Predictions of Joseph Milteer

Right-wing extremist Joseph Milteer.
Right-wing extremist Joseph Milteer.

Thirteen days before Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, a man named Joseph Milteer was tape recorded telling Miami police informant William Somersett that the murder of Kennedy was "in the working," that the best means of killing Kennedy was "from an office building with a high-powered rifle," and that "they will pick up somebody within hours afterwards, if anything like that would happen just to throw the public off."

Foreknowledge of the assassination, or just a lucky guess coupled with an uncanny understanding of how such things work?

Miami Police notified the Secret Service, and there are indications that an unannounced motorcade in Miami scheduled for later that month was cancelled. After the Kennedy assassination, informant Somersett spoke to Milteer on the phone. Police and FBI interviews with Somersett revealed that Milteer was jubilant, and said that "everything ran true to form. I guess you thought I was kidding when I said he would be killed from a window with a high-powered rifle."

The Warren Commission never learned the full truth of Milteer's statements, receiving just a cursory interview report in December 1963 and a somewhat more detailed one in July 1964, late in the Commission's term. But even the later report failed to discuss the recorded statements which the Secret Service received. A more complete version of the story finally reached the public in 1967 in a newspaper article.

The HSCA investiged whether a man photographed standing in the crowd in Dealey Plaza was Milteer - the resemblance is certainly strong. The HSCA's photographic panel determined, based on height calculations, that the man was not Milteer.

Who was Joseph Milteer? He was an organizer for the racist National States Rights Party and the Constitution Party. The latter organization's membership included retired Marine General Pedro del Valle, about whom Drew Pearson wrote in 1961 that del Valle came close to "urging armed insurrection." If Milteer's predictions were indeed based on foreknowledge, then the path to Kennedy's real killers would lead to right-wing segregationists and military extremists, categories which included some very powerful people.



Other Links

Miami Police Informant Information on Milteer. The website has a transcript of the November 26 police interview with informant Somersett.

National States Rights Party on Wikipedia.

Pedro del Valle on Wikipedia.



HSCA Final Report:

HSCA Report, Appendix I:

HSCA Report, Appendix IV:

HSCA Report, Appendix VI:

CD 1347. The FBI Gemberling Report of 16 Jul 1964 contains a 4-page writeup of Milteer's post-assassination boasts but not the pre-assassination predictions. Earlier, in CD 20, the Warren Commission had received an FBI report on Milteer which did not even contain the post-assassination material, but merely noted that Milteer denied making threats to assassinate President Kennedy.

Preliminary Report into the Assassination of President Kennedy. This internal Church Committee report, now declassified, contains a 3-page writeup of the Committee's Milteer investigation.

HSCA Executive Session of 9 Mar 1977. The Sprague-era HSCA discussed Milteer in executive session.

Secret Service Report of 11-27-63. This investigation synopsis contains the claim that the FBI had ascertained that Milteer was in Quitman, GA at the time of the assassination.

Related Starting Points


Recording of Milteer-Somersett conversation:  listen    transcript.

Photos of Milteer. This set of photos was collected by the HSCA. See also the HSCA's copies of a photo taken in Dealey Plaza which was analyzed to see if the man was Milteer.

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