Pseudonym: Olds, James
Jim Hougan, in Spooks: The Haunting of America - The Private Use of Secret Agents (1979), page 335, stated that O'Connell used the alias of "Jim Olds."
O' Connell joined the CIA from the FBI in December of 1951. He was the case officer of Robert Maheu. O'Connell was put in contact with organized crime figure, John Roselli, in connection with an assassination plot against Fidel Castro in late 1960. O'Connell met Roselli in a New York hotel.
12/10/51: Memo from Edwin O. Olsen, to Chief, Special Security Division: "I have known James P. O'Connell, Jr., for a period of three years, the majority of which time he was co-worker and supervisor in the FBI. Throughout the time I have known him he has maintained an excellent reputation among his co-workers and is known as one who is straightforward, dependable, and honest at all times. Although I have had no social acquaintance with him, other than through a few office functions, I would have no hesitancy in recommending him as a person of excellent personal habits, good moral character, and as one whose loyalty to this country is unquestionable. He has had wide and valuable expereicne in the investigative field and will be a decided asset to any employer. Through his work with the FBI he has learned the importance of security and is a good security risk. It is with a great deal of pleasure that I recommend Mr. O'Connell for employment by this Agency."
05/07/56: Memo from Glen E. Moorhouse, Acting Chief, WE Division to Director, Security Office: "1. I would like to take this opportunity to commend Mr. James O'Connell for the excellent manner in which he served WE Division on 6 May 1956. 2. As you know, Mr. James R. Hunt, Jr., Chief of Station, Paris, was killed on 5/6 May in Walsenbury, Colorado, in an automobile accident. The CIA Cable secretariat was notified by State and in turn notified Mr. Edwin A. Willard, C/WE/3. Mr. Willard contacted Mr. Hunt's mother on 6 May and offered to be of any assistance whatsoever. 3. At 2000 hours, 6 May, Mrs. Hunt, Sr. telephoned Mr. Willard to say the Hunts were arriving in New York at 0710 hours 7 May. She asked if Mr. Willard could expedite their entry through customs. Mr. Willard called the security night duty officer, who apparently Mr. James O'Connell. Within a half hour Mr. O'Connell telephoned Mr. Willard to to say that entry would be expedited and that two Agency cars would be available for transportation. Mr. O'Connell further offered any other help possible. Mr. Willard was thus able to call Mrs. Hunt, Sr. before 2100 hours, 6 May. 4. This prompt action on the part of Mr. O'Connell has been brought to the attention of the Director. It is requested that a copy of this memorandum be placed in Mr. O'Connell official personnel folder."
04/09/62: Memo from Victor R. White, Deputy Director of Security (Investigations and Operational Support) to Chief, Technical Services Division (Attention: John Swedberg): Handwritten at top of page: "66483 O'Connell, James P." Subject: Subject: OLDS, James Paul (A) 66483: "1. This will confirm our verbal request of 5 April 1962 that you prepare alias documentation in the alias indicated which will include but not necessarily be limited to the following documents: Driver's License, Social Security card, Reserve Officers Association identity card with the rank of Commander, and an appropriate insurance identity card. 2. You were provided with the Subject's true name, a photograph, and a sample of his signature and you were requested to have such documentation ready for the Subject no later than 1600 hours, 6 April 1962. You were provided with the following physical description: Eyes - Blue; Hair - Brown; Height - 6'3"; Weight 200 lbs; Complexion - Ruddy; Birth - 19 February 1917, Elmhurst, New York; and you were requested to utilize a non-backstopped, multiple unit address in San Francisco. 3. The documentation in question will be returned to your office when the Subject has no further use for same..."
