicago mob and also with the CIA on a variety of plots to kill Fidel Castro. Rosselli was treated like royalty for a time. But, in 1976, almost exactly 32 years ago, after he had testified privately to Sen. Frank Church's Senate Intelligence Committee, Rosselli's mutilated body was found in an oil drum taken from a Miami canal. (Nobody was safe after testifying before this particular arm of Congress!)
Now Rosselli's story is on its way to the big screen thanks to actor (and former Chicago cop) Dennis Farina, writer Stephen Kronish and others. Taking extensive material from Waldron's Ultimate Sacrifice, they are turning Rosselli's life and death into screen drama.
She is a big, big name in Texas and also in the rest of the reading world. I mean Sandra Brown, the beauty from Arlington, Texas. Sandra lives in mighty Dallas-type fashion with a husband who is so in love with her that he once gifted her with a purebred bull to keep in the backyard.
I followed the fortunes of Sandra for years, as she became a highly acclaimed romance novelist, starting absolutely from scratch with little encouragement. Now she is writing sensational thrillers and has won the 2008 "ThrillerMaster" award given by International Thriller Writers each year. She is the first woman to do so. (Sandra gets to place her Manolos in the footprints of James Patterson and Clive Cussler.) In July, James himself gave her the big prize he'd already won, at the Grand Hyatt in New York City.
Sandra has 56 best sellers or 70 million copies of books in print. Her works are translated in 33 languages. So I suggest you buy her latest, Smoke Screen, out today, because it's just a bang-up tale of corruption, betrayal, revenge and reversal.
I am so proud of this Texas beauty. We once appeared together on the stage of the Bass Auditorium in Fort Worth. Sandra and I figured afterward that it was the first time anyone had ever said the word sex out loud in Cowtown.