Billie Sol Estes: A Sordid History Atoned: “Sol” Finally Vindicated

~ first OF A SERIES ~

The legend of Billie Sol Estes sprung suddenly from country scuttlebutt to front-page news in the biggest of the major newspapers and national magazines in the Spring of 1962. For six months of that year his name appeared in practically every newspaper and radio and television evening news broadcast.

LEFT: Life Magazine June 1, 1962 RIGHT: One of four articles on the Billie Sol Estes Scandal

What I personally remember about the explosive scandal was that it always left me wondering: “Why so much national attention was being given to a news story that normally would have been news only to the population of West Texas?”

But to many people it seemed confusing and surreal that so much ballyhoo was being made of it since the stories merely covered the financial frauds of a Texas huckster with the unusual name of Billie Sol. Usually, there was nothing about the murders and mayhem then being carried out in the background. They were only about the elaborate swindles. Nor was Estes’s close association with Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson mentioned in most of these broadcasts or news articles.

The answer was about what was not being said, out of fear that any reporter who ventured into the “backstory” would raise the ire of the man who was Mr. Estes’ silent partner, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson. But, just as that confusing story was unfolding, in the background, there were a series of murders, mostly in Texas—deadly reminders to Estes to keep his mouth shut, lest he become another “suicided” victim. The financial frauds were detailed in my first two books, and summarized in the August 4, 2020 blog under the subtitle “LBJ’S “QUID PRO QUO” SKILLS BURNISHED, ACTING AS THE DE FACTO CHIEF GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT OFFICER.”

The 1961 death of Department of Agriculture agent Henry Marshall was rarely alluded to—since it was absurdly misclassified as a “suicide” for over two decades—thus was not considered germane to the story. The fact that it was covered in this magazine—the second of the four, titled “Eerie Echos from the Silence of a Grave”— makes it nearly unique amongst the hundreds of articles in the total set. The other five murders were only then just beginning and of course were being called suicides as well. The narrative which follows summarizes the general story.

The magazine and newspaper editors were usually very careful to avoid any reference to the “Key Man” behind the massive frauds (Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson). His name did not appear anywhere in the approximately 3,000-word LIFE articles referenced above. The only “L.B. Johnson” that was (curiously) included was a cotton farmer from West Texas, who “barely missed being caught in an Estes trap.”

Billie Sol Estes’s story—summarized in the Life magazine articles reproduced in the pages below—took a long time to make the news, but once it did, it suddenly became ubiquitous in newspapers all over the US throughout the spring and summer of 1962, before Johnson’s friend Morris D. Jaffe, stepped up in August to buy the Estes assets for pennies on the dollar. That took the story off the front pages and left it open for future historians to note in detail if they chose, yet practically all of them ignored the details of those news stories as if they carried a plague of some sort. But before the story was swept away into the dustbin of history, in September 1962, the trial of Billie Sol Estes commenced, after a change of venue from Reeves County to Smith County, five hundred miles to the east.

The move was intended to dampen the publicity and ensure a fair trial for the defendant. That was woefully ineffective, as the Supreme Court found three years later, when it threw out Estes’s original conviction due to the circus atmosphere of the courtroom, which included live newscasts by both radio and television as well as throngs of reporters and photographers in attendance representing national newspapers. Indeed the Supreme Court, in its review of the case, noted the fact of “[m]assive pretrial publicity totaling eleven volumes of press clippings . . . had given it national notoriety. All available seats in the courtroom were taken, and some thirty persons stood in the aisles.”

Billie Sol Estes, a somewhat naïve and impulsive risk-taking business entrepreneur from Pecos Texas, turned 30 years old in January, 1955. At that point Lyndon Johnson was a 47 year old U.S. Senator on a maniacal quest to rise up the political ladder and position himself such that—when his time came—he would be prepared for his life-long obsession: to become President of the United States. It was much more than his dream, it had always been, from the time he was a 12-year-old playing “King of the Mountain,” a goal that he declared to his playmates. He would repeat it to anyone who would listen, nearly mantra-like, until he achieved it on November 22, 1963.

