REFRAMING HISTORY with More Myths: Mellen’s “Faustian Bargains” — Wrong on Many Levels

Insights into the mind of Mac Wallace as he was being declared “guilty” of First Degree Murder

(Excerpted from The Austin American – February 27, 1952)

“Thirty-year-old ‘Mac’ Wallace stared intently at each of the 12 jurors as they filed into the still-as-a-tomb courtroom. As the solemn-faced men, weary from nine days of confinement and strain, took their seats in the jury box for the last time, bright sunlight flashed from Wallace’s dark, horn rimmed glasses. If there was tension within him when Court Clerk Pearl Smith cleared her throat to read the verdict, Wallace kept it out of sight. No trace of feeling crossed his face as the clerk read the verdict of the jury: guilty of murder with malice in the October gun slaying of Golf Professional “Doug” Kinser. Still no expression when the sentence was read: five years in the State Penitentiary. Then came the recommendation – suspended sentence – and for a fleeting moment Wallace’s mask broke. A faint smile played about the corners of his mouth. Judge Charles O. Betts had warned that there would be no demonstration of any kind when the verdict was read. There was none; only a low “hum” in the half-filled courtroom.” (Emphasis added by author)

The fact that the reporter went to considerable effort to capture that moment so eloquently speaks volumes about how the readers of that newspaper, and the rest of the population of Austin, Texas must have reacted with shock at how a convicted murderer escaped justice. What was left unsaid, though it must have been whispered all over town, was that Lyndon Johnson’s fingerprints were all over the entire conduct of that trial: Judge, jury, and prosecutor, in addition to using his own lawyers John Cofer and Polk Shelton, who never bothered to even present a defense of his client.

If it seemed merely surreal to some, there had to have been many others who were shocked that the blatant hypocrisy and arrogance demonstrated at that trial would be allowed to stand — and what it might portend for unknown future political trickery and treacheries.

From the start, initiatives were begun by Johnson to keep his name—and his sister Josefa’s name—out of the trial. His ties to Mac Wallace were also forbidden to be on either the official record or within newspaper columns, where they also remained mostly suppressed. Therefore, in April, 1984, during the Texas grand jury trial on the murder of Henry Marsahll, it finally became more well-established that Mac Wallace had been closely connected to Lyndon Johnson thirty-three (33) years earlier, and remained so until the date of his alleged death.

Beyond that point, however, from this 1984 clipping it can be seen that Mac Wallace’s family still maintained that Mac “did not know Johnson” and that line would be repeated by some of his family to Joan Mellen, who—another thirty years later—noted that fact in her book. Using that fragile reed as the basis of her tome, she proceeded to dedicate it to the transformation of Mac Wallace into an innocent, essentially guiltless, victim of time and circumstance. And of Lyndon B. Johnson (of which he certainly was).

Professor David Denton wrote the definitive article debunking Joan Mellen’s unsuccessful attempt to scuttle Mac Wallace’s fingerprint evidence found in the “sniper’s lair.”

Mellen’s attempt to discredit the previously-introduced Wallace fingerprint evidence found at the TSBD has itself previously been completely debunked, such that it is no longer debatable, thus not presented within his essay. The “Final Word” archetype of this subject is summarized HERE.

This blog-post merely adds material on points not covered by Denton’s article, yet is by no means a complete list, that would take another book. All of which proves conclusively the accuracy of Denton’s subtitle: Joan​ ​Mellen​ ​did​ ​not​ ​debunk​ ​the​ ​idea​ ​of​ ​LBJ’s complicity​ ​in​ ​the​ ​murder​ ​of​ ​JFK.” Professor Denton’s treatise refutes numerous examples of Mellen’s primary distortions, such as her “Selective Preferences” of using Malcolm Wallace’s family members’ statements as the final arbiters of truth, in effect using them to refute the truthful testimony proffered by Billie Sol Estes beginning in 1984, as the highly-credible U.S. Marshal Clint Peoples established. [1]

The numerous manifestations of whole lies, half-truths, non-sequiturs and contorted “facts”, for our purposes here have been reduced to these key areas:

Joan Mellen was:

  • Wrong on Mac Wallace’s fingerprint identification (see above);
  • Wrong on Mac Wallace’s “innocence” in the murders of Estes’ associates (see below);
  • Wrong on LBJ’s “innocence” in JFK’s assassination (ditto);
  • Wrong on Billie Sol Estes’ motives in coming forth (ditto).

