This article is only for history buffs. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy, even today, continues to be loaded with deception and lies.
For many Americans, the Kennedy assassination continues to be a supreme example of pure government corruption.
During a chance meeting, we learned about the suspicious death of Army Captain Michael D. Groves who was in charge of the Old Guard at the White House when President Kennedy was assassinated.
We already know that many people associated with the assassination died suspicious deaths. The death of Captain Michael D. Groves at age 27, is more that suspicious, but has never really been investigated.
Our investigation of Captain Groves’ premature death introduced us to Mr. Bobby Lee Hayden, a surviving member of the Old Guard who knew Captain Groves personally.
He captivated us with his account of what he knew about Captain Groves, but also his extraordinary involvement with American history.
He has become even more colorful with age saying to me, just the other day, “I’ve been Black since 1937, so I am no stranger to adversity.”
Our investigation began with the suspicious death of Capt. Michael D. Groves, and the shell game the government played with President Kennedy’s body, but we wanted to include the extraordinary life of Mr. Bobby Lee Hayden who was a witness to so much American history.
The article is much longer than we usually provide on MilitaryCorruption.com, but for those who are interested in history, and the untold parts of history, it’s well worth the read.
NOTE: The clandestine movement of President Kennedy’s body is pretty much taken from the incredible research of David Lifton and Douglas Horne. Incredibly, their research fit perfectly with what Bobby Lee Hayden conveyed to us.
A CHANCE MEETING
A crotchety old-timer, named by his father after Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), approached me as I was leaving the Grover Beach, California Post Office. Delano “Del” White said, “Hey, you’re that guy who is on the staff of MilitaryCorruption.com, right?” I nodded yes and he said, “Please wait until I get done mailing this. I want to tell you about what happened to U.S. Army Captain Groves after the death of President Kennedy.”
Del White explained that many years ago, he was transferred from California, moving into a two-story home in Birmingham, Michigan in 1971.
One morning, Del White was on the second floor of his home and noticed through a window a man lying face down in the neighbor’s backyard.
He went to knock on the door of the home and the man’s wife sheepishly admitted, “Yeah, I know. That’s my husband Don. We drank a bit too much last night and he passed out in the yard. He was too heavy to move, so I just left him there to sleep it off.”
From that point forward, Del White and his neighbors Don and Gladys Groves became friends. One evening Del was invited over for dinner and noticed a picture on the fireplace mantle. It was their son, Army Captain Michael D. Groves.
As the night wore on and drinks began to take effect, Don and Gladys Groves began to share the sad story about their son Micheal. Michael D. Groves was no ordinary Army captain.
He had been hand-selected by President Kennedy to command Honor Guard Company, which among other ceremonial duties, helped to provide security for the White House.
In those days, the White House was not just a home, it was an Army post. Captain Groves was very loyal and dedicated to the Kennedy family.
Del White explained that he was eighteen years old when President Kennedy died, and was always interested in the various aspects of the assassination.
He sat in amazement and listened intently as Don and Gladys Groves shared their suspicions about their son’s death, which is believed to have occurred on the day President Kennedy was laid to rest. Don and Gladys even showed Del White a letter they received from Attorney Mark Lane, author of “Conspiracy in Camelot.”
Mark Lane represented the Oswald family and was one of the first researchers of the assassination. In Lane’s letter to Don and Gladys, that he felt Captain Groves had been murdered for something he knew, or witnessed in the White House.
We attempted to find anyone who was alive back then that may have known Captain Groves and found Mr. Bobby Lee Hayden of Huntsville, Alabama from an old magazine article. When he answered the phone, it began several hours of phone interviews over a period of several weeks.
BOBBY LEE HAYDEN
President Harry Truman issued Executive Order #9981 on July 26, 1948, saying the military must immediately integrate. The integration order was intended to plunge a dagger in racial discrimination within the American military.
Eleven years before the issuance of that order, an African-American child was born on May 20, 1937, in Huntsville, Alabama who would be directly affected by President Truman’s executive order. His name is Bobby Lee Hayden, the son of Oscar and Sandy Hayden.
It would take fourteen long years before the military would finally carry out President Truman’s executive order. It was a difficult thing to fully integrate the military since it had been segregated, going all the way back to the founding of the country.
Part of the reason integration of the military was taking so long was because Eisenhower and a majority of the politicians weren’t in any big hurry to implement Truman’s desegregation order.
It took fourteen years for the military to implement the President’s order to desegregate, when it should have only taken six months or less.
On January 20, 1961, a new young President was sworn into office. The President’s wife, Jacqueline Kennedy noticed there were no Black faces in Old Guard Army unit that provided security and conducted ceremonies for the White House.
She said to the President, “You’re going to take care of that aren’t you Jack?” It was an “executive order” to the chief executive to correct the segregation around her.
Following the wife’s instructions, President Kennedy issued orders to the military.
On March 16, 1962, the word went forth to every American military unit in the world, if you were Black, over six feet tall and had a college education, you were to apply for special duty in Washington D.C.
And, that was about all they were being told. Bobby Lee Hayden fit the bill perfectly, and appeared before a panel of officers who were screening eligible personnel for duty in the Old Guard.
Bobby Hayden said, “You couldn’t have even a traffic citation on your record, or you would not be considered.” Being from the segregated South, Bobby Hayden understandably had a bit of an attitude.
When he was interviewed for the job, one of the officers detected his rebellious attitude and asked, “If you were to see the President, would you salute him?” Hayden snapped back, “No Sir.”
The officer immediately concluded that Hayden had a discipline problem, and ordered him to ‘drop and give him twenty push-ups.’ After completing the twenty push-ups, he was asked again if he would salute the President, and once again he loudly replied, “No Sir!”
Once again, the officer demanded another twenty push-ups. This cycle continued for nearly eight hours, from about four pm until midnight. Hayden laughingly recalled, “I think I did a total of 1,060 push-ups before it was over. If I kept it up for much longer, I would end up looking like Arnold Schwarze-“negro.”
Hayden explained that African-American military members, like everyone else on active duty, were sworn to protect America against all enemies foreign and domestic, but because of the pervasive racism of the era, he couldn’t even leave the base to have a sandwich.