Billie Sol Estes: Suddenly Propelled into the Daily National News – 1962

Note: The narrative (below) partially comes from a series of reedited (for context only) excerpts from my 2014 book LBJ: From Mastermind to The Colossus, Chapters 1 and 5. The newly-referenced Life magazine articles dated 6/1/1962 have also substantively contributed to this essay. All assertions within the essay not otherwise specifically cited can be found within that book.

The Real Background of Lyndon B. Johnson That His Biographers Missed — The Backstory of a Murderous Tyrant Covering Up Massive Frauds

Within the LIFE magazine pictured above, a single edition of a national magazine, were four separate articles that examined disparate facets of the burgeoning scandal (the complete issue is available for review HERE — The first article begins on p. 78 of that magazine). All four of the articles have been curated here and appear in the pages below in digital form, along with copies of the original 1984 correspondence between Estes’s attorney Douglas Caddy and Stephen Trott, Assistant U. S. Attorney General, and—another important piece for a complete understanding of this story—the entire Chapter 30 of the book Billie Sol Estes: A Texas Legend.

A summation of Billie Sol Estes’s early life as a very successful business boy would start with how early he acquired his business acumen: Beginning at age 7, when he asked for a ewe for Christmas, he began his livestock herd that grew, by age 10, to 20 ewes (selling the males along the way) and soon included cows and hogs. By age 18 (1943) his business assets totaled $38,000 ($572,000 today) and before age 30 (1955) he was a millionaire (equivalent to over $15 million today). In the process of accumulating that much wealth, he became adept in farming skills as well as business acumen. In seeking to maximize profits he undoubtedly fudged some numbers here and there, whatever he probably thought he could get away with in each transaction—nothing unusual for a young entrepreneur busy growing a business.[1]

As often happens with people who aren’t “natural-born” criminals, they begin with smallish things—e.g. in bookkeeping for taxes akin to “rounding up” for expenses and “down” for income. The techniques often increase in breadth over time, depending on the person’s willingness to “push the envelop” further over the line between right and wrong. If the level of deceit nets $100 in reduced taxes one year, it is a law of nature that in the following year it will at least equal—if not exceed—that amount (so I’ve been told).

His success as a young farmer was enough to win a national 4H award at age 18, and having President Roosevelt invite him to Washington in 1943 for the presentation, gaining fame and recognition.

At age 21, in 1946, he met Cliff Carter—who was already working for Congressman Lyndon Johnson, helping him expand his Texas network statewide—in preparation for LBJ’s run for the Senate in 1948.[2] From Johnson, Carter received “inside information” related to the government sale of barracks and other buildings resulting from the closure of the Swift Training Camp of the Bastrop, Texas Army base after WWII. Carter furnished Estes that information, and, as partners, they were able to buy many of the barracks without competition (i.e. non-auctioned) for pennies on the dollar, cut them in half, transport them to other nearby locations and sell them as houses for sizable profits. Being partnered with one of LBJ’s highest level aides at such a young age was key to how he positioned himself a decade later to exploit other business opportunities.[3]

And it also explains how and why Billie Sol Estes, in his early 30s by 1956-57, fell victim to Lyndon Johnson’s siren songs as he enticed the young entrepreneur to find ways around certain Congressionally-set rules developed by the Department of Agriculture, written to enforce laws related to farm subsidy legislation. Those laws were intended to limit the supply of certain agriculture products (e.g. cotton) in order to sustain higher-than-market prices—”subsidies”—meant to keep farmers solvent by limiting the number of them who were able to participate in that market.

Lyndon Johnson knew those laws intimately, since he had helped to create them, and to get them passed through Congress. And he knew the right people whose arms needed twisting to make “adjustments” as required to get around the intent of those laws.[4] In manipulating Estes to do things that started “small” but grew to be more and more “over the line” of unscrupulousness, Senator Johnson had figuratively “hooked” him, as he then steadily increased the level of Estes’s obligations—or implicit “indebtedness”—to him until, over time, it became so extended that it could never be retracted. By the time Estes turned 31 years old, he would be committed to become one of Johnson’s most important financiers, generating millions of dollars in revenue from the various frauds designed by Lyndon Johnson and managed by Estes (too complex to explore here, but fully detailed within my Mastermind and Colossus books). By then, he was inextricably linked to Lyndon Johnson’s compulsive drive to become “King of the World,” another facet of LBJ’s childhood fantasies that he never jettisoned when he passed into adulthood.

