In honor of Black History Month 2024, the Office of the Pardon Attorney would like to shine a light on pardon recipient Abraham W. Bolden, Sr. Mr. Bolden, the first African American Secret Service Agent assigned to a presidential detail, was granted a full and unconditional pardon by President Biden on April 26, 2022.
After graduating cum laude with a BA in Music Composition from Lincoln University, Abraham Bolden became the first African American Detective employed by the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. He next served as a State Highway Patrolman in the State of Illinois. Continuing to advance in the field of police work, Mr. Bolden became a member of the United States Secret Service in October 1960.
Read the full article on the DOJ Website here, https://www.justice.gov/pardon/black-history-month-2024
Scroll below to watch Andrew Kreig’s recent interview with Abraham Bolden on District Insiders.
Cyril Wecht: Pioneer Forensic Pathologist Who Has Shaped the Law
Written by Peter Vaira
In the opinion of many attorneys, Cyril Wecht is one of the major reasons that forensic pathology is now so important in the fact-finding process of the law.
This column is about Cyril Wecht, a giant in the legal and medical professions: doctor, lawyer, forensic pathologist, former coroner of Allegheny County, expert witness in mysterious death cases and concert violinist. He is 90 years old and is still actively practicing in Pittsburgh as a forensic pathologist. His son, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice David Wecht, said, “My Dad is still working at his profession. … he continues to do many autopsies every week, often multiple autopsies in a single day.” continued here…
Former JFK Secret Service Agent Describes Shocking Lapses, Current Implications
Written by Wayne Madsen and Andrew Kreig
Bolden, now 88 and living in Chicago (and shown at right in a file photo), described in rare detail several historically important interactions with JFK, Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) and such little-known intrigues as a planned 1963 assassination to target JFK in Chicago three weeks before a similar shooting killed the president in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
Bolden, loyal to JFK during a period when the president’s background and policies enraged some Americans, sought to alert his chain of command to security threats he had witnessed, including a volcanic 1961 temper tantrum by LBJ two years before JFK’s death. Authorities instead framed Bolden with perjured testimony on corruption charges in 1964 and promptly imprisoned him with a six-year sentence.
The District Insiders hosts, both investigative reporters long based in Washington, DC, recognized during the show Bolden’s remarkable courage and patriotism along with Biden’s boldness in granting a pardon. Most officials and mainstream media since 1963 have ignored, downplayed or otherwise suppressed any suggestion conflicting with the FBI’s steadfast contention, first expressed soon after JFK’s murder in 1963, that former U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald, shown at left, killed JFK, acting alone. Read the complete article on Justice Integrity Project
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CAPA is pleased to share with our base the news of the pardon of former Secret Service Agent Abraham Bolden under President John F. Kennedy. See story below. CAPA is also pleased to share the video “A Rush to Judgment” produced by Mark Lane and Stephen Jaffe which includes the most extended and detailed interview given by Bolden. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/arushtojudgement.
You must create a free account on Vimeo (or login to your existing account) to view the On-Demand Video, if you have a coupon, click Buy Now at top right corner, then add the Coupon code.
We offer this video free to our CAPA members and for a small fee of $10 to non-CAPA members. The fee can also be counted towards the membership fee of $50/year which will entitle you to a discount on the upcoming 2022 conference and other perks, including upcoming podcasts by knowledgeable experts.
To join CAPA, click here. Feel free to share this post with others. Members will receive their coupon code in a coming email.
Biden pardons Chicagoan Abraham Bolden, first Black Secret Service agent on White House detail
Bolden “has steadfastly maintained his innocence, arguing that he was targeted for prosecution in retaliation for exposing unprofessional and racist behavior within the U.S. Secret Service,” the White House said.
By Lynn Sweet
Apr 26, 2022, 6:30am PDT
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Tuesday pardoned Abraham Bolden, the Chicago man who was the first Black Secret Service agent to serve on a White House detail, who maintained charges against him that led to prison time were trumped up.
Bolden “has steadfastly maintained his innocence, arguing that he was targeted for prosecution in retaliation for exposing unprofessional and racist behavior within the U.S. Secret Service,” the White House said in announcing Biden’s clemency actions. [read more here…]
Dr. Cyril Wecht
By Heather Robinson, the New York Post February 5th, 2022
Dr. Cyril Wecht distrusts the US government. And he’s proud of it.
Dr. Cyril Wecht was the first non-governmental forensic pathologist to gain access to the National Archives to examine the assassination materials on JFK in 1972. He discovered that Kennedy’s brain was missing as well as many shocking lapses in the official probe into his death.
The forensic pathologist – who declared in 1978 that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in assassinating President John F. Kennedy – is now 90 and still sticking to his story.
Wecht’s latest book, “The JFK Assassination Dissected” (Exposit Books) summarizes his six decades of research into the subject, and pokes holes in the conclusion made by the 7-man Warren Commission that Oswald, without any help, shot and killed Kennedy when his motorcade drove past the Texas School Book Depository in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.
James Wagenvoord was born in Lansing, Michigan, graduated from Duke University and became a writer authoring 43 books, editor, publisher and photographer. He was employed in the editorial department of Time-Life in New York. He eventually became the editorial business manager and assistant to Life Magazine’s Executive Editor. On Friday, November 22, 1963, he was at his desk when the wire services announced the president had been shot in Dallas and the phones started ringing, never to stop. Wagenvoord was instantly at the center of the story of the century. He was told about the Zapruder film which had been screened for Life’s top correspondent in Dallas, Richard Stolley, as well as other major news organizations. Life’s executive editor, C.D. Jackson, was directing the Zapruder negotiations from New York. Jackson was a close friend of Henry Luce, the owner of the magazine. According to top journalist Carl Bernstein, Jackson was “Henry Luce’s personal emissary to the CIA.”
By Saturday night, November 23, 1963, after a heated competition, the print rights to Zapruder’s film had been sold, exclusively, for $50,000 to Life Magazine by Zapruder. Wagenvoord was in the middle of the deal, rarely leaving his phone in case a call came in from Stolley. When appearing before the Warren Commission, Zapruder claimed he received $25,000 from LIFE for the film and then gave this money to the Firemen’s and Policemen’s Benevolent Fund for Officer Tippit’s family. However, when the contract was eventually published it showed that Zapruder received $150,000 for the film after an additional round of negotiations that included all rights.
Wagenvoord realized that a mistake had been made. As he told the audience in his first CAPA speech in 2019, “I asked the editors about the questions raised when the stills were first printed and then duped for distribution to the European and British papers/magazines. The only response I got was an icy stare from Dick Pollard, Life’s Director of Photography. So, being an ambitious somewhat new employee, I had them distributed.”
On November 29th, Life Magazine published a series of 31 photographs documenting the entire shooting sequence from the Zapruder film. As Wagenvoord said, the first contract only included the print rights. The second one included all rights including motion picture rights.
Wagenvoord continued working on the Kennedy assassination editorial beat in the days and weeks that followed. He paid close attention to criticism which raised concerns about whether or not some of the photos they published had been tampered with. He supported the kind of investigative journalism that he thought they stood for but for his courage he was not rewarded. He was fired. He filled a box with his stuff including some test shots of the Kennedy assassination photos and left. Shortly thereafter his apartment was burglarized. Only that box was missing.
Wagenvoord, who died on July 26, 2022, is survived by his wife, Linda Raglan Cunningham and their beloved daughter, Julia.