James Wagenvoord

 In Memoriam

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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.

Latest News

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.

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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

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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…]


Citizens Against Political Assassinations

2022-02-11_14-11-37 Citizens Against Political AssassinationsBy 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.

continue reading here…

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