Among Joan Mellen’s Supposed Findings . . .

  • In a chapter titled “A Man of Good Character,” Mellen argues that Mac Wallace was a very subdued introvert, who killed no one after Doug Kinser (and that, she avers implicitly, was “justified)”; that he then resumed his life as a genuinely changed man whose only “negative traits” were that of a hopeless, out-of-control deadbeat alcoholic, and the sexual abuser of his daughter; otherwise, she describes him becoming a very warm and tolerant parent whose family, including all his children, loved him very much (the latter point, apparently and incredulously, being a rare truth).
  • That Lyndon Johnson was uninvolved with the JFK assassination — except as an unwitting facilitator in using the Warren Commission to redirect the so-called “investigation” into looking at Cuba and the USSR instead of anyone in the good ol’ USA. Furthermore, she (falsely) claims that disproving a fingerprint found in the Texas School Book Depository belonged to Malcolm (Mac) Wallace also proves that LBJ wasn’t involved in the assassination. Neither the premise of that construct, nor the logic of the reasoning were proven. If anything, the fact of the fingerprint being Wallace’s has survived her assault, and the logical paradox she attempted to posit was deconstructed, as demonstrated in the above link.
  • Finally, that it was Billie Sol Estes, who, according to Mellen’s thesis, set off in 1984 to “destroy Lyndon Johnson’s reputation,” doing so, apparently, to restore his own reputation at LBJ’s expense. When, in fact, Estes did it to restore some truth to the fictional accounts being written by LBJ’s acolytes, as well as to seek redemption, thus solace and to restore his Christian principles that had nearly been destroyed through his association with Johnson. Billie Sol sought and received atonement for what he had done previously: it was achieved by what he did to rehabilitate his own reputation beginning in 1984, when he testified to a grand jury in an action by U.S. Marshal Clint Peoples that did just that. (See HERE for the first of a three-part series on his many philanthropic acts performed throughout his life).

Joan Mellen’s brand of “creative writing” is an adaption of the novelist’s use of flowery rhetoric to describe scenes and objects, a device used in the fiction genre to improve readability and hold the reader’s interest from one page to the next. Many authors seem to have difficulty with this point, including such notables as Norman Mailer, Priscilla McMillan, and Gerald Posner. Hampton Sides’ books illustrate the point better than anyone else on the planet. Walking a thin line between novel and “true crime” genres allows opinion and fact to become jumbled together, such that the distinction becomes lost in the narrative.

In Mellen’s case, for example, instead of simply writing, “On November 2, the trial began . . .”, Mellen wrote: “November 2 dawned, another Austin day thick with humidity. With cloudy skies spitting rain, the temperature already at eighty-four degrees, Andre, her hair newly cut short, entered a Travis County courtroom . . .”[2]

Throughout the book, many of her vignettes were over-wrought with such descriptions, the aggregation of which detracted from the general writer’s rule of achieving a coherent storyline with an economy of words. Another small illustration of her “creative writing” style involved her choice of making the point that Mac Wallace’s automotive choice during the early 1950s was a “dark blue 1939 Pontiac with Virginia plates”, at least six times, stated in various forms, merely another example of the larger point.

A Brief Sample/Survey of some of Joan Mellen’s “Faustian Bargains” errors—from small to extra-large:

Small (even bordering on nit-picking, just as she did, repeatedly):

Ms. Mellen used a considerable amount of ink on page 81 analyzing why journalist Holland McCombs “misspelled” Wallace’s name as “Mack” instead of the more usual “Mac,” then using that point to state that McCombs picked up the error from Billie Sol Estes: “… who for decades misspelled Mac Wallace’s name that way.” Yet that is not true: There are no known examples — at least to this author — of his doing so, and throughout his self-published autobiography, Estes spelled it “Mac.” According to a person who remained one of his closest friends for two decades, he was never known to add the unnecessary “k” on the end. Despite all of the verbiage she devoted to this rather trifling point, it was already irrelevant: Since it wasn’t his given name, merely a nickname, there is no rule about which way it should be spelled, other than how Mac himself preferred it (It is noteworthy to point out that several related oral histories were done — for the Dallas and LBJ Libraries — with different persons and interviewers, and, evidently, whoever transcribed them arbitrarily decided to spell the name with the superfluous “k” and no one, to this day, has “corrected” them). That was probably the source of Ms. Mellen’s surfeit of confusion over an impertinent point.