05/27/66: Memo from Howard J. Osborne, Director of Security to the Director, FBI (Attention: William O. Cregar): "1. Reference is made to our memorandum of 18 May 1966, which forwarded to you a report on a meeting between Colonel Sheffield Edwards and 'Johnny' Roselli in Washington on 12 May 1966. 2. This memorandum is related to the same subject and is forwarded to your Bureau in confirmation of an oral conversation with Mr. William O'Cregar on 27 May 1966. 3. Mr. James P. O'Connell of this Office was at a meeting with Colonel Sheffield Edwards and Mr. Robert Maheu in the Madison Hotel at 4:00 p.m. on 26 May 1966. The purpose of this meeting has no direct relationship to the subject of this memorandum. During this meeting, Mr. Maheu received a call from 'Johnny', who said that he had been trying to get in touch with Colonel Edwards or James P. O'Connell, unsuccessfully, through Joe Shimon, former Inspector of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department. 'Johnny' went on to say that he had been in touch with the FBI on the matter he had discussed with Colonel Edwards, and had determined that it had nothing to do with the Agency and he wanted Maheu to inform Colonel Edwards and Mr. O'Connell to forget the whole matter. 4. James P. O'Connell of this Office was the individual used by Colonel Edwards to handle 'Johnny' during this Agency's earlier involvement with him in activities known to you..."
05/17/75: Memo from David W. Belin to the file: ..."B. Mr. O'Connell I believe that you said that you came to the CIA from the FBI approximately in 1951. Is that correct? O: December 1951. B: And when you came to the CIA, what did you do? I was assigned to the Office of Security and initially my first assignment was a desk chief, the title of - at that time, I believe was Covert Security Clearance Branch, or Desk...B. During the 1950's, did you have an opportunity to become acquainted with Robert Maheu? O: Yes, I did. B. And what was the occasion of that? O. The occasion was about 1952 or '53. He was at that time working independently as a security consultant and he had just left the job with Small Business Administration where he was the Security Officer and he was striking out for himself...B: You were his case officer? O: Right. B: Now, I want to ask you whether or not you ever heard inside the Agency of any plans or schemes which might have involved the assassination of any foreign leader other than Fidel Castro? O: I can say categorically no...B: Now, Mr. O'Connell, some time in the latter part of 1960, according to our interview before we started making this tape, you said that Shef Edwards came to you with regard to a particular matter. Is that correct? O: That's correct...He indicated that he gotten the - the office had gotten - the assignment to come up with somebody or some organization that could take on the assassination of Fidel Castro, and he thought perhaps Bob Maheu might know somebody that we could contact or he could contact, and I was told to talk to Bob, which I did...B: Did Edwards state to you who gave him the assignment? O: Well, as far as I recall he said it was Bissell...Well, I do recall that I think it was October that I met Roselli for the first time, and that was at the Plaza Hotel in New York...probably October 1960..."
05/30/75: SSCIA testimony of James P. O'Connell:
09/08/76: Memo for the record from Robert W. Gambino, Director of Security: Subject: Robert Maheu: "1. On 4 August 1976 Mr. James P. O'Connell, formerly Deputy Director of Security for Physical, Technical and Overseas Security, now retired, called to inform me that he had been contacted by Robert Maheu concerning a book which Maheu is writing. 2. Mr. O'Connell indicated that Mr. Maheu wanted to discuss the book with him, together with Mr. Maheu's ghost writer, one Joseph Frank. Mr. O'Connell stated that he agreed to meet with Maheu but wanted me to know that he would not provide Maheu with any information of a classified nature. 3. On 5 August 1976 Mr O'Connell called Mrs. Relda White to advise that he had decided against meeting with Maheu. Mr. O'Connell stated that he told Maheu that he just simply did not want to get involved. 4. On 8 August 1976 Mr. O'Connell called me at my home to advise that he had been contacted by a reporter from The Washington Post in response to the news story concerning the death of John Roselli. The Post reporter wanted to interview Mr. O'Connell to obtain the 'general background and color details concerning Johnny Roselli.' Mr. O'Connell advised that he told The Washington Post reporter he had nothing of interest to provide him. 5. Mr. O'Connell elaborated further concerning Mr. Maheu's book, stating that Maheu was now in London where Mr. O'Connell specualtes he will publish the book. Mr. O'Connell believes that the book will be concerned primarily with Maheu's relationship with Howard Hughes and that Maheu's connections with CIA will be of minor importance..."