The scandals that became the stuff of Washington legends in 1962 began in Abilene, Texas in 1956 and, for the first four years, the various schemes were conducted under the table and undetected by the agents of the Department of Agriculture. But that caught up with them by 1960, when Agriculture extension agent Henry Marshall discovered the frauds and attempted to put a stop to them.

Johnson then maneuvered, early in the new administration, to have newly-appointed Agriculture Secretary Orville Freeman effect such rule changes as moving the power to waive certain requirements from Washington bureaucrats to local Extension Agents.

It should be implicitly understood that, in meeting Orville Freeman soon after his appointment, LBJ — famous for his patented “Johnson Treatment” — would subject the hapless Freeman to every one of his techniques:

The syndicated columnists Evans and Novak described it as “supplication, accusation, cajolery, exuberance, scorn, tears, complaint, the hint of threat. It was all of these together. It ran the gamut of human emotions. . . He moved in close, his face a scant millimeter from his target, his eyes widening and narrowing, his eyebrows rising and falling. From his pockets poured clippings, memos, statistics. Mimicry, humor, and the genius of analogy made ‘The Treatment’ an almost hypnotic experience and rendered the target stunned and helpless.”

For his part, Estes basically rationalized the once-illegal behavior as now being “legal”— which it might have been — had the extension agents now in charge of waiving the impeding rules done so. But some, like Extension Agent Henry Marshall, would not bend the rules despite having been given the power to do so. He simply did not think it was “right.”

After many efforts to change Marshall’s attitude through bribery and threats, finally, on the snowy evening of January 19, 1961 — before the Kennedy-Johnson administration’s inauguration the next day — on the patio in back of his house, Johnson uttered the words to Estes, and his aides Cliff Carter and Mac Wallace (by now, his designated hit-man), “He’s got to go.” Henry Marshall was not the first, nor the last, of the murders ordered by Lyndon Johnson of people who he felt stood in his way “up the ladder” of political success.

Texas Ranger Captain Clint Peoples, within whose jurisdiction most of the crimes had occurred, had assisted in the investigation of the first of a series of murders—all of which Billie Sol Estes claimed that Lyndon Johnson had ordered—the investigation of the 1951 murder of Doug Kinser. That was followed by the 1952 murder of Sam Smithwick (whom Johnson was accused of being the instigator by then-Texas governor Allan Shivers in 1956), then the 1961 murders of Agriculture Extension Agent Henry Marshall and Johnson’s own sister Josefa, poisoned at a Christmas dinner that year. In 1962-3 the series continued with the murder of George Krutilek, Harold Orr and his secretary, then Howard Pratt and Coleman Wade, all of whom had worked, or had been vendors, for Estes. And—except Johnson’s sister Josefa, whose antics and lifestyle had long been an embarrassment to LBJ—they were all done to keep the lid on Johnson’s involvement with Billie Sol Estes, who was then under investigation for fraud by state and federal authorities, including Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. It was a rapidly growing scandal during that period, the subject of nearly daily news reports, though few of them ever ventured into the details of all of those murders, given that they were written off as either “natural causes” or—as most of them were—”suicides.”

Ranger Peoples had been aware of them generally, but was constrained from investigating them because in each case they were not classified by the coroners as homicides (other than Kinser, for which Johnson’s acolyte Mac Wallace was found guilty of first degree murder in 1951, but immediately paroled, thanks to Johnson’s political muscle). Only the death of Henry Marshall was actually reclassified to be “homicide” but, only 23 years after-the-fact.

According to Billie Sol Estes’s sworn testimony in grand jury proceedings in 1984—as part of his painful atonement for having been forced by Johnson to “witness” them (if not directly, at least being exposed enough to be cognizant of the inherent threat)—all of these murders were committed by LBJ aides Mac Wallace and Cliff Carter at the behest of Johnson, for the purpose of protecting Johnson’s political career. These revelations are contained in a series of letters between Estes’ lawyer, Doug Caddy, and Stephen Trott, an Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice (See Page 6 below for copies of this correspondence).