Mellen wrote that Wallace’s crash was “8 miles” south of Pittsburgh, Texas. Yet every newspaper account of the crash — all based upon the investigating patrolman Ronnie Lough’s statements stated it was 3.5 miles south of Pittsburgh.

(See adjacent clipping from the January 8, 1971 Tyler Morning Telegraph [Tyler, Texas], for example) — stated that it was 3 1/2 miles south of Pittsburgh.

On page 76 she wrote that “Mac had been hired as an assistant professor at North Carolina State University, where he taught economics and industrial management.” That name was adopted only in 1965 and at the time Wallace worked there, 1 1/2 decades earlier, it was called North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering. (This is probably the least important of the uncountable total number of errors, but it goes to the point that she, in critiquing numerous other authors for comparably trivial matters, leaves herself open for similar “nit-picking”).

Medium (but elementally significant):

Ms. Melen’s gracious descriptions of Lyndon’s father Sam would have been practically unrecognizable to anyone who ever knew him. According to Robert Caro, eight years before the Great Depression Sam Johnson went bankrupt, lost the family farm, and had used all the credit he could from multiple stores in different towns in the surrounding area. The virtual collapse of Sam’s health followed the loss of the farm and his solvency, leading to bleak years of indebtedness, drunkenness, and the near starvation of his family. Lyndon was embarrassed by his father’s failures, which he felt were caused by his weakness in not doing whatever was necessary (i.e. pragmatically ruthless, and ethics be damned) to avoid losing that farm. Years later it caused Lyndon’s break-up with his girlfriend, Carol Davis, because her father detested the entire Johnson family. Her father forbade her to marry into “that no-account Johnson family,” saying, “Everyone in Blanco County knew that Lyndon’s grandfather Sam had been ‘nothing but an old cattle rustler—one generation after another of shiftless dirt farmers and grubby politicians.’” Johnson retorted, “To hell with your daddy. I wouldn’t marry you or anyone in your whole damned family . . . And you can tell your daddy that someday I’ll be president of this country.”[3]

She also wrote (p. 2) that LBJ’s father Sam “never lost an election” – implicitly meaning that he had always been a very popular and successful state legislator. Compare that assessment to this excerpt from Caro’s Path to Power (p. 93)

The significance of her apparent misunderstanding about Lyndon’s intrinsic hatred of his father belies a naiveite that might explain how she missed numerous points, only a few of which are covered here. It was Lyndon’s rejection of Sam for being weak and feeble — too proud of his legislative accomplishments like “the blue-sky law” — as being the cause of all the family’s financial problems and the collapse of his political career. It was a lesson which he clearly never forgot: When the choice involved questions of morality, Lyndon Johnson consistently chose the more pragmatic and profitable, less noble avenue throughout his lifetime.

Large (Significantly Diminishing the Book’s Credibility):

She completely missed the point of Lyndon Johnson’s visit with Billie Sol at the Midland airport, saying that it was just to assure him that if he kept his mouth shut that he would “take care of things.” If that were the only reason for such an order, it would not have required a personal visit, as that had always been the standard operating procedure because it was a basic tenet of their relationship: it was an understanding that he was already observing, famously declining to answer any substantive questions before, during or after his arrest.

The actual primary reason for the visit — as articulated by Estes himself in the French book he co-wrote with William Reymond — was to go through a list of all the company officers, employees, and vendors to determine how much they all knew about the details of the frauds, to determine how to deal with each one (five of whom were marked for death and were in fact eventually “neutralized”). It was that procedure that left Billie Sol aghast at what their jointly-connected frauds of government funds portended for him: It was why he obeyed Johnson’s orders to use his lawyers, John Cofer and Polk Shelton, and to willingly go to prison as the sacrificial lamb, sparing LBJ the utter destruction of his political career.

This was all explained in my “Colossus” book (p. xxvii), a summarized point taken from the French-language book Estes co-authored with William Reymond, JFK le Dernier Témoin: Assassinat de Kennedy, enfin la vérité.