The “Equal Justice Under Law” credo chiseled in the fascia of the Supreme Court, was just one big lie to victims of racial segregation.
Bobby Lee Hayden, even with his resentment of how Blacks were being treated, ended up being approved for duty in Washington anyway.
Hayden was approved, not only because he was well-qualified for the job, but also because those with a segregationist attitude thought he would fail.
They thought his rebellious attitude would get him in trouble, making it easier to lobby against having Black members in the Old Guard.
THE ARMY’S OLD GUARD
Hayden received orders to report for duty with the 3rd U.S. Infantry, traditionally known as “The Old Guard,” the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army, serving our nation since 1784. To put things in perspective, George Washington died in 1799.
Since World War II, The Old Guard has served as the official Army Honor Guard and escort to the President. In that capacity, 3rd Infantry soldiers are responsible for conducting military ceremonies at the White House, the Pentagon, national memorials and elsewhere in the nation’s capital.
In addition, soldiers of The Old Guard maintain a 24-hour vigil at the Tomb of the Unknowns, provide military funeral escorts at Arlington National Cemetery and participate in parades at Fort Myer and Fort McNair.
Fort Myer is the previous name used for a U.S. Army post next to Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, and across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. Fort Myer is sometimes confused with “Fort Meyers” located in Florida, two different bases in two different states.
Fort Myer, Virginia was founded during the American Civil War as Fort Cass and Fort Whipple, the post merged in 2005 with the neighboring Marine Corps installation, Henderson Hall, and is today named Joint Base Myer–Henderson Hall.
The black-and-tan “buff strap” worn on the left shoulder by each member of the 3rd Infantry is a replica of the knapsack strap used by 19th-century predecessors of the unit to display its distinctive colors and distinguish its members from other Army units.
The present buff strap continues to signify an Old Guard soldier’s pride in personal appearance and precision performance that has marked the unit since the very beginnings of America.
Hayden was among the first African Americans assigned to the Old Guard. Fred Moore was there in 1960 and served as a guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during early 1961.
On June 1, 1962, Hayden reported for duty at Fort Myer, Virginia. On the following day, he said he was taken for a tour of the White House. Initially, he was assigned to duty at the Washington Monument.
His first duty at the White House wasn’t until August 1962, beginning as a valet for the General Earle Wheeler who was the Chief of Staff of the Army. An article in the Huntsville Times dated Sept. 11, 1962 announced that Bobby Lee Hayden had been chosen for duty in the Old Guard.
When the general’s limo arrived for a ceremony at the White House, Hayden opened the door, took two steps back and snapped a crisp salute. General Wheeler exited the limousine and said, “Welcome aboard new ass!”
Wheeler may have heard about Bobby’s thousand+ push-ups. Maybe his taunting was a setup to see if Bobby’s resentful attitude would spill out with a little prodding so they could get rid of him.
A blowup by Hayden could also help military brass to stop other Black soldiers from being considered for the Honor Guard.
Hayden didn’t fall for it. He maintained his military bearing at all times. Hayden remained composed and gave no response.
General Wheeler was attending meeting at the White House because President Kennedy was receiving Konrad Adenauer, the first post-war Chancellor of Germany.
When the ceremony was over and General Wheeler came back for his limousine, Hayden once again opened the door, took two steps back and rendered another perfect salute.
This time General Wheeler returned his salute and said, “A job well done new trooper!” After Wheeler got back to his office he issued a commendation for Bobby Lee Hayden.
Normally, military personnel do not receive commendations for just opening doors, so it’s likely General Wheeler felt a little guilty for his attempt to goad Bobby Lee Hayden into breaking his military bearing.
Hayden was beginning to realize that his new duty assignment was not about him, but about representing all Black people. Not only were Generals trying to trip him up, but there was other resistance as well. Bobby Hayden was making history by being the very first African-American to be assigned to the Army’s Old Guard.
He clearly remembers when he arrived at the barracks and was assigned a bunk. Even though the room was filled with (White) people, you could have heard a pin drop when the Black man walked in.
He said, “I was there five days before anyone would speak to me.”
THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
As time went on, other Black soldiers arrived for duty, but many would not last. Only the cream of the crop were allowed duty with the Army’s prestigious Old Guard. Eventually, the Black contingent of the Old Guard numbered seven, and they proudly named themselves, “The Magnificent Seven.”
Not only did they have to be in top physical condition, but they had to be very smart in order to remember every step, signal and maneuver of 130+ separate ceremonies.
Company Commander Captain Michael D. Groves quickly developed a great respect for all the Black trailblazers, that he also referred to as the magnificent seven.
He especially respected Hayden, because he was the first trailblazer. Captain Groves treated them all with respect and kindness, more importantly, he treated them fairness and dignity. That’s all they wanted, just an even chance to demonstrate just how good they really were.
Many in the racist military were secretly hoping that one or all of the Black contingent would screw up and fail. These men were truly the magnificent seven, the best of the best, because no one would give them any break for any mistake, no matter how slight it may have been. Can you imagine the pressure?
Hayden remembers being invited over to the home of Captain Michael Groves on more than one occasion. It was there, his troopers were able to relax from their stressful job to enjoy hamburgers, hot dogs and beer. For Hayden, it was a special time.
African-Americans weren’t welcomed off the base at many of the eateries, but Captain Groves and his wife Mary sure made the Black contingent of his Honor Guard felt very welcomed at their home. Captain Groves would not tolerate the stupidity of any racism in the unit he commanded.
During these little picnics, for hours they would laugh, joke and tease each other. It made the Honor Guard members that much more of a close-knit team. Captain Groves was sticking his neck out by having these little backyard soirees.
Had the military wanted to, they could have court-martialed Groves for fraternizing with enlisted personnel. In those days, fraternization was considered a misdemeanor punishable by one year in Ft. Leavenworth detention barracks.
When Ronald Reagan became President in 1980, the punishment for fraternization was doubled, and increased from a misdemeanor to a felony. There are members of our military right now, who are serving time in prison for fraternizing.