After Johnson finally left the White House, the after-effects of his treacherous reign of terror caused his “retirement” phase of life to be emotionally crushing for him—and everyone around him. It was then that Estes invited both Cliff Carter and Kyle Brown (a young friend whom he trusted implicitly, and for some reason wanted him to become a witness to that conversation—as Brown himself has acknowledged, even though Estes denied having done that in his book—apparently in an attempt to protect him) to an impromptu lakeside meeting at his Abilene home on September 20, 1971. Brown had been closely associated with Cliff Carter when he managed Johnson’s political network in Texas and administered both Texas patronage privileges and politics. As they sat on a pier into the lake, away from anyone else’s attempt to overhear them, the much younger Brown listened to Carter say that he regretted assisting Johnson in the criminal activities, including murder. Brown described Carter as remorseful, very sad, and very much “down”, apparently attempting to clear his conscience, but was simultaneously also warning Estes that Johnson was becoming more and more paranoid.

There have been reports that Carter had also possibly visited Johnson at his ranch during that trip. It is not clear who or how, but someone either loyal to LBJ, or employed by him, evidently got a “nod” from him that Cliff “had to go”: He died mysteriously within 36 hours of that meeting. Part of the mystery is caused by the number of conflicting stories about how and where he died: From an account that Penn Jones originally wrote, he died in an Alexandria, Virginia hospital with pneumonia and that, unbelievably, no penicillin was available to treat him;[5] another version came from Iris Campbell—a long-time assistant to Carter who also acted as a Texas “bagman” for Johnson—that he died of a heart attack on the steps of the State Department in Washington, DC;[6] my own earlier account that, according to Cliff Carter’s Washington secretary, his body was found in a Virginia motel;[7] according to the aforementioned Kyle Brown, “he died in a Texas hotel”[8] The presence of so many conflicting accounts of a single highly mysterious death evokes yet another familiar pattern left by professional assassins.

Twenty-two years later, author Harrison Livingstone spoke to Kyle Brown, who confirmed everything Estes had said.   Estes also related that he had been personally told of Johnson’s involvement by Cliff Carter, naming convicted murderer Malcolm Wallace as the murderer of Agriculture agent Henry Marshall.  Carter stated that a third party, Tom Bowden, had heard the tape and verified Estes’ description of the content to researchers. Bowden has not provided any detail on the tape other than to affirm it does contain what Estes has maintained and can be taken to implicate Lyndon Johnson as having ordered the murder.  Brown’s words to researcher Lyle Sardie included the statement: ‘They prove that Johnson was a cold-blooded killer.’”

At this point, an astute and curious reader might ask: “So why wasn’t Billie Sol Estes suicided as well, wouldn’t that be the most expedient way to end the scandal?”

The short answer to that is Estes had made it well-known to Lyndon Johnson, and again through Johnson’s top aide in all criminal acts, Cliff Carter, that he had secretly tape recorded nearly all of their telephone conversations even, surreptitiously, some of their personal conversations within his home or office; there was no written communication permitted under Johnson’s secrecy rules.

Billie Sol made it clear that if anything ever happened to him personally, or anyone in his family, he—or someone, unnamed by him, who also had access to the tapes—would release them to trusted news reporters. As proof of that, he played one of his most-prized recordings—and the most audacious one—a taped recording of the supposedly “secret” 1962 grand jury proceeding called by Texas Ranger Clint Peoples. In 1984, he gave that tape to Ranger Peoples as part of their preparations for the new grand jury proceedings.[9]

Doubting Thomases have dismissed that claim for years since none of the other tapes were ever released, ignoring the fact that Billie Sol Estes died at age 88, reportedly of natural causes, and no one in his family was ever harmed. Therefore, he likely decided that since the “deal” was never broken, he had no reason to release them.

A credible but anonymous “insider” source has indicated that their belief is that Billie Sol had found a way to have the missing tapes saved in a unique but fail-safe manner related to the fact that he had once owned funeral homes and thus had considerable influence with other Texas morticians, providing him the ability to manage that. If that hunch is true, it’s doubtful that they will ever be found.