Extra Large:

Although Mellen mentioned Mac Wallace’s incestual relationship with his own daughter, her treatment of this subject came off as a perfunctory attempt to dismiss the intrinsic evil within him that came with her objective of giving him a full vindication. In doing so she used the daughter’s tortured, eventual “forgiveness” of him, along with the contemporaneous decision of the assigned arbiter to minimize the point due to the fact that the only report of it had come from his ex-wife Andre, whose own credibility was a bit blemished due to her unconventional attitudes about sex, especially the allegations related to her lesbianism. To use that point, weighed in comparison to the much more serious charge of child abuse, is a magnum-size dose of giving him the “benefit of the doubt,” especially five decades later, when the daughter herself, long ago, admitted its reality.

Mellen lauded that arbiter, Charles C. Wise, calling his name “appropriate, as it turned out” referring to him as “more worldly” than such people as Clint Peoples, who could never understand how Wallace was given “Secret” classified security clearance, even while Wise stated that Wallace had “all the least desirable elements of an utter bum.” (Ibid., p. 168).

Nevertheless, Mr. Wise made the decision to give Mac greater credibility than Andre, which Ms. Mellen obviously felt was appropriate (ignoring the problem often associated with many arbiters: that they may act very “arbitrarily,” and—since both parties agree in advance to follow their “verdict”—they may be guided by their own biases, or in some cases, whoever might offer the larger bribe). One would think, given Mellen’s academic career, that she might have given a bit more props to Andre, an independent liberal feminist decades ahead of her time, her energy suppressed by a dominant male whose provincial social mores might have been the real cause of their dysfunctional marriage.

The entire Wallace family, especially Mac’s son Michael, in their attempt to deal with Mac’s tainted “legacy”, have clearly adopted the attitude that one of their own could not have been so evil as to have ever been LBJ’s “hitman.” His brother, James Eldon Wallace, according to Mellen, never believed that Mac had even murdered Doug Kinser, despite the immensity of the news coverage about it, causing few people, outside Mac’s family, to doubt the guilty verdict.

Consider the Prevailing “Situational Ethics” Opportunities for Wallace’s Family

Given their general ambivalence about his guilt in the ensuing (1961-62) murders, one must ask themselves whether, by 1970-71, “could it be possible that the entire family, led by their father A. J. Wallace—with some assistance by other ‘interested parties’ (LBJ in retirement?)—arranged a ‘staged’ accident, complete with a look-alike corpse fresh from some nearby morgue?

Given the situation facing Mac in 1971, that his life had been upended by Johnson, with no realistic chance that he could ever be rid of his tainted “legacy,” what better way to provide him with an opportunity to restart under a new name in another venue (such as Las Vegas, perhaps)?

We’ll never know for sure of course, but precisely that (seized corpse) technique, according to the now-vindicated Billie Sol Estes, was not uncommon in that place and age.

Mellen also falsely claimed that J. Harrison didn’t believe Madeleine’s story about the party; or what Mellen called Estes’s “vendetta” against Johnson. According to a close friend—of both Estes and Madeleine Brown—who chooses to remain anonymous, this is untrue. In fact, this highly credible source stated that after Madeleine’s death, Mr. Harrison drove alone on the 3 1/2 hour trip to Dallas for her funeral (7+ hours round-trip in a single day) to pay his respects to her because he did value her friendship and believed her stories, even though Harrison was aware of her confusing statements in the last years of her life as her memory and mental acuity were in decline, thus he may have harbored doubts about some things that she had misstated. Yet, the fact that he respected her so highly as to go to such lengths to honor her memory, should dispel any doubts that he might have ever uttered regarding her credibility.

But acknowledging any of these truths would run counter to her narrative and her objectives—of denigrating Brown, crucifying Estes, vindicating Wallace—while continuing to deny Johnson’s role in the assassination of President Kennedy. Yet, through her acknowledgement of (some of) Johnson’s treacheries in the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty she recognized the extent of his sociopathic-psychotic behavior in intentionally moving the ship into position for what was supposed to be actually sinking his own ship and carrying the entire crew of 294 Navy officers, sailors, marines and a civilian to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. (Not to mention his related order to launch nuclear-armed jets to attack Cairo (cancelled at the last minute by the Joint Chiefs insistence with LBJ’s reluctant assent), which risked retaliation by the Soviet Union and the possibility of World War III).