As a side note: one of the members of our own staff at MilitaryCorruption.com was an officer and pilot in the naval reserves and dated an enlisted woman. He was sent to a general court-martial and has been a convicted felon for the last thirty-five years.
Not long after the Magnificent Seven were assigned to the White House, President Kennedy instructed his staff that he wanted to speak to all newly assigned Black soldiers in the Oval Office.
Bobby Hayden clearly recalled the event. For thirty-five minutes President Kennedy told them what he expected of them and reminded them everyone is watching. “Be at your best at all times,” the President said.
Remembering all the push-ups and his statement to not salute the President, Hayden was beginning to change his attitude. He felt this was a man he could proudly salute, and that he was saluting the office of President, more than the man who was President.
Kennedy had discovered from an interview that Hayden had gone to school with, Vivian Malone Jones, who was one of the first two African-American students to enroll at the University of Alabama in 1963. She ended up being the university’s first African-American graduate.
She became famous when Governor George Wallace blocked her and James Hood from enrolling at the all-white university.
One day, President Kennedy asked Bobby Lee Hayden what he thought of Governor George Wallace, knowing that Bobby Lee was from the Great State of Alabama. Hayden responded, “Sir, Governor Wallace takes care of everything south of the Tennessee River, and I take care of everything North of the river.”
President Kennedy smiled at Hayden and said, “I bet you do. Yes, I bet you do indeed.”
President Kennedy went the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama to dedicate the Marshall Space Flight Center on September 11, 1962. It just so happened that the Marshall Space Flight Center was in Bobby Hayden’s home town of Huntsville, so President Kennedy made sure Bobby Lee Hayden went with him on Air Force One.
While President Kennedy was shaking hands and giving speeches, Bobby Hayden got to visit his family and friends. Hayden had also attended school with one of the women who helped John Glenn return safely to earth. The 2016 movie “Hidden Figures,” revealed their incredible contribution to space travel.
ORDERED TO ATTEND A MEDGAR’S FUNERAL
In the early morning of June 12, 1963, literally hours after President John F. Kennedy’s nationally televised Civil Rights Address, Medgar Evers pulled into his driveway after returning from a meeting with NAACP lawyers.
Emerging from his car, carrying NAACP T-shirts that read “Jim Crow Must Go,” Medgar Evers was shot in the back by some racist piece of shit hiding in the bushes.
Medgar staggered thirty feet before collapsing and was taken to the local hospital in Jackson, Mississippi for treatment. But, the medical staff refuse to administer medical attention because he was Black.
Medgar’s family pleaded with hospital staff for his entry into the hospital, and was finally admitted. Medgar Evers died in the hospital fifty minutes later. Would he had lived if they had administered immediate medical attention? No one will ever know.
Bobby Lee Hayden and the rest of the “Magnificent Seven” were ordered by President Kennedy to wear their Class “A” Army uniforms and attend the funeral of Medgar Evers. There was a special place marked off for the Magnificent Seven by Medgar’s graveside.
When Dr. King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, Bobby Hayden was part of a contingent that guarded the entrance to the podium. Hayden got to see Dr. King when he approached the podium to give his famous speech. Hayden always seemed to be there when major American history was being made.
On Wednesday, November 20, 1963, two days before President Kennedy would be gunned down in Dallas, Hayden participated in a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
Bobby Hayden and his comrades had done such a excellent job, that President Kennedy ordered they be given the next 72 hours off. It was a little vacation for a job well done.
It was during that 72-hour mini-vacation when Bobby Hayden and the rest of the nation would hear about the assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas, Texas.
THE SHOCK MADE HIM SHOWER
WITH HIS CLOTHES ON
He was enjoying his time off by taking a little afternoon nap in his bunk when Earnest Brooks, one of the Magnificent Seven said, “Bobby, wake up. The old man’s been killed, we’ve got to get ready for the ceremony.”
Hayden initially thought he was joking and shrugged it off because people were always playing practical jokes on each other in the squad bay. Bobby thought it might be a ploy to get him up out of his bunk.
Brooks yelled over to another soldier Alan Hammond, “Hey Hambone, turn up the TV so Bobby can hear what’s going on.” Hayden laid in his bunk listening in a state of utter shock and disbelief. After about five minutes, Hayden got up and walked into the showers, wearing his clothes, and began to run the water.
Someone shouted, “You fool, what are you doing taking a shower with your clothes on?” Hayden didn’t realize he had not undressed before running the water. All he was thinking was that he had to get ready for the funeral procession of his life.
Lt. Bird quickly assembled two casket teams, an “A” team and a backup team. Hayden was on the “A” team.
Both teams got in their Class A uniforms and boarded a helicopter at Fort Myer, VA heading for Andrews Air Force Base awaiting the arrival of Air Force One carrying President Kennedy’s body from Dallas.
In a crazy way, Hayden felt guilty. The primary mission of the Old Guard was to protect the President. Hayden felt they had failed in their primary mission of protecting the President.
Obviously, he and his fellow soldiers were not in Dallas, and could not have prevented any thing that happened that day. But, nonetheless, the guilt he felt was strangely real. As bad as the President’s death was, the worst was yet to come for Bobby Hayden.
Over the course of the next three and a half days, Hayden and his fellow soldiers would literally either march or stand at attention in their dress uniforms, twenty-four hours a day. They were only able to take catnaps and grab a few bites from a sandwich between duty assignments.
The world was watching them. They couldn’t afford to make a mistake, not even a small one, because it would haunt them forever. Once the burial ceremony concluded, the American Flag draped over the President’s coffin was removed and carefully folded by Bobby Hayden and the other casket team members.
The folded flag was solemnly handed to Jacqueline Kennedy as dignitaries from throughout the world looked on.
HAYDEN WAS THE FIRST
TO GUARD THE ETERNAL FLAME
Captain Groves received orders to post a guard at the Eternal Flame, which marked the President’s grave. The guard had to be posted before the sun went down. After three days of little to no sleep, Bobby Hayden and his compatriots were completely exhausted.
They couldn’t wait for the opportunity to plop down on their bunks to have eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. That dream was shattered for Hayden when, right after the President’s burial ceremony, he heard Captain Groves shout…
“Bama, I’m going to make you part of history. We have to assign someone to guard the Eternal Flame at the President’s grave. You will be the first one to guard the flame. It must be manned up before the sun goes down.”
