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Santos Trafficante - It Should Have Been Bobby

Santos Trafficante, Florida crime boss and participant in the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Fidel Castro.
Santos Trafficante, Florida crime boss and participant in the CIA-Mafia plots to kill Fidel Castro.

Santos Trafficante was a Tampa-based crime boss who was among those who lost out on gambling revenues when Castro took power in Cuba, and Trafficante was jailed there and eventually deported. He subsequently became involved in the CIA-Mafia plots to assassinate Castro, along with Johnny Roselli and Sam Giancana.

Trafficante is believed to be responsible for the murder of rival Albert Anastasia in 1957. When Johnny Roselli was brutally murdered in 1975 during the time of his Church Committee appearances, Trafficante was suspected by some.

Anti-Castro exile Jose Aleman told HSCA investigators that in late 1962, Trafficante had told him that Kennedy would not be re-elected, because "he is going to be hit." Aleman believed that from the context of the conversation, Trafficante meant that the "hit" would come from Jimmy Hoffa.

In the early 1990s', Frank Ragano told journalists a story, repeated in his book Mob Lawyer, that Ragano had taken a message from Hoffa to Trafficante and Carlos Marcello to carry out the murder of the President. Ragano wrote that in 1987 a seriously-ill Trafficante told him that he and Marcello had carried out the other, but that he had misgivings - "I think Carlos f**ked up in getting rid of Giovanni (John) -- maybe it should have been Bobby."

While some including HSCA Chief Counsel Robert Blakey find Ragano's account persuasive, others do not. Ragano was contacted by the Assassination Records Review Board to see if his sole-sourced story could be corroborated. He produced handwritten notes regarding the assassination referred to in his book as contemporaneous, but as the Review Board wrote "he could not definitively state whether he took them during the meetings of the 1960s or later when he was working on his book in the 1990s." Secret Service tests did not settle the matter.



Primary Sources: Theory - The Mafia, by Spartacus Educational.

Gunrunner Ruby and the CIA, by Lisa Pease.

The Inspector General's Report: An Introduction, by Peter Dale Scott.

Hell in Miami, by Ronald L. Ecker.

Three Phases of Assassination, by Debra Conway.

Mary Ferrell Database

Other Links

Santo Trafficante Jr. on wikipedia.

Santo Trafficante on Spartacus Educational.



ARRB Final Report:

Church Committee:

HSCA Report:

  • Section 1.C.4: The Committee believes ... that the National Syndicate of organized crime, as a group, was not involved...

HSCA Volumes:

HSCA Files:

FBI Files:

CIA Files:

Related Starting Points

Books of Interest

    Mob Lawyer
Frank Ragano and Selwyn Raab
Charles Scribner's Sons, 1994
    Ultimate Sacrifice
Lamar with Hartmann Waldron, Thom
Carroll & Graf, 2005
    Double Cross
Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana
Warner Books, 1992
Anthony Summers
Paragon House, 1980
    The Kennedy Contract
John H. Davis
Harper Paperbacks, 1993
    Contract on America: The Mafia Murders of John and Robert Kennedy
David E. Scheim
Argyle Press, 1983

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