Numerous persons including purchasers and press have inquired about the allegations in the recent criminal complaint against Lawrence X. Cusack that supposely Cusack has confessed to forging the JFK papers. The readiness and perhaps economic need of the press to republish wire and other stories without independent verification requires that the other side of the story be published for anyone interested to see. Here it is.

It is my understanding as someone very close to the entire situation (from late September, 1997, within days after ABC's 20/20 alleged news story, to the present) that such allegations are without factual basis, for the following reasons:

  1. The evidence indicates that the JFK papers are authentic in terms of the age of the paper, the appearance of aging of the papers, the age of the ink, the authenticity of watermarks appearing on official United States stationery, and the handwriting. In other words, there does not appear to be any forgery of the handwritten documents

  2. Some of the typewritten documents (referred to as the Frosch documents) are either authentic documents created before the death of Marilyn Monroe and JFK, or possibly (and this is only a possibility) were created by Frosch during the late 1970's to get off the hook for looting Marilyn Monroe's Estate, by pressing the same threat of exposure of Marilyn Monroe's knowledge of JFK's dealings with mafia chieftain Sam Giancana unless he was allowed to remain on as Executor of Marilyn Monroe's estate; Frosch repaid $400,000 of the $1,500,000 stolen and remained on as Executor. It is inconceivable to anyone trained in law that this would occur in absence of some fairly high level influence.

  3. Lawrence X. Cusack, Sr. was appointed by New York Surrogate Maria Lambert (now deceased) as the attorney for the conservator of Marilyn Monroe's incompetent mother to bring suit against Frosch for looting of the estate; these files are available for anyone to see in the New York Surrogate's Court and are not in any dispute; Cusack and Lambert were on the Cardinal's Lay Committee in the New York Archdiocese, and Cusack himself was the head of such lay committee (with a secret law office within the Archdiocese's midtown New York offices). Joseph P. Kennedy was close to the Cardinal, and Joseph P. Kennedy, John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy had donated valuable Bronx real estate to the New York Archdiocese (with the deeds made out to Cardinal Spellman), and the original deeds bearing the original signatures of Joseph P. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy, as filed in the appropriate New York courts, were found in Lawrence Cusack Sr.'s possession at his death in 1985.

  4. Frosch, it should be remembered, is the person with whom Cusack and JFK were negotiating a $600,000 trust as payment to Monroe for not talking about JFK's involvement with mafia chieftain Sam Giancana, according to the Cusack papers found by Cusack Jr. after his father's death.

  5. When the accused, Lawrence X. Cusack, Jr. (the son of Lawrence X. Cusack, Sr.) discovered the papers after his father's death and realized what the papers were all about, he was fearful of his life because of the explosive content in such papers, and for several years or more did nothing with the papers and said nothing about them.

  6. Finally, because of the son's desire to write a book about his father's problem solving abilities, and in need of support for this project (since his salary as a paralegal in his now-deceased father's old firm was wholly inadequate to permit him this luxury), Cusack made his first overtures to try to place a value on the papers and later to market them, through Reznikoff and others through Reznikoff.

  7. This was a plan to market the papers with no publicity or fanfare, until Seymour Hersh found out about the papers and cajoled his way into getting the right, in writing, to make "fair use" of the papers in a book about JFK he was already researching, and a TV documentary based upon the book and such JFK papers. Cusack received no money from Hersh for entering into this agreement with him, which was entered into primarily because of Hersh's threat that the Assassination Review Board (which Hersh's then partner Michael Ewing was affiliated with) could take the papers without compensation and publish them for the public to read, thereby causing Cusack to lose control over how the papers and his father were to be presented to the public.

  8. Cusack got married during 1989 and his family started growing, with a total of 4 children as of today, the oldest being 7 years old and the youngest being 2 weeks old as of the day of Cusack's arrest, on March 16, 1998.

  9. After the existence of the papers became known during the 1993, Cusack and his family started receiving death threats, which Cusack duly reported to the local police. The last death threat was received on the day before this writing, March 19, 1998.

  10. The JFK papers show that JFK, RFK and Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. were dealing with the mafia (Sam Giancana) and repeated extortion threats from Marilyn Monroe, and Cusack Jr. was concerned about how his father (the highest Catholic layman in the United States if not the world) and the Church itself (particularly the Archdiocese of New York and the various Cardinals thereof) could be treated by the press and the court of world opinion for Cusack Sr.'s involvement in Kennedy Family affairs as the Family's (and Archdiocese's) inside, secret advisor.