Captain Groves knew that if he asked any of the others he might get some sort of excuse, like they didn’t have a uniform ready and therefore couldn’t do it. Captain Groves knew he could always depend on Bobby Hayden.
He said, “Are you up to it?” Even though he was terribly exhausted, Hayden told Capitan Groves he had a fresh uniform ready-to-go and replied, “Sir, I don’t give orders, I just carry them out.”
Hayden had about two hours to rest and get in his fresh new uniform before the sun went down. A military vehicle would be waiting to return him back to the President Kennedy’s grave to stand a watch, while the rest of his fellow soldiers would be sleeping.
After Hayden donned a new dress uniform and prepared to return back to Arlington, Sergeant Henry “pie face” Bayles appeared in the squad bay. Hayden thought that it was mighty strange that Bayles was back in the barracks when he had already departed for home.
Hayden shrugged it off and got in the vehicle heading back to Arlington National Cemetery to stand watch over the Eternal Flame and guard the tomb of President Kennedy. As Hayden stood his watch at the Eternal Flame, he reflected on the nightmarish events of the weekend.
He recalled the treasured times he got to see and speak with President Kennedy. He looked forward to getting out of the cold November air and returning to the barracks to snuggle up in a warm bed for a full night of uninterrupted sleep.
The minutes turned to hours until he was finally relieved and returned to the barracks for a well-deserved rest.
CAPTAIN GROVES SUSPICIOUSLY DIES
When Hayden arrived back at the barracks, fellow soldier Allen “Hambone” Hammond told Hayden to get some chow and get showered up, that he had something important he wanted to tell him.
Hambone, and everyone else knew how tight Captain Groves and Bobby Hayden were. They had to break some very bad news to Hayden, that no one really wanted to convey.
Once Hayden showered and relaxed a bit, several individuals stood around Hayden quietly looking glum. Hambone finally mustered the courage to tell Hayden that his highly respected company commander, Captain Michael D. Groves had suddenly died.
Hayden was told that Captain Groves suffered a “heart attack” at the dinner table and died that same evening at his home. Captain Groves was survived by Kelly Ann his daughter, Mary Francis his wife and a baby still in the womb.
This was a double kick in the gut for Hayden. By late Monday evening November 25, 1963, Hayden had lost two of the most important people in his life, his beloved President and Captain Michael Groves.
For you historians out there, this is where the red flags go up the pole. Hayden and Groves were almost the exact same age (27), spaced apart by only 30 days. Every member of the Old Guard were handpicked, partly because of their top physical and mental conditioning.
Did Captain Groves actually die of a heart attack at age 27?
Yes, people do die at young ages for a variety of reasons, but for a member of such an elite military unit to suddenly die of a heart attack at age 27 is very difficult to believe just on its face.
Captain Groves was buried in the same section of Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) as was President Kennedy.
Hayden clearly remembers, that Capt. Groves was buried three days after he died, on Thursday, November 28, 1963.
But, according to the official White House logs and his grave stone, Groves died on Tuesday, December 3, 1963, and was buried on Friday, December 6, 1963. The discrepancy remains a mystery unto this day.
Hayden was told that Captain Groves died at home right at the dinner table, falling over into his plate in front of his pregnant wife and daughter. His body was allegedly taken to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where the government determined that cause-of-death was a massive “heart attack.”
Hayden said they moved his body from Walter Reed to the cemetery chapel. Hayden said Captain Groves’ body lay in repose at the Third Regimental Head Quarters until his burial on Thursday, November 28, 1963.
On that day, there was a symbolic funeral procession from the White House to Arlington National Cemetery, which included the burial caisson used during the Kennedy funeral and Blackjack the riderless horse.
The funeral procession ceremony was exactly the same given to President Kennedy three days prior with minor variations. This was done to honor Captain Groves, but also to continually train the Old Guard funeral brigade. Blackjack the horse had the symbolic boots in the stirrups reversed, but a different ceremonial blanket.
A different blanket is used for field grade officers, major and above. Groves was a captain and therefore did not rate the field-grade blanket on Blackjack. Different dates given for the death and burial of Captain Groves is very curious.
Some say, it’s just a simple mistake on the official White House log. Bobby Hayden was very clear, and has never changed his story as to when he was told Captain Groves had died.
Hayden emphatically states to this day, and without any reservation or purpose of evasion, that he was told Captain Groves died on Monday, November 25, 1963.
This was the same day President Kennedy was buried, and the same day he completed the first watch at the Eternal Flame, something he has never forgotten.
Again, it’s interesting to note the same mistake in the White House logs about Captain Groves’ date of death, (if it was a mistake), was also inscribed on his grave marker, December 3, 1963.
Did Captain Groves die when they told Bobby Hayden he died, or did he die on December 3rd as stated in the White House log and on the grave marker?
In another strange event, on December 12, 1963, nine days after the government said Groves had died, his possessions and mementos, which had been sent home to Birmingham, Michigan, were destroyed in a suspicious fire of mysterious origin.
No one, to this day, really knows why the dates are different (wrong), either on his grave stone and in White House logs. It makes us wonder if Captain Groves wasn’t indeed murdered by dark forces with our government.
Did Captain Groves know or witness something that could expose how and why President Kennedy was killed? Because of his absolute devotion and loyalty to President Kennedy, Captain Groves would not hesitate to divulge anything he felt was important for the assassination investigation.
It’s possible, the CIA got rid of Captain Groves, just like some believe they got rid of his boss, President Kennedy. CIA has all the diabolical toys to kill people, and Groves could have consumed a delayed action poison which made it appear he had a heart attack.
Who knows? It’s all conjecture. All we do know is that Bobby Lee Hayden was told his beloved Captain Groves had died on Nov 25th, but his grave stone says he died on Dec 3rd. We are told he died of a heart attack at age 27, and that his personal effects were destroyed by a suspicious fire, a week after the date given for his death on his gravestone.