Yet there was no acknowledgement that anyone so evil, who could command others to do such a thing, should be given the sobriquet “stone-cold killer” and thus logically extend the appellation as being fit to apply to his many other “circumstantially” connected murders. The murders, which Billie Sol Estes described, Joan Mellen has stated have not been proven, thus giving Johnson (and Wallace) the benefit of the doubt for his “greatest” score. Her weakly-supported opinion on this critically important fact should be considered alongside the opposite statements of the legendary Ranger / U.S. Marshal Clint Peoples, who was convinced that Johnson had been the single instigator who benefited from all of those murders: The only reason Johnson escaped justice for those murders is because of his iron-fisted control of the primary law enforcement and judicial systems of Texas, including specifically his primary Texas sycophant, U.S. Attorney (in 1962), later Federal Judge H. Barefoot Sanders. (See HERE for more details on this point).

Other Related Rumors With at Least a 58-Year Half-Life

According to a trusted credible source—a long-time personal friend of Billie Sol Estes, to whom he confided many of his thoughts and secrets, who prefers anonymity—shortly before his (alleged?) death, Mac Wallace had pressured the owners of L&G Oil Company in Longview, Texas, for a raise, based upon his “past performance.” Those same owners had, in the aftermath of JFK’s assassination, transferred ownership of two oil wells to Ed Clark and Lyndon Johnson, possibly as their rewards for services rendered. Mac must have felt he deserved at least a piece of that largess for whatever he had done during his long-indentured service to Johnson, when he visited their office in Longview just before his trip up the road to Pittsburg.

Johnson and Clark, undoubtedly aware of his demands, were probably growing increasingly concerned about Wallace’s knowledge and involvement in a long list of previous frauds and murders, as they pondered whether there was any further need of his services.

Another, conflicting rumor has it that, years later, Wallace was seen in a casino in Las Vegas — just as another enigmatic murderer, John Liggett was, whose story was detailed here. Suffice it to say for now that Liggett, whose work as a highly skilled mortician made him somewhat of an expert in the field, had claimed that it was not unusual for him to be asked by a US Marshal to supply a corpse for the purpose of staging an accident, to make a person “disappear” into an independently operated “witness protection program” by faking their death.

Still another report of someone who knew him closely, another friend of Billie Sol Estes, who purportedly encountered Mac Wallace at Billie Sol’s funeral, appeared in the 2017 book Voices From the Shadows. After the funeral service had ended in the church, the woman who had been working as an editor with Sol’s friend Fred Michaelis had stayed behind, standing by Estes’ coffin when she felt someone else’s presence. Turning around, she found herself looking at a tall, elderly gentleman wearing thick black glasses and a black hat. She was surprised but didn’t recognize him at first, until he spoke: “I know you. You cooked fried chicken for me once.” Only then did she realize that the man was Mac Wallace; suddenly turning and quickly exiting the chapel, she ran to the restroom, where she lost her lunch.[4]

Unfortunately, four decades of swirling rumors had already created total confusion over whether Mac Wallace was killed in that wreckage by the time that Mellen’s book was published in 2016.

Mellen’s complete capitulation to his family’s statements and their biases about Mac’s high aspirations, great intelligence and sincere devotion to his first love, Nora Ann Carroll, formed the foundation of the author’s stilted homage to his life in the service of Lyndon B. Johnson.

In Mellen’s treatise, the thin linkage between these few slivers of Mac’s occasional humility and passiveness outweigh the many more incidences of his cockiness, arrogance, violence towards his wife and general disdain for ethical margins or legal boundaries, not to mention her seeming reluctance in admitting his murder of Doug Kinser. But that’s where, Joan evidently believes, his murderous ways stopped, as though after that incident he then became completely unconnected to his previous mentor.

LBJ’s aide Horace Busby’s very negative opinions — that Wallace was “consumed with great political ambition . . . fired with bitterness and ruthlessness,” was a “Marxist,” and had defended “Communism” and that he “would not entrust Wallace to positions of great responsibility . . . at the expense of the security of the country” — were summarily dismissed by Mellen, who stated they were “nothing short of defamatory.”

That she said, about the case against LBJ: “There is no credible evidence linking Lyndon Johnson to the murder of John F. Kennedy,” (p. 264) — while ignoring the credible witnesses (yes, including the now “vindicated” Billie Sol Estes and Madeleine Brown, as well as numerous others with first-hand knowledge identified in my two books on the subject) not to mention the conclusions made by the redoubtable Ranger/Marshal Clint Peoples — demonstrates the author’s predefined intent that is manifested throughout the book.

