The 1960 Presidential election between Jack Kennedy and Richard Nixon was always going to be close. The future President’s father, Joseph Kennedy, knew his son would need help – so he fixed a deal with the Mafia.
Joseph Kennedy, father of Jack, Robert and Edward Kennedy, was the real power behind the family.
He had made his fortune in the turbulent twenties, thirties and forties by sailing very close to the wind. He was involved in boot legging alcohol during the gangster years of prohibition and he made some insider deals on Wall St that would have been illegal at any other time. Laws were changed to try and stop people like Joe Kennedy ripping the market off.
The father knew that with his reputation he would never be elected to high office – but he was determined his sons would. He had backed Jack, a natural politician, in campaigns to try and get him elected to the US Senate but failed five times. So he went back to the tactic he knew best, bribery. A sizable loan to a Massachusetts newspaper publisher bought the support that political argument failed to deliver. Jack was off and running.
So when Jack was campaigning for President in 1960 his father knew what he had to do.
He arranged a meeting with the Chicago Mob boss Sam Giancana. Kennedy told Giancana that Jack would get the FBI off his back when he won the election. In return Giancana had to organise the union vote in Chicago to turn out for Kennedy. It sounded like a good deal to Giancana, a foot in the White House, and there was cash to buy the votes, so he agreed.
Joseph Kennedy had also been a big player in Hollywood. Apart from all the starlets he bedded, he also operated as a producer and had many connections. Various fund raisers for Jack Kennedy’s campaign were organised, many involving Frank Sinatra, an associate of Giancana. At one of these Jack Kennedy was introduced to Marilyn Monroe and she became one of his sex partners, although she always hoped to play a bigger role.
When Kennedy won the election by a very narrow margin it was the votes in Illinois, Missouri and Nevada that made the difference – all states controlled by Giancana associates.
So Giancana thought he had secured a lovely deal, especially when Jack Kennedy moved on from Marilyn Monroe to Judith Campbell – who then began to sleep with Giancana too.
But Giancana was to be severely disappointed. Jack Kennedy appointed his brother Bobby as Attorney General and he announced that his priority was to go after organised crime. Bobby Kennedy assembled a strike force and began to make life extremely uncomfortable for the Mob.
Giancana felt he had been double crossed at the highest level and he could not afford to let it go. He had promised his associates that life would get easier if they went along with Kennedy, now he was under pressure.
One of the leading suspects in the killing of President Kennedy has to be Giancana and the Mob.
Giancana also had a hold over FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover who was a secret homosexual. Accordingly, there is a strong theory that with the help of the FBI, CIA, and Naval Intelligence Service – the Mob carried out the assassination in Dallas. They all had reason for wanting to get rid of Kennedy but Giancana had the resources, the ruthlessness and the determination to actually do it.
Then Jack Ruby was hired to kill the suspect Lee Harvey Oswald who was in police custody, and, tragically, Marilyn Monroe was caught up in the plot. She knew Giancana, and the President – and she knew too much. It’s unlikely Marilyn committed suicide, she was probably murdered even though Frank Sinatra tried to help her. The role of Robert Kennedy, who was by then also seeing Marilyn, is uncertain.
Then, as is the Mafia way, Giancana was killed too.