The White House was at that time considered a military post, and the Old Guard was there to protect the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Upon the death of the president, the Captain of the Guard would have assumed command of the White House until relieved by the newly sworn-in President.
In this case, Captain Groves and the Old Guard would have seized control and locked down the White House from the time they heard the President was declared deceased, until they were relieved by President Johnson around 7:00 pm on the same day.
That would be roughly six hours or so. Did Captain Groves see or hear something from when President Kennedy was killed on Friday, November 22, 1963, until he departed for home on Monday evening the 25th, which concerned the conspirators so much they had to kill him?
Yes, a conspiracy. From all that is known thus far, it’s fairly obvious there was another shooter on the grassy knoll. More than one shooter equates to a conspiracy to kill the President.
So, if we believe that Captain Groves was indeed murdered, what was it that frightened the conspirators? Did he accidentally overhear a conversation with Lyndon Johnson on the phone saying, ‘yeah, we finally got that son-of-a-bitch?’
Did the red phone from Moscow ring to say, ‘We had nothing to do with it?’ The truth may never be known. If Captain Groves was murdered, the perpetrators were tying off loose ends so the public could swallow more easily that it was just Lee Harvey Oswald, case closed.
PARENTS OF CAPTAIN GROVES
Del White had many conversations with the parents of Captain Groves. According to White, they always believed their son was murdered for something he witnessed in the White House.
White said that when he first met Don Groves (father of Capt. Michael Groves) in 1971, Don was working for Ford Motor Company in their heavy truck division in Pontiac Michigan. Don was promoted to an executive position with Ford, and one of his perks was a new car every year.
Although he drove a Mercedes, he was entitled to a new car every year, due to his newly acquired executive position with the company.
Don would order a customized Lincoln Continental with the worst interior/exterior fabrics and paint job you’ve ever saw.
According to Del White, “it was a real pimp mobile which he keep parked in front of his house at 251 Euclid Avenue in Birmingham, Michigan just to make a point.”
It appeared to Del White that Ford Motor Company may have been forced to keep Don Groves employed, no matter what he did. “It was almost as if they sent him a paycheck regardless of whether he showed up for work or not.”
Del White believes that Don Groves ordered his company car in the most outrageous colors and configuration to make a statement, and embarrass the Ford Motor Company.
Del White said, “People would have been fired for doing much less, but not Don Groves. No one knows why the Ford Motor Company put up with behavior which begged for dismissal.”
According to numerous conversations Del White had with the Groves family, they all made it abundantly clear that, in their opinion, Captain Michael D. Groves was murdered, but were not sure the reason why.
Del White also said, “Most of the neighbors on Euclid Avenue told me that it wasn’t a good idea to associate with the Groves family. To my mind they were wonderful people who were terribly disappointed in the government and the powers that be. It was readily apparent to me, the Groves family was under a lot of pressure to keep quite.”
Darbea Groves was very vocal about what she perceived as the “murder” of her brother Michael. Del White said, “She told me that “they” tried to get her committed, and “they” told her if she didn’t “shut up” she’d never see her kids again.”
Del White, with a steely eyed stare said, “Although the specific circumstances are unknown, it came as no surprise to him that Darbea died before both of her parents in 1978 at age 37, and only five years after she discussed her strong belief that her brother was murdered for what he knew about the Kennedy Assassination.”
Everyone has their own theory as to what happened in Dallas. Oswald may not have had anything to do with it.
He probably was in the lunchroom drinking a Coke as he said he was. When the Dallas Police did a paraffin test on him to see if he had recently fired a weapon, it came up negative.
It’s basic physics, that when struck by an object like a bullet, your body will generally move in the same direction as the bullet.
President Kennedy’s head snapped back and to the left indicating that he took a bullet from the gassy knoll area.
This means there was more than one shooter, and therefore there was indeed a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy.
In 2013, author Josiah Thompson of the book, “Six Seconds in Dallas” came forward to admit he had made a serious mistake in his investigation of the Kennedy Assassination.
In 1967, Thompson introduced a “fact” into evidence, which was wrong.
Thompson had worked for Life Magazine who owned the famous Zapruder film. He has access that few others did to a high quality copy of the Zapruder film. He examined carefully the moment of impact of the killing bullet in frames Z312 and Z313.
Thompson measured the distance from the President’s head and fixed points on his limousine. He discovered the distance from the back of the seat to the President’s head increased forward 2.18 inches in 1/18 of a second, between frames Z312 and Z313.
After that, the President’s head snapped back and to the left. Two inches was an enormous change in distance occurring in 1/18 of a second making him believe the President got shot from behind pushing his head forward two inches, then a fraction of a second later, the President head explodes.
Our government (The Warren Commission) incorrectly concluded the explosion of the Presidents right temple was the “exit” of a bullet. WRONG!
A system’s engineer from Eugene, Oregon instantly saw the mistake Josiah Thompson was making. The gleaming sunlight from the chrome of the limousine was smeared in frame Z313, but not smeared in Z312.
The young systems engineer concluded that between frames Z312 and Z313, it wasn’t the President’s head moving, it was Zapruder’s camera that moved. Someone from the grassy knoll area fired a shot just over Zapruder’s right shoulder which startled him.
The gunshot made Zapruder lurch creating the optical illusion the President’s head had moved forward, when it did not. The head movement forward did not occur. This was not discovered until 2008, forty-five years after the assassination.
STARTLING AUDIO EVIDENCE
In 1978, the House Select Committee on Assassinations were presented with a stuck-microphone recording which gave an audio witness of the gunfire. A police radio was stuck in the “on” position for 5 1/2 minutes during the gunfire in Dealy Plaza.
Acoustic scientists used the gunfire and resulting echoes created by the surrounding buildings to pinpoint where the gunfire was originating.
It was concluded there was a gunman firing from behind the fence above the grassy knoll, which would have been just to the right of where Abraham Zapruder was standing.
When Josiah Thompson merged the Zapruder video with the audio from the stuck microphone, it created an audio/video clock which all lined up. There were four shots, and one or more of those shots came from the gassy knoll area which is powerful evidence of a conspiracy to kill the President.
As President Kennedy becomes visible from behind the road sign in the Zapruder film, he’s seen bringing his hands up to his throat. This was a shot from the front.
