Secret Service also partied before Kennedy assassination

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by REBECCA LOPEZ

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

WFAA

Posted on April 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM

DALLAS - It's a part of the Kennedy assassination many people don't know about.
 
On the night before President John F. Kennedy was killed, 10 members of his Secret Service detail were partying at a Fort Worth club called The Cellar.

Farris Rookstool is a former FBI analyst, who served as custodian of the John F. Kennedy assassination files.

"Nine out of the 10 had consumed alcohol, [of] which four of those agents were also assigned PPD, or presidential protection detail, in the follow up car behind President Kennedy’s motorcade," Rookstool said.

In sworn statements, the agents admit to drinking on the night before the death of President Kennedy. The documents state that some the agents left their post at the Texas Hotel to party with waitresses at The Cellar, who served drinks wearing only their underwear.

Some of agents didn't get back to their rooms until five the next morning.
 
"Some of these agents that were out until five in the morning, that were supposed to be guarding the president's suite, bragged to the owner of The Cellar, Pat Kirkswood, that they were out having a few cocktails while they got the Fort Worth Fire Department guarding the presidential suite," Rookstool said.

He said among those drinking was Agent Clint Hill, who you see running to the back of the presidential car and being helped by Jaqueline Kennedy after her husband had been shot.

"Reaching the rear end of the car, Clint blamed himself," Rookstool said. "Not based on the alcohol, but the fact is, had he gotten to the back deck of the car, he was hoping to shield the first lady as well as perhaps the President.”
 
The Secret Service investigated the agents, but found that the drinking did not impair them or slow down their reactions when the President was shot. None of the agents were disciplined or fired.
 
"The Warren commission was very upset when they found out," Rookstool said.
 
Now, nearly 50 years later, a similar investigation is shaking the secret service.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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