  11. The world of Cusack Jr. and his family collapsed on September 25, 1997 when ABC Network's 20/20 broadcast a story claiming to have evidence (never revealed to Cusack Jr. in his two years of dealing with ABC) that the papers had been forged, and that Cusack Jr. himself was the forger! We allege that such broadcast is "Fraudcast Journalism" at its worst, for reasons alleged in the complaint filed against ABC, Peter Jennings and others.

  12. Cusack Jr., already plagued with death threats, and the threat that his father might be accused of wrongful activities with the mafia, now faced the additional possibility (for reasons unknown to Cusack Jr.) that his father had forged the JFK papers, because (if the papers were a forgery as ABC apparently thought based on evidence it apparently had), who else could have done it.

  13. With these thoughts in mind, and being completely devastated at what ABC had said in its 20/20 show, and the adverse publicity generated, Cusack went to his then best friend Reznikoff (who Cusack met only because of the JFK papers) carrying a rifle for self protection and discussed the 20/20 show with Reznikoff and some of these implications discussed above, and then suggested for Reznikoff to consider whether the nightmare would go away if Cusack Jr. were to say (contrary to the truth) that he had forged the papers (even though the papers were not forged in the opinion of both Cusack Jr. and Reznikoff).

  14. Reznikoff, being unsure what Cusack Jr. was stating, expressed disbelief that Cusack could have forged the papers, and Cusack stated clearly to him at the time that Cusack Jr. did not forge the papers, but was merely trying to explore the idea of whether he could make the nightmare (as described above) go away by saying (falsely) that he did forge the papers. Nothing developed further along these lines and the whole matter was forgotten, except by Reznikoff.

  15. Reznikoff, armed with some type of recording device, called Cusack and asked him to come over to Reznikoff's office where he wanted to talk with Cusack. Cusack went over there with his wife and Reznikoff (with his hidden taping device running) apparently taped all or part of this conversation. Reznikoff referred back to the earlier conversation and Cusack confirmed that they had such conversation; also, Cusack confirmed once again that he had not forged the papers and had not said that he had forged the papers at such earlier conversation. Nothing more took place, that Cusack knew about.

  16. Reznikoff, meanwhile, suffering almost as much as Cusack and Cusack's family from the (false) accusations of forgery and forgery involvement, apparently in exchange for immunity from being prosecuted for a crime which did not exist, told the federal prosecutor's office that Cusack had confessed to forgery (a falsehood) and that his secret audio tape proved that such confession had taken place (also a falsehood).

  17. Reznikoff then obtained (apparently) immunity from prosecution from the non-crime, and the prosecutor wrote his complaint around this alleged "confession" as evidence of a crime which had not occurred.

  18. It is interesting to note (and perhaps quite revealing) that none of the text of the conversation supposedly recorded in the audio tape was set forth in the criminal complaint.

  19. This is what the so-called confession amounts to, an effort to end Cusack Jr.'s involvement with the JFK Papers to eliminate the ongoing death threats and the publicity which could ruin his father's name and reputation as the top non-priest in the Catholic Church, a person to whom Cusack Jr. was devoted and indebted, and to reduce any adverse publicity for the Church and Archdiocese. There was no forgery; there was no crime; and there was no confession; and the criminal complaint is not well founded.

  20. Finally, the Associated Press wire service added another dimension to the story by stating, falsely, that Cusack had confessed as well to the prosecutor. This is not so. The subject matter was not brought up when Cusack (together with his attorney) voluntarily discussed the whole matter on February 23, 1998 during a marathon 9- or 10-hour session with the prosecuting attorney, the postal investigator Feiter, and others at the prosecutor's office, without any claim of 5th amendment rights by Cusack Jr.

  21. The above has been prepared without any review or approval of the text by Cusack Jr. or his wife or (obviously) by Reznikoff and is being posted on internet without their prior knowledge.

If you have any questions about this article on the so-called confession, please direct them to me, Carl E. Person, by fax (to 212-307-0247) or telephone call (to 212-307-4444), and I promise to get back to you.

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Copyright © 1998 by Carl E. Person