DOUG HORNE & DAVID LIFTON
Douglas Horne worked for the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB) from AUG 1995 to SEP 1998. He became the ARRB’s chief analyst for military records. In NOV 2009, he published a five volume book, entitled “Altered History” on what he had discovered during his time on the ARRB.
In his book, he presents his conclusion about the medical cover-up, about the alterations made to the Zapruder film and about his opinion as to why President Kennedy was killed. He concludes the Kennedy Assassination was not the random act of a lone malcontent devoid of meaning or political consequences.
This is what the Warren Commission wanted the American people to believe. Instead, it was a domestic Coup d’Etat, carried out by a cabal of individuals representing elements of the national security state, in reaction to JFK’s foreign and military policy, which was covered up by elements of the federal government.
Mr. Horne’s extensive investigative work help to place things in perspective after we had located Bobby Hayden, one of the guards on the President’s ceremonial detail in the White House.
THE BODY SNATCHING SHELL GAME
Since murder was considered a state crime, the state of Texas wanted to take control of the President’s body after he died for an autopsy. They had legal jurisdiction to do so. Other than the tracheotomy, there was no surgery done by anyone at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
The Secret Service attempted to wheel his body out of the hospital, en-route to the airport.
The coroner, Doctor Earl Rose stopped Secret Service agents as they were attempting to wheel the President’s body out of the hospital.
He said that according Texas law, the President’s body would have to undergo an autopsy in Dallas.
This created a tense standoff as to who would control the President’s body.
At the time, the assassination of a president wasn’t a federal crime, and legally, murder was subject to Texas state laws. Doctor Rose was entirely within his rights to demand that an autopsy be performed in Texas.
Had he been allowed to do so, all of American history would be different today.
It’s very likely that Johnson would have been ripped right out of office for his involvement. According to LBJ’s mistress, he said, ‘After tomorrow, I won’t have any more problems with the Kennedys,’ or words to that effect.
The cover-up of the JFK Assassination would not have been possible if Rose would have conducted an autopsy. But, the secret service denied Dr. Rose from conducting an autopsy. With lots of profanity being exchanged, Secret Service agents pushed Doctor Rose out of the way, but he resisted.
They told Doctor Rose if you do not get out of the way, we are going to run you over. This was the recollection of Dr. Paul Peters who was interviewed in 1988 for a documentary.
After brandishing their weapons, the U.S. Secret Service left Parkland Hospital, thereby stealing the President’s body from authorities in Texas who actually had legal jurisdiction.
The moment the bronze casket was loaded onto Air Force One in Dallas, Douglas Horne believes President Kennedy’s body was removed from the ceremonial bronze casket and hidden before (or during) the swearing-in of Lyndon Johnson. After Johnson’s swearing-in, everyone went back to surround the casket to conduct an “Irish wake.”
In other words, they all sat around the casket drinking alcohol telling stories about the President. Little did they know the President had been removed from the casket they were grieving over.
Doug Horne believes the body was removed from the bronze casket out of fear that Texas authorities would show up to claim the body for an autopsy in Texas. Once, Johnson was sworn in, Air Force One departed Dallas en route for Andrews Air Force Base near Washington D.C.
MELEE AT ANDREWS AFB
First Lieutenant Sam Bird was the platoon leader of the Honor Guard Company and designated as the OIC (officer-in-charge) of the Joint Service Casket Teams.
Two, six-man units were created to remove the bronze casket from Air Force One into a light gray Navy ambulance.
At 4:30 pm, Lt. Bird and his pall bearers flew from Fort. Myer on two H-21 helicopters to Andrews AFB arriving before Air Force One landed.
After the helicopter landed, they were joined by personnel of other services to form a joint-service casket team.
As the baggage door would open on Air Force One, the plan was to have a casket team on the truck pass the casket down to the primary casket team on the ground. But, the plan never materialized.
When the baggage door to Air Force One actually opened, General Godfrey McHugh, who was on board, told Lt. Bird that he (McHugh) and Secret Service agents would unload the bronze casket.
This was an affront and breech of protocol. Waiting until a President dies, is not the time to start training, so Lt. Bird’s men drilled four times per month on how to properly receive Presidential remains.
Training for these situations were continually conducted by the Old Guard. That is what they were paid to do, and they were good at it.
BY THE SECRET SERVICE
Secret Service agents and General McHugh didn’t care much about protocol, or having a dignified ceremony to receive the President’s remains, so they pushed aside the military casket team.
There was a five foot drop from the cargo-lift truck to the tarmac. General McHugh and the bumbling Secret Service agents had great difficulty moving the casket down to ground level from the lift truck.
This makeshift team of inexperienced Secret Service pall bearers interfered with planned activities, and damaged the casket.
The most galling part for Lt. Bird and his highly disciplined crew was the fact this Secret Service wrecking crew was destroying the dignity and respect that should have demonstrated when the casket was offloaded from Air Force One.
Their haphazard manhandling of the bronze casket was all caught on live television for the entire world to see.
All Lt. Bird and his crew could do was to march ten paces away, and do an about-face. Lt. Bird was seething as he watched these Secret Service keystone cops manhandling and bumping the coffin as they removed it from the lift truck down to the Navy ambulance.
They could only stand at attention and watch this horrible and degrading spectacle unfold. It’s very possible Gen. McHugh and his Secret-Service clods were concerned that a professional burial crew might detect the casket was lighter than it should have been.
They might start to suspect the President’s body wasn’t in the bronze casket. According to Doug Horne, President Kennedy wasn’t in the bronze casket, but actually had been transferred into a body bag and hidden on Air Force One during the flight back.
Then, the President’s body was secretly removed from Air Force One and transferred to a helicopter bound for Bethesda Naval Hospital. It was too risky to have a professional casket team, which carry caskets all the time notice this particular casket was lighter than it should have been.
Pall bearers Felder and Mayfield had literally been involved with hundreds of funerals. The cover-up conspirators could not risk anyone suspecting the casket was empty. There might be questions, and those questions might raise doubt. So, Secret Service agents shoved the professional casket team out of the way, and moved the bronze casket all by themselves.