Did Famed LBJ Hitman Malcom “Mac” Wallace Die in This Ten-Year Old Chrysler?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mac-wallace-death-car_cropped.png
Malcolm Wallace’s 1961 Chrysler, Alleged Death Car (Pittsburgh, TX Gazette, 1/14/1971)

Mac Wallace allegedly died on January 7, 1971 when his north-bound 1961 Chrysler ran off (or was run off) Highway 271, 3 1/2 miles south of Pittsburgh, Texas (which lies about 150 miles east of Dallas). Yet in Mac’s case, everything about him is an enigma, even the question of whether he is really dead, even now. A number of persistent rumors have produced skepticism and confusion about that incident, owing to the mystique of his unparalleled life.

The map below illustrates Mac’s last journey, having left Marshall Texas earlier, making stops to visit his daughter, then the offices of L&G Oil Company in Longview, before driving north on his way to Pittsburg, Texas:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is mac-wallace-crash-map-1.png
A Summary of the Conventional Story of Mac Wallace’s Last Hours

Rumors of a “Set-Up” by Mac’s Family and Friends Filled the Air — And Still Persist

Beginning immediately after Malcolm Wallace’s “accident,” assorted rumors about alternate possibilities were reported, many linked to how Lyndon Johnson would conveniently benefit from Mac’s death — or at least the related reports stating that he died. Some of those rumors were about purported “fixes” to the car’s tailpipe in order to produce an abundance of carbon monoxide inside the car, or to its steering system and/or brakes possibly having been tampered with as well.

According to comments made by Kyle Brown, a long-time friend and confidant of Billie Sol Estes—who was also close to Cliff Carter, for many years before that—Wallace’s death was another one of Lyndon Johnson’s meticulously planned covert operations:

Excerpted from “The Lone Star Speaks” by K.W. Zachry and Sara Peterson (2020, p. 150)

As an aside, Johnson readily used his military and intelligence contacts to acquire whatever kind of “state-of-the-art” devices he felt necessary to carry out his cunning plots (the CIA’s “heart-attack gun” [SEE HERE], for example was undoubtedly on that list), so this statement about how a helicopter pilot might have controlled Mac’s car has significant merit, though it remains unproven.

Regardless of when and how Mac Wallace died, and whether he is dead even now, he had been taught well by Lyndon Johnson to “compartmentalize” the worst of his deeds. Since Wallace was also a sociopath, just like Johnson, he didn’t need too much instruction, given that the key distinction of sociopaths is that they have no conscience to guide their behavior to begin with.

The two aides Johnson picked for those assignments—Mac Wallace and Cliff Carter—had long understood that they had compromised themselves in such a way that prevented either of them from ever leaving his employ.

Johnson’s hold on both of them, bound by the most secretive, criminally lethal “wet-jobs” that had become nearly routine by the end of his presidency, undoubtedly caused harm to both of their psyches, knowing that that bond was unbreakable till death. Johnson’s ire was triggered when he discovered that Carter was breaking in 1971; he died within a day after seeking consolation with Billie Sol Estes. Johnson indubitably feared that Mac might decide to retaliate at some point, even as early as 1963 (That might explain why Johnson asked Hoover the day after JFK’s assassination about whether anyone had been shooting at him as well).

Their complete submission to LBJ’s control doubtlessly also compromised their own lives, to the point that Lyndon Johnson had to ensure that neither of them would outlive himself, with the possible exception of his fellow-sociopath Wallace, if his death could be “staged” so that he was effectively, though not literally, dead. But that wasn’t the case with Cliff Carter, who Johnson knew had a conscience that he had suppressed for over two decades and something would have to be done to ensure that it would never be allowed to be explored by anyone else.