LBJ’s Power Over the Press — And His Biographers

There was one major exception to that implicit veil of censorship by which news outlets omitted references to Johnson, when Farm & Ranch magazine did printed allegations of the Johnson-Estes direct connection. At Johnson’s request, J. Edgar Hoover quickly dispatched FBI agents to visit the editors of the magazine and threaten them with reprisals if they ever did it again. And they immediately stopped.

It was those related “suicides” — all commissioned by Lyndon Johnson, arranged by Carter and executed by LBJ’s hit-man Malcolm “Mac” Wallace, as Estes finally admitted — described in detail in 1984 at the urging of Texas Ranger Captain Clint Peoples, along with Estes’s fear of retribution, that explain why those early news stories were so severely censored. And how Estes’s coming forth with his attempt to seek redemption through their complete exposure finally revealed the true character of the 36th POTUS.

But the even more remarkable part of this once-ubiquitous blockbuster Washington scandal has played out over the five-plus decades: It is about how Johnson’s involvement in it has continued to be hushed—completely avoided—by nearly every one of the famed biographers of Lyndon B. Johnson. Only Robert Dallek briefly mentioned it in Flawed Giant before dismissing the name Billie Sol Estes with the declaration that he lacked “credibility.” What he clearly meant by that, without saying so, was to discredit Estes’s attempts to redeem himself through his confessions which necessarily involved explanations of how Lyndon Johnson exploited his naïve loyalty and lust for fame and fortune.

In fact, Billie Sol’s efforts were driven by his own conscientiousness — not an uncommon phenomenon among people as they age and reflect back on their earlier missteps — seeking atonement and salvation for those now-regrettable sins. Billie had always been of a religious nature, at least on Sundays, in contrast to his cut-throat businessman tactics the rest of the week, when pragmatism became his compass. Author Dallek either missed that point, or chose to ignore it, in his effort to rejoin the many others who failed to even note the biggest LBJ-related news story of 1962. Together, Johnson’s biographers have succeeded in vilifying a man with (compromised) scruples while redeeming the real villain—Johnson himself, the one who was in the power position, controlling the other.

Psychologists inform us that sociopaths have no capacity for empathy, or for guilt feelings about the wrongs they inflict on others: Is it possible that authors who ignore inconvenient facts about their subject might suffer a similar condition?

Why and How Billie Sol Estes Tried to Redeem Himself: His Association with Two Men Who Promised to Seek His Personal Vindication for Being LBJ’s Bagman

Billie Sol Estes’s 2005 Autobiography (L) William Reymond’s 2003 book (R)

Billie Sol Estes published the account of his experiences in 2005. It is still available in the book market, but is very expensive (unsigned used copies were generally in the $250+ range recently). The entire chapter 30 — the one most pertinent to many of the issues raised in this essay — is presented in the supplemental Page 7 below. He decided to write and publish it two years after being very disappointed with his failed partnership with Texan Tom Bowden and French author William Reymond to produce an English language book—that was supposed to have been published in the U. S. —which has still not materialized.

The book JFK le Dernier Témoin (JFK the Last Witness), had been published by the French publisher Flammarion, in 2003. The listed authors were William Reymond, with Billie Sol Estes’s name on the cover in smaller letters, but not Bowden’s. The only page in the French book of that title with Mr. Bowden’s name on it, the copyright page, states: [10]

  • “D’après une enquête originale de William Reymond et de Tom Bowden. Retrouvez JFK le dernier temoin sur internet.”
  • (Translation): “According to an original investigation by William Reymond and Tom Bowden. Find ‘JFK the last witness’ on the internet.”

Clearly, Mr. Reymond, with those cryptic words, disassociated Mr. Bowden from that book, while—seemingly—acknowledging his previous investigatory work that would be forthcoming in an English version with the same (translated) title as his own. On the 50th anniversary of the assassination (November, 2013), Bowden had listed a new book with a similar title as “coming soon” on Amazon, however it never materialized; the listing stayed put for several months until it disappeared from the Amazon page. It is possible that Mr. Bowden was constrained from publishing it because he could not find a willing publisher, or due to unresolved ownership issues, but he has never publicly revealed the reason.