After LBJ made is first speech as President on the tarmac, he got on Marine One for the White House so he could start moving furniture out and measuring for drapes. The primary casket team, including Bobby Hayden and five others, boarded their helicopter bound for Bethesda.
The secondary or backup casket team manned up a military pick-up truck to follow the light gray Navy ambulance to Bethesda.
Doug Horne states that another light gray Navy ambulance, a carbon copy of the one Mrs. Kennedy entered, was set up as a decoy.
The decoy ambulance sped into the night with the backup casket team in hot pursuit.
According to the driver of the truck, the ambulance even turned off it’s lights in an effort to get away from the military casket team.
The plan for Lt. Bird was to properly remove the bronze casket from the Navy ambulance when it arrived at Bethesda.
Eventually, the military truck carrying the backup casket team lost the decoy ambulance in the dark, and decided to reroute for Bethesda.
In the mean time, a black hearse from Gawler’s Funeral Home secretly met another helicopter in the Bethesda Officer Club parking lot.
How and when the President’s body was transferred to an aluminum cheap shipping casket is unclear, but we know it was in the shipping casket when it arrived at the morgue loading dock at 6:35 pm according to one of the Navy sailors who was pressed into service as a pall bearer.
President Kennedy’s body actually arrived before the casket teams arrived and before Mrs. Kennedy arrived. She was in the Navy ambulance carrying the bronze casket she thought contained her husband’s body.
The shipping casket with the President’s body was quickly taken from the black hearse by Navy sailors and placed in the anteroom of the autopsy area. The sailors set down the shipping casket, and were immediately ordered to leave.
The official motorcade, with the empty bronze casket and Jackie Kennedy arrived at 6:55 pm. The cheap shipping casket had the President’s body because Bethesda’s Dr. Boswell confirmed that information with one of the sailors who removed the casket from the black hearse.
When the shipping casket was opened, witness saw what appeared to be a body in a body bag. The President’s body being in a zippered body bag inside the shipping casket is significant, because the President was not placed in a body bag at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
Doctors at Bethesda had no way of knowing that. So how did the President’s body arrive at Bethesda twenty minutes before the motorcade with Jackie Kennedy and end up in a body bag inside a cheap shipping casket?
Air Force One landed at Andrews AFB at 6:00 pm, on the blocks at 6:04 pm. The bronze casket, along with Jackie Kennedy left for Bethesda at approximately 6:09 pm.
The newly sworn LBJ makes a brief statement at 6:13 pm. Then LBJ’s helicopter takes off from Andrews at 6:19 pm.
Immediately following his departure, the TV Klieg lights were extinguished. LBJ landed at the White House South Lawn at 6:26 pm, a seven minute trip.
JFK’s body in a body bag, at some point was placed in a cheap shipping casket, and prior to arriving at Bethesda. A helicopter takes off from Andrews AFB at 6:20 pm, en-route to Bethesda. It was an 8-10 minute trip.
JFK’s body, now in a cheap shipping casket arrives at Bethesda Officer’s Club parking lot at about 6:30 pm and is met by a black hearse from the Gawler Funeral Home.
The aluminum casket bearing President Kennedy’s body is driven to the morgue loading dock. The black hearse carrying the President’s body arrived at the Bethesda’s morgue loading dock at precisely 6:35 pm.
When the official motorcade arrived, Jackie Kennedy and others from the Kennedy entourage entered the hospital for the VIP waiting room. The Secret Service and FBI agents show the Navy ambulance driver where the morgue dock is located behind the hospital.
Four federal agents (two FBI, and two Secret Service) moved the empty bronze casket from the Navy ambulance to the morgue anteroom.
This was recorded at 7:17 pm. Dr. Humes who was Bethesda’s chief pathologist later told his neighbor, the federal agents who brought in the bronze casket were denied entry into the morgue, and required to stay in the anteroom with the bronze casket.
They may not have known the casket was empty. But, during this time, Navy doctors, Humes and Boswell conducted surgery on the President to get any bullet or bullet fragments out of his head as soon as possible. They were attempting to remove any evidence the President may have been shot from the front.
The small bullet hole near the President’s Adam’s apple had been enlarged in Dallas by surgeons administering a tracheotomy, but it was really opened up by doctors Humes and Boswell.
After doctors felt they had effectively covered up any evidence there might have been another shooter from the front, the President’s body was once again wrapped in sheets as it was when he left Dallas and reinserted back into the bronze casket, which had just arrived with Mrs. Kennedy.
PRESIDENT’S BODY MOVED
BACK TO THE BRONZE CASKET
The bronze casket now with the President’s body again was placed in the anteroom awaiting the Honor Guard to arrive.
When they arrived, Lt. Sam Bird and his casket team were surprised to find the Navy ambulance which carried the bronze casket was empty.
Lt. Bird went into the hospital to discover General McHugh all alone in the anteroom with the President’s bronze casket. According to Lt. Bird, General McHugh was, “sitting on the floor with a sheepish look on his face.”
McHugh may have been very satisfied because they had secretly rushed the President’s body to Bethesda in enough time for Navy doctors to effect a cover-up, and placed his body back in the bronze casket before the Honor Guard had arrived.
At 8:00 pm, Lt. Bird’s casket team secured the bronze casket and carried it into the hospital’s autopsy room where the second, and “official” autopsy was performed in front of witnesses whom believed they were watching the first and only autopsy on the President’s body.
Thirty-five people had assembled in the viewing seats above. The autopsy room was frequently used to train young interns on the proper way to conduct autopsies, and therefore had many seats for fellow doctors to view the President’s autopsy.
People in the gallery did not know a clandestine autopsy had been conducted an hour before hand. This made the President’s body a crime scene.
The people in the gallery were being made part of the cover-up by acting as unsuspecting witnesses that saw the President’s body being removed from the bronze casket, the same bronze casket that left Dallas earlier in the day.
Navy doctors Humes and Boswell had already conducted a secret probe on the President’s body, now they were “acting” as if they were conducting the first and only autopsy. It was all a shell game designed to deceive the world from knowing what really happened in Dallas, Texas.