The following excerpt from author David Halberstam summarizes the general point regarding how Johnson evaluated men in general, and, arguably, especially candidates for employment in his offices:

[Lyndon Johnson] “could catalogue the strengths and weaknesses of every man. The strength of a man put him off, but his weaknesses attracted him; it meant a man could be used. Whereas Kennedy had been uneasy in the face of another man’s weakness, it embarrassed him and he tended to back off when a man showed frailty, to Johnson there was a smell of blood, more could come of this. [5]

Wallace was arguably the single, most-ruined person by Lyndon B. Johnson, of all the uncountable others who might also lay claim to that “distinction.” The others, from either the dozens who merely became threats to him or attempted to perform his unreasonable orders (like the pilots who crashed on his ranch in 1961), or the hundreds of personally-involved contenders—34 killed and 174 injured on the USS Liberty alone, for example, and to extend the point, fairly, to include those killed or seriously wounded in Vietnam and of the Vietnamese, Laotian or Cambodian peoples—several million more lost either their land and other property, their family’s or their own lives (and in many cases, all of the above).

As he had done with all people who worked for him, Johnson exploited them for their strengths and weaknesses, used them in whatever capacity that best served his needs, demanded 100% loyalty and obedience, and abandoned them at a whim when he felt the need.

In Mac’s case, the position he would be groomed to fill was to be LBJ’s personal hit-man. It was, evidently, an important point that Mellen—or whomever else she might have colluded with—has unsuccessfully attempted to deny. That she—incredibly and brazenly—based her assertions of the enigmatic Wallace’s innocence upon accounts of his still-in-denial family, portraying him as an innocent, highly intelligent, conflicted, well-meaning, drunken vagabond, would seem to suggest that the objectives of her shoddily-assembled book were designed to meet criteria assigned as a mission to her by someone attempting to prop-up a crumbling edifice housing many volumes of similar myths. The rewards must have been considerable.


[1] To those who continue to belittle Estes as an “ex-con” a thorough reading of my three part series “Billie Sol Estes: A Sordid History Atoned: “Sol” Finally Vindicated,” is highly recommended. His later atonement — and consequent vindication — for the crimes he facilitated, on behalf of Lyndon Johnson, can be found at these links: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

[2] Mellen, Joan, Faustian Bargains, p. 92

[3] Dugger, Ronnie. The Politician—The Life and Times of Lyndon Johnson: The Drive for Power, from the Frontier to Master of the Senate., pp. 122-124

[4] Peterson, Sarah and K. W. Zachry, Voices From the Shadows, p. 494

[5] Halberstam, David, The Best and the Brightest, p. 446

2 thoughts on “REFRAMING HISTORY with More Myths: Mellen’s “Faustian Bargains” — Wrong on Many Levels

  1. I do have an original VHS tape of this LBJ expose – still – to this day. Still in its original shrink-wrapping and the tape is in mint condition. I first acquired the tape back in 1998, when it was first made available to the public at the time, by TransWorld News Network.

    Looking at the tape now, the back of the tape’s casing reads:

    ‘A spellbinding new documentary that takes an in-depth look at Lyndon Baines Johnson’s involvement in the murder of President John F. Kennedy. LBJ: A CLOSER LOOK traces Johnson’s fraudulent rise to power and his behind the scenes manipulations that made him one of the most powerful men in the world.

    You will hear . . . startling new evidence from Billie Sol Estes, the man who had secret audio tapes of Johnson planning the murder of President Kennedy. Estes tells the story of how Lyndon Johnson and Malcolm E. Wallace, a convicted killer, were involved in the murders of over seventeen people and how Bobby Kennedy was trying to put Lyndon Johnson in jail.

    You will hear . . . from Madeleine Brown, Lyndon Johnson’s lover for over twenty years. Madeleine Brown had a son with Lyndon Johnson and received financial support from Johnson up until the time of his death.

    You will hear . . . for the first time startling testimony from Loy Factor, a known shooter in the Kennedy assassination. Factor was hired by Malcolm Wallace, a close associate of LBJ. Factor was working with Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby who was hired by Wallace.

    According to forensic expert A Nathan Darby, Malcolm Wallace’s fingerprints were found on the same book carton as Oswald’s at the Texas School Book Depository.
    LBJ: A CLOSER LOOK puts Lyndon Johnson at the heart of the conspiracy that murdered President John F. Kennedy. This video is destined to be a classic.’

    “Shocking . . . Unbelievable . . . A Must See . . .”
    Director, Conspiracy Museum, Dallas, TX

    Executive Producer: Therese Sardie
    Produced and Written by: Lyle Sardie

    Co-produced: Tom Bowden
    Associate Producer: Madeleine Brown
    Package design: Emily Predidio

    Running Time: 93 minutes
    Manufactured and distributed by: TransWorld News Network (310) 542- **49

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s