The details of the trio’s “team” break-up remain unclear but the fact is, there was never an English version of that book. Other than a rough translation [i.e. no changes to sentence structure] that I made in 2013 in preparation of my book LBJ: From Mastermind to The Colossus in 2014 (within which several citations to uniquely new information were made).

Yet it was published in several other languages, including Spanish. Reymond wrote, in a posting on the Education Forum on November 29, 2004, that the book had been ” . . . published in France (and available in Blegium [sic], Swizterland [sic] and Quebec), Spain, Japan, Estonia and Bulgaria, but not in the States or the UK. And to be very honest, I don’t think that it will happen soon.” The other non-French speaking countries he listed suggest that it had been translated into three or four separately published editions, yet still unavailable in the largest, English-speaking countries in North America and Europe. The only realistic and plausible explanation for that is the book has been banned from publication in the English language, anywhere in the world, due to the unique secrets revealed within its pages.

A video “JFK—Autopsie d’un complot [Autopsy of a conspiracy]—John Fitzgerald Kennedy” (see here) also emerged about the same time (2003), also done only in French and sold for a short period on the internet before disappearing until November, 2014, when it reappeared for free viewing on the website

That video was based on a fifty-two minute version, done in the original English as spoken by the people interviewed (a few copies of which were circulated to certain researchers, and viewed by me in 2013, and summarized in my second (“Colossus”) book—though I no longer have a copy). This non-French original video was shown once at Tom Bowden’s Conspiracy Museum in Dallas November 22, 2003, but never offered for sale.

Pondering Why the Frenchman’s Texas Team Broke Up . . . and, “What was the Real Purpose of the Conspiracy Museum in Dallas, circa 1993-2006?

One possible reason for the break up of the Reymond-Bowden-Estes partnership in 2003 was due to an incident in which Tom Bowden—in a surprising burst, as in a sudden “stream-of-consciousness” admission—admitted to a magazine reporter in 1995 that he had had an extensive background with the CIA. The reporter, after reviewing an exhibit featured by his “Conspiracy Museum” just a few blocks away from Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas where JFK was assassinated, quoted Bowden in context of how he revealed that curious tidbit:[11]

The exhibit goes on to reveal who is behind this singular, complex conspiracy. Represented on the mural as buzzards perched outside the capitol building, the culprits are described as the Professional War Machine, or PWM. It consists of insiders from the CIA, the FBI (especially J. Edgar Hoover), the Mafia, and the military who want to ensure that the United States maintains an aggressive (and expensive) war-oriented foreign policy. The PWM, says [R. B.] Cutler [described below] in his academic-sounding voice-over, has systematically eliminated potential opponents using political and physical assassination. They, yes they, are responsible for almost all the assassination attempts and major scandals of our time. [ ,,, ]

“There is plenty of evidence to suggest this is all true, ” says Rowden [sic] who became a believer in conspiracies while working closely with the CIA as a civilian computer engineer in the 1960s. Designated with a “Q” security clearance, one level above top secret, he says he became privy to much classified information. “There were things I knew to be true that I never saw accurately represented in the papers” says Bowden, speaking from his bunker-like basement office, where detailed blueprints of Kennedy’s motorcade route decorate the 20-foot concrete walls and bound reports titled “Chappaquiddick” clutter the shelves. “I get really fed up with historians, ” he says. “There is quite a bit of history that didn’t make it into the textbooks.”

Besides Tom Bowden, that rather snarky article references another partner, “R. B. Cutler, an 81 -year-old architect from Boston and self-proclaimed assassinologist whose research and theories form the foundation of the Conspiracy Museum . . . Cutler is a prolific Kennedy expert, though some scholars believe him to be a single bullet short of having a fully loaded chamber.”

Furthermore, though the Conspiracy Museum that first opened in 1993 (“officially” on April 4, 1995 according to the referenced article) remained open for over a decade, finally closed on December 31, 2006 upon being evicted by the building’s owner, leaving many questions in its wake.[12]

A Dallas-based researcher who prefers anonymity has stated that it became known that the lease of that large space cost more than $9,000 per month, just one of the expenses that does not equate with the relatively light traffic this “free” museum received (though some exhibits were subject to a nominal charge). The only other revenues came from sales of conspiracy books, magazines and miscellaneous paraphernalia.

