Murder: Ms Meyer, center, was shot dead by a Georgetown canal in October 1964, and while police said it was a would-be sexual assault that turned fatal, a new book- and her ex- claims she was assassinated by the CIA
The suspicious death of one of President John F. Kennedy’s mistresses just months after his death has sparked numerous conspiracy theories.
The latest version posits that socialite Mary Pinchot Meyer, a beautiful divorcee who was close friends with the Kennedys and is widely known for having a lengthy affair with the playboy President, was shot in a cover-up operation by the CIA.
A new book alleges that, in her preoccupation with her lover’s assassination and ensuing personal investigation, she may have gotten so close to the ‘truth’ that the CIA found her to be a threat.
As a result, agency operatives staged a shooting to make it look like she died due to a sexual assault that turned violent.
Whether or not the theory is true, there are a number of questionable components to the story of the months leading up to her death on October 12, 1964.
Her ex-husband, Cord Meyer, was a CIA agent himself and the couple were card-carrying members of Georgetown’s starry social set, which included then-Senator John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline.
The couples became close friends, along with Mary’s sister Antoinette (who went by Tony) and her husband Ben Bradlee, who was a bureau chief for Newsweek but later went on to be the managing editor of The Washington Post.
Another couple that they spent time with was Mary’s Vassar classmate Cicely d’Autremont and her husband James Angleton, who was the chief of the counter surveillance for the CIA.
A book by Peter Janney, called Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision of World Peace, the author claims that the the socialite would often bring marijuana and LSD to her trysts with the President.
During their conversations while on these hallucinogens, Ms Pinchot Meyer reportedly tried to appeal to Mr Kennedy’s pacifist nature and urged him to seek peaceful solutions to such worldwide crises like the Cold War and the Cuban missile crisis.
At the time, LSD was not illegal, and many, including Harvard professor Timothy Leary, advocated its use because they believed it helped people expand their knowledge base.
Mr Janney’s book is not the first to draw conclusions between Ms Pinchot Meyer’s friendship with Mr Leary and her intentions with her relationship with Mr Kennedy.
He goes on to say that she was later murdered by the CIA, who he believes organized the assassination of the President in an effort to stop him from preventing violent escalation that they wanted in the Cold War.
Though The Huffington Post thought that the book rested largely on substantial assumptions, these theories have been in existence for some time.
One question lies in the existence- and retrieval- of her diary that included writings about her affair with President Kennedy.
Within a day of her murder, Mr Bradlee went over to her home to find the diary and, though the door was locked, he found Mr Angleton.
The CIA spymaster said that he also was looking for the diary but claimed that it was because his wife- Ms Meyer’s friend- had asked him to.
The whereabouts of the diary today are uncertain.
Another clue erring on the side of the conspiracy is that while her ex-husband included a statement of support for the police investigation of her murder, his assistant supposedly said that it was a lie and he did truly believe it to be a standard ‘in house rub out’.
In an interview shortly before his death in 2001, Mr Meyer said that ‘the same sons of b****es that killed John F. Kennedy’ killed his ex-wife.
Police arrested Robert Crump, a man who was found near the scene of the crime, but had no connection to the murder weapon, which was never found, or any prior history with Ms Meyer.