Photographs taken of the real wounds the President suffered during the shooting in Dallas, before the clandestine autopsy was conducted, never made it into the official record.
Illicit surgery was performed on President Kennedy to radically expand the cranial wound and remove evidence of shots from the front.
The government was doing all they could to pin the blame on Lee Harvey Oswald and keep with the theme there was only one shooter. Doug Horne said the broken chain of custody with the bullets, and the President’s body means the autopsy and everything else from that time period is suspect.
What exactly happened to the President’s body between 6:35 when it arrived in the cheap shipping casket, and 8:00 pm when the honor guard brought him into the autopsy room in a bronze casket?
NAVY DOCTORS OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE
Navy doctors were obstructing justice by creating false forensic evidence that only one shooter was involved. Authors Doug Horne and David Lifton have been able to piece many parts of the puzzle from the medical evidence and testimony of the people who were there at that time.
While the second autopsy was being performed, the backup casket team had finally arrived after chasing a decoy ambulance for an hour. Lt. Bird and the casket teams met with Mrs. Kennedy in a room that had three new caskets.
She asked them which one of the three would they recommend to carry the fallen President. When Bobby Hayden conveyed this information, he began to choke back some tears as he remembered that solemn moment with Mrs. Kennedy. A beautiful, but very heavy mahogany casket was selected.
After the official (second) autopsy was completed, Gawler’s Funeral Home embalmed the President’s body and placed in the new mahogany casket.
At 4:00 am Saturday morning, the casket team carried the heavy mahogany casket to the Navy ambulance and drove behind in a second vehicle to the front entrance of the White House. The casket team bailed out at the White House gate and marched behind the ambulance carrying the President’s body.
The casket team recalled the incredible weight of the mahogany casket. It was beyond all expectations, weighing a purported 1,300 lbs. When the casket team struggled up the steps to the White House, because of the enormous weight of the casket.
Pall bearer Douglas Mayfield worried the casket was going to drop, blurted out “Lieutenant!” Upon hearing that, Lt. Bird quickly stepped forward to grab the end of the casket providing the additional muscle necessary to negotiate White House Steps. The heavy mahogany casket was placed on a catafalque in the East Room of the White House.
Later Saturday morning, the President’s body was carried out of the White House and taken to the Capitol Rotunda. Hayden and others from different branches of the military stood as death-watch guards, all day and night.
On Sunday morning, the casket was taken to St. Matthews Cathedral. After the service, the President’s body was returned to the East Room of the White House.
On Monday morning, the President was slowly taken on a caisson to Arlington National Cemetery for burial. Bobby Lee Hayden recalls very clearly that he was told Captain Groves had died on the same day he helped to lay President Kennedy to rest, and on the same day he stood the first watch at the Eternal Flame.
Bobby Hayden’s recollection of the events in Washington was convincing. We believe his recollection to be credible.
Based on Hayden’s eyewitness testimony, blended with the coincidental fire of Captain Groves’ personal documents and mementos, and the strong belief from Don, Gladys and Darbea Groves that Captain Groves was murdered, we are inclined to believe something suspicious happened Captain Groves.
We found it strange that none of his relatives could be found and there were no pictures of Captain Groves available anywhere on the Internet. Usually, when people are in the military, family and friends love to take pictures of a snappy uniform.
This would especially true if that person was part of the famous Honor Guard at the White House.
There would have been hundreds of pictures of Captain Groves, but none could be found anywhere. It’s almost as if some entity wanted to erase the memory of Captain Groves.
While young people occasionally will die of heart ailments, we seriously doubt that Captain Groves died from a heart attack.
With all of the physical and mental conditioning his elite unit would receive, it’s very strange that he should die at age twenty-seven years of age, of a heart ailment.
Bobby Hayden was not only a witness to history, he was part of it. Hayden and many others, especially in 1963 were confronted with ingrained, institutionalized, in-your-face racism.
PEOPLE TODAY SO QUICK TO SHOUT RACISM
HAVE NO CLUE AS TO HOW BAD IT USED TO BE
Can you imagine that he was tasked with his fellow soldiers to protect the President of the United States, but could not go off the base to eat at a restaurant because of his skin color.
Hayden must laugh when he hears young people today speak of racism. They have no clue as to what life was like for Black Americans in 1963. There is no question that racism was pervasive in those days and deeply ingrained in our society on many levels.
But, now a days, everyone is a racist. If you’re White, you’re automatically considered a racist. If they can’t make that stick, then their fall-back position is that White people are guilty of White privilege.
Many times when people don’t get their way, they carelessly and recklessly accuse racism. It’s so out of control that I told my daughter after Thanksgiving to get in the car; she said, “Why?” I told her we were going shopping, it’s Black Friday.
With a stunned look on her face she said, “That’s racist dad.” It was just too crazy and too ridiculous for words. If America is ever to achieve any level of greatness in the future, we have to come to our senses.
After numerous interviews, we can say without reservation and with due consideration for our own credibility with our readers that Mr. Bobby Lee Hayden is truly a great man in his own right.
He and millions of other great and good Americans felt the heavy hand of racism and bigotry first hand. While he is sometimes suspicious of motives in people because of what he has endured, he’s truly an honorable and decent man that I was deeply honored to get to know.
Bob Hayden is now a card-carrying senior citizen, and frequently volunteers at the North Alabama Sickle Cell Foundation (NASCF). Not long ago, Bobby Lee Hayden became homeless and because of his struggle with diabetes, his foot had to be amputated.
We are checking now to see if the VA has been helping Mr. Hayden. If not, you can bet we will have another story about Mr. Hayden.
Mr. Hayden served our country with extraordinary fidelity. He was a trailblazer during very difficult times. Bob Hayden fought against racism by being a great and wonderful role model.
He is most deserving of our deepest respect and highest honor. This website thanks him for his service to America and providing information we could share with our readers throughout the world.
The Sixth Floor Museum in the Book Depository in Dallas, Texas asked for permission to display this article in the museum. On behalf of Bob Hayden and the people of Huntsville, Alabama, permission was proudly granted. §§§
UPDATE PENDING: Since our publishing of this article we have received additional information that we are currently checking. We will soon have an update of our story.