All of which gives rise to numerous questions about who, or what entity, financed the museum; developed the business plan; acquired the physical assets—including equipment, exhibits and inventory. Who, or what entity, spent so much time and resources creating and running an organization that would seem to be financially unviable? What was its true mission? What was this magically financed chimera anyway?

In summation of the many points raised, the argument that Billie Sol Estes’s naivete, gullibility and vulnerability to the older, cunning, formidable* personage of Lyndon B. Johnson is what lured him into his greater and greater involvement into his mentor’s criminal activities. In other words, “he got played” and exploited due to the increasingly criminal actions as he followed Johnson’s orders to produce more and more revenue in his behalf. But in the end, after refusing to talk about any of it for eleven years after Johnson’s death, he came forth at the urging of then-US Marshal Clint Peoples’ and attempted to redeem himself. In retrospect, that is easy to see, yet people in general have been slow to accept that premise. Many “experts” continue to denigrate the reformed Estes merely to use his past crimes to protect the actual protagonist/instigator, Lyndon B. Johnson.

Were it anyone other than a former President, Estes’s work—especially his efforts to aggressively fight racism and in helping Black children particularly—Estes the victim would be treated as a hero, while LBJ recognized accurately as the villain.

It is beyond the time that that should become his real legacy.

(* — Robert F. Kennedy’s cogent description of LBJ is based upon that word: “He is the most formidable human being I’ve ever met”).

Additional references pertaining to these issues:

NOTE: If the type-size needs to be adjusted (increased or decreased) on any of these pages, right-click on the page and go to the new tab; the cursor will turn into a “+” sign, clicking it on the new page will increase the type size. If further adjustment is necessary, simultaneously hit the “Ctrl” and the “+” (plus) to increase type size further, or the “Ctrl” and “-” (minus) to decrease the type size.

PAGE 2 — First of the Life magazine articles (expanded view of above)

PAGE 3 — Second Life article about Henry Marshall’s Death

PAGE 4 — Third Life Article about Billie Sol Este (the successful “Bumpkin”)

PAGE 5 — Fourth Life article in the four-part series: (His Family and Facilitators)

PAGE 6 — Copies of correspondence between Estes’s attorney Douglas Caddy and the D.O.J.

PAGE 7 — Seven pages (“Chapter Thirty”) from Billie Sol Estes, A Texas Legend


[1] Estes, Billie Sol, Billie Sol Estes, A Texas Legend, BS Productions, Granbury, TX, 2005 p. 14

[2] Ibid., p. 24

[3] Ibid., p. 25

[4] See: LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination for more details on this, pp. 227-243

[5] Jones Jr., Penn. Forgive My Grief, Vol. IV. Self published, Waxahachie, TX., 1974

[6] Peterson, Sara and K. W. Zachry, The Lone Star Speaks: Untold Texas Stories about the JFK Assassination, Baltimore, MD: Bancroft Press, 2020, Chapter 13

[7] See: LBJ: From Mastermind to The Colossus, pp. 257-58

[8] Op. Cit. (Peterson and Zachry) Chapter 14

[9] See LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination, pp. 241-247 and LBJ: From Mastermind to the Colossus, pp. 258-259

[10] From an unpublished and untitled 52 minute video in the original English from which the French author/filmmaker William Reymond constructed a widely distributed French version titled “JFK—Autopsie d’un complot [Autopsy of a conspiracy]—John Fitzgerald Kennedy”. Very few copies of the English version were made, but it was embedded in its entirety into the French film (see here) which also emerged about the same time (2003). It was sold for a short period on the internet before disappearing until November, 2014, when it reappeared for free viewing on the website (see final section of this essay for further information)

[11] Michalski, Dan, “MODERN TIMES Who Really Dunnit? The new Conspiracy Museum tries to rewrite the history books with a tale of government lies, murder, and deception,” published in:  D MAGAZINE JUNE 1995 (Click title for embedded link).

[12] See Roadside America’s “Conspiracy Museum Evicted for Sub Shop” article HERE.

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